Monday, August 30, 2010

Exploration (Complexes and Scanning)

Been awhile since I last posted. A lot has happened. I will leave out the boring details and get right to the subject of this blog entry.

Exploration and Scanning down Complexes (or Plexing for short)

I will tell you the punch line now, because after hearing it you may want to continue reading.

My very first Solo Complex run netted me 1.1 Billion ISK. Ok, got your attention? It sure got mine! So, here goes the story.

I just moved out to Deklein 0.0 space with an Alliance called Black Core Alliance. I also joined a new corp called Cloak and Daggers, a U.K. corp. (I guess I wanted to try something new with these U.K.ers)

I had finally gotten bored of the mindless grind of shooting Sanctums all day and wanted to try Exploration and Scanning down complexes with Core probes. (Although very profitable at around 40m an hr, these Sanctums. If you manage to get a few in a row to yourself.)

I ran a 6/10 Gurista complex with a few Alliance members, but it yielded no esculation and no loot to speak of. So, I decided to scan Solo, picking a random system next door. Low and behold, a 6/10 Gurista's plex! So, I google the name of the Complex and goto eve wiki and read that it is easily solo'able in a HAC. I was flying a MWD/Heavy Assault Missile II fitted Drake, so decided to go for it.

The rats where easy, with loads of frigates and cruisers. I won't describe the details, but I did have to warp out a few times to let my shields recharge. After only about 20 minutes, I reached the end and blow up the target structure, open the can that drops and find the following before my eyes:

Gila 1 run BPC
Overseer Effects
Pithum Medium A-Type Shield Booster

I knew the Overseer FX was worth 51m and the Gila about 125m or so. But, had not checked the shield boosters value, as I never heard of one, besides the Pithi type shield boosters, which are worth a pretty penny as well.

I dock up and tell my corp members how excited I was to have found a plex on my first system, first scanning attempt and getting loot to boot. One corp member than said, "Do you know how much that shield booster is worth?" No... I didn't so, I look up contracts and BOOM 850-900 million ISK for a single shield booster.

I built the Gila and sold it off as well as the Pithum A-Type in Jita. Not bad for a first Scan/System/Solo Plex run, aye? Well you can imagine I got pretty hooked on Scanning because of this extraordinary luck. (Makes me wonder if CCP programmed the game to do this intentionally as a way to enhance the high and keep an EVE addict, addicted.)

PS: I won't bother posting my Drake fit, as anyone that flys one knows of the mundane shield buffer tank a Drake has. But, I fit HAMs and not Heavies, using a MWD to get up in their face.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Milking Level 4 Missions

Many players in EVE think that Level 4 (L4) missions earn players too much ISK. Most the missions are in High Security 0.5+ systems and are completely easy and safe way to make ISK, when compared to the relative unsafe space of 0.4-0.0(null sec) space inposes on you.

But, I beg to differ. Although, I personally love to run missions a sure way to make ISK for buying expensive items in EVE, a lot of people think mission running is really boring. Mining is probably the most boring thing you can do in EVE. More boring then hauling freight and using the Market.

I will show you how to Milk L4 Missions, for maximum ISK return. As well as, show you my Uber Dominix fit that can Gank and Tank just about any L4 mission. As well as, which site to use, as a reference, when running missions.

Step One - Finding your Agent

Finding an agent can be a bit tricky. There are a lot of out of game sites that have agent locators. A great site to use is

You can find them in the game, by going to your Character Sheet and clicking on Standings. This method takes a bit of time, and is frankly, a real hassle. So, I recommend using

Step Two - Getting Enough Standings for L4 Missions

A L4 agent will require you to have a minimum amount of stands with the Corporation/Faction the Agent works for. So, if you are just starting out, you will need to begin with Level 1 and work your way to L4.

Level 3 agents are generally best when you want to gain standings quickly, as the missions are easy to finish. This is useful if you want to be able to install a Jump Clone at a station, or you want to anchor a POS in High Sec, or for other reasons.

While Level 4 missions take any where from 15 to 120 or more minutes to complete, the rewards are 10 times that of Level 3 agent missions. So, L4 is generally where a lot of EVE players make their ISK. They usually stick with a L4 Agent for a long time.

Step Three - Which Ships To Fly

Although, there is a ship in EVE that is specially made for mission running, called Mauraders, these ships are very expensive and take a very long time to train for. Talking upwards of around 800-1,000 Million (1 Billion) ISK for a Maurader. You will have to look into these types of ships yourself, as what I will be focusing on are BattleShips, of the Tech I variant.

Amarr - Abaddon as this ship has an awesome tank and plenty of DPS.
Caldari - Raven as this ship is the staple for running missions, if your Caldari.
Gallente - Dominix as this ship has tank+gank and will be my ship of choice.
Minmitar - Typhoon or Maelstrom

You really need Tech II fittings. If you do not have the skills to fit T2, than named items are a work around to this. You can also go for Faction/Officer fittings, as they have the low skill requirement as Named modules, but be ready to pay a massive price for them.

Below are the various parts you profit from when completely L4 missions

1 - Agent Rewards
2 - Ship Bounties
3 - Loyalty points
4 - Tags
5 - Looting Wrecks
6 - Salvaging Wrecks

The way to Milk L4 missions is to take all 6 of the items above to your advantage. A lot of players skip Salvaging the wrecks, but are seriously mistaken when they do this. Salvaging can be a pain, but doing so can bring in 15% of the total Mission rewards.

Agent Rewards are anywhere from 2-4 Million ISK for completing the mission within 7 days, or a few hours for the bonus time reward. 4 hours is plenty of time, even when Salvaging all wrecks and taking a while to finish the mission in general. If Real Life calls, then do not end the missions, just cut your loss of the Bonus Reward and finish the mission when you can.

Ship Bounties are given at a delay of about 15 minutes. The total can range from less than 1 Million up to 5 Million ISK. Just shoot everything in site, and your Bounty Reward will be issued to your wallet.

Loyalty Points will make you a lot of ISK. Although, LP is not ISK in and of itself, LP can be converted into ISK by simply buying Basic (+3) or Standard (+4) Implants. You than sell them on the Market. The trick is to not sell them out right, but rather set up a Sell Order. You can set the price at a competitve amount in relation to the current market value for the region you are in. Setting up a Sell Order does require you to have some basic Marketing Skills. Obtaining Implants and selling them is the quickest way to get high conversion of your LP to ISK. There are reports of saving up your LP for Blueprints, but you can try this at your own time and risk, as I do it with Implants only.

Note: It is highly recommended that you get the skill book called Military Connections and train it up to Level 4, right away. You can get the skill book in the LP store. It does cost a lot of LP, but what it does it increases the amount of LP an Agent will issue you. So, in the long run the investment to get the book and train it to Level 4 is absolutely worth your while.

Tags are not given out in every mission. Instead of lots of random modules found in wrecks, you will find tags. They look like Military Dog Tags, and belonged to which ever enemy you killed. Collect these tags and sell them on the market. I simply sell them for which every price I immediately get. But, another use is to save them and use them in the LP store to obtain other rare items. It takes a lot of tags for one item, which in my opinion is not worth the effort to save up for. So, I recommend selling them off on the market right away.

Looting Wrecks will primarily give you modules, although tags as mentioned above are found in them as well. Collect everything you find in the wrecks and bring them back to a station to sort through. The first thing you want to do is look for modules of the Large Size (sometimes Medium) and named modules. Of the named modules sell any Meta 3 or Meta 4 items on the market, using a sell order. Some named modules, in particular Meta 4, can net you 5-10+ million ISK for that one module. The rest of the modules, especially all the Tech I simply reprocess and either sell the minerals or better still, save up the minerals and manufacture a ship. I personally manufacture Megathrons or Battlecruisers, like the Brutix. You can easily buy a BPC (BluePrintCopy) by search for them using the Contracts system.

Salvaging Wrecks is the most over looked and ignored part of mission running. But, if you do what I am about to explain, salvaging wrecks can make you 20-30% more ISK in L4 missions.

After you kill off all the enemies in a mission. Dock your ship and DO NOT end the mission yet, by going to the Agent. Instead, get into a Destroyer Class ship that is fitted with 5 Salvagers, 3 Tractor Beams, an After Burner, Cargo Expander II's and the remaining mid slots with Cap Rechargers, if any. The Destroyer is rarely used in PVP, but it makes the perfect ship for looting and salvaging all your mission wrecks. Be sure to train your Salvaging skill to Level 3, although Level 4 will make your salving chances even better, especially when salvaging BattleShip wrecks. With this set up, you have loads of Cargo m3 space and a ton of Salvagers and Tractor Beams to make short work of what most people pass up, and that is salvaging the wrecks.

After you have Salvaged and Looted every wreck, bring it all to a station. I already explained how you deal with the looted Modules in the previous section. The focus now is on the Salvaged parts. You have two options, very similar to dealing with modules. You can simply sell them on the market as raw salvage parts or better still, manufacture and sell Rigs! Most Rigs will net you 15+ Million ISK each, while others a little less. But, rigs are always in high demand as no one likes to Salvage! You will need a Blue Print to manufacture rigs, just like everything else in EVE. Fortunetly, Rig BP Originals go anywhere from 100,000 - 1 Million ISK. For a Blue Print Original, (not a copy) this is amazingly cheap! You can buy rig BPOs strait off the market. Some rig BPOs wou may have to travel to remote factional regions to get. Once you get the rig BPO, be sure to research the M.E. (Materal Efficency) of the BP to no less than 20-25. At this level M.E. you will reduce waste costs. Unfortunetly, just about every M.E. Scientific Lab Slot have over a month long waiting queue. But, if you can get a buddy to research it for you, or better yet, get into a shuttle and find a Low Sec (0.4-0.1) station and they will have a much smaller queue time. Once you create your Rigs, sell them, or use them on your own ships, either way the rewards are great, when you Salvage Wrecks.

Dominix Uber Mission Fit

3x Dual 250mm Railgun II
1x Drone Link Augmentor I
2x Large 'named' Smart Bombs

5x Cap Recharger II (swap 1 for AB or Drone Nav Comp if desired)

2x Large Armor Repairer II
3x Active Armor Hardner II (Type depends on mission)
2x Capacitor Power Relay II

3x Armor Nano Pump I

15x Light Tech II
5x HammerHead II
The rest Ogre's or Wasp's (Heavy Drones) Tech I, but Tech II even better! Optionally, you can carry a set of 5x Sentry drones, which is useful when killing structures, as some structures can not be destroyed with regular flying drones.

With the above load out, you can perma-run your 2 armor reppers, Guns and hardeners. Use the Smart Bombs only long enough to kill frigs that get within 5km range. Warning about Smart Bombs! All missions beacons and sometimes an acceleration gate. If you accidently Smart Bomb the Beacon or Gate you will get CONCORDED and destroyed! So, just make sure that you are clear from them before activating your Smart Bombs! Or do not use them at all.

Use your Tech II Light drones to kill Frigates. Use Heavy Drones to make short work of Cruisers, BattleCruisers and to pummel BattleShips in conjunction with your 3x Dual 250mm Railgun II's. I recommend tech I ammo only, as some missions require a lot of it, and tech I ammo is cheap.

This Dominix set up can tank just about everything. If you do need to warp out, do so. Make sure to kill all Frigates first in missions so you do not get Warp Scrambled!

Finally, refer to this site, and look up the L4 mission you are about to run. It will tell you how to complete it, which Hardeners to Fit and what NOT to do, in some cases! It is a MUST READ before being all your L4 missions.

Doing all this will make you anywhere from 20-40 Million ISK per mission or more.

Good hunting!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Alliance Management

I've been through two EVE alliances thus far.

Both of which have ended in their space being taken. One without much of a fight and the other putting up with a tremendious struggle.

What I have learn, while flying in Fleet Ops, reading forums and paying attention to how an Alliance is run, has given me a very strong perception of who NOT to run an EVE Alliance.

I will begin with my first Alliance. Hydra Alliance, which is now disbanded and long dead. Dieing off in 2008 to a combined BoB, TRI and friends blog and sov attack. Hydra had the usual entities that all EVE Alliances need, at the most basic level. I will list them now.

1) Having an established Command Structure. From The Grunts to the High Command or Alliance Executor.

2) Having voice coms, such as Ventrilo or Team Speak.

3) Having an INTEL Channel where enemy movements are reported, never friendly movements.

4) Forums for which the Alliance can discuss things, for which only the Alliance members are allowed to par take in.

5) A strong POS and Jump Bridge infrustruture.

6) A Strong PvP centric mobilization and home defense policy/plan.

7) A strong Industrial base or Tax generating system to ensure the Alliance can support a Capital Fleet, fuel Towers, build Towers and maybe a ship replacement program.

8) Most important of all... a Charismatic Alliance leader. Requiring the knowledge of the political climate (past and present) of all other sov holding Alliances, especially your own Alliance's neighboring Alliances. A Leader that knows how to motivate the Alliance members, especially in a time of grief, such as while being invaded, in order to keep Fleet numbers high and the log in rate as high as possible.

Every Alliance needs at least these 8 basic things, in order to function. Many Alliances are strong in many areas and weak in others. If any one of the 8 is ignored or lacking, can result in the down fall of a space (soveriegnty) holding Alliance.

Hydra Alliance had a strong #7. It had a dead end system that had a refinery, ice belt, decent ore and a large player base of Hulk and Macinaw pilots to fuel the Alliance well. Hydra also had a large PvP base (#6). Hydra often went on 'roams' and regularly attacked other Towers belonging to other Corps or Alliances.

Hydra also had a charismatic leader. However, once this leader decided to retire, another would replace him, which would lead the Alliance into the gutter and ultimately losing space and disbanding.

The most important thing to an Alliance is #8. Hydra had it all, yet once the founding Leader left, the culture changed and the new leader was not able to lead properly. The facts behind leading an Alliance properly can fill a nice sized book! But, for this write up, I'll just say, that #8 is the center of it all, and if weak or wrong choices are made, create a ripple effect that vibrate all the way to the foundations of the Alliance and cause it to crumble.

The second Alliance I was in, called Etherial Dawn, was a good Alliance. However, it depended on a sister Alliance known as Intrepid Crossing. This is going to be a story of how one Alliance can bring down their Allies as well as themselves, when rules 1-8 are not strongly satisfactory.

ED (Etherial Dawn) and IRC (Intrepid Crossing) formed a Coalition. ED had a leader that mainly took directions from IRC's leader. IRC dragged ED and itself into a war that they thought they could win. Again, #8 was to blame for losing the war and both Alliances losing their space.

IRC was and still is a very rich Alliance. At least, the High Command is rich. ED was not so rich, instead allowing their pilots to get rich with a 1% tax rate, while IRC had a whopping 15% tax rate. When the war started, it was clear ED had a stronger PvP force. Mostly in the form of many excellent Fleet Commanders. IRC would contribute about 40-50% of the combat Fleet because IRC had around 3000 members, while ED had around 1800.

However, as time went on, it was clear that ED was running the combat Ops. However, ED also was not a Rich Alliance. It did not have a stock or spare Towers, Dreadnoughts and Carriers. So, ED was reluctant to deploy their Capitals and in time began losing Tower after Tower and consequently sov and their space.

The space lost contained the only revenue stream for the Alliance, which was in the form of Stations acting as refineries. Once, the 2 refinery stations/systems were lost, ED could no longer generate income, in the form of Towers to replace destroyed ones. ED pilots were forced to make ISK in IRC space.

This is when things became clear, that IRC leader had serious non-participation issues. Or perhaps he did not grasp the foreth coming conciquencies of his selfish leadership. IRC's leader, which as state before also commanded ED's leader, was a hoarder of ships, ISK and everything EVE money. As ED was clearly the stronger combat Alliance, IRC should have stepped in and gave at least some amount of Towers, ISK, Fuel and etc to help ED.

In the end, it was the failed leadership of both ED and IRC, in that ED's leader was too pressed down with pride to ask IRC's leader for ISK, or IRC was too selfish to give it. I think both are to blame.

To end, after ED's leadership announced to it's pilots that it's Alliance (ED) was now utterly broke and not able to replace towers to regain their lost refineries, the pilots simply stopped logging in to play and fight. IRC was then invaded. Since, IRC no longer had the help of ED Fleet Commander that ED was reknowned for having, IRC quickly lost their space.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

D-DAY for ED and The Loop

After three plus grueling months of non-stop CTA's, day in and day out, around the clock fighting...ED and IRC prevail in taking back 'The Loop' (R-6).

Red Alliance (RA) invaded Etherium Reach (ER) back in March 2009, after tensions between IRC and RA climaxed into war. Ironically, it was ED that would be invaded by RA. Luckly, the Coalition between ED and IRC, also known as Etherium Crossing Coalition (ECC) was strong as ever and allowed ED to engage in some of the most Epic fleet battles, small scuirmishes and POS warfare, the likes had not been seen since Goons invaded Delve.

What made this RA vs ECC war so important, was the fact that it went against The Mittani's wishes. The Goons have since the beginning of EVE been allied with RA, due to RA's dominance of the Time Zone. Goons did not want to see RA destroyed, so everything, from bribery, trickery and flat out lies, using the fear of spies was used by The Mittani and the Goons to make sure RA prevailed.

Against ALL odds, ED/IRC (and a small collection of smaller alliances) did what all of EVE deemed impossible. The impossible was to defy The Goons and specifically their ring leader, The Mittani of further psycho-bushido manipulation. Everyone feared the GIA (Goons Intelligence Agency) because of the deep penetrating havoc their spies could bring to any alliance they infested. From whole Alliance coffers being stolen to the desolvement of Band of Brothers (BoB) in an over night de-sov attack. Clearly, a single man, The Mittani, a Goon, was now using his past successes to intimidate and bully around nearly all of EVE's power blocs, without a shot fired.

The Loop, as it is known by ED, as being their main constellation of 2x refineries and 2x factories, was called home. The battle for the Loop, with RA (and a small collection of smaller alliances) would in 2 months time, finally break sov 4 in 3H5 and in the end take all 4 station systems. Effectively, denying ED of refineries and their home.

Not, only was the Loop taken, but an ED titan was lost in F9-FUV. To add insult to injury, as it were. Most Alliances in EVE thought that after the destruction of one of the few Titans ED commands AND losing the Loop, would surely bring internal fighting in ED and bring it crashing down to be disbanded and absorbed by IRC. But, this was not to happen. In fact, ED High Command ordered a full 3 days rat/mine in IRC space or forget EVE altogether. This suprising move helped to keep ED pilots humble and reflect and rest, not crumble under the defeat.

Atlas Alliance began invading Insmother (RA's regional home) soon after the ED Titan loss. Atlas saw that RA was beginning to anchor small towers in ED space and not Large Towers. This was a fatal mistake by RA, in that it gave clear indication that RA was drained of ISK and resources. So, Atlas, Scorched Earth and Aggression began to invade Insmother from the South.

Not long after Atlas instigated an attack from the south, RA began to crumble from within. Some of RA's major corps began to fight each other, which in the end, caused Red Alliance to break up. Now, RA was on the back foot.

Now, was ED's chance to rally the troops, and take back the Loop. Now was the time that RA would make it's final push into Etherium Reach as a Last Stand effort, using RA's remaining forces.

D-DAY for ED, Sunday, June 21st, 2009.

Right before downtime, 200+ ED/IRC battleships logged off in TP-RTO. The order was given to stay logged into Ventrilo, while downtime ran it's course. As soon as EVE servers booted back up, D-DAY for ED would begin.

All in all, ED/IRC + Friends mustered up 300+ in TP-RTO and began POS Bashing soon after. In a neighboring system to TP-RTO RA's remaining forces logged in about 30 minutes later and formed up at a safe POS where a Titan would bridge them into TP-RTO in hopes of defeating ED's do-or-die operation to take back TP-RTO and ultimately 'The Loop'.

One hour after Downtime, an RA cyno was lit up in TP-RTO. This was expected. ED was prepared. A small group of no more than eight Stealth Bombers warp to the RA cyno and dropped their bombs. Just as they exploded, RA's 150 man Battleship armada jumped in at that single point. In a flash all 150 BS's were 1/2 armor or popped. Seconds later ED's 150+ BS fleet warp in at close range to finish off the already bombed and battered RA BS fleet!

RA tried to scatter the remaining forces around celestrial objects in TP-RTO but was swiftly hunted down and obliterated.

That was it... RA lost their entire BS fleet in a matter of 5-10 minutes. TP-RTO was now free for the taking.

All in all.. Dozens of RA towers were popped and Dozens replaced with ED towers.

D-DAY for ED was a smashing success.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Mittani - Hate Him or Love Him

Love him or Hate him, the EVE Spy ring leader, known as The Mittani is probably someone you have heard about, if you have been playing EVE in the 0.0 Alliance Wars.

Former GoonSwarm CEO, he stepped down after CCP decided to create the CSM (Cosmic Stellar Management). He is now the GIA leaders, or Goons Intelligence Agency, which acts like the CIA, KGB or similar ultra elite intelligence and security force for an Alliance.

The Mittani fully exploited 'features' in the EVE game, by using another EVE player's discontent with how BoB (Band of Brothers Alliance) was run, by dismantling years of work to build BoB. He did this by convincing the already fed up BoB traitor to click the right buttons and twist the right EVE Alliance Management knobs to completely de-sov (de-sovreignty) the Alliance, without vote or notification of the other BoB leaders. Within hours the BoB Alliance was no more. One of the greatest and oldest running EVE Alliances was no more. In fact, The Mittani too the BoB name and in game stock ticker, so that BoB could not reform under the same name.

Like it or not, The Mittani was simply using EVE's game mechanics to do the unthinkable. Many thought of this as a flaw in EVE's Alliance management UI design. But, one thing is for sure, even the Goons agreed that taking down your number one enemy by using such means, seemed a little funny.

Since, the de-sov attack in early 2009, The Mittani was asked to become a weekly columnist at TenTonhammer, a popular MMO fan site. He writes 3 page articles detailing EVE history, his past doings and takes a global view of EVE's Alliances and political status.

Although, The Mitanni is but one man, his view point and excellent writting and talking abilities have inspired and outraged EVE players to no end. On one end of the arguement, people that fall to the Goons spies and meta-gaming absoluetly hate him. While, if your on the side of the Goons and The Mittani you do what he says, either out of fear or respect.

Often times, it is hard to decern people that fear whom they respect or simply respect them.

Make no doubt about it, whether you hate him or love him, The Mitanni is not an entity to ignore. He has created more havoc and creation than any single player in the EVE internet spaceship game. He now directs the most powerful Alliance in the game, while at the same time orchestraed the overnight dismantlement of a former EVE Alliance super power bloc. (BoB)

I bumped into him, in game, while he was flying a Viator (Covert Op Hauler), and he was easy to comment to as he casually replied, then flying on to whatever destination he was off to. This was days before the ED/IRC and RA fiasco. Etherial Dawn / Intrepid Crossing and Red Alliance.

Friday, April 17, 2009

POS Bashing - Howto

POS bashing to some, is time consuming and boring. But, when there is a fleet the same size of your assault fleet guarding the POS, things can get very interesting. And to say the least fun!

Do you need a headset and microphone?
How much ammo should I bring?
What type of ship do you bring and how do I fit it?

First, having at least headphones, for listening to the FC (Fleet Commander) is a must have. If you do not have comms (ears), you will not be able to participate in any Fleet Ops. The commander will not be typing much, only a few links to the destination system and a few other things. This doesn't mean you have to have a mic, for talking back. In fact, if your just a Grunt taking orders, not having a mic is probably better, as to not interrupt the FC and other verbal reports coming in from Scouts about enemy positions. So, at least get a headset.

If you plan to do scouting, you will need a mic. Otherwise, just head phones are fine.

Secondly, the amount of ammunition needed is important. It is probably best to bring Tech I ammo, as it is cheap, as it takes a lot of it to Kill or Reinforce a POS. The advantage goes to the Amarr, as lasers do not need ammo. Gallente and Minmitar will need to bring ammo. Caldari is the most handicapped, as missiles run out fast. However, being able to shoot Torpedoes, doing maximum damage to a static target will help drop the Tower quicker. The rule of thumb is to bring no less than 5000-10,000 rounds of long range and short range. If you can shoot Tech II guns, you should bring only 500-1000 Tech II rounds used to engage enemy ships, for more DPS. But, for shooting at the Tower, use your Tech I rounds. Point being, is that if you get Popped and you are carrying 30,000 rounds of Faction ammo, that is a costly loss in terms of ISK.

If you want my view on Faction ships and modules, please read my previous post about this topic.

Finally, the ship type you should bring depends on what the FC asks for, but the majority of the Fleet will be flying Sniper Battleships. That is to say, big guns for long range at 120-160km or more range. This is required to incap (incapacitate) the POS guns. Also, a very common module for the Sniper BS's to fit is at least one Remote Repair module, typically Remote Armor Reppers, but Shield Transfer Reppers are also needed. If you can only fit a small repper, than do so, but fit at least one. Perferrable Large reppers, but if this seriously lowers your DPS, just fit medium or small reppers. Even energy transfer (remote capacitor) is needed at times.

For a full explanation of how to skill for and properly fit a Sniper BS, read my previous Article about the Megathron Sniper. Other ships that make good Sniper BS include; Apocalypse, Rokh and Tempest. Even some Tech II cruisers like the Eagle, Munnin and Zealot can hit at sniper ranges, so do not exclude them!

Once, you have your ship, a Headset and the correct ammo (long and short range) you need to rally at some place in space, typically at a friendly JB (Jump Bridge). Ask your FC for the rally point. Once, there you need to wait. Do not move ahead or do anything. Sometimes, if you get there earlier than the others, the wait can be long and boring. But, it is absolutely essential that the Fleet move (jump) together. You are safe, because you are at a friendly POS bristling with friendly POS guns, so take a BIO break, get a drink and wait.

There are many reasons to move as a group, one being that there is safety in numbers in case the Fleet encounters hostiles on the way to the destination. The other reason is for the FC to know where everyone is, at all times. So, be patient and wait for the command to move out. Every movement will be told to you, by the FC, through voice commands. ALWAYS do what the FC tells you to do and do it quickly. There may be times that the FC missed some Intel and sends his Fleet into a bad situation. If you feel this may be the case, there is no one saying you have to follow orders into a suicide. But, 99% of the time, the Fleet Commander knows what he is doing, so just follow his orders. Fleet Commanders are well trained. If they screw up too many times, they are replaced after the HC (High Command) replaces him. So, you need to follow orders and have absolute faith in what he is doing. He does not have time to explain ever action and the reasoning behind each of them, so following orders and quickly is key to a successful Fleet Operation.

Your Fleet has finally reached the POS (Personally Owned Structure) or Tower. There are a few things you need to do and be aware of. First, stay with your Fleet, do not venture away or you will be called primary and die. Most times, the FC, will command all units to stay together and Remote Repair each other. This is known as Spider Tanking.

Many times, their will be hostiles waiting for you to come to a POS that is coming out of Reinforce mode. There is no set rules, as anything can happen, so just follow your FC's commands.

If the POS has enemies inside the POS shields, they can not be targeted. For these enemies, watch closely to see if any of them try to poke the nose of their ship out of the POS shields to shot at your fleet. If any do poke out of the shields, target them and shot them! Otherwise, your FC will voice and broadcast the Primary POS target (POS gun or other POS Structure) or shoot the Tower itself.

Sometimes, your Fleet might get lucky and have a carrier or two in the POS trying to poke their ships out of the POS shields to release Fighters on your Fleet. Now is an opportunity for your Fleet to try and bump the Carrier(s) out of the POS shields so you can POP the Carrier! This is a very well known tactic, so be prepared to MWD yourself and bump that Carrier so your fleet can kill it. Otherwise, focus back on the Primary objective, given to you previously.

A very important thing to keep track of, is how close you are to the POS shields. If you need to warp out, due to damage or are given an order to do so, you need to be clear and away from the POS shields, otherwise you will simply bump into the POS shields before you can make it to warp velocity. In otherwords, it is a good idea to stay 20-30km away from the POS shields at all times, or know exactly which celestial object your FC has planned to warp to in an emergency, making sure there is a clear path to warp there. The worse thing to happen is to try to warp away, only to bump the POS shields and preventing you from warping.

Here is a short explaination on how POS's operate.

There are two modes a POS can be in. Depending on which mode it is in, determines how a Fleet goes about taking down the POS.

A POS that has not been attacked and has it's shields charged can have it's Tower targeted. When you target the Tower, you are shooting at the POS shields, and not the tower itself. Once the Tower's shield falls to around 50% of it's Hit Points, it enters a mode called Reinforced Mode. In this mode a timer starts (you can see a time next to the tower). While the timer is ticking down, typically a few hours up to 36 hours, no one can target the Tower. Not even the owner of the tower! The Tower can not be shot at nor can it be repaired while the Reinforce mode timer is counting down.

If the owner of the POS Tower has placed Stronium units inside the Tower, it will enter Reinforce Mode, and allows a counter strike army the chance to group up and try and save the tower. If the Tower owner forgot to put Strontium (or not enough of it) in the Tower, it will not enter Reinforced Mode and the Tower can continue to be targeted and destroyed.

In almost all cases, the Tower will enter Reinforce mode, as placing Stront in the Tower is always a mandatory thing to do. If they don't, you can bet the Tower owner will become very embarrested by this mistake.

When the Tower is in Reinforced Mode, it can not be targeted, therefore can not be shot at or repaired. So, your Fleet either moves on to the next tower or goes back home. The idea is to take note of when the Tower comes out of Reinforced mode (when it runs out of Strontium) at which time your Fleet should return to the Tower to finish it off. It is very important to return before the enemy can repair the POS shields. If they can repair the shields they can restock the Tower with more Strontium and save the Tower. But, if your Fleet returns before they can repair the POS shields there is a chance to take the Tower down.

Returning to a POS Tower that is coming out of Reinforce mode is where things become fun. You can bet with high certainty that an enemy force will be there to stop your Fleet from taking down their tower. This is the bane for most major Fleet warfare Operations in EVE. Massive armys will group at towers coming out of Reinforce mode. One force hell bent on finishing the job and Popping the Tower and the other force determined to stop you from doing so. It is not uncommon for 1000's of ships to meet up and wage war, because of the strategic importance of saving and destroying Towers. After all, POS Towers are where Tech II and III ships are built, Blueprints researched and Titans are built. Not to mention, POS Towers are used to hold and gain sovereignty for control of Solar Systems and entire Constellations!

POS Bashing can be one of the most exciting and amazing thing to take part in, at the same time, one of the most time consuming.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Ultimate Sniper BattleShip - Megathron

The Megathron not only looks cool, but it was built for long range operations known as BS Sniper.

What makes the Megathron such a good sniper Battleship?

Many things, namely it's bonuses. Each BS level trained gives you 5% bonus to Large Hybrid Turret damage and 7.5% bonus to Large Hybrid Turret tracking speed. The tracking bonus is what makes the Megathron such a lethal sniper. The extra damage per level a plus as well. But, tracking at long range, is vital when insta-popping fast moving frigates and other fast ships at 160km+ range!

The only weakness, in the design of the ship, is that the Megathron only has 4x mid slots. So, the tracking bonus (effectively 2 and 1/2 Tracking Computers 'builtin' at BS level 5) negates the Mid Slot crisis, because now one can use them for Sensor Boosting the ship.

All sniper Battleship fits require Sensor Boosting, both for Optimal Gun Range and Targeting Range. With only 4x mid slots to work with, the Mega has just enough slots it needs to be an effective sniper BS. So, fitting 2x Sensor Booster II's with a targeting script in at least one of the Boosters, along with a Tracking Computer with an Optimal Range Script for the Guns, leaving only one Mid slot left, typically used to fit a MicroWarp Drive.

What the Megathron lacks in mid slots, it makes up for in it's 8x High and 7x Low slots.

With the full array of High slots (8), this allows you to fit up to 7x 425mm Railguns and 1x Remote Armor Repairer or 6x Guns and 2x Cruise Missile Launchers. Or 6 guns, 1 repper and maybe a Smartbomb or Missile Launcher. Even a cloaking device can be fitted. This makes the Megathron primarily a Railgun boat, but also a decent Missile boat. If you do not like missiles, which Gallente usually do not focus on, the 1-2x remaining High slots allow for a wide range of uses, depending on your playing style or Gang/Fleet requirements.

With the abundance of Low slots, it is easy to heavily Armor Tank the Megathron. With 2-3x 1600mm Plates fitted, you are still left with 4-5x slots for fitting damage multipliers, armor resists and a Damage Control II module. Usually, fitting a local Armor Repper is not done, simply because armor reppers use too much power grid, which the Railguns consume. So, a tactic known as 'spider tanking' is used, where you rely on each other, in your BS Sniper gang, to remote repair you, using those spare High Slots.

Speaking of armor tanking, many pilots like to Rig the ship with 3x Trimarks. (Although a Trimark Rig will cost you 18-22 million ISK each), easily giving your Megathron a large enough Hit Point buffer to survive even a Dooms Day attack. (A single DD will inflict 30,000 damage points).

Since, this is a Gallente ship, the Megathron is capable of fielding 5x Heavy Drones, such as the popular Ogre II's. Yes, this brillant ship has 125 m3 Drone space with 125 drone bandwidth! Instead of Heavy Drones, what any smart MegaSniper pod pilot will do, is load 10x Medium Combat Drones and 10x Light Drones, such as the popular Hammerhead II's and Warrior II's for Anti-Cruiser and Anti-Frigate capablity. Since, this ship will not be able to hit fast moving targets that get too close, the large drone bay gives the Megathron the ability to defend itself, if attacked close range. One of the biggest threats to a Battleship snipping Gang is, believe it or not, one of the smallest ships. Interceptors are extremely fast capable of MWDing their way close enough to your gang, allowing the enemy to warp to the Interceptor and in range of your long range sniper Fleet! Warrior II's can make short work of small ships!

Megathron Snipper Fit

7x 425mm Railgun II or Compressed Coil
1x Medium Armor Repairer I

1x 100mn Microwarp Drive
1x Tracking Computer II (optimal script)
2x Sensor Booster II (targeting range script in one of them, the other left empty)

2x 1600mm Rolled Tungsten Armor Plates I
1x Capacitor Power Relay II
2x Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
1x Damage Control II
1x Adaptive Nano Membrane II (No cpu needed)

Optional Rigs
3x Trimark I
1x CCC, 2x Trimarks

5x HammerHead II
15x Warrior II

Antimatter L
Lead L
Spike L (Tech II)
Javelin L (Tech II)

Platinum Insurance

With the combination of the Tracking and Damage bonuses, a versitle High slot turret and launcher mount points, just enough mid slots, almost a full array of low slots (7) and a large drone bay, makes this ship destined for it's role as a sniper.

But, in order to become trained in the Snipping business, requires Tech 2 everything. Without Tech 2 Railguns, Sensor Boosters and an Optimal Tracking Computer, you will simply not be able to hit much further out than 120km, or so. You need Tech 2, and this means a lot of skill training.

Long Range Targeting 4 (Sensor booster II)
Trajectory Analysis 4 (Tracking Computer II)
Large Railgun Specialization (at least to level 1)
Gallente Battleship (at least to level 4)
Weapon Upgrades 5
Advanced Weapon Upgrades (at least to level 4)

The weapon upgrade skills reduce CPU and Power Grid of the Railguns, which is required, if you want to fit as many as possible, and have just enough CPU and Grid for the rest.

TIP: If you can not fit Tech II Railguns, it is still possible to hit at 160km, but it will take 2 of your low slots away. Simply, fit 2x Tracking Enhancer II's and use Lead ammo charges in your 425mm Railguns. Make sure to buy Compressed Coil named Railguns, as they use less CPU, more importantly, give greater Optimal Range! In a mid slot, fit a Tracking Computer II, loaded with an Optimal Range Script. This will give you just enough range, to keep up until you train Tech II Rails and Advanced Weapon Upgrades.