Hit point storage and why Shield Flux Coils are really good

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Titus Tallang

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Director of Special Projects

Post 2016.02.09 16:15

Hit point storage and why Shield Flux Coils are really good

So. :ccp: strikes again.

Thanks to Rashar Arji pointing it out, we did some further investigation into how hit points in EVE are stored, specifically with regard to the shield layer, and how this causes them to react to your maximum hit points changing due to adding/removing modules.

To recap, for the structure (and armor, as it turns out) layers, hit points are stored as "how much damage has this layer taken". This means that - as capital pilots will be familiar with from Reinforced Bulkheads - increasing your maximum hit points in the layer also causes your current HP to go up by the same amount, and reducing your maximum hit points (WR effect dropping off, removing bulkheads/plates/layerings) will cause your current HP to drop (potentially into negative HP). This means you can refit Reinforced Bulkheads (and/or Armor Layering Membranes, especially for shield caps) as an emergency one-time HP buffer to allow coasting out of siege/triage before receiving reps to higher layers and subsequently removing the buffer modules again (as your ship won't explode unless all layers hit zero, even if you have negative structure).

Enter the shield layer. After testing the behavior above using Bulkheads, we never really gave the shield layer much thought, expecting it to work analogously to the armor and structure layers. As it turns out, this is not the case; shield hitpoints are actually stored as a percentage of total shields. This means that, if you were double your maximum shield hitpoints, you would also double your current shield hitpoints (instead of increasing your current shield hitpoints by the absolute amount the maximum increased by - the way it would work for armor or structure).
So far, an interesting oddity, but nothing gamebreaking. It makes Power Diagnostic Systems very slightly better when they're removed (as they don't put you in negative shield) while making refitting to PDS ineffective as a potential buffer technique - well, the amount was too low to reasonably do that anyway.

Well, as Rashar correctly points out, there are, however, modules that decrease your shield HP by a nontrivial amount, and this opens up a wholly new plethora of use cases. This module, as the thread title implies, is the Shield Flux Coil, which adds an irrelevant amount of shield recharge in exchange for reducing maximum shield HP by 15% per module. As this is a max hp modifier, it isn't stacking penalized, so fitting six of these on a Naglfar leaves you at ~37.715% of your original shield capacity - as this uses low slots, your shield resistances are unaffected. Conversely, removing these six Shield Flux Coils will leave you with ~265.147% of your reduced shield capacity. This means that any absolute HP change that happened during the time you have the Shield Flux Coil modules fitted is almost three times as effective once you remove them. This applies to both local repairs as well as incoming remote repairs.

This means that fitting Shield Flux Coils will provide an enormous boost to effective repair rate - in terms of numbers after removing the SPRs - at any time where your incoming repairs (local+remote) exceeds the amount of damage you are taking: this means, if you are repairing up after the enemy stops shooting you, or if you just successfully coasted out of siege and are getting repaired by triage, refitting Shield Flux Coils can make this repair process much, much faster, as well as consuming less capacitor in the process; just remember to remove them afterwards to go back to your fully-repaired unpenalized shields.

tl;dr shield flux coils are actually really good
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Rashar Arji

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Post 2016.03.08 18:51

Re: Hit point storage and why Shield Flux Coils are really good

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WOLOLO!!! :) They're fantastic :) I would only use them if you coast out of siege and recieve carrier reps. Or if you can stay in siege and no one is shooting as it does lower your total shield HP. The Above screen shots are from a Moros in C5 pulsar with 2 X-type boost amps, 1 B-type boost amp, and a full rack of flux coils. Ucertain whether or not it was sieged. But you can rep from 0% to 100% in about 4 cycles with 4 boost amps and 7 flux coils while in siege.

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