Monday, September 22, 2014

Preparing To Prospect In Low Sec

The Prospect-class expedition frigate was introduced in the Kronos release in early June, but I was too busy training all of the ore processing skills to five to really even think about training to fly the new mining ship.  Doing further research led me down the road to training Deep Core Mining in order to use Modulated Deep Core Miner IIs once I finally did get a Prospect.  And if I was going to train Deep Core Mining, I decided to train the skill to five just in case I decided to take a null sec roam.  I'm still three weeks away from having the Expedition Frigates skill trained to five, but I'm starting to do the theory crafting and planning needed to take off gallivanting around low sec looking for ore.

Why do I want to wait until I have the skill trained as high as possible?  Partly because of the drop in mining output.

Procurer Low Sec Concept Fit - Hyperion
A variation of my old Procurer fit, I swapped out a nano for an inertia stabilizer for agility and added a +5% mining implant to make up for the loss of yield after the Procurer nerf.  High sec miners might scoff at a Procurer with only a 960 m3/minute unmodified mining yield, but the fit suits me and the way I use the ship in low sec.  However, my neighborhood is getting pretty dangerous and I don't really like losing ships.  So I want to change ships.

I realize that dropping down from a cruiser to a frigate-sized hull means losing mining yield.  But that doesn't mean I'm not going to make every reasonable effort to make the drop in production as small as possible.  I think I came up with a half-way decent fit.

Prospect Concept Fit - Hyperion
The graphic above shows an "All 5" fit because Wandering Rose lacks Expedition Frigates 5 and I wanted to show the mining yield after she finishes training the final skill.  I think I did fairly well.  My fit has an unaided mining yield of 852 m3/minute with a 3 second align time and, according to Pyfa, 6597 EHP.  That means I only lost 11.25% in yield while gaining greater survival capabilities for dealing with the hazards of low sec.

The high slots are interesting.  The Covert Ops Cloaking Device II is mandatory on this ship.  The Prospect is designed to sneak past other players, not try to fight them.  Don't fly the ship unless you can fit the advanced cloaking device.

The one item I didn't know about was the Modulated Deep Core Miner IIs.  The tech 2 version of the Deep Core Miner I, this module uses mining crystals like the Modulated Strip Miner II designed for use on mining barges and exhumers.  The one additional advantage is that the Modulated Deep Core Miner II can fit mercoxit mining crystals.  I've read comments that I should not bother with the Modulated Deep Core Miner II and instead just use the regular Miner II.  But the Modulated Deep Core Miner II gives 16.6% more yield (852 m3/sec vs. 731 m3/sec) in this fit for no fitting advantage.  The one big advantage the Miner II has over the Modulated Deep Core Miner II is training requirements.  The Miner II only requires Mining 4 while the Modulated Deep Core Miner II requires Mining 5, Science 5, Astrogeology 5, and Deep Core Mining 2.

The mid slots were influenced by CCP Fozzie's dev blog that introduced the Prospect.  He wrote, "Blessed with a small signature radius and extra hitpoints, a Prospect equipped with a Medium Shield Extender and a 1MN Afterburner can easily tank nullsec asteroid belt NPCs."  So I decided to base the ship's defenses around the concept.  I included the Medium Shield Extender II and Adaptive Invulnerability Field II to give the ship a stout shield tank and the suggested afterburner for increased speed.  The only thing I don't know is whether the tank will work against low sec rats.  I still have over two weeks to visit the Singularity test server and experiment.

I faced a bit of a dilemma when fitting the low slots.  I normally include a Damage Control II in the low slots, but the module didn't feel like it fit in with my vision of the ship.  The ship relies on agility and speed to get out of harm's way, so that's how I approached the low slots.  First, I included two Nanofiber Internal Structure IIs in order to get the align time down under 3 seconds.  Including the nanos also increased the ship's velocity while the afterburner is running up to 1311 meters/second.  I fit two Mining Laser Upgrade IIs not only because I wanted a higher mining yield, but to reduce the amount of time I spend uncloaked as well.  I may have to change that theory if I find out I need the DCII to help with the shield tank.

The rig slots are pretty basic thinking.  The Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I is present to plug up the EM hole in the shields.  The Small Processor Overclocking Unit I rig was necessary to provide the CPU required to fit the shield tank.  I played around with the idea of going with a small shield extender, but that could lead to other problems.

Finally, I have two implants I think are required for my concept of this fit.  The first was the WS-615 warp drive speed implant.  I love speed and the implant increases the warp drive speed from 5.5 AU/sec up to 6.32 AU/sec.  That will allow me to outrun almost any ship except an interceptor that decides to give chase.  The other is the MX-1005 implant that grants a 5% increase to mining yield.

When I get home from work today I'll have a newly built Prospect waiting for me to take delivery.  Did I mention I built my own ship?  I also plan on making my own tech 2 mining crystals.  Why not?  If all goes according to plan, I'll have the materials needed to make more.  Besides, I'm tired of going to Rens and Hek for stuff like this.  I'd like to make and possibly sell my own.


  1. Still not a fan of the modulars over the miner II. My concern was with miner crystals which locks to a particular ores. If for example you locate a grav site with something special you have to pass it up. Also the three minute cycle, I prefer to have a minute cycle end with a single unit rather than 180 seconds later.

  2. Depending on where you'll be useing this ship I would consider some changes.
    If a player is able to lock you, you are dead (no warp core strength, long point will be enough to tackle you, your EM rig won't save you) - if your local rats don't deal EM damage the Anti-EM rig is pretty much useless (and it is expanding your signature). Using a small polycarbon or low friction rig would free a lowslot for either a DCU or another MLU.
    Again, a DCU shouldn't be needed to tank rats and it won't help you once you are tackled.
    12 mining crystals (10 in cargo, 2 loaded) will allow you to go for 6 different types of ore and pretty sure they'll last long enough to fill your ore hold. That shouldn't be a drawback.
    The reason I don't use the Prospect: Drones. Or lack of drones. Bounties and loot of those lowsec beltrats can have a significant impact to your income.