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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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday definition: Dick star/death star

And now, an EVE term definition for the newer EVE players.  You vets can move on to the next post.

In my carrier-supported ratting guide (thanks to all of you you posted comments on that, BTW!), I mentioned a type of POS, a "dick star".  And it occurred to me after I did it that a lot of players might not know about the two common types of EVE POS defenses.

POSs in EVE today are nearly always established to serve some single function.  Some common ones include moon mining, refining, manufacturing, invasion staging, and defensive positions for super-caps.  But when it comes to defending POSs, there's three optimal ways to do it:
  • don't care;
  • dick star; and,
  • death star.
The first one is pretty much defense through lack of defense and is mostly used with minor moon mining and refining POSs.  The idea is that if the POS is attacked, the defenders will allow it to die, probably using its death to gain intel on the type of fleet that the attacker uses to destroy it.  Once the POS is destroyed, if the attacker doesn't place their own POS there, the defender simply replaces it.  The intent is that the loss of the POS is counted as a cost of doing business.  Such POSs invite attack and are being used as intelligence tools.

And of course, there's always POSs out there with casual defenses, but these aren't optimal.  Still, you'll encounter them pretty frequently: a few guns on top, a few guns on bottom, perhaps a warp disruptor or two.  It's the equivalent of locking your house's back door.  It's not going to stop someone determined to rob your house for more than a few seconds but it will deny casual attacks.

That leaves dick stars and death stars.  They're two quite different means of POS defense.

The dick star is usually a Caldari POS built with shield resistances and ECM in mind.  A large number of shield hardeners of all types are on-lined within the shields.  That takes up the bulk of the POS's fitting grid.  Meanwhile, outside the shield, a large number of ECM batteries are mounted and on-lined.  The large number of shield hardeners makes attacking the POS a morale-breaking effort in frustration.  Even with enormous numbers of ships, it can take several hours to knock down a single POS.  Meanwhile, the defender has the option of placing a new dick star in the system far faster than the attacker can destroy the old one.  The ECM batteries make the job of attacking battleships even more frustrating as their lock on the dick star POS is constantly broken.

A properly fitted dick star POS in high-sec is nearly impossible to break, since the attacker won't be able to use dreadnoughts.  That will leave a lot of battleship pilots with several hours of work.  And even cap-stable Amarr battleships can't just go AFK because they'll constantly be losing their lock on the POS.  Dick stars are excellent for invasion staging POSs and are used quite frequently for more important manufacturing POSs

A death star represents the opposite extreme.  It is usually a Minmatar POS built with a large number of offensive modules, notably guns and energy neutralizers.  The death star will also have a larger than average number of warp disruptor and warp scrambler batteries installed.  They will usually also have POS gunners (characters with the Starbase Defense Management skill trained) who can operate key parts of the POS's arsenal.  Death stars are usually used as super-capital ship staging POSs either defensively or offensively.

Unlike ship fittings, which are traded pretty casually, POS fittings are usually kept fairly secret.  Still, they can't stay secret for long because to determine how a POS is fit, one need only warp to it at range cloaked.  It will immediately give up all of its secrets.  In this way, if you're interested in putting up your own POS, it's nearly always a good idea to look at moons and get a feel for optimal fittings from how others do it...

Occasionally on Sundays, I will be defining a common EVE term for those who might not have heard it.  If you have a suggestion for such a term, please drop it into the comments.


  1. i've noticed that moon mining isn't all that attractive anymore and alot of low sec moons that were once fought over are now empty.

    used to be quite fun to spot newbies trying out moon mining and they'd have no idea you knew exactly where they were and what they were doing in system (got alot of pos thefts too)

    So...some friendly advice: Assume that if you're new insystem and/or breaking routine - someone is going to notice you and dscan the hell outta you out of pure avarice (everyone can see that yummy "unanchoring" timer)

  2. This is why I really -love- this blog, in a platonic way of course. There is always something I learn from every single blog entry that gives me something to think about better my game or just spark interest for trying something out. Thank you. o7

  3. Here's a good dickstar example: http://i.imgur.com/AgrU2.png

    We ran into that NC. monstrosity in Tribute a couple weeks ago.

  4. Thanks for this post! I've been playing EVE for a little over a year, but I've never had any experience with POS mechanics. This was a huge help in understanding what people are talking about.

  5. Is there any reason not to put something together halfway between the two? I would think that spending most of your 'grid on guns and most of your CPU on ewar would be effective. No?

    1. Halfway between? No.

      As Jester explained, a POS is typically fit for a specific use/role, just like a ship, and, in most cases, a halfway solution tends to be less optimal than either the dickstar or the deathstar.

  6. Great article. I spent quite a bit of time researching both dickstars and deathstars, in the past, when setting up my POS.

    Quite honestly, you've done the best job I've seen of summarizing them.

    Have you ever considered moving some of your articles into a reference wiki?


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