Posted Fri, Jul 22, 2011 by Space Junkie
This is a guide to what cruiser-class ships are best for running low-level missions. Many new players struggle with ship choice and sorting the effective ships from the chaff. Luckily, you have us to do that for you.
Ship choice is the biggest choice a player can make in EVE Online, analogous in many ways to choosing a class in other MMOs. When running missions, your ship and modules determine your chances of success: a good ship with the right fittings will have no problems, while deficiencies in either department usually end with an explosion.
The Cruiser Class Of Ships
Cruisers are the middle class of ships. They are larger than frigates and destroyers but smaller than battlecruisers and battleships. The tech I cruisers are good for new players and budget PvPers, while the tech II ships are highly specialized ships that fill a wide range of roles in the game.
Each race has a good cruiser option for running missions.
The Four Races
Each player race has four tech I ship options available. Some are niche cruisers, only useful in very specific circumstances. Others have varying degrees of flexibility, while some are essentially useless in their tech I form and exist solely as a platform to base a tech II ship on.
Still, players of each race will want to run missions, and at some point during their careers they will likely do so in cruisers. These are the best tech I cruisers of each race for that purpose.
Amarr: The Maller
Though the omen may be preferable for less difficult missions because of the rate it can burn through NPC opponents, the maller is generally preferable because of its powerful ability to tank damage. The maller can shoot NPCs and repair itself at the same time, in any level I or II mission that is intended to be tanked (note that some are intentionally impossible to resist, and are intended to be run like gauntlets). A well fit maller can even tank some level III missions.
Caldari: The Caracal
The caracal can fit a reasonable tank, with either a lot of shield hit points or actively shield boosting. It churns out good missile damage for a cruiser, which is handy since most early Caldari players are probably doing the missile thing in preparation for using the drake battlecruiser. Lamentably, it does not have an extra high slot for salvaging, but that does not stop the caracal from being the best option here. Your time is better spent running the mission as fast as possible so that you can work on getting to the more lucrative level III and IV missions, anyway.