Thursday, July 03, 2008

Eve Online: Almost Blockaded

Well I finally finished Blockade (lvl 3) in my Rupture last night ..... at 3:00 am.

It seems my naive optimism after clearing the first couple of waves the previous night were misplaced. Not alone had everything reset after yesterday's downtime but everything seemed to have gotten harder. There appears to be a random element in the spawns and I appear to have gotten the unlucky draw. In every case I got more enemies and tougher enemies than listed in the normally excellent Eve-Survival guide. Frigates turned into cruisers, cruisers turned into battle cruisers and battle cruisers turned into tech 2 Arch Gistum ships with insane resistances.

Even the triggers proved trickier than I expected. On two of the waves the trigger ship was not unique but one of a bunch of identical ships. This slows things up enormously as you need to work your way around the map avoiding killing any of the possible triggers. It also gives you a lottery of which one to kill last in order to avoid triggering the next wave.

It was slow, tedious work and my poor rupture cruiser was stretched to the limit. My tank was unable to sustain the high damage from groups of cruisers and battle cruisers so I had to resort to hit and run. Warp in and kill a straggler while my shield gets whittled down under a withering barrage. Then warp out again to recharge shields. At least this isn't a deadspace mission so I was able to create a ring of safe spots around the map to warp to and from which helped enormously both in keeping me alive and also in herding the npcs where I needed them to go.

My big passive shield tank (over 7000 shield hp) works well for hit and run but the biggest difficulty is my very poor dps. In some cases I struggled to kill even one enemy before I was forced to warp to a safe spot. A bunch of Arch Gistum Predator cruisers nearly scuppered me. They have very high resistances and even with all guns blazing I could bearly deplete their shields before I was forced to warp to safety. NPC shields regenerate just like a player's so a hit and run strategy will only work if you deplete a ships shields and take a bite out of the armour on every pass. If you don't get down to the armour then the pass is useless.

I swapped out shield power relays for gyrostabilisers in order to increase my dps a little, trading survivability for increased damage. Then my inner nerd came out and I put together a fairly nifty Excel spreadsheet plotting damage versus distance for various ammo types against a given npc ship. This allowed me to choose the best ammo and the best distance for optimum dps and eventually I was able to break down those pesky Arch Gistuums. I am quite proud of the spreadsheet. If I get a chance I will tidy it up and link it here.

I fired over 2500 projectiles and almost 1000 missiles. I lost 10 drones due to carelessness. I didn't even get to reap the bounty of salvage because most of the wrecks had long since disappeared by the time I finally cleared the mission. Nevertheless I finally did it without losing a ship.

I used a variety of fit outs during the mission but this was probably the most useful: A Gyrostabiliser replaces one shield power relay to increase dps and a shield hardener replaces the afterburner to give increased survivability. I didn't need an afterburner in this mission because it isn't in deadspace and I was able to warp around.



Where to next? My confidence in the Rupture's ability to do level 3's has been dented somewhat. I am glad I managed to pull it off in the end but I can't afford to pull all nighters just to complete missions.

4 comments:

Van Hemlock said...

Not sure what your skills are like, but I'd go with an active Armour Tank on that thing; Reps, Hardners, Plates, etc. That should free up the mids for utility (AB or web), and/or cap regeneration.

As for where next, I'd recommend the Hurricane, which is effectively a bigger version of the Rupture (same bonuses, etc) and can be flown in a very similar manner. It also looks damned cool!

Should make the Agent 3s a lot more comfortable, but more affordable than Battleships.

mbp said...

Hi VH. Good idea about trying an active armour tank - I probably need a few new skills to get the most out of it but I'll give it a go.

I do have one fear about armour tanks: When Shield tanking armour acts as a safety net generally allowing you to warp out even if the tank is overwhelmed. If my armour tank fails then I am down to structure and a few extra hits will kill me.

I am pretty sure I am going to have to upgrade ships like you suggest before I get levels 3's on farm. I have a bunch of skills to train first though so in the meantime I will play around with the Rupture to see if I can squeeze bit more performance out of it.

Jason said...

Level 3 missions are doable with cruisers, however they require T2 tank, and depending on your DPS, T2 weaponry.

As I mentioned in the other post, an active armor tank is much better suited to the rupture's style with all the low slots.

However, all that said you are better off traning up a Hurricane.

720mm howitzers with assault launchers in the his, tracking comps and a cap recharger or two in the mids, 2-3 gyrostabilzers in the lows with a medium armor repper and 2x rat specific hardeners in the lows. If you're having grid issues, throw in a reactor control unit in the place of a gyrostabilizer.

As for warping out, my suggestion would be to get into the mission then align to a planet or something else. This way, if your tank starts breaking, all you have to do is recall drones and warp out.

mbp said...

Hi again Jason. I have done a few more level 3's in my Rupture and I am getting sort of confident that I can handle anything they throw at me. It is fairly slow going though and I can see that you are right - I really need to get a battle cruiser to get these on "farm Status". In the meantime I will trying to put together an armour tank cruiser as you suggest. It will probably take me a day or two to get the hang of it but I will post how I get on.