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The Vexor is a strong combat ship that is also geared to operate in a variety of other roles. The Vexor is especially useful for surveying in potentially hostile sectors as it can stay on duty for a very long time before having to return to base. Furthermore, it is well capable of defending itself against even concentrated attacks.
Gallente Cruiser bonuses (per skill level):
The Vexor is a dedicated drone boat. It has 75mb of drone bandwidth, allowing it to field a mixed flight of medium and heavy drones at a time, and has the drone bay to carry a few replacements or an additional flight of light drones. This gives the Vexor great flexibility for long roams, where it can carry a full flight of medium and light damage drones, as well as a flight of light repair or EWAR drones to deploy as the situation dictates. While the Vexor has a bonus to hybrid guns, this can be ignored if desired due to a large amount of the Vexor's DPS coming from drones anyway, and Vexors with autocannons, nosferatu and/or neutralisers are common. With 4 mids and 5 lows Vexors are most often armor tanked.
The Vexor is also a great ship to use for salvaging missions as they are completed. By using 2 Salvagers, a Small Tractor Beam, a Drone Link Augmentor and a single Hybrid Turret (to draw aggro) in the high slots a moderately drone-skilled capsuleer can securely complete level 2 missions while salvaging. Salvaging level 2 missions is debatably profitable however the salvage/mission fit Vexor can complete level 2s in respectable time when compared to a straight mission fit Vexor.
Among T1 cruisers the Vexor is a little more skill demanding than the Thorax. In particular, you should not get a Vexor unless you have at least Drones 4 and should make getting Drones 5 a high priority.
- Drones V: You shouldn't get into the Vexor until you have this. You'll be killing your DPS and it is a lossmail waiting to happen.
- Drone Interfacing III: (IV ideally) 10% increase in drone damage per level? What are you waiting for? Get this yesterday.
- Drone Navigation III: to fit the Drone Navigation Computer (+25% drone speed) and provide an increase of 5% per level. Reduce the travel time of drones to your target.
- Drone Sharpshooting III: (get IV ASAP) Increases optimal range of drones, they start shooting at your target sooner.
- Light Drone Operation V and Medium Drone Operation V: Both give 5% increase to their drone type. Get them ASAP; they give you access to T2 Light and Medium Drones, respectively.
- Drone Avionics III: Another very important skill. At V, your drones will have an engagement sphere of 45km. At III, you can fit the Drone Link Augmentor in a high slot, increasing drone control range +20km per module fit. This lets you engage kiters/snipers. Get it to V if you are a serious droneboater. For even more range (and access to E-War drones!), continue into Advanced Drone Avionics.
- Heavy Drone Operation V: 5% increase to damage of Heavy drones. Very important when fighting big ships with T2 Heavy drones at Level V. Note your bandwidth can't support a full flight of 5.
You should not neglect your Gunnery either. Combining both can make the Vexor have crazy amounts of dps for a ship its size.
If you're coming from the Algos (and conventional MMO master/minion tactical thinking), you might think your drones must do the fighting for you, while you sit back and direct them like a conductor. The Vexor can make a useful contribution doing this, and in a solo situation against a kiting target you may be forced to do this.
That said, the Vexor has a remarkably high potential damage output for a T1 cruiser, and to get that potential out of the Vexor you need to do the exact opposite. Closing in on the enemy, a fit with bonused blasters backed by good support and fitting skills can act as a sixth drone, melting opponents. Even with Meta 4 guns, mid-range drone skills and T1 drones, you could be pumping out over 450DPS in a buffer shield-tanked Vexor. Move into T2 drones and you start breaking 500+DPS.
A fit with projectile turrets and an energy neutralizer can add significant turret DPS by closing range, and, with few other demands on its capacitor, can drain small- and medium-sized ships' energy. A single medium neut can cause serious problems to many frigates, potentially shutting down their tank and/or tackle and/or DPS.
The PvP Vexor can mount a buffer shield tank, a buffer armor tank, or an active armor tank. The shield buffer Vexor is high on DPS, as damage-amplifying modules can be fitted in the abundant low slots, but light on EHP; expect to do a lot of damage, but not to stay on field very long once you are primaried. The armor buffer on a Vexor can achieve very impressive EHP for a T1 cruiser, second only to the Maller, and still deliver over 500DPS with good skills. An active armor tank with a cap booster and two armor repairers is possible, and can prove its worth in 1v1 or very-small-gang situations, but requires more pilot management and will struggle with the incoming DPS from anything larger than a very limited group of small enemies.
All-in-all the Vexor is a classic "droneboat", and has a droneboat's strengths and weaknesses: powerful capacitor-independent DPS, tactical flexibility from multiple drone flights, and a variety of viable fittings, balanced by drone travel time, drone vulnerability, and the problem of preserving drone connections in fights which involve long strung-out ranges or frequent tactical warps.
In PvE, fitting two-three blasters and a drone link augmenter would do the job.
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|A long, long time ago...|
|October 2019 Release - 2019-10-15.1
Every Cruiser, Battlecruiser and Battleship now warps faster than before.
Lifeblood v. 1.0 - Build 1203953 - 24.10.17
Retribution v. 1.0 - Build 476047 - 23.10.12
The Vexor is being updated to better take advantage of its existing bonuses to hybrid weapon damage and drone damage/hitpoints via an extra midslot and improved speed. Combined with the relatively low mass of the Vexor hull this makes a ship that can deal incredible damage very effectively.