A Guide to Flying Blacks Ops – Part 1

Posted: June 17, 2011 in Black Ops, EVE Online, Guide, PVP, Strategy

(Updated July 2013)

The guide is by no means completely definitive or final. I’ll make changes as I go; however, I’ve had a lot of people asking for more information. I will publish this in pieces, trying to go through it in the order in which you will. I’m going to answer as many questions as possible with this guide.

Part 1: Getting There

Black Ops are skill intensive. With a niche tactical role, there is no wonder why it’s one of the least used ship classes in the game. I’ll take you through as much as I can, in a chronological order. So let’s start with skills.

The Skills


Prerequisite Skills:

Racial BS V
Cloaking Level IV
Electronics Level V
Jump Drive Calibration Level IV
Jump Drive Operation Level V
Navigation Level V
Warp Drive Operation Level V
Navigation Level I
Science Level V
Spaceship Command Level V
Black Ops Level I

The first you thing you see? If you’re a carrier capable pilot, you’re already very close to flying your racial Black Ops. These are simply the skills that get you into the ship. I’m not going to get into the true “secondary” skills that are necessary (Drones, ECM skills, Large Projectiles, Engineering, Shield, Armor, etc. etc.) as they are fairly obvious. However, let’s look at the other skills that are pretty important, especially for gang work.

Additional Necessary Skills:

Jump Drive Calibration V – There’s no getting around this. It’s not like you and your carrier. You really can’t live without JC5. Don’t be that guy who shows up to the gang and has to ask if the hunting is in range for JC4. The Black Ops got a nice boost to it’s range so you don’t want to hinder yourself. It’s a long train, but very well worth it.

Astrometrics V – Without it, you can’t use the Covert Jump Portal – aka you can’t bridge gangs around. While you can rely on others to do the bridging, the ability to do them is necessary to be a well-rounded pilot.

Jump Fuel Conservation IV-V – JFC5 is great, but 4 will do if you’re just that lazy. The fuel bay is an issue with Black Ops, so the higher your skill, the less refueling you need to do.

Black Ops IV – Why only level 4? Again, 5 is great but 4 will suffice. The bonus is worth it on some of the ships to go for 5, but not always. If you have the time, train it.

————

The Ships

Ok, you’re trained up and ready to make your purchase. This decision will either be easy (You only have the skills to fly one) or tough (you can fly many). Which Black Ops to choose? Good Question. The 4 Black Ops ships can be broken up into 3 classes, DPS, Jamming and Other. Let’s take a look at each one and drill into their strength and weaknesses. I’ll start with the DPS class first:

DPS

Redeemer

Redeemer Amarr Battleship Skill Bonus:
~10% reduction in large energy turret capacitor use and5% bonus to large energy turret rate of fire per level

Black Ops Skill Bonus:
~7.5% bonus to large energy turret tracking and multiplies the cloaked velocity by 125% per level

Panther

Panther

Minmatar Battleship Skill Bonus:
~5% bonus to large projectile turret rate of fire and 5% bonus to large projectile turret damage per level

Black Ops Skill Bonus:
~5% bonus to velocity and multiplies the cloaked velocity by 125% per level

The Panther and the Redeemer as the two true “DPS” ships of the class. At the most simple level, the Panther is the easiest choice if you’re looking for straight forward, gank dps. The Panther has an 8/5/6 layout (5 turrets) while the Redeemer is 8/4/7 (6 turrets). Notice the Bonuses to the ship. To even get into these ships you need Racial BS 5, so you’ll get the maximum upgrade to those bonuses. Lazors love to eat your cap on Amarr BS, which is typically a big downfall. With a 10% reduction in Cap use on the guns per level, a lot of the problem is mitigated. Still though, you need to remember, when you jump to the cyno to fight, you’ll use 70% of your cap just to jump. Pray your in range with your cyno because you won’t have good enough cap to be MWD into range.

The Panther, while missing the 6th turret, gets two great bonuses to it’s Minnie BS bonus – 5% ROF and 5% Damage. Awesome! And firing capless guns to boot!

~~~~~~

Jamming

Widow

Widow

Caldari Battleship Skill Bonus:
~5% bonus to cruise and siege missile launcher rate of fire per level
~10% bonus to cruise missile and torpedo velocity per level

Black Ops Skill Bonus:
~30% bonus to ECM target jammer strength and multiplies the cloaked velocity by 125% per level

The Widow is probably the most straight forward of the Black Ops — it’s a spiffier looking version of the Scorpion. The ship is great for jamming out the enemy and applying some decent DPS. 7/8/4 (5 launchers) layout provides a decent option to go standard shield fit or for an armor fit with fleet jamming capabilities.

Skip the Kaikka’s Jammers, I know they look cool, but you really don’t need them.

~~~~~~

Other

Sin

Sin

Gallente Battleship Skill Bonus:
~5% bonus to large hybrid turret damage per level
~10% bonus to drone hit points and damage per skill level

Black Ops Skill Bonus:
~5% bonus to agility per level and multiplies the cloaked velocity by 125%
The Sin used to be terrible – before CCP decided to fix hybrid weapons. I originally relegated this ship to the “Other” category because,

“…it actually makes a great logistics platform and flying gas can for bridging. First and foremost, a logi Sin is pretty awesome. 400m3 drone bay (125m3 bandwith) gives you 5 Heavies out at once – and plenty of options for damage and RR drones. Be a lifesaver when you rep your mates and cap up other BO’s so they’re ready to jump on the fly.”

While Logi-Sin is still incredible and well-worth the expense, you can realistically fit a Blaster Sin, for full-on gank. You can pump out over 1,000 DPS with CN Antimatter on Neutron Blaster Cannons + 5 Ogre IIs.  (Just remember, you need webs to hold down your target) So rather than the sin being relegated to the “Other” category due to it having a lame role, it’s now here because it’s a multi-faceted ship that can wear multiple hats.

Conclusion

As you can see, the ships have varying degrees of utility for each situation. They can all apply DPS, just some better than others. If you’re rolling solo, you need to be very careful. These are battleships that don’t really outclass their t1 equivalent in damage. Black Ops require selectivity. The surprise is on your side when you light that covert cyno, but if you’re alone, make sure you know you will win before clicking jump.

I’ll discuss solo and gang fits for each of the ships in the next installment and how to best use the utility of each ship.

~~~~~~

Stay tuned for part 2 on Sunday: Fitting your shiny new ship

Comments
  1. TooNu says:

    Ahhh this is a good post 🙂

  2. […] The guide is by no means completely definitive or final. I’ll make changes as I go; however, I’ve had a lot of people asking for more information. I will publish this in pieces, trying to go through it in the order in which you will. I’m going to answer as many questions as possible with this guide. Part 1: Getting There Black Ops are skill intensive. With a limited tactical role, there is no wonder why it’s one of the least used ship classes in … Read More […]

  3. Alexander Sixx says:

    Thank you for taking your time to do this guide. As you mentioned already in your introduction, specialized ships lack guides. Keep up your work. You have, at least, one faithful follower.

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