Flying The Osprey Cruiser In EVE Online

The osprey is one of the most useful cruisers in EVE Online. Though not exactly flexible, it has several excellent applications.

The osprey is one of the most useful cruisers in EVE Online. Though not exactly flexible, it has several excellent applications. These include: mining, frigate bait, remote-repair fleets, and a nearly unique logistics role. These specialties are so helpful, and the osprey so easy to skill up for, that the osprey is worth training Caldari Cruiser for, even for pilots that chiefly fly other races' ships.

The Osprey's Unique Qualities

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The osprey is versatile to new players and old, though very specialized.

The osprey has three bonuses: a mining yield bonus, a bonus reduction to the capacitor used to run shield transporter modules, and a special range bonus to shield transporters. Each of these bonuses is very helpful, but also so specialized that the Osprey is best considered to be three ships in one.

The mining yield bonus is nice, and translates into extra ISK per hour spent mining. Useful for obvious reasons. The shield transporter bonuses allow two -or under some circumstances, three- Medium Shield Transporter modules to be fit without running out of capacitor. Shield transporters in EVE Online do not lower the shields of the transporting ship, as the name might seem to indicate. Rather, they just heal the shields of the targeted ship. In essence, it can be used as a priest ship. As we will see, this makes the osprey a very effective ship.

Mining With An Osprey

The mining osprey is the most accessible fitting setup. For most players, it is probably also the most applicable. With its mining bonus, ability to fit three Miner II modules, and a satisfying 20mb drone bandwidth that allows the fielding of four mining drone IIs, the osprey is the best mining cruiser in EVE. The only other ships that exceed it at mining are the specialized barges, and perhaps one or two of the battleships that can be retrofitted with Miner II modules. None of them can beat it on cost to mining effectiveness ratio, at least not in the current mining economy.

In any case, fitting it for mining fitting isn't hard. Fit the high slots with Miner I or Miner II modules depending on your skills. You'll need a Co-Processor in the low slots. Otherwise, the rest is up to you. Expanded Cargoholds are nice, as are Tractor Beams if you can get them to fit.

All in all, a good stopgap for someone to try mining out and see if they like it (most don't) and a decent way to generate some ISK without worrying too much about your safety. In high-security space, anyway. In other areas you may have some trouble tanking NPC spawns, though working with others can minimize this.

Frigate Bait

Nobody fears ospreys. They are forever associated with mining and helplessness in the minds of most gankers. Thus, if you have intel that a small war ship is in your vicinity trying to gank members of your corporation, or just roaming in your area of low-sec or high-sec, you can set up a trap that has a good chance of killing an interceptor or assault frigate.

The trap is very simple. Fit your osprey with weapons and an Energy Neutralizer in the high-slots and tackling gear in the mid-slots, along the lines of a Warp Disruptor, one or two Stasis Webifiers, and some combination of a Warp Scrambler, Target Painter, or a shield hardener. Shoehorn two 400mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates and a Medium Armor Repairer I into your low slots. Fill your drone bay with x4 Warrior II drones, and use rigs that improve your shield resistances.

Put yourself somewhere that a mining osprey might conceivably be, like a belt or mining exploration site, and wait for your enemy to find and attack you.

It is very important not to spring traps like these until the target is within webifier range. Many fast ganking ships can fight you from outside 10km range, though they would generally prefer to be closer than that. Ways to get a leg up on your target:

•Psych him out by pretending to be away from your keyboard for the first few seconds that of the fight, so that he becomes overconfident and gets within web range. You can lock him back without suspicion, as though you have auto-target on.

•Overheat your stasis webifier and/or warp scrambler with the Thermodynamics skill to eke a little bit of extra range out of it, perhaps enough to snare an orbiting target.

•Remember that your drones are your best source of damage. If one of them is getting hit, you may want to pull it back into your drone bay for a bit, to let its shields recharge.

•The idea here is not to use any of the osprey hull's bonuses, as they are essentially in-applicable for combat. Your lack of suitability for combat is what makes you such great bait. If this lack of combat-readiness gets you blown up a few times, don't sweat it too much.

POS Logistics

Repairing the shields of a POS that has left reinforced mode is a critical task that is best performed by carriers in "triage mode" or Scimitars (a tech two Minmatar cruiser that does what the osprey does, but better). Regrettably, training up the skills needed to fly these ships can take months or even years. For those of us that are reluctant to embark on such a hefty grind, or just want to help our corporation defend its POS during its time of need, the osprey is a wonderful alternative.

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The osprey retains combat utility as a healer or even damage-dealer.

The reason that the osprey is uniquely effective at repairing shields is that its special range bonus allows it to target large Control Towers with shield transporters, which normally do not have sufficient range to reach them because of their protective forcefield that hedges hostile ships out and prevents friendly ships from targeting things so long as they are within it.

Because of the ease with which ospreys can be trained into, and their relatively cheap cost, many corporations whose POS need repairing will ask their members to fly them. The basic idea is to repair as much as possible while remaining "cap stable" so that you don't need to micromanage the repair process.

For lower-skilled pilots, the best repairing you can do is to fit a single Large Shield Transport I module, and then fill your mid- and low- slots with capacitor-generating modules like Cap Recharger Is and Capacitor Power Relay Is. Voila.

This is also suitable for repairing damaged station services, if you are ever defending a station in null security space, though in that case there are many other ships that can repair, as well, because the range bonus is not important.

Remote-Repair Fleets

Of course, an osprey can tag along in fleets to act as a priest, and heal ships as they take damage. That's obvious and easy enough. But there is another option. A weirder, crazier option. I want to emphasize that this final option is by no means a recommended ship choice. It is included here as a curiosity and a testament to how safe and harmless people feel that the osprey is.

In concept, it is a fleet that consists solely of remote-repairing ospreys. In order to do this, you will need pretty good skills, and a weird fetish for misusing ships. Each osprey fits out as follows:

High-Slots

  • x2 Light Neutron Blaster II (Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S)
  • x1 Large S95a Partial Shield Transporter

Mid-Slots

  • 10mn MicroWarpdrive I
  • Medium F-RX Prototype I Capacitor Boost (Cap Booster 800s)
  • Large F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction
  • J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I

Low-Slots

  • Power Diagnostic System II
  • Damage Control II
  • Nanofiber Internal Structure II

Rig Slots

  • Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
  • Medium Anti-Kinetic Screen Reinforcer I
  • Medium Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I

Drones

  • x4 Warrior II

In your cargo, you should keep enough Null S for a fight, and as many spare cap booster 800s as you can fit. Despite the fancy named gear and so forth, the price tag isn't too bad on this. Especially once you take insurance payouts into account. Once you have a half dozen of these fitted out, you can wander around tackling things and focusing your shield transfers on whomever is taking fire. This is not just a theory, it has been done and done quite well, but once the trick is figured out and the locals realize that your ospreys are not completely defenseless, they will bring out heavy enough firepower to blow them up.

If you're crazy enough to try this, I salute you. Just as I salute the essential, wonderful osprey. Until next time.

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