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Guide – Using rigs in Eve Online
This page, Rigs Guide was originally published in EON Magazine, and is copyright to MMM Publishing. It was written by Nyphur.”
With REVELATIONS come a SLEW of new features, among them rigs – a new type of module which can be fitted to ships in a whole new slot. But which rigs are best to use on which ships? In part one of this mini-guide, we will explore their effective uses.
A broken data chip here, a fried circuit there, the useless remnants of a destroyed ship everywhere else. With the introduction of Kali, we are now able to salvage broken components from the wrecks of destroyed ships and construct rigs, a hodge-podge of circuits that we can strap onto our ships to provide that little extra boost we all find useful. In part one of this guide, we’ll leave aside the construction of these handy devices and concentrate instead on how best to utilise them.
We’ll start off with a little basic info on rigs. With the Kali patch, every ship in EVE has now been equipped with some new module slots called Rig Slots and a new fitting stat called Calibration. While normal modules fit in high, mid and low power slots and use up powergrid and CPU, rigs similarly fit into the new rig slots but consume only calibration points.
So what’s the catch? Likened more to implants than modules, rigs cannot be unplugged without destroying them. Also, a lot of rigs have drawbacks to balance out their benefits, making them useful on only very specialised ships. Drawbacks can be reduced by training the appropriate skill, Armour Rigging, for example, reduces the drawback for armour rigs by 10% per level. Tech I ships, including capital ships, all get three rig slots, while Tech II ships are left with only two, which serves to close the gap between them slightly.
There are 11 separate categories of rigs, crossing the entire range of possibilities from ship speed, cargo space, energy, armour and shield rigs to electronics and EW, and finally missile, drone and turret rigs. Some are obviously more useful than others, depending on the ship you’re using, the setup you have fitted and what you intend to do with it. Additionally, there are Tech II rigs which give increased benefits, BPCs of which can be obtained via invention and exploration.
COMMONLY USED RIGS
In EVE, capacitor is life. It’s not surprising that the most commonly used rigs are energy grid ones. The single most used rig is the Capacitor Control Circuit, the Tech I variant of which provides a solid 15% boost to your ship’s capacitor recharge rate for a measly 100 calibration and no drawbacks. That makes them as effective as a Tech I capacitor recharger, so it’s not uncommon for people to slap three of these tasty treats onto their ships.
Fitting some Capacitor Control Circuits will often free up valuable mid slots normally used for capacitor generation. Mid slots being arguably the most useful slot, used for shield modules, electronic warfare, sensor boosters, microwarpdrives and afterburners, it’s not surprising that people would endeavour to free them up using rigs.
Another popular rig is the Ancillary Current Router, a rig whose Tech I variant boosts your ship’s powergrid output by a pleasing 10% for the same 100 calibration as the capacitor rig, again with no drawbacks. This is equivalent to a Tech I reactor control unit and could free up low slots you might need for armour tanking or modules to help you deal more damage.
Additionally, capacitor rigs are extremely useful in shield tanks. It’s now possible to use an X-Large shield booster and have it run permanently, making the Raven an even better mission-running tank than before. Other useful options include the shield rigs for recharge rate and hitpoint amount. Those rigs, combined with the new Tech II shield power relays, have turned passive shield tanks from second-class tugboats into something incredibly scary. This year may very well be a good one for the Caldari pilots out there.
LESS USEFUL RIGS
Some rigs, unfortunately, fall under the category of fairly useless, possibly a waste of a rig slot and your ISK. One example is the Warp Core Optimizer, which decreases the amount of capacitor required to warp a given distance. While this sounds like something that might help new pilots with low skills, it requires just as many components to build as many other rigs, rendering it as expensive as more useful rigs like the Capacitor Control Circuit.
The Emissions Scope Sharpener and Memetic Algorithm Bank rigs increase the chance to be able to open archaeology and hacking containers respectively with their given module, Analyzer for archaeology and Codebreaker for hacking. Given that the only places to find these cans are in COSMOS complexes or explored profession sites (see p58), both of which require a decent combat ship, most players will simply fit either an Analyser or Codebreaker to their combat ship. Since access difficulty simply determines the chance of the can opening on each of an unlimited number of attempts, these two rigs are completely replaceable by a little patience – something that doesn’t cost 200 calibration and a rig slot. Also, contrary to the more popular superstitions out there, using these rigs will not improve the loot found in the cans.
Alright, I know what most of you are thinking. “Rig slots? Great! How can I use them to blow stuff up better?” It just so happens that each type of weapon has its very own set of rigs for just that purpose. Each type of turret – lasers, hybrids or projectiles – has a set of rigs which trade an increase in the powergrid use of the guns for increases in stats such as optimal range, tracking speed, rate of fire, accuracy falloff and, of course, damage. There is also a useful rig that lowers CPU usage and another that lowers capacitor use. Missiles get their own set of rigs, which trade an increase in launcher CPU use for various benefits such as increased flight time, rate of fire and damage.
For a PvP setup using capacitor boosters, all of these rigs could be quite useful. However, if you’re currently using rechargers or power relays in order to obtain the capacitor to run your setup, you might be better off using Capacitor Control Circuit rigs to free up those mid and low slots. These can then be used for tracking computers, damage modules, tracking modules, target painters or even other electronic warfare modules. Weapon rigs tend to have very high calibration so choose wisely.
Drones get their own set of rigs, which trade your ship’s CPU for attributes such as drone control range, durability, speed and mining yield. The only drone damage rig available is the Sentry Drone Augmentor, which applies only to sentry drones and offers 10% increased damage for a cost of 200 calibration. This high calibration cost is typical of very powerful rigs, removing the ability to fit too many.
Another useful rig for sentry drones is the Drone Scope Chip, which adds 15% to the drone’s optimal range. The remaining drone rigs give bonuses to stasis webbing drones, EW drone range and logistics drone repair amount, all useful on specialised ships and setups.
RIGS AND TANKING
With the advent of Kali, a lot of new options are opened up regarding tanking and it’s all thanks to rigs. The most obvious here is, once again, the Capacitor Recharge rig as unless you’re passive tanking, your capacitor is what will keep your tank going. Starting with armour, we have the Anti-EM, Anti-Explosive, Anti-Kinetic and Anti-Thermic Pumps. All of these specialised rigs increase a ship’s armour resistance in the same way that an armour hardener does but lower your speed a little in exchange, and all at the cost of 50 calibration points. The Tech I variant gives a decent 30% resistance bonus and the Tech II a hefty 35%, but all is not as it seems. Unfortunately, they share the armour hardener module’s stacking penalty, making them not very effective compared to others.
In an average setup, a player will have at least one hardener affecting each resistance (usually by way of using an adaptive nano membrane), and usually two affecting important resistances such as armour explosive resistance. One extra module relegates either that module or the rig (whichever is lowest) to the second highest module, giving it a stacking penalty of approximately 87%. Assuming it’s the rig, it drops from 30% to a slightly less effective 26.1%, not a huge difference but one that will have a noticeable effect. When a third hardener is introduced, it’s goes down to 57% effectiveness, for a measly 17.1% resistance. At this point, it’s clearly not worth fitting over other, more useful, rigs.
ARE RESISTANCE RIGS WORTH IT?
For both armour and shield rigging, when considering if the 30% resistance rigs are in themselves effective, even if applied as the sole resistance modifying item on that particular resistance, we must check whether other rigs would do a better job. Since you’ll almost certainly have one or more hardeners in effect already if you are tanking only two damage types (for example, kinetic and thermal when tanking serpentis), this makes adding a rig to cover those resistances impractical in most cases.
So let’s consider tanking against all four resistances, such as for a PvP fitting. In this case, 30% to one resistance (without a stacking penalty) will always increase DPS tanked to that resistance by 42.9%. If you are hit with equal amounts of all four damage types, this is a 10.7% increase in DPS tanked overall. By way of comparison, the 15% repair amount rig increases the amount of DPS tanked by 15% overall, putting the final nail in the resistance rig’s coffin.
This also applies to the shield resistance upgrade rigs, though the argument is slightly different. Since there is no shield boost amount rig, instead we use a capacitor recharge rig. Providing that we aren’t already able to run the booster constantly, it will increase the number of boosts we can make per minute, increasing damage per second tanked by over 10.7%.
ARMOUR AND SHIELD
There are some differences in the remaining shield and armour rigs. Both shield and armour have repairer/booster cycle time rigs, which increase their cycle time by 15%, but only armour has the repair amount rig. Shield obviously has a shield recharge rate rig while armour, of course, doesn’t have a recharge rate to begin with. Both have rigs to increase hitpoints, a 15% bonus for 50 calibration.
While this may appeal to people on some setups, hitpoints are usually less useful than increases to tanking the incoming damage. Hitpoint rigs will simply make you last 15% longer, while rigs that increase the damage per second you are tanking are likely to help you repair more than 15% more armour or shield over the course of a fight. In essence, repairing damage is like adding extra hitpoints during the fight and you’re likely to add more than 15% of your total over the course of a fight, especially on unplated ships and Battleships.
For shields, of course, more hitpoints means more regeneration in hitpoints per second, so the hitpoint rig is still useful. Shield has a rig to reduce the powergrid of shield modules by 10% and another to reduce the capacitor use of shield boosters and remote shield transfers by 10%, while armour only has one that affects capacitor use of remote repair systems. On the plus side for armour users, the remote repair rig Remote Repair Augmentor I decreases the capacitor use of remote armour repairers by 20%, which stacks with the bonus on a logistics ship for some amazingly efficient repairing.
In addition to the above, we have electronic warfare rigs in the form of the Electronic Superiority group. These modify stats such as capacitor use and strength of ECM modules, sensor dampener strength, tracking disruptor effectiveness and target painter effectiveness.
With the recent nerf to ECM, the new ECM rigs will keep an EW player ahead of his game. In addition, there are electronic superiority rigs to increase lock distance by 20%, increase scan resolution by 20% (which has the effect of decreasing lock times), and to reduce the sensor recalibration delay after decloaking, the time in which you cannot target your enemy. Since capacitor, powergrid or weapons rigs are likely to be more useful on most setups, electronic warfare rigs are likely to be of very specialized, but effective use.
For those of you who can’t get enough speed, there is a whole section of rigs just for you. The astronautics rigs do everything from simply giving your ship a 10% higher max velocity or 20% max warp speed, to increasing ship agility by 15%. There are rigs in this section to make your afterburners and microwarpdrives burn longer, use less capacitor and give you a larger speed boost. My personal favourite, however, is the Polycarbon Engine Housing. This rig decreases the mass of your ship by 15%, which has the effect of increasing agility markedly (although the exact percentage is unknown), and increasing the speed you get from microwarpdrives and afterburners. It’s effectively two rigs in one, though it may yet be nerfed due to the current over prevalence of Battleships using inertial stabilisers and this rig to reduce their mass so much that they are as fast and agile as Interceptors.
While it’s not speed related, this section even houses the Cargohold Optimization rig, which increases your ship’s cargo hold volume by 15%, a whopping bonus to any hauler. An interesting side-effect is that installing a full set of Tech II or local hull cargo expanders and a single cargohold optimization rig on a Dreadnought, pushes its capacity to well over 50,000, allowing it to hold a repackaged Battleship in its hold.
While there is only one rig which actually affects scan probes, it’s useful and peculiar enough to warrant its own mention. The Tech I Gravity Capacitor Upgrade rig decreases scan time by 10% at the cost of 200 calibration and one rig slot, while the Tech II variant is 300 calibration for a 15% bonus. This is important because the covert ops Frigate, which is the game’s designated scanner ship, is prevented from actually using two of the Tech II version of this rig. Being a Tech II ship, it has only two rig slots and, if fitted with a Tech II scan probe rig, would be unable to fit either another Tech II or Tech I version. It can, however, fit two Tech I scan probe rigs for a total bonus of 21%. Note that it’s not 20%. This is because the rigs are not added together into one bonus but rather applied separately as modules do, so their bonuses are multiplied rather than added together. At this time there exists no real use for the Tech II scan probe rig, unless you are using it on a ship which requires another rig too, such as a covert ops Frigate with the 50 calibration recloaking timer rig. If you are maxing out a ship for scan time, stick with the Tech I rigs.
Time and again, I find people miscalculating the effect of capacitor modules on their ship setups and tanks. The reason is that most people assume that a 15% capacitor recharger increases the capacitor per second their ship generates by 15%. In fact, it increases it by a little more, the same going for the recharge rig. Capacitor generation at peak (33% capacitor) is measured roughly as follows:
((Capacitor amount/recharge time)*2.4) capacitor per second
When you increase the recharge rate by 15%, you’re multiplying the recharge time by a factor of 0.85, which is 1.0 minus 0.15 (15% in decimal form).
With the same amount of capacitor and 85% of the normal recharge time, in effect we end up with a capacitor per second generation increase of 17.6%. The 15% capacitor amount rig, however, would be calculated as 15% more capacitor and the normal recharge time, so that rig actually does increase the capacitor per second generated by your ship by 15%. This means that the capacitor recharge rig is about 2.6% better than capacitor amount, but is it always better?
There are ships which would benefit more from capacitor amount than recharge, specifically capital ships. With the common method of killing a capital ship being the neutralisation of their capacitor, more capacitor will literally slow down the enemy much longer than 2.6% faster peak regeneration. Also keep in mind that you will be recharging much less until you reach 33% capacitor for optimal recharge.
In effect, more capacitor gives any setup more resistance to Nosferatu and neutralisers as they reduce the percentage of your capacitor that can be stolen or destroyed per unit time. This may also make it ideal on Battleships in place of cap recharge rigs. Three Tech I capacitor amount rigs will only generate 52% more capacitor per second, compared to 63% with the capacitor recharge rigs. When you have three of them fitted, those 2.6 percentages really start to make a lot of difference.
Most rigs come with a built-in drawback to balance them out. The drawback depends entirely on what class of rig it is. These drawbacks can be mitigated by 10% per level of the appropriate skills (Shield Rigging skill for shield rigs, for example).
Additionally, some types of rig have no drawbacks. The skill to train in order to reduce the drawbacks is the same skill required to use the rig and it shares its name with the rig type itself.
Guide to building rigs in Eve Online
In part 1 of this guide, we took a general look at rigs and how best to use them. This second part deals with their construction.
The basics of rig construction are salvage and manufacture, the stages in which materials are gathered and then used to build the finished product. In the interest of completeness, this guide covers both topics with regard to both Tech I and Tech II rigs, covering the basics of this easy mini-profession. Whether you’re new to EVE and need some instructions, or you’re an older player simply hunting for some tips, I hope you find something in this guide to help you.
Unlike normal modules, which are built from minerals, rigs are built from special components obtained through a new mini-profession called Salvage. Using salvage, working components from the shipwrecks of players and NPCs are retrieved for use in rig production. Accessible even to the newest characters, salvage is a solid moneymaker in today’s markets and integrates well into mission-running, NPCing and even PvP. Click here to learn more about salvaging.
In order to salvage you will need a ship, the Salvaging skill and a Salvager I module. Since this module uses a high slot, a popular ship class to salvage in is a Destroyer. With its many high slots for Salvager I modules, high speed for moving between wrecks, and decent cargo capacity for storing the salvaged components, the Destroyer is a good choice for a dedicated salvaging ship. Good alternatives include Cruisers for additional cargo space or Frigates for their additional speed.
When activated on a targeted wreck, the Salvager I module has a chance every cycle to recover some broken components or scraps of metal. This chance can be improved by adding Salvage Tackle rigs to your ship and is improved by five per cent per level of the Salvaging skill. Since this chance is per cycle of the module, the fastest way to salvage is to use more than one Salvager module on the same wreck.
Another essential module is the Small Tractor Beam I, which can pull any wreck within 20km toward your ship at 500m/s. This is especially handy on larger, slower vessels such as Battleships or Battlecruisers who would otherwise have to fly slowly to each wreck.
SKILLS FOR LIFE
The Salvaging skill is rumoured to increase the number of components found and decrease the frequency with which a wreck will yield nothing and return the message that there was nothing to salvage. However, that is not the case, which should hopefully put an end once and for all to this heated debate. The Salvaging skill only affects the chance of successfully salvaging a wreck per cycle of your Salvager I module. It does not affect the chance of getting no components from a wreck or the quantity of the components that you can retrieve.
WHAT TO SALVAGE
Although all wrecks can be salvaged, not all of them provide the same components. The larger the size of the ship that was destroyed, the larger the number of components it can yield. For this reason, many people prefer to ignore Frigate-sized wrecks and only salvage Battleship and Battlecruiser wrecks in their missions. A common misconception is that player wrecks salvage far more components than NPC wrecks. This isn’t true. For example, a Serpentis Cruiser would salvage for as many components as a player’s Thorax. However, wrecks from players in Tech II ships salvage for advanced components that are used in the construction of Tech II rigs.
SUPPLY OF WRECKS
As with every profession in EVE, your aim is probably to make a sustainable income out of it. To do that, you’re going to need a steady supply of wrecks to salvage. The most popular supply of shipwrecks in high security space is going to be missions, particularly level-four missions which spawn Battleships that you’d ordinarily only see in 0.0 space.
Since missions can be spawned on demand, the only limitation in the number of wrecks you will get from one is how quickly you can destroy the ships. Typically, mission runners will fit a salvager and tractor beam to their combat ship and salvage as they go to save time. Other mission runners, however, prefer to make the best use of their high slots to complete the mission fast, and then salvage all the wrecks afterward in a dedicated salvaging ship such as a Destroyer.
While missions may be the logical choice, there are alternative sources of wrecks for salvage. The four empire COSMOS constellations, for example, each contain complexes with incredibly increased respawn rates on the NPCs. As a result, people go there to farm NPCs for bounties and the complexes are always filled with wrecks for you to salvage without having to use a combat ship. One such complex is the Contested Gallente Comet Complex in Deltole star system, where the second stage is usually full of cruiser wrecks.
Perhaps the best way to maintain a supply of good wrecks, however, is NPCing in asteroid belts in 0.0 space where Battleships spawn, as Battleship wrecks yield the largest number of components.
Now that you know how to harvest the components for your rigs, it’s time to put them to good use. If you’ve read the first part of this guide, you should have a good idea of which rigs you’d like to build. As with any manufacturing job, it’s important to sell your item for more than you could sell the components for, otherwise you will have lost potential profit. Just because you salvaged the parts yourself does not mean the rig you build from them is free. There is a thriving rig component market out there and it may be that you could sell the components faster and for more ISK than the finished product.
The blueprint originals for the Tech I version of each rig are available cheaply on the market and you can usually find pre-researched blueprint copies for sale on the contracts system. Since one rig uses dozens to hundreds of components, it is vitally important to research some mineral efficiency on your blueprints to reduce the number of components consumed. This will help a lot as the profit margin on rigs is sometimes very slim. Unlike Tech I rigs, there are no original blueprints for the Tech II variety. Instead, Tech II blueprint copies are made available through exploration sites and invention. While invented copies tend to have negative Mineral Efficiency, those found in exploration sites are always two-run, with zero mineral and production efficiency. This gives BPCs found through exploration a significant increase in value per run as the build costs will always be lower than invented blueprints.
For a supply of Tech II rig components, players are currently limited to salvaging the wrecks of faction NPC spawns such as Shadow Serpentis or Dark Blood ships, or salvaging the wrecks of Tech II ships that were piloted by other players. While these are hard to come by and rely on PvP, it is entirely plausible to instead hunt down wrecks from other people’s empire wars or loot the field from a large 0.0 battle at a stargate. Due to the high cost of these advanced Tech II rig components, many PvP-oriented players are finding themselves fitting a salvager in a spare high slot instead of an extra gun. Some corps are allegedly even going to war with rich corps with the sole intent of salvaging their opponent’s ships for spares and a Salvager I has become the standard addition to the haulers at pirate gatecamps.
Tech II rigs are the highest possible quality of manufactured rigs and since there are no faction rigs, they’re the best in the game. The blueprints, however, are hard to get hold of. Invention is the quickest way to make a Tech II rig blueprint and while there are a number of key differences, it is achieved in the same way as module or ship invention. One key difference is that rig invention uses the ‘tuner’ type of data interface. For example, if we want to invent a Capacitor Control Circuit II blueprint, we will need an Occult Tuner Data Interface and a blueprint copy of the Tech I version, the Capacitor Control Circuit I.
The option exists to use a Tech I base item in the invention process to improve chances, however it is advised that you don’t do this as the chance of increasing your success doesn’t seem to be improved significantly and the cost of a Tech I rig can be quite high depending on the type of rig. Since there are no named or faction rigs, the increase in the chance of success from using a base item is not considered to be worth the cost. The BPC used should be of the maximum number of runs – which for rigs is 1000 – to ensure that the Tech II BPC that is output is of a higher number of runs.
Decryptors are another optional extra for invention and while module and ship invention can be successful without them, there is a key difference between those that are used for rig inventions. Since Tech II rig components are usually very expensive, the mineral efficiency of the output BPC is a key factor in the sale value or its usefulness when manufacturing them yourself.
It is recommended that the decryptor which increases mineral efficiency be used in every rig invention attempt as a higher mineral efficiency will significantly reduce the cost of construction, in some cases by over 100 to 200 million ISK at market prices compared to using other decryptors. In contrast, extra runs or success chance on your invention attempt is quite insignificant since the bottleneck of the Tech II rig manufacturing process is the supply of components.
Although all wrecks have a chance to yield components, it is definitely worth noting that there is a factional variation to the type of components dropped. Some components only tend to drop from certain factions of ships:
Smashed Trigger Unit
Alloyed Tritanium Bar
Malfunctioning Shield Emitter
Contaminated Nanite Compound
Tangled Power Conduit
Defective Current Pump
Contaminated Nanite Compound
Melted Capacitor Console
Scorched Telemetry Processor
Malfunctioning Shield Emitter
Damaged Artificial Neural Network
Defective Current Pump
Contaminated Nanite Compound
Tangled Power Conduit
Melted Capacitor Console
Contaminated Lorentz Fluid
Damaged Artificial Neural Network
Broken Drone Transceiver
Contaminated Nanite Compound
Broken Drone Transceiver