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Tech three is still very much an anomaly in the EVE universe. They are virtually non-existant on the Tranquility server, and unless you’re the guy using GTC sales to cover his Proteus losses, or the people who killed his first two, then you’ve probably never seen one outside of the test server. The market for the new strategic cruisers is in its infant stages as, while masses of T3 resources are being brought back from wormhole space, the blueprints needed to produce them are still very rare.  A brief glance at the market and contracts show the main ship hull going from around 1.5-3 billion isk, and the individual subsystems at 400-500 million each.  Several billion isk ships are a far cry from the prices we’ve been told they will finally settle at (somewhere in the region of 100-200mil), but, even though it’s been almost a month since Apocrypha’s release, it should still take a few more months for them to come down to sane levels. The fourth subsystem, that’s in development right now, should help that process a lot.

If you’ve been watching the game development forum like a hawk (no?), then you’ll see that the rough stats for the five new subsystems (or twenty, as there are five for each of the four ships) have been posted by CCP Nozh.

4th Offensive subsystem:

Covert Ops Cloaking Device fitting bonus. Ability to deploy and use a Covert Ops Cynosural Field. They’ll have a single damage bonus (Amarr only gets the standard capacity bonus) and 4 turret slots.

This gives them the same advantages as the cloaking recon ships, and also allows them to setup covert cynosural fields and jump through a covert jump bridge. This is where the ability to switch subsystems will really become useful, as you can get a friend in a Black Ops battleship to jump you into a system, after which you can just go to the nearest station and switch the covert subsystem out for something else. It also makes normal travel a lot easier, as a covert ops cloak will allow you to warp while cloaked and effectively remain invisible while on the move.

4th Defensive Subsystem:

Warfare link bonuses. Only one warfare link at a time, but with a higher bonuses.

Sacrifices any kind of tanking bonus to become a mini-fleet command ship.  The specific bonuses haven’t been detailed yet, but I’d assume that each of the racial subsystems will get a bonus to a specific warfare link (The Legion recieveing an armour warfare bonus, for example).

4th Propulsion Subsystem:

Immunity against warp disruption fields. Deployed, launched and/or projected. They won’t grant an extra slot like the other propulsion subsystems and will make your ship less agile. The agility drawback can be nullified by training the subsystem skill.

This is a very interesting system, as it gives the SCs an ability no other ship has. When combined with the covert ops  subsystem it gives them the ultimate travel setup for all kinds of space, whether they are moving through high sec or wormhole space. Bubbles and interdiction spheres were a common sight in my last few WH space trips, and dropping an interdiction sphere on a wormhole exit became common practice to stop people escaping.

4th Engineering Subsystem:

Will give you another bonus to heat damage reduction, allowing you to overheat your modules for an extended period of time. I’m going to be doing some extensive heat time testing to see if we need to adjust these bonuses.

The base hull of every SC gets a 5% reduction in heat damage per level of the strategic cruiser skill. Combining it with this system is going to lead to some pretty fearsome overheating, and even offensive subsystems with less firepower, such as the covert ops system, wil be able to throw out some decent damage for a time.

4th Electronic Subsystem:

A simple CPU bonus to scan probe launchers, allowing you to fit an expanded probe launcher with ease, along with a nice 10% increase to scan strength of probes, making it an very good scanning platform. In addition to this they’ll give a tractor beam range / velocity bonus.

Leave your probe alt at home; the SCs have got all your astrometric needs covered. Expanded launchers also makes them awesome for combat probing.

The fourth subsystems appear to have cracked open the SCs, and suddenly given them an insane amount of versatility. Five systems per race also add a whole new range of visual customization, which you can experiment with in the new ship preview window that is currently on SISI (and in the screenshot below).

The trend for SCs now appears to be that they are going to be the ultimate ships for WH combat/exploration. Tech three is going to evolve into a circular economy for a bit, where people are organising expeditions  to get materials that will allow them to build SCs, that will in turn make gathering the resources much easier. Strategic cruisers are going to be expensive exploration ships, until they become cheap enough for general use, which will happen a lot faster with these new subsystems.

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