Thursday, February 01, 2007

Back In The Game

After a year and a half away from the game I've decided to return, and what a changed EVE to come back to. So much to learn and experience for the first time and so much to relearn (I've forgotten almost everything I knew). It's entirely likely, though not guaranteed, that I'll write occasional posts here on my second round of EVE experiences and thoughts. Any past posts are from a very different game and if anyone still arrives here on searches for Thorax and Brutix ship setups (as they once did with surprising regularity) then I suggest they investigate the official forum threads listing setups for post-Revelations EVE instead.

I'm a true newbie again, which is excellent. I have weeks of shiny newness to look forward to.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

New Technology

Been a while since I wrote randomly about EVE. That Brutix setup below is still working very well, with a few minor changes. The two Cap Recharger Is are now named and the three passive hardeners have been replaced - named Kinetic and Thermal active hardeners and an Energised Adaptive Nano. plate. I finally got around to "braving" level 3 Silence The Informant with it and discovered the darn thing was actually quite easy in the Blasterix. The first stage of drones was laughably empty (apparently reduced from an earlier, lethal version) and the second stage, whilst requiring me to warp out, wasn't any worse than the first wave of Mordus. So several of the level 3 missions can still be challenging but they're all now doable.

Playing around with the Ares interceptor.

In the past three weeks I've added two delightful new classes of ship to my repertoire. As the plodding nature of my Brutix began to grate I trained up Interceptors and Assault Frigates. I had a picked up an Ares interceptor from my agent a while back and a corp-mate was insanely generous enough to give me his Taranis. I really don't have a clue how to set these up (still!) but I bumbled together some attempts and took them into various bits of NPC combat (at the time without the ability to use Tech II hybrids). The Taranis looked very nice but didn't kill things very quickly (I was doing passes where you speed in from 30km and zoom 30km past your targets, firing when in range - a very slow way to kill things if you're me). The Ares, on the other-hand, worked out rather well for me. Orbiting at 18km, doing 1400m/s, launching pairs of Thermal missiles (the ship has a bonus to damage and I was fighting Serpentis) whilst gently plugging away with Tungsten charges from two 125mm Railguns. Rogue drones were particularly easy, though I had to switch to doing passes with them to avoid whirling through numerous groups at once. They're both fun ships to fly but I need better skills to make full use of them, and I'm not sure they're as much use in NPC combat as they are in player combat (but we'll see when I'm better at flying them).

The sexy ninja that is the Taranis interceptor.

Just last week I also reached the point where I could fly the ever popular Assault Frigates. I picked myself up a shiny red Enyo and proceeded to tear into level 3 missions with it, to my great delight (though that was what I was expecting). I had to learn how to use Defender missiles, which have turned out to be very useful indeed. Just last night I was able to fit Tech II Railguns to it, which has bumped the damage output up a bit more. I'm rather cautious still about what missions I attempt in it (I'm not sure I'll be trying Mordus quite yet) but it's doing very well so far - and it's a fun ship to fly. For the moment I'm trying to target my skill training towards improving the Enyo further, as I hope to garner maximum use out of it.

Taking down a drone infested Dominix in Silence The Informant.

Apart from my journey deeper into the world of Tech II ships and Tech II modules, I've finally wormed my way into a couple of level 4 missions. On Saturday I took part in the Rogue Drone filled Silence The Informant, initially alongside two battleships (Megathrons - though one had connection trouble) and a cruiser (a Celestis rigged for support rather than combat). I was flying my Ares and did my part cutting down the drones on our way to the first infested Dominix battleship requiring destruction. As I sat still as stone firing at the Domi, careful not to aggro another group of drones and turrets, I didn't notice just that happening. Before my ship could even begin the warp out procedure I was torn apart and left in my pod. My shiny red Ares turned to dust. Not a great loss financially (they're thankfully quite cheap and I can afford plenty these days) but it was a bit of a shock. As the mission had to be abandoned for a few hours I returned later (as we gathered for a second attempt) in my trusty Blasterax. This time we were a rather more menacing team - four Megathron battleships, myself in the Thorax cruiser and the support Celestis once more. Overkill indeed but we tore through it all nicely.

Showing a Megathron battleship the business end of my blasters & drones.

Last night I took part in my second level 4 mission - Serpentis Extravaganza. Unwilling to risk my Enyo (yet) I rolled out the Blasterax again and joined two Enyos and an Apocalypse battleship. Between us we made short work of the many battleships, cruisers and frigates we faced. It was good fun and rather profitable.

The Silence The Informant fleet on the move.

A peek inside the bonus stage of a level 3 Angel Extravaganza.

Up close and personal with the infested Dominix.

My medium barge, finally purchased for lazy mining.

Tuesday, April 12, 2005

My Blasterix And I

A good week and a half into level three missions and I'm rolling along nicely now. I still avoid rogue drones, but I don't see that lasting much longer. With the exception of Silence The Informant (what I hear of the second stage leads me to believe my Brutix will be totally overwhelmed) I think it's time to delve into that danger pool. The level three Angel Surprise, destructor of my original Brutix, reared its head at last and I confidently tore it apart. It wasn't a walkover (I had to warp out once to be safe) but I've finally put that demon to rest! That and Mordu's Headhunters are the only two missions I need to warp out from, so that's not bad going. My Brutix setup for all level three missions, for those drifting here by Google, is as follows:

High Slots:
3x named Medium Ion Blasters (with Antimatter ammo)
4x named Small Neutron Blasters (with Antimatter ammo most of the time)

Medium Slots:
Named 10mn Afterburner
Named (X5) Webber
2x Cap Recharger Is

Low Slots:
1600mm Nanofiber plate
Tech II Medium Armour Repairer
Named Energised Thermal Plating
Named Energised Kinetic Plating
Named Energised Explosive Plating

Drone Bay:
5x Hammerheads (Mediums)
4x Infiltrators (Mediums)

The weaponry is working very well, with the three medium blasters doing plenty of damage for punching cruisers, and the small blasters also chewing through quite nicely, whilst having the benefit of hitting frigates more often. I don't think I'd want a fourth medium blaster, but I would love to be able to replace one or more of the Ions with medium Neutrons.

The named afterburner is essential as you need all the speed you can get to make this work as a blaster boat. Navigation trained to level five and Acceleration Control trained to level four is also pretty essential. I'd like to replace one or both of those Cap Rechargers with Cap Recharger IIs, but the pricing is prohibitive.

The Tech II repairer is essential if you want to make the best use of the Brutix bonus (you should have the Battlecruiser skill trained to level four, which yields 384 armour repaired each cycle). You're never going to be fast moving, so the more armour you can repair in a short period of time, the better. Equally handy is having as much armour as possible, which is wear the 1600mm plate comes in. You could gain even more armour by going for a different type of plating, but I don't fancy sacrificing more than 5% of my speed for it, hence the Nanofiber.

Dropping like a (not particularly fast) hammer onto my targets is tremendous fun, and is working out very well so far.

Friday, April 01, 2005


Settling in the end for just upgrading to a Tech II Medium Armour Repairer I took the plunge last night and continued to do level 3 agent missions. I had an easy start to the night when I was dispatched to take down three frigates and one cruiser, followed by a courier run that was no problem for my speedy Atron. Skipping a request to "Silence The Informant" (the longest, hardest level 3 rogue drone mission? I think not) I was offered the deadspace glory of Serpentis Extravaganza. As I dropped out of warp amidst a sea of cruisers I rather regretted accepting it.

An hour and a half later I was several million Isk richer, down three medium drones and a whack of Antimatter ammo and rather pleased with myself indeed. The first level required careful approach of the enemy group by group, which proved challenging enough for me at the time. I soon got the hang of it though, getting more and more confident as my blasters and drones tore through the varied selection of cruisers (high, medium and low bounty versions) and frigates. I was warned about the second level, so arriving in the middle of half a dozen turrets and a cruiser rat wasn't as shocking as it could have been. As all the turrets were in range, I had to fight a risky battle of capacitor energy versus DOT (damage over time). Thankfully my blasters and drones did the job fast enough to allow me triumph. Without my 4800+ units of armour though, I'd have been a bit screwed! The final stage was nice and quiet by comparison, despite the large number of enemy ships to dispatch.

A particle accelerator and shield sphere in level 3 deadspace.

The entire task took over an hour and a half, putting the forty five minute bonus time (for a lot of cigarettes) laughably out of reach. However, it was good fun and much more rewarding than level 2 missions. The next step will be to succeed in more of the properly tough missions whilst I begin training up for my lovely little Ares interceptor.

Thursday, March 31, 2005

At Last

A few days ago, after weeks of training, I was finally ready to step back into my Brutix. I ported my Thorax setup to it, adding a second Cap Recharger I in the extra mid slot and then set about trying to fill the high slots with turrets. The powergrid proved to be the big stumbling block, as always with this ship, and (as you may expect) I was unable to get very many Medium Blasters onboard. In the end I settled for three Ions and four small Neutrons. I'm too short of grid for a forth Ion, so this looks like it'll be sticking for some time yet. A few trips into 0.2 asteroid belts to engage my good old cruiser friends confirmed a reasonable setup for now.

It was with great glee that I accepted my second ever level three mission - Stop The Thief. Perhaps the easiest of missions to begin with, but quite a good way to begin. My Brutix groaned into the four cruiser escort like some kind of slowly lumbering giant. As I crawled towards them, taking heavy missile after heavy missile, I realised that I might need to consider some more work on my speed. Nonetheless my immensely improved armour held nicely, and my repairer was able to run quite a lot when necessary.

My blaster setup tore through them reasonably quickly, but the lack of damage from my Iridium filled small Neutrons makes me reconsider slapping Antimatter in them and taking the closer range necessary. My medium drones were a delight. Being used to the eight heavies I could fly out of my Thorax I was not expecting wonders from my nine mediums. However, taking the advice of a Corp mate and putting in a mixture worked very well indeed - stripping the cruisers down surprisingly quickly. I think my level three mission tactics will most likely require a more headstrong approach to drone usage, using them to tear through as much as possible as my Brutix lumbers onward, irrespective of their inevitable destruction.

Before I continue my level three education I think it's about time I picked up a Tech II medium armour repairer, and replaced my medium Ion blasters with some named versions and my small Neutrons with either modal Tech Is or normal Tech IIs. I'm still afraid it will all still be too little for deadspace, but I'm about as ready as can be.

Monday, February 28, 2005

Fun With Frigates

As I continue my epic re-skilling for my second Brutix I've spent a few fun hours messing around with frigates I never tried on my first journey up through the ship classes. Before my fateful first level 3 mission I took to doing the easier end of my level 2 missions in a blaster-equipped Incursus. It was the first time I'd used both blasters and the oddly-shaped Incursus but it was much more lively than the sedate Brutix. Orbiting the enemy at a good speed, a mere 1km away, pounding away with my blasters and running the armour repairer when necessary. I got so used to the little bugger that I eventually lost it to the new level 2 "Drone Infestation" mission and one of the cruiser-tough drones in there.

I've since bought a second Incursus but my eyes have turned to a new toy now - the Tristan. Orbiting at 15km, afterburner on and missiles flying... I'd never used missiles before now, always preferring the feel of a good railgun under my fingers. So I'm quite terribly underskilled in them, but still I watch amused as each one does around 80 damage with every hit. It takes the edge off the rather disappointingly long time it currently takes to kill decent enemy with it. Fighting off a Caldari incursion took a good deal longer than it should have.

I enjoy being able to try out these new (for me) ships - even more so when I know that their loss is not worth noticing when it comes to my wallet. They liven up the easier end of the generally very easy level 2 mission stack. Rather than plowing into the 'Rats with my all-conquering Thorax I can race around them in a frigate, scrambling to keep it alive as I pummel them with my tiny weapons. With this in mind I picked myself up a shiny red Ares Interceptor in exchange for a few agent loyalty points and a small selection of components and minerals. As soon as I can spare eighteen days to skill up for it I'll be tearing apart the universe at breakneck speed.

Thursday, February 10, 2005

Thinking Ahead To Thorax vrs Brutix

Yesterday was a short night of Thorax combat in the 0.2 belts. Close and nasty stuff - great fun! The ramped up armour hitpoints meant combat with the high bounty cruiser 'Rats (the 100,000 Isk Guardian Trooper several times throughout the night) went just as well as it used to in my Brutix. I also changed my ammunition for Antimatter rounds, thereby dealing better for the most part. The normal Serpentis Cruisers, often coming in pairs, fell quicker than they had the night before. The next steps will be to look into fitting a couple of cruiser-level blasters and investigate integrating Tech II modules into the setup.

The Channon IV shows a Serpentis Chief Sentinel what a Blasterax can do.

Looking at the Thorax and Brutix statistics I'm immediately struck by the fact that my beloved Brutix is not actually that much better than the 'Rax. In fact, with only half the drone bay it's actually almost worse. The armour tanking potential is the same, with an equal five low slots. It would be ideal if the seven turret points could handle at least five medium blasters, but (and this is without checking a setup) it really doesn't look like you can. The differences in powergrid and CPU between the Brutix and 'Rax are laughably small (which has already led to plenty of complaining forum goers), so a significantly more damaging Blasterax setup on the Brutix (but with five mediums and a second Cap Recharger in the extra mid slot) doesn't seem possible. This is a shame, because that would have made the Brutix a very suitable change in ship class - a super-Thorax, but without the full heavy Drone capabilities to prevent it being too over-devastating.

The drone bay presents a problem more specific to me. I've been using close to ten medium drones in all my long term ships, and more recently eight lovely Ogre heavy drones in the 'Rax. With the power of heavies demonstrated to me, I'm now torn between flying nine (soon ten) Hammerhead mediums or four Ogres. That I have to make such a drastic choice is a notable weakness of the Brutix.

Ultimately I will have to experiment more with a Brutix setup to do my best to turn it into a large Blasterax. Tweaking setups is more fun that I expected, just so long as it doesn't go too horribly wrong.