Got a little money in my wallet now. No, I won’t be owning the solar system in six months, but I am about ready to upgrade my ship again. Why, you ask? Well, it seems like the thing to do in most games: Work my way up to bigger and better. More skills. More guns. More stuff.
Yep, that sounds like me, alright.
This time, I’ll make the move from a little frigate to a not-quite-so-small destroyer called a Thrasher. I can put seven guns and a rocket launcher on it, and those nasty little pirates wouldn’t have a chance. Is that really all there is to it?
Let’s think about it.
Choosing and outfitting a ship in EVE Online is a very interesting process and, if you relax into it, an enjoyable problem in analysis and compromise. The many options allow the ship to be setup for many things: mining, PVP, PVE, salvaging, blockade running, and so on, all of which have competing requirements. For my skill level, playing style and budget, the destroyer seemed to be the ship of choice.
On forums, people describe their setup, and it’s usually quite specialized. That implies a couple of things: either they have the money for many ships or fit (and re-fit) the ship according to what they’re doing, or they do the same thing all the time. Neither of those scenarios quite fits my playing style. I mine and hunt NPC pirates. As an EVE Online part-timer, spending time warping back and forth to change ships or to re-fit the ship for the next activity is not appealing. My setup needs to be a compromise.
Knowing the setup isn’t ideal for anything; it still serves the purpose of helping me mine and play a little PVE without having to worry about getting destroyed nearly as much as in the little frigate. Once again, part-time playing figures into my decisions. The information on ships and ship equipment is detailed and vast. The choices of items are many and in all price ranges. All ship equipment interacts via the ship’s basic attributes, using different amounts of this and that. Items may bonus some things and penalize others. A full analysis that doesn’t involve a number of arbitrary decisions would take several hours at least. I need to keep the time short, so the analysis was gross at best.
I had never tried rockets before, so I fitted 1 rocket launcher, six guns and a mining laser. With that setup I can easily take out the pirates while I load up on ore and learn about rockets. This fills the ship’s eight high slots.
Next, a little extra speed is always handy, so an afterburner goes into the mix. Two shield extenders will help keep pirates from damaging my armor and structure, so I don’t run up repair bills on the ship. These fill the three medium slots.
Last, but not least, for the two low slots, a damage control unit and a warp core stabilizer. One repairs my ship’s structure if attackers get through my shields and armor, while the other tries to avoid that situation by keeping my warp drive online if a player is trying to disable it keep me from getting away. I read that in high-security space it’s not an issue, but people tried it twice, so I plan for it.
The bottom line is, I now have a little more cargo hold and a lot more firepower. That expands territory where I can safely go and provides more opportunities. I’ll also be able to move into lower-security space, which should have better mining but tougher NPC pirates. Just as with the last upgrade, I need to be careful since this ship and equipment cost more than five times what the last one did and took much longer to finance. Hopefully, the risk will have its reward.
Time to go find out.
— Will Collum
Read Additional EVE Online Diaries:
Chapter 1, Chapter 2, Chapter 3, Chapter 4, Chapter 5, Chapter 6, Chapter 7, Chapter 8