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I focus almost exclusively on PvP, whether solo, small gang, or large bloc warfare. In the past, I've been a miner, mission runner, and faction warfare jockey. I'm particularly interested in helping high-sec players get into 0.0 combat.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

First Thoughts on the Rapier Changes

The Proteus expansion – CCP, please stop with the ship/expansion same name thing – brought about some big changes to my beloved ship, the Rapier.  (Oh, and some other ships got some changes, too.)  Naturally, the first thing I did when I logged in was to refit my ship.

My mainstay Rapier used to be a dual-web autocannon version with five drones.  When fighting larger ships, I’d typically stay at range until I managed to kill all his drones, then move in slightly to ping him at range.  It was slow work, but it was successful.  But it really shined against smaller ships.

There were always problems with that fit.  With autocannons, my optimal range was spitting distance, and dps always suffered from falloff calculations.  Even switching to artillery only got me a few more dps in the grand scheme of things.

With Proteus, the Rapier’s weapons changed to missile launchers.  So, with EFT not quite updated yet, I plugged a few HAMs and Ballistic Control Systems in and took it out for a spin.

While the 8 dps increase from switching to the HAMs doesn’t seem that impressive, the more important change is that you can apply all of it out to 14.7 km.  Previously, that range was my optimal + falloff with autocannons and Hail.  So I can apply all of that dps out to slightly beyond overheated web range for an average ship.  And I can shoot well beyond that with a 10-second reload to javelin missiles.

That's a surprisingly big deal.  While the Rapier is the master of holding an enemy down at range, to do dps, it now needs to commit to the fight and come within point range.  Sure, the Rapier can still escape so long as it remains beyond 13 km (and can’t be overheated-webbed), but it takes a little time to burn 15 km (typical overheated point range)… long enough for a hotdrop to kill it.

This change creates a sense of risk that I think is quite fair.  A Rapier can now decloak and web at range in a support role, or it can serve as a solo boat by committing to a much closer range to apply a reasonable 409 dps while dictating range completely.

Will that mean I'll never lose a Rapier again?  Of course not.  An intrepid bait can let me kill his drones and feign de-aggression to lure me in, only to light a cyno on me.  But it does create two distinct roles for the same fit of the same ship, albeit requiring you to make a relatively definitive choice.

Do you stay at range, or get in close?  How much are you willing to commit to the fight?

For that reason, I really like this change.  No longer can I simply swap out to Barrage ammo and whittle down an enemy without having to make a choice.

And that's some good game design.

4 comments:

  1. The Rapier is a great ship now, the tweaks have opened up several new fitting options.

    I'm just finishing off a Curse post but will be moving on to the Rapier over the weekend. Check out the post then to see what we've come up with for a fleet/small gang surprise :)

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  2. I look forward to it. I love both Curses and Rapiers.

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  3. Hello! I am fiddling with a Rapier fit but I simply cannot get past 336dps (including light drones dps), using Caldari Navy HAMs (All 5 skills using PYFA). What's your trick? Are you simply using Rage HAMs instead of caldari navy or am I doing something wrong?
    Care to share your new fit?
    Thanks and cheers!

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  4. I always fly with T2 rage missiles; they make a huge difference. Typically Mjolnir or Inferno to take advantage of shield holes (but have Nova for armor tanks...).

    Also, fly with 3 Medium drones and 2 light drones to use that full 40 mb bandwidth. That helps out with the DPS too.

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