Proteus was released today by CCP which marks the latest release in the rapid cycle of development and deployment.
This release was lighter than previous ones mostly due to the holiday period occurring prior to the deployment. However, there is one wrinkle in this release that seems to have generated the most amount of chatter on forums and blogs, the tiericide of Combat Recons.
See, for many years the Combat Recon class of ships has been a red haired step child. They really cannot be used as scouts like their little brother, Force Recon ships which can warp cloaked and light covert cynos. They even are really not preferred in fleet doctrines, as use of Strategic Cruisers is preferred as they have the ability to fit a bigger tank than the Combat Recon. No, for many years the Combat Recon has been mostly devoted to a role of small roaming gang ewar platform or possibly solo PVPers. Myself, I have kept 3-4 of them in a hangar in Jita collecting dust. That all changed today.
The part about the tiericide which has generated the largest amount of tears is the buff for the class of ships in relation to directional scanning. For everyone living outside of High Security space (Low, Null and Wormhole) the directional scanner is your best friend. The scanner will inform you of things like probes on scan, other ships, and items in space like containers, control towers and force fields. As of today, these ships no longer show up on directional scanner, ever. There is no module you can fit to help with that, nor is there any skill which would allow it. Sure, there were some other changes to the ships to improve their usability in EVE, but the one change which should drive an increased use of these ships is the immunity to appearance of the ship on directional scanner.
Rixx Javix posted a new post this morning which was a great read. Go ahead and have a read over there, then come back here. Some very excellent points in Rixx's post and I tend to agree that the changes to Combat Recons will upset the apple cart for many people in EVE. I feel that the changes will be mostly felt in Wormhole space, where there is no local for you to appear in. You are actually far better off in a Combat Recon compared to a Strategic Cruiser or Stealth Bomber in wormhole space. Those ships will at least appear on directional scanner when they jump through a wormhole and decloak. The Combat Recon will not.
The other part about Rixx's post that I feel strongly about is the fact that they still are Combat Recons. The do not bring overwhelming DPS to the engagement. They usually are not brick fit as that would compromise their DPS or e-war capabilities. The tank of a Combat Recon usually will hover in the 30-40k DPS tank area if they are also fit to take advantage of their e-war bonuses. What this all means is that you still "should" be able to survive an engagement with these ships, well maybe.
Your survival odds will increase if the engagement is with a Rook or Huginn. The Rook is an ECM platform, so he will be jamming you. The Huginn's bonuses are to it's webs, so they will slow down your speed. Where you are screwed is the Lachesis or Curse.
Lets talk about the Lachesis first. Bonuses to warp disruption/scrambling optimal range and sensor dampener effectiveness. With the 7 mid slots of this ship, I would fit a faction scram and point along with 1-2 dampeners. If a lachesis is the combat recon which appears on grid with you, it is very doubtful that you are escaping. It is not uncommon to see unbonused points of 70km with a faction point and if fit with a +3 scram, even though you are stabbed you will not be going anywhere.
That brings us to the Curse. This nasty ship is getting bonuses for drone hitpoints and damge, tracking disruptor effectiveness, energy vampire/neutralizer transfer range and energy vampire/neutralizer transfer amount. If you see a curse appear magically on grid with you, start aligning to that celestial with your pod. His high slots will almost all be energy vamps/neuts. He will have a scram fit, and drone damage amplifiers in his lows. His DPS are the drones. Within one cycle of his vamps and neuts your capacitor is bone dry. Scotty will inform you that warping is not possible.
Even though these ships have been provided with some very positive changes in the game, I do not feel that they are overpowered. Yes, they will be the FOTM for the foreseeable future, until there is some type of buff due to wormhole corporations who get stupid and run sites without zipping up their holes.
I applaud you CCP for continuing to make EVE better and I can now rename all of my Curse's to non-red haired children's names.