Sunday, May 15, 2016

Zappity's Adventures: A capital idea

Capital ship changes had come to EVE. The fact that there were changes would have undoubtedly been more relevant had I actually flown capital ships beforehand. But nevertheless, the changes incited me to action and I decided to investigate.

I had been quietly preparing for a move into capital ships for some time. I had already trained up Jump Drive Calibration (the one that increases the range at which you can jump to a cyno) to V along with a pack of support skills and was ready to choose which ship to fly. Of course, I couldn't decide (or, more accurately, I sequentially decided upon most of them) and ended up injecting a whole bunch of skill books. I'm sure they'll come in useful some time.

I was initially most interested in dreadnoughts, imagining that I could fit a Moros (the Gallente one) like a gigantic Incursus and go roaming, swatting my feeble enemies out of the sky like mere flies. To be honest, a solo dreadnought roam is practically inevitable and you will no doubt have a good chuckle at my quite literal expense before long.

But before these dreams of magnificence could be realised, a ping went out to the Pandemic Horde capitals channel (yes, there is such a thing) for carrier practice on Singularity. I logged in.

A fit of dubious quality was linked and I soon found myself undocking a shiny new Nidhoggur. To be honest I didn't really care about the fit - I just wanted to see what the new fighter mechanics were like. But I did notice an interesting new high slot module called the “Networked Sensor Array” which, when activated, greatly increased the carrier’s lock speed.

However, the ability to quickly lock something is not tremendously useful if you do not know how to kill it. I looked intently at my Fighter Bay window, a new variant of the old Drone Bay which looks very fancy. Having successfully remembered to buy some fighters before I undocked, I figured that the first thing I needed to do was drag a bunch of them into the launch tubes. This was pretty straightforward and I was soon dragging stacks of fighters into the appropriate part of the window. They loaded. Success!

Fighters, however, are of limited value while stuck in the launch tube. I figured that the next step was to send them forth to do my evil bidding. There were some nice, big arrows on the launch tubes and, sure enough, my fighters were soon circling my ship. Now, go kill something!

“Stupid fighters”, I thought. “Obviously bugged.” For there is was, hitting ‘F’ as hard as any seasoned drone warrior could hit it, all to no avail. My fighters were stubbornly orbiting my ship instead of going forth to conquer. I examined the interface more closely, just on the slim chance that I was doing something wrong. Ah, the fighter squadrons each had their own little module buttons!

I selected my target, then clicked the fairly obvious ‘go kill it’ button on the first squadron. It went! The squadron also had a ‘go fast’ button which activated a MWD and a particularly interesting ‘kill it faster’ button which unleashed one of a limited salvo of rockets, greatly increasing the damage.

As it transpired, there were three main fighter categories. First, the standard ‘light’ damage fighters have an MWD, a normal damage module, and a limited number of ‘alpha strike’ charges. These worked tremendously well against sub-capitals and, in quantity, against other capitals. Next, there was an anti-fighter class which was designed almost solely to kill other fighters, having an enormous damage buff for this purpose. These ones also had a tackle button to slow down enemy squadrons. Finally, there was a utility class which, depending upon race, would web, jam, point or neut enemy ships.

After playing around for an hour I was marginally less terrible at operating my fighters and decided that the only logical thing to do was to take a carrier on a solo roam of Providence! Unfortunately, the patch had only just dropped and the marketeers were asking the most exorbitant prices imaginable. Disgraceful. And there weren't even any Networked Sensor Arrays available. I was disappointed. But my time will come!


  1. Had a similar experience on Singularity and when the patch arrived I found my Carrier was useless as I didn't have the light fighter skill :(

  2. This sounds exciting, to be honest. I'm skilling up on JDC V and JDO IV to get into a panther. Looking forward to carriers.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. I'd really like CCP to add micro fighters which can be used by battleships. The interaction with the fighters is great fun.

      JDC V is a tough train.