Posts Tagged ‘Tank’

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

 

 

Tuesdays Training: Armor Compensation

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, for the inaugural edition of Tuesdays Training I had four choices to pick from to discuss;

  • Bomb Deployment (V)
  • EM Armor Compensation (IV)
  • Jump Drive Calibration (V)
  • Gallenete Encryption Methods (V)

Eventually I decided to pick my Alt Characters skill: Em Armor Compensation, as a good skill to discuss for both Mid and Early game players (as Older characters like my main should have this trained already). It also covers more than just 1 skill, as most of what applies to it, applies to the other damage types as well (i.e. Thermic Armor Compensation).

So let’s look at the skill itself:

EM Armor Compensation (int-mem) [x2]

5% bonus to EM resistance per level for Amor Coatings and Energized plates.

Prerequisite for Skills: Nothing

Required for Modules/Ships: Nothing

The Armor compensation skills (as well as the Shield ones I think), are dead end skills. These skills do not unlock, or enable anything, and are only trained for bonus they give per level. But, as is mostly the case with dead end skills, the bonus is fairly significant. In this case a 5% boost to Armor resistance modules effectiveness, which  is a potent bonus, considering that Energized Adaptive Nano Membranes/Adaptive Nano Plating and Armor Hardeners are the cornerstones of any Armour tank. This is further compounded by the fact that resistances have a cumulative effect on a tanking the more raw HP you have. In other words, resistances are important.

Let’s look at how this skill affects our tank on a few examples. For all of these examples I am using a 0 Skilled Character granted minimum skill required to fly the ship, and no other mods on the ship in question.

ACOMFRIGCHARTpng

ACOMPBSCHART

 

As we can see from this, the difference between 0 compensation and 5 is around 300 – 1,000 ehp on a frigate (5-8% increase of ehp). Or a 3,324 – 6,296 increase of ehp on a Battleship (4-7% increase of ehp). Now any seasoned vet is going to tell you that the tiniest margin can make the difference between a fight won and a fight lost, and this remains true. For newer players, flying frigates even with just level 4 skills the EANM and Membrane fitting is going to be 6% better than the same fittings with no skills, which would take a meagre (~)4 days to train. In other words, these skills are basics which every character should have trained.

But how far you should train them is another matter. As a x2 skill to level 5 one of these compensations takes just under 10 days, for a brand new player, that 50 days of training is going to be too long. So here are my recommendations for player age vs skill level (note this only applies if you intend to fly and armour tank):

  • Characters of any age: I
  • Characters over a few weeks old: III
  • Characters using T2 moduless: IV
  • Older Characters flying capitals, etc: V

Now it’s worth noting that not all of the Compensations are born equal, EM, the one which spurred this very post is less useful than say, explosive armour compensation, because armour is inherently weaker to Explosive damage than EM damage. Some might take this as a cue to train EM to a lower level than Explosive, but personally I like them equal, so I will leave that choice down to you dear reader.

I have to admit that my main, who falls into that final category only has the compensation skills to IV which is mistake I intend to rectify once I respec her attributes to Int Mem in the coming months, but I still stand by my recommendation even if I am ignoring it myself, you can feel free to do likewise ;).

Fly Like your compensation for something,

Hark

Dual tank and Dual Spank (and why they are bad)

Dual Tank
Dual tanking is probably the most common sin of less than savvy Nullsec residents. It’s a common pitfall because the logic behind it is actually quiet sound.

“I don’t want to get killed out there, so I’m going to fit as much tank as I can. If shields use Mid-Slots and Armor Tanking uses Low Slots, nothing is stopping me from fitting both!”

It’s also supported by a lot of sci-fi background, in which most ships have powerful shields and thick armor plates. Unfortunately the logic and the corroborating literature do not equal a sound decision in EvE. The chances are, if you have (or do) make this mistake, it will be while your fresh and new to the game, when you have little to no experience of the mechanics.

So why is this a sin? First and foremost we have to consider the tanking penalties. We must understand the three key underlining principles of tanking; Buffer (how big your health bar is), Resistances (the % of damage you can ignore) and Repair Rate (how fast the bar will return to full). With both Shield and armor buffer has a disadvantage*. With Armour, your ships mass (and thus is velocity & agility) are penalised. With shield your signature radius  is penalised (making you quicker to lock & easier to hit). This means that by dual tanking, you are going to be slower to get away and faster to lock. You are also going to be twice as easy to hit (Signature radius and speed twice the chance to hit mechanics). The net result of this is that your tank may have increased, but your survivability and your ability to avoid damage has dramatically decreased.

But it doesn’t end here. If you fit a dual rep ship, you are also removing your utility. Part of the balance of the shield types has always been “Shield tankers get to do more damage (low slots free for damage mods), armor tankers get utility (mid slots fit ewar, tackle, etc)”. By fitting a dual rep, your tank now takes up all your utility meaning that you will hit with the force of an intercontinental ballistic marshmallow, and have no ability to range control or perform ewar. A far better idea would be to fit the utility slots left by your tank with things which will help you avoid/remove/control the incoming damage while you tank. Shield tankers can kill the enemy faster with damage mods, and armour tankers slow the enemy down, speed themselves up or stop them from locking.

So is it ever excusable to dual tank? The short answer is No, but in honesty it’s more complex than that. Firstly this doesn’t include other less solid tank types (ewar, speed & stealth) which can sometimes be mixed to great effect (see assault frigates). Secondly, some will argue the dual tanking a bait ship is a good idea. This is because you no longer care about your survivability (your bait, you don’t have any), your only concern is to survive long enough for the cavalry to arrive. However the counter argument is that bait only works if they can point the enemy to prevent escape when the cavalry do arrive. This means they do need mid slots. My final advice is; when in doubt, never dual tank. You will be laughed at when you lose it (and you will).

Mixed weapons
This is a sin you tend to see later in the life of new Null sec players. It also generally also has two flavours; small weapons & big weapons, close range weapons and long range weapons. The former is generally because the player wants to be able to hit tackle and other frigates, the second is because they feel the need to hit an enemy at every range in-between here and Jove.

So why does it make kittens cry? Well this one’s pretty simple in actual fact; it’s a simple case of “jack of all trades master of none”. If your guns can hit all ranges and/or all classes of ships, you will not excel at killing any of them. In EvE ships are designed to force you to make choices (this applies well to dual tanks as well). If you think you have found a way to cover every option, the chances are you have missed something out somewhere. The tank and damage of ships are balanced assuming that the full DPS of a ship is going to be applied to the full tank of the enemy. If your only applying half (or goodness help us a quarter) of your DPS to a target, they are going to laugh at you and hit you back with a full rack of weapons.

Mixed weapons are occasionally excusable. For instance you won’t get laughed out of Null if you fit two Heavy Assault Missile launchers to a Auto cannon hurricane, nor will you for Using a Torpedo & Auto cannon Typhoon. But these situations are easy to spot; when you fit a ship look at its primary weapon type (hint: Ship bonuses, racial weapons & how many turret or launcher slots does it have most of). Fill your ship with this weapon type and if you have slots left over, you can use the secondary weapon system. If you find yourself using two types of turret or two types of missiles you will fall foul of this. In the case given above you can even justify sizing down the secondary weapon system (in the Hurricane example, using light missiles instead of heavys); but you may have to explain your reasoning (killing drones & tackle might fly). But in all honesty, you’re better off fitting a utility High, like a neutraliser.

TLDR;

  • Dual tanking makes you easier to kill
  • Dual tanking makes it harder to run away
  • Mixing weapons is almost always bad
  • If you have to ask if its a bad idea; it is

Thanks for reading

Hark¬

*this applies to the rigs as well