Wednesday, April 22, 2015

The Poor Cat

I was waiting for some builders to arrive last night so couldn't go far. I noted a war target in system but no plex open. I checked his killboard and saw he was a stabbed farmer. Logging on my scanning alt I found him at a safe spot and used the triple long point Kestrel to send him to LP farmer heaven.

A bit later (no the bloody builders still hadn't turned up) I was doing a few bits in station when I saw on alliance chat that there was a Svipul war target. I undocked quickly without thinking. I scanned and only saw a Catalyst. Idiot! These guys were somewhere else! Anyway, my interested piqued I D-Scanned scanned the open plex to see where this Catalyst was. Given there were not WT's in system and I was only Caldari Militia in there he had to be a neut. Using logic, he was looking for a fight. I found him on D-scan towards a small plex. OK, but wait, what did I undock in? Oh, Ideal!

I warped to the plex and found the Catalyst sat outside. Scram, web and he's toast.

Good fight?

Not really.

I was in an over-sized afterburner, arty Thrasher. This exploits the massive handicap of the Catalyst. Only two mid-slots. My arty cannons made short work of him.

This got me thinking. That poor guy had no chance against me. Is that fair? The Catalyst is an ideal blaster boat and packs probably the greatest punch for its size and price. Its why it is popular with high-sec gankers. Amazing DPS for the cost of the ship. It is rarely used as a railgun platform, the Cormorant performs that role the best. The Catalyst is the good old "brawling, face-melting, up-close and personal, take this you scumbag" blaster boat.

Conventional fitting wisdom is that any blaster boat needs the following:-

A prop mod - You need to get to point-blank range for max DPS
A scram - You need to get to point-blank range for max DPS
A web - You need to get to point-blank range for max DPS

However with only two modules what do you do? Which do you choose?

Of course there are several options, the most common being a MWD and scram. However if your opponent has a AB or web he has a chance of pulling range. A popular one is prop module and web. Its amazing how many people will automatically assume they are pointed without looking.

This dude came at me with MWD and Scram. Unfortunately for him the MWD didn't slow me down but my own web slowed him down.

I have Catalysts but rarely use them for this point. Unless you are fighting another face-to-face brawler you are in danger of being easily kited or your opponent escaping.

So what can be done?

Add another mid slot?

That would unbalance destroyers and make the Catalyst way overpowered. May be it is doomed forever to be "the gank destroyer" and the "I hope he doesn't notice I don't have a scram on this destroyer" or the "I hope he isn't AB fit destroyer" or the "I hope he dies before be can kill me destroyer"?

In the end I realise the Catalyst should be left as it is. This is Eve Online. Its about choice. Want good DPS with web, scram and prop mod? Get yourself an AC Thrasher. Want pure damage output? Grab a Catalyst and accepted with great DPS comes great drawbacks too.


  1. Or fly it with a friend or two, Cats make great small gang ships.

  2. The only solo successful Catalyst fit I've seen is the MWD Scram-Kite Catalyst.

    You fit either blasters or rails, and use the amazing dps and optimal advantage to wipe the floor with the ships that come after you. It's a one trick pony though. It does extremely poorly on killing kiters, and struggles at anything that goes faster than it. Links kill the fit stone dead.

    Rob K.