Getting Fit is an on-going series that examines the arcane art of ship fitting in Eve from the perspective of someone that doesn't troll the forums, doesn't post his own fits, doesn't follow the science and math, but simply flies ships into combat every single day. If you're looking for the details and analysis regarding ship fitting, then you've come to the wrong place. This series is about what works and what doesn't work. In my opinion.
I know I'm setting myself up for it when I write these columns, because everyone has an opinion about fits. And rightly so in a way, because there is an infinite amount of variety (well almost infinite, it sure can seem that way!) when it comes to fitting ships. Not to mention the role they are expected to play and what you plan on using them for. It gets complicated real fast. And then we have personal preference, everyone likes to fit their ships the way they like to fit their ships. Granted. I'm not going to tell anyone not to fit their ship any 'ol way they want, go for it. But that doesn't mean there isn't a right and a wrong way, or that you shouldn't do some things over others. This is my blog and my opinion, I'm not necessarily right all the time and never claim to be.
With that said, I do take great pride in fitting my ships the best that I can. I fight every day in Eve and have been for the past two years. I collect fits from my Corp m8s, my Alliance and others. I constantly tweak them, change them, adapt them and upgrade them when new skills come along. Fitting a ship is a process, there is no end game.
Let's start with the basics. For today we'll take a look at what I refer to as my basic small gang fit Drake.
RJ's Small Gang Basic Drake
7x Heavy Missile II (Loaded with CN Scourge - Ship bonus to kinetic damage)
2x LSE (In this case F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction)
2x Invul Fields
1x J5 Prototype Warp Disruptor
1x Y-T8 Microwarpdrive
2x BC II
1x Power Diagnostic II
2x Core Defense
Goodness knows there are plenty of Drake fits out there, and this isn't the only one I use, but this is the main beast that I take out when needed. The resists are very good, the tank is borderline 90k+ and it puts out some decent nasty level dps once the missiles start hitting. If I'm going to be flying it in a larger fleet, I may exchange the Disruptor for a sensor booster for faster locking speed, or Scram if we are light on that. The shield extenders are not T2, they are in fact higher meta, because T2 won't fit as well in this set up and would require a different config.
So basic shield tank question then, why 2x Extenders and 2x Fields? Obviously the buffer on this tank is very, very good. Even the Caldari EM hole is close to 80% on this thing. Cap is stable without the MWD on and even with it on I'm getting over 3 minutes. Which is usually more than enough. Balance is the thing here. In case I'm getting my heart ripped out by a Curse or some other cap sucking bastard, the Extenders will continue to give me some tank while my missiles pound away. Hopefully my buddies will be able to kill the blood-sucker before he kills me.
The same is true of the lows, again balance is the goal here. The Damage Control adds more buffer to the resists and the PDS II, which isn't there because it's needed, is there to add even more to the shield tank. 5% shield hp bonus and 8.5% recharge bonus are nothing to be ignored. And the 2x BC II of course are to help the dps.
Variations are numerous. But the important thing is what is missing, not a single shield booster to be seen. And why is that? For one thing, remember that Curse? Well a Curse isn't the only blood sucker you will face, in fact a lot of ships these days are sporting neuts and assorted cap drainers. A shield booster only works when you have cap to run it, so a booster based shield tank is extremely vulnerable to blood suckering vampires. It goes down and you die. The idea of running a Drake tank like that in zero space is so stupid, I've never actually done it before. (This is about PvP and not PvE, but even so I leave the booster for the Raven and not the Drake.)
You'll see dead Drakes fit with boosters, they try to make up for the missing cap by fitting a ton of cap rechargers, or shield rechargers. While this kind of thing might possibly be ok for tanking rats, although again I've ratted in Drakes plenty of times without using one, it isn't good at all for fighting bad guys.
Next time we'll take a look at the Hybrid shield/armor tank BC the Hurricane and discuss the positives and negatives of fitting that amazing ship one way or the other.