|The Mighty Maelstrom|
The other day one of my Corpmates reported spotting a Maelstrom on scan in the neighboring system. It appeared to be alone. There were a couple of Omen Navy Issues around, but they didn't seem to be together. As always, we took this as an opportunity and assembled our team. I had recently fitted up a new Sacrilege with the intention of starting to fly them again, so I figured why not try it out. Cerv volunteered to bring armor Logistics and we had a handful of small frigates on hand.
We got tackle and started pounding on the Battleship. And while the Sac and my flock of Frigs was doing good damage, we probably were not able to inflict more dps than his shield boost. It all boiled down to waiting until he ran out of charges. During the first round of this fight the two ONIs showed up just as the Maelstrom's neuts made me lose point and the Battleship actually warped off. I burned down one of the ONIs and almost killed him before he wisely ran off. My Sacrilege is a nasty beast. Lucky for us, and unexpectedly, the Maelstrom came back for another round. And this time we weren't going to let it go. 188,340 points of damage later, and it finally exploded.
Kudos to the pilot for the good fight and for coming back to finish the job. This post isn't about the pilot, the fight, or any mistakes that were made. Its about the ship. And in a larger context the entire Battleship class. I can't tell you the last time I saw a Maelstrom in space. I think it has been at least two years. Obviously we don't get as many BS in Low Sec as they might out in Null, or even in WHs. But we do get our fair share. Mostly these days it seems like Machs are the flavor of our times. The other day a fleet went thru Black Rise that had about nine Machariels in it, along with the usual support. Machariels travel well, which is understandable. Being able to move is an important asset in Low Sec space. The fleets are generally smaller and the targets further apart. Other BS are generally "system hogs" or gate camping BS. (A "system hog" is a ship that lives in one system, usually used to break up camps or in an enforcing role in a single system or two.) You see a lot of Hyperions, Domis, and Geddons in this role.
The other day Kirith suggested making the warp to range in Eve much larger than the current 150k. This makes a lot of sense in many ways, but perhaps the greatest potential impacts a class of ships that have gotten the short end of the stick over the past few years. And that is the Sniper Class. Of which the Maelstrom was once a majestic maestro at performing. There are other reasons for expanding the warp to distance in Eve now that grid sizes have gotten larger, but a return of the sniper Battleship is certainly a big one.
Over the years Eve has condensed and gotten more crowded. More ships, more points of interest, more destination based engagement. Plexes, gates, stations, missions, and other places to be. The vastness, the largesse, the expanse has been lost in many cases. Now that we are thinking bigger, with Citadels around the corner, it is time to expand the engagement space even more.
There is a lot of empty space in New Eden, it is time we started using more of it. And hopefully it won't be another two years before I see another Maelstrom in space.