|Screenshot of an Imperial Eagle|
The next major update for Elite: Dangerous, version 1.4, is currently in beta so it won't be long now before we see it deployed to the live servers. I covered two new variants for the Federal Dropship not that long ago but there's a third new variant coming soon: the Imperial Eagle (aka Eagle Mk III). For today's post, I thought it'd be good to examine the preliminary stats of the Imperial Eagle compared to the original Eagle and other ships in general.
CostThe Imperial Eagle is more than double the price of the standard Eagle Mk II at around 111,000 CR. This puts it in Adder (88,000 CR) and Viper (143,000 CR) territory with respect to price.
SpeedThe Imperial Eagle is built for speed. It has the highest boost speed in the game at 403 and a very high top speed of 302 (only beaten by the Viper's 320). Definitely wins hands down against the original Eagle Mk II which has a top speed of 240 and boost speed of 350.
AgilityThe Mk II Eagle remains the most agile ship in the game. While the Imperial Eagle is the same hull mass it has a manoeuvrability of 6 instead of 10. This means it's probably comparable to a Viper in terms of manoeuvrability (as a Viper has a similar manoeuvrability rating and is only 10t heavier).
ShieldsThe Imperial Eagle has impressive shield strength (104) compared to the Mk II Eagle (60). It is comparable in terms of shields to the Viper (105)
CargoEagles are not cargo vessels. It has the same cargo space as its Mk II counterpart which means there's only 2t of cargo space by default.
FuelJust like the Mk II, the Imperial Eagle's fuel tank is tiny with only 4t capacity.
Hull MassThe Imperial Eagle has the same hull mass as the Eagle manufactured by Core Dynamics: 50t
DamageThe Imperial Eagle has slightly better damage potential than the Eagle Mk II thanks to replacing one of its small hardpoints with a medium harpoint – i.e. 2 small and 1 medium hardpoints in total. This means it has similar damage potential to an Adder but it's not quite as good as a Viper or Cobra.
FSDFSD capabilities for the Imperial Eagle is similar to the Mk II – which is pretty average due to the small fuel tank.
VerdictThe Imperial Eagle is better than the Mk II in terms of pure speed and damage potential, but you'll have to pay the premium. The ship is more like a poor man's Viper in that it has similar shields, similar manoeuvrability, comparable speed, slightly less damage potential yet is over 30,000 CR cheaper. If you've already got a Viper or Cobra, there's probably no practical reason getting one but if you're just starting out and happen to have done a mission or two for the Empire already (to get Outsider rank) it might be worth a look. It also looks damn sexy too, like most Imperial ships.
So what do you think? Are you likely to get the Imperial Eagle?