Lately I've been trying to keep myself to a posting schedule. I take Mondays and Tuesdays off (to actually spend in space!), and then write the rest of the time.
I stalled this week.
I was trying to make a thread of Rifter re-balances. I was trying to be clever, and used Excel to track falloff ranges, and tracking changes.
I tweaked fittings and manipulated graphs until EFT burned holes in my computer. Spreadsheet after spreadsheet fell to my cold calculations.
And I found out that all my suggestions were wrong.
I found the Rifter was exceptionally well balanced.
In fact, I would almost describe it as overpowered.
Imagine my shock, for a ship so underused.
It can literally compete with every single Tech 1 frigate, and I'm not un-convinced it can't best the Navy faction sips either. It has tactics to counter everything. It does not have a single winning formula, but it does gave one for every situation.
All the arguments that I used to claim the Rifter as weak, or somehow un-fit for combat, were demonstrably incorrect. I worked the numbers, and found that the only part of my Rifter that wasn't working was the pilot.
So, I must admit;
I know nothing.
I am... impressed with the finesse of design here.
I also need to apologize for the level of arrogance in assuming I knew better than the designers. I was wrong.
Fitting suggestions: Go with a standard set up. Rocket launcher in the utility high. If you want to scare kiters, two Projectile ambit rigs and a missile launcher works wonders, and actually fits with a meta plate fit. I'd also argue this is a great way to deal with drone users: Kite out to beyond scram range, and pop off the drones. Then close for the kill.
But this whole experience of working through the numbers has been valuable. I have a far greater appreciation for the effects of falloff range increases, and for tracking on turrets.
And I've found out that the Rifter works. It is a finely balanced blade. A product of years of engineering. No crude tool to repeat a tactic over and over, but a calm, measured responder to circumstances. If anything, I was wrong about capsuleers showing their age with a shift to the Tristan. The Rifter grew up... we didn't. We just switched to the easier ship to fly.
I've never wanted to fly a ship more in my entire life than I want to fly a Rifter now.
(That said, a little speed increase would be welcomed.)
((And maybe a reduction on reload times to make better use of damage type selection.))