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So here’s my dilema:  How do you test the effectiveness of a ship, whose setup varies greatly depending on its purpose?  See, the more I pondered some of the criticisms of X1376, and the more I looked at the reasons why I chose to use the Rapier as I do (which is doing rather well in combat) the realization came to me that for me to give a serious and honest assessment of making an Effective recon would require alot different testing.  I try my best to make sure that I give not only a good, solid setup.. but also the reasoning behind it, the flaws pilots will need to overcome, as well as any tactics I have used in PVP that I found useful.  However, with ships like the Prophecy and Muninn, their tasks are relatively simple compared to that of Recon.  Therefore, I am now developing a series of tests, specifically for the Rapier to find out if the configuration I have laid before you as a quality fit performs as good, better, or worse than what has become a standard configuration Rapier.

So far, the test will consist of the following things:

  • The Tackle Test – This test compares the ability of the Rapiers to tackle a target (the example case will be a Hurricane or Harbinger) and hold onto that target for upwards of a minute and a half to two minutes while being attacked by the target.  The timer is what I estimate to be worst case scenario for a support fleet to reach you for the kill.
  • The Pirate Test – This test compares the ability of the Rapiers to destroy an enemy target.  The target will again be a battlecruiser (either a Hurricane or Harbinger) and the purpose will be to get the target into structure using any and all means necessary, but limited to bonused e-war and combat drones.
  • The Support Test – This test covers the effectiveness at what I personally think is the hardest task in a roaming gang.  Taking out an interceptor trying to crash a gate.  I have already done this using my armor tanked Rapier to great effect (caught a Dramiel on a Regional gate once, and quite a few inties at other times as well), but it would be good to compare that to the standard Rapier setup.
  • The Roam Test – This test will simply cover how well this ship travels.  To be honest, I only need to do one test and that is with my configured Rapier in a HAC gang.  Armor tanked ships are notorious for being slow to align and slow to accelerate to warp.  While this isn’t much of a problem in Battlecruiser gangs, HAC gangs are very much a different story since they rely alot more on speed to outflank the enemy.  I KNOW the armor tanked Rapier will perform worse than the shield tanked Rapier, but I need to know by how much.. is it a little bit, or is it critically more?

If you have any additional testing suggestions, or if you see a flaw in my testing procedures, please feel free to give suggestions.  The results will be posted later when I go through with it and I will let folks know if perhaps my configurations are “not good” (edit: I thought he said “fail”, but I was wrong) as X1376 puts it, or if they are a more viable alternative than most have assumed.

In the meantime, make sure to keep your ammo loaded and your targets running.

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