I’ve made a prior thread in the normal feedback area so this will be me reiterating a lot of the same points, however I’ll try to further expand upon those points and make a stronger argument.
As it currently stands the Orca is just considered all around a bad option in Null. The ship’s price tag is absolutely massive at 2.2+ bil which is around 1/3 the cost of an entire rorqual. It’s meant to be a mid ground between the rorqual and the porpoise as a fleet support ship but it lacks the redeeming qualities of both sides which leaves it as a very high risk ship with no return on the investment.
Unlike the rorqual it lacks the fitting capabilities to actively tank itself so that it can be protected in the event of a gank, leaving it only to buffer tank. And while the buffer might be large enough to survive a highsec gank, or deter it, in null that roughly 500-600k EHP is highly likely to die to a group long before blue assistance can arrive. The ship, understandably of course, also lacks the rorquals mining capabilities so it doesn’t even begin to pay for itself either. It was specifically nerfed to move more towards fleet support which I think is a good idea, however as a fleet support vessel it’s even more lacking than in the other 2 categories because the bonuses are very minor over the porpoise.
The porpoise is only about 200-250mil for a good fit and with max skills + the implant you can get a strip miner duration decrease of 38% while with an Orca, which is on average 10 times more expensive, this bumps to 40%. If we factor in the industrial core this goes to 40% and 46% respectively. However it’s smarter to not even use it constantly as it locks you down for far too long and only cycle it to compress your ore hold when it’s full.
Now in a larger null corp/alliance you often have plenty of adjacent systems with blues in them that can warn you of incoming danger. The porpoise is used for it’s low cost as 200-ish mil can be lost without much sting and with it’s core it has a cycle time of 75 seconds. Even that low of a timer is still risky but it’s an acceptable loss if it happens to get ganked. The orca on the other hand has a cycle timer of 150 seconds. Not to mention it’s align time of a possible 30-40 seconds, or 10 if you have a prop fit to warp faster which lowers it’s already bad tank. If someone pops up in your system it could take as little as 20 seconds for them to scan the system and target you. Now consider if this individual is only a few jumps from you, individually scanning down systems to look for a target to drop on. 2 and a half minutes is painful, even more so if you cycle right as you become aware of a potential threat. And that’s a best case scenario where we don’t consider that allies will fail to spot or report people, or wormholes/filaments pop up unexpectedly.
Now this isn’t me saying that it’s impossible to fly the ship in null sec. This is to say it’s much harder to keep alive and costs too much for what you get out of it. Mining ships are expensive and make a comparatively lower income. However this is offset by the idea that as long as you can keep them safe then eventually they can pay for their value. The porpoise is quick and the rorqual is tanky as all hell. The Orca has neither.
The only redeeming quality is the capability of moon compression. However I can say from experience in a populated null alliance that people just don’t want to fly the ship even with that advantage. Now people do fly it of course. However for every Orca I see flown out here I see 3-4 killmails of people who come to regret it incredibly quick and then a ton of people with PTSD from their traumatic experience of thinking they’d break the meta and fly it despite the warnings against it.