Friday, 10 June 2011

Malediction: a review

The Malediction is an odd ship, and ill suited for it's intended role. Unlike other fleet interceptors, the Malediction cannot actually target out to the limit of it's point range, which means that part of it's role bonus is  wasted with a T2 warp disruptor.

Equally, it's chosen weapon system, rockets, can't reach further than 15km, or 20km if you are prepared to rig exclusively for range. This means that, alone of the fleet interceptors, it cannot actually engage the enemy at the limit of it's (already curtailed) point range.

It's also rather strange that a ship designed to fly beyond the range of enemy guns would get a tanking bonus.

However, all of that suits me just fine; I like to get up close and personal and the Malediction's bonuses make it a pretty good ship for that job. It's almost as if some designer misfiled the Crusader and the Malediction - each would have been better at the other's role.

Unlike the Crusader, the Malediction can pack a web, which means it retains it's relative speed advantage when webbed. The tradeoff is that the Malediction has a lower base speed than the Crusader, but it is still "fast enough."

With cap independent weapons, the Malediction can also support an active tank better than the Crusader, and has a utility high for a nos. While still fairly fragile - it is an interceptor, after all - it can be surprisingly resilient if you keep your speed and transversal up.

Of course, I can't talk about the Malediction without talking about rockets. The pro's and con's of missiles over turrets are well known, and I won't rehash them here. However, I really enjoyed using rockets for another reason; time management.

When I open fire with turrets I need to be constantly checking to make sure that slight changes in range or tracking have not begun to undermine my damage. Checking this requires me to look at my combat log for several entries; because there is a random factor attached to turret hits any one result could be misleading, so that "miss" might not mean you can't hit, just that you were unlucky with that shot. The opposite is also true, and your "hit" might have been a fluke that will not be repeated at this range and angular velocity.

So every time I want to check my dps I have to spend several seconds focusing on the combat log, seconds I am not spending looking at my armor, cap, modules or opponent. And my dps needs to be checked regularly in a highly mobile fight.

Not so with rockets. A quick glance at the most recent entry will confirm that I am in range and hitting for full damage. If I'm not hitting, I won't see an entry. Simple.

I value this timesaving feature of missiles far more highly than the ability to choose damage, and it makes up for all the shortcomings (carrying ammunition, high reload time, lower damage, etc) because it allows me to actually focus on flying my ship and reacting to my opponent.

The advantages of using rockets, combined with the natuaral qualities of the ship, make the Malediction a hull that I very much enjoy flying. It's not without issues - the damage is pretty anemic (granted, my skills are far from maxed out) and it folds very quickly if it cannot rely on speed/transversal - but I've had suspect they are issues I could learn to live with.

Without having tried assault ships I can't be certain that it's what I want to fly full time, but I certainly see it being my go-to ship whenever I want to fly an interceptor.


  1. A couple of things I wanted to say in response to your post. First of all, as a tackling interceptor it doesn't matter that the Maledictions weapons range is limited. The point of guns on a tackle inty are basically just to defend itself against the inevitable swarm of Warrior IIs that will be coming its way. As you've said, though, when combined with the tanking bonus it actually makes a fairly capable combat inty too. The bonus to warp scrambler range is nice on a ship that can kite out to long range (for a frigate) thanks to rockets.

    The second thing I was going to say is that as you get to know your ships and their properties you will find that you can judge how well you're hitting much better from the overview than the combat logs. I find that just the pop-up notifications are more than enough for me to make piloting decisions. About the only time I look at the actual logs is to analyse a fight later on.

    Oh, the Malediction's lock range can be fixed with either a rig or a low slot mod if you're going for a full tackle fit. The Stiletto has similarly gimped range.

  2. As Wensley said, most of the tackle inties (in fact most inties full stop) have very short range. When flying them in a typical fleet inty role it's fairly normal to use either a sensor booster, targeting range rig, or something similar to boost that.

    In that kind of scenario, the rockets aren't really any more or less practical than the weapon systems of other fleet inties, which are equally unable to hit out to tackle range. They're mainly just used to engage drones, or in the malediction's case they can also serve the dual purpose of loading defenders when tackling a missile ship.

    That said, I was never really a fan of the malediction as a fleet inty. I actually think its applications as a close range pseudo-combat inty are much more interesting.

  3. When I had a stiletto, I do remember having longer point range than targeting range. Since I had 4 midslots, I slapped on a sensor booster as my midslot utility, since the other 3 slots were taken by an MSE II, MWD, and disruptor II. For that long point configuration, I could barely fit 125 mm II's, and the DPS output was rather pitiful, so I resigned it to being pure tackle. The Claw on the other hand had no point range bonus, but it has 4 low slots for brawling close range with 4 guns, or for keeping maximum speed on a long point, or something in between. I'd still greatly prefer a dual prop Jaguar to a Claw or Stiletto though to be honest, it's tankier and does more damage while still being fairly fast.