Back to Level Fours



After training up some skills both in-game and without, I took another stab at level four missions with much better results.  Most of my gunnery support skills are at level four and my drone skills allow me to deploy 5 drones at a time, compared to the four that I was fielding at the time of my first Maelstrom loss. 


I think beyond just having better skills some other factors have allowed for me to be more successful.  Firstly, I have been reading up on the mission reports from the Eve-survival guide.  These reports are invaluable in informing me what I can expect in a given mission.  Each wave or pocket of enemy ships is broken down individually.  Damage types of the enemy ships as well as recommended resistances and ammo are all easily laid out.  Equally useful are the player comments that are entered which will usually provide even further insight.


As for the fitting, I went with 1200mm artillery instead of the 1400mm pieces that I fit my first one with.  They fire at a much faster rate and have greatly improved tracking compared to the larger guns while offering slightly less damage output and range.  With these guns I am able to hit those pesky warp-jamming frigates at long range and even HACs and cruisers beyond 30km. 


Additionally I expanded my ammo choices and really bit the bullet (pun intended) with logistical support for my mission hub.  This means that I spent nearly 10,000,000 isk on having a large supply of every ammo type.  For each mission that I set out for I am bringing two ammo types, one long range and another short range, set to the specific recommended damage types for use versus the NPCs in the mission pocket.  For example, versus the Angel pirate faction I am shooting nuclear ammo at anything over 50km and then swapping that out for fusion ammo for anything under that range.  The result seems to be an increase in my overall damage. 


I am sure there is some complicated equation that will tell me why one gun is hitting for “Barely Scratches for 68 damage” and another can have a “Wrecking hit for 818 damage” on the same target and at the same range with the same ammo.  With any luck, spreadsheets will be involved.  At one point a kiting battleship seemed to just be sitting in my sweet spot and he melted under my guns.  Eventually I will figure that out, until then I feel like a cave man amazed at the sight of a lit match.  Big numbers good.  Little numbers bad. 


The only other change that provided a noticeable difference was taking a full compliment of mission specific drones.  It seems foolish that I didn’t think to change them up before and tailor the damage types of my drones to the mission recommendations. 


“Elite” battleships continue to well tank my DPS output.  Everything else is dying in a respectable length of time.  I am still quite a ways off from being able to fit tech II turrets, including a 24 day skill to train.  I could always fit some of the faction turrets, but at a cost of 60-70 million isk each, a loss of my ship would be too financially devastating.  Of course I could always just farm up the loyalty points and buy the necessary Amarr Navy tags that I am lacking, but even then I am looking at a cost of around 20 million isk (for the tags) and weeks of mission farming for the loyalty points.


The real question is would I even notice the DPS boost from equipping a pair of the faction guns and then slowly upgrading as I continue to mission?  Would I be better off just buying the faction ammo with my loyalty points and firing regular guns?


At least I have options!


~ by Centuri on June 18, 2009.

7 Responses to “Back to Level Fours”

  1. I’m more of a missile spewer on missions, so I can’t say from experience, but the general consensus on the official Eve boards is that for guns, T2 is way better than faction anyway and definitely worth the time spent on the skill training.

    Personally, I only use guns on frigates so far (I only pvp in frigs — keeps my costs down. . . ), but I will say that I’ve noticed a definite dps upgrade once I got T2 small guns, so I would assume that would hold true in the medium and large sizes also.

  2. It seems that at base skill level the faction guns are about equal with tech II modules. The difference is that the faction guns don’t require months of specialized training and any noob with the cash can strap on a tech II equivalent for only 50 times the cost of a tech II gun.

    Once skills get involved, I think that the tech II will pull ahead. The specialization skills for the tech II guns increase the damage of these turrets by 2% per skill point. Thus the damage output, with proper training of course, is higher on the tech II guns.

    I don’t enjoy flying around with the faction guns simply due to the fact that they are so damned expensive if my BS gets popped in another mission. But since I am farming them up as I mission, the only cost to me is lost profits from not selling and not a direct financial loss.

    I really need to run the numbers comparing the market value of the tags I have to turn in as well as the amount of isk I can earn per loyalty point. It might actually be better for me to sell something else and then buy the faction guns in the market…

  3. FWIW, I found the Fleet Issue Stabber a good investment of my LP’s when I was in Matari space — it sold quickly. I haven’t really researched what else I could have/should have gotten with the LP’s there in order for “max profit.” Now that I’m back in Caldari space, faction missiles do really well. Eventually I may even try to get some CN Invuln fields, but those need a ton of expensive tags, so time will tell on that.

  4. I will have to check the contract prices and see what a Fleet Stabber is going for out here.

    The cost of the tags + isk + turn-in module of a 1200mm faction gun is 23 million isk. This leaves a difference of 42 million isk between the market value. At 22,500 loyalty point cost it gives each loyalty point an approximate market value of 1866.67 isk per loyalty point. It looks as though most faction projectile ammo only has a return of about 500-750 isk per loyalty point.

  5. Well, if you can sell the faction guns for that much per LP, sounds quite nice. Hmm. I’m half tempted to JC back to my Raven and start running more L4’s for the Republic Fleet again. Curse you! I barely play due to IRL concerns right now as it is, and now I’m wanting to do more!!!

    Although that’s not really your fault 😛

  6. Well you still have to take the time to sell them. Also if you farm up the Amarr Navy tags yourself, you will take quite a standings hit. I am around -4 with Amarr right now and -.5 with Caldari.

    I actually ran a level four last night with a corp mate in a drone cruiser fit with two salvagers. It went very quickly. Also I relocated from my hub with the quality level 0 agent to a quality level 15. The difference between LP rewards is night and day. I have gone from 1500-2000 per combat mission to 3000-4000 per mission. It’s crazy!

  7. Yeah, when I moved from Gulfonodi and its “safe” missions to the higher quality agent in Gelfiven (and the chance of being sent into lowsec) my LP per mission nearly doubled, and it wasn’t bad in Gulf. . . I think it was about 3500-ish in Gulf, and went up to over 7K in Gelf.

    As it is, up in Caldari space I’m in a “safe” 0.5 system and a L4Q18 agent, so I’m getting up to 7900 LP per mission now.

    And FWIW, I initially went to Matari space with positive Amarr faction, and even with having worked for Caldari again for a few months now my unmodified Amarr faction is still negative. Modified it’s high enough I can fly Level 2’s for them, though. Gotta love the social skills.

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