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, July 3, 2013

Fit of the Week: Screen Raven

July is T1 battleship month!  As I've been trying to do each time a major ship class gets re-balanced, I'm going to give you my favorites from each race's ships.  For Odyssey, the big news was of course the re-balanced battleships and Navy battleships.  So July is T1 battleship month, and August will be Navy battleship month.  On July 31, I'll probably share my favorite Navy battle cruiser.  So let's start this party off with my favorite Caldari battleship, which would be...

[Raven, PODLA Raven]
Damage Control II
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II

Prototype 100MN Microwarpdrive I
Large Micro Jump Drive
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Large Shield Extender II
Fleeting Propulsion Inhibitor I
Fleeting Propulsion Inhibitor I
Warp Disruptor II

Cruise Missile Launcher II, Inferno Precision Cruise Missile
Cruise Missile Launcher II, Inferno Precision Cruise Missile
Cruise Missile Launcher II, Inferno Precision Cruise Missile
Cruise Missile Launcher II, Inferno Precision Cruise Missile
Cruise Missile Launcher II, Inferno Precision Cruise Missile
Cruise Missile Launcher II, Inferno Precision Cruise Missile
Heavy Unstable Power Fluctuator I

Large Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Large Core Defense Field Extender I
Large Polycarbon Engine Housing I

Hornet EC-300 x5
Valkyrie II x5


Pray for the poor Drake.  I have covered the Drake a number of times, most particularly a nano-fleet screening Drake generally called the PODLA Drake.  The purpose to this Drake is to act as a screen tackler out in front of nano skirmish fleets such as Tornados, Oracles, and the like.  A pair of these Drakes, each with a point and two webs, can catch inbound tacklers attempting to provide warp-ins or just tackle something expensive.  They feature enough tank to hold up under fire (if under reps) and are quick and agile enough to stay between the nano fleet they are screening and an enemy fleet.

The problem with the PODLA Drake is that in the year since I posted that fit, Drakes have been nerfed pretty hard.  HML range was reduced, damage projection was tweaked, tank was nerfed, and speed and agility was reduced somewhat.  Don't get the impression that Drakes are bad now... but they're certainly not as effective as they once were!  DPS has dropped to about 325 and tank has dropped to about 50k EHP.

Meanwhile, the Raven has been buffed and cruise missile launchers have been hugely buffed.  And suddenly the Raven is a quite viable alternative to a screen Drake!

Let's start with speed and agility: the Raven is (sadly) faster than the Drake and is only one second slower on align time if you fit it full nano with a Nanofiber Internal Structure and a Polycarbon Engine Housing.  To achieve full nano, you have a couple of choices.  The choice I've made here is probably an ideal mix of speed, tank, and DPS.  However, nearly as valid is to fit double CDFE rigs and an anti-EM rig, and replace one Ballistic Control System for a second Nanofiber.  This change will increase your tank from 63k to 70k, but will drop your DPS with Precision cruise missiles from 500 to 450.

Speaking of Precision cruise missiles, not only do you do more damage than the Drake, but your explosion velocity is exactly equal to heavy missiles and the cruise missiles are faster.  You DO lose a good bit of explosion radius (237 on cruises versus 112 on heavies), but this is only going to make a significant difference against after-burning frigates.  And against those, you have a full flight of Valkyries which are much superior to the Drake's flight of light drones.  And against larger targets, you can reload for faction cruise missiles which will increase your DPS to 570.

Like the PODLA Drake, you have a point and double web to catch and slow down tacklers.  Unlike the Drake, you also have a heavy neut which is going to do an absolute number on these smaller ships: a single heavy neut will cap out virtually any frigate-size targets in a single cycle.  Adding to your defense is a second set of drones, which can either be a set of light drones or my preference: a flight of ECM drones.

Finally, the Raven is about three times the cost of the Drake but includes a great get-out-of-jail free card (even aside from its neuts and ECM drones) in the form of a Micro Jump Drive.  If things go to their last extreme, use Precision missiles, your neut, and your drones to kill anything that has you scrambled, then cycle your MJD to GTFO.  As long as you're not scrammed during your MJD cycle, in between nine and 12 seconds, you'll be out of harm's way.  Points will not stop an MJD, and you retain your momentum once the MJD cycle is complete, so if you align before you activate the MJD when the cycle ends you'll be able to warp off immediately.

There's one more fun little option that I'd be remiss not to mention: if you go with the double BCS, double Nano fit, you can replace the LSE with an XLASB and provide yourself with a really nice internal defense on top of everything else.  This works particularly well in smaller gangs where you might have minimal logistics support, though that leaves you with a LOT of buttons to manage.  ;-)  That said, much like the PODLA Drakes they replace, the screen Ravens work best if you DO have a few friendly logistics ships.

You also must carry Crash boosters of some kind, preferably Standard Crash.  The cruise missiles really benefit from them.  The other big disadvantage to the Raven as compared to the Drake is the slower lock time.  You can balance this out by carrying a Quafe Zero booster.  That also helps the Raven's speed which is one of your ship's assets.

Ripard, sadly, doesn't have good Caldari battleship skills yet.  So I've had to fly this ship on an alt.  There's a lot of multi-tasking to fly this ship right, so you've got to remember all of your options (and adding an ASB makes things even more complicated).  But it's quite fun!  Point, double web!


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. Any toughts on how could a Raven be fitted for lvl4 mission runners after the buff in Cruise Missiles?

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  2. "You DO lose a good bit of explosion radius (237 on cruises versus 112 on heavies), but this is only going to make a significant difference against after-burning frigates"

    It matters for MWDing (or lolslowboating) ones too, as the velocity-based damage computation includes radius as well - when the ratio (pre weird exponents) is speed/sig vs expvel/exprad, doubling the exprad is the same as halving expvel.

    Thus MWD is mostly irrelevant for the velocity-including missile damage number, and the increase will roughly halve the effective dps against targets that just barely take full damage from HMLs.

    Of course if the ship isn't making full use of their speed, or has been webbed down, then all that matters is the sig vs exprad damage number, for which it would only matter for AB frig/dessy/cruiser. And then you add possible paints in the mix...

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  3. please tell me this is a joke

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  4. This thing needs a cap booster bad

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  5. I think you may be understating the Raven's DPS; with post-buff Precisions and 3 BCS I'm seeing a maximum output of 599, up to 688 with faction (all before drones).

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  6. Don't forget: While precision cruises have similar explosion radius/velocity to HMLs, they do not have the same damage reduction factor (DRF). This is an invisible stat that's not shown in Show Info, but is visible in the DB dump and in EFT. In the missile damage equation, DRF acts as a log scaling on explosion velocity; the larger the missile, the less useful explosion velocity becomes in practice.

    So, in practice, it won't be quite as good as HMLs... but certainly close enough, especially for slow-moving targets.

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  7. Now you you rather use this or a navy drake seeing as both their costs are similar and fit similarly the navy drake has about same tank, less dps, more mobility compared to the raven.

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