Tuesday, May 31, 2016

Carrier Modules And Bonuses

Previously:

Now that we are clearer on the types of fighters there are, let's enumerate the bonuses given by the ships themselves and the effect of available modules.

Carriers

Thanatos:
5% bonus to Fighter damage
2.5% bonus to Fighter hitpoints
5% bonus to Siren warp disruption range

Nidhoggur:
5% bonus to Fighter damage
2.5% bonus to Fighter velocity
5% bonus to Dromi stasis webification range

Chimera:


5% bonus to Scarab ECM optimal range

Archon:


5% bonus to Cenobite neutralization optimal range

Supercarriers

Nyx:
10% bonus to Fighter damage
5% bonus to Fighter hitpoints

Hel:
10% bonus to Fighter damage
5% bonus to Fighter velocity

Wyvern:
5% bonus to Fighter damage

Aeon:
5% bonus to Fighter damage

Revenant:
5% bonus to Fighter damage (for Amarr carrier level)
5% bonus to Fighter weapon explosion radius and explosion velocity
5% bonus to Fighter damage (for Caldari carrier level)
20% bonus to Afterburner velocity bonus ( I assume this applies to the heavy fighters.)

As you can see, the Gallente carriers get the beefiest fighters while the Minmatar versions have the fastest. The Caldari and Amarr carriers may not have a lot of fighter bonuses but they get resistance bonuses allowing them to tank better.

Modules

Note: when a range is given it indicates the variance between tech I and tech II. There are meta modules, officer modules, faction modules, etc.

Network Sensor Array - a carrier/supercarrier only module. High slot, active. Give +2 to max targets, 900% scan res bonus, and 50% to sensor strength.

Drone Damage Amplifier - Low slot, passive. 15%-20.5% bonus to damage.

Drone Navigation Computer - Mid slot, passive. 25%-30% increase in maximum velocity.

Fighter Support Unit - a carrier/supercarrier only module. High slot, passive. 5%-6% bonus to fighter shield, velocity, ROF, and shield recharge rate.

Omnidirectional Tracking Enhancer - Low slot, passive. 13.4%-20% bonus to falloff range, 6.7%-10% bonus to optimal range, 4.4%-6% bonus to explosion velocity and explosion radius.

Omnidirection Tracking Link - Mid slot, active. 10%-15% bonus to falloff range, 5%-7.5% bonus to optimal range, 5.5%-8.25% bonus to explosion velocity and explosion radius. Can be scripted.

The last part of this series will be about carrier skills and should be done in a day or two.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Carrier Fighters

I talked earlier this week about my testing with a carrier and its fighters, but I realize for the average player there is still a lot of confusion about the basics of getting into a carrier so I'm going to go over the types of fighters there are in the game, and next week I'll talk about the specific carrier skills required for using and managing fighters and I'll enumerate the fighter specific modules a carrier can fit these days.

First let's talk about the kinds of fighters there are now. Note: all fighters come in Tech I and Tech II variants except the faction Shadow Heavy Fighter.

Light Fighters: Attack - Dragonfly, Einherji, Firbolg, Templar

There are two kinds of light fighters, the first being referred to as Attack and they descend from the original fighters we had before the changes. They are "general purpose attack craft" and have a squadron size of  9 fighters and their main weapon does decent damage but has trouble tracking small fast targets. They have a MWD to move from point to point quickly, and a limited ammo Heavy Rocket Salvo which are short ranged Heavy Missiles and pack a punch as I highlighted in my last post on Carrier Testing.

Light Fighters: Space Superiority - Equite, Gram, Locust, Satyr

The second kind of light fighter is for engaging other fighters and drones and destroying them. They fly in squadron sizes of 12 fighters and have main weapons that do very little damage to player ships but are "apt at destroying fighter and drone craft". The have "Evasive Maneuvers" afterbunrer instead of a MWD which makes them hard to hit for a short period of time and a space "Anti-Small Craft Tackle" (which I'm going to call a Drone Scram) which "disable[s] small craft drive systems" making them easier to kill for the fighters.

Support Fighters - Cenobite, Dromi, Scarab, Siren

These are basically e-war fighters and come in small squadron sizes of 3. They all have a Microwarp Drive like the Attack fighters but no main weapon. Instead they have an electronic warfare function that differs depending on which faction they belong to. The Amarr Cenobite has energy neutralizers which suck cap at the rate of just over what a Small Energy Neutralizer II can do (module takes 5.5 GJ /sec, each fighter does 6.0 GJ / sec (8.0 for tech II) but times three fighters. The Minmatar Dromi has a -15% stasis webifier (-20% for tech II) on each fighter (compared to -50% of a Stasis Webifier I). The Caldari Scarab has a 1.6 strength omni ECM (2.3 for tech II) on each fighter (compared to a 3 on a ECM I module). And finally the Gallente Siren has a warp disruptor with 8 km range (16 km for tech II).

Heavy Fighters: Heavy Attack - Cyclops, Malleus, Mantis, Shadow, Tyfing

Like Light Fighters, Heavy Fighters come in two varieties. The first is Heavy Attack and are the old super carrier fighter-bombers upgraded for the new mechanics, flying in squadrons of 6. They are basically hard hitting general purpose fighters designed for anit-capital and anti-structure combat and as such their main weapon does a lot of damage but has tracking issues against fast moving targets, and their special weapon is a torpedo salvo which hit super hard on caps and structures but virtually nothing to anything smaller. They also have a microwarp drive like the light variety.

Heavy Fighters: Long Range Attack - Ametat, Antaeus, Gungnir, Termite

The second Heavy Fighter is designate for the Long Range Attack role and also comes in squadrons of 6. Their main weapon does less damage their their short range counterpart but can reach out farther. For example, the Gallente Heavy Attack fighter Cyclops has a blaster with an optimal range of 4 km (+5 km falloff) while the Long Range Attack Antaeus has a railgun with 30 km optimal (+12 km falloff). In addition it also has a special attack that is effectively like a Stealth Bomber's bomb launcher but I can't confirm exact stats on the micro bombs that they launch. Finally, instead of a MWD they are fitted with a Micro Jump Drive that takes 10 seconds to spool up (increasing their signature by 150% while doing so) and then sends them 100 km forward like a normal MJD.

Heavy fighters can only be used on Supercarriers and Large and Extra Large Citadels.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Carrier Testing and Learning

The radical changes to carriers means it feels like starting from scratch in how to use them and what all the skills enable/boost. This weekend during a quiet moment with the wife napping I launched onto SISI server and did some testings.

Setup

My skills were not up to speed with my Tranquility training but I quickly got them up to Fighters III which allowed me to install three squadrons of Firbolg Is in the launch tubes of my Thanatos carrier. The modules installed on the carrier that affect drone/fighter performance are:

2 x Fighter Support Unit Is - Bonus to Shield, Shield Recharge, Velocity, and Rate of Fire (stacking penalties apply)
Omnidirectional Tracking Link I - Improves fighter firing stats
2 x Drone Navigation Computer Is - Improves fighter speeds (stacking penalties)
Drone Damage Amplifier II - Fighter Damage Increase

In order to test the damage application of my three squadrons I fit up a shield buffer tanked Rokh battleships with the following:

3 x Large Shield Extender IIs
2 x Adaptive Invulnerability Field IIs
Damage Control II
3 x Large Core Field Extender II rigs

Movement

My first tests were about how fast the Firbolgs would move around the grid, both at normal velocity and MWD velocity. I found that the normal speed was about 1792 m/s and MWD speed was ~9700 m/s but the MWD only lasted about 20 seconds and had a 40 sec cooldown between activations. The end result was that my fighters were travelling about 250km/minute.

Damage

Once I engaged the target Rokh it was destroyed within 52 seconds and required 4 salvos of the Rockets to complete the job, leaving 4 more on the fighter squadrons.

My next test will be with better skills and Firbolg II fighters, and hopefully can involve some logi ships to see how the burst is.

Friday, May 20, 2016

The Current Eve News Meta

The articles from TheMittani.com and EveNews24.com about fighting in Saranen appeared in my news feed about the same time, while the Crossing Zebras article appeared a couple days bit later.

At first glance, the two earlier articles gives vastly different impressions about what's been happening in Saranen, with TMC reporting that the Money Badger Coalition was "obliterated" while EN24 is celebrating the destruction of 6 Imperium Citadels. Let's dive into the articles and see what's going on.

TMC:

On May 16, just before 0100 EVE time, a fight kicked off on the Imperium’s staging station in Saranen. In an all too common situation, the Imperium was being held inside their station as Pandemic Legion insta-lock Lokis camped them in.
...
A ping went out to round up the troops for a fight against Pandemic Legion, prompting the Imperium to form a Hurricane fleet. The fight began, and as Pandemic legion undocked an Apostle for triage support, they soon realized the fight was not in their favor. In an attempt to dominate the field, Pandemic Legion jumped in at least nine dreadnoughts and nearly twenty Apostles.
...
Although Northern Coalition came in with T3 cruisers to support their friends, the Imperium fleet reached what they call “critical mass”, which enables the fleet to attack with full capacity and effectiveness. This meant terrible news for the NC, as hails of gunfire one-shot their T3s. Pandemic Legion's answer was full-on escalation; however, as they jumped in their super capitals, two titans bumped and were hurled away from the main fleet.One of the titans lit a cyno, bringing in multiple FAX carriers and supercarriers into the mix.
...
Although the Imperium took 681 losses during the fight, they still managed to destroy nearly 100B ISK in ships belonging to the MBC, while taking 55B ISK in damages. 

And the article on EN24:
[H]eavy fighting erupted in Saranen on May 17th.
...
Fighting began at 20:40 as multiple Money Badger Coalition entities headed from their respective staging systems towards the Lonetrek, Fade and Pure Blind regions, anticipating the simultaneous activation of nearly a dozen citadels in the area. The first major engagement of the day occurred when a fleet of 40 Pandemic Horde (REKTD) T1 Cruisers were destroyed in the D2-HOS system by Goonswarm Federation (CONDI) Purifiers. Despite incurring heavy losses during the engagement they succeeded in destroying an Imperium citadel in the system. Similar scenes played out across Pure Blind and Fade with 9 Imperium Astrahus-class citadels eliminated by the end of the evening.
...
The main battle began, however, at 20:50 as a Circle-of-Two (CO2) titan bridged a Nightmare fleet onto Imperium forces forming up on the Karjataimon gate in the Imperium staging system of Saranen. With their main fleets (a Hurricane and Grindr fleet) engaged on the Karjataimon gate, an Imperium interceptor fleet attempted to prevent Money Badger Coalition reinforcements from reaching the battle via the 93PI-4 or Tartoken systems.
...
Fighting lasted a little over one and a half hours, not least due to the effects of 1% time dilation. By the end of the fight on the Karjataimon gate cynos which had been lit to bridge in MBC fleets were only just ending. By 22:40, Imperium fleets had been completely driven from the field, having lost 363 of their 776 ships at a substantial cost of 84 billion ISK in ships and a further 20 billion ISK in citadels. [...] Money Badger Coalition lost a total of 233 ships and an estimated 37 billion ISK during the engagement. Despite incurring heavy losses both in ships and money, Imperium were however successfully able to online a medium-sized Astrahus-class citadel in Saranen as the MBC fleets failed to engage it while it repaired due to coordination issues. 
At first I thought the dates were the same and one was simply giving the EVE Date Time and the other the date time of when the evening started, but reading through you quickly realize these are two different fights on separate days, even though the latter article from EN24 does not reference the fighting on May 16th. Furthermore, the lack of any mention of Citadels in the TMC article makes a lot more sense when you realize that the fighting over the structures happened a day later.

Personally, my opinion is that the TMC article was easier to read as it was framed more like a story while the EN24 article had more facts/stats but less flow.

Let's turn to the Crossing Zebras article:

On 16 and 17 May, the Imperium and Money Badger Coalition engaged in a pair of large scale engagements in the lowsec system Saranen. The battle on 17 May was particularly significant, and at its height it saw over 2,500 pilots in local – the highest for World War Bee since the battles of M-OEE8 and UQ9-3C on 28 March and 1 April, which each saw single system totals of around 3,500 pilots.

Immediately we have context that there were two battles without having to guess.

...
On 16 May MBC fleets continued their attacks on Saranen, with fleets of subcapitals skirmishing throughout the day. Response fleets formed to try and drive the campers away, but for most of the day, the Imperium fleets once again got the worst of it, including one sortie where 83 Hurricane battlecruisers died in exchange for one Apostle Force Auxiliary and a scattering of lighter ships. However in the late evening NA time (early 17 May EVE time), things escalated rapidly and the Imperium found itself with an opportunity to more than even the score.
...
When the space-dust settled over the last of the engagements, the MBC had suffered its largest defeat of the war. Killboards showed 472 ships worth 99.2 billion ISK lost for the MBC, including two carriers, six dreadnoughts and twelve FAXes. The Imperium had traded 697 ships worth 55.06 billion ISK for the victory. Hurricane losses were particularly heavy, and there were stories about heroic/entrepreneurial Imperium jump freighter pilots arriving while the battle was still raging to deliver replacements .

This is congruent with the account from TMC article.
...
On 16 May, GSF had also deployed nine Astrahus citadels throughout Fade and Pure Blind, and a tenth in Saranen. These citadels were all timed to anchor on 17 May, and pilots in the MBC realized that coming off the high of the previous day’s victory, the Imperium might well show for this one, and in force.
...
Imperium attempts to contest the attacks on the citadels outside of Saranen focused on the D2-HOS system in Pure Blind. This system is located in the center of the S4GH-I constellation, which at the time of the battle was still largely in Imperium hands.  A trap by a suiciding interdictor, warping into the center of the Horde fleet and bubbling as bombers dropped cloak and launched, opened the fighting between Horde’s Caracals and the Imperium bombers. Continuing engagements across D2-HOS resulted in the loss of some 115 Horde frigates and cruisers worth 3.23 billion ISK, in return for 22 bombers and interdictors, worth 2.81 billion ISK.
...
All nine citadels were destroyed within minutes of each other, successfully completing the dispersed part of the operation.
...
Meanwhile, in Saranen the main event was just getting started. With the Imperium fleet of several hundred Hurricanes sitting on the Karjataimon gate in Saranen, Circle of Two kicked in the door when their 200 man fleet of Nightmare battleships bridged through and engaged on the gate. As the outmatched Hurricanes warped away, an Imperium Grindr Fleet of Megathrons and Apocalypse landed and was immediately attacked as more MBC forces from PL, Waffles, NCdot, TEST and The Culture, began pouring in from all directions.  Local climbed to 2,500, with about 700 Imperium engaged against over 1,500 MBC.
...
When it was over, the MBC had lost 93 ships worth 28.73 billion ISK, while the Imperium had lost 391 ships worth 69.18 billion ISK.
...
Despite suffering much heavier losses than the MBC this time around, the Imperium had not been completely defeated. The anchoring timer for the Astrahaus in Saranen was not affected by the extreme TiDi, and ticked down at the normal rate while all the attacking ships went into slow motion. This left the MBC without enough time to warp to the “Goonristas Rally Point,” and attack it before it finished anchoring. Although the whole operation had been costly for the Imperium, the survival of the Saranen citadel made it at least a partial success.

And this account lines up with the EN24 article. And they finish up with some analysis:

When added together, losses for the big fights on the Monday and Tuesday are near even, with both sides losing around 130 billion in Saranen. The MBC once again demonstrated the ability to conduct multiple co-ordinated attacks on simultaneous citadel deployments across Fade and Pure Blind. The destruction of those nine Astrahus allowed the attackers to maintain offensive momentum without having to worry about new Goon bases behind the lines. The MBC also demonstrated that it retains the ability to rally overwhelming force from its member alliances when presented a suitable target, such as Goon citadel deployment.
...
The MBC’s ability to use capitals and super-caps presents a continued problem for the Imperium, whose own super-caps remain inactive. The Imperium’s counter strategy appears to be to target MBC capitals where possible and induce some caution in their use, while at the same time doing what they can to induce fatigue in the subcap forces the capital powers can call on for assistance. Asher believes this targeting in the battle on the 16th bore some fruit in the battle on the 17th, where the MBC only committed a small number of capital ships, and only after the outcome of the subcap battle was already clear.
The anchoring of the Saranen citadel also provides the Imperium with more tangible benefits. The citadel tethering mechanic has been shown to greatly reduce the effects of station camping. Although it is too soon to make definitive claims, on 18 May Imperium losses in Saranen fell to 6.81 billion ISK, a sharp reversal of the previous upward trend. While the lifespan of the Goonristas Rally Point will likely prove to be quite short (as is the sad fate of all such anomalies), it should provide the Goons a welcome respite until its demise. GSF is already deploying several more citadels as potential replacements.
If you were wondering who is winning the EVE new reporting competition, the newcomer is definitely running laps around the established institutions by reporting more slowly but getting far more context and analysis in the process.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

BB 75 - Uniqueness


Blog Banter 75 - What Does Project Nova Need to Be Successful? 
Welcome to the continuing monthly EVE Blog Banters and our 75th edition! For more details about what the blog banters are please visit the Blog Banter page.
What Does Project Nova Need to Be Successful? 
At Fanfest CCP showcased their current iteration of the FPS set in the Eve Universe. Following on from DUST514 and Project Legion, Project Nova is shaping up to be a solid FPS with CCP taking the decision to get the game mechanics right first. However with so many FPS out there what will Nova need in order to stand out from a very large crowd and be successful? What are the opportunities and perhaps more importantly, the dangers for CCP? How can Nova compete against CoD, Battlefront and Titanfall to name a few?
 There are a ton of quick and dirty PvP games out in the First Person Shooter genre, and I've played a few of them, a lot of the Call of Duty franchise and dabbled in Sony's Planetside 2 MMOFPS. I was really looking forward to getting into DUST prior to hearing it was a Playstation only title which meant I was not going to ever play it. I still feel that was a huge misstep for CCP.

Regardless of DUST, in the PC ecosystem there are a lot of FPS to choose from so CCP needs to distinguish themselves early and strongly in the minds of gamers in order to be successful.

First and foremost, Project Nova needs to have solid fundamentals: performs well, looks good, feels good (in terms of controls). Sounds easy but it is rare to find all three in a single game.

Secondly, it needs to have a lot of variety: lots of weapon types and abilities/utilities to choose from that are well balanced, maps with various designs and environments and elevations, and different types game modes (with lots of options to customize them in private matches).

But even with those two things all you have is a good FPS in a market flooded with FPS games. In order to truly be successful CCP needs to capitalize on their biggest strength and the unique tie in only they can bring to the table: tight integration with EVE Online.

That is the big selling point not only to current EVE players but the large FPS community at large. Being able to affect the large universe that is New Eden through their actions in Project Nova in collaboration with capsuleers. A tight integration beyond orbital bombardments and slight impact on Faction War will make the game a mainstay in the long run and not just an also-ran.

I look forward to shooting my opponents in the face on the ground and in space.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Astrahus Experiment Was A Success

The whole idea with plunging into the citadel construction was to try something new and see if I could make a boatload of ISK while doing so, and if Astrahus production would be a revenue source going forward to compliment capital construction.

I'm happy to report that 1) boatload of ISK was made and 2) seems to be a very profitable activity going forward.

Market Data as of May 13

I built 5 Astrahus so far and made just under 5 billion ISK profit, including the one Astrahus I donated for zero profit to Aideron Robotics, and I was not even gouging the market for as much as I could have. As you can see by the graph above, the price of an Astrahus appears to be settling in the 1.5 billion range which is still pulling in about 400-500 million ISK profit for me and my current stockpiles of Planetary Interaction materials. With the capital production, I was happy with a return of 100-200 million per unit so those citadel numbers are amazing.

Long term, within the coming months, I expect Astrahus prices to normalize in the 1-1.2 billion ISK range depending on how the price of planet materials fluctuates in that timeframe. I doubt we'll ever see a 600 million ISK Astrahus unless the market becomes oversupplied since they are so easy to build and the supply outstrips demand as the rush diminishes to POS like levels.

For the second BPO I purchased, I don't need it to rush production so I've sent it to the copy labs to make BPCs to sell. If you want one, let me know and I can hook you up.

Meanwhile, I updated all my spreadsheets and have been consolidating mineral stockpiles at my staging system to restart the Ninveah Enterprises Moros line once more. It seems the capital changes have not negatively impacted Dreadnoughts in general or the Moros in particular so its time to get back on that horse.

To illustrate just how profitable the Astrahus experiment was, I made 6.6 billion ISK profit building 17 capitals and compared to 5 billion ISK on 4 Astrahus citadels (disregarding BPO costs of course). My shareholders are extremely happy.

For the record, I've invested 50 billion ISK in new and researched BPOs for Project Vulcan, including the 12 billion for the two Astrahus BPOs. My shareholders supplied 5 billion of that ISK to purchase the ME10 Moros BPO.

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The Gallente Militia Civil War


You can read the basics of why this war started in the excellent EveNews24 article but to summarize: militia corp Rapid Withdrawal (RDRAW) made an arrange with low sec big dog alliance Snuffed Out (Snuff) to blue each other and work together. RDRAW gets a friendly batphone for escalations against hostile forces they can't deal with on their own while Snuff gets a feeder corp for new pilots and another source of content as RDRAW acts as bird dogs for them. Since a lot of GalMil corps don't like Snuff they see the arrangement as problematic at best and traitorous at worse and have accused RDRAW of working with Snuff to kill GalMil ships while RDRAW claims they are free to make their own working alliances and the old guard of GalMil is being unreasonable since RDRAW has never actively tried to "awox" GalMil ships using Snuff or any other method.

The tension escalated for months until a recent incident in which RDRAW any or may not have been trying to kill a known GalMil associated vessel caused the escalation unto war footing for three of the main GalMil corps.

Aideron Robotics has been watching with dismay as the once coordinated Gal Mil warmachine has broken down and begun to tear at itself. As partners in the "South" of the Gal-Cal warzone Aideron has worked a lot with RDRAW for a long time and many times over the past years has seen a lot of assistance from RDRAW fleets and pilots in defending our home and assets (to be clear, other corps and alliances have also helped). At the same time, our pilots and fleets have worked with the "Northern" GalMil corps frequently, so we don't like seeing either of our allies coming to blows.

As such we've taken a neutral stance in the war in the hopes that it will be short and cooler heads will soon prevail. Nevertheless, a line has been crossed and I fear the unified Gallente Militia war machine will not be seen again for a long time.

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