Updated Mon, May 17, 2010 by Space Junkie
Tech two ships are the fine wine and cheese of EVE Online. While some are interesting stepping stones on the path to better ships, many represent a sort of end-game to EVE Online PvP. They are the kind of high-performance ship that players will happily specialize their characters in flying. Though the skills needed to effectively fly these can take months to train, and maxing out can take years, players persevere for the extra edge that flying these ships can provide. This guide is a survey of the best specimens from amongst the most popular tech two ship types.
Where tech one ships are generalized and often have glaring weaknesses, tech two ships like the Vagabond or Zealot represent the pinnacle of their specialized roles, and far exceed the capabilities of their tech one counterparts. There are also many specialized tech two ships that have no real tech one counterparts in their role. For example, stealth bombers have capabilities that are completely unlike any other ship type in EVE Online.
Amongst the many glittery tech two hulls, some are more effective, and others are almost never flown. Eagle, I'm looking at you. This article will cover what I believe to be the best ships of each of the most prominent tech two ship types, and why. Sometimes it is a clear choice what ship is "best," and sometimes it's a bit murkier or subject to preference. My hope is that by providing my rationale, new players will take away an improved understanding of how to assess what ships that want to fly.
The ships below were chosen because they excel at their specialization, they have a clearly superior tactical value, or because they are just plain great to fly. If nothing else, this should show newer players something to look forward to.
Best Stealth Bombers: The Hound
The hound is the best stealth bomber because of the massive explosive damage its bombs inflict.
When dealing large amounts of damage all at once, as bomb launchers do, explosive is the best kind of damage to inflict. This is because well-used bombs from more than one bomber inflict their damage more or less simultaneously, and explosive damage is the hardest type to buffer tank against, especially for battleships. Bombs are meant to be used against large fleets, which tend to be mixed, so a generally superior damage type is best for most bombing situations. I guess the exception would be if you were targeting a homogenous fleet, perhaps of drakes or dominixes, but this is incredibly rare.
Stealth bombers are not especially hard to train for, though already having trained the missile support skills is handy. Because of the popularity of tech two minmatar frigates, training the Minmatar Frigate skill to level five is no great burden for most pilots. Torpedo launchers can make a heck of a dent in battleships and battlecruisers, meaning that they are useful additions to fleets, no matter how few skillpoints their pilots have. Their ability to warp while cloaked allows them equal proficiency at scouting for a fleet or getting tackles on slow-to-react targets during roaming operations.
Nothing else has the amazingly specialized, amazingly useful role of being able to warp while cloaked, nor lets relatively new pilots drop bombs that put such a huge dent in enemy fleets. For being the best of this strangely useful breed, the hound is the all-around best stealth bomber.
Best Interdictor: The Sabre
Interdictors are somewhat mysterious to many high-security space dwellers. Their primary role is to drop interdiction fields which temporarily prevent warping out within their radius. Using "dictor bubbles," as these fields are sometimes called, is the most effective means of tackling large enemy groups. Unfortunately, their interdiction sphere launcher modules cannot be used in high-sec or low-sec, making them the exclusive purview of null-sec and wormhole space.
Without interdictors in fleet fights, ships would constantly warp in and out of a battle, and have a much better chance to repair, regroup and rejoin the fight. Interdictors are usually on the most kill mails, though their fragile nature also tends to make them the number one target.
From this essential ship class, the Sabre is an easy pick. Though the hull costs more than the other interdictor options, it does more damage, is faster, and is more survivable than the other interdictors. Being the tech two version of the amazingly effective Thrasher destroyer, it should come as no surprise that this is such a great ship. It can win solo against almost any frigate-class ship, with a few exceptions in the faction frigate category.
For being the best of an essential ship class, for being able to kill most frigate-class ships dead, for being agile and fast, and for being such an appealing PvP option, the best interdictor is clearly the sabre.