EVE Online used to be arranged in tiers that determined the cost and power of the ship and what level of the appropriate skill was required to fly it. This gave a sense of progression back in 2004 when all we had was frigates, cruisers, and battleships, but developers have since filled in the gaps between ship classes with destroyers, battlecruisers, strategic cruisers, and tech 2 ships of all shapes and sizes. In a recent game design initiative, CCP has been removing the tiers from within each tech 1 ship class by buffing the lower-tier ships up to the same rough power level as the largest ship in its class.
The recent Odyssey expansion saw the humble battleship buffed beyond all recognition. The Megathron, Raven, Tempest, and Apocalypse all became extreme damage-dealing powerhouses, but the Dominix, Scorpion, Typhoon, and Armageddon were buffed the most. Each of them can now fit several monster setups, dealing upward of 1,000 damage per second or completely disabling enemy ships with energy neutralisers and electronic warfare. The build costs of these tier one battleships were more than doubled in the expansion, but prices are only slowly rising due to the existing stock on the market. That makes the tier one battleships incredibly cost-effective PvP powerhouses at the moment, and players are beginning to take advantage of it.
In this week's EVE Evolved, I experiment with PvP setups for the newly revamped Typhoon, Armageddon, Scorpion, and Dominix battleships.
Before Odyssey, the Typhoon was a fast and powerful little ship that required a lot of skills to fly well. The new Typhoon is an actual tropical storm that will wreck everything in its path; it's capable of dealing over 1,400 DPS with an overloaded rack of launchers full of Rage torpedoes. Due to the low explosion velocity and high explosion radius of Rage torpedoes, you'll realistically be able to deal that level of damage only to webbed battlecruisers, battleships, capital ships, and structures. The Typhoon does now get a bonus to the explosion velocity of cruise missiles and torpedoes, and the Large Warhead Rigor Catalyst I on the setup above helps reduce torpedo explosion radius significantly.
The target painters will light up anything cruiser-sized and above like a Christmas tree, increasing damage dealt to smaller targets from both your torpedoes and drones. Switching to Caldari Navy torpedoes will drop your maximum DPS to just under 1,250 but you'll deal a greater percentage of that to smaller ships like cruisers. Javelin torpedoes will travel to the target faster and reach up to 30km, but the drop in damage just isn't worth it.
The Armageddon used to be a close-range damage-dealer, but its role conflicted with the Apocalypse and Abaddon. Odyssey has rebranded it as a drone boat with a specialisation in energy neutralisation, like a cross between the Gallente Dominix and the Bhaalgorn. The setup above deals 700 DPS thanks to the ship's new drone bonus and the recently buffed Drone Damage Amplifier II. You can double that damage output by dropping some tank for heat sinks and adding Mega Pulse Laser IIs and a few launchers, but the new Armageddon is much more useful as an energy neutraliser platform.
Thanks to the Egress rigs, you can run all seven heavy neutralisers on one heavy capacitor injector for several minutes or six of them flat-out until your capacitor charges run out. Together, they can empty a battlecruiser's capacitor in a single shot, suck a battleship dry in 24 seconds, and even disable capital ships with a sustained assault. The neutralisers can also be used to disable warp disruption by tacklers, take turret ships out of the fight, and knock out speed-fit ships' microwarpdrives from 37.8km away.
The Dominix has always been my favourite battleship, and Odyssey has buffed it significantly with an extra low slot and additional fitting stats. The old setups like the shield-buffered neutralising Dominix and dual-repairer armoured ship still work, but recently I've been experimenting with a new strategy using the Large Micro Jump Drive module and sentry drones. The setup above is designed to be used in lowsec and nullsec PvP gangs as an anti-frigate and anti-cruiser sniper. The Bouncer IIs can be commanded to attack targets up to 138km away and will deal up to 650 DPS against small targets at that distance.
After a short charge-up period, the Micro Jump Drive will instantly teleport your ship 100km forward in the direction it's currently facing. If you find yourself in the thick of battle, you can use the energy neutralisers to cap out any ships warp scrambling you and then jump out to sniping distance. If you have an accurate fix on your target's location, you could alternatively warp to him at 100km to drop drones and then jump to point blank range to engage with the energy neutralisers. If you plan to be engaging at point-blank range, the sensor booster can be replaced with a warp disruptor or target painter.
The Scorpion's role hasn't changed in Odyssey, but it now has more fittings and stats to work with and is a perfect example of a ship that should use the Micro Jump Drive. Rather than cause you to lag behind your group and warp into the battle at 100km, the setup above allows you to travel with the main fleet and simply activate the jump drive to get to ECM distance when the fleet engages an enemy. The standard operating procedure for any ECM pilot still applies: stay aligned to a nearby celestial or bookmark and warp as soon as you come under fire from snipers or spy any tacklers heading your way.
The Micro Jump Drive gives you the alternative option of jumping to a new location 100km away if the module is off cooldown, giving you a little more time on the field. The best part is that jumping won't cause you to lose your target locks, so your jam cycles will be unaffected as long as you aim the jump correctly so that you don't go out of range. Bookmarking any locations you jump to will also create impromptu warp-in points to help you get back into the battle after warping out.
The Cruise Missile Launcher II and 425mm Railgun IIs are not really necessary, but the new Scorpion has plenty of powergrid and CPU to work with and every bit of damage helps. The ECCM module or one of the jammers could also be replaced with an ECM Burst II to help you escape from tacklers while jammed, as the Scorpion now gets a bonus extending the Burst's range out to over 20km. But ECM bursts don't stop a target from re-locking, and ECM drones can be made to similarly react to tacklers by launching them and setting them to aggressive.
boosted the tier one battleships to insane levels, with the Typhoon now able to pump out over 1,400 DPS and the Armageddon transformed into a miniature Bhaalgorn. The humble Scorpion hasn't been buffed much but has learned some new tricks with the Micro Jump Drive and may prove to be the only ship on which an ECM Burst is actually useful. The new Dominix has even become a nullsec fleet favourite, with sniper sentry setups proving incredibly effective against cruiser fleets.
It's only been a few weeks since Odyssey launched, so the setups above are all still highly experimental. If you have any ideas for alternative setups or have tried similar fittings in combat, leave a comment and let us 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 email@example.com.
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