If you are driving to your space home for Christmas, you need an appropriate vessel. Not only to shield you from dangerous radiance and little stray asteroids, but also fast enough that you don’t get stuck in the annoying traffic jams around Jita. So here are some options and tips for safe travels.
List of Content:
- Nullification of Nullifiedness
- Story Time
- Warp Drive Active
- Smart Bombs – How To: Avoid your Death
- Finally Fittings
- Planning a Route
- Ansiblex Jump Gates
- Final Thoughts
Update 28.09.2020: If don’t want to be immune to bubbles, you should have a look at this very comprehensive post on fast hauling-options by PaladinOne on reddit.
Update 25.01.2021: In case you want to read more how “insta-” or “ultra-locking” works, here is a long and in depth post about the topic by Nimos.
1. Nullification of Nullifiedness 0⃣
Since October 2018 there are only four Interceptors – one of each Empire – that are still nullified:
Immune to Interdiction Sphere Launcher, Warp Disruption Field Generator and Mobile Small, Medium and Large Warp Disruptor
The lucky winners are the Malediction, Crow, Ares and Stiletto; They also have the bonus on Warp Scramblers and Warp Disruptor range. Not nullified anymore are the Crusader, Raptor, Taranis and Claw.
2. Story Time 👨🏫
The reason for this nerf where mainly fleets of Artillery fitted Claws. They would warp on grid, shoot a target with a combined single hard hit and warp instantly out again. Nullification and very little align time made them very, very hard to catch but effective in killing special targets. For example, ships running Entosis Link modules to capture or defend sovereignty structures. Since CCP Fozzie was one of the leading characters introducing our current SOV-system, and these ships were often called “Fozzie Claws”. After the nerf, they still align quick and can volley off up to battle cruiser sized vessels, if enough Claws could be fielded – but now they also get stuck in bubbles. This makes them vulnerable to smartbomb camps or even bombing runs.
3. Warp Drive Active 🚀
But this post is not about combat, it’s about avoiding it. With that in mind, the following interceptor fits were created. Highest priority was to push the align time below two seconds. This lets your ship warp within one server-tick, making it nearly untouchable. Even “Instalockers” that can lock up ships within one server tick theoretically can’t catch you. In reality, there is network latency, packet loss, human error and so forth. So don’t count on your align time alone. You can read more on the theory in this nice image.
4. Smart Bombs – How To: Avoid your Death 💥
The probably biggest danger comes from the little effective hit points (EHP) Interceptors have in general. This makes them easy prey for any kind of bombs, but especially battleships firing smartbombs on gates.
But you can mostly avoid this by simply warping to a celestial first. Ideally, choose one close to the gate you want to go through. This will, a) change the angle you will be arriving at the gate and reduce the chance to get hit by all of the smartbombs at once. Smart bombers (Ba dum tsss) set up their battleships as much in line with the gate, they suspect people warping in from, as possible. So the smartbombs overlap each other and deal a lot of damage in the desired area. Now for b) when you warp to a celestial in dscan range of the gate, you can check if battleships are really on the gate. In low security space pilots using smartbombs usually, get flagged as criminals and have “blinky” marker in the local chat window. If you enter such a system and there are multiple characters “blinky”, be on high alert and proceed with caution! Or don’t… It’s easy to get into the habit of just clicking the “jump gate” button everytime you enter a system. Do not click that button before you have checked local. This extra seconds may save you. Or don’t do it, and you might end up like this guy. 🤷♂️
If there is nothing to warp to near the gate, you can warp at it at range – like 100 km – and take a quick look of what’s there. Because you are nullified, you won’t get stuck in potential drag bubbles. Your ship will behave as if they weren’t there. You should not stay too long because there might be ships in range that can shoot and kill you even from 100 km at ease.
5. Priorities ☑️
With all this in mind, the following fits were created to achieve the said align time from under two seconds, have a bit of tank to increase survivability against smartbombs and if available, put warp core stabilizers in the low slots to counter the low security gate camp with the instant locking Maulus Navy Issue, that would scram you from 18km or more. Sub warp speed was considered tertiary in these fittings, but for the need to crash a gate an MWD is always a good idea to have fitted.
Depending on your skills, you might run into fitting problems. Main issue for my alt with weak fitting skills, where the Power Grid. If that’s a problem for you too, take a look at a Reactor Control Unit I (low slot), invest some time training Power Grid Management (skill) or get a Small Ancillary Current Router I (rig).
Speaking of rigs, there multiple that are useful on a travel-ceptor:
- Small Low Friction Nozzle Joints – Decreases align time
- Small Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer – Increases warp speed
(you will love to have it in 100 AU+ systems)
- Small Polycarbon Engine Housing – Increases velocity & Decreases align time
Those are the most obvious focusing on speed. A good idea if you expect to run into smart bombs is to increase your tank with shield-rigs.
6. Finally Fittings
[Malediction, Amarr Travel Malediction] Inertial Stabilizers II Inertial Stabilizers II Warp Core Stabilizer I Warp Core Stabilizer I 5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive Medium Shield Extender II EM Ward Amplifier II [Empty High slot] [Empty High slot] Prototype Cloaking Device I Small Low Friction Nozzle Joints II Small Low Friction Nozzle Joints II
[Crow, Caldari Travel Crow] Inertial Stabilizers II Inertial Stabilizers II 5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive Medium Shield Extender II EM Ward Amplifier II Small Shield Extender II [Empty High slot] [Empty High slot] [Empty High slot] Prototype Cloaking Device I Small Low Friction Nozzle Joints II Small Low Friction Nozzle Joints II
[Ares, Gallente Travel Ares] Inertial Stabilizers II Inertial Stabilizers II Warp Core Stabilizer I Warp Core Stabilizer I 5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive Medium F-S9 Regolith Compact Shield Extender Upgraded EM Ward Amplifier I [Empty High slot] [Empty High slot] Prototype Cloaking Device I Small Low Friction Nozzle Joints I Small Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer I
[Stiletto, Minmatar Travel Stiletto] Inertial Stabilizers II Inertial Stabilizers II Inertial Stabilizers II 5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive Medium F-S9 Regolith Compact Shield Extender EM Ward Amplifier II Thermal Dissipation Amplifier II [Empty High slot] [Empty High slot] Prototype Cloaking Device I Small Low Friction Nozzle Joints I Small Ancillary Current Router I
Now you have put together your fitting, but are you really ready to travel?
7. Planning a Route 🗺
When planning your route it’s a smart idea to check what’s going on in the systems on the way. An easy way to do this with the in-game map are the filters you can set. There is a little cogwheel in the top left or center depending if you have the map in full screen or floating mode. Under Geography and Statistics you will find some useful options which can help to estimate the current activity of a system. What helps you find PvP, can also be used to avoid it.
The most useful is probably the filters for ships or pods destroyed during the last 24 hours or only the last hour. Hint: If the number of pods destroyed comes close the number of ships destroyed in a LowSec system, it is more likely that smartbombs were involved.
Some known dangerous places are for example:
Niarja – Chokepoint between the market hubs Amarr and Jita. With a security status of 0.5 it takes CONCORD a tiny bit longer than in higher rated systems, giving suicide gankers a little more time to kill.
UPDATE December, 2020:
Since Niarja is one of the systems that got abducted by the Triglavians in the end of 2020 you no longer have to worry about this particular system.
- Tama – A LowSec entrance close to Jita which often hosts a gatecamp.
- HED-GP – This historically significant system provides one of the view High- to NullSec gates and often has some smartbombing battleships on them. If you can’t go around it, be extra careful in here.
If you are really afraid of a system, you can set it on your Avoidance List. Just right-click on it and select the according option. A system can be removed from the list the same way. By clicking at the A beside “Route” you can open a context menu where you can further adjust settings and open the Manage route window. Here you can access a list of your avoided systems.
And in case you feel bold enough, to haul half your net worth around in your little Interceptor you could get some extra information about your way by checking every system on zKillboard for recent activity on gates – or you just use eve-gatecheck.space/eve.
8. Ansiblex Jump Gates ⛩️
After the Onslaught update in November 2018 you might see green bows connection different systems. These mark the new Ansiblex Jump Gates linked to those systems. These relatively new Upwell structures replaced the old POS Jump Bridges. Green ones, mean you have access to the gates, a red arch means you can’t use it. The Ansiblex Jump Gates are not calculated into the automatically generated route yet, you will have to pay attention to these options yourself.
Some facts about Ansiblex Jump Gates that are good to know:
- They can set to charge you X amount of ISK per Liquid Ozone, which you will find a new option in your wallet to set a threshold of how much ISK per unit Liquid Ozone you are willing to pay automatically – without asking you in a pop-up message if you want to proceed.
- The amount of fuel consumed by the gate depends on your ship’s mass.
- Anything smaller than Titans or Super Carriers can take these gates.
- There is only one Jump Gate allowed per system.
- Jump Gates of different Alliances can be linked to each other.
- They require an installed Infrastructure Hub in system, which requires player controlled space. No LowSec gates to Stain, sorry.
- They behave on your overview like citadels: If you have access to them, you will see them in a correctly setup overview – no need to save bookmarks anymore!
- If you type in “jump gates” in the search box, you will get a list with all gates you currently have access to.
- Ansiblex Jump Gates have a range of maximal five light years.
- They can only be placed at least 200 km away from the nearest citadel.
- Other than Jump Bridges, you will get the usual 60 seconds gatecloak after jumping.
- Other than Jump Bridges, you will not get Jump Fatigue after using an Ansiblex Jump Gate.
9. Bookmarks 📌
On potentially camped stations it might be a good idea to have extra instant-docking bookmarks. This bookmark will be so close to the station or citadel that your overview shows 0 km in the Distance-tab, but you won’t bump off of it. If you then warp to this bookmark instead of the station from your overview you reduce the rare chance of not being able to dock instantly. Because sometimes it happens that you warp to a station from your overview and drop out of warp a bit more than two kilometers away, which means your ship has to burn a few hundred meters before being able to actually dock up.
Pro Tip: If you activate the autopilot during the warp to the bookmark, and you have set your route the station/citadel the bookmark is on, the autopilot will dock you up instantly on arrival. Or can hit your docking/jump shortcut and click the desired station/citadel while warping to your insta-dock bookmark.
Apart from these situations, do not use the autopilot. It will warp you at range to gates and stations, making you travel several kilometers with sub-warp velocity before jumping or docking. This gives aggressors plenty of time to make you explode.
Other bookmarks worth having are the ones that lets you warp instantly off the undock of a station/citadel. These bookmarks are not really necessary if your align time is below two seconds, but handy to have if you fly something more inert. They are basically more than 150km (ideally much, much more) from the station/citadel undock in the direction you get spit out into space. Ideally they are also of grid so you appear “gone” to potential hostiles after leaving the station. In case you didn’t know: you are invulnerable for a few seconds after you undock, you can even stop your ship, but initiating warp removes that state. So if you initiate warp, you want to enter warp asap.
No matter which space you live in, a bookmark a few hundred kilometers of a gate is always a good thing to have. warping to it, you can check if your way is clear, at least on this side, from a safe distance.
10. Final Thoughts 💭
There are of course a ton of viable ways to fit a ship in EVE. Please take the ones posted here as merely suggestions and adjust them to your personal skills and preferences.
Why shield instead of Armor tank?
Armor plates don’t increase your Signature Radius (the value that determines how fast other players can lock you up) but also significantly reduce your align time. Simple, but if you fear Instalockers more than smartbombs, then you might try to reduce your signature radius as much as possible and fit no Shield Extenders at all… You decide.
Also don’t spend money on meta, T2 or even faction-warpcore stabilizers, if you don’t really, really need the fitting space. No matter which type, they all only give +1 warp core strength.
Oh, and if you can’t fly Interceptors and only need 30 m³ of cargo, you might want to take a look at the Victorieux Luxury Yacht. With about 180 million it’s a bit pricey but it can warp cloaked, can get very good align times and is nullified.
I hope you found this information useful and might even have learned a thing or two. If you think my blog might help people in your corp, feel free to share it.
And as always, feedback is very much appreciated.
Fly fast, fly safe. o7