Tuesday, 26 June 2012

HEAD2HEAD: Rifter vs Incursus


The Minmatar Rifter has been the pretty much the undisputed king of T1 frigates pretty much since the dawn of time, or at least 2009 when I first started flying in New Eden. If you wanted a frigate that basically said I'm a pirate lets fight you jumped into a Rifter and warped to top belt, and that's held true for many years. 
But could that all be set to change?

CCP have been stiring things up in the ship classes and the cumulative effect is very interesting, first Hybrid's weapons got fixed, suddenly light neutron blasters could be fitted to pretty much everything, and with the null ammo getting a much needed buff to range/falloff it became possible to hit things at 10km with close range guns, something the Minmatar had worked out with Barrage ammunition a long time ago.

Then last month the T1 frigates got a big overhaul, the humble blaster merlin became a viable ship and the Incursus well that has become a bit of a beast. Given an extra lowslot and a bonus to armour repair and enough pg and cpu to make sure that you could use the extra slot. There has been a massive amount of interest in the Incursus on Battleclinic, and some truely epic fits have been posted, a dual repping version that can tank 200dps even before any gang bonus's are applied. Standard fit's pushing out well over 200dps are not uncommon.
The Incursus versus Rifter debate is still going strong, lets start by looking at the cookie cutter Rifter as the main contender.

Rifter's main advantages in the past have been that it's faster than most T1 frigates, enabling it to control the range of the fight so it can either come up close and brawl with high damage fusion/pp/emp or sit out at 8-9km and using barrage to pick apart the tank of it's victim


[Rifter, Cookie SAR+AB]
Small Armor Repairer II
Damage Control II
200mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I

1MN Afterburner II
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator

150mm Light AutoCannon II, Barrage S
150mm Light AutoCannon II, Barrage S
150mm Light AutoCannon II, Barrage S
Small Energy Neutralizer II

Small Projectile Burst Aerator I
Small Projectile Collision Accelerator I
[empty rig slot]

Versus the New Incursus in cookie format



[Incursus, Cookie SAR]
Damage Control II
Small 'Accommodation' Vestment Reconstructer I
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Adaptive Nano Plating II

1MN Afterburner II
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator

Light Neutron Blaster II, Null S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Null S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Null S

Small Hybrid Burst Aerator I
Small Hybrid Collision Accelerator I
[empty rig slot]



Now some pretty graphs, these assume perfect tracking.




As you can see anything under 4.2 km the Incursus is pumping out far more damage than the Rifter, the exact damage will vary slightly for the Rifter based on what ammunition it's loaded. But the range/falloff will be the same.


Now we move to the Rifter's old stand point versus Gallante ships, move to max range hit with barrage. Now max combat range is usually between 7-9km and you can see with Null loaded it's only after 8km that the Rifter actually applies more damage. 



The Incursus now has the first call on the fight range, with marginally more speed. 
Blasters track better. The Incursus also has 25% more tank versus fusion than the Rifter versus Antimatter.
The Incursus can also reload in only 5 seconds, thus switching from short to long range ammo.
In a close range fight the Incursus puts out an additional 100dps against the Rifter, and switching to T2 long range ammo, as you can see from the graph above it's only after 8km that the Rifter actually applies more damage, so with the extra tanking ability of the Incursus it should be an obvious winner... 

But there's still a catch.

Cap warfare: The utility high on the Rifter can make the difference, by fitting a neut the close range fight changes in favour of the Rifter with that small neut causing problems for the Incursus only 30seconds into the fight stopping him from being able to repair. The Rifter also has more armour which means it can absorb far more punishment from the Incursus before it has to start burning its own tank and cap. So in the end it's going to come down to pilot skills more and more, as these two ships have finally been brought into balance, which pilot is going to Fight Smart®?