Wednesday, 15 June 2011
Fitting a Vengeance
My last post generated a number of very interesting comments, so I thought I would elaborate on the thought process behind my fit, and why I chose it over some of the other excellent fits out there.
Active v Buffer
As Azual points out, the Vengeance is capable of an enormous passive tank. I have not done the EFT work myself, but I can believe 20k+ is possible; my active fit is over 10k.
However, a buffer means plates and armor rigs. The Vengeance is already a slow ship - a very slow ship - and slowing it down even further does not appeal to me. Equally, if I'm going to be kited then I would like to be able to endure the damage until they get bored or my backup arrives. A buffer tank cannot do that the way an active tank can.
If the Vengeance had sufficient range to eliminate the problem of kiting, then the reduced speed would not be much of a problem; it's already too slow to effectively give chase to anything. But because of the range limitations on rockets, I'm just not comfortable with a passive fit.
Single rep v Dual rep (or Web v Booster)
A single rep fit can afford to devote a midslot to ewar, whereas a dual rep fit needs a cap booster. For short, intense fights the dual rep fit is obviously superior. Whereas my single rep fit can tank the gate guns long enough to gank a cyno ship, the dual rep fit can kill the ship, get the pod and loot the wreck without even breaking a sweat.
This fit also overcomes one of a frigates biggest weaknesses: neuts. With a cap boosting fit the repper and point can be maintained for a significant period, which makes fighting large ships with neuts much more feasible. My single rep fit devotes one rig slot to a capacitor control circuit in part so that I can try and keep my modules (sans repper) running under a neut. That's rig slot that is not going towards my tank or dps.
However, as with the buffer fit, the dual rep fit is not as sustainable as the single rep fit, which is cap stable with reasonable skills. And while faster than the buffer fit, it's still slower than many of the ships you are likely to fight. Without a web, many of those ships will simply disengage when they realise that they can't break your tank.
And, for rocket ships, webs do more than simply keep the enemy around; they also improve your dps by reducing your target's speed. This effect is noticeable (albeit less significant) even against large ships, as I discovered first hand in my Rifter & Malediction v Drake fight. So although the dual rep fit gets an extra damage rig, it is losing some part of its potential dps to its target's increased speed.
Dual prop fits
One fit I have not experimented with is the dual prop fit. It would have all the disadvantages of the single rep fit (smaller active tank) and the dual rep fit (trouble keeping ships in point range, losing dps to target speed), and cap would be even more of an issue (because of the mwd).
However, it is also probably immune to kiting. Rockets can hit anything in scram range, and a mwd means that even if you cannot catch the ship kiting you, the chances are you are still fast enough to burn out of disruptor range with a few sharp turns.
Anti-thermic pump v other rigs
This is an issue that I've thought a lot about. Plugging the thermal resist hole is something that greatly improves the EFT tank on any type of Vengeance. In reality, though, many fights will not involve thermal damage, and in those fights the rig is wasted. Is it better to rig for something else, such as dps, which is useful in all fights? Assuming a non-armor rig, you would even see a slight speed boost.
Right now, I'm happy closing the resist hole, but I can see strong arguments for rigging something else as well.
I completely agree that the Vengeance, and any other assault ship, is worth fitting out properly. Such robust base stats make assault ships fairly forgiving platforms, which is exactly what you want if you are going to spend several million on a single mod.
However, I'm not going to go down that road unless my skills are pretty close to maxed out. Deadspace mods get better with improved skills, and I'm not prepared to risk that kind of money on a single ship unless I know I can fly it to its full potential.