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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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Friday, August 5, 2011

Kill of the Week: It wasn't enough

Guess I'll get some Kills of the Week going again.  So this week, I'm going to pick the triage carrier from the fight between Raiden. and Merciless. early in the week:

Back in the old days (pre-2009), carrier fitting was very different than it is today.  Titan Doomsdays were AoE, super-carriers were regarded as somewhat worthless and hugely over-priced for their capabilities, and pirate faction battleships were much weaker than they are today.  As a result, most carriers were tank-fit, with less reliance on capacitor.  There were even quite a few buffer-fit carriers with no on-board reps at all, relying on their fellow carriers for reps.  A carrier's capacitor was something to worry about during a POS-repping actions, not during actual combat.

That all changed when the Titan Doomsday was changed in 2009 with the Dominion expansion.  Now, Titan DDs were single-target, and the amount of tank on a carrier simply didn't matter.  In Clear Skies 3, the Titan commander looks at his various target choices and tells his gunnery officer, "second carrier on the left" almost randomly.  Sure, it's an Archon because Amarr carriers have the most natural tank, but it never occurs to him that the carrier will do anything other than die... because it will.  As a result, carrier fitting strategy changed markedly.  Tank became much less important, and what took its place was capacitor and the ability to self-rep.

The thinking went: if you were in a carrier, either you were going to die instantly, or you'd probably survive long enough that you'd better be able to hold off a fleet of ships for a while by yourself.

From that day to today, you rarely see carriers with anything other than Capacitor Control Circuit rigs and dual reppers.

But what to do with the rest of your slots?  After you've fit for dual-rep, the question becomes one of what you want to accomplish with your carrier.  Once you've decided, there's a certain number of "cap mods" that you'll be expected to fit to make that happen.  Cap mods are anything that directly increases the cap recharge rate of the carrier: the CCC rigs, Cap Rechargers in the mids, and Cap Power Relays in the lows.

And like everything else in EVE, this has been mathed-to-death until there's now an over-analyzed "ideal" number of cap mods for any situation.  ;-)

Want to travel-fit a carrier?  That's ten cap mods.  That's the number of cap mods you'll need such that when you jump the carrier, you'll recharge in space faster than it will take you to dock and then undock with full cap.  On an Archon, this is usually the three CCC rigs, three Cap Rechargers, and four Cap Power Relays, for instance.

Want to combat-fit a carrier?  That's seven or eight cap mods.  That's enough that you can run your dual reppers, a neut or two, and remain cap-stable if you're not neuted yourself.  Again on an Archon, that's three CCC rigs, three Cap Rechargers, and one or two Cap Power Relays.  Alternately, instead of running your own reps, that's enough cap mods that you can periodically run a couple of remote reppers.  You won't be cap-stable doing it, but you shouldn't need to be; the Capital Remote Armor Repair System cycles every five seconds and adds 1500 armor per cycle.  That's enough to completely rep the Bhaalgorn that was this week's FOTW in about 35 seconds if you have two of them.

Only after you've decided how many cap mods you're going to fit do you finish fitting out the carrier.  That's where your tank and your sebos and everything else goes.  For multi-role carriers, you keep the extra cap mods in the Corporate Hangar Array that's part of every carrier, ready to quickly swap out at need.

But what if you want to triage fit?

Well, there was quite a lot of debate about that before it was decided that the right number of cap mods for a triage carrier is twelve.  The Archon only has 14 slots to put cap mods in.  That means that if you're going to triage fit an Archon, you sacrifice every resistance mod you're carrying.  You fit cap mods, two local reppers... and that's it.  Anything less, and sooner or later -- probably sooner in today's neut-heavy EVE PvP battlefield -- you're going to cap out and become useless to your fleet mates.

And that's exactly what happened to the Raiden. carrier here, with its ten cap mods.  The Merciless forces waited him out and kept him busy... the Archon capped out... and without the cap to run its own reppers, it was brought down.

Even though it looks like this carrier has a ridiculous number of cap mods fitted already... it wasn't enough.


  1. except the client crashed, no capping out.

  2. You sure? From what I've seen, both sides seem to agree that this carrier was bubbled and capped out over a 20 minute period.

  3. to add a bit to my previous comment:
    if such carrier is under attack itself, it will not be using its remote repairers, only the local ones - with that its capstable at 56%.

  4. Spot on, as always. However, I'm not sure that a triage carrier should sacrifice all of its resist mods for capacitor mods, since a triage carrier also has to be able to tank the hostile fleet and one or two resist mods tend to have a fairly significant effect on tanking capability.

    Would also have to disagree with your statement that carriers nowadays universally fit local reppers. If anything, with the gradual increase in the size and firepower of nullsec fleets, carriers will have to rely more and more on various Pantheon-style setups, forgoing local repair capability in return for greatly increased EHP and resistances, and relying instead on remote repairs for sustained tank.

    Even a triaged carrier cannot effectively tank a modern hellcat fleet for any length of time, nevermind multiple supercarriers. The alpha fleets fielded by Goonswarm against IRC a few months ago were capable of functionally alpha-striking a triaged carrier -- in one memorable instance the carrier exploded a few seconds after entering triage, before its armor reppers could finish cycling. On the other hand, a Pantheon-style carrier might have double the hit points of its locally-tanked counterparts, making it significantly more difficult to alpha. When paired with other similarly tanked carriers, a Pantheon carrier is much more difficult to take down through raw dps as well.

  5. @Anon1630: I doubt very much the carrier was only concentrating on its own reps. It probably didn't shut down the remote reps until it was pretty far along into its own armor.

    @Anon1643: You're definitely right about Pantheon carriers. Those are an entirely different beast, with very different fitting theory and requirements.

  6. An Archon without resist mods is not as good as you portrait it.

    With fleet boosts ...
    12 Hellcats negate the local reps and
    16 Hellcats would kill it before Triage runs out.

    I assumed a fully skilled Archon (~9k dps tank, ~900k ehp) with 2 cap reps and without resist mods.

    For the hellcat fit i used [url]http://eve-kill.net/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=10284982[/url] with all V and scorch.

    When 16 Hellcats are enough to kill you within 5 Minutes i wouldn't worry too much about cap.

  7. Just a quick note which may not even be read as it's on an older post... why are capital ships only using large rigs? Seeing as everything else on capitals seems to be XL shouldn't there be XL rigs too?

    1. When CCP added rigs of different sizes, they apparently decided against XL rigs, probably because of the T2 rigs. It's probably a good thing they did. Some of the key T2 defensive rigs already cost hundreds of millions of ISK to make.


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