I know that there are folks that do it – rat in Supercarriers – but I’d think that most would consider Carrier Ratting the ‘endgame’ of Null-Sec PvE. I do own a Carrier, although my skills are just barely there to fly one, and I’ve done a fair bit of research into Carrier Ratting in preparation of giving it a go at some point (once I grow a pair) so thought I’d share what I’ve found for those of you in the same situation.
It’s a bit of a mystery just how much you can make as I’ve seen people quote numbers ranging from 35mil up to 90/100mil per tick. A lot of pilots are saying they are getting around or near 50mil per tick though so I would assume that’s pretty accurate. In my mind you can put it down to five broad factors that will dictate how much ISK you’re making:
- Your Skill Levels
- Which Carrier you’re flying
- What Fit you’re using
- What Anomalies you’re running
- How often you get interrupted
If you’re a max-skilled pilot flying a blingy Nidhoggur in a quiet fully upgraded system with a low true security rating then you could be one of those 90mil per tick fellas but if you’re a low skilled pilot flying a T1 fit Archon in a busier system with a not great security rating you are most assuredly not making that much.
As far as which Carrier is best to use for Ratting the consensus runs as so:
[Best] Nidhoggur > Thanatos > Chimera > Archon [Worst]
The Nidhoggur seems to be the King of Carrier PvE because it gets both a damage bonus as well as speed bonus to its fighters plus it’s most often run with a shield tank so it’s Low slots can be used to fit DDAs instead of armor tank modules.
Fitting your PvE Carrier is pretty straight forward, you want a Networked Sensor Array and multiple Fighter Support Units in the High slots (you may want to reserve one High slot for a Cyno if you are Ratting in a more active System). In the Mid slots you want some Drone Nav Computers and/or Omni Directional Tracking Links and you’ll fill your Low slots with three to four Drone Damage Amplifiers and maybe a Omnidirectional Tracking Enhancer. The rest of you module slots will be up to your specific Carrier hull and what kind of tank you’re fitting. Your Rig choices are all you, some pilots are all about the Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizers for that Warp Speed, others want more tank and there are some that boast the benefits of the Drone Speed Augmentor.
The next big question is which Anomalies should you be running and there are really only three that I’ve seen mentioned:
- Forsaken Hubs
- Havens (Rock Haven)
- Sanctums (Ring Sanctum)
There is a trick for Havens to determine if the one you’re going to is a Rock Haven or not. You initiate warp to the Haven, then cancel warp (ctrl+space), if it’s a Rock Haven it will give you a popup about a gate. If it doesn’t give you a popup you can ignore the site and move on to the next one. I don’t believe there is any trick for determining Sanctum types but if you’ve got one available using a cloaky Scout would be a good option.
Running sites seems to be pretty straight forward as well with pretty much everyone giving the same sequence:
- Warp to the site at range and while there is some debate about what that range is, some say 50km others say 100km, all agree that you warp in at range
- Immediately start aligning to your out location, ie; Safe Spot, POS, Citadel, Station, you don’t have to worry about drifting out of range Carriers have extremely long lock ranges (4000+km)
- Launch all fighters, cycle the NSA (I’d recommend turning off Auto Repeat and just cycle once for each spawn, will save you some Cap) and target everything
- Start killing the Rats starting with the Frigates working your way up to the Battleships. With the latest changes to Carriers you shoot the Frigates with the guns and use the missiles to shoot Battleships and the NPC Capitals if they spawn
- When you’re a couple of Rats away from clearing the site start aligning to your next one
Some ‘Extra Advice’ for when you take up Carrier Ratting:
- Have a support network, get on comms and be in the Standing Fleet. If you’re not on comms and ratting solo you deserve to lose your ship!
- If you are Cyno fit make sure you have the LO in your cargo hold.
- ALWAYS be aligned to your Safe/Station or that next anom!
- Carriers are a big investment, don’t take chances with Neutrals. If you get a Neut in system warp to your Safe spot and then after you land recall your Fighters. Fighters can be recalled from anywhere in system you don’t have to be on grid with them.
Good luck with your ticks!
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