I made a similar a long time ago about these ships back when they were shiny brand-new and the invasion was still happening.
I cannot say CCP has done very well by them. On the bright side, the market has slightly calmed, so they’re not quite as exorbitantly expensive.
Except they’re still really damn pricey, and the reasons are pretty different now.
Before I get into the reason why it’s impossible for an individual to reasonably fabricate EDENCOM ships, a note on their effectiveness as a hull:
I believe that EDENCOM ships are, overall, in a sort of alright spot. Their damage against individual targets is still abysmal, and the nature of dps and active tank on rats still means that it’s essentially impossible for a single EDENCOM ship to do basically any form of PvE. That said, running 2 EDENCOM ships is often enough to overcome the difference, at which point the nature of hitting now 10 targets (up from the original 5) starts to matter. The sites that they can do are very limited: It’s restricted to sites with weak ships, and unless the site makes use of a large number of weak ships they won’t be very time efficient compared to other hulls. Sites that make use of even a single very highly tanked rat will take ages for EDENCOM ships to do. Small sites with weak rats won’t work out well, because other ships will be able to slaughter through waves of weak rats much more efficiently.
In PvP, they have a variety of uses. Skybreakers absolutely murder any form of drone based composition, and a squad of 10-15 skybreakers can neuter Carriers with ease. Stormbringers can do disgusting DPS to other cruiser based fleets from reasonable ranges, and Thunderchilds can win a DPS race against any battleship composition provided it’s 2 fleets of 10 or more. Running logistics against a fleet including EDENCOM ships is a nightmare, and makes it impossible for logi to effectively keep everyone topped off. Someone will be missed, and the broadcasts will be inconsistent. The current HAC/Cerb meta makes it difficult, however, as EDENCOM ships are very slow compared to other ships of their class and although they can fire out to longer ranges than most, they still cannot outrange Cruise missiles or artillery. As a result, despite their potential, EDENCOM ships just can’t quite compete with anything else in PvP, and have only a handful of places in PvE where they are useful.
Of course, all it’d take to fix this would be to go back down to 5 targets and literally just double their damage values, like literally everyone suggested back when they were new. It’d allow single ships to rat in most scenarios, and pairs of alts or fleets to do higher difficult sites without too much issue. In PvP they’d actually be a threat, and might be competitive even against Cerb/Hac fleets.
But the MAIN issue. The BIGGEST problem? Their cost. It’s one thing for a hull to be bad, or niche, or otherwise not generally good. EVE has plenty of ships that do one thing and one thing in particular better than any other. Those ships aren’t expensive, they become much easier to acquire and use.
But EDENCOM ships are ludicrously expensive when you consider what it is they do: IE, not much.
Ignoring the fact that straight up buying a Thunderchild and all of its necessary modules runs you over 1.5 billion, 700 (almost 8) for Stormbringers, and over 100m for Skybreakers, even just manufacturing these things is far more difficult and costly than it’s worth. There is a reason people put them up for so much on the market.
Triglavian Redloot is ostensibly difficult to get: You either have to organize large fleets and do Accelerator Flashpoints in EDENCOM Fortresses, Stellar Fleet Deployments in Trig Minor Vics (Which only spawn once every FIVE GOD DAMNED HOURS), or go to Pochven which is an intense PVP hotspot where absolutely everyone and everything in there wants to murder you and do Stellar Fleet Deployments, World Arks, or Convocations (all of which require groups of ships that no single person could reasonably accomplish outside of extreme scenarios not feasible in the Pochven PvP environment). These sites are also the only method by which anyone in New Eden can acquire DED LP, which is required for all EDENCOM manufacturing.
Its no wonder people run 50k isk per LP on the skillbooks, or 200k for the actual hulls and modules. It’s a nightmare to actually get your hands on it. If you don’t have a huge stockpile of it built up from the invasion two years ago, you’re screwed!
The Raw materials for a Thunderchild, it’s T2 Gun, and it’s T2 damage modules is something like 6-7 hundred million isk. The Redloot to get the blueprints is another 150-200 million. And unless you have the LP on hand, you’re gonna have to struggle to get into contact with someone who has the LP and convince them to let you buy it from them, likely for far more than 50k isk per LP, which easily adds another 200 million to cost, or more. Then the actual non-edencom modules for it, usually around another 50-100 million, or more if you go with T2 rigs and wayyy more with faction modules.
Hey, look! A ship that’s worth 1.5ish billion isk! What can it do? Other ships worth that much includes things like Marauders, they’re great at ratting. They’re used in Incursions!
You can do… not much? PvP requires multiples of these ships, and a large number of targets who will obligingly stay within your weapons range instead of just kiting you. PvE requires sites with large numbers of rats, but rats that can’t be too tanky or they’ll scatter in the way that they always do and nuke your ability to deal DPS to them into non-existence and end up costing you more isk than you could ever hope to make at that speed. Not to mention the fact that your killmail is shiny enough to attract every ganker in the region.
Their one saving grace is that they are, with the exception of HACS, the most durable sub-capital ships in their respective classes in the entire game. And once those new and shiny battleship changes go live? Thunderchilds will easily surpass 230k EHP, and become even more durable than HACs (Except for their way larger sig radius and slower speed, of course).
Even So, CCP has made it exceptionally difficult to get your hands on what is ostensibly a mediocre line of ships. It’s like they want everyone to just forget these ships ever existed.
EDENCOM ships are Very Expensive^tm because there exist grand total of 4 sites that grant the LP and spawn the ships necessary to acquire and fabricate Blueprints of them. 3 of these sites spawn exlusively in Pochven, which is accessible only via filament or by having High standings with the faction you have to kill to get the components. Pochven is also a non-stop PvP hotspot, where several groups go out of their way to kill anyone who tries to Krab or Rat in the region. 3 of the sites (World Ark, Accelerator Flashpoint, and Stellar Fleet Deployment) require large, organized fleets of optimized ships to complete, and are essentially inaccessible for individuals. The 4th site is a slightly harder version of the Invasion’s Emerging Conduit, which required a minimum of 2 ships (2 Smartbombing Praxis’, to be specific), but more often 4 or more. While dedicated multiboxers might be able to manage it, they certainly can’t do it while also contending with Roaming gangs who will constantly hound them at all times of day.