A Noob Niche - Corvettes

There are many vessels operating in the space lanes of New Eden. From frigates to dreadnaughts, battleships to cruisers, all have there roles defined for them which are by no means definitive. However there is a class of ship which has been omitted.

Corvettes are traditionally small agile ships designed to tackle support and harass smaller vessels, or for light escort duties. At present, destroyers are the nemesis of any frigate and some specialist hulls such as stealth bombers can kill a frigate almost instantly, but they do have problems hitting fast movers such as drones or interceptors.

A destroyers’ defences are not very robust; generally they succumb to hostile drone firepower in less than a minute unless the pilot is quick to target them and act accordingly; even so it’s difficult to defend a destroyer from drones. I submit then that corvettes should be a class below frigates and be designed for anti-drone defence. There are currently no specific defences against drones save for smart-bombs which present their own dangers, being area-of-affect weapons.

A corvette would typically own enough rapid firepower to kill drones quickly and have a high enough tracking speed to tag rapid small targets. I appreciate that there’s a plethora of ship classes in New Eden and that another class would complicate operations further, but I think that there may be a niche for such a vessel.

In addition to this I understand that many pilots would not find such a ship empowering, but if the ship was cheap enough on both recourses and skills then it may be attractive to newer players to play an important role in fleet engagements. With such a small signature they would be very hard to track and target with larger weapons which would suit their nature perfectly, allowing less skilled players to remain on the field longer and experience the marvel of fleet combat.

Just a thought…


Logan Fyreite said...

It's not a bad thought, however some of the smaller frigs already fit this role to some degree by offering tracking bonuses and inherently using small sized guns of any kind. The trick would be to make a ship class below frigate effective against drones and the like without also making it effective against grossly larger ships such as cruisers and above. In order for this to work, something such as a extra-small gun would have to be invented that does less damage but better tracking than the current class of small weapons out there. That is going to lead to a whole mess of other problems.

I flew frigate nearly exclusively while learning how to pvp and found them effective against the threat type you mention, but very flimsy in larger fights. Indeed if you got much smaller than a frig they would be little more than armed shuttles.

I think you will find that most will say the current Frigate class of ship already covers this particular niche.

Cartoon Boy said...

I agree with your point, but I do think that there is a niche there for smaller vessels geared specifically for this role. How it'd all work isn't my forte, I would leave that up to the powers that be.

I guess that the corvette class is something that needs a great deal of thought to implement without upsetting the balance, and perhaps that in itself isn't worth the effort. It is ture that frigates can fullfill this role well enough but they are not designed for this role. Everything in New Eden seems specialised for something and all ship classes can be used as one sees fit, but there is no class specifically tailoured toward anti-drone defence.

But actually an armed shuttle ain't a bad idea..

Minuit Soleil said...

An intriguing idea!

In response to your naysayer, rather than implementing a new gun-size or the like, there is precedent for allowing the role-bonus of the ship to define its purpose.

Old-school Stealth Bombers immediately spring to mind as one such ship.

Give this armed shuttle a lessening of their equipped weapons signature in exchange for a loss of firepower. Likewise an increase in sensor signature for fast lock-times could be implemented to make re-targeting retracted drones a snap.

Biggest concern, such a small, hard to hit ship, would need to somehow be prevented from bringing a point to the field, or else they'd become all-purpose tacklers with the ability to speed-tank even fast tracking turrets.

Cartoon Boy said...

I like yer thinking M. Imagaine being the smallest fastest steel coffin on the battlefield orbiting drones!

I agree that the firepower would have to be reduced, or limit the ship to a single hardpoint. In addition to this could be the inability to equip electronic warfare modules to address your concerns regarding rapid tacklers, much like the recent Zephyr's inability to equip anything but a probe launcher.

It's obviousely a delicate balance of firepower and ability but I do think that the niche is there.

Prince Solstice said...

Corvettes could have (role-buddies) so to speak like a destroyer fights against frigates or the attack battlecruiser fighting a battleship kind of thing, to counter against like say capsule fitted fighters and bombers can be defended or fought against with corvettes. even if corvettes are being top dogs on the battlefield and there are no fighters or bombers, there is a reason to use disruptors on larger ships and to use more corvettes. Fighters could be used to counter corvettes with even more speed and agility but has to get past all of the weapons. a bombers role is the same as a stealth bomber frigate except much smaller (which means more speed and agility). The bombers can also counter corvettes with bombs. In addition they would have to have much smaller a.k.a. extra-small turrets. they will only have two for each weapon type and smaller bomb launchers. In conclusion the corvette is a brilliant idea to bring into combat in new eden.