All this data is potentially out of date, and should be taken with a truckload of salt
The Raven is a tier-2 battleship of the Caldari Navy. Its defining attribute lies in its battery of 6 missile hard points, where combined with its range and velocity bonuses to missiles, makes it ideal for mission running or general bombardment.
Like most missile-armed ships, the Raven is a preferred warship for missions due to its ability to deliver 100% of its damage of a single type, making it highly effective against a single race of NPCs. As of this writing it is one of only two standard battleships that receive a bonus to missile weapons (the other being the Minmatar Typhoon). It is the only standard battleship with a range bonus to its launchers. When fitted with a full battery of cruise missiles, the Raven has unparalleled range, albeit at the expense of the arrival time of its ordinance.
The use of missiles in PvP is hotly debated, as the delay caused by missile flight time is often seen as a hindrance when compared to the instant damage by direct-fire weapons. As a result they are generally discouraged from use in most PvP engagements, though recent changes to torpedoes have lead to discussion on the Raven's potential close-range firepower. These are still considered to be in the experimental stages however.
Not quite falling into the role of PvP, but related, is POS warfare, where the Raven's advantages in single damage types and heavy tank make it ideal for attacking large, stationary targets. Since missile launchers do not require capacitor energy, their sustained fire rate is only limited by their ammunition capacity, whereas many contemporary Amarr and Gallente battleships often need to manage their damage output in order to prevent emptying their capacitors. Combined with a heavy tank, the Raven has filled the role of “poor man's dreadnought” in some fleets, with some squadrons deploying groups of Ravens to siege towers when deploying capital ships is deemed too risky.
See also: Raven (Fitting)
See Also: Weapons Guide
The Raven's armament is largely defined by its 6 launcher hard points, which can fit a combination of siege (torpedo) or cruise missile launchers, though rarely are the two combined. The cruise missile's longer range and smaller explosion radius is usually preferred in most circumstances where a mix of ship sizes and classes can be expected. Torpedoes usually reserved for when the majority of targets are expected to be battleship-size or larger, and the dangers of a close-range fight are deemed to be minimal. The Raven also possesses 4 turret hard points, though these are rarely used. With 8 high slots, a Raven pilot has the option of mounting two guns to augment the main missile battery, but in most mission running ships these slots are used for a salvager and/or tractor beam. In PvP fits, pilots are encouraged to use the extra slot for a remote shield or armor repairer.
The only weapon upgrade for missiles is the Ballistic Control System I, and pilots who deem that damage output is preferable to tanking ability can stack as many as three of these units in their low-slots for a good damage and rate of fire bonus.
See Also: Defense Guide
With 6 mid-slots and a sizable base shield value, the Raven is almost always fitted with a shield tank. This can be any combination of shield hardeners, extenders and boosters, with most good fits usually fitting a combination of the three. Some PvP fleets encourage Raven pilots to use at least one or two slots for an ECM module, with the remote sensor dampener being preferred due to its guaranteed effect in the absence of the usual Caldari ECM bonus.
Low-slots are usually reserved for a damage control unit, armor plate, or capacitor flux coils (for running a shield booster).
In most cases, a Raven pilot will find that his cruise missiles are capable of firing much further than his targeting systems will allow. Therefor a sensor booster is often carried to mitigate this issue. With good skills and a scripted sensor booster, a Raven is easily capable of hitting targets beyond 200km with no reduction in damage.
Target painters are also sometimes carried, giving cruise missiles and torpedoes much greater effectiveness against smaller ship types. The Tech 2 version of the Raven, the Golem, is designed with this strategy in mind.
While the Raven does not carry any drone bonuses, its large bay allows for a multitude of options. Common load outs include 5 light and 5 medium drones for use against smaller targets, or a group of medium or heavy maintenance bots for additional logistics support in a fleet.
The Raven is considered “King of PvE” ships, and with good reason. Its combination of range and unequaled missile firepower gives it the best DPS of any battleship when the enemy's weakest damage resistance is known (as is often the case against NPCs). In a fleet its record is mixed. While on paper, the huge range of its cruise missiles or the high alpha-strike of a torpedo volley looks impressive, the lengthy flight time of cruise missiles and the extremely short range of torpedoes make pilots think twice about both options.
When running missions, a Raven pilot has the option of sacrificing some of his tanking ability to extend the range of his cruise missiles via sensor boosters in the mid-slots and/or ballistic control units in the low-slots. In these instances, a Raven pilot will use his long reach to keep his opponents out of firing range. Some missions however leave their pilots dangerously close to large amounts of NPCs, and in these instances a heavy tank is required. Raven pilots have received a boost with the introduction of rigs, with the most common setup being three Capacitor Control Circuits. These allow a Raven pilot to run a cap-stable shield booster without the use of Faction or Officer modules, giving the Raven one of the strongest shield tanks in EVE.
While the Raven is usually discouraged in many PvP fleets, it is often welcomed for POS siege support. Fleet commanders who can inform their Raven pilots ahead of time of the damage types required against a POS will see a good number of minutes shaved off the time required to take the shields down. Most pilots will find that Cruise missiles allow excellent standoff range from a tower's weapons. Torpedoes can be used, but pilots will need to be careful as their short range will mean that only those with the best skills will be able to hit the tower from the shield perimeter.
The following skills up will greatly increase the performance of your Raven. It is recommended that you train all of them to at least level IV.
- Caldari Battleship - Training this skill increases the damage output of your Raven. While it can take between 23-30 days to train to level V, it is a worthwhile investment of training time for any serious Battleship pilot.
- Energy Management - 5% bonus to capacitor capacity per level
- Energy Systems Operation - 5% reduction in capacitor recharge time
- Navigation - 5% ship velocity bonus, the Raven is a slow and lumbering ship and can often have to cross large distances between jump gates in various missions.
- Electronics - 5% Bonus to ship CPU output per skill level. This is a necessary skill if you want to fit a robust tank to your ship.
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