Sunday, 5 October 2008

Hardware Report: Caldari Navy Raven

This wonderful piece of hardware has become my standard way of killing Angels on behalf of the Republic Fleet. Whilst it seems a little strange having a Caldari ship working on behalf of the Minmatar Republic, it does expose my former allegiance before I finally saw the light and moved away from my capitalistic friends and family to join the Minmatar way of life. Since then, I have trained up towards piloting all sorts of ships, both from my Caldari background, my new Minmatar brothers, and their allies the Gallente. I have yet to train any Amarr ships, and at the moment have no interest in them, however their combat prowess can't be ignored, and I may eventually move onto looking into some black market trading with enemies of the Republic to acquire some ships as time goes on.

However, the focus of this report is on the Raven Navy Issue, or more commonly known as the Caldari Navy Raven or CNR. Quite simply the Raven was once the ultimate in missile spewing death machines, and whilst the newly commissioned Golem Marauder can now take that crown, the Raven is the only ship in the reach of many pilots. The CNR is a version that had been souped up by the Caldari Navy specialist engineers to produce at much more deadly killing machine in the process. Improved numbers of weapon points, and improved shielding both compliment the ship to make it much better at the job it's intended to do - fire missiles with the best efficiency at the hulls of enemy ships.

The Navy Raven is usually only available to pilots who fly for the Caldari Navy, but some will quite simply sell their rewards to the highest bidder, and that is how I came to own one of these magnificent beasts. After a very slow 50 jump round trip from Jita and back, I took my newest addition to the arsenal, called Starbird's Triumph in memory of my faithful original Raven, Starbird which was sadly no longer required after the upgrade.

After reviewing options to fit the ship, 2 choices were available:

1) Using capacitor booster charges as I had done with the earlier Raven, and concentrate on doing damage to the enemies faster than they could deplete my shields, and hope that the booster charges would last.

2) Setting up a perment running shield which was designed to no longer need to worry about bulky or expensive capacitor charges, and gave a bit of a fallback in case of emergency.

Ultimately the decision came to one of practicality - using capacitor booster charges typically meant that on the longer missions, I would have to return to station to replace the lost charges, and because of the slow movement speed of the battleships, travelling via the deadspace gates typically took a long time to reach each gate. I much preferred a stable setup.

I had read an experiemental fit which used Capacitor Power Relays to boost capacitor recharge, and whilst this does negatively effect shield boosting by re-routing power from the boost circuits to the capacitor. What it effectively meant was that the shields boosted for less, but there was much more capacitor available to maintain the boost for longer.

In order to maintain the peak shield charge rate I would require to face off against the Angel Cartel pirate ships, I had to invest heavily in Caldari Navy technology once again.

I needed an improved shiled boost amplifier, as I was not able to equip the Tech 2 variety due to insufficient training, I had to find a Caldari Navy variety, which requires a lower level of training, and also provides a greater boost effect than Tech 2, which helps offset the loss from the Power Relays.

Additionally, I needed to boost the offensive ability of the ship, so found 7 Caldari Navy cruise missile launchers, whilst a very significant investment (around 150 times the cost of Tech 2) these provided a much greater increase in rate of fire, and also in load capacity, which meant faster killing, and less time spent recharging, all of which improves peak Damage Per Second.

The final Specification of my ship is as follows:

  • 7x Caldari Navy Cruise Missile Launchers -Able to hit up to a range of over 170km, though skills are limited to approx 85km targetting range without third party boosting support
  • 2x Cap Recharge II
  • XL Shield Booster II and Caldari Navy Shield Boost Amplifier
  • 2x Tech 2 Shield Hardeners - Setup to specialise against the opponent's primary damage type, or general purpose Invulnerability Field II's
  • 2x Ballistic Control System II
  • 2x Capacitor Power Relay
  • 1x Power Diagnostic System II- Providing an increase in shield total, shield recharge, capacitor total, and capacitor recharge, as well as boosting the ships powergrid, however this setup leaves approximately 4,000 MW available, so this is only a minor additional benefit.
  • The drone bay has 5 Medium and 5 Light drones equipped for removal of smaller craft that the pilot may encounter.

This setup does have some room for additional modifications, 1 remaining High power slot will allow some minor adjustment of loadout depending on the user. Capacitor with suitable skills is stable without any outside interference (neutraliser or energy vampire) with -81.6 capacitor draw, and +87.1 capacitor gain ensuring the capacitor remains stable at around 30-40% of max load.

I hope that anyone who has been interested in one of these craft finds this write up helpful, and if anyone has any comments or queries, feel free to drop me a message. Price wise, this ship cost me somewhere in the region of 860 million Isk, and whilst this does seem like a lot to spend on a ship, it has earned its value back already and is now making nothing but profit. I would advise to not use it during wartime as the ship has limited survivability against a sustained pilot attack, but it held up well against a competent corp mate who was testing out the shielding systems, managing to survive against a optimium range Megathron, eventually winning the battle of attrition against the blaster fit ship after several minutes - though against another corp mate with a similarly equipped CNR, the shield dropped in less than a minute, so do not rely on it, if you are out and get attacked, make sure you can bring backup.

1 comment:

Tony said...

ohh, nice fit, especially with the top. now time to come suicide gank... just joking ofcourse!

congrats again!