Hi folks,

Hard to believe I wrote this guide over 4 years ago now. Nearly 200,000 guide views later, this site is still getting quite a bit of traffic. I know the post below spells this out pretty clear, but it begs reminding:

This guide was written in a different era of black ops combat in Eve. Jump range was terrible, fitting was tragic, jump fatigue was merely a twinkle in greyscale’s eyes and the MJD didn’t exist. If you do decide to read this guide, keep all of that in mind. The meta is different, the game has changed. Most of my instructions just don’t make sense in today’s Eve.

Welcome to Retirement

Posted: February 15, 2014 in Uncategorized

Just dropping by to let everyone know that I stopped playing EVE about 6 months ago, hence the reason there have been no updates. I don’t plan to update this anymore, but will leave it up because it still gets so much traffic – it must be helpful in some way. I’m still surprised that the two incarnations of this site received over 175,000 visits.

FYI to all those coming here for flying tips: While I believe the basic “big picture” information on this blog is still relevant, you’ll need to remember it was written at a time before Black Ops were buffed. Jump ranges are different, the fitting meta has changed, and more. 

Just don’t take what you read here as gospel. 

…and I’m back.

Two things:

  1. I’m will be going through the blog this weekend to update the guide. New and updated content will include:
    1. Recent changes to Black Ops
    2. The absolute GLUT of people looking to get into them now. (seriously, just check out the Character Bazaar – 20% of all listings are suddenly want-to-buy’s looking for Cyno 5 characters)
    3. Some new ideas for gang comps
  2. I’m looking for gainful in-game employment. Looking for someone with a strange lust for Black Ops? I figure with all the interest in them now, I should expand my horizons and see what opportunities are out there. Drop me a line in the comments, find me on Twitter.

Toodles

So CCP Fozzie has graced us with some new changes for Black Ops. Are they good? Terrible? Let’s take a look:

  • Increase the base jump range of all Black Ops ships to 3.5 light years (equal to that of Titans)

This is clearly the most drastic change. There really isn’t much to comment on here 4.5 light years to 7.8 = amazing.

  • Reduce the mass multipler used for Covert Jump Portal fuel costs from 0.00000018 to 0.000000135 (Reduces the fuel cost of covert bridges by 25%)

This is a good change, but if I’m going to complain about anything – it’s this one. I have no real gripes about this, I just wish it scaled 1:1 with the increased jump range. i.e. the cost to send a Falcon to maximum bridge range today (4.5 LY) now equals the cost of sending it to the new max bridge range (7.8 LY).

I know that it isn’t realistic and is asking too much, but a true bittervet finds a reason to hate everything

  • Increase the fuel bay on all Black Ops to 1250m3 (25% increase)

A welcome addition. 6,666 isotopes were just never enough and having to rely on your cargohold even for solo stuff was the symptom of an obviously poor design choice.

  • Change the CPU requirements of Covops cloaks to 100 and change the bonus on coverts, recons and blockade runners to “-20% CPU needed for cloaks per level”. This means that cloaks will use the same CPU at level 5 (0) but the CPU use at lower levels is less crippling, making the use of these ships at less than level 4-5 more viable.

FANTASTIC. Those friends with pesky Recon Ships III are now actually useful.

  • Open up the use of Covert Cynosural Field Generators on any Strategic Cruiser that has the Covert Reconfiguration subsystem fitted, as well as on Blockade Runners. This means that the availability of covert cynos is consistent and simple. If you can jump through the bridge you can light the cyno.

I don’t really care about the blockade runner part of this since it really only has an effect on the Prowler. The T3 part is something I’m pretty scared about. Obviously they will make incredible Covert Cyno tacklers, and their ability to evade via nullifier and cloak is great – but I don’t love the idea of adding T3’s to the recon class of “always assume they have a cyno”. Oh well.

  • As a more neutral side effect that is still worth noting: the Combat and Attack Battlecruisers, as well as the Blockade Runners and Deep Space Transports, will now be in separate groups. This means anyone with custom overviews will need to add the new Attack Battlecruiser group and the new Blockade Runner group to their list of groups that show up on the overview. The default overviews will be adjusted automatically.

I read this a few times and considered whether he was leaving the door open for covert-capable battlecruisers.

Speculation/Conclusions

I believe this will lead to more dead Black Ops. (Obvious) I believe so for two reasons.

  1. Force projection is more viable with these changes, so we’ll see more people flying them. Just playing the simple odds of more ships in space, we’ll probably see more of them blown up
  2. With greater range projection, we’re dudes pushing farther than before. Mix an 87% increase in jump range with a 25% increase in fuel capacity and a 25% drop in jump mass costs and you get dudes running out of fuel. Very quickly. I’m exciting for the daring, “The gates are probably clear, just hoof it back” lossmail quotes.

We’ll see more cloaky T3’s preying on the weak and ignorant, which is always fun. Most of all though, these are really solid iterations and changes that are, on the whole, very necessary. For the love of god though, fix the goddamn SIN.

So, I’m continually amazed at how much traffic this blog gets – especially a blog in which I take a year between posts. Shout-outs to those who sent me mails in-game about starting a podcast. As much as I love the sound of my own voice, I assure you it would be dreadfully boring after the first episode. How about one of you start one and I’ll be your guest sometime?

Anywho, I don’t really know what to write about next. I was going to do a piece on the other side of black ops – hunting. How to find target rich areas, how to not die while lighting the cyno, etc, etc. Though I am open to suggestions if people want to hear about something else.

In the meantime, here is the second installment of Search for Answers, where I run through the keyword searches that brought people to this blog and try to assist them as best as possible. (Check out Part 1, if you haven’t already)

Search: “Eve carrier ratting”

Answer: Hopefully these people were coming here for tips on how to rat in their carriers and not die to a hot drop. Here’s my tip: don’t rat in a carrier.

—–

Search: “How to use a covert cyno”

Answer: The Covert Cyno is very similar to the standard cyno module, except for a few key differences.

  • Covert Cynos can only be fit on a Covert Ops, Stealth Bomber or Force Recon Ship. (I’m told you can fit on a Black Ops, but I’ve never tried – nor should you)
  • They have a base activation time of 1 minute
  • They have a base Liquid Ozone consumption of 50
  • The mod requires Cyno 5 trained.

Otherwise, it’s the same as a regular cyno, you can’t warp, move, jump or eject while it’s active.

—–

Search: “sin gank fit”

Answer: Not an easy one to answer. To be honest, if you’re serious about all gank, worry about guns first. Slap a full rack of Neutron Blaster Cannon IIs, MWD, point, mag stabs and tracking enhancers. Use the rest of your available slots (and rig slots) to make it work.

—–

Search:how does black ops velocity bonus work”

Answer: This is a very good question. You may notice that under the description of every Black ops you’ll see some variation of the following:

Black Ops Skill Bonus: …. and multiplies the cloaked velocity by 125% per level.

What this is saying is that for each level of the Black Ops skill you have, the speed you travel while cloaked is upped by 125%. This is a very clutch thing. This is why you don’t want to stop training when get you Black Ops I. Having this skill at Level 3 or higher means that when you’re cloaked, you do more than 75% of your normal, uncloaked base speed — and that means insta-warping after decloak. Think of this as the MWD+Cloak trick, except you don’t need to use an MWD. This is a big deal for getting through gates (if you ever have to even use them) or cloaking up when shit goes bad and knowing you can warp immediately upon decloak.

—–

Search: “transport ships on black ops gangs”

Answer: Transport ships are either crucial or a nice addition to have to any Black Ops gang. Why are they good?

  1. Cloaky transports can bridge through a Black Ops
  2. They can be your personal gas can, extending your range very far beyond your own fuel bay
  3. They can carry loot, ammo, cap boosters, paste and other necessities

Take for an example, my alt’s Viator. The Viator can hold 10,279m3 of space, which means 3 giant secure containers each filled with 26,000 racial isotopes (with an additional 1,279m3 of spare room for additional cargo). That’s 78,000 isotopes in addition to the full fuel bay and cargo hold of the Black Ops. That’s a long distance you can cover.

—–

Search: “best solo covert cyno ship”

Answer: I’m assuming this person means the best covert cyno hunting ship to use when you’re running a solo Black Ops behind it. When alone, I’d recommend the Falcon. The Falcon gives you the best opportunity to not lose your cyno without having to pay much attention to it with your Black Ops. The ability to jam your target frees up your ability to fit more for gank on the Black Ops, and having some additional jammers fit allows you more opportunity to escape, should the drop go wrong.

I do hate ECM, but when it comes to hot dropping, I wasn’t looking for a fair fight anyway. Beyond that, I’d really take just about all of them, except maybe the Pilgrim. While the neuts are nice and can be quite handy, the lack of a range bonus can be dismal if shit hits the fan.

—–

Well, that’s all I have that aren’t answered elsewhere on this thing. Just for fun, here are a couple random searches that got people here:

– how to get into ops eve
– eve can you launch t3 in wormhole
– eve ratting carrier guide
– carrier cant use jump portal  <— (My personal favorite)

Friday Afternoon Edit:

Ok, people are asking for a gank Sin. Don’t say I didn’t warn you that this is asking for trouble:

[Sin, StraightGankHomie]
Federation Navy Magnetic Field Stabilizer
Federation Navy Magnetic Field Stabilizer
Federation Navy Magnetic Field Stabilizer
Republic Fleet Tracking Enhancer
Reactor Control Unit II
Damage Control II

Gist X-Type 100MN MicroWarpdrive
Warp Disruptor II
Stasis Webifier II
Sensor Booster II, Scan Resolution
True Sansha Heavy Capacitor Booster, Navy Cap Booster 800
Large Shield Extender II

Neutron Blaster Cannon II, Void L
Neutron Blaster Cannon II, Void L
Neutron Blaster Cannon II, Void L
Neutron Blaster Cannon II, Void L
Dark Blood Large EMP Smartbomb
Improved Cloaking Device
[empty high slot]

Large Ancillary Current Router II
Large Core Defence Field Extender II
Ogre II x5

at all lvl5

1,156 dps with Void (1250 overheated) / 45,000 EHP

When you think of running Black Ops, the first thing that typically comes to mind is nullsec then lowsec and sometimes highsec when you daydream about hot-dropping freighters.

Do you ever consider wormholes? Before your brush them off as complicated and unwieldy, think about some of the great benefits to you:

1) Wormholes open up incredible new opportunities for you and your crew. 

Too often, you cover the same hunting territory day in and day out only to find people becoming wise to your tactics. Unless you hunt in Providence, your hunting characters become well-known through alliance mails and internal forum posts and you suddenly find dreamy ratting space suddenly devoid of ratters when you stroll through.

Wormholes give you the ability to find new hunting grounds — access to fresh meat who don’t know you from any other random neutral.

2) Wormholes give you the ability to stay undetected.

One of the biggest issues that the piss-poor range of a JDC 5 Black Ops is the fact that you often find yourself hanging out with your gang in some random system near your target in order to get within bridge range. 20 dudes in some back-alley system can generate quite a bit of interest when people check out the map and check “Active Pilots in Space in the Last 30 Minutes”. This problem is already above the fact that any random guy transiting through your system will most assuredly report you in intel.

The report: (John Doe x20 – SVB-RE Solar System – no visual) – will definitely generate some people either looking around or looking you up on eve-kill.

However, wormholes help put a dent in this problem. This is obviously situational, as your target may be more than 1 jump from the wormhole. But it’s safe to assume you can spend a good deal of hunting time sitting comfortably in the wormhole waiting to jump the exit and immediately bridge out.

——

Now nobody truly enjoys probing. It’s a pain and can be quite tedious to weed out all of those Independence and Mag sites, but much of the time you can find people to do it for you. Namely, if you’re already in an alliance, consider creating a Google Doc spreadsheet that has a list of every system you control or actively monitor. Send out an alliance mail or create a forum post asking anybody that probes to drop a note in the Doc where they may have run across a wormhole. (no need for them to give away that 10/10 they just found) You can add columns for Life left, Mass remaining, destination, and more to get a good picture of what is out there.

While any wormhole out there can have a K162 to what you’re looking for, you’re likely to find some nullsec directs, random C3 with a K346 other than you, and lots more.

If you’re feeling truly hardcore and have a group of people who can spare alts or are looking for new grounds. Consider vacationing in a K346 Class 3. You’ll have a constant connection to nullsec that you can cycle as you see fit to find the best hunting grounds. Win-Win

Adios!

Searching for Answers

Posted: September 4, 2011 in Bridging, EVE Online, Guide

For not posting much lately, this blog is still gets quite a few daily hits. I’m always interested to see what my site stats are up to — mostly search keywords.

I’m going to look at three of the most common search phrases that lead to my blog and do my best to answer what it is the phrase is looking for.

Without further ado:

  1. how long is the training for black ops in eve?

First off, if you’re even remotely interested about working out training times, EVEMON is a must have. It’s a great program for checking how long it takes to train for anything in the game, ships/skills/mods/prints.

Concerning getting into the ship and using the fits I’ve given in the past, I started with a fresh character to check the training time. With remapping your attributes and plugging in +5 implants, it will take ~200 days to train (aka 7 months). That’s quite a bit of training, but you probably have a lot of necessary support skills already trained up or nearly trained.

       2. black ops bridging in eve

Opening covert bridges is an essential part of being a Black Ops pilot. The whole idea behind bridging can be a bit confusing, so let’s walk through everything together.

First thing we need:

Jump Portal Generator Eve Online Black Ops
Jump Portal Generator – This takes up a high slot and is actually a “passive module”, which means that when you fit it, you don’t click on the module icon (Like a gun or MWD). It just exists — sort of like a shield extender or plate. (Remember, you need Astrometrics 5  to use this)

Once you’re in space,
right click on your capacitor and you’ll notice a “Bridge To” option above “Set Name”:
Bridge Black Ops EVE Online
Things to note about bridging and this image:
  1. The first thing you will notice, if you belong to an alliance that has Cyno Generators in multiple systems, you’ll have the option to bridge to any of the Cyno Generators your alliance has. *I blacked out the specific systems next to the words, but each option will usually region.  They will be listed like “HED-GP (Cynosural Generator Array)
  2. When somebody in your gang lights a cyno, it will appear at the top of this list showing their name and the system the cyno is in. An example: “Phatstabley (Rancer)
  3. Cynos and Cyno Generators will show up in this list, regardless of them being in range. Always make sure that you are in range of your intended destination – more on this soon.
  4. Notice how 3 spots above “Bridge To” is “Jump To” – Don’t mix these up.

Worst. News. Ever.

Next Step: Bridging and Fuel

Your hunter lights the cyno, you go to “Bridge To” and find the guy, you click on his name and a giant black cloud envelopes your ship. At this point the connection has been made between your Black Ops and the destination cyno.
  • Everyone who plans on jumping through needs to get within 2,500 meter of you (just like a gate), they need to right-click on your ship and choose the option to jump to the destination system.
  • Ships jumping through consume fuel from your fuel bay.
  • Opening the portal doesn’t consume any fuel
  • Your portal lasts 20 seconds
  • You can only portal people as far as you can possibly jump. If you only have Jump Drive Calibration IV you can jump 4 Light Years and bridge only 4 light years.
As your fleet members jump through, your fuel in the fuel bay will be consumed depending on what kind of ships go through, how they’re fit, and your Jump Fuel Conservation Level. Generally speaking, from lowest consumption to highest – Bombers > Transports > Recons > T3**. (If you’re bridging bombers, you can move a lot of them on one load of fuel, but it’s best to be near a can if you’re different flavors of ships. (Make sure nobody is MWD’ing to get in range of you, MWDs make a ship’s mass practically explode and it will consume a lot more fuel if they jump through with they’re MWD on)

**T3’s can only go through if they have the covert subsystem fit to their ship.

(end of bridging question…that was long, sorry)

       3.  fuel bay black ops

Black Ops Battleships have a dedicated fuel bay that is 1,000 m3. You can fill your fuel bay with 6,666 of your racial isotopes. Make sure to fill your empty cargo hold space with isotopes. Your fuel bay is similar to a cargo hold, you can open it in space and add more isotopes. (Like bridging, right click on your capacitor and choose “Fuel Bay” to access it)
A smart idea concerning your fuel bay. If you’ll be jumping around, have everybody coming on your gang bring some of your racial isotopes with them in any extra cargo hold space they have. When you jump in to the destination, drop a can and have people dump their fuel into it – mobile refueling without the transport!

——————-

That’s it for now.

Poke Poke Poke

Posted: August 26, 2011 in Uncategorized

Sorry. I’ve been away and had some stuffz going on.

I’ll be back on ASAP with some new content. Thanks, Dalv.🙂 (More so for being the bane of my existence when I originally lived in old Providence.)

Bomber Gangs

Posted: July 13, 2011 in Black Ops, EVE Online, Guide, PVP

Bomber gangs are a fun, low-barrier gang that utilize your Black Ops’ bridging ability. I would dare say the majority of your alliance/corp mates have the ability to fit and fly at least one of the stealth bombers.

I think of bomber drops sort of like bubble camps, either A) you’re doing it because you’re bored and don’t want to make 50 round-trip jumps to shoot stuff or B) You know of a specific target rich area that will reward you for your patience (maybe an evac in progress and you just wait for the haulers to hit the low-sec gate) Bomber drops are very similar, but usually produce better results. With dedication and some patience, you can usually haul yourself a really shiny or expensive kill with little overall effort.

Let’s look my favorite casual bomber gang comp from the ground up – The JB SURPRISE PARTY! (And possibly CYNO GEN PARTY!)

Gang Composition

Very straightforward here. The more bombers, the better you’ll do. Let’s look at a good set up:

1-2 Scouts – (Out of Alliance scouts will make this entire endeavor more fruitful)
20 Bombers
1 Black Ops
1 Transport Ship (Optional)
1 Return Cyno (or just bridge the fleet back using one of your Cyno Gens if you have them)

Obviously, you might not be able to get 20 guys to join up for a bomber gang. You either love these things or you hate them. (You very well may end up sitting and chatting it up on Comms for two hours before you score a good kill.) The more the merrier, but I probably wouldn’t take less than 12 bombers.

Fits

There are 2 rules for the JB Surprise Party fleet that can never, under any circumstance, be broken!

Rule #1: Afterburners only – NO MWDs

Rules #2: No Bomb Launchers – don’t even bring them, offline launchers are a waste of a slot.

Now that we have that in your head. You don’t need to worry about fits, per se. Just make sure fits are SAM fit: Siege Missile Launchers, Afterburner, Medium Shield Extender. To be honest, after those, the rest is just icing. You’d really like a nice mix of Target Painter, DPS mods, Long Points, Damps, etc. (You know that extra high slot you have from not fitting a bomb launcher? Fit a covert cyno if you are skilled up / otherwise fit an offline small remote armor rep for post battle fixes)

Scouts should be in a bomber. Recons/Cov Ops are useless here, since they have a targeting delay after decloaking. You’ll watch your prey warp away before you can get a point. 99.9% of the time the bomber will die because the POS will finally lock it and dispatch your stationary little ship.

You can fit your Black Ops for gas can work seeing as you won’t be engaging anything with it. Load up on cargo expanders and you can probably live without the transport ship.

Where to go

Pretty obvious here. Having an enemy jump-bridge map makes life super easy, but it’s not totally necessary. Check out Dotlan and specifically look for your enemies border systems. Typically, you’ll find JBs near nullsec-empire connections or near the edges of their region. Definitely look at your enemy’s home systems, too!

Knowing where JBs connect gives you the added bonus of being able to have scouts on both sides of the bridge. Knowing what is jumping through and what’s on the other side gives you time to ready your gang. 

Open your ingame map and change the Filter to “Active Cyno Fields”. Disregard the blue dots, these represent ship cyno’s that, unless you have intel, will probably be a waste of your time. (More on this in another post) The other Dots are active cyno generators. Go to those systems. More often than not, where you find a Cyno Gen, you find a JB. And hopefully twice as many targets.

What to do

Place the scout about 10km above or below the JB. (Make sure not to be within 7,200 meters of any JB or Cyno Gen as you may be decloaked by your target on jump in.)

20 bombers will easily do 6,000 raw DPS. So depending on your gang size, you might not want to bust your cover to kill and iteron mk. 5 passing through. Wait for tasty treats like Carriers/Rorqs/Jump Freighters/Freighters/Stupidly pimped faction Battleships

When you gang loads grid:

1) Immediately pull secondary points and begin anchoring with your AB on. — Your afterburner is utterly essential to your survival if the POS has small (and even medium) guns. I typically have members set orbits @ 10k before we enter.

2) Shoot

3) Loot

4) Cloak

4A – Targeted by the POS? warp off. Pointed by the POS? Keep orbiting with your AB on until it switches (overheat if you’re taking damage) Then warp off.

5) Somebody set a safe spot, and bring in the Black Ops to bridge home

Things to remember

1) When a ship jumps through a JB or Cyno beacon, it’s completely invulnerable to you until its session timer runs out. Make sure the scout has the “Velocity” column on his overview, the moment you see him move, decloak and point.

2) When the cyno is lit on the bomber, the POS will take about 20-30 seconds to lock and begin firing.

3) Don’t orbit your target, have an anchor pre-determined for everyone to orbit. If your orbiting the target when he dies, your ship will stop and you’ll get one-volleyed by the POS. (Typically, the anchor will orbit the JB/Cyno Gen, or handle keeping an orbit up when the target dies)

So there you have it. I wrote quite a bit, but these fleets are great when you just want to relax and get some hilarious kills. You may lose a bomber or two on the POS, but you’ll get a nice kill out of it.

People read this

Posted: July 11, 2011 in Uncategorized

Apparently, people have been visiting this blog. Shout out to VandV for highlighting my little space, I guess this means I should write more so I don’t lose all this interest.