Dec 12 2019

Howto: Safe(ish) orca hauling in highsec

There are a few things than can help you transport your hard earned things in a relatively safe way. Relatively, as there are no absolutes in EVE.

Docked Orca

Note that is by no means meant as the ultimate solution: it is simply what I learned, and use myself.

The Orca is a great hauler, but while it is faster than a freighter, it is still very slow. For this to work as intended, you will need the following fitted to your Orca:

  • 1 x Large Low Friction Nozzle Joints II
  • 1 x 100MN Afterburner (Faction recommended)
  • 1 x Inertial Stabilizers II
  • 1 x Improved Cloaking Device II

The rest of the fit is up to you. Personally, I fill the rest with buffer tank to increase the survivability (and as a deterrent for anyone scanning the ship). This is my full fit, which I use for hauling & travel, but occasionally also use to fleet mine:

[Orca, Highsec travel]
 Inertial Stabilizers II
 Damage Control II
 Large Shield Extender II
 Large Shield Extender II
 Large Shield Extender II
 Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
 Domination 100MN Afterburner
 Shield Command Burst II
 Mining Foreman Burst II
 Mining Foreman Burst II
 Improved Cloaking Device II
 Small Tractor Beam II
 Drone Link Augmentor II
 Large Low Friction Nozzle Joints II
 Large Core Defense Field Extender II
 Large Core Defense Field Extender II

When you enter a system, look at the overview: if the gate is crowded, or there are known gankers in system (I trust you have the usual suspects’ corporations added to your address book with bad standing), you do the following:

  1. Align to the target destination (to break the gate cloaking)
  2. Immediately engage the cloak
  3. Wait for the ship to align and gain some speed
  4. Turn off the cloak
  5. Immediately click on jump / dock
  6. Immediately engage the Afterburner, and turn it off again so it cycles only once

From the perspective of a ganker, your ship will appear briefly at the gate and on the overview, then disappear again. An alert spotter who watches space around the gate as well as the overview can try to fly towards your ship to decloak it, but the time window is pretty short. If you time it right, it definitely does not leave enough time to target you and scan your cargo.

Afterwards, when you decloak again for the warp, you will only appear for a few seconds (for the duration of the cycle of the Afterburner). Once the cycle completes, you will be in warp directly, because the ship will already have gained enough momentum to warp. This wait is when gankers may have enough time to scan your cargo. However, ideally, they should not have the time to act on it: when scanning a ship, they have to decide if it is worth ganking. Only highly organized teams have spotters and gankers at several gates, and they have to prioritize their targets.

Hint: Cloaking and decloaking has an animation, but that is just eye candy. Your ship is cloaked or decloaked the moment the module is turned on or off. There are no delays for anyone else watching.

This technique with the cloak helps a lot to avoid ganks, but the most powerful tool is simply patience: When transporting things, do it in several trips instead of one. Ganking a ship is costly, and gankers will only attack targets that have a potential payout that pays more than replacing their ships, leaving enough to divide among all the participants. They also have to recover their standings periodically, which is a bit of work.

To illustrate: I recently made a trip to Jita to buy industry materials worth 900 million. I used my freighter, but made three trips although it would have fit in the ship’s hold. Strangely enough, nobody bothered me with only 300 million worth of cargo 🙂 I was targeted on several gates to scan my cargo, but no one even bothered to try to ransom-bump my ship.

In the Orca, I would put the upper limit of total cargo worth at 400 million, although personally I usually keep it lower than that. EVE is all about patience anyway, and an Orca is not exactly cheap. Better keep it, and use that ISK for something fun.


Jan 8 2014

Day 2622: New Frontiers

Living in deep space: The mobile depot
While new Eden is more or less unchanged, the recent ship evolutions and new capsuleer equipment feel like new frontiers have been opened. Personal deployable structures like the Mobile Depot or Mobile Tractor Unit are slowly changing the way we live our in-space lives. With such flexibility and added autonomy while in space, I think that these tools are able to some extent to redefine the role that stations play. Refitting your ship in space was a small revolution with the launch of the , even if it meant you needed a buddy with one. Now however, for the cost of only 50 m3 in your cargo hold, you can refit virtually anywhere, anytime. No need to fly back to station if you forgot to switch out your hardeners, with enough cargo space you can even carry several fittings around with you. Explorers can use them as a base of operations of sorts, bringing back the loot they gather without ever needing to dock at a station – you only need a hauler trip to collect everything. Granted, with a station or POS nearby there are few reasons to do so, but it takes on a whole new meaning when you are far afield.

With the mobile tractor unit, for 100 m3 more in your cargo, you can also free up the high slot usually used for the tractor beam. Aeon being a big fan of automating redundant tasks, the Mobile Tractor Unit was a very welcome addition indeed. He launches it when he warps into mission space, and lets it do all the tedious work of collecting loot and gathering up wrecks. Combined with salvage drones to do the salvaging, that is even one more high slot module less to worry about. Of course it is not as effective as using a dedicated ship like the , and these tools were never meant as a replacement for a dedicated salvager: more often than not, you need to linger after all npcs have been destroyed waiting for the salvage drones to finish salvaging. If you are a long way from home however, being able to do all that without sacrificing precious module slots is a boon.

Both Aeon and Loreena embraced these new tools instantly. Loreena bought the original blueprints to be independent of the inevitably unrealistic startup market prices, and has built enough to outfit most of the ships with them. This is when Aeon realized that Amarr ships have a distinct advantage: since they do not need to carry large amounts of ammo like missile or projectile based ships, they have the most spare cargo space and can easily carry all the extra weight.

Marauders: Overkill works.

Sparhawk's Wrath: Paladin-class Marauder
Speaking of cargo space, Aeon’s -class marauder “Sparhawk’s Wrath” while having 100 m3 less space than its other racial counterparts, still beats them in terms of raw free space. Aeon carries some tracking computer scripts, a few sets of T2 and T1 laser crystals, a Mobile Depot and a Mobile Tractor Unit. This gives him a useable space of 940 m3, enough to loot and salvage most level 4 clearance missions.

The marauder class battleships have been the pinnacle of the PvE playstyle since their inception, but with the new bastion module they have been elevated to something way beyond. The added tanking capability frees up more space for damage or utility-related modules, turning them into machines of mass destruction – which are, to boot, impervious to any kind of electronic warfare. The only drawback in bastion mode is that the ship becomes stationary and cannot receive logistics support. Considering the staggering speed at which these behemoths usually fly, becoming stationary is not exactly an issue. Aeon’s “Sparhawk’s Wrath” manages a blinding 121 m/s top speed, barely more than a snail anyway. The logistics support limitations are primarily directed at fleet warfare, where it definitely makes sense. With the added resistances accross the board in bastion mode, keeping a marauder alive with logistics would be way too easy.

Worldsplitter: Kronos-class Marauder
In practice, these additions are real game changers for mission runners, one of the easily overlooked advantages being that you need a lot less bling to do the same or better. Aeon used to have very expensive X-Type armor hardener modules to improve “Sparhawk’s Wrath” tank, but these have now been replaced by faction heat sinks. As it stands, only the armor repairer has any real value in the eyes of a ganker, and even that is not really worth the fight. While Aeon is certainly not entirely off the hook, it goes a long way to make him a less attractive target for gankers – and at the same time, he was able to drastically increase the ship’s damage output.

The most impressive bit however is the increased range: Aeon uses Pulse lasers on “Sparhawk’s Wrath”, which have higher damage output and use less capacitor than Beam lasers – with the tradeoff of being short range. To circumvent that limitation somewhat, Aeon has been using double Tracking Computers with Optimal Range scripts for a while now. Without the bastion module, this gives him an optimal range of 80Km with Scorch crystals. With the bastion module enabled, this goes up to 96Km (115Km with falloff)… not bad for close-range turrets. In case of tracking issues or when the npcs are orbiting close, Aeon simply switches to Tracking Speed scripts. This enables him to hit up to destroyer-sized ships as long as they orbit no closer than approximately 13Km.

Sisters of EVE: Widening the boundaries of exploration

When the Sisters of EVE promoted a few (two, to be exact) more security agents to level 4 clearance, Aeon took “X-Wing”, his -class Marauder, over to Minmatar space to run some missions for them. The aim was to earn enough loyalty points with them to purchase a blueprint from them. When he got to Lanngisi, there were almost as many capsuleers at work in the system as in the major trade hubs like Rens. After running a single mission in which ninja salvagers fought among themselves over Aeon’s wrecks, he decided to give up and wait out the novelty – the tension in the area was easily palpable. It was no good place to bring an expensively fitted ship like the Golem, even if there was an impressive amount of high-end ships constantly docking and undocking from the single station in-system. Aeon needed a ship that would not attract too much attention.

About a month later, the opportunity presented itself. A capsuleer friend was working up her standings with the Sisters of EVE by running level 1 clearance missions. Anyone who has had to grind level 1 missions for standings will know how much fun that is. Aeon jumped on the occasion to help out by fleeting up and sharing his level 4 standing rewards and loyalty points. He also found the perfect ship for the job: “Awooooogah MK2”, a class battleship. With just plain faction modules, it was not worth ganking. However, with its speed tanking capabilities and damage output, it was more than adequate to run any level 4 mission.

Pro tip: always carry a cheap, small volume item in your cargo: when there is nothing nearby to orbit, jettison it and orbit the container.

Aeon freely admits to being somewhat pampered by the Marauder’s fighting style (Loreena enjoys teasing him with that), but the experience of flying the Typhoon was quite a revelation. It was pure, unhindered joy and carnage. A battleship that fast is not to be taken lightly, and the already quite adequate tank turns into somewhat of a wonder as soon as you start orbiting things. At an orbit range of 3500 metres, the ship can maintain an orbit speed above 300 m/s, as fast as some heavy combat drones like the Ogre or Wasp. In the course of the missions Aeon encountered, very few situations stressed the tank much, as log as he made good use of the ship’s speed. Even missions with longer distances to the connecting acceleration gates were actually enjoyable.

Stratios Exploration Cruiser
In just two days of heavy grinding, Aeon had been able to elevate his friend’s standings substantially, as well as earn enough loyalty points with the Sisters of EVE to redeem a Stratios blueprint copy from their loyalty store. After all the hype around the new Sisters ships Aeon was happy to be able to finally testdrive this new tool. The mission loot modules Aeon had collected over the last missions were just enough to build the ship, and since these blueprints require very little manufacturing skills, Aeon was able to build the ship directly on the spot.

The next morning, the ship was ready. With all the recent changes in New Eden, Aeon felt that a little symbolism was in order. He christened the ship “New Frontiers”, a fitting name for an exploration ship in an age of exploration. A lengthy and fun EFT session came up with a first experimental fit for the ship, which surprisingly makes a very good replacement for the exploration Legion Aeon had been using before the T3 cruisers were banned from using many of the exploration acceleration gates.

There is just one slightly scary detail about the design of the Stratios. From the manufacturer’s description:

“The crew itself is safely protected from any number of transmittable ailments from rescues and other unexpected passengers, thanks to special quarantine bays that are conveniently located near jettisonable openings”

Which is to mean what exactly? That if a capsuleer picks up some sick refugees, he can jettison them in space on a whim? It is very uncharacteristic of the Sisters of EVE, even if the solution itself is indeed very practical. I suppose that it’s a good deterrent for picking up stowaways if they know they can be jettisoned even faster than before… Because we all know that it’s just a matter of convenience, illegal passengers are “airlocked” all the time 🙂

The infamous sidenote

I mentioned my additional character in the previous log‘s sidenote, the project has changed somewhat. I should know better by now that to try to go out of my usual playstyle. Not that it is a bad thing, it is always fun – but it never lasts. I always come back to what I already do with Aeon and Loreena. The upside is that I’m learning a lot by living in lowsec, in particular honing my survival skills. I have been playing for over seven years now, and nullsec still eludes me – but nor for lack of enthusiasm. I make short forays there, but I know by now that my real life lifestyle just does not permit the required concentration for prolonged visits. It used to bother me quite a bit, but then I realized that I don’t care enough. I like the casual playstyle with occasional thrills.

The plan now is to get that character into a Vargur, the only marauder that I have not flown yet. Depending on what I decide, I may add the character to the captain’s logs to relate the lowsec adventures – but I will cross that bridge when I feel like it. For now I am not even sure it will be a permanent project 🙂

To finish off, eye candy!

Angus' Fist: Hyperion-class BattleshipInitiating system jump - Hyperion-class BattleshipCoasting at Choonkas Diner in the Ashab systemDerelict Minmatar StargateAwooogah MK2: Fleet issue Typhoon-class BattleshipSentient drone battleship


Nov 14 2012

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.


Jan 3 2012

Sparhawk’s Wrath: Paladin

Marauders are the undisputed mission running kings. Usually able to field almost as much DPS as the highest tier battleship from each race and a much better tank makes them ideal for solo work. Marauders are also flexible when it comes to fitting, as you can fit more utility modules than battleships in general due to better power grid and CPU.

But enough talk, let’s have a look at some mission running fits for the Paladin. These are all fits that I used/use on Sparhawk’s Wrath, not just EFT theoretical fits. I based all of these on missions versus Sansha (EM and Thermal damage), of course you will have to swap hardeners depending on the NPC faction you face in your mission.

The poor man’s fit:

Apart from the essential modules worth investing in, this fit uses generic modules. I used this when I switched from the Abaddon, and could not afford any fancy modules beyond what I already had. It is optimized for tank, but already works like a charm in all level 4 missions.

[Paladin, Missioning Tank]
Imperial Navy Large Armor Repairer
Damage Control II
Imperial Navy Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
Armor Thermic Hardener II
Armor Thermic Hardener II
Armor EM Hardener II
Armor EM Hardener II

Cap Recharger II
100MN Afterburner II
Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II

Mega Pulse Laser II, Multifrequency L
Mega Pulse Laser II, Multifrequency L
Mega Pulse Laser II, Multifrequency L
Mega Pulse Laser II, Multifrequency L
Drone Link Augmentor II
Small Tractor Beam II
Salvager II

Large Capacitor Control Circuit I
Large Capacitor Control Circuit I

Infiltrator II x5

Stats:
– Cap stable (except with Conflagration)
– 447 DPS with Scorch (559 with drones), 45 Km optimal
– 487 DPS with Multifrequency (599 with drones), 15 Km optimal
– 625 DPS with Conflagration (737 with drones), 15 Km optimal
– 1156 DPS tank
– 337 m/s with AB

Brick artillery style

This is a fit I used with Loreena along in the logistics for the more dangerous missions (overkill, but on the satellite connection better safe than sorry). It is made to warp in, and more or less sit there like a giant brick and deal some damage. Without AB the speed is ridiculous, but even with all the heat sinks it stays cap stable. To compensate the lack of AB, it has two optimal range scripts.

[Paladin, Brick Artillery]
Corpus X-Type Large Armor Repairer
Armor EM Hardener II
Armor Thermic Hardener II
Imperial Navy Heat Sink
Imperial Navy Heat Sink
Imperial Navy Heat Sink
Damage Control II

Tracking Computer II, Optimal Range
Tracking Computer II, Optimal Range
Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II

Mega Pulse Laser II, Scorch L
Mega Pulse Laser II, Scorch L
Mega Pulse Laser II, Scorch L
Mega Pulse Laser II, Scorch L
Drone Link Augmentor II
Small Tractor Beam II
Salvager II

Large Capacitor Control Circuit II
Large Capacitor Control Circuit II

Infiltrator II x5

Stats:
– Cap stable without the Salvager and Tractor
– 781 DPS with Scorch (892 with drones), 58 Km optimal
– 852 DPS with Multifrequency (963 with drones), 19 Km optimal
– 1093 DPS with Conflagration (1205 with drones), 19 Km optimal
– 709 DPS tank
– 131 m/s

My favorite fit

This one is a good mix between tank and gank, so I do not have to worry about defense too much while dealing enough damage to get things done quickly. It’s an expensive ship for sure, but if you can afford it it’s amazing. It works well with less expensive mods as well, but your Marauder deserves it 🙂

[Paladin, Missioning Tank n Gank]
Corpus X-Type Large Armor Repairer
Armor EM Hardener II
Armor Thermic Hardener II
Imperial Navy Heat Sink
Imperial Navy Heat Sink
Damage Control II
Corpum B-Type Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane

Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II
Tracking Computer II, Optimal Range
Republic Fleet 100MN Afterburner

Mega Pulse Laser II, Scorch L
Mega Pulse Laser II, Scorch L
Mega Pulse Laser II, Scorch L
Mega Pulse Laser II, Scorch L
Drone Link Augmentor II
Small Tractor Beam II
Salvager II

Large Capacitor Control Circuit II
Large Capacitor Control Circuit II

Infiltrator II x5

Stats:
– Cap stable without the Salvager
– 665 DPS with Scorch (777 with drones), 52 Km optimal
– 726 DPS with Multifrequency (837 with drones), 17 Km optimal
– 931 DPS with Conflagration (1043 with drones), 17 Km optimal
– 1055 DPS tank
– 350 m/s with AB

For DPS-heavy missions, you can go all-out tank and add a hardener for each damage type instead of the two heat sinks:

[Paladin, Missioning Full Tank]
Corpus X-Type Large Armor Repairer
Armor EM Hardener II
Armor EM Hardener II
Armor Thermic Hardener II
Armor Thermic Hardener II
Damage Control II
Corpum B-Type Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane

Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II
Tracking Computer II, Optimal Range
Republic Fleet 100MN Afterburner

Mega Pulse Laser II, Multifrequency L
Mega Pulse Laser II, Multifrequency L
Mega Pulse Laser II, Multifrequency L
Mega Pulse Laser II, Multifrequency L
Drone Link Augmentor II
Small Tractor Beam II
[empty high slot]

Large Capacitor Control Circuit II
Large Capacitor Control Circuit II

Infiltrator II x5

Stats:
– Cap stable
– 434 DPS with Scorch (545 with drones), 52 Km optimal
– 473 DPS with Multifrequency (585 with drones), 17 Km optimal
– 607 DPS with Conflagration (719 with drones), 17 Km optimal
1776 DPS tank (!)
– 350 m/s with AB
– Empty high slot because of CPU, fit what you can

I know that I tend to fit my ships always the same way, so if you have a fit that works well for you please share it – I am always open for experiments. Also, there are no Beam laser fits here because I do not use beam turrets anymore. In missions with sniper rats the AB is usually good enough to get them. Either that, or tag along with a buddy/an alt… when I mission, Loreena comes along in the Kronos fitted with rails – problem solved with a fitting dose of overkill 🙂


Sep 24 2011

Day 1807: Nightmares

Can you sleep with that in your hangar?

So lately I had a conversation with my good friend Serotta Ortot (from Here Be Monsters) who was asking me if there was any ship I was still hoping to get someday. That was actually a question I had given a bit of thought to, and the answer was a Nightmare, one of the faction battleships. It is a good match for Aeon’s skills, and it is renowned to be a DPS beast and overall amazing missioning boat. Its design is somewhat twisted, but unarguably original. As I had just bought Loreena a Kronos, getting one was a plan for the long term.

Long story short, Serotta offered to buy me the ship in exchange for some help in creating a poster for his thesis. Now that was an offer I could not refuse 🙂 He gave me his concept for the poster, and I prepared a preview version. The same day, I went to pick up the ship (in Jita if I recall correctly). The first hurdle was the fact that I had not fit a shield tank on a ship in several years. Since the Maelstrom in my first year of EVE, actually. Serotta was nice enough to sponsor a faction shield booster, and soon I had a working fit.

Dubbed the “HMS Serotta”, the ship proved to be everything I expected it to be: a beast. It pretty much rivals the Paladin in both tank and DPS. It cannot beat the Paladin, but that’s not the point – flying into a mission with it just feels awesome. If you are into role playing your characters occasionally, you cannot pass up on the scene of that behemoth warping into a bunch of NPCs and leaving a trail of smoking wrecks in its wake. If looks could kill, this thing would surely leave a few enemy pod pilots dead from shock on the battlefield.

Here is my current fit:

[Nightmare, Missioning]
Imperial Navy Heat Sink
Imperial Navy Heat Sink
Capacitor Flux Coil II
Capacitor Flux Coil II
Capacitor Flux Coil II

Domination Large Shield Booster
Photon Scattering Field II
Photon Scattering Field II
Heat Dissipation Field II
Heat Dissipation Field II
Republic Fleet 100MN Afterburner
Gist A-Type Shield Boost Amplifier

Small Tractor Beam I
Salvager II
Mega Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
Mega Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
Mega Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
Mega Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L

Large Capacitor Control Circuit I
Large Capacitor Control Circuit I
Large Capacitor Control Circuit I

Warrior II x5
Hammerhead II x5

Not much to say here – with my skills it is cap stable without the AB/Salvager/Tractor. Could use some better modules – a ship like this deserves investing, especially tank wise and cap support wise (think T2 CCC rigs).

Some theoretical stats (vs Sansha):

– 946 DPS / 3646 volley with Hammerhead drones (791 without)
– 461 sustained tank. 86k EHP
– 321 m/s with AB (118 without)
– Resists: 76,5% / 81,2% / 40% / 50%

What I did not anticipate however, was that flying this ship announced the end of a great chapter in my EVE life. Indeed, Serotta had been unsatisfied with CCP’s vision for EVE for a while now, and a few days later along with a new client patch, he decided to quit EVE. You can read his related blog post, I understand his reasons completely. It had been a long time in coming, I know he was trying to revive his interest in the game – but in retrospect, attempting this in the middle of Incarna and a series of controversial updates was not an ideal time. As usual your mileage varies, so far I have not had many client crashes, and my play style does not touch much on the big issues being discussed.

Details aside, I currently live in a strange duality. It is both a happy time for rediscovering the game, but also a sad time for losing a longtime friend (fortunately only ingame!) – hence the plural in the post title. My secret hope is that he will come back, but somehow I feel that his decision is final – and I respect that.

THANKS FOR EVERYTHING AND GOOD LUCK!


Dec 16 2010

Closing the gap

When it comes to fighting off pirate factions in missions or in complexes and occasionally wormholes, Aeon has always been the one doing the heavy lifting. Loreena contributed from the shadows, keeping him alive with logistics or providing drone support. That is about to change, however.

For some months now, Loreena has been training to do some punching herself, upgrading first from her Myrmidon to a Dominix and now to the renowned Kronos. It can be argued that the Kronos is one of the weaker Marauder-class ships, but that has never been a deterrent in my case. I always liked the hull of the Megathron, so the Kronos was a good target to go for to improve her fighting skills.

She still needs to improve on some key skills, but she can already use the T2 railguns now. A few level 4 missions as testing ground have proven the ship to be everything I expected. The Paladin still trumps it, but the combination of Aeon’s Pulse Lasers setup for close range combat with Loreena’s sniping setup is very effective. Sure, two marauders for running a level 4 mission is overkill, but I appreciate being able to kill rats that are far away without slow-boating into range with 120 m/s.

This is Loreena’s current fit (tank optimized for Sansha):

[Kronos, Missions]
Imperial Navy Large Armor Repairer
Armor Thermic Hardener II
Armor Thermic Hardener II
Armor EM Hardener II
Armor EM Hardener II
Federation Navy Magnetic Field Stabilizer
Federation Navy Magnetic Field Stabilizer

Sensor Booster II
Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II

Salvager II
Small Tractor Beam I
Small Tractor Beam I
425mm Railgun II, Spike L
425mm Railgun II, Spike L
425mm Railgun II, Spike L
425mm Railgun II, Spike L

Large Capacitor Control Circuit I
Large Capacitor Control Circuit I

Heavy Armor Maintenance Bot II x3
Vespa II x5

With the drone space the ship offers, you can carry a good selection of drones – in my case I went for the armor maintenance drones to get Aeon out of a tight spot as he usually takes aggro. The sensor booster increases the targeting range so you can target as far as your turret’s maximal optimal range. It is intentionally without script, as the base bonus is enough to target out to 140km, that way I get the second bonus of the module as well.

Some stats:

Cap stable
830 DPS Tank (vs. Sansha)
410 DPS, 1745 Volley
Targeting range: 141 Km
Optimal range: 130 Km

Those are with Loreena’s current skillset:

Marauders III
Controlled Bursts IV
Motion Prediction V
Rapid Firing IV
Sharpshooter V
Trajectory Analysis V
Surgical Strike -untrained-

On a sidenote, now that learning skills have been removed I was able to top off some leftover skills, as well as get started on the next plan: a Proteus. Loreena had trained all learning skills to level 5, so she had 5.3 million skillpoints to distribute. A real treat just in time for christmas 🙂


May 17 2010

Devoter contest winners

My Lone Wolf Devoter contest ist closed, and I am happy to announce the winners! You will get your prizes via contracts. Thanks a lot to all for participating!

A note on ratings: I reviewed each fitting thoroughly, and rated each in the following areas:

– Global rating, 10 points (how well thought out it is)
– PvP rating, 10 points (how well it would behave in PvP)
– PvE rating, 10 points (how well it behaves in PvE)
– My liking, 10 points (how much it appeals to me)

The final rating is a rating on 10 points based on the total of these areas. Seeing that each fit is either PvP or PvE, a 10/10 score is not possible, that’s why some of the ratings here may seem low.

1st Place:
Roosterton’s “Kickass buffer solo Devoter
Category: PvP
Scored 7,00 points

2nd Place:
Hacra’s “Gankalicious
Category: PvP
Scored 6,50 points

3rd Place:
Jackie Fisher’s “Devoter LOL Solo
Category: PvP
Scored 5,50 points

4th Place:
Superted’s “Solo PvE
Category: PvE
Scored 5,25 points

5th Place:
Ashram Starkiller’s “Devoter for Aeon II
Category: PvE
Scored 5,00 points

The biggest penalties I gave were for the use of capacitor boosters. As a lone wolf, you are often venturing out far from anything. I know it is common in PvP fittings, but boosters should not be required for the normal operation of the ship’s modules. You have a ship that does not need to carry ammo, and you add a worse kind of ammo 🙂

Some statistics:

Biggest buffer: 93.488 HP, Roosterton’s “Kickass buffer solo”
Fastest MWD ship: 1798 m/s, Rasael Wolf’s “Solo”
Fastest AB ship: 465 m/s, Xe na’s “Solo Piracy”
Most agile: 2,1 secs, Roosterton’s “Kickass buffer solo”
Highest damage: 307 DPS / 793 Volley, Roosterton’s “Kickass buffer solo”
Highest defence: 702 HP, Xe na’s “Solo piracy”
Highest resists: 87,8% omni, Roosterton’s “Kickass buffer solo”

Naturally I was excluded from the contest, but I thought I would share my personal fitting anyway for those interested. It is a PvE fit optimized for exploration and wormholes. Previously I used a Zealot for this, but the Devoter has a slot layout that allows you to do more. Especially tankwise, it is perfect for making a good omni defence:

Devoter fit for wormholes and exploration:

[Devoter, Wormholes and Exploration]
Imperial Navy Medium Armor Repairer
Imperial Navy Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
Imperial Navy Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
Capacitor Power Relay II
Armor Thermic Hardener II
Armor EM Hardener II
Imperial Navy Heat Sink

Stasis Webifier II
Republic Fleet 10MN MicroWarpdrive
Analyzer II

Heavy Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Heavy Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Heavy Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Heavy Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Core Probe Launcher I, Core Scanner Probe I
Salvager II

Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I

Full specs:

Defence: 88.8% omni resists, 333 HP/sec
Damage: 252 DPS / 715 Volley
Speed: 254 base / 1384 m/s with MWD
Cap stable with MWD and Analyzer off
2 Minutes cap with MWD on and Analyzer off

This is ideal for running highsec complexes and class 1/2 wormholes, although in wormholes I would replace the heat sink with a third energized nano membrane to be on the safe side. You can scan, salvage, hack/analyze, tackle, tank and kill in one neat package.

I will venture out and say you cannot find better for this task short of upgrading to a command ship (provided you only use lasers, when able to fit missiles this may be different).

Zealot fit for wormholes and exploration:

[Zealot, Wormholes and Complexes]
Imperial Navy Medium Armor Repairer
Imperial Navy Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
Imperial Navy Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
Armor EM Hardener II
Armor Thermic Hardener II
Imperial Navy Heat Sink
Damage Control II

Cap Recharger II
10MN Afterburner II
Fleeting Propulsion Inhibitor I

Focused Medium Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Focused Medium Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Focused Medium Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency M
Core Probe Launcher I, Core Scanner Probe I
Salvager II

Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I

Full specs:

Defence: 86.4% omni resists, 294 HP/sec
Damage: 217 DPS / 447 Volley
Speed: 261 base / 622 m/s with AB
Cap stable with AB off
7 Minutes cap with AB on

As you can see, even if the Devoter is not overly superior to the Zealot in pure tank and gank numbers, it allows you to fit one additional midslot module and a microwarpdrive instead of an afterburner. The additional turret is nice of course, but the Zealot’s bonuses make up for that.

Now I have to decide whether to fit the ship for PvP with Roosterton’s fit, or for Wormholes 🙂


May 7 2010

The lone wolf Devoter contest

UPDATE: Contest closed! Winners have been announced.

DevoterBefore we get to the heart of the matter, a little background. About two years back, I bought a Devoter via trade because it was a good deal and I knew it was not a scam. It was fully fitted and I was thinking of reselling it for a small premium. The ship was damaged however, so I could not create a contract for it. To make matters worse, the station did not have repair facilities and I was a few months off actually flying the thing. In short, the ship was not going anywhere because I did not want to repackage it and lose the rigs.

Two years later, Aeon finally has the skills to fly one and the ship is nowhere to be found anymore. I do not know/recall what happened to it, but the fact is it disappeared without a trace. I was not going to let that stop me, so I bought a brand new one. This is where you come in: I need a good fitting for the ship, Battleclinic only has fleet fittings and the official forums are infested by trolls. I thought why not try a contest instead… Let’s see 🙂

The contest

What’s the challenge? Well, I want a lone wolf fitting. I know the ship is designed for fleet ops, but I am a hardcore solo player and I want to use it on my own, without any wingmen at all.

These are the rules:

  • You may use any T1, T2 and Faction module
  • You may use any rig
  • You may not use any implants
  • You may not use any deadspace or officer gear
  • NO fleet-related fittings! Solo only
  • Create a fit with EFT, paste your fit in comments (use EFT’s copy to clipboard functionality)
  • For easier comparison between fits, use the All Level 5 template
  • Write a short description of how the fitting is meant to be used
  • Any additional details like optimal skills is apreciated but not mandatory
  • Contest closes noon on monday, 17th may 2010. I will post the results in the afternoon the same day.

Note: any comments about using the Devoter for anything else than fleet ops being idiotic I will just delete, so don’t even bother.

Rewards

1st place:
An Abaddon Battleship, worth about 120 Mil

2nd place:
A Harbinger Battlecruiser with 3x CCC rigs fitted, worth about 30 Mil

3rd place:
A Jaguar OR Wolf Assault Frigate , worth about 20 Mil

4th place:
An Ocular Filter Standard implant (+4 perception), worth about 20 Mil

5th place:
An Eifyr and Co. ‘Gunslinger’ AX-1 hardwiring (+3% turret tracking) OR an Inherent Implants ‘Lancer’ G1-Epsilon hardwiring (+3% large energy turret damage), worth about 20 Mil

The jury will be myself and I will rate entries on their originality but also the potential of actually using the fit and doing something with it.

Let’s see those fittings 🙂


Feb 9 2010

Day 1214: Wormholes and T3 Revelation

A few months ago, Aeon trained the Amarr Strategic Cruiser and Amarr Subsystem skills all to level 3. I did not plan to get a strategic cruiser then, I wanted him to have them “just in case”. He was in the Amarr region back then, so all the subsystem skills were selling at the nice NPC prices. I did not bother to check prices of the ships or subsystems themselves on the market as the wallet was looking bleak as usual, and T3 cruisers are renowned for being rich kid’s toys. After a long trip back deep into the Derelik region, he resumed scanning complexes and wormholes, trying to find some rare gems – and components for Loreena’s manufacturing efforts of COSMOS BPCs.

After losing a Zealot to a particularly deadly sleeper site, I tried to come up with a better ship for the task. I let no stone unturned, from destroyers to battleships. All but the strategic cruisers. The conclusion was that the Zealot is definitely in a class of its own: none of the Amarr battlecruisers can match its tank (neither can the Brutix), the Omen Navy Issue cruiser packs a good punch but is too frail, and battleships are too clumsy. Command ships I deemed too expensive to lose in a wormhole, although the Absolution is nearly perfect for the task. So a new Zealot it was, with the same fit as before. It has proven itself over and over, so I went back to exploring.

What ensued was a chain of frustrating experiences. From acceleration gates that did not allow HACs to class 3 wormholes in which most sites are too dangerous for a mere Zealot, it seemed that I was doomed to switching ships for nearly every site I encountered. My local station was beginning to fill with different sized ships again, and the logistics of the whole operation was beginning to get on my nerves. Of course Loreena could have tagged along in the Orca, but she did not seem very enthusiastic – she was busy in the Kador and Amarr regions collecting COSMOS components. Aeon could have used his charm, but I preferred to keep that Joker card for another time. There had to be a solution.

For the time being, I stuck to what I could do with the Zealot while I built up some ISK to buy an Absolution fitted for wormholes. The solution came in the form of a graphical layout and website I built for N.A.G.A. Corporation (www.nagacorporation.net), and which replenished Aeon’s wallet in one strike. I made another EFT session, and as I had dabbled with strategic cruiser fittings before I thought what the heck and made a new one.

The result left me speechless and grinning like a madman. The Legion fitting I had had just whipped together had slightly less DPS than the Zealot, but about 3x the tank. Enough to take just about anything the usual complexes and sleeper sites could throw at the ship. It was even cap stable without a single Capacitor Control Circuit rig, which was the topping of an already juicy pie. As you can imagine, my mind was made up in a few nanoseconds and Aeon was already on his way to Amarr to buy the ship.

My only worry was that I did not know how much these things cost and that I may not be able to get one despite the ISK I had earned. Contracts showed some hulls at about 240 mil which did not seem too bad, but that was without the subsystems. When Aeon arrived in the Amarr Oris station, the hulls were actually selling at a round 200 mil, so I bought one right away. The subsystems cost an average of about 60 mil per unit. I bought everything I needed for the fit on the spot, and after the subsystems, rigs and co had been properly installed and configured I took the time to contemplate the beast.

Damn, that ship is sexy. As many Amarr ships, the base hull has a resemblance to a bug with those mandibles. This particular subsystem configuration makes for a rather compact and bulky shape – fitting for that beast of a tank I think. I christened it “Alea’s Nemesis”, in reference to the main character of my EVE-related short story. Aeon was just as eager as I was to give her a spin, so he undocked, and made the trek back to Derelik.

He took a short detour through gallente space to meet up with another Sytek member who is a Tengu pilot, and was busy dispatching EOM ships. I found out that the tank was more than enough for this mission, but the DPS was severely lacking. Then again, it was a complex-oriented fit with only three turrets so that was to be expected. All in all it was a good test, and the two ships side by side did look extremely good.

Back in Derelik, I took out the Anathema and went lowsec scouting to explore for wormholes and complexes. It was a quiet night, but I found no wormholes. I did find a 3/10 sansha complex however, and that turned out to be exactly what I needed as final test. The last room was one big fleet with about 40 ships all classes combined (frigates to battlecruisers). When they all got into range the tank started to break slowly, but Aeon was killing them fast enough to handle it all effortlessly. Without moving an inch, which is quite decadent compared to the Zealot with which I have learned how to navigate with afterburner to mitigate the incoming DPS.

The one big realization that came to me that night was that these ships are more or less made for complexing, as they fit into almost any acceleration gate where command ships or even HACs are not allowed. I used to use a regular cruiser (Omen Navy Issue or Pilgrim) for those, but this is infinitely more useful. No need for an army of different sized ships anymore, yay!!

Strategic Cruisers come with one big drawback: if you do get caught and your ship is destroyed, you lose one level in one of the ship’s race subsystem skills. So if you trained them all to V, you will have to re-train the one chosen randomly to V. It is not that bad, as they are all 1x skills that do not take too long to train up.

Here is the full fitting for the ship as I use it right now. As you probably guessed, it is made for wormholes and complexes. It uses just a few faction mods and works with all T2 as well:

[Wormholes & Complexes]
Imperial Navy Medium Armor Repairer
Imperial Navy Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
Imperial Navy Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
Armor EM Hardener II
Armor Thermic Hardener II
Armor Kinetic Hardener II
Heat Sink II
Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II
10MN Afterburner II
Fleeting Propulsion Inhibitor I
Heavy Pulse Laser II,Conflagration M
Heavy Pulse Laser II,Conflagration M
Heavy Pulse Laser II,Conflagration M
Salvager II
Core Probe Launcher I,Core Scanner Probe I
Medium Energy Burst Aerator I
Medium Energy Locus Coordinator I
Medium Nanobot Accelerator I
Legion Defensive - Nanobot Injector
Legion Electronics - Dissolution Sequencer
Legion Engineering - Capacitor Regeneration Matrix
Legion Offensive - Liquid Crystal Magnifiers
Legion Propulsion - Chassis Optimization

With this setup, using a better armor repairer will have drastic effects with the nanobot injector subsystem + nanobot accelerator rig combo. With my crappy skills (Strategic Cruiser at 3 and all subsystems at 3), this setup gives me an EFT omni defence rating of 450, 213 DPS and 85.7% EM / 81.4 % TH / 89.3 KIN / 89.1% EX resists. At level V, the defence rating climbs up to 520 with 255 DPS. As an example, fitting an A-Type armor hardener puts the tank at 675 defence rating.

…not bad for a cruiser!

I will have to testdrive the ship in wormholes next, but so far they have proven to be surprisingly elusive over here. Will post an update when I have found one and ground some sleepers to dust.

On a sidenote, if you have COSMOS BPCs you cannot build from, evemail me which ones you have and I’ll make you an offer for them. Alternatively I also offer a manufacturing service for them, Loreena has all the specialty skills at V (Sleeper Tech, Talocan Tech, Takmahl Tech and Yan Jung Tech). Just contact me ingame for details.


Jun 12 2009

Howto: Build a fast autopiloting ship

EVE Online’s world is quite vast, and as a result a lot of a Capsuleer’s life is spent jumping around the place to get where you need to be. More often than not you will need something that’s quite a few jumps off, like that module you need for your ship’s new fitting. I often find myself hopping around between regions as well, especially since most interesting contracts seem to be on the other end of the universe 🙂

In those cases, if your cargo does not require a cargohold bigger than about 130 m3 you should think about building yourself a ship specifically for those trips. You will be amazed at how much easier your life can get!

But first off, let’s look at what makes the difference when jumping around (ordered by importance, assuming you’re on autopilot):

1) Warp speed
2) Turn rate
3) Base speed

The warp speed is the most important part, as you spend most of your time flying through systems on your way to the next stargate. Many systems are pretty big, meaning you will have to warp 100+ AU. If you want to speed things up, warp speed is key. Turn rate makes you initiate warp faster after jumping through a gate, and the base speed will reduce the time your ship spends on the 15 kms the autopilot uses as a safe warp zone.

There are a few ship classes in EVE that have increased warp speed, I have compiled a short overview:

As you can see, the fastest warping ships are frigate-sized specialty ships with 13.5 AU per second. Every race has them, so you will not have to cross-train to get the fastest one out there. But let’s take a better look at the selection of ships that gives us:

Covert Ops:

Anathema: 282 m/s
Buzzard: 306 m/s
Helios: 320 m/s
Cheetah: 381 m/s

Interceptors:

Malediction: 435 m/s
Raptor: 415 m/s
Ares: 450 m/s
Stiletto: 435 m/s

Covert ops have the big advantage of being able to fit cloaking devices so you can move around undetected with your valuable cargo, but personally I prefer the comfort of the interceptors – but the choice is yours, both work pretty well even if interceptors are quite a bit faster base speed wise. Let’s have a look at how to fit one of these beauties to make the most of it. I will take the Malediction as example, as that’s the one I use.

High Slots:
Whatever you like / can fit

Med Slots:
Any Microwarpdrive you can fit
Anything else you like / can fit

Low Slots:
Inertia Stabilizers II
Overdrive Injector System II
Overdrive Injector System II

Rigs
Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer I
Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer I

This fit gives you 19.4 warp speed, about 680 m/s base speed and around 4.500 m/s with the Microwarpdrive (depending on skills). There are a lot of variations to this fitting, the key being the two rigs. If you need more cargo space, replace or remove the overdrives as they greatly reduce your cargo space.

You might ask what the Microwarpdrive is for, well there’s a little trick I use 🙂 Put the module on one of the F1-F12 keys, and then once the autopilot is engaged, press the microwarpdrive key and block it with something so it stays pressed. That way, when the module can be activated (when approaching a stargate), it will automatically be activated and one burst usually gets you to the stargate in a jiffy. Another use is if you autopilot semi-afk and occasionally engage the microwarpdrive to speed things up.

With a ship like that, hopping between regions becomes almost bearable 🙂