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, August 22, 2012

Fit of the Week: XLASB Caracal

I think for the next month or so, I'm going to go with FOTWs that can be done on a budget, with lower skill points, or that are just plain fun and goofy for newer players to try out.  With that in mind, let's start with this one:

[Caracal, Rocket Tank]
Ballistic Control System II
Power Diagnostic System II

Experimental 10MN MicroWarpdrive I
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
X-Large Ancillary Shield Booster, Navy Cap Booster 400
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II

Rocket Launcher II, Scourge Rage Rocket
Rocket Launcher II, Scourge Rage Rocket
Rocket Launcher II, Scourge Rage Rocket
Rocket Launcher II, Scourge Rage Rocket
Rocket Launcher II, Scourge Rage Rocket

Medium Bay Loading Accelerator I
Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Medium Processor Overclocking Unit I

Warrior II x2


OK, first off, this is the top end version of the fit.  You're absolutely welcome to downgrade those rocket launchers to meta ones.  I just include the tech2 to show that the tech2 versions fit.  Everything else on this fit has very low SP requirements.  If you use meta rocket launchers, you need Weapon Upgrades II.  If you use T2 versions, you need Weapon Upgrades IV.  And you need Electronics V and Engineering V.  But that's it.  If you're still having CPU issues, downgrade that Invul to the meta version.  With that said, let's talk about this fit a little bit.

Cruisers are EVE's collective red-headed step-child.  You almost never see them flown in any sort of serious fleet.  They just don't have a role that some other type of ship can't perform much better.  Assault frigs and Interceptors can out-DPS them, and the jump from cruiser to BC is so short right now that if you want to tank, 99% of the time, it's worth it to spend the extra ISK to buy something that can provide that tank.  There's no class of ship in EVE that needs re-balancing more.  As a result, when you do see cruisers used in PvP, they're invariably "LOL T1 cruisers"... a whole fleet of ships where the pilots involved do not care if they live or die.

For various reasons, I sometimes like to bring Caracals to such fleets.  I just have a soft spot in my heart for them.  Maybe it's because "Caldari ships suck at PvP" and I just want to go for the gold.

In my opinion, the best way to fit a Caracal for this kind of fleet is in the anti-frigate role.  Sure, if you try really hard, you can wedge Heavy Missile Launchers onto a Caracal but you won't live long enough to actually use them if you do.  The Caracal just lacks the grid for HMLs.  And unfortunately, the Rapid Light Missile Launcher in its current iteration is basically useless.  It should be tailor-made for this kind of ship and role, but its DPS is just too low to seriously consider.  Maybe if this weapon gets a looking at when CCP starts re-balancing cruisers I'll revisit this topic.  But for now, there's no point to using them.

Besides, with the new missile graphics, a Caracal flinging dozens of rockets is just a glorious sight to behold.  ;-)

Where this ship becomes really fun, though, is the tank.  By far the most important and expensive module fitted to it is the new XL Ancillary Shield Booster.  This item is taking the bulk of your grid, the bulk of your CPU... and it's worth it.  With a single resist rig and an Invul, base tank is in the 500-550 DPS range.  In short, you can tank a whole fleet of T1 frigates.  That's pretty optimal for a anti-frigate cruiser, I think you'll agree.  And if you have overheating skills, that number climbs past 750 DPS!  Each pulse of the ASB will return about half your shields, so you'll have to be diligent and careful in its use.  But if you're smart, the ASB gives you something like 35000 effective shield HP to play with, far more than any T1 cruiser should be able to tank.

That gives you a lot of time to kill you some frigates.  With good skills and T2 launchers, you're doing about 200 DPS.  With lesser skills and meta launchers, it's closer to 150-160.  Still, that's sufficient to crack many frigate tanks, particularly if there's some portion of a LOL T1 cruiser gang nearby to help.  And since Caracals often get primaried right off the bat (they currently have a reputation for thin tanks), you'll be increasing the LOLs by tanking whole fleets of frigates while you and your buddies rack up some kills.  And of course you can kill larger things as well.  Get your scram and web on your target, shut down your MWD, and your sig drops to a mere 150-160m, not much bigger than the premiere heavy tacklers in the game.  Feel free to tackle a BC or battleship, confident that you'll be able to survive its guns while your fleet kills it.

Either way, everything on this ship works better the closer you are to your targets.  Feel free to get right up in people's faces.  This ship can take it.

Have fun getting some LOLs with your LOL cruiser!


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. On the subject of lolt1 caldari cruisers, the Moa compares favorably against assault frigates as well. Assuming they see you at a distance and decide to engage.

    [Moa, Bait]
    Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
    Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
    Reactor Control Unit II
    Damage Control II

    10MN Afterburner II
    Warp Scrambler II
    Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
    Large Ancillary Shield Booster, Cap Booster 150

    Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
    Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
    Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
    Medium Unstable Power Fluctuator I
    Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
    Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M

    Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
    Medium Ancillary Current Router I
    Medium Polycarbon Engine Housing I


    Warrior II x3

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  2. I thank you very much, because one minute before I wantet do sell my damn Caracal, even with its 100% insurance.

    I will try out your fitting.

    PS: I also used your Merlin cheep ASB test fitting and it was great... next time with a MDN on it.

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  3. Not as good as the XLASB Blackbird. :P Nothing quite like agressing in a t1 cruiser under gate guns.

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  4. Oh god, don't let Eve-Uni see this post.

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  5. RvB is going to hate this. =D

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  6. Definitely giving this a try! I love my Caracals.

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  7. Caracals have always been my throw away cruiser. I cannot wait to give this a try!

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