Thursday, March 15, 2012

EVE: LVL 4 Maelstrom

The Minmatar Maelstrom has bonuses to active shield tanking and large projectile weapons so it doesn't take much though to pick active shield tanking and large artillery cannons. For a pilot with limited skills however it can still be challenging to squeeze everything you need into the available power and CPU limitations while still maintaining reasonable capacitor life. Here is my current incarnation that works with the appropriate skills at mainly 3 or 4.






[Maelstrom, Working LVL4 Maelstrom]
Beta Reactor Control: Diagnostic System I
Beta Reactor Control: Diagnostic System I
Damage Control II
Counterbalanced Weapon Mounts I
Counterbalanced Weapon Mounts I

100MN Afterburner II
Cap Recharger II
Large Shield Booster II
Shield Boost Amplifier II
Invulnerability Field II
Invulnerability Field II

1400mm 'Scout' Artillery I, EMP L
1400mm 'Scout' Artillery I, EMP L
1400mm 'Scout' Artillery I, EMP L
1400mm 'Scout' Artillery I, EMP L
1400mm 'Scout' Artillery I, EMP L
1400mm 'Scout' Artillery I, EMP L
1400mm 'Scout' Artillery I, EMP L
1400mm 'Scout' Artillery I, EMP L

Large Capacitor Control Circuit I
Large Capacitor Control Circuit I
[empty rig slot]


Hammerhead I x5
Hobgoblin I x5


My shield skills are not too bad so I can fit a tech 2 tank in the mids:large shield booster II+ Shield Boost Amplifier II. I consider an afterburner essential on a boat as slow as this and the Cap Re-charger II does wonders for capacitor life. This only leaves two mid slots for "mission specific hardeners" but it an still tank 355 dps uniform damage distribution. In most missions it can do even better by selecting hardeners for the specific damage types and 500dps+ tanking is achievable.

With afterburner turned off the cap will power the shield booster for more than 20 minutes which is effectively forever. Just switching off the booster off for a few seconds every few minutes will keep it running.

I am several months skill training away from being able to fit tech 2 large artillery so the 1400mm scouts are the biggest guns I can use at the moment. These things are not cheap and you need 8 of them but it is possible to save 20 million by switching to the much cheaper "prototypes"for a loss of only 15 dps.

The two  Beta Reactor Power Diagnostic modules in the low slots provide an essential boost to power grid which I need to fit all eight guns with my low skills. These handy modules also provide a useful boost to shield size and recharge and and capacitor size and recharge all of which help the tank.

Two gyro-stabilisers (Counterbalanced Weapon Mounts) increase the damage from my guns.

The Damage Control II module seems a bit out of place in a shield tanker given that its main bonuses are to armour and hull. It does however provide an extra 12.5% omni damage resist to shields so it compensates somewhat for the lack of a third hardener in the mids. I am tempted to try replacing  this with a damage or tracking enhancing module in missions that do not require heavy tanking.


Drones are essential in this boat for dealing with frigates (light drones) , destroyers and cruisers (medium drones) that get in close and orbit. The thermal damage drones seem to do the best all round but you can swap out for mission specific. My drone skills are terrible and it seems to take forever for my drones to kill anything which is no fun if you are stuck in the middle of  1000dps incoming fire while webbed by several elite frigates. This was the single biggest problem in my first few lvl 4 missions and my skill queue is filled with drone stuff to try and address it.

By the way - getting in close is a relative term when you are dealing with the abysmally awful tracking of large artillery. I have had trouble hitting battleships slowly orbiting me at 15km. The best solution to a tracking problem is to put some distance between yourself and the target and this is where the afterburner comes in handy. Just try not to run the afterburner and shield booster together  or you will exhaust your cap fairly quickly.  Most of the time I try to keep at a range of 35km from my target which allows for reasonable tracking and still allows me to do lots of of damage with close range ammo (EMP, Fusion, Phased Plasma).  Sometimes I need to stand off further to mitigate incoming damage but the very long falloff of these guns means that the close range ammo still hits hard up to about 60km. There is really no need to carry any of the long range stuff lower damage stuff. I do carry some Titanium Sabot on the off chance that I come across an occasion when only kinetic damage will do because there is no short range kinetic ammunition type. 

EFT costs this at a hefty 264 million all in but by shopping around a bit you can do much better. My total expenditure was closer to 200.  The most expensive items are the artillery cannons and the capacitor rigs. The rigs are essential to provide decent capacitor life but  you can get away with  much cheaper "prototype"versions of the 1400mm guns for a small decrease in damage.

Aside: There is a school of thought that you should fit an extra large shield booster into a Maelstrom but unless I am missing something I don't see the point. Shield boosters don't create new shields out of thin air they convert capacitor into shield at a rate of  about 1.5:1 before modifiers. The X-Large booster has exactly the same conversion rate as the Large so the total amount of shield damage you can heal is the same and is limited by your available capacitor. The X-Large may appear to heal at more than twice the rate but you are just exhausting your cap much faster. On the other hand an Xtra large booster has a much higher power grid requirement and it will make it a struggle to fit anything else.








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4 comments:

JThelen said...

The idea behind using an XL booster is that you don't permarep your shields; you turn it on when you hit ~10% and boost till you have nearly full shields again.

mbp said...

That makes sense JT and it is probably better for pvp where battles are shorter and incoming dps is higher. If a battle lasts more than a couple of minutes however the XL does no more healing than the L because you are limited by cap and the conversion rate of cap to shields is exactly the same.

Hecates said...

True. I recently left my C4 WH for HS,sine i felt nostalhic and i immediately went for a Mael. This beast of a ship can literally tear a C4 to shreds and i am using a similar fitting,altho with T2 mods and 1200mm guns due to better tracking and RoF. When skills allow try 3x Gyrostab II plus a DCU II in lows,and 8x1200mm in Highs. The decrease in neat damage is more than compensated by the higher rate of fire and better tracking. Also more powergid friendly!

mbp said...

Hi there Hecates. I am finally biting the bullet and training p for T2 guns - its a long slog but it has to be done. I am also (finally) training advanced weapon upgrades so I should be able to improve things a bit.

Good suggestion on the 1200's I must try it. I waste a lot of time trying to get far enough away from the mobs to get tracking low enough for the 1400's to hit.