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.