The Top 5 Most Oppressive things in the solo/small gang meta right now
- The Svipul. This ship has greatly shaped the meta in numerous ways, the first way is that it has made a lot of Cruisers or above either redundant or need to have the possibility of dealing with one. With a small amount of pimping, on the dual extender AC fit (T2 CDFE x3, RF MSE x2) a Svipul is capable of 26k EHP in defense mode, while dishing out 370 DPS cold, and passively regenerating almost 90 EHP/s, on top of that, it has a very low signature radius and high base speed, meaning that it can usually mitigate a lot of cruiser grade weapon DPS. the 90 EHP/s means that a flight of light or medium drones which normally is a good enough defence against lighter classes is permatanked, shrugged off, or easily killed with the Svipuls frigate gun tracking, kiting cruisers have to deal with a ship which goes almost 3.9km/s while still having <18k EHP in propulsion mode, which is usually something you just can’t afford to be on-grid with.
It’s not just Cruisers and above that have suffered miserably at the hands of the Svipul either, while the Dual Neut AC Extender fit might be a huge menace for bigger craft, luckily Frigates have the agility to avoid it, it still is very oppressive and often forces Frigate sized ships to have to clear the field in it’s presence, as it’s essentially a cruiser in terms of EHP and DPS stats while having Frigate Tracking and Speed.
However, Frigates have to deal with Instalocking Arty Svipuls which have an Alpha Strike of 2.25k, capable of one-shotting almost every non-buffer frigate in the game, while also being able to fight 1 to 1 with even brawling pirate frigates and Assault Frigates, With just a single sensor booster in sharpshooter mode, the Svipul achieves a Scan Resolution of 1.5k cold. thanks to the huge base speed of speed mode and the defensive web it’s impossible to ever go under it’s guns, It also brags about having 6k EHP in sharpshooter/propulsion mode, or 8k in Defensive, which might not seem like much, but the 450 DPS with heat easily brings its EHP/DPS ratio above Brawling AFs like the Enyo. Not only that, but any frigates that come close to being able to challenge it are significantly slower than it.
In comparison, a ‘fast locking thrasher’ cannot fit a MWD with 7 NAMED 280mm arty fitted without fitting help, it’s also much slower, despite having the 50% tracking bonus “always on” the lower base speed and no web (unless you drop a sensor booster or the prop, and you probably want no prop 2 sensor booster anyway to match the svipuls scan resolution), means that frigates can actually kill at 0km if they can weather the initial volley and possibly a second glancing shot, The Thrasher is also much more likely to be caught since it can’t instawarp and likely doesn’t have a prop-mode either, so it can’t chase frigates that survive the volley, or, it is at least 1.1km/s slower than the Svipul cold if it makes the sacrifices (2 PG rigs + -1 mid, for prop). The Svipul can also instawarp doing the mode swap trick, and has frigate speed/agility so catching one is incredibly difficult.
The Svipul has killed off most slower brawling frigates in the meta, and the only ones still left are buffer tanked frigates that can out-run it on the entry gate, that now have to carry mobile depots to repair at every gate they jump into one at.
Because of this, the Svipul is the #1 most oppressive ship in the meta.
- Rapid Light Missile Launchers. Rapid Lights are a Cruiser Grade Weapon, which does High Anti-Support Cruiser DPS while having very light fitting requirements, and Frigate Grade Application, while having Mid Range and beyond Projection. This is counter-acted by having a longer than usual reload time of 35s and 20 charges, however, they do so much raw damage before this reload actually takes place that they are incredibly oppressive, and not just to Frigates like you might think, but to Cruisers too.
Enter the Rapid Light Caracal, now a staple amongst junior FCs and home defence doctrines (Note, I don’t think that the Caracal itself is oppressive, just the RLML weapon system)
With 63km Optimal Range (With optional improvements with missile guidance modules or rigs). 370 DPS cold with CN Missiles, Good Speed, A Staggering 35.2K EHP while having a decent resistance profile for any possible logi. It’s pretty obvious to see why a Caracal is a “Sorry, you’re going to have leave the grid m8” for any Light Craft on the field. However, Despite what you might think, It’s not Frigates that the Caracal oppresses the most. It’s other Attack Cruisers. Why? The Raw Damage that it deals before reloading.
Caracal with CN Missiles deals 825 Damage Per Volley, For a Total of 825 x 20 = 16.5K Damage before reloading. It also has 2 Acolytes, that during this period will attack a total of 10 times (50~ / 5) which deal 139 x 10 = 1,39k Damage. For a Grand Total of 17.89k Damage before it reloads.
Caracal with Fury Missiles deals 1008 Damage Per Volley, For a Total of 1008 x 20 = 20.16k Damage. Including the Acolytes, which deal 1.39k Damage during this period. That’s 21.55k Damage before the Caracal Reloads it’s weapons. The 444 DPS (COLD) is also very significant and can punch through a lot of active tanked cruisers, many of which cannot actually catch the Caracal.
So a Cruiser needs Essentially 22k+ EHP to survive a RLML Reload, + Residual Acolyte damage while it’s reloading~.
Using an Attack Cruiser as an Example
DC Only: 10k EHP
DC + 1LSE II: 15.2k EHP
DC + 1LSE II + 3 CDFEs: 19.5k EHP
DC + 2LSE II: 20.3k EHP
DC + 2LSE II+1CDFE: 22.3k EHP
DC + 800mm II: 15.3k EHP
DC + 800mm II + 3 Trimark: 19.5k EHP
DC + 1600mm II: 20.5k EHP
DC + 1600mm II + Trimark: 22.5k EHP
DC + 800mm II + EANM + 3 Trimark: 23.6k EHP
DC + 1600mm II + EANM: 24.9k EHP
Here one can see the sacrifices that an Attack Cruiser must make in order to survive the Caracal’s Fury Reload which is almost impossible (barring links) to mitigate DPS from. However, this isn’t the end all.
The Attack Cruiser still needs to effectively deal with Frigates/Ships that it’s hunting. It also needs to be able to kill the Caracal which has an EHP of 35.2k (Cold) or 37.9k With the Invul Field heated before it can actually reload.
The Caracal fires all it’s charges in 49.2 seconds (Assuming it didn’t heat). It then reloads over 35 seconds. During this period the Acolytes strike an additional 7 times doing roughly 973 damage or almost 1k extra. This means that a Cruiser needs to kill a Caracal in 84.2 seconds before it can reload (and probably kill them with an additional 22k damage)
Cold Invul to kill in 84.2 Seconds = 35,200 / 84.2 = 418 DPS
Heated Invul to kill in 84.2 Seconds = 37,900 / 84.2 = 450 DPS
(This is of course ignoring the 50 EHP/s peak regeneration on the Caracal)
This is OFC assuming the fight takes place at 0km and the Caracal is very capable of kiting out ships.
This requires every viable cruiser in the meta to be able to Achieve at least 420 DPS with 22k EHP Minimum, with probably expecting more, while also being viable at defending itself against a Svipul and other Frigates, while also being able to actually catch the Caracal. This is the reason why the Stabber and the Omen have disappeared to the depths, and to a lesser extent, the Thorax. To actually meet these minimums they are so gimped in applying anything that they are food for any Frigate or T3D that catches them. So it rotates back on to the same point, if you can’t meet these requirements while not being gimped, you might as well fly the RLML Caracal instead, it also doesn’t suffer from capacitor issues like the Omen and Thorax, and doesn’t have any issues with dealing with Frigates.
I want to make it clear once more, I don’t think the Caracal is an oppressive ship, It’s Rapid Lights which are the problem. it’s just the best example.
Want to know something disgusting?
A HAM CARACAL WITH FACTION HAMS LOADED ALMOST DIES TO A RLML CARACAL AT 0KM. NOT EVEN JOKING LOL
This Ham Caracal can survive the Reload with Heated Invul, but with only 395 DPS cold, it comes very dangerously close to not being able to break the 420 DPS/22k EHP ratio needed to actually kill the Caracal, the Ham Caracal will actually win with very low Structure HP. With Rage HAMs it’s a lot closer but you run the danger of not being able to fully apply to other ships that may be present. And this is all assuming the fight starts at 0km
The reason for this is the fitting difference between the RLMLs and HAMs and the fact that HAMs require a web to apply fully.
So while, a HAM Caracal might (Very Barely) be able to achieve a victory against a RLML Caracal, you have to ask yourself, Is it worth fitting HAMs instead of RLMLs for a minor brawling benefit, and the conclusion to that is often… no. RLMLs just have so much more benefits vs almost every other ship type, and give you more kiting freedom.
Rapid Lights just have so much more freedom in both application (No need for a web/TP/Guidance mod or Rigs unlike HAMs/HMLs), but also in superior fitting room.
Just in case you didn’t know, a HML Caracal dies to a RLML Caracal. lmao.
- The Orthrus. Now we’ve talked about how oppressive Rapid Lights are, and while I believe the Caracal (And Other RLML Ships) are mostly fine, it’s just the weapon system is overpowered… This ship definitely is overpowered. An Orthrus essentially means that everything smaller than a Pirate Faction Cruiser has to leave the grid, It’s faster than almost everything that can actually win an exchange with it at 0km, and it has a potentially a 20.3km Defensive Scram unlinked. (or 16.2km if you’re t2 fitting it). It also has 5x small drones and a utility high that it can easily fit, thanks to the obsurd amount of PG that it has.
Here is a basic T2 Fit to keep things reasonable, the Orthrus is probably one of the ships that scales with pimp the most in the entire game though.
Want to know a joke? The Orthrus (Up until the Parallax patch) Had the same Grid as the Drake Navy Issue, A BATTLECRUISER which had to fit 3x more launchers than it. The Orthrus has so much fitting room, which is further compounded by the fact that it fits Rapid Light Missile Launchers which we have of course, touched upon.
The Orthrus has every defensive skirmish bonus in the game
Medium Neut – Check
Heavily Bonused RLML – Check
2.3km/s speed without mods – Check
25m3 Drones – Check
Bonused Defensive Scram – Check
This Ship kills a Cynabal at 0km. While having way more anti-frigate defense and a defensive scram.
You might think that all Mordus Legion ships have these bonuses, but The Garmur will at least die to a T1 Frigate at 0km if it gets caught by one. The Orthrus is more than capable of killing pretty much every reasonably fit buffer fit cruiser in the game at 0km, and most Navy Cruisers at 0km too (If it’s stupid enough to be there in the first place). Its fast enough and has the scram to run from anything which can actually out-trade it. Garmur will die to a well flown slicer, Orthrus obliterates the Omen Navy Issue with ease.
The Orthrus with CN Missiles deals 1445 x 20 = 28.9k Damage before reloading. This is Over a period of 65 seconds~ assuming the Orthrus doesn’t heat. During this Period, the 5x Acolytes strike a total of 13 times. Dealing 347 x 13 = 4.511k Damage. For a Total of 33.4k Damage. This is 526 DPS total (assuming no heat) which is no easy task to tank even with dual rep [The Orthrus has the Medium Neut applying pressure too even if a dual rep ship catches it at 0km].
The Orthrus with Fury Missiles deals 1764 x 20 = 35,280 Damage before reloading. Adding on our Acolyte Damage of 4,511 damage over this period, The Orthrus deals a Grand Total of 39,791 Damage before it needs to reload. This is 624 Damage Unheated, which again, assumes you caught the Orthrus at 0km, and can sustain it’s medium neut worth of pressure which is not irrelevant, the 2.1k volley is also able to pierce through most pure active tank ships buffer.
The Orthrus goes into reload after 65.6 seconds (Assuming it didn’t heat) and during the reloading period of 35s The Acolytes Strike an additional 7 times for roughly an extra 2,429 Damage. Bringing the total of damage up to 42,220 Damage. For a Ship to kill an Orthrus they need to tank 42,220 damage and deal 400DPS~ to kill it before it reloads, which again, is out of reach of most ships below the Pirate Cruiser tier. and This is all assuming you catch a ship which shouldn’t be at 0km in the first place. Anything which can achieve this is usually much slower than it, causing the Orthrus to make a piloting error the only way it can lose in a 1v1 scenario.
Because of it’s high speed, high range, high point range, The Orthrus makes almost any fight with it on-grid within the 150km range of it not being able to just warp to whatever you’re killing almost impossible for anything below pirate cruiser. Because of that, it’s #3 on my list, it’s not as high as the Svipul because it doesn’t oppress roaming in a Frigate, and Frigate options as much as the Svipul does.
4) Remote Sensor Boosters / “Instalocking”: I really dislike these modules, the basic premise behind them seems to be fine, they’re a targetable sensor booster thats slightly stronger than the local sensor booster module, Just like all ‘remote’ modules, designed to improve some aspects of group play. However, Scan Resolution Remote Sensor Boosters are normally used on completely throw-away ships in camps, and unlike other remote modules, which rely on the other ship being alive during the period to be useful (And this is balanced through needing lock, and failure cascade when remote-pair ships die or forced off grid for example) You only need the Scan Resolution for the first second of the fight to instantly lock a ship. I think Strategic Cruisers and Pirate Cruisers like a Vigilant locking an Interceptor if it’s not a taxi before it can take any actions as terrible. There is no counter-play or no appropriate ships being brought. I have no issue with being instalocked by a Stiletto which has fitted appropriately to catch an Interceptor, and then dying to his friends later, would even gladly trade interdiction nullification for it. RSBs allow you to instantly lock a ship below your class without having to make the fitting sacrifices required to do so. I’d like to see scan resolution strength of RSBs nerfed (You can nerf Scan Resolution damps too if this is going to be an issue for damps etc.) At least with local sensor boosters it means a ship doesn’t have all the tank/utility options it otherwise would with RSBs on it, actually making it vulnerable.
At least you would have a small window to fight the very vulnerable interceptor or escape before his friends attack you, this would make a big difference for solo/small gang roaming especially in areas of space like Deklein which are plagued with groups who only do this to respond to solo frigates looking for PvP in the region.
5) Links: I’ve droned on about these for a long time now (Check the 10,000+ words I’ve written about them on this blog), but links are definitely mega oppressive and usually mean you can’t pvp in the same system as someone who has them if you don’t your own. They certainly belong on this list. And probably would be higher up if you’re a lowsec PvPer instead of a nullsec PvPer like me.