Tactical Destroyers (T3Ds') are the Tech 3 variants of destroyers.
In EVE’s lore, tactical destroyers are the evolution of Sleeper technology into the currently known technology base. In practical gameplay terms, they are expensive, powerful, and extremely flexible destroyer-sized ships.
Tactical destroyers are very versatile ships, with the unique ability to switch between three different tactical modes while in space:
- Defense Mode, which increases damage resistances and reduces signature radius (or amour repairer cycle time, for the Hecate).
- Propulsion Mode, which increases velocity and agility. This agility improvement allows tactical destroyers to very easily achieve sub-2-second alignment times.
- Sharpshooter Mode, which increases weapon range (or tracking speed, for the Svipul), weapon damage, targeting range, sensor strength, and electronic warfare resistance.
Switching tactical modes takes effect immediately, and can be done once every 10 seconds. If the tactical mode switch would affect the stats of one or more modules, and those modules are active at the time of the switch, the modules will receive the effects from the start of their next cycle.
All Tactical Destroyers also have two "Misc" Bonuses: a large damage bonus to their racial weapons type, and a 95% reduction to the CPU cost of Scan Probe Launchers. This allows all tactical destroyers to fit an Expanded Probe Launcher, and utilize Combat Scanner Probes, without sacrificing any other capabilities.
Tactical Destroyers are able to utilize overheating to much greater effect than other destroyers, for two reasons. First, every tactical destroyer skill level provides a reduction to the heat damage inflicted on modules. Second, tactical destroyers have fewer weapon hardpoints than other destroyers (4–5, rather than 7–8), meaning they also generate heat more slowly.
- Confessor - A jack of all trades, and master of most of them. The most durable of the T3Ds, and with the greatest range flexibility. However, locked to EM/Thermal damage, and its three Tactical Modes have the smallest bonuses.
- Svipul - Able to mount either shields or armor, but left in an uncertain place after its past dominance was toned down.
- Jackdaw - The slowest of the T3Ds, and the only one to use Missiles, but able to achieve ridiculously long range and perfect damage type choice and application. However, its damage output at that range is limited.
- Hecate - The fastest in Propulsion, and the highest-damage in Sharpshooter, but also inescapably fragile. Very much an 'all or nothing' ship, but able to punch up or punch down with fearful effectiveness.
As Tech 3 ships, tactical destroyers are not considered variants of Tech 1 hulls, and are constructed using blueprints and materials obtained within Wormhole space. However, unlike Strategic Cruisers, Tech 3 destroyers are not composed of subsystems, and do not require the associated skills.
Tactical destroyers were introduced in the Rhea expansion (Dec 2014), starting with the Confessor. The Svipul was released in the Tiamat expansion (Feb 2015), the Jackdaw was released in the Carnyx expansion (Jun 2015), and the Hecate was released in the Aegis expansion (July 2015).
In November, 2016, all four tactical destroyers received a significant balance pass. This included overhauls to their tactical mode bonuses, which were performed in such a way that any tactical destroyers which have not been used since before that patch may give errors about invalid module fitting when attempting to undock, as a result of the deprecated tactical mode being still present. These errors should only ever appear once, although if they arise they will generate a rather odd (and unusable) item in the hangar from which the ship tried to undock.