Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Eve: Rupture Armour Tank Update

Well ...

It seems to work. I have done 2 level 3 missions (Rogue Drone Harassment and Angel Extravaganza) in the armour tanked configuration described last post and I am still alive to tell the tale. I skipped the optional last part of extravaganza - that has battleship class rats and I doubt it could be handled solo in a cruiser.

The combination of short range weapons and a strong armour tank are quite new to me. The red arc across the top of my status panel indicating my rapidly disappearing shields took a bit of getting used to.

This set up takes a bit more concentration to use than a passive shield tank. I use drones and missiles to tickle enemies from range while I try to close in rapidly using afterburners. You can't run afterburner and armour repairer together for very long without draining cap so there is a tantalising few moments while you fly into a hail of incoming fire with no armour repairer on, trying desperately get into autocannon range. Once you get within 9,000 metres or so you can switch off the afterburner, switch on the armour repairer, open up with your autocannons and breathe a sigh of relief. The auto's seem to wreak quite a bit more damage than I am used to from longer range artillery and the enemies shields and armour vanish satisfyingly quickly.

Even though autocannons have a frighteningly short optimal rage (less than 1km) they have a decent accuracy falloff distance and still manage to inflict about 50% damage at 9km. I found that orbiting the target at 4km using my un-boosted max speed of 250km seems to give a good combination of distance and angular velocity.

Once you have the armour repairer going the tank feels quite a bit stronger than I remember the passive shield tank being. The PST depended largely on just having a large number of hit points whereas this has better resists and a solid active repairer.

In the Rogue Drone mission the acceleration gate dropped me right in the middle of the second pocket, automatically aggroing all 9 cruisers and 2 battle cruisers. Amazingly the armour tank managed to hold up under their combined fire while I took them out one by one. I don't think they were hitting very hard however and I can imagine that a group of well spaced cruisers/battle cruisers with proper long range weapons could really cause this setup grief as I tried to fly under fire from one target to the next.

Fast moving frigates can be tricky also because the autocannons can't track htem once they start to orbit. As long as there are only one or two the assault launchers can handle them but if I knew a mission was going to have a lot of frigates (especially tech 2 versions with fast speed and high resistances) I would swap one autocannon for a third assault launcher.

Careful pulling and target selection is essential of course as is control of your drones. Nevertheless I consider the set-up a success and am going to keep using it. It seems to clear the missions more quickly than the PST / Artillery rupture, not least because you are forced to get close with the enemy quickly in order to use the short range autocannons but also because the armour tank seems tougher with fewer emergency warp outs required.


Jason said...

Glad to hear the setup is working so well for you :D. Truth told, I'm a rail shooting shield tanking Caldari. I did go to some very reputable sources for the fit, scrapheap-challenge.com to be precise. Lots of good fitting and flying info there to be had.

As for your issues with tracking, it's not uncommon for anyone shooting guns, which is why most people tend to use missiles or drones for PvE purposes. However, it's not without hope. I don't know if you've trained much in gunnery, but a few levels of Motion Prediction will help with that. It grants 5% bonus to turret tracking per level.

Fly safe o7

mbp said...

Hi Jason I have done a couple more level 3's in the armour tanked rupture and it is holding up pretty well. In the meantime I have managed to train up battle cruisers and I have even bought Hurricane so now I have to start all over again :).

That scrapheap-challenge site is very good, thanks for the link.