Posts Tagged ‘pvp’

The Hero we need?

Wow, what a month it has been. Despite what has been a crazy few weeks, I have had a wonderful month in eve. With our new deployment only calling for Slowcats once so far, we have been out and about in all kinds of fun little ships, including the brilliant Talwar/Harpy/Crow mixed missile fleets with which we have fought the HERO coalition.

 

Let me just say now that until a few nights ago, I would have bad mouthed the Talwar fleets as a failed experiment. Based on the last time we used them (pre-Halloween War) they just got bombed to hell by Pizza/Bombers Bar, rarely ever firing a shot. A lot of PL were raving about them, however I just couldn’t see the appeal of being bomb-podded home every night. I get it now. The simple fact is that a Talwar fleet needs to operate within Lowsec (where bombs are not allowed). Fighting with these things in Sendaya over the past few nights has been amazingly good fun. Pretty too with the fleet fitting about like a flight of starlings fitting about the grid throwing missiles out. It’s been pretty much a free for all out there with 1000 pilots in local, including Razor, Test, BNI and even BL. (I’m sure he didn’t want that carrier anyway, and it was replaced immediately…). Despite dying once in each fight, it’s been such as blast, I love that HERO are up for fights in this way, and I hope we can fight again soon!

 

The result of all this has been a record-breaking month for me, with 284 kills recorded (Eve kill seems to be missing 20-odd), beating my previous best monthly kill count by 40 odd (that was back in 2010 during the Russian/NoCo war in Etherium Reach). I also managed to scrape in at the 4th highest killer in the corporation (at time of writing) this month, so no worrying about participation issues this month!

 

Xa has also been busy continuing to liquidate unused assets. It looks like the group is taking a bit of a temporary break from FW at the moment, so the corporation has left in order to help us towards each of our goals (without the issue of war targets to contend with). Xa has personally contributed 2.2bn towards this month’s trade total (not included items given to the dedicated trader to sell). Which certainly helps. I calculate that I have about another 1bn left in assets to sell spread across 9 more systems, hopefully I can mop them up next month to allow me to decided what to do with Xa next.

 

Speaking of trade, it’s been another slowish month. When life is busy at work, I get less chance to pop online over lunch to update orders and/or PI. This is reflected by the fact that this month I have only logged into that account 6 times this month, but I have managed to make a good 1.1bn through trade alone (added to the 2.2bn made from asset liquidation on Xa). Slow, and not as much as I would like to make, but at the same time enough to keep me going at my current rate of ship loss.

 

Lastly the industrialist has been working hard to sell my first mass manufactured item. I made a bulk batch of my usual trade item, and am now having issues selling it on for a reasonable price, due to intense market PvP in my sell area. I think that the number of items I have up for sale make it less likely for others to ignore my orders and instead .01isk me. As a result I am reluctant to build any more of the item until this batch has shifted. From this I take the message that I need to expand to multiple items to allow me to continue building even while I am waiting for my mainstay to finish selling. Still from 0 to 650m isn’t bad so far, and there is certainly room for improvement!

 

This month I also managed to mail in a reputable 24 hours of eve online out of a total of 54 hours gaming. Not too bad considering I lost two weekends too overtime.

 

Fly shagged out,

 

Hark

Tuesday Training: Tactical Weapon Reconfiguration

Every Tuesday I take a skill which one of my characters is training and discuss why I am current training that skill. I will also look at other uses for the skill, and who else might benefit from it. As I have several Characters across the skill spectrum I expect to cover skills for Young, Middle Age and old players. Yeah so once again I missed this one out last week as it was the beginning of a very long working hours week (which I am now writing to you from the of, so please excuse the large number of mistakes!).

This week’s Choices:

  • Explosive Armor Compensation V
  • Surgical Strike V
  • Tactical Weapons Reconfiguration V
  • Command Centre Upgrades  V

I have to admit that it’s not a particularly inspiring line-up, being all high level boring trains which increase aspects of your character by a few percent. So I’m going to try talking less about what the skill does this week, and instead discuss why I am training it personally. So let’s go with Tactical Weapons Upgrades V. Again as usual I am going to list its official  *words*:

Tactical Weapon Reconfiguration (x8) Per, Will

Skill at operation of siege modules. 25 unit reduction in strontium clathrate consumption amount for module activation per skill level.

So what does this skill really do? Well from level 1-4 all it does in reduce the operating costs of the Siege module (and not by a lot). However at level 5 it allows you to upgrade your Siege module to Tech II, giving a significant increase to the efficiency of your Dreadnaught in Siege mode. So other than simple getting a T2 Siege mod, why am I training this? Well the character training this is my new Dread alt, currently only capable of jumping dreads from X -> Z, completely incapable of using it for anything but travel. I have decided that it’s time to upgrade this character from travel only, to a combat Dread alt. It’s a pretty significant train, at 140 days optimized and implanted, but in exchange I will be able to operate two accounts during large fights such as B-R, or Structure Bashing ops, it will also mean that when traveling between staging systems, I will no longer have to swap the dreadnought between accounts, and, more importantly, I will stop invalidating my insurance everything we move system. Who knows, perhaps one day it may lead to a dedicated Super Capital alt, but that’s a very long way off. For now I am simply looking forwards to having a dedicated capital alt.

Fly Dreads,

Hark.

Tuesday Training: Minmatar Engineering Systems

Every Tuesday I take a skill which one of my characters is training and discuss why I am current training that skill. I will also look at other uses for the skill, and who else might benefit from it. As I have several Characters across the skill spectrum I expect to cover skills for Young, Middle Age and old players. Please excuse this late running post, as I was unexpectedly out of town for the last couple of days.

 

This week’s Choices:

  • Minmatar Engineering Systems V
  • Surgical Strike V
  • Capital Ships V
  • Command Centre Upgrades V

 

A fresh sheet this week, with no skills previously covered! But as I mentioned in the last training Tuesday, I’d really like to look into the T3 skills. Minmatar Engineering Systems V is the very last Subsystem skill I need to train to have a base line of V, and I have been very pleased with the ships effectiveness. But let’s take a look at the skill itself.

 

Minmatar Engineering Systems (x1) Int, Mem

Skill in operation of Minmatar Engineering Subsystems used on Tech III Ships.

 

This skill is pretty much the same as all others in the category, simply replacing the Engineering with either; Defensive, Offensive, Propulsion or Electronic, and the Minmatar with the other races.

 

All of these skills have similar shadowy skill descriptions where the actual reward isn’t shown in the skill itself, but to understand their advantage we need to understand T3’s, so: Subsystems, important enough to own their own section of the skill list, are unique to T3 ships, and allow pilots to customise the slot layout, fitting resources, hard points and bonuses of a T3 ship. Each races T3 ship has 5 subsystems slots, which can be filled by one of four sub system modules. There are lots of nuances to the system, but the core concept needed for this post is that each of these five choices will provided a different bonus to your ship, which is multiplied that Race/Subsystem skill. By having all my T3 subsystem kills to V, each T3 ship I have gives me 5 bonuses 5 times each. For example my old Loki setup gave me:

 

150% (30% per level) bonus to Stasis Webifier range

20% (4% per level) bonus to armor resistances

25% (5% per level) additional Power Grid (coming to a total of 600 additional PG)

50% (10% per level) bonus to After Burner speed

 

Now these Bonuses can change dramatically depending on the sub system itself which makes the T3 a very versatile ship class that’s popular in both PvE and PvP. Of course all things must have downsides, and the issue with the T3 class, is that the subsystem skills are the only ones your likely to have to train more than once (assuming you keep your clone up to date!). You see every time you lose a T3 ship you will also lose one level of your highest trained corresponding sub system, picking at random if they are all trained to the same level. Owch.

 

Of course T3 Sub system skills are only a x1 multiplier, meaning they take around 8-10 days from start to finish, with 3-4 days of that being level V. Levels 1-4 all take well within a single day to train. So although the loss of skills isn’t insignificant at level 5 they are still going to take some time to repair.

 

Here it is worth noting that although I have some Lvl4 mission running experience, I have never personally used a T3 to do them. I always found them underwhelming in both Tank, and DPS, despite their excellent signature and speed tanking abilities. Personally I felt that a Macharial beat them in almost every category. But at the same time I am aware that they are worshiped as PvE gods by some, likely for good reason, so if you are a young PvE player, looking for advice, the following may not apply to you.

 

T3 ships are expensive, both in training time (if you lose them) and Isk (also if you lose them), they do however feature in several current Nullsec Doctrines, and have had a place in Null for a while now. I would advise that for a new player looking to break into Nullsec, they are very much a 2.5 tier train:

 

Teir 1: Train Tackling ships & versatile hulls such as Interceptors, Interdictor and T1 logistics, to maximise your usefulness to fleets.

Teir 2: Train ship of the line hulls, ensuring that you can use all hulls and all weapon systems

Teir 3: Train specialist ships to help your fleets, such as Logistics, Recon and Bonus ships

 

Quick enough to train that they don’t quite fall into Tier 3, but also specialist enough that they are not Ships of the Line. Although they don’t take long to get into, you will need excellent ancillary skills to use them effectively. In including both overheating and drug skills, both Veteran categories which I may discuss at a later date!

 

Fly like a Swiss army knife!

 

Hark

 

 

Don’t call it a comeback…

One month I will come on here and tell you all about how wonderful everything is, and how well all my endeavours have gone. This is not that month.

 

Activity wise however, this month has actually been pretty amazing, with PL finally recouping and deploying after the wrecking shot which has B-R (#NOMAD). The new deployment, while a little unclear on purpose, has both promised and delivered great content. The deployment has, so far has already used more Turret based ships that I have used since the beginning of the Halloween war in total. I’ve never been a huge fan of capital combat, but as a realist I have to accept that Slowcat doctrines do get the job done. They just don’t get it done in a fun way. So returning to the turret based ships of yesteryear has been a truly pleasant experience.

 

I’ve also had the chance on this deployment to use a new Turret based ship, I’d never used before: the Dreadnaught. My Moros moved with me to our new staging system, and I got the opportunity to deploy it on what was a fairly (for eve) safe fleet. This gave me the chance to get used to its operation, and  foibles so that I now feel confident enough to deploy it in earnest. The staggering damage output has blown me away, and I look forwards to doing more with it

 

Xa has also begun to shake of the sluggishness of a winter hibernation. Other than the casual selling of assets in the name liquidation, she’s really done nothing since late last year. With the liquidation now coming to a close, I am starting to think about what to do with her next. Exploration was fun, and I intend to go back to that at some point, however first I think I need to finish the Epic Arc quest I started well over a year ago… the Isk/Hour ratio on that one is way down.

 

Unfortunately to finish that, I’m going to need to move Xa from her current corporation (which is in Faction Warfare), to allow her free movement across New Eden. As Xa is currently the CEO of the corp, I will need to train another alt to take her place during her absence. Still it’s worth it to make more money and play more eve.

 

The Manufacturer has also remained busy this month, with production increasing exponentially again this month, something I doubt will continue much further. With any luck I will bring her total assets up to about 600m next month, allowing me to pay back her loans, and begin processing blueprints I bought in a fit of unfounded ambition before checking build costs. It’s all part of the learning curve they say. Still I’m not counting my chickens before they are hatched here, this is after all New Eden, and all kinds of things can go wrong between now and then.

 

She has also dusted off the PI factories and actually started to process the glut of raw product I have been building up over the last 5 months. When Highsec POCO’s hit TQ, I was stupid and forgot to empty my materials out of the now vulnerable Interbus POCO, losing about 50m’s worth of Raw mats to an entrepreneurial capsular. For some reason, since then, although my extraction planets have been going from strength to strength, I was never bothered enough to shift it to the production planet for processing. The net result is a massive build-up for Mats, I am now starting to work my way through; though again not counting that profit until it’s in the bank.

 

Regular readers will have a good idea of my current skill status from the now (slightly ir)regular Tuesday training post I do. But to give a month forecast:

Hark is finishing sub systems this month and moving into perfecting tanking

Xa is filling gaps in her racial skill set

The dread Alt is finishing Fuel conservation and considering her next move

And the Indy is perfecting her production before moving into PI

 

Isk wise is where the slight bump in the road for this month lies. They say never to fly drunk, however I would further add to this, that trading when ill is also a poor life choice. While home ill last week I attempted to do my regular trading log in, and managed to sell 3 Rokhs for 100m under their RRP, netting the trader a loss of 300m ish. This is now third top on my most costly mistakes list, after Jumping to a beacon blind, and accidentally trashing a Hulk and then confirming it (drunk).

 

Despite this I am still cruising in for 500m profit this month, even including the 500m I have spent on Dreadnaught insurance. This is pretty impressive as between a cold, and bone-idelness I have only logged in the trader ~6 times in the 30 days. I’m expecting next month to come in far better, both in logins and in profit.

 

Fly with turrets,

 

Hark

 

 

 

 

Tuesday Training: Amarr Cruiser V (and Cross training)

Every Tuesday I take a skill which one of my characters is training and discuss why I am current training that skill. I will also look at other uses for the skill, and who else might benefit from it. As I have several Characters across the skill spectrum I expect to cover skills for Young, Middle Age and old players.

 

 

This week’s Choices (Only two as one was covered last week, and one the week before).

  • Caldari Electronic Systems V
  • Amarr Cruiser IV

 

Not much of a choice really, and both ship skills as well, what’s come over me? I’m going to discuss the Amarr Cruisers IV train, briefly in terms of what it gives you, but broadly as an excuse to talk about Racial Ships, and cross training.

 

First of let’s look at the skill itself:

Amarr Cruiser (x5) Perception, Willpower

Skill at operating Amarr Cruisers

 

Not much huh? But here is what you’re really get for your money:

Skill level I:

  • Arbitrator
  • Augoror
  • Maller
  • Omen

Skill level II:

  • Ashimmu (if you have Minmatar Cruiser II)
  • Augoror Navy Issue
  • Omen Navy Issue
  • Phantasm (if you have Caldari Cruiser II)
  • Stratios (if you have Gallente Cruiser II

Skill level II

  • Ability to train Amarr Battleships

Skill level V:

  • Ability to use/train all T2 Amarr Cruisers

 

For each level of the skill you also get a bonus to the four Amarr Cruisers (and the faction cruisers). An example of this would be for the Omen, where each level of Amarr Cruisers give you an additional 10% reduction in Medium Energy Turret activation cost, and an additional 5% bonus to Energy Turret Rate of fire per level.

 

Impressive.

 

Boring stuff out of the way, let’s talk about the broader topic here, racial cross training. In eve I’ve met many pilots who are loyal to their birthing faction’s ships. They are vehement in their dedication to perfecting their chosen races ships, and train them (and thus their weapon systems, and tank type) exclusively. They also tend to get a bit hett up under the collar when people start mentioning doctrines which use anything else. I was one of these people too once, and I can tell you now, without hesitation that there is no good reason for it.

 

Cross training to a competent skill level for all four races takes around 5 months (ships, weapons and tank). To a new player, that may seem like an awful long time out of their skill queue, but in the long run it’s a pittance for the utility you get in return. In exchange for those five months you will always be able to fly something in your Alliance/Corporations doctrines, even if it’s a lowly tackle ship. You will also be able to apply the correct tool for the job; ratting in Guristas space? Use shields, Blood Raiders? Perhaps a Armour tanker would be best. There is nothing worse than coming up against a tough challenge (in PvP or PvE) and not having the right skills to overcome it, being able to fly each race, reduces the chances of this happening.

 

Furthermore, should you take the time to train those racial skills up to level 5 (I’m not saying you should out of the gates, but if you do…); you also get 4 ships each time you train T2 ships. Bonus!

 

Of course there is always a stage in your pilots life when cross training isn’t going to be worth it, in my opinion the utility this gives you makes, that is really only the first few months of an accounts life. Looking back as an experienced pilot, and having already training a good few alts, my advice would be to spend the a few months learning one race’s skills (weapons, tank, ships) to level 4, and practice using them; then immediately move onto another race. Once you have all the races to T1, then go back through and start training the skills to T2 (with a few exceptions).

 

If you a younger player, more than a year old who can only fly one or two races of ships: it’s time to break free, train a new races kit and enjoy the difference it can and will make to your abilities!

 

Fly multicultural,

 

Hark

 

 

Time and TiDi wait for no man

Perhaps it’s just been enough time since TiDi was introduced that I’ve forgotten just how bad the old days were. Or perhaps it’s the change in pace since the time before. But for whatever the reason, I’m starting to fall out of love with TiDi.

 

It seems to me like the dynamic of large fights prior to TiDi was something along the lines of 1-3 hour fights 70% of the time, and node death 30% of the time. Whereas now, in the age of TiDi, it’s more like a 4 hour fight minimum (and often stretching out to 8 hours) where node death only happens 5% of the time.

 

Now avoiding node death is a good thing, no one likes Sole Crushing Lag, but at the same time, fights lasting that long (and being unresponsive for the entire duration), are just too far outside of my playtime window. I live in GMT(+), and work a fulltime 9-5 job with an hour commute each way. This means that generally I have a window of around 5 hours playtime each night (not including relation maintenance time and other domestic duties), in the old days a fight fitted snugly into that slot. But now, unless a fight begins a few minutes after I get home (and I get luck and they don’t drag on), I have next to no chance of getting into fleet during work nights. Frequently I will see pings going out for Slowcats along the lines of “LOGIN ALL THE THINGS, DUDES TO KILL 1000 on grid”, at 20:00, and I know that signing up is going to take me into the small hours.

 

The result of this is that if large fights start happening, I can only reliably join:

  • Friday night
  • Saturday
  • Sunday until about 15:00

 

And that kind of sucks. Granted not every fight these days is a huge 2000 man battle, and there are other things to do and see in eve on a weekday night. But large fleet fights are what I play for, and what I (previously) enjoy the most in the game.

 

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying we should roll things back to how they were, the numbers game has moved on since then, and what was a 70:30 ratio with 700 people fights being the norm, with the 2500 people fights I’m sure that ratio would look a lot worse. But am saying that the Plaster stuck over the problem, is starting to smell a bit funny, and I think we might regret going so long without getting it checked out.

 

It’s starting to get embarrassing now, as potential players join twitch, to view fights and ask questions like “Why are you showing me static image of the game rather than the fight? Oh wait did that just move a frame?”. Mayhaps its time to think as TiDi as a negative to new player attraction?

 

 

F……….L……….Y          S………L………O……….w……….L……….Y……….,

H………..a…………r……….k

 

Bah Humbug!

And just as eve starts to liven up a bit, Christmas happens, and things start to die down! Typical. On the plus side the war shows no signs of dying down, so hopefully things will pick up again post-Christmas to bring next month up. That said, this past month has been something of a good one with 109 Hours of gaming, of which almost exactly half (56 hours) was spent in eve. What a good time. That playtime gave me a good tally of 131 kills most of which came from some very close to the line Capital Operations. It’s been fun!

 

The industrial Character has also seen a fair amount of playtime this month, with preparation for the next batch of T2 items well underway. Unfortunately her capital is a little bit low, as I have been lazy in my sell orders. Nothing a quick trip to the local trade hub won’t fix though. I Still hold hopes that this character might become profitable (She needs to make 120m to break even without including the time spend or the Account cost >.<) in the first few months of next year.

 

Xa has been pretty inactive recently, with next to no exploration or FW done, despite my talk about getting an Astero. Perhaps that will be a new year’s present to myself, in an attempt to get her active again. This said her lack of FW and exploration is somewhat explained by the fact that I downloaded jEveAssets for the first time and discovered just how much ISK I have tied up in unused assets all over new Eden. Thus I have been collecting all this trash and selling it over the period of this month. Unfortunately this has required a lot of hauling, and sitting around waiting for items to see at reasonable prices. It’s been worth it thought, So far I have raised 1.5bn, with an estimated 1.5Bn left to go (including a random X-type I have lying in a mission hub for no good reason…).

 

Trade has also been brisk this month, with a noticeable trend of large high cost items being bought and sold with a higher frequency than normal. Lots of people buying themselves (or others perhaps) presents has helped my wallet to the order of around 2bn (not including the assets sold by Xa). A pretty good month all in all.

 

That’s all for now, although I will be posting a good few posts in the next few weeks, including a yearly wrap-up, and a series of posts on what will be a massive landmark for my Main Character.

 

Untill then,

 

Fly with a festive launcher,

 

Hark

 

 

Interception

If you had asked me a month ago if the changes to Interceptors would see me returning to these wonderful little ships, I would had said “Sadly not”. I would have then gona one to add that the 20m+ cost of new clones along with the expensive implants in Hark’s head means that flying fragile ships is on paper a not worthwhile risk.

In practice however, it turns out that the changes are just enough to tempt me back (at least for now). I should point out that interceptors have always held a special place in my heart, as I began my 0.0 experience flying tackle for ED during their finals stand back is Etherium Reach. So when we saw Interceptor fleets being announced post Rubicon, I decided I would throw caution to the wind, and try them out at least once. My goodness am I glad I did.

Inty fleets are amazingly good fun, and perfect anti-ratting operations. Back when we lived in the NC we used to do regular “Fishing” fleets, also known as “shot-gunning”. This was where we used ships like Assault frigates to roam into enemy territory (hopefully moving fast enough to confuse Intel channels) to enemy hubs. Here we would all jump into system and scatter at random to locations where we might find enemy carebears doing their thing. This coupled with a dictor parked on a station to catch people trying to panic dock got us a good few kills. However this was generally a lesson in Darwinism more than anything as only the stupid/slow ever got caught. Interceptor fleets operate on this same principle but surpass the old model for several reasons:

 1. They are exceptionally fast in warp
It’s pretty easy for a ceptor’ fleet to cover tens of jumps in a handful of minuets. This means we can move faster than the speed of information, so we catch ratters unawares. It also means that we can move faster to the hero bait ship a few jumps away, and still arrive before he dies. Finally we can overtake people who try to run away from us. On one of our fleets, we landed on grid just as a Raven warped to a gate, we followed his warp and beat him to the gate by a good 5-10 seconds needless to say he then died.

 2. They are exceptionally fast in sub warp
Engagement gone sour? No problem, just align to the sun and coast out of trouble. At several points we outstayed our welcome on grid, and had to extract quickly. In a normal fleet this could have been fatal, but in Intys, we didn’t even have to warp out to get safe. This also means that should you look like you’re going down, your chances of getting your pod out is pretty good. Even under scram and web, if you are quick you can coast out of a bubble to allow your pod to escape.

3. Bubble immunity
It’s obvious, I know but this has an unexpected ramification. You can go on an Inty fleet even if you know you only have 10 minutes till you have to walk away from the PC. When the time comes to leave fleet, you can simply find a quiet location to log off, and be safe in the knowledge that to get yourself home safe you need only worry about insterlocking gate camps on the way.

The Inty gangs have been amazing, and despite the worry of a pod-mail 5-6 times the ship loss mail, the allure of speed and easy kills is just too much to resist. Especially with kills like the afore mentioned Raven possible. The Inty fleets also got me the funniest kill I have had in a very long while where we destroyed a Rapier who though he was safe to engage in Station docking range. He had carrier providing reps against our 30 interceptors: and went down after hull tanking the reps for a good couple of minutes.

The interceptor change has been fantastic and without doubt my highlight of the Rubicon expansion.

Large fleets, impressive but stagnant?

While I was at Fanfest I had the fortune to actually be seated on the front row during the ship balancing round tables, watching the interaction between CCP fozzie, CCP Rise and CCP Ytterbium, was great, each of them are very different people with differing opinions, the three of them together I feel are going to give us the most well thought out ship balancing I think eve has seen.
The Grid

The Grid

I could go on for some time about the many topics that came up but one particular area interested me: Fleet Boosters. I should say from the outset that I am pro boosting ships being on grid, I feel that no role should be so dull or easy that it should be done effectively afk. I suspect this will get me flack from the many people who like to fight solo (even though they are fighting with at least two ships); I even enjoy flying solo myself, but Eve at its heart is a mmo, if you want to fly solo that’s great, but in general flying with friends is what makes this good game great.

That personal opinion aside one of the ideas that was floated was that boosting ships could be changed so that they effectively boost ships within a sphere around them (kind of like a hictor bubble), this would mean that the pilots of these ships would require actual flying skills to place themselves in the correct places and large fleets may even require multiple boosting ships, it would also mean that your average grunt would need to check their position relevant to the boosters as well as the logistics.
This to me sounds like if it was implemented that we may actually end up in much more dynamic mobile fleets where actual flying skill would be needed. It would mean that highly skilled pilots (or budding pilots) would be able to aspire to roles within fleets that could make or break an engagement, reliant on their flying skills.
This however started my evil mind turning and led me to have a conversation with the CCP devs after the meeting finished and here I will outline where my evil thoughts went…
Boosting Radiance Ships? Maybe not...

Boosting Radiance Ships? Maybe not…

As some people who have read my posts before may have noticed I do not understand why most random events in eve are positives, some of the most interesting stories are about when an unforeseen event has occurred and how people have managed (or not) to cope with them. All this talk of ships creating bubbles of “ship boosts” had me wondering, would it not be fair to have ships that do the opposite?

My thought was if CCP want more people flying command ships and for it to be a much more active and responsive role then surely the obvious way to make this happen was for there to be something for them to have to actively counter? At the moment there is a class of ships post tiercide that only has a single ship in it: The Battleship disruption line, and in it the scorpion. This currently has a bonus to ECM burst modules, what if this ship was changed to create a Hic like bubble of effect around it with an ECM effect and balanced against  sensor strength boosting command ships? Suddenly you would have pilots of these two ships attempting to counter each others effects, the command ship defensively while the disruptor would be attempting to fly his ship so he didn’t impact his own fleet but not so far forward he was out of range of his own support, suddenly fleet and even individual positioning within a fleet become more complex, dynamic, responsive and even rewarding of flying skill, not just skill points.
At this point you can expand on the idea, if you stick with current racial ewars then a how about an area effect tracking disrupting Amarr ship? A area effect sensor damping Galente ship? ( think of the effect on logi) How about an area effect target painting Minmatar? (that could mess with AHacs).
I think that if you gave people the opportunity to fly these ships that could negatively impact enemy fleets you would actually reward pilots with the experience and ability to fly well with a whole new class of ships that would really bring something new to fleet combat and that would then have the knock on effect of making command ships much more interesting, responsive and fleet combat much more dynamic. Each Disrupting ship would require a different command ship to counter.
And this idea carries on again, currently bombers have only two forms of ewar covered “lockbreaker” and “void” seems to me that some are missing here but I think you can all follow that idea on to a logical conclusion, I suppose here is the point to say what the devs had to say about the suggestion.

Press F1 for help

The idea was met I feel with guarded interest and support, it appears that the main issue that is holding up what they want to do with command ships (and by effect potential disruption ships) is a system issue. Currently bubbles are a problem, interdiction bubbles work because when a ship attempts to enter warp a single check is made by that ship “am I in a bubble?” if the answer is yes warp fails. currently ecm burst, lockbreaker and void bombs send out a single pulse and ships in the area are effected once. The problem with what they want to do with “boost bubbles” is that the server would need to know which ships at any given time were being effected by positive (or even negative) effects from one moment to the next and as fleets get larger the number of checks on this gets larger as well and can rapidly become a large resource hog, it is something they are looking at a solution for apparently but they could not say anymore at this time.

Personally I am very pleased that they are even looking in this direction and I am hopeful that they will find an elegant solution so that soon we will see much more interesting fleets flying in elegant shoals of death responding to each other in much more dynamic ways than the current “everyone anchor on x at 10km, follow targets and hit f1 in time. I can but hope. [Editors note: even worse. “Every one stop your ships and assign drones to XXXXX”]

To T2 or not to T2?

A T2 ship

A question we are being asked a lot is “Are T2 modules  needed for faction warfare?” So I thought I would write a brief post to answer that as honestly as I could.

The simple truth is that higher skills will always help, they make guns hit harder, modules work quicker and actions use less cap; all things that are useful, but, and this is the important bit, there are many cases where the actual cost in fitting a T2 module is not worth it. Because of this a great many ship fits will use high meta items due to lower fitting requirements and superior overheating profiles.
The are very few cases where T2 modules genuinely add extra functionality not matchable by T1 (meta 3 or 4) counterparts. The only place you genuinely get something unique is weapon systems due to the T2 ammo and increased damage or range these offer.
All other T2 modules come with significant negatives in the form of fitting requirements and/or poor overheat characteristics (they often burning out very quickly). There are negatives to using the high meta T1 items as well, this is eve after all, and eve is all about making choices. Often the high meta items can be expensive, this is why you need to approach ship fitting itself with quite a bit of thought. Its a good idea to decide how much you want to spend first; a 7 Mil DCU isn’t worth it on a sub 1M frigate.
When you do theory craft your own fits I would recommend using a fitting tool to come up with a ship fitting that does what you want then look at the market to see if those parts are available at a reasonable price, if not go back to the fitting tool to find alternative modules, eveHQ has a good “Show meta Variations”  button for this very purpose. But remember to check the market before you discover the lynchpin module on your ship costs 120M.
Designing entire fits using a fitting tool before you start buying modules will often save you time and money long term over just buying modules as you go along and let you spot places where you can save or use extra fitting space to achieve more efficient and/or cheaper fits.
Unfortunately no short guide can cover every T2 module and explain when the excessive fitting costs of fitting a T2 module over a T1M3/4 become worth it, that will often be a personal calculation based on how much CPU or Grid you have left on the ship as well as the ISK in your wallet. But as long as you stick to eve’s golden rule “don’t fly what you cannot afford to lose” every time you fly a newly designed ship you will get more feeling for the relative merits of different modules for different situations. In fact I would argue there is a sense of achievement on using a well thought out yet cheaply fit ship to achieve your aims all of itself, over just throwing all T2 modules on and flying off into a gate camp.