I’m coming up on the end of triathlon season here in Utah, so I decided to resubscribe to EVE Online.  And — true to form for wormhole space! — the first thing that happened after logging in was I got blown up.

Couldn’t have been from a nicer bunch of guys!  After waking up in station in k-space, I decided to write them a thank-you letter for reminding me why I loved W-space.

Thanks for the warm welcome!
Sent: 2015.07.10 02:48
To: ChaeDoc II, Inspector General, Radimir Lenin, Xuixien,

I resubbed just an hour ago, finding myself in my decrepit Isogen 5 doctrine Legion, stuck at the ass-end of a C5-C5 highway we’d been invading months ago when I stopped playing. I could have totally just self-destructed. ButI thought I’d scan my way out with just an emergency core probe launcher instead. I was looking to either find my way out or get blown up on the way.

And you, my saviors, delivered exactly what I needed just as I was getting frustrated with the slow scanning of an unbonused hull, a changed and unfamiliar scanning system, and mediocre T1 equipment.

I couldn’t have asked for a warmer welcome back to w-space than what you guys delivered. I appreciated your timely, enthusiastic, and — most important — fashionable delivery of torpedos, lasers, and drones straight to the hull of my months-old, dusty Legion. I didn’t have enough ammo for more than a battle or two, and your ammunition delivery was delivered on time and under budget.

I was looking for a route back to k-space to pick up some equipment and figure out what to do next in Eve. And thanks to you — yes, YOU! — here I am reminiscing in station on the fact that your courteous and rapid clone delivery service is unparalleled!

Thanks for the excellent EM & thermal welcome back. No better way to get back into Eve than with an embarrassing lossmail to decorate my fairly pitiful killboard. You guys rock!

A++ delivery services. Will buy the farm from you again!

Kind Regards,

Recruitment memories

Two years ago ago, I submitted an application to join a little alliance called the Illusion Of Solitude. My pitch to be recruited was this:

In answer to “Please tell us about your experience with wormholes”…

“I fly Augorors as paired tech 1 Logistics with my alt, training both towards paired Guardians in about 40 days. I’ve been spending the last week or so doing exploration, and found I really enjoyed scanning down wormholes and running gas mining ops until the Sleepers showed up.

My previous corp was pretty fun; I ran paired Logistics Augorors and that pretty much sent most opposing Faction Warfare fleets running when they saw them. This made me laugh, but after one too many roams led by the CEO while he was drunk, I went looking for more interesting stuff to do.

In my time outside of fleets, I enjoy exploration: probing down sites and seeing what they hold. Gas mining for the 15 minutes or so before sleepers show up in wormholes has proven a lot of fun, but barely-break-even profitability due to the risk of lost ships.

You guys are the first wormhole corp who hasn’t basically said “”2.5M skill points? Come back in a year”” to me when I showed up in the recruitment channel. Let’s see how it goes!”

To “What are you interested in learning and doing?”

“Get better at providing Logistics support in PvE vs. Sleepers and PvP.
Gas mining and other income-generation opportunities.
Make contacts to broaden my base of friendship & support in Eve; solo is dull.”

For “Anything else you would like to tell us about your application?”

Just hope that I can figure out some way to make a useful contribution. Wormholes and the constantly-changing gameplay surrounding them fascinate me, but it seems as if most people are of the mindset that the game must be played “Hisec to Nullsec Sov to Wormhole”. Maybe they’re right, and I’m deluding myself that I can survive and thrive in wormhole space, or maybe they’re wrong and this will be a ton of fun!

My, how times move on. Ten times the skillpoints, ten times the friends, ten times the ISK, eleventy-billion times the PvP, and ten times the fun having found a niche I really enjoy!

My Favorite Wormhole Things

It’s the season for it, so I decided to whip up a little ditty for a recent recruitment thread for the Otters.

Sung to the tune of “My Favorite Things”

F-bombs on Teamspeak and drunk target callers,
Archons on d-scan and baiting blue-ballers,
Small gang PvP, midnight Jabber pings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

Wormholes with misfits and critical masses,
Whelpfleets and lossmails and losing our asses,
Bright space explosions of faction mod bling,
These are a few of my favorite things.

J-space to nullsec with frigate mass limits,
If K162 we’ll just guess what’s in it,
Losing your pod in your own bubble stings,
These are a few of my favorite things.

When the chain bites,
And the route stinks,
And the dudes POS up,
I simply remember my favorite things,
And then harden the **** up!

Solo C3: Caldari T1 Battleships

Solo Class 3 Wormhole Tactics: Caldari T1 Battleships

This is the second in a series on how to fit and fly T1 battleships to solo Class 3 wormhole anomalies in EVE Online. If you haven’t caught the first in the series yet, go give it a read. It has some vital information regarding implants, boosters, and how to use your mobile depot and what refitting gear to carry.

EDIT: The quotes on ISK below were made prior to the Blue Loot Buffs that arrived with the Phoebe expansion in November 2014. Class 3 Sleeper loot is considerably more valuable now, and it’s even more worth it to solo your heart out!

So you’ve skilled up to Caldari Battleship IV. You’ve run some missions in hisec and are bored, and learned that you can double your ISK (or better) in Wormhole space. In my humble opinion, Class 3 wormhole space is the most lucrative space for a solo artist to play in; Class 4 becomes much harder for not much more reward, and Class 2 doesn’t drop enough blue loot to be competitive with Level 4 missioning in hisec.

As always, before you embark on your solo journey, let me remind you that my first piece of advice to anyone thinking of flying solo in W-space: Don’t. Get a fleet, or at least have a horde of bloodthirsty savages in your corporation or alliance who are ready and willing to come rescue you (or avenge you, perhaps) from the jaws of evil W-space pirates.

Like me. And my good buddies in the Outer Ring Sleeper Collective (part of The Illusion Of Solitude alliance).  Come learn to be an evil W-space pirate with us, and enjoy PvP without the security status hit of lowsec piracy, and without the endless Calls To Arms of null blue donut alliances!

Remember The Rules about fitting your battleships for Class 3 solo PvE. I’m going to sum them up again here, because they really are that important! These are the shortened version; go look at my first entry in this Class 3 Solo series for the full-length reasons.

  1. Be able to hit at 19km, 35km, and 65km.
  2. Avoid sniping fits; they work, but not well.
  3. Minimum 600DPS “gank” to burn a Sleepless Upholder in 60 seconds or less.
  4. Have some way of dealing with frigates.
  5. Keep it cheap.
  6. Use combat boosters (drugs).
  7. T2 weapons are required. If you can’t fit T2, go back to hisec until you can.
  8. Active tank required, but a deep buffer is helpful. No XLASBs allowed; your charges won’t last a site.
  9. A challenging pilot workload is fun & flexible.
  10. Avoid the relic site “Forgotten Frontier Recursive Depot” and the Data site “Unsecured Frontier Database” with these fits.
  11. Assume modest skills, but overheating may be required.

Sorry. I know you’re eager for the fits and tactics. Let’s dive in! First, let’s start with that amazing-looking, enormously-powerful Scorpion, shall we?


Don’t. Just don’t. I’ve done it. It’s an amazing fleet support boat. But it has absolutely no bonuses that are going to help you in W-space. You might think that the ECM bonuses will help you out. And they will, with tank. But in essence, if you’re going to use ECM as tank, you end up devoting a lot more slots to tank than any other battleship you might fly in Class 3 space.  I did Fortification Frontier Stronghold once in a Scorpion. It took me two hours. Seriously, just don’t.  I may do a future series on the faction battleships, and the Scorpion Navy Issue is more than enough to take any Class 3 site, but the T1 Scorpion is simply not made for PvE. Fly a Raven.


The Raven ain’t bad at all for running Class 3 sites. In fact, with its prodigious range, it’s one of the few I’d be willing to fly in a fleet in Class 4 space, too.  It’s not quite the “King of PvE” boat it is in hisec, though, because the ability to select damage type is really kind of pointless against Sleepers; Sleepers have slightly higher Thermal resists on average, but that’s about it.

Remember your PvP refit: neuts, smartbombs, Cetus ECM Shockwave for the mids, extra combat boosters, cap boosters, micro jump drive, warp stabs, mobile depot, etc.  Your Raven should be able to destroy or drive off any frigate in warp-scrambling range, but you’re not invincible just because you’re prepared.  You just need to plan what you’re going to do under some various situations:

  • Jumped by a T1 frigate orbiting close with a warp scrambler? Neuts, smartbombs, drones, warp stabs, MJD, and moonwalk away.
  • Jumped by a T2 frigate orbiting close with a warp scrambler? Same as T1, but you might not break his tank. Fit dual warp stabs and GTFO.
  • Jumped by a warfare-link-boosted Interceptor orbiting you at 30km+ with a point? Fit one warp stab and warp off.
  • Jumped by a HIC with a bubble? Just fit a MJD and jump away.
  • Jumped by a HIC with two points? Both a bubble and scripted infinipoint, which I recommend in wormholes for this reason?  Refit neuts, neut the HIC like mad, and pray you can deal with him before the rest of his fleet lands or you’re totally screwed. In fact, with this kind of HIC, opening a chat window for a ransom offer right away ain’t a bad idea. They might let your pod go home if you offer them the battleship; it’s a cheap ship anyway that you should have earned in the first 10-15 sites, right?  And your implant set is fairly cheap, too, right?  But because they will know your T1 battleship ain’t worth much, the kill is probably worth more to them.  But whatever happens, fight back and fight back HARD.
  • The key to all this is that you’re a battleship. Don’t bother with transversal. Drop your mobile depot early so that it’s anchored if you get jumped, have refits in your cargo hold, and you have options to deal with mean pointy things. Don’t do so, and you’re just meat for the grinder.

The Fit & Recommendations

  1. Recommended combat boosters: Standard Crash (for cruises to hit better vs. smaller targets), Standard Blue Pill (for tank).
  2. Recommended implants: EO-603 (faster cap), EM-803 (more cap), TN-903 (missile velocity buff), and RL-1003 (more DPS).
  3. You may note the lack of Rigor rigs. I really wanted to fit them, but the Raven is capacitor-challenged, and unfortunately due to Sleeper neuts you really want to be “cap-stable” with a repper running if possible.  The dual target painters helped me a lot in testing this fit, but completion times are a little slow due to frigate/cruiser-sized targets. I’m open to suggestions.
  4. Like the Amarr ships, you’re riding on buffer during double-battleship spawns. You need to burn down one of the two battleships in less than 60 seconds to survive.
  5. If you’re not seeing at least 600DPS from your launchers, you may not make it through the wave!
  6. My missile-poor test pilot was only hitting 434DPS from his cruise launchers, and died repeatedly in testing as a result unless I overheated my tank or went for Improved Blue Pill at considerable cost. Try your fit on Sisi first if your skills are low!  Another option is to temporarily ditch the target painters for two extra shield boost amplifiers — you do have a mobile depot out, right? — and if your missile skills aren’t great, at least you’ll have the tank to weather the wave
  7. Use your ability to refit. Refit warp stabs and warp out if it gets too hot. Refit extra tank as needed. Refit cap rechargers if your cap gets low. The Mobile Depot and their large cargo holds are the reasons why T1 battleships actually work in wormholes now. Abuse it like mad!
  8. Rapid light missile launchers are small, and light missiles are both cheap and small. If frigates give you too much trouble, just refit launchers as needed.
  9. You’re using medium drones and two target painters to deal with frigates. Valkyries are not as high-damage as Hammerheads, but their superior speed is what makes them keep up with Sleeper frigates decently well.
  10. You’ve got a slight Thermal hole here. It didn’t hurt too much in my testing, but be aware when refitting for tank, a T2 Thermic Dissipation Amp would help and be easy on the CPU.

Remember this fit is a BASE FIT. You’re going to refit your Raven a lot while running the sites. Once you get good at it — and if your skills are up to par — 20-minute completion times per site are within your grasp.

[Raven, C3 Raven]

Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Damage Control II
Capacitor Flux Coil II
Capacitor Flux Coil II

Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
EM Ward Field II
Large Shield Booster II
Phased Weapon Navigation Array Generation Extron
Phased Weapon Navigation Array Generation Extron
Shield Boost Amplifier II

Cruise Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Cruise Missile
Cruise Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Cruise Missile
Cruise Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Cruise Missile
Cruise Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Cruise Missile
Cruise Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Cruise Missile
Cruise Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Cruise Missile
[Empty High slot]

Large Core Defense Operational Solidifier I
Large Capacitor Control Circuit II
Large Capacitor Control Circuit II

Valkyrie II x5
Hornet EC-300 x5

Inherent Implants ‘Squire’ Capacitor Systems Operation EO-603
Inherent Implants ‘Squire’ Capacitor Management EM-803
Zainou ‘Deadeye’ Target Navigation Prediction TN-903
Zainou ‘Deadeye’ Rapid Launch RL-1003


The Rokh is very much like a Shield and Blaster version of the Abaddon. You really need to have T2 guns — my T1 version didn’t work well in test, and I had to switch to Rails, which were far less effective — and be ready to use/abuse the MJD if the Sleepless Preserver (55km) or Sleepless Upholder (65km) get out of range.  If you have troubles with range, be ready to burn down some Cruisers first, fit extra tank and cap, pick up your Mobile Depot and burn into range as required.

The Rokh would be my go-to Caldari ship if the bonus to the ship weren’t kind of useless for railguns and if the range on blasters weren’t so challenging. Railguns make it easier but slower, and are much harder on your tank; with the remote reps going on in Forgottten Frontier Quarantine Outpost, I had the devil of a time trying to break the Sleeper tank orbiting at 55km!  My advice on that final wave: burn the frigates down ASAP, then MWD out to the battleships and burn them down at close range.

The Fit

  1. Combat Boosters: Standard Frentix (for range), Standard Blue Pill (for tank).  If you don’t find a way to bring these in with these fits, you are a fool and will die in a fire.  Seriously, you can run 2-3 sites on one booster, and they only cost 2M ISK apiece. Each site is worth AT LEAST 28M ISK. You do the math.
  2. Null ammo plus the Rokh’s optimal range bonus gives you the range to hit almost anything in the sites; burn Sleepless Upholders ASAP because of their 65km orbit range.  But bring plenty of Null. And Void. And faction intermediate-range ammo, because faction ammo is totally worth it when you should earn a minimum of 84M per hour once you learn how to do it right.
  3. You have a really, really deep buffer on a Rokh. The natural resistances help your tank; boost your shields when you’re hovering around 33% shield to leverage the innate recharge.  This is true for the Raven, too, but the buffer is considerably thinner on the Raven than the Rokh and this move is a bit more risky.
  4. Refit, refit, refit. If the Upholder is pulling range, refit tracking computers. If the frigates are bugging you and you’ve lost your drones, refit webs and painters. If you’re getting low on cap, fit extra cap rechargers or flux coils, sacrificing some DPS or range to deal with your cap issues. We do this in our Dreadnaughts all the time using carriers; you should get used to it, as it is the way you deal with changes in battlefield conditions in PvP and PvE in EVE today!
  5. Like the Abaddon, the Rokh requires pretty good skills to get the most out of it. Caldari Battleship IV, T2 blasters (yeah, I tried with T1; it didn’t go very well, but it is do-able. Bring plenty of refits, and use rails despite their paltry DPS.), cap support skills to 5, Thermodynamics 4+, target painting 4, etc.  But at least you’re continuing to skill into your preferred battleship platform instead of a T3. There’s that.

This is a BASE FIT; you are expected to refit throughout the battle, and drop your mobile depot pretty much first thing upon entering the site.  Carry PvP and PvE mods. It’s all T2 stuff, so you can afford plenty of spares in your cargo hold as long as the sizes are reasonable! Large Guns aren’t typically that reasonable, but webs, painters, warp stabs, scrams, cap rechargers, flux coils, magnetic field stabilizers, tracking enhancers, targeting computers, relevant scripts, cap boosters and mods, mobile micro jump units, large micro jump drive, and a selection of ammo to work at various ranges are expected. Don’t leave a ton of cargo space to spare; Sleeper Loot is quite small.  A few cubic meters will do.

If you are prepared, you have little to fear.

Except the scripted infinite-point HIC. Always fear the scripted infinite-point HIC.  He can fit through frigate-sized wormholes, and he has your number. Running away is rarely an option!

[Rokh, C3 Rokh]

Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Capacitor Flux Coil II
Capacitor Flux Coil II
Damage Control II

Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
EM Ward Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Large Shield Booster II
Tracking Computer II, Optimal Range Script
Cap Recharger II

Neutron Blaster Cannon II, Null L
Neutron Blaster Cannon II, Null L
Neutron Blaster Cannon II, Null L
Neutron Blaster Cannon II, Null L
Neutron Blaster Cannon II, Null L
Neutron Blaster Cannon II, Null L
Neutron Blaster Cannon II, Null L
[Empty High slot]

Large Capacitor Control Circuit II
Large Capacitor Control Circuit II
Large Core Defense Operational Solidifier I

Valkyrie II x5

Inherent Implants ‘Squire’ Capacitor Systems Operation EO-603
Zainou ‘Deadeye’ Trajectory Analysis TA-703
Inherent Implants ‘Squire’ Capacitor Management EM-803
Zainou ‘Deadeye’ Sharpshooter ST-903
Zainou ‘Deadeye’ Large Hybrid Turret LH-1003

Well, that’s it for this week’s installment. Hope to see you in W-space soon. Don’t forget your mobile depot!


“Yeah, yeah, yeah, whatever,” replied Semerda, “I’m still mad at you for blowing up my ship.”

A few minutes earlier, we’d been sparring over holes with Semerda and his allies: scouting, probing, trying to catch one another with interdictors. We’d managed to catch Semerda in his Purifier and his buddy in an Enyo about an hour earlier, and we had scouts on one another’s holes.

Our scout reported their larger fleet reshipping from frigates and interceptors to cruisers and battlecruisers.

Outnumbered, we responded by reshipping from interdictors and destroyers to battleships and logistics.

They responded by ejecting dozens of ships from the SMA in their wormhole to screw with the head of our scouts, and opening a convo to our diplomat, Nylon Elephant.

“We can’t match what you’re bringing,” their conversation began, “so why don’t we just do an even match-up?”

“Sounds good, we can probably only field about five; it looks like you guys can field a lot more,” Nylon replied. “What class?”

“Battlecruisers and below sound good?”

“Sure. Pods or no pods?”

“No pods.”

Nylon knocked back a beer.  I downed a protein shake.  We all trudged back to our POS, preparing to reship into some battlecruisers to joyously rout our opponents, or offer our own ships up as a sacrifice to Bob, agreeing not to destroy capsules of those vanquished.

After all, an arranged fight is better than no fight. Am I right?

There we were, changing our clothes, getting ready… and then Nylon says over comms, “Break break break, guys… There’s like thirty Goons hanging out in their hole.”

Our scout quickly confirmed it. Rhys Less Jones, as always, stood ready to bait in his Hyperion.

“Fleet up and stomp Goons?” I asked, hopefully.

“Get on public comms,” replied Nylon as he chugged his next beer, “We’re gonna fleet up and stomp Goons.”

A few minutes later, there we were on our public Teamspeak server, WHORE pilots trickling into the meeting room. I brightly said, “Nice to meet you!” which warranted Semerda’s slightly less-enthusiastic reply at the top of this story. Nevertheless, with minor misgivings, we temporary W-space allies were fleeted up, our team in battleships, T3s, and logistics, and the WHORE alliance guys bringing a mix of T3s, a HIC, and numerous stealth bombers.

Rhys bravely flew his bait Hyperion into battle alone against the assembled Goon horde. Apparently, however, they weren’t entirely sure how to use F1. Rhys commented how easy it was to tank a couple of dozen Harpies and frigates, then his tone turned serious. “I think they just realized how to use their drones,” he said, “because I’m at about 18% armor now. Are you guys landing soon?”

“We’re in the pipe,” I replied, “Logis landing at 30km off you.”

As soon as I landed, I targeted Rhys and landed reps before our capacitor chain was up. We bailed him out of structure, then his battleship slowly started inching back up into higher percentages of armor. The HIC landed, bubbling up the battlefield, and we took down a few Goon ships while the rest quickly scattered (this killboard is a little messed up as to who was on what side). A few Goons warped to the sun in the W-space solar system, while the rest jumped through the wormhole back into the safety of null-security space.

We followed, and managed to catch a few more as they fled, particularly paying attention to those who had warped to the sun and now were trying to make good their escape.  But ultimately, a large group of frigates that wants to run away will mostly get away.  We traded some high-fives with our erstwhile companions, blew up the wrecks, quickly took our leave, and headed back home to knock back more drinks and laugh about the story.

All in all, a good night.  No losses, a few kills, and a team-up with some fellow w-space brothers in a temporary partnership to drive off a mutual K-space-dwelling opponent. Good times, good times.

Bonus Room Gila

For those of you who haven’t tried it out yet, the new 2014 Gila is a pretty solid PvE cruiser for chewing up L3 and L4 missions. While it only has bandwidth for 2 medium drones, each hits as hard as 6 medium drones (500% bonus to damage and hit points!). This bonus appears the moment you can fly the cruiser, and as your skills in Gallente and Caldari cruisers improve, it only gets better..


An Otter’s gotta find some way to make a living, amirite?

Today’s adventure in my Gila was Angel Extravaganza. I took my time with it because I had some family over, so I’d run a pocket, then help cook something or socialize, run the next pocket, etc. This meant that it took quite a while to complete, but mostly because I spent most of the time doing something else.  I eventually took a deep breath and — knowing it had given me problems before in other ships before, particularly various T1 battleships — dove into the Bonus Room.

The Angel Extravaganza Bonus Room is the sixth pocket of the mission.  It is widely-regarded as one of the toughest level 4 mission pockets you can run, and is my benchmark for evaluating whether a mission-running ship can take the toughest that a Level 4 mission can dish out.  It’s important to take out the webbers and towers first, and avoid popping the trigger, but it’s not difficult to avoid spawning the extra battleships too early. In truth, though, I’m confident enough in the Gila’s tank against battleships — that typically simply cannot hit it hard at all — that I might happily spawn the second wave of battleships while the field is full of other red crosses just for the fun of it.

The Gila has several bonuses that really matter for taking on the Bonus room.

  • 4% per level of Caldari Cruiser toward shield resistances.
  • 10% bonus per level of Gallente Cruiser toward Thermal and Kinetic missile damage.
  • 500% role bonus toward Medium Combat drone damage and hit points.

I have Gallente Cruiser 5, but only Caldari Cruiser 4, and it showed a bit in my tank. I got sloppy at one point and allowed myself to be webbed down near some high-DPS cruisers that quickly showed me I shouldn’t do that again; a quick overheat of my invuln and appropriate directions for my drones instead of letting them wander the field blowing stuff up, and I was back above 35% shield.

The basic tactic you use here is to keep your afterburner running while you’re dealing with frigates and cruisers, then feel free to turn it off while you chew on the battleships if you have capacitor issues.  Keep transversal up, and get up-close-and-personal with the battleships and your Scourge Rage Heavy Assault Missiles so you can leverage the not-inconsiderable damage of your missiles to add to the OMGWTFBBQ power of your pair of medium drones.

The drones are so powerful and tough, really, that I’m beginning to regard the Gila itself as simply the third drone of a trio that is Gila Power.

Your drone Otter Army is ready, m'lord. But just two at a time on the Gila, please!

Your drone Otter Army is ready, m’lord. But just two at a time on the Gila, please!

Here’s my basic Angel Bonus Room fit.  I’m certain those with the skills and ISK can beter this considerably. And, of course, you really want to be using Scourge heavy assault missiles to take advantage of the bonus and the Angel’s secondary Kinetic resist hole, and use your Valkyrie drones. My drones only got aggro once, and easily tanked the damage in shield until they’d wiped out the aggressors.

[Gila, Angel Bonus Room TXG]

Internal Force Field Array I
Shield Power Relay II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II

10MN Afterburner II
Large Shield Extender II
Large Shield Extender II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Explosive Deflection Field II
Explosive Deflection Amplifier II

Small ‘Solace’ Remote Armor Repairer
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Rage Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Rage Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Rage Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Rage Heavy Assault Missile

Medium Core Defense Field Purger II
Medium Core Defense Field Purger II
Medium Core Defense Field Purger II

Valkyrie II x2
Vespa II x2
Infiltrator II x2
Hornet EC-300 x4
Hammerhead II x2

Every so often, the Otters poke their heads out of their wormhole home to investigate known space. It's kinda' scary out there.

Every so often, the Otters poke their heads out of their wormhole home to investigate known space. It’s kinda’ scary out there.

The remote armor rep, of course, is to rep up your drones on extended forays. Given that it was completely unnecessary even against the Bonus Room, I may remove it.

There are, of course, numerous ways for you to improve on the fit. The use of the recently-buffed ‘Augmented’ medium drones give the Gila a healthy 10% kick in the Drone DPS department, as does going faction or deadspace on the hardeners in order to drop the damage control and pick up either a fourth Drone Damage Amp or a Ballistic Control Unit.  Once you get up into the Billion-ISK or so level of investment in faction DDAs, BCU, and Augmented drones, a Gila will churn out better than 1000DPS between drones and heavy assault

The Gila's namesake is an intimidating reptile with a tenacious bite. Seems appropriate for the new version.

The Gila’s namesake is an intimidating reptile with a tenacious bite. Seems appropriate for the new version.

missiles, and over 300DPS of mission-specific tank (or a bit lower omni-tank).  This is a level of damage many battleships aspire to, and while 300DPS may seem low, it’s more than sufficient on a cruiser-sized vessel to take on the hardest high-security space carebear missions you can find.  The drones are incredibly tough and can typically tank long enough to wipe out whatever is shooting them.

About the only real problem for the Gila is damage application against incredibly fast, incredibly small drones like Spider Drones. Your medium drones eventually get lucky and burn the Spider Drones down quickly when that happens, but a web, target painter, or Omnidirectional Tracking Enhancer is money well spent and a reasonable trade if you face a frigate-heavy mission.

I’m impressed; the Gila is a very solid, fast-running little L4 mission boat boat. A tad expensive, but very effective even in basic T2 fit and in line with most T1 battleships once equipped; it’s worth monkeying around with the low slot layout to find the combination that works best for your skills.

I wonder how the passive tank would work out in a Level 5 mission?  I already know it can handle any Class 2 wormhole PvE, as I’ve used it for bait there before.  Maybe Class 3? I’ll have to look, if I tweak this and adjust that, yeah, then maybe…

Anchors away!


TXG SYNC flying solo in Otter Space

I was in my little Dragoon destroyer in high-security space re-running the Sisters of Eve epic mission arc in an attempt to repair my Minmatar faction standings.  I’d been involved in quite a few actions recently that didn’t make the Minmatar very happy, so my status with them was right at the borderline of getting in trouble with their faction navy.  I figured it was time to repair that a bit, so was wasting a few hours doing a series of these low-level missions that — while not rewarding financially — promised to help patching things up with the Minmatar a little bit if I did it right. (more…)

IOS vs. BNI: The Whelpfleet Rides Again!

It had been a few months since I’d gone on a PvP roam. Over the course of the summer, the long days and nearby mountains called to me, so I spent most of my spare time hiking, running, or biking whenever I found spare time. Eve was nearly forgotten.  Then the days started getting shorter, and the nights longer. My training sessions became short, focused workouts instead of long, rambling outings, and the weather began to get chillier. And Eve called to me yet again.

Therefore, I X’d up for a bomber roam with the alliance on a Friday night for some nullsec shenanigans.

It didn’t start well.


Solo C3: Amarr T1 Battleships

Solo Class 3 Wormhole Sites in an Amarr Battleship

I’m back! Like your favorite seasons of TV shows, I took the summer off. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Make no mistake about my purpose in this post: it is NOT to convince you to fly a battleship when soloing anoms in a class 3 wormhole. Your average strategic cruiser (Legion, Tengu, Loki, Proteus) is simply, on average, better than your average battleship for running sites in a Class 3 anomaly in wormholes.  They’ll have less trouble with frigates (no trouble at all, really), they usually don’t require much strategy beyond “keep your afterburner going and orbit stuff”. Training is often quicker, handling mass restrictions works out better, and you can escape incoming ganks more easily.

My purpose is not to convince you there is some hidden advantage to battleships in Class 3 wormholes. You’re operating at a severe disadvantage. I’ll offer a few tricks to make the most of it based upon my extensive testing of battleship fits, but make no mistake: a T1 battleship is not my favorite C3 solo anomaly-running boat.

My purpose in encouraging you to take ships solo into C3 wormholes is so that I have more people to hunt. But I want my targets to not be terrible at the job!  Get in there, make some ISK, live with the occasional gank, and FIGHT THE HELL BACK. We’ll be waiting in the wings to try to nick you while you’re getting the job done, but at the same time we have to make a living in wormholes, too. We know what it’s like. We want you to succeed, so that you can bring shinier, more-expensive ships into our chain so we can try to catch you running sites in it.

And a properly-fit, PvP-ready battleship takes more than one random T3 or stealth bomber to defeat. If you prepare adequately, your ship can punch well above its weight in a PvP engagement, and that makes it fun for everybody. If you bring an appropriate refit, a mobile depot, and play it smart, you can have a really solid PvP-capable boat to not just POS up when the enemy comes calling, but engage their gang and call in your own reinforcements.

Now that that’s out of the way, on to the fits. (more…)

October 2014 Wormhole Balance

Class 3 Wormhole PvE Changes: October 2014

As some of you are probably aware, with the Hyperion release in October of 2014, CCP fixed some broken remote-repair code in the AI for Sleepers and Incursions. Discussion here:

Keith Planck is one of the few on the forums who openly admits he enjoys and participates in wormhole PvE activities. While I admire his candor, he really should just pretend he doesn’t need the ISK and is just in wormholes <cough> “for the pew” like everybody else.  Keith thoroughly analyzed the changes, and CCP responded: (more…)