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, December 5, 2012

Fit of the Week: Missile PvP, Bellicose

As promised, I'd like to chit-chat a bit about my favorites among each of the "new" cruisers.  Let's start with Minmatar:

[Bellicose, HAM Happy]
Damage Control II
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II

Experimental 10MN MicroWarpdrive I
Phased Weapon Navigation Array Generation Extron
J5 Prototype Warp Disruptor I
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Large Shield Extender II

Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Caldari Navy Inferno Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Caldari Navy Inferno Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Caldari Navy Inferno Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Caldari Navy Inferno Heavy Assault Missile

Medium Core Defense Field Extender I
Medium Core Defense Field Extender I
Medium Polycarbon Engine Housing I

Hammerhead II x3
Hobgoblin II x2


As you know by now, all of the existing cruisers have been revamped with new specs, easier fitting requirements for medium weapons, and new bonuses.  This is going to result in changing PvP metas over the next few months.  The LOL-T1 cruiser fleet is now not quite so LOL-worthy.  Lots of T1 cruisers can put out 500 DPS or very close to it.  As a result, we're going to see some changing opinions about which ships in EVE are "scary" and which are not.  For instance, the new Caracal?  Very scary.  It's one of the new 500 DPS beasts fit with HAMs, and those HAMs reach out to almost 30km.  So if you see a fleet of Caracals coming at you, you might very well shy away from them.

The interesting thing about the new Caracal, though, is not only is it going to pick up a scary cachet that might cause other players to avoid it, but the margin on the fit for 500 DPS is razor tight.  It requires Advanced Weapon Upgrades V to even think about it.

The new Bellicose, meanwhile, puts out very nearly as much DPS and is also much easier for a new player to get into.  The fit above requires Weapon Upgrades V and Advanced Weapon Upgrades II (rather than V), but it's much more forgiving than the Caracal fit to tweaking and adjusting for newer players.  If you need to, dial back the LSE to meta4, dial back the HAMs to metas, and suddenly you have a quite effective missile attack cruiser that nearly any player can fly.

That's interesting to me because two of my mains came up in EVE among the generation of Caldari Achura players in the wake of the Blood Lines expansion.  At the time, Achura trained faster than any other race in EVE in the early game, so I suspect there are thousands of EVE players just like me that started out in missile boats.  This was fine in our early few months of play but sooner or later, all of us got into PvP only to be told "Caldari suck, missiles suck, LOL" and then struggled to find a secondary niche for all of the skill points we built up over our first six months.  It was rather frustrating, to say the least.  Most of us never even got around to training HAMs until the late-game because there weren't any good new player platforms for them.  Had this ship been available four years ago, I think my own career in EVE would have developed quite differently.

The basic tank on this ship is the same as for most fast-attack shield cruisers: LSE, invul, DC, a couple of rigs.  This is a short-range weapons system and Minmatar ships benefit from high speed anyway, so I went with a full nano fit on mine.  That gives the Bellicose speed that the similar Caracal simply can't match, and it's a fine benefit to the short-range HAMs.  On a Caracal, I'd probably fit a web but the Bellicose Target Painter bonus makes that form of e-war finally, finally effective.  You lock targets a half-second faster than the Caracal and once your TP is applied, everyone else locks the primary faster, too.

But what you do and they don't is increase the target's sig radius by almost 50% against your missiles.  That's scary.  Smart logi pilots, particularly Guardians, will be much more scared of you than they are of Caracals.  Carry and use Inferno missiles against them.  Guardians don't have much of a thermal hole, but that's where the hole they do have is.  In addition to the Infernos, carry Mjolnirs and Novas as well.  You can also get away with carrying Rage missiles if you're fitting the T2 launchers.  Your TP and speed nicely balance the downsides to the Rages, something else that the Caracal can't do.  And in so doing, you can nearly match the Caracal DPS.

And not be nearly so scary.  Or so expensive.  Or so hard to fit.  It's just a Bellicose, right?

Finally, your drone bay gives you a lot of versatility.  I've gone for maximum DPS here but you know what works nearly as well once the price of them comes down?  Salvage drones.  Carry five Hobgoblins and three Salvage drones, and make a bit more ISK on the side.

All in all, I think the Bellicose is a lovely, well-rounded machine that's going to make the pilots that try it very happy.  And just maybe the next generation of players won't hear "missiles suck, LOL" quite so much.


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. 

13 comments:

  1. What downside on the rages are you referring to? Not the T2 penalties which have been removed with Retribution?

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    Replies
    1. Rages still have penalties to range, explosion velocity, and explosion radius.

      Delete
    2. I haven't used rage before, so I must be missing something obvious, but I can't find any mention of any penalties for the rage missiles either on the description tab or the attribute tab.

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    3. Compared to the base assault missile system.

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  2. So what was all that "CCP don't you dare nerf missiles nonsense about" on the forums. It looks like they all got buffed except T1 HML spam and honestly good riddance to that.

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  3. Why not drop a field extender and the invul then replace them with an ACR and another LSE? It requires you to swap in a meta 4 point and a 3% PG implant but they aren't expensive and this fit has no other use for slot 6 anyway*. It gives slightly more EHP, less reliance on cap and lets you run your prop for a bit longer if needed.

    *Well a snake omega works nicely if your in low and don't plan to leave but personally I would change other parts of the fit at that point anyway.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I try not to require fitting implants on my FOTWs unless there's a really really compelling reason to do it.

      Delete
  4. Technical question: once you TP a ship, do ships already in the process of locking it get a reduction in their locktime against it? Because otherwise the lock bonus from TP only really helps if you're a bait ship who arrives before everyone else.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The last time I tested this, the server recalculated lock time every tick based on your scan res at that moment, the target's sig at that moment, and the percentage lock complete. That's why sometimes the game will tell you you have three seconds to lock something and then suddenly the target's locked one second later.

      That said, I think I'll retest this under Retri and make sure it's still the case.

      Delete
    2. It changes the lock time if the targets sig radius changes. However, it does not (or last time I checked on the test server anyway) change the displayed lock time on the circle thingy.

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    3. It also helps weapons hit better vs targets with a lower sig radius than the weapon's scan res, so its not useless.

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  5. Should I carry Javelins in this fit? My missile skills aren't quite where I would like them just yet, and the extra range in general seems nice for targets you want to keep at overheated point range.

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  6. I've flown this setup and had a lot of fun with it. I would go as far as to say that it's currently my favourite ship. It deals a lot of quick damage and is fast to boot. Using a T2 WD and Caldari Navy Infernos is lolz...

    I've been considering switching the MWD for an AB II so that I can perma run it and keep out of most harm's way (obvs there are faster cruisers with MWDs but can they keep them running long enough?); either that or drop the nano and fit an I-Stab for better turn control. Just ideas, but on the whole this setup is solid; ask the vexor pilots whose days I ruined.

    ReplyDelete

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