Thursday, 19 December 2013

Deikynmi: Rifter - Proposals (3rd Round): 4 Turret Rifter

In the final round of proposals, we will consider the Rifter with an additional turret.

This is not without precedent. The Kestrel, common favorite of the Caldari frigates, fields four launcher hard points, to make up for that particular weapon systems lack of punch. Projectiles have a similar, if not as pronounced, weakness.

It can be argued that Matari ships are known for their utility high slots, and that the Rifter should reflect this. Well, looking at the Amarr frigate line  up, we see utility highs, which are missing in the cruiser line up. In the Caldari frigate set we see the Condor with the utility high. Gallente frigates have access to two frigates with utility highs. What I mean by pointing this out, is that nearly all races can claim propensity to utility high slots, and we don't need to shackle ourselves to such a non-tradition.

Four turrets also neatly fixes a minor problem with the current Rifter: charge management. Flying an ancilliary repair, rocket launcher fit Rifter, requires you to carry around 6 different types of charges (EMP/Phased Plasma/Fusion/Barrage/nanite paste/rockets), to make full use of the projectiles damage type selection. That can extend to 18 if you want to maximize the use of the rocket launcher as well. Compare that to an Incursus: a maximum of 5, for a cap boosted ancillary repair unit fit... which is a little unlikely to see.

Fitting does not have to be changed. Please feel free to check my maths, but Powergrid and CPU should already be sufficient to fit that extra turret. Many pilots already treat it as a missile launcher spot, and using 150mm ACs actually makes the fitting more generous.

It also becomes an excellent ship for rookie pilots. They only have to train one weapon system to become proficient in Rifter piloting, giving them more time to develop the navigation skills, vital to the Rifter's style of play.

The Wolf already supports the Rifter fitting 4 turrets, so no work would have to be done to manipulate ship models.

Speaking of Assault Frigates, now we have a good lineage leading into both Wold and Jaguar. The Wolf leads on from the Rifter to be a simple brute force weapon, with the Jaguar following from the Slasher, as a more elegant, cunning ship.

The Republic has the Slasher for unorthodox tactics, and the Breacher for reliable payloads.The Rifter sits in the middle,as the quintessential Minmatar ship, at first barbaric and gaudy sporting so many weapons, but with the skill and finesse to put lie to claims of savagery.

Thematically, I think this suits the Rifter's character. It should be the hull of the Brutor, all guns and tough armour, blended with low animal cunning, snarling and confounding enemies of the Republic through agility. Aggressive, yet balanced.

But let's put aside the poetry in favour of numbers.

Proposal 4: Damage application bonus only

Tracking 7.5%
Fall off 7.5%

No. Turrets = 4

New DPS: 130
New range: 0.7km + 7.6km (Rep EMP)
                  0.7km + 11.9km (Barrage)

Slight buff to damage, but a significant buff to damage application. See the previous post for a more accurate look at the fall-off benefits.

It's still outgunned by blaster boats, and still out-ranged by pulse laser boats. However, it retains the Rifter's advantage of maneuverability, and flexible engagement options.

It's able to more effectively kite blasters using either Barrage or Faction close range ammunition. It will retain it's point blank advantage against pulses, provided the pilot can maintain transversal.

Compared to the Breacher, it has similar firepower and range, but with the Breacher putting out more reliable missile damage, but without the Drone management. It provides more buffer tank, but less active repair.

Compared to the Slasher, it offers a lot less flexibility in fitting options, but it can be argued that the Rifter lost that particular advantage a long time ago. It gains in firepower application and brute force, as opposed to the Slashers evasion and dirty E-War tricks.

Finally, it opens up another interesting fit for high Alpha artillery wolf packs. It would not be so good for solo, as the fitting mods needed to fit 4 artillery turrets would lose too much tank.

However, whilst damage projection may make me, who prefers kiting, quite happy, it's not compelling enough to newer pilots.

Instead, lets look at keeping the same bonus from the current Rifter, but with 4 turrets:

Proposal 5: Damage bonus, 4 guns

Damage 5% / level
Tracking 7.5% / level

Old DPS: 124
New DPS: 164

Slightly better damage than the double bonused proposal in the first round, better damage application on tight orbits. It's more limited in high slot variation, but again, the Slasher is better able to use such tactics.

To me this is the perfect Rifter. It has enough firepower to place it as a damage oriented combat vessel. It has a distinct role of shock trooper. It follows the Thrasher tradition of crashing into combat, and unloading storms of metal into space, but on a more flexible craft.

This makes it an excellent terrorist/freedom fighter vessel. It can attack with the conviction of the pilots belief in his cause, and withstand a

The only problem with this is the large alpha from artillery Rifters. That said, I think that also suits the Rifter's image, and the Matari guerrilla style of combat. Warp in, fire a salvo, disengage.

We don't need to discuss the double bonused 4-turret Rifter. For the firepower of that, only look at the Wolf.

Next time, we'll look at my concluding thoughts.

In the mean time, please, discuss the possibilities above. Do you think they go too far, or not far enough? Are there any glaring problems I missed? Have your own suggestions? Let me know.

1 comment:

  1. I think the 4 turret tracking and falloff design is the best of the bunch. The rifter still would retain a lower damage than its counterparts, but it would be much better at applying it. It's much more flexible than it would be with the damage bonus.