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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Friday, July 8, 2011

Fit of the Week: Standard MSE Dramiel

[Dramiel, Standard MSE]
Pseudoelectron Containment Field I
Gyrostabilizer II
Micro Auxiliary Power Core I

Coreli C-Type 1MN MicroWarpdrive
Coreli C-Type 1MN Afterburner
Faint Epsilon Warp Scrambler I
Medium Shield Extender II

200mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Fusion S
[empty high slot]
200mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Fusion S

Small Core Defence Field Extender I
Small Polycarbon Engine Housing I
Small Polycarbon Engine Housing I

Warrior II x3
Light Armor Maintenance Bot I x1

Dramiels are about to get a nerf, so before they do, I thought I'd post my favorite (and reasonably standard) Dramiel fit.

There are four ways to tank a ship in EVE Online: with shields, with armor, with speed, and with signature radius.  The first two are brute-force methods intended to be able to take a lot of damage.  The latter two focus on trying to avoid damage.  For the most part, EVE players are advised to stick to one method of tanking their ships; trying to use two means of tanking a ship is seen as weakening the ship's overall defense.  Still, there are a very few ships out there that can effectively manage two types of tanks, such as the Vagabond (shield/speed) and the Guardian (armor/sig).  The Dramiel -- shield and speed -- is another well-known example.

As a result, the core of a well-fit Dramiel is in the mids.  You need a warp scrambler to hold your target, but after that, your mids are all about a Medium Shield Extender II, a micro-warp drive, and an afterburner.  You can't use both propulsion mods simultaneously, of course; the intent of having both is to give the Dram a GTFO option if it is badly scrammed and webbed by a superior foe.  The afterburner combined with the strong shield tank provided by the MSE will allow the Dram to at least escape scram range and warp off, if victory in the fight it's in doesn't seem likely.  As a result, most Drams these days are killed through various forms of bait, traps, or truly superior piloting skill.  The average Dram pilot can simply run away if a fight begins to go badly for him.  Most often, faction or dead-space mods are used for all four of these mods.  The choices in this particular fit reflect a balance between capability and cost.  The Coreli propulsion mods are both effective and very resilient under over-heating.

Still, you see an absolute ton of Drams out there with faction scrams (of just about every variety) and faction MSEs (usually the Republic Fleet variant).  The reason is that most Dram fits quickly start to bump into CPU limitations.  And indeed, this Dram fit requires either a third faction mod or a 3% CPU implant.  The choice is yours.  Ripard generally flew this ship with a 3% implant.

Correctly-piloted Drams spend a lot of time overheated, so carry a good portion of Nanite Repair Paste (150 units or so) in cargo and work on your overheating skills.  The empty high slot between your guns will act as a heat sink and increase your ability to overheat those guns.  The AutoCannons combined with the Gyrostab produce about 160 DPS when overheated; your drones add an addition 40 or so, depending on if you like Warriors or Hobs.  A few confident pilots go for a Republic Fleet Gyrostab on top of the other faction mods.  The MAPC ensures that you can make everything fit, and even then, it will be a close thing.  Either Shield Upgrades V or Advanced Weapon Upgrades V is a requirement for this fit.

The highest meta Damage Control and defensive rigs complete the package.  A Dramiel with this fit can (currently) approach 8000m/s with an overheated MWD, and can approach or surpass 10000m/s if there is a Claymore or other command ship with an active Rapid Deployment ganglink on the field.  As a result, the Dram is the interceptor's interceptor, currently the fastest ship in EVE Online.

Though as I said, a nerf is in the offing.  The Daredevil will presumably soon be taking over the title.

So, take the opportunity to fly one of these beautiful ships now, while they still hold the title.  Flying a Dram is all about maintaining transversal velocity.  With the MWD/AB combo plus the fast-tracking auto-cannons, this is frightfully easy.  Burn into your target quick on MWD, shutting it down as you approach a good orbit range -- about 6500 meters or so.  Then activate your AB, overheating if needed.  The only thing that scares Drams too much are multiple webs combined with a scram, so be careful of cruisers with lots of mid slots like the Moa and Celestis.  Just about anything else of T1 cruiser size or smaller is probably easy meat if you're careful and maintain range.  If you do see webs spinning up, you can use the momentum from this wide orbit to open your range.  Manually double-click on a tangent away from the target, then shut off your AB as you leave scram range and reactivate your MWD.  Then open range in a wide sweeping curve, maintaining transversal.  Drams win fights because they can generally avoid taking embarrassing losses.

With that in mind, don't be afraid to run away!  You're flying an expensive ship (particularly with those faction mods), and the downside to being able to take on so many different types of ships is that you are more expensive than all of them.  People will happy sacrifice 25 million ISK ships for a crack at a Dram kill-mail, and this is both your advantage and your curse.  They don't care if they lose.  You have to.  ;-)

Fly fast and agile!

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