Friday, May 30, 2014

I Need A New Ship

Last night while working on some spreadsheets trying to figure out the next product to produce a thought hit me.  I need a new ship.  I don't want a new ship.  I need a new ship.  As in one I currently don't have.  Why?  Mordu's Legion is snooping around and capsuleers will want to hunt them down.  CCP Rise explained in his latest dev blog:
"One of the things about Mordu’s Legion that we are most excited about is the method by which the ships can be acquired.  As usual, Mordu’s Legion LP stores will have them on offer, but we are also going to be adding some new Legion patrols to asteroid belts across all of low security space.  Like other pirate faction commanders, these spawns will be fairly rare. Unlike other factions, Mordu’s Legion belt patrols will have 100% chance of dropping a blueprint for one of the new ships. This should make searching for Mordu’s Legion patrols an exciting and rewarding activity, and because it happens in low sec, we expect that it will also lead to an increase in player combat--which is always fantastic.  A small note: there will be other Mordu’s Legion NPCs associated with some other new content in Kronos, but only the ones spawning in asteroid belts will drop BPCs for the Garmur, Orthrus and Barghest."

This is both a threat and an opportunity.  The threat is increased visits from other pilots while I'm mining in belts.  I hope that translates into less visits from others while I'm ice mining, but I'll have to wait and see.  Sometimes people don't get the message, which is too bad, because I did.  The message is: if I want to seize the opportunity, Rosewalker will need to upgrade from his stealth bomber.

I expect a tough fight from an outfit like Mordu's Legion.  More importantly, I expect the mercs to tackle Wandering Rose's Procurer fairly quickly if she sticks around.  But will the Procurer drawing aggro allow Rosewalker's Hound to pound away from a distance?  I'm afraid that the Legion ships' powerful missile launchers will not only outrange the Hound's torpedo launchers, but make short work of its paper-thin defenses.  The electronic warfare tactics I worked out to handle the Tags4Sec rats probably won't work on the Legion.  Here's how CCP Rise described the player versions of the ships:
"So these ships look good enough to win Miss Hawaii 2014 and they have a solid backstory, but what do they actually do? As said above, we wanted missiles to be at the heart of the faction so you will find a substantial missile damage bonus on all three ships.  We also decided that we wanted them to be very fast skirmishers (partly emerging from the original idea of them having Minmatar influence, but also as a nice contrast to traditional Caldari ships which tend to be fairly slow) so they will be the second fastest pirate faction, losing drag races only to the Angel Cartel.  When looking for a bonus from their Gallente side we quickly zero’d in on warp scrambler and disruptor range because of the perfect synergy with speed and long range damage application.  Finally, we wanted something special, one more bit of unique flavor to really set Mordu’s Legion apart.  After some tinkering we settled on an unprecedented missile velocity bonus that increases missile speed by 200% while lowering the flight time by half.  All said and done you get missiles that get to their targets extremely quickly and give a significant range bonus as well.  These things are nasty, so get a tackle on them early or get out."

One good thing about Kronos is that the offensive firepower of the Procurer is increasing, which should help handle the Legion patrols.  Also, as long as I don't care about mining output, I should still have a respectable enough tank to take on the small ships.  That leaves Rosewalker to handle the heavy stuff.

Heavy Stuff
I figure I have two choices given my current level of skill training, the Stratios or the Loki.  The Stratios is probably the weaker of the two choices for me.  I don't have any laser skills trained, meaning I could not take advantage of the ship's optimal range bonus.  However, I do have very good drone skills, so perhaps using projectile weapons instead is a possibility.  While my defenses are hampered by only having both Gallente and Amarr Cruiser only trained to 4, I do have my armor skills maxed out, meaning I should have a substantial tank.  Good enough to survive until drones with Procurer and Stratios bonuses can finish off a Legion patrol?  I don't know.

The more expensive option is to finally fulfill a long-time goal of mine and purchase a Loki.  I know that a Tengu is probably a better option, but I'm not changing Rosewalker's skill queue, which means I'm not flying a Tengu until September at the earliest.  With my luck, CCP will announce a rebalance pass for strategic cruisers anyway, so holding off on a Tengu is probably a good thing.  Besides, the Loki is a Minmatar ship.  I'm still trying to hold off on flying non-Minmatar and non-ORE ships on my main characters as long as possible.

Admittedly, I don't know much about tech 3 ships.  I imagine in order to counter the Legion NPCs missile advantage I'd need to fit artillery instead of autocannons.  I'd also need to use the Covert Reconfiguration subsystem in order to remain in cloaky overwatch and allow fleet bonuses to take effect.  I'm not sure about the other subsystems.  Perhaps the Amplification Node subsystem to help with signature tanking the incoming missile fire.  I'll have to play around with a Loki subsystem configuration tool.

I should add that, as I always aim to do, in getting a new ship I'm trying to accomplish more than one thing at a time.  So in addition to protecting my mining operations and possibly getting some nice blueprints, I'm looking to get a ship I can use for exploration.  Currently I use a Cheetah, but that limits me to only running data and relic sites.  By upgrading to either a Stratios or a Loki I can then run the combat sites I scan down as well.  So Rosewalker can bring the firepower and Wandering Rose can follow along in the newly revamped Prowler to not only provide fleet bonuses but to carry around loot and a crated Procurer to exploit any mining opportunities as well.

Which one will I choose?  Well, business is good right now and I do have a lot of SOE loyalty points.  But considering that some of the people who try to turn my Procurer into a wreck read the blog, perhaps I should just get both.  Options are always good.  So's keeping people off-balance.


  1. One of the cool things about moving from normal ships to tech3 ships is the feeling of getting a hero class. A cloaky loki will put out over 400 dps, have 90k tank, and go 2.4k with heat using an 100mn ab. You decloak on the rat, toss your web on, pulse the 100mn once to get some transversal going and orbit the rat at 2-3km.

    A normal ship might care about the rat damage, a tech 3 does not. You're looking at a passive tank of 150dps on a huge pile of shield hitpoints. If someone else shows up you web them, heat the AB and run like hell. As with all tech 3s Lokis benefit from a touch of the bling, here I reccomend only a single faction gyro, but a cheapish faction 100mn will benefit substantially.

    This fit scans and kills belt rats but cannot truely pvp as it has no point. You can drop the damage control for a power diagnostic and change out the probe launcher for a single HAM launcher, ups the dps to about 450. Switch out some subs fo an immobility driver, an amp node and a better web/ab combo and you can go 1.9k before heat, 2.8k after heat with a web that goes out 35 before 45 after. You can get away from nearly any three non-web bonused ships in this loki. Web one, shoot the weakest and just out run the 3rd.

    An important thing to remember in 100mn tech 3s is that
    you're not dead until the ship explodes in space. With one web on a ninja loki you can still go 1.2k, enough to out run slow ships. While you're spiraling away from the slow ships simply put your autocannons on the fast tackle, switching webs around as needed.
    [Loki, ScanTankDps]
    Gyrostabilizer II
    Republic Fleet Gyrostabilizer
    Gyrostabilizer II
    Damage Control II

    100MN Afterburner II
    Large Shield Extender II
    Large Shield Extender II
    Stasis Webifier II
    Adaptive Invulnerability Field II

    Covert Ops Cloaking Device II
    425mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
    425mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
    425mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
    425mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
    425mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP M
    Expanded Probe Launcher II, Core Scanner Probe I

    Medium Core Defense Field Extender II
    Medium Core Defense Field Extender II
    Medium Core Defense Field Extender II

    Loki Engineering - Power Core Multiplier
    Loki Electronics - Emergent Locus Analyzer
    Loki Propulsion - Fuel Catalyst
    Loki Defensive - Adaptive Shielding
    Loki Offensive - Covert Reconfiguration

    1. Given that he's mining with a Procurer, I suspect the best option for tackling is actually to put the point on the Procurer. Depending on how much he wants to make the kill as opposed to just drive a target off, he can put the point on before decloaking or after he has locked things up. Add a loki web and that could be pretty nasty and force an interloper to work hard to disengage.

    2. Thanks for the fit, but I don't have the skills to use it.

  2. I don't know how much or how well distributed you SP is, but I generally find that the pirate cruisers are much more forgiving to lower SP characters. I believe this has even been declared by the devs.

    Other notes:
    - I'm assuming a Pilgrim is not something you're even remotely skilled for?

    - I would stick to autocannons for the Loki. XL ASB Lokis can also tank incredible amounts of damage, but if you don't have backup I don't think it particularly matters.

    - T1 beam lasers will probably be sufficient for the Stratios. Obviously Scorch is wonderful, but I wouldn't take the time to train into it for one ship that doesn't even have a damage or rof bonus.

  3. If you are planning on using a Loki in covert ops mode, top DPS is around 420 before over-heat with autocannons (faction ammo, 3 faction Gyro's). If you play around with using a Prototype 1 cloak instead, DPS can be 600. From what I have read, I am not sure the 420 DPS will break the tank of the toughest of the Mordus rats on Sisi.

    Someone posted that to break a BS tank you need about 650.

    Stratios is superior DPS to a covert ops Loki if you want to keep the covert ops cloak. But keep in mind, Stratios DPS gets murdered by the Garde II nerf on Tuesday, and you won't be using Ogres as the NPC AI will eat them for breakfast.

    I know you did not open it up as an option, but you might want to consider the Proteus instead of the Loki. You can get some ferocious damage with rails, blasters, or drones with the non-covert version, and the covert version still pumps out well in excess of 500 with blasters.

    Last caveat: Expect all T3's to be wrecked very soon. fozzie the destructor has set his sights on them, and has openly stated they are OP.

    You want to play with some fits, email me in game and I can share with you some different ideas. I use the Loki right now for low sec ratting and exploration, in different flavours, depending on the situation.