The Return of Whiskey Tengu Foxtrot

For ratting in null sec, Gaff told me that the Tengu is unparalleled.  And so my Tengu strategic cruiser, which had been sitting in my hanger since early 2010, got shipped out to 0.0 space.  It was time to blow off the dust and actually use it.

Ratting, the hunting of NPC pirates (rats, which distinguishes them from actual player pirates) in space, has changed some since I last pursued it.  In fact, the last time ratting was an activity I pursued in and of itself was probably back when I started playing EVE (back in 2006) as a way to make a bit of money with my second post-Ibis frigate.

My first post-Ibis frigate was destroyed when the very first mission I drew was the tier 1 version of Worlds Collide, which turned out to be a quick death for my ship.

Back then it was simply a matter of jumping around between asteroid belts looking for rats, then killing and looting them.  And that is still a viable plan, especially in null sec, where a belt rat spawn will occasionally include a special ship that will drop faction items.

The downside of belt rats is that the spawn rate can be slow, there are only so many asteroid belts in any given star system, a lot of the spawns can be tiny crap, and even one ship can usually blow through all the belts before anything respawns, so if there are two or more people looking to rat to get that special drop, it can be a slow way to accomplish anything.

So at some point… I forget the expansion… CCP put in anomalies.  I most likely do not remember when because I ignored them.  I was running missions, mining, building stuff, and doing tech II research.  I didn’t need anomalies.

Now, however, they are of interest.

Anomalies are essentially concentrations of pirate NPCs in a star system that you can find with your ship’s scanner.  The size and quality of such concentrations depends on the quality and level to which a system, in null sec at least, has been upgraded. (I do not understand the whole “upgrade” thing, but that is for another day.)

These concentrations are in regular space, unlike some missions which occur in deadspace, which is instanced, and are effectively mini-missions.  You scan, you select one from the list your scanner shows (and they come in multiple flavors… though foresaken hubs are the best bang for the buck I am told, if you have the right ship), warp to the one you picked, and then say hello to your new friends.

Guristas waiting for a train...

Of course, they have been sitting around waiting for something to do, so are probably happy to see you.

Welcoming committee, commence welcome!

You get several waves of ships, waves appear to be triggered by killing off all of one of the ship types in a given wave (so you can get yourself in trouble), and at the foresaken hub level of anomaly, the ships appear to be mostly battlecruisers and battleships.

The main reward comes from bounties on the rats, which can run beyond 1 million ISK for a battleship.  Plus you get a decent boost to your security standing with CONCORD.  Actually, I have been getting a huge boost, mostly because I think CCP finally fixed that one skill, Fast Talk, that I trained years ago that was supposed to boost your standings more quickly.

Once you kill off one of these anomalies, a replacement spawns a few minutes later, so you can keep on going if you want… and nobody else is hogging the spawns.

But to do this and make the million ISK bounties, you need a ship that can handle it.

Shield-wise, I am pretty sure I could manage it in a Drake.  I think I have all Drake related skills for level V.  But Gaff said to really do it right, I would need a Tengu.

And then he linked me a Tengu fit that violated the first rule of undocking: Do not fly what you cannot afford to lose.

His all-faction and tech II fit would have eaten up most of my billion ISK slush fund, and I already owned the ship and three of the five modules.  Buying it all again from scratch wasn’t going to happen.

So he said I could probably make do with a mostly tech II fit, especially since my shield tanking skills were all max’d out.  He did give me what he considered the two key items, the Dread Guristas Ballistic Deflection Field and Gistii B-Type Small Shield Booster.  He had just sold a pile of stuff in Jita an was feeling “space rich,” or so he said.

So I ended up with this fit, which you can copy and paste right into Pyfa, the tool which seems to have replaced EVE Fitting Tool while I was away from the game, and which I can afford to replace should I lose it.

[Tengu, Tengu Rat Fit]

Tengu Engineering – Augmented Capacitor Reservoir
Tengu Electronics – Dissolution Sequencer
Tengu Defensive – Amplification Node
Tengu Propulsion – Fuel Catalyst
Tengu Offensive – Accelerated Ejection Bay

Heavy Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Heavy Missile
Heavy Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Heavy Missile
Heavy Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Heavy Missile
Heavy Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Heavy Missile
Heavy Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Heavy Missile
Heavy Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Heavy Missile

Target Painter I
Ballistic Deflection Field II
Shield Boost Amplifier II
10MN Afterburner II
Dread Guristas Ballistic Deflection Field
Gistii B-Type Small Shield Booster

Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II

Medium Core Defence Operational Solidifier I
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I
Medium Warhead Calefaction Catalyst I

That setup has seen me through a number of foresaken hubs so far.  It is cap stable for me, and I have never been down to even half shields yet, even when I have messed up and spawned an extra wave or two early.

Tengu taking punishment

The only cheap item on the ship is the target painter, which helps me deal with the occasional frigate spawn.  Plus it puts out a cool red beam on your target.

Target painter on a Ferox

I think all the level V skills help, though I still have room to improve.  My Caldari strategic cruiser skills are only level III or IV, so I could eke out better performance… once I am done training up Minmatar and gunnery skills that I need for fleet operations.

Tengu skills... right after that other stuff

That is the story of EVE… I either have no real idea what I want to train, or I have about six things I want to train.

Now I just need to fit out the Noctis that just got shipped out (another hanger queen of mine that has just been sitting around since I bought it) so I can loot and salvage and generally indulge my inner hoarder.

Then maybe some day too, I will feel “space rich” again.

6 thoughts on “The Return of Whiskey Tengu Foxtrot

  1. dsj

    The more ships you kill in a system the higher the military index goes from 0 to 5. Once you have killed enough belt rats to get to L1 you can place a pirate detection upgrade into the system IHUB. You can check the military index of a system by clicking on the name of the alliance holding sov in the upper left hand corner of your screen. This increases the number of anomalies and improves the quality of the spawns. You most likely are seeing Sanctums on your scans. You don’t get those to spawn in a system until you are at a Level 4 or 5 index with the upgrades PD4 or 5 installed. If you had entered the system before they had installed any upgrades you most likely would only see 1 or 2 sights of the smallest (and least profitable) kind. The military index of the system gradually goes down with time if no one continues to rat the system. Eventually a system will go back to level 0 and those upgrades are useless until someone kills enough rats to raise it back up. Some systems that are truesec (-1.0) will have a list 30 anomalies long with 3-4 sanctums at a time up (With max index/upgrades). The worst systems like -0.1/-0.2 won’t ever get them at all regardless of upgrading the system. You never lose the upgrades once they are plugged in but you lose the benefits if you let the index drop — This is especially a problem for the Industrial index and upgrades but the military index is fairly easy to maintain.

    Once you get used to killing the hubs/sanctums etc. you should start scanning for complexes. These are spawned randomly unless you have Entrapment upgrades installed to generate more of them just like the Pirate Detection upgrades only more expensive. These complexes must be scanned down by a scanning ship and will definitely require more than a Tengu for the hardest sites. The profit on the high end can easily be in the billions.

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  2. Toldain

    @dsj has given the basics of upgrades above. I say that it’s best not to think too much about them, since a normal meaning of “upgrade” of a solar system does not entail having more pirates around.

    Just saying.

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  3. Wilhelm Arcturus Post author

    @Toldain – I have successfully ignored the upgrade concept so far. I expect I will continue to do so as long as I am hunting in what I am told is an upgraded -0.8 system!

    Gaff told me the whole anomaly thing went in with Dominion, which I guess I recall, in a hazy sort of way.

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  4. pkudude99

    So you rat ion 2O9G-D? Or do the Goons let you rat in TXME-A? those are the only 2 systems in the area with true-sec that low, IIRC.

    When I was there it was slightly before the jump bridge changes, so TNT owned FMB and TXME both, but the Goons held OP-F3K for their bridge network. With the change to only 1 bridge per system, it looks like TNT picked up OP, but the Goons are now using FMB and TXME for it, if I’m reading the map right.

    Skyforger (and me, by extension) put in a lot of effort toward building a Gallente outpost in FMB. Looks like it never happened.

    And yeah, there’s a Gallente next door in CU9, but that was owned by a different alliance (OWN) at the time, so we wanted our own office outpost in TNT space. After the other alliance left and TNT inherited most of their old space it became a moot point, it would seem. And now the Goons have the system anyway. Kinda funny how stuff changes hands even in a relatively stable area.

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  5. Gaff

    The effort Eperor put towards that station egg was stupid to begin with–the alliance told him not to bother but he persisted. In fact, I think he built it in Dek, so its stuck in a station where only a dumb freighter, the non-jump kind, can move it.

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