Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Wormhole Exploration Ships II

Last week I talked about the roles an expedition would need to cover for wormhole exploration and I showed a Dominix battleship that could cover much of the combat grunt work against the Sleeper rats. This week we'll look at the support ship.

The Dominix covers the tank, DPS, low ammo usage, and flexibility required for the expeditions but what needs to be done once the hostiles are dispatched? In current game mechanics there are often secure containers that hold the juicy goodies in exploration and COSMOS complexes and they require one of four methods to access:

1) Blow it up - straight forward enough; blow up the structure and loot the wreck/container that drops.

2) Salvage - typical in some exploration complexes, you can get rare Tech II salvage if I understand correctly.

3) Hacking - use a CodeBreaker I to unlock the container.

4) Archaeology - use a Analyzer I to investigate old ruins to find stuff.

I'm going to go on the unsupported assumption that w-space will have similar treasure troves and no new technology will be required to recover Tech III goodies. The first one in the list is done by the battleship with no issues. The second can be done by either Kirith or Derranna in some support ship. But the third and fourth are in the scientist's purview only.

So Derranna needs a ship with decent CPU and some mid slots. It would be nice if it had high slots for a cloak and a salvager or probe launcher, and low slots for warp core stabs if need be too. Not to mention a good cargo bay for carrying extra ammo/probes and bringing back loot.

There are two choices that fit the bill to work with the Dominix. First we have the Covert Ops Cheetah:

(Click to View Full Size)

And then we have the Blockade Runner Prowler:

(Click to ... yadda yadda yadda)

One note: I don't have access to the new low CPU probe launcher for wormhole exploration only in EFT so I used Salvager mods to stand in for it. Assume that in the Dominix <-> Support Ship team that one will have the probe launcher and the other the Salvager, most likely the support ship the probe launcher.

So comparing the two vessels we see that they both fit the valuable Covert Ops cloaking device and the Codebreaker and Analyzer module for exploration content, as well as space for a wormhole probe launcher. The Cheetah is faster and more agile (which makes sense being a frigate hull) but the Prowler boasts 5 times as many effective hit points and can fit a micro warp drive for twice the boosted speed for when getting out of dodge is called for.

Biggest determiniation point the cargo space where the Prowler has ten times the room. On an expedition that might go deep into w-space it would be nice to have the extra space for ammo, probes, and loot. I'd hate to be forced into a choice of what to leave behind to fit everything into 325 m3. On the other hand, the Cheetah has a 50% bonus to probe scan times that might be attractive if the wormhole scan probe launcher is excessive in duration for scans.

Right now I'm thinking Prowler. I can't see the wormhole launcher having scan times longer than a recon probe launcher and if so Derranna's skills and implant bring it down to a minute on the Prowler. That's good enough for me.


  1. Great choices all. I'll have to pick them up at some point.

  2. Anonymous2:18 pm

    WHAT THE HELL IS THAT? a Warp Core stabilizer in the lows?!? HOW DARE YOU! lol I need to get cracking on my scanning skills too tbh...once Caldari Cru 5 is done ill do that right away :)

  3. well, if the new AI for the Sleepers is particularly vicious I could see my poor Derranna sitting at a can trying to pop it open and a new spawn coming in and targeting her immediately with weapons AND a scram. I'd like the option of being able to escape regardless.

    Testing will allow me to further refine setups later. :)

  4. Anonymous2:38 pm

    Hey, no shame in a hauler using stabs. :D

    Really love that these can warp cloaked now, btw.

    I think I agree with your choice of the Dominix, it's a versatile ship and one that I really favor myself. On the topic of that hull, I am still hoping that the Sin might offer some advantage in wormhole exploration but I don't have any details beyond what's been written in the dev blogs and E-ON. One can hope...

  5. I think in both cases you'll want the full blown exploration scanner. The BR should have the cpu to run it with a different fit.

    Also - nanos and i-stabs in the lows are much better than w-core-stabs. It cloaks for heaven sake... You will want to slap in 2 grav rigs if it's intended purpose is to be the gang's scanner.

    I think some EFT work with my main (a Prowler pilot) is called for in a reply to this post.

    Also remember if you have enough pilots you can get 10 cruiser thru for the price of 1 BS wormhole wise. If nothing else those 10 cruiser gank fleets being used successfully in the tournament should nail home the fact that 10 cruisers is much more firepower than a single battleship no matter how good the BS pilot.

  6. Re: battleship versus 10 cruisers
    Very true, but my weird playing schedule means I will be solo a lot of the time, hence I need more solo firepower.