Chapter II - Effective Ships For Newb Pirating
Please keep in mind that this list is intended for the newb pirating target audience. While I think it is awesome that your 150 million ISK nano'd Ishtar "pwnz nubz!!!1" it is not something that a poor newb is going to find easy to train or very cost efficient to fly. The following list details ships that are:
(1) Good for solo or a small gang.
(2) Are very cost efficient (they are cheap, they are insurable and/or they don't die often... this is why Assault Frigates are NOT included).
(3) They are not too skill intensive and can be trained and moderately effective within days or weeks.
One additional note: I really only have experience flying Gallente ships and fighting against a lot of Minmitar and some Caldari ships. To try and fill in the gaps, I brought in a fellow Python Cartel pilot to write some of the ship descriptions. Thanks Kerblamo!
The bottom of the barrel. Frigates are relatively weak compared to every other ship type. The upside is that they are extremely cheap, insurable, fast, easy to train for and they are FUN! A well equipped and piloted frigate can easily destroy other frigates, some cruisers, mining barges, industrial ships and probably even bigger targets depending on what other newbs you manage to run into. I would recommend that any new pirate start with a trusty frigate and fly it for at least a month or more while training skills and learning how to live as a pirate.
i. Rifter (Minmitar)
The undisputed king of T1 frigs and where a majority of new pirates start. Has lots of room for fittings and the grid/cpu to actually use all the slots. Relatively fast and strong. A better PvP option than a lot of T1 cruisers.
ii. Incursus (Gallente)
Personifies Gallente blaster ships perfectly. Charge in, lock them up at close range, turn on the blasters and then scream hysterically at no one in particular until one of your ships blows up. Can put out great DPS thanks to three small blasters, up to a 25% ship bonus to blaster damage and a drone. Has difficulty fitting much of a tank thanks to only two low slots and mediocre Powergrid/CPU. I flew this one a lot.
iii. Kestrel (Caldari)
(Kerblamo): Kestrels may be reasonable in frigate vs frigate fights, but they are severely hampered vs anything else because of their massive powergrid problems. You actually need Advanced weapon upgrades FOUR to fit just 3 out of a possible 4 missile launchers and a MWD, a fourth launchers is impossible without powergrid mods. Speaking of powergrid mods, here's a tip kids - always put a Micro Auxillary Power Core on a kestrel. If you opt for rockets, just fit a decent buffer tank, if missiles you'll need a cap booster to permarun the MWD. The damage will never be amazing either way though.
iv. Punisher (Amarr)
(Kerblamo): I really like this ship. Sure, its as fast as a brick but it tanks like nothing else. I'm unsure whether this is still viable after the nos nerf, but if you fit with a repper tank and small autocannons (Yes, autocannons) you can outlast people's capacitor and then destroy them at your leisure. Your damage is pretty pathetic though.
The next step up from frigates. Cruisers are where you really begin to experience the ability to tank some significant damage and to deal out some significant pain. Cruiser class ships have more slots and a larger variety of effective fits as compared to frigates. The downside is that training cruisers and cruiser sized modules takes longer, they are slower than a frigate and they are considerably more expensive to purchase and fit. That being said, they are still relatively cheap and you get back a good chunk of your money via insurance.
i. Vexor (Gallente)
An awesome ship. Cheap to purchase and fit, gets lots of damage bonuses and is not too skill intensive. Intended to be the Gallente cruiser sized drone carrier. Can be fit in a multitude of ways whether it is:
(1) All out DPS.
My favorite T1 cruiser.
ii. Thorax (Gallente)
A very, very popular combat cruiser. Similar in some ways to the Vexor but with slightly better stats and a MWD bonus instead of a drone damage bonus. It is a very effective ship when fit with medium ECM drones as it is a traditional balls-to-the-wall Gallente blaster ship.
iii. Rupture (Minmitar)
Another very popular PvP cruiser and probably the one I fear the most. Has the ability to fit a good tank, can fit a full flight of small drones and can do damage across a range of distances thanks to the good falloff of projectile autocannons.
iv. Stabber (Minmitar)
The complete opposite of the Rupture. Built around speed and usually ranged combat. Gets a speed bonus from the Minmitar Cruiser skill. A bit more skill intensive than the Rupture but can be very dangerous when flown properly.
v. Caracal (Caldari)
(Kerblamo): Urgh, this is only listed because there is really no alternative caldari cruiser. Low damage, low speed, low cap and low powergrid make it a pain to fit. It can work well if you have a pet tackler and can devote your mids to something else though. Skye seems to like it though, ask him for input cause I hate the thing.
vi. Moa (Caldari)
(Kerblamo): Not much to say about this one. It tanks like a bastard but has crappy damage. If you rightly hate the caracal and only have caldari cruiser then you may as well fly this - its about as bad.
vii. Blackbird (Caldari)
(Kerblamo): Fly this and your gang will love you. Solo though dont even bother. If you can keep people jammed when in gangs then your gang will win. Ignore everything but ECM faggery - 6x ECM jammers (Try to mix racial jammers in with multispectrals) and at least one signiture distortion amplifier in the low, if not two. You dont even need to bother with guns or launchers for this ship if powergrid or CPU is an issue. Personally I go for 3x heavy launchers, 6x jammers, 1x 800mm plate and 1x sig distortion amp but some people may not be able to fit all that.
viii. Arbitrator (Amarr)
Very similiar to the Vexor. Does not get the same gun bonuses but instead gets a Tracking disruptor bonus. Gets one more mid slot and one less high slot which lends it to "nano'ing" a bit better as you can fit a shield extender or another toy in the 4th mid.
C . Interceptors
The only Tech II ships I have included in this list. The reason I stuck to Tech I in most situations is because they are considerably cheaper when factoring in both purchase price and return on insurance. Inti's make the cut because they are extremely slippery and when flown properly you can make back the 15-25 million ISK you spent on them before they are destroyed.
i. Taranis (Gallente)
My favoritest ship in the world. When fit with blasters it is as close to a super frigate as you can get (i'd rather fly it than any assault frigate). Not fast for an interceptor but very fast compared to your everyday frig or cruiser. Very impressive damage out of a frigate as it can fit three hybrid guns, gets a 50% bonus from the Gallente Frigate skill, gets a tracking bonus and can fit two light drones on top of it all. Works awesome with blasters and decently with rails.
ii. Claw (Minmitar)
(Kerblamo): Most claws fly a lot like a crow - orbit at 20km and pelt with weapons. 4 lows make it nice for speed but you generally need one for a cap power relay. Tracking is a major issue with this ship as is reloading; you only get 10 shots/clip with EMP S
iii. Crow (Caldari)
Piddly DPS when fit with either rockets or missiles. I once killed a T2 fit rocket crow with my Incursus and laughed my ass off. It does however excel at flying fast well out of web range while keeping targets scrammed and plinking away with never-miss missiles. Most other interceptors have to worry about tracking while flying with the MWD on where-as the Crow does NOT. A lot of people will tell you that this is the best interceptor in the game (although I may politely disagree).
iv. Crusader (Amarr)
A great compromise to the Crow and Taranis. Can deal good dps while flying just out of web range. Has longer and shorter range varieties as well and is very fast, if not the fastest interceptor while still being combat capable. Has to worry about tracking due to using laser turrets and can run out of cap quickly but is still a very deadly ship.
Additional Notes on Ships:
- Rule #1 of flying in low security: Assume your ship is already dead the instant you undock it. Do not ever fly what you cannot afford or do not expect to lose.
- Ships are tools. A tool is usually designed and most effective for a specific purpose. Last time I tried drilling a hole in a wall using a jackhammer, it didn't turn out quite how I intended. I personally keep a variety of cruisers and frigates in my hangar with a variety of fittings so that I can bring whatever best fits the gang or the situation. As detailed in some of my past experiences, you may need to dock up once or twice in the middle of an encounter in order to figure out the right ship for the job.
- Always insure your ships for the maximum allowed amount. It is free money. You WILL lose it within three months if you pirate and engage in combat even just occasionally.
Tomorrow: Chapter III - Skill Training For A Newb Pirate.
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