This question was raised in an excellent post by Rixx Javixx over at eveoganda, especially when talking about the situation between the zealot and the oracle.
As he pointed out, the Oracle was cheaper than the Zealot, did BS class DPS, longer range, better cap ect ect. In short it did everything the Zealot did better, for no apparent draw back. This, unfortunately for the better vets, is definitely true. A gestalt that we all knew was coming.
But then he went onto write about the Tornado/Vagabond interplay, and that’s where in my opinion things got interesting.
“The story isn’t the same for the Vagabond. It wasn’t directly killed by one ship, but by a combination of events that put it squarely in the middle. The Tornado started it. Once you introduce a 900 dps warrior that can hit at Drake range with the ( relatively ) same tracking as a Cane, with nano Cane EHP ( close enough! ) you’ve upset the apple cart.”
I, despite my previous post, have got a Nado. i was in Jita, looking to buy a arty cane for future pvp operations when i saw that nado prices had dropped. drastically. I was tempted. too tempted. After all the nado has about the same range as the arty cane, about the same alpha… and about 4 times the ROF. nuff said. i don’t regret the purchase. the thing’s DPS is incredible. I brought out a friend in a cane in a shield buffer fit and asked him if i could test my DPS on a human target. from 40km i burned through his shields in 20 seconds flat.
The Tornado, as i discovered is not only that, but the huge sail like contraception is also almost a third faster than it’s smaller cane breathern. and that’s without the MWD. the Tornado isn’t just a hugely powerful long range ship. it’s a FAST hugely powerful long range ship.
So how does this bring us to the Vaga.
The Vaga, when i see it, is a solo ship. in fact it might be THE solo ship (or the rifter). It, like the pre-crucible dramiel, trawls through losec, fighting what it can beat and running from what it can’t. it is the ultimate predator, the sly cougar of the fringes of known space- the whiskers… or the gills… held with that image.
I’ve been killed by Vagas. i’ve trained for a Vaga. So how does one of the few ships in the game which you could NEVER even concieve of viably soloing, the Tornado kill the epitome of solo soul, the Vaga.
The tier 3 BCs aren’t just after the ships their replacing- they’re fundamentally changing the nature of pvp.
the solo or gang relationship has been long and storied. it’s a fact of eve that gangs are more effective than soloing. there’s no artificial rules preventing the basic laws of military physics stating that a larger force holds the advantage over a smaller one. specialised ships increased this relationship more in favour of gangs.
But solo was still viable. not as effective, but a solo vaga, or cane, or dramiel still had what it took.
The Tier 3 BCs aren’t just a replacement HAC. they’re ships that are specced to do damage and damage alone. there is no concievable role for them but to do damage, and like the blackbird or the bhaalgorn, they excel at their chosen role so well that more verastile ships such as the cane or the harby can’t possibly compete.
the one role in gang pvp that never had the niche- the glass cannon long range sniper ship, is finally filled- with a ship that was designed for it from the outset. the Tornado didn’t kill the vaga. it merely put a huge nail in the coffin of solo pvp. After this gangs of any size running with tier 3s will simply be so much more powerful. After all even if there’s only four of them on one guy- let’s say a tackler and three tornados, you’ll be taking 2400 DPS so suddenly that unless you have a hero tank Maelstrom or rokh, you’re going to melt fast. who would want to solo pvp when that awaits. And the Tier 3 BCs, with their prices ending up around 48-52 mil, will probably soon become one of the most common PVP ships around- and the cheapest once t2 800mm ACs stabilize.
it’s not just the tier three BCs. the destroyer buff, the dramiel nerf, all points to a small scale pvp scene much more dependant on running in gangs, now at every level. In addition the advantage has shifted back to the t1- Destroyers, not t2 frigates, now reign supreme over the smaller end of pvp, and t1 BCs, not t2 cruisers or BCs of any sort, rule the larger.
Now the question is, what will the T2 variant of the Tornado be.