EVE Evolved: Fitting battleships for PvP in Odyssey, part 2

EVE Evolved Fitting battleships for PvP in Odyssey, part 2
Battleships used to be the backbone of every major PvP fleet in EVE Online, but recent years have seen them increasingly overtaken by more mobile Battlecruisers, Heavy Assault Cruisers, and tech 3 Strategic Cruisers. Armour buffered battleships are still used in carrier-supported fleets and for a while nullsec played host to huge missile-spamming Maelstrom blobs of unholy death, but many of the battleships just haven't been worth using. Developers saught to rectify that in the recent Odyssey expansion with a complete balance overhaul of the standard tech 1 battleships, and it's starting to pay off.

In last week's EVE Evolved, I looked at how Odyssey buffed the tier one Dominix, Scorpion, Typhoon, and Armageddon beyond all recognition and experimented with new PvP setups for each of them. This week I've turned my attention toward the tier 2 battleships, which turned out to be equally versatile and deadly. Now officially falling under the umbrella of "Combat Battleships," the Megathron, Raven, Apocalypse, and Tempest have become powerful damage-dealing platforms for fleet warfare. Each of them can now fulfill sniper or close-range damage roles and carry a spare flight of Warrior II drones to bat off tacklers, but what's impressed me the most is the sheer level of damage and tank they can achieve.

In this week's EVE Evolved, I experiment with setups for the recently revamped Megathron, Raven, Apocalypse, and Tempest tier 2 battleships. These setups may require Advanced Weapon Upgrades 4 and a cheap 1-3% powergrid or CPU implant.

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Gallente turret ships have always looked very powerful on paper but suffered from an inability to apply their damage effectively in a real combat situation. Blasters are effective only within a few kilometers, and most blaster ships just didn't have enough speed and agility to get in range quickly. The new Megathron compensates for those problems with absolutely ludicrous damage output. Be warned, if you get too close to the new Megathron, your ship will turn inside out.

The setup above deals 1,400 DPS on paper with Void L but has trouble dealing over 80% of that to anything smaller or faster than a webbed battleship. The tactics to use are the same as every other blaster ship: Use the microwarpdrive to close the gap to web and scramble range, and then switch off the microwarpdrive and try to remain about 7.5km from the enemy ship. If you find yourself missing a lot of shots and are in a fleet with other tacklers, swap a stasis web for a tracking computer with a tracking speed script. The tank has roughly 70% resists across the board and 144,000 effective hitpoints, making it effective in a logistics-supported armour fleet.

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The Raven is a favourite among mission-runners, but Odyssey has turned it into an immortal harbinger of death and destruction. If you think that's an exaggeration, remember that a close-range torpedo setup with a few target painters can now deal over 1,500 DPS. The setup above doesn't deal quite so much, but it's a great replacement for the popular cruise missile Maelstrom and can be flown solo or with a gang. It has more speed and can tank more damage than a standard Maelstrom and can project DPS up to the limit of your lock range.

This fit can tank around 1,173 DPS with a single overloaded shield booster and deals about 968 DPS with navy missiles in overloaded launchers. The trick to staying alive is to cycle the shield booster manually and activate only one booster unless you're about to go into armour. When the first booster runs out of cap charges, it will take 60 seconds to reload and you'll need the second booster ready and full of charges to fill that gap. Cram your cargo hold full of Navy Cap Booster 400s, as you can cram more of them into the shield booster than standard capacitor charges. They'll buy you a few extra boosts between reloads, which can make all the difference in PvP.

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The new Apocalypse gets a bonus to the tracking speed and optimal range of large energy turrets, making it equally adept with pulse and beam lasers. The beam setup above is designed to be a versatile part of the DPS backbone of a battleship fleet. It won't reliably hit anything smaller than a battlecruiser, but this fit has an interesting trick up its sleeve: At any time, it can instantly become a 150km sniping setup if you load the guns with Aurora L crystals and put a Targeting Range script in the sensor booster. At all other times, use Imperial Navy Multifrequency L and a Scan Resolution Script for a fast-locking fleet battleship that deals up to 830 DPS with an optimal range of around 40km.

Unfortunately, this fit doesn't perform very well against moving targets within 30km and has trouble tracking moving ships. If you don't anticipate ever needing to snipe at 150km, consider replacing the Mega Beam Laser IIs with Mega Pulse Laser IIs. Your optimal range will drop to about 25km with Imperial Navy Multifrequency L, but you'll track ships much better at that range than the beam fit would. Scorch L crystals can also extend your effective range out to a maximum of 60-75km, with better tracking in that range than the beam setup.

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While the Minmatar Typhoon has become a whirling vortex of death, the Tempest doesn't seem to know what it wants to be. It gets a bonus to large projectile turret damage and tracking speed but has six turret hardpoints and four launchers, it can either shield tank or armour tank amicably, and it gets an awkward-to-fill 75 Mbit of drone bandwidth. Most people are currently using a variation of the setup above, which can be flown as a solo brawler or as part of a small gang. It has around 130,000 effective hitpoints, can deal up to 862 DPS, and tracks moving targets extremely well within 20km.

The two energy neutralisers run comfortably off the Heavy Capacitor Booster II, quickly killing any frigate-sized tackler's capacitor or adding some capacitor pressure to battleship brawls. You can also squeeze a little more DPS out of it by replacing the five Hammerhead IIs with two Ogre IIs, two Hammerhead IIs, and one Hobgoblin II. Doing this sacrifices the flight of Warrior IIs, however, which can be useful in chasing off tackler frigates. The Tempest can alternatively fit a sniper setup using 1400mm Howitzer Artillery IIs and Cruise Missile Launcher IIs and can even be set up with an ancillary shield tank.


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The battleship revamp has been a long time coming, but it was well worth the wait. The tier one and two battleships had been taken over in power by the new battlecruisers and strategic cruisers, and it's great to finally see them back on top. What's very interesting to me is that each of these battleships has a distinctly different playstyle and fulfills a very different role, but they'd all be welcome in a fleet.

I get the feeling that the new Raven and Typhoon are overpowered as hell, but the ship I've had the most fun with since the update is hands-down the Dominix. That crazy jump-drive sniper neut setup I showed last week has proven oddly effective in battle; nobody in lowsec expects you to suddenly jump 100km away and snipe with sentries. The setups above and in part one of this article are by no means the only fits that work, and players are still theorycrafting and experimenting with alternatives every day. If you have a battleship setup that has proven effective in PvP, leave a comment and let everyone know!

Brendan "Nyphur" Drain is an early veteran of EVE Online and writer of the weekly EVE Evolved column here at Massively. The column covers anything and everything relating to EVE Online, from in-depth guides to speculative opinion pieces. If you have an idea for a column or guide, or you just want to message him, send an email to brendan@massively.com.

This article was originally published on Massively.