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With the recent release of the Ancillary Shield Booster in the Inferno expansion, there has been very little said on the blogosphere about how these can be used.  So, I endeavored to try my hand at it to see if perhaps, there is a PVP use for it.  As I tried, you all saw my disappointment with the module in this post: https://2ndanomalyfromtheleft.wordpress.com/2012/06/03/ancillary-shield-boosters-still-need-a-lot-of-work/

Now, close to the last comment, you’ll notice that one of the replies (from “K”) indicated something that I didn’t think would be likely.  But he said:

“But the shield boost amount is the same with the 800 or 400… well i see no difference in the stats with both charges it stay at 980 shield rep per 4 sec in my orca.”

I didn’t think it was possible.  Nothing else in Eve Online works that way, so the thought never crossed my mind that the two would be EXACTLY the same.  So, I tested it on a rebuilt Cyclone fit.  Here is that new fit:

High Slots:

5x 425mm AutoCannon II w/Barrage/Hail/Republic Fleet EMP
3x Prototype ‘Arbalest’ Rapid Light Missile Launcher w/Caldari Navy Mjolnir Light Missile

Midslots:

1x X-Large Ancillary Shield Booster w/ Navy Cap Booster 400
1x Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
1x 10MN MicroWarpdrive II
1x EM Ward Amplifier II
1x Thermic Dissipation Amplifier II

Lowslots:

1x Gyrostabilizer II
1x Overdrive Injector System II
1x Co-Processor II
1x Damage Control II

Rigslot:

1x Medium Projectile Burst Aerator I
2x Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I

And sure enough, even as I reworked this ship, CCP kept on making changes to the ASBs.. including not requiring the charges to be Navy Charges.  However, considering tht Navy charges are 30% smaller than standard, it is a good idea to use them instead.  But “K” turned out to be absolutely correct.  400 or 800 charge does not make a difference in the Shield Boost HP.  The base DPS of this ship is about 480 all things considered, so about the same as a typically fit Vagabond.  Resists were strong in the EM/Thermal/Explosive categories with a slight reduction in the Kinetic.

I pulled this ship out of dry dock and decided to see about combat effectiveness as was able to get my CEO to match against me in his Hurricane.  (Now, I will re-iterate this, this particular Cyclone is a small gang support ship and does not have any tackle.  If you wish to have tackle, you can drop both the shield amplifiers and trade them out for another Adaptive Invulnerability Field II and a 20km or 9k point.  However, the resists are also thus weakened, and you are more suspectible to neutralizers.)  The Hurricane Corelin brought out was a DPS Shield Hurriane with dual Neutralizers.

Surprisingly, this Cyclone faired much better and I was keeping against him toe to toe at close range.  His neuts were hammering my cap, but the ASB doesn’t draw on Cap at all and my resists held pretty well.  His ACs and Drones kept hammering away, while the neuts whittled away at my capacitor.  It didn’t take long before my cap was extingished and my one active shield module was out for the count.  However, despite his heavy DPS, my ASB was still functioning and my own 425mms were mercilessly pounding away supported by light missiles (I didn’t use my drones).  Eventually I hit armor, and the battle started to go into my favor dramatically and I was actually able to drive Corelin from the field.  I used up all 13 Navy Cap charges to do it, but it did work.

With a proven ship configuration, it was time to tweak it some more to get more functionality out of the fight.  This is what was the result:

High Slots:

5x 425mm AutoCannon II w/Barrage/Hail/Republic Fleet EMP
3x Prototype ‘Arbalest’ Rapid Light Missile Launcher w/Caldari Navy Mjolnir Light Missile

Midslots:

1x X-Large Ancillary Shield Booster w/ Navy Cap Booster 400
1x Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
1x Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
1x 10MN MicroWarpdrive II
1x Warp Disruptor II

Lowslots:

1x Gyrostabilizer II
1x Overdrive Injector System II
1x Co-Processor II
1x Damage Control II

Rigslot:

1x Medium Projectile Burst Aerator I
1x Medium Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
1x Medium Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I

The results of this change allowed for a 24km Point, better thermal resists but at a cost of slightly lower EM resistance and more suspecibility to neutralizers.  The DPS and the shield boosting HP remained the same, however.  The interesting thing about the ASB is that it can be considered the first functional scavange module in Eve Online.  Most every NPC drops cap charges of one type of another, and Battleship NPCs drop the 400s and 800s.. so in a pinch, if you run out of cap charges.. just a little scavaging from NPC rats will bring you back into the fight.. at least at some functionality.

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