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Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ship discussion time

Since my buddy Cozmik is reading this more regularly and you guys can't come to the bar and discuss things with us, I thought I'd cover an interesting discussion we had the other day regarding ships and tackling.

A bit of a background here. Coz is an old quake player so I knew that when he joined EvE (He'd been avoiding it cuz of the addiction factor), he'd be making a beeline for PvP and fast ships. So after a month's familiarization with the game, I gave him a referal to a pure PvP corp/alliance that was operating in 0.0. Sent him on his merry way with some module and hull BPCs to make sure that even if supply lines got cut, he'd be able to self supply some ships/modules/ammo and keep flying. Since then he's been on the "Path of the Minmatar PvP specialist" the entire time. Since then he's been living the life of the typical Curse resident. Active (look at your tipical kills in the last 24h and you'll notice curse is prety much always lit up).

The discussion we were having was about the progression on the road to the Vagabond and the way of the tackler. Having started out in Rifters and progressed to cruisers, battle cruisers destroyers and interceptors, he's got a prety good idea of the pros and cons of tackling in a 0.0 roaming fleet. Our discussion progressed to the pros and cons of the Rifter vs the Stabber in the role of tackler. He noted that when flying an interceptor was contra-indicated, your basic choices resolve down to the Rifter and the Stabber.

What was interesting was which one was prefered based on skill and fleet size conditions. Early on he was saying there wasn't much to choose between them, but as his navigation skills increased, he was more and more inclined to stick with the Rifter in preference to the Stabber. Mainly based on it's maneuverability and ability to react quickly. But that the Stabber was often a better choice as the size of the gang went down and the extra DPS balanced out the slight reduction in maneuverability of the Stabber vs the Rifter. I note that he has T2 gunnery skills in both Small and Medium guns (although the gunnery support skills still need working on as would be obvious for any 7mil SP character). So it's not a case that his rifter would be on par with the stabber due to better frigate gunnery skills. I just found it interesting that he'd end up prefering the smaller ship in larger gang situations. Note we're not talking full blown 60+ fleets here but your more tipical 0.0 roaming gangs.

My own experience so far with larger fights (where lag is becoming an issue) is that I need to have a limitless remount reserve ready for the bigger fleet fights as the survival time in large fleet battles for frigates seems to be quite short. It may be that I've simply run into fleets that organize a dedicated anti-small ship element of their fleet. Or that I haven't had enough experience yet (probably that), but I'd have supposed that the reduced survivability of Rifters vs Stabbers would preclude using them in the larger gangs.

It may also be the difference in fleet engagement styles. He's talking 0.0 roaming gang, I'm experiencing faction warfare. Either way I'd like any readers to chime in with their opinions on this. One restriction: We're talking T1 disposable hulls here, although T2 is better it's much more expensive and sometimes keeping operational tempos going and killing expensive ships in cheap ships is called for (not to mention amusing as hell when the FC goes "well they just lost more than the entire value of our fleet").


Manasi said...

Interesting thoughts. Although I have almost double the SP I go the other way. In small gang I have found the stabber to be a little more effective as I think it has more versatility, your right though it is NOT as agile. The whole problem with the tackler in the small frig is the pitiful amount of damage they put out. I like the cruiser class hulls as they offer a bit more protection and better firepower. But hey some of my best in game friends swear by the light and the fast to each their own. As a rule I do not like the paper hulled frigs...just a personal thing.

Letrange said...

Actually I think that's one of the reasons you find many T2 armed Rifters in 0.0 and other places. The T2 really does fix a lot of the DPS problems on the Rifter (or perceived problems). And you can't realistically substitute a Jag or a Wolf for one as they are much heavier and much slower to respond due to that.

Mynxee said...

In a gang situation, the front runner tackler in a frig seems best served by focusing on fitting the best speed tank he can to help him avoid damage. While this forces you to sacrifice being able to deliver maximum can still do some damage...and every little bit helps when it comes to DPS. As Letrange points out, T2 guns/ammo makes a big different in how much damage you can do with, say, a Rifter. Hopefully, the others get points on the target too, once they arrive--in case the initial tackler gets popped or needs to flee and his point is lost.

FWIW, I often flew a Hurricane in both Faction Warfare and the Muffin Factory gate camps...even in a battlecruiser, I rarely was ever primaried. Logistics and big damage dealers like battleships almost always got that honor. Frigs were sort of ignored unless there was an obvious Frig Blob thing happening.

Cozmik R5 said...

I wouldn't call the DPS out of a T2-fit Rifter "pitiful", but more along the lines of "Huh... this is a T1 frigate ?!?!". At optimal range it can do a world of hurt, especially since all weapons hit almost to their full damage but the rate of fire is MUCH faster on small guns then on medium guns. Thank God for the corp hangar cuz Hail and Barrage ain't cheap! :))

The main reason I fly Rifters when I'm not in an interceptor is that the fleet always need extra scouts to go in different directions, and being fast and expendable, I'm it. The bane of frigates: Smartbombs. When you know in advance the tackled enemy has 'em you can orbit out of range but the surprise is painful. I've also been warned in advance that a tackled Typhoon had Smarties, and I was in mid-warp to its location. I came out of warp just as an entire rack of Smarties went off, making for my goriest death in my time in EVE !!!

wensley said...

My corp spent a lot of time encouraging me to play a skirmishing role in my Rifter during roaming fleets. I guess part of the advantage of a Rifter is that it doesn't seem to pose much of a threat solo so is less likely to alarm jittery targets, too.

Plus of course, fast lock time means more pod mails :)