Friday, December 05, 2008

Thoughts On Hunting Stealth Bombers

Stealth Bombers are a very unique ship in Eve. They are fragile as all hell being a frigate but pack the weaponry of a half a Battleship. They have some cloaking prowess but can't warp cloaked making them vulnerable when on the move. They are at once very easy and very hard to kill, and very dangerous to some targets and completely useless against others.

Hunting them can be a pain against a smart pilot. If he gets into position and cloaks he can wait for the most opportune moment and target to strike against. Or he can stay hidden for as long as it takes to avoid a stronger foe.

I initially joined the hunt in my Crow interceptor. Why not the Raptor you ask? Well, the Crow is slightly faster (4890 m/s to 4577 m/s) and more agile and I felt I needed all the speed I could get to negate damage from the incoming missiles should he uncloak and attack and I get the chance to run him down. But I didn't know the numbers since the expansion came into effect and ship speeds were adjusted and missile damage mechanics were changed.

So I decided tonight to sit down between twin responsibilities and look up the numbers. The question: would the interceptor survive an onslaught from the stealth bomber?

There are a lot of numbers to consider: Explosion Velocity and Radius of the missile, velocity and signature of the interceptor. Plus whether or not the Microwarp Drive helps or hinders the incoming damage as it exchanges a low signature for a higher speed. I won't go into the missile damage formula in detail (although you can see the effort here) but suffice to say that it takes the missile's base damage and reduces it by comparing the ratio of the target's velocity to the missile's explosion velocity for one damage reduction and the target's signature to the missile's explosion radius for another damage reduction.

In other words, the lower your signature and the higher your speed, the less damage a missile will do to you.

Well, plugging the ships into EFT's damage chart and having my Manticore attack them I see the DPS is at about 17 for both when MWD is active, and 34 when its off. For comparison, using an afterburner which gives a smaller speed boost but no signature penalty drops the incoming DPS to 15.

Regardless, the fact of the matter is that either of my interceptors can absorb that amount of damage for a little while. On the other side of the coin, my Crow and Raptor are causing about 44 DPS in return if they can get within optimal range. So it looks like my idea to grab the interceptor was a good instinct, if only the war target had uncloaked and engaged. Too bad.


  1. Much ♥ for your consistently informative and useful posts, Kirith--this one included.

  2. Anonymous4:20 pm

    I'm not sure that you want to take a risk like that. I know people who specifically setup their stealth bombers to killing interceptors trying to tackle them. With a purifier and 3 target painters, you will pop the interceptor in 2 volleys at the most (assuming the interceptor pilot only has level 4 interceptors). I think the setup was 2 warhead rigor rigs, 3 target painters and 2 ballistic control IIs. I'm sure the other covert ops can be fitted similarly. I do recall that it took a lot of skill points so your average pilot can't do that setup.

  3. Anonymous6:23 pm

    Did you factor in any SB and missile skills? SB pilots with Cov Ops 5, Frigate 5, Cruise Missiles 5, Target Navigation Prediction 5, and Guided Missile Prediction 5 get some impressive bonuses. They are:
    - 85% higher damage per missile;
    - your velocity advantage reduced to one half;
    - Missile explosion radius reduced to as low as 50 m (T1 cruise missiles), which is close to your sig radius;
    - effect of the signature radius of target is reduced (by 25%, if I understand how they implement that).

    Add those all up and the SB can hit you hard in an inty. With T1 cruise missiles, up to 1400 with one volley (3 launchers). Higher if he can target paint you or your MWD is on.

    That's all based on him catching you at rest - but that's what he's trying to do. He won't shoot you if you're zipping around, but if you pause... How fast can you get back up to speed?


  4. What I did for my test was use my own decent missile and covert ops skills. I agree that elite missile and SB skills and/or a set up designed for inty popping would be more dangerous than my simple calculations.