Sunday 14 July 2013

Blockade Runner - First Impressions

I just got my first Blockade Runner pilot flying a Minmatar Prowler. I finally finished training Minmitar Industrial V yesterday and realized I didn't need Transport Ships IV for my planned fit. III was good enough and I already had that trained, so I bought a Prowler, slapped on my chosen mods/rigs and took it out for a test drive immediately.

So far, I LOVE IT!

It's nearly as fast as the frigates I've been flying all along and it aligns in under 4 seconds just like the frigates too. But it has better tank, far more cargo capacity and can't be cargo scanned.

I do wish Blockade Runners had better tank (another mid, another low and a little more power grid would be perfect) but I feel that way about many other ships too (especially cargo ships). Who knows, maybe my wish will come true and they'll get buffed after the T1 Industrial rebalance is done.

That's just wishful thinking though, my only real concern is that it actually is a ship intended for moving cargo around. As such it'll almost certainly draw more attention from gankers than the ships I have been using for transport. Probably not as safe on autopilot as my old frigates.

On the other hand, gankers can't see what I'm carrying, it can take quite a bit more damage before popping and should be able to survive smartbomb spamming camps easily.

The only real question (which only time will answer) is whether or not the increased survivability and unscannable cargo will make up for the greater attention drawn.

[Prowler fit - 4 sec Align]

Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II

Experimental 10MN Microwarpdrive I
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
[Empty High slot]

Medium Polycarbon Engine Housing I
Medium Polycarbon Engine Housing I

My Prowler pilot only has Evasive Maneuvering IV, Spaceship command IV and no skill implants. With Vs in either of those skills and/or an agility implant I could drop one nano or polycarbon and still keep alignment time under 4 seconds.

With Vs in both skills and a 5% agility implant (Rogue Evasive Maneuvering EM-705) I could drop one of each or both polycarbons.

Replacing one of the nanos with a Damage Control II would increase tank by nearly 50%. So yeah, I think I'll train the skills to V and get myself a suitcase.

This thing has oceans of cap and is cap stable with the MWD off. I never worry about running out of cap. I hit warp, cloak and both Invulns for every warp and never drop much lower than 70% cap.

With the MWD on it's not cap stable (50 seconds with medicore IIIs and IVs in cap skills, 60s with all Vs) but that's not a problem since the MWD is mostly for emergency use. It won't be used much and only for a few seconds at a time.

I spent a while flying around low sec looking for trouble to see how it performed while under attack. I wanted someone to shoot at me but unfortunately no-one even targeted me far less attacked. I guess I'll just have to fly out to EC-P8R or Aunenen sometime to stress test it.

Anyhow, though it's too soon to be certain, my initial impression now that I've actually flown a Blockade Runner is they're a whole lot better than I thought they were... But still not quite as good as I wish they were.

Edit: After only a couple days flying the prowler I've changed the training plan for my Amarr trader who had just started training Cloaking IV. Rather than training Minmatar Frigates and Cov Ops next as originally planned she'll be training Industry, Minmatar Industrials and Transport Ships instead.


  1. In my experience, the inability to scan and sewmingly low capacity (compared to freighters) means that no one pays attention to them. In all my years flying them, only had one person to to alpha one and he failed prety bad in a tier 3 bc.

    1. Nice!

      I've already changed my training plans and started training a second blockade runner up. Might wind up with a whole fleet of them.