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.
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Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Fit of the Week: Interim Cerberus

Let's go with one more PvE fit, then I'll go back to PvP fits for a while.  For now, take a look at this:

[Cerberus, HAM Ratter]
Reactor Control Unit II
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II

10MN Afterburner II
Large Shield Extender II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Large Shield Extender II

Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Rage Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Rage Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Rage Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Rage Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Rage Assault Missile
[empty high slot]

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


A few months back, when cataloging the list of "bad HACs", I made it clear that the Eagle is the worst one, and so it is.  But the Cerb comes in a close second.  In modern PvP, it's laughably thin, slow, and under-gunned.  Only a bottom-up retool is going to make this ship relevant in the modern EVE era, and I hope that when the re-balances come along, this ship will get due attention.  And yes, I say all this in full knowledge that people will probably come out of the woodwork to let me know how wrong I am.  ;-)  CCP, here's a hint: you can start by changing out its Kinetic damage bonus for a general missile damage bonus, please.  Then give it an additional mid, an additional launcher, and then revamp grid and CPU to match.  Thanks.

That said, I want to record this fit for historical value.  When talking about the Eagle, I mentioned that the Oracle outdoes the Eagle in its own role.  You can't talk about the Cerb without talking about the Naga and Talos, both of which outdo the Cerb in its own role.  Whether you fit the ships for long range or short the Naga and Talos do superior DPS at both short range and long, are far faster, have the same sig radius and are nearly as tough.  This particular Cerb fit does 550 DPS; the comparable Talos does more than 750.  And if you have to down-shift the Cerb to HMLs, you lose another 100 DPS (though of course you gain great range in the bargain).  The fit is identical, except you won't need the RCU; trade it for a Nanofiber Internal Structure.

So the Cerb doesn't do as much DPS as the tier 3 BCs... why use it at all?  And the answer is: it's relatively cheap and it's resilient.  It is, in fact, a decent ship for tanking and supplemental DPS in sanctums and havens, particularly those where you face Serpentis and Guristas rats.  A Cerb has 90% thermal resistance and 85% kinetic resistance, something the tier 3s can't hope to match.  The guns and low slots on a ratting Naga or Talos run about 40 million ISK; the ship itself adds another 80 to 85.  Even with the Technetium cartel's work, the Cerb costs about the same.

So with its T2 resists, what you've got is a ship that is cruiser size, can comfortably tank sanctums and havens... but isn't a Tengu with its associated price tag.  Lots of people have the HAC skill.  Lots of people can fire missiles, and these same people might not have trained large guns yet.  And maybe you don't feel like risking a Tengu (with its cost) or a Drake (with how slow it is) in 0.0 site-running.  That's where I think the Cerb still -- barely! -- has some value.  It's an interim step for newer lower-SP players that don't want to risk a more expensive or more embarrassing loss.

Where things get interesting, though, is when you start running sanctums and havens in the same system where you also have a carrier present to assign fighters.  At that point, a Cerb with five assigned fighters and a Talos with five assigned fighters do nearly exactly the same DPS... and the Cerb is a lot more survivable.  I keep promising to write a "ratting with carriers" guide.  It'll be published this week.  So you'll hear me mention this ship again.

Don't get me wrong: I'm damning the Cerb with faint praise here.  It's not a good ship.  It still desperately needs some love.  But it'll do the job until you feel comfortable with something better.


All Fits of the Week are intended as general guidelines only.  You may not have the skills needed for this exact fit.  If you do not, feel free to adjust the fit to suit to meet your skills, including using meta 3 guns and "best named" defenses and e-war.  Ships can also be adjusted to use faction or dead-space modules depending on the budget of the pilot flying it.  Each FOTW is intended as a general guide to introduce you to concepts that will help you fit and to fly that particular type of ship more aggressively and well.

7 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. With its resists, that might be fun.

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  2. Before the Tengu, I used to routinely run a Cerberus or Caracal with no shield extenders. I used an overdrive injector where you have the RCU, 2 hardeners + invuln tank customised to the rats, topped off with a target painter or webifier (depending on where I thought my greatest threats would fly).

    For PVE I tend towards sig/speed tanking in shield tanked ships. This works even with Tengugeddon on right now (assuming anyone actually takes masternerdguy up on his offer).

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  3. Back when belt ratting was the norm, i used a ship just like this with a resist amp instead of invul and a cloak to create sucess.

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  4. I was looking at the munnin and vagabond lately and thought the same thing. Mind you, the vagabond has a purpose, it's speed isn't really matched by many things. I quickly fit a Munnin and felt horrible at the results. Three mid slots with underwhelming tank and dps. I figure if they're going to allow them to be such crap against Tier 3 Battlecruisers in stats, then they should at least make the buggers almost as cheap as a T1 Cruiser with a high skill requirement. The HAC class needs a serious rework since the implementation of Tier 3 BC's.

    I really hope they plan on doing such, I want to see them get to a point where they're equally viable to Tier 3 BC's, if not more so.

    ~G.A.

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  5. TBH, the Cerberus needs to borrow some of the extreme DPS that the Tengu's Accelerated Ejection Bay gives it. It won't have the durability of a Tengu, but what HAC does, compared to its T3 cousin?

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  6. So about that ratting with carriers guide....

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