One Universe, Many Spaceships
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From Frigates to Titans
A wide array of spaceships await the aspiring pilot in EVE Online. From the nimble frigates to the mighty titans, the range and scope of spaceships is considerable. Each of the major factions has a full range of vessels filling all the key roles in any fleet, while maintaining their own specialisms and preferred weapons. Spaceships can be found locked in combat with others, mining valuable ores, hauling trade goods, salvaging the wrecks of other ships, and even hacking into arcane technologies from lost civilizations. Spaceships are the instruments of creation and destruction across the cluster, and their capsuleer pilots are considered to be among the elite of New Eden.
The Golden Fleet
The Amarr approach to war has always involved the use of massive, overpowering force and their ship designs reflect this guiding philosophy. Amarr ships are heavily-armored engines of destruction designed to demoralize their foes and engineered to deliver crushing blows. The Amarr long-ago perfected energy weapon technology and use pulse and beam lasers as primary weapons in most of their ships. A notable exception to their preference for energy weapons is seen in the ship designs of the allied Khanid Kingdom, which use missiles extensively while still emphasizing heavy armor in defense. Both the Empire and Kingdom make use of drones as a significant secondary weapon system. Additionally, despite their preference for deploying overwhelming force, the Amarr have not neglected the more subtle arts of space combat and have developed disruptive electronic warfare and energy-draining weaponry, particularly on their advanced vessels.
The spaceship design philosophy of the Caldari State has been shaped by their secessionist war with the Gallente Federation and the internecine and subtle warfare that has at times broken out between the Caldari Megacorporations. The result has been an emphasis on technological excellence and efficient designs aimed at multiplying the power of relatively small fleets. Caldari ship designs are strongly geared towards shield-based defense and use either missile or railgun weapon systems. The Caldari space combat doctrines also emphasize powerful electronic warfare systems and their fleets use a number of designs, from frigates to battleships, that are specially optimized for ECM. The ideal for a Caldari fleet commander is to neutralize his opponent with a blanket of electronic warfare while the missile carriers and railgun boats eliminate the enemy one by one.
The Gallente Federation have taken drones - for the other empires something of an after-thought or secondary weapon system at best - and placed them at the heart of their ship design philosophy. The vast majority of Gallente ships have drone capability, often beyond that of comparable designs in the other empires, and the Federation has developed a large array of dedicated drone carriers that use these robotic gunships as their primary weapon system. While being known for their heavy use of drones, the Gallente have not neglected raw firepower and many of their designs are optimized for the blaster family of short-range, high-damage hybrid turrets. While the Gallente share hybrid turret technology with their Caldari State enemies, due to a shared history, their preference in defense is for strongly-armored designs. The Gallente approach to electronic warfare also differs notably from others and relies on dampening enemy sensors, reducing their effective range and ability to lock onto targets.
Minmatar ship designs typically emphasize speed and firepower, combining agile ship designs with projectile weapon armaments. While the preferred weapon systems of the Minmatar are autocannons or artillery, they make a virtue of versatility and many of their vessels use missiles or drones as secondary weapons. Similarly, the Minmatar take a balanced approach to defense with their ships often being capable of adopting either shield- or armor-based defensive setups. This flexibility makes the Minmatar an unpredictable foe, while their classical tactics of striking fast and hard continue to define their approach to space warfare.