by EVE Online Team11:30am on Thursday 25th May 2023
Welcome to the second installment in the Viridian in Focus series of articles, designed to give you insight into specific upcoming elements of the EVE Online: Viridian expansion due in June! Viridian will be the first of two major expansions for EVE in 2023, introducing new tools for capsuleers to manage their corporations and set goals, to personalize Upwell structures, as well as engage in socially driven gameplay content. It will also provide more avenues for new and existing players to forge relationships as they fly and strive together for the glory of their corporation!
A major new addition to New Eden as part of Viridian will be the introduction of lancers. These Tech II dreadnoughts will be specialized ships that bring unique combat strategies and serve a distinct role in the capital ship ecosystem. Get the lowdown on these colossal new ships as they are discussed throughout this article, in the video below, as well as on stream via CCP TV today at 16:00 UTC.
Lancers represent the first foray into the advanced Tech II arena for capital ships in EVE since jump freighters were introduced in 2007, and there will be one for each of the four main empires. These ships will be equipped with new area-of-effect disruptive lance beam weapons derived from titans’ lance doomsdays that are designed to disrupt and manipulate the battlefield. This includes temporarily preventing a target from warping, tethering, using their jump drive, while also causing a 50% reduction in remote repair.
This will be the first step in an ongoing evolution of the capital ecosystem where new roles, new tools, and new dimensions of combat will be introduced to keep capital warfare dynamic in all its forms, with strong strategic depth. Dreadnoughts have some of the most clear and well-defined roles in the capital ecosystem currently and that provides a good foundation to work from before attention is turned to expanding on other ship classes.
Before getting further into the details of what these ships can do and their properties, it’s only right that each lancer is suitably introduced.
The Amarr Empire lancer is a Tech II version of the Revelation-class dreadnought, designed by Khanid Innovations. It uses the same hull design as the Revelation Navy Issue and its main offensive systems are missiles – a first for an Amarr capital ship – and the Azmaru electromagnetic disruptive lance weapon.
The Caldari State lancer is a Tech II variation on the Phoenix-class dreadnought, and the corporation responsible for its design is Ishukone. Based on the same hull design as the Phoenix Navy Issue, the Karura boasts hybrid turret capacity – uncommon for Caldari capital ships – and the Steel Yari kinetic disruptive lance weapon system.
The Gallente Federation lancer is a Tech II incarnation of the Moros-class dreadnought, with Roden Shipyards being responsible for its design. The base hull design for the Hubris is the Moros Navy Issue, armed with hybrid turret capability and the Sarissa thermal disruptive lance weapon.
The Minmatar Republic lancer is a Tech II spin on the Naglfar-class dreadnought. Designed by Thukker Mix, the Valravn is based on the Naglfar Fleet Issue hull. Its offensive systems consist of projectile turrets and the Atgeir explosive disruptive lance weapon.
Capital ships operate on a very different level than subcapital ships in EVE and certain dimensions of combat stop being major factors due to the immobility of these very large ships - so more out-of-the-box thinking is required when designing them regarding how new tactical gameplay dimensions can be added to the capital ecosystem. It is also important to ensure that current dreadnoughts are able to maintain their respective niches in the ecosystem.
Subsequently, these new ships will have a unique role, offering more variety and tactical options. As mentioned above, these ships will be specialized, as opposed to ‘simply’ being improved dreadnoughts, and are designed to fill a new niche in the capital ecosystem by specializing in area-of-effect weaponry that applies effects to the ships it hits which can drastically alter the flow of battle, opening up fresh tactical opportunities.
The new vision for the dreadnought ecosystem is to make Tech I dreads more cost efficient in dealing damage by making them have high damage with the lowest possible ISK cost. The navy dreads that were introduced back in Uprising have the highest damage output per unit although they are more expensive, making them less cost efficient while still carving out a niche role. Pirate dreads have very high damage, while still affording them their unique pirate abilities and utility. Finally, lancers will specialize in area-of-effect damage and debuff specialization.
With the demand for lancers likely to be very high, there is an opportunity for industrialists and Tech II builders to take advantage of the inevitable hunger and configure their supply lines to facilitate the construction of these new ships. Just like other Tech II ships, players will need to perform invention jobs on Tech I dreadnought blueprints for a chance to obtain Tech II blueprint copies. Constructing the ships will then require a Tech I dreadnought hull and additional Tech II materials to build. Tech II blueprint originals will not be made available.
EVE’s current capital ecosystem is largely defined by simple cost versus power analysis, where the amount of damage a ship does is measured against its build cost. The goal with lancers is not to compete with existing dreadnoughts in this zero-sum game so directly, and so they are designed to be quite a bit weaker in single-target damage but to make up for this with their new area-of-effect damage weapon which can open up key tactical opportunities by applying debuffs to their opponents (and, sometimes, accidentally their friends too).
So, although the Bane, Karura, Hubris, and Valravn will be less efficient at single target damage than a Tech I dreadnought, they will instead gain the ability to deal more damage and apply debuffs to multiple targets caught within the beam of their new disruptive lance weapon.
The lance energy neutralizes the area around it when it fires, and given that it requires capacitor to fire, this makes firing them en masse from a single ball of ships difficult (plus, you're likely to hit friendlies in such an arrangement). This area-of-effect energy neutralization has the potential to encourage more thoughtful placement of capital ships on a battlefield, rewarding the side which is best able to make use of them. Ships struck by the disruptive lance beam will have their warp/jump drives disabled, tether/docking disabled, and experience a 50% reduction to incoming remote repair, all for 60 seconds.
Disruptive lance weapons also have the benefit of great existing design in their spool up time before firing and the fact that the damage they apply is based on the signature radius of their target. This lets them be tuned to be more interesting as anti-capital weapons than something that can be used as a means of punching down at subcapital fleets.
To use these ships and their abilities, players will have to train new skills for the lancers themselves and for the new disruptive lance weapons, for which there will be four new associated lance modules.
Looking ahead towards the launch of EVE Online: Viridian, stay tuned for the upcoming CCP TV stream on lancers, join the discussion on the official EVE Online Discord, and be sure to check out another Viridian in Focus article next week on Upwell structure customization for corporations!