Thursday, December 30, 2010

NC vs PL: 8 titans (and one supercarrier) down in Y-W supercapital skullfuck

-imperian being totally cool and professional about it

EDIT: Numbers are still uncertain 12 hours after the fight and it appears that at least one supercapital from each side failed to generate a killmail. NC report losing 2 titans (1 killmail generated) and PL report losing 6 titans (5 killmails generated) and 2 motherships (1 killmail generated). I have reason to believe that the second mothership survived but no way to confirm this.

So today we formed up to go reinforce PL towers in h-pa for the umpteenth time. PL formed up to fight us but nothing much came of it as we reinforced a tech pos or two and repped our staging pos in h-p. We moved capitals home and stayed formed up in case PL dropped our subcapitals, which they did, bridging ahax on top of our fotm shield alpha BS fleet as they passed through y-w1q3. The BS were apparently doing pretty well on their own, but we jumped our caps and supers to help our subcapitals, or just to whore on killmails.

PL lit a cyno and dropped approximately 40 supers on us and it was on. I don't know how many supers we had on field at the start of the fight, but we had had 30 in h-p earlier. Jabber broadcasts went out, we went siege green and went on their titans as they went on ours. Both sides lost a titan in the initial doomsday volley.

First PL titan going down

At this point I crashed and couldn't log back in until it was over.

By the time I got back on teamspeak - like two minutes - PL supers were trying to jump out and their titans were dying like flies while we slowly lost a second titan. As of the time of writing initial reports indicate 7 PL and 2 NC titans down, plus one PL supercarrier. And boy is it fantastic to see PL finally overreach and get their comeuppance.

Battlefield at the end of the fight
Almost all the red brackets here are blues -- common bug

Battlereport. Will take time to sync.

"who are winning pl or nc eve 2010"

This was a search which brought somebody here, and it's a long answer question.

Before answering that, one would have to define what winning means. The conflict between PL and the NC cannot be described as a pitched war as PL are categorically unable to take our stations or kill our CSAA; this means that they are not an existential threat.

In terms of objectives the conflict focuses on technetium moons in venal. PL have taken some number of tech moons (I don't know how many, numbers on the street range between 16 and 90) and we try to take them back.

This has not been very successful for us. PL is small and agile; they never fail to time pos for US time, which is a weak time zone for us and their strongest. The typical fight in US time involves us bringing about 150 subcapitals to h-pa, PL's staging system and the location of several tech pos. PL also have 150 in system, but because of their higher level of skill and because they can log 20 titans on at a moment's notice - more supers than we can get in US time - we always lose.

Now, this isn't the complete story. It's not accurate to say that we can't get numbers or supers in US time. Without trying hard we can pull 600 people during euro time and more capitals/supers than PL can get members online during their prime time. Our euro time players aren't usually online during US time, but with a red pen CTA and a few days advance notice they could be induced to be on,especially if the op was on a weekend. We haven't been doing this type of op.

The NC+DC is engaged in two major wars right now, against IT+pets and the drone lands federation, two of the three other major powers in eve. PL and venal represent a comparatively low priority third front, with DC much more interested in bitchslapping IT and the NC proper placing a high priority on protecting geminate from the DRF invasion.

We're winning the two major fronts, with DC et. al unexpectedly continuing to destroy IT fleets on a daily basis and the DRF losing all major engagements and several supercapitals on the eastern front. The most charitable way to describe the PL front, on the other hand, would be "stagnant."

So, who is winning? I guess PL are, since they are protecting their moons and killing our fleets. Again though, they don't qualify as an existential threat.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Playing eve for free

"play eve free" was a search which brought several people to my previous post and I thought, hey, post idea.

The basics:

People can buy game time codes with real money (two months for 37 dollars/euros IIRC). These time codes can then be converted into in-game items called PLEX. You get two of them for each time code you convert, each of which adds one month of time to the account of the person who uses it. Plex are commonly sold on the market by people who want to exchange real-life money for game money, and they cost around 360 million isk right now. This means that if you can earn 360 million isk in one month, you can play eve for free.

There is an efficiency issue, which is that in most first-world countries people earn enough per hour that it is more time-efficient to pay for the subscription. As an example, someone earning 30m/hour missioning would take 12 hours to afford a PLEX, while earning 5 dollars (or euros) per hour in real life it would only take three hours to pay for a one-month subscription. Of course not everybody can find a job in this economy, much less one which actually pays the bills and where they can change their workload on a whim, so plex are pretty popular.

So: In order to play eve for free, you need to earn enough isk each month to buy one plex per account. Since you are working for the ability to play, there is a strong incentive to maximize your isk/hour. For this purpose I will cover the earning potential of some basic careers and passive income methods, as well as suggestions for some advanced careers.

In highsec the two entry-level occupations are mining and running missions. Mining in highsec on a single account is said to be worth 7.5m/hour, meaning it would take 48 hours of work to earn one PLEX. Missions earn 20-40m/hour, at which rate it would take 9 to 18 hours to buy a plex.

There are other things to do in highsec, of course, but they are harder to get into and may require a significant initial investment. Trade and manufacturing are big ones, supposedly worth billions per month for those who know how to make it happen. Another thing to look at might be invention, but I am even less than familiar with this.

EDIT 2011-10-20: Incursions in highsec make 50-100m/h plus LP, and they aren't especially hard to get into.

Moving out to 0.0 the numbers get bigger. Manufacturing can still be done, and although the margins are a lot higher the volume is generally quite small. Belt ratting in 0.0 is worth 30-40m/h and running anomalies in a carrier or golem should be worth an easy 45m/h not counting faction spawns or escalations. At 45m/h one plex will take 8 hours of work.

With the recent spike in megacyte prices mining in 0.0 is now almost worthwhile again. A solo hulk mining arkonor in 0.0 makes about 25m/h, while a properly bonused hulk with a hauler alt makes twice that, meaning earning 2 plex would take 15 hours in either case. With two hulks and one hauler three plex would take 12 hours.

One thing which is worth a lot more in 0.0 than other places is exploration, which is what I do. An accomplished carebear doing exploration on 2 characters can usually make a minimum of 100m/h (8 hours for 2 plex again), but a single lucky drop can be worth a billion isk and an exceptionally good day can pay for months of play time.

Passive income can be used to supplement primary income, or at higher levels could actually pay for one or more plex per month. For mission runners datacores from research agents can earn an extra 70-ish million per month, and planetary interaction can be worth more depending on where you do it. Kirith I believe makes around 300m/month doing PI in a wormhole, and has written about that a bit. You can even make extra characters on one account for the purpose of passive income -- three characters each earning 70m/month from datacores and/or 300 from PI would surely help things along, though there is a skill point investment which would have to be made.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Longpost: A detailed discussion of my personal financial plan, past and present

(seriously, you don't want to read this.
The nobody cares tag exists for a reason)

Eve is playable with widely variable amounts of in-game wealth. I've speculated that players could be stratified into different wealth classes, but the idea never really goes anywhere because it's boring. At the extremes though, there are people get excited when a kill drops T2 loot because it means they can now afford to replace their rifter; and on the other end there are the super rich, people with trillions of isk in their wallet who will never have to worry about being able to replace their ship, even if that ship is a titan.

A discussion about people's attitudes toward isk-making would probably be more interesting, where they fall somewhere on a spectrum between those who only make isk so they can afford their next pvp ship and the hardcore carebears whose only goal is to accrue ever-increasing amounts of isk. I don't know very many people though, so this won't be the subject of a future post either.


Personally I'm about two steps below the super rich on the first measure and pretty far toward the carebear end of the spectrum on the other. There is a critical difference between me and the hardcore carebears though, which is that I consider isk a means rather than an end. I want to fly expensive ships, and isk lets me do that.

(of course, then I need to be able to afford to replace that expensive ship...)

One year ago I had accrued 13 billion isk in cash and was planning to get a supercarrier, stop carebearing and have some fun; after all, I would never be able to afford a titan or anything. Things changed, though: Flying a supercarrier stopped being practical (temporarily); I invested my excess isk in capital blueprints in order to turn money into even more money; my earning potential increased; and nyx BPC prices went through the roof.

The ridiculous prices nyx bpc were pulling made it possible to make money, real money, copying blueprints and I decided to invest further in this area. Affording a nyx BPO takes a fair amount of work though, so I resolved to stop as soon as I had enough blueprint income to afford everything I would ever want. The number that I arrived at was 4 billion isk per month, and I started carebearing intensively toward this goal.

Four billion isk per month is a lot of money. Invest the first 40 billion in two more supercarrier BPC, to sell when you need to replace a titan, and you're home free. You can buy all the plex you need to play eve for free forever and have enough left over that you'll never have to fly anything but T3 ships and machariels.

Six months ago, earning 4 billion per month from blueprint copying would have required four nyx plus a few carrier or freighter blueprints. This would have been doable, running around 80 billion isk -- about equal to my total assets today.

Unfortunately for me, nyx BPC prices have fallen significantly and today this would require eight nyx BPO. Trying to earn that sort of isk is not practical for me in the medium term, and I suspect BPC prices will continue to fall as everybody able to build supercapitals buys and researches their own BPO for manufacturing.

My plan for retiring on blueprint income is no longer practical, so it's time for a new plan.


1. Income. I will continue to earn isk the old fashioned way. Since there is no longer a finish line, this will happen at a somewhat more relaxed pace.
2. Expenses. Instead of rushing to get nyx BPO isk will be used to buy whatever is needed, with an emphasis on fun. Machariels will be avoided because they are not cost effective, but T3 are in.
3. Blueprints. Spare isk will still be invested in blueprints. Since supercarriers no longer have a significantly higher MMPB (monthly income, in millions, per billion isk invested) compared to carriers I would start by filling my research slots with carriers, then trading up to blueprints with a higher monthly income though possibly lower MMPB. This goes: Carrier (31m/mo, 32 MMPB), rorqual (76m/mo, 23 MMPB), supercarrier (584m/mo, 35 MMPB (decreasing)), titan (1180m/mo, 18 MMPB).
4. Supercapitals come first. Blueprints are to be liquidated as necessary in order to buy or replace supers. Everything else is cheap and can be covered by normal income, passive income or even petty cash from bounties.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Running sanctums with the NC

It's pretty common for people to accuse the NC of blobbing in pvp, but what not everybody realizes is that we do a lot of other things the same way. Most of the time I earn isk plexing with just me and my alt but today I got in on an op running anomalies, where I took the below screenshot:


Thursday, December 16, 2010

Coalition map update

May 2010 update.

Borders have stabilized (for the moment) so it's time for another map. Major changes are initiative colored with IT, AAA/ROL retaking feythabolis and impass, and cloud ring now controlled by NC. Also, I'm not coloring providence again until somebody gets around to kicking out all those puppets.

Credit goes to influence map people, as always.

Blue: IT et aliae
Green: Northern coalition and deklein coalition
Pink: Drone russians and some other russians

Monday, December 13, 2010

:NC: vs PL (or, in which I nearly lose my nyx)

In a shocking display of competence in extremis, Hinata has bailed the NC capfleet out, an eventuality which we had not planned for! Alas, our ~goodfites~ will have to wait for the planned 00:45 evetime formup.

-the mittani

As you may have heard if you pay any attention to 0.0 at all, the NC redeployed back to tribute a few weeks back. Since then things have been pretty slow. It's seemed as though leadership was testing PL and trying to find a fleet composition that worked against them. We've reinforced small numbers of towers and only brought subcapital fleets to kill them, which have all been annihilated.

PL members are mostly high-SP pvpers and thus are multispecced, and with the spy and timer situation they have the luxury of switching fleet compositions based on what we bring. We bring battleships, they bring ahax and we die. We bring drakes, they bring pulse abaddons and we die. We almost standardized on ahax, but then PL developed some sort of anti-ahax battleships and killed a fleet of those.

So herpitty derp derp, we have to kill them by blobbing. Today we formed up 200 capitals and went out and reinforced a couple of dozen tech pos. They were in more than one or two systems, too, so my guess is that leadership types are actually serious about taking them at this point.

Flying a supercarrier is nice because of lol-ehp, but actually using it is sort of dull. There aren't any damage notifications, and since bombers can't hit the tower you're on mod incap duty.

SC pos bashing


We ended up in h-pa, PL's staging system, where our subcapitals were camping them in to the station. Euro people were logging off, dreads went home briefly to refuel and subcapitals went back to umi to reform, but we tried to keep system control. This did not work out very well for us.

We got our capital fleet tackled on a PL pos. It took a while for them to really start logging in supers though, which allowed us to get most of our capitals safe. Just as we were trying escape a bunch of people lost their teamspeak connection (there have been accusations of Hijinks) and I didn't get the order to jump, and got tackled in my nyx.

I started getting hit by PL supers and would have been screwed if razor's famous nano apoc fleet hadn't warped in to nuke the dictors. I jumped out with 17% armor, having learned an important lesson about self-preservation.

EDIT: I learned later that there were multiple doomsdays running on me as I jumped out, which would have killed me if they had landed.


Oh snap

Battle report

EDIT: A nyx loss appears on that battle report. This happened in a later fleet when a PL spy lit a cyno in h-pa and our FC was conveniently disconnected from teamspeak between saying "jump" and what the destination was.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Installing eve on linux

So, it came time for me to install a newer version of linux. I had been using ubuntu 8.something and its' support cycle ended a while ago. Security updates stopped at some point, and more recently the software repositories were taken offline. The system still worked, of course, but upgrading at some point was inevitable and I finally got around to it this weekend.

The most recent ubuntu version is 10.10, but I went with 10.04 because it's a "long term support" version and is actually supported for a year past the end of 10.10's lifecycle. I hate upgrading.

It's come a long way in the past few years. Nonfunctional alpha-quality tools from old version now Just Work. .config files I had mastered writing have been replaced by graphical tools. The UI is extremely responsive, which had been a problem in a few older releases. In mplayer subtitle errors have been fixed, and running the 64-bit version means CPU use is lower. Flash now works, even on 64-bit, without video stuttering. It isn't installed by default due to being non-free, but can be installed via the ubuntu software installer ('non-free' refers to software which is not open source).

Oh, and my frame rate in eve tripled.

The biggest issue I encountered was the astonishingly ugly default splash screen and theme, but this was easily fixed.

How to install eve on linux:

Computer which can run eve
NVIDIA graphics card
(apparently ATI actually works now, but I can't guarantee that)

Step 1:
Install linux. This is ridiculously easy: Download a disk image, burn it to a CD, boot from the CD and click through the fisher-price graphical installer. You can use a distro other than ubuntu of course, but this guide is partly distro-specific.

Step 2:
After booting into your new system you will need to enable the non-free nvidia driver. There will be a little icon at upper right with a circuit board and a padlock. Click it, select install drivers and activate the recommended driver. A restart will be required.

Step 3:
Download the eve installer.

Step 4:
Install wine by running 'sudo apt-get install wine' in a terminal (applications->utilities->terminal I think). Many of the steps here which use terminal commands can be accomplished with clicky stuff too, but it's easier for me this way.

Note: Pasting text into the terminal may require you to use ctrl-shift-v rather than ctrl-v.

Step 5:
Run winecfg. Go to graphics and set it to run in a virtual desktop. You wouldn't want to run eve in fullscreen mode, would you? Would you? Why do you hate everything that is good in the world?

You actually might, in which case knock yourself out, but windowed mode is safer -- linux has a sketchy history when it comes to switching resolutions and using fullscreen graphics acceleration, and at some point in the distant past alt-tabbing away from fullscreen eve caused it to crash.

Note that the client can change the size of the virtual desktop by switching the resolution in the client's graphic settings.

Step 6:
Run the eve installer. You'll have to right click, go to properties->permissions and set it as executable before it will run.

Step 7:
The eve installer doesn't work, unless you downloaded the offline installer, in which case the patching tool doesn't work. The repair tool, however, does work and will happily construct an up-to-date client from whatever it starts with. Let it do its thing.

Step 8:
Eve is missing its' fonts. They are actually present in a default 10.04 installation, but are not in wine's fonts folder. Run "cp /usr/share/fonts/truetype/msttcorefonts/* ~/.wine/drive_c/windows/Fonts/"

Step 9:
Disable the new jukebox service, as it is said to cause crashes. Run "mv ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/CCP/EVE/res/audio/Jukebox/ ~/.wine/drive_c/Program\ Files/CCP/EVE/res/audio/_Jukebox". The splash screen music will still work, but in-game music won't. If you want the eve music you can open the jukebox folder and drag the songs to your music player of choice. You can use ctrl+h to reveal the .wine folder in your home directory.

Step 10:
Run eve from the desktop icon or applications->wine->programs.

Step 11 (optional):
Anti-aliasing cannot be enabled by default. It can be made enableable if you like, but cannot be used at the same time as either HDR or bloom. If you wish to enable it, open ~/.wine/user.reg and paste the below registry entry at the bottom:


Once this is done restart the client, disable HRD and bloom and anti-aliasing will be useable.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

An assessment of the 0.0 political situation

Aka hurfitty hurf durf internet spaceship words.

First, Providence. Because it doesn't really affect anything else. With AAA gone CVA started making progress against the alliances AAA had installed there. Then Ev0ke and Tri (ncdot) decided to invade. As the only real pvp alliances in the area I rather anticipate they will steamroll anything that gets in their way. I'll be glad to see the place finally cleared out and inhabited by an alliance which is competent to hold space. For the first time, like, ever.

The part of 0.0 which is not providence has formed into what may turn out to be a beautiful chain reaction in which every 0.0 entity will become engaged in an active conflict.

First, some background.

Apparently, at some point in the distant past AAA was a pvp alliance. I started playing in late 2007, and this was before my time. In my memory AAA have done a total of three things: Betray goons to join bob, kill CVA with the help of dominion lag and every other alliance in the south, and show up two months late to MAX 2, lose 5 supers and immediately go home.

That's everything. In the space of three years.

A few months ago various forces decided that it was time for AAA to die and invaded them. AAA folded like a cheap deck of cards, lost all their space to Initiative and lost half their members, but did not disband. Stagnant alliances faced with adversity either fail or become pvp alliances, and AAA appears to fall into the latter category. They moved in with stainwagon (I'm looking forward to drawing my next coalition map just so I can call it 'stainwaaagon') and began a counterattack.

CO2 and DT had been installed between Init and Stainwaaagon as meatshields. Init failed to support them and they died without a fuss. Stainwaaagon have now turned their attention to Initiative, and this is where things get interesting.

Initiative is an ally of IT. IT's only ally, in fact, other than pets. Apparently IT have finally realized the value of allies (there's a first time for everything) because they have just announced a full deployment to defend init against AAA.

This moves their forces a couple regions counter-clockwise, leaving only shitty pets in fountain. DC (Deklein coalition) would be remiss to not take this opportunity to attack Fountain, especially since tri and evoke are in providence instead of farming pure blind and cloud ring. I sincerely hope razor joins in if this happens; I've never invaded the southwest before, and apparently IT pets have a lot of really terrible supercap pilots.

If fountain gets into trouble it's likely that IT will go home to defend it, leaving Init to the ravages of Stainwaaagon. If Stainwaaagon win it's possible that they might even open a southern front against IT. If things go well enough we (NC/DC) could even end up working with AAA. This is not an outcome I would have predicted at any point in the past. Ever.

Now, if the NC deploys to the west it could open our eastern front to attack by dronelanders. This isn't a huge deal though, since DRF have an even weaker US time zone then the SC did; the eastern NC alliances may well be able to hold them off without assistance. Even in a worst case scenario we have 4 days' warning for station saves, so we could easily do round trip fleets from west to east.

At least, this is what I would like to see happen in the next few months. I would also like a pony.

Friday, December 3, 2010

First blood

I just got into coalition supercap channels yesterday, and today there was a hastily-arranged supercarrier fleet. Dronelanders are working on retaking the stations we took, and we're fighting them at least a bit. Apparently a subcapital fleet had gotten some supers tackled, and we burned in that direction but they escaped. We did catch a single archon though, which became my first kill in my SC.

Mail. Nice combat fit.

(Yes, by the way, that dictor did bubble all our supercarriers. We ARE that bad at bubbling)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

That eve character appraiser thing

EDIT: Since people are still arriving here via google, I would encourage you to check the comments. Some of my criticisms are technical limitations, one was a design decision and one actual bug was fixed.

Also, this thing is years out of date and using it doesn't make sense any more oh my god please stop whining.

A couple people have linked to an automatic character value appraisal tool recently. I gave it a try (14b, since I'm sure you care) and it's an interesting tool, but I sure hope it's still under development since most of what I noticed about it were the errors.

Starting at the top, it noted under 'character specials' that I can fly t2 amarr and gallente cruisers, but failed to note that I can also fly caldari freighters, caldari, minmatar and gallente carriers and supercarriers (including bombers) and caldari and minmatar dreadnaughts. I really think there should be price modifiers for those, or at least one for each class of capitals a character can fly.

Under the implants section it noticed my slave alpha through epsilon implants, but failed to recognize slave omega, CC8 or ZET5000 (combined value 1.25 billion).

Lastly, looking through the skill categories it seems to have imported all level 4 capital-related skills as level 3, including capital ships, fighter bombers, tactical weapon reconfiguration, capital projectile turret, minmatar carrier, minmatar dreadnaught and gallente carrier.

So, maybe some room for improvement.

Finding a better carebear ship

For the purpose of making isk I run plexes with two characters, one in a scout/scan/tank tengu and the second in a maelstrom to do damage. I've been using this setup for a while and have made a pretty decent amount of isk off it, but have now finished pvp training on the alt on my damage dealer's account and have some time to invest in my carebear. I have long suspected that the damage dealer was the weak part of my pve setup, since the maelstrom was selected purely on the basis of what my damage dealer, a repurposed pvp character, could fly. My purpose with this post is to find a better pve ship, which I will then train for. No amarr ships can be evaluated because of their damage types, which is unfortunate.

When it comes to carebearing, two things are important: Income per unit of time, and effort. Finding a balance is important; the maze is the most profitable guristas plex, but with my ships and skills it takes a lot of effort. For this reason I don't run it. An example of low profit, low effort would be running plexes or anomalies in an ishtar, which requires practically no interaction with the game but takes forever. Belt mining is an example of low profit, high effort as you have to watch local every second, move to new roids, haul ore, etc. Personally I'm in a higher profit bracket with a somewhat low effort, running every guristas plex except the maze quickly (mostly) and easily.

In evaluating ships I have arrived at four values which will be most useful in evaluating a ship:

Some guristas battleships orbit at 52 km. The DPS the ship is calculated to do to one of these is the first field.

Some battleships orbit at 32 km. The second field is the DPS done to these ships.

Elite cruisers orbit at 17.5 km. The third field will only shows the EFT damage. For turrets this is very low because of tracking, though in practice there are tricks to reduce their angular velocity so that turrets can hit for near full damage. With a little luck, a maelstrom can kill an elite cruiser in 2 volleys.

Finally, there is price. This is a rough estimate of how much it would cost to buy and fit the ship.

Artillery maelstrom:
DPS at to battleship at 52 KM: 630
DPS at to battleship at 32 KM: 620
DPS to elite cruiser: 117
Price: 150 million

This is the ship I'm using right now. It's pretty nice and I like the volley damage, but I'm hoping there is something better out there.

Similar ships which I have considered and rejected include: Arty+cruise tempest, arty+cruise typhoon, rokh, megathron and hyperion.

DPS to battleship at 52 KM: 673
DPS to battleship at 32 KM: 697
DPS to elite cruiser: 165
Price: 150m

The dominix is interesting. With railguns in addition to sentry drones it does slightly more damage at range than the maelstrom. Using light drones instead of sentries it still does 551 dps, and it has slightly higher tracking as well. Unfortunately it has to be stationary to use sentry drones, and this adds a level of complexity above the maelstrom. In terms of hitting elite cruisers, the same tricks can be used.

Verdict: I'll pass. Does not represent a meaningful improvement over the maelstrom.

Autocannon machariel:
DPS to battleship at 52 KM: 728
DPS to battleship at 32 KM: 877
DPS to elite cruiser: 707
Price: 1000 million

The autocannon machariel does great damage at long range, and with autocannon tracking it will eat elite cruisers alive. There are two problems though, which are the price -- way too high for a ship without a real pve tank -- and ammo consumption. With a rate of fire around 4 times faster than an artillery fit ship, finding ammo (in tenal, where the market is dead) and having to go back to station to restock would become annoying. There's also the killboard issue if something unfortunate were to happen: People expect failfit ravens, but machariels are a whole different level of horrible.

Verdict: A major improvement over the maelstrom, but too exotic for pve use.

Artillery machariel:
DPS to battleship at 52 KM: 787
DPS to battleship at 32 KM: 760
DPS to elite cruiser: 114
Price: 1000m

Improved peak dps but with the same tracking issues as the maelstrom plus the fail issues of the autocannon mach.

Verdict: No.

The vindicator is a similar ship which I considered and rejected.

Javelin torp raven:
DPS to battleship at 52 KM (javelin): 569
DPS to battleship at 32 KM (T1): 892
DPS to elite cruiser (T1): 392
Price: 150m

Torpedo ravens do a whole lot of damage, but have very short range. I'm lazy and so absolutely will not chase pve targets around, but using javelin torpedoes combined with missile range rigs and good skills it is possibly to get the maximum torpedo range up above 52 km. Because target painters fall off at 45 km the damage at that range is actually slightly lower than the maelstrom, but relatively few guristas battleships actually orbit that far out. At close ranges the raven does significantly more damage than the maelstrom, as well as decent and much more consistent damage to elite cruisers.

In addition to the damage bonus missiles mean never having to worry about falloff or tracking, which represents a very significant decrease in the amount of effort involved in plexing. The downside is that smaller ships will be hit for less than maximum damage, though based on the DPS to elite cruiser EFT doesn't think this will be a major issue.

There is the challenge of getting javelin torps out to tenal, but the number which can be hauled back after taking loot to jita is practically limitless.

Verdict: Definitely worth looking into.

Torp golem:
DPS to battleship at 52 KM (javelin): 697
DPS to battleship at 32 KM (rage): 1138
DPS to elite cruiser (javelin): 543
Price: 650m

With a target painting bonus and 1/3 more base DPS, the golem does more damage at long range than the maelstrom, hilarious damage at close range and hits elite cruisers for nearly as much as the maelstrom's peak damage. It also represents a very significant improvement over the raven.

Verdict: I hate missiles with a burning passion and would never use them in subcapital combat, but principles are less important than money.

So, that's that. The golem is much better then every other ship I had even suspected might be worth checking. My plan was originally to test the torp raven first, but the difference in training time is only a week.

EDIT: Torp Rattlesnake:
DPS to battleship at 52 KM (javelin): 568
DPS to battleship at 32 KM (T1): 738
DPS to elite cruiser (T1): 585
Price: 650m

By popular demand!

You'd think with the number of rattlesnake BPC I find that I would have at least bothered to check it, but I didn't. It looks pretty similar to a dominix that uses missiles, and I was surprised to learn that it has a torpedo range bonus.

Between the 52 and 32 km battleship ranges it averages the same DPS as the dominix. An interesting feature is that it does the most damage to elite cruisers of any ship other than the autocannon machariel, though this number does depend on switching out to heavy drones.

Verdict: Arguably superior to the dominix, but suffers the same issues as a result of reliance on drones. The golem is a superior damage dealer, which is what I am looking for and thus remains my choice.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Answers to some searches which brought people here

I use a widget to track visitors so that I can assess my self-worth on a daily basis. It also tells me what search terms people use to get here, and sometimes people are looking for things that I have never answered but can or would like to. Thus, this post.

"number of supercarriers in eve"

1350 and growing fast

"eve "CR Battleships" "

A CR battleship is a close-range battleship. This means it uses pulse lasers or autocannons. Gallente "CR" BS will usually use 350mm rails because blasters have inadequate range. Caldari do not have fleet ships.

"dps supercarrier"


"chimera gurista sanctum setup"

It's a damn carrier. Slap on a capital repper, fit it cap stable and you're ready to go. Really ~elite~ carrier-failures will use mods such as drone control units, target painters, drone navigation computers and auto-targeters.

"Eve Is a chimera worth training for?"

No, no, no, no and no. You want to dock up for a few hours and seriously re-evaluate your training plan.

Minmatar have dual rep types and rep amount bonus. Unless you're doing pve or using triage mode to support subcapitals everything else is shit. Helpful hint: You will never use triage mode to support subcapitals, and if you do they will not be shield tanked.

"Best wyvern fit sanctum"

1. You trained caldari.
2. You are thinking about using a supercarrier to run sanctums.
3. Go kill yourself.

"Build price ragnarok titan"

50 billion

"eve online widot thread"

After Atlas and pets kicked WI out of geminate, people kept bringing up WI on CAOD. "WI are terribad," that sort of thing. For an ~elite pvp~ alliance to spend months mocking an alliance with no space is somewhere between funny and sad, so WI picked up on this and a new meme was born.

Today, of course, atlas and all their pets are dead and WI is doing fine.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Screenshot wednesday: Triple nyx

Stuck in my SC for another 24 hours, so I can't get in fleet. Instead here's another nyx screenshot, because there can never be enough.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Updated blog pack statistics

Boilerplate: I don't have particular feelings about the blog pack. This post exists because I was curious.

Earlier this year I went through the blog pack to check what sort of things it actually contained. This produced a few statistics, which I posted. A few days ago I saw a post from 'dense veldspar,' a blog pack member, saying that the blog was shutting down. This made me curious, so I redid the statistics.

The numbers I took this time around are somewhat different. I counted what type of pvp the author posts about rather than where they live, counted how many blogs I thought were exceptional or worthless and took more detailed low activity statistics.

Short version: Average posts per month is steady but the number of inactive blogs has increased by a factor of 5. Bloggers are all carebears or piwates.

Long version:

Type of PVP:
Minimal or no offensive pvp: 25
Lowsec/WH/small gang pvp: 20
0.0: 5

Basically only has banter blogs, reposts and non-eve content: 5
Strong original content: 7

Posting stats:
Most posts in october: 32 (
Average posts in october: 6.5
One to four posts in october: 16
Zero posts in october: 12
Longest time since posting: 4 months (

Link outdated or no longer exist: 3 account expired changed to in march ?account expired

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

New ship: Nyx

Earlier I mentioned that I had a nyx on order and talked about the fittings. This post is the fun part.

Today my nyx finished building so I jumped to my clone with slave set and other supercap implants, which I had prepared and moved to a convenient 0.0 station along with my nyx fittings.

The transfer was pretty simple. Trusting the people involved is key: The corp I ordered it from is a long-time core NC corporation, and the CEO vouched for the person delivering the ship. At that point I felt comfortable to go ahead with the transaction, though they would have accepted a third party service.

The ship was in a POS with a password set, known only to myself and the person delivering the ship. I warped in, sent the isk to the corporation, the pilot ejected and I boarded. Carefully moving to an alliance POS in there system where my fittings were located, I then bludgeoned a corpmate into letting me use his SC to refit as my holding alt is still several days from being able to fly a carrier.

This is a noteworthy event for me for a variety of reasons. It's baby's first supercapital of course, it's the best looking ship in the game and it's something I've always wanted to fly, but more importantly I have crossed the line of what I thought I could ever achieve. When I first started playing I thought flying a battleship would be a major achievement. I thought that maybe someday, if I kept playing, maybe I would end up flying a carrier, though probably never a dread. I was certain that I would never fly a supercap.



This is an internet spaceship

It's not perfect: I need to get the remote ECM burst trained, the drones need some serious work and carrier 5 would be nice.

But you know what? That looks pretty good to me.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

NC vs Dronelanders: Battle for R10-GN

As reported previously, while we spent the weekend in tribute saving our CSAA, DRF forces reinforced the three stations we had taken in drone lands. The first station apparently was repped without incident yesterday, and today the R10 and LXQ stations came out of reinforced within a few hours of each other. They were timed for EU time zone instead of US in hopes of getting a fight, and the hostiles didn't disappoint.

EDIT: There's a rumor that one station, M3, is actually in its' second reinforced cycle. I guess we'll see if something interesting happens.

MOAR EDIT: Apparently R10 had been repped, and is in the first reinforced cycle a second time.

Numbers were unclear, being split between multiple fleets, but I would expect that we had a significant numerical advantage. Local peaked at 900, and lag was moderate but people loaded well. The battle consisted of an extended subcapital slugfest on the station which was notable for a beautiful bomber trap at the beginning and killing a few capitals the hostiles had brought in at the end. We held the field, and I anticipate a positive isk ratio when the killboards finish loading. Goodfites, overall.


Killing capitals

Killboard (will take time to sync)

Sunday, November 14, 2010

NC vs Dronelanders: Now with more IT and PL

I don't know why I bother with situation updates, since everybody should be using evenews24 by now.

Last week we took two stations, one with a fight and one without. For the latter Dronelanders (referred to as DRF from now on) elected to defend a CSAA instead of the station, but we killed that as well. Word is a titan was building, and this hasn't been denied.

People reporting PL's demise done and got trolled. They're in venal and have taken a contract against the NC, taking a couple dozen technetium moons and reinforcing 3 CSAA. Tech moons aren't a big deal - there are hundreds of the damn things and retaking them is practically the official coalition pastime - but CSAA take clear precedence over the drone lands campaign and we took the weekend off to save them.

While we were doing this, DFR reinforced all the stations we had taken in drone regions. Then IT dropped SBU in cloud ring.

Assuming IT isn't just dicking around, shit just got real. This is the three front war which was predicted a few months ago and the hostiles include every entity with a meaningful supercapital fleet.

Depending on how much trouble PL and IT make, it could turn into a defensive war pretty easily. I'm optimistic about our chances, but the timing is interesting; I've been in razor for 9 months now, and to date every corporation and alliance I have joined has failed, lost its' space or gone back to empire in under a year. If rzr goes under, I'll have to start joining alliances I don't like.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

NC vs Dronelanders: M3 station captured

"Guys I haven't said to jump back yet, and... I see fucking tractor beams here, what the fuck?"

-NC being pro

Where don't you want to go today?

The M3 station is the second station to be contested during our drone lands campaign and one of only three in the Kalevala Expanse region. One of the other stations is in armor reinforced at the time of writing, and the last is in shield reinforced. M3 came out of its' final reinforcement cycle today and the hostiles showed up to defend. It was a standard subcapital fight, 800 in system, light to moderate lag, with a few carriers on the field from both sides. Lag was manageable and jumping in worked fine even when the lag was at its' worst.

The main fight on the gate

I died about halfway through and reshipped to a guardian. By the time I got back in system the reds had conceded the fight and were just doing bombing runs. Fortunately we had a decent FC and took minimal losses, though I've never seen so many battleships in structure.


EDIT 2010-11-11: Updated and revised.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Battleships are expensive

In the aftermath of the fight in CYB yesterday it has turned out that I received two lossmails for the same ship, due to desync, and two platinum insurance payouts, totaling 122 million. Back in the day ship replacment usually consisted of a free or cheap hull and the insurance money would cover modules and rigs, give or take a couple million, so in a decent alliance members could replace battleships essentially for free.

After receiving a tempest hull from ship replacement for 20 million I went to fit it out, and discovered that this costs a lot more than it used to. Sixty to eighty million just for the rigs. Seven for 2 1600mm plates. It used to be that the fittings were about half the total price of a fleet battleship, but today a tempest hull costs 72 million while the total price for hull, rigs, modules, drones and insurance comes out to 215 million. Even with double insurance and a cheap hull, replacing the ship put me out about a hundred million.

The medium range tempest fit that we're using is pretty okay, but maybe I'll go back to flying logistics. They're a lot cheaper, even if they are :effort:

Sunday, November 7, 2010

NC vs Dronelanders: MM titan down in CYB-BZ

EDIT 2010-12-23: Sala has a new rag ^_^

As a general situation update, the war is basically proceeding apace. We continue to take systems, kill structures and get fights. The only real development is that PL have taken a contract against the NC and are now shooting technetium moons in venal.

Today we were out shooting structures when we got word of a blue titan tackled. We started burning to assist and word came down of 7 red titans on the field and ours was already dead.

The titan was owned by sala cameron. Apparently what happened is that he was fixing to gank an enemy carrier at a pos and it turned out to be a trap. Incidentally Sala is my favorite titan pilot, notable for being active, recording the h-w capital fight video and being willing to take risks. I particularly recall the time during h-w that he warped his titan to zero on an enemy capital fleet to get us a warpin.

Sala took this just before dying

Anyhow, we decided to engage the hostiles. Dronelanders brought out their supercapitals and we engaged with a full subcapital fleet, managing to do a number on their support and kill a few carriers. We got tackle on several supercapitals during the course of the fight but weren't able to hold them down as our dictors were picked off. Toward the end we bumped an aeon for about an hour to keep it from warping, but it eventually escaped in half armor.

I eventually died to massive desync, but it was definitely goodfights despite the lag. Somebody in fleet mentioned that these things never seem to happen on reinforced nodes, and my theory is that unplanned fights tend to be more interesting.

Some of the red supers

EDIT: Sala's battle report from this engagement was posted here.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Saturday, October 30, 2010

NC vs Dronelanders: LXQ2-T: 3100 in local, station captured

I missed a major fight on wednesday-ish, during which we took out the LXQ ihub and put the station in its' second reinforced cycle. We made out pretty well in that fight, killing 600 ships and losing 300.

Today the LXQ station finished its' final reinforced timer. Anticipating a big fight and for hostiles to try to get in system around downtime, we got in system 8 hours before the station came out, three hours before downtime, and local was already 600, mostly blue. Intel reported the hostiles had 98 supercapitals logged off in system, 74 supercarriers and 24 titans, while we were subcapitals only. We were hoping to get some super kills, since with so many inexperienced super pilots in one place a few are bound to make mistakes, but they never logged in. Numbers climbed slowly as we waited, reaching 1900 in local and mostly blue just before the station came out of reinforced. At that point the hostiles jumped in about a thousand guys and the node got a bit slow.

Pilots in space

We started out on a grid where several battleship fleets had titan bridged in. Lag was at the level where you expect the node to crash, but it hung on and local eventually broke 3100. I'm not certain how many we killed there, but it's highly unlikely that anything entering system would ever load. Based on a lack of armor broadcasts in my fleet I don't think we lost anybody, but there were probably 5 blue fleets on grid. Enemy bombers did a run, but their bombs decided not to move and blew up in their faces.

Brackets at the first fight

After approximately four hours that grid had been cleared and we warped to a second spot where hostiles had bridged in a battleship fleet. None of the ships moved as we killed them, indicating that none had loaded system.

These guys look blackscreened

Then we warped to a gate where blues were engaging an enemy drake fleet. These ones were actually in system and fighting, but that didn't do much to stop the multiple blue fleets on grid killing them. Local finally fell below 2000 at this point.

First drake fleet

When this was finished we warped to a different gate, where an IRC drake fleet had clearly blackscreened jumping in, and killed them too.

Blackscreened drake fleet

Eventually local got down to 1500, the fighting was over and lag disappeared. We're hitting the station now, and I'm logging off after 14 hours in fleet. I didn't get any kills except for a tower and some mods early in the morning, but it's all good.

EDIT: I actually got on one kill from the fight itself.

Hitting station


To say the dronelanders' strategy during this fight was questionable would be an understatement. Jumping your fleet into a system with 1900 already in local is a futile gesture and hurts morale; strategy in a scenario like this should revolve around gaining system control during your prime time and keeping it until objectives can be completed.

According to rumor CCP moved the jita node to LXQ, which may be why the node didn't crash outright. Multiple CCP employees were present in local, and an ISD guy showed up as well.

Also, we killed god.

Victim: CCP Atlas
Corp: C C P
Alliance: C C P Alliance
Faction: Unknown
Destroyed: BH Mega Cargo Ship
System: LXQ2-T
Security: 0.0

EDIT: CCP used this fight to gather data for lag fixing purposes and we are now looking forward to a possible devblog. Their reporting software showed a peak of 3242 players in system. Also one of the things CCP Atlas was carrying when we killed him was actually a data gathering tool... oops :)

Some information here.

MORE EDIT: CCP Atlas' corpse was apparently sold for 5 billion isk.

Friday, October 29, 2010

In which I nearly participate in a banter blog

This month topic is brought to us by L’Dene Bean of Nitpickin’s who asks: Why, and how did you pick your corporation? Is your loyalty solid or just until a better placed organization “recruits” you. The shorter version: Who holds your unshakable fealty and why?

In his posts on the nature of alliance failure cascades, Mittani observed that they occur when the organization that corporations or players identify with ceases to be the alliance. People don't like to believe they are bad at the game so when an alliance starts losing, corporations may decided it is the rest of the alliance which is fail and leave. Similarly a player may decided that their alliance or corporation is fail and leave or stop participating.

When WI lost all their space my corporation left the alliance and I left my corporation, but the organization I identify with never changed. I found a new corporation by checking with all the corporations in the alliances I was interested in, eventually finding a place in razor.

While my corporation are a fine bunch of folks, and while my alliance is the most competent I have been in, they are just the place I live. The organization to which I am most loyal is the northern coalition as a whole, for the reason that I actually believe the leadership has the best interests of the coalition at heart. I can be confident of this because they have spent years building the coalition into the uniquely successful organization it is today, cultivating a highly resilient cooperative model rather than the cult of personality which has failed so many alliances recently.

tl;dr nc rules atlas drools yes I'm bitter

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Coalition map update

December 2010 update here.

Since the southern coalition died hilariously in a fire it's time for a new coalition map. Accuracy not guaranteed. Credit goes to the people who do the sov map.

Blue: IT and pets
Brownish-gray: Ev0ke and co.
Green: NC and brosephs
Orange: Stainwagon
Pink: Drone russians and some other russians
Red: The new south
Yellow: Providence. Not a power block.

The south is a bloody mess as always. Sys-k is an IT pet but fighting stainwagon with the new south alliances, Init is closely allied with IT, IT aren't fighting stainwagon, CO2 and DT are allied with init against stainwagon and god only knows what CO2 and DT's standings toward IT are.

Providence is a shitfest. The region is as complex politically as the entire rest of the map and I'm not going to touch it.

Another general update

Over the last week the NC have been RFing Dronelander towers and incapping jump bridges to try to provoke fights, without much success. Since the last fight in N-RAEL there has been one big fight, over an ihub, which came out about even on killboards but we took the system. Today a second ihub came out, and since the Russians didn't show up to defend it we reinforced a station.

More NC entities have been deploying east to joing the campaign. I particularly noted the presence of FCON -- there was some skepticism when they joined the coalition (because, you know, :providence: ) so it's nice to see them throwing their weight around.

Out west in cloud ring it sounds like ev0ke space is continuing to be taken by the Deklein coalition, a new political bloc headed by Goons which includes TEST and a number of other alliances. The difference between them and the NC will be academic to an outsider, since we are blue to each other.

Finally, rumors have PL moving moving to NPC geminate. If true the timing of this is interesting, since it and the recently announced IT campaign correlate with rumors that IT+PL+dronelanders will be attacking the NC.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Monday, October 18, 2010

NC vs Dronelanders: Lag-free fights

Alex Rembrandt > we're probably fighting the B team right now though
Karmic Enigma > our first fight was the D team, the second was perhaps a C+ Team

The first two hostile pos that we reinforced in drone regions came out after downtime today. We put together about 80 armor hacs with 10ish logistics, a second, larger shield BC fleet and bombers. We were expecting stiff resistance, these being the first strategic objective of the war, and intel reported 250 hostiles.

Our ahax were orbiting the lowsec gate when local spiked to 300. The hostiles, in shield BC, landed on us at zero and logistics were ordered to jump through if we were taking damage. They primaried the logistics, and though most managed to jump out we did lose a couple, including myself.

Oh snap, drakes at zero

It turns out that the strength of drakes against ahax is partly in their range, and things went rather well for us as I was reshipping. By the time I got back in system the hostiles were on the back foot, and they warped out and safed up in a pos. We defanged it while waiting for the second tower to come out of reinforced.

Aftermath on the lowsec gate

Before the second tower came out a red reinforcement fleet of about 80 came and we engaged them on their in-gate. This time they didn't primary the logistics, and for the most part weren't able to get kills either.

Hostile reinforcements jumping in

Toward the end of the second fight


It is worthy of note that the fight was totally lag-free. The system was reinforced, of course, but with 300 people fighting on the same grid such a smooth fight is noteworthy.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Don't be this person (part 2)

I'm all for making isk faster, but please use caution.

Saturday, October 16, 2010

New campaign

Here we go again. Last week we were fixing to go out on a winter deployment to cloud ring, but it was canceled just hours before we were to ship out. The story, apparently, is that we got solid intel that the russians were planning an attack and decided to pre-empt them. So far it doesn't look like a full coalition effort, but multiple NC alliances are involved including rzr and MM. Somebody has apparently already taken an RA station in drone regions.

Since the russians have one of the largest supercap fleet in the game, and since we won't have all the coalition capitals available, there's the possibility of things going very wrong. Could be interesting.

At the same time IT has just announced a campaign in the immediate future. The timing makes me speculate they may be planning to coordinate with the russians, either in the east to stack supercapitals or in the west to split our forces. On the other hand, IT haven't gone after any difficult targets since max 2; maybe it's still too soon.

Friday, October 15, 2010

New ship: Thanatos


I'll start by saying it: Gallente ships are the ugliest damn things in space. Amarr ships look okay, caldari are nice in the right light and I love the minmatar design aesthetic, but except for the nyx gallente is all shit, all the time. I've said that I can't tell the front of a moros from the back because the entire thing looks like ass.

The thanatos, in addition to being ugly, is a shitty carrier. The damage bonus is worthless for a carrier's role, amarr has a better tank and minmatar get a remote rep bonus. The thanatos' damage bonus makes it good at one thing though, which is carebearing.

I've been using a chimera for pve. By comparison the thanatos does 25% more damage, locks faster and is cap stable. As an armor tank it's also better against the EM torpedo in DG fleet staging, although amusingly the first fit I tried had trouble tanking the normal ships in the site when fit for the torpedo. Capital armor reppers are incredibly slow.

New fleet staging fit -- defence is shown for EM

Fitting for guristas it's a little weaker than the chimera - 5k dps tank instead of 7k - but this probably is not a big deal.

Guristas fit

You might note the smartbomb and neut in these fits. All PVE fits should have these: Some plex spawn large numbers of close-range tacklers which the smartbomb can kill quickly should a neutral show up, the neut will save you from getting tackled by a single interceptor like an idiot, and nobody should waste time training advanced drone interfacing past level 3 since it's only used for carebearing.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A brief discussion of carrier functionality, with a focus on minmatar

EDIT 2012-8-19: This guide is out of date and does not reflect modern fitting strategies and tactics.


Although carriers have a little damage in the form of drones they are very much support ships, sporting a hard-to-manage combination of neuts, smartbombs, tackle and both local and remote repair. Their primary function is repairing things, usually structures but also each other, supercapitals or even subcapitals on rare occasions. There are two primary fittings for carriers, one for general combat and one which is cap stable in triage mode for rapid repair.



An interesting feature of the carrier is the reconfiguration capability, which works thusly: When the pilot of a carrier enables reconfiguration mode, and when there are fewer than 10 ships within 5000 metres of the carrier, those ships within 5000 metres can change their fittings just as though they were docked in a station (except that T3 ships cannot switch subsystems). Reconfiguration mode is disabled by docking or jumping, so a carrier pilot must re-enable it each time. This is accomplished by right clicking the capacitor, selecting configure ship and checking the box.

The carrier's corporate hangar gives the pilot 10,000 m^3 of extra storage space, which is enough to carry as many as two spare capital modules (4000 m^3 each). Between this and the reconfiguration capability, a carrier is able to swap between its' roles while in the field. In my opinion the combat fit my alliance uses for the nidhoggur is faulty: If one swaps a neutralizer for the triage module, one can carry both a shield and an armor repper in the corporate hangar, allowing the pilot to reconfigure to full armor or shield rep as needed while still being able to triage.

Generally one will prefer to fit for combat, then reconfigure to triage when needed. Refitting from the combat to the triage fits pictured above means carrying the following unfitted modules:

1x Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
3x Capacitor Power Relay II
2x Cap Recharger II
1x Triage Module I (unless you take my advice and keep it fitted)

Faction modules:

Since a fully fitted carrier will run around a billion isk, you may as well look into faction module variations. In particular, faction EANM (energized adaptive nano membrane) will give you a handy resist bonus for around 30 million each. My alliance also recommends domination or true sansha warp disruptors, but these cost 100m which I don't think is worth it. Smartbomb range can also be increased with T2 or faction variants, but this doesn't appear to increase their utility in a meaningful way.


The carrier's fuel bay holds 20,000 units of fuel, and if you carry 2 capital modules in the corporate hangars the remaining space will hold 13,333 units, which together will be enough for most ops. I can't use triage mode, but if you can it would be good to carry a fairly large number of strontium cycles, probably 10 or more. At that point it would probably only be possible to carry one capital module in the corporate hangar. If you use my idea of keeping the triage module on the combat fit, the one capital module in the corporate hangar should be a shield rep, if repping towers, or an armor rep for combat or for repairing a station -- most capitals and supercapitals are armor tanked, and station shields only need to be repped to 50% before it will go back into reinforced mode if attacked, whereas armor does not recharge and should be repped fully.

Note that only the nidhoggur and thanatos have range bonuses to both shield and armor repair. The chimera and archon will probably just carry two of the same type of repair module. They also have an energy transfer range bonus, but refitting to be cap stable would probably be easier than trying to sort out a cap chain.

Triage mode:

I am not personally familiar with triage mode, having never trained logistics 5. Triage mode halves the cycle time of capital remote repair modules and doubles the rep amount, for a total of 4x the repping ability. It also gives a massive scan res bonus, removing the need for a sensor booster. Triage mode lasts 5 minutes, and at level 4 should burn 150 strontium per cycle. Carriers in triage mode cannot use drones, and I am unclear as to whether they can use other offensive modules such as neuts and smartbombs.


Most of a carrier's damage comes from fighters. A decently skilled carrier will do upward of 1000 dps, which would be decent for turrets but fighters are slow, and unreliable in lag. You will most likely want to use minmatar fighters as they have the highest speed.


A carrier's drone bay is generally large enough to carry around 16-20 fighters, which are 5000 m^3 each. You'll want to leave out one fighter in order to carry normal drones in addition. It's tempting to try and carry multiple flights of each damage type and category of drone in both T1 and T2 but this quickly gets ridiculous and expensive, and you rarely use them anyway. A barebones drone selection is as follows:
  • Multiple flights of T2 light drones (warrior are fastest)
  • At least one set of T2 sentries of each type (sentry drones have different ranges and carriers have a drone control range bonus which allows you to use even the longest-range sentries out to their falloff distance)
  • Heavy shield and armor repair drones
  • Heavy ECM drones (wasp EC-900 I believe)
Once this is done you can fill things in as desired. I can't really imagine a situation in which you would use medium drones instead of light or heavy, but heavy drones can be used instead of fighters to save them from bombs; ten fighters will run you 120 to 150 million. I'd recommend adding a bunch of T1 sentries, light and heavy drones.


Most boosters aren't relevant to carriers, but blue drop and exile increase local shield and armor repair amount respectively. You can see my previous post for a discussion of booster side effects; the short version is that they carry a small chance of reducing your maximum shield or armor hitpoints respectively, so you may want to consider waiting until your shield or armor is below the amount of HP the side effect would reduce you to, which is different depending on the strength of the booster.


As mentioned in my previous post, platinum capital insurance isn't worth it. Unless you're planning to suicide-triage or otherwise have a very good reason to believe you will die, I recommend basic insurance. Half a carrier's value is in fighters and modules anyway, so even platinum will only return about 50% of the value.

Monday, October 4, 2010

A very brief note on preparing the naglfar for combat

EDIT 2012-8-19: This guide is out of date and does not reflect modern fitting strategies and tactics.

As the most expensive ship most players would ever consider flying, and the sub-supercapital the combat abilities of which are most affected by the contents of the cargo, dreadnaughts are uniquely worth fine-tuning. I've been tooling around in one for a couple years now, and having finally found a cargo loadout I'm happy with thought it was time to impart some wisdom. This was originally going to be about dreadnaught cargo in general but turned into a detailed naglfar guide because it's more complicated than the rest.



Dreads use long range weapons, period. Theoretically there could be a place for gank-dreads, but really? No. Jump a decent capital fleet to a cyno and the bump will spread your fleet over a diameter of a hundred k.

EDIT 4/7/2011: This is no longer true. Today, supers are the only thing worth flying and dreads are disposable. Gank (close-range) dreads may be used for nyncing, ninja sieging and suicide ganks on e.g. enemy supers which are being tackled.

There are two points on which I don't really agree with my alliance fitting.

First, the capacitor power relays. Flux coils have faster recharge for fast jumping, and also don't reduce shield boost. I think they use relays because the cap lasts longer, but realistically you will never cap out. Lag often means the booster doesn't cycle, and in any real fight incoming damage will kill you long before the two minutes it would take to cap out anyway.

The second point is the dual sensor boosters. A single SB will give you a targeting range of 185 km, and I have only once been further than that from enemy capitals -- which were specifically sniper fit, and we waited for the siege cycle to end and warped to 0 on them. This fit has a serious resist hole in EM, and swapping an invuln for a thermal mod wouldn't hurt either. Most people fly rev and moros, so it's bad to have low resists in em/therm.


Unless you have good reason to believe that you will lose your dread, get basic insurance. Basic runs around 50 mil while platinum is 280, and a capital is a fairly durable investment. I've spent a lot more on insurance than I have on replacing them, maybe even more than I've spent on hulls, and recently switched to basic insurance. Any decent 0.0 alliance should have a capital replacement program, so replacing a capital shouldn't be a major financial burden.

Fig. 1: Naglfar cargo


Although fuel requirements will vary depending on what sort of range you deploy to, dreadnaughts can never have enough fuel or strontium. Containers, which have more storage space then their volume, give you a little more cargo space to work with. The nag can fit a giant and a medium container, which I keep extra fuel in.

Generally you want to carry a minimum of 5 cycles of strontium. Six is better, and with the fuel requirements in our fleets 7 means having a cycle left when almost everybody else is out. Ops staging out of tribute typically call for between 20k and 30k isotopes. I like to carry 6 cycles of strontium, which gives me 33k fuel; although I could fit 7 cycles for most ops, I find that having extra isotopes is useful as proof against minor fuel requirement mistakes, plus the spare can be given to the inevitable person who finds out he's a little short for the return trip.

Ammo (combat):

720 rounds (18 reloads) of faction artillery ammo is enough to fire continuously unlagged for almost 1.7 hours. Ammo is chosen for damage types -- carbonized lead (long range) and depleted uranium (medium range) spread damage types the most in their ranges, while at close range EMP and fusion allow us to choose damage types for shield and armor tankers respectively. Although this gives us twice as much short range than medium range ammo, and althogh capital fights usually occur at medium range, 720 rounds is far more than I anticipate ever using in a fight.

Combat missiles have the same damage type considerations, so I have selected thunar (EMP) and catastrophe (explosive) for shield and armor tankers. 360 missiles will last slightly longer than the 720 rounds of artillery ammo. Missiles have only one range and there are no faction citadel cruise missiles, so our missile selection is simple compared to projectile ammo.

Ammo (loaded):

Faction explosive ammo is loaded at all times when not actually bashing a structure. You do NOT want to try to reload after jumping or undocking into a laggy fight.

Ammo (structure bashing):

This always happens at close range, and it's not worth switching ammo types to try and find the resists. Because I spend a lot more ammo on a typical structure shooting op than in a typical capital fight, I carry twice as much non-faction close range ammo as I carry of each type of combat ammo. This number is used because it is more than will ever be needed, plus it makes balancing pos bashing missiles easy. I don't actually anticipate structure bashing at long or medium range, but carry a few units of medium and long range non-faction ammo anyway because we have a little discretionary space for unexpected situations.

With missiles, I use thermal or kinetic. This is so that I don't use combat ammo to shoot a pos and find myself out of the correct damage type during a fight. Like projectile ammo, twice as many pos bashing missiles are carried as each type of combat missile.


A word on side effects -- standard boosters have a 20% chance of causing one of their four possible side effects. With nanite control 4 this decreases to a 16% chance. At most one of the side effects per booster will be meaningfully detrimental (i.e. decrease maximum hit points) so you actually have a 4% chance of getting a bad side effect.

Blue pill: Increases shield boost amount. One of the side effects is reduction in maximum shield capacity; however, one suspects this would work like a gang booster leaving, so if you have more than 20% shield damage it would not remove any existing shield HP.
Drop: Increases tracking speed. Has a chance of reducing shield capacity, so it should ONLY be used when you are confident there are not enough enemy capitals around to kill you. Generally this will be used for shooting subcapitals.
Frentix: Increases optimal range. This has a side effect of shield BOOST penalty, which between lag and the high incoming damage will rarely significant in a capital fight.

Drones (not pictured):

I carry one flight of sentries, one of light ewar drones for idiot-proofing and the rest light combat drones. The nag has 225 m^3 of drone space, so unfortunately a spare flight of sentries is impossible. Drone control range is around 60 km with decent skills, and enemy capitals are rarely under this range, so I recommend using sentries with an optimal around 50 km.

Best practices:

Make it a habit to refuel and reload immediately after returning from an op. Check all your storage spaces - fuel, cargo, containers, drone bay - to make sure that nothing is missing. And for the love of god, make sure that your siege module is set to auto-repeat OFF. The truly cautious will split their strontium into stacks of less than one cycle so the module fails when accidentally triggered. I don't do this because I'm lazy.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Two solar fleet titans, one nyx down in geminate

The story starts a month or so ago, when RAGE, ME, Rebellion Alliance and various others started a campaign to retake geminate. This proceeded quietly until about a week ago when solar fleet, their campaign against atlas more or less over, started fighting back.

Solar have a lot of supercapitals, but apparently not a lot of experience using them. Four of their supercarriers were caught and killed about a week ago. A fifth was killed a few days later.

Today I was out west in Mostly Harmless space, in a fight with ev0ke over some tower, when the TDE station in geminate came out of reinforced and a fight developed between the eastern NC alliances and solar fleet. We got word that solar fleet supercapitals were tackled and every capital pilot in the coalition rushed to get there. I podded myself back to tribute (burning a set of +4s, grumble) and started jumping toward the fight.

Waiting for capacitor recharge is painful in these situations. Our capitals and supercapitals were strung out across about 5 cyno beacons starting somewhere out west and leading to just out of titan jump range from the fight. The first wave of capitals jumped in well before I was in position, and things went bad; we didn't have enough people on the field and titans couldn't get in. We were ordered to stop jumping in and the capitals in TDE went siege red and tried to escape. Everybody jumped to a midpoint within titan range of TDE, one nyx escaping in 15% armor.

Our capitals and supers assembled at the midpoint for a few minutes and we jumped back in.

Primary was an erebus, and it melted. We switched to a leviathan; it went down slowly, but died after a few minutes. I unfortunately crashed while it was in high shield and didn't manage to get a screenshot. We tried to kill a second leviathan, but it was leaking armor when it managed to jump out from inside a bubble. Blame lag, I guess.

Erebus going down

The one that got away

With downtime minutes away our final target was a nyx. Things were very close, but when the server shuts down a highly populated system it doesn't drop everybody at once. I was one of the first to drop, and the last I saw the nyx was in structure. Half a minute later it was reported at 50% structure, then 10%, then "everything red" by the last person to be disconnected. Experienced players said the nyx would be killed by drones or by missiles already in flight, and they were right. The timestamp on the nyx kill is one minute after downtime.

Nyx dying

After downtime the hostiles didn't log in and the fight was over. We lost a total of 18 capitals, which I figure to be a pretty good trade.

EDIT: Removed non-useful killboard link.




Thursday, September 23, 2010

Titan or nyx: The answer

I have now posted a more general comparison of supercarriers and titans.


See you tomorrow!

Okay though, it's like this: Titans are expensive, it would take a long time to get in one and the NC is desparately short on supercarriers should we be attacked by a coalition of the russians and our various longtime enemies. Then I finally found a builder who can deliver a nyx in a reasonable timeframe and for a reasonable price. I had enough isk on hand for the hull and part of the fitting, so I spent a few days carebearing it up to get the rest. Now I'm just waiting on skills and the hull.

A fairly standard fit

Is expensive

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

On supercapital inflation

A post over at wotlankor got me thinking about supercap inflation. It's something everyone has noticed over the last few couple years but not an issue I have a particular position on. For one thing, I want a titan; for another, the NC has the largest capital fleet in the game so it doesn't affect me.

Supercapital inflation refers to the increasing prevalance of supercapitals in our internet spaceship game. Back in the day, major wars were started over the rumor that somebody was building a titan. Today it's not uncommon to see dozens of supercapitals on one grid.

So what caused this? Moon gold production hasn't changed. Mineral and T1 ship prices have been dead stable since the post-apocrypha deflation period. My theory is that while the amount of isk items cost has remained steady the actual value of isk has declined as the money supply increased. Isk floods into the game from rat bounties and mission rewards while it never leaves the economy in meaningful amounts. We can find evidence for this by going back 5 years to the famous GHSC heist, at which time 30 billion isk was valued at $16,500. Today 30 billion is worth almost exactly $1,650 and is chump change to any major alliance. My suspicion is that with the money supply increasing but mineral prices remaining stable, it becomes trivial for high earners - moon gold empires, T2 blueprint owners, savvy traders, manufacturers, even high-rolling carebears like myself - to accrue enough money for supercapitals.

Assuming that we want to fix supercapital inflation, one option would be to stabilize the amount of isk in the game. New, must-have NPC commodities could remove isk from the economy but would be against the eve philosophy of a player-run economy. Removal of rat bounties would stop isk from entering the game, but since most players depend on this for income the economy would collapse overnight.

Another option would be to change the price of supercapitals. A one-time increase in build cost would have the same problems as the current system, but - assuming I'm on the right track - if build cost became a dynamic value based on the current isk supply divided by the isk supply when the first titans were built, supercapital construction could be made permanently challenging even for large alliances.

It's a ridiculous idea of course; most likely supers will just become so common that people stop caring, like happened with capitals. But it would work to stop supercap inflation. It could even be applied to normal capitals, taking us back to a time when a few dozen capitals would be an important strategic resource.