“I have a sweet, cap stable, fit!”
Cap Stable. The term is one that I hear and see often. And while it is a valuable foundation to start fitting a ship on, when a pilot is configuring his ship for PVP a better goal would be “Cap Available”. What is “Cap Available”? It means having the necessarily capacitor, when you need it. “Cap Stable”, on the other hand, generally indicates that you can operate either indefinately, or for a very long time, with all critical modules running. So why is knowing this difference so important?
First off, a “Cap Stable” configuration is good if you know you will be in a combat situation (either PVE or PVP) where you have command over how much energy your ship will be using. For example in mission running, you know that at a certain distance “x”, your defenses will take “y” damage and will require “z” amount of energy to repair, while adding in “v” amount of power for your weapon systems. As you become more familiar with the game, you learn how to control all those variables and then you can optimize your modules so that you are able to handle that given situation. The modules most often used to get cap stability are usually Capacitor Rechargers, Power Diagnostic Units, and Capacitor Control Circuit rigs. To a lesser extent, Capacitor Batteries, Capacitor Flux Coils, and Capactior Power Relays also play a part in maintaining a “Cap Stable” ship. For PVP, Interceptors, Tackling Frigates, Logistic Ships, and Snipers are good ships to setup in “Cap Stable” configurations.
So, how does “Cap Available” fit into this? The typical “Cap Stable” ship has one major flaw in that you will only get “x” amount of cap per cycle.. even if you need more. This presents a problem when confronting ships that have Neutralizers mounted. A skilled neutralizer pilot can make even running away a difficult challenge and with the availability and use of ships like the Amarr Curse and Pilgrim, the Blood Raider ship lineup, and just the general prevalence of neutralizers and vamps on combat ships, one needs to be especially aware of how to control and manage cap in a PVP environment. Understanding this will allow you to develop a ship that can defend against capacitor attacks to some degree.
“Cap Available” ships usually require the use of one module: the Capacitor Booster, and to some extent, the Nosferatu or “Vampire” module (we will discuss this module at a later time). The Capacitor Booster (or Cap Booster) is a midslot module that acts like a turret or launcher module. It requires “ammo” in the form of Cap Booster charges, it has a cycle time between each time it uses a charge, it can only hold so many charges at one time, and needs some to time to reload after all the charges have been spent. But, depending on the charge, it can give you a sizeable boost to your cap instantly. This may mean a critical moment or two of MWD speed, a cycle or two of repping for your active tank, or a few good shots in the heat of battle. As a general rule for PVP it is always good to look for ways to fit a Cap Booster, and it is preferred over modules like a Cap Recharger or Cap Batteries is most instances.
When putting together your fit, both the medium and the large cap boosters can use the Cap Booster 800 charges, though the medium can only fit one, whereas the T1 Large Cap Boosters can fit four and the T2 Large Cap Booster can fit five. There are almost no good reasons not to use the Cap booster 800s, because the cycle time doesn’t change with the size of the charge, and since the whole point is to get the most capacitor you can in an instant, using less than 800s only gimps you.
In the end, it is VITAL to realize that PVP combat and PVE combat are not the same, and that trying to approach it with the same viewpoint will certainly result in you losing your ship. Yes, “Cap Stable” looks good on paper, and in some PVP applications it is the ideal, but being able to control and command capacitor when you need it is far more challenging, but far better in a combat situation.
Well, I am still working on getting some field time for my Ashimmu fits, which I hope will happen this weekend and I am still figuring out many of the aspects of joining RAGE and that is coming along quite nicely. So, until next time, keep your guns loaded and your enemies running!
Oh, and congradulations to all the participants in Alliance Tournament 8! And um, thanks to Goonswarm (or whatever they call themselves now) for not showing up so that RAGE could field a team!