Mar 10 2008

Day 513: Pax Nemesis succombs to Saboteurs

I won’t keep the suspense hanging for long: Pax Nemesis III (Abaddon) is gone. Last night as Aeon accepted a level 4 mission to intercept some saboteurs, I made the mistake of not checking the damage I had to fit armor hardeners for. But that was not the sole problem – as always, it was really a sum of things that lead to this unfortunate turn of events. But before I explain in detail, let me make a brief summary of what has happened in the last weeks. I was very busy in real life, and did not have the time to write – you can always skip this part and come back to it later if you like.

Quick heads-up
After my level 4 preparation post, I made a trip to nullsec (I have a log entry in the works for that). My good friend Serotta Ortot let me fly his Armageddon there for ratting, and he was using active armor hardeners on it. I was baffled by how effective the setup was, and when I went back to empire I refitted Pax Nemesis III to use an active armor tanking setup. On top of that, Loreena was already within reach of an Exequror, the small brother of the Oneiros. I bought her one, and so it happened that I tried running a level 4 mission again. Aeon was using 4 active mission-specific hardeners, a Damage Control II and a large armor repairer in a permarun setup with eight large beam laser turrets (not the tachyons anymore, they use way too much capacitor). While the DPS was obviously not the same with less powerful turrets, the tank itself seemed impenetrable. At one point, the ship was tanking six battleships and they could not even dent the armor.

Since then, I have run quite a few level 4 missions without any forseeable trouble at all. I ended up tackling them without Loreena, as the tank was good enough to handle anything the missions threw at me.

Pax Nemesis III’s last battle
Probably over-confident in the new tanking setup, I warped Aeon into “Intercept the Saboteurs“. Everything went as planned, and I did not take Loreena along as I had already done the mission alone before. As I mentioned, I use two active hardeners for each of the main mission damage types: Kinetic and Thermal in this case. I must have misread that, because I put in the kinetic hardeners, but left the explosive hardeners on. Once in the mission, the tank was holding nonetheless by pure brute force. Had the Serpentis Megathron not gotten within range, Aeon would have made it. That ship’s blasters started tearing the armor apart slowly, but I was not especially concerned as I was still busy taking out the cruisers to bring down the overall DPS. My drones were dispatching the frigates on their own, so the situation was completely under control.

After a short while, I started to realize that was not entirely the case. Only two cruisers were left, and their DPS was not likely to change much. I switched fire to one of the nearest battleships, a Core Admiral or some such, and even set the drones on him. He died pretty fast, but to my dismay it did not make any difference. I must have been extra sluggish, because only then did I realize it was the Megathron that was the big damage dealer here. HE was the one that was profiting from the thermal weakness in my armor tank. I think by the time I switched targets to take him out, Pax Nemesis III’s armor hitpoints were already down to thirty-five percent. Logically, I aligned the ship for warp, made the drones dock and warped. Warped….? No. “What the HELL?”

Coming out of the comfort of months of level 3 missioning, I still had that last resort escape possibility of warping out in mind. Level four mission bring new dangers with them, including warp scrambling ships. Probably needless to say, but when the ship would not warp, I knew I was done for. I logged Loreena in on the second PC, but she was parked in Rens BTT of all places, four jumps out. There was not way she could be there on time, and my desperate attempts to take out the warp scrambling ships failed at recognizing which ones were scrambling me at all. Panic transformed into dismay, strengthened by my dismissal of thermodynamics as useless a while back. I do not know if overheating could have given me the edge I needed, but it was another drop in the bowl of dismay.

In the end I think the ship put up more than an honorable performance, going down all guns blazing to the last second. The armor repairer managed to put in several cycles, delaying the structural hits long enough for the drones to cut down a few more frigates – but still not the right ones. After that I sat there in my pod, eyeing the surrounding ships with a vengeful look. Had my eyes been fitted with laser turrets, I think I could have destroyed a small planetoid. Except I was more mad at my own sorry self for being so utterly careless, bordering on the plain stupid.

Pax Nemesis “X”
So I sat there in my pod, pondering what to do next. The corp wallet was at sixty million, not enough to buy a new battleship. I noticed the flashy mail icon, and checked the insurance message. The ship was not insured of course, and I was expecting a condescending, mocking note telling me I should have had the ship insured, gna gna gna. To my surprise, the default insurance payout was 79 million. Now that was more like it! 130 million should get me a new battleship, if not an Abaddon. The fittings were another matter… I decided I had to start liquidating some of the assets I had stashed so far.

Loreena cancelled most of the running buy orders to free up another twenty million, and shipped all the salvage and sellable modules to Rens. In the meantime, Aeon was already on his way to the Amarr trade hub, Oris EFA, as buying the ship and turrets was going to be cheaper there. The salvage sales had the effect of finding a fabled hidden treasure – when I had finished selling everything, the corporation wallet was at a new record of 450 million… nearly half a billion! Not only was I going to be able to replace the lost ship, even fittings and rigs were possible 🙂

I spent a good hour with EFT (Eve Fitting Tool) to come up with an improved setup for the ship, laid out for better survivability (I included the complete fitting in the extended part of this log entry if you want to see the details). Once I knew what I wanted, Aeon bought a new Abaddon and promptly christened it “Pax Nemesis X”. Already having gone through three versions of the name, I chose something a little more final. If I ever lose this ship, I will have to change the name. Fitting it was pretty quick, as everything I needed was available on-station, and quite a bit cheaper than Rens too: 202 million for the ship, modules and rigs as compared to about 220 had I bought all that in Rens.

Righteous revenge
Now was the time to finish what I had started, and at the same time test the slightly modified ship setup. Aeon made the twenty jump trip back to the mission system, Isendeldik, and this time Loreena was there too just in case. At warp-in, the cloud of enemy ships was all around at about 4 kilometres. This meant that the Megathron was going to be able to lay down its max DPS instantly, but I had the right hardeners fitted this time. The DPS was still pretty high, but the new tank held on its own. With three Auxiliary Nano Pump I rigs I expected no less. I was able to finish the mission easily, and even though I regretted losing the ship in the first place it could have been worse. As the saying goes, everything that does not kill you makes you stronger…

Anyhow, it was an interesting evening to say the least. Loreena will be Aeon’s wingman from now on when I run level 4 missions, regardless of how well I am prepared. I am NOT going to lose another ship to a mission – not if I can help it, anyway 🙂

Pax Nemesis X fitting

High Slots
8 x Dual Modulated Heavy Energy Beam I

Med Slots
4 x Cap Recharger II

Low Slots
1 x Damage Control II
1 x Capacitor Power Relay II
2 x Armor XX Hardener II, for primary mission damage (XX = Kinetic/EM/Thermal/Explosive)
2 x Armor XX Hardener II, for secondary mission damage
1 x Large ‘Accomodation’ Vestment Reconstructer I

3 x Auxiliary Nano Pump I

Nov 24 2007

Zealot Heavy Assault Ship

This is the fitting I currently use on Dark Horizons, my Amarr Heavy Assault Ship:

High slots:

4 x Heavy Beam Laser II
1 x Salvager I

Medium Slots:

1 x X5 Prototype I Engine Enervator (Webifier, best named one)
1 x Tracking Computer II
1 x Peripheral Weapon Navigation Diameter (Target painter, best named one)

Low Slots:

3 x Capacitor Power Relay II
1 x Damage Control II
1 x Heat Sink II
1 x Medium Armor Repairer II
1 x Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II


1 x Capacitor Control Circuit I

With my current skills, that gives these specs:

I can run all modules indefinitely with this setup, so I never have to worry about capacitor problems. That makes it a very nice alternative for level 3 missions for example.

Sep 5 2007

Brute power tank

After someone from my favorite chat channel told me to switch my Power Diagnostic System IIs with Capacitor Power Relay IIs, I made the way back to Rens to buy some of those, and spent a good hour changing Pax Nemesis II’s fitting. Having just come from a big fight with several Arch Angel battlecruisers that put the ship to its knees, I knew one armor repairer and one mission-specific hardener was not enough of a tank yet. While I was toying around with the capacitor relays, I was amazed at the capacitor recharge rate I could get and did what I do best – complete nonsense.

I fitted two large armor repairers and every capacitor support module I could, and undocked. Behold the raw power this setup provides: 154 sec recharge rate for a total of 7650 capacitor. I can activate all modules except the guns and run them indefinitely – perfect when you need to recover in the midst of battle. The two armor repairers combined with the Auxiliary Nano Pump should be able to take care of a lot of damage – I have yet to really test this, as I did not get any challenging missions so far – but it is way better than my previous setup.

The good thing is, as soon as I get my laser skills further up, I’ll be able to free some lows/highs for additional gun support modules like a target painter or tracking enhancer.

Installed modules and rigs:

High slots
4x Tachyon Beam Laser I (Large)
4x Heavy Beam Laser II (Medium)

Med Slots
1x Optical Tracking Computer I 1.12x range, 1.24x tracking speed
1x F-90 Positional Sensor Subroutines +60% targeting range, +60% scan resolution
2x Cap Recharger II +20% cap recharge rate

Low slots
4x Capacitor Power Relay II -11% shield boost, +24% cap recharge rate
2x Large ‘Accomodation’ Vestment Reconstructer I Best named repairer
1x N-Type Explosive Hardener I 50% active explosive bonus

2x Capacitor Control Circuit I -15% recharge time reduction
1x Auxiliary Nano Pump I +15% repair bonus, -10% speed

Full stats of this setup:

Gun ranges with active sensor booster:

– Radio crystals: 120 km (large) 62 km (med)
– XRay crystals: 65 km (large) 32 km (med)
– Multifrequency crystals: 50 km (large) 20km (med)

My personal comments:

I am not going for large guns only yet, as the medium ones are very handy when cruisers or battlecruisers come too near, which happens fairly often at 126 m/s. Ultimately I want my drones to handle those, but with 69.200 skill points in Drones that’s not going to happen anytime soon.

What do you think? Am I improving, or is this just too much/noobish/crazy/stupid as always 😉

Jul 8 2007

Pax Nemesis: Maelstrom

As promised in my last post, this is the current fitting of Pax Nemesis, Aeon’s Maelstrom. As with all my previous ships, it is a shield tanker – except this time I actually chose a ship that was meant to be one with the specific shield boost bonus of 7.5% per level of skill in Minmatar Battleship 🙂

This is the current module fitting:

High slots:
Heavy Anode Particle Stream I x 8 (Crystals: Xray)

Medium slots:
Target Painter I
Invulnerability Field I
‘Anointed’ I EM Ward Reinforcement
Heat Dissipation Field I
Ballistic Deflection Field I
Large Shield Booster II

Low slots:
Type-E Power Core Modification: Diagnostic System x 5

Core Defence Field Purger I x 3

The shield tank and lasers make for a very power greedy setup, which is why the low slots are used for power support (and shield improvement as well). In this state, Shield + Guns + Hardeners + Target Painer can not run indefinitely yet, but long enough to tank most level 3 missions by just hovering. Whenever I run low on capacitor, I turn off the guns and let my drones work on their own for a while.

The key here is the combination of hardeners and rigs that give a total 60% bonus to shield rechargerate, for a total of 18.5 hitpoints/second. The damage that gets through is largely compensated by the rechargerate, and the booster is there to compensate when needed.

Detailed stats:

Let’s hear it – what do you think of this setup? Pure heresy, completely crazy or just plain genius?

May 7 2007

The Aeonizer Missioning Harbinger

After the switch from my Hurricane Crimson Skies to the Harbinger Aeonizer, I invested a bit of Aeon’s and my corporation’s funds to upgrade some of the modules I use. The big difference lies in the capacitor and shield enhancing modules: I can now run all seven guns, the afterburner and the shield booster together for about 10 minutes.

Modules layout

7x Heavy Anode Particle Stream I
7x True Sanshas Radio M

1x Y-S8 Hydrocarbon I Afterburners
1x Medium Shield Booster II
2x Cap Recharger II

4x Mark I Generator Refitting: Diagnostic System
2x Type-D Altered SS Overdrive Injector

3x Hornet I
1x Acolyte I

Detailed stats

Own comments
As pointed out by a few of my fellow RMS players, this setup completely lacks any kind of strategy: it is made for brute force shield regeneration – and is still dangerous if you get too near to your targets. It relies on being able to distance my targets and snipe them off from about 45-55 Kms. I do not use the shield booster that much, so some of those power modules should be replaced by shield hardeners depending on the mission type.

As Ilia pointed out in a few comments, the Harbinger is more of an armor tank than a shield tank (see the base resists of the armor) – but I am really a shield guy so I will try to come up with a perfected version of this setup.

Jan 19 2007

Ship Setup: Crimson Skies

As basis for discussion and inspiration, I have created a new category into which I will post my ship specifications and module fittings, along with a few explanations as to my choices. I have found a few nice references for ship setups, but everybody has its own views and goals…

The following is the current fitting for my Hurricane, Crimson Skies:

Crimson Skies Modules

High slots:
6 x Heavy Anode Particle Stream I medium laser turrets with Radio M crystals
2 x Upgraded ‘Limos’ Standard Missile Bay

Medium slots:
1 x 10MN Afterburner I
1 x Small Shield Booster I
2 x Barton Reactor Capacitor Recharger I

Low slots:
2 x Power Diagnostic System I
1 x Type-D Altered SS Inertial Stabilizers
1 x Nanofiber Internal Structure I
2 x Type-D Altered SS Overdrive Injector

Full stats:

Crimson Skies Specs


Let’s start at the top: I know I mentioned the lasers thing before – I use them because I like them, because they do not use any ammo and because I have the required skills. Losing the ship’s bonus is not such a problem, because there are no missions where it really gets critical. I use the Radio M crystals because they give me a lot of range – I can hit at 49 kms with them.

The afterburner is there because with those medium cannons I have to keep my enemies at range, close-up they are useless. That’s where the launchers come in. They are basic launchers because I do not have the skills for the better ones yet, but they get the job done when a few rats come too close.< The shield booster is really only a safeguard, even if I jump right into a stack of enemies and have to afterburner out under fire, my shield so far never got under 80%. But then again, there are not only rats out there... It is also useful to replenish the shield between missions. The Barton reactors are there to improve the ship's capacitor recharge rate - with all these power-sucking modules you have to be sure to have enough power. The Power Diagnostic modules go hand-in-hand with them, and have additional bonuses for the shield. The inertial stabilizers, Nanofiber structure and Overdrives are all there for speed and agility. Speed is essential in missions if you do not want to fight at close range, but it has other benefits: a good turn rate guarantees you can quickly veer out of a tricky spot and escape potential attackers - rat and non-rat. Additionally, I found it to be much more comfortable for picking up the mission loot 🙂