Thursday, January 29, 2009

Wormhole Exploration Ships

First off a few assumptions.

Let's assume that the dev blog and accompanying threadnought are accurate and that my speculations are not way off base as a result.

Let's assume that early on a lot of people will be doing small expeditions in and out of w-space to explore, rat, and bring back as much as possible. That is to say, not major POS settlements.

Let's assume that me and an alt are one such small expedition and I plan to go in w-space and explore and rat for a few days before returning. What ships do I use?

You need to cover a lot of requirements with two pilots. DPS/Tank for ratting (and the rumour is that these new NPC rats will be smarter and operate more like players so possibly drones, EW, warp outs... so a standard ratting Raven may not be the best choice), prober to find wormholes, scout, salvaging, method of transporting goods back to k-space, and ability to not run out of ammo.

A Maruader at first blush would seem to be ideal for the role. Large DPS at half ammo usuage; extra high slots for utility purposes like salvager/cloak/tractor beam, huge tank, and large cargo bays. Except you have to be extremely rich or foolhardy to take a ship worth 700 million ISK and practically uninsurable into null sec space where you might run into anyone.

But a battleship hull is the ideal platform. Looking at the available options we see that the Dominix really stands out as ideally suited to the role. Drone DPS does not expend ammo, fit nice tank in lows and use mid slots for combat purposes, and some high slots for utility work. The large drone bay offers good flexibility and the hull is cheap at ~49 million before insurance.


So that solves the DPS, Tank, ammo, and Salvaging issue. I still need decent cargospace to hold loot and a prober to find the way around.

I first considered a Prowler Transport ship with Covert Ops Cloak and one of the new probe launchers the devs mention that requires minimum CPU. Not the most efficient prober, but its got the sneakiness and cloak to get around relatively safely and good cargo hold.

But then I thought about the Orca (who am I kidding, the Orca is always on my mind): its got huge cargo space and the ship maintenance array. I could store Covert Ops ships for Kirith who has decent probing skills as well and he could switch into the ship when searching for an exit wormhole. Plus I could have some other smaller PvP ships in there like an interceptor or recon. Need to change a setup? Spare mods in the hanger and use the Orca to change the ship in space.

The downside of course is that the Orca is expensive and large. There is no telling how often wormholes capable of allowing an Orca and Dominix through would appear. So I think unless I'm part of a multi-pilot expedition where the advantages of the Orca's facilities really come to the fore, I'll stick with the Prowler or Cheetah for Derranna (which one depends on the size of the Tech 3 loot).


  1. If you're right, Domis are going to get even more popular.

  2. Anonymous12:59 pm

    no Amarr will be the best, no ammo.... They said the spawns would be smart so they might target drones.

  3. Anonymous7:20 am

    For smaller wormhole locations that may not permit a BS hull, what about the T2 cruiser lineup? Ishtar launches bouncer II ( plus extra flight) and a falcon/rook to ECM the bad guys and scan? You get firepower with the ishtar and ecm plus scanning of the falcon...just a thought. Sadly im a minnny HAC/HIC pilot maybe a muninn?

  4. HACs might be able to cut it. Cerberus, Ishtar, etc have tank and firepower.

    Maybe. See my next post :P

  5. hey kir for that domi fitting id reccomend switching the guns for remote reppers maybe one hull and 2 armor for keeping your drones alive, if you remember minesis' and sev's foray into fountain in ishtars youll remeber that even normal rats decide to attack drones and for longevity needed to be repped. this could be compounded by providing a full tank for them while using sentry drones in a domi or ishtar hull. maybe you should get intouch with them cause their ishtar fittings may be much more viable to this sort of ratting since they used setups just as good at pvp as pve. just a thought.

  6. Talinthi, I plan to do some testing on Sisi prior to Apocrypha going live to see just how smart these Sleepers are. But good idea about the remote armour reppers, perhaps one or two would be a good idea.