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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 24, 2013

Fit of the Week: Herd Dominix concepts

And let's wrap up T1 battleship month with my favorite T1 battleship, the Dominix.  There's only one problem... which one?

The Dominix hull is ridiculously, outrageously versatile.  The Gnosis came into the game with six low, mid, and high slots, plus drone bonuses and bonuses to every type of medium weapon, either gun or missile, making it EVE's most versatile ship.  And yet the simple Dominix ranks pretty close to it in versatility, trading one mid slot for one low slot compared to the Gnosis, and trading all of its weapon benefits for overpowered bonuses to drones and six turret slots.  As a result, you can do almost anything with a Dominix.  And people have.

Net result: no matter what Dominix fit I give you, someone's going to say that I'm doing it horribly wrong.  You are warned in advance.  ;-)  With that said, I'm going to go with a modification of a classic Dominix concept and instead of working in concrete statements, I'm going to talk about where you can modify this concept for 2013 to suit the flying style of yourself and your corporation.  So let's start with a basic fit for the classic "Herd Dominix", updated for Odyssey:

[Dominix, Herd Domi Template]
Damage Control II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Reactive Armor Hardener
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
1600mm Reinforced Steel Plates II

Prototype 100MN Microwarpdrive I
Large Micro Jump Drive
Heavy Capacitor Booster II, Navy Cap Booster 800
Conjunctive Magnetometric ECCM Scanning Array I
Omnidirectional Tracking Link II

Heavy Unstable Power Fluctuator I
Heavy Unstable Power Fluctuator I
Large Energy Transfer Array II
Large Energy Transfer Array II
Large Remote Armor Repair System II
Large Remote Armor Repair System II

Large Trimark Armor Pump I
Large Trimark Armor Pump I
Large Egress Port Maximizer I

Garde II x5
Curator II x5
Vespa EC-600 x5
Warrior II x5
Valkyrie II x5


Herd Domis have been around for a few years now, the concept intended for a smallish roaming battleship fleet that can take a lot of punishment while getting kills.  Other than drones, the heart of a herd Domi is actually the high slots where you'll run into two common concepts: 2-2-2 and 3-3.  2-2-2 refers to fitting two heavy neuts, two Large Energy Transfers, and two Large Remote Armor reppers.  In the herd Domi concept, the Domis go in as a group, orbiting an anchor, and set up a Guardian style cap chain with each Dominix receiving one energy transfer from each of two buddy Domis (usually the Domis both above and below you on the list of the fleet's pilots in the chat channel).  In the less common 3-3 fitting, the neuts are dropped for an additional repper and energy transfer.

The entire group drops sentry drones, sets up their cap chain, and starts attacking targets.  In some cases, the FC of such a fleet will replace one of the mid slot modules with a Target Painter to use as an aggressive attack module.  In this case, the Domi pilots involved will launch their sentries then assist them to the FC.  This allows all pilots to concentrate on repairing the member of the group under attack.  This fleet concept is called "herd Domis" because the herd usually includes a few battleships of other types that can stay within the repair envelope of the Dominixes and yet provide heavy, reasonably long-range DPS, plus tackle.  The Domis are "herding" the other battleships like sheepdogs.

In the traditional herd Domi concept, the low slots are built around using all seven slots for tank: a single plate, a DC, two EANMs, and three active hardeners.  This produces an almost ridiculously resistant platform.  However, the traditional herd Domi was developed prior to the advent of the Reactive Armor Hardener and the Drone Damage Amplifier.  The concept above is more aggressive, does 225 more DPS per ship, and is nearly as resilient as the traditional herd Domi thanks to the RAH.  If the fleet's movement speed is not an issue -- if the fleet is operating in a home defense capacity, for instance -- one of the EANMs can be replaced with a second plate to further enhance the durability of all ships, particularly if Damnation or Legion armor links are available.

The rig slots can similarly be somewhat variable, with between zero and two Egress Port Maximizer rigs traditionally being mixed with Trimarks.  This fit has a single Egress rig, which will provide about two minutes of cap endurance before the use of the Cap Booster.  Another Egress rig will provide more cap endurance at the expense of buffer.

Mid slots are the most variable of all, and there are herd Domi concepts built on no propulsion module at all, or an afterburner.  Still, the MicroWarpdrive is most commonly used.  On the modern battlefield, this is supplemented with an MJD on each ship.  The dual neuts and jammer drones will allow each Domi to individually break scrams with no problem at which point the entire herd can MJD out of harm's way if needed.  ECCM is useful to keep the cap chain from being broken... but can be replaced with a Target Painter, Sensor Booster, or point if jams are not an issue.  The Omnidirectional Tracking Link further enhances the already absurd tracking of Domi sentry drones, and any ship so reliant on cap should use a Cap Booster.

The drones specified are a mix of short range and long range sentries, light and medium drones for super-close range defense, and a flight of jamming drones for breaking tackle prior to getting out of harm's way if needed.

Ironically, the biggest obstacle to flying a herd Domi fleet on today's EVE battlefield is that it is recognizably over-powered.  Your ships are slow and drone dependent, so many fleets can and will simply refuse to fight you.  Where such a fleet excels is in defensive operations around a friendly POS or Player Owned Customs Office, either defending friendly repair ships or doing POCO repairs themselves with their LRARs.  A large herd of Domis repping a POCO (with a few attendant Guardians or perhaps a carrier or two) will be an uninviting target to an aggressor.

The other major disadvantage to herd Domis occurs in null-sec, where they are quite vulnerable to bombers due to their low speed, high sig, and the swarms of easily-bombed drones that will surround them.  Even a relatively small wing of bombers will be able to crack or neutralize a herd Domi fleet... particularly one engaged in defensive ops around a fixed point.  As a result, this kind of fleet will be most useful in high- and low-sec where bombs may not be used.  In these cases, smart-bombing battleships can potentially be a danger, and some herd Domi concepts replace the two heavy neuts with two large smart-bombs instead.  Obviously, if you intend to use sentries yourself, you will need to open range away from them before using your smart-bombs.

There is a third obstacle to flying a herd Domi fleet: it requires a great deal of micro-management on the part of every pilot involved (and it is for this reason that the drones of a Domi fleet are often assisted to someone to concentrate on that role alone).  Each pilot has drones to manage, a cap chain to set up, repair broadcasts to monitor and respond to, capacitor to watch out for, and neuts to use.  It's "a lot of buttons to push" and some EVE players can't handle it.  If you're going to try this comp -- particularly in defensive high-sec war-decs -- take it out and practice it with your fellow pilots.  Know an amusing place to practice this kind of comp?  Level 4 missions!  Take a three- or four-ship herd into The Blockade, Vengeance, or Worlds Collide to practice...  That will get you some experience with the drone and cap management and responding to repair requests.

Domis are very nasty ships right now.  Gardes launched from a Domi fit this way have a 58km optimal and a 12km fall-off.  Curators can successfully hit out to more than 100km with ease.  DPS with this fit ranges from 500 to almost 700 depending on pilot skill.  Be careful not to underestimate them, and remember how versatile they can be.  Domis are one of the few ships in EVE that you won't be able to predict how they're going to be used against you until they are...


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.

11 comments:

  1. you aredoing it horribly wrong.

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    Replies
    1. Well I am convinced by your erudite and logical counter argument and splendid use of examples, practical application and theory crafting.

      Delete
  2. Great writeup. I am fan of Domi for a long time now. It is one of the most versatile ships in game. It was the most versatile. But now it has competition. In form of Geddon. Geddon can actualy work in the same group with domis. Sure id dosent have tracking bonus.. but 1 more high slot and neut range makes them as nasty as Domis.

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  3. I love the disclaimer at the end.

    Also, the drone assist ship is also subject to being sensor damped to death as N3, etc. has found out in fountain.

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  4. What gets nerfed first; the Domi or the Sentry drones? I am going to go with the drones personally....and if that happens, ratters eve-wide will cry.

    In PVE the Sentry Domi is wildly powerful. No cap needed to operate the drones, ewar of almost any kind is not effective when drones are set to aggressive/focus fire. Speed tank frigs are blaped with the enhanced tracking...Its crazy.

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  5. Dominix (mission fit)

    Large S95a Partial Shield Transporter
    Drone Link Augmentor II
    Auto Targeting System II
    Drone Link Augmentor II
    Drone Link Augmentor II
    Small Tractor Beam I

    F-90 Positional Sensor Subroutines - Range Script
    Target Painter II
    Large Micro Jump Drive
    Omnidirectional Tracking Link II
    Omnidirectional Tracking Link II

    Armor Kinetic Hardener II
    Armor Thermic Hardener II
    Capacitor Power Relay II
    Large Armor Repairer II
    Drone Damage Amplifier II
    Drone Damage Amplifier II
    Drone Damage Amplifier II

    Large Capacitor Control Circuit I
    Large Capacitor Control Circuit I
    Large Sentry Damage Augmentor I

    Warden II x 5
    Bouncer II x5
    Salv Drones x5
    Hobgoblins II x 5

    arrive in the mission, and bounce out with the MJD. use wardens to sniper all the NPC frigates first. work up ship sizes. with the ATS I can pre-lock my sentries to rep as needed, and still have a strng of targets. clear the room and bounce back to the gate for the next pocket. use some salv drones whilst waiting out the cool down of the MJD.

    I sometimes mission with a rail megathron. then I assign drones over to that pilot to focus dps when killing the NPC bs.

    it is completely cap unstable, but fun to fly with friends.

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  6. Have you already done the maelstrom, rock,abbadon or hyperion. If so can you link it in comment plz?
    Thanks in advance

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Based on the search function, there's been a FOTW for the Rokh, but not the others - the Hyperion probably missed out due to being a mess prior to Odyssey, and Jester probably hasn't encountered Maelstrom or Abaddon fits that stood out enough to make the cut for the Fit of the Week.

      Delete
    2. Fleet battleships are going to be tough sells as FOTW because every alliance that uses them has a specific fit that they'll want players to use and reasons for fitting them that way. That covers the Maelstrom, Rokh, and Abaddon.

      As Marc says, Hyps were a mess until recently.

      Of the four, the Abaddon is the one most likely to be a future FOTW because I find the ship interesting in and of itself.

      Delete
  7. Quite possibly the worst fit you've ever suggested.

    Depending entirely on sentries for DPS is pretty stupid, unless you are doing PVE. As you noted, this fit is useless for null, where your drones will simply get bombed out of existence, and nearly as useless in high/low, where smartbomb-equipped MJD battleships can do pretty much the same thing to your drones.

    Up close, sentries still do crap damage, even with the bonused tracking - and your ships have no webs or scrams to slow your opponents, nor any guns to apply close range damage. There is simply no risk to someone jumping right on your face. And, using sentries limits your mobility, making it a lot easier for someone to do exactly that.

    These kinds of chains are certainly tedious to fight, but, since they have no DPS after the drones are slaughtered, it is just a matter of time to grind them down, even when perfectly flown. And, usually, they collapse much more rapidly, due to just a single pilot in the chain making a mistake - even a minor one.

    And, just for the record, Domi's were a lot nastier, prior to the change, when they had the 5% per level bonus to large hybrid damage.

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    Replies
    1. Clearly you have no notion of how bombs work, or how large battles in nullsec work.

      It takes anywhere from 3-5 seconds to recall sentry drones. In 10% tidi this is 30-50 seconds.

      A bomb flies for 10 seconds (whether that is stationary or in the direction your ship is traveling depends on you). In 10% tidi that is 100 seconds.

      Sentries blap ahacs with ridiculous speed, because :webs: and :target painters: and :omnidirectional tracking links:

      Please don't comment on Domi's and Sentries, unless you know how they work.

      This means that you have anywhere from 5 seconds to 70 seconds to properly recall drones in the face of a wave of bombers decloaking and bombing you.

      This is assuming you don't have an appropriate wing of insta-locking hurricanes supporting your domi-herd, blowing up bombers.

      The current meta for defeating domi-herds is to have a large ewar wing of Celestis damping down the target range and target lock time of known target callers to near infinity, then spreading the rest of your massive F***-blob of damps to the rest of the fleet, just to prevent some other unknown caller from doing the same.

      Just watch the Alliance Tournament as an example of how dominix work in large fleets. PL was a great example. TP your enemy, and it gets blapped by the alpha strike of Garde IIs with impunity.

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