I was playing the EVEMon “what if” game the other day with my alt, just to see how much training he would need to get into different ships when I hit the Heavy Assault Ship section and found out that he was less than a day from flying one of those nasty cruiser-class killers.
So I started playing around with configurations in EVE Fitting Tool. The missile oriented Caldari Heavy Assault Ship, the Cerberus, certainly has a lot going for it. With his skills, my alt can put together a pretty fearsome setup in a Cerberus, including one where I could leave a Medium Shield Booster II running all the time with a stable capacitor. With large pools of CPU and power to draw on I was also able to fill all five launcher slots with Heavy Missile Launcher II modules.
All very interesting.
And then I brought up my alt’s Drake in EFT and started to compare.
The Cerberus can lock targets further out (100km vs. 75km), locks those targets faster, moves a little bit faster (not unimportant when facing ships with turrets), and, surprisingly, has a much bigger cargo hold.
The Drake, on the other hand, can mount those same five tech II launchers, plus two more tech I launchers, and can also throw five light drones into the fray, all of which puts the Drake ahead in sheer damage output.
Then there is the mighty-mighty Drake tank. Sometimes, when running level 4 missions with my main and my alt, I just throw my alt in to grab aggro with his Drake. I know the Drake’s shield will hold up long enough for me to whittle down the bad guys and since it is completely passive I do not have to fiddle with anything. (Whittle & fiddle?)
And finally there is the price. In my region I calculate that I can buy and fit three Drake hulls for the same amount of ISK it would take to acquire the Cerberus and its fittings. I recognize that there is a certain amount of “cool” factor with the Cerberus, but is it worth three Drakes?
So I have to conclude that the Cerberus might not be the best choice for somebody who primarily runs missions.
Not that I won’t buy one and try it, just to see. One of the joys of EVE is that little is “bind on equip” if you will, so if I don’t like it, I can always put it up for sale if I don’t like it. But I wonder if I should bother.