Freight Club

I’ve barely begun my first steps on my road to new shinies and already I’ve been distracted by another skill plan.

While I’ve been having a great time missioning in my Dominix, I always find myself wanting to try out some other types of ships. However, one of the barriers in my way has always been that I can salvage as I go with the Dominix since drones provide all the dps, freeing up my high slots for salvagers and tractor beams. If I change to any non-drone based ships, my high slots will have to be used for launchers or turrets, necessitating the use of a separate ship for salvaging. This is recommended by most people anyway, so it shouldn’t be a big deal right? Well it can get annoying if you move your mission hub fairly frequently, since I would have to first move the Dominix then come back, move the Catalyst etc etc. So despite my drone-only Dominix having abysmal dps, it’s still my preferred ship for now due to the convenience it provides. Of course, I could always…. not salvage. But… it’s money… right there… take it… you know you want to…

Besides, it was also getting annoying when I get some storyline mission that doesn’t let me bring my battleship. Grrr. Then I have to jump all the way back to where I last left the Myrmidon and come back again, which is a royal pain.

So I start wondering if there’s a way I can move multiple ships at the same time, maybe by tying a rope between them and using the Dominix to tug them along or something. Carriers are obviously not anywhere in my reach for the time being. I knew an Orca had ship maintenance arrays, but one look at the prerequisites killed that idea pretty quick (Industry V, Mining IV, Mining Barge IV, Mining Foreman V geez) especially since I would never ever use it for mining. But hey, what’s this? Freighters only require Spaceship Command V and a racial Industrial V skill….

Looking through the various race’s freighters, it seems like there is not much difference between them. They are all slow as hell (60-80 m/s), have a lot of hps (more than 100,000 each, so pretty much ungankable in high sec), and look like flying cargo warehouses. The major difference to me is the cargo capacity. The Caldari Charon seems to be the best with a capacity of 785,000 m3, followed by the Gallente Obelisk at 750,000 m3, the Amarr Prophecy with 735,000 m3, and lastly the Minmatar Fenrir at 720,000 m3. At first glance, I assumed I should go for the Charon. But that would require me to train Caldari Industrial V. Which is a completely useless skill because the Caldari Industrials are total crap. The following table (from Evelopedia) shows the cargo capacities of the various industrials at varying skill levels, fully rigged and equipped with Cargohold Expander IIs.

Trained Skill Level: I II III IV V
Amarr’s Sigil 16142 16911 17679 18448 19217
Amarr’s Bestower 20257 21221 22186 23150 24115
Caldari’s Badger 10708 11218 11728 12238 12748
Caldari’s Badger Mark II 19032 19859 20687
Gallente’s Iteron 7788 8159 8530 8901 9271
Gallente’s Iteron Mark II 10199 10662 11126 11589
Gallente’s Iteron Mark III 17672 18441 19209
Gallente’s Iteron Mark IV 19859 20687
Gallente’s Iteron Mark V 38433
Minmatar’s Wreathe 8567 8975 9383 9791 10199
Minmatar’s Hoarder 1768 18488 19292 20096
Minmatar’s Mammoth 27129 28260

The Caldari Badger Mk II, at Caldari Industrial V, is barely better than the old Amarr Bestower that I’m currently using at Amarr Industrial I. Yuck. On the other hand, the Iteron Mark V is far and away the best industrial with 38,433 m3 of space. So it looks like my choice is between 35,000 m3 extra capacity on the Charon (and training a completely useless skill for 20 days) or getting a Obelisk with a smaller hold but more flexibility in being able to use the Iteron Mark V when I want to haul smaller stuff.

Well, first I needed to find out if the 35,000 m3 extra is actually significant compared to a 750,000 m3 bay. If I can fit everything I want in the Obelisk anyway, then the extra space isn’t really important. Let’s take a look at the sizes of the ships I may want to bring along:

Hull Assembled Repackaged
Raven 486000 50000
Dominix 454500 50000
Drake 252000 15000
Myrmidon 270000 15000
Catalyst 55000 5000
Bestower 260000 20000
Iteron V 275000 20000

I need to look at assembled sizes as well because you can’t repackage rigged ships without losing the rigs. I need a rigged battleship for level 4s, so that’s a big chunk of the space already. I managed to come up with some unrigged battlecruiser fits, but they’re definitely not as effective as the rigged versions. The salvaging Catalyst would also ideally have 3 small capacitor control circuits fitted, otherwise I would only be able to run the tractor beams and salvagers for 1.5 minutes which is a bit ridiculous.

So, at first glance:
Charon 785,000
Raven 486,000
Drake 252,000
Catalyst 5,000
Bestower 20,000
Total 763,000
Remaining 22,000

Not good. Can’t fit rigged Catalyst even on a Charon, and definitely can’t fit these hulls into the Obelisk since there is only 22,000 m3 left. Sigh. Looks like I’m stuck with training Caldari Industrial V unless I bring an unrigged Drake.

Wait a minute, I forgot all about the Freighter skill bonus on the ships! “5% bonus to cargo capacity and 5% bonus to maximum velocity per level”. Its a rank 10 skill, but I should be able to train to something like level 3 fairly fast…

Obelisk 750,000 x1.15 = 862,500

Raven 486,000
Drake 252,000
Catalyst 55,000
Iteron V 20,000
Total 813,000
Remaining 49,500

Fantastic! Can carry a rigged Raven, Drake and Catalyst, a packaged Iteron V (still good for 25,270 m3 carrying capacity) and maybe a shuttle and still have 49,000 m3 of space left for loot and modules. It’ll be like touring the universe with a mobile tractor trailer containing a kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, and jacuzzi!

So having made my decision, now comes the painful part… spending ISK (QQ). 659 million ISK for the Obelisk, which is actually a fairly low price based on the historical data. Back in February 2009 Wilhelm bought a Charon for 920 million ISK. 45 million ISK for Advanced Spaceship Command, and Gallente Freighter is going for about 75 million ISK in Jita. Eep. 779 million ISK price tag in total, but it sounds fun to be able to haul all my missioning ships around at one go… Once I finish training, that is.

Note: Assembled ships cannot be placed directly in a freighter’s hold, even if it fits. This gave me a heart attack when I read it in Wilhelm’s post, but some later research revealed that rigged non-capital ships can be placed in a courier contract, which can then be moved via freighter. A bit more hassle, but no problem since I have a second account that can act as the courier partner as you can’t create a contract to yourself.

2 thoughts on “Freight Club

  1. I am not sure off hand as it has been a while since I tried it but I don’t think you can put assembled ships into a freighter.

  2. Yeah but you can put them in a courier contract and carry them that way for battleship-sized and below. Dominion increased the max size of a courier contract to match the capacity of a maxxed-out Charon for this reason. Though I wish they just let us move assembled ships instead of having to use this workaround.

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