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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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Monday, October 24, 2011

Best in class

RixxJavix and I (and others) are having a discussion this morning on Twitter about "best in class" ships for each ship class.  He's bemoaning the fact that the Gallente have few or none of them, which set me thinking about the topic.  And if I had to choose best ship in each class (excluding pirate and faction ships), I'd probably go with the following:
  • Assault Ship: Tough one!  Jag would be up there, as would the Ishkur, Enyo, and the recently-upgraded rocket Hawk.  I'm gonna go with Gallente/Enyo.  It's hard to argue with that much DPS and tank, and it can take its DPS with it if it has to run away.
  • Battle Cruiser: No question.  Minmatar/Hurricane.
  • Battleship: Another tough one.  I'm gonna go with Minmatar/Tempest, though, for its versatility.
  • Black Ops: Amarr/Redeemer, for the DPS.
  • Carrier: Gallente/Thanatos.  Though the Archon's abilities as a triage carrier are undeniable.
  • Command Ship: Minmatar/Sleipnir.  Claymore is also awesome, though the Amarr ones are also excellent.
  • Covert Ops: Caldari/Buzzard, again for versatility.
  • Cruiser: Not even a contest.  Minmatar/Rupture.
  • Destroyer: Same.  Minmatar/Thrasher.
  • Dreadnought: Right now, Gallente/Moros.  After the dread drone nerf, though, Amarr/Revelation.
  • EAF: Maybe a controversial choice, but I'm gonna go with Amarr/Sentinel.  Death in a tiny package.
  • Frigate: No question.  Minmatar/Rifter.
  • HAC: Another tough one.  Probably Amarr/Zealot, though the Vag and Ishtar are also quite good.
  • HIC: I personally like the Caldari/Onyx, though the Broadsword has a lot of fans.
  • Interceptor: My personal favorite is Gallente/Taranis, though there are LOTS of good ones.
  • Interdictor: Minmatar/Sabre, though all of them have their charms.
  • Logistics: Minmatar/Scimitar, though all of them except the Oneiros are fine ships.
  • Marauder: Amarr/Paladin.  Does everything a Marauder needs to do, and nothing it doesn't.  Though the Golem is also great.
  • Recon: Toughest choice, for me.  I love them all.  But I think I'll have to go with Caldari/Falcon.
  • Rookie Ship: Gallente/Velator, for the drone bay.
  • Stealth Bomber: The Caldari/Manticore is so versatile, it's hard to pick anything else.  But the Minmatar/Hound with its POS-bashing DPS is soooo tempting.
  • Strat Cruiser: Caldari/Tengu, again for versatility, which is what strat cruisers are supposed to be about.
  • Titan: For my money, the Gallente/Erebus, though the Avatar has a definite cachet.

And for the non-combatants with more than one race to choose from:
  • Capital Industrial: Caldari/Orca.
  • Freighter: Caldari/Charon.
  • Industrial: Gallente/Iteron Mark V.
  • Transports: Gallente/Viator.

Those are my choices.  Where did I fail?

EDIT (24/Oct/2011): Certainly failed by forgetting freighters.  Added my choice.  Almost chose the Provi for how nice it looks and its (relatively) quick align time, but at the end of the day, what is a freighter about?


  1. Battlecruiser personally is the Drake, its better than the Cane in pretty much every role except speed in the nano versions.

    And I think the Rifter is an arguable choice for best t1 frigate as both the merlin and tristan can be a handful if properly fitted.

    Cant argue with the Inty choice though at least for combat/anti inty role the Ranis is pretty damn awesome.

    AF is a toss up between Jag, Ishkur, Vengeance and Hawk in my mind. Last two mainly because they are what I fly but the having 3 mids (or more) changes the game completely in frigate combat and I think that is where the Enyo/Wolf fall down is they are just too easy to kite/control range on.

  2. Orca is not a Caldari design... it is done by Outer Ring Excatvations like the mining barges and Rorqual and Noctis.

  3. I disagree with your "not even a contest" assertion for the following classes; Battle cruiser (though you said no contest), Frigate (Punisher), Dessy (Catalyst anyone, I know suicide gankers like it!)

    Also HIC's, the Broadsword is so much >> Onyx, but I've seen the Onyx argument enough to reduce the Broadsword to just be > Onyx.

    Stealth Bomber, The purifier is a great solo ship, especially vs shield tankers.

    You forgot Motherships; def Nyx.

    and freighters (charon)

    And for carriers because of the current meta of eve the Archon (specifically because of its triage capability) is the best Carrier. Hardly dropped by carriers for their DPS after all.

  4. So much of this depends on pilot skill obviously, but all things being equal it would be hard to argue most of your selections.

    I am a huge fan of the Cane and I fly three main flavors on a regular basis, shield nano, arty and armor. I also fly three main flavors of Drake on a regular basis, podla, HAM and buffer HML. Any one of those three Drake flavors would win in a 1v1 versus any one of the three Cane flavors. So it would be hard for me not to pick the Drake as the best overall BC.

    Recon to me is the hardest to pick a "best" in, since recon ships are so specific. Falcon is certainly a good pick, although Curse or Rapier would also be good selections. If pinned to a wall I'd probably go Falcon as well.

  5. Where did you fail?

    -Frigates: Merlin/Punisher are monstrous, especially the Merlin. Take a look at my personal combat record vs Rifters while piloting merlins if you don't believe me. (also this is limited to T1, you forgot about faction)
    -Assault Ships: Enyo is by far not the best, too slow and no web limits its range control, which is not good with blasters.
    -Battleships: Abaddon/Maelstrom I personally find significantly superior to the Tempest, albeit less versatile.

  6. Hard to fail on personal choice.

    In your case scores are as follows.

    Joint First:
    Gallente & Minmatar with 8 ship classes each.
    3rd Caldari 6 classes
    4th Amarr only 4.

    Not sure I would have made all the same choices as you, but vast majority are as I would have them.

    Something that comes to mind though is horses for courses, as I would never take a Zealot out solo for example, but a Vaga I would take without hesitation. Personal flying style and knowledge of ships capabilities trumps most best in class mentality. For instance, Hurricane may be considered the best all round Battlecruiser by most, but if you need tank you know your going to go for a Drake, and if you need close range DPS, I'd pick up a Harby/Brutix.

    There are very very few ships that have just one ship that shines brighter then all the rest in their class.

    Small T1 Minmatar ships are debatably the strongest due to speed of Minmatar ships (Rifter, Thrasher, Rupture)

    Viator and Itteron V for what it does, it does better then all others.

    Missed Freighters where I would likely lay my money on the Charon/Rhea, although Obelisk is probably more popular due to indy pilots already having Gallente Indy V for the other two ships above.

    Also I thought ORE ships were Gallente based not Caldari.

    Which co-incidentally means you would favour Gallente as the strongest race over all on that list of your :D

  7. Part of the reason I chose the Cane and the Tempest over their rivals was the fact that they can do just about anything well. Both can be shield- or armor-tanked. Both are equally at home with short- or long-range weapons. Both are equally happy in nano-gangs or tanking heavily. Both are good at PvE or PvP. Hell, the Cane was arguably the best salvage boat in the game before the Noctis came along. ;-)

    Guess I'm a big fan of versatility in my ships. ;-)

  8. I suppose it depends if your main argument for "best" is on versatility or on the "role" of the ship in questions. Since a battlecruiser is supposed to be a hardier cruiser but a faster battleship I would also take the 'Cane over the Drake any day of the week (I fly both though). But the ease of use of the Drake as a damage platform also makes it a strong contender.

    When it comes to Recons I can't pull myself away from the Rapier. It's personal preference obviously since I'm usually soloing or running fleet support against smaller and faster prey.

  9. Autonomous MonsterOctober 24, 2011 at 9:19 AM

    >Guess I'm a big fan of versatility in my ships. ;-)

    I'm really not. One hull any purpose is bad for balance and it's bad for diversity. Though I'll grant you there's no fun to be had if you've got no room to experiment. There's a sweet spot in the middle somewhere, but if we can't find it I'd rather have the latter than the former.

    The moment you can seriously claim that a ship is best in its class without contest, that is the moment that ship needs to die.

    Enyo's an odd duck choice for AF. EFT numbers are nice, but I share others' concerns that they're inapplicable- the Ishkur's much more reliable. It can easily fit a prop mod and a web though, not sure what Szilardis is on about.

    Sorry if I'm a little bullish, heh, I've been up for about 29 hours. ;_;

  10. Recon? Arazu. Because if you see one it will hold you down with a solid tank and pop a covert cyno for a hot-drop. Can be shield or armor tanked. It won't be the DPS king on the kill, but you won't be warping away, so it will be on the kill.

  11. Most of these are good, but I have to seriously take issue with others.

    Assault ships: Ishkur > All

    Heavy Interdictors: The Broadsword is better than the Onyx for everything except DPS, and who brings a Hictor for DPS?

    Logistics: YOU BAD MOUTHED THE ONEIROS. In my world the Oneiros is the best of the 4. Decent speed, 4 large permareps and a MWD, plus a decent tank and tracking links? How is that the WORST?

    Covert Ops: Depends what you're doing. For speediness and usually what you want a covert ops for, Cheetah: super fast, and 3 high slots. If you want to be able to PVP in it, Helios does a bit better than the Buzzard.

    Marauders: If you know how to fit it, running missions in a Vargur is laughably easy. Though I do love the Paladin, in its role as a PVE ship nobody actually fits webs, wasting an inherent bonus. The Vargur just gets sick range + tracking bonuses, and with its shield tank it can be fit all out damage in the lows.

    Recons: I'd go with the Curse myself.

    Transports: This is where you've just gone off it in my book. The Prowler is arguably the best damn ship in the entire game, and is probably my favorite out of all the ones I've flown. And all I ever do is PVP! The Prowler just goes and shows everyone else down, as the only transport ship with a utility high slot for probing or salvaging while still having excellent cargo bay and the greatest speed and maneuverability of the four blockade runners, all in the same package.

    How you can consider the Viator to be better than that I have no idea.


  12. ^-- This is why you will never, EVER, see a "Worst of class" post on this blog. ;-)

    Why did I choose the other three logis over the Oneiros? Because they're better. They're better at what they do, with more tank and more capabilities.

    The Prowler was a close second for Transports, for the reason you state: the second high makes it a honey of a ship for moon probing. However, for some idiot reason the Viator aligns just as fast... and it holds a hell of a lot more. You don't use the extra high slot enough to make up the difference.

  13. For the CS, for any armor fleets we use Damnations. I think it's Vultures then Claymores for Shield fleets.

  14. I live in a wormhole, which means that, for me, the Prowler's extra high is far more useful than the Viator's capacity. (Cloak + probe launcher.).

    I can see why you listed the Iteron V as the best industrial, even though I completely disagree -- that honor must go to the Mammoth: can be cheaply fitted to hold an entire jetcan's worth of material, quickly refitted with 4 warp core stabs for gate running, tough, fast, and (best of all for me) two high slots, for both a cloak and probe launcher.

    Is the Iteron V better than Mammoth in every respect? Yes, except one: the Mammoth only requires Industrial 4; the Iteron V requires level 5. On a 'training time to benefit' scale, there is simply no better tech1 industrial than the Mammoth.

  15. So much of this list is personal preference and playing style but overall i would have to argue about two picks in particular:
    AF - ishkur or jag, hands down. Jag is a better pvp boat but ishkur is probably the second best pvp boat and best pve AF so overall winner in my book. Enyo is just not the best at either and therefor, not even worth the mention.
    Battlecruiser - I will agree that the cane is a pvp beast, but the drake i think is the absolute T1 Pve king for cost to performance. Having flown both i could see picking the cane but to not even mention the drake seems just wrong.

  16. I've fit the Prowler with a cloak and Sisters Launcher for combat probing (and hauling cap boosters, ammo) sooooo many times.

    Nobody ever expects it and it's always hilarious. One time I probed down a carrier and bumped it until tackle could arrive...just warping out before he locked me.

    Was hilarious. Prowler is the best transport ship all the way.

  17. The Prowler is by far and away the best transport ship, and I will tell you why... because of the utility high slot, you can fit whatever you damned well please. Need quick access to hi-sec? Scan yourself out a wormhole. Following along that pvp roam to salvage wrecks? That's a salvage hi-slot.

    utility high makes it the best in the game.

  18. Impel is the highest capacity deep space transport. Great for haulers servicing mining fleets.

    The Bestower is the best T1 industrial since you can fly one at level 1 and it's the best capacity until you get into the mammoth with Minmatar Industrial 4, and then the Iteron with Gallente Industrial 5.

    The Tengu is only the best strategic cruiser because it is overpowered. It would be better with only 5 launchers, or missing one of its missile bonuses.

  19. I'm LOLing at the guy who thinks the Onerios is the best Logistic. Try to get into any Incursion fleet with an Onerios and you're going to be laughed at so hard it will hurt you.

    Jester, I agree with most of your choices; I might note that there are indeed very few Gallente ships on this list, and for sub-capitals, there are no "out of the park" obvious Gallente ships.

    I hope the hybrid balancing changes will make some of the Gallente ships real contenders again.

  20. Onieros is the armor version of your favorite logistics. It can be flown almost exactly the same way as a scimitar. When the only armor Logi on the field it can even shield tank like a scimitar.

    It can permanent run four reps while having lots more ECCM then a guardian. If one gang brings falcon + two guardians and the other falcon + two onieros, the one with the onieros has the tactical edge for this reason alone.

    A single Onieros with two guardian buddies can provide either remote ECCM for the guardians or tracking links for several damage dealers.

    An Onieros has a fairly large cargo bay making cap booster + tracking links viable.

    Are most Onieros pilots using them to their full potential? No. However, that does not make it a bad ship. Just a couple years ago people would have laughed at the idea of drake fleets in PVP.

  21. @ Khalia..... Are you Blind?

    Theres as many Gallente ships on Jester's list as first choice as there are Minmatar, and more then the other 2 races.

    Some people seem to forget Gall ships even exist it seems :) Even though some of them are totally awesome by themselves. If I see an Arazu decloak on grid with me, unless it's at 0 (ie dumb pilot or passing through) I start choosing my pod saver tab!

    A lot of old school players were so upset when Gallente ship fell out of fashion, I hope they don't flip them totally on there heads again, that would be as bad as initial change.

  22. "Rookie Ship: Gallente/Velator, for the drone bay." Gave me a good chuckle..

    Had this same discussion with same friends recently and the velator was deemed to be the best noobship for the exact same reason =P

  23. The Oneiros is a bad ship, get over it.
    (Its not useless, but theres a good reason people prefer Guardians for Armor fleets)

  24. @Anonymous, go read Azul's summary of logistics. Simply stating something is "a bad ship" is an ignorant point of view.

  25. Nice post, would be nice to see an update once the AF re-balance (4th bonus) is released.

    But as a proud gallente I need to mention that Orca is NOT Caldari! It's ORE (Outer Ring Excavations) if you want to count it to a race use Gallente as the Invention is related to them ;-)


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