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Archon Acquired October 14, 2013

Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Null Sec.
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I finally got around to shopping for a carrier this weekend in New Eden.

I had the basic skills for the Amarr carrier, the Archon, along with decent jump drive skills, having gotten Jump Drive Operation and Jump Drive Calibration up to level V, along with Jump Fuel Conservation at level IV.  That meant I could jump the carrier to its maximum range.  I am still shy of skills for being part of Capswarm, the capital ship subgroup, but I was good as far as just flying one goes.  So I felt it was time to take the plunge.

El Supremo and CEO for Life Gaff had been pinging the ship-building types in our alliance to see if I could get one fully fit and delivered, but everybody seemed to be down in Curse and entranced by that German FC who sounded just like Jeremy Irons/Simon Gruber in Die Hard with a Vengeance.  Seriously, Gaff made me get on coms just to listen to him on Sunday, even though I wasn’t in the fleet.  I could have listened to him all day myself, except that wasn’t getting me a carrier.

So I took the headphones off and started sorting through contracts, which you can at least search game-wide, as opposed to the market, which is limited to your current region.  Though at the time, that wasn’t my reasoning.  I was more interested to see if I could find one that was fit and fueled, something you can only sell via contracts.  On the market you can only buy a packaged hull.

Unfortunately, the contract market wasn’t looking out for me.  Archons that were fit, and badly fit at that, were all deep inside of hostile territory, and somewhat expensive to boot.  Eventually I set myself on an unfit Archon for sale in Serprentis Prime out in Fountain.  The price was 1.1 billion ISK.  Using the navigation tool over at DOTLAN, I saw that I could jump from there to our Fountain staging system at 4-EP12, then to our old home at B-DBYQ, then another mid-point with a station, then finally to home in 0P-F3K, a route that looked like this.

Then as I was trying to work out how I would get out there, get the ship fueled up, and manage cynos with my alt to fly the whole route, somebody in alliance chat asked about buying an Archon and somebody said there were some on the market in QPO-WI, which is just five systems over from home.  I checked the market and saw that there were six available at 1.2 billion ISK each.  So before pulling the trigger, I started looking for fuel and a cyno ship for my alt.  Once I got that lined up, I went back to the market and all six had been purchased.

Well crap.

There were a couple for a little bit more up in 85-B52, a few more jumps out.  I clicked the “buy” button and got one of those before they too disappeared from the market.  Archons were in demand.

So now I had a 1.2 billion ISK unfit carrier sitting in a system I had never visited before.  And while the route to that system was just 10 jumps, space has its own shape.  Stars are not uniformly spaced.  Some hops between stars are no big deal, others span quite a few light years.  And with the Archon I am limited to a little over 14 light years in jump range and am unable to use jump gates.  So it was back to the navigation tool to check the route.

85-B52 to 0P-F3K Jump

85-B52 to 0P-F3K Jump

The distance was was only seven and a half light years, so I was good.  I just had to bring some supplies out to it and jump it back.  I got out my Crane blockade runner and began shuffling some supplies, including a full load of fuel for the Archon, which hold 20,000 units of helium isotopes for the jump drive.  I also picked up some of the Capswarm fittings in VFK, the shield hardeners and the cap rechargers, just to beef up the defenses a little bit.  Then it was off to pick up the new ship.

I flew out, docked up, and jumped in the Archon for my first look at my new baby.

Archon in 85-B52 station

Archon in 85-B52 station

I dumped everything out of the Crane and began fitting the Archon.

That complete, I began figuring out how I was going to get back to pick up the Crane and fly it back.  It took a minute for me to realize that I have a carrier, I can just stick other ships in the hangar bay and bring them along for the ride.  That was pretty much the point of choosing a carrier as my first jump drive capable capital ship.

So I was fit and fueled, now to get it home.

El Supremo told me that our home system has a cyno beacon in the system, which will jump me to a POS, from which I could then warp to the station.  But he mentioned the inherent dangers of jumping blindly to such beacons, and there was the thought of my shiny new ship sitting half fit and exposed that made me decide to just pop a regular cyno.  So I undocked my alt with a Kestrel fit with a cyno and just enough liquid ozone for one five minute cycle.  While the cyno module is running, your ship is stuck, unable to move, until the cycle finishes, so I wanted to make sure I spent a little time swinging in the breeze as I could.  The Kestrel actually won’t hold two cycles worth of fuel, but I checked all that before undocking.

El Supremo said the cyno ship should undock, turn on the tactical overlay, and move so that the station was outside of the 5 ring.

Tactical overview on

Tactical overview on

I moved too far out, then back again, until I got my alt lined up at about what looked right.  I made sure that both main and alt were in a fleet together, then I lit the cyno at one end and undocked on the other.

My first carrier undock

My first carrier undock

And then… I didn’t know what the hell to do.

I don’t know what I was expecting.  Maybe some new controls or options no the overview or something?  Eventually, hanging there on the undock, I right-clicked on my alt in the fleet window and found the option to jump to fleet member.  I selected that and things started to happen.  I swapped to the alt’s game client and watched myself land in 0P-F3K.

First successful jump

First successful jump

I was in and ready to dock up.  I was a little bit off of the station, not too far, but enough to experience how slow a carrier moves.  With my skill, it caps out at 87 meters per second, about stock mining barge speed, though it takes a while to get there.  But I was soon docked up and safe.

Archon in 0P-F3K

Archon in 0P-F3K

Now I just have to go shopping for the remaining Capswarm fittings and finish up another 50 days of training and I will be set… for something.

But for right now I have a ship hauling carrier with 1,000,000 m3 of space in the ship bay, so I can move my ships around New Eden without having to bring them one at a time through gates and jump bridges.

Comments»

1. mbp - October 14, 2013

It strikes me that you now have a ship that would be painful to lose especially if you fill that cargo bay with goodies. Is this going to change the way you play?

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2. Wilhelm Arcturus - October 14, 2013

@mbp – There are a couple of aspects to that.

Certainly I am not going to throw a ship worth a couple billion ISK when fitted around with abandon.

I have gotten to the point where I am not so loss averse as I once was. I got on late over the weekend for a Harpy fleet. They were 7 jumps out from base already and I wanted to go with them. They said it was clear, so I gambled and tried to catch up with them. I hit a gate camp and almost made it back to the gate (~2,700 meters away) before I was blown up. But it was just a harpy, so no big deal.

With the carrier, it is a big deal. The alliance assesses fines on people who lose capital ships to dumb moves, as it exposes us as being bad at EVE.

And there is the whole operation of the jump drive thing. Unless you’re jumping to a POS beacon, you have to have somebody at the far side of your jump with a lit cyno who can tell you what is going on. So, in theory, you should never be jumping into a hot LZ.

In practice, people lose carriers every day. There are plenty of ways to die in EVE. I plan to be careful. We shall see how that plays out.

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3. dsj - October 14, 2013

Pick up Amarr faction hardeners for your tank … cheap compared to the hull and a very good upgrade. Make sure to buy a variety of fits to keep with your ship for refitting on the fly.

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4. Wilhelm Arcturus - October 14, 2013

@dsj – I didn’t even think about that. The one faction I still have a pile of loyalty points with is Amarr Navy. I could probably get them for cheap.

But the recommended fit is one of each hardener type in the low slots, and another one (or two) of each type in the cargo bay to refit situationally.

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5. evehermit - October 14, 2013

Congrats. Owning a carrier for the first time adds an extra dynamic to the game. May it last / stay safe!

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6. Stabs - October 14, 2013

Congratulations!

It looks like you’ve picked up the basics pretty well. If you have any empty character slots train a cyno 4 sub 900k skill point alt for more flexibility.

Do have a mix of fittings. Travel fit archons need cap rechargers a mwd and warp core stabs and a cloak. (I actually forgot the warp core stabs and got tackled back when TEST evacced from Delve but managed to warp off in structure and cloak!)

So far I’ve used mine for assigning fighters to ratters and for moving ships about, it’s still a long train for extra skills to make it truly combat-worthy. The skills (eg cap armour reps) are pretty expensive, hopefully your alliance will subsidise the cost.

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7. Gert - October 14, 2013

Congratz on the carrier . Hope u get to keep it for along time .

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8. Gripper - October 15, 2013

I know one of the neatest things I saw was in NC we were doing travel down to NPC Delve and there was over 200+ carriers jumping at the same time from our home in drones down. Was very neat to watch! Carriers are fun – when I got my super – then the pit in your stomach grows really big !!!

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9. anon - October 15, 2013

For null player-built outposts, the ideal cyno spot is usually 5km above/below the undock model. The only exception is the Caldari Research Outpost, which has a tiny docking radius, so the ideal spot is right in the center of it. The Caldari outpost is also the only kickout outpost; it’s a terrible station in all respects in general.

Because a T1 salvager has a 5km range, you can fit one onto a cyno ship to get a good idea of where capitals jumping to your cyno will appear.

If traveling via cyno beacons, you can use a 100MN microwarp drive to cut down a cap ship’s align time to 10s. Right after ordering the warp, cycle the overheated MWD once; the ship will enter warp as soon as the cycle ends. Corollary to that, if you make a bookmark 150km off the cyno beacon, on the other side of the tower beanstalk from the beacon, you can warp to that bookmark at 100km and land inside the POS field.

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10. minnie pilot - October 15, 2013

I acquire a carrier just for that purpose a few back. Man that was a great feeling seeing it in the first time in my hangar and undocking it. Haven’t been able to jump it in to my home region yet though. But can’t wait to try though.

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11. HarbingerZero - October 15, 2013

EVE is the only game that can all but force players to have multiple accounts and apparently be 100% okay with it.

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12. Wilhelm Arcturus - October 15, 2013

@HZ – Well, I might look at it as EVE being one of the very few games where multiple accounts are undeniably useful.

I’ve played with multi-boxing before in a number of games… EQ, EQ2, LOTRO as a few of examples… and have always found it to be more trouble than it was worth in the long term. EVE is certainly the exception.

The mechanics of EVE are such that they lend themselves to multiple accounts. There are roles that have evolved in the game that work well for multi-accounts.

And if you can use your other accounts to make money in-game, then you can also pay for them in-game via PLEX. Other games are trying that, SOE has it with Krono and Wildstar will have whatever it is they call it, but only CCP has made it such a big part of their game.

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13. Solf - October 21, 2013

It’s ‘hangar’ Wilhelm :)

Sorry, just couldn’t resist, since I’m reading my RSS backlog and saw more than one your post with this misspelling in a short period of time.

Cue visions of ships hung on hangers :) (err, now I’m totally not sure if I’ve phrased this correctly [non-native speaker and all] — all the more ironic given the premise of this comment…)

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