T3 viability in PVE scenarios (aka CCPlease)

As preface, I logged in after a long time and wanted to help a friend finish few missions to try out his new battleship. Considering he was way off I was debating of taking a T3 to make the trip faster instead of lugging in a battleships myself. But him being unexperienced I couldn’t take Legion or Tengu since they would be in bad spot if he shoots the wrong trigger, so it made me think and compare T3’s from purely PVE standpoint. From PVP you will prolly have slight different preferences, especially based on EWAR.

However for PVE, T3’s should be alternative to battleships, smaller sig rad, way faster and able to speed tank, less range, less damage, less tank. That being said, there are few things that are limiting them to be an actual alternative. The main difference between them in PVE scenario is pretty much weapon systems, they are all around the same speed ballpark, ±20% AB / MWD speed, the tank can also be similar fitted (as long as you can work around armor explosive hole on Proteus). So I took a look at all of them in different configurations. Most fits were done with 3 faction damage mods to save CPU and leave some room for tanking modules and prop mods, etc.

T3’s damage, speed and tank look ideally suited for blitzing L3 missions and running L4 if you have most of support skills trained and want a bit different experience than a battleship offers. They will still of course take way longer time to deal with most L4 than most battleships (even T1 battleships in some cases).

So, looking at the weapon systems…

Legion (3 damage mods + 1 range script)

Beam

  • 727 DPS with Gleam @ 15+13km range, 14.8 tracking
  • 597 DPS with Imperial Navy Xray @ 43+13km range, 11.9 tracking
  • 415 DPS with Aurora @ 103+13km range, 2.97 tracking
  • No drones

Pulse

  • 840 DPS with Conflagation @ 13+10km range, 22.8 tracking
  • 546 DPS with Imperial Navy Xray @ 20+10km range, 32.5 tracking
  • 522 DPS with Scorch @ 38+10km range, 24.4 tracking
  • No drones

Heavy Missile

  • 488 DPS with Fury Missile @ 58km range, 181 ms | 106 m/s
  • 415 DPS with Caldari Navy @ 77km range, 105 ms | 128 m/s
  • 362 DPS with Precision Missile @ 38km range, 93.8 ms | 153 m/s
  • Up to 5 medium drones

Heavy Assualt Missile

  • 707 DPS with Rage Missile @ 20km range, 161 ms | 136 m/s
  • 524 DPS with Caldari Navy @ 25km range, 93.8 ms | 152 m/s
  • 410 DPS with Javelin Missile @ 38km range, 93.8 ms | 152 m/s
  • Up to 5 medium drones

Proteus (3 damage mods + 1 range script)

Rails

  • 694 DPS with Javelin @ 10+29km range, 14.1 tracking
  • 684 DPS with Caldari Navy Antimatter @ 21+29km range, 11.3 tracking
  • 397 DPS with Spike @ 75+30km range, 2.82 tracking
  • Up to 5 light drones

Blasters

  • 1030 DPS with Void @ 4+6km range, 49.5 tracking
  • 803 DPS with Caldari Navy Antimatter @ 3+12km range, 66 tracking
  • 640 DPS with Null @ 7+17km range, 49.5 tracking
  • Up to 5 light drones

Drones

  • Around third of damage from guns in comparison to Rails / Blasters
  • Up to 5 heavy / sentry drones
  • 252 dps from Hobgoblin II
  • 693 dps from Garde II
  • 806 dps from Ogre II
  • Heavy drones have travel time, sentries mess up speed tanking

Tengu (3 damage mods + 2 range scripts + 2 hydraulic bays II for missile)

Rails

  • 578 DPS with Javelin @ 24+25km range, 10.2 tracking
  • 570 DPS with Caldari Navy Antimatter @ 46+25km range, 8.2 tracking
  • 330 DPS with Spike @ 168+25km range, 2.05 tracking
  • No drones

Blasters

  • 804 DPS with Void @ 7+4km range, 39.6 tracking
  • 627 DPS with Caldari Navy Antimatter @ 5+8km range, 52.8 tracking
  • 500 DPS with Null @ 13+11km range, 39.6 tracking
  • No drones

Heavy Missile (kinetic only)

  • 703 DPS with Fury Missile @ 133km range, 181 ms | 106 m/s
  • 598 DPS with Caldari Navy @ 177km range, 105 ms | 128 m/s
  • 521 DPS with Precision Missile @ 88km range, 93.8 ms | 153 m/s
  • No drones

Heavy Assualt Missile (kinetic only)

  • 1019 DPS with Rage Missile @ 47km range, 161 ms | 130 m/s
  • 754 DPS with Caldari Navy @ 57km range, 93.8 ms | 152 m/s
  • 590 DPS with Javelin Missile @ 85km range, 93.8 ms | 152 m/s
  • No drones

Loki (3 damage mods + 1 range scripts + 2 hydraulic bays II for missile)

Artillery

  • 537 DPS with Quake @ 10+36km range, 13.4 tracking
  • 520 DPS with Republic Fleet EMP @ 21+36km range, 10.4 tracking
  • 307 DPS with Tremor @ 78+36km range, 2.6 tracking
  • Up to 5 light drones

Autocannons

  • 811 DPS with Hail @ 2+16km range, 39.6 tracking
  • 632 DPS with Republic Fleet EMP @ 2+22km range, 52.8 tracking
  • 504 DPS with Tremor @ 4+33km range, 39.6 tracking
  • Up to 5 light drones

Heavy Missile

  • 586 DPS with Fury Missile @ 98km range, 181 ms | 133 m/s
  • 499 DPS with Caldari Navy @ 131km range, 105 ms | 159 m/s
  • 434 DPS with Precision Missile @ 65km range, 93.8 ms | 191 m/s
  • Up to 5 light drones

Heavy Assualt Missile

  • 849 DPS with Rage Missile @ 35km range, 161 ms | 163 m/s
  • 629 DPS with Caldari Navy @ 42km range, 93.8 ms | 189 m/s
  • 492 DPS with Javelin Missile @ 63km range, 93.8 ms | 189 m/s
  • Up to 5 light drones

What does this translate to?

Beams are best from long range. Damage is slightly higher than arty and rails with T2 ammo, with CN Antimatter being slighty higher damage but worse range. Beams have better optimal range and slightly better tracking, except for rails Tengu which is off the rails with range. However, beam Legion and rails Tengu have no way to deal with drones and frigates once they come under guns.

Damage: Beams > Rails (Proteus) > Rails (Tengu) > Arty
Range: Rails(Tengu) > Beams > Rails (Proteus) > Arty
Tracking: Beams > Rails (Proteus) > Arty > Rails (Tengu)

On short range, blasters are amazing in terms of damage, Proteus being 20-25% higher than pulse and autocannons. The comparison is a bit harder since what they deal in damage, they loose on range. Between pulse and autocannons, the pulses are winning with more dps at better ranges, but worse tracking. However, legion and tengu still have the same problem on not being able to deploy drones at all. Also Tengu and Loki have almost same damage output and same tracking, but autocannons have higher fallof

Damage: Blasters (Proteus) > Pulse > Blasters (Tengu) > Autocannons
Range: Pulse > Autocannons > Blasters (Tengu) > Blasters (Proteus)
Tracking: Blasters (Proteus and Tengu) and Autocannons > Pulses

Overall for PVE blitzing L3 for standings or even using in L4 in a pinch instead of battleships, beams and rails are best option. However, beams will end up in hot water if there are frigates or, even worse, spider drones present. Tengu with rails has the same issue. So safer choice would be Proteus or Loki, where Proteus does more damage but has to chase targets more.

Looking at missile options, proteus is not viable since it only has drone options, which actually are not that bad, but heavies take a lot of travel time and sentries defeat the purpose of brigning T3, since you will most likely want to stay mobile. All other 3 missile T3 configurations are pretty similliar. However, there are few anomalies. Legion now all the sudden can field 5 medium drones, which makes no sense, would make more sense for turret one to have drones. Loki can field five light drones which is great, Tengu is without drones which is meh, but at least missile tengu has a chance to kill orbiting frigates.

Range wise, Tengu wins buy a lot with Heavy missile and has about 30% more range then Loki which has about 30% more range than Legion. Dps is skewed by Tengu kinetic only damage, so it does about 20% more damage as well. This is also applied on HAM. The damage of Legion and Loki is more similiar when taking drones into account, but Loki does have a bit more slots to play around and get more range, to a point where HAM Legion is really limited by range. They all have around same application.

For both HAM and HM
Damage: Tengu > Loki > Legion
Range: Tengu > Loki > Legion
“Tracking”: Same for all 3

In the end, it’s super weird that Legion and Tengu have no drones while in turret configuration. For Caldari maybe lorewise ok, but Amarr already have a lot of bonused drones ships, so how come?

Autocannons vs Blasters come down to slight range differences, but in any case you will be chasing targets down.

Short range guns are a bit hard to justify in PVE, other then Pulses to a degree. Since in order to be effective, you will need MWD to chase things down and with the sig bloom you are going to be taking battleship incoming damage numbers in some situations, but tanking and dealing way less damage.

Beams vs Rails vs Arty, Beams are arguably in best position, but they are damage locked into EM/TH, while other have maybe a bit better damage types.

HAM is dangerous on Legion and Loki if you aren’t blinging tank, since if you get caught with webs it might be problematic by the time you take out the webbers with missiles, but Loki has it easier because it has drones. Tengu has a bit better range so less chance of being webbed.

HM is actually in not a bad position, range is comparable to the long range turrets with about 30% less dps, but totaly selectable damage types (unless Tengu, but the DPS increase offsets that)

After looking at everything

In order for T3’s to be a bit more versatile platforms and be a bit less troublesome in PVE:

Legion should have 5 light drones on turret platform.
Tengu should also get 5 lights drones on at least turret platform.
Proteus should also prolly get a bit bigger damage bonus to light / medium drones on it’s drone platform configuration, somewhat akin to Gila, so that drones can keep up with the ship itself.
Quake M is still bad, super low DPS increase, lower range, better tracking, but at that range with medium guns it doesn’t matter anyhow.
Javelin M has same issue and Quake M.

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That’s 4 stacking bonuses which is silly. Having said that the Loki and Legion have different range modules/rigs but somehow you compare them in range anyway.

Beams also have to change crystals OFTEN if you want to get the best out of them because they have relatively little falloff, rails less so but still an issue. Arties have much less of these issues which means that beams take more effort than hybrids which take more effort than arties. Add to that the time it takes to switch ammo, and the annoyance due to server ticks if you want to tryhard it, and it exacerbates the problem. Lets not even try to compare them to the ease of use of (heavy) missiles.

Then this whole thing about using range/T2 range ammo on turrets: the dps is so low it’s horrible, on the up side long range npc tend to have (close to) zero transversal which works great for turrets but does nothing for missiles. Pros and cons.

Yes

Disagree here because you’d create a monster, I’d much rather give it a drone range bonus like ishtar and domi and make it more of a sentry platform (you can speed tank just fine with sentries, just orbit the sentries).

That’s ok as projectiles are easier to use and handle than the other turrets while being very versatile in damage types. Gotta have pros and cons.


Overall The HAM Tengu is the best option because even if you don’t use kinetic it’s still on par or better purely in missile dps while having vastly more range than the other missile platforms and missiles in generally being infinitely more workable and usable. The others have drones but that’s less of an issue for missile ships, especially when using range.

Laser Legion is by far the worst to use in a real scenario due to its lack of drones, limited damage types and reliance on switching crystals very often.

Having said that: don’t use T3C for lvl 4 missions as they’re just sub par (unless you enjoy them). Use a Ranged turret BS with MJD and nuke stuff with zero transversal.

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Yea, I was also trying to get tank to around same ballpark number (Legion / Protues and Loki / Tengu) to have at least somewhat realistic fitting options, so Legion actually needed to use the rigs for the armor. I do agree that 4 stacking penalties is a blah, but on ships which could have them, why not, one could of course use something else like painter or what ever you would like.

I mean, yes and no. You do change often, but you I actually like that with Legion I can just move to some other area of space and enjoy the scenery for few days without having to use alt to haul ammo. You can fit a lot of crystals. I usually ended up using either of the T2 ones, so not that much juggling, but I understand where you are coming from. I am just more for juggling the ammo type than into using alt to haul stuff :smiley:

Fair enough on the monster. However for the sentrys orbit, in blitzing level 3’s to share standings with others, I usually have to make my way to next gate way before I end up killing, so not to keen on orbiting static target. In general however I mostly don’t use drones anyways due to aggro, so thanks for the input.

Yea, but still would be nice to have something special about them which could be useful. Point with Quake is that it gives tracking, but not enough to make a diff on short range and on the long range, that you would use them, it makes no diff anyways. So I am really failing to see the pro of Quake in general. If they would either give more optimal, or more falloff, or more damage, hell even some fireworks effect, sure, but tracking?

In level 4’s yes, but in level 3’s turret blapping ships are faster. However, you are limited to either Proteus or Loki due to drone safety, would be nice to have Legion as option as well

Agreed, so here is hoping that CCP would at least consider giving it drones to remove one obstacle from the list

Sometimes after not playing for a longer time, I like to jump into something smaller and just do few missions for some random corp in some system with nice backdrop nebula :smiley:
T3 makes it easier and faster to travel there. Also with battleships sooner or later you just end up staying at one place and blapping, with T3, unless you spend like 3 billion on it, you actually have to move around so it is nice change of pace. Sometimes I even use assualt frigates hahaha :smiley:

In any case, thank you for taking your time to read the original post and for constructive feedback

Legion/Loki/Tengu HAM fit is the best in my opinion for running lv4’s

Out of my Tengu’s the best one i like is 400 million isk, has 75k EHP, does 1100 dps with a rng of 29km and MWD up to 1400 m/s, cap stable

We’re talking about PvE, right?

I’m Minmatar so I don’t have any experience with the other T3 Cruisers. However from my experience my Loki works great for solo running level 4 missions, specifically the level 4 Epic Arcs.

The main thing about T3 Cruisers is the ability to refit sub-systems and modules for various mission scenarios without having to switch ships or bring a lot of other equipment. Due to that fact alone I’ve found them great for doing ‘Round Robin’ on all of the level 4 Epic Arcs as well as doing Nomadic Exploration.

Granted T3 Cruisers don’t clear out level 4 mission sites in record time like Battleships but they do make for a more enjoyable experience compared to just warp in, target and shoot. In my opinion using T3 Cruisers for level 4 missions basically requires doing creative piloting tactics ‘On the fly’, so to say…

Anyway, not taking into account the character’s skill level, different fitting options and module Tech level’s, you forgot to factor in some very important aspects with your analysis of the different T3 Cruisers. I’m talking about Implants and Boosters. Those items alone, along with the other aspects I mentioned, can have a very profound effect on ship stats / performance.

Anyway, you posted a very good write-up which I think is based on basic ship stats without being influenced by those other aspects I previously mentioned…

o7

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There used to be a reason to get into T3s… And there used to be a reason to use any ship you wanted…

But now the few options in the game, most of which are ship class-gated (a ‘SandBox’ game… PFT! LOLOL!!!) or simply designed for 1 or 2 specific ships only (Abyssals - Gila).

The ‘sandbox’ lie is just like the ‘player-run economy’ lie. It’s just deceit, and when you call it out you get gaslit by eLiTe nullseccers or by CCP themselves. ‘It’s yOuR fault you can’t play the game your way and aren’t enjoying the game’.

T3s lost their usefulness and TIER 3 Status that used to separate them from the normal. They are barely slightly better than HACs, if at all, and they used to perform BETTER than BS in PVE. Now they are only good for WH raiding and ganking.

Sad what CCP does to the game over and over and over. ‘Come for the lies. Stay to be meat for the vultures.’

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