Sunday, 6 September 2020

Respectfully Honour My Passion... for ISK (Where is Seraph Update)

 It's been a minute since I've posted about what I'm up to, so here we are.

I'm back in NullSec.

Long time readers are probably thinking, "Seraph didn't you leave Nulli Secunda because you hated Sov Wars, didn't like massive fleets, couldn't stand Time Dilation, and logistical problems in NullSec made you want to rip your teeth out?"

Well yes, all of those things are true. But like an idiot, I'm back in again anyway, and things have changed. I can run my own logistics now I have a jump freighter (and cyno alts). My new alliance is currently neutral in the current "World War Bee" so there's no massive Sov fights, no TiDi, we're just chilling up in Deklein in a mixed German/English alliance and fighting off random gangs who come strolling through our space.

Specifically I've joined EoBesa Exports [E-B-E], part of the wider Federation of Respect Honour Passion Alliance [RHP]. Currently it's fairly quiet, though we've been skirmishing with WE FORM V0LTA who had dropped a Fortizar in our space, until we clapped it a couple of days ago with our blues (I wasn't on the mail due to RL getting involved, but I was there in spirit).

On a personal level, I've been moving in all my stuff, both PvP and industrial, and rapidly learning bubble mechanics which is an area of EVE I've not really dealt with before. I've joined in some POCO bashing fleets for our industrial guys to start dank PI farms and also joined a couple of standby capital fleets as a triage pilot during roaming gang response which (while important) didn't really go anywhere because nobody escalated.

Killing POCOs with the boys

The making ISK front is pretty good, I started out ratting in an Ishtar while semi-afk ice mining on another character in a Skiff which was decent enough. I was getting 16-19mil "ticks" which worked out to around 48-57mil an hour, plus the ice income. Once Seraph moved out there too, I switched to dual Ishtars to smash through Haven sites which pumped my combined tick total to around 32mil, which is 96mil an hour. Not bad.

Then I started doing short notice Jump Freighting on behalf of the alliance.


So Jump Freighter pilots, despite the similarity in skills for most capitals, are relatively rare. I think in my corp there's only three or four including myself, and across my alliance I'd estimate less than 30. I'm not sure why this is, but the hull cost is pretty extortionate (average 9bil) so I imagine that plays into it alot.

A couple of nights ago there was an emergency ping on alliance Discord for a very short notice emergency move op. I x'd up as a JF pilot along with three others and got dragged up into the higher tier TS3 channels, usually reserved for corp CEOs, alliance leadership, and the top FCs. My eyebrows were hitting the roof. I was told to totally fill my fuel bay and standby in our capital system for a rapid move.

After around 20mins of sitting around in the move fleet and wondering what was going on, we got the order to undock and in beautiful synchronisation, the four of us made the heavily scouted, very hush hush move in less than twenty minutes.

We were told nothing about our cargo, or where it was being delivered up until the last second. Our jump midpoints were unknown to us until they were lit. Due to current OpSec I can't even say where we took it to or what it was. 

I can tell you that my cargo bay alone was worth over 18bil and, out of the four Jump Freighter's cargoes, mine was the second cheapest there.

Within an hour of leaving, we were back home. One of the more experienced JF pilots was asked how much we wanted for our services to the Alliance. He replied

"Fuel cost, plus whatever you think is fair for a short notice op"

"How much is a full fuel tank?" said the Op lead.

"About 215mil" he replied

"Rgr, wait one, all JF pilots x in fleet please"

I'm sat there thinking, cool, I won't have to pay for fuel and I'll probably get like 100mil or so. My wallet flashes.

Corporation Account Withdrawal: 715,000,000 ISK has been deposited in your account

Holy Fucking SHIT

I was ecstatic. I immediately used the money to help buy an Apostle + fit and started looking for other people in the alliance who needed stuff moving on discord and ingame. I was soon contacted a few days later by an alliance member who need three JF loads moved from LowSec to our capital building system. I spent about two hours on Saturday morning organising my alts for my midpoints and scouting out the route. The jump itself was done within twenty minutes. 

I was paid 1.2billion.


That paid for a Minokawa + most of a fit.

By this point I was going ISK mad and started asking my corpmates what I could do with a large amount of ISK to make MORE ISK.

"Carrier ratting"

"Buy a Rorqual, mine out half the system, build capitals"

"Stock our market and make billions passively" ...Wait what.

I checked out the market. Not much wasn't available but almost everything was 20-30% above Jita sell price. I bought a load of stuff in from Jita I thought people might need (drones, fuel, doctrine hulls, mining gear, ammunition, about 1 billion in total) and threw it up the market. I put some fitted doctrine ships on contract for 15% markup. I checked my estimated revenue.

"Wow" I thought "do people actually pay this much?"

Turns out yes, yes they do.

Obviously alot of that ISK is "recycled", i.e I put the profit straight back into restocking the market, so that 20bil is a little misleading, but I have 6-7bil in market sell orders and as soon as stuff sells out I replace it. I've also bought two FAX + fits (admittedly mostly using JF pay), a regular freighter, about three fuel loads for my JF, a load of doctrine PvP ships (Caracals/HACs/battleships/force recons/bombers/interdictors), several assorted T2 Exhumers, and an Orca and my wallet hasn't shifted much overall, but it's shifted upwards.

Good god NullSec is alot of money.

Anyway, enough circle jerking about my wallet, I've got Part 3 of the Epic Arc experiment to write, and I'm cooking up some new ideas on the Abyss running front, so look forward to those!

Until then, fly safe o/

Sunday, 30 August 2020

The Amarr Epic Arc Experiment - Part 2

Apologies this next part took longer than expected, I've recently moved into NullSec with a new corp on two of my characters. I'll talk about this more in a later post though!

So when we last left off, I had been sent to speak to a local informant/contact, Aralin Jik, who could dodge the red tape that would foul the investigation of my current agent. I flew over to Nishah and gave him a call. He informed me a local Holder (basically a Lord) was the target of Sansha attacks and we needed to warn his head of security, a guy called Riff Hebian, before it was too late.

Happily for me, the security guy was monitoring a site in system, all I had to do was go there and contact him.

He seemed to not believe me that his master was the target of a Sansha plot, but luckily...

An ambush! The Sansha really do have a great flair for timing, I'll give them that.

I immediately retaliated with Conflag fueled laser beams, wiping out two battleships and a battlecruiser within a minute, but then more spawns started popping in so I decided that range was my friend. A short MJD hop later and a crystal switch to Scorch had my lasers punching through Sansha hulls at 100km like a boot through a paper bag. There were quite a few waves to get through, so during a lull in the third wave I jumped back in to the spawn at zero, dropped my MTU, waited out the MJD cooldown in Bastion and jumped back out to 100km again. This way, the wrecks would be in a nice little ball for me to salvage once the pirates were dead.

MTU, more like MVP

I kept up the fire as more Sansha poured in to try and take me down, but the combination of hilarious Paladin tank and 100km range meant I was barely being tickled, while my tracking computer boosted Scorch lasers were going to town melting fools. After a few minutes of shooting fish in a barrel, the pirate raiders were dead, and Riff contacted me. Seeing how many Sansha had shown up to destroy his master's depot had changed his mind, and he agreed to help me in the investigation. I reported back to Aralin Jik I had been successful, and he directed me to investigate the first of the Holder's enemies, Lady Temari Jariza.

Total ISK - Background Check
Pay + Bonus: 2.9mil
Bounties: 11.1mil
Total for this mission: 14mil

Loot/Salvage was estimated at 10.9mil

The next mission looked interesting. According to EVE Survival, I would have to survive a large pocket of enemies while hacking a comms array. Despite the fact the mission report assured me I wouldn't have to fight anyone I've already committed to full clearing and salvaging every room, which meant these poor men had to die for SCIENCE. 

I hopped next door into Amdonen and warped into the site. Upon arriving I saw a big mass of red crosses and also, my target, a huge comm relay.

I wondered if they'd aggro me and sat for a while, checking out the sick paintwork on their ships.

Space tumbleweed went by. 
Nobody so much as looked in my direction. 
How boring.

I swiftly changed that with a few volleys of Scorch into the orbiting fighters. Seemingly totally surprised that the marauder sat on their doorstep locking them up for the last few minutes was actually a threat, they all made the incredibly stupid mistake of flying straight at me, letting me volley them off the field in two shots each (NPC AI is the real MvP). Fighters cleared, I switched to frigates who all were one shot or two shot with little fanfare before they could get within 60km.

Goddam I love this ship.

By this point the battlecruisers and battleships were in Conflag/Multifreq range and I was a little concerned about my tank when I saw some big hits smack into my armour and take out 10% chunks at a time. Then I realised I hadn't turned bastion on and laughed as my repper easily dealt with their damage and my increased resists made their big hits drop to small punches. I chucked out my MTU and salvage drones to start working on the wrecks while I mopped up the remaining defenders. The battlecruisers got literally instakilled by tracking assisted Conflag at 30km and the battleships, despite having energy neuts, couldn't do much to stop me as superheated laser beams breached their hulls one by one.

After clearing the enemies off the field, I warped to a nearby station and reshipped into my Probe. I also pulled my salvagers off the Paladin so I could clear the last few wrecks and grab the MTU/loot and save myself a trip.

Warping back into the pocket I salvaged the last few wrecks, grabbed the loot out of the MTU (some 30mil in tags, nice) and proceeded to hack the comms relay. I have maxed scanning/hacking skills due to spending some time in Wormhole space and it was extreme overkill for the simple hack in this mission. Within a minute I had unlocked the Comms Relay's secrets and taken the communication logs.

I dropped back into the local station to reship into my Paladin and move the cargo over. Flying back to Nishah, I dropped by Aralin Jick to give him the logs. The logs showed nothing suspicious, and Lady Jariza was off the hook, despite the fact she'd need to hire new security. Honest mistake.

Total ISK - Longing Leman
Pay + Bonus: 2.6mil
Bounties: None, all in tags
Total for this mission: 2.6mil

Loot/Salvage was estimated at 32.1mil

While I was there another agent by the name of Tesh Amyermun was so impressed with my work he offered me a storyline mission, "Record Cleaning" I accepted his offer, but first I had to eavesdrop on a meeting between a "Lord Manik" and a mercenary contact, the potential cause of the Sansha attacks.

EVE Survival pointed out this was a very easy mission, just needed to fly in and sit in a cloud for a minute or two. I jumped in my Probe and headed out. No need to be conspicuous. Luckily the meeting site was in the system already, so that made things easy.

I arrived at the site before anyone else and headed to hide behind a convenient asteroid. Aralin Jick informed me I was in position and for epic RP I actually had a cloak on my Probe so I turned it on and waited.

Sure enough, they arrived soon after.

After some spinning around, they both warped off and Aralin Jick managed to get a track on the Merc. I returned to the station and was ordered to attack the Merc base to prevent them becoming involved in the local area.

Total ISK - Languishing Lord
Pay + Bonus: 1.5mil
Bounties: None
Total for this mission: 1.5mil

Nil Loot/Salvage 

I took a moment to quickly run the storyline mission, but I won't include the rewards from it in my final total. Here's the EVE Survival page. It was very easy

Haha lasers go brrrrr

For those interested, Record Cleaning amounted to around 22mil loot/salvage, 3.4mil from the agent, and 4.4mil in bounties.

Back to the Epic Arc... 

So, wiping out a merc base. Doesn't sound too hard. I had a quick scan of EVE Survival again, lot of battleship spawns, didn't seem too bad though (or so I thought).

I warped over to the site in Nishah and got a message from the mercs as I arrived.

Sounds like they were overconfident. I warped in and opened fire immediately. The first pocket fell with ease. The next pocket went the same way. Lock up, cycle lasers, drones killing small targets, MTU hoovering up the dank loot, absolute PVE precision.

It's safe to say at this point I was the overconfident one, and it nearly bit me in the ass. I warped into the last pocket and started firing at everything I felt like, starting with the battleships because they were in my Conflag optimal. Big mistake.

From EVE Survival - Razing the Outpost
Pocket 3
Initial Group: (9-81km)
2x Frigate (Mordus Bounty Hunter) Web/Scram
4x Cruiser (Mordus Bobcat)
2x Battleship (Mordus Gigamar) Last destroyed is Trigger (Wave 1)
3x Caldari Heavy Missile Battery (Thermal) Inferno Missiles
3x Caldari Cruise Missile Battery (Kinetic) Scourge Missiles

All of a sudden, I had another four battleships and assorted other crap on field. "Fucking hell" I thought, "this is a pain, I've not finished the first spawn yet". I decided to primary the battleships again because they did a lot of Kinetic damage and my two slot tank was beginning to struggle with most of the initial spawn, plus the next wave on field all at once.

Mistake number two.

From EVE Survival - Razing the Outpost
Pocket 3
Wave 1
2x Frigate (Mordus Bounty Hunter) Web/Scram
4x Cruiser (Mordus Leopard)
4x Battleship (Mordus Gigamar, Mordus Mammoth) Last destroyed is Trigger (Wave 2)

I was very surprised after killing four battleships with my armour at 50%, and really struggling to hold reps, to see another six battleships spawn on field with a gaggle of cruisers and frigates.


"That's it" I think "I'm jumping out with MJD and giving these idiots a taste of Scorch". I red cycle bastion. Only 15 seconds left but I was getting battered by these fresh battleships and the remains of the first few waves.  Last bastion rep hits, and I cycle out at around 70% armour and 40% cap. I align off in a random direction and hit MJD. If I'd have been fighting real players I would have put something witty in Local chat like "Bye Felicia".

Then I realised my third mistake.

Oh turbo fuck nuggets

That is NOT a micro jump drive.

I'm panic spamming my MWD to end cycle and start grabbing at my overview to align the fuck out before something scrams me and I lose a very expensive marauder hull for the small price of being too lazy to read spawn triggers. The battleships, still very much alive, are smashing through my armour now I don't have the benefit of bastion and I'm dropping to around 40%, with my ship alarming constantly as I dip below 20% capacitor This is not looking good.

My Paladin, slowed significantly by my MWD, sluggishly aligns off to a nearby beacon. I can see elite frigates making a beeline towards me at only 40km out and I manage to volley one off the field but the others are still coming and I can't lock them before they'll be under my guns. I start spamming warp hoping I'm aligned enough and luckily for my stupid ass, the MWD cycle ends, putting me over the 75% velocity needed to warp and pushing me straight into the beautiful embrace of a warp tunnel. 

I breathe a huge sigh of relief. That was WAY too close for comfort. I licked my wounds at the beacon I landed on and metaphorically slap myself around the face for being so dumb.

I warped back into the site and very carefully murdered the rest. After looting the field, I returned to my agent, feeling extremely dumb, and lucky to still be flying my marauder. He directed me next to fake a kidnapping of a local Lord's daughter Mina, who had valuable information on the Sansha commander we were chasing.

Total ISK - Razing the Outpost
Pay + Bonus: 2.8mil
Bounties: 16.7mil
Total for this mission: 19.5mil

Loot/Salvage estimated at 26.8mil

The next mission was purported to be very difficult in the EVE Survival reports, and after my close shave earlier I decided to fly carefully. My agent directed me to a nearby system where Mina was kept under armed guard by her father. The mission was a single pocket with several waves alternating between battleships, cruisers, and frigates. I headed over and prepared for the worst.
 Luckily for me, the veteran guards were all at around 70+km when I came in, and Scorch tore them apart before they got within their optimal of around 50km, where EVE Survival warned the DPS would be very high. The next few waves of cruisers and battleships were easily dispatched, and I decided to wait the 30mins for the large "reinforcement wave" of battleships and elite cruisers that the guide warned may require logi. 

It didn't because :lol bastion:

After wiping out every last one, looting Mina from a cargo container that popped out of a nearby accommodation tower and clearing the field of salvage, I was left a little disappointed by the final haul. Because the ships didn't give bounties, I was relying on the loot being decent, and it definitely wasn't. There was good news on the Epic Arc front though, after handing over Mina to my agent, she told him all about the Sansha commander, and where to find him. I already knew what my next mission would be...

Total ISK - Ascending Nobles
Pay + Bonus: 2.4mil
Bounties: Nil
Total for this mission: 2.4mil

Loot/Salvage estimated at 6.8mil (It's really not worth killing that final wave)

So it turned out Mina's dad was a naughty man who had been colluding with criminals, one of which turned out to be the Sansha Commander we'd been chasing, and now we had both a name, Rhasa, and a location of his base, the system of Masanuh. I was directed to destroy his fleet and capture him...

...Which we'll discuss next time, as this post is getting insanely long.

Thanks for sticking with me this far, and I may try turning the next post into a mix of both writing and video to make it more interesting/digestable.

Fly safe guys o/

Saturday, 22 August 2020

In rust we trust (T4 Electrical Abyss Vagabond guide)

So as I've been talking about for my last few posts, this is going to be my mini-guide to using the Vagabond Heavy Assault Cruiser in Electrical Abyss Filaments, specifically T4s (Raging). It's possible to upgrade the fit a bit and fly in T5s (Chaotic) but I have not yet made this switch, and I'm comfortable in T4s for now. I may update this guide at a later time with a T5 fit and associated tactics.

Eve online Vagabond PVP Solo - YouTube

So first things first, I cannot claim full credit for this Vagabond fit. I took it from a Reddit post that was made a year or so back and I adapted what was written there for my own purpose. Full credit for the initial fit is given to u/SuigintouKurotenshi.

However to avoid simply stealing a fit, changing it a little and just claiming all the hard work, I'm going to talk about the benefits of the Vagabond over other ships, how to fly it, and discuss options you have to downgrade for budget reasons.

Without any further ado here is the fit:

[Vagabond, Abyss PVE Electrical T4]

Gyrostabilizer II
Gyrostabilizer II
Tracking Enhancer II
Tracking Enhancer II
Assault Damage Control II

Pith X-Type Large Shield Booster
Thukker Large Cap Battery
10MN Afterburner II
Multispectrum Shield Hardener II

220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Caldari Navy Mjolnir Heavy Assault Missile
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M

Medium Core Defense Operational Solidifier I
Medium Projectile Burst Aerator II

Imperial Navy Acolyte x5

Caldari Navy Mjolnir Heavy Assault Missile x2000
Republic Fleet EMP M x10000

Stats from PYFA, all V skills and Electrical Filament applied

Compared to some ships you see fitted for the abyss this Vagabond is fairly cheap. Current prices are around 660 million (Jita) and no implants or drugs are required to make this work, however I am personally using a full set of "Basic" implants plus these hardwires:

- 3% Capacitor (603)

- 3% Motion tracking (703)

- 5% Medium Projectile Turret (805)

- 5% Rate of fire (905)

Why the Vagabond?

There's some pretty good reasons to run the Vagabond over other popular Abyss ships (e.g. the infamous Gila)

  • As we've already mentioned the Vagabond is quite cheap. Admittedly you can outfit and fly a passive Gila for around 300mil but cheap Gilas tend to be risky and many experienced Abyssal Gila runners that I have spoken to have recommend fits that are closer to 500-700mil for safety and consistency.
  • It is very easy and simple to fly due to massive cap stability and similar tactics no matter the spawns you get
  • It has a strong tank through a combination of small signature, high speed and T2 resists. Plus you have the panic button of an Assault Damage Control if you run into major snags
  • My typical site time with practise and decent skills is around 10 to 12 minutes, which is very good for T4 sites (15minutes or faster is the typical "aim for" benchmark)
  • I personally cannot stand drone mechanics, and having to deal with drone travel time, rats focusing drones, and possibly forgetting them between rooms is a hassle I'd rather not deal with. The drones on the Vagabond are very much "surplus", and I have previously run a couple of sites without using them once due to three rooms in a row with Automata Suppressor Towers. 
  • The Vagabond is not known as a typical abyss ship compared to the Gila, Sacrilege, Ikitursa, Worm etc. This means that Abyss ship gankers are unlikely to scan your ship expecting expensive modules (unless you are seen entering or leaving a site of course), and if you run the budget fit you'll probably never get hit.

The only real downside to the Vagabond that I have found is that it has a relatively high ammo consumption compared to other ships. Otherwise there are very few things I can find wrong with it.

How to fly

First of all I would always recommend flying a ship you're a novice with on Sisi (Singularity Test Server) for atleast 8-10 sites. This is the ideal test bed for trying out a new ship/fitting changes or risking a cheap modification to see what you can get away with. If you're unsure of how to connect to Sisi, it's very simple.

That being said flying this Vagabond is extremely easy, and if you just want to hop straight in to T4s without trying it on Sisi this is probably one of the few ships you could get away with that, as the margin for error is fairly forgiving.

Pretty much every pocket runs like this:

  • Spawn in, turn on shield booster, multispec hardener, AB
  • Approach Bioadaptive cache (aim off at 30-40 degree angle if there's an Abyssal Overmind, Karen or Deepwatcher spawn due to threat of high alpha)
  • Primary significant targets as you fly in (typically you can hit from around 30km): 
    • Neuts (in large numbers, your cap can handle one or two smaller neuts if needed)
    • Webbers
    • Logi/Remote Reps
    • Tracking disruption
    • All other rats
  • Drop drones at 10-15km from targets to minimise travel time and reduce chance of losing drones before you can recall them
  • Pop and scoop Bioadaptive Cache as you fly past using HAM launcher while keeping gun DPS on rats
  • Leave large targets until you have cleared EWAR and Logi rats (you easily have DPS to kill big EHP spawns so don't feel rushed to engage them)
  • Kill large targets once major EWAR threats are dead (if applicable)
  • Lead any survivors on a merry run around the pocket and shoot the rats as they chase you.
  • If there's any other caches within 30-40km of the gate you can grab these as you fly about
  • Once there's only 2-3 small rats left, head for the conduit and orbit at 500m. Recall drones
  • Jump through once everything is dead
  • Rinse and repeat
Additional steps as required:
  • Pop a standard Blue Pill if your tank is struggling and you're getting heavily webbed
  • Turn on Assault Damage Control if bleeding armour/wrecking shots knock you into hull
  • Overheat shield/AB as required to aid tank/pull range
As you can see, very easy and requires little thought once you've practised a few sites. Obviously if you see big bois like Karen or Overminds, be very careful not to fly straight at them because they have LOLALPHA and can literally two or three shot you.

This is a priority list I stole from a Gila focused Abyss group but it's good for knowing what all the weird names mean.

Seraph pls I have no monies (Cheaper fit)

If you're trying to do T4 Abyss sites on a shoe string and need to be as ISK efficient as possible, welcome. I'm gonna point out the obvious "don't fly what you can't afford to lose" yadda yadda, but you can put together a slightly less blingy Vagabond for around 160mil less, for a total of 500mil. There's also the bonus that you've not got any complex modules fitted so the chance of you getting suicide ganked is very minimal.

Here's the fit:

[Vagabond, Cheap option T4]

Gyrostabilizer II
Gyrostabilizer II
Tracking Enhancer II
Tracking Enhancer II
Assault Damage Control II

Caldari Navy Large Shield Booster
Thukker Large Cap Battery
10MN Afterburner II
Multispectrum Shield Hardener II

220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Caldari Navy Mjolnir Heavy Assault Missile
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M

Medium Core Defense Operational Solidifier II
Medium Core Defense Operational Solidifier II

Imperial Navy Acolyte x5

Caldari Navy Mjolnir Heavy Assault Missile x2000
Republic Fleet EMP M x10000

Stats from PYFA, all V skills and Electrical Filament applied

So, what do you lose? Honestly not too much.

Tank drops to 527 ehp/s vs 582 ehp/s
DPS (including drones) drops to 549 from 600
Cap is 53% stable compared to 65% stable (due to extra shield repping rig)

If you're willing to throw two 3% DPS implants in, specifically Med Proj 803 and RF 903 (approx 40mil total) you can knock the DPS back up to 576 including drones which is pretty solid.


However with that being said the minor loss in DPS should only effect site times by a minute or so at most (expect average to be around 12-14mins rather than 10-12) and I've never struggled badly with tank to the point where 55ehp/s would make or break a run. If you're concerned that less tank is a really bad idea, you could pop a Synth Blue Pill (300k ISK) which brings you up to 543 ehp/s (only 39 ehp/s different) or even pop a Nugoehuvi Synth Blue Pill (3mil ISK) that gets you to 553 ehp/s, which is only 29 ehp/s less.

There's alot of options with this. Play around in Pyfa/your favourite fitting tool and see what you prefer. Obviously if you have a Mid-Grade Crystal clone lying around, you can just fly with a cheap faction shield booster and get pretty much the same tank out of it as a X-Type SB.

So that's the fit/guide/TED Talk. Let me know in the comments if you have any questions or just shoot me an EVE-Mail if you prefer in-game. Next few days I should have a Part 2 out for the Epic Arc Experiment and I'm currently moving home on two characters so I'll discuss that in a future post also!

Until then, fly safe guys o/

Tuesday, 18 August 2020

Slight delays to the blog plan, also RIP Niarja

Unfortunately, I've had some internet issues over the last few days so I've been loathe to run Abyss sites due to the risk of disconnecting. I've drafted most of the Abyss Vagabond post, but I want to get some screenshots of the ship in action and edit it down a bit more first, which is going to require my internet improving (should be back to normal by Friday night).

Instead, I've been doing some more of the Amarr Epic Arc, so that post should be out sooner than I expected, probably the day after I post my Vaga guide (just to keep the blog view numbers up obviously).

In other news

In the meantime though, how about Niarja falling to the Triglavian Invasion?

Despite apparently bitter resistance from EDENCOM forces, the Trigs have triumphed and made Niarja permanent (?) LowSec by achieving "Final Liminality".

Wewww boys, I am looking forward to this change. Despite the fact I'm half HighSec Carebear, half washed up solo LowSec PvPer, at heart I'm secretly an RP nerd, and the potential that Amarr will be a real regional trade hub again, like it used to be back in 2011 when I started EVE really rustles my jimmys in an exciting way.

Worst case scenario, Amarr stays a mostly dead backwater and the poor saps I pay to haul my ships from Jita to wherever I'm about to lose them will have to fly more jumps and I'll have to throw them some more pennies. 

Best case, I set my market/hauling alt up to help build Amarr as a regional market powerhouse and I get the double line of mad ISK and dank RP straight into my goddam veins.

I'm also looking forward to the shiny killmails of people who didn't pay attention to the LowSec change and fly expensive freighters into Niarja completely clueless of any danger!

Until next time, fly safe o/

Sunday, 16 August 2020

The Amarr Epic Arc Experiment (AKA, I didn't want to buy an implant off the market) - Part 1

Recently in my tweaking of Abyssal ship fittings in Pyfa, trying to find the most efficient tank that lets me focus on DPS (was there ever a nerdier start to a nerdy post), I stumbled across the existence of the "Imperial Navy Modified 'Noble' Implant". If you've not seen this before, here's the effects:

I stumbled across it because I was trying to find a Slot 10 implant that would benefit my Ikitursa some way, and since there's no DPS implants for Entropic Weapon Systems yet my choices were pretty thin on the ground, to the point I was running Slot 10 empty in my Ikitursa clone. Sure, there's some % increase to armour implants, but Firestorm filaments increase your armour anyway, and it would be unlikely that a 5% armour increase would noticeably impact a rep/resist fit Ikitursa. But then I saw the Noble implant, and I was curious. Nearly 250mil? I can probably just use my Amarr corp LPs and get one cheaper.

...Wait, it's not in any LP store. Where the hell does it drop? A swift Google later provided me with the name of the Amarr Epic Arc Mission, "Right to Rule". 

"How weird" I thought. "I've played EVE on and off for nearly a decade, and I've never once done an Epic Arc". 

Then I had an idea (a stupid one). Why bother paying 250mil ISK for an implant when I can just spend over a billion on a new ship, run a set of missions I'd never done before, and find out approximately how much you get for clearing every single mission in the Amarr Epic Arc (including looting and salvaging the field). Thus, the Amarr Epic Arc Experiment was born.

The Setup

First things first, I went to Jita IV-IV, the largest market in New Eden, and bought the stuff we're going to need. A quick scan of the EVE Survival pages showed missions with lots of pockets, multiple waves of Sansha pirates, lots of EWAR, a random hacking mission and the potential according to some commenters, for a dip into LowSec. 

My first thought on reading all this, was naturally the Paladin Marauder.

You can see in this screen capture the fit I settled on. All T2 because faction fit marauders are gank bait, and the DPS gains aren't significant enough for me to want to upgrade. The three modules below in the cargo bay are for refitting as required, and the Probe in the escape bay is for the data analysing/small courier missions that may crop up. EFT text of the fit is below if people would like to use this.

[Paladin, Basic T2]

Heat Sink II
Heat Sink II
Heat Sink II
Heat Sink II
Large Armor Repairer II
Reactive Armor Hardener
Tracking Enhancer II

Large Cap Battery II
Large Micro Jump Drive
Tracking Computer II, Optimal Range Script
Tracking Computer II, Optimal Range Script

Mega Pulse Laser II, Conflagration L
Mega Pulse Laser II, Conflagration L
Mega Pulse Laser II, Conflagration L
Mega Pulse Laser II, Conflagration L
Bastion Module I
Small Tractor Beam II
Salvager II
Salvager II

Large Semiconductor Memory Cell I
Large Energy Collision Accelerator II

Hobgoblin II x5
Hobgoblin II x5
Hobgoblin II x5

Conflagration L x4
Scorch L x8
Imperial Navy Multifrequency L x8
Mobile Depot x1
Mobile Tractor Unit x1
Large Armor Repairer II x1
Large Cap Battery II x1
500MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive x1

Final cost was around 1.5bil for the ship hull and fittings. Please be aware, I'm using my Mid-Grade Asklepian set that I usually run for Ikitursa Abyssals (No Omega) so the tank is better than Pyfa initially suggests, plus I have pretty much all relevant skills for this fit at V (including Maurader V). If you’re a beginner Marauder pilot, I’d drop a Heat Sink II and add an EM Hardener or a Multispec Membrane. Bastion is pretty crazy with a three slot tank, and you can always use MJD as your GTFO button. I also have my alt following me around in an Orca, to carry spare ammo and any loot I find but you could just dump it in stations and collect it later with a cheap hauler.

In order to accurately measure how much I was getting paid through the duration of the Epic Arc, I set my corp tax rate to 100% and emptied both my character wallet and corp wallet into an alt. Since it's just me and my alts in my corp, I wasn't going to accidentally take somebody's ISK by doing this. I also decided (as mentioned) to keep all loot in an Orca, to keep it clearly separate from the rest of the trash I keep lying around the stations I live in.

Chapter 1 - Missions and ISK

Anyway, now we have our ship, first thing is to talk to the initial Epic Arc Agent. She's pretty easy to find via the Agency tab in your Neocom, and bonus is, you can accept her task remotely.

I got directed to go talk to some guy called Kandus Sandar in Nahyeen. A few warps (okay more like twelve) later I was knocking on his door, and he directed me to go kick the crap out of some Sansha that were cluttering up a nearby system; Andrub, and take some reports that should have been delivered to him a while back. During this, I got paid around 2mil by the first Epic Arc Agent I spoke to just for chatting. Nice. Time to root out some Sansha.

I arrived after only one jump, and was greeted by an exploded spaceship as I warped in.

The pocket was pretty easy, all spawns were around 20-45km from me, which was in perfect range of Conflag. My tank only really got used by the last spawn, which required me to occasionally cycle my rep while my laser beams melted through pirates like a hot knife through butter.

After looting and salvaging the field I docked back up and spoke to the agent again. He told me the reports indicated an attack by the Sansha in a local system, and he wanted me to go surprise them.

Total ISK - Aiding an Investigator + Late Reports
Pay + Bonus: 4.5mil
Bounties: 9mil
Total for this mission: 13.5mil

Loot/Salvage was estimated at 4.3mil

I headed off to the next system, Chaktaren to kick some more Sansha scum to the curb.

Again, easy pocket, initial spawn was within Conflag range, then the next two spawns needed Scorch (60-80km away). Tank wasn't bothered at all by this mission, ran the rep twice. Looted the field and handed the mission in remotely.

Total ISK - Outclassed Outpost
Pay + Bonus: 2.6mil
Bounties: 9.2mil
Total for this mission: 11.8mil

Loot/Salvage was estimated at 5mil

Upon reporting to the Epic Arc Agent, I was told there was another attack in the system, being led by a mysterious Sansha commander. I was directed to engage immediately, so I warped in, ready to smash some pirates.

This mission was relatively tougher on my tank (i.e I had to cycle occasionally) but bastion kept things simple. Pretty much everything was within 45km so between Conflag and Multifrequency nothing stayed alive for long. Unfortunately as soon as I damaged the commander, he warped out. I suspect I'll be seeing him again soon. The rest of his fleet wasn't long for the world, and I looted everything after. A quick report back to my agent on completion confirmed my suspicions, I was on the trail of the Sansha Commander.

Total ISK - Raging Sansha
Pay + Bonus: 2.2mil
Bounties: 10.7mil
Total for this mission: 12.9mil

Loot/Salvage was estimated at 4.7mil

Once again the mission was in the same system I was already in (Chaktaren), so it made it pretty easy. On warping in I primaried the neuting towers and sentry towers with Scorch, then went to work on the battleships. Didn't take long to melt them down, and the second wave spawned in range of Conflag, so they didn't last long either.

I looted the field while MWDing to the acceleration gate. On arriving, I refitted the MWD back to a MJD, then headed through. The next pocket was fairly simple, but just to be safe I jumped to 100km before trimming the field down with Scorch at 100km. After the first two waves were gone, I jumped back to finish off the rest with Conflag. Sitting on the gate, I tractored in the loot, then headed through into the last room. The last room was in perfect Conflag range again, so it was melted within minutes, no issues with tank. Due to the ships being Imperial Navy in the last pocket, not Sansha, most of the ISK worth was in tags. There was enough loot to clog up my cargohold, so I ditched it into my alt's Orca and reported to the agent that the target had escaped.

Total ISK - Cowardly Commander
Pay + Bonus: 2.2mil
Bounties: 23.1mil
Total for this mission: 25.3mil

Loot/Salvage was estimated at 53.9mil

The agent was shocked to hear that Imperial Navy ships had been attempting to stop me, and sent me to speak to Aralin Jick, a contact who could move without the same red tape, thus concluding Chapter 1 of the Amarr Epic Arc. My total ISK so far (assuming loot/salvage estimates are accurate) is around 131.4 million ISK, plus a big standings increase with the Ministry of Internal Order.

I’ll start on Chapter 2 this weekend so look out for that! My next post however is likely to be an Abyssal Deadspace guide, focusing on a Vagabond for T4 Electricals which I’m drafting as you read this. I’m hoping to do several Abyss ship guides and create a “quick and dirty” reference to use when flying them, but we’ll see how I go.

Until then, fly safe o/

Friday, 14 August 2020

To all the posts I wrote before (The COVID 2020 Return to EVE Boogaloo)

 It’s been four years since my last post. Almost nine since I first joined the EVE Universe.

Where has the time gone?

I've been busy IRL to say the least (promotion at work, new role, moving across the UK to live with my girlfriend, recently COVID has thrown everything upside down etc), and those things have been a major reason as to why I've not really played EVE much. But like some strange addiction that has just been brewing at the back of my mind, I've fallen back into the hole, resubbing three accounts and kicking my skill training back up to high gear.

I'm not going to say "oh I'm back now, this is me fully playing EVE and writing about it like I was back in my 'Blogging Paradise' of 2012-2014" because I often won't be able to play as much as I would like, and because of the travel my job involves, I often won't have an internet connection to even post (like just theory crafting stuff, or opinion posts).


There's some fun stuff going on in EVE right now. I've discovered some new stuff to do (pre-warning, there's going to be alot of Abyss PvE discussion/fitting/maybe a guide) and I'm getting the itch back to log in, fly around, blow stuff up and just generally enjoy this universe again. So that's where the blog is at currently. I'm playing again, but don't expect super frequent/daily blogs like I used to kick out seven or eight years ago. If you're still around subscribed to this and shocked I've posted again, well, I'm shocked you're still here too. And if you're new, stick around and see if I actually stay with EVE this time!

I'm loving the new Triglavian ships!

Speaking of seven or eight years ago, my past posts, whew. I went on a binge yesterday and read through pretty much my entire blog, just remembering the good times I had playing EVE, the people I flew with, the battles I was in, all that good stuff. I then had a nightmare trying to remember my login for this blog because of lost old email addresses, cryptic security questions and complete confusion of how to hand the blog "admin" to my new email. 

There was some cringe moments reading my posts back where I was very... "2012 meme kid"; but in my defense I was 16-17 when I first started EVE, and I was still an awkward 18 year old when I started writing this blog properly. While there are some things I wrote that I really wish I hadn't been so cringey with, I've decided to leave them all up for "history". Please go easy on me reading earlier than this! It's also important to point out that ALOT of stuff has changed since my guides and posts back in 2016 and earlier, so just assume EVERYTHING that I wrote is completely outdated and probably incorrect (with the exception of the two Marauder guides, because Level 4 missions have barely changed and Marauders have had pretty much no tweaks), especially with module tiericide, resistance changes in the Surgical Strike update and changes to criminal timers etc. For example, I have not run Incursions since probably early 2015 and my Incursion Logistics guide is probably (very likely) horribly outdated in terms of fits/implants, so double check with current Incursion runners what the best meta fit is right now. 


I'm back for who knows how long, I've got stuff I want to write about, and there's cool stuff happening in EVE with Triglavians, invasions and the Abyss. Let's see how it goes.

Fly safe everyone o/

Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Level 4 PVE Paladin Guide (Budget fit)

Ah we're back here again, the sweet embrace of being a carebear.

That being said, my last guide on a Level 4 Marauder (the Vargur) was pretty popular, so I've decided to crack on with a followup on the beautiful, the deadly, the graceful, Amarrian Paladin.

Before we go any further, here's the fit I'll be discussing. However unlike last time, this is majority T2 fit and cheap faction. I'll talk about upgrade possibilities later on if you've got ISK to spare or a taste for bling. The price for this fit is around 1.47 billion at the time of writing this according to EVEPraisal. The vast majority of that is the hull itself at approximately 1.3 billion, and less than 200mil spent on fittings.


[Paladin, Holy Fire]

Core C-Type Large Armor Repairer
Heat Sink II
Heat Sink II
Heat Sink II

Imperial Navy Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
Tracking Enhancer II
Tracking Enhancer II

Tracking Computer II, Optimal Range Script
Tracking Computer II, Optimal Range Script
Large Cap Battery II
500MN Cold-Gas Enduring Microwarpdrive

Mega Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
Mega Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
Mega Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
Mega Pulse Laser II, Imperial Navy Multifrequency L
Bastion Module I
Small Tractor Beam II
Small Tractor Beam II
Salvager II

Large Capacitor Control Circuit I
Large Energy Burst Aerator II

Acolyte II x5
Infiltrator II x5

So first off it's pretty basic, four MPLs in the highs, bastion module, and two tractors/one salvager. This is pretty standard for a HighSec Paladin. You can change the number of salvagers/tractors around or swap them out entirely but there's not much else you need or want here in HighSec. If you're planning on using this in quiet LowSec, I'd really recommend a mix of Heavy and Medium Energy Neutralizers to throw off tackle incase the worst happens. If you've got nearby backup (say you're in Null with carriers ratting next door) you can even fit a cyno and scream for help while bastion saves your ass long enough for those blap carriers to come wreck the roaming gang that's caught you. In terms of gunnery options, you can definitely switch out the MPLs for Tachyon Beam Laser IIs if you want some crazy long range optimals with no need to ever swap from Multifreq unless you feel like using Gleam. However most missions do not require the insane range of Tachyons and MPLs have better DPS and apply it better due to higher tracking. Do Tachs work? Sure. Are they a better choice than MPLs? Debatable. If you feel like it, try both and stick with what you prefer. Personally I prefer the Mega Pulse Laser IIs for faster cycling and better tracking. The rest of this post will assume you're using the MPL fit otherwise it's going to get very long and confusing explaining the differences in flying them.


Ammo choice is Imperial Navy Multifrequency for anything close up, and then Scorch outside the falloff of Multi. Faction ammo is pretty much the best choice here, since you've got half the guns of a comparable laser battleship (but you have a 100% damage bonus bringing you back to eight effective turrets) and it adds around another 100DPS. Yeah they break, but the cost of replacing them is minor compared to the benefit you get out of them, and you'll get approximately 4000 shots per crystal according to Osmium, which is pretty damn efficient. Just make sure you carry a set of spares so you're not stuck limping through a mission with 3 broken crystals and only one working gun, while being too stubborn to fly two jumps to pick up new ones.

I'm not speaking from experience okay, stop looking at me like that.

The mids are open to your choice, but I enjoy the maneuverability of a MWD combined with a solid cap boost from the recently buffed cap batteries. You could swap this for a Heavy Cap Booster II or a Cap Recharger II, or even change it to something else entirely, but I prefer the Large Cap Battery to drive the already crazy cap strength of the Paladin to "Lol, who cares about managing cap" without drowning it in useless cap stability. Running your guns and rep with your MWD off lasts you a solid 5mins 23secs with max skills which is easily enough time with bastion and the 1k+ DPS to melt the field down to manageable levels. The two Tracking Computer IIs are a really good idea pretty much no matter what to help you push out your optimal, or increase your tracking on elite cruisers and the like. It's possible to fly a Paladin without these, but your applied DPS goes down the toilet, and it's not fun. Alternative choices for mid slots include MJDs, Afterburners, other cap mods, or even webs/grapplers if you want to go crazy, but I think this setup is the most well balanced and new marauder-pilot friendly to start with. If you're using this in LowSec, I'd recommend dropping the Cap Battery for a MJD alongside your MWD, to maximise your ability to GTFO of sticky situations. This will require more attention to your cap but it's alot safer to use.

Your low slots are aimed at increasing and applying maximum DPS while affording the bare minimum of tank. The faction bling here is cheap but helps reduce the number of slots you need to successfully tank Level 4 missions. Frankly you could probably run a T2 rep and a T2 EANM and still be fine. You can also drop a TE for another Heat Sink but the DPS increase is frankly negligable, and I feel better application of DPS is more useful than another 30 or so paper DPS. Alternatively you can drop a TE for another Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane if you're concerned about the tank and want some extra security, but you don't really need any more tank than is already there with the super power that is bastion and crazy DPS out to 100+km (Scorch is OP as fuck). There's the age old 4 Heat Sink + 1 TE vs 3 Heat Sink + 2 TE argument here, I'll leave that up to you to decide what you prefer now I've given my two cents.

The "I have more ISK than sense" part

"But Seraph!" I hear you cry. "I can't sleep properly at night unless my PvE fits are atleast 70% faction or deadspace fit! Where should I spend all this ISK on my brand spanking new Paladin?"

Frankly you fucking shouldn't because you won't get any real increase in performance for the amount of ISK you'll be spending, but if you really feel driven to upgrade this fit, stick with buying Imperial Navy Heat Sinks. That's really all you should pour money into. DO NOT, I REPEAT,


spend ISK upgrading the tank with A-Type or X-Type modules. You don't need it and it'll just make you look shinier for gankers. If you really feel that the tank isn't enough, take off the second TE and put either a Reactive Armor Hardener on there or a second faction EANM. Your wallet will thank me. I strongly disagree with upgrading the Tracking Enhancers or Tracking Computers to faction because it's like a 2% difference to T2 and that's not worth the huge increase in price in my opinion, but if you've got the ISK I can't really stop you.

 A faction or deadspace MWD is an easier pill to swallow because it can help your completion times if it moves you to a gate faster, or lets you save some cap so you're not waiting in an empty room for enough cap to enter the next room safely. That being said, it is 100% workable with a meta or even T2 MWD. I'd only say use a faction/deadspace MWD if you've got one hanging around or you can snag one for cheap.

The most important thing to remember is that you're grinding these missions to make money. A big consideration that most people forget is ISK efficiency with your fit. Sure you might be able to pour 3 billion ISK into a marauder and make it a laser spewing death machine, but you could instead pay 1.5 billion for it, still do shit-tons of damage, and put that other 1.5billion into something else, like a second ship for your alt to dual box, or put it into market trading for some semi-passive income. And the more expensive your ship is, the more missions you have to grind before you start "profiting", because up until you've paid for the price of that ship from missions, you're not technically getting any profit from it.

Anyway guys, I hope you found this post useful. Got an alternative fit? Enjoyed using this one? Post it in the comments!

Until the next time, fly safe o7