It seems that in most MMOs, you face certain spending steps where one have to save a bit of money in order to advance to a new thing in order to enable a bigger income source. Thinking of WoW, my first thought would be getting the mounts. You have to save a bit of gold to buy the necessary skills and the mount itself, but you enable yourself to travel faster, thus quest and level faster, thus earn more gold. Although this process has been nerfed down a bit, it is still there today. In EvE, at least in the beginning, this step seems to be when getting a bigger ship. “You need ISK in order to make ISK” they say, and after 4 weeks into the game, the first Lvl3 agent was available to me, promising a higher income, but requiring more than my frigate blasting Caracal. So I bought the next bigger ship, the natural choice for a relatively new missile spamming Caldari pilot, the infamous battlecruiser “Drake”.
The Drake – as I should later learn, one of the most flown ships in New Eden. One of the most used ships, also one of the most disliked ships. Able to fit the relatively hefty tank but has also relatively low damage output. Things I wasn’t aware of four months ago. Things that didn’t matter at that point. I was more worried about how to fit that thing and how I could bring it through those new Lvl3 missions in one piece. After all, the first battlecruiser was quite an investment. Once again, the large EvE Uni-Wiki came to the rescue. However, I wasn’t completely satisfied with that fit. The resists were kind of low, so I wanted to fix that. I was already aware of the different meta level items for T1 modules, so I checked the market if I could afford some upgrades and could free up midslot that way. I took the T2 based fit from the EvE Uni-Wiki as an idea guideline. First thing I checked were the shield rechargers. The T1 Meta 4 variant “M51 Iterative Shield Regenerator” were sold for around 10k ISK in Jita. This was triple the price of the Meta 0 variant, but 10k ISK per piece wasn’t really an issue. The price steps of the shield power relays were a lot steeper, so I took the Meta 2 module “Local Power Plant Manager: Reaction Shield Power Relay” for 100k ISK each. With the better shield recharge modules, I removed one shield recharger and the invul field and used two mission specific hardeners. So, my fit for Guristas was like this:
[Drake, T1 PvE Drake] Local Power Plant Manager: Reaction Shield Power Relay I Local Power Plant Manager: Reaction Shield Power Relay I Local Power Plant Manager: Reaction Shield Power Relay I Local Power Plant Manager: Reaction Shield Power Relay I M51 Iterative Shield Regenerator M51 Iterative Shield Regenerator Large Shield Extender I Large Shield Extender I Heat Dissipation Field I Ballistic Deflection Field I Heavy Missile Launcher I, Scourge Heavy Missile Heavy Missile Launcher I, Scourge Heavy Missile Heavy Missile Launcher I, Scourge Heavy Missile Heavy Missile Launcher I, Scourge Heavy Missile Heavy Missile Launcher I, Scourge Heavy Missile Heavy Missile Launcher I, Scourge Heavy Missile Heavy Missile Launcher I, Scourge Heavy Missile Drone Link Augmentor I Medium Core Defence Field Purger I Medium Core Defence Field Purger I Medium Core Defence Field Purger I Hobgoblin I x5
I bought two of each shield hardener so I was able to adapt my resists for each mission. Reviewing that fit now, I should’ve also taken a look at better missile launchers. After insuring the ship, I went to my new mission agent and started those new Lvl3 missions. The first mission was quickly done. Then, I almost lost my Drake on the second mission. What happened?
The mission was The Blockade, Lvl3. I was already aware of things like trigger ships that spawns additional waves and EvE Survival as a guide for dealing with such things. With one destroyer, 3 battlecruisers and 4 elite cruisers on grid, I checked the description for the trigger:
Note: The triggers may vary, so do the spawns. Usually the ship with the highest bounty is the trigger.
I didn’t read any further and thought in the lines of “Hey, the destroyer has the lowest bounty, so it probably isn’t the trigger, is it?”. Well, it was! I suddenly had 12 battlecruisers, 4 elite cruisers, 6 destroyers and 2 frigates on the field. My tank began to melt. I tried to kill the elite cruisers first, because I knew they were from the first wave, but I wasn’t able to kill them in time and I had to warp out. So I started to focus on the smaller targets first, frigates, destroyers, then the battlecruisers, while I warped out repeatedly. That worked, until I hit the trigger battlecruiser. More stuff on the field, including more elite cruisers. From this point on, I wasn’t able to kill anything anymore without my little T1 shield tank with my low skills gave up. I tried… and got away with 30% armor. So I called it a day and tried it again after the server downtime. The mission was reset, back to wave one. And I also did some research – turned out, the trigger note should say something like:
Note: The triggers may vary, so do the spawns. Usually the singleton with the highest bounty is the trigger.
And that worked – the destroyer of the first wave was the only ship type that was only once on the field. From that moment on, I could tank each single wave without a problem and could finish the mission.
Things went relatively smoothly from there. I flew some mission, got some standings and ISK. But ammunition supply turned out to be an issue – the nearest market was quite expensive and also 3 jumps away – not really the best thing. The next interesting market was Jita – 10 jumps out. Getting ammunition was a choice between hauling stuff a long way or paying extra and still hauling stuff around. That was annoyance and I decided to change this…
Clueless in Space – the random impressions of an EvE newbie – will continue soon™…