Oh boy have I been waiting for an excuse to write about rookie ships! That’s a lie, actually, but it sounds good and gives me a reason to write so here we are. CCP is running another Proving Grounds event between the 28th August and 1st September 2020 and this time, it’s corvettes. 5v5 teams of regular, non-pirate corvettes, in fact. It’s exciting, it’s new, and it sounds super fun.
You’ve probably already guessed that this is going to be a super strange meta. Every ship has a 2/2/2 layout with no rigs, lock ranges are below 30km for the most part, and everyone gets one drone (except the Velator which is greedy and has two). Ship bonuses also don’t mean a whole lot since a 10% damage bonus on light missiles works out to about 2DPS more. Of course, all of this applies to ships outside of the abyss and this is probably the only time I’ll ever design fits for them. I guess there was that one time I flew a Hematos though…
Update: The upcoming event only allows two of any one ship. Meaning you could use, for example, 2x Reaper + 2x Ibis + 1x Velator if you wanted to. It certainly changes things a little bit, but these fits still work.
10% bonus to ship max velocity
10% bonus to Small Projectile Turret damage
15% bonus to Target Painter effectiveness
15% bonus to Shield Booster amount
10% bonus to Small Hybrid Turret damage
20% bonus to Drone hitpoints, damage and mining yield
15% bonus to Remote Sensor Dampener effectiveness
15% bonus to Armor Repairer amount
20% reduction in Small Energy Turret activation cost
10% bonus to Small Energy Turret damage
15% bonus to Weapon Disruptor effectiveness
8% bonus to all armor resistances
20% bonus to Small Hybrid Turret optimal range
10% bonus to kinetic Light Missile and Rocket damage
30% bonus to ECM Target Jammer strength
8% bonus to all shield resistances
These fits will all be for PvP by the way. If you’re doing PvE in a corvette then stepping up to literally any frigate will be a massive improvement. If you have to use one, though, a PvP fit won’t do you wrong.
Everyone knows I’m a Minmatar fangirl so, even though it isn’t the best one out there, we are starting with the Reaper. This little rustbucket has the benefit of being the fastest corvette with bonuses to target painting too. It also makes quite a nice missile boat despite the turret bonuses. As I’ve already said, the damage bonuses hardly mean much so you can get away with whatever you like outside of super specialised fits.
So my favourite Reaper fit is one that has no tank modules whatsoever but manages 3.1km/s cold and a 45km range on your missiles. Given that the lock range of most of these ships is around 30km, it lets you effectively kite out your opponents and not need to take any damage at all. Just watch out for the drones since they won’t stop chasing. This fit can be modified by dropping the nano for more lock range, but you’ll see more of that with the Ibis anyway. There’s also a neato MASB version, but I don’t like how easily that can be alpha’d.
If you’re turning to turrets instead then it seems like it would be worth utilising that damage bonus to try and one-shot other ships off the field. This is.. possible, but a fit with any modicum of tank will only have around 369 alpha damage at 7.5-10km. Given that a light missile ship can hit you with nearly the same alpha from up to 52km I don’t think artillery is going to be popular. Autocannons are an ok option, but once again you do need to actually get on the target first. To do that you’ll need an armour/hull tank and a scram. I’ve dropped a fit in below, but you’re better off in a Velator, probably.
LML Kitey Zoomer
[Reaper, Max Range] Pro-Nav Compact Missile Guidance Enhancer Type-D Restrained Nanofiber Structure 5MN Quad LiF Restrained Microwarpdrive Alumel-Wired Enduring Sensor Booster Arbalest Compact Light Missile Launcher Arbalest Compact Light Missile Launcher Acolyte I x1 Zainou 'Gypsy' Long Range Targeting LT-801
150mm Auto Armour Brawler
[Reaper, Autocannons Armour] 200mm Rolled Tungsten Compact Plates IFFA Compact Damage Control Faint Epsilon Scoped Warp Scrambler 5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive 150mm Light 'Scout' Autocannon I 150mm Light 'Scout' Autocannon I Acolyte I x1
One of the other fun choices in the abyss (and in general) is the good old Ibis. The missile bonus isn’t so important with this ship, but it does get slightly more lock range than a Reaper. This brings the total possible range to 47km (with nano) or 52km (no nano). Once again, both of those fits will have no tank and serve to simply kite it out. Whether the extra range is more important than the speed is up to you and it depends on if a sensor damp meta develops.
The first fit below is a variant on the Reaper as already discussed. It’s slow, but if you can buy yourself just a few extra seconds to alpha 1-2 ships then that might just be worth it. There isn’t much else to say about that one, though. Fly away from people, don’t get shot or you’ll pop.
If, however, you like having tank then an armoury shieldy version is actually decent. It has a sebo once again in order to push that lock range out and is completely propless. At 3.55k EHP you can withstand two or three volleys from a determined squad of LML Reapers or other Ibis’. An
invul Multispectrum Hardener will push you over the 4k EHP mark if that’s your preference, but be mindful that you have no prop and can be kited with ease. Finally, there’s the option of swapping out the sensor booster for a bonused jam.
52km LML Range Ibis
[Ibis, Max Range] Pro-Nav Compact Missile Guidance Enhancer Pro-Nav Compact Missile Guidance Enhancer Alumel-Wired Enduring Sensor Booster 5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive TE-2100 Ample Light Missile Launcher TE-2100 Ample Light Missile Launcher Acolyte I x1 Zainou 'Deadeye' Missile Bombardment MB-701
No Prop Tanky Ibis
[Ibis, Buffer Dual Tank No Prop] Vigor Compact Micro Auxiliary Power Core 200mm Rolled Tungsten Compact Plates Medium Azeotropic Restrained Shield Extender Alumel-Wired Enduring Sensor Booster Arbalest Compact Light Missile Launcher Arbalest Compact Light Missile Launcher Acolyte I x1
The Velator is everyone’s favourite corvette for one simple reason. Drones. It can fit two of the little bastards, giving it a DPS advantage over every other option. This also opens up the potential for even longer range kiting than the Ibis, too. Further still, the Velator has a damp bonus. It isn’t a big one but it’s significant.
So to use all of those bonuses in one neat package, I’m proposing a remote rep setup of light missile Velators. The single launcher is there to save your crew from being defanged instantly and losing the match that way. Armour buffer with shield reps also doesn’t matter too much since it isn’t like you are using resist mods; the shield reps will be effective regardless of how much armour is left. Two variants are to swap the signal amplifier to a small local ancil rep or to drop the sebo for a second damp or afterburner.
And then we have the brawly boi. The Velator gets just over 100 DPS if you go all in on blasters. In a world where 50 DPS is pretty good, that’s goddamn facemelting. My suggestion would just be that a team of brawling Velators should use dedicated tackle. 2x Reaper, 1x Impairor, and 2x Velator for example. This allows your high DPS Velators to have a 2.55k EHP tank without worrying if they’ll ever catch their target. At the very least your drones can put in work while you burn around.
The final option I have is another “brawler” and should just about work without tackle support. It does this by using 6-10km antimatter railguns to deal about 50 DPS while you chase people around grid. I’ve gone with 125mm railguns here since the range difference was so significant, but you can opt for a 75mm version and do very well too. It’ll also give you an extra low slot for speed or tank.
[Velator, 200mm Damp RR] F-89 Compact Signal Amplifier 200mm Crystalline Carbonide Restrained Plates Kapteyn Compact Sensor Dampener Alumel-Wired Enduring Sensor Booster Arbalest Compact Light Missile Launcher Small Ancillary Remote Shield Booster Acolyte I x1 Warrior I x1
High DPS Blasters
[Velator, Blaster Arena shield] Micro Auxiliary Power Core I Type-D Restrained Overdrive Injector 5MN Quad LiF Restrained Microwarpdrive Medium Azeotropic Restrained Shield Extender Modal Light Electron Particle Accelerator I Modal Light Electron Particle Accelerator I Acolyte I x1 Warrior I x1
[Velator, Rail Brawler] Mark I Compact Power Diagnostic System Vigor Compact Micro Auxiliary Power Core Medium F-S9 Regolith Compact Shield Extender 5MN Quad LiF Restrained Microwarpdrive 125mm Prototype Gauss Gun 125mm Prototype Gauss Gun Hobgoblin I x2
Alright, this is the difficult one. The Impairor is kind of just a brick that can’t move much and doesn’t do a whole lot of damage. Then again, I am saying this after having just fit up the rest of the ships.
My suggestion is to use a ship like this as a logi boat in a long-range RR comp. The weapon disruption bonus means that it can perform in a dual-role of missile disruptor too. Given that I expect light missile kiters to be popular, we can assume that missile guidance disruption will work well too. It should drop the range of a standard Ibis down to 17km forcing them much closer and potentially stopping damage for a few precious seconds. Two of these would work wonders with three of those RR Velators above. My only warning is that you can lock just three targets so be careful with that.
Another option is to run this in the same way as the brawling rail Velator above. Something like an Oracle I suppose, but tiny. I’m also sorry for running shield here but despite bonuses, a 200mm plate is still kind of trash! It should work, but I’m not so sure it’s worth it. No, it isn’t pulse since I can’t use Scorch 🙁
That should be everything anyway. You’ve already seen how I would fit a pirate rookie ship and really those are just meant for whoring your way up the exclusive killboard. I look forward to seeing how this short lived meta develops and I hope that it doesn’t turn out like the Slicer event where nobody is around to fight!
RR Disruption Impairor
[Impairor, RR Logi Disruption] 400mm Rolled Tungsten Compact Plates Micro Auxiliary Power Core I A-211 Enduring Guidance Disruptor A-211 Enduring Guidance Disruptor Small Ancillary Remote Shield Booster Small Ancillary Remote Armor Repairer Acolyte I x1
[Impairor, Tiny Oracle] Vigor Compact Micro Auxiliary Power Core Mark I Compact Power Diagnostic System Medium Azeotropic Restrained Shield Extender 5MN Quad LiF Restrained Microwarpdrive Dual Modulated Light Energy Beam I Dual Modulated Light Energy Beam I Warrior I x1