April 18, 2012

Adventures in Gimmickry, Part 2: The Malediction

Well, so long as Kahega is giving away trademark fittings, I may as well do the same. I have talked about this fitting in passing before, but here it is in more detail.

The Ship

The Malediction. It's one of the four tackle interceptors (the other three being the Stiletto, Ares, and Raptor). It's one of the fastest, but usually eschewed because it uses an armor tank - which is a bit detrimental to its speed/agility. Still, it gets 5% per Amarr Frigate level in armor resistances, which makes it pretty damn resilient.

Now, I have written a blog post in the past about how to fly tackle interceptors. Something about focusing on speed, a long point, fast targeting, a microwarpdrive, et cetera. I still recommend those fittings if you need a fast tackle interceptor, but for this... Throw that advice out the nearest window.

The Fit

Malediction fitting "I hate everything". Click for full size.
There you have it. That is an interceptor without a microwarpdrive, long point, sensor booster (or signal amplifier), and frankly a rather terrible fit. And what's that tracking disruptor doing there!?

The Reasoning

Combat interceptors (Claw, Crusader, Taranis, and somewhat Crow) rely on very high base speed (600-ish m/s) along with very low signature radius (30-35 m) to avoid most damage. So, what happens when you take the same principle and force multiply it using a 1600 m/s afterburner, a tracking disruptor, and a tanky hull? You get a nigh-unhittable interceptor.

Once the Malediction selects a target, it should also select the tracking disruption script to use. The tracking speed disruption script should be used against artillery, railgun, or laser ships, or any ship of a cruiser or larger class. Optimal range disruption should be used against blaster and autocannon frigates. When using tracking disruptions, it should orbit at 1-2 km to take maximum advantage of its speed, while when using optimal range disruption it should keep range to as far as it can. The scram range bonus helps in this respect.
Move over, Arbi, this is the real deal TD ship here.
"But why the Malediction?" you ask. It is true, the same trick works with the Stiletto (with a web, even), Ares, or Raptor just as well, but the key part here is the rockets. Rockets do not have tracking problems because of the Malediction's speed, and have the range flexibility needed when using optimal range disruption.

The tight fitting is unfortunate (as is the fact it requires a 1% CPU implant), but can be mitigated by excluding the nosferatu, and replacing it with an energy neutralizer or an offline salvager. I try to use the nos in order to preserve my ability to, for example, tackle Cynabals or Hurricanes. Because I'm crazy like that.

What It Can Do

True stories:
  • My first 1v1 victory against a capsuleer more than twice my age.
  • Tackle two Cynabals on separate occasions.
  • Defeat Taranis after Taranis in 1v1 fights.
  • Take on destroyers. Careful with the Thrasher, though. Also doesn't work against gimmicky Cormorant fits.
  • Break tracking of a Dramiel. His own bad piloting helped.
  • Almost solo'd a Loki that GCC'd on a lowsec gate. A Legion helped him at the last minute, unfortunately.
  • Great surprise support ship for frigate gangs.
Ultimate hero tackle!
What It Cannot Do

This deserves mention. Any tracking and range bonused ships are very hard to crack, particularly if they have good tracking to begin with. Same goes for drones and missiles, which are unaffected by TDs. Also stay away from ships with lots of webs. Ships with very large tanks (particularly passive tanks) are also problematic, as the little damage they do manage to do may chew through you eventually.

Jaguar and Wolf? Nope. Ishkur? Nope, those drones hurt. Vengeance? Don't even think about it. Daredevil? Yeah, no.

Merlin? Difficult, given its enormous tank and rockets. Rifter? Surprisingly difficult because of its speed, webs, and good tracking. Ships like the Slicer also require patience, good reflexes, and knowledge of how to break orbits, but they are possible to beat. 

Can't TD me, bitches!
The last thing it doesn't work against: people you have fought with it before. If they are competent, they will see you in a Malediction going at sub-MWD speeds and will set up a counter (longer range ammo, better tracking, kiting) before you ensnare them properly. Alternatively, in a fleet, you will find yourself being primaried quickly. 

Gimmick fits are very easy to gimp if expected. Their strength rests in being hard to anticipate.

The Bottom Line

Do you want a ship fitting so off the wall that most people don't see it coming, and then don't know how to deal with it? Fly this Malediction. Do you want a 25 mil ISK setup that screws over ships many, many times the cost without them seeing it coming? Fly this Malediction. Do you want a ship that makes both your allies and enemies classify you as an asshole? Fly this Malediction. 

Do you want a ship that is actually competent at what it's meant to do and competent in real combat to people's expectations (aka "is boring")? Look elsewhere.


  1. I like the fit. And also the anti-anticipation strategy!

    1. I actually usually name the ship "Spanish Inquisition". They still never expect it. :)