In the days of Gemini, the Dominix, or Domi, was often seen as a cheap mining battleship, though to a lesser extent than the Armageddon (which could fix an extra laser for roughly the same price). This changed after Build 1549 with the introduction of the 'one extra drone per level' from the Gallente Battleship skill. This essentially led to many miners favouring the dominix for its ability to field up to fifteen drones (Gallente Battleship V and Drone Interfacing V, which at the time also allowed control of one extra drone per level trained).
In later days, the bonus was changed again for the Dominix to its present bonus of increased hitpoints and damage per level.
Additionally, with the rebalancing of the Drone Interfacing skill, five combat drones fielded by a fully trained Dominix pilot would deal comparable damage to the ten they could field before. However, the change did not affect mining yield for mining drones, and after the popularisation of Mining Barges (and later Exhumers), Dominix populations in asteroid belts diminished.
The Dominix class battleship is the first T1 battleship most Gallente-trained pilots climb into, as it is one of the cheapest battleships in-game. But this is not what sets this ship apart from the competition.
Throughout New Eden the Dominix is well known and respected for 3 main aspects:
Its bonuses to drone damage and hit points, coupled with a huge (375m^3) drone bay and 125MB of bandwidth makes the Dominix the most drone-centered Tech1 sub capital ship. And even outside these bounds, it is only rivaled by the Ishtar, carrier/mothership-class vessels, and of course its own Tech2 version the Sin.
Some have even referred to the Dominix as a highsec mini carrier. It is capable of fielding 3 full flights of Heavy Attack Drones (and/or Sentry Drones), which usually compose most of its firepower. Using drones as a main weapons system (as opposed to supplementary, which is accessible to most ships in game) is an art form in itself and requires unique strategies.
Being a battleship, the Dominix already has a buffer tank advantage when compared to the competition, although this buffer can be broken quickly by most other battleships in PvP situations. Despite lacking tank-related bonuses such as the resist bonuses of the Abaddon or the repair bonus of the Hyperion, the Dominix has the luxury of 7 low slots which can be dedicated to a pure armor tank. There are many variations on tanking the Dominix (some even include shield tanking), but usually if setup properly, it can be a tough nut to crack.
Having its main firepower coming from drones, which do not consume any powergrid, CPU, or ammo, the Dominix has a lot of freedom in fitting options. Even despite its 5% damage bonus to large hybrid turrets (Large Blasters and Large Railguns), many players often choose to ignore this turret bonus as the relatively low powergrid (9,000 MW) restricts fitting of battleship sized weapons. Quite often the highslots are seen fitted with energy vampires (a.k.a. Nosferatu, a.k.a. NOS) or Energy destabilizer units a.k.a. Neuts or any other equipment demanded by the situation. Another popular option is fitting armor repair modules or Shield transporters, which make the Dominix a capable logistics ship without reducing its firepower, and also makes spidertanking in small gangs a viable option. And indeed in small gangs the Dominix can be a fearsome opponent. It is this variability that inspires fear in opponents in PvP. This versatility also makes the dominix popular with the mission runners, allowing for AFK type mission running, although it is nowhere close to the popularity of the Raven for PvE.
One somewhat unusual role that the Dominix is also quite well suited to is gas mining. It is able to fit a full set of five tech II gas harvesters and use several of its low slots for cargohold expanders which reduces the need to jetcan mine, while still maintaining most of its firepower through its drones. With the mid slots dedicated to a moderate-but-still-respectable shield tank, it could deal with a decent quantity of rats that may show up while mining.
Below are some fittings recommended by other players for the Dominix class battleship.
Below are additional ships images. Click the image below for a larger version:
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