Tuesday, 8 December 2015

The New(-ish) Punisher: Nice bonus, wrong hull

It would be fair to say I'm out of New Eden at this point. My subscription has lapsed, and I don't have time to really do anything in it these days.

My recent forays into Physics have turned me into a Physics teacher. Ironic, or merely inevitable, I'm not sure.

Either way, in between writing reports for my classes, my mind wandered over to what's happening in space these days, apart from the usual ground breaking discoveries which people now consider mundane (we took a picture of Pluto guys!). I went to the Features and Ideas section of the Eve-O forum, which is my usual stomping ground for intellectual stimulation. Most ideas there lack thought, but the creativity is abundant!

I noticed this: Balance Smorgasbord.

It certainly is a delight of different updates!

The punisher caught my eye as significant, however.

It's gaining a turret, dropping its damage bonus for the old cap bonus. Nice, but I think the Rifter would be the better hull to put that on. 4 turrets and application bonuses make the Rifter into much more comfortable ship to fly, rather than operating on the knife edge between heated scrams and fall-off.

So nice bonus, but the wrong hull there.

It did get me thinking about the Tormentor (which also got a buff) and the Punisher though.

Why doesn't the Punisher have drones?

I get that the Tormentor is the starter ship for the high firepower Amarr ships, sporting a pair of drones in addition to its 3 lasers. It also has the mid slots to fit a full trinity tackle, meaning it has a chance to dictate range. The only downside is capacitor management, and less tank than the Punisher. It's faster too, hence why the Tormentor is picked more for solo work.

The problem is this: the Tormentor has all the options, and redundancy built in.

It has the mid slots to dictate range, or at least mitigate the effect of faster ships. The good optimal on pulse lasers does the rest. It has the drones to pick at kiters who can stay out of range, and again, the web and scram to catch kiters with some clever maneuvering.

The Punisher has the same effective range, but no way to keep it's target where it wants it. It can barely catch up to targets either. There is simply no answer to a kiter beyond tanking the damage, and hoping for rescue. Even if you manage to slingshot a kiter, with no web to stick them in place, they're going to be able to coast past your scram range.

I want to suggest that the Punisher either get a mid-slot or a drone bay comparable to the Incursus. And I'm more in favour of the drone bay.

Just as with the Incursus, that single drone gives the Punisher hope against kiters, where its tank can absorb incoming fire, with the drone wearing down the opponent. It mirrors the Incursus nicely, simply swapping a resistance bonus for a rep bonus. Incursus still has the edge being lighter on its feet, and the Punisher retains its good damage application.

Two drones would be an extravagance, and negate the advantage of the Tormentor.

That said, I'm genuinely hopeful for the new (-ish) Punisher. More gank and tank may help it out. I doubt pilots will be encouraged to use it solo though.

And yes, I know not every ship should be designed with solo warfare in mind, but I don't like fleet fights, and I talk for my particular combat style.

Edit: I wrote Tristan earlier, when I meant Incursus... and I wrote it several times too. Let this be a lesson; never blog whilst tired.

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