The recent update has arrived and overall I feel the new Minmatar v3 skins are looking sweet. I particularly like the darker colour schemes of the Stiletto, Broadsword, Rapier and especially the Sabre--that thing looks demonic.
The new Jaguar and Wolf also look impressive. However, I'm not completely sold on some of the lighter 'cammo' styles of the Firetail and the Claw, the Firetail looks like it is about to roll out for Operation Desert Storm.
Similarly, the Vagabond doesn't quite look right now with its 'bits' chopped away. It kind of reminds me of when you go to the barbers and ask for a certain cut but the dood takes way too much off and you look like a dork for a few weeks until it grows back. Also, the size of my autocannons have shrunk! It looks like somebody switched out my death-spitting weapons system in the dead of night with a toy set from the Early Learning Centre. I will have to report back on whether or not they start firing water or rubber bullets.
But for me, the best part of this update is the new CRUNCH noise when a ship pops. Has anybody else noticed this? Yeah, yeah I know there are some cool kids out there who don't even know that EVE has sound, bite me. This noise is epic, I love it! I haven't read the patch notes but I'm pretty sure this is a different sound from previous. Has it been sneaked in?
With recent buffs to the rest of the tech1 combat frigates and with more changes on the way, it has been suggested in some circles that the Rifter has lost some of its muscle, or at least it has been pegged back a few levels by the other challengers. I am still glad to report that I am finding it the best tech1 frigate in my hangar for value, fun and goodfightability (ooh a new word).
Earlier today I was chasing a Dramiel around and eventually managed to land right on top of him. After some careful piloting to negate his escape, (read; smashing the shit out of the approach button with afterburner on fire) I was left with a CRUNCH and a killmail.
I've yet to try the new Incursus but have heard only good things about it. I've fought a few of them in my Rifter and various other boats but apart from losing to one who was in partnership with a Pilgrim I can't think of one I've lost to in a straight fight. It is more of a test now for sure but I'd still take a Rifter over an Incursus. Maybe I will change my mind after giving it a whirl, who knows?
I did try the Merlin recently and was impressed. I went for an afterburner and damage control fit. Most of the fights I found ended up with me getting into blaster range quite easily. I was left with the feeling though that this particular afterburner and blaster fit might be susceptible to being kited quite easily if it came up against the right pilot. Might be worth looking into a mwd fit the next time I buy a Merlin.
One of the first fights I found in my Merlin was versus another Merlin. Normally I wouldn't have considered this fight worthy of mention as it was quite a disappointing affair, but I had to scratch my head at this guy's fit, the low-slots especially. I was mainly finding really badly fitted Thrashers to fight against but was eventually rewarded with some good fights against a Taranis and then a Hookbill.
So far I feel that these new changes are championing the tech1 frigate field and it can only get better. Here's to more frig fights!