[AAR] Armor Builds Tested

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K950

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Post 2017.06.26 04:36

[AAR] Armor Builds Tested

Greetings.

For some time I had the intent on trying out a Full Armor Focus and wanted to conduct it for the following reasons:

1.) People were curious about armor.
2.) Something different for people to try. Monotony and all that.
3.) A chance for me to develop some skills in FC principles. Start small as they say.


Preamble

After some delay, we were able to organize and run for the first time on June 25th. I had set the date wrong on the calendar, intending it to be the day afterwards (June 26th), but I was impressed that the folks had started in my absence because of a later shift at work.

Let's step back to the planning and set up. Having little experience in this department of organizing people and affairs for an event is not something I have developed -- I never had to really do it before, and I never worked jobs where that was required of me. Still, I learned some things on the way and learning being learning, is generally a Good Thing that I did it.

For the first part, the booster and one guaranteed logistics pilot were essential. It turns out that finding an armor T2 booster in any timeframe within the UNI is a difficult thing to find. Few are skilled into it as we don't push for a particular doctrine or principle within the UNI like other alliances do. I made an assumption that the WHC would have a handful of alts or a sorted pilot available for the job, and that was incorrect. Furthermore, no EUTZ boosters were available.

In specialized events like this where a critical role must be fulfilled, the capability of the fleet and indeed the entire operation can come down to one particular person. This is unfortunate but is simply an unavoidable truth.

With emails and communications completed, the day came forth. I will give my perspective as it was, and I have invited other participants to voice their experience of the event.

DAY 1
Having moved my ships and equipment to the focus about 12 hours after the focus mail went out, I was already ready to go. I sign in and quickly check the Mumble channel and see plenty of folks already started and rolling. I like this -- after an exhausting 11 hour day at work it was time to play.

The Nestor is a Sisters of EVE pirate faction battleship with many bonuses spread out in various departments which make it tricky to fit. Normally, it finds its use mostly as durable sub-capital logistics platform (it has terrible capacitor problems and a minuscule cargohold for carrying Navy Cap Booster 3200s for fueling repair modules), a relic to look at (it is good at that), a PvE vessel to float around in like a blimp (a Dominix can perform just as well as it), an exploration vessel of sorts (extremely limited practical benefits, beaten in nearly every way by a good T3 Cruiser), and a PvP boat (can be a surprise, see the triple nano shield Nestor video by Zarvox) but mostly excels at being a Big White Whale that says "We're Here!" and a predicable killmail to follow suite.

Having joined fleet, I scrambled to join the ongoing site running to check out this armor thing. I cannot provide a damage dealer perspective, and flying somewhat specialized ship (they are used in armor incursions frequently) it was an interesting experience. I ran ten sites with the group, with plenty of veterans along, and with that many, not much needs to be said, which is nice. It left me to focus on the properties of the vessel I brought.

Having 6 large repair modules available was great because you can just throw reps around without much need for precision. As the aggro shifts you can follow easily with 3 repair modules on the last friendly and 3 on the next: you can also manage split aggro very comfortably. Its tank is solid, and the line of benefits stops there. Of course if people want to make some quick changes to their fit they can refit off it.

The parts it lacks compared to the Onieros are: No bonused remote tracking computers; Battleship lock times (mostly critical for new arrivals and the first 10 seconds of a site); Half the range of an equivalent T2 logistics Cruiser; Cannot make ore runs (but can haul 2 loads!); and cannot pack easily in an Orca.

That review covered, we did have one fellow dip into structure as late reps and my lock time were mostly responsible for. Still, when all 6 repair modules are overloaded, it can rep in excess of 4500 EHP/sec, which ... does have some merit going for it. The damage drones don't really amount to much, if they are used: better than not having them, but nothing to write home about either.

It was a good first day. I got to get the bug worked on and we came out feeling good about it. Apparently they did 22 sites in total, which is not a bad run at all. I reminded everybody to come back on the morrow with the same equipment so we can continue our experiment.

DAY 2
The following day, I come in straight after work and prepare to run. Rustled had already begun the formup moments before. We waited about an hour before we were ready to go, as some damage dealers were trickling in and moving around. Once we got started, we proceeded as if it was a normal fleet. Site times were low because we were lacking damage dealers (we were at minimums) and I think people were a bit tired, but in good spirits.

We only got to run four sites before Matt Mustang had to make off for other matters. As we had no other logistics pilots available, we waited about an hour in case any were on the way, and I was thusly forced to fold the fleet.

Solo Nestor logi does work. It's actually a thing in hotshot vanguard fleets. Headquarter Nestors are buffer fit and rely on Guardians and Oneiros pilots (perhaps a Ninazu or Apostle on grid to boot) but solo dual local rep Nestors can work. However we as a University fleet trend strongly towards the safer end of the spectrum, and the Nestor with its large signature radius cannot compete with a solo Oneiros logistics pilot or Scimitar: who only needs 4 incoming un-bonused reppers from other battleships to keep him alive and well.

Before this armor fleet I actually experimented with the Solo Nestor Logi fit. The results are summarized below:

NMCs: Cakewalk. No problems at all, even with 5 Romis.
OTAs: Fine, but the neuting from the Niarjas and the Deltole breaks it.
NCOs: Haha no. Too much damage from the Tamas and Schmaels to make to work. Pop. (I went back in a Paladin to scoop the shinies.)

Sundown
I want to thank everybody who showed up, even if they were not able to run, or if I didn't know they were there.

We owe Grune some considerable gratitude as being the only booster available for the event of the 3 I called.

For the most part, I can conclude that the event was a success, considering that some of us got to try out the main purpose of the fleet, nobody died, and we got paid, people seemed to be in good overall spirits, some new beans got paid some sums of cash, and I can rest on that.

If any of you rigged your ship to run in this fleet, and found out you were not able to attend, send me a mail in game I will see about reimbursing the cost of your rigs. Given that the specified fits only required the exchange of Tech I rigs, I don't think it should be too arduous of an undertaking for an incursion regular.

Because of the focused nature of this concept, and the limited number of pilots that are available for this sort of thing (most people who can, belong to other alliances), it is considerably unlikely that this will occur again in the future.

A pity. But this is a game. And a game is what you make of it.
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Cassiel Seraphim

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Post 2017.06.26 07:50

Re: [AAR] Armor Builds Tested

First off, thank you K950 for doing this. And thank you for not being discouraged when I asked you to rethink your approach about a whole focus right from the start, but instead go for a single event that could be repeated the day after (like you did).
K950 wrote:Furthermore, no EUTZ boosters were available.
That's not true. I offered in your armour thread (see here). Naturally I didn't send you a mail about my availability for the scheduled midnight fleet (the US-timezone one), as that was not my timezone.
K950 wrote:That review covered, we did have one fellow dip into structure as late reps and my lock time were mostly responsible for. Still, when all 6 repair modules are overloaded, it can rep in excess of 4500 EHP/sec, which ... does have some merit going for it. The damage drones don't really amount to much, if they are used: better than not having them, but nothing to write home about either.
You can usually compensate for the lock time by warping in first. Given your low warp speed the battleships will overtake you and land before you anyway, but you won't be that far behind and thus will have enough time to lock people up before they need reps. That's a bandaid fix however, you should simply fit at least 2 sensor boosters (ideally 3 but that's much harder to fit) to ensure you have a decent lock speed.

As for drones, since the Nestor doesn't have an application bonus (tracking and range, like the Dominix) it won't perform well fighting small and nimble frigates, or even hit some of the cruisers. They have to be micromanaged to go for Romis or vindi-webbed targets. A better use perhaps, would be to simply use 5 heavy maintenance bots, especially if you go the solo-Nestor route.

K950 wrote:However we as a University fleet trend strongly towards the safer end of the spectrum, and the Nestor with its large signature radius cannot compete with a solo Oneiros logistics pilot or Scimitar: who only needs 4 incoming un-bonused reppers from other battleships to keep him alive and well.
It's far simpler than that. There's nothing wrong with the tank and repping power of the solo-Nestor, or even solo-Scimitars in shield fleets ... it's a matter of some efficiency but mostly that of risk vs reward.

With a solo logistics you gain one more dps boat and it increases your dps squad from 8 (we run 8 dps, 1 OGB and 2 logi normally) to 9, that's only a +12,5% bump in damage output. It comes at the cost of potential remote tracking computers (which on a bonused hull like a Scimitar can almost give you the same bump in applied dps as the 9th dps boat) and the fact that a single disconnect can leave you completely logi-less. The later is the main reason we don't run solo logistics in the EVE University Incursion Community, we're not fuzzy about pushing for break-neck speeds, so there's absolutely no point in taking that needless risk.

For public communities that contest, it's a bit different. That's because the whole game shifts from sustainable applied dps, to alpha. There, the extra person is much more valuable. Having an extra damage dealer on grid will give you an edge over the other fleet trying to hit the armour/hull sweetspot for competitions.

K950 wrote:NCOs: Haha no. Too much damage from the Tamas and Schmaels to make to work. Pop. (I went back in a Paladin to scoop the shinies.)
Don't think the Schmaeels gave you much trouble, they do around 50 dps each, which is just about the weakest of them all. They do warp disrupt and web though.
K950 wrote:For the most part, I can conclude that the event was a success, considering that some of us got to try out the main purpose of the fleet, nobody died, and we got paid, people seemed to be in good overall spirits, some new beans got paid some sums of cash, and I can rest on that.
I concur :)

Cross-quoting Grune's comments on day one in the other thread:
Grune Jaeger wrote:Some results from first run on Sunday at 00:00 game time (that means, saturday night at midnight for euros, saturday evening for US TZ fliers):
  • First site completed at 02:00 after a lot of jockeying to get ships re-rigged and re-equipped because everyone didn't plan ahead.
  • 22 sites run.
  • Only one pilot x'd up as booster. So, I got to fly a pretty over tanked Astarte (helped when i got initial agro on half the sites.) Renamed my ship "Booster Bait" .
  • Only one pilot x'd up as logi until the very end. So, not only an armor fleet, but a solo logi armor fleet.
  • Between 5 and 8 or 9 DD (not counting booster). Pretty much all vindicators and nightmares.
  • Seeing multiple fleet members with no shields is pretty unsettling.
And day two:
Grune Jaeger wrote:2nd day:
  • First site completed at 01:49.
  • 4 sites run.
  • 2 logi (oneiros/nestor), 1 astarte, 2 vindicator, 2 nightmare, 1 mega.
  • logi seemed to be bored, and sites ran pretty slowly.
  • one dd left, and the oneiros. nestor couldn't solo logi even thought more DD x'd up. Basically, had to fold due to lack of logi.
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Kale Knillington

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Post 2017.06.27 02:46

Re: [AAR] Armor Builds Tested

I figure I'll add my thoughts about the armor run that was done on Saturday.

1st off, thanks for getting the inertia set up to schedule this. I honestly was surprised that we had as good a turn out as we did the first day with 10 on grid pilots (8DD, 1 logo, 1 OGB). Overall, I think that it ran very well for the first 18ish sites with the following caveats.
1) People kept comparing the efficiency between armor and shield... at the end of the day at least for Saturday its a very unfair comparison as I think only 2-3 people in the fleet actually had a somewhat optimized fit :) and for the majority of the sites we were running lighter than I would have liked. Even with these caveats we were running <6 to 7 min sites until we really got light on numbers.
2) True to gank vs tank (and grune's very tanky CS) A very competent Onieros was plenty of repping power given that the fleet did a great job clearing off the easy DPS before any scary switches occurred.

(And these are more of a general comments)

3) Every battleship has to have a sebo even if it is a battleship logistics ship. And while the Nestor gives the ability to rep a lot, its also a huge liability if it cannot apply these reps due to lock times. (My shield nestor lolz ship has 2 Sebos to put it in perspective how critical applying reps is). Also realistically 6 reps are never needed as a nestor is not an ideal solo logistics ship.

4) Most importantly since this fell on deaf ears, the uni has "minimum" numbers to run due to the ability to safely clear off points on field to allow the fleet to extract safely. As it has been a year+ since our last WT related losses (I believe) I would suggest that FCs set up an example of just how fast an interceptor can get tackle on a ship vs our pickets warning in particular with a fleet low on DD numbers. I suggest we all remember these safety minimums exist for a reason. While it is true that a small number of ships 'can' clear a site, it is not the same as clearing a site safely to escape WTs. The next time I am able to run, I will 100% set up a safe example of just how quick ships can be lost with light numbers (even with pickets paying attention).

TLDR... armor is great given that it provides in general increased application, the "bling" tank modules are relatively cheap, it is very similar but different, and finally armor can successfully defend itself in PVP scenarios (i.e. low sec). The general flaws of armor in incursions in the inability to overheat to increase survivability (but from experience the majority of people in uni incursions hit armor without ever OH AIF), reps land at the end so logistics may run 4 reps much more than their shield counterparts, and finally it doesn't really provide a good launching point to HQs where these caveats are very significant.
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K950

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Post 2017.06.27 05:10

Re: [AAR] Armor Builds Tested

HQs in low/null run armor anyways, so I'm not sure where the "launching point to HQs" comes from or refers to.

Glad you could make it though. I also appreciate your input and that you ran with us.

As far as fast nippers go, interceptors can be easily fit to warp at 12 AU/s. Sabre class interdictors can warp at 8.37 AU/sec while aligning in 4 seconds with a double nano fit.
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Cassiel Seraphim

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Post 2017.06.27 10:41

Re: [AAR] Armor Builds Tested

Kale Knillington wrote:4) Most importantly since this fell on deaf ears, the uni has "minimum" numbers to run due to the ability to safely clear off points on field to allow the fleet to extract safely. As it has been a year+ since our last WT related losses (I believe) I would suggest that FCs set up an example of just how fast an interceptor can get tackle on a ship vs our pickets warning in particular with a fleet low on DD numbers. I suggest we all remember these safety minimums exist for a reason.
I've been forced to remind people on a semi-daily basis of this as of late as well. Reminding people why we kill the warp disrupt capable ships first, why 1400's are rarely useful in our community etc. It's in the same vein of "safety first" that people tend to forget when they fly with public communities who can happily ignore that aspect of running.

So it's always a good idea to remind people that when you run low on numbers, it's even more critical that you all focus fire on the warp disrupt capable ships, as you'll have even less time to clear those due to less damage output in general for the fleet when you're running with empty spots. At the end of the day though, you should kill these first regardless if you're running a full fleet or not, so there's perhaps no need to make that distinction, as that might give the illusion that there are scenarios where you shouldn't kill them first and that's just misleading.

Kale Knillington wrote:TLDR... armor is great given that it provides in general increased application, the "bling" tank modules are relatively cheap, it is very similar but different, and finally armor can successfully defend itself in PVP scenarios (i.e. low sec). The general flaws of armor in incursions in the inability to overheat to increase survivability ...
Armour fits have the following characteristics:

  • Less powerful tanking modules, meaning they get less tank per modules used.
  • Neut protected, due to the passive armour modules working even if you're neuted out.
  • Noticeably weaker application for all fits until you reach the one-slot tank fits, where armour gets slightly more applied damage in terms of either slightly more range or slightly more tracking. For normal fits, they end up with less tank, less range or less tracking.

They don't have much innate PvP-defense compared to shield if they are fit for incursion-running, as neither shield nor armour use much of a tank for incursions, so it would just be a matter of changing up utility mids for scram/point in PvP. In either case, no incursion-fit ship is very suited for PvP, be that armour or shield. If you were to fit for some kind of PvP-that-can-do-incursions, then yes, armour might be slightly better due to their ability to fit a full tank without sacrificing their utility midslots, but it will come at the cost of application issues (since those midslots were needed to get range and tracking).

Kale Knillington wrote:... (but from experience the majority of people in uni incursions hit armor without ever OH AIF)
That just means we should remind people to overheat if they ever drop below 50% shields.
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Cassiel Seraphim

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Post 2017.06.27 10:48

Re: [AAR] Armor Builds Tested

K950 wrote:HQs in low/null run armor anyways, so I'm not sure where the "launching point to HQs" comes from or refers to.
It refers to context, that most communities run in highsec, not low/null. That most of our members move on to the highsec communities, not the low/null ones.

Also there are many factors that play a part in low/null corporations deciding to go with armour, including but not limited to; generally running armour doctrines for PvP so there's symmetry, being able to reuse PvP-ships rigged for armour for PvE activities, if not the same doctrine itself, the favour of armour force auxiliaries over shield force auxiliaries etc.
K950 wrote:As far as fast nippers go, interceptors can be easily fit to warp at 12 AU/s. Sabre class interdictors can warp at 8.37 AU/sec while aligning in 4 seconds with a double nano fit.
Single ships like that can often be blapped and then the fleet can warp out before the rest of the fleet arrives. At least in vanguards, where we all sit right smack on the beacon, at 0, so they'd have to land right smack in the middle of 9 battleships with large high-tracking and high-damage turrets, supported by webs (often vindicator webs).

Even in headquarters and in low/null, these ships would have to get within range of all those ships and long webs. It would take an interceptor fleet to pose much of a threat, and even those would be hard pressed to do too much damage when faced with an onslaught of battleships with webs. Should the Sansha turn on the aggressors, the interceptors would easily find themselves buckling under the pressure of neuts, painters and webs from the Sansha too.

The main threat are larger ships, like strategic cruisers supported by tech two logistics etc, and they won't warp nearly as fast.
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Matt Mustang

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Post 2017.06.28 02:30

Re: [AAR] Armor Builds Tested

My testing experience of armor fleets was quite interesting, flying basi I'm used to 6 reps + bots (suck it scimis). Going down to only 4 reps even with the shorter cycle time was a bit of an adjustment but while flying solo logi (deal with it) I never really felt the need to use all 4 reps. Everyone still stayed above 50-60% armor, while on a shield fleet I regularly go to 4 reps. Once we had a 2nd logi (Nestor) I got downright bored I never had more than 2 reps outgoing and that was usually with split aggro.

I'm not sure if the armor reps are just that much more powerful or what but it was really easy to keep you scrubs alive, if they are that powerful I'm okay with more armor fleets just so I can be lazier.

As for the guy hitting structure on day 1 that was just him being early into site and me be being a little late, once I landed I had him back in safe(ish) territory with only 2 overheated for 2 cycles and then K9's reps landed and he went back to full.

Cassiel Seraphim wrote:They don't have much innate PvP-defense compared to shield if they are fit for incursion-running, as neither shield nor armour use much of a tank for incursions, so it would just be a matter of changing up utility mids for scram/point in PvP. In either case, no incursion-fit ship is very suited for PvP, be that armour or shield. If you were to fit for some kind of PvP-that-can-do-incursions, then yes, armour might be slightly better due to their ability to fit a full tank without sacrificing their utility midslots, but it will come at the cost of application issues (since those midslots were needed to get range and tracking).


Most low/null groups actually just run an armor tanked PvP fleet (T3s, HACs, etc.) with some other specialized cruisers to provide any utility they need (loki/Hugin webs). There are groups that run "High Sec" efficiency fits in null/low but they're pretty rare and almost exclusively in nullsec behind the "blue donut" wall.
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Cassiel Seraphim

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Post 2017.06.28 09:25

Re: [AAR] Armor Builds Tested

Matt Mustang wrote:I'm not sure if the armor reps are just that much more powerful or what but it was really easy to keep you scrubs alive, if they are that powerful I'm okay with more armor fleets just so I can be lazier.
They do have a very small increase in repping power, which seems small at first and ... unsurprisingly, ends up being a very small increase in the end :)

Large Remote Armor Repairer II: +85.3 hp/s base (108,7 hp/s boosted)
Large Remote Shield Booster II: +85.0 hp/s base (108,3 hp/s boosted)
5 x Medium Armor Maintenance Bot II: +70.0 hp/s
4 x Medium + 1 x Light Shield Maintenance Bot II: +64.8 hp/s
Oneiros (with four reppers): +434.8 hp/s (+504.8 hp/s with drones)
Scimitar (with four reppers): +433.2 hp/s (+498.0 hp/s with drones)
(the numbers for the drones assumes Logstics Cruiser V and Repair Drone Operations V for max drone bonuses)

So what starts out as a +0.35% base bonus turns into a +0.37% bonus after boosts per module and +8% stronger drones, puts the Oneiros at +504.8 hp/s vs the Scimitar's +498.0 hp/s resulting in a +1.37% increase in theoretical repping power.

The ease of which you repped could be a result of people going for more high damage fits, or people simply paying more attention and playing better than usual. There's also a difference between armour and shield though, that armour has slightly higher EM/thermal resists and lower kinetic/explosive resists, vs the shield's stronger kinetic/explosive and lower EM/thermal. If it was an NMC with a lot of Romis, you would notice the difference there (in favour of armour due to more turret-dps), just as you would notice a different in an OTA or NCO (in favour of shields due to more missile-dps).
Matt Mustang wrote:
Cassiel Seraphim wrote:They don't have much innate PvP-defense compared to shield if they are fit for incursion-running, as neither shield nor armour use much of a tank for incursions, so it would just be a matter of changing up utility mids for scram/point in PvP. In either case, no incursion-fit ship is very suited for PvP, be that armour or shield. If you were to fit for some kind of PvP-that-can-do-incursions, then yes, armour might be slightly better due to their ability to fit a full tank without sacrificing their utility midslots, but it will come at the cost of application issues (since those midslots were needed to get range and tracking).
Most low/null groups actually just run an armor tanked PvP fleet (T3s, HACs, etc.) with some other specialized cruisers to provide any utility they need (loki/Hugin webs). There are groups that run "High Sec" efficiency fits in null/low but they're pretty rare and almost exclusively in nullsec behind the "blue donut" wall.
Which is why I pointed out in my post that there's no actual benefit unless you fit for PvP. It was also posted in the context of this thread and experiment ... running armour-incursions in high security space. If you read my previous post, that would be clear:
Cassiel Seraphim wrote:It refers to context, that most communities run in highsec, not low/null. That most of our members move on to the highsec communities, not the low/null ones.

Also there are many factors that play a part in low/null corporations deciding to go with armour, including but not limited to; generally running armour doctrines for PvP so there's symmetry, being able to reuse PvP-ships rigged for armour for PvE activities, if not the same doctrine itself, the favour of armour force auxiliaries over shield force auxiliaries etc.
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Matt Mustang

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Post 2017.06.29 18:07

Re: [AAR] Armor Builds Tested

Cassiel Seraphim wrote:Which is why I pointed out in my post that there's no actual benefit unless you fit for PvP. It was also posted in the context of this thread and experiment ... running armour-incursions in high security space. If you read my previous post, that would be clear:
Cassiel Seraphim wrote:It refers to context, that most communities run in highsec, not low/null. That most of our members move on to the highsec communities, not the low/null ones.

Also there are many factors that play a part in low/null corporations deciding to go with armour, including but not limited to; generally running armour doctrines for PvP so there's symmetry, being able to reuse PvP-ships rigged for armour for PvE activities, if not the same doctrine itself, the favour of armour force auxiliaries over shield force auxiliaries etc.


Cass you should no by now I tldr most of these forum posts.
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Cassiel Seraphim

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Post 2017.06.29 19:04

Re: [AAR] Armor Builds Tested

Matt Mustang wrote:Cass you should no by now I tldr most of these forum posts.
And just like not launching drones, just because you routinely don't do it doesn't mean I'll stop bugging you about it and letting you off the hook :)

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