Talons of Doom: A Re-Imagined Blaster Eagle

In the canon of Tolkien, Eagles represent a higher power; magnificent, ethereal and god-like creatures that swoop down when all hope seems lost to save our heroes. In the world of Eve Online however, no Eagle has ever saved anyone, anywhere, from anything, ever.

To preface, I’ve never flow an Eagle before, although I’m fairly confident that 95% of New Eden is on the same page as me. Actually now that I think of it, I’ve never sat in a Moa before either, although I’ve at least PyFA theory-crafted ridiculous fits with that one.

I’m a huge fan of Cruisers though, and being that they’re my favorite class of ship to fly in the game, it saddens me when you come across an unfortunate birth defect of what should be a mighty t2 Cruiser hull like our friend the Eagle here. I think probably the main reason I’ve never even attempted to go near one, is due to its long-reaching and damning reputation for utterly sucking. Yet, buoyed by Kirith Kodachi’s contest to breathe a little love into the much-maligned Caldari HAC (its amazing what a little hint of shiny-prizes can do for your motivation), I decided to take a look at this ugly duckling of the Cruiser world; quickly now, to the PyFA-mobile!

First thoughts:
Sweet mother of God is this ship terrible. Reputations do in fact have a way of being totally and completely accurate at times and the Eagle fully lives up to its own. Originally conceived as a super long-range rail platform, the Eagle fails spectacularly at its intended job, and that was even before the addition of the new tier 3 BCs made it beyond obsolete.

[Eagle, Awful]
Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Void M
Medium Nosferatu II

10MN MicroWarpdrive II
Invulnerability Field II
Photon Scattering Field II
Warp Scrambler II
Large Shield Booster II

Power Diagnostic System II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Damage Control II

Medium Ancillary Current Router II
Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I

Stats at all level 5 (w/o overheating or fleet boosts)
26.3k EHP, boosting 381 hp/s
81.9/90.8/86.2/77 shield resists
1345 m/s
522 DPS

What I’ve done is turned this joke of a sniper boat into an up-close and personal, active-tanked brawler (my style), and I’ve gotta say, I’m kind of pleased with it. As pointed out elsewhere already, the Gallente HACs are going to (and rightfully) remain the undisputed kings of the blasters. But seeing as fielding any sort of sniper-rail setup is a punchline on this poor ship, they’re the only way to go. That said, it need some serious stat re-designing.

First things first: this thing need some fitting love. My active burst-tank theorized-version requires a t2 medium ancilliary current router, a PDS II and a hilarious ‘Squire’ PG8 implant to BARELY fit, which is ridiculous. Any ship that relies this heavily on basic fitting modules and rigs that isn’t being flown by Garmon is a joke. Even a buffer tank version of 2 hardeners + a LSE  requires a t1 medium ancilliary rig at least to fit, a rig slot that could and should be better used by a damage or shield resist rig.

The second thing the Eagle needs is a speed boost. Even if you drop both magstabs (gimping your damage output to an sad 355 DPS) in favor of nano-ing this thing up, you still only get it to 1603 m/s, which means a Vaga will still laughingly out-kite it, and a Tornado will do the same, only while alpha-ing it into Eagle-shaped shrapnel.

What I’d also propose is re-thinking the awful bonuses the Eagle has as it stands. Keep the Caldari Cruiser skill bonus of the 5% shield resist per level, but drop the ridiculous 10% optimal range bonus in favor of a tracking bonus to encourage the brawler blaster fit. Additionally, keep the HAC ship 5% bonus to medium hybrid damage per level, but loose the SECOND ridiculous optimal range bonus in favor of something that will make people actually inclined to fly this thing: I say give it a bonus to point range.

Even a small boost of say 5% per level would put the Eagle on par with something like the Lachesis or the Arazu in terms of tackle range, giving it a set niche as a go-to heavy tackler. Even if you dropped my somewhat silly burst tank idea in favor of a more standard buffer, you’d get what essentially amounts to a mini-drake that point you at 40km and fits blasters.

Lets recap the changes:

-Better CPU and PG
-Faster base speed
-Dropping silly optimal bonuses in favor a Caldari Cruiser hybrid tracking speed bonus and a Heavy Assault Cruiser point-range
bonus.

The result could look something like this:

[Eagle, Suck Less]
Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Void M
Medium Nosferatu II

10MN MicroWarpdrive II
Invulnerability Field II
Photon Scattering Field II
Warp Disruptor II
Large Shield Extender II

Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Damage Control II

Medium Anti-Explosive Screen Reinforcer I
Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I

Probable stats at all level 5 (w/o overheating or fleet boosts)
49.5 EHP
81.9/90.8/86.2/83 shield resists
2200 m/s (I’m ok with a Vaga being slightly faster, but give the Eagle a fighting chance to close range)
587 DPS
40km t2 disruptor range

One thing I’ve noticed quite a lot in other people’s ideas on the Eagle revamp is the addition of a drone bay. You’ll notice I’ve left that out, and I’m ok with that. Yes, being able to field some anti-drone Warriors or Hornet EC-300s would be nice, but I think given the proposed bonus additions to this ship, they push it into the OP range of things.

Now as far as physical re-design goes, I think the Eagle needs one thing: wings. Yes, wings; I’m a gigantic fan of the Ferox and the Nighthawk platforms, and that Bat-wing style of wing formation, would take the Eagle from absurd looking junker to bad-ass night-stalker in no time. Eagles are majestic, soaring birds of prey, and the current design makes them look more like a turkey buzzard or a plucked chicken than anything mean and menacing:

I know, I know; who knew I had such artistic skills. Eat your heart out Javix.

See, NOW it looks like something worthy of holding the Eagle moniker; strong, tough looking wings, a sleeker body, and what look like talons (of doom).

The idea here isn’t to make some new crazy overpowered HAC of doom, but to haul it up by its bootstraps in order to make it something worth flying. With its better fitting, faster speed, brawler blaster tracking, and bonus to point range, the Eagle fills a niche that really no other ship quite does; and who knows, it might just be able to swoop in and save you the next time you’re in trouble.

o7,

-Aiden

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~ by Aiden Mourn on December 16, 2011.

One Response to “Talons of Doom: A Re-Imagined Blaster Eagle”

  1. [...] Place Winner – 1 x Pirate Battleship (list) aidenmourn of the Finders & Keepers [...]

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