Dreadnoughts ("dreads") are DPS machines, only surpassed as damage-dealers by Supercarriers and Titans. Only dreads can fit a siege module. Each empire faction has one Tech 1 dreadnought hull:
Each empire faction also has one Tech 2 dreadnought;
Each Faction also has one Faction dreadnought hull:
Following the general theme of the factions the Revelation, Revelation Navy Issue, Phoenix, and Phoenix Navy Issue have a bonus to resists. The Moros, Moros Navy Issue, Naglfar and Naglfar Fleet Issue on the other hand have a bonus to repairs. All of them have a bonus to their intended weapon system. The Faction Dreadnoughts have an additional bonus to some form of electronic warfare. Faction dreads have a 50% bigger bonus to damage per level of racial dreadnought compared to tech 1 dreadnoughts. BPCs for the Empire Faction Dreads can be bought from the Faction Warfare loyalty point stores. Besides above hulls the following non-empire faction hulls exist:
The blueprint copy for the Vehement can be bought with Serpentis LP. The blueprint copy for the Chemosh can drop from a Blood Raider Sotiyo. The BPC for the Caiman can be bought from the special insurgency LP store in Zarzakh or the pirate FOB in insurgency systems. The blueprint copies for the Zirnitra can be bought with Interstellar Navigation Logs from the Triglavian loyalty point stores in Pochven. These acquisition difficulties make these dreadnoughts very rare and expensive. As dreadnoughts cannot receive remote repairs while in siege, faction dreadnoughts generally only have very niche uses besides being collector items.
The Siege Module
The single most significant and important module on any dreadnought is the Siege Module. The siege module exists in a T1 and T2 variant and has the following effects when activated:
- +700% turret damage (Tech II: +840%)
- +165% missile damage (Tech II: +200%)
- -80% cycle time to XL Cruise and Torpedo Launchers
- +150% Torpedo velocity bonus
- 60% Remote Sensor Dampener resistance (Tech II: 70%)
- 80% remote assistance impedance (remote Sensor and Tracking boosters)
- 60% Weapon Disruption resistance (Tech II: 70%)
- Immunity to ECM
- +100% shield booster/armor repairer amount
- -50% shield booster/armor repairer duration
- 10x ship mass
- -100% maximum velocity
- Cannot receive remote repairs or capacitor transmission
The siege module converts the dreadnought from a mobile ship into a massive stationary weapons platform. The siege module's cycle time is 5 minutes, and it consumes 250 - (level of Tactical Weapon Reconfiguration * 25) Strontium Clathrates ("stront") to activate or reactivate. In general, dreadnoughts cannot meaningfully engage in combat without siege active. While in siege, the dreadnought cannot warp, jump, voluntarily move in any way, or receive remote repairs from allies, but in exchange receives near immunity to electronic warfare, enormous bonuses to local repairs, and a staggering bonus to weapons damage. (And while the dreadnought cannot voluntarily move while in siege, if the dreadnought was moving when it entered siege, or is bumped while in siege, it will move uncontrollably in a straight line and slowly decelerate due to its extreme mass.) Activating a siege module does not give the ship a Weapons Timer, meaning that a dreadnought can still refit itself at a Mobile Depot while in siege.
|A long, long time ago...|
In the April 2019 patch the base damage of High-Angle Weapon turrets was reduced, and the Siege Module was given a bonus specifically to them. See https://www.eveonline.com/news/view/patch-notes-for-april-2019-release and https://www.eveonline.com/news/view/spring-balance-update-incoming . The intent was to maintain the same overall DPS for dreadnoughts while reducing the damage of high-angle Titans.
On 27 February 2020, the damage changes to High-Angle Weapons and the Siege Module were reverted, and high-angle weapons were instead restricted to only being usable by dreadnoughts. There was no dev blog article associated with this change.
This section aims to explain some usages of dreadnoughts. It doesn’t aim to be exhaustive and couldn’t be as people always find new applications and some niche cases are not interesting enough. While dreadnoughts are used in PvE (especially in high class wormhole space), it shall not be discussed here.
Besides the siege module the use of dreads is heavily defined by their weapon systems. For each empire faction dread three different types of turrets/missile launcher exist. Short-range, long-range, and high angle weapons (HAW). The short and long-range weapon’s application is so low that they cannot efficiently deal damage to sub capital ships. HAWs on the other hand have much better application which is nearly or as good as their battleship counterparts.
HAW dreads are used to fight sub capitals. You usually fit a local tank to HAW dreads. Such a local tank can typically tank around 10k EHP/s but can go up to as much as 30k EHP/s. Of course, the exact amount varies with the fit. Armor dreadnoughts (Revelation and Moros) must mostly choose between DPS and tank. Shield dreadnoughts (Phoenix and Naglfar) must mostly choose between tank, tackle (warp disruptor) and application (web, grappler, target painter). The typical DPS of a HAW dread is between 2k and 3k with short range ammunition but can exceed that.
The usage of HAW dreads is widely varied. From changing a sub capital fight over QRFs in your own space to even solo roaming. Thus, the exact fits vary a lot, too.
The easiest way to kill HAW dreads are other capitals as it’s not especially difficult to apply more DPS than a dread can repair with a few capitals (exact number depends of course on the capitals and the dread’s fit). Even a medium sized sub capital fleet often has trouble to break the tank of a dread. At the same time, it is a challenge to tank the DPS of a HAW dread in sub capitals especially if it’s more than one. EWAR options are limited through the bonuses of the siege module as it makes a dread immune to ECM and gives resists towards damps and tracking disruption. The usually way to go is to apply energy neutralization which makes the dread tank less.
Anti capital dreads and dread bombs
Anti-capital dreads are usually buffer fitted. The idea is to either end siege and extract before you die or to buy other ships time to kill things. For that you usually fit an Emergency Hull Energizer which increases the hull resist a lot for 16.5 seconds. Thus, buying valuable extra time.
Every big nullsec alliance usually has recommended fits for this case and might require people to use a certain hull. Even if you are not in such an alliance, you can easily find out those fits if you search for dread losses on zkill.
The guns are usually short range to achieve high DPS which is usually at about 10k per dread. Revelations are popular as they can easily switch ammunition, and the Scorch ammunition makes it possible to deal high damage even at big ranges, however Revelations are locked into EM/thermal damage. Naglfars can choose their damage but have a bit less tank than Revelations. Moros have the highest damage on paper, but their range is short in comparison with the others. Anti capital dreads can be used in various contexts. From a drop on a single carrier with only a single or few dreads. Over a drop on a FAX supporting a subcap fleet. To big dread bomb to kill super carriers or titans.
Dreadbombs historically have not traded favorably against supercapital fleets with the critical mass to be effective. This means that dreadbombs are deployed either against a single vulnerable target in the hope to extract before help arrives (or dropping enough dreads to kill the target before rescue but not enough to exceed the target's value) or when a super fight is already in progress. This probably also triggered the changes to remote reps and the limitation to FAX cap boosters which reduced the overall repair amount especially for FAXs in big fleets. In the super fights since then, such as M2-XFE, dreadnoughts have not traded well with critical mass titan fleets. In the M2-XFE armor timer, a TEST dreadbomb got destroyed by lance doomsdays from some of the Imperium's titans. In the rescue/extraction fight, a large PAPI dreadbomb was enough to distract the Imperium's titans and cover the extraction of most of the PAPI titans. However, this dreadbomb did not trade effectively against the Imperium. While it accomplished the objective and brought a win for the PAPI side, the cost was several hundred dreadnoughts against six Imperium titans.
The high DPS of a dreadnought means that for structures that do not have a damage cap (i.e. not the newer Upwell structures), it can be worth dropping enough dreadnoughts to take down the structure in a single siege cycle. However, this means that the dreadnoughts' owners need to be sure that they can defend the dreadnoughts against a counter drop.
For structures with damage caps, dreadnoughts are a bad idea. They will be stuck for long enough that a response fleet with tackle can easily reach the structure and the siege module immobilizes them so that they cannot get away from the response fleet. Carriers are much better for this purpose for other reasons too: they do not require ammunition or strontium clathrates to be effective and they engage from beyond the range of the structure's anti-capital weapons.
Vindicator-supported Capgun dreads
This is a rare but deadly strategy used in Class 5 and Class 6 Wormhole engagements. In most cases, this is done using two Naglfars fitted with anti-capital Hexa-2500mm Repeating Cannons, and one Apostle (or other Force Auxiliary), supported by one or more Vindicators, Lokis, and Huginns. The objective of this composition is to use the Vindicator's webs to completely immobilize enemy cruisers and battleships, then target paint them with the Huginn and quickly eliminate them with the anti-capital weapons of the Naglfars (which, while they ordinarily cannot hit subcapitals, have little trouble hitting stationary targets). The Loki and Huginn together are able to apply webs to enemies outside of Vindicator range, and the Force Auxiliary is in charge of keeping the support ships alive under enemy fire. Variations of this strategy are employed both by independent roamers and by high-class Wormhole groups in major engagements with one another.