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, April 11, 2012

Fit of the Week: Bait Hulk

Last year for Hulkageddon, I posted a super-tanker Orca as one of my Fits of the Week.  This year, I think it's only fair to give the same treatment to the humble Hulk:

[Hulk, Bait Hulk]
Damage Control II
Reinforced Bulkheads II

Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Small Electrochemical Capacitor Booster I, Navy Cap Booster 200
Medium Shield Booster II

Salvager I
Strip Miner I
Strip Miner I

Medium Core Defense Field Extender I
Medium Core Defense Field Extender I

Hammerhead II x5


Poetic Stanziel had this same idea over the weekend, but I disagree with several of the fundamentals in that fit.  First, make no mistake: no Hulk can survive any sort of serious ganking attempt using enough cheap ships.  That includes this Hulk.  You're never going to get your money out of bait-fitting a Hulk no matter what you do.  The new generation destroyers are simply too cheap and too effective.  Still, if you want to get some kill-mails and have a few laughs in your Hulk before you die, this is how you do it.

Second warning: any ganker with a brain is going to use a Ship Scanner to check out your fit before they attempt a gank.  This fit does nothing at all except scream "trap!"  A ganker with only a ship or two at his disposal is going to smirk at you and move to the next target in line.  Meanwhile, a Goon ganker with eight or ten destroyer friends nearby is simply going to bring in enough Catalysts to kill you regardless of this fitting.  You might catch a dumb ganker or two with this fit, but that's all.  Bottom line: a Hulk is a piece of tin-foil wrapped around a cargo bay and some mining lasers.  It is simply insufficient in any way to defend itself against any sort of determined player attack.

Clear?  OK, let's talk about the fit.

Like all ORE ships, the primary defense of the Hulk is in the structure, so emphasize that with a Damage Control and Reinforced Bulkheads.  Like the Orca super-tanker, the Hulk is one of the few ships where hull-tanking makes total sense.  Even better, neither of these modules consume much of your very limited power-grid.  The high slots, meanwhile, present a small appearance of normalcy.  Point the Strip Miners at rocks and go to town while you wait.  Use your drones to kill rats, motor to the rats at slow speed, and salvage them.  Always keep moving!  A good bit of the DPS potential a ganker brings to a Hulk is based on the assumption that the Hulk will be motionless.  Don't give them that.  Poetic's fit has a small neut in the highs, but there's zero point: a gank-fit Catalyst is cap-stable even with a small neut on it.  Even if you could somehow bring a medium neut to bear, the Catalyst still has enough cap for 45 seconds... far longer than it is going to live.

Again, like the super-tanker Orca, in your mids, go for resists and over-powered shield boosting.  There's no need to fit a point: the gankers aren't going anywhere.  Your strategy is very similar to the Orca fit: carry a good selection of Cap Booster 200s in your large cargo bay.  Set your drones to Aggressive mode, so they'll go after anyone who shoots you, but uncheck Focus Fire.  It might spread the drone damage out to multiple targets.  Keep your Invuls running while you wait.  You're cap-stable with them running.

When the gank begins, overheat one of the Invuls and the Shield Booster.  For additional amusement value, buy and pop a Synth Blue Pill.  That will help the booster even further.  It's unlikely that the targets will try to neut you, but if they do, that's what the Cap Booster is for.  If you think you're going to die anyway at any point, overheat the whole mid rack.

With a fleet booster in system, your shield booster will repel about 300 DPS, about half of one of the Catalysts.  The cycle time of their guns is 1.6 seconds.  The cycle time of your booster is 2.5 seconds.  At best, each Catalyst will get seven volleys off, for a total of about 6300 damage each.  With only a fleet booster providing additional shields and armor, you'll be relying on your structure tank plus shield boosts between their volleys.  Between the two, you should be able to hold off five or six Catalysts (depending on their skills and your skills) and watch them die around you.  Lock them up as they fire at you and tell your drones to attack anyone they haven't already shot at for one volley.  You'll get on three or four kill-mails before they die.

Want to really have some fun?  Arrange for a link ship, such as the Six Link Tengu that I posted last year, to be your fleet booster.  Trade out the Skirmish Warfare links for an Armored Warfare - Passive Defense link and upgrade the Siege Warfare links to the new Tech 2 models.  Having that ship boosting you will push most of your resists above 80%, including 87% kinetic resistance against blasters.  That will increase your EHP to above 32,000.  The math to determine how many Catalysts it would take to gank you then is tougher to estimate, but trust me, it'd be a lot.  ;-)

Rest assured though, no matter what you do you'll still die.  Someone will figure out what you're up to and bring in some Brutixes or a large cloud of Catalysts to take you down for sure.  Still, might be amusing to try it.  Let me know if you do...

Die well!


All Fits of the Week are intended as general guidelines only.  You may not have the skills needed for this exact fit.  If you do not, feel free to adjust the fit to suit to meet your skills, including using meta 3 guns and "best named" defenses and e-war.  Ships can also be adjusted to use faction or dead-space modules depending on the budget of the pilot flying it.  Each FOTW is intended as a general guide to introduce you to concepts that will help you fit and to fly that particular type of ship more aggressively and well.

23 comments:

  1. FYI the Six Link Tengu URL is messed up.

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  2. Poetic's post says the neut is just for whoring.

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    Replies
    1. Whore with something that doesn't want 10 grid. ;-)

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  3. With a buffer/resist fit (DCU II, PDU II, meta 4 MSE, 2 x invuln II, meta invuln, 2 ACR you can still fit 3 tech 1 strip miners and mine "as normal". Add a mindlinked Tengu, overheat the baby, a couple of 3% implants for shield and structure and you are looking at over 40k EHP overheated, which I think is better utilizing the remaining 2 mids (the active setup will maximum get you 1200 EHP worth of reps) Also, a evasive maneuvers link II will lower the hulk sigres to 126m, reducing the effective damage potential of the Brutix or gank battleships.

    All in all though, the key to survive in a Hulk is staying aligned to, and having bookmarks. That way you can move parallell to the belt and warp to bookmark when ships warp onto you.

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    1. Assuming you mean this:

      [Hulk, Bait Hulk Shield]
      Damage Control II
      Power Diagnostic System II

      Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
      Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
      Medium F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction
      Limited Adaptive Invulnerability Field I

      Strip Miner I
      Strip Miner I
      Strip Miner I

      Medium Ancillary Current Router I
      Medium Ancillary Current Router I


      I like that as well! Though I can only get it to 36-38k... what am I missing?

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    2. My Shield Mindlinked Tengu has tech 2 shield and armor resist + evasive maneuvres ganglinks. That may be it?

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    3. Shield Mindlink. That's what I was missing. For both yours and mine.

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    4. Try replacing the PDU II with a MAPC II.

      Next, replace the meta 4 MSE with an MSE II and replace the meta invuln with a SSE II.

      Finally, replace the ACP rigs with CDFE rigs.

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    5. Ugh, no. I can kind of see Laurentius's fit, even though it's passive, because the resists are high. I'd rather have two meta Invuls and one Invul2 and drop the SSE2. Keep the resists, particularly the kinetic resist, at 85%.

      That said, I think I personally would still rather have the active fit, and I'd definitely rather have the active fit than a lower-resist fit with "lots of shield HP".

      The active fit works because every cycle of that shield booster isn't applying 90 shield HP. It's applying 90 shield HP multiplied by the inverse of the resist percentage. If that resist percentage is 87%, the shield booster is effectively adding 700 shield HP every 2.5 seconds.

      That's 4000 or more shield HP over the 14 second duration of a gank. And the longer the gank goes on -- if the Catalysts attacking you don't synchronize their attacks well, for instance -- the more shield HP it adds.

      That's why you want high resists. The higher the better. And it applies just as much to passive fits through their base shield recharge (though obviously at much, much lower numbers).

      That said, using the new MAPC2 is very clever. Might tweak my fit a bit and see if I can buff the resists even more by using it.

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    6. The problem with your active fit is the cap booster. Cap boosters use up cargo space (which you've already minimized, in order to maximize your tank) and run out rather rapidly, ie. you won't be able to perma-run your tank, while mining.

      If you argue that you only run the tank when you are attacked, well, that is somewhat difficult to manage when playing AFK or semi-AFK for hours, as is pretty much the norm when high sec mining.

      And, in any case, if a high sec gank is only going to last 14-15 seconds at the longest, you don't need the cap booster. Without the cap booster, your active tank will still run for almost a minute.

      Laurentius' fit is more practical for high sec AFK mining, since it can perma-run the tank while mining, but the MSE/SSE fit is superior by more than 4000 EHP and has a higher passive regen.

      High resists are better when you have a logi ship providing RR, but a higher base tank is often superior when flying solo.

      Try replacing the Hammerhead IIs with Hobgoblin IIs, and keep the focus fire on. A single Hammerhead II isn't likely to chew up even a single Cat before they kill you, but a flight of Hob IIs might just kill a Cat fast enough to take pressure off your tank and allow you to survive longer.

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    7. You're not trying to kill Catalysts. Just get on some KMs. If you want to use Hobs instead, that's totally fine.

      You don't see neuts on Catalysts, but you occasionally see them on gank Canes that go after Hulks. A Hulk can carry FAR more cap booster charges than it will ever need, but no, you're not intended to run it continuously. ;-)

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    8. You really don't see neuts on high sec gank ships these days. Pure alpha or DPS will overwhelm any active tank, esp. with the upgraded dessies and Tier 3 BCs available today.

      It seems far more likely that you'll want to use that extra midslot for beefing up your tank a bit more, or perhaps even adding an ECM Burst - just for grins.

      But, if you just want to get on some KMs, then how about fitting a small SB? The 3km range is for crap (and the damage is laughable), but if the gankers are fit with small blasters, chances are good that they are going to land within range.

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  4. Not bad. The ice mining folks were playing with similar ideas during the ice interdiction, except that they were not playing bait or trying to fight back. They also added in a few logi ships - or a Domi - for shield & energy transfer (Cap boosters don't work well for miners. They take up too much cargo space and just don't last long enough). Shield drones were sometimes used, rather than combat drones, to mutually tank ships.

    True, no fit will stop an overly determined attacker. But, usually, an actively tanked mining fleet was enough to send even a hardcore Goon ganker off looking for much softer targets.

    Remember, too, that there is nothing particularly odd about a mining fleet accompanied by a bunch of support ships - all running AFK in high sec. Miners are not "playing PVP" after all, and thus usually are not trying to trick you into a battle. They just want to grind rocks.

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  5. Hi Jester, nice idea. Surely not the first one with it but still good. Your fit is (IMO) only for fun and it serves this purpose well. If you want to get things done as an industrial (with some tick to pvp) i prefer working in a group. Small gang with 4 to 8 Hulks / Mackies will need at least one scimi pilot, if your gang gets bigger i would suggest the basilisk. Following setup for a Mackie will get it to about 20k EHP, with fleet boost and booster ship you may get that higher.

    [Mackinaw, ICE-Tank]

    2x Ice Harvester II

    Medium Azeotropic Ward Salubrity I
    Limited Adaptive Invulnerability Field I
    Upgraded Thermic Dissipation Amplifier I
    Upgraded EM Ward Amplifier I

    Damage Control II
    Co-Processor II

    Medium Ancillary Current Router I
    Medium Core Defense Field Extender I

    (Suggestions for optimizing this setup are welcome)
    Once you are out in the belt Basis make there cap chain and each basi targets up to 2 other basis and than adds 6 or 7 Mackies (maybe with some overlap but organized so every mackie has at least one basi assigned). Bring in a SeBo Sleipnir or what ever one of your shooting guys prefers to fly and make sure he looks evil ;-)

    Mackies orbit contis and basis orbit in large distant. Only 2 reps from Basi will boost away 600+ DPS. You won't be safe sure but the effort to only kill one will be high. And make sure you don't group to many macks together or they will come in Smartbomb BSs. Groups of 2 or 3 orbiting the same can sounds good.

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  6. Let me shamelessly advertise my post, not only because I'm a traffic whore, but because it's relevant here and the previous post. http://greedygoblin.blogspot.com/2012/04/first-mining-fleet.html

    In very short: you can relatively safely mine during hulkageddon using battleships and you can also use cheaper versions of the Hulk: Covetor and Procurer. Most gankers don't even know what they are and ignore it. If they don't you lose 1/10-1/50 value of the Hulk and still have 2/3-1/2 mineral income.

    Oh and don't forget that the Damage Control module is active, must be ran and can be overheated.

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    Replies
    1. Just an FYI: you can't overheat a Damage Control, even though it's an active module.

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    2. You don't mine or gank much, do you?

      Gankers know their targets well, incl. Covetors, Retrievers, and Procurers. They ignore them when there are better targets available, ie. Macks and Hulks, but don't mind taking them down when nothing else is readily available to pop.

      The Procurer, however, is one of the most useless ships in the game - which is why you don't see many of them. An Osprey can easily out-mine and out-tank it. And, the skill/cost difference for the more efficient Retriever is negligible (unlike the Covetor which requires level 5 skills).

      Your battleship mining fleet isn't all that safe, either. Sure, you can mine with a BS and you probably won't get shot at; but you need an Orca or hauler to move the ore - both of which are valid targets for gankers.

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    3. Just use industrials with tractors and a decent tank to grab cans. Who is going to waste a Tornado on a Badger or a Bestower? You don't have to have an Orca.

      And yes, that Procurer is useless.

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    4. The chance of your hauler getting ganked is pretty small. You'll only be on the field for 20 seconds or so, which means your gankers will pretty much have to wait for you.

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    5. AnonymousApr 12, 2012 11:38 AM,
      you can always refit your battleships for combat IF you are using an orca, furthermore either battleships and covetors both give you a good value for your money if you are expecting ganks. Covetors are cheap for the amount they mine, and mining battleships are still cheaper than hulks, and have way to much buffer to be worthwhile targets.

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  7. Hulk prices are going thru the roof. Getting ganked in a 400mil ship (atm) is going to be very expensive for the rock grinders. I betting most will just dock up.

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  8. I'll break out my mining Rokh during hulkageddon. That is, IF I'm not out participating....

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