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Monday, November 18, 2013

Marauder Madness II

Last Monday I opined the Rubicon change to the Marauder class battleships, specifically Bastion Mode, is too powerful for high-sec PvE missions. I based this on a Syndicate Competitive League tournament in which a bastioned Golem tanked the entire opposing fleet (minus one assault frigate) to outlast the match timer. It was my intent at that time to provide evidence to backup that opinion on either Wednesday or Friday last week.

That plan was washed out by my needing to train High Energy Physics to level IV in order to use the Bastion module. I was only at level I, oops. I started the training and hoped there'd be no wipes of Singularity. Chances were things would be pretty set at that point so I'd be able to do it. I finished the training this morning. I completed the mission and frapsed nearly the entire event. Here is the ship fitting I took into the mission.
After editing, the mission is still 16 minutes long. I took my time to make some points. I present it here for your viewing.

The tl;dw (too long, don't watch) is my suspicions look confirmed. My dual repper/dual cap boosted Kronos might have been able to clear the site without Bastion Mode. However, I would have had to manage my capacitor carefully and would have had to burn through a lot of Navy 400s to make it happen. While in Bastion mode, I was able to tank all the DPS with a single heavy armor repairer. And because my resists were increased by the extra 30% Bastion mode gives me, I was able to pulse my capacitor boosters, using them only when my capacitor alarm sounded every once in awhile.

And as for taking out the rats, that was the easiest part of all. The frigates took more time than all the other ships combined because I could only use light drones on them. All the larger classes of ship I was able to hit with my Heavy Neutron Blasters, even the destroyers. If I had gone into Bastion mode straight away rather than delaying to let you all see what their DPS and my tank was like, I could have easily cleared this site in under 10 minutes. Rinse, lather and repeat: there's a good chance I could do four missions in an hour. I could stack them up, drop one of the new Mobile Tractor Units where I was (center of the wreck field,) and proceed to the next level IV. The only thing that would really slow me down is drone replenishment. I could take care of that with a Mobile Depot strategically placed.

This particular level IV security mission wasn't all that hard and it wasn't all that lucrative. Still, I made 15 million ISK from mission rewards, rat bounties and loot. That'd be 60 million ISK an hour - in high-sec. Of course, the ship itself would have cost around 1.5 billion ISK and there is usage overhead. It'd take 25 hours at least to get an ROI. But it'd be a fun 25 hours. And who's going to gank your ship? It might be the safest 1.5 bISK ship in all New Eden, so long as you stay in high-sec.

So if you've got the time, watch at least the first 16 minutes of the video. You'll see all the things I talk about above and then some. You'll also see a new way to make easy ISK by yourself in high-sec, as long as you can pony up the buy in. That's a lot of money just to make level IVs a cake walk. That aside, if you're doing it for standing anyway or just to shoot things, why not make the most of it and fly one of the coolest looking ships in New Eden? The Bastion transform is without a doubt the bitchinest effect yet, which is why in the end I'll look the other way on the unbalancing thing. Just saying.


  1. You have enough PG left to fit 2 heavy and 1 medium nos. Put them on the rats close to you and you might get cap stable.

    In LS and 0.0, fit a mjd and use the extra high extra slot for smartbomb to kill frigates (rats or some tackling you) or for neuts to neut any player tackling you and mjd away.

    Can you test them in level 5 missions?

    1. The funny thing about your comment is that I've not trained smartbombs yet. How's that for a laugh? It's been on my "need to get around to it" list for years now. *LOL*

    2. I did some brief testing of level five missions in a Kronos. while I feel I need to do more testing to determine viability of soloing the missions. I found you can solo some level fives if you are very patient.

      The worst mission I did was Sansha on the Horizon which I would say practically requires either a Vargur or Golem to complete in a reasonable amount of time, the damage income is not terrible and can be handled in a Kronos, but what makes it hard is the neut towers as they can drain the cap from a Kronos in under a minute, which leaves the ship unable to attack or rep, In order to take out the towers I had to change my fit to use more cap boosters just to have enough cap to take out a single tower before warping off in order to not lose the ship. after the last neut tower was destroyed the mission became fairly easy, but I am not sure it was worth the time it took to complete the mission. using auxiliary shields and cap-less weaponry might have made the mission more reasonable.

      Like I said I still need to run more tests, but if I had to hazard an early guess I would say with the right fit they could reasonably run level fives, solo, on tranquility IF the pilot takes the time to know their neighborhood before risking the ships.

    3. Missioner + Smart Bombs + Hisec = Ganker Delight

  2. Several things:

    1. You should have looked at the test forum threads first. I asked Malcanis to get CCP to set something up weeks ago for people to get the Bastion skills on Sisi. CCP in response built a script that worked where if you type "bastion" in some channel, all skills related to the Bastion module plus Marauder V were gifted to your char.

    2. It does not matter that your Kronos can uber-tank level IV's. As stated earlier, faction BS's STILL do more applied DPS, and therefore do more ISK/ hour. The loss of the web bonus is a huge hit to the Kronos and Paladin, as you pointed out since it took so long to kill frigs. I don't have time to watch your vid, but how many small drones did you lose killing all the frigs? When the AI turns on your drones, as it eventually does, suddenly that ISK / hour you are talking about has a ton of costs associated with it. Given you commented that you wanted a mobile container to allow you to transfer drones from your hold to your drone bay, and you can fit 15 small drones in a Kronos hold (actually, think its 125 cu m, so make that 25), precisely how many drones going for 375,000 each did you lose, or expect to lose per hour?

    I own a Kronos, and Paladin, both for Incursion work. But those days end tomorrow as the utility of those ships in VG's are completely trashed tomorrow. I will probably try them in a couple missions to see how "easy" they really are, then sell them, as my testing with them on Sisi proved the Bastion Mode is totally useless in Incursions.

    And lastly, given that gankers in dessies can trash a freighter in 0.8 space, do you seriously think that gankers won't be looking for some ship with a third or quarter of the EHP, that can't warp away? If the gankers laugh at their miner victims because they don't mine aligned (which is impossible to do long term anyway), imagine their comments when you are trapped for a minute.

    1. Forum threads... *shivers* That script would have been helpful to be certain buy it's too late to worry about now. This worked out just fine.

      To answer your question, I lost 10 light drones taking down the frigs. That was in the voice over comments of the video and I should have mentioned it in the post.

      As for the gankers, I asked who would gank it. I didn't say they wouldn't try. ;-)

    2. The real kicker won't be the applied dps. The real issue is that the bastion mode will allow people to take on level IV missions with impunity from the tanking aspect and semi-afk the entire process. Without the risk of loss the risk/reward balance becomes skewed.

    3. You already can fit ships to semi-afk level IV missions. Passive rattlesnakes, command ships, and tengus, active variants in missions without significant neuting (almost all missions except for a couple in Amarr space like blood raiders The Blockade).

      Most missioning for me consists of locking, activating guns, alt-tab to read the internet, alt-tab to approach and re-activate guns on the next target, repeat.

      Depending on the mission a MJD dominix can be even more afkable as long as the rts don't have the range to hit your sentries as you don't even have to alt-tab to change targets.

      Something to bear in mind is that Eve PvE content isn't entertaining enough to require 100% of your attention. If they make it so that it is just as bad but it does require 100% of your attention then other games are going to look much more attractive. Just like they did with the hacking mini-game...

    4. Hey there eft warrior its got 1/4 the hp of a freighter. It also has 2 active reps there smart guy. How many nados u need to alpha it cuz it will be way more profitable to bank a freighter with them lol

  3. Mab - use EW to manage drone aggro to keep them off your lights. Target painters I've found work very well, but a NOS should also do the trick (untested yet).

    As far as the whole Marauder madness issue goes, neither you nor Dinsdale acknowledge the RL commitments of some players. Pirate faction ships set for DPS often have comparatively little tank and therefore require active management.

    A screaming child in another room, two clicks for the marauder (if bastion and rep are not already on) and you're gone. And there's a better than reasonable chance of having an intact ship when you get back to the screen. RL IS greater than EvE.

    As for the point that pirate faction ships can be made to have a good tank and be cap stable, that is usually done with (very) high end gear and no buffer at all.... all the better to gank you for...

    1. That is a very good point you bring up about the interruptibility quotient of Bastion mode. It's been two decades since I've had that sort of life.

  4. I would use a mjd and mjd away from the frigates, should be able to easily pop them as they come at you, as its the tracking that makes them so hard to kill. Or kill most of them on their way to you when you first enter the pocket and clean up with the light drones. I realize this is not what you did on this test as you were checking the tank vs. the entire room. Nice video.


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