[Abyssal] T1 Abyssal Caracal (All Filaments)

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Zhanshi Chen

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Post 2019.12.26 18:14

[Abyssal] T1 Abyssal Caracal (All Filaments)

Greetings, fellow Unistas!

It seems that HSC (or maybe people in general) have begun to take interest in venturing into the depths of Abyssal Deadspace, with an upcoming class on running those and Yto's solo Worm guide (which is a great guide - link is here). While the Worm is definitely a great frigate for running solo Abyssals, real newbros may need another stepping stone to experience Abyssals without risking a 60M Worm. Whether it's to dip your toes into Abyssal Deadspace, cash issues, or both, there is a ship that can allow real newbros to venture into Abyssal Deadspace, which is this ship fit:
SPOILER WARNING!
[Caracal, T1 Abyssal Meta]

Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Damage Control II

50MN Cold-Gas Enduring Microwarpdrive
X5 Enduring Stasis Webifier
Adaptive Invulnerability Field I
Large Azeotropic Restrained Shield Extender
Large Azeotropic Restrained Shield Extender

Experimental SV-2000 Rapid Light Missile Launcher, Caldari Navy Scourge Light Missile
Experimental SV-2000 Rapid Light Missile Launcher, Caldari Navy Scourge Light Missile
Experimental SV-2000 Rapid Light Missile Launcher, Caldari Navy Scourge Light Missile
Experimental SV-2000 Rapid Light Missile Launcher, Caldari Navy Scourge Light Missile
Experimental SV-2000 Rapid Light Missile Launcher, Caldari Navy Scourge Light Missile

Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Medium Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I
Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I


Hobgoblin I x2

This is going to be structured somewhat similarly to Yto's guide, so I'll fits explain the fitting.

THE FIT

Overall: This fit mainly aims for a buffer shield-tanked fit with Rapid Light Missile Launchers as its primary DPS. As Yto made it clear, DPS is the most important in a site, so Ballistic Control System IIs are a must. With max Alpha skills using Ballistic Control System Is, this ship eeks out merely 204 DPS, which is too close to call for Abyssals. While active tanks are practically required for higher-tier filaments, this Caracal is adequately tanked to deal with Tier I filaments. I have taken this ship into dozens of them and only blown up in one room (which I will explain later).

Microwarpdrive: This part may catch some flak, as many Abyssal fits tend to be AB fit. However, using a MWD has significant benefits over an AB in this case. Firstly, it gives us adequate speed to settle into an orbit around the high-damaging Battleships before the shield buffer runs out. Secondly, the speed it offers also allows access to the Extraction Nodes in the pocket, incrementally increasing loot from the site.

The Web: Admittedly, this is not as important on this ship, but the web just helps us to better settle into an orbit around Battleships (especially the Drifter one, as low-skilled pilots may find that it travels just a bit faster than them without prop mods.

Rigs: This rig setup aims to plug every resist hole as best as possible using two Anti-EM rigs and one Anti-Thermal rig. Not only is this important resists-wise, but for newbros, it's also far cheaper than fitting Core Defense Field Extenders.

Modifications For those seeking upgrades to this existing ship, attempt to get RLML II's ASAP. Sure, it does take more skills, but it not only provides one more missile volley over its meta counterparts, but it also gives access to Fury missiles, which makes it much easier to deal with the beefy Battleships. Upgrading tank to two LSE II's and one AIF II is advisable as well, but not strictly necessary. You're ultimately aiming for this fit for maximum comfort:
SPOILER WARNING!
[Caracal, T1 Abyssal Optimal]

Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Damage Control II

50MN Cold-Gas Enduring Microwarpdrive
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
X5 Enduring Stasis Webifier
Large Shield Extender II
Large Shield Extender II

Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Caldari Navy Scourge Light Missile
Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Caldari Navy Scourge Light Missile
Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Caldari Navy Scourge Light Missile
Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Caldari Navy Scourge Light Missile
Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Caldari Navy Scourge Light Missile

Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Medium Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I


Hobgoblin I x2


For higher-skilled pilots, another option is to fit a Medium Cap Battery II, to allow for increased usage of the MWD. However, this requires tinkering with the fit by replacing the DC II with a Reactor Control Unit, as shown:
SPOILER WARNING!
[Caracal, T1 Abyssal Optimal]

Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Mark I Compact Reactor Control Unit

50MN Cold-Gas Enduring Microwarpdrive
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Medium Cap Battery II
Large Shield Extender II
Large Shield Extender II

Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Caldari Navy Scourge Light Missile
Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Caldari Navy Scourge Light Missile
Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Caldari Navy Scourge Light Missile
Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Caldari Navy Scourge Light Missile
Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Caldari Navy Scourge Light Missile

Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Medium Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I


Hobgoblin I x2

For those short on fitting room, meta down tank first, and replace the DC II with a RCU or PDS as necessary. DO NOT remove the BCS IIs, lest you wish for a bad time.

Now, we can finally move on to...

RUNNING ABYSSALS

Any information that is of help can be found on not only on the wiki page, but also a handy cheatsheet.

The Environment

If you already setup your overview as Yto advised in his post, you will not miss the unique, fascinating (and mostly dangerous) entities that live in the Abyss. (If you haven't, go check his post - I'm not going to repeat that). Unlike Yto, however, there is no need to form (or be in a fleet) to run cruiser Abyssals - just right click, select "Activate Filament," and you're off. You will need to be at least 1000KM away from any structure to activate one. For maximum safety (especially in war-hit HSC), activate your filaments at a safe. Running Abyssals makes an "abyssal trace" that hunters can warp to if they see it on grid, so running them at safes means that hunters can only reac you if they combat probe the trace.
As Yto made it painstakingly clear, nothing beneficial comes from the clouds or structures, so avoid them. I'll go over each of them one-by-one for review:

Filament Cloud: This orange cloud imposes penalties on active shield tank, but since we're buffer fit, this cloud has no effect on us.
Caustic Cloud: Again, no worries here, as we are not armor tanked.
Bioluminescence Could: Otherwise known as the BLUE CLOUD OF DEATH, this blooms your signature radius by a staggering 4x, almost as much as your MWD. Combine this with an already-large signature radius from LSEs and an MWD, and this is a recipe for disaster. Avoid it at all costs - signature radius is already a problem enough.
Deviant Automata Suppressor: These pesky towers not only hurt your drones, but can also hit your missiles. This means that when a DAS is active (when it throws out sparks), your DPS will be cut or even nullified, as the missiles are destroyed before they reach their targets. Especially for newbros, avoid these.
Multibody Tracking Pylon: Since you're not a turret ship, this won't help you.


The "Charmingly" Dangerous Inhabitants of the Abyss

The priority list is fairly similar to that of Yto's, and the cheatsheet will tell you which rats do what. Anything that neuts is a priority, as not only does your tank weaken, but your mobility as well. Anything that scrams and webs is also a priority, as both will reduce mobility. Other than that, the order is fairly straightforwards.


Strategy:


Filament Choice: As mentioned before, you can run any filament using this fit, but where this Caracal really hits its stride is in DARK filaments. Yes, they are touted as "the hardest of the lot," but they're good for two reasons:
1. 50% bonus to max. velocity. This helps everything, from orbiting battleships to burning around the pocket, capitalizing on our choice to bring a MWD.
2. Penalty to Turret Range. What, say that again? I can hear the Caracal laughing!

General Strategy: There are two main strategies you will use in each of the rooms in the pocket. Since you have an MWD, you can burn towards and loot the Extraction Subnodes scattered around the edges of the pocket. For every lootable cache, destroy it using your drones. This saves valuable ammunition needed for fighting the NPCs in Abyssal Deadspace and reduces the need for pesky 35-second reloads. Carry all kinds of missiles, but load by default Nova or Mjolnir Light Missiles (Navy or normal) for their range. Newbros should use Navy missiles for their increased damage.
There are generally two groups of enemy NPCs: a battleship or a swarm of frigates. For Frigates, burn towards the closest subnodes as you see fit (and the Bioadaptive Cache) and fire Normal then Precision missiles (if you have T2 Launchers). The frigates are much faster than you without the MWD and your tank is fairly heavy, so you don't need to make much course deviations other than heading towards loot.

For battleships, however, you must settle into an orbit around them AS FAST AS POSSIBLE. Hit "Orbit" and light your MWD to reduce as much time as possible heading towards the BS. Ignore all loot caches unless they pass within drone control range. Unless there are suppressors, you can safely release your drones on the battleship for extra damage. Fire empty your clip, then reload to Fury if you have T2 Launchers.

NPC Group Strategy: Abyssal Deadspace tends to have common groupings of ships, so here's a "room-by-room" guide (if you will):

Three Damaviks: Stick to the normal frigate strategy and fire Nova missiles. You can try and break their rampups by pulsing the MWD, as their range is limited to ~20KM. Focus fire on any Starving or Anchoring Damaviks you see, and keep your fire on one, as the frigates can remote rep each other. Expect to reload at least once.

Two Vila Damaviks: Same as the Three Damaviks, except ignore the drones. These do not need to be destroyed to clear the pocket, and they will stop shooting you once the Damavik is destroyed.

Rogue Drone Frigate Swarm: This is where you can get comfortable, as the frigates usually die within 3 volleys. Stick to the same strategy as Three Damaviks. Take out any EWAR if seen - priority goes to any "Snarecaster" or "weaver" drones.

Three Lucid Sleepers: This is the same as Three Damaviks, except your primaries now go Firewatcher-Warden-Aegis, as the Aegis frigates deal more damage than their Watchman counterparts.

Triple Seeker Cruisers: Although these are cruisers, treat them in a similar manner as you would with Three Damaviks, as they are still fast. Any Dissipator or Spearfishers should be eliminated first, as per the "general primary guide."

Drifter Battleship: Immediately burn towards the Battleship with MWD ON and try and settle into a 500m orbit. Your goal is to get within 10km of it and web it down so you can settle into a comfortable orbit. It's usually accompanied with a single Seeker cruiser, so take it out on the approach. Once it's dead, the drones are safe (unless there's Suppressors). The battleship tends to gravitate towards the edges of the pocket, so some manual piloting may be necessary.

Leshak: Immediately burn towards him and fire as soon as you're in range. The Leshak starts off in half hull, but if you're too slow, will repair a good chunk of armor and take longer to kill. Again, try and settle into a close orbit around him or slingshot around him to break the Disintegrator ramp-up, but if you're fast and stopped his armor regen, he'll go down in a single clip. He's sometimes accompanied by a single Rogue frigate, which can be safely ignored.

Rogue Drone Battleship: Approach and orbit it as you would for the Drifter Battleship, but this time without the worry of edging towards the pocket edges. Needs multiple reloads to kill, and may be accompanied by a single Rogue Drone frigate. Very tanky, so do not go for Subnodes when fighting this.

Sleeper Battleship: Same deal as the Rogue Drone Battleship, but orbit at least 5KM away. Other than the turrets, these battleships also release clouds of missiles, which will hit you if you're too close. Extremely tanky, so be patient.

Rogue Drone Battlecruiser: This guy's the odd one out, and is extremely dangerous. Remember how I said I only had one death in a Calm filament? That was to this guy. He has extreme tracking, can alpha drones, is decently fast, and massive damage, even more than the Battleships. The catch? Extremely short range. Stay loaded on Navy or normal missiles, and kite this guy out. Make extensive use of your MWD and burn anywhere except directly at him. It's okay if he gets a hit or two on you, but don't stay there. Heading for Extraction Subnodes is okay, as you'll be burning around anyways. Don't be afraid to manual pilot, and keep firing - two clips should be enough to bring him down.


Keep in mind that this is nowhere near as profitable as solo running in Frigates, but the extra tank offered by Cruisers can help a lot for newbros. However, this is a great stepping stone into venturing into the Abyss and very accessible to Unistas (as everyone can presumably or is training to fly a BLAP Caracal, which requires much the same skills). Thanks for sticking with this guide, and fly safe out there!


Addendum 1.1:

As Yto pointed out, burning straight towards enemies is "a bad habit to take" and definitely not advisable for those going into higher-tier filaments. Here, I should probably clarify that my suggested Caracal fit is not just a fit for completion, but also blitzing (to an extent). For newbros, spiralling into the Battleships is definitely advisable, as if done correctly, can mitigate all incoming damage. However, if you intend to blitz it (like me), you can get away with lazily hitting "Orbit at 500m," though it's definitely not a good habit. Here's the reasoning why:

In general, if you're burning straight into a 500m orbit, you're relying on your buffer tank to last you long enough to get into a 10km range so you can web the BS down and settle into a 500m orbit (where you will definitely be safe).

Drifter Battleship: As I mentioned before, this guy likes to inch towards the edges of the map and cause pain to those who don't manually pilot. However, I found that if I managed to burn right towards him and catch him in a 500m orbit, he no longer moves towards the edge. There's still the worry of bumping against the transfer conduit, but that's far less dangerous than the unstable abyssal depths.

Leshak: If the NPC Leshak works like a player-run Leshak, then the spool-up occurs as long as the entropic disintegrator fires. Triglavian ship weapons tend to have high tracking for weapons of their size, which can make spiralling a bit of a challenge. It definitely misses at a 500m orbit, though, while also avoiding the nasty ramp-up.

Rogue Drone and Sleeper BS This is mainly to get into the optimal orbits to avoid all damage. If you're trying to do this safely, there's definitely no reason you shouldn't spiral in.


As for Yto's fit, it's definitely good to practice spiraling on, but heading towards the Extraction Subnodes is riskier. There are times where people die in Abyssal Deadspace because they were burning to subnodes and ran out of time, so keep that in mind. And definitely manage your clips and reload after the NPCs in a room are gone - 35 second reloads are painful.
Last edited by Zhanshi Chen on 2019.12.31 17:21, edited 2 times in total.
"I'm sorry, but I've gotta go. Real life calls."
("And it always seems to call at the most inconvenient of times, but ah well...")
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Yto Itinen

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Post 2019.12.30 18:00

Re: [Abyssal] T1 Abyssal Caracal (All Filaments)

Hello Zhanshi, thanks for taking the time to share your experience and write this guide!
The Caracal is surely a fascinating pick for T1 Abyssals, as it's a missile ship that can deal any kind of damage and it's fast.

I'm going to make a point for the AB though, especially in dark filaments:

SPOILER WARNING!
[Caracal, T1 Abyssal AB]

Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Damage Control II

10MN Afterburner II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Large Shield Extender II
Large Shield Extender II
Large Shield Extender II

Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Caldari Navy Scourge Light Missile
Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Caldari Navy Scourge Light Missile
Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Caldari Navy Scourge Light Missile
Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Caldari Navy Scourge Light Missile
Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Caldari Navy Scourge Light Missile

Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Medium Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I


Hobgoblin II x2


You are hitting 1km/s in dark filaments, just with the AB, while fitting a third Large Shield Extender and having no signature bloom!
The Caracal will apply quite amazingly to frigates even without a web, while being able to kite anything bigger quite easily.


I see sometimes in your guide that you advise to burn straight at enemies, with the MWD on. I think that's a bad habit to take, as the Triglavians use turrets and their damage will apply fully to your ship. What is suggest is spiral-ing, or flying with a 45° angle from the axis that connects you to the enemy ship. You will take a bit more time, but a RLML Caracal has plenty of range, and you will be dealing DPS even while getting closer, with the benefit of having a very good transversal velocity in relation to your target. Transversal is a great form of tank, as even a small velocity bonus, like an AB outside of a dark filament will give you impressive protection from battleship hits.

The last warning is about clip management and drones: in dark filaments, the drones, especially Hobgoblins, will not be able to apply to frigate enemies, so save them for subnodes, enemy cruisers and above, as a supplementary form of DPS while you reload clips. Never enter a new room without reloading and once you are TII launcher fit, you will notice the benefit of a larger clip they provide :)

For the rest, it's a pretty solid guide for newbros that want to enter the marvelous world of the Abyss!
Fly Fun!
Yto Itinen
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Zhanshi Chen

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Post 2019.12.31 17:22

Re: [Abyssal] T1 Abyssal Caracal (All Filaments)

Thanks, Yto, for the valuable feedback and additional fit!

Next up will likely be T2 Filaments in a Caracal as well, after I've run enough sites (Spoilers: do NOT use my recommended fit - you will DIE).
"I'm sorry, but I've gotta go. Real life calls."
("And it always seems to call at the most inconvenient of times, but ah well...")
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Hippla Tsero

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Post 2020.01.15 10:45

Re: [Abyssal] T1 Abyssal Caracal (All Filaments)

Hey guys,

Two days ago I did my first T1 Dark Abyssal with my Caracal and managed to get out just in time. I did however use Heavy assault missiles. What is the advantage of light missiles over say Heavy missiles or Heavy assault missiles?

I am also wondering why you wrote this: "Keep in mind that this is nowhere near as profitable as solo running in Frigates, but the extra tank offered by Cruisers can help a lot for newbros."
Do you refer to the cost of losing a ship every now and then or is there an actual loot bonus for using Frigates?

Let me take the opportunity to thank you for the guide and YTO's complementary remarks. It is very comprehensively written and helps me to get a better understanding of the sites.
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Zhanshi Chen

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Post 2020.01.16 21:59

Re: [Abyssal] T1 Abyssal Caracal (All Filaments)

Hippla Tsero wrote:Hey guys,

Two days ago I did my first T1 Dark Abyssal with my Caracal and managed to get out just in time. I did however use Heavy assault missiles. What is the advantage of light missiles over say Heavy missiles or Heavy assault missiles?

I am also wondering why you wrote this: "Keep in mind that this is nowhere near as profitable as solo running in Frigates, but the extra tank offered by Cruisers can help a lot for newbros."
Do you refer to the cost of losing a ship every now and then or is there an actual loot bonus for using Frigates?

Let me take the opportunity to thank you for the guide and YTO's complementary remarks. It is very comprehensively written and helps me to get a better understanding of the sites.


The reason why Caracal (and indeed Gila fits) use Rapid Light Missile Launchers is because of their damage application. Yes, HAMs do have higher damage to deal with the battleship enemies and doesn't have the horrendous 35-second reload, but HAM damage application is lower against frigate enemies and is shorter-ranged. In addition, HAMs travel much slower that light missiles, making them more susceptible to the Deviant Automata Suppressors. The majority of runs will have plenty of frigate enemies, where RLMLs work much better than HAMs. If you want to use HAMs, get a Caracal Navy Issue or a Cerberus.

As for your second question, yes, frigate abyssals do have more loot. Cruiser abyssals have mere "Bioadaptive" caches while frigate ones have "Bicombinative" caches with more loot. The Caracal itself is also cheaper than Yto's Worm fit, so yes, in that respect too.
"I'm sorry, but I've gotta go. Real life calls."
("And it always seems to call at the most inconvenient of times, but ah well...")
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Hippla Tsero

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Post 2020.01.17 11:17

Re: [Abyssal] T1 Abyssal Caracal (All Filaments)

Thanks Zhanshi :)
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Sketchy McGillis

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Post 2020.01.18 02:33

Re: [Abyssal] T1 Abyssal Caracal (All Filaments)

Thanks for posting this, Zhanshi! I just learned a lot in a short amount of time thanks to you! Now to put it into practice...
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Wyl Vaille

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Post Yesterday 18:41

Re: [Abyssal] T1 Abyssal Caracal (All Filaments)

I just used this guide to help me get through successfully get through my first Abyssal, so wanted to add my thanks for taking the time to put it together.
Thank you :!:

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