The design of the Osprey Navy Issue seems simple enough, The Developers took the popular Caldari Navy Hookbill as a base, being a kinetic locked ship, but trades that for 5 mid-slots which is very powerful for a Frigate, and being 300m/s faster than a Kestrel and almost 900m/s faster than a Hawk assuming base speeds with a 1mn MWD fitted. The Caldari Navy Hookbill is one of the strongest Frigates right now. And the Navy Osprey clearly takes inspiration from the Caldari Navy Hookbill by having identical bonuses and a high amount of mid-slots for a Tech I Cruiser.
Lets take a closer look at the relevant stats for the Navy Osprey, and compare this to a Caracal, The Caracal and Osprey and 2 ships which are very similar in intended role, they are both fast attack missile ships.
Osprey Navy Issue
5H (4L) / 6M / 4L (10m3 of drones and bandwidth)
5% to EM, Thermal, Explosive Missile Damage per level
10% to Kinetic Missile Damage per level
10% to Missile Velocity Per level
787.5 PG / 562.5 CPU
3188 Shield / 2250 Armor / 2625 Structure
2141m/s (6s Align)
5H (5L) / 5m / 4L (10m3 of drones and bandwidth)
5% to Missile Launcher Rate of Fire
10% to Missile Velocity per level
787.5 PG / 537.5 CPU
2125 Shield / 1500 Armor / 1750 Structure
1881m/s (7.4 Align)
So what does the Navy Osprey get over the Caracal? Well it gets a utility high, 6th mid, 50% more base hitpoints, and is about 15% more agile and faster than the Caracal, it essentially is a Caracal with a free nanofiber internal structure fitted, not mentioned is the approximately 10% better sensor stats it has over the Caracal (Scan res/ECCM strength/lock range +2 max locked targets).
On the negative side, the Osprey Navy Issue does less DPS than a Caracal even while using kinetic, The Caracal has 6.66 effective launchers (5 x 1.33), while the Navy Osprey only has 6 with Kinetic, and 5 with universal. One small advantage that the N.Osprey has is that direct damage bonuses are slightly better for RLMLs because it increases damage per clip, this is one of the many reasons why the Orthrus is the most powerful ships in the game in that not only does it have 10 effective launchers which is only outmatched by a Tengu using Kinetic, but it has 10 effective RLML “Clips” enabling it to do 44k damage (factoring in drones) before having to reload, which is enough to kill p. much every buffer fit non fleet-fit max EHP Cruiser in the game aside from Mallers. But the N.Osprey only offer 20% more Clip damage than the Caracal at the expense of doing 11%~ less DPS. Because of the RLML mechanic and long reloads, and RLML ships being anti-support role, you need to be reliable, and being kinetic locked is a bad thing for the role, The Caracal doesn’t face this issue, if your Anti-Support ship is an Osprey Navy Issue and the enemy gang has Enyos, Harpys, Hawks, Flycatchers (And probably Jackdaws/Hecates soon) you are going to wish he was in a Caracal instead.
One thing I also want to point out with the Navy Osprey is that it has identical powergrid to the Caracal. Even the most consuming medium missile launcher (Heavy Assault Launcher II) only takes up 101.7 grid with max skills, more likely a RLML which takes up 69.3 PG. So having to fit 1 less launcher is not much of an advantage and it’s really hard to utilize the 6th mid for an extra Extender, or the utility high as a Cruiser Sized module such as a Medium Energy Neutraliser without additional fitting mods. The reality is that you need a PG rig to fit a Medium Energy Neutraliser on the RLML N.Osprey, otherwise you’ll have to fit a small instead. The N.Osprey only has 25 more CPU than the Caracal too with max skills, remember the 6th mid we talked about? The 25 CPU means that it’s hard to translate this 6th mid to an additional defensive module like Adaptive Invulnerability Field or a Shield Extender, or more demanding Ewar modules like Tracking Disruptor, Sensor Damps or ECM (r/rarefits) on more demanding fits.
Another problem that the N.Osprey faces is competition from other faction missile ships. The Caracal Navy Issue does 60%! more damage than the N.Osprey universally, and 33% more when comparing Kinetic, the Caracal Navy issue doesn’t get a utility high, the 6th mid, or a velocity bonus, but it does have better PG, almost the same speed, and an application bonus which makes it way more suited for using Heavy Assault Missiles over the N.Osprey. Even if you were comparing 2 webs from N.Osprey vs the 1 web from a Caracal Navy Issue in brawling Ham fits, the CNI has better application (on top of more raw damage 60%/33%) Check this out http://crossingzebras.com/medium-missiles-and-you/. If you’re going into web range in N.Osprey you lose the Missile Velocity bonus anyway, which p. much just leaves the N.Osprey with the fact that it has a utility high that it can’t really utilize well, especially if it was fitting Hams, the end result is that while the Caracal Navy Issue does have some problems of it’s own in it being a fairly shallow ship, it outperforms the CNI completely in a brawling scram range HAM role . To make matters worse, the Caracal Navy Issue sort of is an attack cruiser in it’s own right, being faster than the Caracal, the ONI is only about 5% faster and more agile than the CNI.
The Scythe Fleet Issue is another, very good missile/projectile split ship. It is very popular in the RLML missile role too, while the SFI doesn’t get a Velocity bonus like the N.Osprey does, it is almost 20% faster, (altho it does have less agility than the N.Osprey), it is not kinetic locked with the same bonus (6 Effective Launchers), and also has a much bigger drone bay, on top of that, the Scythe Fleet Issue actually has 130 more PG over the N.Osprey, which means while the N.Osprey struggles to fit a Medium Energy Neutraliser, the Scythe Fleet Issue can easily afford one, and it makes fits with some more demanding modules like XLASB fits with RLMLs actually possible and reasonable. The lack of the SFIs Velocity bonus can easily be made up for by not fitting the rigs that the N.Osprey needs, and fitting missile velocity rigs instead if it wants a medium neut in high. Another Advantage the SFI has is the 5th low is a bit more versatile in practice than the Osprey Navy Issues 6th mid, allowing for more speed with a nano, or more fittings. The SFI also has several other viable fits which are more brawling orientated with Autocannons.
The Selectable damage type, and bigger drone bay for damage during reload cycles makes the Scythe Fleet Issue a more valuable asset as an Anti-Support ship to roaming gangs.
One thing that’s p. hilarious is that the Gila has identical Kinetic Effective Launchers (With Thermal option too!) to the Navy Osprey while also having 6 mids, and 600 DPS in drones on top of that and way more EHP, the same utility high and better fittings.
The Orthrus … Well, The Orthrus is not only faster, not only does more than twice the universal DPS because of 5 vs 10 effective launchers AND drones, it also has the disruption range bonus, more fittings, more EHP. The Orthrus is the most powerful ship in the game right now, with having so much defensive options in speed/EHP/bonused range defensive scram/range, while doing Blaster Cruiser DPS with RLMLs which applies perfectly to it’s entire lock range. The Navy Osprey and Orthrus are Night/Day apart.
I think the Navy Osprey feels really out of place at the moment because Caldari effectively have 2 Attack Cruisers. Both of which are different but I feel like the Caldari Navy Caracal fulfills a niche role (Brawling orientated) while the Osprey Navy Issue just feels like a bad alternative to a Caracal in a lot of situations (Kinetic Locked, and out damaged by the Caracal even while shooting Kinetic). I honestly think that the Osprey Navy Issue would be better if just retained the Hookbills Frigate bonuses (20% to kinetic / 10% to EM/Thermal/Kinetic). This would leave it with 8 Effective Launchers KINETIC LOCKED (Bare in mind the Orthrus has 10 universal, and the Cerberus has 10 Kinetic). I don’t think having more damage would obsolete the Caracal Navy Issue because it has an application bonus and universal damage type selection. This would also mean that the Caracal would out damage the Osprey Navy Issue when not using Kinetic, but the Osprey Navy Issue would have more damage while using Kinetic damage. A similar relationship to the Caldari Navy Hookbill (6 KELs, 4.5 UELs) and the Kestrel (5 UELs)
If I was going to redesign the Navy Osprey, based on the fact that the Osprey Navy Issue is struggling to find space and Caldari already has an Attack Faction Cruiser, I would probably make it into a Navy Augoror Inspired Moa.
High: 4 (3 Turrets)
25% Bonus to Medium Hybrid Damage per level
4% to Shield Resistances per level.
One thing that is really interesting is that there are no Medium Hybrid ships in the game right now with any utility high slots. So the Navy Osprey based on this redesign would have a very cool thing going for it. Moa is a ship which a lot of new players use on Fleet Ops, so having a navy alternative would actually be a great stepping stone for them when aiming to upgrade their Moa into an Eagle or Tengu. Moas are also great in small gangs with their resistance bonus and high damage output. Utility High would allow for a lot more solo options too, medium/small energy neutraliser to counter small fast frigates that can attempt to go under it’s guns, a nosferatu module to maintain cap while under neutraliser pressure on non injected shield extender fits, or Probe Launchers for PVE oriented fits.
TL;DR The Navy Osprey just doesn’t do enough damage despite self limiting itself with a Kinetic only damage bonus, there are better faction options available, There are better cancer options available (Orthrus).