Interceptors – Quick Thoughts

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.


Removing Local Wouldn’t Work

To resolve some puzzled questions I’ve had sent my way, when I speak of removing local, I mean removing the intelligence it provides as well. I’m still in favor of a solution to separate local from intel such as the one put forward by Rhavas back in January.

Marlona Sky is a fellow writer over at, and one of his longstanding pet issues is the removal of local. He wrote a little April Fool’s article about it today, and as is always the case when the topic comes up, comments are split (rather rancorously, of course) against and in favor of the idea.

Of course, my opinion is that anyone who thinks it’s a good idea either only roams nullsec looking for kills and PvP, but makes their money elsewhere, or just hasn’t really thought it through… possibly both. I fall into the former category, and while I’d love to pad my killboard with blinded ratters, it ultimately would be a poor change. One of the other factors I always try to think about when musing over ideas is “would this duplicate gameplay found elsewhere?” In this case, the answer is yes – wormholes have no local intel, a fact that people just love to point to as evidence that it would all be okay, things would work out just fine. But, if you answer “yes” to that question, you’d best stop and think, so let’s do that.

Wormholes are a unique environment that drives a unique metagame. The nature of sleeper sites means that you’re running them in groups, in ships that are closer to PvP fit than not. Combine those two factors and you’re more able to defend yourself if attacked. And, those very same sites are very rewarding, yielding several hundred million isk per hour per pilot. Furthermore, the nature of wormholes themselves restrict “casual” roams, and someone able to get at you at any given time might not be able to tomorrow. The impression I frequently get from wormhole dwellers is that, sure, individual groups of roamers might be more dangerous if they let their guard down, but the nature of things means that they may go days without a hostile visit.

Contrast that to nullsec. PvE in nullsec is generally a solo activity, and while it can be done in groups, the ships are usually dedicated PvE setups that fare poorly against PvP fit attackers. Anomalies aren’t anywhere near as rewarding as wormholes, too, and while being able to do it alone is an advantage, there’s no option to group up to make more money. And unlike the ever-shifting wormhole connections, someone, everyone always knows exactly how to get to you, and can get to you any time they want.

So, nuke local and you’re amplifying the risk, with no offset to reward, and in fact the measures players would inevitably take to decrease risk (rat in groups with PvP fits) would only decrease the reward – a double whammy. I’m sure life would continue, but it sure wouldn’t help people want to go to null, nor stay there. Maybe some day in the future, Nullsec will look very different, and the mechanics would allow for a complete absence of local. But maybe they won’t. In fact, I hope they won’t. Wormholes have their own character, their own flavor, and so does nullsec, and I’d prefer it stay that way. I’m not out here to play “Wormholes Writ Large”.