It’s been a long day, so here’s a quick topic to chew on.
Like it or love it the new role bonus for Interceptors – bubble immunity, in case you’ve been living under a rock – is probably here to stay.
That’s not to say that interceptors might not see some balancing. Historically, CCP’s balancing efforts have always hinged on how widely used a ship is relative to similar options. In the case of interceptors, I’d probably lay money that the Crow and Malediction are dominating in that department. While any of the ‘Fleet interceptors’ (defined as such by their bonus to Warp Scrambler and Warp Disruptor range) work just fine in support to gangs large and small, those two are undisputed kings of the interceptor roam. Bubble immune with a fast align time, 30km point and no need to decelerate from their high MWD velocity to apply damage, why wouldn’t they be? Piss poor DPS, sure, but a couple of them working in concert can kill off ratters without much issue and packs of them can handle a lot of other things.
At some point, if I’m right about the usage, they’re going to get revisited. So, here’s some food for thought for a novel approach.
First, split the ‘Combat’ and ‘Fleet’ interceptors a little more broadly. The Tech II specialization or theme of the class is “Mobility”, but that need not mean a class-wide bonus. Fleet interceptors keep the bubble immunity, as it’s an excellent bonus for pursuing fleeing targets and moving about an incumbered battlefield. Combat interceptors, on the other hand, could replace it with a bonus allowing short-range engagement and disengagement at will. The idea would be to differentiate them from Assault Frigates, whose low sig radius and generally robust tank lets them hang in close and pound their target. Imagine, if you will, a bonus that conferred immunity to webs, or scramblers… or both.
Edit: It’s already caused some confusion, so I should point out that when I say “immunity to scramblers” I’m thinking specifically of ignoring the “shuts down MWDs” part, not the warp disruption effect.
Probably a dramatically overpowered example, but you get the idea of the theme.
Second, give the ‘Fleet Interceptor’ role to the Crusader and Raptor, respectively, rather than Malediction & Crow, and given that, change up the other bonuses a little to suit.
The end result would be just a little bit more thought necessary when it comes to choosing your interceptor, especially for roaming.