The State of Frigates: Pirate Faction
We've looked at the current state of T1 and T2 Frigates in Eve, so now it is time to look at the Pirate Faction Frigates. There aren't many of these available right now, but there is a new one coming in the expansion - the Garmur. It looks like the Garmur will fit in nicely with the current selection and take its place right along side the others.
Remember, this is all written from the perspective of a pirate. One who flies small gang and solo primarily.
All Pirate Frigates stick out like a sore-thumb, are expensive, and usually garner a lot of attention when they appear in local. They are ships for the bold and the daring, flying one makes a statement and requires the proper respect. And also the understanding that others want to make a trophy out of you. For good reason.
(8/10) The Astero, the newest addition to the Pirate Frigate line-up up until the Garmur shows up, has proven itself to be perhaps the most versatile of the Pirate Frigates. That distinction doesn't seem to be threatened by the newcomer, which is good news. Versatility is good, but it also comes with a price. (Not to mention the price that all Pirate Frigs come with, cost and visibility.) The Astero can sport a very healthy and robust tank and in many configurations extremely respectable damage, its drone capacity is good, and it even has the ability to cloak if desired.
The Astero is a great addition to Eve and has quickly found its place amongst the other Pirate Frigates. But it is also a highly sought after trophy and one that requires special skill to fly properly. The addition of cloaking abilities makes the Astero popular amongst the "run-away" crowd.
Strengths: Tank and drones Weaknesses: It acts like a Cruiser, but it is only a Frigate after all.
(10/10) Eve's only perfect Frigate, the Daredevil is supremely great at being a Pirate Frigate and personifies the class in ways that the other ships wish they could. Perfectly balanced the Daredevil is often accused of being OP, but it isn't. It just happens to be perfectly designed for what it is. The Daredevil balances damage, tank and speed in a way that makes perfect sense, something I wish more Frigates in Eve did. While in the right hands, the Daredevil can be extremely scary, as befits a superior Pirate Frigate. I make no bones about it, the Daredevil is my favorite Eve ship.
Daredevils are typically fit one of two ways in Low Sec, rail or blaster. Both have their pluses and minuses, and both are legit ways to fly the ship. There are other more uncommon fits, but typically all fits are designed around one of the other of these weapon systems. I suggest only flying this ship when you are properly skilled enough to do so, poorly fit and under-skilled Daredevils are an abomination and an insult.
Strengths: Balance Weaknesses: None
(6/10) You don't see this ship very often in Low Sec. Many people don't like them, but I've had mine for a long time and it is still alive. I actually flew it in the last FFA and it is still alive. Don't get me wrong, the ship has serious downsides and isn't extremely good at anything. It demands a certain level of care when flying and is not intended as a daily choice to PvP with. The Succubus also happens to be perfectly balanced, and is the darker side of that philosophy, since its balance means it isn't specific enough to garner much use on a regular basis.
You can judge the effectiveness of any ship by judging how likely you are to attack one when they appear on d-scan. The Succubus ranks highly on that scale, which tells you all you need to know about the ship. It is expensive and unless it is being used properly, it is a high-impact target.
Strength: Projection Weaknesses: Depends on the fit
(7/10) The Cruor excels at small gang warfare, it is a great choice to help support the efforts of other ships. While it can be used solo, the attention it gets in local often precludes any attempts to do so. Like all of the Pirate Faction ships on this list, I judge them not only on their own merits, but also on experience. What good is a PvP ship if everyone either runs away, or forms up a gang to kill you?
I like Cruors on their own merits, they are nasty little things that can suck another ship dry. But I don't fly them very often.
Strength: Neuts Weaknesses: Attention
(8/10) Once the king of the Pirate Frigates the Dramiel's once vaunted abilities have been curbed downward over the years. Make no mistake, it is still a force to be reckoned with and with proper skill can be an amazingly epic little ship. Last week we encountered one running with Links in a nearby system and it slaughtered several of us before we were able to force it off the field.
Dramiels are tough to fit properly and should only be flown when you have the skills to fit it as well as it deserves. Like the Daredevil, the Dram is a beast that demands respect. Dual prop fits are common, as are faction web versions, weapons can vary but typically the are AC fit with either armor or more daring shield tanks. I've even seen some recently with dual tanks.
Strength: Toughness Weaknesses: It is a Frigate!
(4/10) I haven't flown a Worm in over two years, which should tell you all you need to know about the Worm. I've probably flown every other ship BS and below in the last two years.
The Worm still needs work. Don't fly it.
Maybe I'll take a look at Cruisers next.