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Kozeck
Posted - 2010.09.25 18:39:00 - [1]
 

Edited by: Kozeck on 25/09/2010 18:40:34
I just got into a Caracel and fitted it with 4 Heavy Missile Launchers and loaded them all up with Widowmaker missiles.

So I flew it into a mission and it worked decent at 30km range. However once the mobs got within 10km or so my damage dropped significantly. I went from doing 50-80 damage/missile to doing like 20-40 damage/missile.

Are missiles only good at long range shots? If so, how can I keep my Caracel at long range? I put in a 10mn afterburner and tried to stay away, but even with it I was only flying at about 350 m/s, which wasn't enough to keep a big distance between the mission mobs.

A MWD is out of the question since I'm flying into deadspace a lot.

Edit: A webifier won't be much use either since I need to maintain a 30km distance it seems, and a webber only works out to about 10km.

Orange Lagomorph
Posted - 2010.09.25 18:49:00 - [2]
 

Well, once speedier ships get closer to you, they start to zig and zag, so their speed tank becomes stronger. It's probably best to keep them as far away as possible; from 30km away, their angular velocity relative to you will be virtually nil.

Or something along those lines.

Xlera
Minmatar
Triton Research
Illuminati.
Posted - 2010.09.25 18:52:00 - [3]
 

Originally by: Orange Lagomorph
Well, once speedier ships get closer to you, they start to zig and zag, so their speed tank becomes stronger. It's probably best to keep them as far away as possible; from 30km away, their angular velocity relative to you will be virtually nil.

Or something along those lines.


Not true when you talking about missiles. The damage difference was probably because of their mwd. Rats turn on their mwd to close the distance but when they come into their optimal range they turn it off.

Kozeck
Posted - 2010.09.25 18:55:00 - [4]
 

So aside from a 10mn afterburner what I can do to try and keep at the 30km range?

Malcanis
Caldari
Vanishing Point.
The Initiative.
Posted - 2010.09.25 18:55:00 - [5]
 

Originally by: Orange Lagomorph
Well, once speedier ships get closer to you, they start to zig and zag, so their speed tank becomes stronger. It's probably best to keep them as far away as possible; from 30km away, their angular velocity relative to you will be virtually nil.

Or something along those lines.


Missiles only care about absolute velocity. They ignore all considerations of angular velocity. The whole point of using missiles is that they are equally effective at any distance or angle within their range. Whereas with turrets you have have to worry about tracking, falloff, long/short range ammo types etc.

Malcanis
Caldari
Vanishing Point.
The Initiative.
Posted - 2010.09.25 18:57:00 - [6]
 

Originally by: Kozeck


A MWD is out of the question since I'm flying into deadspace a lot.


Guess what changed recently! Wink

Xlera
Minmatar
Triton Research
Illuminati.
Posted - 2010.09.25 18:59:00 - [7]
 

Originally by: Kozeck
So aside from a 10mn afterburner what I can do to try and keep at the 30km range?


As the guy above said you don't have to keep them at range. Here are my suggestions

1. Work on your missile skills
2. Use drones
3. Use webifiers, target painters etc that will boost your damage against those pesky frigs.

Orange Lagomorph
Posted - 2010.09.25 19:18:00 - [8]
 

Originally by: Malcanis
Missiles only care about absolute velocity.


Shows what I know about missiles. I knew they were faceroll weapons whose damage could be outrun, but not the specifics.

Not sure how or why his damage would be decreasing as they draw close if it's absolute velocity, unless, as previously stated, they somehow speed up when they get closer to him. You'd think they'd use their MWDs to close the distance, but maybe not.

Helen Hunts
Gallente
Red Dragon Mining inc
Red Dragon Industries
Posted - 2010.09.25 20:41:00 - [9]
 

Guided Missiles (Standard Missile, Heavy Missile, Cruise Missile) are the longer-ranged, lower damage type. Rockets, Heavy Assault, and Torpedoes are the shorter-ranged, higher DPS missiles. (Except for rockets. Those only work well for a couple specific ships)

As for your Caracal, you'd do better to fit 5 launchers on that thing instead of 4.
If you're in level 1-2 missions, you'd do better to fit Assault Launchers (not Heavy Assault) and use Standard Missiles. (Frigs are small targets and take more overall damage from the smaller missile) You'll sacrifice a little range vs. the Heavy, but fire much faster, with more EFFECTIVE damage per launch.


gfldex
Posted - 2010.09.25 20:49:00 - [10]
 

Originally by: Kozeck

Edit: A webifier won't be much use either since I need to maintain a 30km distance it seems, and a webber only works out to about 10km.


A webber will most likely increase your damage.

Alara IonStorm
Caldari
Posted - 2010.09.25 21:23:00 - [11]
 

Originally by: gfldex
Originally by: Kozeck

Edit: A webifier won't be much use either since I need to maintain a 30km distance it seems, and a webber only works out to about 10km.


A webber will most likely increase your damage.

If you want to increase dmg in missions don't use a web. Use a target painter!

Kozeck
Posted - 2010.09.25 23:03:00 - [12]
 

Originally by: Helen Hunts

As for your Caracal, you'd do better to fit 5 launchers on that thing instead of 4.
If you're in level 1-2 missions, you'd do better to fit Assault Launchers (not Heavy Assault) and use Standard Missiles. (Frigs are small targets and take more overall damage from the smaller missile) You'll sacrifice a little range vs. The Heavy, but fire much faster, with more EFFECTIVE damage per launch.



Why do frigates take more damage from smaller missiles? That doesn't make any sense to me.

Orange Lagomorph
Posted - 2010.09.25 23:45:00 - [13]
 

Edited by: Orange Lagomorph on 25/09/2010 23:46:38
Originally by: Kozeck
Why do frigates take more damage from smaller missiles? That doesn't make any sense to me.


Because those missiles have a faster and more focused explosion, or some such. Bigger missiles have broader and "slower" explosions. Ergo, a nimble ship can "outrun part of the explosion" of larger missiles most or nearly all of it, in some cases.

Basically, all weapons in EVE are modeled around the idea that the faster and smaller a target is, the harder it is for turrets to: A.) track them (tracking speed vs. angular velocity) and B.) "hit them with all the bullets"/"score a direct hit" (scan resolution vs. signature radius, i.e. effective size).

Missiles are simply a variation on this theme.

Kozeck
Posted - 2010.09.25 23:51:00 - [14]
 

Ok, so should I keep a mix of both types of launchers then? Maybe 1 heavy and 4 assaults? Or just 5 assault launchers?

Right now I only do missions, but I might get into PvP eventually, and now I'm a little lost on what I should be doing for launcher loadout as PvP seems to have a mix of small and large ships from what I understand. So if I do eventually go into PvP should I have a bigger mix (i.e. 3 assault and 2 heavy?).

Orange Lagomorph
Posted - 2010.09.26 00:09:00 - [15]
 

Oh, heavens no. Don't mix launcher types. Use the best you possibly can once you're in a Drake.

Get Drones trained up. This will enable you to kill pesky frigates while piloting that Drake.

All PvE ships pretty much rely on drones to combat significantly smaller ships.

Irae Ragwan
Posted - 2010.09.26 01:25:00 - [16]
 

Originally by: Malcanis
Originally by: Kozeck


A MWD is out of the question since I'm flying into deadspace a lot.


Guess what changed recently! Wink


Has that gone live yet? Last I checked it wasn't...

Kozeck
Posted - 2010.09.26 02:44:00 - [17]
 

Originally by: Orange Lagomorph
Oh, heavens no. Don't mix launcher types. Use the best you possibly can once you're in a Drake.

Get Drones trained up. This will enable you to kill pesky frigates while piloting that Drake.

All PvE ships pretty much rely on drones to combat significantly smaller ships.


I'm not flying a Drake right now, nor will I be able to for a while. Once I do, Heavy Missile Launchers?

So for the time being I should stick to Assault Missile Launchers right?

Toshiro GreyHawk
Posted - 2010.09.26 03:53:00 - [18]
 


OK ... what I do ...

Is make use of the Saved Fitting function to have a fit for my Caracal's with A) Assault Missile Launchers and B) Heavy Missile Launchers. I then have the modules for both fittings in my Items Hangar.

I'll start the mission with the Assault Launchers. If I run into a lot of frigates and no cruisers - I'll just use this fit for the mission. Most missions can be completed this way.

If the rats have a mix of frigs and cruisers - then - I'll pull away from the cruisers whom their frigates will leave behind and kill all the frigates - then - I'll warp back to base, put on my Heavy Missile fit - and come back to kill the cruisers.

*shrug*

You can just kill the cruisers with your assault missile launchers and standard missiles but the heavy missiles kill them easier.

So, essentially, it's fit Assault Missile Launchers - but have a Heavy Missile Fit saved in case you want to use it. I wouldn't bother changing fits for just a few cruisers but if they've got more then it may be worth the time to swap fits. Your call on that.


Exploited Engineer
Posted - 2010.09.26 08:53:00 - [19]
 

Edited by: Exploited Engineer on 26/09/2010 08:55:04
Originally by: Malcanis
Missiles only care about absolute velocity.


I really hate how EVE manages to mangle some of the finer details of physics. Like the fact that there's no such thing as an "absolute velocity", especially not in space. This would apply even if the technology for warp drives was reality.

Anyway. If your DPS drop against small/fast rats, fit a web or a target painter and make them slower/bigger targets for your missiles. Or consider bringing launchers one size smaller if you're going against lots of smaller ships (e.g. fit an assault missile launcher with light missiles instead of a heavy missile launcher with heavy missiles).

Akita T
Caldari Navy Volunteer Task Force
Posted - 2010.09.26 10:36:00 - [20]
 

Edited by: Akita T on 26/09/2010 10:43:32

Originally by: Kozeck
I'm not flying a Drake right now, nor will I be able to for a while.

Unless you mean you can't AFFORD to buy a Drake "for a while", that statement makes little sense (and even then, you should be able to afford one shortly).
The difference in skills from fitting and flying a Caracal and a Drake is minimal.
In fact, a Drake needs even less support skills than a Caracal to get a decent fit going, so really, if you're already flying a Caracal and you can use heavy missiles on it, the only thing you need is ISK, because you're good to go as you are. And ISK is relatively easy to come by even from just L2 missions.

Oh, also, on a Caracal/Drake, you don't use thermal and explosive missiles unless you have a really low relevant skill level (2 or less). That's because you get a kinetic missile bonus that at L3 just about breaks-even vs most enemies compared to whatever damage hole they have, and at L4 it's already better effective DPS-wise than the "hole" damage type.
For most missions, you use kinetic missiles (Bloodclaw, Scourge), and only for missions against Sansha/Bloods/Drones you use EM missiles (Sabretooth, Thunderbolt).

There are very little L2 missions where HMLs would make a difference for the better in completion time, and that only with decently high precision-related missile support skill too. If you missile support skills are at best mediocre, then all-assault-launcher with standard missiles is the way to go on a Caracal, by far. Save your heavy missiles for the Drake and L3 missions.


P.S. It would help if you could post your current skills on eveboard.com (whenever it comes back up from maintenance mode since it appears to be down right at this moment) and post your current ship fit in here so we can give you advice about both what skills to train as a priority and how to otherwise improve your fits given your current skill levels.

Ruhige Schmerz
New Eden Scientific Association
Posted - 2010.09.26 11:22:00 - [21]
 

Originally by: Orange Lagomorph
Originally by: Malcanis
Missiles only care about absolute velocity.


Shows what I know about missiles. I knew they were faceroll weapons whose damage could be outrun, but not the specifics.

Not sure how or why his damage would be decreasing as they draw close if it's absolute velocity, unless, as previously stated, they somehow speed up when they get closer to him. You'd think they'd use their MWDs to close the distance, but maybe not.


They do (use MWD to close distance). MWD sig radius penalty = better damage from missiles due to explosion radius, unless that changed. That signature vs. explosion radius is also why larger missiles do less damage to small targets.

Kozeck
Posted - 2010.09.26 17:54:00 - [22]
 

Edited by: Kozeck on 26/09/2010 17:56:48
Edited by: Kozeck on 26/09/2010 17:55:22
Originally by: Akita T

Unless you mean you can't AFFORD to buy a Drake "for a while", that statement makes little sense (and even then, you should be able to afford one shortly).
The difference in skills from fitting and flying a Caracal and a Drake is minimal.
In fact, a Drake needs even less support skills than a Caracal to get a decent fit going, so really, if you're already flying a Caracal and you can use heavy missiles on it, the only thing you need is ISK, because you're good to go as you are. And ISK is relatively easy to come by even from just L2 missions.



I can't train to a Drake for a bit because right now I'm focusing on Industry skills. I'm in a mining corp, and want to get a barge out (about 2 days away atm). Once that is done, I want to focus on finishing my learning skills (all are at level 3 right now) before the 160% bonus is finished on this character as that will bring me close to the 1.6M SP. So best guess is I'm a week or so away from focusing on a bunch more combat skills.

Originally by: Akita T

Oh, also, on a Caracal/Drake, you don't use thermal and explosive missiles unless you have a really low relevant skill level (2 or less). That's because you get a kinetic missile bonus that at L3 just about breaks-even vs most enemies compared to whatever damage hole they have, and at L4 it's already better effective DPS-wise than the "hole" damage type.
For most missions, you use kinetic missiles (Bloodclaw, Scourge), and only for missions against Sansha/Bloods/Drones you use EM missiles (Sabretooth, Thunderbolt).



I'll try switching the missiles I use around. Right now I've fitted my caracel with 4 assault launchers armed with Flameburst missiles. That's what I was using on my Kestrel and it did really well in missions previously.

Originally by: Akita T

P.S. It would help if you could post your current skills on eveboard.com (whenever it comes back up from maintenance mode since it appears to be down right at this moment) and post your current ship fit in here so we can give you advice about both what skills to train as a priority and how to otherwise improve your fits given your current skill levels.



Got it - you can see my skills here: eveboard.com/pilot/Kozeck

For the next 7 days or so my plan is to do the following:

Industry V (will be finished tomorrow afternoon)
Mining Barge I - III (tuesday morning)
-- will be flying a Retriever and doing some mining for my corp to make ISK, they run daily mining ops --
Learning Skills IV and V (have III for all of them presently, this will probably take 5-6 days)

At that point I'll probably go back to combat skills, but I as I said I want to focus on mining/learning skills for a few days to get the above.

My Caracel I plan to fly a lot during this week to grind our Level 1 and 2 missions (probably for Caldari Navy, but I might try some other corp, not sure yet).

It's current fitted as follows:

[High]
4x Assault Missile Launcher (Flameburst Missiles)
1x Salvager
(I do have a 5th Assault Missile Launcher, but I like to have the salvager equipped during missions)

[Med]
Medium Shield Booster
Medium Shield Extender I
Medium Cap Booster (with 2x 400 Cap boosters equipped)
10mn Afterburner

[Low]
2 free slots

I don't mind injecting a few skills in the next few days that will help my combat piloting, but I'm pretty sure what I have should be more than enough for Level I and II missions (right?).

Thanks for the help :)

Please bear in mind this is my only character and I don't have a ton of isk. Between the missions I've run, the mining I've done, and some manufacturing, I've presently got about 6 million ISK.

I'm sure it would be better to focus on combat or indy skills instead of doing both, but I want to be able to do a variety of things.

Conrad Makbure
Gallente
Teutonic Brotherhood
Posted - 2010.09.26 18:42:00 - [23]
 

Originally by: gfldex
Originally by: Kozeck

Edit: A webifier won't be much use either since I need to maintain a 30km distance it seems, and a webber only works out to about 10km.


A webber will most likely increase your damage.


Now, how is a webber going to be of any help when he just said that he has to stay at around 30km. The suggestion to use a painter makes more sense give the distance.

Akita T
Caldari Navy Volunteer Task Force
Posted - 2010.09.26 19:07:00 - [24]
 

Oh, you're *that* new. Not even halfway to the 1.6 mil SP mark even after you finish Industry V.
I thought your character was a tad bit older. Then yeah, now what you said makes more sense.
By the way, it's not 160% bonus, it's just a 100% bonus ("double speed"). I suppose you got stuck on the "1.6 mil SP" number and made a small typo.

Well, I can't blame you for wanting to help your corp, which is a good thing, but most likely you'll end up considering those SP in mining and some of the prerequisites as wasted SP.
Eventually.
Not now, but at some point in the future. Oh well, I guess we all need to make our own "mistakes" to realize they were mistakes in the first place, heh.

The best you can hope for income-wise in a Retriever in a highsec mining op is probably around 3-4 mil ISK/hour, which will be shared with corp members participating in the op, or with the corp itself. Everybody (including your corp) would probably be better off in the long run with you running combat missions and reprocessing the loot for minerals instead, or using the taxed income to buy minerals from the market. Even if you spend the next 2 months training up for a Hulk and T2 stripminers, that number won't go up too much... unless the corp operates in w-space or 0.0 too, in which case, it might be borderline justifiable.
Group missions (where a bunch of low-SP guys follow a higher-SP and higher-standings guy in a mission of much higher level than they're used with) should overall both bring more ISK to everybody, be more fun than a mining op, and encourage cooperation in a stronger manner. Also, SP needed for missioning is mostly the same as SP needed for PvP, and there is no sane corp which would not want their members to be at least marginally proficient in PvP.

You're mostly right about one thing though, wanting to get your learnings higher sooner rather than later.
However, you're wrong about the priorities... it's really NOT worth bringing all basic learnings to L5. Instead, focus on getting them only to L4 (none of them to L5, not even "Learning"), and then purchasing the advanced learnings, and train THOSE to L4 before even thinking about any of the basic ones to L5.
Also, you might want some better attribute implants. Cybernetics L1 allows you to use up to +3 attribute implants, but you might want to get Cybernetics up to L4 to enable you to use some of the other implants (hardwirings, slots 6 to 10... and +4 attribute implants), but that's not a high priority. For now, L1 is good enough. Although you might want L3 by the time you can go into a Drake, some of the more useful mid-range hardwirings need either L2 or L3 in it.

Right now you have +1 implants and +3 attributes from basic learnings for just +4 total.
This is the borderline minimum for short-term training, but is quite appropriate for your pilot age.

A good next "pit stop" learnings-wise is with +3 implants (Cybernetics I or max III), +4 basics and +3 advanceds, for +10 total.
The implants are not insanely expensive, the training times are relatively short, but you get 66% of the maximum potential increase in attributes from it. It's the "best bang for buck" so to speak, and you should spend quite a while at this level until you're relatively secure, financially speaking.
This should usually come AFTER you already have a Drake and are running L3 missions (because the combined cost of all implants and learnings skills is noticeably higher than the cost of buying and fitting a Drake, and learnings alone DO NOT help you make ISK faster, but the Drake will)... ideally, you'd get an ISK loan from corp members, but working for the ISK yourself can be more satisfying. Your choice, I guess. Personally, I'd be "working for it" myself too.

Next stop would be +4 implants (Cybernetics IV), +4 basics and +4 advanceds, for +12 total.
That's already 80% of the maximum possible attribute boost, and some people never even bother getting higher than this.

--cont'd--

Akita T
Caldari Navy Volunteer Task Force
Posted - 2010.09.26 19:30:00 - [25]
 

--cont'd--

Learnings aside (which are not exactly a "must do" to any level, being more a matter of taste than exact science, especially early on), there's also the issue of base attributes.
You are still on the "default" attributes, 8/8/8/8/7cha. Which is all fine and dandy if you haven't already decided what you're going to do, and might be a good idea to keep as such until you're done with a bit more of your learning skills if your first remap would be slightly more on the per/wil side, but you should strongly consider making an attribute remap in the very near future.

You have two choices here - you can EITHER remap first to a high INT/MEM base attribute set and work mainly on the support, industry and science skills for a while, then remap to a PER/WIL attribute set and focus almost exclusively on combat skills (but that is really not such a good idea for first-timers since it restricts you heavily, since you can only train with any noticeable speed the skills linked to the attribute pair and to a lesser degree those which have one of the attributes in the pair as main), OR you could make a single remap that's likely to best cover the next few months of skill training.
If you decide on the latter option, things start to get really complicated, because it depends on what exactly your skill plan would be. A typical first half year of skill training for combat-oriented pilots will usually benefit best from a 15 PER, 9 INT, 5 everything else remap, but that's not necessarily always the case.

Either way, the first thing you have to do is decide how your training skill plan will look like up until, oh, let's say around 10 mil SP, minimum.
For that, I strongly suggest getting EVE-Mon and playing with it for a while, making some skill plans.
Not only can it tell you what the optimal attribute combo for the whole plan (or parts of the plan) will be, but it will ALSO suggest if training any additional learning skill levels will improve the plan completion time or not (and which ones).



You also seem to have some slight *ahem* problems with your fit general ideas.

For starters, a Caracal and a Drake both really benefit significantly from a passive buffer/recharge shield tank.
That means, you won't be using any shield boosters at all, instead you will increase the shield HP total and decrease the shield recharge time so that you'll end up getting a better peak shield recharge rate than the boost amount you can get from your shield booster.
To do that, the idea is to use oversized shield extenders (Large Shield Extenders, preferably T2, so you'd need Shield Upgrades L4) as much as the powergrid can handle, use the rest of midslots for mission-specific hardening (first resistance amps because they don't use capacitor AND they're easy on the fit CPU-wise, later on you want to switch to active hardeners) and optionally an afterburner, and fill the lowslots and the rig slots with things that decrease shield recharge time (purger rigs, shield power relays).
If you have grid problems but some spare CPU, you can use power diagnostic systems instead of shield power relays. This will also help allow you to run active hardeners instead of passive resistance amplifiers by making your capacitor recharge better instead of worse, so you can run both the AB and the hardeners, especially at low capacitor skill levels (and low afterburner capacitor usage skill levels).
If you have trouble with the CPU and just can't make a fit, in a pinch, a co-processor lowslot module can also help, but you'd be much better off just training Electronics and Weapons Upgrades.
In time, you'll want to start replacing some of the lowslot modules with damage mods (ballistic control systems), which also eat up quite a bit of CPU, but they're quite worth it, especially the T2 ones (you need Weap.Up. L4 for those).


That would be the basics, char. limit reached. You'll get the hang of it Wink

Kozeck
Posted - 2010.09.26 20:32:00 - [26]
 

Edited by: Kozeck on 26/09/2010 20:34:43
That was a lot of information, thanks.

Ok, so I'm rethinking my priorities here.

What I would like to be able to do is:

1) Pilot a ship that can perform most missions solo, but also provide useful benefits to any fleets and perhaps lead fleets eventually. So it seems Command Ships would be good for this role, and they require Cruisers/Battlecruisers skills which is what I've just gotten into. The Drake seems like a really good solo ship, so I guess that's the next goal in this progression.

Aside from their usefulness, I like how the fleet booster stuff works. Been reading into that and asking a bunch of questions in another thread here, seems like fun stuff.

2) My other goal is to be able to strip mine and eventually break into manufacturing. I do a little manufacturing right now (most ammo and a few small ship item). I think I'll put this on the back burner for the time being though.

If missions and combat flying makes more money, then I'm fine with focusing on that for the time being.

Based on what you posted above, I've gone in and changed my training queue to get Memory and Learning IV, I already have Intelligence IV.

The biggest challenge I see right now is getting enough ISK for what you've recommended. It seems I need to run a lot of missions to build up enough money to do some of the stuff you've recommended, which is something I'll start working on this week.


As for missions, should I focus on running missions for the storyline agents to raise my standings quicker and thus break into the higher level missions? Or would I be better off just doing standard agent missions and building up a small pool of LP?

Along the same line - is there a npc corp you recommend for doing missions for? Almost everybody in my corp said Caldari Navi, but I was thinking of trying something more abstract that hasn't been done by everybody else. The only bonus I see to flying for the navy is there are a ton of level 1 storyline agents, like 15 when I checked eve-agents.com.

Another question - drones. Should I bother with them? When I was mining with our fleet last night I was pretty impressed when I saw somebody destroy a spawn of rats with 5 Hobgoblin I drones and it made me wonder if I should start looking at them. Are drones generally worth it for running missions?



Thanks again, this has been extremely useful :)


Akita T
Caldari Navy Volunteer Task Force
Posted - 2010.09.26 23:04:00 - [27]
 

Originally by: Kozeck
1) Pilot a ship that can perform most missions solo, but also provide useful benefits to any fleets and perhaps lead fleets eventually. So it seems Command Ships would be good for this role, and they require Cruisers/Battlecruisers skills which is what I've just gotten into. The Drake seems like a really good solo ship, so I guess that's the next goal in this progression.
Aside from their usefulness, I like how the fleet booster stuff works. Been reading into that and asking a bunch of questions in another thread here, seems like fun stuff.

Leadership skills only really shine when you can plug in the appropriate mindlink (so, you need L5 in the advanced corresponding leadership skill plus cybernetics 5) while in a ship that also gets bonuses to it, and the best course of action for that ship is to stay AWAY from the actual battle, providing the bonuses from a distance. Not only are fleet command ships expensive and not exactly fit for frontline assignments, they're also quite expensive.
For smaller fleets, the addition of a more directly useful craft is more beneficial than having a leadership-focused ship. In larger fleets, only one (well, a maximum of 3, but usually just one) need to have very good leadership skills, a few other just need the basics to trickle the bonuses down, and the vast majority need (and can't make use of) any leadership skills.
And last but not least, all those skills are charisma-heavy, which is only useful for very few other things.

I wouldn't recommend any new player to go for any of that, not as a primary goal anyway.
You can always start a second character later on, in a few months, if you end up deciding that is really what you want to do and can't wait to train them on this character.


Quote:
2) My other goal is to be able to strip mine and eventually break into manufacturing. I do a little manufacturing right now (most ammo and a few small ship item). I think I'll put this on the back burner for the time being though.

You need to COMPLETELY AND UTTERLY SEPARATE in your mind mining from manufacturing.
You can do both, but do not delude yourself for a single second that you have to only use stuff you mine (unless you want your manufacture lines to stay mostly idle) nor that stuff you mine yourself is worth any less than stuff you buy from the market.
A miner might as well never manufacture, and a manufacturer might as well never mine.
They're two completely separate things.

Quote:
If missions and combat flying makes more money, then I'm fine with focusing on that for the time being.
[...]
The biggest challenge I see right now is getting enough ISK for what you've recommended. It seems I need to run a lot of missions to build up enough money to do some of the stuff you've recommended, which is something I'll start working on this week.

Early on, combat missions are among the best sources of ISK you can have in highsec, and they remain reliable sources of ISK. However, missions are a "labour" type of ISK income, you need to be actively there and working on it to keep earning ISK. Typically, such activities are described by "ISK/hour" income level.
Other activities (like manufacture or trade) don't necessarily need you online (although being online can occasionally improve on the results), instead they need capital. Trade profits in particular are usually expressed as percentages of investment per month rather than absolute numbers per hour.
From that it follows that early on, missioning is more beneficial (to accumulate some seed capital), after which you could continue to run missions, but it would be better to also dabble in manufacture, trade or both on the side. Even later still, you might find that any mission income is trivial compared to the profit you make from manufacture or trade and decide to give up on missioning altogether since you now regard it as mostly a waste of time for you personally.

-cont'd-

Akita T
Caldari Navy Volunteer Task Force
Posted - 2010.09.26 23:21:00 - [28]
 

-cont'd-

The trick with missions is knowing what's worth bothering with and what's not.
For instance, you might not want to bother looting nor salvaging frigate wrecks in L2 missions, but only picking up the occasional cruiser loot. You might also want to speed-run the missions as fast as possible just for the end-of-mission rewards (so only do what the mission objective asks, don't bother killing everything).
The goal is to only get just enough ISK to afford a brand new Drake and corresponding fit (DO NOT sell your Caracal, it's a good fallback ship, only consider selling it when you already have enough experience and confidence in using the Drake) as soon as possible and progress to L3 missions.
Depending on your social skill levels, you could already have access to L3 agents but can't afford a Drake yet, or you could already have a Drake but no access to L3 agents.

Quote:
As for missions, should I focus on running missions for the storyline agents to raise my standings quicker and thus break into the higher level missions? Or would I be better off just doing standard agent missions and building up a small pool of LP?
Along the same line - is there a npc corp you recommend for doing missions for? Almost everybody in my corp said Caldari Navi, but I was thinking of trying something more abstract that hasn't been done by everybody else. The only bonus I see to flying for the navy is there are a ton of level 1 storyline agents, like 15 when I checked eve-agents.com.

I think you misunderstand something. Storyline agents can't be accessed regularly, and they are all "L1" agents.
They only offer you an "important mission" every 16 missions of a certain level for their particular faction you personally have initiated and completed (shared missions only matter for the taker, not the rest), and the triggered mission is of the corresponding level. So any particular storyline agent might give you a L1, a L2 or a L4 mission, depending only on what missions you completed recently for "regular" agents.
"Important missions" for storyline agents (and a few other types of agents, but that's a longer story) are the ONLY types of missions that will increase your FACTION standings on top of corporate standings. All regular missions will increase corporate and agent standings. You don't need to run any storyline missions to get access to better agents, but you want to run storyline missions anyway for the faction rewards. Faction standings are the hardest to get up, agent standings are easiest to get up.
You can even gain access to a high-level agent with just the agent standings (if somebody that already has access to that agent will split end-of-mission rewards with you) before you get high enough corp standings, and nowhere near enough faction standings.

As far as picking a NPC corp to work for... it doesn't really matter all that much what corp you pick.
In fact, you'd better just pick a preferred "target" high-level AGENT, and just work for agents in that particular corp until you gain access to your target agent.
Smaller NPC corps will grant you slightly faster standing increases (so you get access to higher level agents a bit faster), but the agent selection is rather limited. There are several NP corps that only have agents in a single region, or even just some of one region's constellations. Other NPC corps not only span multiple regions, but can have agents even in other empire's sovereign space.
In the end, it's a matter of what you prefer more. And you can always switch corp, you don't have to start from scratch especially if you also do the storylines, since agent access is made by whatever standing is HIGHEST, be it corp or faction.

The main two reason people DO prefer Caldari Navy is that it's a relatively large NPC corporation (so plenty of agents to pick from) and the main trade hub of the game is located in a Caldari Navy station (so people with higher standings pay less broker fees).

-cont'd-

Akita T
Caldari Navy Volunteer Task Force
Posted - 2010.09.26 23:32:00 - [29]
 

-cont'd-

Still, faction standings matter about twice as much as far as broker fees go compared to corp standings, so the difference is not quite that radical, all things considered, even if you pick a different Caldari NPC corp instead of Caldari Navy.
In fact, enough people trade just fine WITHOUT ANY standings whatsoever, so at base broker fees, no discounts.

Quote:
Another question - drones. Should I bother with them? When I was mining with our fleet last night I was pretty impressed when I saw somebody destroy a spawn of rats with 5 Hobgoblin I drones and it made me wonder if I should start looking at them. Are drones generally worth it for running missions?


Yes, they are more than worth it in the long run.
On a Caracal, they don't matter that much, but on a Drake they can already make a significant difference (by providing cheap effective anti-frigate-sized-NPC damage potential, and adding to the overall DPS noticeably against larger NPCs), and you would be foolish to even attempt flying a Raven in missions without above-average drone skills (because BS-sized weapon systems are very pathetic against frigate-sized NPCs, especially with low support skills, so you really do need drones to take care of them).

Getting Drone Interfacing and Combat Drone Operation both to L3 should be one of your not-quite-critical but important goals. The only hurdle is "Drones L5" anyway, rest is pretty fast.
After you get into a Drake already, and you have, say, Battlecruisers 4, Heavy Missiles 4 and Rapid launch 4, you should next get Scout Drone Operation 5 and at least a L2 in one of the racial T2 drone specialisation skills.
Most useful overall are the Caldari ones (decent speed, very good shield, decent damage, relatively cheap), and the Gallente ones are the nest best overall (relatively slow, poor shields, good damage, not so cheap), although many prefer them just for the increased raw damage potential. For PvP though, the Minmatar drones are used most. Amarr drones just plainly suck, nobody really likes them, they're not particularly good for anything.

PureMurder
Posted - 2010.09.27 04:25:00 - [30]
 

Edited by: PureMurder on 27/09/2010 04:27:32
Ok, firstly Akita's taken this thread and made it into a very useful newb guide from a certain perspective (tired so not communicating this well, but he's condensing lots of info here that sucks to learn the hard way). I feel like it should be stickied for sure.

I'd quibble that caracals can run L2s omni-tanked with kin missiles even at the lowest levels of cruiser skill, though. But yeah, sticky. Exclamation


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