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Monday, August 20, 2012

Moving to WH Space - Lesson #2 and #3

As I stated in Lesson #1, there are certain ships that you must absolutely take with you to WH space. But there are also ships that are totally discretionary. For instance, you can decide if you want to take a PvP ship or not. I myself took a few but nothing too big. I want to make some ISK before I get a "really big" PvP ship. Okay, you can stop laughing now. Sooner or later I'll have to do it.

The PvP ship of choice in WH space seems to be the Strategic Cruiser. Go figure. At a cost of at least a half billion ISK, that is something that I could afford to lose but would rather not. Some of the other choices I've read about are Stealth Bombers and Heavy Interdictors. At least that's what I've read. I've also seen used in the WH a Helios as a tackler and a cloaked Hurricane. That was just... strange. I suppose there are "bigger" ships used in more dangerous WH space. I personally don't plan on finding out any time soon.

The number one income producing ship in a C3 is your standard ratting battleship. I decided to start out low cost in this category. I've run Level IV missions in a Drake, and I've even killed a couple Sleeper battleships in a C3 with it. But the Drake is not enough ship to really take on a C3 anomaly. It most certainly is NOT a solo ship.

As it turns out, neither is the battleship I brought. However, the corp Fleet Leader asked that I bring a cap stable armor tanking battleship and that's what I brought.

                    6x Ion Blaster Cannon II (Antimatter Charge L)
                    5x Cap Recharger II
                    Damage Control II
                    Large Armor Repairer II
                    Capacitor Power Relay II
                    Armor Kinetic Hardener II
                    Armor Explosive Hardener II
                    Armor Thermic Hardener II
                    Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
                    2x Large Nanobot Accelerator I
                    Large Auxiliary Nano Pump I

                    Effective HP: 68,119 (Eve: 57,790)
                    Tank Ability: 457.80 DPS
                    Damage Profile - <Omni-Damage> (EM: 25.00%, Ex: 25.00%, Ki: 25.00%, Th: 25.00%)
                    Shield Resists - EM: 12.50%, Ex: 56.25%, Ki: 47.50%, Th: 30.00%
                    Armor Resists - EM: 67.70%, Ex: 72.76%, Ki: 80.32%, Th: 80.32%

                    Capacitor (Stable at 46.58%)

                    Volley Damage: 2,550.98 (w/ flight of 5 Hammerhead II drones)
                    DPS: 559.24 (w/ flight of 5 Hammerhead II drones)

This is a really standard active armor tank. There is nothing all that spectacular about it. It just fit what I was requested to bring and wasn't that expensive.

However, it is still a juicy target evidently:

Initially the pirates where in two Tengus if memory serves. The Domi was tanking the two strategic cruisers just fine. It wasn't until one left and got the Sleipnir that they broke its tank. It must have taken them 5 minutes. So much for PvP being fast and furious.

Here's the lesson I learned from this. Don't get in a hurry. I'd staged all my ships in the last high-sec system before the system with our K162 in it. That's not the problem. The problem was we'd move six (6) ships through that hole prior to the Corp CEO taking the Domi out of the high-sec station. There was only one person in the K162 system. Obviously he had friends and wasn't afraid to call them. It would have been better to move only the necessary ships and to wait on the discretionary ships. When you are just getting setup in a WH, you don't have to have them right then and there. I could have waited for another good connection and gotten them any time after. I did just that a few days later to replace the Domi. So, take your time moving ships in. Take only what you need right away. Bring the rest in singly at a later date. There will always be another opportunity to bring a new ship in.

Perhaps the funniest thing about all this is the fact that our CEO took the loss in a ship that wasn't even his. Hell, he wasn't totally qualified in even. He couldn't fire the T2 guns! All he could do was sit there and tank the damage until the tank broke. That REALLY SUCKS. Sorry AI.

The loss of the Dominix wasn't the worse loss unfortunately: Tur lost his Loki defending the Domi.  He said, "that's what corp mates do for each other." Then he added, "besides, I'd been itching to try the Loki in PvP!" I really, really, really, really appreciate that sentiment Tur and thank you. But this leads me to my second lesson from the event.

As a carebear, I am very cognizant of the bottom line. It is a violation of every business rule I know to defend a 150 million ISK ship with a 500 million ISK ship (some of the things in the Domi's cargo hold were expensive but irrelevant to the cost.) That just gives the pirates more of what they want and compounds the asset loss. We knew we were going to lose the Domi. We didn't have to lose the Loki. It was worth two and a half entry level T1 battleships.

And that brings me to the third lesson of my first week in a WH. The other discretionary income ships you can take with you are mining ships. I took an Exhumer. I splurged a bit and bought one of those nifty new Skiffs. It's a sweet barge and I think I'm in love with it but it was a mistake.

Tur and I spent quite a bit of time the other night practicing fleet mining ops - me in my Skiff and he in a Procurer. We were convinced they are survivable in a WH. In fact, that night, right as we finished practice and settled down to mine some Arkonor, I spied two Proteus on d-scan. I was back at the POS before Tur could say "RUN!"

But that isn't always going to be the case. Remember that tackling Helios and the cloaked Hurricane? Here's where we encountered them: Now tell me that isn't the strangest fight you've ever seen?

So what's the lesson? Go back to the paragraph about how many T1 battleships you can buy for the price of a Loki. Then apply that logic to mining ships. I can lose ten (10) Procurers for every Skiff and they mine almost as well. The tank is inconsequential when your scrammed and webbed. You'll either last long enough for help to arrive or you won't. The few extra EHP the Skiff gives won't make any difference. Mining in a WH is THE most dangerous thing Tur tells me you can do. I believe him now. Those two ships got the drop on both of us. Leave the Exhumers at home and stick to T1 barges. Your wallet will thank you.

Fly careful.


  1. I simply have to add that I do not disagree with Mab on his basic points... The loss of a Loki in the attempt to save a Domi was, ISKwise, not balanced...

    But I have been itching bad to get into a fight and this one came to us and so I "Leroy'ed" on in! and DIAF'ed in a heroic, if substatially useless, fashion... =]

    I do appreciate the ISK/loss ratio... but Mab, sometimes you just gotta PLAY the game for the sake of playing!!! Wasn't the first time... guarantee won't be the last! You outta see Hiril (me) fly in RvB!

    Came outta this one with her (my) ass on fire and approx 20% hull left... LOL

    The tl:dr... yea, but it was DAMN FUN!!!

  2. If I may ...

    - Flying a Domi? Always take medium ECM drones with you. They might just break the lock of the guy pointing you.
    - For a Loki fit for scouting/recon, I actually prefer a power core multiplier and fuel catalyst. Combine with an 100MN AB and a nano and you escape from bubbles easy enough. Also very nice for not getting shredded by Tengus
    -Mining is much less dangerous if you have all wormholes watched and have established with reasonable that there is nobody hanging around cloaked.

    As for the ships used in PVP: Many people will choose ships that take advantage of the unique environment i.e. no local. That means force recon ships, cloaky t3's and covert ops frigates/stealthbombers. Also the mass limits - especially in lower class wormholes - make it more sensible to operate with lighter ships for the initial attack and bring the heavy mass ship as a final measure.

    I also totally agree with mr ElRandir ... sometimes you just have to go for it. I recently flew my cloaky recon Proteus against an Astarte just because I wanted to see whether I could win a 1v1 ... well at least that was a bit more balanced on the ISK side :)

    1. established with reasonable _certainty_

    2. Yes you may. *wink* There were 600s in the drone bay. That was another thing AI couldn't utilize. He did launch the 300s. They all got shot down. Those may have been the reason the Sleipnir was brought in but we'll never know for certain. Regardless, it was a GF. That's what really matters right?

  3. If you can afford the loss, sometimes it is worth getting in a scrap just to experience it. It can be quite invigorating to have half-billion ISK explode around you.

    It's also worth realising that, once settled in w-space, you can make up the loss of a strategic cruiser pretty quickly. you just need to watch that you don't lose your Sleeper combat ships without the means to replace them, because then you can be a bit stuffed.

    As for Skiffs, I was making this point to my colleagues the other day. A mining ship with increased EHP means nothing when you are flying solo, or in a fleet of similar mining ships without combat support. It will just take the ambushers a little longer to chew through your hull.

    The boost to the Skiff is primarily, I would suggest, to make high-sec ganking less viable.

  4. It took me a minute to make sure I was on the right blog Mabrick. A few killboard links and I was really wondering....

    All kidding aside, I'm learning a great deal about the move into Wormholes. A few RL friends and I have talked about it, and we'll keep following along to see how the learning process goes for you. Sounds like you're with a great corp.

    On the Procurer I have to say you've reached the same conclusions we have. With our new corp in place, our first POS up and prepping for the second low sec POS we've decided the Procurer is the ship to own. Losing one won't hurt the wallet, and it mines just fine.

    Have fun in your new space. I look forward to hearing the next lessons!

  5. Just remember that defending your friend/corpmate/alliance mate is often times(almost always) worth more then any number of ships even when you go down. You didn't leave them to burn. Sometimes that decision is made, sure, but its amazing how poorly it can stick with you.

    Bottoms lines can be damned. The people are what matters and they are not calculated by the ISK of the ships that they fly.

    1. M'Lady... I bow in appreciation. My sentiments exactly. Knowing you can really 'trust' your corpmates and friends is worth more than all the ISK CCP can print. =]

      NOTHING in this game feels as good as this...

  6. Our furst stint in a C3 last year, I was of teh thinking there isnt anything you need expensive ships for in a C3, and we survived fine for 4 months with nothing but Drakes, We lost several hulks in teh hole one afternoon and I decided it wasnt worth mining in the hole as the hulks are so damn expensive.

    With the new mining changes, we have purchased a fleet of procurers and guess and I am now waiting on the next grav site to mine up some abc again.

    Everyone in the corp has trained up to Tengu's and I must say that these things go through C3 anoms like butter, Penny gave me a fit for RR Tengu's that they use in the C4's but we havent had the chance to try them out yet, we are using just teh basic t2 fit active tank, the ship costs us about 650m fitted. But the wallet is healthy enough to support them at this point.



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