Posted Tue, Apr 27, 2010 by Space Junkie
The raven is one of the most ideal mission-running and PvE battleships in EVE Online. This is because of a combination of factors that include accessibility to newer players, the popularity of Caldari ships, an amazing shield tank, and the flexibility of missiles when used in PvE.
Though sometimes out-classed by tech two or faction ships, the raven remains the most popular go-to ship for killing NPCs, whether it takes place at a mission in high-security space, or a cosmic anomaly in null-sec.
This guide discusses fitting and flying a raven for PvE, as well as survivability tips and some advice about avoiding suicide gankers.
Why Fly The Raven
The Raven is one of the best ships for running missions in EVE Online.
It's also a piece of cake to fly. In most situations you can fire your missiles, release your drones, and spend the bulk of your time micro-managing your tractor beam and salvager.
Cruise missiles are superior to torpedoes for most pilots, since the short range of torpedoes is generally considered to be mortal flaw. Compensating for this short range requires fitting rigs that add missile flight time, as well as a propulsion module to get within range. Both of these will compromise your tank more than most players will find acceptable. The 'Arbalest' launchers are the best-named version of the cruise missile launcher. Tech two missile launchers may be appealing, depending on your skills and ability to cram them on, despite their higher fitting requirements.
The salvager and tractor beam combination allow you to make additional ISK but are not recommended in dangerous areas of space. If there is any risk at all, you will likely want to skip the salvager and instead fit a Prototype Cloaking Device I or Improved Cloaking Device II. The raven is a big, slow galooka of a ship, and cannot always be relied on to quickly warp out, especially in missions that require travel between acceleration gates. For a ship like this, you can't beat hitting the cloak button and turning invisible. Also handy for bathroom breaks and snack runs, too. The slower locking speed drawback of fitting cloaks make them undesirable if you are in a safe area, like high-sec sans wars.
The missile varieties that you use will change depending on what NPCs you are fighting. The most commonly fought NPCs and the most effective damage type to use against them is presented here, followed by the appropriate variety of cruise missile:
The shield hardeners that you should be fitting should change from mission to mission, so that you will be optimally prepared against them. Level four combat missions are no joke, they can kill your raven if you aren't careful. Before each mission, check on a mission guide site and make sure that you are using the correct hardeners and for that matter, the correct ammunition. Always fit the active version of the shield hardeners. The passive shield hardeners (like Explosion Dampening Amplifier I, for example) are only used on ships that have fitting problems.
The four shield hardener modules that you should be fitting for the most common NPC factions are as follows (determined by that NPC race's damage type spread):
It should be every raven pilot's absolute priority to train to use the tech two versions of these modules as soon as possible. For newer players, using the "named" versions of these modules is fine. New raven pilots may also find themselves suffering from capacitor problems if they need to boost their shields too much, usually due to having poor resistances from non-tech two shield hardeners. This may be off-set by fitting a Cap Recharger in lieu of a hardener, or extra Power Diagnostic Systems in the low-slots.
Unlike most other modules that gives identical bonuses, the damage control module is not subject to diminishing returns. This means that the bonus to your shield resistances will be the same, no matter what shield hardeners you fit. This is counter-balanced by the fact that a ship may only fit a single damage control. In any case, shield resistances directly translate to a raven's effectiveness, and so a "DC" module is essential.
Though subject to the diminishing returns mentioned above, the ballistic control systems are still worthwhile. If a pilot finds himself suffering capacitor problems, however, swapping out one or two of them for additional power diagnostic systems is a good idea. The "PDS" is basically made for the raven, because it improves both shields and capacitor.