Monday, April 21, 2014

ISK in Wspace: Small Sites

Most income in wormhole space comes from running sleeper combat anoms.  Above C2, this is usually done as a small gang activity.  But there are other sites, the "small" sites, as I think of them.  These are sites with only modest sleeper defenders, which can easily be done solo.  This is true of all of the gas sites, excepting the two "core" gas sites that are only found in C5/C6.  Similarly it is true of all of the mining anoms (aka "rocks") in C4 and below.  There are two sites found only in C5/C6 that are considerably more difficult:   Rarified Core Deposit and Exceptional Core Deposit.

These small sites are a source of income that I think many people in wspace ignore.  This post is a guide on small sites: ship fittings, how to run them, and what you can expect to earn doing so.

Preparation

To kill small sites, first you must find them and summon their sleepers.  Each site should be scanned down and bookmarked.  In addition, you should instantiate each site as soon as you find it.  To instantiate a site, you must initiate a warp to it.  Note that you do not have to actually warp there; you can cancel the warp immediately (control-space to cancel) and the site will still be created.  "Triggering" a site is a synonym for "instantiating" it.  When a site is triggered, a timer is started.  In about 20 minutes, the site's sleepers will appear.  Obviously, the sleepers must be there for you to kill them!

Beyond triggering all the sites, you should explore with an eye towards operational security.  Note all the towers: if none, great.  If one, so-so.  Check wormhol.es to see when they are active; hope it is sometime else.  If many tower and wide activity, probably not a good system to run sites in.  Similarly note any ships or probes you see: seeing any ships/probes at all is a bad sign.  Bookmark all wormholes, and find out where they go.  If the system next door is active, don't run sites.  In your home system, you might zip up (pop all wormholes).

Sleeper Killing

Once you have a system and you've triggered all the sites, and you think it is safe to run sites in, the next step is killing all the sleepers.  For this you will want a ship with the following attributes: high DPS at close to medium range (6 km for frigates, out to 17 km for most of the cruisers, with 30 km max for a few of the cruisers).  Decent defense: an omnitank of at least 300 DPS.  Ideally, as small of a ship as possible to reduce time wasted in warp.  Ideally, a cheap ship since you might well get jumped.

The sleeper-killer ship I use in small sites is a Tengu, kitted out with assault missiles.  Here's the fitting:
[Tengu, Small Sites]
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
EM Ward Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Medium Shield Booster II
Cap Recharger II
Phased Weapon Navigation Array Generation Extron
Shield Boost Amplifier I
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Heavy Assault Missile
Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II, Scourge Heavy Assault Missile
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I
Tengu Defensive - Amplification Node
Tengu Electronics - Emergent Locus Analyzer
Tengu Propulsion - Gravitational Capacitor
Tengu Engineering - Augmented Capacitor Reservoir
Tengu Offensive - Accelerated Ejection Bay
EFT using my skills shows its offense as 555 DPS, with defense 386 against omni damage.  There are two things to note.  First, use a tech-II shield boost amp if you have the skill for that.  (I don't.)  This increases the tank to 402 DPS.  Second, recall that the max damage for small sites is about 300 DPS, and I like a bit extra.  If your skills are low you might find not enough defense; in that case, replace a ballistic control with a damage control.  Alternatively, buy a faction shield booster.  A Pithum C-Type Shield Booster costs about 90m ISK and will multiply your defense by about 1.6x.  Or even more alternatively, just warp out and return.  None of the sleepers in any small site has warp scrambling.

I use basic T1 assault missiles to save money.  Assault missiles perform well against sleeper frigates and cruisers, and have just enough range to get to most of the cruisers even when they have moved out to their preferred orbit.  Note that there are some of the cruisers (in the Bountiful) that want to orbit just beyond the range for normal assault missiles, at least with less than all-level-V missile skills.  For these, bring along some Scourge Javelins, or just run the site fast.  I sometimes could not quite run the site fast enough when I had a similar Tengu but lacking one of the launchers.  With the sixth launcher, I can.

Running small sites is straightforward.  Warp in, park, lock up sleepers and start killing them.  Put out a mobile tractor.  When the tractor has looted the second-to-last wreck, scoop up the tractor and grab the blue loot it has collected.  Concurrently, kill the last sleeper.  Warp to the next site.

There is a slight variation that is helpful in some of the rocks sites.  Some of these sites have sleepers which start 100km or so from the warp-in point.  You can wait for them to come to you, but you can speed things up by warping closer to them.  Look for asteroids in their general direction that are at least 150km from you, then warp to one such rock at 70 or so.  This will cut the range to about 50km; from there you still have to close.  And also in this case, you'll want to bookmark your tractor's location so that you don't waste time later on in the salvager.

Salvaging

Once you've run all the small sites you want, switch into a light salvager, return, and salvage.  For this you want a salvaging ship with one tractor beam (neither more nor less), many salvagers, and plenty of capacitor.  Ideally you'd have a lot of targets (8 or so).  There is a decent chance of being ganked while salvaging if you mess up on opsec, so you want the salvager to be as cheap as possible.  Here's the fitting I recommend; note that similar performance is possible using many destroyers.
[Coercer, Cheap Salvager]
Mark I Generator Refitting: Capacitor Power Relay
Mark I Generator Refitting: Capacitor Power RelayLocal Hull Conversion Nanofiber Structure I
Eutectic Capacitor Charge ArrayLimited 1MN Microwarpdrive I
Salvager I
Salvager I

Salvager I

Salvager I
Salvager I
Salvager I
Small Tractor Beam I
Auto Targeting System I

Small Salvage Tackle I
Small Salvage Tackle I

Small Salvage Tackle I
Note that this is a more general-purpose salvager than just this particular mission.  In small sites, there is never a reason for a microwarpdrive.  The Auto Targeting system should never be turned on; it is there only to increase the number of targets.

Testing 

So, how does that Tengu perform given a plethora of gas sites?  I did an empirical test the other day.  The particular system available through our static had seven gas sites.  It had one each of the Barren Perimeter ReservoirMinor Perimeter Reservoir, and Token Perimeter Reservoir.  The "perimeter" sites are the lower difficulty ones; they appear in all wspace system.  The system had four of the medium-difficulty gas sites: one Bountiful Frontier Reservoir and three Vast Frontier Reservoirs.  The "frontier" sites appear only in C3 or higher wspace.   In addition, there was one mining anom which I ran.  This site has two cruisers at the warp-in.

The system had only my home system and its own static (to C3) open.  Both it and the C3 were quiescent.  I put an alt in a Falcon at the C3 wormhole as early warning and, if things went bad, a chance to jam out an attack.  Then I took my Tengu in and ran all the aforementioned sites.

Blue loot on the Tengu
I timed the run via the handy alerts that show in the Local chat, notifying you of wormhole transitions.  This particular time I was in C4b in my Tengu was from 18:45:46 until 19:08:23.  While salvaging, I was in from 19:10:09 until 19:20:08.  The time in between is what it takes to cross a system, change ships, and cross back.  Each warp takes about 45s.

The Tengu collected most of the blue loot in each site, though not all of it.  As you can see in the screenshot, the total I collected from the sites I ran is 60.8m ISK.  This is pretty good for spending 23 minutes.

Salvage on the Coercer
What about salvage?  The salvager collected the rest of the blue loot, as well as salvaging all the wrecks.  Because the wrecks are already gathered together, except for the last one in each site, this is pretty efficient.  The salvage proper was worth about 32m ISK, with the remainder of the value being the small amount of blue loot.  Note that the amount you get in salvage will tend to vary a lot, because the only sleeper salvage worth anything substantial is Melted Nanoribbons, and the amount you get is a random small integer, and so it varies considerably.

Altogether in this particular run, I took 35 minutes to clean out the system's small sites, and got 91.4m ISK worth of blue loot and salvage.  This is a bit on the high side: I think I got some luck with the nanoribbons.  Nonetheless, we can compute the ISK per hour rate: 156.6!  Typically I see rates of 100m/hour or more.  So you can see that running the small sites can be quite lucrative.

That's it.  Now, get out there you C3 and C4 inhabitants, and start running those small sites!

6 comments:

  1. Hey,

    Sorry in advance... know little about w-space. Correct me if im getting something wrong here:
    So basically, you scanned down all the sites in your neighboring c4 and ran the gas sites. All 7 of them. You did not run c4 anomalies as those require a small gang.

    How does the loot/sleeper difficulty of the gas sites compare to c1/c2 sleeper anomaly site?

    Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Your first para is exactly right.

      I am not an expert on C1/C2 sites (which are different, BTW). I lived in C1 for a while and we did run the sites, but that was some time ago. However, I can judge pretty well from what I can find on eve-survival. It seems to me that the individual waves in C1 anoms are fairly comparable to the easiest small sites. (Each anom has three waves.) The waves in C1 are easier than the intermediate gas sites. C2 anoms are harder than any small site, in that they have sleeper battleships which can do significant damage, and also tend to want long range.

      The sleepers in anoms do not start at zero to you, whereas all of them in the small sites do (excepting some of the rocks). This is a big advantage to you, meaning that you do not waste time waiting for the sleepers to get in range. And also, you can use short-range weapons even against sleepers that want to hold longer range, so long as you kill them fast.

      I am fairly sure you could run C1/C2 anoms using the Tengu fit in this post, if you replaced the assault missiles with heavy launchers. I don't think there is any warp scrambling.

      Delete
  2. The best thing about this post, is that the more people that read it and start running the sites, the more sites while respawn \o/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Heh, this is true, but not as big of a factor as you think. Killing the sleepers in gas sites does not cause them to despawn -- only sucking the gas does. Instantiating them does start a four-day countdown to despawn, whereas if they are never instantiated they last significantly longer. (A week is what I recall.) So, you are right that people running small sites will increase their velocity a bit. Just not that much.

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    2. I think they must be able to last longer than a week if not activated. We've seen systems with far too many anomalies to have accumulated in just a week. There could be something complex such that an anomaly's 7 day timer only activates when given an ID (when somebody enters the system). I don't think anybody knows exactly how it works. We've tried to find that info before.

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  3. When we are on as a group, we run C4 anomalies. This post was geared toward what you can do by yourself. The hardest of the C4 and lower gas sites is probably equivalent to hard C1 or easy C2 anomaly (not very difficult).

    One thing to note is that the numbers are slightly inflated (8m or so) for the other stuff in his hold, namely the tractor. It doesn't really change his point, but it is worth mentioning.

    Also, you can use a drake to run these sites with also, here is a nice low skill fit that is sufficiently tanked:
    [Drake, WormPVEArbies]
    Ballistic Control System II
    Ballistic Control System II
    Ballistic Control System II
    Beta Reactor Control: Shield Power Relay I

    Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
    Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
    Large Shield Extender II
    Large Shield Extender II
    Large Shield Extender II
    Phased Weapon Navigation Array Generation Extron

    'Arbalest' Heavy Missile Launcher, Scourge Heavy Missile
    'Arbalest' Heavy Missile Launcher, Scourge Heavy Missile
    'Arbalest' Heavy Missile Launcher, Scourge Heavy Missile
    'Arbalest' Heavy Missile Launcher, Scourge Heavy Missile
    'Arbalest' Heavy Missile Launcher, Scourge Heavy Missile
    'Arbalest' Heavy Missile Launcher, Scourge Heavy Missile
    Core Probe Launcher I, Core Scanner Probe I

    Medium Core Defense Field Purger I
    Medium Core Defense Field Purger I
    Medium Core Defense Field Purger I

    Hobgoblin I x5

    ReplyDelete