Hauling Trash, In Style

The economic path in EVE Online can involve an annoying amount moving stuff to and fro.  Buy orders to be collected.  Production to be distributed.  Pricing to be checked and modified.

You really get a sense of your local area when you put up a five jump buy order and see all the stations from which you end up having to go collect stuff.

Including how many low security systems are close by.

It was during a venture into one such low security system that I lost my rigged Mammoth.  After that, I swore I would not take such an expensive and vulnerable ship into a low security system again.

My immediate solution was to switch to a completely unfitted Badger for such runs, diminishing my losses should I get attacked.

The longer term solution, as several people suggested, was to get a blockade runner, the Caldari version of which is the Crane.

It was not a cheap ship.  It was 27 million ISK for the Transport Ships skill and another 24 Million ISK for the ship itself, making it roughly 170 times more expensive for me than just to build a Badger.  And it does not even hold as much as a Badger!

Still, it has its advantages.  It is faster to do just about everything.  It carries much better shields with higher resistances.  And it has two built-in warp core stabilizers, so it is tough to keep this ship from warping when it wants to.  Unless you run into a heavy interdictor, but that is another story.

With a pair of Expanded Cargohold II‘s fitted and my current skill level, it can haul over 7,000 cubic meters of goods.  It won’t replace my rigged Mammoth and it’s 29,000 cubic meters, but it is viable for many missions.

When looking at the EVE Online forums for suggestions on fitting a Crane, I noticed that most of the setups included a cloaking module of some sort.  And, since at one point in my training I picked up the skill to use such modules, I fitted one to my Crane, not quite knowing what to expect.

Cloaking, as you might suspect, has some limitations.

You cannot cloak near anything.  So you cannot cloak right outside a station, close to an asteroid, next to another ship, or when you have cruised up to a jump gate.  2,000 meters seems to be as close as you can get to something.

You cannot cloak when you have any modules running.

After you jump to another system, you have to make yourself visible before you can cloak.

You cannot cloak once you have been targeted.

When you are cloaked your speed is reduced by ~90%.  You are very slow.

And when you want to warp, you have to uncloak first, then start warping to your destination, leaving you momentarily (you hope it is only momentarily) exposed again.

On the plus side, you seem to be able to stay cloaked for a long stretch.  The module does not eat capacitor like, say, a shield booster.

So, while I appreciate that CCP had to be careful to not build an overpowered, “get out of jail free” super module, I am not quite sure I have figured out the most effective way to use this limited power of invisibility.

My current thoughts are, for system travel in low sec is, jump, go visible, cloak, align, move (if you have to), go visible again, warp, rinse, repeat.

And, as is the norm in EVE, I won’t know if that is effective until I have somebody there trying to kill me.

Still, I am happy with the ship.  It looks good.  It flies nicely.  It goes places I don’t like to go and brings back things I like.

So I named it after my wife!

13 thoughts on “Hauling Trash, In Style

  1. Rieger

    I hope your wife doesn’t read your blog Wilhelm. :)

    The trick for the cloaking device is to also have a MWD fitted. When I am flying my Transport ship I move the cloak to the F2 position and the MWD to F1. So you happen to stumble upon a gate camp on your way to pickup 7000m3 of Cattle. (damn things always soil the cargo hold) I usually pick a celestial body or gate that is somewhat in line with the way you are sitting. I then double click near the gate I am trying to align to. (I am too old to be used to the align button yet). As soon as I see my ship begin to move I quickly hit F1 followed quickly by F2. So the MWD fires up and boosts my speed, and I immediately cloak which after 5 seconds or so deactivates my MWD. My speed is still high, it is actually above my normal full speed. So then I deactivate my cloak and begin spamming the warp button and off I go into warp. It takes a pretty serious gate camp in low sec to catch you or you just being unlucky. In 0.0 with bubbles things are a bit more dicey, but still survivable.

    I hope that helps explain the cloak. It can also be used for the “I got away from the gate camp but now 50 reds are all hunting for me” button but coupled with a MWD it is a fantastic gate camp beater.

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  2. Kirith Kodachi

    Instead of cargo expanders for low sec visits, consider Inertial Stabilizers to allow you to align faster and thus get to warp faster, or Nanofibres for faster acceleration. Anything to get you to warp before the third warp disruptor or the HIC lock and get you :)

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  3. Erbo

    I use a Viator for pickup runs in lowsec, which is the Gallente version of your Crane. It’s worked well so far, but I may need to do some refitting on it in the near future. It has, however, given me a bit of a reputation (mostly with Lexx) as “that crazy pilot who’ll go ANY-damn-where.” :-)

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