Thursday, March 10, 2011

Supercarrier vs titan

A lot of people get here via that search and it's time for an answer. I've written about supercarrier vs titan before, but that was in the context of deciding which to get. This post is a more general comparison.

In many ways, supercarriers and titans are pretty similar. They have almost the same EHP (33-57 million) and in theory do about the same DPS (8000-11000). The major differences are price, utility and how they do their damage.


Supercarriers, properly fitted, cost about 16 to 24 billion depending on hull price and on whether they are an armor or a shield tank. Armor resist mods cost more, and armor tanks use a slave set while shield tanks don't have equivalent implants.

Titans start around 50 billion (maybe as low as 42 if you get a really good deal), or 65 on the open market. The fittings cost about the same, though shield tankers often spring for officer invunerability fields, which come in 4, 8 and 18 billion isk variations, and titan pilots often use officer cap recharge mods. One figures a minimum price of about 56 billion, with a range about 2.5-4x as much as a supercarrier.


A big deal has been made of the fact that SC do more things than titans. They kill capitals, they kill subcapitals, they rep, they tackle, they neut. Reps are probably the biggest deal -- a supercarrier can permarun 2 capital remote reps with minimal refitting or under lag, making supercarrier blobs annoyingly resiliant under some conditions.

In a fight titans only do damage. They can also titan bridge, which is very important but not useful in a fight.


Titans and supercarriers do about the same DPS, but titans have several advantages.

1. Moar damage. Although the erebus and avatar have fairly anemic damage for supercapitals, the leviathan and ragnarok both do more than a nyx (with a standard fit). With a close-range fit the lev and rag do 50-60% more, which is sort of a lot.
2. Doomsday. With three million alpha, put enough titans in one place and you can kill a supercapital in 30 seconds. Doomsday also volleys dreads, carriers and subcapitals.
3. Lag resistance. Titans' guns and doomsday devices work like any other activated module, and can be cycled in lag. In my tests during extreme lag fighter bombers had to be recalled and re-engaged before they would fire again, which takes twice as long as cycling a gun.
4. Subcapitals. To kill subcapitals supercarriers have to use fighters, which are slow, basically useless at hitting anything smaller than a battleship (normal drones can be used for sub-battleships, but come on) and decrease EFT DPS by 75%. Certainly supercarriers can seriously ruin the day of an incautious subcapital fleet, but in practice they aren't very effective against subcapitals. Titans, on the other hand, can kill any subcapital with the doomsday, which never misses (unless the target warps, so choose wisely). Titan guns are also effective against subcapitals with low angular velocity. You might ask yourself why any subcapital would be stationary with titans on grid, but in my experience sorting overview by angular velocity with a decent hostile fleet on grid will always show a few with low angular velocity -- either they aren't moving, are moving mostly toward or away from you, or are distant enough that angular velocity is low. A good hit by an avatar or erebus does about 30k damage to a subcapital, rag up to 105k, while levi uses missiles and is ineffective against subcaps. Even without lag and assuming the target doesn't warp off fighters take quite a while to do that sort of damage.

Supercarriers do have one advantage, which is that they do full EFT damage to pos mods and sov structures, neither of which titans can doomsday. They're great for defanging towers or shooting sov structures, though useless for reinforcing towers.

Short version, titans are better in a fight. Maybe not enough to really justify spending 2-3x as much as on a supercarrier, but if you've got the isk....


  1. Lets just say for the sake of argument that we're in a hypothetical battle both sides are fielding the same setups. We have a titan, two supers, and a bunch of carriers/subcaps. In a fight like that (which in my experience seems to be pretty common) would it be best to field another titan or toss a SC on the field?

  2. I have no idea. Almost.

    It sort of depends on a lot of factors. Other things equal, in that situation I would tend to primary enemy caps, get triage carriers (and maybe dreads) down and then go for their supers; in that case, assuming lag was negligible, another SC would probably be best, because doomsdays are inefficient when used against sub-supercaps; unless the range was short and I had a CR fit shield titan, in which case the titan could do significantly more damage than a nyx; or, if there were significant lag I would also prefer a titan.

    Personally I would be very hesitant to use a supercapital in that situation, because there are people who would just love to drop a hundred supers on that fight; but I haven't actually been in any fights since the NC went down so I don't know how common that really is.

  3. Great insight, I appreciate the comment. The times I am talking about are the pre-power bloc mergers. Side note: I think that we'll definitely return to those times as soon as CPP institutes the 'no local chat' 0.0 changes. The current times allow for the 20+ super cap hot drops (which is bullshit and unfair...this delves into a whole new can of worms which involves the botting and such talks) and the super cap fleets just can't be beat yet. Anywho, great blog and great insight. I look forward to more posts.

  4. Have you ever thought about a weekly podcast with the current EVE news? I'd be listener #1 to sign up, and I know for a fact that their would be many more people that would definitely follow. Hint, hint: make a podcast :D

  5. Nope. I'm back in empire these days, and don't keep up on 0.0 news except what's on EN24. Plus, I'm bad at talking.

    Sure do appreciate the thought though ^^

  6. One last thought: EN24 is crap. Whether or not you're on the latest news or or not you could still make an awesome podcast. All the current podcasts are either crap or incredibly bias. I bet you'd be just fine at talking. Seriously, your blog is awesome. Just turn your blog into a weekly podcast and you'd be golden. I'm pretty good at talking and I'd love to be you co-host at least once :D

  7. I've been following you for ages and seriously you definitely have a podcast in the making. Make it so :D

  8. The podcast idea fails several criteria -- It's not something I would use (I don't listen to podcasts), the format isn't appropriate for my style of communication (concise) and, most importantly, there is nothing I feel the need to share right now (which is also why I haven't posted anything this month).

    You piqued my curiosity though, so I decided to do a proof of concept recording. I'll drop it in a new post for #REF

    Spoiler: The ponies are a lie.