A Sneaking Suspicion

Well, it seems like Expedition preparations are continuing on several fronts.

I’ve been mission running to get enough faction for a jump clone and mining out the mission spaces for isk.  Finally being able to access a level 4 agent with Amarr Navy located within my home system has been a big help.  Along with the faction bump, level 4 loot, salvage and the asteroids make it well worth while.

When not missioning/mining (or just too tired or lazy to do anything else), I’m putting away ice for our POS fuel depot in my newly minted Mackinaw.  Ice mining makes asteroid mining feel like the Kentucky Derby but its quite the semi-afk friendly activity which is what I need sometimes.  Fortunately, refined ice products are just about as or slightly more lucrative than veld in my region of high sec.

Finally, Wil just completed training on his Buzzard covert ops ship about the same time that I completed training for the Gallente blockade runner transport, the Viator.  Covert Ops capability has been a primary goal for the Expedition.

You know about the shrinkage right?
You know about the shrinkage right?

The Gallente have two variants of transport ships, the Viator and the Occator, with slightly different characteristics.  The Occator is larger (5,000 m3 base cargo), slower (90 m/s) and has 2 points of built in warp strength while the Viator is smaller (3,000 m3), faster (170 m/s) and is able to fit a covert ops cloaking device to allow warping while cloaked.  I opted for the Viator which is basically a stubby nitro burning funny-ship version of the Iteron Mark V.

Having already trained up to Gallente Industrial V for my Iteron Mark V hauler, it was mainly a matter of getting trained for the covert ops cloak and waiting to pull the trigger on the transport ship skill which runs about 30 million isk IIRC.

I haven’t decided how to fit it out yet.  The Viator has 1 high, 3 medium, 3 low slots and 2 rig slots.  Covert Ops cloak occupies the high, so thats done.  Its everywhere else that I’m torn.

In the mediums, conventional wisdom says a 10 MN microwarp drive.  Check.  Then it gets tougher.  Being able to warp cloaked is a great advantage to avoiding trouble.  Still your vulnerable in a few situations:  warping after a jump (whether camped or not) and getting decloaked by coming within 2km of an object.

The fits that I’ve seen discussed tend to foregoe cargo capacity for speed and agility (i.e. no cargo expanders in the lows, no cargohold optimization rigs).  Fully rigged for cargo (“yer doin it wrong”) would only give about 10k m3 of haulage anyway at a significant cost in speed and agility.

So here’s what I’m considering as a compromise (any thoughts appreciated):

Synthetic Hull Conversion Inertia Stabilizers I
Synthetic Hull Conversion Inertia Stabilizers I
Expanded Cargohold II

10MN MicroWarpdrive I
Small Shield Extender II
ECM Burst II

Covert Ops Cloaking Device II

Low Friction Nozzle Joints I
Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer I

If my EFT is close to right, this should give a base speed of about 350 m/s (almost 2km/s on MWD), cargo of almost 4,800 m3 and an align time of about 5.5 seconds (depending on skills).  Not looking to get into trouble, but I’m hoping that this will get me out quickly enough.

4 thoughts on “A Sneaking Suspicion”

  1. First up, when warping following a jump, you’re considered ‘omni aligned’, that is you have zero velocity, and can accelerate in any direction; the time it takes to warp is simply how long it takes you to reach velocity. This is the trick to webslinging freighters, btw.

    So, with that in mind, istabs get you very little on that front. Second off, you can warp while cloaked! This is important, because post jump, you have 30 seconds to get everything set up. So, here’s how it works in highsec/lowsec: Pick your target. Have a finger on your cloak. Warp to zero, and immediately activate your cloak. Done properly, you’ll be nothing but a blink on the overview for anyone sitting at the gate, if that. In nullsec, it’s the same theory, except you’re activating the WMD for what comes to less than a single pulse to get you out of a warp bubble quicker. Otherwise, it’s business as usual.

    1. As I’ve been zipping around high sec getting used to the beast, my experience has been pretty much what you say: after a gate, warp to zero and hit cloak. I flash visible for probably under 2 seconds if that. The thing I initially forgot when writing the post was that the gate dumps you far enough from the gate that you can cloak immediately.

      Otherwise the one cycle of the mwd/cloak/warp trick seems to work very quickly too. Seems to be 2-4 secs to get out of range of anything decloaking you.

      Would you then put more expanded cargohold IIs in the lows or something else?

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