söndag 22 februari 2015



What are the uses for their role? Historically autocannons was able to project damage far out and on hulls that are fast and able to control the fight but also be fragile. They used to have a bigger gap versus blasters for range and be more competitive with scorch on strong platforms such as the cane and Vagabond/Cynabal. Since the tiericide these platforms are much less competitive because of the buffs on other weapon systems and ships.
The speed on some Minmatar ships is still really fast compared to competition but they don't do a good job of being able to really capitalize off that speed because of applied damage / tank. The distances in eve has become smaller as ships are balanced to be faster and faster and because the point/scram range have increased due to interceptors, recons, ships like the Orthrus and Skirmish links you need to stay further away then 24 km these days to really be able to kite well. 

Ammo choices

The autocannons have selectable damage but it only applies to faction ammo, there are only two types of faction ammo used. The Phased plasma, EMP, Fusion group and the rarely used Depleted uranium/Titanium sabot group that increase tracking (although it has seen some increase with the Svipul. Maybe people are catching on that dps isn't everything. The tracking ammo don't offer a very broad damage selection and are actually both fairly similar. The high damage group have a significant drawback to optimal based hulls because they all give -50% optimal. The optimal bonus penalty doesn't hurt autocannons much because they are mostly based on falloff. The rest of the ammo types are rarely ever used and could easily be removed/balanced. You also can't take advantage of ammo selection nearly as well because of the long reload time.

Locus vs Ambit rigs

Currently you have two different rigs to increase range on weapons. The Locus and the Ambit rigs. Right now both give 15/20% to optimal/falloff. Take in mind that you need more falloff then optimal if you want to project damage well. Since damage drops off very rapidly at longer ranges. After taking a hard hit from the tracking enhancer nerf range rigs were left unchanged. A T2 locus rig gives 20% optimal, that's more then a officer tracking computer. Locus rigs is one of the reason lasers are so good at projecting damage and I am actually really surprised to not see them higher on the damage done in pvp graphs that ccp has shown me. That might be because of how laser ships don't really fit in with todays meta game despite having one of the strongest weapon systems in the game. But that's a topic for another blog post.

Where are autocannons good and where should they be good?

Autocannons currently do more damage the closer you are due to how fast damage drops off in falloff. This creates a problem where the only spot where medium autocannons out damage say lasers is within 10km and by then you in scram web range where blasters do more damage. For a Omen vs Rupture (standard fits) with scorch/barrage you start winning DPS at about 6.5km and don't lose any damage from range until 20km where the Rupture is only doing 86 DPS. The Omen also has a bigger drone bay and can take better advantage of locus rigs. In a perfect world It would be nice if the rupture could take advantage until around 10km or so as opposed to falling off heavily ~30% of the way through. Pulses can also switch damage to close range ammo if the fight gets faster losing a few cycles vs the rupture that has to wait 11-13 seconds to change ammo. This gives lasers a huge flexibility and better applied damage up time.

The new buff to autocannon falloff will help a bit with projection but the raw damage is still lacking. I think that the buff will be great for large autocannon platforms such as the Machariel and Tornado. These ships have extremely strong falloff bonuses ontop of being able to fit large autocannons. It's only when you go up to large autocannons you end up with a respectable enough range to skirmish. For medium hulls there really are no great ships that can kite. You have the Cynabal and Vagabond I guess and I have to agree the Cynabal is decently usefull and extremly fun to fly but it's just not up to par with the other pirate cruisers or even kite faction cruisers. The dps is just so bad at longer ranges.

(Green = Harbinger, Red = Barrage, Blue = EMP)
Here is another graph for you guys showing the problem. The hurricane starts out damaging a harbinger at under web scram range. The problem is that if you are within this range blasters outshine you hard. and really 

Optimal vs Falloff bonus

Giving a Minmatar ship a optimal bonus is useless for half of the projectile weapons and that limits the use of the ship. A falloff bonus on the other hand is still useful on ships that fit artillery. This is one of the biggest problem with the Jaguar that having three guns and a optimal range bonus isn't up to par compared to other AFs. I don't feel the fittings, bonuses and slot layout synergize very well on this ship. And then you need to keep in mind that the most popular ammo type for auto cannons have a optimal range penalty but no falloff penalty. This gives falloff bonused ships an advantage when using Emp/PP/Fusion. 


I think that boosting the raw damage on autocannons and rebalancing the ammo choices would be a good thing for autocannons. The falloff buff is a nice first step for projection but they are still going to lack damage at range. Fixing some platforms such as the Jaguar and Muninn(+1mid pls) would also work. I think people overvalue the ability to select damage a lot. Almost all ships will plug their resistance hole and Barrage is usually the best choice. Although ccp did a great job with the ac buff but I don't agree that barrage needed a range nerf. Another good thing to look at is the speed creep and making sure ships can actually take advantage of their windows of opportunity where your damage is at a peak. 

And who knows maybe this is just be me being bad and nostalgic wanting to be able to kite with my hurricane again?

And to end it with a joke. Laser hurricane vs AC hurricane dps at point range

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