Wednesday, August 1, 2012

On That Grind II: The Plan

Whenever you’re about to dive into a whole mess of something awful, it’s good to have a plan. The six P’s apply to everything, even internet spaceships. Actually, it especially applies to internet spaceships. What are the six P’s you ask? They are:
Proper planning prevents piss poor performance.
In my effort to make this venture suck a little as possible, I’ve tried to do some planning ahead. My planning has two areas of focus which are my method and my ship. I believe these two things will be the key to my success since you can’t buy up your security status with tags yet. If that were an option, well… this blog series would be very different.

The Rules
It should be no surprise there is a strategy in Eve Online surrounding the correction of security status. CCP has instituted several rules when it comes to security status and it’s important to be aware of them. Pilots receive a security status gain every 15 minutes per system for the “rat” they are currently shooting. Each system has its own 15 minute timer. Security status given is on a sliding scale with battleship rats giving the largest percentage increase and frigates giving the least.

Keeping those rules in mind, it’s easy to develop a plan to efficiently raise my security status. I’ll find a cluster of linked systems I can rotate through easily. I will shoot one battleship in each system I’m in and then move on to the next. Repeating this pattern will allow me to maximize my security status gains. Good plan so far.

Seeking out battleships is a also a huge part of the plan. I want to avoid shooting cruisers as much as possible. If I’m out in null sec, I’ll have to pay attention to the security status of the systems. -.01 to -.5 will have easily available battleships. It will be harder to find battleships in lower security systems and that can eat up a lot of time. I may also have to “prime” systems and build up the kind of ratting fleets I’m looking for.

If I do need to prime, I’ll use a “Chain Ratting” approach. Groups of only frigates or cruisers will be cleared for a new spawn. Groups with battleships plus frigates or cruisers will only have the battleships destroyed. Through some wicked mix of spreadsheets and space magic replacement battleships should reappear at some point.

Mah Ship
The next issue is my ship. There are quite a few good ship choices when it comes to this form of ratting. Some folks like to go all out and get themselves a blinged out tengu. Some prefer a minimalist approach with a stealth bomber, though with the recent-ish changes I’m not sure it’s a viable method anymore. I went middle of the road a chose a Drake.

[Drake, Deeps4Rats Fit]

Heavy Missile Launcher II
Heavy Missile Launcher II
Heavy Missile Launcher II
Heavy Missile Launcher II
Heavy Missile Launcher II
Heavy Missile Launcher II
Heavy Missile Launcher II
Prototype Cloaking Device I

Experimental 10MN Afterburner I
Thermic Dissipation Field II
Kinetic Deflection Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
ECCM - Magnetometric II
Medium Shield Extender II

Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Power Diagnostic System II
Damage Control II

Medium Core Defense Field Extender I
Medium Core Defense Field Extender I
Medium Core Defense Field Extender I

Warrior II x5

I’ve always found Drakes easiest to rat in. It has a good amount of highs, mids and lows for fairly balanced DPS, & tank. It has excellent natural resists. Plus, I’m pretty much at near max skills due to the Drakes being so popular the north for so long. It’s the best DPS and tank for where my skill points are. I’m in the process of training for a Tengu and will be able to fly it with adequate skills. Still, the idea of a T3 is scary to me.

You’ve probably noticed a few weird things on my fit. I do put a cloak on my ratting drake. People love picking on poor little psudo-goons such as myself and I also have an overwhelming sense of paranoia when I PvE. This fit is also over on CPU for me. I usually alternate with my cloak/afterburner off-line. Plus, I should be a little extra vigilant as a blog series about ratting may cause some people to start thinking opportunistically.

You’ll also notice the ECCM module in my mids. Normally there is second Adaptive Invulnerability Field II there, but I’ll be going against Guristas. In case you weren’t aware, some Guristas rats are able to jam which make them the biggest assholes in all of rat-dom. On the flip side, their damage dealt type and weakness is Kinetic and Thermal which makes them the optimal targets for my Drake.

ECCM’s effect against rats has been long debated in various Eve Online communities. I tried looking into it myself, but only found conflicting information. There are posts boasting percentage decreases to the rats jamming success ratio with use of an ECCM module and there are posts stating the fundamental mechanics don’t allow ECCM to effect rats. We even went back and forth in the Voices from the Void channel, but still no definitive answer. I “feel” a difference in my experience when I use ECCM on my Drake, but I’m also aware that doesn’t mean anything. If you know definitively if ECCM modals affect rats, please let me know.

I’m pretty happy with the end result of my fit. If I use a 50% Kinetic/50%Thermal damage pattern in Pyfa, this fit gives me 81.9K worth of effective hitpoints and 22.3K in raw hitpoints. If I use scourge fury heavy missiles; my damage per second will be 304 with a volley of 2511. If I use regular scourge, my damage per second drops to 238 with a volley of 1962. I typically run with scourge fury and my average volley hits for about 1500 on a battleship.

This is going to take forever.
I have my spot all marked out and I’ve moved in and gotten down to business. The first day of ratting sucked balls and I only made it down to -8.4. As I’m writing this post, I’m actually on my second day of ratting and after making a few corrections, I’m down to -7.7.

That’s enough words for today though. The next blog will detail my progress as well as a few huge blunders I made. Until then, I’ll be on the grind.