Level IV Missions with 3.4 Million Skill Points

Having cruised through level three agents in a few weeks time in a battle cruiser I found that I had several level four agents now available to me for the NPC corporation that I have been doing missions for.  Over the past few days I was able to complete four of the level four missions and quickly realized that they were an entirely different ball game from the more mundane level three missions.  Apparently piloting a battle ship into a dead-space mission location carries with it an entirely new set of risks from both NPC and player combatants.

 

My first two missions attempts went fairly well.  The NPC battleships take me around five minutes each to DPS through, with some of the elite ones taking over ten.  This wouldn’t be a problem except that there may be seven to ten battleships in a room, thus clearing one room takes me around an hour.  Most of these missions are having three to four rooms that require clearing.  Unfortunately taking that much time to clear the mission meant that most of the wrecks from the first room were gone by the time I came back to loot.  But fortunately some other players were willing to “help me out” with this problem.

 

There is an entire group of players out their who scan down level four mission runners and enter their mission pockets to loot and salvage the wrecks.  Not concerned with the loss of an inexpensive frigate, these brazen individuals will methodically steal your loot right out from under your ships nose daring you to shoot back.  A bit of research online revealed to me that this is often used as a method of griefing and that these characters will try to get the rigged battleship flying mission runner to aggress to the thieving pilot so that his corporation or gang members can jump in and kill your mission running ship.

 

Of course, I only found this out after I decided to have my drones engage the ninja looter and he promptly warped out.  Very soon after I was telling myself that it may not have been a good idea to aggress to another player while I am tanking NPC pirates in a rigged battleship.  Shortly thereafter I docked up and logged off for about an hour just to be sure that the aggression timer was down.  Another pilot on the forums was discussing how the ninja looters managed to attack him even after the aggression timer was gone by somehow shooting at the cargo containers in the mission area.  He lost his rigged mission runner to these scoundrels’ “creative use of game mechanics.”

 

Not wanting to stick around in this high traffic system, I relocated my base of operations three jumps away in a much less crowded area with an equal level agent for mission running.  I completed an additional two missions out in this area and had no further problems from the ninja salvagers and looters. 

 

My problem now continues to be the length of time that I spend in clearing the mission rooms.  Tanking does not seem to be an issue but DPS does.  In my low slots I have two gyrostabilizers II and a tracking enhancer II to help out DPS as much as possible.  I went with a setup of eight 1400mm howitzer artillery pieces, which work great on anything larger than a cruiser at long range.  Close in ships or frigates are slowly picked apart by my drones.  It amazes me that in these encounters it is the smaller ships that I fear the most with their Webbers and occasional warp scrambling abilities.

 

I wish that my corp was a bit more active and that I could pair up with someone for these.  Having someone else there in a smaller ship to loot, salvage, and provide some DPS would certainly be a much needed time saver.  Isk wise I am floored at the gains to be found in these missions.  In just four days of level four missions I have almost made enough ISK to purchase an entirely new battleship not even counting the insurance payout.

 

Some options to increase my DPS include spending a TON of isk for faction fit howitzers at nearly 60 million each or spending about two months of specialized training for tech II There are a number of other skills that I can train into as well that will provide additional DPS including surgical strikes from level three to five and large projectile turrets from thee to five as well.  Currently I have two weeks of additional training for increase my capacitor related skills and after that I will try to work on some additional DPS.

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~ by Centuri on May 26, 2009.

4 Responses to “Level IV Missions with 3.4 Million Skill Points”

  1. 5 minutes per BS? *blinks*

    Ouch.

    I’m a Caldari missile spewer, and even with my Cruise missiles skill at 3 and using the best named launchers it still only takes me a little over a minute.

    IIRC, you’re in Minmatar space, so most of your fights will be vs Angels — they may start a ways off, but they like to orbit in close — you’d be better off using AC’s vs them, rather than 1400’s. Higher dps and better tracking, after all.

    I’m glad your tank’s holding well — now that it is, it’s definitely time to work up your gunnery skills. I can’t even mount a large gun yet and I have nearly 3 million Gunnery SP now. The support skills make a TON of difference — not only the Surgical Strike, but also Motion Prediction, Sharpshooting, Trajectory Analysis, and Rapid Firing. The increased range, tracking, and Rate of Fire all make your hits “better” so you see fewer “glances off” hits, and more “perfect” or even “wrecking” hits. If you eventually crosstrain to cap-using weapons you’ll also want Controlled Bursts, but with projectiles you can get away with ignoring that skill for now.

    Also, on those multi-room missions — you have 5+ hours to complete them and still get bonuses. You can warp out and come back to salvage cleared rooms before advancing to the next one also, if need be. I’d often do that on the “Extravaganza” missions. Clear the 1st 3 or 4 rooms, salvage since it was getting close to the time limit, then go back and do the 5th room.

    Anymore, though… I’m in a CNR with faction launchers and using faction ammo, so most BS’s only take 5-6 volleys, and with my refire rate of less than 8 seconds….maximum 49 seconds per BS. Someday I’ll train more in missiles. But for now… still works well enough. For irony, though — 2.7 million in guns, 1.4 million in missiles… and I wouldn’t dream of trying to take down a BS with guns. All my gun skills are support skills and small T2’s right now.

  2. I tried the AC but found that I needed more tank and couldn’t fit the AB to stay within range of kiting battleships. This was against Serpentis though and with Angels I don’t need quite the tank to shield tank them. I am cap stable with two active hardeners and an XL booster. I run dry after four minutes of tanking with the AB running, so I turn it off when not needed.

    5 minutes. Not even joking. It was like pulling out my hair slow.

  3. Eep! Soudns like when I 1st tried a Level 4 in my Drake using Heavy Missiles. I could tank the missions fine, but killing was slooooooooow. I only have Heavy Missiles at 3 to this day, actually . . . .

  4. […] another setup and start plugging away at level four missions again.  But with level fours taking so long to complete at my low skill level, I am content to logon a run a few level threes while I spend the next month training to increase […]

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