Tuesday, 22 January 2013

Eve: cashing in on armour changes

I decided just this once to break my normal omerta regarding money-making opportunities and talk in depth about how to make money off CCP Fozzie's announcement regarding armour changes.

The first thing we need to consider is Will this fly? Will this be popular with players, will we see lots of people trying out ships based on these changes.

It's hard to be sure but I think the answer is yes. I read the Eve post at the Something Awful forums and (they tend to forget the forum is public) one of the Goons mentioned their new armour doctrine a few days ago. So the Goons are already on the bandwagon and that means that at least the rest of the CFC will follow, if not the majority of nullsec.

I think it will also be popular with small gang pvpers and soloers. The triple rep Myrmidon already has a fearsome reputation, it will become stellar with the new changes just as Hurricanes and Drakes get further nerfed. A note on nerfs - most people don't like flying nerfed ships even if they are in balance with the power of other ships. People get a feel for how, say, a Cane should fly and the next generation of Hurricanes will perform well below what veteran pilots of the ship feel entitled to. So expect to see people leaving their old stalwarts in the hangars to try out armour tanked ships.

So if we've answered the key initial question with yes then we now need to look at how these ships will be fit and which hulls will get used. It's also useful to look at what support ships will be needed. (NB: I'll only look at subcaps because I don't think these changes will affect capitals much).

Blob warfare - buffer armour tanked ships supported by logistics. These ships will benefit from increased speed and agility from the new Armour Upgrades skill and potentially increased speed and agility from the reduction of base mass on some plates.

The following ships have passive armour tanking bonuses:
Battlecruisers: Prophecy, Absolution, Damnation
Battleships: Abbadon
Cruisers: Maller, Sacrilege, Devoter, Phobos, Legion, Loki, Proteus
Frigates: Impairor, Punisher, Vengeance, Malediction,

Small gang/solo pvp - active armour tanking ships relying on local reps. These ships will benefit from increased speed due to the armour rig changes (self repair rigs will be the typical rig selection), better repairs, especially when overheating from the new module and rig. If a plate is fitted they will also benefit from the changes to plates.

The following ships have active armour tanking bonuses:
Battlecruisers: Brutix, Myrmidon, Astarte, Eos
Battleships:Hyperion, Paladin, Kronos
Cruisers: Legion, Proteus
Frigate: Incursus, Velator

Note: the Incursus ship bonus is being nerfed  but only because it would have been, in Fozzie's word, wtfbbqop. I have no doubt that we'll see a lot of people using Incursus to see how close to being op they are despite the minor nerf.


Increased use of armour ships means we will see a lot of people flying the various armour logistics:
T2: Guardian, Oneiros
T1 Cruiser: Exequror, Augoror
T1 Frigate: Inquisitor, Navitas

We are also likely to see people switch from Huginns and Lachesis to Arazus and Rapiers because the latter have an extra low slot which makes them better armour tankers. Webbing Lokis and point Proteuses are also options here.

The following modules are generally used for buffer tank:

1600mm meta 4 and meta 5 plates
400mm meta 4 and meta 5 plates
(Fozzie's words: The fact that nobody uses anything other than 1600mm and 400mm plates is why they are excluded from the bonus - my opinion: these will remain the most popular plates).
Damage Control IIs
Trimark rigs
to a lesser extent anti-explosive damage armour rigs.

The following modules will be popular for active armour tanking

The new ancillary armour repairers
Cap booster charges, regular and navy, size 50 and 150 only.
Ordinary armour repairers in dual and triple rep set ups. Mostly medium and large meta 4 or meta 5 or higher. I don't think frigate-sized dual rep is viable for grid reasons.
EANM IIs or tech 2 active armour hardeners.
Damage Control IIs
1600mm meta 4 and meta 5 plates
400mm meta 4 and meta 5 plates
Reactive Armour Hardeners
the new Nanobot overcharger rigs, auxiliary nanobot and nanobot accelerator rigs
I don't see people using resist rigs because of the speed penalty which makes them a lot worse than rep rigs in small gang warfare.

Armour rigs are made of the following salvage:
Armour plates
Contaminated Nanite Compound
Fried Interface Circuit

We'll see a rush at Jita and other large hubs for copies of the new rig blueprint so newer players may fancy a white knuckle ride in a fast frigate from wherever they get seeded at to Jita for a fast profit.

The new module BPCs will probably be seeded in explorable radar, magnetometric and combat sites making patch day a great day to go exploring.

The Brutix is undergoing tiericide changes which will see it cost more resources to build. So independent of all the reasons to invest in or build brutixes they will be worth more in the future anyway as the hull will contain more minerals. It wouldn't surprise me in the least to see the ship at 80 million isk cheapest sell order at Jita within a month.

Conclusion: pretty much everything listed here is going to increase in price as will whatever they're made of. (Exception:trade in some of the T2 ships such as Paladins won't change much). I think the battlecruiser tiericide/armour tanking buff minipatch will be enough to move the mineral basket and will significantly push the prices of supply-restricted goods such as Fried Interface Circuits. We'll see smaller increases in the prices of amarr and gallente oriented modules such as blasters and lasers. We will see price increases in armour countering equipment like Nova missiles.

Now that I've written the post I want to throw up a load of buy orders and not publish the post :)

Or then again this could be manipulation...........


  1. Good speculative post.

    It'll be interesting to see if prices on the items mentioned start rising now. Especially the salvage items, if they start going up that'd be a good indicator of speculative stockpiling.

  2. Quite enjoyed this speculation post, so was good reading and a bit of post reading thinking on the speculation itself.

    Well since Retribution last I heard was that missions are now harder and may be taking longer with the Mission AI going nuts on missions. That could of being something already to cause some slight increase in Salvage Item prices. Add a demand for making Armor Rigs and the need of the Salvaged items it could likely move the Salvage Item market even more on some items. Sounds possible.

    I think i got a bit of FIC and CNC hanging around in my hangar, what i usually don't have much stacks of are "Armor Plates". May scout and buy some up for a little insurance if i don't use it myself.

    I'd likely believe as well the new Armor Ancillary BPC be seeded just like its twin the Shield one in exploration sites and Null Sec Rats. I know a in game friend of mine had who's now in Null Sec had gotten a few shield ones from Belt Rats so i guess they likely to drop the Armor one too likely.

    Overall thats allot of stuff to speculate on. Thats the kind of stuff that often make Market Trade and Industry fun and seeing how it all turns out.

    Still haven't sold all my Cruisers from Teircide Speculation as yet, but they aren't really that much left in stock on the market unsold either.

  3. Advice like this is like talking about a diet to me.
    I really need to do something with this knowledge instead of just talking and agreeing that it's a good idea.