Tag Archives: Drake

Running some Warzone Extraction Event Sites

eve online warzone extraction wtf?

-search string that brought somebody here

Easily the most popular thing I have posted so far this week… or month… is the announcement about the Warzone Extraction event in EVE Online.  Google has sent many people my way, a pretty sure sign that the mechanics of the event aren’t clear to people.

EVE Valkyrie laughs at your confusion

So I figured it might be worthwhile to share what I learned running through some of the sites.

This event is in the structure of The Agency, and as such events go, you get tasks under The Agency icon to complete, each with a 20 hour cool down before you can do it again.  This time around there are just two tasks.

Warzone Extraction Tasks

One of the tasks is to complete a site, the other is to destroy 20 sleep ships, and they are worth 10 and 20 points respectively.

The sites themselves appear on your overview like the sites from previous events.  The sites seem a bit more sparse than some past events.  I had to go hunting for sites and rarely saw more than one in a system, with two in a single system being the max I noted.  The sites appeared on my standard travel overview without having to add anything.

Warzone Extraction sites

When you warp to the site you will land near a ship called the Quartermaster.  Sometimes, but not always, an alert will pop up with a message from him.

Message from the QM

There is also an acceleration gate there. When you activate the acceleration gate it sends you off to a pocket along with another message.

All the instructions you’ll get

When you land there will be some large collidable objects present.  If you have hidden them on your overview you (because they can be annoying and generally don’t mean much) you will have to change that or navigate by just eyeballing the wrecks in space.  There are five ship wrecks labeled Alpha to Echo and a station wreck.

Objects in the area

This where I got a bit confused because the very first site I tried also had a container visible.  I checked it and it was empty, so I moved on to find another site thinking it had been done.

Container confusion

However, I later discovered that if the site is still there it isn’t completely done.  But what do you do?

In the end I figured out what you have to do is approach each wreck.  When you get withing ~2,500 meters of a wreck it may give you a message.  The message might be about a container being discovered.  At that point the container will show up on your overview.  It might be at the wreck or it might be at the station wreck that is also on grid with you.  Once a container popped up in both locations.  I am not sure why.

In the container is the trinary relic that the quartermaster is looking for.  You can toddle over to it, loot the container, and you’ll be set for the Quartermaster’s Request task.

Off to collect the relic

The relics have their own wee bit of lore.

Tell me about the relics

The other message you may get is “Sleepers incoming!” at which point you’re going to have to fight.

I had read the post over at The Nosy Gamer about what to expect from the Sleepers that attack, the primary item being that they will use energy neutralizers on you to drain your capacitor in addition to warp scrambling and webbing you.  As I noted on a comment over there, for the unsuspecting capsuleer this might turn Warzone into Murderzone.

With this in mind I went out armed for bear with a passively tanked Drake I had sitting around.  It was the Clown Car entosis fit, but I swapped out the entosis module, cloak, and RLMLs for HMLs and a Auto Targeting system.  Later I changed out the HMLs for heavy assault missiles just to get more damage.  Fortunately meta HAM launchers are dirt cheap on the market.

The assault of the Sleepers is keyed to the security level of the system you are in.  In a 0.9 system I drew a pair of Sleeper frigates that went down to a single heavy missile volley.  They barely touched my capacitor.  Down in a 0.5 system I got frigates, destroyers, a cruiser, and a pair of battleships which combined to drain my capacitor in seconds.

Sleepers on the overview!

Of course, because this is a CCP event, the NPCs weren’t visible on the overview by default, which is why I brought the auto targeting system.  I had enough capacitor for it to activate for a few cycles and it targeted the Sleepers for me, at which point I could add them to my overview settings.

Of course, this being CCP, even the names were messed up on the first night when you tried to add them.

Wait, what?

That has since been fixed, though you still have to add each class of ship… frigate, destroyer, cruiser, battleship… to the overview separately.  The overview conspires to murder you.  That seems to be one of its functions.

Anyway, at that point, webbed, scrammed, and capacitor empty, you’re committed to the fight.  You will be mighty unhappy if you were depending on modules that required any power.  Rail guns and lasers won’t fire, repair modules are useless, and you won’t be scooting away with your prop module.

Resigned to your fate

My Drake was way over-tanked and never dropped below 88% shields, so I could just sit there and blast away at things.  I chose the Warden first, as it will rep other ships.  Then I hit the frigates, as they will aggressively go after your drones.  Once they were gone, it was out with the drones for the cruiser and then the battleships.

The short range of the HAMs was not a limitation most of the time as the Sleepers stay within web and scram range for the most part, which keeps them in your damage envelope.  There was one Sleeper battleship that pulled range on me and seemed to be able to neut me out to almost the 75km mark.  That put him way out of HAM range, which was 25km for my alt.  But that also meant he couldn’t web or scram me, so I decided to let him be rather than chase him down in a slow slog without a prop mod.  I was marginally faster than him, but it looked like it might take me as much as 15 minutes to close into shooting range.  Screw that.

The wrecks yielded boosters from the event… the damage and speed boosters were of value, but the tank boosters were for active tanks which, given the neuts present, wasn’t much good at that time… as well as Sleeper components to sell on the open market.

Interestingly, there were NPC buy orders up when I got around to selling those components.

The Emperor Family bought my stuff

I don’t know if this is a standard thing or if CCP foresaw the market getting saturated because of the event and decided to put a floor on the price.  I suspect the latter because I saw a lot of much lower buy orders out there.  That about off-set the drones I lost, the ammo, and the HML launchers I bought then traded out.

Anyway, that is getting ahead of myself.

Once you defeated the Sleepers and loot their wrecks, you’re ready to go.  If you’re feeling diligent and have not yet approached all the event wrecks you can do that until you have been to Alpha through Echo.  I have had Sleepers appear on two wrecks in a site.  But if you’re set, you just motor to the acceleration gate that is close by and activate it.  That will take you back to the Quartermaster.  Approach his ship and put the relic in it… it acts like a cargo container… and you’ll get credit for the site.  If that event task is active, you’ll get 10 points.  It if isn’t you seemed to get squat.  Such is life.

If you need to blow up more Sleepers then it is off to another site, but first you might want to repair, especially if you’re drones are damaged.  Fortunately there are publicly available citadels all over New Eden now, so you can just warp to one, tether, and wait a bit while it refills your capacitor and repairs your ship and drones.  Then you’re ready to go again.

I did both of the tasks which was enough to get to the first prize from the event, a support kit from The Agency.

Reward unlocked!

The reward was another event booster, of which I already had half a dozen.  So far I have just seen boosters and Sleeper drops.  There was a promise of SKINs somewhere, both fantastic and new, but maybe I just haven’t hit one yet.

Potential rewards: Fantastic new SKINs, useful Boosters, Skill Accelerators, valuable loot, and more

Warzone Extraction Event announcement

Anyway, in summary:

  • Warp to Warzone site
  • Take acceleration gate
  • Fly to wrecks
  • Collect relic and/or kill Sleepers
  • Take acceleration gate
  • Give relic to Quartermaster

Also:

  • Be passive fit – Anything that needs cap might not be available to you
  • System security influences Sleeper difficulty I got the full monty in a 0.9 system so nevermind

And, to follow up, a few screen shots from various points during the event.

 

 

 

Aegis and the Return of Heavy Missiles

Another few weeks have gone by and we have yet another content expansion from CCP.  Today they launched the Aegis, an expansion which has a number of features that actually affect me directly.

That isn’t always the case.

Sure, the refinement of the overview icon changes from Carnyx last month affects everybody who undocks.  But I have sort of gotten used to the changes by this point… run anomalies or missions for a while and things will start to become clear eventually… so I am not sure how big of a deal this will be.

And then there is the final tactical destroyer promised at EVE Vegas last year, the Gallente Hecate.

At least it is another tube with spikes

At least it isn’t another tube with spikes

That will certainly come into play for me if it ends up being another new, OP, soon to be nerfed, flavor of the month available at a gate camp near by.  But it is unlikely I will fly one any time soon.

And there are even a bunch of ship skins for ships that people in null sec actually fly.  Stealth bomber and Interdictor skins for everybody!  I will be looking to buy the Wiyrkomi skins for the Harpy, Hawk, Buzzard, and Manticore straight away.

But the big news in Aegis for me is a one-two punch that affects the ships we fly.

The first is the nerf to the ever-present Ishtar heavy assault cruiser.  There have been a couple of swipes at the dominance of drone boats in general, and the Ishtar in particular since the death of mass drone assist a year back.  And still, the ship is ubiquitous to the point that the game has been called Ishtars Online at times.  Reavers have been undocking and living out of Ishtars since October 2014.

That Stratios though... that is not doctrine...

Ishtars, two or three graphic updates back…

As announced in this forum thread, the Ishtar is losing a mid-slot, gaining a low slot, and losing some speed and power grid.  That, along with a minor reduction in the effectiveness of drone damage amplifiers is the current CCP plan to reduce the wide-spread use of shield tanked Ishtar fleets.  We’ll see how that goes.

But it is the second half of the one-two punch that really interests me, and that is the possible resurgence of heavy missiles… because I have all those skills trained to V already, so I am rarin’ to go on that front.

Back in 2012, during the height of the Drake dominance of null sec fights, heavy missiles rained down upon our foes as we tooled along at 1,000 m/s in MWD fit missile boats.  My first big null sec fight at EWN-2U was a missile fest.

Pouring out missile fire

Pouring out a curtain of missiles

Then came firewall defenses, drone assist, a hit to heavy missiles, and finally the big Drake nerf, and the ship, along with its primary weapon, went from dominance to the ever present “can I bring my Drake?” meme.

The internet caters to all my needs...

The internet caters to all my needs…

Now though, CCP has come back to missiles.  We are getting two new modules:

  • Missile Guidance Enhancers – Low slot modules that increase missile explosion velocity, lower explosion radius, increase missile flight time and increase missile velocity
  • Missile Guidance Computers – Mid slot modules that increase missile explosion velocity, lower explosion radius, increase missile flight time and increase missile velocity. These modules can use Missile Precision and Missile Range scripts and can of course be overheated.

Those two modules, along with a 5% boost to heavy missile damage, and changes to missile hit points and resistances, may bring missiles back to null sec PvP in a big way.  There are already fits being talked about, so we might soon see Drakes, or missile fit Tengus, or masses of Talwars, or Ravens with with cruise or rapid heavy launchers undocking some day. (Reavers, ahead of the curve with Ravens.)  Again, we shall see.

And then there are some graphics updates, a new model for the Cerberus, so it isn’t just a Caracal with a different skin (making this a rare screen shot I guess), and a boost to the rate of fire bonus for the Tempest battleship.

Cerberus refined

Cerberus refined

The patch notes for Aegis are here, and the EVE Update page has an overview of the features.

Finally, it wouldn’t be an EVE Online expansion without its own theme song.  It feels like it is missing a didgeridoo or something.  Now we just have to wait a week for the Fozzie Sov features to drop.

 

All The Pretty Ships in New Eden – What Should I Fly Next?

So far my adventures in null sec have allowed me to experience a bunch of things quite new, at least to me, in EVE Online.  Fleet battles and capital ships and player owned stations and sovereignty and war on an epic scale relative to anything I had seen before.

On the other hand, for the most part, I have been flying a Drake.

Not that the Drake is a bad ship.  It has been a very good ship for me and I have invested heavily in the skills to get the most out of it as a platform.  Aside from a couple of drone related skills, I have been able to fly any Drake fit that the CFC has thrown out there.

But the Drake has been my primary ship for more than four years now.  I have owned more Drakes… and lost more Drakes… than any other ship.

Earliest Drake pic on the blog

While I love this flying doorstop, this heavily shielded wedge of missile spewing doom, I do wonder if I should try out something else.

Yes, I did move on to running missions in a Raven, though I used to throw my other account in with a passive tanked Drake to be bait at times.  That Drake passive tank is mighty thing.

In fleet ops I have flown a Maelstrom and a Hurricane.

And the Tengu has become my ratting/anomaly ship of choice.

But in all of those cases, while the ship and even the weapons might be different, the role feels very much the same.  And, all things equal, I might as well put myself in the ship that takes the best advantage of my skills.  I join the Drake Fleet for coalition fleet ops, because that is where I am strongest and the result is about the same. (Actually, I think we have more fun in Drake Fleet than in Alpha Fleet, but my experience in that regard is somewhat limited.)

So I have started looking around for another ship and another role that might both be a different experience to me as well as adding value to my presence in the corp, the alliance, and the coalition.

But what to choose?  I mull over the options after the break.

Continue reading

Drake Fleet goes to EWN-2U

The economic war continues.

We of the CFC versus Raiden and their allies in an effort to deny each other the economic largesse of tech moon profits.

It is a war of timers and time zones as each side attempts to disrupt production and destroy infrastructure.

And so the call went out again for another fleet operation.  Structures in one of our systems, EWN-2U, had been put in reinforced mode, meaning that when the timer ran out on that, Raiden would be able to destroy them.

For a weekday fleet operation, this one started later than usual.  Thank the timer I suppose, but I was able to join up after work.  Again I was part of the Drake fleet.

We rallied in the usual location and moved off for our forward staging area.  I was a bit surprised to come out of warp right on top of one of our Titan supercapitals.

The face of an Avatar

The Titan was there to bridge us out to where we would defend.  The question was, would the enemy show up?

We waited for the cyno to be lit, the target for the jump, while we all hovered at 2,000m from the Titan.

Fleet awaiting deployment

By default, the hold ranges you can pick are 500m, 1,000m, and 2,500m, but by this point I had finally figured out that the “hold at range” button on the overview could be set to a different value.

So we hung there in space, waiting.  Would we go, or would we stand down once more?

More after the cut.

Continue reading

The Defense of 92D-OI

The call for a fleet op was out.  Timers on some of our reinforced towers would be ticking down soon and the enemy was expected to show up and contest the systems to destroy the towers.

There was to be an alpha fleet as the main force and a Drake fleet in support.

Having fitted out a couple of Drakes to the new microwarp drive fleet standard in Mittaningrad, I opted for the Drake fleet.  My Drake skills are excellent relative to the skills required for a Maelstrom.

One of my fleet Drakes

Both fleets formed up at the local station and waited for orders to move out.  There were, between the two fleets, over 400 ships.

Ships crowded into a station bubble

We meandered about there for a while until finally the orders to move came.

Secret destination after the break!

Continue reading

Cerberus Goes Home

In pursuit of some of my prerequisites for The Expedition I have been running some missions with my alt with the goal of getting a 8+ standing with Amarr Navy so I can get him a jump clone or two.

So there I was clearing out the second pocket of the first part of the three part mission called Recon. (The second and third parts are described here.)  I did not have to do that.  The mission was declared complete the moment I entered the pocket.  All I had to do was warp out and turn in the mission.

But I was clearing it because that pocket also has more veldspar asteroids than any mission I have ever seen.  Potshot and I mined and hauled more than 3 million units of veldspar out of that pocket and barely made a dent in it.  But that was later.  I still had to clear the pocket.

My alt was flying his Cerberus and tanking the pocket.  With the afterburner and shield booster on at all times, he was barely ever taking a hit, and when he did, his shields were quickly restored.  I dragged my main in with his Raven to sit and provide more firepower while the Cerb skated around holding everybody’s attention.

An equilibrium had been reached.  My attention waned as I was listening to Gaff describe the dynamics of setting up a player owned station, which he got to do with his 0.0 corp this week.  In addition on of our kittens, Trixie, was sitting in front of the monitor trying to swat missiles as they flew past on the screen.

All of this was why I failed to notice the four frigates spawn in the mission. (The mission report linked above says three, but there were four.)

I was sitting in the window trying to retarget my main around an active kitten when I noticed that my alt, on the watchlist, was suddenly showing more red than before.  A lot more red.

I switched windows to find that he was no longer scooting along at 520 meters a second and immune from all fire.  Three of the frigates had him webbed, so he was down around 20 meters a second and taking heavy damage.  His shields were only at 20%.

My first reaction was to get out.  Unfortunately, two of the frigates also had him warp scrambled. (One was doing double duty!)  As hits started digging into my armor, I targeted the scrambling frigates and opened fire.  They were, however, elite frigates, and I was only able to take one down before my alt was flying a pod.  Cerberus was back where he came from.

Ouch.  Well, I’ve lost ships to this mission before.

2009.05.28 03:26:00

Victim: Selirus Szin
Corp: Twilight Cadre
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Cerberus
System: Ebtesham
Security: 0.7
Damage Taken: 20996

Involved parties:

Name: Centus Overlord / Sansha’s Nation (laid the final blow)
Damage Done: 20996

Destroyed items:

Scourge Heavy Missile, Qty: 1901 (Cargo)
Capacitor Flux Coil II, Qty: 2
Widowmaker Heavy Missile, Qty: 2122 (Cargo)
Thunderbolt Heavy Missile, Qty: 20
Heat Dissipation Amplifier II
Magnetic Scattering Amplifier II, Qty: 2
Capacitor Control Circuit I, Qty: 2
Ballistic Control System II
Heavy Missile Launcher II, Qty: 2

Dropped items:

10MN Afterburner II
Widowmaker Fury Heavy Missile, Qty: 623 (Cargo)
Thunderbolt Heavy Missile, Qty: 30
Medium Shield Booster II
Salvager I
Ballistic Control System II
Heavy Missile Launcher II, Qty: 3
Thunderbolt Heavy Missile, Qty: 1390 (Cargo)

I warped the pod and my Raven out of the pocket to regroup.  Losing a 100 million ISK ship on a mission calls for a pause.  Plus I was being called upon to read a bed time story.  So a break was taken.

Once everybody was settled in bed (though it was not my best reading performace, there being a bit of edge in my voice as I read “The English Roses,” and not just because I dislike the book as a transparent “don’t hate me because I’m successful” plea from Madonna… yes, I have serious opinions about children’s books), I went back to finish things off in space.

Fortunately, the biggest pain of losing a ship, refitting a replacement, was already covered.  I still had the fearsome Drake on hand and equipped.  And, not only that, but my alt had built up even more shield compensation skills (now level V for all forms of damage) so the mighty Drake tank was even mightier.

Back my main and my alt went.  I popped the alt into the pocket first, got all aggro, and pretty much tanked it without much worry while the combined fire of the Raven and the Drake cleared the pocket.

Then it was just a matter of Potshot and I mining as late as we could manage on a school night and then turning in.

The next day I ran the second and third parts of the mission series, which are both fairly short and easy.  On turning in the third part, I got a storyline mission.  An easy delivery.  And once that was completed, I found that I had achieved my standing goal with Amarr Navy.

Standings

So my alt is now jump clone ready.  Or he will be once he trains one more skill.  This is EVE Online.   You always need at least one more skill.  In this case it is Infomorph Psychology.  So I just have to buy that and train for all of 8 minutes and I will be set.

Now, do I go buy another Cerberus or do I plug along with my old pal the Drake?

The Age of Cerberus?

I was playing the EVEMon “what if” game the other day with my alt, just to see how much training he would need to get into different ships when I hit the Heavy Assault Ship section and found out that he was less than a day from flying one of those nasty cruiser-class killers.

So I started playing around with configurations in EVE Fitting Tool.  The missile oriented Caldari Heavy Assault Ship, the Cerberus, certainly has a lot going for it.  With his skills, my alt can put together a pretty fearsome setup in a Cerberus, including one where I could leave a Medium Shield Booster II running all the time with a stable capacitor.  With large pools of CPU and power to draw on I was also able to fill all five launcher slots with Heavy Missile Launcher II modules.

All very interesting.

And then I brought up my alt’s Drake in EFT and started to compare.

The Cerberus can lock targets further out (100km vs. 75km), locks those targets faster, moves a little bit faster (not unimportant when facing ships with turrets), and, surprisingly, has a much bigger cargo hold.

The Drake, on the other hand, can mount those same five tech II launchers, plus two more tech I launchers, and can also throw five light drones into the fray, all of which puts the Drake ahead in sheer damage output.

Then there is the mighty-mighty Drake tank.  Sometimes, when running level 4 missions with my main and my alt, I just throw my alt in to grab aggro with his Drake.  I know the Drake’s shield will hold up long enough for me to whittle down the bad guys and since it is completely passive I do not have to fiddle with anything. (Whittle & fiddle?)

And finally there is the price.  In my region I calculate that I can buy and fit three Drake hulls for the same amount of ISK it would take to acquire the Cerberus and its fittings.  I recognize that there is a certain amount of “cool” factor with the Cerberus, but is it worth three Drakes?

So I have to conclude that the Cerberus might not be the best choice for somebody who primarily runs missions.

Not that I won’t buy one and try it, just to see.  One of the joys of EVE is that little is “bind on equip” if you will, so if I don’t like it, I can always put it up for sale if I don’t like it.  But I wonder if I should bother.