Thursday, October 29, 2015

This is why the Rifter is terrible

CCP announced somewhat recently that several ships will be rebalanced, including a few of the T1 frigates.  Among the changes, the Rifter is getting some extra PG and CPU, with a stated goal of allowing the Rifter to fit artillery or use its utility high slot more easily.  I think the Rifter will still be bad, and will perhaps become the new worst T1 frigate in the game considering the buffs to the Punisher.

Here is a Rifter fit which does not fit now, but will work after the December rebalance:

[Rifter, MWD Rifter v2]
Pseudoelectron Containment Field I
Small Ancillary Armor Repairer, Nanite Repair Paste
Gyrostabilizer II

5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator

200mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
200mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
200mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
Small Diminishing Power System Drain I

Small Projectile Burst Aerator I
Small Projectile Ambit Extension I
Small Auxiliary Nano Pump I

Stat line:
DPS (faction ammo + heat) = 163
DPS (hail ammo + heat) = 181
EHP Buffer = 2819
EHP from 8 rep cycles (w/ heat) = 2662

If you pvp with this in low-sec, you have to expect to encounter kiting MWD Tristans relatively often.  This seems like it should be a good matchup for this Rifter: it's an MWD brawler, which in principle should be a counter against a point-range kiting ship, right?  Simply slingshot, tackle, and kill it, right?  Nope.

Here is a MWD kiting Tristan fit that I came up with:

[Tristan, MWD Kite v2]
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Pseudoelectron Containment Field I

Medium Azeotropic Restrained Shield Extender
Warp Disruptor II
5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive

[empty high slot]
[empty high slot]
[empty high slot]

Small Transverse Bulkhead I
Small Transverse Bulkhead I
Small Processor Overclocking Unit I

Hobgoblin II x5

Stat line:
DPS (Hobgoblins) = 141
EHP Buffer = 6025

I'll start by assuming that a hypothetical fight between the two ships starts at 0 range.  This means that the Tristan has screwed up royally, and allowed itself to be tackled by the Rifter before it was able to apply any damage.  In this case, the fight in a DPS race, and the outcome is actually pretty easily to calculate: simply multiply the DPS & total EHP of the two ships and compare:

Rifter: 893403 (assumes faction ammo on the Rifter)
Tristan: 849525

(Normalized to the Rifter DPS * EHP):

Rifter: 1
Tristan: 0.951

A big assumption I've made here is 100% damage application from both ships.  This is obviously not going to be the case, because falloff and tracking for turrets are a thing, and because drone tracking can be a bit weird sometimes.  I don't have a good way to model this accurately, but I believe that if we were to account for this that it would tilt things in favor of the Tristan, mainly because damage application does not depend on transversal or range for the Tristan.  This means that a good pilot could manually pilot to maximize transversal against the Rifter in order to tilt the fight in his favor.

Regardless of that, the point is that even in an ideal scenario for the Rifter this is going to be an extremely close fight, and realistically (in a fight between two competent pilots) it will require near-perfect execution on the part of the Rifter!

And this is why the Rifter is going to be awful even after the buff.  It has bad EHP and bad DPS, to the point where it stands a very good chance a duel against a very common kiting frigate even in a fight that starts at zero range.  Extra PG and CPU will not change this at all.  What the Rifter really needs in an extra low slot, more effective turrets than what it has currently, or a significant buff to small projectiles (the latter of which is unlikely to happen I think, because it would make the Svipul even more overpowered).

And yes, I am aware that you could load Hail ammo, fit a Rocket Launcher in its utility high instead of a nos, and tilt the numbers more in favor of the Rifter.  That fit actually works now and from what I can see nobody ever uses it.

1 comment:

  1. One thing you forgot to account for is that the Rifter can shoot at the drones. With an armor rep his tank should out last the drones. I think it is the best choice when you see a tristan with no high slots unless you fit blasters and are able to melt it.