Well after some tinkering around with my planned Rattlesnake fit, I’ve made some minor adjustments.
I realised that I had been using “Uniform damage types” in EFT, which kinda explained how my tanking figures always looked so low compared to fits posted by others, especially for shield tanked ships due to the very large EM hole. Armor tanked ships looked better because armor has better baseline resists, which explains why I kept finding it hard to come up with Raven fittings that were similar to my Dominix tank-wise. So now after adding in the damage profiles of the various factions, my tank figures looks much better when I fit against specific resistances such as the Gurista fit above.
I switched in a PWNAGE target painter, because well, it’s PWNAGE.
Warning: Do not shine directly into target's eyes.
With Target Painting IV, the target painter provides a better tracking bonus than the OTLs plus it would also help my cruise missiles vs sub-battleship targets. Since I also often run missions with my alt/wife’s character in a Drake (soon to be Raven), the target painter also helps her missile and drone dps as well.
The other change is replacing one of the Drone Link Augmentors with a heavy nos. I don’t particularly need to hit at 85 km since my targeting range is only 86 km now, which means most of the time by the time I lock approaching targets they’re closer to 70+ km range anyway. Plus I can either fit a Black Eagle DLA or train up EW Drones IV, which I’m planning to anyway, to extend the range to 71/73 km which is about optimal + falloff for sentries. The heavy nos is not normally needed, but will be helpful in replenishing cap if I use the afterburner. With 5 shield power relays, my cap regen will be pretty crappy so I can only run the afterburner for 7 minutes, after which I’d have to wait around forever for my capacitor to refill. If I end up dropping the afterburner then this will be replaced as well.
I was originally considering a torpedo fit with the target painter, but further research indicated that I would need a lot more missile skills to be anywhere near effective even against battleships, not to mention cruisers. So that’s scrapped for now.
Caldari Epic Arc
I’ve been mainly doing missions for Expert Distribution recently, because they unlock the Caldari Epic Arc Penumbra. Not that long ago I finally hit the required standings (seems to be 7.00, not 6.67 as stated) and started it off at the agent in Josameto. After a simple courier mission, I did a combat mission with my wife that went well, although still a bit slower than I would have liked. The next step, however, was a branch that asked me to choose whether to continue in low-sec or null-sec. Gee, thanks for the options. There’s no way in hell I’m bringing my Rattlesnake anywhere near low-sec. I’m just going to let this mission sit in my journal until I’m more familiar with getting around in low-sec.
I mentioned previously that I’ve actually had very little dealings with contracts. I’ve poked around with them a bit more recently and learned a lot more. For example, contracts you’re bidding on are located in… the journal, not the contracts menu. There’s also a little menu (the little white triangle, the worst indicator of a menu ever designed) at the bottom of each contract that lets you quickly navigate to the contracts you’ve previously looked at, rather than having to dig through the whole pile all over again.
Contracts can also be used for day trading just like normal market orders, and I see many people for example putting up a [Want to Buy] CNR for 515 million contract, and then selling a CNR for 580 million. Unfortunately I was disappointed to find out that contracts also have broker fees and sales tax, which cuts down a bit on the profit margins. I also found out that I overpaid for my first Federation Navy OTL by 10 million, since the [Want to Buy] contract I set up for 45 million got filled so quickly QQ. Unlike market orders, there is no data available for historical prices and volumes so I’m not so keen on trying day trading in contracts.
On the bright side, I managed to pick up a bunch of Drake BPCs on a 2 million auction contract. It’s pretty surprising how cheap these BPCs are, even those with high ME and PE. The bunch I got consisted of 4 single-run 10 ME 0 PE BPCs and 2 15-run 30 ME 10 PE BPCs. Not fantastic ME and PE on them but for 2 million, what the heck. I wouldn’t be surprised if it ends up being cheaper for me to buy a constructed Drake from Jita compared to building one myself with my dismal industry skills, but the idea of building some ships on my own just sounds fun.
And amazingly, I’ve actually been mining a bit recently. And even more amazingly, it can actually be a bit fun.
I don’t always have enough time to do missions, even level 3s, because our son’s nap times range from 20 minutes to an hour. I don’t want to be caught halfway through a mission when he wakes up and starts angrily protesting that we slipped away after he fell asleep. So I’ve fit out my Dominix with 6 mining lasers and 7 cargohold expander IIs, and occasionally warp off to some asteroid belt (helps that Poinen has tons of belts too, no wonder there are so many factories and POS here) and just do some AFK veldspar mining while reading stuff or writing blog posts. It’s probably a really pathetic amount of income, but it’s better than just doing nothing and it’s slightly satisfying to come back with cargoholds of minerals. After all, a Drake requires almost 3 million units of tritanium alone…
I also encountered a bait Arbitrator today while mining. His cruiser was named “Miner”, and he aggressed me by stealing one of the Rocket Launcher Is I had jettisoned (loot from the lousy pirate frigates). Naturally I wasn’t going to engage him with 6 mining lasers and no tank. I warped off to my base station and impulsively decided to go and try to kill him. After a bit of time trying to throw together a PvP fit from the odds and ends in my hangar, I warped back to the belt with a warp disruptor, web and 4 railguns. Only he wasn’t there anymore. Oh well. Back to station, refit for mining…
After a couple of minutes of mining, he appeared again. Refreshed his aggression by stealing the other Rocket Launcher I, and then started trying to annoy me. First he deployed medium armor maintenance bots and sent them on me… not sure what this was supposed to do. Then he gave me a big bump. Which did nothing of consequence, since I wasn’t even aligned in the first place. At this point I was wondering whether or not to bother going back to refit for PvP again. He was a pretty old character, from 2006, and I was a bit wary that he could be bait or something and could warp in alts or his friends to remote repair him.
In the end I just decided to continue mining. Yeah, how anti-climatic. Not much for me to gain and a lot to lose compared to his Arbitrator. I’m not ready for PvP yet and want to learn slowly on my own terms first.