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 http://www.eve-agents.com/

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 http://www.eve-agents.com/

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, http://eve-survival.org 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 off...to 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.

Friday, March 20, 2009

Is Faction Gear worth the price?

Faction gear, including modules, ships and ammo,  give some impressive bonuses, power grid and CPU reduction requirements, over named and Tech II counter parts.

One can equip, as an example, a Caldari Navy Invulnerability Field, and get 37.5% shield resists, compared to the Tech II Invulnerability Field of only 30%. Also, you only need Tactical Shield Manipulation trained to Level 1 to fit the faction version, but you need Tactical Shield Manipulation 4 to fit the Tech II version. This saves days of skill train time, to then be used for training something else.

However, the cost in terms of ISK, is a major draw back, of Faction gear. 

Take, for instance, a Caldari Navy Invulnerability Field, which will set you back 280-300 Million ISK. Yes, you heard me right, hundreds of millions of ISK, for a single module! Where as, the Tech II version will cost you only 2-5 Million. 

2-5 million to 280-300 Million. Insane, isn't it?

My argument, regarding most Faction gear (but not all), is that the price is way, way inflated, in relation to the benefits. Sure, you may need to spend a couple days training for the Tech II version, and will give you nearly the same result. In some cases, it may save you weeks or more in training, because you are also not required to train for CPU and/or Power grid skills.

However, if your character skills are that low, that one can't equip a module, yet have access to hundreds of million in ISK, brings up some conflicting issues.

1) How can a noob, with no skills suddenly have 300 million ISK?

ISK farmer sites perhaps? If a noob can pay $5 USD for 500 million ISK, well then the Faction gear is a perfect way around EVE's skill training requirements. Yes, I am saying Faction gear inflation could be directly related to ISK farming, which is a direct violation of CCP's EULA.

Now, I know there are many legit buyers of 300 million ISK modules, but if you take a look at the buyers of faction gear, they are typically in Empire, are new players that think bigger always means better survivability. Any 0.0 Alliance member pilot knows, that sooner than later you will get Popped, perhaps in a fleet or gang fight and having that faction gear simply is not worth having.

I have seen entire ships fully fitted with Faction gear. 

Take the Caldari Navy Raven Issue Battleship. The ship itself is a faction ship and costs around 300 million. Not bad, but the only benefits are an added Launcher point, some more armor and shield. A regular Raven will cost 1/3 the price at 100 million. So, you could buy THREE Ravens or just ONE Raven Navy Issue. Then start added the faction gear, like; Launchers, Shield Boosters, Amps and the Invuls. Finally, you can add Caldari Navy Ballistics Control Units for a 2.5% extra damage, but this module will cost you 50-70 million ISK.

All and all, below is a listing of a fully fitted Faction Caldari Raven Navy Issue.

1x Raven Navy Issue - 300m
1x X-Large Caldari Navy Shield Booster - 100m
2x Dread Guristas Shield Boost Amp - 200m
2x Caldari Navy Invulnerability Field - 600m
7x Caldari Navy Cruise Missile Launcher - 500m
2x Caldari Navy Ballistics Control Unit - 100m

Total ISK: 1.8 Billion ISK

As in BILLION. Yes, this ship has a bit more resists, firepower, Hit points, but for nearly 2 Billion ISK for a single Battleship, this becomes completely inflated in price. Sure, you will have the best gear, but thats not going to do you any good, if you warp scrambled and popped by say, TWO regular Ravens, or even another Raven with one or two cruisers or Frigates! Now, once you go POP, your out 1.8 Billion ISK.

Imagine what you can do with 1.8 Billion ISK... you could buy a whole FLEET of ships, fully rigged and fitted with Tech II gear that is nearly as effective.

Simply put, I just don't get these pod pilots that put all their eggs in one basket like that.

Now, do not get me wrong, I think Faction gear is great. Like the c-type pithi small shield booster I fit on my Hulks. For 12 million, I get a really effective and cost justified module. But, is it really worth it to pay 300 million ISK for a Caldari Navy Invulnerability Field that gives a modest 7.5% increase in shield resists? Or it is smarter to pay 5 million (tops) for a Tech II version?

Now, some argue, it might be a good idea to put one of those 300 million ISK Caldari Invul Fields on your Dreadnaught, since the Dread is extremely costly for the ship itself. But, when I concider all the facts, I come to the conclusion that, if you think 7.5% extra shield resists will determine the life or death of your Dread, you are probably a dislusional and horrible Dread pilot.

What gets you Popped or not, largely depends on, not what your flying or what modules you have fitted, but rather, what choices you make as a pod pilot. It is safe to say, that camping a gate that is about to get over run by 30+ ships is not a good idea. That 300 million ISK Invul is not going to make any difference at all.

So, sorry to say, I have a new term for Faction gear. When faction gear is used in such a way as to boast yourself as thinking you are all bad ass, for the rest to gawk at, or think that those tiny bonuses faction gear gives is going to determine if you live or die, you might as well call it FAGtion gear. Because, it is absoluetly GAY to pay 300 million for a single module, that gives very marginal benefits, at best.

I appologize to all my Homosexual readers (if I have any readers at all), as I do not mean to offend you, personally, with my choice of terminology.

FAGtion gear feeds the ISK farmers and attempts to glorify the pathetic EVE pilots that can't play the game without going to ISK sell sites to get anywhere in the great game called EVE Online.

Friday, March 6, 2009

To commit Sacrilege or become a Zealot

I am at the stage in my 'EVE-Career' (after playing pretty solid, since late 2007) that I feel like I am missing out, a bit, on the fast paced, heart thumping world of PvP.

Yes, I've got my Indy Toon in a Hulk, using Tech 2 strippers, crystals and Medium Drones. I have Refinery Efficiency V, Scrap Metal V and most of the individual ORE refining skills at 3 or 4.

This same toon also has zero loss when manufacturing, as in 'perfect' manufacturing. He can also use a bunch or Lab slots for researching blueprints. All in all, I think I am nearly BURNT on Industrial issues.

Don't get me wrong, I LOVE to be the creationist, while everyone else is out in space, cutting each others' throats, only to return and buy a Dominix or Megathron I just stocked onto the market. (I have yet to venture into POS and Tech 2 or Invention... maybe when I do, THAN I can say, "Ya, I've cared like a big 'ol bear with the rest of the other bears."

I'm having a mid-eve crisis... I want to PvP, but when I look at the options, MY GOD, where does one start?

Do I go for BattleShip V and get a Hyperion Blaster Boat, or a BlasterThron? Perhaps, a SniperThron? Maybe a Neut Domi would be fun?

And, what about these new Heavy Assault Ships? More commonly known to PvP pilots as HACs or Heavy Assault Cruisers. There is also, the Stealth Bomber, and Covert Ops Dominix or 'Black Ops'.

And Oh, let us not forget Carriers and Dreadnaughts. Eh?!

So, what does any 'smart', forward thinking EVE player do? He uses EVEMON and makes about 1000 skill plans, and dreams that in 'ONLY a couple of months', I can be flying my dream ships. Which, I will easily be able to afford.

Well, the reality is, is that TIME is against you. No one can possibly train for everything, unless you are the type to open 20 accounts or buy 20 accounts pre made and ready to go. I for one, have made a strict rule, to only use and commit to two accounts for as long as I am breathing and able to play EVE. I have a complete PDF write up about it all.

After months and months of thinking about it... I think I have a solid plan. Boy is it complex, when viewed from tip to stern, but elegant as it progresses from one trained disipline, to another, as it builds apon itself. Ultimately, ending with a Carrier or Dreadnaught. Or Jump Freighter/Rorqual, if you are still in Indy mode.

The next step for me, are Heavy Assault Cruisers. (HACs) These ships are simply Tech 2 Cruisers, with beefed up everything. They are nimble like a cruiser, but have boosted natural resists to shield and armor, that gives them impressive tanking ability, to say the least. HACs also get an additional pair of level up bonuses, compared to the usual one pair, for Tech I ships.

Now, let's focus on Amarr and their HAC choices, as this will also be my Hulk Industrial Pilot, now venturing into PvP. I don't want boring 'ol Battleship, I want a HAC.

Sacrilege or Zealot. Hell, why not both?

However, there is a catch.

The Sacrilege is a Heavy Assault Missile boat, while the Zealot is a Laser firing monster.

The Sacrilege fires specialised missiles, that split into it's own skill branch, in the missile world, called Assault Missiles. These missiles are short range, heavy damage and have greater rate of fire. While your typical, Cruise and Torpedoes are long range, which do sizeable amounts of damage in their own right.

The Zealot on the other hand, wants nothing to do with missiles. It fires the Amarrian primary weapon, Lasers. This is agreeable with most Amarrian pilots, as Lasers is what they would be raised on, from the start of their Amarr career. If your Amarr, you train Lasers! The Zealot gives range, damage and capacitor bonuses to the Lasers. 


But, something about the Sacrilege is 'Calling Me'. Those 25% armor resist bonus at Level 5 along with 25% cap recharge and 25% damage and rate of fire for the Heavy Assault Missiles, seems to me to be an Armor Tank from Hell, spitting Assualt Missle death, at whatever it is targeting. Since, it has that 25% cap recharge bonus and missiles require no cap at all, unlike the cap hungry lasers on a Zealot, leaves for use of a MWD to perma run around in. The Sacrilige needs it too, because heavy Assault Missiles have very short range. So, getting into damage range will need that MWD burning, just that much longer.

But, what the Zealot has in it's favor are 7 low slots ( compared to only 5 that the Sac has ) could be used to deal more laser damage with Heat Sinks or used to beef up the Armor resists, similar to the Sacrilege's built in 25% armor resists bonus. It also gets a 50% optimal range bonus which could mean the Zealot will be hot beaming on to enemy incoming, before they are able to reach the Zealot. It also will not have to worry about cap over load, because all Laser mounts are 50% cooled, which translated into 50% less capacitor usage.

So, the choice is so, so hard to make. 

But, what I have decided to train for are Heavy Assualt Missiles and go for the 25% cap recharge, meaning perma MWD (since Missiles use no cap), and even though the Sacrilege has only 5 low slots, the 25% armor resist bonus will more than make up for that lacking. Also, Sacrilege gets an additional Mid and Hi slot, compared to the Zealot. The extra Mid could be used for ECCM, ECM, Sensor Booster or even an Invulerability Field II. The Extra High could be used for NOS. Also, the Sacrilege get 15m3 of drone space, the Zealot gets 0 m3 drone space. 

If, I can perma run (kinda)  a MWD and shoot volley after volley of Heavy Assault Missiles, into the face of my dire enemies, well, that sounds pretty damn fun to me.

Later, I will of course, train for Lasers and hop in a Zealot. But, I have rarely seen a Sacrilege roaming around, and maybe, just maybe, people may think, 'Oh, not sure what to expect from this Sacrilege...", and give me an upper hand. Either way, I always like a good hybrid machine, that strays a bit from the 'trendy racial tech' of the day.

So, Cruiser V, here I come!

Heck. in the mean time, I will be able to fly a Guardian and maybe do some Fleet Logistics. Not as glorious as FCing a gang to a Titan kill, but at least I can 'clean people up', by remote repping them, and energizing their tattered souls.

Sacrilege... My eyes are on you.

Zealot, yeah, we all know you can burn holes into 1600mm Tungstun Plates like a hot pocker to virgin flesh... but you will be my second choice.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Myrmidon Attacked while on assignment...

Well, I had just found this sweet, sweet mining spot. Arkonor, Crokite and Bistot was everywhere, and the condensed kind. (Like Prime and Crimson Arkonor, for example.)

It was in a remote system within my Alliance's Region, where hardly anyone traveled. So, I thought it was safe from enemy roaming gangs, as well. 

Boy, was I wrong.

Just as I fill 4 jetti cans full of Prime Ark, I left my Myrmidon back with the cans and headed out, in the Hulk, to get my cargo rigged (34k m3 cargohold) Minmitar Mammoth Industrial Hauler.

Just as I was undocking, while in the Mammoth, I alt-tabbed over to my Myrmidon account, to my suprise notice a Negative Red enemy, in tight orbit going at MWD speed, around my Myrmidon! No damage had been taken yet. I instinctively deployed my Hammerhead II's and start to attack the orbiting enemy Taranis.

A Taranis is an Inty, Cepter or Intercepter class ship. It has amazing speed, primarily used to tackle larger ships. Well, he had me tackled with a Warp Scrambler and Web Statifier. He was orbiting at a very tight 500 - 1000km, going at full MWD speed. As a result, this rendered my 3x Medium Railgun II's, loaded with Antimatter, completely unable to track hit him and land any blows. My only hope were my drones, which he quickly, one by one, blew apart.

After all my drones where gone, he focued on my Myrmidon. In 3 or 4 volleys I lost all shields and was into armor. 

Now the interesting part of this story, is that on my Myrmidon, I had JUST reconfigured my Armor tank from a 3x active resists (explosive, kinetic, thermal), to using 2x EANM I's (Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane) and using the 3rd leftover slot, to fit a Capacitor Power Relay II, (26% cap recharge bonus). Since, I already had 4x Cap Recharger II's in my mids, I was now 'Cap Stable' and able to perma run all Highs, Mids and Lows. This includes, Railguns, Mining Gang Bonus, Afterburner and most importantly my 2x Medium Armor Repper II's. This reconfiguration, done only one day previously to this attack, is what saved my Myrmidon from POP!

Had I not been able to perma run both my Armor Reppers, the Taranis would have had me popped and probably podded. (You will understand how a frigate could pop a Battlecruiser after seeing the Killmail, coming up.)

As soon as I saw the negative red, orbiting me, I typed in Alliance INTEL channel for help. Amazingly, (well not really for my Alliance) at 3 am in the morning or 1 hour before DT, 5 guys responded with, 'Where are you?'. So I did, but they were 10 jumps out. (Mostly patrolling the entry points to the Alliance when coming in from Empire. However, I was in the heart of Alliance space and therefore many jumps away from any help.

Things in EVE PVP happen so fast, it is somtimes a time blur, after the fact. After I requested help, burned through all my drones and than tried to AfterBurn around to no avail to try and get tracking lock on the Taranis, finally an Alliance member shows up in LOCAL. 

He asks... "Where are you?", I replied, "III-2". Yes, I was in an asteroid belt, surrounded by 4 full jetti cans of mined Arkonor!

As soon as the friendly 'blue' shows up, the Taranis peals out of orbit and attempts to get out of the area. I had him in 3/4 armor damage, with some shield recharged by than.

Then seconds later, 4 more blues showed up. One guy in a Claymore (another BC but a Command Ship) decided to stay with me and help guard the jet cans, while the rest, went to hunt the Taranis down.

At that moment was when I started to continue my movement of the Mammoth to haul away the 4 jetti cans of precious Ark. It would take 3 trips. I could, at anytime be Intercepted by the Taranis, but I decided I had enough blue Alliance support to not fear lossing my 100 million ISK cargo rigged Mammoth. 

In the time I was hauling the last Arkonor load, the Taranis was popped in some far away location from where it all started, and he was also podded.

I guess, to the Taranis's bad misfortune, while my Myrmidon was easily armor tanking his DPS, allowed multiple Allies to come in from all directions and cut off any escape he may have had.

I myself feel grateful that...

a) My Hulk or Mammoth was not there when the Taranis decided to show up.
b) I reconfigured my Myrmidon's armor modules. (2x EAMN I, 1x Cap Power Relay II)
c) The Taranis did not pop any of my 4 Ark jetcans, he probably didn't have time to react.

The fact that, he had the balls to even attempt to take on a Myrmidon, was revealed in the Kill Mail. His Taranis was fully fitted for GANK. 

Taranis Fit

3x Small Heavy Blasters II

1x Tracking Computer II
1x Web Stasis II
1x Warp Scrambler II

1x Tracking Amp II
1x Magnetic Stablizer II

2x Hybrid Damage Accelerators I

This Taranis, all in all, cost 50 million ISK, which is a lot for an Inty!

I was proud that my Myrmidon Armor Tank worked so well, even against a ferious attack frigate ship with a speed tank and 3x gank blasters. In the end, my Myrmidon's dual reppers had enough defensive HP regeneration to keep the armor tank stable, and able to run perma.

So, without my Allies, it would have been a stale mate. Someone would have had to intervene at some point. Luckly, it was in my favor.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Hulk Exhummer

The Hulk is bar none, the best mining ship in EVE. It out mines any tricked out BattleShip mining laser fit, and has 8000 m3 of cargo hold.

The Covetor is 1/5 the price, at 20 million ISK, where as the Hulk is a solid 100 million.

But, if you need a mining ship that can tank most ratt BS spawns, especially in Null security space mining, the Hulk is your Mining ship.

The Hulk is in a Class of it's own, called Exhummers. All exhummers get a mining bonus per level trained. They also are able to fit 4 mid slots, compared to the Covetor's 1 mid slot. Exhummers also have increased Shield Resists, HP and capacitor.

I will let you in on my uber Hulk Shield Tank Fit. It is able to easily tank most ratt spawns, allowing you to either keep mining or allow additional time for friendlies to kill the spawns or let your Medium Drones finish them off, before your tank breaks.

My Hulk's Uber Shield Tank is as follows;

3x Modulated Stripper II's with T2 mining crystals

1x c-type pithi shield booster
1x Invulnerability Field II
1x Cap Recharger II
1x Magnetic Field Scatter II (passive EM shield resist mod)

1x Power Diagnostic System II

The Mid slots and the PDS2 in the Low is what makes this shield tank able to be run Perma, while running the strippers. You will need to stagger your 3rd stripper, as to not overwhelm your capacitor recharge rate.

Since,  the Hulk has naturally amplified Shield Resists, across the board, adding the Invul II and Magnetic Field Scatter II will give you amazingly high Shield Resists. 77/75/75/66

Do not forget to train Shield EM Compensation to 4 or 5, to make the EM Magnetic Field Scatter II Shield Resist module even better!

The only way you can make this tank stronger is to use a B or A-type pithi Shield Booster. However, the B-Type will cost you upwards of 60 million and the A-Type a whopping 450 million ISK for a single module! While the c-type goes for around 12 million ISK.

The C-Type Pithi is almost as regenerative as 2x Small Shield Booster II's, but consuming only a fraction of your Hulk's capacitor.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Myrmidon Malubility

EVE Online boasts many ships and fits. One of my favorite ships, is the Myrmidon. It is a BattleCruiser, putting it somewhere between a Cruiser and a BattleShip.

Yes, I know, it has been nerfed. It no longer has the bandwidth to field 5 Heavy Drones, only 5 Medium Drones. But, it still packs a punch with 50% Drone HP and Damage at BC 5. It also has two 'built in' nano armor pumps (rigs) by virtue of the bonus of 7.5% armor repair amount per BC Level. (30% more armor @ BC 4 and 37.5% @ BC 5). 

So, typically most Myrmidon Pilots fit 2x Medium Armor Reppers and the rest resists.

I typically use the Myrmidon for boosting my Hulk by giving it Mining Bonuses while in a Fleet, using the Mining Laser Optimizer for reduced stripper cycles. To do this you need; Leadership 5, Foreman 5, Gank Link Specialist 3 or 4 and Director 3 or 4. 

Taking it a step further by training Director 5 and Cybernetics 5 will allow you to use the Mining Foreman Mindlink Implant, resulting in a MASSIVE boost to both mining yield and cycle time reduction. Get to this point, and you are an uber Mining booster for everyone in your Squad.

The Myrmidon can fit 6 hi, 5 mids and 6 low slots. 

When I am out ratting and/or boosting my Hulk, this is my setup.

3x 250mm Railguns T2 - Med Anti-matter Ammo
1x Mining Laser Optimizer Gang Module
1x Salvager
1x Tractor beam

4x Cap Recharger II

2x Medium Armor Repper II
1x Exp Armor Hardener II
1x Kinetic Armor Hardener II
1x Therm Armor hardener II
1x Damage Control II

With the above set up, I can boost my Hulk's mining yeild quite a bit, and is also able to take out any BS spawns, loot and salvage wreckages. Since, the Myrmidon has a small cargo hold, I throw the loot in with the ORE inside the Hulk's mining Jet Cans, to be hauled away.

The Myrmidon is so versatile, I have now begun training for use in Alliance Fleet Ops or CTA's.

What I want to do is support my 'Squad of Ten' by giving them, and myself, a lot more armor resists, by equiping a Passive Armor Gang Module. Along with Armored Warfare V to give 10% armor HP and 10% armor resists! If, I train for the Armor Warfare Mindlink implant, I can boost this up to 15% armor and resists.

Now, how is that for a lite command ship? I say 'lite' because, the Eos, is a true command ship, able to fit 3 gang modules, versus the 1 on the Myrmidon. But, Eos requires months of training and costs tripple the amount. So, until then, the Myrmidon is more that adaquate.

It is possible to fit additional Gang Assist modules, on the Myrmidon, but you need Warefare Link Specialist 5 and fit a Command I module in a mid slot. Which, is pretty cool, but a long term plan as the skill time will be nearly a month or more.

The next question is what to do with the rest of those HIGH slots. Ideally, we will need 1 Drone Augmentor (20km more drone range) and the Passive Armor Gang Link, to give out Armor Resist bonuses.

But, what about the other 4 HIGH slots left?  I was thinking about either;

a) Equiping 4x Medium Remote Armor Reppers II


b) Equiping 4x Medium Railguns II - Spike Ammo

That way I can boost my squad, while dealing damage semi-long range using Drones and Tech II Railguns with Advanced Ammo.

Or solely, rely on using just Drones, maybe by adding another Drone Augmentor for an additional 20km Drone Range and replacing the 3 remaining HIGH Slots with Medium Remote Armor Repper II's. Acting as a Remote Rep for during and post combat OPs.

Either way, I would stay out of range of the main battle and doing damage with my Drones and Guns or Remote Armor Repping, instead.

As for Level 4 Mission running. 

The Myrmidon is more than capable of doing what only BattleShips were ment to do. Again taking advantage of the Drone and Armor Repair Bonuses, one can fly through Level 3 missions like a hot knife on butter, and do fairly well against most Level 4 agent Missions. Using the 2x Medium Armor Reppers II, specific armor resists, Med Railguns II, and finally, all Mids for Cap Recharger II's and an AfterBurner II.

As you can see, the Myrmidon is very versilte. 

It is cheap (around 34 million ISK), has a lower signature radius, than a BattleShip and is more agile to boot! 

Although, Myrmidon was nerfed in Trinity, by slashing it's Drone Bandwidth for 5 Heavy Drones, 5 Medium Tech II Drones are no joke, when it comes to damage the Myrmidon Drone Bonuses give at BC 4 and 5.

My Myrmidon is a staple ship. It allows me to mine 4 Jet Cans an hour boosting my Hulk, participlate in Fleet ops as an Armor Squad Booster and do Level 4 Agent Missions fairly easily.

The Myrmidon is often over looked, in regards to what it's intended role was. That role is of a Leadership platform to fit Gang Modules for both Mining and Combat, at the same time having powerful Drones and a good Armor Tank, with plenty of slots to utilize.

It is not nessassarily, the best PvP ship, as the Dominix and Heavy Assault Ships like the Ishtar may better be suited. But, when it comes to sheer flexibility for both mining and fleet Ops, the BattleCruiser called Myrmidon is a noteworthy and often over looked option.