Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A quick Review on PvE Rokh Tanking

I was talking to another blogger *waves to YoMma* about using the Rokh in missions and giving him my opinions about how to set it up. I have a few opinions on the Rokh to be sure.

One thing that came up was how to best tank the ship and maintain cap functionality and I want to go over my thoughts here.

First the basics: there are two main methods of shield tanking, active and passive. Active is capacitor hungry but can deal with a lot of incoming damage quickly, while passive typically requires no or very little capacitor and can deal with less damage. Both make use of resistance amplifiers/hardeners/rigs to boost resistances.

For a long time I passive tanked my Rokh with 3 large shield extenders for buffer points and an invulnerability field and a thermal resistance amplifier to boost resistances (oh and an anti-EM rig). This gave a large number of shield points with decent resistances at Caldari Battleship IV such that 90% of the level four missions I could run without too much difficulty, maybe with one warp out to recharge shields. The other 10% required a lot of work and multiple warp outs to make it work and were often more hassle than they were worth.

Of course, passive tanking a battleship like that for PvE is a noob mistake. For Passive tanking to be really effective you need a high recharge rate to supplement the buffer tank and resistances and while the Drake can do this handily (indeed is famour for it) the Battleships are not endowed with the same high base recharge rate to work with.

Active tanking works better on battleships with their large capacitors and more mid slots to really make it effective. Instead of the three extenders, a Shield Booster and Shield Boost Amplifier are installed and to offset the much larger drain on the capacitor, a Heavy Cap Booster.

The result I found was that while my shield points had been effectively cut in half or more, I could easily compensate by pulsing the Shield Booster periodically when needed. And since most missions have long periods of low damage and short periods of high damage, I'm not wasting thousands of shield points I don't need. And when the high damage events come, the shield booster can get me through more incoming DPS longer such that I have fewer warp outs.

However, if you go with an XL Shield Booster like I did you will find the demands on your cap when it is active to be very extreme. The question is, should your setup still be cap stable when every thing is active? In other words, should your setup be able to meet the demands of the shield booster that are not met by the Heavy Cap booster? Let's look at an example to see what I'm talking about.

Here is the Insisto Oblivium II:


As you can see, with the shield booster and cap booster inactive I am almost cap stable, running out after 28 minutes. And that assumes everything is on the whole time; its a simple matter to turn off the invulnerability field when the action dies down.

With the boosters on my recharge rate is 92.8 and consumption is 110.8, a deficit of 18 cap that leaves me dry in 6 minutes. Should I change my setup to get 18 more cap?

No. Here's why.

Cap booster charges are huge.

There, I said. Those 800s are too damn big. They take up 32m3 each so that ten of them take up 50%+ of my Rokh's cargo hold. So assume 12 in the cargo hold and another four that fit in the cap booster itself which has a 12 second cycle time and 10 second reload time. Do the math.

16 cap charges * 12 seconds + 30 seconds for 3 reloads = 3.7 minutes.

No matter how much cap I have, in three and a half minutes my tank effectively is gone, so if the threat that requires the shield booster active is not neutralized in 2.5 minutes, I'm out of there. Hence why I don't care overly much if my setup is cap stable for the shield booster.

* * * * *
Pilots can make setups capable of running a large shield booster or even an XL shield booster permamently without a cap booster needed. This is typically done on a mission ship like a Raven since missiles don't require capacitor and you can get a pretty good tank for it but crap DPS. But it mindless mission running was your goal, a Rokh wouldn't be on the list. ;)


  1. My hope in a few weeks is to be running lvl.4 missions in a Maelstrom. Hopefully I can pull it off as elegently as your Rokh.

  2. *waves*

    Great post. Really like that fitting you had and once I've got a few things out of the way I'm going to train towards that for the most part!


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