|Art by Sanders|
THE WORMHOLE REPORT: PIRANHAFLEET
Guest Post from Sanders Schmittlaub
New Jovian Exploration Department [NJED], A Band Apart
Back in my days in Supreme Mathematics (late 2014), I found an EVE forum post about the possibility of running capital-class wormhole sites in Destroyers because of the Wolf-Rayet system effect (it provides bonuses to small weapon damage, signature radius, and armor hitpoints, and damages shield resistance). In the post was a link to a video showing them doing exactly what they said was possible – running C5 sites. In Destroyers.
I fell in love with the idea the moment I saw it, and started theorycrafting a doctrine that revolved around affordability and availability. I wanted fits that could be thrown away by the dozen, and that could be flown by anyone with a bare minimum of skillpoints. After much slaving away on PYFA, the Piranhafleet Doctrine was born. It centered on the Coercer Destroyer and the Augoror Logistics Cruiser.
The first fleet we took out went into a C3 (+58% armor HP, -29% sig and shield resists, +116% damage). we had six Coercers and three Augorors. We did eight sites, lost two Coercers, and made 240 million ISK. The destroyers we lost cost ten million. Everyone had a blast flying. It was incredibly seat-of-your-pants combat, where your weapons were the fingers of death, travelling across the void, and when the enemy answered your shots with fire of their own, it was truly sphincter-tightening watching your armor HP bar bounce between 30% and 100% as reps and incoming fire exchanged supremacy.
Everyone involved in the fleet loved it, and we decided to do it again. Next time was a C4 (+72% armor HP, -36% sig radius and shield resists, +144% damage). We made over a billion ISK, once again at the cost of two destroyers. We were in love with the fleet composition.
The third time we ran sites was the first time we got jumped mid-site. They figured out rapidly that they had made a mistake when our PvE fleet pointed a Vexor Navy Issue, and it exploded in spectacular fashion. That fight escalated spectacularly, and ended up costing both sides about a billion ISK (our little Piranhafleet ended up losing 30 million ISK and killing 500 million. Huzzah for poorly thought out escalations!), but when it ended, we invited our opponents to bring back destroyers and run sites with us. Everyone made a profit before the night was out.
Fast forward to today – I am now a Director in New Jovian Exploration Department, but we still use the same core doctrine with unchanged fittings for Piranhafleet, but it has been augmented with other T1 Destroyers and Confessors. None of them can come near the effectiveness/ISK ratio of the Coercers, but all of them still work wonders. The last two Piranhafleets we ran are worth touching on, because they both were out of the ordinary.
The first fleet, which ran Sunday, was the second part of a Wormhole 101 class I had taught for the Alliance on behalf of our new new-player corporation Vagrant Skies (blatant recruitment push here – join now!). The class had eight people. Six had never been in a wormhole (ignoring the occasional stick your head in one type adventure, which doesn’t count), and the other two were fellow wormholers who were helping teach. We had gone over basic scanning and sites, wormhole mechanics, and system effects. A few data sites had been hacked. The second part was wormhole combat, which we had planned on doing with cruisers like a normal wormhole fleet. Bob had smiled on us that day, because lo and behold, as we reshipped, a Wolf-Rayet C3 appeared in the chain. With the three of us who knew wormhole space flying Augorors, the six completely green pilots with us wiped out five sites and didn’t lose a single ship.
The second fleet is special because it was the first time we had ever tried Piranhafleet in a C6 wormhole. We knew it worked in C5 space, because C5 Wolf-Rayets are fairly common. We had never had the opportunity to do a C6 because there are only six Wolf-Rayet C6 wormholes in New Eden. We found one Monday night.
It turns out that C6 wormholes are actually easier to run than C5s. The damage being applied is far higher, but it is mostly coming from Sleeper Battleships, so their application is horrible against small targets (C6 effects include 100% bonus to armor HP, -50% to sig radius and shield resists, and a massive 200% bonus to small weapon damage. Our Coercers were doing 800 DPS, with 25k EHP, and a shuttle-size sig radius). We ran three sites and made 1.4 billion ISK before everyone had to call it a night. Once again, we lost two destroyers at a bank-breaking 10 million ISK cost. The Russians inhabiting the C6 were aghast that we were running all of their precious sites, but refused to send their capitals in to drive us off, even when we asked nicely. They said it was something about the 7,000 DPS our fleet was waving around like a pool noodle in a windstorm.
Piranhafleet is a blast of a fleet to run. The ships are so cheap that it doesn’t matter if a bunch of them die, so you can fly it like riding a nuke into a showdown at high noon. With lasers. Its a great way to put inexperienced people in positions they would normally not be in, such as FC, Logistics, or target calling, because if they screw up, instead of costing a ship or fleet worth hundreds of millions (or more) each screwup will cost at most around 100 million ISK, assuming a total whelp. Most will only cost five million. So long as the fleet has finished a site or two, that cost is covered and the fleet can be re-bought. You’ll still probably turn a profit.
If Piranhafleet sounds like a blast, feel free to get in touch with me in-game. NJED is recruiting members of all ages and skill points. Join channel “NJED Public” for more information, or feel free to convo me directly. I’ll also be happy to help anyone set up their own Piranhafleets, whether that is with fitting advice or by bringing half a fleet to show you how its done. NJED has you covered.