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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, July 4, 2012

Fit of the Week: Double 150 Merlin

Want to try out the new Ancillary Shield Boosters without risking a ton of ISK to do it?  Here's a pair of Merlin fits that I've been playing with that will let you do just that.

[Merlin, Double 150]
Pseudoelectron Containment Field I
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Micro Auxiliary Power Core II

Limited 1MN MicroWarpdrive I
Medium Shield Extender II
Medium Ancillary Shield Booster, Cap Booster 50
Faint Epsilon Warp Scrambler I

Light Electron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Electron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Electron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S

Small Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I
Small Core Defense Field Extender I
Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I


This first fit is the more rounded fit overall.  This one's called the "double 150" because that's what it can do: it can tank 150 DPS itself while doing 150 DPS to its opponent.  Most of the fit is pretty conventional for a circa 2012 buffed Merlin: MWD, scrambler, MSE, blasters, MFS, meta Damage Control.  To that, you add the Medium Ancillary Shield Booster.

The rigs are used to increase buffer and resists.  That will help the ASB work in the same way that higher resists will help any rep or self-rep work better.  Instead of boosting 146 shield HP per cycle, the ASB is really boosting you 350 EHP or more per cycle.  Like most Caldari ships, your lowest resist will be against EM damage which gives you a well-rounded defense against most other frigates and against drone damage.  In this fit, the important job is to occasionally pulse the ASB every time you hit around 65% shields or so.

Be careful to save the last three Cap Booster charges in the ASB.(1)  Once you're down to your last three charges, when you hit 65% shields, go ahead and overheat the ASB, then fire off all three charges at once.  This will rapidly increase your buffer to or near a full 100% shields.  One cycle later (using cap), the reload cycle for the ASB will start, which lasts 60 seconds.  Having your full shield HP available to you will give you the maximum possible chance of completing that reload cycle.  It will also give you the maximum possible buffer tank for that 60 seconds.

In a 1v1 frig fight, the reload cycle probably won't complete.  But with ten cap booster charges and 60% average resists, you are effectively adding about 3500 EHP to your 7500 EHP base.  In short, you're tanking a T1 frigate like a T2 frigate.  That ain't bad at all!  And if you have a Siege Warfare link ship in the system with you, the numbers only get better.  That's the main advantage that an ASB brings you in this kind of fighting: more effective hit points than fitting for pure buffer would have given you.  And in a PvP fight, buffer is time to kill your enemy before you die yourself.

I find that combining an ASB with the largest possible Shield Extender provides the buffer needed for a fight.  However, double-ASB fittings are also quite common.  In most cases, such ships trade the 60 second reload buffer period for the ability to run the second ASB, or to burst tank both at once if under heavy duress.  On a Merlin, that looks like this:

[Merlin, Double Down]
Pseudoelectron Containment Field I
Micro Auxiliary Power Core I
Fourier Transform Tracking Program

Limited 1MN MicroWarpdrive I
Medium Ancillary Shield Booster, Cap Booster 50
Medium Ancillary Shield Booster, Cap Booster 50
Faint Epsilon Warp Scrambler I

Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S

Small Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I
Small Core Defense Field Extender I
Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I


You don't have the CPU to fit a Magnetic Field Stabilizer, but you'll have the grid to run one step larger guns.  Still, that cuts your DPS down to about 130, which is closer to what people will expect from a single frigate (usually 125).  You trade that for a 255 DPS tank on paper.  I say on paper because more often you're going to run a single ASB using the tactics above.  However, this fit has far less buffer: 719 shield HP versus 2228 shield HP in the fit above.  That gives you less breathing room and no margin for error.  Each pulse of an ASB will increase your shield by about 20%.  But if you're facing a solid opponent 1v1, that opponent can knock your shields down by about 11-12% per second.  Since your ASB has a three second cycle time, you're probably going to end up running one of them continuously.  Once your first ASB gets down to 1 charge, go ahead and start cycling the second ASB.

I don't care for this fit nearly as much.  I don't think double ASBs work on a ship with this small amount of buffer.  The numbers tell the story.  You're adding 3500 EHP per ASB to a base 3700 EHP, assuming you only get ten cycles from each.  That's 10700 EHP total, which is about the same as the Merlin above.  But this Merlin requires more multi-tasking and has less DPS.  Only if you manage to survive the 60 second reload cycle of the first ASB does this fit out-perform the standard fit above.  That's pretty unlikely to happen.

Dual ASB fits, however, perform quite well on battleships and battle cruisers with high resist tanks, such as Rokhs, Maelstroms, Feroxes, and Marauder class ships.  The much higher resists of thses platforms and their larger buffer, plus the ability to carry 13 charges in their ASBs instead of ten, give them a very good chance of completing the reload cycle on the first ASB.  In this way, they can operate at least one ASB more or less continuously.

As a result, I wouldn't use the second Merlin fit.  But I include it here for reference for your own dual ASB ideas.

The advantage to the first Merlin fit is you can undock and be ready for a fight with an expenditure of less than five million ISK or so, and stand a very good chance of bringing the ship back when the fight is over.  The ISK you spend on it directly increases your chances of coming home in one piece.  That's a pretty good deal for a T1 frigate.

Shields up!


(1) It's a shame that there's no such thing as a Navy Cap Booster 50.  That would allow you to carry 13 charges in the ASB instead of ten.  Maybe CCP will add them in a future update now that such a thing would be used.


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.

7 comments:

  1. You should heat the ASB on every cycle, since it gives you more total hp

    ReplyDelete
  2. [Merlin, full retard]
    Pseudoelectron Containment Field I
    Micro Auxiliary Power Core I
    Magnetic Field Stabilizer II

    Limited 1MN MicroWarpdrive I
    Initiated Harmonic Warp Scrambler I
    Medium Ancillary Shield Booster, Cap Booster 50
    Medium Ancillary Shield Booster, Cap Booster 50

    Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
    Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
    Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S

    Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
    Small Processor Overclocking Unit I
    Small Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I

    Yes you can fit a magstab. ;)

    I actually tend to enjoy this fit for my merlins a bit more tbh:


    [Merlin, kite]
    Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
    Micro Auxiliary Power Core I
    Damage Control II

    Limited 1MN MicroWarpdrive I
    Faint Epsilon Warp Scrambler I
    X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
    Experimental 1MN Afterburner I

    150mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Plutonium Charge S
    150mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Plutonium Charge S
    150mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Plutonium Charge S

    Small Hybrid Burst Aerator I
    Small Hybrid Metastasis Adjuster I
    Small Hybrid Locus Coordinator I

    Beats just about any non-range fit destroyer in a 1v1 situation, and most other frigs. Also, can disengage from most situations due to dual prop/full tackle awesomeness.

    -Lords

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd be worried about getting alphaed in that first fit and not being able to use my ASBs at all. ;-) Still, it's a workable modification.

      The second is a fine kiting Merlin. I need to talk more about kiting ships.

      Delete
  3. The biggest problem with both your fits (IMHO) is that you have no range control on either of them. If you go up against any other frigate/destroyer which has either a web or an ab (which is most of them), they can keep you out of blaster range and just plink you down, because your damage projection at the edge of scram range is pitiful.

    I like the idea of double tanking a merlin, but having spent a long time trying to make them work, my experience has been that you need at least a web to make blasters work.

    Of course, decent frig flying is something of a black art, and vs. anyone who overheats their guns, hits orbit@500 and waits to see who blows up you'll do very well. Maybe there's enough of those kind of people around to make it a good fit...

    ReplyDelete
  4. I find your fits to be very beneficial, especially with all the commentary and rationale. Good stuff.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Jester,

    In a setup like the Double 150, do you consider the shield buffer to be right at the edge, or a bit more comfortable than that? For instance, dropping the MSE down to a Regolith and fitting a T2 damage control loses some shield buffer but improves resists (I checked the tweak because I smacked into powergrid problems with the T2 MSE); would those extra two hundred points of shield in a 1v1 make the difference between victory and waking up in a medical clone tank?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'd rather have the buffer. T2 DCs are mostly useful to ships with either larger buffers or armor tanks. For shield-tankers and frigs, they're mostly useful so that your structure doesn't immediately fold under abuse.

      Delete

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