I'd love to come out here and say that these people are absolutely wrong, and that they are horrible people who badly need to be podded. But I'd be wrong if I said that. (I'd still want to pod them though.)
|Two tiers of Minmatar Battlecruisers: Cyclone, and Hurricane|
But what does this mean?
In essence, it means that if a Cyclone and a Hurricane headbutted each other, the Hurricane would most likely win. Let's run a comparison between these ships:
- Bonuses - Battlecruiser Skill Bonus: 5% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret rate of fire and 7.5% bonus to shield boosting per level; 99% reduction in the CPU need of Warfare Link modules.
- Slot layout - 8/5/4 (5 turrets, 3 launchers)
- Powergrid - 1210 MW; CPU: 425 tf; Capacitor: 2187 MJ
- Shield HP: 4395; Armor HP: 3906; Speed: 165 m/s
- Drone bay: 40 m3; Drone bandwidth: 40 Mb/sec
- Bonuses - Battlecruiser Skill Bonus: 5% increase in projectile weapons damage and Rate of Fire; 99% reduction in the CPU need of Warfare Link modules.
- Slot layout - 8/4/6 (6 turrets, 3 launchers)
- Powergrid: 1350 MW; CPU: 400 tf; Capacitor: 2182 MJ
- Shield HP: 4297; Armor HP: 4688; Speed: 165 m/s
- Drone bay: 30 m3; Drone bandwidth: 30 Mb/sec
The Hurricane gets an extra turret, and an extra 25% damage bonus (at Battlecruisers V) on top of that compared to the Cyclone; the Cyclone's extra missile slot can't make up for that. The Cyclone gets a shield boost bonus instead, which is largely useless in anything but 1v1 fights (and even then it's debatable, and a possible subject for a later blog post). It also means the Cyclone has a large disadvantage in capacitor compared to the Hurricane, as they have the same capacitor but the Hurricane sports a buffer tank.
Hence, the "Hurricanes are better, why are you ever even considering using a Cyclone, you are a terrible person".
But you said tiers also don't matter?
Yes. I usually respond to harassment about my choice in ships with "it's much cheaper," or "I need to active shield tank these explosive-damage rats," or "the extra CPU makes it easier to do cloaking," or "shut up it has sentimental value to me."
See, just because a ship is lower tier doesn't mean it should never be used, or that the higher tier ship should always be used. For example, the Hyperion battleship out-damages the Megathron on paper, and is 3rd tier compared to the 2nd tier of the Megathron, but the Megathron is often a more practical choice due to its tracking bonus, lower price, and larger drone bay.
So, what are the tiers?
Hooray, tables. Click the image to see it full size.
|Note that EW stands for "electronic warfare," not an onomatopoeic reaction to the ship.|
What? No, I don't! What do these tiers mean?!
(New section based on Reddit asking for moar)
Let's look at these individually, going down the table.
The logistics and EW cruisers are in tiers of their own, since it's hard to compare them on just combat merits.
In logistics, the Exequror and Osprey actually serve as repair ships (for armor and shield, respectively), while the Augoror and Scythe are mostly miners/haulers and provide bonuses to tracking links -- which I have yet to see used effectively in a combat situation.
|"Can't track this!"|
|"I will blink you to death with my flashing lights!"|
|Don't let the 'Rax come up from behind.|
The "Battlecruiser" name always struck me as odd. Are Cruisers not battle-y enough?
Differently from the cruisers, the lower tier battlecruisers have the lower flexibility. Tier 1 battlecruisers usually only have a few ways of being flown "right". Be it the Cyclone's "damage sponge" active tank, the Brutix's "glass cannon" firepower, or the Prophecy being bait, there are few ways you can get creative with these. Well, there are some creative fits, like a Prophecy with six medium neuts. I have no idea what the Ferox is good for. Halloween prop?
|No seriously, maybe someone can enlighten me.|
|Triple armor repairers for triple the asshat|
The battleship tiers tend to vary in ambiguity by race. The price/material differences, of course, are still there, but you can't really compare the Caldari battleships to each other since they all have such different roles: the Raven is a close range slugger with torpedoes (or cruise missile sniper, but I don't see that much), the Scorpion is an EW ship, and the Rokh is pure sniper, I-will-peck-at-your-hit-points-from-300-km-away style.
|It even looks like some long gun thing.|
|Pew pew! Er... Bnarrr!!|
The Minmatar Tempest and Maelstrom are both good at both close and long ranges (though, of course, this depends on the fit). They also usually shield tank, which gives them more agility and ability to outmaneuver an enemy fleet.
|A friend of mine once said the Tempest is so agile it doesn't deserve to be a battleship.|
Wait, but how do I use tiers to win?
Fly high tier ships mindlessly? Tiers are a very rough reference of how "good" a ship is. Very rough. Also, they aren't always correct, nor are they always relevant (see Caldari battleships). However, if you run into an Abaddon, which is a tier 3 battleship, you can pretty safely bet it will be tougher (by whatever definition) than an Armageddon (a tier 1 battleship). Same with a Rupture vs a Stabber, or a Drake vs a Ferox. That's all, really.
Oh, and remember, they are also good for feeling good when you belittle people's preferences for lower tier ships. They are excellent at that.