The holy grail of the explorer
Ever since running highsec complexes and scanning down anomalies, I have been on a quest to find a ship that would be powerful enough to combine all the tasks related to these sites. In a fleet everything is easy, because you just have to define roles for each fleet member. If you fly solo like me, you usually have to refit depending on the type of site you find. Switching between salvage profession sites, archaeology sites, codebreaking sites or even encounter sites can be a real hassle. Add to this the fact that to find good sites you often have to go far afield (or even hop into a wormhole), so you do not always have access to a fitting service.
To make things even more interesting, a substantial amount of sites have ship size limits on their gates, so the idea of fitting a catch-all battleship goes out the window. Those who tried to use a battlecruiser quickly noticed that more often than not, only cruiser-sized ships are allowed. In the past, I have had quite some success with cruisers like the Maller or the Omen, but those ships are quickly overwhelmed by the DPS these sites can dash out. A better choice was the Zealot, and more recently even a Devoter. They have superior capacitor, and have enough slots to fit a number of utility modules. However, it was never enough. I always had to switch modules as needed between analyzer and codebreaker, and I had to use my scanning ship to scan down sites first, then go get the combat ship. Doable, but not practical.
When strategic cruisers became available, I started using my ship, Alea’s Nemesis, to run some complexes. Like the name suggests, strategic cruisers are cruiser-sized, so they fit any gate that also lets cruisers through. A revelation! But my first attempts were not bold enough, and I was not familiar enough with how subsystems work. The result was a better version of the devoter fit, without being really satisfying. Recently I fired up EFT again, and took my time to review all possible combinations. When the final fit was ready, I knew my quest was at an end: I had found the holy grail of solo complex running.
[Legion, Complex Specialist II] Imperial Navy Medium Armor Repairer Armor Thermic Hardener II Armor EM Hardener II Imperial Navy Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane Imperial Navy Heat Sink Federation Navy Stasis Webifier Republic Fleet 10MN Afterburner Codebreaker II Analyzer II Heavy Pulse Laser II, Conflagration M Heavy Pulse Laser II, Conflagration M Heavy Pulse Laser II, Conflagration M Improved Cloaking Device II Salvager II Small Tractor Beam II Sisters Core Probe Launcher, Core Scanner Probe I Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I Medium Energy Burst Aerator I Medium Nanobot Accelerator I Legion Defensive - Adaptive Augmenter Legion Electronics - Emergent Locus Analyzer Legion Engineering - Capacitor Regeneration Matrix Legion Propulsion - Fuel Catalyst Legion Offensive - Drone Synthesis Projector Valkyrie II x5 Hammerhead II x5
Update: Vectis mailed me an alternate fit: it’s less agile and drops the tractor beam, but it has more tank and DPS. I used the same faction modules than my fit for easy comparison:
[Legion, Complex Specialist Vectis] Imperial Navy Medium Armor Repairer Armor Thermic Hardener II Armor EM Hardener II Imperial Navy Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane Capacitor Power Relay II Federation Navy Stasis Webifier Republic Fleet 10MN Afterburner Codebreaker II Analyzer II Heavy Pulse Laser II, Conflagration M Heavy Pulse Laser II, Conflagration M Heavy Pulse Laser II, Conflagration M Heavy Pulse Laser II, Conflagration M Improved Cloaking Device II Salvager II Sisters Core Probe Launcher, Core Scanner Probe I Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I Medium Energy Burst Aerator I Medium Nanobot Accelerator I Legion Defensive - Nanobot Injector Legion Electronics - Emergent Locus Analyzer Legion Engineering - Augmented Capacitor Reservoir Legion Propulsion - Chassis Optimization Legion Offensive - Drone Synthesis Projector Valkyrie II x5 Hammerhead II x5
You might argue that a ship that tries to do everything at once can’t be good, and you would be right. However, that is missing the point: I was specifically trying to find a ship that does everything, and that it does. If you look closely, you will see that this ship can shoot, cloak, probe, salvage, analyze, codebreak, web, shoot, carry drones, tank and fly fast. In a nutshell, you don’t ever need to dock again to refit when running complexes. You scan down the sites and run them, period. The only thing this ship lacks is DPS and arguably cargo space, but after running quite a few sites I found the DPS to be adequate, especially if counting drones. Usually you only keep the valuable stuff when on the move, so the cargo space is not too big an issue.
The fit uses the subsystem that gives a bonus to probing, so if your probing skills are not too bad you will be able to scan down everything your scanning ship can. The 200 m3 drone bay lets you carry a whole fleet of drones, and the cloak is the crowning on the cake. Launch your probes and cloak up, scan down sites in peace and evade any potential hunters. An added bonus is that in this configuration, the ship looks a bit like a miniature Avatar 🙂
I tried to find ways to increase the DPS a bit more, but while it is possible by adding some heat sinks, the ship really needs its tank. If you chance upon an escalation, you will need every little bit of that tank. The speed is vital to keep at range if you are overwhelmed, so you have to be careful not to get webbed. The version of the fit that I fly has a better armor repairer, a Centum A-Type, which brings the defence to 419. If you can afford it, I recommend getting one or at least a C-Type.
Any suggestions on improving this fit are welcome!
On a sidenote, I think a litte eye candy is in order.