August 25, 2014

The Current State of Combat Battlecruisers: Part Two

For part two of The Current State of Combat Battlecruisers, I wanted to get a good representation for what kind of usage combat battlecruisers are seeing these days compared to how they often they were being used. I decided to take the monthly number of kills for each class of combat battlecruiser and plot it into a line chart from April 2013, which is when Retribution 1.1 was released containing the combat battlecruiser changes, to July 2014.

 It's truly interesting to see the drop in usage almost every month after Retribution 1.1. All of the combat battlecruisers end up with pretty normalized usage at the end of our data recording. I was also curious to see what sort of effect warp speed changes were going to have on the combat battlecruisers usage. Announced in October and released in November of 2013, we do see a decline in usage here that combat battlecruisers never really recovered from. If the warp speed changes were the sole cause of that, I couldn't say; I doubt it, but I would think it was a good part of it.

Now let's take a look at the same period of time before the Retribution changes. I thought about not including the time in between the original dev post about the upcoming changes, but figured that information would be neat to look at. You can hover your mouse over specific points on the graphs to get more detailed information.

In January 2013, Fozzie posted a thread to the Features & Idea forum about proposed changes to combat battlecruisers. The thread itself had 128 pages of feedback and it seemed to be quite a popular subject. However, we can see that in January 2013 we barely see any change in the prevailing patterns. There is a slight uptick in all but the Drake, but overall, the graph tends to continue in the direction it was moving just before the announcement.

It's pretty clear that combat battlecruisers are getting no where near the amount of use they once were. In regards to the Drake and Hurricane, that's a good thing. The others definitely needed some help. But as a whole, the combat battlecruiser class is not in a healthy position. Other ships have certainly moved in to fill its role - notably HACs - but that doesn't mean there shouldn't be a place for combat battlecruisers.

Now that I feel comfortable saying that there is indeed a need for something to change with combat battlecruisers, There is clear indication that their usage has been on a steady decline since Retribution was released despite heavy changes. And while it has benefited some ships (notably the Prophecy which had embarrassing numbers before Retribution), overall it has not been good for the class. I'll begin working on part three of this series dealing with the specific mechanical changes in regards to the overheating bonuses that I mentioned earlier.