Some changes to the Orca on the test server. All of them make sense and there are only a few more adjustments that I'd like to see, but all & all, I'd buy one with these stats right away.
Added a 4th mid-slot. Allows for a 3 slot shield tank and a sensor booster. Swap tank for scanner, if you prefer.
Added 25 m3 to the drone bay and 25 to bandwidth. A flight of mediums and a flight of lights or 2 sentries and a flight of lights. More than enough, I think.
Added 10k m3 to the Corp hangar. 30k m3 was ok with me, so this is just gravy.
Mining Foreman III skill requirement changed to Mining Director I. Makes perfect sense.
BOM adjusted to include Corp Hangar Bay. The only component required that is not also used for carrier production is Cap Cargo Bays. Carrier producers will be able to shift production for the earlu adopters.
Can use 3 command links concurrently. This was bug fix, not a tweak.
I've got some time on the test server with an Orca and a Hulk. So far, my initial thoughts about how the ship will be useful for me personally and for Uni have been confirmed.
With reasonable skills, you'll be able to fit/rig for more than 135k m3 in total cargo space (cargo + corp hangar). Solo mining in my Hulk, I can fill that in less than an hour and that fits my style of mining for about an hour at a time. No can flipper worries. Command links give me plenty of range so I should never have to move during that hour. If I want to mine in a system where I don't have good standings, it's much more convenient now. I can fly an interceptor to escort/web sling Kaye in the Orca with Hulk, salvage dessie & HAC or HIC in the ship hangar. When my mining session is over, a quick swap to the dessie allows for wreck clean up. Nasties can be discouraged by the cruiser size hulls, if need be.
In gang situations, the Orca will act as the warp in point for the haulers. Buffer space provided in the cargo bay and the haulers can access the corp hangar (with appropriate rights and with the hangar configured to allow it). Orca pilot tractors the cans and keeps the corp hangar full. Ship hangar holds support ships as required.
What I'd Change:
I don't think most folks are going to run 3 command links. Range & cycle time links plus tractor will be the default hi-slot fit, I think. A 4th hi-slot would allow a 2nd tractor or a salvager.
I still think that requiring Mining Barge V on a ship that can't fit any kind of mining laser is a bit odd. The Mining Director requirement is logical, as would be a requirement for Command Ships. I'm sorry, but the "It's a T1 ship! You can't have a T2 skill requirement!" holds no water with me. It's. A. Command.Ship. A T1 ship doesn't have the inherent ability to use 3 command links concurrently. Command ships do. Accept the fact that the Orca is a hybrid. It's T1.5 and get over it.
Just an aside...
Look at the ship model closely. Notice how the main hull is made of three modular sections with the superstructure sitting on top of the aft two sections. Now look at the ship models for an Ity III, Ity IV and Ity V. I'm just sayin'.... :)