Friday, 20 May 2011

The T2 Tour

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.
This means that I will be fitting and evaluating each of the ships on the Tour through the lens of my preferences. Feel free to comment on my fits, but don't expect me to suddenly start flying differently.

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.

My goals:

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.

My expectations:

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.


  1. "the Maller, probably the best fit for me, is primarily a bait ship." You can actually do a pretty awesome nano-maller if you fit autocannons and a shield buffer :p

  2. Good luck to you, and try to keep an open mind about ships and fits. At worst you might realise that you do not like it. At best you might be thankful to yourself for trying it out now and liking it.

  3. Ah but fitting a nano-maller would mean doing exactly what he doesn't want to spend time doing: learning new weapon systems and new tank systems.

    Something to consider is skipping cruisers entirely. I won't claim to have any experience flying Amarr cruisers, but I've not heard many good things about them. For the Harbinger all you need in cruisers in level 3. I'm told that the Nano-Harbinger is pretty to on par with the Hurricane for destructive power and EHP. I suspect this is a ways down the road for you however.

    Something I want to point out: If you do cross train Caldari frigates, this puts you in a good position to try flying the Succubus at least once if you're able to afford it. It could be fun, and worthy of its own section should it survive enough battles under your direction.

    Enjoy your T2 tour!

  4. Taurean, I wish you luck on this endeavor. You have inspired me to write a blog of my own in a tad bit different format to just give me an outlet. You can find me at Hope to eventually fly with you in the Tuskers!