The Age of Cerberus?

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.

7 thoughts on “The Age of Cerberus?

  1. Kirith Kodachi

    The Cerberus’ ability to move and align faster to make up for its smaller DPS compared to the Drake quite a bit. A Cerb with an AB is surprisingly speedy, and the smaller signature helps make the tank last longer than sheer numbers would suggest.

    Also, consider using 5 Heavy Assault Missile launchers on the Cerberus. With its bonus to range it can hit up to 24+ km with them and coupled with its speed and agility it can really bring pain to bear that the Drake cannot manage with similar weapons.

    I use a Cerberus for 0.0/wormhole ratting where moving quickly can be an asset that the Drake’s extra tank does not make up for. And its a dead sexy looking ship :)

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  2. p@tsh@t

    Slightly different context, but was thinking about the Raven v. Navy Raven in the same way and trying to decide whether the almost 4x premium was really worth it.

    Whaddya think?

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  3. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    For me, the Navy Raven was worth the incremental upgrades it gives for the price primarily because I had enough money on hand. The extra launcher is nice as well as the increase in CPU and power grid. But is it worth 4x the price? If I was scraping to save up for something else… well… no. I ran enough level 4 missions in a plain to know that it is a luxury buy.

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  4. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    @Kirith – I looked at Heavy Assault Launchers in EFT and they did not seem to provide that much of a boost to damage when comparing 5x HAML IIs vs. 5x HML IIs.

    Perhaps I am looking at it wrong. What is the purpose in life, the sweet spot if you will, for Heavy Assault Missiles when compared to Heavy Missiles?

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  5. Tony "EVE's Weekend Warrior"

    I would most def suggest you keep the Drake for running missions to grab aggro only. If you want to solo then get the Cerb as its tank when you can manage it is great!

    Like KK said, WH’ing the Cerb is also nice.

    As for the Raven Vs CNR, the CNR is most better than the Raven if you can get it!

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  6. Gribblethemunchkin

    Signature radius is very much underappreciated. Drakes are going to get much more damage from larger weapons than the small and nimble cerberus will. Also, against anything that doesn’t do EM damage (the bane of Caldari pilots) the Cerberus has such good base resists that you can stick up a good tank with minimal hardeners.

    I personally like to tailor my ships (not my setups) to match mission baddies. A good cerberus can chew through explosive/kinetic damage dealing baddies.

    The cost effectiveness arguement isn’t to my mind a good one. Certainly a raven (or in this case a drake) is cheaper than a CNr (or cerberus) but if the cerberus or CNR is affordable to you and if it is better than the vanilla option, you should go with it.

    I’ve not owned a cerberus but i did have a CNR for a long time, it was much better than a normal raven, increased tank AND gank. It made missions go faster since i was killing quicker and i hence made more money off it.

    Think of it like a hauler, sure, you can haul with a badger, but a bustard lets you do the same thing with less trips. Hence more cash/hour.

    A general good rule is always upgrade if you can afford it and if your skills are good enough to make it worthwhile.

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