Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
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Wednesday, December 14, 2011

FOTW: Tai Maac Arbitrator

I want to keep the FOTW more newbie friendly for a couple more weeks.  But let's get out of the frig/destroyer ranks for a week, and talk about a fun little cruiser.  It's tempting in today's EVE to say that PvP is expensive or requires a lot of skill points.  To that, this ship says "phbbbbt":

[Arbitrator, Tai Maac]
Damage Control II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Medium Armor Repairer II
Medium Armor Repairer II

Y-T8 Overcharged Hydrocarbon I Microwarpdrive
Medium F-RX Prototype I Capacitor Boost, Cap Booster 400
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
X5 Prototype I Engine Enervator

Medium Pulse Laser II, Scorch S
Medium Pulse Laser II, Scorch S
E5 Prototype Energy Vampire
E5 Prototype Energy Vampire

Medium Nanobot Accelerator I
Medium Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Medium Auxiliary Nano Pump I

Hammerhead II x5
Warrior II x5
Valkyrie II x5
Hornet EC-300 x5

Arbitrators are such great ships.  They're one of the prettiest ships flying, and they combine that with a really terrific cruiser slot layout, power grid, and CPU.  "Versatile" doesn't even begin to cover them.  Since they don't receive bonuses to any particular weapon except drones, you can fit them out any way you like them for a variety of purposes.  The fit above is designed for solo work and for LOL-T1 cruiser roams.

A buddy of mine from LAWN, Tai Maac, designed this particular fit.  Is it optimal?  Not even close.  Still, it's optimal in one way: it's incredibly easy to get into and it's incredibly cheap.  All of the mid-slot mods and both NOSs are common rat loot, for Heaven's sake.  The low slot mods are as common as dirt (and nearly as cheap).  He'd pick up most of the drones he'd use from looting fleet battle sites.  The most expensive part of this ship are the rigs.

The bulk of the DPS is provided by the drones, and skill-point wise, that's probably the toughest part about getting into this ship.  You do need to dedicate some SP to getting your drone skills up.  Still, once you do that, the drones alone are providing about 230 DPS.  The small guns are mostly for anti-frigate work and are only providing about 50 DPS.  As a result, any type of small gun you can use is fine (remember, the Arbitrator doesn't care what kind of guns you use) and you can even use meta guns if you like.  This ship is made to try to get in close to its opponent and work there.  Since it's a T1 cruiser, a lot of ships will completely underestimate you and you'll get into a lot of voluntary 1v1s.  Once your target gets in close, web and scram them, launch the Hammerheads, and enjoy the surprise they're probably feeling.

After all, pulsing both of those MARs will return you from 0% armor to 70% armor... in one cycle.  ;-)

Using the MARs continuously will deplete your cap pretty quickly, but you won't have to worry too much about that, first because your main weapons aren't using cap and because you have both the NOSes and the cap booster, plus a cargo bay that you can fill with booster charges.  Counter-cycling the reppers means that you can withstand 250 DPS of incoming damage for more than a minute even with the NOSs turned off.  Overheat the reppers or carry an Exile booster (Tai dropped so much Exile it practically became his nickname), and you can push this to 300 or even higher.  It's a ridiculous amount of damage to be able to tank in a T1 cruiser.

Tai would take this Arbitrator out on solo roams, try to find 1v1s, and get into all sorts of silly little fights with them.  He was particularly good at catching battleship ratters.  After all, what BS ratter cares about a cruiser?   And he always came back from our LOL-T1 cruiser roams alive in this boat, usually with a cargo hold full of loot that was worth more than the ship he was flying.  ;-)  Win or lose, he never had to worry very much because his initial investment into these ships was so remarkably low.  And win or lose, he always had a story to tell.

Tai left LAWN and eventually ended up in Rote Kapelle, then left Rote, and has apparently stopped playing EVE altogether.  So, in honor of him, I wanted to make sure this fun little fitting didn't get lost.  He wrote a short guide about using this Arbitrator on his own blog.  I've tried it a few times to great effect, though I usually go ahead and rely on the cap booster (which I upgrade to Electrochemical for reduced cycle time) to win the cap war and trade out the NOSes for dual T2 small neuts.

Try it out yourself.  I think you'll like it.  ;-)


  1. compare this vs a similarly fit vexor (no web, 3 150 rails with javelin). vexor is faster and fatter, maybe a little worse vs frigates. it also has more cargo space which is nice when solo roaming with 400s. isn't the vexor preferable?

  2. Always a fun ship to fly, and my solo version looks a lot like this one.

    For those roams you mentioned, though, I found the neuts/nos in the highs (and the tackle, for that matter) often went entirely unused, simply because I wasn't close enough to bring them to bear and not fast enough to change that before the fight was over.

    In that situation, I usually swapped in a AB for the MWD, two tracking disruptors for the tackle (as a way to support the fleet), and at least one and sometimes two drone rigs in the highs to match my DPS range with the Ewar range. Throwing armor rep drones in my bay never made anyone complain either.

    Either way, you're right: I'm a gallente boy and love my Vexor, but the Arbitrator is a really fun ship.

  3. Didn't expect to see Tai's name on your blog post. Tai and I flew together in Lucifer's Hammer for awhile, good guy and I'm sorry to hear he has left the game.

    As for the Arbi fit, it isn't bad if you know what you are doing and have the skills for it.

  4. Tai's blog and twitter feed end rather abruptly. Did Tai leave the game, or leave the planet?

  5. @Rixx: I've mentioned Tai at least once before, back in April while you guys were doing the Rote thing. And yeah, very good guy.

    @Mara: Don't know. He and I chatted after I mentioned him in April, this would have been late April. Everything seemed fine with him then, but that's the last time I chatted with him. I was very sorry to see him disappear.

    I'm kind of half-hoping that he'd see this post and let us know he's still alive. ;-)

  6. I used a very similar setup when I was in PIE hunting wolves and jaguars in the olden days.

    I think is possible the most fun ship to fly. Experience in this kind of ships also teach you the basics for using the more powerful curse and pilgrim ships.

  7. I don't think the reps are a great choice for a gang setting. If you get primaried, you'll likely die before they cycle more than once. Plus it requires a cap booster, which takes up an incredibly valuable mid. Imo, buffer is the way to go.

    On top of that, I'd much rather have TDs than more cruiser tackle in any gang I've ever run. Particularly on a cruiser as slow as this (armour rigs). A couple of TDs can completely shut down turret boats, which can be battle deciding.

    For solo, without a TD I'm not really convinced this will go toe to toe with the other good cruisers (ruppy/vexor/thorax) and come out alive. I could detail common fits for each ship and why it would lose, but that seems excessive.

    Still, I love the Arbi and haven't flown one in ages. I think I'll take one out when I get home from work!

  8. @Raelyf: a T1 cruiser gang is unlikely to take on anything that can alpha them down THAT quickly. LOL-T1 cruiser gangs, at least in my experience, are not particularly cooperative in terms of e-war or reps, instead going with a "every man for himself, but kill the primary" strategy. E-war is left to the Blackbirds that inevitably gather in this sort of gang.

    That said, T1 cruiser gangs are full of Ruptures as their main DPS boats. Who's gonna primary an Arbi when there are a bunch of easily killed high DPS Ruptures about?

  9. Jester's LOL-T1 cruiser gangs are non-optimal :P


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