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, January 9, 2013

Fit of the Week: Starter Mission Armageddon

The combination of CCP moving Amarr ships in the direction of being "lasers first, drones second" and the fluctuations during December of the price of dead-space armor reppers put me in the mindset of doing an old-school PvE fitting this week.  And it's been a while since I've done a more new player friendly PvE fitting.  So let's go with a starter L4 mission ship.  In my L4 mission guides (off to the right), I specify that it's ideal to have a total "gank plus tank" of 1000 or more but I also mention that it's sometimes tough to do with standard battleships.

That doesn't apply so much to Amarr, who have three good choices.  But for brand new players, particularly ones that eventually want to get into PvP eventually and/or want to start playing around with "lasers plus drones", I like the Geddon:

[Armageddon, Mission Starter]
Damage Control II
Heat Sink II
Heat Sink II
1600mm Reinforced Steel Plates II
Beta Reactor Control: Reaction Control I
Core C-Type Large Armor Repairer
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II

100MN Afterburner II
Cap Recharger II
Optical Tracking Computer I, Tracking Speed Script

Mega Modulated Pulse Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
Mega Modulated Pulse Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
Mega Modulated Pulse Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
Mega Modulated Pulse Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
Mega Modulated Pulse Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
Mega Modulated Pulse Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
Mega Modulated Pulse Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
Heavy Diminishing Power System Drain I

Large Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Large Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Large Semiconductor Memory Cell I

Garde I x4
Hobgoblin II x5


It seems pretty clear that the L3 mission ship of choice for Amarr is soon to be the Prophecy (that will be a FOTW when the new Prophecy is actually released) and this is a good step upward from that boat into L4 missions.  However, it has the interesting aspect that flying this sort of ship in missions will be the first baby steps toward thinking about how you should fly in PvP, too.

A single plate, Damage Control, and two EANMs provide the basic buffer that you'll need to survive mission rats.  To this is added the least expensive dead-space armor repper.  As of this writing, that repper has been hovering at a cost of 80-90 million ISK.  That's about equal to the price of the ship itself, making your total starting price for the ship about 170 million ISK.  That probably sounds expensive.  But these days, for new players, this is probably the wisest investment.  You see, an Apocalypse -- or Heaven forbid an Abaddon -- will end up costing you close to that much or that much and then some for the hull alone!  By that standard, a "Geddon" and an expensive repper are a comparative bargain.

The biggest advantage to a dead-space repper in the hands of a newer pilot is the fact that these reppers generate more armor repair for the same amount of cap: 20% more than the best meta repper, or 10% more than a T2 repper.  That means you have to cycle them less often, and that means you have more cap available for your guns.  Auxiliary Nano Pump rigs further increase the amount of reps applied, to about 300 DPS repaired at peak, 370 DPS if you're fighting Sansha or Blood rats.  That's plenty of reps to keep you in the fight.  The Semiconductor rig and Cap Recharger help keep your capacitor up (the "Semi" is superior to the Capacitor Control Circuit for most battleships).

The real trick is fitting a "Nosferatu", an energy-draining high slot module.  Because of the current vagaries of how rats operate, you can activate this module on a rat and will always receive a full allotment of cap from the module.  The long range of the heavy module means you'll probably have a variety of potential targets.  Use your afterburner to burn into laser range (30km or so with Standard crystals, 15 or so with Multifrequency).  Then pick the rat you're going to shoot last and activate the NOS on it.  Then you can open up with the guns on the others.

Always always use faction laser crystals when missioning.  They're quite cheap and much more effective than standard crystals.  Once you're in position, drop your Sentry drones to attack larger targets or swap them to your flight of light drones for smaller targets.  Heat Sinks add additional DPS, totalling between 650 and 850 depending on your skills and attack range.  That puts you over the required 1000 "gank plus tank" fairly handily.  Your Tracking Computer can be used to either increase tracking against cruiser and battle cruiser rats (using a tracking speed script), or it will extend your range a couple of kilometers (using an optimal range script).  The big advantage to the latter is the ability to use the next step closer-range crystals in order to increase damage.  Keep a variety of crystal types in cargo; when I missioned in laser boats, I found it convenient to carry a full set of every type and then write their ranges on a post-it note kept nearby.  If you can't fit the Tracking Computer, fit a second Cap Recharger until your Weapon Upgrades skill increases.

Which brings me to the next topic.  The nice thing about this ship is that it will grow with you as your skills grow.  Over time and as you train your support skills, you'll find that you're able to remove more and more of the crutches that this ship is resting on and improve its capabilities.  If you train energy management skills, you can eventually remove the Reactor Control System in favor of a Power Diagnostic System which will increase cap.  Alternately, you can trade it for a T2 RCS and use that to fit T2 guns.  As you grow more confident in your DPS, take out one of the Auxiliry Nano Pumps and see if you can replace it with an Energy Locus Coordinator.  This will further extend the range of your guns and make using Multifrequency crystals easier and more frequent.  As soon as practicable, trade your T1 Sentries for T2; the T2 versions have significant advantages in DPS, range, and tracking.

As noted above, this style of missioning is also good practice for "the real thing", PvP.  By learning to aggressively close with your targets, use e-war against them, and deploy your drones at the proper time, you're developing good habits that will serve you well in this area.  Trade active tanking for a strong buffer, and this mission fit isn't all that different from this PvP one...

It'll be quite interesting to see how the Geddon changes when CCP gets around to rebalancing battleships, but this ship is such an "in your face" pick that it's hard to imagine that it's going to change that much.  And by working with this ship you'll be in good shape for whatever "lasers plus drones" Amarr strategy the future holds.

Happy missioning!


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.

20 comments:

  1. Why run such a buffer heavy fit for missions? It seems like with the right hardeners you don't really need the 1600mm plate, since even as an omni tank you still have over 50k EHP without it.

    With that in mind why not run something more like this?

    [Armageddon, Mission Starter (ripard) MWD variant]

    Damage Control II
    Heat Sink II
    Heat Sink II
    Beta Reactor Control: Capacitor Power Relay I
    Beta Reactor Control: Capacitor Power Relay I
    Core C-Type Large Armor Repairer
    Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
    Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II

    Prototype 100MN Microwarpdrive I
    Cap Recharger II
    Optical Tracking Computer I, Tracking Speed Script

    Mega Modulated Pulse Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
    Mega Modulated Pulse Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
    Mega Modulated Pulse Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
    Mega Modulated Pulse Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
    Mega Modulated Pulse Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
    Mega Modulated Pulse Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
    Mega Modulated Pulse Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
    Medium Nosferatu II

    Large Auxiliary Nano Pump I
    Large Auxiliary Nano Pump I
    Large Semiconductor Memory Cell I


    Garde I x4
    Hobgoblin II x5

    You can toy around with that to increase peak rep if you want. I would advise you use mission specific hardeners but it’s not needed. One of the cap mods can be dropped without serious problems, giving another heat sink or tracking comp however I wouldn't suggest this for players new to MWD PVE BSs. The MWD lets you use short range ammo more frequently, allowing you to pop stuff faster, although you have to be careful with how you use it. The nos although nice if you have something within range isn't really needed. I would personally try something glassier then the above but I wouldn't advise it for noobs until they have spent quite some time in the hull, by which point I would likely advise they spend the extra isk on a baddon anyway, pending cap skills.

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  2. In my experience, newer players are going to need a bit more buffer to feel comfortable in an L4. You brought up being careful with that MWD, which I agree with.

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  3. This fit ... is not good.

    This fitting would be much, much superior:

    [Apocalypse, starter pve]
    Reactive Armor Hardener
    Core C-Type Large Armor Repairer
    Reactor Control Unit II
    Heat Sink II
    Heat Sink II
    Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
    Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II

    Imperial Navy Heavy Capacitor Booster, Cap Booster 800
    Experimental 100MN Afterburner I
    Optical Tracking Computer I, Optimal Range Script
    F-12 Nonlinear Tracking Processor, Optimal Range Script

    Mega Modulated Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
    Mega Modulated Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
    Mega Modulated Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
    Mega Modulated Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
    Mega Modulated Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
    Mega Modulated Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
    Mega Modulated Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
    Mega Modulated Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L

    Large Auxiliary Nano Pump I
    Large Auxiliary Nano Pump I
    Large Auxiliary Nano Pump I

    While this fitting is about 60m ISK more expensive than your Geddon-fit (which can, however, largely be attributed to the higher hull cost). While it does do far less damage on paper, it can hit even the highorbit-bs with either Multifrequency or Gamma. Your geddon has to use sucky highrange-crystals while it pursues it's targets, costing it A LOT of DPS.
    And against Bloods and Sansha (but new missionrunners, please notice, you don't want to use a gunboat against Sanshas nowadays) range is absolutely key. And in the few missions where it isn't (Recon, Worlds Collide) you could always switch the Beams for Mega Pulses. However, you will have to carry much less crystals with Beams. (Standard will hit the targeting range with BS 2)

    Which leads to the biggest trick of this fitting: A heavy capacitor booster. With a pricetag at about 40 million ISK it isn't too expensive, and offers a lot in return. Considering that you will use 4 sets of crystal ( I personally use MF, Gamma, X-Ray and Standard on my Tachyboat) you will have 643 m³ of cargo to spare, which equals 20 Cap CHarges 800, with an additional 4 carried in the booster itself. This will be more than enough for every mission, especially if you use your cap smart. You don't have to permarun your AB or Repper, and you can even play a bit with RAH, turning it of when the incoming damage is low. However, as long as the cap booster runs, you will be stable. The tank on this boat is also a tad higher than the geddon, with 450 tank against Blood with an adapted RAH. The higher tank my have something to do with not fitting an absolutely useless plate, though.

    As Drones you could use the standard 5x Hammerhead 5x Hobgoblin or a somewhat out of the box 2x Garde/Curator 5x Hobgoblin. From my observations, medium drones seem to get a lot of hate from NPCs, so you might give it a try.

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    Replies
    1. Chances of a newer player having the skill for a RCU2... zero. Refit without that.

      Delete
    2. Well if you really want to run an apoc in this style and make it noob friendly may I suggest the following:

      [Apocalypse, starter pve (read the comment in full before you run this)]

      Core C-Type Large Armor Repairer
      Heat Sink II
      Heat Sink II
      Heat Sink II
      Internal Force Field Array I
      Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
      Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II

      True Sansha Medium Capacitor Booster, Cap Booster 800
      Experimental 100MN Afterburner I
      Optical Tracking Computer I, Optimal Range Script
      Optical Tracking Computer I, Optimal Range Script

      Mega Modulated Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
      Mega Modulated Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
      Mega Modulated Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
      Mega Modulated Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
      Mega Modulated Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
      Mega Modulated Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
      Mega Modulated Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
      Mega Modulated Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L

      Large Ancillary Current Router I
      Large Auxiliary Nano Pump I
      Large Auxiliary Nano Pump I

      Honestly I don’t like it, I’m more inclined towards pulse fits outside of the nightmare but I will concede they need t2 guns to work well even if you use a MWD to move around. With that in mind this fit should fill both of your requirements. It’s tight on CPU but Ripards original fit needed a few levels of AWU anyway*, and if you have that and electronics V your fine. Power grid needs few levels of AWU but both of your fits have this issue anyway.

      As far as the fit itself goes the tank is more than enough, it’s not stable even with the cap booster but it can last quite a few minutes and if you run it that long your in trouble anyway since your on cap charges. Longer optimal than the apoc fit, slightly faster, the peak tank is a touch worse but if your running mission specific hardeners in place of the EANMIIs you still have enough and it still breaks Ripards 1000 total thing. DPS is higher than the other apoc fit and lower than the geddon but considering all of the fits are using an AB it will have more average applied DPS than either of them. The damage control also gives it around 60k EHP, which should be enough for Ripard not to want to put a 1600mm plate on it.

      On a side note I would strongly suggest dropping the AB for another tracking comp. The idea behind that being that the only place you really move this boat is towards the next gate anyway, due to it’s very long optimal even with multi. If you do this and swap out the armor rep for something that uses less power grid you can even use the fit without weapon upgrades V (and with AWU untrained). The ‘protest’ large armor rep or one of the fraction ones will work nicely if you have the isk and want to spend it, if not meta 4 version will be fine in a pinch for the most part, just don’t go around doing extravaganza bonus rooms or anything.

      *Was this intentional? I'm rather curious since although it’s a good skill to have and WU V isn’t that long of a train most noobs take a bit of time to train it unless they really know what they are doing.

      Delete
    3. I'll have to second that comment on the RCU2 - given that it requires ten days to train Energy Grid Upgrades from IV to V, and the only other thing opened by that train is Marauders, most newer players will stop at EGU IV and move on to more rewarding trains. Lord knows I did - and found myself gnashing my teeth when my corp joined a faction warfare alliance and I found a batch of doctrine fits requiring the RCU2.

      My rule of thumb is: any fit that requires AWU V, T2 battleship guns, and/or RCU2's is not a novice fit. Doubly so for any fit that won't work without Tech II rigs.

      Delete
    4. Yeah, acute symptome of veteritis on my part, RCU II is a bit harsh for a new player. However, you could drop a Nano Pump for a Large Ancillary Current Router and put either a Co-Processor (if Weapons Upgrades is below 5) or a Thermic Membrane (if Weapons Upgrades is at 5) or another damage-mod (if you have enough money to afford Faction Heatsinks).
      With an Thermic Membrane the tank is actually better compared to the fitting above.

      Delete
  4. I think mission specific hardener should be better than EANM, 2 hardener + one Reactive Armor Hardener should be able to provide enough buffer.

    The other thing is since new player can't fit scorch yet, maybe a dual heavy beam lazer is better? I remember when my toon was 3 month old, I have to use radio on pulse apoca all the time since range = safe. (I don't have the tank to rep against couple bs causing dmg at the same time)

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    Replies
    1. That's a good idea. I'll have to look at the cap.

      Delete
  5. Quick tip: True Sansha Large Nos is trading at around 5M Isk with a nice addition to the meta4 module range

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  6. If you are fighting Sanshas or Blood Raiders, chances are they are nossing and neutering you if you are in range to use your own on them...

    And NPCs actually nos/neut a bit harder since they don't have restrictions.

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  7. I, too, think the Apoc is the better option for a new player. Easy to fit, godzilla capacitor, range bonus enables Mega pulses.

    [Apocalypse, AB]
    Armor EM Hardener II
    Armor EM Hardener II
    Armor Thermic Hardener II
    Armor Thermic Hardener II
    Core C-Type Large Armor Repairer
    Heat Sink II
    Heat Sink II

    Experimental 100MN Afterburner I
    Cap Recharger II
    Cap Recharger II
    Optical Tracking Computer I, Optimal Range Script

    Mega Modulated Pulse Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Infrared L
    Mega Modulated Pulse Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Infrared L
    Mega Modulated Pulse Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Infrared L
    Mega Modulated Pulse Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Infrared L
    Mega Modulated Pulse Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Infrared L
    Mega Modulated Pulse Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Infrared L
    Mega Modulated Pulse Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Infrared L
    Mega Modulated Pulse Energy Beam I, Imperial Navy Infrared L

    Large Capacitor Control Circuit I
    Large Capacitor Control Circuit I
    Large Energy Collision Accelerator I


    Snipe the smaller stuff with infrared, while burning for the big boys, to melt them with high damage ammo. I think I used gamma for this mostly. Easier on the cap and you can start shooting at 30K or so.

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  8. Armageddon with Pulses is definitely too short range. You either need Scorch or Apoc.

    I started L4 missioning in Abaddon, beams work quite well.

    Also no plate is needed!

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  9. what? you don't use in-client post-its?

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  10. This is very close to the mission Armageddon I use, and it serves quite well. I'm using the Navy hull, with hardeners vs. the buffer, but at my age I have the skill points to feel safe-ish. Thanks for posting this!

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  11. Sorry if you already answered this question in a previous post, but do u have any idea about when they might pull the switch on the skill re-vamp for race specific BC's and Dessys ?

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  12. For newer players, especially those jumping from L3 to L4s, are best served by a combination of both DC and plate imho. It takes time to learn to identify and triage the most dangerous opponents, and manage both your cap, repping and effective DPS.

    There are also the challenges of hitting either a trigger too early, or (for example) letting the rats get to their optimal.

    Blood raider/sansha and to a lesser extent minmatar L4s can go from having easily managed incoming DPS to HOLY #$%^! just by the rats being 10km closer. In other words, it extends your available time to identify the threat and neutralize it or bug out if you need to... and to kill those pesky scramming frigates too for that matter.

    Decreased cap stability as a trade off for more killing power (DPS tanking) is for later in the piece once you know how your ship handles in risky circumstances, and better how to balance your cap needs vs rep, guns etc.

    As an aside, I'm a bit fan of target painters for both aggro control and to extend the effective ranges and hitting power of your guns (and drones/sentries if you use them). Have to acknowledge that Amarr with such a short falloff on some of their guns won't probably get the best out of them though.

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  13. Would it be possible to wish for a new article on Abaddon PvE AND PvP fits, evolution and tactics in the not-so-distant future?

    The last one I could find you did is http://jestertrek.blogspot.no/2011/04/kill-of-week-evolution.html and since the comments are not available anymore and the link to the then latest incarnation of the Hellcat is also broken a refresh would be welcomed!

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  14. Great article. I'm a newbie, 45 days in, moving to L4 missions now and ready to retire my prophecy. I think this is the ship for me as I'm heavier in drone dps training than guns.

    One question. Isn't it worth clearning a low slot for a Drone Damage Amp II ? I currently fit 2 of those mods on my Prophecy, as well as 1600 II plate, 2 hardener II's, DCII, and a med repairer II. The 23% bonus to drone DPS is nice, not sure I can live without it tbh.

    ReplyDelete

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