One of the most maligned battlecruisers in existance, the Ferox is best described as a niche ship. It is, in essence, a better looking and beefed up Moa and it shows. Often times this ship is bought either as a stopgap replacement or as a component to build the Tech 2 Caldari command cruisers.
That stated, there are a few niches that the Ferox has been used as, and has proven to be suprisingly resillient in. The first is Gas Harvesting. With the proliferation of wormholes and the need to collect fullerides for production, the ability of the Ferox to tank as well as operate a full collection of harvesters made it a popular choice. Coupled with its low price tag it is often seen roaming gas clouds, sucking up everything in reach.
The second one, a far rarer fit is that of the mobile exploring cruiser. Fitted with hacking, salvaging and archeological modules as well as a probe it offers an interesting attempt to be able to run any high-security site with a single hull. While unable to access the smaller combat sites it can handle any other site in high security with ease, affording pilots the ability to run a site the moment they discover it.
As a battlecruiser, the Ferox has a good slot composition, allowing it to carry all it needs with it and It can be well fitted for a many PVE roles.
In general this is a ship for hybrid turret users, like me. Using railguns you take the most advantage from the ship's range bonus. You are able to effectively attack at a veriety of distances while remaining in optimal range by using different ammo. Basically, I use two: Thorium charges for long and antimatter charges for short ranges. If making lots of damage is needed use blasters. I recomend a Heavy Neutron Blaster I (for max. range and power). Even better a tech2 one, as it can use the Null charges whicl allow you to effectively fire up to 15km away with Battlecruiser skill at 5, plus extra damage from the "medium blaster specialization" skill. You will need an afterburner/microwarpdrive though to get in range fast. Finally drones - you will need them. Even medium blasters have trouble hitting fast orbiting frigates at close range, and fitting a webber takes up a med slot, which can be used for a better purpose. Here is where the drones come in. I use 5 LIght scout drones (like hornets) and don't bother with hitting frigates with my guns. It works well.
Although in the "recomendations" tag in the "show info" it says to use active shield tanking I passive tank and I have not regreted that for a second. With the battlecruisers skill trained to 5 you recieve a 25% boost to all you resistances giving you a good level to start with when planning your tank. I usually use 1 Invoulnerability field, 1 photon scattering field/magnetic scattering amplifier and 2 large shield extenders. The lows are usually filled with Shield power relays and power diagnostoc systems to balance Shield/capacitor ammounts. this is my usual tank:
You can use tech1 modules. This gives you roughly 350 DPS tankable with T1 modules. You can remove one extender to free up a med slot, and compensate by replacing one power diagnostic with a shield power relay. Or you can free up a low slot for a mag field stabilizer if tank demands are lower.
If running (and fitting for) missions is more or less straight forward, fitting for exploration is a different matter and the 7 high slots the ferox has comes quite handy. I will explain the fitting for wormhole exploration purposes as it is the most demanding and fits for highSec and even LowSec exploration can be easily derived from it. Without even discussing weapons you will need:
1) Core probe launcher I (core scanner probes)
2) Cloaking device I
3) Salvager I (most profit from class1,2 wormhole sites is salvage)
Summarizing: ~307 DPS Tankable, ~200 DPS in output. For HighSec operations: remove the cloaking device add another turret! For combat/missions: remove Scan probe launcher, Analyzer/Codebraker, cloaking device. Use appropriate resists.
Two points to clarify. Cloaking device: When flying alone the biggest thing to worry about in any lowSec/NullSec space are your fellow capsuleers. There are lots of folks out there who are having lots of fun shooting PVErs who are trying to make a living - that's life. So - be prepared. Make a safe spot first thing when you arrive at a wormhole, warp to it, deploy probes and cloak: You can peacefully scan, sit and recharge after attacking or even go AFK without worrying about being found.
Capacitor: If you analyze the above setup you will see that even excluding the MWD it is not cap-stable. This is done on-purpose and there are two reasons for this. First, obviously by fitting two Shield Power relays (or more) you increase your tank. Second, being not cap-stable usually means that you will run out of capacitor before you are done with a site (especially with "watchman" type sleeper NPCs who cap drain) which means you will have to temporarily warp out to recharge. Good! While you are fighting you are visible and scannable which puts you at risk from player pirates and you are consumed with the battle and may not notice the incoming threat before it is too late. But running out of cap will force you to oftenly warp to your safe spot and back to the fight, increasing the time it takes to clear out the site but decreasing time periods you are visible. This saves your lives and ships.
I've been flying a ferox for 2 years now and this ship still keeps my heart warm and wallet full. Although I've moved up to a Vulture now I still use the Ferox often which is far cheaper than it is less effective. PS: Using these same fits for a Vulture works even better
I recommend to see also:
Know Your Enemy by Azual Skoll, The Altruist
The ferox is a hybrid boat, the natural step up from the moa. In fact, it actually has exactly the same bonuses - 5% to shield resists, and 10% to turret optimal range. There are also clear parallels with the drake - both have the shield resist bonus, both are mid-slot heavy (with 7/5/4 on the ferox compared to the drake's 8/6/4) and they're even the same speed. With 6 turrets (without a damage bonus) and 25m3 of drone bay/bandwidth, the ferox is somewhat light on the dps front - with blasters it has similar on-paper dps to the harbinger (but as we know, looking purely at on-paper dps for blasters is deceptive). The ferox's optimal bonus does extend its effective blaster range a little over the brutix however, with damage out to around 13km with null being fairly reasonable. With rails, the ferox puts out even less damage, although its range is fairly reasonable - without any range mods you're looking at 20-30km with antimatter or 70-80 with spike, and a full sniper fit can push that out to about 130km. Of course, dps at these ranges is relatively low (especially compared to what the drake can offer, albeit with travel time), however it's more than the moa at least.
While the ferox's damage output may not be brilliant, it does have areas in which it's particularly strong. First of all, with 5 mid slots it's capable of mounting a fairly robust tank not far off that of the drake. Second, it's much more flexible on fitting than its gallente counterpart, with ion blasters and 200mm rails (the medium calibre weapons in both case) being fairly easy to fit. Finally, the ferox is very commonly underestimated, making it surprisingly successful as a solo PVP vessel. Some solo feroxes opt for an active shield tank, although the rep capability of this is far less than on the myrm or brutix. For the most part, feroxes tend to be buffer tanked.
When fighting a ferox, my first piece of advice is simply not to underestimate it - just because it isn't popular doesn't mean it isn't capable of killing you. If the ferox is blaster fit and you can fight outside of web range, do so (webs aren't that common on blaster feroxes due to their shield tank, I mention the range more for reference than anything else). If you're unable to do so or if the ferox is rail fit, the lack of a web means you should be able to reduce its dps by orbiting close (with the obvious addendum that you should try not to sacrifice your own tracking ability it order to do so). The ferox does have a spare high slot and a neut is possible, though it isn't guaranteed (a missile launcher is also possible, as is an empty slot if the ferox is focused on tank and big guns). If you engage a ferox which is sniping or kiting with rails, you should follow the same advice mentioned in previous articles regarding snipers and kiters. That said, I don't see either especially often. As with the drake, thermal and EM are your damage types of choice (an EM hardener is rarer on the ferox than the drake, although a rig is still common). Due to its fairly low damage and relatively strong tank, feroxes are usually poor primary targets unless they're snipe fit.
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