Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Ishtar

Several months back I decided on a skill plan that would give me access to Gallente Heavy Assault Cruisers along with Heavy Tech II drones. The ultimate end goal here was to be able to fly one of the most powerful and versatile (and expensive) cruisers in the game, the Ishtar. A few weeks ago I completed a majority of that training and purchased my first HAC. Before we get into how it fared up until getting destroyed today, let's look at the different ways I was originally considering fitting this ship:

(1) Active Armor Tanked Ishtar

Able to tank close to 400 DPS normally and well over 500 DPS overheated. 520 DPS with drones and light blasters factored in. The downside? You are slow and rely on getting in close to lock people down for the Ogre's to be able to hit. You'll easily be popped by a blob and you are extremely capacitor dependant:
[Ishtar, Active Tank]
Damage Control II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Armor Explosive Hardener II
Medium Armor Repairer II
Medium Armor Repairer II

Y-T8 Overcharged Hydrocarbon I Microwarpdrive
Initiated Harmonic Warp Scrambler I
X5 Prototype I Engine Enervator
F-90 Positional Sensor Subroutines, Scan Resolution
Medium Electrochemical Capacitor Booster I, Cap Booster 400

Light Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
50W Infectious Power System Malfunction
[empty high slot]

Nanobot Accelerator I
Auxiliary Nano Pump I

Ogre II x5

(2) Buffer Armor Tanked Ishtar

Same DPS as the active tanked fit but not reliant on cap or armor repairers to stay alive. Nearly 10,000 Armor HP and about 60,000 EHP on the entire ship. Throw on some slaves and you'll take a massive beating before anything takes you down. Once again, the big downside is that you have to risk a 150 million ISK ship at point blank range where it is extremely vulnerable (probably even more than that after you factor in the price of Trimarks).
[Ishtar, Armor Buffer]
Damage Control II
1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Armor Explosive Hardener II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II

Y-T8 Overcharged Hydrocarbon I Microwarpdrive
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
X5 Prototype I Engine Enervator
X5 Prototype I Engine Enervator
F-90 Positional Sensor Subroutines, Scan Resolution

Light Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
50W Infectious Power System Malfunction
[empty high slot]

Trimark Armor Pump I
Trimark Armor Pump I

Ogre II x5

(3) Buffer Shield Tanked Nano Ishtar

Now we're talking. A ship that goes well over 2000 m/s before overheating the MWD with a good amount of agility and a big shield buffer that gives about a 32,000 EHP cushion if anything does catch you. 341 DPS just out of Berserker II's and 483 DPS if you're in a position to add in blaster DPS. Berserker's I have found to be a much better choice than Ogre's for this fit as you are more concerned with avoiding web/scram range and you need drones that can catch your targets without any outside EWAR help. This fit is also a little bit less expensive as your lows are filled with cheap modules and the rigs are pretty cheap unless you decide to upgrade to shield extender rigs. Most importantly, this fit is very survivable compared to the two above which is vital when flying around blobby lowsec in a ship that costs as much as 8 fully fit Vexor's would. In case you couldn't tell by my tone and enthusiasm, this is how I decided to fit my first Ishtar:
[Ishtar, Nano]
Damage Control II
Overdrive Injector System II
Overdrive Injector System II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II

Y-T8 Overcharged Hydrocarbon I Microwarpdrive
Warp Disruptor II
Medium Electrochemical Capacitor Booster I, Cap Booster 800
Large Shield Extender II
Large Shield Extender II

Heavy Electron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
Heavy Electron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
Heavy Electron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge M
Drone Link Augmentor I
[empty high slot]

Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I

Berserker II x5

How Did It Do?

Pretty well. If there is one ship out there that is very, very well suited for taking on a poorly coordinated gang of larger ships solo, it is the Ishtar. In one of its early fights, I was able to easily gank two very poorly fit battlecruisers while some of their friends ran and various other onlookers warped in and out of the belt I was in. It wasn't a significant test but it gave me a feel for how my ship handled during actual combat.

In it's final encounter, I was able to kill a Retribution, Thorax, Brutix and almost a Blackbird and Pilgrim before finally getting caught into web/scram/neut range and then pummelled by a Drake and Armageddon. Their gang was less than coordinated and pulled the whole ninja movie thing on me (warping into the engagement area one at a time instead of together) but it was still impressive to see how quickly my drones were able to dispatch my targets while I was safely flying circles around my targets at a speed they could not catch. I was pleased to see that my Berserker's were even easily able to catch a Thorax flying at 1000 m/s which previously my Ogre's could not.

I would have to say that the most significant strength of the Ishtar is its ability to almost completely separate your ship from its DPS. Sure you can do this in other drone boats but most other drones boats either don't have this level of DPS out of drones (400-500 DPS out of heavies which a Vexor/Arbitrator/Ishkur can't even come close to) and this level of manuverability (Dominix and Myrmidon can field all or some heavy drones but the ships do not nano well). In an Ishtar, you can unleash your drones upon a target and then worry almost exclusively about your own survival and evasive manuvering without having to consider the tracking or optimal range of weapons on your ship (except of course if you're the only person with a point in which case you want to stay in disruptor range). The downside is the fact that your drones can be destroyed, the fact that they have travel time and the cost associated with flying a popular T2 cruiser.

What Will I Change With The Next One?

There are certainly some things I could do to further increase the effectiveness of this ship.

(1) Train Sentry Drones

The travel time of drones, especially heavies, is a significant downside to how I am currently flying. Having the option to drop a set of sentries to snipe or do instant damage to a target would be a big plus. Whether or not I want to spend the weeks it will take to use tech II sentries is another question entirely.

(2) Train Heavy Assault Ships to level V

Again, a decently long chunk of training but the increased control range and more importantly increased drone bay size would just add to the versatility that is already offered. Will also be beneficial when I finally train over to fly the HAC's that other races offer (Zealot and Vagabond look delicious).

(3) Stop Being Cheap...

...and put on some shield extender rigs. Would give a slightly bigger boost to my tank at the expense of ISK. Maybe.

7 comments:

wensley said...

Ishtars really do seem to be awesome. I can't believe you're too cheap to fit CDFE rigs when you forked out for trimarks. Or was that a hypothetical armour fit?

Spectre said...

The armor tank fits are purely notional EFT warrioring I did when trying to figure out how I wanted to fit my Ishtar. The rig costs are different for armor tanking though... resist rigs cost just as much as the trimarks so you may as well trimark whereas shield resist rigs are very cheap and shield extender rigs are expensive. You might pay 20-30mil more to upgrade your shield rigs for a small HP boost. I'm not saying it isn't worth maxing out a ship that costs this much but there is still a bit of an argument as to using the cheaper shield rigs when the cost-to-effectiveness ratio is that skewed.

Lanissum said...

Man.. I'm only like 6 days away from Ogre II's XD

Though, I'll probably throw in another 4 days for berserkers b/c they can go 1.2 km/sec

But still, the ishtar is an awesome ship

Josh (GH) said...

Then an evil neut domi with 25k range warps in, locks you before you get out of range, destroys your cap in the first 3 seconds it has you locked, and your 150+m ship is nothing more than a paperweight :P

Stupid neut domi's.... I should start flying them.

Omgah said...

I'm really starting to like drone boats, just to many ships I want to fly.

Tony "EVE's Weekend Warrior" said...

Hey you will get your wish Spec.

With the new "small or medium" sized rigs, you can still get some benefits out of them while saving on your ISK.

You are a brave man to take on so many people at a time.

I respect your level of confidence and bravado!

Anonymous said...

the ishtar is an awesome ship, although solo is dead this ship brings it back to life. Might you be interested you should try out my fit, which is quit similar to yours:

lows:
overdrive injector system II
inertia stabilizers II
damage control II
nanofiber internal structure II
nanofiber internal structure II

mids:
large shield extender II
large shield extender II
warp disruptor II
10mn mwd II
medium capacitor booster II (800s or 400s)

highs:
light neutron blaster II
light neutron blaster II
light neutron blaster II
medium energy neutralizer II
small energy neutralizer II

anti-em screen reinforcer I
anti-em screen reinforcer I

100% cap stable with 800s, last 15 min with 400s which should be enough time for a kill, if not gtfo.

guns are for killing drones ofc cuz the ishtar is a drone boat should never have blasters to fight cuz when in web range you die, die hard and ugly.