An Overview of Battlecruisers In EVE Online
Ah, the noble battlecruiser. A class of ships supremely suitable for new players, yet packing a punch or tank almost equivalent to a battleship. Each race has two tech one options in the battlecruiser class, with one being more or less specialized in inflicting damage, and the other generally being a tanking ship. Between these options, each race has good options for PvP and PvE, including missions. Many battlecruisers are equally suited for both PvE and PvP, depending on the fitting and their setup.
An explanation of the battlecruiser class and general overview of tech one battlecruisers follows. A list of Ten Ton Hammer guides to some of the ships can be found at the end of the article.
Battlecruisers are the ship that bridges the gap between cruisers and battleships. They are essentially very heavy duty cruisers that can punch almost at a battlecruiser level. They are also generally more affordable than battleships and thus more suitable for PvP. They are all-around more capable of dealing with combat than cruisers, though at the cost of less maneuverability and a compromised ability to escape when things go badly. Their tank and affordability combine to make them one of the most preferred low-sec PvP ships. At least, outside of faction warfare.
Battlecruisers are also one of the few ship classes capable of fitting gang links. These are special modules that offer powerful bonuses to various aspects of your ship for entire sections of a fleet. Unfortunately, the training requirements for these are a bit out of the way, such that they are rarely used by newer players. Their use is complicated and niche enough to be covered in a separate article.
Battlecruisers are an excellent ship for new players whose skills are not yet sufficient to do a battleship justice.
Prophecy: This ship packs more armor buffer tank than almost any other tech one sub-capital ship in the game. Unfortunately, it has trouble doing so while also making a meaningful contribution toward PvP. This means that unless it is being used as bait, it is best left as a high-tank level 3 mission runner, used for missions that the harbinger might have trouble handling.
Drake: The most popular battlecruiser, and arguably the most popular ship of consequence in EVE Online. The drake packs a mean passive/buffer shield tank, while using missiles to destroy anything that gets in its way. The ship's high resistances and effort-free medium range damage dealing make it a favorite for large-scale PvP, where it especially sees use in remote shield repair fleets, backed up by logistics ships capable of healing shield damage. This combined with the low skill requirements to use it with passable efficiency make the drake EVE Online's favorite ship. Now if only it didn't look like a piece of bark.
Ferox: A hybrid-turret ship that does not see much use in PvP, but that can chew through some level 3 missions faster than the drake. Alas, its tank is not really up to snuff for PvP work. Most people prefer the drake for missions, though this ship still sees some use for Caldari pilots that do not want to train missile skills. For such pilots, this ship is a good stopgap until they are able to use the rokh, perhaps the best hybrid-using battleship.
Brutix: Perhaps the most oft-insulted battlecruiser, the brutix receives bonuses to hybrid turret damage and armor repair amount. These work together fine for level 3 missions, but make somewhat of an ugly duck in PvP. Ironically enough, many PvP pilots prefer to shield-tank their brutix and ignore the armor repair bonus altogether. It also sees some good use using blaster hybrids on station undocks, a PvP style much favored in high-security space.
Myrmidon: The myrmidon is an excellent drone ship, an incredibly handy ship for PvP in an era when half of the so-called solo PvPers have a second account open with a falcon, ready to intervene at any moment. They can also hold enough drones to have a number of options with regard to damage dealing, allowing a savvy pilot to target his enemy's likely weaknesses. Drones are generally amazing for running missions, and with the myrmidon's armor repair bonus you can launch your drones, tell them attack, and walk away from many level 3 missions, trusting your drones to clean everything up while your armor busily repairs itself.
Hurricane: One of the most popular piracy ships in EVE Online, the hurricane is a happy combination of dangerous and cheap. It deals amazing projectile turret damage, and is one of the best ways for new players to use projectiles in PvP. It also has a splendid slot layout that allows it to tackle without compromising its tank too badly, something that is useful for PvP in high-sec wars and low-sec roaming.
Cyclone: Essentially a lower damage version of the hurricane that can use shield boosters like crazy, the cyclone has fallen out of favor with many PvPers. It can also field a much better active tank than the hurricane, making it many Minmatar players' preferred mission-running ship. This is especially true for missions with high damage outputs. One of the cyclone's main strengths in PvP is that it tends to be underestimated. For example, solitary drakes can quite plausibly lose to a cyclone in a fight.