Monday, April 25, 2011

Artifacts of Inflation

It has been an interesting half year watching PvP fleet combat evolve in null sec from Drake Army fleets that banked on huge hit point buffer, guaranteed long range damage, and a bit of lag.

First we started to see Maelstrom shield alpha fleets that eliminated enemy targets with overwhelming first salvos. However the greatest weakness of the battleships is ships with small signatures and large transversal to make them hard to track, so afterburner-fitted armour-tanked HACs (aka AHACs) became the answer to the Maelstrom threat, a fleet which performed poorly against, you guessed it, Drakes.

But all is not static in PvP tactics and theorycrafting. Quickly pilots discovered that an Abaddon with Mega Pulse Laser IIs sported a huge armour tank and lots of tracking and DPS to rip up both Drakes and AHACs while still having decent range. They were christened Hellcats and their main weakness was enemy fleets at long range like Maelstroms, and the fact that they needed Tech II Large Pulse lasers to work properly (whereas Maelstroms work pretty good with Tech I mods).

Yet the battlefield continues to evolve. Hellcats are pretty good, but are still battleships with the agility of a lame horse and on top of that they are passive armour tanked making them very heavy beasts indeed. So recently Pandemic Legion introduced unleashed upon the unsuspecting universe a ship they call the Thundercat: Strategic Cruiser Tengus supported by Scimitar Logistics. I'll let Ripard Teg give the details but essentially it is like a smaller and more agile Drake with as much or more DPS and more effective hitpoints. Oh, and significantly more expensive but someone like Pandemic Legion can afford the tech III ships and deadspace modules. The downside of this fleet type is affording it and replacing them when they go down as insurance for the advanced ships is not like Tech I hulls.

Of course, all of these fleet types must bow down to the almighty Supercarrier fleet supported by Titans. This past weekend a battle in Venal was held and, well, I'll let Parasoja tell you:
Yesterday a station came out of reinforced in venal. We formed up about 700 guys and got in system first. When the station came out, hostiles jumped in 154 supercapitals.We can't compete with that, not even close.
Something needs to be done to give sub-cap fleets to ability to at least threaten super-cap fleets. Its time for the Deathstrike missile.


  1. Anonymous10:16 am

    I agree that SOMETHING must be done otherwise as we are now seeing it is SC online. :(

  2. The state of subcapital fleet pvp is /totally awesome/. Trouble is, it's also totally meaningless because supercapital blobs are invulnerable to subcapitals. The amount of color and variety which has developed in subcapital fleets over the last year makes me want to squee with joy, but then I get depressed instead because all that awesome doesn't accomplish anything.

    I would almost have to support removing supercapitals entirely. It's not exactly a credible position since I'm on the wrong end of that galaxy-crushing super fleet, but the state of the game would be much better if wars were decided by the subcapital fleets that have been developed in the last year and a half.

    (we'd get owned by PL in a fair fight, but could blob them when things got real ;p)

  3. Just want to point out that PL does NOT reimburse their tengu fleets, only if they are DD'd. Likewise with us in NCdawt. It should be interesting to see if reimbursements are given to these fleets or if they are flown less often should any ships in them, y'know, actually die ;)

    I'm still in the process of training for em myself on Lords atm, it'll be the last t3 to train...I can already fly the rest of em. So much for not training up lots of caldari t2 :S


  4. That supercapital "I Win" button just gets bigger and bigger.

  5. warhammer link =D

  6. Same situation happened in Vale of the Silent a few days ago. ZLZ station came out of reinforced in front of a ~200 SC fleet. It seems nothing significant can be achieved against such a force without another SC blob.