Cruisers are Eve's medium-sized ships, larger than frigates and destroyers but still much smaller, faster and nimbler than battlecruisers and battleships. Cruisers mount medium-sized weapons and modules. Tech 1 cruiser hulls cost a few million ISK and tend to be the first major financial step up from frigates for new pilots.
There are four classes of Tech 2 cruisers, which are more powerful, more focused on a particular role and much more expensive than their Tech 1 equivalents: Recons (advanced force-multiplying electronic warfare platforms), Heavy Assault Ships (powerful damage-dealers), Heavy Interdictors (nullsec super-tacklers) and Logistics cruisers (remote repair platforms). Cruisers are also the only ship class that currently has a Tech 3 version, the strategic cruisers.
Each race has four tech 1 cruiser hulls, which fill various roles. These roles aren't always divided up the same way, though -- the Caldari Osprey has bonuses for mining and logistics, for example, while in the Gallente cruiser lineup those roles are split between two ships, the Vexor (which can also do PvE and PvP combat) and the Exequror.
In PvP some tech 1 cruisers, such as the Gallente Thorax and the Minmatar Rupture, can bring surprising amounts of DPS to a fight. The electronic warfare cruisers can also be important in PvP, as they are slightly tougher ewar platforms than their frigate equivalents and in some cases can produce better ewar (the Caldari Blackbird, for example, can mount ECM with a longer range than the Griffin ECM frigate). In PvP cruisers can also fit tackle to provide some secondary tackling that's harder to scrape off than Tech 1 tackling frigates.
Tech 1 cruisers are the ships most commonly used to run Level 2 missions.
- Arbitrator Versatile. Bonuses for ewar (Tracking Disruptors), and drones (for mining and damage-dealing). Can be used in fleet PvP, solo PvP, and PvE combat.
- Augoror Logistics (remote armor repair and energy transfer).
- Maller Can mount a massive tank (and is often used as bait in PvP).
- Omen Respectable damage-dealer. The Arbitrator is usually a better PvP choice since it can get equivalent buffer and DPS, while offering more versatility with varying drone types and some ewar.
- Blackbird Bonuses for ewar (ECM). Powerful in a fleet, little or no tank. Often called primary. Can jam at much greater ranges then its T2 versions, the Rook and Falcon, but has much lower jam strength, fewer slots and can't warp cloaked like the Falcon can.
- Caracal Missile ship. Good mission-runner. Unspectacular damage-dealer in PvP, has a niche role as a 'super-destroyer' with anti-frigate Assault Missile Launchers.
- Moa Tanks well, designed to fight at range with railguns.
- Osprey Logistics (shield transporters and energy transfer).
- Celestis Bonuses for ewar (sensor damps) and hybrid turrets. Can be useful in a fleet. Rarely primaried.
- Exequror Logistics (remote armor repair and drone repair).
- Thorax Fast PvP gunboat, usually fits blasters. Very high DPS with good skills and fitting.
- Vexor Versatile. Bonuses for hybrid turrets and drones. Drone bonuses make it good for PvE and PvP combat, and for mining. Can match the Thorax for DPS, but it is less commonly used in this role than the Thorax, and is therefore less obvious when the enemy look for a high DPS, low tank ship to primary.
- Bellicose Bonuses for ewar (target painting) and projectile turrets. Unloved.
- Scythe Logistics (shield transporter and drone repair).
- Rupture Useful in PvP and PvE. Potentially very high dps, like the Thorax. Can fit a decent PvE armor tank, or a PvP buffer armor tank, or a nimble PvP buffer shield tank.
- Stabber Very fast skirmisher. Sees limited use in PvP and PvE.
These come in two varieties, combat recons and force recons. Force recons can fit a covert ops cloak and therefore warp cloaked, while combat recons are generally better in actual combat, either because they have stronger tanks, because they deal more damage or simply because they have better range for their electronic warfare. Their main purpose is ewar, but their uses vary from race to race.
Drones for DPS, well-bonused neutralizers and nosferatus in the highs, tracking disruptor bonus for reducing incoming damage. The force recon, the Pilgrim, does not get a neut range bonus and is therefore limited to roughly 12km neut range, while the Curse can neut at about 36km with recon 5 and best named/T2 neuts.
Extremely long-ranged webs (normal Tech 2 webs fitted on these ships reach about 40km with Recon level 5 -- before overheating!) and bonuses to target painter strength. No big difference between the Huginn combat recon and the Rapier force recon, except for the cloak.
Caldari recons only have bonuses to ECM, but consequently can mount the strongest ECM in the game. The Rook can fit 5 missile launchers and a full flight of light drones; the Falcon can cloak, but only gets 3 guns and 2 drones.
Bonuses to sensor dampening, and to warp disruptor/scrambler range. Recon 5 gives the pilot 18km scram range and 48km disruptor range without overheating (for Tech 2 mods). The Lachesis will usually forgo its Ewar in favor of a heavy shield tank, while the Arazu is primarily armor fit.(Arazu has an extra low slot in exchange for 1 less mid and high slot)
Heavy Assault Ships
Heavy Assault Ships (commonly called "HACs", "Heavy Assault Cruisers") are extremely versatile and powerful ships. They combine high speed and agility with either high DPS and decent tanks when fitted for close range, or decent DPS and buffer tanks at very long ranges, where only sniper battleships can fire back, when fitted for sniping.
Besides their obvious PvP applications, some HACs are also useful PvE ships because they combine substantial tanks and DPS with unusual mobility. This can be useful in, for example, running exploration sites in lowsec or nullsec, where pilots might need to make a quick getaway.
- Zealot: Versatile. Does well at close or sniping ranges, buffer-tanked or active-tanked. The best sub-BS sniper in the game, much better DPS and tank in a close range fit then most other HACs, at the price of slightly lower speed and agility.
- Sacrilege: Tanks like a beast, decent damage with Heavy Assault Missiles. Active tank.
- Cerberus: Long range missile boat. High theoretical DPS compared to other sniper HACs, but missile travel time delays the damage. Other HACs can pretty much hit everything perfectly at their usual sniping ranges, where the Cerberus's missiles still get a damage penalty when hitting moving targets.
- Eagle: Hybrid turret gunboat, sniping with railguns or unconventionally fit with blasters.
- Ishtar: Great tank, high damage, quite a dangerous HAC. Drone dependent, but can carry multiple flights of heavies or sentries. Passive shield tanking potential and its drones make it popular for PvE too.
- Deimos: Capability for High DPS with very little tank which has earned this ship its nickname, the "Diemost." It's a very expensive ship that has to get very close to its target when close-range fitted. Given that it also usually has very little tank with High DPS(800+), it's an obvious primary, and can't survive for very long. It does alright in sniper gangs, although it's not the best option for them.
- Muninn: Great sniper HAC with artillery. Performs like a better-tanked Rupture at close range. Awesome alpha.
- Vagabond: Nasty damage and good tackle, quick and agile, good in a gang. Will melt quickly if locked down. Stabber hulls, like the Vaga, are the fastest cruisers in the game, with the exception of some pirate faction ones.
With the exception of some T3 cruiser setups, Heavy Interdictors ('HICs') have better tanks then any other cruiser, and match that of most battleships. Their dps is extremely low, but their role is tackling.
In 0.0 they can create a 12-20 km radius warp disruption field similar to the bubble created by light interdictors. However, while the light interdictor can launch its bubble and then get out, leaving its bubble there for 2 minutes regardless, the HIC has to stay where it wants its bubble to be. Furthermore, while the bubble is up (it has a 30-second cycle time), the HIC cannot receive any type of remote support. While its normal speed remains the same, afterburners and microwarpdrives will have reduced effect. In return, the HIC's mass gets heavily reduced, so that it can get up to speed and change direction extremely fast.
They're best used in pairs with logistics ships as backup so that 1 HIC can bubble the hostiles while the other one is being remote repped; if the enemy starts shooting the bubbling HIC, it can drop its bubble and be repped back up again while the second HIC puts up its bubble instead.
The bubble can not be used in lowsec or highsec. However, the bubble module can be loaded with a script which increases the range of the point by 50% and focuses its effect so that it acts as a normal warp disruptor with infinite strength instead of creating bubbles. Scripting the module to create this 'infinipoint' also removes all penalties caused by using it, except for the block on remote support. These are the only ships that can, using this infinite point, tackle super-capital ships in low sec.
If you see a HIC in empire that seems to have its bubble up, don't worry: it's just a graphical bug caused by loading the grid after the point was activated. This bug has supposedly been fixed now, but you may still see it in some old videos.
- Devoter (Amarr): Armor tank, and a better one than the Phobos, but 1 less midslot, which is significant in Empire where HICs usually fit sensor boosters to help them catch fast targets.
- Onyx (Caldari): Shield tank. Lower tank and speed then the Broadsword, but allot more cpu, letting it fit a probe launcher. Additionally, in empire where HICs usually fit sensor boosters, it has a very hard time properly plugging its em resist hole.
- Phobos (Gallente): Armor tank. The Devoter tanks better, but the Phobos has an extra midslot, making it better at catching fast targets in Empire with an extra sensor booster.
- Broadsword (Minmatar): Shield tank. Better speed and resists then the Onyx, at the price of CPU for utility mods.
Each race does it a bit differently here, but overall these ships increase the survivability of a fleet in one way or another.
Gallente and Amarr repair armor, Caldari and Minmatar repair shields.
Amarr and Caldari gain 2 high slots compared to Minmatar & Gallente, but lose 2 lows/mids. They also get a cap transfer bonus instead of the tracking link bonus that Gallente and Minmatar have. What this means is that Guardian (Amarr) and Basilisk (Caldari) usually use either one (Logistics V) or two (Logistics IV -- and don't fly a logistics ship with less than that) large energy transfers in their extra highs to create cap from nowhere and some ECCM, tank and speed in the low/mid slots. Their reliance on energy transfer exchanges with their partners mean that these ships are especially vulnerable when jammed by ECM.
The Scimitar (Minmatar) and Oneiros (Gallente) doesn't have this weakness since they rely on rigs, capacitor power relays and cap rechargers to keep themselves running with their extra lows and mids. However, that locally-generated capacitor energy is not enough to run as many reppers as the cap-transferring logistics ships can.
This ship type is probably the one that is affected most by training the ship skill itself up. The reason for this is how the bonus works: you get a very large reduction in cap use, and the lower you get, the more that bonus helps. With logistics 1, you only save 15% of the cap (100 -> 85 cap use), but taking it from 4 to 5 reduce the cap use from 40% to 25%. That means that someone with logistics 5 use 37.5% less cap to run a remote transfer/repper then someone with logistics 4 does.
Information on Tech 3 Cruisers can be found here: Strategic Cruiser
- Augoror Navy Issue
- Caracal Navy Issue
- Exequror Navy Issue
- Omen Navy Issue
- Osprey Navy Issue
- Scythe Fleet Issue
- Stabber Fleet Issue
- Vexor Navy Issue