Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Ninjering 101: Flags and Timers and Such

Ninjering 101 covers basic techniques that all ninjas should master. Stuff like using scan probes, fitting a salvage ship and rudimentary combat. And not talking in local. Please. Never talk in local. This one is about timers and flags and such. Also, someone gets blown up \o/

Fighting in High Sec is a fairly unique experience in EVE, especially in the densely populated areas which we frequent. A bit of situational awareness and a knowledge of game mechanics go a long way towards making you a more proficient warrior in this battlescape. Or rather, a slightly less terrible player. Yesterday I fought a Scorpion Navy Issue and the outcome was decided by game mechanics rather than brute DPS. I'll take you through the fight blow by blow and explain what's going on. Grab a coffee. Pay attention. There will be an exam.

Sitting comfy? Let's get started.

Once upon a time in Aunia

The day found me in the lovely system of Aunia, stripping wreck fields in a triple-salvager Probe named Vicky. I was trying to work out how much ISK per hour a newbie might make in this profession (it's about 20-30 million) when a fellow by the name of Zarbow decided to take offense and throw a few cruise missiles my way. How rude! I promptly spooled up Vicky's warp drive to dock in Aunia's one station and fetch my trusty Cynabal Marilyn. As I landed, however, so did Zarbow.

Mechanics: Weapons flags and docking radius. Zarbow was under a 60-second weapons flag and unable to dock. We were both within docking range of the station.
Problem: Although Zarbow could not dock and get to safety for another 45 seconds at least, I was not in a combat ship. I'd have to dock, board Marilyn, undock and engage. He might warp off while I was docking and I would not be able to tell where to. If he stuck around, I would then have to melt Zarbow within the remaining ~30 seconds before he could dock. I would incur a 60-second weapons flag myself which could be a problem if any of the half a dozen neutral onlookers decided to take a swing at me.
Options: I could either get Marilyn out and try for the kill, or attempt to lure Zarbow back to a more favorable battlefield.

I really didn't want to engage on the station so I swung Vicky around again and returned to the mission. Zarbow had shot me once and gotten away with it – he would likely shoot me again. To my surprise he landed back in the mission very shortly after me, with three minutes left on the Limited Engagement timer. An engagement in a mission pocket was much more to my advantage. So I brought Marilyn out of the Aunia undock and promptly mis-warped her, landing 90km away from Zarbow. I cursed, kicked in the microwarp drive and burned for Zarbow as quick as I could. Zarbow opened up on me once more. That's when the mission rats decided they wanted to play too.

Mechanics: Mission rat AI and missile damage calculation. Missiles do damage based on the target's speed (slower target = more damage) and signature radius (larger radius = more damage).
Problem: The pocket turned against me and I was hit by a battleship rat and a statis webifier. This slowed me down significantly, while my MWD was still ballooning my signature radius. With Zarbow's own target painters adding to my signature radius even more, his cruise missiles were hitting me pretty hard and so were the rat's.
Options: Hang on and call for backup or break off and try again.

Although Zarbow had proven susceptible to being baited back into a fight (and had just reset our five minute LE flag), I had shown my hand by showing up in a Cynabal instead of a Probe and that significantly decreased the likelyhood of him sticking around. I called for backup and soldiered on. After landing point on Zarbow I got into orbit, switched off my MWD to get rid of that awful signature bloom, and started laying into his shields and capacitor.

Leffy had to jump two gates to get to Aunia and landed his Osprey 90km away from us. There was something funny about the warpin in this pocket. My shields were beginning to buckle. Zarbow 's active tank was breaking under my energy neutralizer, but he still had a battleship's worth of armor and hull for me to chew through. Marilyn – being only a cruiser, after all – would be fairly short work once her shields gave out. Leffy was closing in but not fast enough. I broke off as I hit 50% armor and approached Leffy for a few quick licks of RR. Zarbow warped just before I could re-establish point.

And I forgot to take screenshots, so here's a picture of a sexy ninja lady. That should up my Google traffic a bit.
Hah! Caught you Googling for ninja porn. Pervert.

I followed Zarbow to the station and saw him warp away again as I landed, this time towards the Auvergne stargate. Marilyn may not tank missions very well but she aligns like a boss and I caught up with Zarbow on the stargate, both of us still under about 30 seconds of weapons timer. This left us in a similar situation as earlier on the station, except now we were both low on our tanks.

Mechanics: Weapons flags not only prevent you from docking, but also from using a stargate.
Problem: There was only a short while left on the timer and Zarbow had had the opportunity to recharge his capacitor and get a few shield boost cycles in. He might be able to tank it out.
Options: Engage Zarbow on the gate and hope that he'd either break before the timer ran out or re-aggress. Alternatively, sit there staring at each other and see what his next move would be.

Zarbow had now felt the sting of Marilyn, seen Leffy's RR, and fixed himself firmly on bravely running away. His options were many. He could jump the gate to Auvergne, warp to a random moon where I'd be hard-pressed to find him, or even warp back to station and dock. Under these circumstances I chose to fight it out on the gate. To my delight he shot back – resetting his 60-second weapons flag and sealing his fate.

Indeed there was.


Not every mission runner gank is a clean story of warp in, grab point and melt bear. In more complex scenarios it pays to be aware of game mechanics such as suspect flags, weapons flags and how they limit the options available to both yourself and your prey. CCP has made this relatively easy by displaying the flags accurately and prominently in the top-left of your screen, and by providing a very thorough devblog on how they work. So here's your homework, kids: read that devblog carefully, think of how it affects our line of work, then read it again and again until you know the flags by heart. Some day it's going to make the difference between blowing up a shiny faction battleship and being left stranded on a stargate.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Ninjering 102: Ackbar

Ninjering 102 is not about how to probe mission runners, how to d-scan or how to fit a hilaricane. That would be 101. 102 is about some of the finer tricks of the trade. This one's about “Ackbar” ships and how you can bait and kill without needing to swap.

So, now that Retribution has failed to kill our profession and all the self-congratulatory bullshit is out of the way, it's time to return to our regular programming and talk tactics. Ninja salvaging with an eye to killing mission runners is a numbers game. Not many mission runners actually shoot at us, so the ones that do are precious. The most basic ninja tactic is to bait in a frigate, get shot at, warp out, dock up, grab a kill ship, warp back, then hope the mission runner is still there and will stick around long enough for you to get a point on him.

Shooty bears are precious!

Unfortunately, Retribution lowered the engagement timer to five minutes. That's not a lot of time. The mission runner is essentially in control of the engagement for the entire time until you're back in your death mobile and have him firmly tackled. All he needs to do is dock up for five minutes and the entire exercise has been futile. We used to get around that by fitting a point on our bait frigates and keeping the mission runner in place until an alt or a friend could bring us a kill ship to swap into. With the 60-second weapons timer now preventing you from ejecting, that got a whole lot harder (not impossible – but we're still working on that).

Project Cruiser and the Ackbar method

Way back in 2010, ninja celebrities Aiden Mourn and Solomar Espersei launched Project Cruiser. Mostly an exercise in finding a new challenge because Orca swapping was the near-infallible tactic of the time, Project Cruiser resulted in some very interesting fights that took mission runners by a whole new flavor suprise.

Oh no!

In ninja parlance, the tactics pioneered by Project Cruiser became known as “Ackbar”, after everyone's favorite space squid. Because it's a trap. You essentially invade the mission, loot the things, get shot, grab point and kill the mission runner with an all-in-one ship. It works fantastically well when it works, but it's a bit of a challenge. Cruisers – the only hull type with enough power to do this consistently while still looking fairly harmless – are generally easy pickings even for PVE-fit battlecruisers and battleships until you can tip the odds in your favor.

Revisiting Project Cruiser

Under Retribution's new Crimewatch system, Ackbar tactics have become a very desirable method of ninjering. Retribution also gave us some much-needed T1 cruiser overhauls. It's a perfect storm. As such, over the past weeks, I've been experimenting with new ships and fittings that can do the job. This has met with mixed success. So far I'm looking at four kills and two losses.

While both losses can be chalked up to pilot error (derp), they do show the weakness of the Ackbar tactic: it's hairy. Both Stabbers were lost just seconds before RR landed on grid, klaxons blaring and modules overheating – great fun but a bit too unreliable! You'll also note that both cruisers are fairly expensive for what they do on account of the Ancillary Current Router rigs required to cram far too much stuff on them. I've since switched to a much more Powergrid-friendly active shield tank and a rack of Gyrostabilizers and that looks much better on paper.

Can I Ackbar?

This post is not about specific fits though – it's about the basics of the Ackbar method. Once I get a few good fits hammered out, those will go in a post of their own. If you want to Ackbar you'll need the following:

  1. High skills in Racial Cruiser, your weapon system of choice, fitting, capacitor and thermodynamics. Navigation helps too.
  2. Deep enough pockets to stomach a few losses as you try out different fits.
  3. A fair amount of confidence in your manual piloting and micromanagement skills. You need less of this if you have more of item 2).
  4. Backup. Whether supplied by friends or alts, Ackbar ships really benefit from things like gang links and especially RR and cap transfer.
  5. EFT-warrior skills. Remember that Meta 4 modules can often make a fit possible at only a slight loss in effectiveness over T2.

And that's *after* culling all the obvious failfits.

Ackbar is not restricted to T1 cruisers. Faction cruisers like the mighty Cynabal or T2 cruisers (especially of the Heavy Assault or Force Recon variety) can do the job just fine too. Better even, except for two things: they're more expensive to lose and they're more intimidating so they might not attract as much fire. Flying Ackbar involves a lot of compromise in fitting to achieve a sweet spot between speed, tank, DPS, cost and perceived threat. Good luck!

Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Rumors of Our Demise

The Den collects articles of general wisdom, from philosophical musings to the examination of game mechanics, to simple tales of great hilarity. This one is about Retribution and how it has not quite managed to kill ninja salvaging as a profession.

Well it's certainly been an interesting few weeks! Retribution brought many changes to EVE Online. Of particular note to us are the new Crimewatch system, killrights and bounties, and the new mission AI. All of these would bring about the long-awaited end to ninja salvaging. Of course that didn't actually happen.

Yes we will, Gloria.


Perhaps the biggest deal in Retribution for us, the new flagging system means that when we yoink someone's stuff, we become a legal target to everyone in EVE. This opens the door for white knights to come to a mission runner's rescue and violence our boats. I wrote about that last month and my sage predictions have so far come true. Eath that, Jester :-)

What did change is that two of our old tricks – in-situ ship swaps and aggro extention – no longer work. The Weapons flag means you can't eject from your ship for 60 seconds after running a hostile mod, like a warp disruptor, and that means no more quick jumps from a Slasher to a Hurricane. The cleaner Crimewatch flagging system also means that odd loopholes like resetting the combat timer by shooting a wreck are gone. It's back to basics for us.

Killrights and bounties

We can be short about killrights – they don't affect us at all. We operate under Suspect flags, not Criminal flags (the sort that get you Concordokkened) so we don't generate killrights. And bounties? Well, if anything, they make people more inclined to shoot us which is a good thing. Former corpie and ninja icon Waagstrom gave us a 250 million ISK corp bounty for Christmas which looks very sexy on our avatars. Thanks!

The predictable wave of frivolous 100k ISK bounties that has washed over New Eden in the new system has resulted in some great tears, mostly from people who don't understand the system and believe it makes them legal targets in High Sec. The common response to such complainers has been to put more bounties on them. They've become an excellent, cheap little trolling device.

Thank you Morbo.

New mission AI

I'm still not entirely sure how this thing works. There was a lot of brouhaha about different levels of AI in EVE and a sophisticated signature radius-based target selection system being implemented. Judging by the patch notes, somebody said "fuck it" and just slapped on the Sleeper AI instead. This has made mission rats jumpy and unable to focus. They switch targets seemingly at random, though they do seem to reserve a particular hatred for drones (with more rivers of salty tears emanating from lazy Dominix pilots who can no longer go fap while their drones finish the mission for them).

Yeah, it's a little tricky when a full room decides to direct its blind anger at the little ninja Slasher that just showed up, especially when EWAR is involved. But we've dealt with rat aggro before and a good speed tank, or a quick warpout and return, remains an excellent counter.

Odds and ends

Some other bits and bobs changed that weren't immediately apparent from the patch notes. One thing that's slightly hard to quantify is the new default overview settings for Suspects and people in a Limited Engagement (LE). The former is now flasy orange: not nearly as aggressive as the "corp red" of the past, this makes us somewhat less intimidating. Whether that's a good thing or not is hard to judge. People have been shooting us regardless. And the LE display color is something called "dark indigo," a friendly-looking greenish blue that inspires no sort of terror whatsoever. I suspect it will make the unwitting more likely to stick around in their missions after taking a shot. After all, that soothing dark indigo isn't going to hurt anyone, right?

But... It was indigo!

And then we come to perhaps the most exciting and somehow overlooked change in Retribution: legal pod killing. A Suspect, Criminal or LE opponent can now be podded without sec status hits or CONCORD intervention. As such we've been separating triggerhappy mission runners not only from their pimped-up boats, but also from their expensive old clones and shiny implants. Make sure you add "biomass" to your overviews, folks – CCP gave us an early Christmas present!

Friday, November 16, 2012

How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love Crimewatch 2.0

The Den collects articles of general wisdom, from philosophical musings to the examination of game mechanics, to simple tales of great hilarity. This one is about miners, things that go "bump", and high-sec mentality.

The times, they are a-changing

One of the biggest changes coming to our little slice of EVE this December is the overhauled Crimewatch system with a new "suspect" flag. If you do something illegal, everyone in EVE can shoot you for fifteen minutes. This opens the door for vigilantes, "white knights" or whatever you want to call them to come to the aid of a mission runner and asplode your boat. Even opportunists sitting at gates or stations might take a shot. This makes ninjering a whole lot more dangerous than it was.

Oh shit I got a flag!

Me, I'm not worried. I believe the vast majority of high-sec residents simply don't have the chutzpah to actually get up and do something with this new flag. Allow me to illustrate.

James 315 and the New Order of High Sec

You may have heard about this whole miner bumping business which has gradually been picking up steam over the last few months. If you don't follow the official EVE Forums (which you probably shouldn't) you'll have missed some hilarious shitstorms which have been stirred up by miners who are really, really angry. Angry and utterly incapable of helping themselves.

The "too long, didn't read" of it is that James 315 came up with a new way of torturing miners after the hitpoint buffs to mining barges and exhumers made suicide ganking impractical. An overpowered ship can bump a miner out of range of his rocks and, with persistence, keep him out of range indefinitely. This might be classed as harassment were it not for the New Order offering the miners a way out: pay 10 million ISK and adhere to a code of conduct to be left alone for a year.

Whether you buy into the New Order's professed ideals, or consider it simple extortion, a donations scam, or even just a clever facade to keep the petitions at bay – it works. The New Order has collected billions of ISK in donations from entertained players. And tears. Mighty rivers of sweet, sweet tears the likes of which haven't been seen since Hulkageddon.

One angry miner.

Have a look at their bingo card and spot the similarities to some of the things mission runners throw at us. "This is an exploit?" Check. "Try working for your ISK honestly?" Check. "I know powerful people in null-sec?" Check. I love that last one. It's a well-known fact that the major null-sec coalitions are all about keeping high-sec carebears safe and unmolested. Heh.

Resistance is futile

Compare the success of the New Order to its counterpoint, the Proveldtariat. It is composed of exactly one bloke with a blog. It has achieved exactly nothing, save for some mildly entertaining reading. It has a list of suggestions to counter miner bumping and they're actually pretty good, but no-one is employing these techniques. But why? Why do miners not take some of the simple precautions that could safeguard their operations? Why do they not band together, even if just to share intel? Why do they not stand up and do something to protect themselves?

Here's why.

The answer is simple – these people don't want to play with others. And the majority of high-sec mission runners is like that too. I have no statistical data to back that up of course. I say this from experience, having encountered hundreds of them. Old players who've never been out of their NPC corps. Players who have no idea how to fit a ship (the fact that they can run missions in them being a testament to how borked EVE's PVE is). Players who couldn't find Local if you wrapped it around a trout and slapped them in the face with it. They're out there in great numbers. And they don't want to play with you or anyone else. Not even to help themselves.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Ninjering 102: The UI

Ninjering 102 is not about how to probe mission runners, how to d-scan or how to fit a hilaricane. That would be 101. 102 is about some of the finer tricks of the trade. This one's about the UI and how to set it up for ninja work.

Make it easy

In September I wrote a post on setting up the Overview. The objective there was simple: to make life easier on yourself by sorting information in a sensible manner. It is a good idea to do the same for your user interface (UI). The UI is basically all the stuff on your screen – the various windows and displays that provide you with information and allow you to interact with your ship and your environment.

Before you read on, I invite you to check out this excellent article by PVP virtuoso Azual Skoll. His thinking on screen layouts is sensible and you'll see that I've shamelessly copied many of his ideas. That's why he put them on his blog, after all! Of course, for ninja work there are a few things you'll probably want to do differently. I'll outline my own UI setup according to a pretty picture.

My UI setup

Yes, that's the same screenshot I used in the Overview article. It works because it has pretty much everything active. Let's go over it by the numbers.

  1. Local Chat. Local is an invaluable intel tool. It allows me to quickly check if my target has any corpmates in system by setting his corp to an alternative standing. This will cause any pilots in that corp to light up in a different color. I have also set known “white knights” and ninja hunters to a separate standing so I know if I need to look over my shoulder for them. I've set the list to names only and the font to fairly small. I don't talk in local but I do like to see the ubiquitous tears in there.
  2. Other chats. Should be fairly self-explanatory.
  3. People & Places and Scanner. I'm quite happy with these two being tabbed in the same window. Obviously I interact with the scanner a lot, both when probing down mission runners and for D-scanning while in or near a mission. I also use People & Places a lot for setting standings and making spot safes. But I never need to use them simultaneously.
  4. Cargo and Drones. For looting purposes, I have activated the option to open every new container in a new window. By doing so I can keep my ship's cargo window small but easily accessible. When I'm in a ship with drones, I also have the Drones window tabbed here. This keeps the interaction close to the ship's HUD where my cursor spends most of its time.
  5. The ship's HUD. With passive modules not displayed, and shield/armor/hull percentages shown. These options can be accessed by right-clicking the little four-bar icon to the bottom right. Come Retribution, you'll also find your safety setting here, which should be at “Partial.”
  6. Locked targets. They're a bit of a pain to move around – you need to have something locked and then fidget about until you find a little crosshair to the bottom-left. You can drag this to move your locked items around. I put them above the HUD modules with enough clearance for EWAR effect icons (points, webs, neuts etc.) to show up.
  7. Selected Item. This window goes just above the locked targets. This keeps the targets, mods (from the HUD) and various commands from the Selected Item window very close together for quick mouse cursor transit.
  8. Overview. The Overview needs a fair bit of space because, especially when looting and salvaging, there can be quite a bit of stuff on there. I've elected to not take it entirely to the top of the screen though. In combat, the Overview will be notably less filled up and I don't want hostile ships or drones to be all bunched up in the top-right of the screen while my main action items are at the bottom.
  9. Fleet window and Watchlist. This is a screen I don't interact with very much, but when I do it's mostly because a fellow ninja needs remote repairs. I therefore keep this window open at all times. The last thing a ninja wants is for his RR to be late because the pilot was looking for the fleet window...

Up to you

And there you have it. As with the Overview, personal preference will factor in to how you set up your UI just as much as occupational needs. How your UI works best for you is ultimately up to you. But I would encourage you to take some time to really sit down and think about how you can make the UI as user friendly as you can. Don't just grit your teeth if some ergonomic nightmare is costing you precious seconds in combat – fix it!

Thursday, October 25, 2012


Most blogs die within a few weeks of being born. The internet is littered with their sad husks – once full of promise, now lingering on servers that no-one has bothered to clean up for years. Some have an overwrought, apologetic wall of text on them excusing the author's inaction. Modern Ninjering is not one of those blogs.

What's going on?

Imagine writing a particularly fine post on the use of the current T1 logistic cruisers, then having this pop up right before you publish it. No biggie, you'll just push your schedule up a bit and start writing that article on mission mechanics. And then this happens. Damn you CCP! Now you have to write that in-depth analysis of aggro mechanics that you'd been saving for next month. Except, oops.

That'll leave a man speechless.

Throw in some family business after that and the release of a new XCOM and you have about a month's worth of hiatus.

All in all, Retribution is promising to dramatically reshape the ninja salvager's landscape. With so much change on the horizon, it would be folly to do guides for ships or mechanics that will be obsolete in a couple of months. Instead I'm going to be doing some sporadic brainfarting on whatever interesting new bits of information come out until the winter expansion hits. And then I'll get back to my regular programming: bringing you the latest, shiniest, state-of-the-artiest in ninja tactics.

Food for thought

Here's some things to mull over in the meantime. I intend to cover these topics in depth one by one.

  • Ship re-balancing. We're getting some viable new combat vessels added to the roster, mostly in the frigate and cruiser department. We're also losing the Hurricane as our go-to gank boat. Most exciting to me, as stated before, is the prospect of viable yet cheap T1 frigate- and cruiser-sized "support" ships. These will allow even our youngest ninjas to step in and provide remote repairs to their friends, and grab aggro in the process. This is fortunate because the new Crimewatch is likely to lead to escalating fights.
  • Crimewatch 2. CCP is finally giving the old, convoluted, and in many places broken Crimewatch system (which governs aggression, ie. who can shoot whom) a thorough overhaul. The new system looks a lot more transparent. Some of our old tactics, like dropping bait cans or extending aggro, will no longer function. Global "suspect" flagging means more opportunities for white knights to come in and escalate the fight in all sorts of hilarious ways. We'll need stronger teamwork to ensure we always have the upper hand in combat. 
  • Enhanced mission AI. We'll need to look carefully at how the new targeting routines for mission rats work. Given that our mission runner prey generally fly battleships or battlecruisers, our smaller bait ships may need to prepare to fight off a mission's complement of frigate and cruiser rats. The fact that these rats often carry e-war (webifiers, target painters and the like) makes that a challenge. Plundering an active mission site is certainly going to become a lot more interesting.

It's our turn to HTFU. Again.

That's EVE, baby

We have a bit of adapting to do this winter. We'll face some new dangers in the form of target-switching mission rats and global suspect flags allowing everyone and their dog to shoot us. We'll also be given improved ships to handle those situations. Solo ninjering, even when multiboxing, will become more dangerous. Teamwork will allow us to take cruel advantage of any wannabe heroes' good intentions. There's new mechanics ahead. Modern Ninjering will be here to help you break the hell out of them.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Waka Waka!

This post is uncategorized so far as I didn't intend to be reading a lot of tea-leaves in this blog. However, with the amount of dust that CCP Fozzie's been stirring up it seemed I would be amiss not to write something. If he keeps this up he might get a blog category all to himself! Anyway, this one's about the winter expansion and what it means to some beloved ninja ships.

CCP Fozzie and tiericide

So who is "CCP Fozzie" anyway? Let's start by saying that EVE is a huge game which works well overall, yet is broken in many, many places. Some glaring imbalances have been around for so long that people have generally stopped crying about them. Tech 1 subcapitals was one such issue. We were all used to having only a few truly battleworthy hulls to play with, while some of the other hulls found niche roles owing to some peculiar ship bonuses. Nobody really cared about it anymore.

Then this guy Fozzie came out of nowhere and started fixing it.

Actually, it turns out one does.


Let's start with the winter rebalance announcement. While we were expecting the full line of T1 frigates to get overhauled, Fozzie apparently doesn't need sleep so he decided to go over the T1 cruisers as well. Most of these ships are getting buffed. This is good news for ninjas who fly cruisers as kill ships and we may well expect to see "Ackbar" tactics (baiting in a PVP cruiser) picking up more steam. What I'm most excited about though is the "Support Ships" role where, according to these plans, we'll be seeing T1 logistics cruisers that are actually well-suited to their task. I expect this will allow younger ninjas to get into the RR game quickly and effectively, without having to slog through the long skill queue for T2 Logistics.

But the big one that hit yesterday was, of course, the announcement that the Hurricane is about to lose 16% of its powergrid. The reasoning behind it has something to do with the Hurricane apparently being given the role of an artillery platform instead of an autocannon platform. I've played around in Pyfa a bit and fitting a Hurricane with a full rack of T2 220mm autocannons and two medium neuts is going to be next to impossible without some serious sacrifice in either tank or firepower. The ninja 'cane as we know it will, effectively, be no more.


The sky is falling!

Not quite. I'm not going to go with the "it's not final yet" thing because though the details may change, Fozzie's made it pretty clear that the Hurricane nerf is not really up for discussion. I do have my reasons for not being too worried about this whole business though:

  • The Hurricane was already hilariously overpowered for our pruposes. We don't fight bleeding-edge PVP, we fight mission runners who are half asleep in unbelievable shitfits.
  • We already have a good alternative in the Harbinger, which can be fit to pretty well match the Hurricane's specifications. Kinda sucks if you haven't trained for energy weapons, but you should still have a month or two until the winter expansion.
  • The Hurricane can easily do with less tank if you fly with friends who have RR on standby. The announced T1 Support Ships should help here. Teamwork is a good thing.
  • There's more changes coming. Hulls which are currently considered underpowered, like the Prophecy, the Cyclone, or pretty much anything Gallente may well become viable gank ships once the Battlecruiser class as a whole gets overhauled.

The bottom line is, we're ninjas. We're not a group that CCP really pays attention to. We operate on the fuzzy edges of "working as intended" and that means we'll always have to adapt to changes made for the benefit of larger demographics. We'll find new and hilarious ways of squeezing the most out of the toys we're given to play with. And on the whole, CCP Fozzy appears to be giving us more toys rather than less.