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Life after the Resist Nerf: Surgical Strike Theorycrafting

It’s not often that I get excited enough about a patch to play Permaband’s Wrecking Machine on repeat. Long time readers of my work will know that I’m a massive fan of high DPS brawling ships. Kiting is great, but if you can melt your opponent’s face off then why not just do that eh? The recently released Surgical Strike patch notes showcase some changes that are going to do just and oh so much more. Let’s talk about that!

All of the value changes are directly below, but before we go on I need to emphasise something massive. It’s the 20% reduction in the power of all modules that increase shield or armour resistances. This is the biggest change I’ve seen made to EVE Online in years. That’s enough to easily knock 10k EHP off a Loki and reduce Nestor reps by 3-400 DPS.

The Patch Notes

20% reduction in effectiveness of every resistance module. (Not Damage Controls)
15% damage increase to T2 Hail, Conflagration, Rage, and Void ammo

Removal of support fighter tubes for Super Carriers with the addition of one extra Heavy Fighter tube
Bonuses to XL plates and extenders for Super Carriers reduced to 200% and for Titans reduced to 300%
Long Range Heavy Fighter explosion radius increased 50%
Short Range Heavy Fighter speed increased 50%
Fighter bay size increased for Aeon and Wyvern
Capital Capacitor Boosters limited to 1 per ship

All Tech I Battleships - which includes faction hulls - receive 10% increase to base hp and 30% increase to scan resolution
Muninn bonuses to damage and optimal range reduced to 5% per level
Eagle max velocity reduced to 190 and powergrid reduced to 950
Loki offensive subsystem bonuses to projectile optimal range, fall off and tracking reduced to 5% per level and powergrid reduced to 550
Legion powergrid reduced to 625
Deimos bonus to hybrid damage from Heavy Assault Cruisers skill increased to 7.5% per level, powergrid increased to 1100 and CPU increased to 380
Bomb damage and EHP reduced by 20%

Bonus! CCP issued a follow-up with some info regarding player feedback. Freighters may receive an HP buff and the change to cap boosters will be limited to one per ship of any size on FAXes only. Scan resolution increases are also being passed along to Marauders and Black Ops battleships

Bonus 2! Here are the full release patch notes


Resistance Nerfs and Damage Buffs

  • 20% reduction to all resist modules
  • 15% damage bonus to T2 Hail, Conflagration, Rage, and Void ammo

Let’s get to the meaty stuff first. I’ve already said that resistance nerfs are going to hit everything hard. Just about the only ships not affected by that are polarised fits, and those funky nano boats which survive with only a Damage Control and an ancil booster. Of course, if those kitey ships do get caught then Surgical Strike is going to ensure that a 15% damage buff ends their career pretty damn fast.

To give you an idea of just how much more carnage we’ll see from those high DPS brawlers out there, my polarised Exequror Navy Issue now does nearly 1,700 DPS with some light implants and Pyrolancea II. Hell, the heated DPS of a Hecate just jumped up by over 100 to 864 without any implants. You can even tank over 100k EHP and deal 2,000 with a Hyperion without polarisation. You have to note that this only occurs with short-ranged T2 ammo, increasing the gap between T2 and high-damage faction ammo. This is a good thing in my opinion and makes for a more interesting decision if you want a different damage type or better tracking.

Back to the resistance nerf, I’ll give you some example numbers here in a table for the most popular resistance mods. You can work out most of the rest by multiplying the resist amount by 0.8

Module NameCurrent ResistsWith 20% Resistance Nerf
Adaptive Invulnerability Shield Hardener II32.5%26%
Pithum C-Type Adaptive Invuln…40.6%32.5%
Anti-EM Shield Hardener II55%44%
Pith X-Type Anti EM…64%51.2%
EM Ward Amplifier II37.5%30%
Pithum A-Type EM Ward…45.1%36.08%
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II20%16%
Imperial Navy Energized Adaptive Nano…22.5%18%
Centum C-Type Energized Adaptive Nano…24.4%19.52%
Centii A-Type Adaptive Nano Plating23.7%18.96%
Centii A-Type EM Plating35.3%28.24%

Armour specific energized resists are almost the same as passive shield modules
Active armour hardeners are the same as active shield hardeners
RAH, Damage Control, and Rigs are not affected by the resist nerf
Invuls were tiericided from 30% to 32.5% and now are being nerfed down to 26%

As we can see, the ramifications of a massive percentage based nerf across the board are… severe. Considering stacking penalties still apply, it becomes more appropriate to work towards ships which perhaps already have a resist bonus. This includes the Drake, the Punisher, and many more. That’s not to mention the resists provided by simply using a T2 ship with those tasty T2 resists. That said, the reductions in EHP are still heavy. Here’s my cheapo brawling Drake below before and after the patch. It has a hot invul and is betting repped by an Osprey.

About 10% drop in EHP but look at that DAMAGE

I can keep going on about each and every ship which has changed but I don’t really need to. The changes this will have are incredibly significant across the board for PvP, PvE, hauling, and basically anything else that requires undocking. It’s the change we didn’t know we needed until we got it and should result in bloodier battles everywhere in New Eden. With the general power of logistics reduced by 15-25% depending on the hull, exact conditions of the battle, and what this means for buffer tanks. Two plates, or plate and EANM? One of those looks a bit more impressive right about now. That isn’t even counting my boy the Energized Adaptive Layering Membrane II 😉

For most big ships you fly on a daily basis, you’re going to lose roughly 10k EHP on average and gain a ton of close-range damage. Frigate fits will also have to start considering if that extra low slot is really worth it for a module that only provides 16%. You’re getting the current Adaptive Nano Plating buff when you put an EANM on. As for specific theorycrafing, may I introduce you to the 645 DPS Polarised Taranis and the 501 DPS Enyo?


Battleship Buffs & Specific Hull Changes

  • All Tech I Battleships – which includes faction hulls – receive 10% increase to base hp and 30% increase to scan resolution
  • Muninn bonuses to damage and optimal range reduced to 5% per level
  • Eagle max velocity reduced to 190 and powergrid reduced to 950
  • Loki offensive subsystem bonuses to projectile optimal range, fall off and tracking reduced to 5% per level and powergrid reduced to 550
  • Legion powergrid reduced to 625
  • Deimos bonus to hybrid damage from Heavy Assault Cruisers skill Increased to 7.5% per level, powergrid increased to 1100 and CPU increased to 380

If you’ve ever wanted to play around with battleships then now’s your time. The full list of changes are published already on SISI, but it’s a 10% increase to shield, armour, and hull. With the resistance changes this means that it won’t affect big EHP battleships quite as much as some other ships. An armour buffer praxis, for example, really doesn’t change at all. It just trades a bit of resist for pure buffer. The full tank arty Tempest Fleet Issue, however, drops 45k EHP and a lot of resists. It ends up with a tank roughly equivalent to today’s T2.

On the other hand, there are battleships which have primarily been buffed as a result. The Hyperion won’t be repping as much, but it can pull off a mean hull/ancillary tank while kicking out 2,000 DPS to anyone who slips into scram range. Likewise, any other hull tank will only see the good side of this. A Dominix Navy Issues potatoes out to almost half a million EHP with an Abyssal Damage Control. A standard hull tanked Megathron also receives a 20k EHP buff to ~200k with a 150 DPS boost to ~1,300 (with a big tracking bonus, mind you).

Moving over to specifics we have some expected changes to the power of some long-range DPS platforms. The Muninn has lost approximately 7km of range in Tremor due to the optimal reduction. This will work out to be slightly less damage as players now fight slightly into falloff (or come closer). The Eagle is losing 110 m/s with an MWD down to 1.8 km/s and the powergrid change forces a Locus Coordinator to be taken off if you want LSE, MWD, and 250mm rails.

The artillery Loki is really taking the nerf bat in this patch, though. Obviously it has to contend with the resist drop as everyone else does, but it is receiving heavy penalties to application and range. Short-range ammo at falloff is dropping by ~10km and Tremor now has a max (falloff) range of 95km rather than 113km with reduced tracking. On top of that, the already hard-to-fit artillery should now be just that bit harder, forcing players to make the decision of how they make up for that powergrid.

The Legion has received a light brushing of a powergrid nerf, too. This will most heavily affect 100mn fits and buffer beam Legions which may need to drop a rig slot or a low to reclaim that PG. With all the changes this will see a (before links) change from 115k to 84k EHP, or 99k if DPS is sacrificed instead.

The major win here is the ship which was instantly bought out of all trade hubs, the Deimos. It will be seeing increases to fitting and to damage on top of the incoming Void bonus. By setting up some overrides in Pyfa it’s relatively easy to test out the new fitting potential this brings. I’ve found that a 53k EHP 850 DPS cold cruiser is still possible if you want some sort of Sacrilege equivalent but that’s hardly exciting. Many older fits won’t find much use for the fitting, but you can use it to squeeze railguns and a 50k tank onto the thing, more by dropping down from 250mm to 200mm. In this format, it receives a roughly 50 DPS increase thanks to the patch. Overall a solid change, but not one which will propel the Deimos to be the most used ship in EVE.


The Capital Nerfs

  • Removal of support fighter tubes for Super Carriers with the addition of one extra Heavy Fighter tube
  • Bonuses to XL plates and extenders for Super Carriers reduced to 200% and for Titans reduced to 300%
  • Long Range Heavy Fighter explosion radius increased 50%
  • Short Range Heavy Fighter speed increased 50%
  • Fighter bay size increased for Aeon and Wyvern
  • Capital Capacitor Boosters limited to 1 per ship

With the previous changes to Titans, perhaps the reduction in effective power of supers should have been forseen, too. We all know this was a necessary change (as much as some don’t want to believe it). When a group can drop super after super to win any engagement then it reinforces the N+1 mentality that has precipitated through the rest of EVE. By shifting the support fighters away from supers, it doesn’t reduce their power. It merely hands that job over to subcaps and regular carriers.

The overall goal of this is set up supercarriers primarily as capital killers. They are to be the ships that come in to effectively remove capitals “below” them while still being able to destroy subcaps in the proper situations. Think about it this way: A blaster Naga fleet is great at whaling, but nobody gets mad because of how they can’t track little Jimmy in his Slicer at 40km. They just let him do his thing until someone brings an anti-tackle ship to deal with him.

I can sympathise a little with the reduction in EHP of plates and extenders, but this only serves to make fights bloodier. Maybe you will hold grid, but you’ll lose ships doing it. This can be worked around by tanking more than previously and will have to be a conscious decision. Do you want the max DPS fit to finish things properly, or are you going to get back up to 10m EHP+ to try and take more hits? It’s more variety and I love it.

To finish things off there’s one bit of fine print right there on the patch notes which some people have been quite angry about. Capital cap boosters are being limited to just one per ship. I’m not 100% on board with this change because of the effect on active shield capitals. The ability to boost at zero cap is strong and shield tanks can’t exactly fill their mids with Heavy Cap Boosters instead. We’ll have to see what pans out and if ships or modules need adjusting in power. It isn’t like this is the last change CCP will ever make to capital capacitors.

I also do not feel that this spells the end of wormhole brawling whatsoever. I may not have participated in the largest brawls for some time now, but I’m not blind to what goes on. On top of that, some of the tankiest FAXes I’ve encountered have been Ninazus with Heavy Cap Booster setups (New changes limit FAXes to one cap booster of any size). My suggestion for anyone concerned about the state of wormhole brawls is to open up Pyfa and get to work. Be the change you want to see and try something new. If you’re concerned about the price of losing then swallow your pride and fly a cheap doctrine. Laugh when you kill 10b and lose only 5b ISK with your entire fleet dying. EVE is a PvP game and it’s fun to fight whether you win or you lose. Adapt.

Published inEVE OnlineTheorycrafting

3 Comments

  1. The Clapper The Clapper

    There is something you seem to be overlooking. Increasing the DPS of brawlers is all well and good, but there is still the problem of actually catching the kitey fits. None of the changes proposed here do anything to solve that problem.

    In fact, if you read CCPs article, they seem to have the reverse in mind. They say they want to emphasize speed…which is not the strongpoint of brawler ships. The whole survival strategy of the fastboat has always been don’t get caught. Nothing proposed here changes that dynamic. If anything, flying a brawler fit is going to be even more frustrating because you can more easily kill the fastboat…if only you could catch it. But you never will. They will still zip around tantalizingly out of range and kill you.

    TL;DR – Merely increasing the DPS of slowboats is valueless if you don’t increase the ability of the slowboat to catch the fastboat. That increase in ability is not present here. I think those people who bought up all those Deimos’ are going to end up sorely disappointed.

    • It’s a good point, but from experience flying fast brawly ships, it isn’t too difficult to catch many kiting ships out there. Our wolf fleet frequently snags kills on Orthruses, Cerbs, and similar ships which think they’re going to be able to kite away.

      With truly fast ships the issue still exists for sure and if you’re going to to try and use an AB brawler to catch a Slicer, well…

      If CCP are to introduce buff/nerf speeds across the board then we can reassess where things are, but I don’t feel it’s too necessary. The kiting frigate menace only really manifests in HG snaked Garmurs and you could probably bait them out and catch them with a 6km/s cruiser by playing at their own game.

  2. Oh FFS, leave the Ninazu alone. It already got nerfed when it got its Cap Booster strength bonus taken away. Essentially, FAXs are going to become completely worthless.

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