14
Dec
09

Stay on target…

Tracking disruptors are the primary Electronic Warfare system of the Pilgrim, and if you have already flown the Electronic Attack ship the Sentinel, or the Tech 1 Arbitrator you will already be familiar with these modules.

To understand the role the tracking disruptor plays in how the Pilgrim fights we need to understand the concept of tracking itself. An easy analogy to understand is to imagine the massive guns of a naval battleship trying to hit a small, fast speed boat. If the speed boat is heading directly towards the battleships guns ‘tracking’ is not an issue – sure the target is small but it has no lateral movement and the battleships guns have an easier time of it. Now imagine the same scenario, but in this case the speed boat is circling the battleship. The battleships guns will now have hard time traversing around fast enough to keep up with the speed boat.

Although a rather simplistic picture, that in essence, is how tracking works. For a much more detailed analysis there’s a rather useful tracking guide over on Chribba’s EVE Files here.

Clearly TD’s have no effect on non-turret based systems, so unlike the sensor dampener which can nullify a targets overall locking range, or ECM which can nullify a targets lock entirely the TD is somewhat of a niche weapon. However because it is so specialised fewer pilots will fit specifically to counter its effects (opposed to the dampener which falls victim to sensor boosters, or the popular ECM which has it own issues against ECCM modules). Unlike the Caldari and Gallente Recons which rely heavily on their Electronic Warfare modules to prevent damage the Pilgrim can also fit a relatively strong armour tank irrespective of its EW systems.

TD’s are scripted EW systems, with one script which reduces the turrets optimal and fall off range. Generically this is less useful for the Pilgrim which traditionally needs to get within neut/nos range (circa 12km) in order to apply those systems to disable its prey. However vs short ranged turrets, like blasters a highly skilled Pilgrim pilot can reduce the optimal and fall off by around 60% per TD with this script.

More useful are the ‘tracking speed disruption’ scripts which, provided the Pilgrim can maintain a reasonably high transversal, seriously impair or even completely nullify a turrets damage at close range (again around a 60% penalty depending on skill and module type). It’s probably worth noting that with good skills even without a script loaded the Pilgrim can achieve around a 30% reduction per TD to both range and tracking attributes; useful if you’re in a very fluid battle or against multiple targets.

The primary skills you will wish to train up for the use of TDs are:

Frequency modulation: 10% bonus to TD fall off

Long Distance Jamming: 10% bonus to TD optimal

Turret destabilization: 5% bonus to Tracking Disruptor modules’ tracking speed, optimal range and falloff disruption per skill level.

Weapon Disruption: 5% less capacitor need for weapon disruptors per skill level.

Well that’s all well and good, but tracking disruption is nothing without achieving a high transversal and that means speed, but speed generally means sacrificing armour which in turn makes the Pilgrim more vulnerable to non turret based weapons. . .

Next time I’ll look at the fine balance between speed and armour. Until then, cloak up!

C.

13
Dec
09

To nos or not to nos….

Today we continue our review of the Pilgrim Force Recon.

As I mentioned in my initial post the Pilgrim gains a significant bonus to the use of Energy Destabilisers (or neuts) and Energy Vampires (or nos).  To fully achieve the maximum effect of these modules you will need to train the Recon Ships skill to at least level  IV, preferably V.

Whilst the Pilgrim gets no bonus to nos/neut range its bonus increases the ‘transfer amount’ at each level of Recon Ships – this means that either your nos will ‘suck’ more capacitor from your target or the neut will destroy more capacitor from your target.

Now neuts use capacitor to run, which means if you have a high skill in Recon Ships you are using your neutralizers more efficiently, removing more cap from your target for the amount of cap you yourself are burning.

Note: The Medium Energy Neutralizer II consumes 150gj of cap to destroy 180gj of target cap. (Not much of an advantage there!)

To make this module type more effective on the Pilgrim we should also give serious consideration to getting the skill Energy Emissions Systems to V. As a rank II skill this shouldnt be too much of a hard ship and provides the following:

Operation of energy transfer array and other energy emission systems. 5% reduced capacitor need of energy emission weapons per skill level”

Couple this with Recon Ships V and that 150gj / 180gj equation becomes 112.5gj / 360gj every 12 seconds.

Even with maxed skills that amount of cap use is still a hefty drain on the ship over the long term.  Luckily the Energy Vampire module can offset this somewhat.  It’s important to recall here how nosferatu mods work. The Medium Nosferatu II drains 36 cap / 6 seconds adding the drained cap to your own ship – however it will only drain that cap if your % capacitor is lower than your targets % capacitor.

This is a crucial consideration: if your target is very low on cap, and you’re very high on cap your nos essentially does nothing. This is something to bear in mind when you are looking at say EFT and grinning at your infinite sustainable cap: turn off the nos and check again!

Lets look again at how this module performs with Energy Emissions and Recon at V: Now the nos is draining 72 cap every 6 seconds. This means in 12 seconds it will have recovered 144 cap, enough to run 1 Medium tech II neut over one cycle.

Now there are a couple of modifications we can add to make our neuts that little bit more efficient.  One is to fit the rig ‘Energy Egress Port Maximiser’ . The tech I variant reduces the cap need  of your neuts by 15%, 20% for the tech II version.

A single t1 Egress rig will reduce the cap need then for a T2 medium neut to 95 cap, 83 cap with 2 t1 Egress rigs fitted.

The final option to improve the efficiency of your energy neuts is using the rather more expensive Talisman implant sets (or low grade versions).  These implants reduce the activation time of your neut/nos modules – with a full set of low grade talismans for example you will reduce the cycle time down to 8.7 seconds – a significant advantage in terms of cap warfare.

These implants however are generally pretty pricey and its arguable that you would be better of spending your hard earned ISK on other implants or faction modules.

Next time – Tracking Disruptors. ‘Til then, cloak up!

C.

11
Dec
09

Twilight

In my last post I covered the basic attribute bonuses the Pilgrim has.  Now I’d like to delve a little deeper into the ships structure and slot layout.

The Pilgrim has the following slot layout:

High Slot  4 (3 turret hard points)

Mid Slot 5

Low Slot 5

2 Rig slots (400 calibration)

High Slots are pretty minimal but typical for this class of ship.  Bearing in mind that you will almost certainly want to fit a covert ops II cloak this will leave just 3 remaining high slots.  Luckily the Pilgrim’s damage is primarily provided by its drones so those high slots immediately free themselves for other modules rather than turrets.

Typically the Pilgrim fits a combination of energy neuts or nos in its high slot configuration.  Ideally you’ll want to be using Medium sized neuts or nos here if your skills and available power grid allows.  Not fitting either means you are not making best use of the Pilgrims bonus to these energy systems (&  I’ll cover these in more detail in a future blog).  However there are other considerations, not least among them the fitting of a covert cyno, which quickly makes space in this area at a premium.

Mid slot wise the Pilgrim gets a healthy 5 slot allocation, which is pretty good for an Amarr cruiser hull.  As with the nos/neuts for high slots you’re missing out if you dont use up at least some of these slots with Tracking Disruptors.  Whilst the Pilgrim can achieve a very decent armor tank TD’s go a long way to eliminating or mitigating against a great deal of turret based damage.  In pvp terms a propulsion module (Micro Warp Drive / Afterburner), Stasis Webbifier and Warp Disruptor / Warp Scrambler are all near necessities.  Personally I prefer an AB, and warp scrambler and sacrifice fitting a web although this is a difficult choice.

Finally the Pilgrims Low Slot allocation of 5 slots offers the potential to achieve a strong armor tank.  Fitting options are varied but generally fall into the active vs passive tank themes.  Fitting one, or more, medium armor repairers (MAR)  means the Pilgrim can sustain a good amount of incoming damage and maximise the use of any nosferatu (energy vampires) fitted.  MARs also allow you to repair any armor damage subsequent to a battle which can be a key consideration if you are operating in .0 or without easy access to a station or a friendly ship with remote armor repairers.

That said MARs consume significant amounts of cap, and their usefulness is degraded if your fit is ‘neut heavy’ or you’re up against another energy neutralizing ship.  Thankfully the Pilgrim has a good amount of Power Grid available (base 950MW) which means fitting a strong buffer tank through the use of 800mm or 1600mm plates is still an option.

As a Tech 2 Hull the Pilgrim is granted just 2 rig slots and 400 calibration points.  How, and if you utilise rigs, is a big question and can significantly effect the overall performance of your ship.  Prior to Apocrypha rigs only came in 1 size and tended to be on the pricey side.  Thankfully Tech 1 medium rigs are now available and are far more ‘wallet friendly’ meaning a pilot on even a moderate budget can stretch his Pilgrim’s performance.  

I shall look at rig slot options in a later post but if you’re a new Pilgrim pilot and struggling to cram on even half of the potential modules discussed so far Ancillary Current Router Is offer a quick way to expand that precious PGU that little bit further.

Until next time, cloak up!

C.

10
Dec
09

Vanishing Point

EVE Online is full to bursting with some great blogs*, some truly awesome blogs – so much so it really doesn’t need another mediocre one.  But then need and getting are two entirely  different things so I’m going to go right ahead and jam mine in here aswell.

Sideways if needed.

I’m a Pilgrim pilot, the veritable Amarr Force Recon – a ship I fell in love with from my first floundering efforts in New Eden.  Some maybe not too familiar with this specialised ship so I’ll give a brief overview of its capabilities, strengths and its limitations .  I hope, in future topics, to go into more detail on how it can be best employed in a variety of roles but for now let’s just run over the basics….

“Force recon ships are the cruiser-class equivalent of covert ops frigates. While not as resilient as combat recon ships, they are nonetheless able to do their job as reconaissance vessels very effectively, due in no small part to their ability to interface with covert ops cloaking devices and set up cynosural fields for incoming capital ships”.

The Pilgrim is based upon its Tech 1 sibling the Arbitrator cruiser and naturally enough carries across a number of that ship’s attributes.  Namely it’s moderate bonus to drones and the arbi’s electronic warfare speciality – the Tracking Disruptor.

“Amarr Cruiser Skill Bonus: 5% bonus to Tracking Disruptor effectiveness and 10% bonus to drone hit points and damage per level”.

I’ll talk more about tracking distruptors (or TD’s) in a later post – suffice to say they make a nice mess of enemy turret based ships but are in all other respects pretty useless.

The Pilgrim also gets a nice little bonus towards the use of Energy Destabilisers (neuts) and  Energy Vampires (Nosferatu or ‘nos’).  I’m sure all experienced pilots have come up against the effects of these in the past, for newer pilots it’s enough to know at this stage that these specialised modules are basically capacitor killers.

“Recon Ships Skill Bonus: 20% bonus to Energy Vampire and Energy Neutralizer transfer amount..”

Finally, the Pilgrim is ultimately a Force Recon ship and that can only mean cloaks.  The ability to fit the Covert Ops Cloaking Device II is fundamental to this ships class and goes a long way to defining it’s role and ‘niche’ within the pantheon of EVE’s ships.

“…and -96% to -100% reduced CPU need for cloaking device per level”.

Well almost finally, as the Pilgrim also has another set of bonuses which, like the ability to fit covet ops cloaks, it shares with the other racial force recons which is its focus on utilising ‘covert cynosural field generators’ (try saying that in a hurry) in the most economical method possible.

The use of covert cyno’s is a massive topic in itself so I wont touch on that just yet.  So there you have it, well the bare bones anyway, of the Pilgrim.  Next time we’ll delve into the details a bit more – it’s slot layout, potential fitting and set ups and the real ‘nuts & bolts’ of this ship.

In the mean time you can grab some more info on the ‘evelopedia’ wiki here.

*Check out Crazy Kinux’s excellent selection of blogs in the blog pack from all over the eve blogosphere.




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