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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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Thursday, January 3, 2013

The latest gadgets

During my recent pledge drive, I sent lots of people EVE mails asking for suggestions on topics they might be interested in.  It's something I do pretty routinely when people contact me -- I'm curious to know what you all might want my take on.  And a couple of people suggested something I should have thought of: my take on all the recently-added new modules and toys.  What are they good for?  When should they be used?  It's a great idea, very similar to my Utility High Slots guide.  Here goes.

Web drones: Short version?  They're terrible.  Don't use them, particularly the light ones which are the ones you might be most tempted to use.  Long version?  The web drones are affected by diminishing returns the same as any other EVE module.  Light web drones reduce speed by 5%, mediums by 10%, heavies by 20%.  Pilot stoicfaux summed up the problem admirably with this table (which I've modified for clarity):

  # of drones   Light     Medium     Heavy  
195%90%80%
291%82%66%
388%77%59%
487%75%55%
587%74%54%

The numbers reflect the target's speed after the effects of the drones.  So if you're tempted to use five light web drones, don't: you'll only be reducing your target's speed by 13%.  Five heavy web drones -- which are slllooooww to catch a target, if they ever do -- affect your target like having one web on it.  And there's absolutely no reason ever to use more than three web drones of any type.  I can kinda, sorta see mixing web and TP drones in a PvE mission scenario.  Three medium web drones and two medium target painter drones might be useful for some missioning ships, such as Amarr or Minmatar battleships.  Would they be more useful than the equivalent number of medium combat drones?  I doubt it.

Salvage drones: These are pretty interesting!  They're going to be most useful in a PvE scenario, obviously, notably in any L4 battleship that has the extra 25m3 to carry a set.  In PvP, I think they're going to be most useful in ships with a lot of utility drone space, notably the various Gallente and Amarr cruisers and battle cruisers (and to a lesser extent, battleships).  I don't really expect these will come into their own until CCP really rethinks the drone bays of the battle cruisers, HACs, and recons, though.  Once that's done, I think they'll be more generally useful.  For the moment, drone bay space is too small and too precious in most PvP ships.

Drone Damage Amplifier: If your ship relies on drone damage for the majority of its DPS, you should have one or two of these.  For the time being, though, three is almost certainly overkill.  Pretty simple.

T2 Armor Plates: Previously, these were inferior to Reinforced Rolled Tungsten plates because they provided no more armor HP and significantly increased ship mass (and to top it off, they were more expensive than the meta4 plates, too).  Now, they have been buffed such that they provide significantly more armor HP... still with the mass increase.  As a result, these are now excellent for "like" size ships, but terrible for undersize ships.  Example: you should refit all of your plated battleships to T2 plates, immediately.  On my Apocalypse Navy Issue, for instance, upgrading to the T2 plate adds 5k EHP and only reduces its speed by 4m/s.  However, the same plate on a Proteus, while adding some 10k EHP (thanks to resists) also reduces its speed by nearly 100m/s.  Similar effects are found with the other T2 plates for their respective size ships.

Target Spectrum Breaker: These put on a nice light show, but aren't very useful.  Where I think they're the most useful is for solo battleship PvP, particularly what Rote Kapelle calls "Bushido" doctrine battleships partciuarly using multiple armor self-reps.  That's hardly a mainstream market, though.  I think CCP should open this module up to more classes of ships.  It's a natural for recons and stealth bombers, for instance.  I could also see it being very useful for industrials, though the cry of rage from gate-campers would be something to behold.

Capacitor Batteries: These received a buff which causes a "reflection" of any attempt to neut or NOS you.  The reflection is nowhere near strong enough to be a factor in thinking about whether to fit one of these or not.  The CPU these take is still the limiting factor; it's still far too high on these to consider them for 95% of scenarios where they might be useful.  They remain a niche module mostly useful for scout ships and a few PvE logistics fits.  When I lived in Great Wildlands, I fit these on my Covert Ops ships routinely to counter all those long warps over there.

Various new dead-space remote reppers and energy transfers: These are pretty awesome and you should not forget about them when you're fitting the new T1 rep cruisers and frigates, particularly for PvE.  Don't neglect them for PvP, though.  They're still very cheap, by and large, which makes them a viable choice for experienced pilots.

Reactive Armor Hardener: I started writing this part of the post and before I knew it, I had enough text down to be a blog post in its own right.  So instead I'm going to jump straight to my conclusions.  If you're interested in how I reached them, say so in the comments and I'll consider writing a Reactive Armor Hardener blog post.  ;-)

I think the RAH is exactly as useful on the modern EVE PvP battlefield as any other meta0 T1 module, which is to say: not very.  If you can absoultely ensure your enemies are going to come at you with only one type of damage, by all means fit it.  For instance, I fit one to my Abaddon when I thought I might fight I-RED in it because I-RED only flies Amarr ships.  It made sense.  Since they were only going to be firing EM/Thermal at me, having 40% EM resist and 20% Thermal resist in one module was quite a useful proposition!  But for most situations, the T2 EANM is a far superior mod.  If there was such a thing as a T2 RAH, the decision would be a lot harder, but for now, it's not.  The same argument applies to wormhole and incursion PvE.

In mission and ratting PvP, though, I think the RAH has a lot going for it, and it's for exactly the reason above: you're only going to be facing two types of damage, so it makes total sense to have all the resistance to those types of damage that you can.  So definitely go ahead and fit it, particularly when null-sec ratting in armor ships.

Micro Jump Drive: I think the jury's still out on this one.  The obvious application to using this one is in a fleet of armor-tanked sniping battleships.  If someone scans you down and a fleet looks ready to land on you, the entire group activates this mod and scatters.  You'll still lose a few ships as the module winds up but better that than to lose a whole fleet.  I could also see it being very useful in ultra-small gang skirmish battleship scenarios, again as a GTFO maneuver.  However, the CPU use of this mod makes it tough to also fit a prop mod, so I'm not sure I currently see it entering widespread use.  But again, the jury's still out.

Ancillary Shield Booster: I've already written a ton about this mod in various posts, particularly FOTWs where I suggest its use.  Where this mod is most useful is two scenarios: solo PvP (where you should be using one or two of these mods), and very small gang PvP (where you might use one).  The former is ably represented by Rote's Bushido tactics, the ubiquitous solo dual-ASB Hawk, ASB Cyclones, and like ships.  The latter is represented by the Sleipnir fit I flew in AT10.  In that case, you're using the ASB to supplement your on-field reps.  Your ability to burst tank in this situation will often cause the enemy FC to call a new primary since he isn't breaking you... while you reload your ASB.  Larger fleets don't have to bother with this: they just bring more logistics ships.

Processor Overclocking Unit rig: Finally, this is easy to forget: there is now a rig that increases CPU!  That said, the times you want to use it are fairly limited.  A lot of the times you want to consider it are when fitting one of the modules above.  Most of the new modules are pretty CPU-intensive and sometimes the CPU rig is just want you need to squeeze them on.

And aside from some of the mods that have gotten T2 versions lately (the Drone Link Augmentor and Drone Navigation Computer come to mind, as well as the Small Tractor Beam and the Warp Disruption Field Generator), I think that's pretty much it.  Did I miss anything?

EDIT (3/Jan/2013): Added T2 armor plates.

46 comments:

  1. What do you think of the new (?) Federation Navy (and other navy) drones? They have no price before December, so I think they got snuck in with Retribution, and have some pretty interesting stats (shield hp, damage).

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    1. I believe they were merely added to the market, not the game.

      Delete
    2. And I haven't seem much of a description of the neglected "Augmented" drones and their ilk. I've heard they're a bit better but not worth the hassle, which is a shame as it seems like a cool idea.

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    3. No, you can buy them for 2-5m each in Jita. A bit pricy, but I think they could be useful if you can't use T2 heavies/sentries, for example.

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  2. I've seen the MJD in the field once, and it burned us good. This guy lost 3 Faction Battleships (and an Orca) to us in a period of 24H. He brought another Faction Battleship (CNR), this time fitted with a MJD, and jumped into our system. DIC bubble went up, got points and scrams on him, then he burst out of the bubble like we were never there. We were very surprised since we've never seen the MJD in action. Pretty cool module but I think it has very limited use cases.

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    1. MJD doesn't work with scrams on it..

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    2. True, but if the CNR was like his previous fits then the lows were full of warp core stabs.

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    3. Regarding MWD: scram disables MWD *and* does not allow you to warp. Fitting warp core stabs only allows you to warp, it does not enable MWD. I would think the same should apply to MJD, so most likely you only pointed him, not scrammed.

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  3. Considering the RAH:

    Since Retribution I really like this module. What you failed to mention is that the resistance bonus of the RAH is not subject to stacking penalty, meaning that it will often, once it has adapted it's resistances, actually generate more resistance than an EANM. The more heterogenous the enemies damage profile, the better.

    However, in my oppinion, the main downside of this module still is it's hefty capacitor usage at 6.3 GJ/second, pretty much limiting it's usage to BS and larger. Although I could imagine something like a RAH Augoror/Guardian or something, if the ship manages to stay alive long enough.

    However, I see the main users of RAH in medscale/not-quite-so-large-scale ships which are required to stay on the field for some time, like carriers and ships like the Bhaalgorn, which could be able to handle the cap-thirst of the RAH.

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  4. "So if you're tempted to use five light web drones, don't: you'll only be reducing your target's speed by 13%."

    You don't fly Gallente blaster boats much, do you?

    That "only 13%" speed reduction is what you need to allow blaster boats to get, and stay, within range of Minmatar AC ships. And, once in range, blasters do so much damage that the loss of extra DPS from combat drones is insignificant.

    Using web drones, I've racked up quite a number of kills against Minmatar pilots who have always relied on their speed and AC range advantage to beat Gallente ships in the past.

    And, while it would be nice if CCP would remove the stacking penalties from drones, you still want to use a full flight of web drones, even with the stacking penalty, because they are easier to pop than combat drones. Normally, I lose 1-2 web drones, when my opponent switches to targeting the drones.

    Admittedly, an extra webber is even better, but Gallente blaster boats typically don't have the spare mids.

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    Replies
    1. I fly blaster boats all the time. I'd rather have a mid-slot web. And if you have a mid-slot web, the web drones are penalized even more.

      Interesting point about your reasoning for using a full flight of them, though.

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    2. Well, some Gallente fits without a web (shield thorax) could make use of a flight of web drones. If the Enyo gets buffed with some more drone bandwidth I could see people flying dual-rep Enyos much more aggressively against kiting AFs.

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    3. @Jester - with a Gallente blaster boat, you need both the mid-slot web, and the web drones, to catch & hold a Minmatar AC ship, which is almost always also equipped with a web.

      With a single web, the Minmatar AC ship always gets away. It is still the faster ship, when both ships are webbed. And, unfortunately, you can't fit a dual web on most Gallente blaster boats.

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    4. There are some easier solutions to that problem (cheap speed implants, heat, a single low slot speed mod, etc) that don't involve sacrificing *your whole flight* of drones. I'm not convinced fielding a full flight of web drones instead of combat/ecm is really an efficient solution.

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    5. I had an interesting discussion about using 3x heavy web drones in a myrm with 4x of the drone speed mods in the mids + the drone stasis rigs. You end with with a 58% reduction in speed, and the drones very pretty fast (3900m/s with mwd)

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  5. Salvage drones won't salvage yellow wrecks, and they don't loot any wrecks. They also can't salvage T2 wrecks. :P

    For L4 missions, you are better off with combat drones, esp. with a solo BS, where you need something to kill those pesky frigs. The drone DPS also helps finish missions faster, after which you can come back and loot/salvage the site.

    So, using a dedicated loot/salvage ship, like the Noctis, is still the preferred tactic for mission running.

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    Replies
    1. Salvage drones have to modes. Launch the drones without any targets locked, You can right click on "Drones in space" and they will specifically auto salavge wrecks which are specific kills by you. (they will not salvage wrecks from fellow fleet or corp mbr kills).

      Or you lock wrecks and order an individual or the flight of salvage drones to manually salavge a wreck. And this does include yellow wrecks when done manaually. I have done separate salaving or 3/2 ordering. (salavge drone IV trained currently).

      hi-sec Missioning in Gallante boats - I have space on both a Domi or a Mega drone bays for a full flight of salavge drones.

      A couple of salvage drones is also nice on the Orca when fleet mining.

      MT

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    2. Thanks to the new NPC AI, I prefer to keep spare combat drones in my mission Domi.

      Salvaging during a mission is a distraction and a good way to get yourself embarrassingly killed.

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  6. You mean "coincidentally enough", not "ironically enough". There's no irony involved, just coincidence.

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    Replies
    1. Actually, now that I think it through, it's mostly neither. ;-)

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  7. For PVE the MJD is very handy for dropping sentries at range.

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  8. There's also a niche PVE use for microjump drives. I use one on a sentry dominix, it lets me quickly get to range to either do more damage or to avoid incoming damage. I was able to drop a hardener for a DDA so it's effectively a dps boost. It also breaks rat warp scrambles, if that's a big deal to anyone.

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  9. What is really annoying about CCP is the fact that they introduce new stuff, but then fail to effectively follow up with any sort of performance review and iterative fixes. Applies to both Jesus features and modules/rigs.

    For an overused OP module/rig, like the ASB, it took them months to get around to making the fix which was obviously needed from day one. Duh, just watch AT, you stupid devs. Now, how about taking a look at the TE II?

    And, for an useless module/rig, it can literally take them years, if ever, to get around to a fix. Liquid Cooled Electronics II rig, anyone? How about *all* T1 modules, except those few which have no meta, faction/officer or T2 equivalents?

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  10. You forgot the t2 1600 plates.

    Not very common but really useful If you can squeeze then on your ships imo

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    Replies
    1. You're absolutely right. I'll add them.

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  11. Micro Jump Drive: Useful in WH PvE when you are fit for sleepers and hostiles land on you. D-scan only goes out so far and a well laid ambush can and will get the drop on you. This usage is very similar to your sniping battleship use but in a WH allows most of the fleet to get back to the POS and reship for PvP.

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  12. I actually fit salvage drones onto my Exequror. I'll be dammed if I'm gonna try to manage putting ECM or damage drones while repping. For all I know, I'll put those things on my fleet mates. RR drones and salvage drones FTW.

    Having the ability to salvage T1 wrecks after a fight makes up a little bit for not getting on KMs for me.

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    Replies
    1. This is pretty lol. +1 for giving me a clever reason for using salvage drones. (And, yeah, I accidentally did put some ECM drones on a mate once... oops).

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  13. Just to reinforce the MDJ in PvE fits. I use it for sentry domi and rail fitting mega. by kitting outside the rats normal damage ranges means more options for damage modules like drone damage or magnetic stabs / tracking enhancers. It does require a sebo with script.

    As for overclocking modules. works a treat to off-set the CPU penality of drone rigs. Think drone mining rig + OC rig + tech2 miners - bah shield rigs "we don't need no stinkin shield rigs"

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  14. Spectrum breakers are incredibly useful in certain situations.

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    Replies
    1. ...such as...?

      Don't leave us hanging, mate. ;-)

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    2. Having been in a large fleet fight where one side used these and the other didn't, I think these mods are more along the lines of granting incremental advantage rather than an I Win button.

      We didn't have these fit and I spent about a third of the fight sitting there not firing while just trying to (re)lock targets. I won't say that's why we lost, but in a situation of all else being equal, these things could very well mean the difference between victory and defeat. I think more data needs gathering.

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  15. Ive heard that the Cap battery buff has become relevant to combat refiting triage carriers for dealing with heavy hostile neuts

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  16. T2 plates vs RTT plates:

    T2 plates still need more of a buff, to make them worthwhile to build, buy and fit. RTT plates are still too good, and still too plentiful & cheap.

    In addition to the significant mass penalty (which makes your ship both slower and less agile), the T2 plates also require more CPU/PG.

    For example:

    1600mm T2: 33 CPU, 575 PG
    1600mm RTT: 28 CPU, 500 PG

    If you have CPU/PG to spare, no prob. But, for most fits, the tradeoff to fit a T2 plate requires compromising something else, resulting in a poorer overall combat fit.

    And, just FYI, a speed reduction of 4m/s on an Apoc is effectively a 5% speed penalty on an already slow boat. Not insignificant.

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    Replies
    1. Most of the battleships I've fit T2 plates to have had no problem with the little bit of extra CPU and grid, even the Amarr ones.

      And that's 4m/s off its MWD speed. Mass doesn't affect base speed.

      Delete
  17. I like the Reactive Armor, it doesn't share the same diminishing return as enams, so if you super tank something; 2 enams, 1 reactive, 1 damage control for the best result.

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  18. You forgot the ice mining rig - yet another 20 secs of cycle time shaved off. You can, however, fit only one: they're expensive fitwise (250 rigpointsthingies).

    I won't hold it against you, since you'd obviously stay far from ice mining...

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  19. The RAH gains a lot of strength when u already fitted 2+ EANM, cause its diminishing Retrun is shared with a DC, not the other Armor Hardeners. EFT-Warrior it through on ships where u got 3 / 4 or even more EANM and exchange one for the RAH.

    Like Klingon Admiral said, its very succesful on Augorors and Exequrors

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  20. Can you come up with any reason to use the shiny new Officer Drone Control Units? Because I can't. I couldn't find a single decent ratting or PvP carrier fit that was CPU limited and needed Drone Control Units.

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    Replies
    1. The only application for them is on a heavy-duty ratting Chimera, which has a slight CPU problem.

      But the whole idea of a "heavy-duty ratting Chimera"... ;-)

      Delete
  21. The main usage for the T2 plates prior to the buff in WH space was adding mass to WH closing ships. I actually prefer they keep the mass the way it is.

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  22. To elaborate on Tahna Rouspel's comment:

    The Reactive Armor Hardener (RAH) suffers from stacking penalties against the Damage Control, but not against other resistance modules. So common wisdom is that an RAH is better than a third EANM or other module that boosts the same resistance for most purposes. Especially useful for Pantheon-fit carriers which are likely to live for at least a few RAH cycles before exploding.

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  23. One change I haven't seen you cover is the stealth nerf to insurance on T1 ships.

    Effectively the new buffed ships insure for their old materials cost (materials minus extra minerals) while costing slightly below their new mineral price (because of the overbuilding you noted elsewhere).

    Whilst this is to stop the obvious scams across the patch, unless it is changed at some point a whole bunch of ships become effectively rather pointless to insure.

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  24. I don't know if it is a bug, but in our testing on singularity, we can tell the web drone to assist other player (so they engage when the fast tackler lock).

    Don't know if it is as intended or a bug.

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  25. Along the lines of things for future blogs - how about the oddball consumables of Eve? As a relative newb my understanding is that it's pretty much always worth it to use a T2 drone if you can, but the T2 ammos are special things unto themselves. Faction ammo, however, seems to be considered standard use for PVP (and in comparing fits) but people disagree on using faction ammo for PVE. There there is pirate ammo which seems to be more effective and more expensive than faction, I think? And the "Augmented" drones which nobody seems to use, but I'm wondering if these fancy drones are worth it for people who don't want to take the long training slog to T2 heavy drones.

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  26. We live, strive and thrive for information. Gadgets that are invented or produced are debatable. Some of these things are television, telephone, camera, movie camera, microwave oven, video cassette player and recorder, video gaming consoles, Sony's Walkman, IBM's personal computer or PC etc,.

    e_cell

    ReplyDelete

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