For those who do not remember, years ago Moa was a bit different ship than today. It had a slot layout of 6/4/4 along with bonuses to shield resistance (5%) and optimal range (10%) to hybrid turrets. It had option for 5 guns with last slot left open for launcher/utility*
Even it’s description still says this:
In contrast to its nemesis the Thorax, the Moa is most effective at long range where its railguns can rain death upon foes.
Many years ago, Moa got a damage bonus and reduced shield resistance. It’s slot layout was also changed to current 5/5/4. Essentially it became a thorax copy. Before the changes, Moa could still excel as blaster boat thanks to it’s generous range bonus that it received.
However, in current state Thorax has immediate DPS advantage by being able to pack 5 medium drones while Moa is forced to fit 3 damage mods if it wants to achieve parity and even then it does less dps (This is with both packing ion blasters with CN antimatter ammo).
Moa also suffers from having much weaker base speed, 190m/s compared to 240m/s with thorax.
For sake of ship variation and to make Moa in line with it’s T2 counterpart the Eagle, which still has old Moa bonuses (though reduced shield resistance). This would help make Moa bit distinct from Thorax while five blasters would still enable decent DPS but with more range application. More speed would also not hurt…
Based on Zkill, Thorax is much more popular in use than Moa so this would at least work as a test if Moa would increase in popularity.
Alternatively, you could make the old Moa available in selected Caldari LP stores. Just rename it with some other flightless bird like “Ostrich” and put into description:
"Ostrich is the old variant of Moa cruiser, relying more on long range weaponry than current fleet version used by Caldari navy. Having been produced in large quantities, Caldari megacorporations offer their old stock of ships to loyal capsuleers and wealthy individuals for a suitable price".
Naturally it would be awesome if “Ostrich” would have the old Moa hull graphic (though probably needs some graphic updates for guns, etc.)
*In early years of Eve, this was 4/2 with option for 2 launchers when ships like Merlin still had mixed weapon systems in use.