Navy Omen versus Zealot – Which should you choose?

Navy Omen versus Zealot

Part One of a comparison of popular Faction Cruisers with their Tech II counterparts(as dated July 1st, 2011)

It’s a hard choice sometimes to choose between two things, particularly if those things have a lot of similar features, and distinct advantages over each other.  In Eve Online, this fact is very pronounced in the popular Faction Cruiser class ships and the Tech II Heavy Assault class ships.  Both categories have their strengths and both have their weaknesses, and choosing between them can be difficult.. especially if isk is a little tight.  In this article, we will be exploring the options that the Zealot, an Amarr Heavy Assault ship and the Omen Navy Issue bring to a fight and what advantages and disadvantages they have against each other.

First off, let’s do a quick rundown of the ships.  The Zealot was originally conceived by CCP to be the “Sniper Boat” for the Amarr Navy.  Based off of the Tech I Omen hull, the Zealot retains the original ship bonuses and adds an increase in speed, two additional low slots, a massive increase in powergrid, an increase in CPU, more armor, as well as Tech II ship bonuses.  In contrast, the Omen Navy Issue (which also is based off of the original Tech I Omen hull), is clearly an upgrade to the original style of the Omen.  Fielding more armor and considerably more shielding than the Zealot, it also managed to grab two additional low slots, some speed and an upgrade to the hull bonuses as well.

Such a wildly varying of changes to the original Omen makes this a difficult task to determine which one is better suited to PVP.  So let’s break this down a little better by talking about the advantages each ship has.

The Illustrious Zealot

The Zealot is considered a very powerful HAC and has established itself well in roaming gang conflicts.  It is popular with such 0.0 entities as the former Northern Coalition, CVA, and Pandemic Legion, but can be seen everywhere due to the ship’s versatility.  The original AHAC gangs used the Zealot as the foundation of those strike fleets and have been used with deadly effects for years.  The ship contains several upgrades over the classic Omen with the following changes:

  • Additional  28m/s base speed, with a total top base speed of 209m/s.
  • 450mw more powergrid, giving the Zealot a grand base of 1,180mw.
  • 320 CPU, 70 more than the original Omen.
  • 1500GJ, 250 more capacitor with a much faster capacitor recharge rate over the Omen.
  • Almost 700 more base armor HP for a total of 2250 HP.
  • Far better armor resists with Exp: 83%, Kin: 62.5%, EM: 50%, and Therm: 35%.
  • 10% bonus to Optimal range per Heavy Assault Level.
  • 5% bonus to damage per Heavy Assault level.
  • Two additional low slots.

But there were some downgrades as well:

  • No Drone Bay.
  • Removal of one high slot.
  • Cargo Bay reduced almost by half.
  • Slightly less agile.
  • One less rig slot.

With no drone bay or tracking bonuses to lasers, the Zealot is forced to work with other ships to cover its few weaknesses.  Without such support, the Zealot is less able to defend itself from smaller, quicker ships like interceptors and other frigate class ships.

 

The Pilot Friendly Omen Navy Issue

The Omen Navy Issue, on the other hand, is a pure upgrade of the original Omen and of its design philosophy.  Because of this, it is often seen as a viable alternative to the Zealot in AHAC gangs.  It also has the advantage of being cheaper than the Zealot both skill-wise and isk-wise.  A typical Zealot hull will run 120 to 130mil, whereas you can get an Omen Navy Issue for about 90mil isk.  And with similar configurations, the Zealot actually needs the pilot to have Amarr Cruiser V and Heavy Assault IV to match the DPS output of an Omen Navy Issue pilot with Amarr Cruiser V.  The reasons for this are as follows:

  • Rate of Fire increase from 5% per level to 7.5% per level
  • Upgrade of drone bay from 15m3 to 25m3, allowing for a full flight of light drones.
  • Powergrid raised from 730 to 960.
  • CPU upgraded from 250 to 335.
  • Shield increased from 1173HP to 2216HP.
  • Armor raised to 3013HP from 1563HP.
  • Smaller signature radius.
  • More powerful sensors.
  • Two additional low slots

In comparison to the Zealot, the downgrades were considerably less:

  • Smaller cargo bay
  • Removal of missile turret option
  • Small reduction in agility

The Omen Navy Issue is a much more rounded ship for combat and is used effectively across varying types of PVP, though it does not fair well in a Sniper configuration.

Summary

Of all the Faction ship to Tech II ship comparisons, the one between the Omen Navy Issue and the Zealot is certainly the closest and most difficult to decide.  Both have a good slot arrangement (3 Midslots / 7 lowslots) which allow for the holy Trinity (Speed Module, Web, and Warp Disruptor) to be standard on every fit.  The Zealot has some advantages in that it has better optimal range, higher warp speeds, a bonus to damage, larger powergrid, and a faster charging capacitor.  This allows the Zealot to fill both a strong sniper role and also field powerful close range fits.  With all Level 5 skills, the Zealot can hurl 400+ DPS and maintain that for well over 15 minutes, while fielding a fairly decent 29,000 or more EHP tank.  However, few people have “max” skills, so the difference between the Zealot and the Omen Navy Issue gets a little more cloudy when it comes to actual skill level.  In that manner, the Omen Navy Issue definitely has some advantages.  Not only is it 30 million isk cheaper than a Zealot, but the skillset to fly one is much less intensive.  The Omen Navy Issue’s ship bonuses are not to be discounted either.  The stronger sensors mean that it has a higher chance of shrugging off ECM and a smaller signature radius means that it will be harder to hit.  The availability of drones allows for a better defense against interceptors and other frigate class ships.

So, which one is better?  Well, it still depends, though the Zealot certainly has the overall advantage.  If you need raw DPS and have good laser, engineering, and HAC skills, and plan on operating in a gang or fleet.. then the Zealot clearly comes out on top.  However, if you are newer to the game or the gangs you plan to be a part of require a bit more versatility, then the Omen Navy Issue would be the better choice.

Suggested Skills

If you are relatively new to Eve, it’s pretty important to understand how various skills interact with each other to improve the overall success of your ship setup.  Of course getting Amarr Cruiser to level 5 (and at least Heavy Assault Ships to level 4) is a good idea, but so is Weapon Upgrades (which reduces the CPU of each turret), Advanced Weapon Upgrades (which reduces the powergrid of each turret), and most importantly, Controlled Bursts.  Controlled Bursts reduce the capacitor cost of each shot, which is vitally important for Amarr ships using laser weapons because once you are out of capacitor, you can’t shoot or escape.

Suggested Setups for the Zealot

[Zealot, Sniper Fit - Armor]

Reactor Control Unit II
800mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Heat Sink II
Heat Sink II
Tracking Enhancer II
Adaptive Nano Plating II
Damage Control II

Y-T8 Overcharged Hydrocarbon I Microwarpdrive
Sensor Booster II, Targeting Range/Scan Resolution Scripts
Warp Disruptor II

Heavy Beam Laser II, Aurora M
Heavy Beam Laser II, Aurora M
Heavy Beam Laser II, Aurora M
Heavy Beam Laser II, Aurora M
Heavy Beam Laser II, Aurora M

Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I

This configuration gives you a little over 32,000 effective hitpoints, 258 DPS, and a 681 Damage volley and an effective combat range of 110km.  Still, this is a sniper fit so going toe to toe with a close range fit will make your day end badly.

[Zealot, Close Range - Armor]

Damage Control II
1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Heat Sink II
Heat Sink II
Reactor Control Unit II
Tracking Enhancer II
Tracking Enhancer II

10MN Afterburner II
Stasis Webifier II
Warp Disruptor II

Heavy Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Heavy Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Heavy Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Heavy Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Heavy Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M

Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Energy Burst Aerator I

This ship is a pretty common version of the popular AHAC setup.  Make sure to fit Scorch M as well as the Faction Multifrequency M for better damage options.  This configuration allows for a higher consistent speed as well as extended time using its weapons (roughly fifteen minutes before the capacitor expires).  DPS is 540 and a volley is around 1174.

[Omen Navy Issue, AHAC Style]

Reactor Control Unit II
800mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Heat Sink II
Heat Sink II
Damage Control II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Adaptive Nano Plating II

10MN Afterburner II
Warp Disruptor II
Stasis Webifier II

Heavy Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Heavy Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Heavy Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Heavy Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Heavy Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Small Nosferatu II

Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I

Warrior II x5

This is a fit that should fly will with AHAC gangs (though the warp speed issue may be a problem).  DPS is 569 and 939 Volley.  However, the tank is considerably higher at almost 40,000 Effective Hitpoints.

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