Epithal

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Felix Jugo

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Post 2020.07.29 23:13

Epithal

The Epithal is EVE’s most popular hauler for PI commodities. This guide contains (1) discussion of roles for this ship (2) fitting don'ts (3) fitting principles for specific situations (4) example fits and (5) advice for homebrewing your own fit. This guide was made in July 2020 and its details will become outdated, but its fitting principles are unlikely to change.

TLDR: In highsec, carry low value cargo and have a lot of hit points; this makes attacking you unprofitable. In lowsec/nullsec/WHspace hit points are less important; your priority is escape, so fit warp core stabilizers. If baiting, fit enough tackle to hold your attacker in place and fit enough tank to survive until your friends arrive. Homebrewing is a good idea to make a fit that works well for your character, and PYFA is software that can help you design your own homebrew fit.



Role: The Epithal is a specialized hauler (cargo carrying ship) for players doing Planetary Interaction activities (PI). The Epithal is a cheap ship with a huge specialized cargohold which can only carry Planetary Commodities. This special cargohold so big that the Epithal is typically the first choice for players doing PI in any environment. However, the ship needs to be fit differently depending on where you are flying. Fits are different depending on whether you are using the ship for (A) highsec hauling (B) dangerous space hauling or (C) bait.



For any Epithal fit, avoid these DON’TS:
– Don’t fit cargohold expanders. The Epithal has two cargoholds, a tiny normal hold and a huge PI-only hold. Only the normal hold benefits from expanders. With zero expanders, a high-skill player can carry 368+67500 cargo, while with one expander they can carry 527+67500, an increase of 0.2%. The benefit of cargo expanding modules or rigs is so small as not to be worthwhile.
– Don’t fit ECM. A ship hit by ECM can still target the ship that is ECMing it, which means that ECM cannot help your ship break tackle and escape. In ancient times (2018) ECM could help you break tackle, but that’s no longer true.



Highsec Hauling
First, here is a guide to highsec hauling with any ship. Importantly, note that no fit can save you if you fly a hauler in highsec while a member of a corporation which is at war. War targets can and will kill your ship on sight. Expect to die. Avoid this by spending an afternoon of training time creating a hauler alt who is not in E-UNI. You may want to train this alt to do your PI work rather than giving your E-UNI character these skills.

Apart from war targets, the threat to you is suicide gankers. A player who shoots you in highsec will lose their ship to a CONCORD counterattack. However, it is profitable for them to shoot you if the value of the cargo you drop is greater than the value of the ship(s) needed to destroy you. If you are not carrying large amounts of cargo, and if your tank is thick, shooting you will be unprofitable.

The other fitting consideration is speed. There are modules and rigs that can get you to your destination faster. If you are doing many trips with many jumps, you may be willing to accept higher risk in exchange for shorter travel time.

Example: Highsec, Tough Tank Fit
SPOILER WARNING!
[Epithal, Highsec, tough tank]
Damage Control II
Reinforced Bulkheads II
Reinforced Bulkheads II
Reinforced Bulkheads II

EM Shield Amplifier II
Large Shield Extender II
Thermal Shield Amplifier II
Multispectrum Shield Hardener II

Small Gremlin Compact Energy Neutralizer
Small Gremlin Compact Energy Neutralizer

Medium Core Defense Field Extender I
Medium Core Defense Field Extender I
Medium Core Defense Field Extender I

With this fit and high skills, typical attackers will be unable to solo gank you. If you are carrying low value cargo (≤150M ISK) it will be unprofitable for gank fleets to attack you. Carry more cargo only if you are quite comfortable with the possibility of losing it.

This fit assumes you are not flying on autopilot. If you are flying on autopilot (noooooo…) replace the multispectrum hardener with a resistance amplifier.

If you want to travel faster…

Example Fit: Highsec, Fast Fit
SPOILER WARNING!
[Epithal, Fast Highsec]
Damage Control II
Inertial Stabilizers II
Inertial Stabilizers II
Inertial Stabilizers II

EM Shield Amplifier II
Large Shield Extender II
Thermal Shield Amplifier II
Multispectrum Shield Hardener II

Small Gremlin Compact Energy Neutralizer
Small Gremlin Compact Energy Neutralizer

Medium Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer I
Medium Low Friction Nozzle Joints I
Medium Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer I

With this fit, you can be profitably ganked by a solo attacker in trade route chokepoints. However, with shorter align times and faster warp speed you will get to your destination significantly faster, which can help you avoid death by boredom.

Homebrewing highsec fits:
Whatever your fit, make sure your ship has at least 12k EHP against EMP projectile ammo for Jita survivability, preferably more. 18k EHP will save you from some attackers in trade route chokepoints. Shield-Hull tank is easier to fit than Shield-Armor tank, which is why I recommended it. Remove everything from the highslots if you need powergrid/CPU.



Lowsec/nullsec/WHspace Hauling
In these locations, fit for escape and short align time. If you are tackled, you will die; no amount of tank will save you, since once you are tackled they can shoot you all day long. Do fit some tank, since you need to survive long enough to warp out.

Example Fit: Low/null/WH, 4-Stab
SPOILER WARNING!
[Epithal, LowNullWH 4stab]

'Stoic' Core Equalizer I
'Stoic' Core Equalizer I
'Stoic' Core Equalizer I
'Stoic' Core Equalizer I

Multispectrum Shield Hardener II
Enduring Multispectrum Shield Hardener
Large Shield Extender II
EM Shield Amplifier II

Prototype Cloaking Device I
Small Energy Nosferatu II

Medium Thermal Shield Reinforcer I
Medium Low Friction Nozzle Joints I
Medium Low Friction Nozzle Joints I

Those four warp core stabilizers will let you escape from 2 scrams or 4 points; you might escape from a fleet vanguard that lands on you. The cloak lets you hide invisibly at a safespot, giving you a safe place to sit while you remotely move materials around on a planet. You should be out of cloak only while actually putting materials in your cargohold, and only for the few seconds it takes you to align out.

Homebrewing lo/null/WH fits:
Do you really need four warp core stabilizers? Two is normally enough to escape a scout. I recommend four because it has saved my neck, but you might want to try swapping a couple out for inertial stabilizers and/or a damage control in the low slots.



Bait

So, you are flying in losec/nullsec/WHspace, and you expect that your friends nearby will be very awake and able to launch a rapid reaction force in two minutes or less. If that’s normally your situation, you might want to fly bait fits on the regular. The goal of a bait fit is to have enough tackle to hold your attacker in place, and enough tank to survive until your friends arrive.

Example Fit: Lo/null/WH Bait Fit
SPOILER WARNING!
[Epithal, Bait]
Damage Control II
400mm Steel Plates II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
400mm Steel Plates II

Warp Scrambler II
Stasis Webifier II
Stasis Webifier II
10MN Monopropellant Enduring Afterburner

Small Energy Nosferatu II
Small Energy Nosferatu II

Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I

This scram/AB/double-web fit should let you hold an enemy frigate for quite a while. You may want to leave your tackle turned off until your friends are ready to help. That way your attacker doesn’t know you are bait until it’s too late.

Homebrewing bait fits:
Less tackle, more tank? Might be a good idea. Capacitor booster and neuts? Possibly. 200mm autocannon to shoot at drones? Sure, maybe. This is your ship, build it your way.
Last edited by Felix Jugo on 2020.07.30 04:24, edited 14 times in total.
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Felix Jugo

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Post 2020.07.29 23:17

Re: Epithal

Footnote: Suicide Ganking Geography, Ships and Math (July 2020, likely obsolete soon thereafter)

When your ship is destroyed it will drop on average 50% of its cargo.

The most common places for an Epithal to be ganked in highsec are (A) Jita and (B) trade route chokepoints, 0.5 security systems like Uedama or Niarja.

(A) Jita: At time of writing, a typical high-end gank ship in Jita is a ≈110M ISK Tornado which can do about 10.7k HP damage in one shot. In a 0.9 security system like Jita it will only get one shot. If you are tanked to survive one shot (≈12k EHP) a solo attacker can’t kill you. Warning: if you are carrying high value cargo you will make it worthwhile for a ganking corporation to shoot you with two or three Tornados, and such corporations are not rare. The tanky fit I recommended is profitably killed if you are carrying more than 700M ISK.

(B) Trade Route Chokepoints (e.g. Uedama, Niarja): this is where highsec Epithals most commonly die. The reason is that gankers have more time before CONCORD arrives. In these systems, a Tornado has time to get two shots (21.4k EHP). Also, cheaper ships become viable gankers. For example, a Gnosis is able to inflict 16.5k EHP damage before it gets destroyed by CONCORD. Good news: a thick-tanked Epithal can expect to survive a typical solo attacker. Bad news: some gankers operate in fleets of cheap ships (e.g. a large number of Catalysts). If you are carrying high value cargo you can be profitably killed, and no tank you can fit on an Epithal will save you. This is why one might recommend carrying no more than 150M ISK, but you can carry more if you’re willing to tolerate the possibility of losing it.
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Felix Jugo

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Post 2020.07.29 23:22

Re: Epithal

I know that fits are no longer being posted on the wiki, but I assume this part of the forum is not going away.

In keeping with what I've read about how we're teaching fittings in future, I made this guide. It isn't a list of fits, but rather a guide to fitting the ship to fly in certain roles, with emphasis on why these fits look the way they do and why someone might want to fit their own ship in a different way.
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Anidien Dallacort

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Post 2020.07.29 23:25

Re: Epithal

Nice writeup. Many things I agree with, a couple points my opinion differs a bit.

But the one thing I wanted to write on - for Low/Null fits especially - why all neuts in the high and no cloak?

The ability to slide in and out of a POCO to a safe spot (land, align to safe, transact with the POCO while aligning), but do any import/export while cloaked up at a safe, is a lifesaving feature. With no cloak - import/export, and any other in system planet management, has to be done while exposed to combat probing.
Anidien Dallacort - Teacher, Sophomore

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Felix Jugo

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Post 2020.07.29 23:44

Re: Epithal

Why no cloak: I've most often operated in WH space where escape to a citadel is the best option, hence cloak not needed.

EDIT
On your advice I've changed the fit in the guide. The original fit was not viable for low/null work. The new fit has a cloak. Thanks Anidien.
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