Saturday, 10 May 2014

The New Worm

I don't really like to speculate on ships before they're released from ship yards, but with the Mordu's Legion ships only releasing their designs and the barest information, I can't help but think of other ships I can progress into.

My switch to a missile focus actually gives a great deal of choice in terms of T2 frigates and cruisers. To put that in perspective, the entire Khanid Innovations line up falls into that bracket, giving a variety of kiters brawlers, and even more specialized ships.

The pirate ships part of that progression is getting a significant boost from the Mordu's Legion ships, and a re-design of the Gurista's fleet.

Today, we'll look at the Worm, which was actually the first pirate ship I encountered in New Eden. A friend of mine received one from a mission agent, back in the days when agents gave out ships such as this for rewards. I was flying Matari ships at the time, and he had his heart set on a Raven so we sold it. For the high price of 5 million ISK. It was a different time...

Image from


Gallente Frigate Bonus:
10% bonus to kinetic and thermal missile damage (was 5m3 Drone Bay Capacity per level)

Caldari Frigate Bonus:
4% bonus to all shield resistances

Role Bonus:
300% bonus to light combat drone damage and hitpoints (was 50% bonus to Rocket and Light Missile velocity)

Slot layout: 3H, 4M, 3L; 0 turrets, 2 launchers
Fittings: 40 PWG(+5), 180 CPU(+20)
Defense (shields / armor / hull) : 830(+33) / 500(-82) / 620(-3)
Capacitor (amount / recharge / cap per second) : 380(+30) / 212000 (-22375) / 1.79 (+.29)
Mobility (max velocity / agility / mass / align time): 320(+33) / 3.8(+.31) / 965000 / 5.17s(+.42)
Drones (bandwidth / bay): 10(-15) / 25
Targeting (max targeting range / Scan Resolution / Max Locked targets): 30km / 650 / 5
Sensor strength: 15
Signature radius: 40

First a little introduction to the Guristas themselves. They are pirates, and rather peculiar for most of the non-capsuleer pirates in New Eden, are pretty much just that. They attack ships for booty, run drugs and develop shanty towns as docking ports in dead space areas. They also have a lot more invested in the politics of the rest of the cluster than the other pirate factions (who tend to be religious/political/narcissistic nut jobs). They are the quintessential pirates.

They were created by two former Caldari pilots (Fatal and the Rabbit), giving them both their badge and their naming conventions. Caldari ships follow bird names, whereas Guristas ships follow reptile names. The Worm is no different. Even the name Guristas is a fusion of Calari words for 'naughty people'.

The Worm lizard is similar to a snake in that it has no limbs. This probably refers to earlier designs of the ship. Until relatively recently, all missile launchers in New Eden were internal, meaning that there were no turrets visible on missile ships. In effect, the Worm appeared limbless. A nice little word-play, and one we'd expect from the less-serious Gursitas!

Although the ship is bonused for missiles, it would be a mistake to imagine that being its focus. The latest iteration of the ship (assuming max skills) will have an effective launcher count of 3. However, with it's role bonus, it will have an effective drone count of 8 light drones! That is a significant bang for only two real drones on the field, and even these two will be extremely tough to knock out.

Before the Worm used to be slow and well shielded, relying on great damage projection from missiles and drones to do damage. This has changed. It's base speed, whilst still not that close to that of Matari ships, is now at least comparable to armour vessels. In practice it may be faster. Thick shield resistances means that low slots can be used for propulsion upgrades, similar to how the Breacher tends to be faster on the field than the Rifter.

It's slot layout is similar to that of the Firetail, giving great flexibility in terms of fitting. 4 mids make for full tackle plus shield tank, and the lows give a lot of options in terms of both a light armour tank or hull modification. This is all topped off by a utility high slot.

Predicted tactics

Expect everything.

This ship is a fearsome brawler, with a great passive shield tanking bonus. Even blaster boats are going to find it difficult to punch holes in this little frigate. It's cap-less weaponry and utility high for a neutralizer means that anything that does get close is likely to be dead in the water. Attempts to kite this frigate will still have to deal with it's drones, the real source of firepower.

It can be a very tough, if slow kiter. Similar to a kiting Tristan, the majority of the damage will be coming from it's drones, with maybe some Light missile fire. A competent brawler should be able to close the distance easily, but again, those high resist shields will still cause problems.

And to further illustrate how tough this ship will be: it has the highest sensor strength and longest target lock range of the pirate frigates. It'll be a little harder to ECM or Sensor damp this ship effectively than others.


Usual counters apply to either kiting or brawling vessels. It's a tough ship, but it's conventionally tough, meaning there won't be any nasty surprises as with the new Succubus or Cruor.

It's mobility is it's weakness. To get decent kiting speeds it will have to sacrifice damage or toughness, and even if brawling, it will have a tough time catching kiting vessels outside of its warp disruption range. This means that disengagement should be relatively easy for kiters (and even some brawlers!). Don't wait too long to disengage, as the Worm still packs a punch.

I don't recommend shooting its drones. Each one will be as tough as shooting down 4 regular drones, and they'll have at least 2 more in reserve. However, this would be a good time to find out if Tracking disruptors worked on drones. Even a single disrupted drone would drastically reduce the firepower of the worm.

Ultra-fast ships with low signatures (i.e. Interceptors) and long range should be able to whittle it down, and speed tank both drone and missile damage. This is risky... I recommend bringing an active tank, as you will take damage.

Training ship

If you're looking to learn drones, missiles and shield tanking, the best learning ship is not Caldari or Galente. In terms of spirit, the Minmatar Breacher shares more in common with the Worm. Both ships have shield tank and missile bonuses, and a drone complement. Both have flexible kiting and brawling fits, and they even share a slot layout!

A close second would be the Tristan. Whilst the Tristan does have similar flexibility to the Worm, and has much more drone focus than the Breacher, it's generally armour tanked, and tends to work best with hybrids.

Final thoughts

This is an incredibly flexible vessel, and definitely worth the space in your hangar. Like I said, it's conventionally good, and doesn't need to rely on any special tricks to be successful. If you're looking for a solid reliable ship, which ca re-fit easily into different strategies, this is your ship!

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