Confirmed by HerrBert in the video above, Rorqual industrial capital ships are able to use mobile micro jump units to move across the field. The player tested the ship in the system of Thera, showing the ship can use the mobile structures immediately after the ship exited PANIC (Pulse Activated Nexus Invulnerability Core) mode. This allowed the ship to easily escape and gives further proof to the roughshod way CCP had approached reworking the Rorqual.
The Rorqual had received a major design overhaul in the Ascension expansion, changing its role from a mining fleet booster to a mining ship. To do so, the ship was given special drones which allowed it to mine asteroids far more efficiently than any other mining barge currently in the game, giving a significant boost to ISK made via mining. In order to further incentive players to field it and give it a fighting chance, it received a one use module which allowed it to remain invulnerable for a set period of time (Five to seven and half minutes depending on skills) to give reinforcements time to rescue it and promote more conflict.
It didn’t take long for players to abuse the ship, as the invulnerability mode allowed it to tackle other ships for long periods of time. This was due to its ability to fit capital warp scramblers which have greater range and strength than their sub capital counterparts, giving it the ability to tackle even super carriers (A tactic used by alliances such as Pandemic Legion [-10.0] to great effect). In addition, with its halved mass, it was able to go through many wormholes which restricted other types of capitals.
CCP has attempted to address each complaint, reducing the ore mining yield of excavator drones and even banning the ship from entering certain wormholes (Notably Thera). Recently in a Dev blog the developers admitted they didn’t foresee the use of a Rorqual as heavy tackle and took steps to remove the ability from the ship. However the ship can still act as an invulnerable force auxiliary, equipping remote capital shield transfers and lighting cynosural beacons. CCP has moved to enable PANIC mode only if the ship has an asteroid locked, but still remains to be seen if their most recent changes have the desired effect.
(It is important to note that many anomalies, including combat ones, have asteroids in them, meaning the ship can still be used in a combat role within those environments)
As it stands, CCP Games’ attempt to make the Rorqual come out of hiding ended far better than it envisioned, to a frightening and unhealthy degree.
Salivan Harddin is a member of V0LTA, WE FORM V0LTA, and covers battles across New Eden