Greedy Goblin

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Cap boosters, T2 ammo and time

Two things motivated this post. One was Sugar saying "I do not think that most people would take a Drake, Hurricane, Ferox, Myrm or any other battlecruiser into low sec at the rate that people are taking Gnosis." The other was a troll commenter saying "PVE ships should never require Cap Booster Charges."

The answer for both: people are still bad at understanding opportunity cost. They don't want upfront costs and thinking ends here. A Drake hull costs 70M. That's lot of money for someone who grinds for it. They don't risk it in a random PvP situation. A Gnosis is free like the noobship, so they drive it boldly to lowsec. They could sell the Gnosis for 200M instead and buy nearly 3 Drakes, but that's beyond their understanding.

Let's get to cap booster charges. A naked Raven Navy with all 5 skills has 19.2 peak capacitor recharge. With a Heavy Capacitor Booster II, filled with Cap Booster 800 charges: 76.3. With 3 CCC I rigs and 4 Cap Recharger IIs: 76.2. The cap booster needed one slot, the second setup 4+3rig.

The Heavy Capacitor Booster II cycles in 12 seconds and needs 10 seconds to reload the 5 charges, so one charge lasts 14 seconds. If you run it all the time (you won't), you can eat 257 charges an hour (that would need 8000m3 cargohold, I told you won't). A charge costs 4000 ISK. So burning cap booster charges as fast as you can costs you 1M/hour. If you can fit something into those freed-up slots that increases your ISK/hour more than 1M/hour, it's a good choice. What can you fit? Webs, Target Painters, Tracking Computers, Omnidirectional links that make those pesky rats die faster. An MWD or MJD next to the AB for cutting travel times inside the mission. Switch to shield tank in ships that allow both tanks and fit more damage modules. Or simply fit stronger tank and decrease gank chance.

Same goes for T2 ammo. T1 is cheaper for sure. T2 does about 15% more damage, finishing the combat part of the mission faster. Since you don't consume ammo when you aren't shooting we should only focus on this. 15% more DPS means 15% more bounty, loot and mission rewards in the same time. If you made 40M/hour, it means 6M/hour. With 8 guns, 5s cycling time, you use 5780 ammo in an hour. If the price difference between the ammos is less than 1050 ISK, you are better off with T2.

Cheap is often the most expensive. Your time isn't free, the gift Gnosis isn't free either. Always mind the opportunity cost.


dangphat said...

Regarding your claim on T2 ammo, it would not increase your ISK/hour by 15% as it would not reduce the time spent travelling, it would however reduce the time spent shooting, therefore it may only have a 5% increase on ISK/hour,

Anonymous said...

as if money was the reason for "No Cap Boosters in PvE".

the limiting factor is the limited amount of cap boosters is limiting you. its not that they are expensive, its that they take a lot of place.

and even worse, in fits like yours from yesterday, you end up with a tank that runs for 90 seconds, and then has a reload time of 60 seconds.
Those are burst-times that work well in PVP, but in PVE this is not only annoying, its dangerous.

You should really stop looking at everything through your ISK-goggles.

Anonymous said...

It's good thinking, but you forget to see this from practical point of view. For example:

Lets say you use BS. Put some ammo in it and the rest fill in with cap boosters. That would be what. ~20 boosters included ones inside Cap booster? Let's say it's very difficult mission with high DPS that you need perma run hardeners and reps for atleast 10minutes. And lets say your fit has 1-2 minutes of cap because instead cap rechargers you put target painters. So if you need to inject booster every minute you will end up dry half way and need to warp out to refill and back. Not to mention convenience if mission is few jumps away with no boosters in system available. This especially valid for lower end ships/pilots and multiple room missions.

The above is a big pain in the ass and very inefficient if something like this can be done with cap stable fit, but less dps. I am not saying your strategy is not viable. Many shield tanked uses ancillary booster with success, but that is far from Optimal way of running missions.

Paper ≠ Reality.

Gevlon said...

@Anonymous: You can have a deposit of cap boosters on the station where your agent is.

It is true that you might run off them, in this case you can put on some passive recharge modules too. It might need some tweaking. I mean: if you use N module slots to do cap recharge, you can surely decrease this number by replacing some with a cap booster and a cargohold full of charges.

@dangphat: while you are traveling you don't have ammo costs either. If you spend half time shooting, it's true that you only gain 3M more (7.5%) over 40M. But you used half as much expensive ammo.

Anonymous said...

There are enough ways of making fits work without cap boosters.

cap boosters are for extreme situations, as in pvp.

try to see them as overheating for capacitor.

Anonymous said...

Main problem with a cap booster setting in a PVE environment is the worst case scenario.

Some missions have (has, maybe this has changed) tricky aggro management.

One example is a angel mission where the player can aggro up to 3 groups if he as a bad luck warp in. All this groups have :
- scrambler (multiple)
- a lot of DPS (BC / BS)

Removing the tacklers force us to survive up to 10+ min under heavy fire (multiple speedy frigate under your gun, we are in a bs).

You can't have 10+ min of cap autonomy based on a cap booster. So, this can be a case where you can DIAF due to cap out.

Some serpentis mission can also be hard (blaster heavy, with multiple dampeners, so locking and destroying npc tackler can take a long time).

I didn't make a lot of Blood raider mission, but I encountered some neutralizer heavy ones, so this can also be a problem.

Take time to test your hypothesis please.

Gevlon said...

I see now what is your main problem with cap boosters.

Of course I already have an idea, and will test it.

Anonymous said...


As someone has already stated on LSL - people tend to take the Gnosis, because it's something new and something possibly fun to fly (and die). Who cares about some stupid numbers? They have a uniqe ship, so they do what ships are designed for - take it out for a spin. Whether whey win or loose, most will still enjoy flying it. What would be the point of giving it to us? For everyone to keep it in a hangar? To sell it, so someone could keep more than one in a hangar? Get your head out of your excel sheets and start playing this game already.

Anonymous said...

The main problem with cap boosters in PVE, next to the cargo space, is that it requires to fly the ship actively all the time. Your tank is not cap stable. You have to manage it. That's not a big problem in a short PvP engagement. Missions and sites however can spawn dozens of rats that take a while.
You tank them with your guns before cap runs out. But what if you can't destroy them quickly enough?

All it takes to lose this shiny mission boat is the door ringing at the wrong time; your kids, wife or dog distracting you; you messing up a trigger and running out of cap boosters with still a dozen BS rats on grid and scrammed by some frigs etc.

Kobeathris said...

If you have a mission with tricky aggro management, or that have ewar problems, the reason they are hard isn't because you use a cap booster, it's because you just try to brute force the mission with tons of tank. You can outrange damps. I haven't gone against Sansha or Gurrista rats in awhile, but you can probably outrange their TDs/ECM as well. Under heavy neuts, you are more likely to die without a cap booster than with one.

The only time you should have to brute force tank anything is if the mission warps you in right on top of tackle rats, or if the mission includes one of those infinite range web towers, and even here, you could use a MJD to counter that.

Maz said...

T2 ammo is even better than 15% time saving for kills.

In L4 missions most of the battleships and elite cruisers (which are often much harder to apply damage to and definately shouldn't be underestimated) you meet will have a tank of somewhere around 100-150 dps. Any increase in that helps you break this tank quicker is going to be magnified by the damage that the enemy didn't heal.

This gives a dimishing effect on raw dps increases, with a lower limit of 15% for T2 ammo. If you are a newbie missioner who only just got T2 ammo and was struggling to break tanks on some of the higher bounty mission rats, it will be a huge dps increase against the toughest targets.

Chris K. said...

As Maz said, T2 ammo is a huge deal, if you are hitting tanked targets and only a percentage of your damage goes in.

Imagine hitting a BS rat that is tanking 90% of your DPS, with only the other 10% getting through. If you add T2 ammo, that 10% is boosted to 25%, more than doubling your time-to-kill.

Druur Monakh said...

I, too, am dubious about the cap booster fit. The last missions I flew were in a ship which had enough cap for about 20 minutes - for some missions, that wasn't enough.

If you can make a cap-boosted fit work, more power to you. But recommending it without consideration of long-lasting missions, or the fact that most people don't have all skills at V, is disingeneous.

And regarding ammunition choices: don't forget about faction ammunition, either, in particular the short range variants.

Anonymous said...

The reasoning for fitting a cap booster and changing out cap rigs/other mods for more dps is reasonable.

As a missioners skill increases, tank and dps increases as well to the point where one is not always under cap pressure to tank, but merely in bursts.

Further, in boats such as the Raven, certain rigs enhance damage projection to smaller targets which are only achievable through rigs/skills. Giving up the CCCs for said rigs is worthwhile.

Anonymous said...

I'm interesting on how much prices will go down for Gnosis, right now it cost 95m ISK... Any suggestions?

Anonymous said...

My policy: Always have injector, fit additional capacitor recharge modules on long missions. I almost never loot however.

With some experience you should know exactly how many cap modules you need to finish a mission without losing more applied dps then necessary.

People that don't tailor fits to missions are just lazy. There is no one fit or even one way of running missions that beats all others.

LP values, number of agents, missions offered, attention available (drunk?), loot/sal values all changes the optimal ship, fit and pattern for the job.