This post and the following post about boosters were originally written for Eve Tribune back in 2008. A lot of the information (if not all) is still accurate so I decided to post to my blog as a master class article. Enjoy!
Sometimes you need just a little more of an edge when you’re combating the enemy. Better equipment, more advanced ships, even overheating to increase your DPS or your tank that extra little bit.
One overlooked method of getting that edge is combat boosters: illegal drugs that you take to get a temporary increase in performance in one area of your piloting skills at the possible risk of degrading side effects. This week we talk about what boosters are available in New Eden and how to use them.
In order to use boosters you need the Biology skill. Each level gives a 20% bonus to the duration of the booster so training it to level V is a good idea especially since it is a level 1 skill. Boosters have a default duration of 30 minutes and with Biology V they last for a full 60 minutes. There are also a couple of hardwirings called Eifyr and Co. ‘Alchemist’ WA-1 and WA-2 which give a 5% and 10% bonus to the booster duration respectively.
Boosters are a consumable item. That is to say each booster unit is good for only one use. You activate a booster by right clicking it and selecting consume from the menu when the booster is either in your hanger or in your ship’s cargo hold. Then on your character sheet under the Augmentations tab you will see the current effects of the booster and if any side effects have been triggered.
Figure 1 – A Standard Frentix booster in effect with a Velocity Penalty side effect incurred. For the record, the author only used drugs for the purposes of this article and is not in habit of taking them recreationally.
You can have more than one booster active but they cannot be of the same type and they cannot use the same booster slot. There are 8 types of boosters and 3 slots; four boosters use slot 1, three use slot 2, and only one uses slot 3. The end result is that you can have three boosters active at once.
If you are under the influence of a booster, you cannot take another booster of the same type even if it is a stronger or weaker version. You will have to wait until the current booster wears off.
As mentioned above, there are 8 types of boosters having one bonus effect and four possible side effect penalties.
Table 1 – Booster Bonuses and Possible Side Effects
In addition, each booster comes in four different strengths.
Table 2 – Booster Strengths
As you can see, the Synth boosters are legal to carry in your ship’s cargo hold without fear of NPC custom agents confiscating them and fining you, and they have no chance of side effects but their bonuses are not very impressive.
Whenever you consume a booster that is stronger than the Synth types, you run the risk of negative side effects occurring along with the bonus. The stronger the booster is the greater the chance of a side effect. As seen in Table 1, each booster has four possible side effects and the percentage chance is applied to each one upon booster consumption so you may have anywhere from 0 to 4 side effects.
There are two skills that can be used to alleviate the side effects. The first is Nanite Control which reduces the severity of the side effect by 5% per level so that for example a Standard booster side effect goes from 20% penalty to 15% while a Strong booster goes from 30% to 22.5% when the skill is at level V.
The second is Neurotoxin Recovery which reduces the change of the side effects occurring by 5% per level. For example, at level V the Improved booster’s chance of each side effect goes from 30% to 22.5%.
There are also Hardwirings that you can get to help out as well. The Eifyr and Co. ‘Alchemist’ XA-1 and XA-2 reduce the chance of side effects by 3% and 5% respectively, while the Eifyr and Co. ‘Alchemist’ YA-1 and YA-2 give a 3% and 5% respective reduction to the side effects themselves.
Where Can I Find Them
Since the non-Synth types are contraband, you won’t find them in contracts. Oddly enough though, you can find on the market in all major hubs (one would think that the authority that prevents you from creating contracts with illegal goods would prevent you from making market sell orders with them as well, but you would be wrong). They seem to run from 1 million ISK to 4 million ISK for the basic Synth and Standard types, and significantly more for the Improved and Strong versions. Supply and demand play a part here and prices fluctuate to show this.
When in the cargohold of your ship and you are in high security space, you run the risk of being scanned by a NPC Customs agent and having your contraband confiscated and you being fined at 200% of estimated market value. The odds are low; one professional smuggler claimed he was caught roughly 1% of the time.
Boosters can be powerful allies in a fight. If you need more defenses you can pop a Blue Pill or Exile booster and get more shield boost or repair amount. Need more help hitting a fast moving target? Swallow a Strong Drop booster for better tracking speed.
Sure, the downsides are menacing and the boosters are hard to find, expensive, and run the risk of confiscation in high sec, but sometimes the trade off is worth it as it can be the difference between glorious victory and ignominious defeat.