Friday, January 4, 2013

Advanced Skill Training: Terror Weapons

A few weeks ago, I posted a skill plan for a Catalyst gank alt. The skill plan charted a course from freshly-minted althood all the way up to those level V gunnery skills you only train when trying to squeeze out the last bit of DPS for your pilot. For some of you, those skills are almost done training. People have asked me, what comes next--if anything?

Before you do anything else, get your Knight's skills close to maximum DPS for a Catalyst. No, I'm not suggesting you train Surgical Strike V or Small Blaster Specialization V; I'm not a monster, as I often remind people. But when you've just about finished running out of ways to enhance your Catalyst's DPS, the only thing left is to train Brutix and Talos skills.

Don't get too excited, now. I'm not announcing a tech II battlecruiser reimbursement plan or any craziness like that. And it will take quite some time before our Knights can fly either of those ships with enough skills to make the cost worth it. But in the future, I would like us to have the capability of forming fleets with massive DPS. Enough to take down an Orca--perhaps even a freighter--under the right conditions.

Two quick points before I list the skills needed. First, people will occasionally say "if we had X Catalysts, we could kill Y". We don't have the manpower (yet). In theory, we could get 25 tech I Catalysts together and affordably destroy big targets. But it's rare to muster such large fleets. Manpower is always the limiting factor. That's where tech II Catalysts come into play and, in the future, perhaps occasionally tech II Brutixes or Taloses. When you look at those killmails from the Goons' freighter-ganking campaign, they used a mix of Taloses, Brutixes, and Catalysts--whatever they needed to use, with the gankers they had available.

Second, Brutixes and Taloses are expensive. One tech II Brutix costs about as much as 30 tech I Catalysts--but does about as much damage as 3 moderately-trained Cats, not 30. Taloses are even more costly. Any operations using these ships would need to be prepared in advance, just to move the hulls into the proper system. Thus, it would be impractical to use them on a regular basis.

Think of these ships, or gank fleets containing these ships, as terror weapons. They're unwieldly and uneconomic, but when used in small doses they can send a powerful message. We may not use them often, but our having the capability would scare the living daylights out of miners across highsec. Naturally, we would maximize the propaganda value of such attacks by saving the killmails and flaunting them in local at every opportunity.

The use of terror weapons is a long way out, but since they take awhile to train, I thought I'd get the word out early. Now let's talk about the training.


The good news is, virtually every skill you train for the gank Catalyst is either a requirement or a very useful skill for the terror weapons. Start by finishing off your Catalyst skills. That means things like Gunnery V, Rapid Firing V, and Surgical Strike IV.

To fit 8 Neutron Blaster IIs, train Hybrid Weapon Rigging II. This reduces the powergrid drawback of your rigs enough to fit the guns. You can leave the midslots empty to save CPU.

Finally, Small Blaster Specialization IV. It's a scummy little skill that gives you 2% extra DPS, and only to tech II guns. But it's a requirement for tech II medium-sized (heavy) blasters.


Just to sit inside a Brutix, you must train Spaceship Command IV, Gallente Frigate IV, Gallente Cruiser III, and Battlecruisers I. No level V skills there, so it goes by quickly.

Some additional skills you'll find useful: Evasive Maneuvering, so you don't take forever to align. Trajectory Analysis to fit tracking computers, and Electronic Warfare to fit ECCM and prevent faction police from jamming you. I haven't worked out the midslots on Brutixes yet; that will come in time.

There's a fitting issue when it comes to Brutixes with a full rack of Heavy Neutron Blaster IIs. At first I thought we'd need to get Advanced Weapon Upgrades, which requires training Weapon Upgrades V. But then I noticed that the stacking penalties on the damage mods are so great that the fifth one will give you less than 1% extra damage. To heck with it. Fit a Reactor Control Unit I instead. It's ugly, but it works. Train Energy Grid Upgrades II to fit the module. If you want to squeeze out extra DPS, put your training time elsewhere, like tech II drones, as opposed to freeing up the powergrid.


Ugh. Heavy Neutron Blaster IIs require Motion Prediction IV, which is no problem. But they also require Medium Hybrid Turret V, which will take up the bulk of your training time. After that you can train Medium Blaster Specialization, which lets you fit the guns.

Lastly, drones. Only a small fraction of your DPS will come from drones, but it's just enough to make it necessary. Since a tech II Brutix only does a few hundred more DPS than a tech II Catalyst, adding that extra 100+ DPS from drones can't be passed up.

Carry 5 Hammerhead Is or Hammerhead IIs. Training Drones V lets you deploy 5 drones, plus it allows you to train Drone Interfacing, which gives you an additional 20% drone damage per level. (Thankfully, Drones is a rank 1 skill.) Combat Drone Operation will give you 5% per level, too.

Hammerheads require at least Scout Drone Operation I. To go tech II, which will give an additional 30% or so drone damage, you would train Scout Drone Operation V. Luckily, this is also a rank 1 skill. Training it gives you access to Gallente Drone Specialization II, the prerequisite for Hammerhead IIs.

I would say train tech II drones last, since they're a help but can be done without.


A tech II Talos costs around 130 million isk and does over 1,400 DPS. I'd much rather have four well-trained tech I Catalysts for 8 million isk total. But the point of the terror weapons is essentially to inflate the size of the fleet without getting extra pilots. Aside from cost, the bad news about Taloses is that they take a long time to train. The good news is that the requirements of a tech II Brutix and tech II Catalyst completely overlap the Talos requirements.

The only extra skill to get into the Talos hull is Battlecruisers III, but you should have trained Battlecruisers IV already.


The list of requirements for the Neutron Blaster Cannon IIs may make you want to vomit. This is natural. But you can subtract from that training time all of the training time you spent on Heavy Neutron Blaster IIs for the Brutix. Following the earlier pattern, you start with Medium Blaster Specialization IV to finish off the medium-sized weapon skills.

Next, all you need are Motion Prediction V and Large Hybrid Turret V to gain access to Large Blaster Specialization, which lets you fit tech II large blasters. Just a couple skills, how long could that take? About a month on top of everything else.

The Brutix skills, too, will take around a month to train. Many Knights will not be able to take that much training time away from their mains, so it's clearly not for everyone. But if you have nothing better to do train, you can get it started.

Once again, the use of terror weapons will not (and cannot) be an everyday occurrence. Plans for their use are in the very early stages. But when the time comes, they may give our misguided Code-violating friends some fodder for the horror stories that they share around the campfire.

35 comments:

  1. Don't pay the facistic terrorists! All power to the miners!!

    http://img811.imageshack.us/img811/4839/fuhrer0815.jpg

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    1. You're not the first and you won't be the last to compare us to Hitler and his National Socialists, however I suggest you actually study some history first, they didn't offer a Judaism permit, they simply carted that particular minority off to concentration camps and killed them. Of course the Jews weren't immortal, they stayed dead, unlike the miners that make squishy noises when they pop.

      Calling us nazis and the like shows a serious lack of imagination on your part, you could at least be original. Besides in the genocidal maniac stakes the nazis were rank amateurs, Mao Zedong and Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin each eclipsed the nazis by a factor of 10.

      We don't do genocide, capsuleers being immortal prevents that. We will however continue to harvest your pods and exhumers unless you pay us our due.

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    2. Jews had to wear the Star of David on their clothing or else were they not permitted to go out on the streets.

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    3. Jews were also told they were being taken to a new and better life

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    4. This happened prior to the Holocaust.

      Because the Jews allowed the NAZIs to restrict their liberty and freedom, giving the NAZIs success, did it fuel the NAZIs to go further, and so the Jews were not permitted to go everywhere even when wearing the Star of David. They were forced to stay separate when in bars, hotels and restaurants or sometimes were simply not allowed in.

      The NAZIs did however respect the Jews for their work labour. Jews were welcome on fields and farms and even allowed to work in weapons and ammunitions factories.

      Towards the end of the second world war and before the invasion started were the Jews then forced into camps. They were not killed at first, but still used for their labour.

      Only when the cost of the war rose too high and Germany itself started to starve did the NAZIs start killing millions of people in these camps.

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    5. Please explain the in-game mechanism that we can use to permanently remove miners from the game?

      You cannot, because there isn't one.

      Capsuleers are imaginary immortal beings that cannot be removed from the game by anything we do.

      They are not real-life minorities that are under attack.

      Get a grip on reality.

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    6. You now want to pay the miners 10m ISK each, because there is no reason why you should be paid and why it shouldn't be the other way around.

      There is one difference between you and the NAZIs. The NAZIs did not constantly die in suicide. rofl

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    7. lol casa = owned

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    8. lol not really, I stated that the Nazis didn't offer a Judaism permit, which is technically true, the yellow star wasn't offered, it was forced upon them. I didn't say how the Jews were killed off, in short they were worked to death, experimented upon, stripped of all reusable resources (the hair was shaved and used in clothing and upholstery, gold teeth removed and smelted), gassed or died from exposure on the way to the camps.

      "They were forced to stay separate when in bars, hotels and restaurants or sometimes were simply not allowed in."

      Hmm sounds like the US and the segregation that was happening there for at least half of the 20th century

      "The NAZIs did however respect the Jews for their work labour. Jews were welcome on fields and farms and even allowed to work in weapons and ammunitions factories."

      The farms and ammunition factories were often part of the camps, when you have a captive workforce that numbers in the 10s of millions (I'm including Gypsies, Poles, Russian PoWs and the other so called "undesirables" it doesn't really matter when your "employees" die from industrial accidents or are taken out back and shot because it seemed like a good idea at the time.

      Owned? nope, not entirely clear in my original post because I was in a rush to get to work? Guilty as charged

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    9. Owned is owned. Happens to everyone.

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    10. the way most people see it, new order=fascist, miners=communist,

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    11. Why the fuck is there Nazi apologism in this thread?

      Heres the deal: The Nazis didn't kill jews because they ran out of food, they killed jews because hitler said it was his plan *in his book* long before WW-II even kicked off.

      Its patently shitty to go comparing an in-game bit of space-dick roleplaying to IRL nazis who murdered millions of people in cold blood. Bot-aspirant pubbie fucks.

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    12. Anti-semitism was fashionable long before Hitler's grandparents were born.

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    13. Actually it’s a pretty good analogy but just played out in pixels rather than IRL. As Alana says anti-semitism pre-dated Hitler. For pogrom you could read Hulkageddon.

      The Nazi's saw themselves as a master race and Jews were a convenient scape-goat for the ills of Germany. There are analogies with James 315 trying to gain support by attacking a minority and believing gankers are superior (e.g. James 315 “gankers are higher on the hierarchy” - Highsec Miner Grab Bag #28); and de-humanising victims by conflating afk mining with botting.

      James 315 even recently survived an assassination attempt, to strengthen the historical comparison to Hitler.

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    14. It's not James that de-humanise them, AFK miners de-humanise themselves by removing the human part from their "playstyle".

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    15. This is an extortion business. Wanna cover it with religion? be my guest. But whomever buys into the "ideology" is just a mindless moron.
      State that you're extortionists and be at least a honourable pirate instead of laughing stock.

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    16. Nazis even had the Jews pay a fee for protection or else be deported. The Jews paid, and were then deported anyway.

      There is no difference between James-315 and the Nazis by ideology, only means, opportunity and their target. Their common ideology is fuelled by hate of the 'untermenschen'. In National Socialism that hate was simply one component of a broader political agenda. Amid their evil the Nazis stood for the rebuilding of a 'greater Germany' economic prosperity and civil infrastructure; (which is still dwarfed by their other evils);

      In contrast the ideology of NO is hate for the sake of hate.
      Nazis did not exist in order to kill jews, but NO was formed in order to victimise those they view as the untermenschen, its stated purpose is to take from miners a thing that miners would otherwise have for themselves.

      Hate of the other fuelled the Holocaust just as it is fuelling NO and James 315. In both cases it was a self deluded hate. While the form in which the hate emerged was different in each, those differences are merely functions of the different tools that each had available. The Nazis had the apperatus of an entire State and military to work with whereas James 315 merely has the confines of a sandbox.

      The reason offered by Goebbels, Hitler and Himler for why the Nazis hated the Jews is the same as that offered by James 315 for why he bumps miners- they both believe the 'untermenschen' have a disproportionately high allocation of resources they thing should rightfully be theirs.

      The stated aim of the Jewish Question for the Nazis was not to kill jews but to remove them from Germany. Similarly James 315 states he does not want to harm bot-apirants - he simply wants them gone. The Nazi's proposed the Final Solution was only at the Wannsee Conference in January 1942 and the first experimental mass killings began in late 1941. This is almost 10 years after Nazis came to power in 1933. Kristalnacht occurred in 1938, Ghettos 1940, Nuremberg Laws 1935, Jews could vote until 1936, propery was not confiscated until 1939. Nazis came to power in 1933. James 315 is acting out fantasy appropriate for a 1934 Hitlerjugend.

      James 315 has stated that if he had the power he would permaban bot-aspirants and decriminalise ganking miners (including those who might not actually be bot mining). Like the Nazis who embarked on escalated oppression against jews, James 315 would if he could escalate his oppression of miners. Like the Nazis in the mid 1930s who simply wanted the Jews to go somewhere else, James 315 simply wants miners to do something else.

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    17. Just wondering hows blow up a internet space ship even close to what Nazis did?

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  2. There is a middle option.

    At the Mittani website they are talking about a Vexor having the DPS of 2 catalysts.

    That could be the middle road.

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  3. A Vexor is good. Especially once you train up t2 drones.

    Another option is to take advantage of CCP's power of two promo ( ~ $50 for 6 months ) and use that account to train up a pure ganker.

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  4. Stop having fun ganking miners. Start having fun while being afk!
    - Being afk, it's highly botable.

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  6. Theoretical max DPS for Gallente ships (Tech2 fittings, all 5 skills, no implants)

    Destroyers (13-15 mil)
    Catalyst - 685
    Algos - 630

    Cruisers (25-30 mil)
    Thorax - 950
    Vexor - 1065

    Battlecruisers (60 mil, 80 mil, 135 mil)
    Brutix - 1235
    Myrmidon - 1210
    Talos - 1680

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    1. I'm curious what the Talos fit for this DPS is. My build with a full rack of Neutron Blaster II's and 3 Magstab II's is only getting up to about 1325dps. Or is yours including drone DPS?

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    2. Fit I used has 4 MagFieldStabs, 1 DroneDamageAmp, 5 Hobgoblins. May not be a practical fit to use, but I just looked for the highest numeber I could get out of it.

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  7. These larger ships ('weapons of terror') are much more expensive and significantly less agile. An unlucky faction police ECM be very costly. I wonder if these tools should be reserved for characters that have high security status (an occasional gank with an older character), instead of having criminal ganker alts train into them.

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    1. A Talos at 1325dps with two nanos in the lows has agility and speed very similar to a Catalyst.

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  8. Why is it you know how to combine modules for a greater performance, but fail at doing the same with miners? Demand ores from the miners and pay them only as much as you want to, instead of demanding ISKs. Demanding ISKs instead of ores is like using blasters for long-range. You already know it will end in a fail!

    Your use of miners is then as fail as most noobs' ship fittings and like noobs, who ignore all advise on their fits, are you doing the same. Stop blogging about and get it right.

    If you don't then the miners will switch into Skiffs or fit thermal/kinetic hardeners, because of your strict Gallente dependence.

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  9. I touched on this point in the post, but I'll expand a bit on what these kinds of fleets would look like: They would be carefully tailored to the circumstances, i.e. what pilots we had available. Unlike the impromptu Catalyst gangs, they would be planned a fair amount. Even the target would be carefully selected, probably an untanked target in a 0.5 system.

    The fleets would likely consist primarily of Catalysts (tech I and II), with a few highly-trained characters (perhaps some mains) in the bigger ships, as necessary. Some Thoraxes and Vexors could be used, depending on the circumstances. I didn't mention the cruiser hulls in the post since their DPS advantage over a tech II Catalyst is proportionately more reliant on detours (Gallente Cruiser V, Drone Interfacing V, and Heavy Drone Operation V for the Vexor). But again, the fleet would be tailored to the pilots available for the operation--rather than the other way around.

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  10. inb4 mining indulgence price hike

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  11. Unfortunately I have to disagree that these are "too expensive". The problem is that cheaper ships needs more ships which is more man-hours. Man hours have ISK value and if you include that you find that T1 Catlysts are extremely expensive to gank with.

    I'll write a detailed post but in TLDR: if one can fit T2 Cata, he shall always do. Those who can't should always go for high meta.

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    1. Except for one thing Gevlon: shareholder value. Their return on capital is higher with T1/Meta than for T2. Assuming an average transgressor value of 200mil and all other factors being equal: 200mil/2m vs 200m/15m. Therefore, their investment ISK clearly goes that much further. But as factors are never always equal, the upgrade to T2 is sometimes necessary. Fortunately, T2 is simply not required most of the time.

      I'll get me coat.

      Dr Tyler

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  12. If you can spare the RL cash... Multi-box a few Catalysts - MUCH more ISK efficient than fielding a Talos.

    I think a multi-boxer would be scarier than a Talos in a Gank situation.

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  13. My procurer is still cheaper than what it requires to gank it. You will lose more isk than me which I say is a win.

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  14. I once flew to an ice field and found nothing but Concord ships.
    I had the ice field to myself. Thank you CODE.for clearing out the ice field.
    In a level .7 system how many cats would it take to take out a skiff with 47K of tank?
    I am a newbie and need to figure out the math?

    Mr Cobalt

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