As we have hinted several times before, Marauders are next on the Tech2 to-do list. And guess what? It's feedback time!
Marauders were initially released during the Trinity expansion in 2007 and were aimed for PvE activities. However, as time passed and we rebalanced other classes, especially the Pirate Battleships, they lost appeal as a whole.
We also believe that designing them for a very specific activity doesn't fit the emergent nature of EVE, and as such we wish to expand their use to PvP as well. Of course, their high price, low mobility will always ensure their role remains a niche one, but we at least can make that purpose more appealing than a simple "jam me now and forever" target dummy.
As such, after much internal and CSM discussion, we have designed Marauderswith two modes of operation, specialized in harassing tactics.
In regular mode, they work approximately on the same fashion as on TQ, but are capable of using Micro Jump Drive at a faster rate than usual to quickly relocate on the battlefield.
In deployed mode (we call it bastion), their hulls transform (they will have fancy visible animations like the Rorqual does when deploying) and they become fixed weapon placement with a bonus to resistances, tanking, damage projection and receiving EW immunity. However, like Dreadnoughts, they cannot be remote assisted or even move when that happens. They also cannot use Micro Jump Drives in that mode.
The combination of both results in a ship that can jump 100km away to quickly react to a shifting environment, then go into bastion mode and use its increased damage application to deal with opposition while absorbing damage. However, due to the lack of remote assistance in that mode and isolating nature of Micro Jump Drives, they will still die easily in larger fights where DPS is concentrated. Remember that the spool up nature of the Micro Jump Drives plus the time needed to align will give opponents a window of opportunity to tackle them before they can jump again.
This also provides a stepping stone between sub-capitals / capital and their various siege / triage operation. It is noteworthy to remember we don't necessarily want them to out-damage or go faster than Pirate battleships - instead, they tank and project damage better.
Before we look at the hulls, here are the details about the Bastion module itself:
Provides 30% shield, armor and hull resistances when activated, which function on the same way than Damage Control modules (not stacking penalized)
Increases shield and armor repair amount by 100%
Extends all large turret falloff and optimal by 25%
Increases all large missile max velocity by 25%
Has a cycle time of 80 seconds. Cycle is reduced by 5% for each level of Bastion module skill to a minimum of 60 seconds.
When in bastion mode, Marauder is immune to EW but cannot be remote assisted in any way When in bastion mode, Marauder speed is set to 0 m/s, mass is increased by a factor of 10, cannot warp. Also receives a weapons timer that prevents station docking or gate jumping
Only one may be fitted per Marauder, cannot be deactivated before cycle ends
Uses 10 CPU and 100 powergrid to fit
Uses no specific fuel or capacitor - we were discussing the use of Heavy Water as fuel. However, it doesn't really provide any gameplay (as CCP Rise mentioned, capacitor is the main limiting factor in combat
with those ships). Plus it adds more consumables to a class that already commonly uses charges for weapons, cap boosters and need to keep cargo for possible salvaging.
BASTION TRANSFORMERTHINGIE™ SKILL(name not final)
Perception, Willpower as Primary / Secondary
Advanced Weapon Upgrades 5 (that's needed to fly a Marauder anyway)
Giving a new deployed mode is not enough however, as some modifications need to be made on the hulls themselves. First, we wanted to encourage Marauders to use Micro Jump Drives to move around, and as such have reduced mobility next to their Tech1 counterparts (bit higher mass and lower max velocity). We are also reducing their drone bays as they are primarily meant to deliver damage through their main
weapon system. They also keep the resistances they have right now instead of gaining full Tech2 resists, otherwise the combination with the bastion module would be quite over the top.
However, we realize Marauder hulls have a certain number of issues; as such we are significantly increasing their fittings so that they can fit Large Micro Jump Drives plus Heavy Capacitor Boosters with more ease (the Vargur especially needed more fitting options). We also are increasing their high slots to 8 to compensate for the slot allocation of the bastion mode. We also are increasing their maximum targeting range and scan resolution a bit to make use of the increased damage projection, while decreasing their signature radius.
As a final combo bonus, we also are changing Target Painter cycle time from 10 to 5 seconds, and reducing their cap usage to compensate - waiting for the Target Painter cycle to finish before swapping targets is quite annoying on the Golem.
100% bonus to large energy weapon damage,
100% bonus to range and velocity of tractor beams,
70% reduction in Micro Jump Drive reactivation delay
Amarr Battleship Skill Bonus:
5% bonus to capacitor capacity
7.5% bonus to Large Energy Turret optimal range (instead of 10% bonus to the velocity factor of stasis webifiers per level)
Marauder Skill Bonus:
7.5% bonus to repair amount of armor repair systems
Mid fight I desided change ammo to null and pull range, this gave me an advantage which allowed me to get the kill as his damage dropped a fair bit, as the fight was very close at the time.
The guy ask for a rematch he bring a incursus, I was fairly sure that it was a dual rep fit, as he shortly agressed me on the station and I didnt see a web. So I Hugged him to try and break his tank. Sadly this didnt work, at around 20% shield I pull range and load Null. he reps my damage but more importently he doesnt seem have long range ammo.
The fight keep going like this for some time, until Im back to about 60% shield. I then get in close to really hurt him again and stress his tank. My hope is he either doesnt notice until to late, burns some thing imported or in other ways fuck up.
Wich he didnt. as he pops the other undocked in a rail cormorant and is shooting me, luckly non off the frigs flet like fighting so I can safely warp off.
I warp into poinen af find Equinox who also fly the pilot off the firetail and incursus this time in a slasher. Slashers are mean buggers and there is a ton off possible fits for them.
We engage, and hes in a neut,TD shield fit. The good thing about this is he doesnt have range control, once I know he want to fight in close range I asume he is using tracking script, I load Null and pull range and he goes pop.
After this I run into Beowulf again in the same punisher fit. This I have a diffent plan, instead off orbting which lowers my damage, Im gonna use keep range to have as low transfersal as possible and this way do as much damage as possible, and hopefully break his tank.
I end up joining a fleet to losse the ship, which almost didnt happen, the only reason I popped was because I couldnt shoot the enermy fc who was like 1 off 3 left on the field and only one anywere near me and he had point.
It was a good day, the merlin from what I tried that day just seemed abusedly good tbh, the slight nerf its getting some alright in my eyes.