This is a collection of short in-character fiction pieces about Awakened Industries, a group of capsuleers and their crews living in the enigmatic and dangerous regions of Wormhole Space in EVE Online. None of the protagonists are actual characters or corporations in-game. All similarities with persons fictional or real are possibly coincidental and only sometimes intentional. - Emergent Patroller

For an introduction to this blog refer to this link. You may also want to check out the guide for new readers

Warning
: The stories on this blog contain mature themes involving sexuality and violence and are not suitable for minors or sensitive people.

22 Apr 2014

OOC Entry 108 - Carriers and Mercs

The Easter weekend is behind us, and I used the opportunity of some time off to work on the next story chapter. This time I directly referred to the "Rooks & Kings Manual of Advanced Triage Carrier Tactics" for the way how Rasenzoku are using their carriers.

Like I said, this chapter also features some shipboard combat for which I have been browsing through quite some Dust514 informational material. As always I am dedicated to keeping things as close to game-lore as possible. I've never played the game myself, so I needed to get familiar with the weapons and armour that is being used by the infantry elite of New Eden.

It turns out, that I am still unable to bring the battle to a conclusion in this chapter, so you can look forward to yet another chapter full of excitement and action.

I think after this story I will have had enough for some time of large battles ;)

At some time my poor protagonists should be able to enjoy a moment of peace, don't you think?

13 Apr 2014

TRS - Fitting Discussion: Legion Black-Ops Logi

I'm on a bit of a roll here with the "elite PVP" stuff, so bear with me for a bit. Next time I'll do something for the newbies again.

Many people consider the Legion the red-headed stepchild of the T3 ships. It's not great at PVE when compared to the Tengu. It lacks the DPS potential of the Proteus and often people will favour Loki support rather than Legion.

But there is one specialization where the Legion really holds the field undisputed: Armor black-ops logistics.


Logistics with black-ops gangs is a difficult thing, and that's why it is rarely used. You could have logistics on the field already before you drop your black-ops gang, but more often than not, that wont be the case. So if you want logi support for your hotdrop, the only possibility you have is to commit a T3 ship with a covert ops subsystem. Outside of the Etana Alliance Tournament price ship, no other alternatives exist.

So when you fly an armor black-ops gang, there are really only two possibilities for logistic T3 ships: The Proteus and the Legion.

To be honest, I only mention the Proteus here because it technically offers the possibility of an armour repair subsystem. In reality, you should never use a Proteus as a remote repair platform. It will be inferiour to the Legion in every way when set up like that. EHP, speed, signature, capacitor ... you name it. The Legion will always beat the Proteus. If you are going to bring Proteus hulls to your black-ops gang, then fit them for DPS and tackle, never for logistics.

The Legion, however, does work perfectly in that role:

[Legion, BLOPS Logi]
Damage Control II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Energized Thermic Membrane II
1600mm Reinforced Steel Plates II

Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II
Medium Capacitor Booster II, Navy Cap Booster 400
ECCM - Radar II
10MN Microwarpdrive II

Medium Remote Armor Repairer II
Medium Remote Armor Repairer II
Medium Remote Armor Repairer II
Medium Remote Armor Repairer II
Medium Remote Armor Repairer II
Covert Ops Cloaking Device II

Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Remote Repair Augmentor I

Legion Propulsion - Wake Limiter
Legion Offensive - Covert Reconfiguration
Legion Defensive - Adaptive Augmenter
Legion Electronics - Dissolution Sequencer
Legion Engineering - Capacitor Regeneration Matrix

I'll start with the subsystems. The Covert Reconfiguration is the obligatory thing here, otherwise your Legion wont be able to jump through a black-ops bridge. The Adaptive Augmenter is another one you just have to choose because it has the remote repair bonus. Unfortunately, it does not have the range bonus you would usually see on logistics ships, and that brings up the issue of propulsion.

Normally a logistics ship would be fitted with an afterburner to keep it's signature low, but this ship will be forced to close range quickly with targets it needs to repair. To get at least some reduction of the resulting signature bloom during that approach, the Wake Limiter is used.

The Dissolution Sequencer is an obvious choice to increase you sensor strength so you are less vulnerable to jamming. The Tactical Targeting Network can be a good alternative because it increases your scan resolution, resulting in faster locks and defense against Sensor Dampeners. Because both subsystems offer similar stats and the same slot layout, you can switch them in the hangar depending on what you are facing in terms of enemy EWAR.

Finally, the Capacitor Regeneration Matrix is a good choice because of it's namesake capacitor regeneration and the additional low slot.


While we are on the subject of capacitor. Obviously cap is essential for a logistics ship to offer some resistance against neuting and to keep remote repair modules running. A Capacitor Booster is therefore a good choice here. Even without the cap booster, this Legion has the potential to perma-run two reppers as long as the MWD is turned off. For as long as you have charges, you can run four of them and maintain cap stability. The fifth comes in when incoming damage becomes really heavy. Under such pressure, you could load an 800 booster charge for one cycle (you wont be able to fit more) and run all reppers cap stable for the 12 seconds cycle time. If you are not neuted, you can run all reppers long enough to coast through one recharge cycle of the cap booster.

When it comes to the charges, note that the Navy versions have less volume, so you'll be able to fit more into your cargohold, and when it comes to the 400 charges, you can fit three instead of 2 into your cap booster.

When using 400s, you will even be able to run three reppers together with your MWD. That can come in handy if you need to get transversal up (keeping in mind that your signature will increase) or if you need to reposition yourself quickly on the field while still repairing someone. A situation where you need to keep up with a fast ship that is under attack comes to mind.

The ECCM can be run permanently without any problems, together with the Dissolution Sequencer it will provide quite good defense against jamming. If ECM is not an issue, you could fit a target painter for killmail whoring instead.

You could also go for a tankier version with three Trimark Armour Pump rigs. On max skills you gain about 14K EHP, but you would lose the continued use of one remote armor repairer. Basically everything I said above about how many reppers you can have running cap stable will be minus one. It's a question of preference, but if you fight enemies with high-alpha doctrines, the extra buffer can be a life-saver when your ship is primaried.

Some people really like to pimp their T3 ships. I'm not a fan of it if it's not strictly necessary. You shouldn't have any significant problems fitting this ship, but you can knock yourself out with Faction and Deadspace stuff or T2 rigs to give it even more tank than the 104K (118K with three trimarks) EHP it can already have with max skills.

Everything considered, the Legion offers a viable option to have logistics support for armor hotdrops. I myself have flown that configuration to great effect during such operations. Also, it's a damn sexy looking ship.

12 Apr 2014

TRS - Fitting Discussion: Armour Loki Part 2

On this second installment of my Armour Loki discussion I want to start out with a fit that is more of a backbone for a combat fleet rather than support.

Role: Artillery Gang

This doctrine saw wide use among such noteworthy PVP crews as Black Legion, Shadow Cartel and Snuffbox. It is used for nullsec and lowsec mid-size fleets with fast tackle and logistics support. It looks like this:

[Loki, Arty Armor]
1600mm Reinforced Steel Plates II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Armor Thermic Hardener II
Armor Explosive Hardener II
Damage Control II
Co-Processor II

J5 Prototype Warp Disruptor I
Tracking Computer II, Optimal Range Script
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
Experimental 10MN Afterburner I

650mm Artillery Cannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
650mm Artillery Cannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
650mm Artillery Cannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
650mm Artillery Cannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
650mm Artillery Cannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
650mm Artillery Cannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M

Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I

Loki Defensive - Adaptive Augmenter
Loki Electronics - Immobility Drivers
Loki Engineering - Power Core Multiplier
Loki Offensive - Turret Concurrence Registry
Loki Propulsion - Fuel Catalyst

Tactically, this ship works similarly to a Zealot AHAC in the way how it relies on low signature and heavy armour for defense. The major combat asset of this fit is it's high alpha strike capability at a respectable range. (Up to ~2100 at an optimal of 21km) The Turret Concurrence Registry subsystem helps maximizing that. It also provides a tracking and falloff bonus which are both very useful for artillery cannons. When taking falloff into account, you can achieve engagement ranges of almost 50km. You can even switch to Tremor T2 ammunition and turn this into something of a sniper ship with 78km optimal range, albeit with a significant damage tradeoff. You will lose a good 1000 volley damage.

With high damage ammunition, the optimal range of your artillery cannons is similar to your web range. A very useful trait when considering the horrible tracking of artillery. At closer ranges you should definitely switch to a tracking script for that TC, so always keep one in your cargo hold. Apart from that tracking drawback and lower DPS, the artillery Loki is superiour to the Zealot AHAC fit. It has a staggering advantage in volley damage, it's hitpoints are far above the Zealot too and it's even slightly faster thanks to the Fuel Catalyst.

Just like the other fits, this one is prone to run into CPU problems, but again, you can optimize your fit by using implants or faction modules. If you do so, you open up the possibility to fit heavier artillery like this: 

[Loki, Arty Armor Faction]
True Sansha Armor Kinetic Hardener
True Sansha Armor Thermic Hardener
True Sansha Armor Explosive Hardener
1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Damage Control II
Gyrostabilizer II

Tracking Computer II, Optimal Range Script
Tracking Computer II, Optimal Range Script
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
Experimental 10MN Afterburner I

720mm Howitzer Artillery II, Republic Fleet EMP M
720mm Howitzer Artillery II, Republic Fleet EMP M
720mm Howitzer Artillery II, Republic Fleet EMP M
720mm Howitzer Artillery II, Republic Fleet EMP M
720mm Howitzer Artillery II, Republic Fleet EMP M
720mm Howitzer Artillery II, Republic Fleet EMP M

Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I

Loki Defensive - Adaptive Augmenter
Loki Electronics - Immobility Drivers
Loki Engineering - Power Core Multiplier
Loki Offensive - Turret Concurrence Registry
Loki Propulsion - Fuel Catalyst

Now you can get a pretty sick alpha strike in excess of 3900 and an optimal range of 28 with 36 falloff  added. Thanks to the better resists, you get virtually the same EHP as before even with downgrading the armor plate. Still, this fit needs a +2% powergrid implant to work. This fit also shows the alternative of completely leaving point and tackle to other fleet members and go for even better range or tracking. You keep the web, however, to slow down targets at close range.

The total package comes with a hefty pricetag, but when flown properly with good logi support and even command bonuses from links, a squadron or two of those Lokis will turn into a fighting force that can punch significantly above it's weight.


Special Forces

As the last part of this discussion I want to introduce two more specialized fits. Both are built around 100MN Afterburners instead of 10MN Microwarpdrives. That way you keep signature low during approach or escape and reach similar speeds thanks to the bonus of the Fuel Catalyst subsystem.

The 100MN AB has two major drawbacks when compared with the MWD: First, it's rate of acceleration is a lot slower, so you will need two or more cycles to reach full speed. Second, once you achieve top speed, stopping or even maneuvering is extremely hard. You will have the inertia (and align time) of a freight train while the propulsion is active. Then again, when fighting inside scram range, that 100MN AB can make the difference between being unable to leave before the enemy tacklers are down and being able to pull range because scramblers do not shut down your propulsion module.

The first 100MN AB setup is a variation of the previously discussed heavy tackler:

[Loki, 100mn Armor Webloki]
Armor Explosive Hardener II
Armor Kinetic Hardener II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
1600mm Reinforced Steel Plates II
Damage Control II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II

J5 Prototype Warp Disruptor I
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
Experimental 100MN Afterburner I

220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M

Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I

Loki Defensive - Adaptive Augmenter
Loki Electronics - Immobility Drivers
Loki Engineering - Power Core Multiplier
Loki Offensive - Projectile Scoping Array
Loki Propulsion - Fuel Catalyst

As with all other setups you can optimize here by using faction modules. By now I am sure you can fill in the blanks. As for the rest, this works just like the standard heavy tackler with the considerations for 100MN AB added.

Finally, there is the possibility to use a similar setup as tackler and hunter-killer for black ops gangs by using the Covert Reconfiguration subsystem:

[Loki, BLOPS Webloki]
Armor Explosive Hardener II
Armor Kinetic Hardener II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
1600mm Reinforced Steel Plates II
Damage Control II
Co-Processor II

Warp Disruptor II
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
Experimental 100MN Afterburner I

220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
Covert Cynosural Field Generator I
Covert Ops Cloaking Device II

Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I

Loki Defensive - Adaptive Augmenter
Loki Electronics - Immobility Drivers
Loki Engineering - Power Core Multiplier
Loki Offensive - Covert Reconfiguration
Loki Propulsion - Fuel Catalyst

Because it lacks damage bonuses and a full rack of guns, this ship really is mainly a tackler. Yet again, some potential for optimization by means of faction modules exists here. One should go for better resists then. Because in it's role as hunter-killer this ship needs to move ahead of the Black-Ops gang and act as tempting bait for would-be attackers, so you need to be able to soak some damage while you light your cyno.


Wrapping up

So, this concludes my two part excursion into the realm of expensive "Elite PVP" fittings. If you are a new player, this can offer you an ambitious perspective for training. If you are more experienced, you might already be familiar with T3 gangs, but I hope I could still offer some insight. If you think of joining any of the small to medium gang PVP crews in the game, being able to fly something like this ship will make you a useful asset.

Of course, this was not an exhaustive discussion of Loki configurations. There are several more which are quite viable and widely flown, but this is one specific aspect I have personal experience with and which has been battle-tested. It remains a strong addition to T3 armor gangs or - in the case of the artillery fit - the main combat platform for roaming gangs.

That is until CCP Fozzie and Rise mess around with the T3 subsystems probably later this year. At that point I'll probably have to rewrite this whole thing.

Happy hunting!