Monday, May 14, 2012

Time to upgrade

Although my faithful Hound stealth bomber is performing admirably I am beginning to realize that I will have to change something in order to make probing faster. Just to think about it, I am spending practically 90% of my time in wormholes just probing down signatures in order resolve them and locate new wormhole connections. When you are in high-sec and there are only a few signatures to resolve everything is peachy - but inside wormholes I sometimes encounter up to 50 in a single system. While the Hound is more than capable of resolving every signature (and my scanning skills are not that bad at all) it is just way too inefficient for this type of play style. The ship doesn't have any bonuses to scan strength and it takes quite a few attempts and adjustments to probe range in order to get the warp-ins.

Even though I am using Sister's probes now, such a minor bonus is almost unnoticeable and scanning down countless signatures each day definitely gets tiresome. Unfortunately I don't really have a lot of options and I have narrowed down my choices to these:

Option A - Use my scanning alt in a Buzzard (and dual-box)

The first choice is to fly together with my alt. I have very good scanning skills on it (Astrometric Rangefinding V among others). I would also fit the Buzzard with Sister's expanded probe launcher which would allow me to use combat probes as well. Combining that with a pair of gravity capacitors upgrade rigs and scanning implants I would end up with near perfect probing capabilities. Another advantage of this option is that I could free up a high slot on the Hound and could potentially add a bomb launcher. Making my ship even more formidable.

The drawback of course is that I would have to dual-box. While I don't have any moral objections of using my alt for such purpose it's of course inconvenient to jump around with two ships instead of one.

Option B - Get myself a different ship (T3) 

If I were to upgrade my Hound I would like to have the following requirements on my new vessel; the ability to fit covert ops cloak, probe launcher and a ship that has better scanning strength than my current Hound. Unfortunately the only ships capable of that are T3 strategic cruisers. Proteus would be perhaps the best choice of the bunch but sadly I haven't been training Gallente oriented skills. I would also like to avoid the Tengu because my missile skills are not that hot (apart from torpedoes). This leaves only a Loki or a Legion as my ship of choice. Luckily I do have near perfect skills for both ships which is always a nice thing. On first glance the Legion seems nice, but as soon as you add a cloak the DPS output is laughable (as much as three times less damage than my Hound!). Loki seems much better and I managed to come up with a setup that gives roughly ~550 overheated DPS (with +4% damage implants) and has some 65k EHP. This Loki fit would also be able to fit a covert ops cloak, an expanded Sister's probe launcher and subsystem that gives bonus to probes.

But it seems that CCP has balanced strategic cruisers quite well! By making a cloaky prober you are forced to sacrifice a lot of DPS and a T3 of this nature is definitely not a 'solopwnmobile'. In fact you end up with an expensive scanner that does less DPS than my frigate-hull stealth bomber. Although getting a T3 would mean that the ship would have somewhat better survivability and EHP. And perhaps a tiny bit larger selection of targets than my Hound - I still wouldn't be able to engage people running C3 sites for example. There is probably no way a cloaky Loki can break a decent Tengu or even Drake's shields.

Currently I am leaning towards using my scanner alt which would really speed up things in the probing department. And I would probably be able to explore at least twice as many wormholes in the same amount of time as I would scanning with the Hound alone.

I am also considering the idea of joining an existing wormhole corporation. Although I like being independent it would be nice to have a home in w-space and I bet flying with others in wormholes would be fun! Not to mention a range of new possibilities and tactics that can't be achieved as a solo pilot.


  1. I think it would be a great idea to join a corp. Personally, I'm no fan of the use of alts. They seem cheap, somehow, at least to me. Corps are fun; go for the wormhole corp and make some new friends.

  2. Not sure if you know this, but you can give your bookmarks to your main by shift-dragging them (5 at a time from people and places to cargo, then into a cargo container). I don't know if that will help you at all, but it should reduce the clutter of corp bookmarks.

    I think in this case the buzzard alt would be better. T3 not set up for combat could pose a problem down the road.

  3. Flying an alt or corp mate ahead with a CovOps has a few advantages. The scanning resolution is better and faster, a CovOps that blips up on D-scan is far less threatening to e.g. miners than a bomber and a covops can fly of course combat probes and leaves your bomber free to have - well - bombs. My Helios has a warp scram on it as well, and recently was able to scan down, fly to and scram a hulk while my corp mate was en route with her Proteus to actually do damage. (weird story about that, we didn't get him). (btw, @Truen1ght BMs are not an issue, just fleet your two toons up)

    I think you should join a WH corp for a couple of reasons. A well run WH corp will love to have a scanner / hunter on their team and support this person fully. Secondly, it gives you a base of operation and guarantees you instant WH access and - since everyone scouts - already good intel by the time you log in. Thirdly, if you do encounter something that you can't solo, you can call your friends.

    We (Z3R0 Return Mining) are recruiting for our C4 and a C2 and would love to chat to you. Hit me up in game: Epigene. Fly dangerously...

    PS. We lost a Noctis to a bomber a couple of days ago. Was that you? If so, congrats. More reason to join us!

  4. Thanks for all the comments an sorry for my late reply.

    My plan is to definitely join a corporation. Wormholes are too much fun!

    Currently have the Buzzard and it's working very well. On the other hand I am in a fleet so up until now I had no need to drag around bookmarks.

    Luckily that Noctis I destroyed was from a different corporation. That would have been weird! :P

    As I am currently in the middle of finals period at university I am forced to put EVE on the side for a few weeks longer and wait before committing myself to a corporation until I put the remaining exams behind me.