As I mentioned in my last post, I want to start flying T2 frigates. Flying the Punisher for so long, however, has made me realise that some ships are just better fits to a particular pilot than others. If I'm going to fly another ship as heavily as I flew the Punisher, and actually work on getting all the relevant skills to maximum, I want it to be the ship that I enjoy flying the most.
Accordingly, I'm going to take a little tour of the T2 frigates available or of interest to me. I'm going to try and arrange this "tour" in a way that makes the transition from one ship to another as easy as possible.
The Tour Schedule:
Crusader: Starting with the Crusader makes sense because it relies heavily on the skills I have already invested in with the Punisher. I can just focus on getting my interceptor skill up to a reasonable level and fly it fairly well.
Malediction: With my interceptor skill already trained up, I can then focus on actually building some missile skills. I expect a bit of a slow-down here as it will probably take me a month or so of training to make this work.
Vengeance: As I should already have the missile skills at this point, I can simply work on my assault ship skills and any other support skills that are still weak.
Hawk: My first racial cross-train! With assault ships and missile skills already trained, I can simply train to Caldari Frigates V and hop into the Hawk, Of course, my shield skills could use some work.
Purifier: This does not really build on any of the above, but being able to fly a bomber seems fairly important.
When I first came up with this concept I thought I would dedicate a particular number of hulls to each ship - say four hulls each. However, as I have actually started to fly them, I have realised that my goal is not a certain number of hulls, but to get a feel for each ship. If I lose a ship quickly, I may want more hulls so that I still have time to become familiar with the ship. Equally, if I find I dislike a ship, I don't want to have to slog through more hulls than I care to.
This is not about becoming expert in each ship, but about deciding which ship I want to become expert in.
I may also modify or end the tour early if I find that I fall in love with a particular ship. This is especially true if the remaining ships require heavy training. Falling in love with the Crusader will almost certainly mean I don't move on to the rocket ships (although I might bring in a Slicer or another turret based ship), and falling in love with the Vengeance might mean that the Hawk gets a miss.
Theme of the Tour:
I know that I like to fly within certain parameters:
- I like to pack a decent tank. More importantly, I want that tank to regenerate in some way. On long roams, often without stations nearby, I don't want to have to avoid fights just because I need to repair my tank. I also don't want to avoid larger targets just because I do not have the endurance to weather low grade but persistent damage.
- I prefer to fly with a speed of between 1-2km/s. Too much faster than that and I simply become uncomfortable with the reaction time required to properly pilot a ship in combat.
- I like mid-range weapon systems - I have no interest in kiting at extreme ranges but I equally dislike being forced to work up close under all circumstances. As both rockets and lasers offer decent range, I do not see this last point being problematic. It would exclude most hybrid boats, however.
Why not cruisers?
I have been surprised by the sheer number of people that have commented or emailed me recently asking or encouraging me to do a cruiser plan.
While this was unexpected, I can certainly see why the interest is there. Although I love frigates, most pilots dream of something a little beefier, and a cruiser plan would be particularly relevant to new pvpers with aspirations in that direction.
However, I don't see myself running cruisers at this time, largely because the T1 Amarr cruisers do not inspire me. The Omen is unable to balance tank with gank, the Arbitrator - while an excellent ship - simply does not enthuse me (possibly because I associate it with my mission running days), and the Maller, probably the best fit for me, is primarily a bait ship.
If I were to do a cruiser plan I would have to take a serious look at the Caldari cruisers, which seem more interesting. But that means I would be starting from scratch with my weapon and tanking skills!
So for now, cruisers are out. I want to be virtually maxed out in the T2 frigate of my choice before I start down the cruiser road. It will happen, just not right now.
As my reader's probably know by now, I really like goal setting, so here are some goals to keep me busy.
In the short term, I want 25 kills on the Molden Heath campaign, which finishes at the end of June. I can't say that I'm loving Molden Heath, but I like finishing the things I start, so I'll stick it out. I'm not too proud include shuttles and the like - Molden
In the medium term, I'd like to make piracy sustainable. That means ransoms, or winning fights against lucrative opponents. I have a little bit of a buffer, but buying and losing T2 ships will use that up before too long.
In the long term, I want to get into the Battle Clinic top 10k pilots, and I want to win one of the Tusker's solo kill of the month competitions.
I expect that the T2 Tour is going to be rough. I'll constantly be flying ships that I'm not really skilled for, that have different capabilities than I am used to, in a place that I don't feel is conducive to soloing. My efficiency is going to nosedive as I start losing ships that are worth three or more times what I am used to flying. I'm going to make mistakes, and it's going to cost me.
On the plus side, however, I'll also have a much better understanding of how different classes of frigate fly, and I will (hopefully) also have found an "endgame" ship that I can really focus on skill building for.