Tuesday, 18 November 2014

Thar She Blows

Announced during EVE Vegas was that there would be a new ship coming in Rhea and I covered "The Tug" (as it was then known) briefly in my Pre-Phoebe post

We've finally been given more details and Rhea is set to see the release of the Bowhead, a frieghter sized vessel that contains a very large Ship Maintenance Array designed to carry assembled ships through New Eden. 

Learning To Fly

Being a new ship class means the chance to introduce a new skill for pilots to learn and this means we're going to see the introduction of the Ore Freighter skill. No details have been provided (outside of what bonuses the Bowhead gets from this skill) but I'd expect it to be the same training modifier level as the existing Racial Freighter skills and cost the same (~100m ISK).



Ore Freighter Bonus:
5% bonus to inertia modifier per level
5% bonus to ship maintenance array capacity per level

Role Bonus: 
90% reduction in jump fatigue generation

Slot layout: 0H, 3M, 3L, 3R; 0 turrets, 0 launchers
Fittings: 1350 PWG, 215 CPU
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 21000 / 11000 / 39500
Capacitor (amount / recharge) : 3900 / 235000 
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / warp speed / align time): 65 / .0675 / 640000000 / 1.37 / 59.89s
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 0 / 0
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 51.5km / 45 / 3
Capacity (cargo / ship maintenance array): 4000 / 1300000 (goes up to 1.6 something with ore freighter 5)
Sensor strength: 12 
Signature radius: 3200

Reasonable PG/CPU along with 3 each of mid, low and rig slots mean plenty of fitting options available. The Defense statistics suggest that Shield tanking might be viable, more likely a propulsion mod and maybe a shield extender or two, but I'm certain that Hull Tanking (as with Freighters) will be the fitting of choice.

The Forums Speak

The initial details resulted in a lot of feedback on the Forums, as usual some was constructive most was not but that that was constructive has already seen to have caused a change to the Bowhead. The per Level velocity bonus has changed to an inertia modifier and extra Defense added, mainly to the Shields and Structure.

The change to modifying inertia instead of velocity makes a lot of sense and I agree with it. When you're flying a Freighter/Jump Freighter it is the inertia that matters not how fast you can go. Sure if you're AP'ing 20 jumps having an extra 30m/s will make you do that 15km to the gate faster but you'll be losing out because you're going to be entering warp slower due to your inertia.

Gank Target

Ganks happen and happen a lot. Its not uncommon for me to browse through the kills in a major 0.5 high sec system and see dozens of catalysts or tornados lost to kill a single Freighter/Jump Freighter and most of the time these aren't well tanked and are fit for maximum cargo or maximum agility.

A lot of pilots do fit for tank and split their cargo up and take the time penalty for a couple of extra runs rather than risk losing the lot to a gank. Regardless a large cargo carrying ship is going to have a massive target recticle painted on it and the Bowhead will be no different.

Its been said that if a Bowhead is destroyed then anything that survivcs the loot fairy will be lootable by a player from the wreck. This will mean we are going to see Bowheads targeted by gankers not just because its a fat target but because the expectation is it will contain valuable cargo in the form of fitted ships.

Incursion runners are expected to be a major user of the Bowhead to carry their bling fit incursion ships and even just killing on Bowhead and having one blinged out ship dropped will be enough to fund dozens of more ganks.


With a hull tank fit the Bowhead is expected to have around 420k to 450k EHP and this should be more than enough for the average pilot. Depending on skills we may see this top out just around the 500k mark but if you're fitting anything but tank modules to this then you're asking for trouble in my opinion.

There is no need for cargo modifications, this is a ship carrying vessel not a cargo mover, and any cargo space should be for small modules and other things that cannot be put into a ship in an SMA and should not need increasing.

I'm certainly going to spend the ISK to hull tank any ship I get as well as looking at getting T2 variations of any rigs. The expense will be worth it if I can put off just one gank attempt.

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