Getting to Know the Gallente
EVE Online: Getting to Know the Gallente
MMORPG.com EVE Online expert Andrew Wallace writes this look at the Gallente race in CCP's space-based MMO.
A union of peoples from all over New Eden, the Gallente Federation is a freedom loving democracy. Once joined with the militaristic Caldari State, a clash of ideologies led to a separation of the two groups and a fierce war that caused scars and animosity that still linger to this day. Champions of freedom, or interfering do-gooders, depending on your perspective, the Gallente are not afraid to assist other nations when their liberty is threatened, and it is rumoured that they secretly organised arms and supplies for the Minmatar rebels in their bid to escape from the Amarr Empire.
The Caldari invasion of Gallente space at the launch of the Empyrean Age expansion, and the subsequent liberation of their former home world, Caldari prime, was a shocking blow to the Federation. President Souro Foiritain’s decision to surrender the planet to the invading forces was seen by many as a weakness, despite the obvious wisdom of avoiding open war with the State. Any doubts as to their lack of military prowess, however, were quashed, months later, when an invading fleet of rogue Amarrian vessels was utterly decimated by a massive counter attack from the Federation Navy. As the Apocrypha expansion nears release, the State still have a firm grip on Caldari Prime, and relations between the two nations are frosty, to say the least.
Now, when it comes to weaponry, the Gallente have two forms of ass kicking, with the first being hybrid turrets, specifically blasters. From the Thorax to the Hyperion, their dedicated blaster boats are brutal, short-ranged death machines, and although they have a relatively limited range, they make up for it with sheer damage. The thermal and kinetic damage that they do allows them to be effective against both shield and armour tanks. When combined with drones, Gallente ships have the highest damage output of any race, which leads me to their second weapon system.
Drones are an integral part of any Gallente fighting ship, and good drone skills are as important as your gunnery and tanking skills, even if you choose not to fly their specialised drone boats. For those of you not in the know, drones are smaller, robotic craft that come in a variety of types and sizes, and can be launched from your ship to attack, or assist targets. So, for example, you could carry a small squadron of attack drones with you to supplement your damage, or some armour repair bots to help patch up your comrades, or both. Drones also can also operate up to the limit of the pilot drone control range, which can be handy for attacking targets before you enter blaster range.
The Gallente drone boats, such as the Vexor or the Dominix, have particularly large drone bays, allowing them to carry drones for every situation. They can even choose to rely entirely on drones for their damage, and still be competitive in a fight. At the risk of destroyable guns they can devote the rest of their ship fittings to other things, such as tanking.
While there are some brave pilots who dabble outside the box and fit shield tanks, the predominant method of not getting blown up for the Gallente is armour tanking. Whereas the Amarr get a bonus to their armour resistances, the Gallente tanking bonus is an increase to the effectiveness of armour repair modules; which is why it common to see one, if not two armour repairers on ships with this bonus.
The benefit of this bonus is an advantage in small-scale engagements, where the damage being thrown about is something the repair modules can handle. Unfortunately, when it comes to larger fleet fights, the overwhelming pain from being called primary can make active tanking almost redundant and higher hit points and resistances the wiser choice.
Sitting roughly just below the Minmatar in terms of speed, the ability to get up close and personal with the enemy is very important. This is where microwarpdrives come in. They give your ship a massive speed boost, but come with a penalty to the capacity of your capacitor and require a great deal energy to run, so they can only be used for a short amount of time before they drain your energy completely and leave you as a sitting duck. It also increases the signature radius of your ship, making you much easier to hit. What you l see a lot of Gallente pilots do is use it to burn towards their target and then shut it off as they come into range, relying on their ship’s basic propulsion for the rest of the fight.
There is such a thing as the PVP Trinity propulsion module, warp scrambler/disruptor, and stasis webifier. For most Gallente ships, it’s a PVP quartet; microwaprdrive, warp scrambler/disruptor, stasis webifier, and a Cap Booster. With microwarpdrives, armour repairers, and blasters, you need a lot of cap to keep it all going. Cap Boosters use charges to inject fresh capacitor energy into your ship and can give Gallente ships the edge, until they run out of charges.
The vessels of the Gallente Federation are fearsome beasts, but their limitations can make fights a risky business at times. They don’t have the range of the Amarr or the speed of the Minmatar, and reliance on blasters means going into web/scrambler range, where they generally aren’t fast enough to escape if it all goes pear shaped. Over the years, there’s one phrase that I’ve heard associated with Gallente tactics numerous times: Do or Die