For the best experience use full HD.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

EVE Online Spaceship Speeds in Perspective

The fastest ships I've personally seen in EVE Online have gone nearly 5000 meters per second (m/s.) They blast their way out of lock range so fast you wonder if they were ever actually there. Fortunately most EVE Online ships are much slower. The fastest base speed I found pursuing the ship database was the Claw at 475 m/s. The slowest is my favorite capital ship - the Orca - at 60 m/s? Here's a chart with a sampling of some of the fastest ships in each class.
For those less inclined towards metric, I've also included the imperial measurement of speed. You know, I've owned cars that could go faster than an Orca. I never realized how slow that ship actually flew through space. And that got me to thinking. How do EVE Online ship speeds compare to actual spaceship speeds? So of course I had to make a chart of that too!
The fastest ships in EVE Online couldn't even escape the Earth's gravity well. It even travels considerable slower than the Earth itself. It couldn't get out of the way if it wanted to. One wrong turn and...
"LOOK OUT! Here comes the planet! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh."
That's pretty pathetic isn't it? It's certainly not what I think of when I see a Stiletto streak across my cockpit screen. In fact, no EVE Online ship - regardless of modules, rigs, implants or training - could catch a Saturn V rocket let alone the fastest craft built by man to date, the Voyager 1. Think about that. No ship you've ever seen in EVE Online could catch Voyager 1 - or Voyager 2 or any other spacecraft that's managed to leave Earth orbit. The only chance of catching Voyager 1 would be when it eventually falls back into the solar system. Really? Is that a lore type issue? It certainly is a logical issue in my mind.

So what does this mean in the sandbox that is EVE Online? Not a damn thing really. But perhaps CCP could add a couple zeros behind those base speed entries in the database and on screen. It would not change a single game dynamic as all speeds remain the same relative to one another, but it would correct this... weirdness. It would also speed EVE Online up, which is something for which even devs have wished. The Claw's base speed would then become 106,254 MPH; just enough to allow it to go interstellar.
That's just a whole lot better! The Republic Fleet Firetail would get to just under solar escape velocity. That just seems more right to me some how. Not that the Claw is better, but that the Interceptor would be the only ship capable of escaping unaided. Many of the others could do it with an MWD or even an AB fit, like my Taranis. But a battleship would never make it out of a solar system. That calms my mind a might.

So no epiphanies on this first day of lone wolf industrialist freedom. Just something sort of "huh" to think about.

Fly Careful


  1. In the larger scheme of things, ships aren't really much faster than one another. If anything, speed is just a module we fit to negate other modules. Speed is more tactical than logistical.

    If more pvping took place in deadspaces or multi-roomed complexes, speed might actually matter in getting away or deploying to a better position. The only way I could see that ever becoming the norm, is if POS or their components were placed into them at moons.

  2. It's not really comparable. The speeds of ships in Eve all all relative to each other. Put it this way:

    When you undock, you are already at a geostationary orbital velocity around a moon/planet.

    The real miracle of New Eden is that the warp navigation computers are so powerful, that you exit warp at an orbital velocity equivalent to all other objects in your near vicinity...since you're travelling faster than the speed of light, there's no way for your ships computer to calculate that ahead of time, and it all has to be done in the fraction of a second upon deceleration.

    And, regardless of your ships engine emission direction, you ALWAYS end up on an optimal orbital path, instead of zooming off in a different direction.

    And don't get me started on the sheer processing power required to use projectiles in space. If we were being realistic, Minmatar vessels would have the highest CPU of any race (assuming sub-light speeds for projectiles and near-light speeds for hybrids).

    Best not to think about it really. The maths of it all is fairly mind-blowing.

  3. Escape velocity is the speed needed to escape without further propulsion, eve ships have infinite fuel and won't fall back into any gravity well.
    I thought real spaceships don't really have a maximum speed, they have delta-v budget?

    Aren't eve ships so slow because the warp drive creates a drag field slowing them down thus requiring constant propulsion to keep going?

  4. You are comparing submarines in space to real life where speed is relative and spaceships fly in (almost) vaccum :-)

  5. thats why EVE ships have warp drives..... also u what would be turning rasius at interstellar speed ?

  6. My inner nerd found this post to be highly satisfactory, please continue the good work ;-)

  7. thing is tho, these ships never have to escape an atmosphere since they are all built in orbital stations. And they don't need to move *that* fast in space because they primarily move about with warp drives. And besides, EVE's physics have a lot weirder things going on in the than ship speeds :P

  8. So just make it km/s vs m/s. To not have an effect in game wouldn't they have to change weapon ranges and distances between stations and planets?

    1. I looked into that but then the speeds are ludicrously high. The Claw would then travel at 295,177.7 MPH. An Interceptor with MWD would travel at relativistic speeds. That would bring a whole new meaning to TiDi!

  9. Because EVE isn't based on reality. =P

    Why does any ship in EVE have a top speed? In real life, in the absense of friction, all these ships would simply have an acceleration attribute, and as long as you went in one direction with the engine on, you would continue to accelerate forever.

    So if you intend to compare EVE ships to RL objects, then you really can't. Spaceships in EVE fly like airplanes, not real spaceships.

  10. I think you've hit on the crux of the problem here... they're more willing to deal with people complaining that ships go ludicrously slowly than that "fast" ships ought to be seeing relativistic distortions.

    That said, riffing off the usual "warp drive causes drag" and the "how do we always end up in the correct orbital frame of reference?" comments, maybe the reason they have these speed limits has to do with how the warp drive snaps itself to nearby orbital bodies' subjective reference frames, which are accelerating and therefore complicated.


Be civil, be responsible and most of all be kind. I will not tolerate poor form. There will be no James Hooks here. We are all better than that.