On May 29th of 2018, the Triglavian Collective and their ships were introduced to the game. The Damavik, Vedmak, and Leshak were different because their weapons only took up one high slot, and slowly spooled up to more than double the DPS of their counterparts in different factions. On top of this, they had multiple other high slots, and due to their bonuses, they could be used for things such as logistics, neut pressure, smart bombs, or other combat utilities. It’s hard to deny their effectiveness, but I want to talk about why they are used, especially in the wormhole scene, their strengths, weaknesses, and discuss if they are balanced and if they should have even been added to the game.
The Good and The Bad
I am going to start out by saying that I will not be talking about the current T2 variants of the Triglavian Ships. They are very uncommon, and if you compare the SP requirement and the cost of the T2 ships versus the T1 ships, the T1 ships are much more efficient. As for the T1 ships that I want to exclude, I don’t want to talk about the Damavik or the Vedmak. Those are both used, for the most part, exclusively in solo or small gang and are not that useful (for fleets) compared to the Kikimora, Drekavac, or Leshak.
The important stats for the ships are DPS without drones at max spool, leftover high slots, average EHP. Here are the stats per ship:
Kikimora: 500-600 DPS, 1 extra high slot, 10k EHP
Drekavac: 1k DPS, 3 extra high slots, 100k EHP
Leshak: 2 – 2.5k DPS, 4 extra high slots, 200k EHP
Yes, they are kind of overpowered. They are also fairly cheap for their power.
The Kikimora is a small, fast destroyer with DPS that rivals even some battleships once they have hit max spool. In medium-large numbers they can kill just about anything.
The Drekavac is fast for a battlecruiser. Has high DPS, low mass, and tons of extra slots that can be used as combat utilities (such as boost or logi). They can also use a MJD, which is extremely useful escaping unfavorable PvP situations.
The Leshak has very low mass for a battleship and insane DPS. On top of this are the leftover slots that can be used for logi, and is quite good at it too.
All of the ships have no fall off range, so as soon as a target leaves that range their weapons shuts down and has to re-spool. They also start out with relatively low DPS, and has to spool a bit to be competitive, so pulling range while they use short range ammo, and ECM are both extremely useful. Their weapons also require a decent amount of capacitor.
The Kikimora is a glass cannon; it is built for speed tanking and will die with one good volley or sustained DPS.
The Drekavac also has somewhat low EHP for its class.
The Leshak is slow.
These ships are most likely the ships you think of when you think wormhole space (if you have seen any battle reports or fights from recent months) and you wouldn’t be wrong in thinking that. They are useful in wormhole space because of the low numbers of players – fights rarely get above 50 people, and most likely stay below 10 pilots. Being able to have the DPS of two, maybe even three ships of the same class gains a huge advantage, and since one person/group started using them, one has to use the ships to compete and it sets off a chain reaction, where now 90% of J-Space residents use these ships regularly.
These were the top used ships in wormhole space. As you can see, Triglavian ships are extremely popular. Along with their high DPS, in large brawls their low mass can make it the obvious choice since you can stick more ships in before collapsing a hole. Along with this, small holes can be traversed by a fleet of Kikimoras to kill things like caps with relative ease.
Lack of Popularity in Other Parts of New Eden
The main thing that I have noticed about the ships when it comes to their lack of appearance in large fleets is that they don’t match the tactics that I have seen out of large lowsec and nullsec fleets. Typically, they try to volley a ship off field before their logi can get locked onto it. With their somewhat low range and spool-up damage they don’t match and aren’t that useful. They are still used somewhat frequently in small gang and solo, but anything larger seems pointless.
Does it Need Balance?
I am a strong believer in “it only needs to be fixed if it is a problem,” not “fix it if it’s broken.” Do I think Triglavian ships are overpowered and broken? Yes. Do I think they need to be fixed? No. If you “fix” them then people who used them move on to something else that is just a little less broken. It’s the idea of the meta, most people will use what works. Everyone will try to use the most powerful ship to stay competitive. I want ship diversity, where different groups use different things, but bad balance passes aren’t a way to fix it. Before Triglavians, wormholers used large fleets of T3Cs, and it was close to the same thing, where everyone used the same ships because they were the best ships. It’s a part of the game. Don’t bring a knife to a gun fight because of diversity, because that would be stupid. Plus, something so wrong has never felt so right to fly!