December 13, 2010

Harpy: How to Do It Wrong

Update (2018-05-31):  This post is still accurate despite the significant rebalancing the Harpy has seen since it was made. Blaster Harpy is just wrong!
Remember how a while ago I was talking about how it is beneficial to use a ship's bonuses to fit it? Tonight I shall elaborate on this a bit more than just putting blasters on a Rifter. Let's put blasters on a Harpy!

I mean, why not? It's meant to use hybrid turrets, and receives a damage bonus based on the Assault Frigate skill, right? Plus, searching for Harpy images even brings up a fit for it as the first result! Well, I don't much like that fit (I like Damage Controls), so I made my own:

So, it looks pretty good! That optimal range on the blasters is awesome, isn't it? I mean, the Harpy does get an optimal range bonus of 10% per Caldari Frigate skill level, and 10% per Assault Ships skill level, but that doesn't matter, right? If I were to make up a fit that followed the bonuses, I would have come up with something like this:

I mean, it might be able to hit out to 20 km, but it deals almost half the damage of the blaster version, and has less tank! Clearly, it sucks. Well, let's compare these two beauties, and, for a point of reference, include a Wolf, which is an assault ship intended to use short range weapons (as it has two damage bonuses and one falloff bonus).

Hm, off the bat it appears the Wolf boasts more damage than the blaster Harpy. It doesn't have a sweet 2 km optimal range, though! How are we to know which really does more damage? Fortunately, the EVE Fitting Tool features a neat graph which approximates damage over distance, given the attacker's and target's velocity vectors. Let's compare the Harpy and the Wolf in a dogfight against an arbitrary Rifter, when orbiting at approximately half their speeds.

Red: Blaster Harpy; Blue: Autocannon Wolf
Well that's... unexpected. And rather painful for the Harpy. If the Wolf use his falloff wisely and keeps distance rather than being in its target's face, it will deal much more damage than the Harpy can ever hope to achieve. However, if you notice, the railgun Harpy is waiting there for me to turn it on. Let's see what happens if I do, and also turn off microwarpdrives (to emulate scrambling).

Red: Blaster Harpy; Blue: Autocannon Wolf: Green: Railgun Harpy
Oof, look at that damage! An interesting point, though: at any distance further than 10 km, the railgun Harpy beats both the Wolf and blaster Harpy by far. And since the railgun Harpy is faster than both of them, it can just chip either of them (and the dummy target Rifter) to shreds. Of course, there will be some skeptics who say "but what of railgun tracking?" Well, what of it? Let's turn all microwarpdrives on, and orbit at full speed.

Red: Blaster Harpy; Blue: Autocannon Wolf: Green: Railgun Harpy
Except, if the railgun Harpy were to fight either of them, the tracking would be the least of its worries, as the target would be trying to burn at it, and the Harpy could just kite and shoot away at the resulting lowered transversal.

So, yeah. Ship bonuses. Use them. Then you might get awesome kills since nobody expects you to actually fly a ship the way it's supposed to be flown.