Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
You can follow along, if you want...

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Fit of the Week: Brawler Harbinger

[Harbinger, Brawler]
Damage Control II
Tracking Enhancer II
Heat Sink II
Heat Sink II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II

10MN MicroWarpdrive II
Warp Scrambler II
Invulnerability Field II
Large Shield Extender II

Heavy Pulse Laser II, Scorch M
Heavy Pulse Laser II, Scorch M
Heavy Pulse Laser II, Scorch M
Heavy Pulse Laser II, Scorch M
Heavy Pulse Laser II, Scorch M
Heavy Pulse Laser II, Scorch M
Heavy Pulse Laser II, Scorch M
[empty high slot]

Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Medium Core Defence Field Extender I
Medium Core Defence Field Extender I

Hammerhead II x5


This is one of my favorite goofy ships.

Most EVE Online players start out as Caldari.  The reasons for this vary, but a lot of it has to do with the fact that for about a two-year period, Caldari Achura toons had a significant advantage in early career training speed.  Those advantages are now gone, but the websites that advertise it remain, as well as the EVE players from that period who often still urge their friends down this bloodline.  And once they start down this bloodline, they naturally gravitate toward the Drake, both for PvE and PvP.

And then they get into their first few PvP fights, and are summarily informed that for PvP, "the Drake sucks", "missiles suck", and "Caldari suck".  Whether these statements are true or not, the players are thrown into confusion.  "What should I train for then?" they plaintively ask.  "Train Amarr!" they are told by some.  "The Amarr battleships are awesome, and lasers FTW!"  "Train Minmatar!" they are told by others.  "Hurricanes are pwnmobiles!"  (Hardly anyone says "Train Gallente!", but that's another story.)

And a good portion of these pilots take the first bit of advice, lured into Amarr ships by their amazing beauty and the intriguing idea of switching ammo instantly in the middle of a fight.  Problem is, they've just spent a ton of time training shield skills, and Amarr ships are armor-tankers... aren't they?

Yeah, not necessarily.  Enter the brawler Harbinger.  Armor-tanked Harbingers, surprisingly, aren't all that impressive, and it comes from the fact that both their tank and their gank have to fit in the rather sub-standard six low slots the Harby has.  Drakes and Hurricanes don't have this problem: their tank and their gank go in separate slot types.  So a few intrepid people started shield-tanking Harbingers...

...and found that they work quite well, actually!  Surprisingly, a shield-tanked Harbinger is every bit as tough as a shield-tanked Cane.  Even better, it does nearly as much DPS up close thanks to the ability to carry medium drones, or you can carry a series of light drones instead, as well as a flight of ECM or logistics drones, making it more versatile.  And best of all, the fantastic Scorch ammo makes the "brawler Harby" an effective combatant to almost 35 kilometers, well outside the Cane's effective combat range.

Granted, you're still going to find that this is an interim step.  If you're training Amarr after time spent in Caldari ships, you are going to have to build up armor skills eventually to get into the truly exceptional Amarr ships higher up the tree.  But in the meantime, you can leverage your strong shield skills in the Harby and be effective in it.  But plan on being primaried a lot.  Primarying ship types that start with the letter "H" is practically a meme in EVE Online small-gang fights.  But the Hurricanes will be right there taking that punishment with you.

By the way, armor fans, this isn't to say that an armor-tanking Harby is bad... it isn't.  It's just somewhat unimpressive due to its horrible align time, slow top speed, and the 75 DPS it sacrifices to its shield-tanking brethren.  However, as close support for an Amarr battleship fleet, armor-tanked Harbies have their uses.  But that's another FOTW.

Brawl safe.  :-)

2 comments:

  1. The reason I chose Caldari was because they were the only "normal-looking" race. Obviously, that has changed with the Character Creator, in which everyone looks the same. Neverthless, eight months ago, Minmatar looked too rough, Amarr too... slave-owning, and Gallente (even though I like their race in theory) too skinny and fugly colored. With Incursion, though, we can all look the same!

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  2. Heh. When I started playing, my chosen race (Amarr) was all but pitied for its cap-dependency, slow speeds and limited damage types (I stuck with them 'cause I don't really like min-maxing). But even back then, the Shield Harbinger was quietly making a name for itself.

    Fast forward a few years, and now your post is the second ode to Shield Harbingers I see in the space of just a couple of weeks - glad to see the Harbinger getting some deserved love after all.

    :smug:

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