February 7, 2013

Looking a Gift Horse in the Mouth

So EveHermit had a contest on his blog on naming his new alliance and offered some shiny prizes as well.  My his generosity and the good graces of luck I've gotten a choice of prizes.  As I've been pulled away from my blog for a bit I thought it was only fair to go through this in public, as it isn't an easy choice.  To get it right out in front, I've already heard you say "take the most expensive one" - it just doesn't seem like that much fun.  I have considered that a friend of mine might like one of these, and that some of these might have value for their parts for me.  Okay, let's move on.

The choices are (quoting EveHermit)
. A Faction Fit Hi Sec Exploration Buzzard (Covert Ops) (Value ~120M)
. Or a Faction Fit PVE Retribution (Assault Frigate) (Value ~102M)
. Or a T2 Fitted PVE Osprey Navy Issue (Cruiser) (Value ~73M)

Until now my main (Jakob) has only flown Gallente ships.  I've done the tiericide Battlecruiser skilling, so I technically can fly Caldari and Amarr ships.  And I know enough to recognize that those are Caldari and Amarr ships... but that's about it.  My only trained weapon system - hybrid turrets.  I've also just recently gotten into enjoying High Sec Exploration, having used that as my PVE of choice after the double Megathron loss.

So let's go through these:

The Buzzard:
The Buzzard is the Caldari CovOps boat.  Coincidentally enough I just completed the skill prerequisites necessary to inject the CovOps skill last night.  Given how I've been enjoying exploration lately I already planned to run this up to IV or V pretty much right away.  My first thought is that even though my missile skills are lacking, there isn't a lot of need for that to be a successful high-sec explorer.  My current Imicus has almost never fired its railgun, letting its drones kill the... wait? what's that you say? The Buzzard has no drone bay?  Ah, well.  I guess I'd need the missiles then.

Skills required for this choice:
* For T2 Light Missile Spec 3: 8d 12h
* Frigate Launcher Control Standard certificate: 10d 14h
* For Caldari Frigate V: 6d 17h
(I'm not counting the CovOps because I'm going to run that anyway)

So the skill cost is pretty high but... I do also want to get into a Stealth Bomber sometime this year.  That's going to take some base missile skills, though I see not terribly overlapping with the certificate above.  So a small discount there.

Skill Costs: Medium.  Most of a month in a direct a bit skew to my plans.
Cool Factor: High.  Having such a ship could be a nice motivator to cross-train.  Plus I'd likely name the ship in tribute to EveHermit, which makes me smile since this was won from a naming content.
Practical Factor: High.  "Faction Fit Hi Sec Exploration" says so right there on the wrapper, and that's what I've been doing lately.
Sum of its Parts: Medium.  Aside from the weapon system, I'm guessing that all of the fittings would work perfectly well on a Helios too, should I shy away from the alien missile tech.

The Retribution:
The Retribution is an Amarr Assault Frigate built on the Punisher frame.  I've flown the Punisher on an alt, though that alt is not really combat focused.  It is a pretty ship and I'm coming to appreciate that as I play more Eve.  I see the Retribution doesn't have the armor resists bonuses, instead focusing on the lasers all day every day (optimal, damage, and capacitor use).  I would probably use it to clear exploration sites that were too hot for my CovOps to handle, though since I'm mostly kicking around Gallente space right now the laser damage only half-matches the Serpentis rats.  On the other hand, maybe it's a good time to explore a bit farther afield towards Amarr.  Learning laser skills wasn't something I planned to do for a few months, but my armor skills are already strong from running Gallente.

Skills required for this choice:
* For T2 pulse or beam lasers to Spec 3: 4d 11h
* For Amarr Frigate V: 6d 17h

Skill Costs: Low, in line with what I wanted to do this year (if not this quarter).
Cool Factor: High.  Nice looking ship, good motivation to move turf.
Practical Factor: Medium.  It's a backup ship to the exploration approach.  If I decided to train up my industrial alt to do security missions for the standings then an AF might be a good way to do it too.
Sum of its Parts: High.  Any faction non-weapon systems would apply to my Gallente stuff and if for some reason the weapons are faction rather than T2 then they could also work on a variety of Amarr light ships if for some reason I didn't want them on this Retribution.

The Osprey Navy Issue:
The Osprey Navy Issue is a Caldari Cruiser with bonuses to medium missile system.  I can take this one off the list pretty much right away.  To fly such a ship I'd want good Caldari Cruiser skills and the medium-size missile skills.  Now, by the way I say "medium missile skills" you can probably guess that I don't have a clue what I'm talking about there.  I picked up some light missile and rocket skills when I first started (since at the time the Tristan was a split-system ship) but once I realized that missiles and turrets and separate core skills I decided to focus on turrets.  So I'm sure it's a great ship, but it's not for me.

Skill Costs: High, and not in line with my plans for this year.
Cool Factor: Low.  Caldari cruiser, meh
Practical Factor: Low. Don't have an immediate use for it.
Sum of its Parts: Low.  Some might be applicable, but it's still just T2.

Wrap it up!
Again, I'd like to thank EveHermit.  I'll send him an Evemail with my final decision next time I log in, but the Buzzard seems like the best choice.  Even without training Caldari/Missile stuff I can probably use elements of the fit in my current ship right away.  I'm also just plain curious what EveHermit has considered to be a good HiSec explorer.  The Retribution is really tempting too, but it would be more of a toy.  The Buzzard will be both a new toy and a new tool - and a new challenge!

Think I made the wrong choice?  Let me know what you think.


  1. Its what I was thinking king fro. Your exploration training. And as you said you get to use your prize and that's fun.

  2. Your buzzard is waiting for you on contract. I hope it serves you well.

    Interesting seeing your thought process. The Buzzard does not have any weapons on it - I use it to search and open things, and the retribution to clear combat sites. You can of course refit to do whatever you want with it.

    You might be a while off being able to fly the current fit - for a start it requires Covert Ops V. The modules however will happily work on other frigates. Sounds like you will have fun exploring the options anyway.

    1. Oooh, I wasn't aware of any module/ship that required CovOps V. Now I'm very curious.

      Ah, I can see just ignoring the site rats in HiSec, but I thought that some of the cans could only be opened once the rats had been destroyed? I would have sworn I'd gotten that message once before when running a Magno site. Shows I have a lot left to learn about exploration.

    2. Covert Ops V was more of a fitting requirement - I am pretty sure there is not enough CPU left at rank IV.

      There are sites which do not require any NPC rats to be cleared - I use the Buzzard on those. I bring in the Retribution with the required opening module on the others.

      I just have the different sites noted in a spreadsheet. You have to make the right decision on which ship to use as the non-combat/mining sites can despawn after you visit and then leave them.

    3. My buddy figured it must be tight enough for the cloaking device bonus to matter. Though it did make me wonder that if you're in HighSec why do you need a top-end cloak (or any cloak)? LoSec or NullSec of course would be different...

    4. Allows you to go AFK safely, gives you more of an option to jump through wormholes to check what is on the other side, hides your ship hull from other people scanning in the same system. (If they see you in a Covert Ops, they would guess a combat site is clear. If they can't see your hull, they might move on to the next system.) (And so on.)

    5. I have a lot to learn. Thank you.