Monday, 7 February 2011

The Mighty Nighthawk

For the past few months I have been dwelling in our C2 Wormhole. Even with the constant changing tides of luck that comes with living in a 'Hole, it has been by far my most profitable venture in EvE yet. To make money, I mainly run Sleeper, Magnetic and Radar sites and reap the rewards from the salvage gained from the wrecks. So, one way to make money faster is to have a higher DPS ship that can eat targets quicker.

Having heard a lot of great things about the Nighthawk, I figured I would pick one up. I didn't need to train up many skills to qualify, and I was soon fitting one out in our POS.

I decided on a totally passive fit. I knew how susceptible Nighthawks are to nueting, so I decided this was the safest option. It was a PvE mission-running fit that also had good enough resists and defence to tank small-time gankers. It was a novelty for a while. But after one of my Corp mates showed me a good PvP Drake set-up, I went back to the trusty Battlecruiser. This Drake had higher resists (albeit with active hardners) than my Nighthawk with more DPS and was still good enough to be used in Sleeper sites. So I started using this and the Nighthawk got mothballed in the POS hangar.

Yes, I could have easily changed the fit to the Nighthawk to make it far more superior. But I can buy eight Drakes for every one Nighthawk. Drakes are expendable. Losing Nighthawk's would damage my wallet. Also, a 'Hawk is going to go one of two ways in a Wormhole. It might deter would-be-attackers if they were running around in small groups, but larger roaming pilots would most likely jump at the chance to take a N'Hawk down.

So back to the Drakes it was.

Inevitably, and all Womhole dwellers may side with me here, I needed a break from our 'Hole. So I've come back to Empire with two Orca's full of my ships and modules. The first thing I did was jump in my Scorpion Navy Issue (the Navy Scorp is a missile boat, not an ECM platform as some people seem to think) and started running Level-4 missions again. The Nighthawk sat in my hangar for a few days, as I thought it would be useless in Empire. That changed the day I decided to give it a try to see how well it would handle the Level-4's.

Wow. This thing devours L4's.

Now that I don't need to protect it from gankers quite so much I was able to fit a much heavier DPS load-out. The Nighthawk gets bonuses to heavy missiles - and they make such a difference. With my SNI I had to rely on my light and medium drones to handle frigates/destroyers and cruisers/battlecruisers respectively while the Scorp chewed up the Battleships with cruise missiles. With the Nighthawk, the heavy-missiles are good enough to handle all ship classes effectively. I can easily say that I get through missions twice as fast now.

I believe there are arguments as to which is better - a CNR or a Nighthawk. But relating to one of my previous posts I would happily take the Nighthawk any day. A lot of the guys from my Corp who I run missions with use Tengu's, and the DPS seems to compare well with the T3 ships. Where the Nighthawk does fail, though, is it's speed compared to the T3's. To help, I have fitted an After-Burner which allows me to keep up at a moderate pace. However, the NH makes up for this downfall if she gets webbed. I have no worries - the tank, coupled with the insane resists, is enormous. Webbing, for most Tengu's, is game over. As always, swings and round-a-bouts.

The final note I will make about Nighthawk is the active vs passive fits. As my ship will mostly be used in PvE, I have gone for the passive fit with active hardners. However, this fit does not stand too well in PvP. At the moment my Corp is bogged down with a War-Dec, and I lost one Nighthawk (through nothing more than shear ignorance and ill-placed overconfidence on my part). With the passive fit (I used passive amps so I was nuet-proof) she still took a while to bring down, but I was on my own and very well jammed, webbed and scrammed so her fate was sealed from the moment I was locked. There is a good PvP fit that I would like to try, although I don't really see the sense in risking all that ISK when Drakes can do the same job (albeit, a little slower).

So, I have now sold the SNI and will be using Nighthawk's for a very long time. But I will keep her out of PvP if I can!