The harpy is a member of the assault ship class of ships, which are tough little frigates that generally excel at running missions, especially the now-largely-obsolete COSMOS missions. Some, however, find a role in PvP, whether it be solo piracy, fast-moving gank squads, or tackling for larger fleets.
The special appeal of assault frigates is that they are generally the first tech two ships that new players train into. This is because their pre-requisites aren't too intense, and they are very useful for running missions.
The Harpy is a spectacular example of the assault frigate class. It slicers, it dices, it speed tanks damage while pummeling away with blaster or railgun hybrid turrets, all while keeping an enemy from escaping. Another advantage is that it uses small hybrid turrets, whose tech two cognates are relatively easy to train towards.
Why Fly The Harpy
The Harpy is easy to learn how to fly.
The harpy is the best tech two frigate for using hybrid turrets. It is much tougher and dangerous than the Raptor, which is its Interceptor-class cousin. It isn't too expensive as far as tech two ships go, and it has a good ability to define the terms of engagement by running away if it doesn't like the odds.
The chief skills needed to use it effectively are the pre-requisites for small tech two turrets, which take a month or so, and are on many Caldari pilots' to-do lists, anyway. Not too bad. The other skills needed are the support skills used for any fast-moving ship, which nearly all players train, anyway. The fitting skills can be a little intense, but it isn't the end of the world if you have to make a few compromises in that department. As far as tech two ships go, this is not too bad.
High Slots - Ion Blasters
- x4 Light Ion Blaster II (Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S)
- x1 'Malkuth' Rocket Launcher I (Thorn Rocket)
The ion blasters are the middling option for small-sized blasters, but they still require some compromises to be made in order to fit them, as you will see with the low slots. The faction ammunition is optional, of course, but I recommend carrying at least some, because the extra damage really helps, and isn't any more expensive than a tech two module.
Mid Slots - Oversized Tank And Afterburner
- x1 Afterburner II
- x1 Medium Shield Extender II
- x1 X5 Prototype I Engine Enervator
- x1 Warp Scrambler II
Firstly, note that thhe convoluted 'X5 Prototype' module is a decently named version of the stasis webifier, in case that threw you for a loop. The idea here is that you should be pretty hard to hit with your afterburner and the medium shield extender soaks up the rest. Your scrambler will keep any targets from warping off, and your fancily named stasis webifier will immobilize them.
If you want to use a microwarpdrive, I recommend switching to the best-named version, Catalyzed Cold-Gas I Arcjet Thrusters. You will need substantially better fitting skills and/or an implant to get extra power grid. You may also be better off switching to railguns, since MWD-using ships usually prefer to stay out of warp scrambler range.
Low Slots - Damage And Fitting
- x1 Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
- x1 Micro Auxiliary Power Core
A little extra damage, and the fitting space for those power-hungry high- and mid-slot modules. If you have exceptional skills, implants, and/or faction modules, you can swap out your "MAPC" for a second Magnetic Field Stabilizer II or a Damage Control II.
Rigs - Tank
- x2 Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer
The harpy has a heck of hole in that its EM resistances are 0%. I suggest that you plug it.
Harpy Tactics and Strategies
The goal with the harpy is to engage most things that are frigate-sized, and many tech one cruisers as well. You can also shoot targets of opportunity like shuttles and industrials, if you're lucky enough to find any. You can't tank sentry guns in low-sec, so I suggest using this for war targets or null-sec gank squads.
Your damage output is impressive for a frigate, and you are hard as heck to pin down. Your speed and small size mean that most guns won't be able to track you, nor missiles hurt you very much, assuming you are orbiting your target close and fast enough. In fact, since larger guns have such a hard time hitting smaller targets, it's entirely possible that you could use this ship to kill a battlecruiser or battleship, assuming you could tackle it in a belt, though that's rare these days.
style="font-style: italic;">Kill drones, then worry about the ship using them.
Microwarpdriving frigates can usually kite you by flying away from you and peppering you with their weapons as you try to pursue, so don't play their game. What you want is for them to get within range of your scrambler, which will shut off their "MWD" and then use your web and afterburner to ensure that they can't get out of your range, again.
The main thing you probably need to watch out for are drones. When somebody releases drones on you that can actually hit you, you need to take them out before worrying about the ship. Any light drones will probably be able to hit you without too much trouble, especially Warriors, but neither will you have much trouble locking and blowing them up.
Note that there are many ways to fit a harpy, but this setup uses the ship's bonuses and is newbie-accessible enough that I think it's a good introductory fit. Fits can range from using very expensive faction gear, to using projectiles instead of hybrid turrets, or any number of ideas. If something isn't working for you, tinker around with it until it does. One of the best things about EVE Online is that there is no single right way to do anything.
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