Oh boy have I had a… weird time with this one. I’ve taken way too long and have explored just about every aspect of the Proteus. Most of the time you end up with a fit where you might as well use another ship instead, but there are definitely some interesting niches that it finds itself occupying. Hyperspatial hunter, smartbomb Proteus, or otherwise, this is how you fit a Proteus in 2020, despite its flaws.
To begin we have the subsystems and base stats:
Base Ship Bonuses
Gallente Strategic Cruiser bonuses (per skill level):
5% reduction in module damage from overheating
10% bonus to nanite repair paste repair speed
99% reduction in Scan Probe Launcher CPU requirements
Rigs may be removed from this ship without being destroyed
On ship destruction, the pilot will lose one random subsystem skill level
(Pick one of each from the following)
- Extra capacitor regen, neut resistance, and lots of powergrid.
- Longer targeting, better sensor strength, and lots of CPU.
- Large bonuses to warp scram/disruption range & heating, and a reduction in heat damage.
- A lot more armour HP, better overheat of active hardeners
- Better armour reps, better overheating of armour reps
- Can fit a cloak, smaller bonuses to armour repping.
- Drone velocity, HP, damage, and tracking speed + hybrid tracking.
- Hybrid turret damage, falloff, and tracking.
- Can fit command bursts and remote armour reps like an Oneiros but with overheating bonuses.
- Agility, warp velocity, and acceleration bonuses.
- Reduction to prop mod cap consumption, prop heating bonus.
- Same warp bonuses, no agility bonus, less cap need for warping, and immune to warp disruption bubbles.
At first, this doesn’t seem so bad and I’ll bet a number of people are thinking “but Ashy, it does everything the Legion can do but with long scrams and no neuts!” Take a look again and you’ll see some really strange trends going on. There is no propulsion bonus for example unless you heat. That means that you either have quick bursts of speed, or your Proteus is destined to boat around at quite literally the speed of a Drake. The warp and agility subsystem saves it in some regard here, but that’s one of those niches I’ve already spoken about.
Going one step further we have the core and the offensive subsystems. The offensive subs aren’t horrible and certainly lend themselves towards doing damage, but often only in a straight up brawl. The lack of a railgun optimal (and moreover the lack of a proper velocity bonus) makes any serious attempt at long-range use of that tracking bonus fall somewhat flat. And this is coming from someone who heavily uses falloff when kiting (thanks, autocannons). My favourite Proteus uses the Drone Synthesis Projector sub, but even that isn’t great as it only matches Stratios DPS.
An Arazu in Disguise: Long Scrams
It doesn’t take a genius to see that one of the benefits to using a Proteus is that it can hold long-range scrams and points with a beefy tank. I don’t normally like to provide fleet fits here, but you’ll find one of those below. It also only features a single point and a single scram. It’s possible to get more of each if you rejiggle the fit, but honestly, you need to focus on pure tank with a Proteus. An armour linked Lachesis can reach about 70k EHP (without Amulets) and provide seven mid-slots of goodness for cheaper so you have to lean heavily into the tank to make this worthwhile. Even then, you could use a Barghest for scrams and do something very similar in style!
Many of the other fits I’ve played around with utilise these bonuses and have long scrams, but my only other true attempt at using them was on the other weird fit you can see below. This 50MN + 100MN monstrosity falls neatly into the camp of “things I tried that were kinda OK but not really.” Then again, much of my use here was fighting on a Fortizar and I didn’t want to leave because I was bored.
The concept is that you use the prop heat subsystem to alternate 50MN and 100MN, allowing you to keep moving while repairing one of the props. This also allows you to get up to speed on the MWD then switch to the AB for scram resistance. Combine this with long warp disruption and you should be mostly uncatchable. This, unfortunately, falls apart under long-range weapons due to your light tank. Drones shouldn’t be too much of an issue with tracking bonused blasters. The original version actually ran with rails like my VNI, but the damage and range are so pitiful that it isn’t worth the fitting cost. If you want to make this better, you could try a better rep or more tank instead of speed.
Plated Scrams and Points
[Proteus, 2020 Buffer Tank] Corpii A-Type Thermal Plating Imperial Navy 1600mm Steel Plates Dark Blood Armor Explosive Hardener Damage Control II Adaptive Nano Plating II Imperial Navy Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane Reactive Armor Hardener 10MN Afterburner II Shadow Serpentis Warp Scrambler Shadow Serpentis Warp Disruptor Skirmish Command Burst II Armor Command Burst II Medium Ghoul Compact Energy Nosferatu Small Energy Nosferatu II Small Energy Nosferatu II Small Energy Nosferatu II Auto Targeting System I Medium Anti-EM Pump II Medium Anti-Explosive Pump II Medium Command Processor I Proteus Defensive - Augmented Plating Proteus Core - Friction Extension Processor Proteus Offensive - Support Processor Proteus Propulsion - Hyperspatial Optimization
Zoom Zoom 50MN+100MN
[Proteus, 2020 50MN 100MN Zoomydrones] Nanofiber Internal Structure II Nanofiber Internal Structure II Drone Damage Amplifier II Damage Control II Medium Ancillary Armor Repairer 50MN Quad LiF Restrained Microwarpdrive Warp Disruptor II Small Capacitor Booster II Caldari Navy Warp Scrambler 100MN Y-S8 Compact Afterburner Heavy Electron Blaster II Heavy Electron Blaster II Heavy Electron Blaster II Heavy Electron Blaster II Heavy Electron Blaster II Expanded Probe Launcher II Medium Polycarbon Engine Housing II Medium Anti-Explosive Pump II Medium Ancillary Current Router II Proteus Core - Friction Extension Processor Proteus Defensive - Nanobot Injector Proteus Offensive - Drone Synthesis Projector Proteus Propulsion - Localized Injectors
What am I, an Orthrus? The Shield Proteus
I updated in the previous Legion article to say that a shield version isn’t so bad after all. It’s a similar story here, but I’ve done the theorycrafting in advance. A shield Proteus can be ran in at least two different ways, and both of these utilise the long scrams once again.
If you want to fit rails, then you can achieve something a little bit like the aforementioned shield legion, albeit with less DPS, range, tracking, locking speed/strength/range, speed, and agility. In exchange, you can fit a beefier tank, a light drone bay, and a single remaining mid for long scram or point. I would wager that a long scram is most useful since you’re all but guaranteed to eventually be tackled. Opting for the 77m ISK Shadow Serpentis version gives a toasty 19.5km range, which is conveniently perfect for Antimatter railguns and 801 DPS. And did I mention it gets a cloak?
One more note on the rail fit is that if you’re willing to drop a chunk of EHP or your long scram then you can use double nanos to become a 3s align 6AU/s speed machine. Not so much on grid, mind you, but it should warp around pretty damn quick. It’s like a cloaky Cynabal on steroids if you have Thermodynamics 5. Refit in cargo.
The other way to refit this if to change to Heavy Neutron Blasters and to go all in on damage and tank. It’s a simple change and doesn’t deserve a full copy & paste below, but you can reach 45.5k EHP and 1,174 DPS easily enough. The lack of a web is a little spooky, but blaster falloff plus long scram and Tracking Enhancer should be enough to apply if you pick your fights. I still wouldn’t trust fighting a Loki though.
Finally, if you want to try pulling off some Xtra Squishy style ganks then the Proteus with polarised guns works really well and you can easily hit over 1,500 DPS with nearly 4,000 damage volleys. It’s another one that isn’t worth since it’s really just damage mods, blasters, prop, and shield extenders. I’m not saying you should do that but melting a Rattlesnake in under 20 seconds sounds like fun to me.
Shield Railgun Ganks
[Proteus, 2020 50MN Shield Rails] Magnetic Field Stabilizer II Magnetic Field Stabilizer II Vortex Compact Magnetic Field Stabilizer Damage Control II Nanofiber Internal Structure II 50MN Quad LiF Restrained Microwarpdrive Large Shield Extender II Large Shield Extender II Shadow Serpentis Warp Scrambler 250mm Railgun II 250mm Railgun II 250mm Railgun II 250mm Railgun II 250mm Railgun II 250mm Railgun II Covert Ops Cloaking Device II Sisters Expanded Probe Launcher Medium Polycarbon Engine Housing II Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer II Medium Core Defense Field Extender II Proteus Core - Friction Extension Processor Proteus Defensive - Covert Reconfiguration Proteus Offensive - Hybrid Encoding Platform Proteus Propulsion - Localized Injectors Acolyte II x5 Nanofiber Internal Structure II x1 Tracking Enhancer II x1 Proteus Propulsion - Hyperspatial Optimization x1
The RR Proteus: Somehow Actually Good
So the RR Proteus is one that actually feels pretty good to use and manages to go toe to toe with other logistics ships or support T3Cs. The main fit I want to present below is a non-cloaky Oneiros equivalent. There isn’t a huge call for fleets to use this, but at least we know that the Proteus can do it and 100k EHP after links isn’t too bad at all. You’ll also notice a remote ancil once again showing up on the fit. Some might find them a bit unreliable, but not me. With the heat bonus and sparing use, you can help someone stabilise while the rest of the logi catch up.
The other style of logistics I wanted to try out was a format that used the 50MN + 100MN style of flying and a self tank. Again, the aim is that you can get up to speed with the agility of a 50MN then switch to AB. It has enough cap to run either remote reps or local reps, depending on who is being shot. It’s also another one of those fits that really benefits from an implant set such as Asklepions or Snakes for survivability. Unfortunately, I think I would probably get webbed down and die quickly in such a fit. I don’t trust my kiting skills!
Making a cloaky Proteus fit is also quite possible and you’d achieve it quite easily by fiddling with what I have here. Same deal with a high sensor strength fit or some cap boosting format instead. Overall this sort of.. works. If you have spare hulls lying about then logi isn’t a bad use for such a ship. You could modify my skirmish one, too, and take off the AB for a second cap battery and free rig slots. Boom, instant self-rep Oneiros clone.
Heavy Proteus Reps
[Proteus, 2020 Heavy Remote Rep] Dark Blood Armor Explosive Hardener Dark Blood Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane Damage Control II Imperial Navy 1600mm Steel Plates Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II Reactive Armor Hardener Thukker Large Cap Battery Cap Recharger II Cap Recharger II 10MN Afterburner II Medium Ancillary Remote Armor Repairer Medium Remote Armor Repairer II Centum C-Type Medium Remote Armor Repairer Centum C-Type Medium Remote Armor Repairer Centum C-Type Medium Remote Armor Repairer Centum C-Type Medium Remote Armor Repairer Armor Command Burst II, Armor Energizing Charge Medium Capacitor Control Circuit II Medium Remote Repair Augmentor II Medium Ancillary Current Router II Proteus Core - Augmented Fusion Reactor Proteus Defensive - Augmented Plating Proteus Offensive - Support Processor Proteus Propulsion - Localized Injectors
Running this fit with the same implants as the skirmish one is also quite beneficial. With a battery fit such as this, you stand to gain a lot from even small percentage cap increases. This one could also stand to swap a cap recharger to a sebo, especially if you have remote cap transfers available.
Skirmish Proteus Reps
[Proteus, 2020 50MN 100MN Reps] Damage Control II Nanofiber Internal Structure II Dark Blood Reactor Control Unit Imperial Navy Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane Corpum C-Type Medium Armor Repairer 50MN Quad LiF Restrained Microwarpdrive Republic Fleet Large Cap Battery Cap Recharger II 100MN Y-S8 Compact Afterburner Armor Command Burst II, Armor Energizing Charge Skirmish Command Burst II, Rapid Deployment Charge Medium Remote Armor Repairer II Medium Remote Armor Repairer II Medium Remote Armor Repairer II Centum C-Type Medium Remote Armor Repairer Medium Ancillary Remote Armor Repairer Covert Ops Cloaking Device II Medium Command Processor I Medium Ancillary Current Router II Medium Remote Repair Augmentor II Proteus Core - Augmented Fusion Reactor Proteus Defensive - Covert Reconfiguration Proteus Offensive - Support Processor Proteus Propulsion - Localized Injectors Inherent Implants 'Noble' Remote Armor Repair Systems RA-703 Inherent Implants 'Squire' Capacitor Management EM-803 Inherent Implants 'Noble' Repair Proficiency RP-903 Standard Mindflood Booster Agency 'Hardshell' TB5 Dose II
So what is actually wrong with the Proteus?
I’ve managed to write up an article about the Proteus without the quintessential scram+web blaster Proteus or a proper active rep fit. Hell, not one of my fits here even had a web fit to it despite it being a necessity on many Gallente ships. Honestly, I’m not a fan of either way of running it and I feel that if you’re going to do then you might as well do a HAM Loki, Legion, or Tengu. If I had to run one then I’d do it like this. There’s also no smartbomb Proteus. That ain’t my thing. I could theorycraft something for it, but I’ve never done it and likely would miss a vital part of that job (Cargo expanders for corpse collection, anyone?). As far as I’m aware, you just need some large smartbombs, high warp speed, agility, and perhaps some warp core stabs you little krab. 😛
Moving on to the actual theme, instead, part of what drove me to write this was to find a way to actually make the Proteus work well. Many in the community have shunned it ever since the rebalance and they’re kind of right. It isn’t as easy to put together a cookie-cutter fit as it was years ago, and it’s certainly outshone by the rest of the T3C lineup these days. Here are some of the problems that I identified over the course of this article which form a part of that issue:
- There are no base velocity bonused subsystems, only to prop heating, agility, or warping. You either go fast in a straight line when hot then drop back to battlecruiser speed, or you align fast and never go faster than a battlecruiser anyway. The Hyperspatial Optimization sub is an interesting touch, but the bonus is duplicated next to Interdiction Nullification. I would look into a way to increase base velocity and give people the option between fast warps, high agility, or heated speed.
- There is little reason to use the Electronic Efficiency Gate. It gimps your fit in exchange for unneeded CPU and the equivalent of one Sensor Booster. Instead, I propose that it should either provide a different slot layout than the other two, or it should have a bonus worth picking it for such as a larger heating bonus.
- Defensive subsystems are in a good spot. I’d like to see the potential for a larger hull tank (Gallente!), but they’re nothing to fuss over
- The Drone Synthesis Projector could likely do with some love to bump DPS past the Stratios. This is a difficult one to balance. We don’t want to head towards a new era of Ishtars online. That said, I did make what looks to be a pretty fun stationary drone fit. It even uses the CPU subsystem!
I’d say the overall issue with the Proteus is a lack of versatility. It doesn’t have selectable damage as every other T3 does, it’s bloody slow without heating, and range becomes a real struggle with the hybrid bonus working for falloff rather than optimal. In the end I’m not sure I’d change much though beyond what I’ve outlined above or perhaps a base capacitor increase to aid in the use of capacitor-using weapon systems.
My friend Jezaja said to me at the start that the only good Proteus is a smartbombing Proteus and I don’t know if I’ve proved him wrong or not. Was I even aiming to? Either way, the fits and discussion above go through pretty much every single way I can think to use this weird little bug of a ship. I’m not touching another Proteus fit for a while yet 😀
Update: I developed something very strange. Using web drones (I did the calculations around stacking penalties) you can get a ship with an 84km web and a 50km+ point, more if you fit for it. Cloak is also an option. Check it out.