Round four, here we go. Today’s instalment is a guide on how to make ISK from the abyss whether you’re in frigates or cruisers. The focus will be almost entirely on tier four and fives since that’s where the real money is. If that isn’t what you’re here for then go ahead and click on the appropriate title in the table below for the article on that method.
|Method||Characters Needed||Initial Investment||ISK/hour***|
|Gas Huffing||1+||10m ISK||~75m ISK|
|Mining||1+||10m ISK+||Depends on setup/rocks|
|Planetary Interaction||1+||10m ISK+||~1b / month / account|
|Data/Relic Sites (C1-3)||1||10m ISK||Variable, <150m ISK|
|C2 Sites (T3D/Cruiser/BC)||1+||50-60m ISK||~75m ISK|
|C5 Wolf Rayet Fleet||3+||350m ISK||~450m ISK|
|C13 Wolf Rayet Sites||1+||150m ISK||~150m ISK|
|C3 Sites (Gila/Rattle)||1+||500m ISK||~250m ISK|
|»Abyssal Frigates*||3||~300m ISK||~4-600m ISK|
|»Abyssal Cruisers*||1||1-300m ISK+||~1-300m ISK|
|C5 Sites (Nestor/Vargur)**||2/3+||1.6b ISK||~450m ISK|
|C5 Sites + Drifter (Astra Method)||2/3+||3b ISK||~1b ISK|
|C5/6 Dread Sites||2/3+||8-16b ISK||~2-3b ISK|
*Abyssal sites included as they’re easily done inside your wormhole
**C4 sites can be ran using these methods for less ISK
***These are rough numbers. You can often earn more with better skills, more investment, luck etc.
If the words ‘static’ and ‘probe launcher’ seem foreign then you best start with EVE Uni first. As before, this is also not a replacement for Rykkis Guide (or Karr’s updated version). Instead, it is more of a complementary piece that explains how to actually use the numbers found in that sheet. If you’re in a rush then skim through for the key bold text and reference tables.
I also know I’m going to have at least a few people saying “hol’ up Ashy, these aren’t wormhole sites…” Yes, it’s true that they aren’t exclusive to wormhole space, but when you’ve closed off the chain or don’t want to leave home they’re perfect. One site will only take about 18/19 minutes at most which is a nice chunk of time. Any longer and I can already tell you that things aren’t going well for you, buddy.
If it seems to you like this is a bit more of a generic guide to the abyss, then you’d be right. I’m not pretending to know the ins and outs of every PvE method out there. I wouldn’t be running a wormhole PvP corp if that were the case. What I can tell you is what I know works and how to do it. This is doubly true for abyssal space where the next wave of six damn Leshaks could split you like a banana. Until that point, things should be good though!
The Gila (Because why would you fly anything else?)
What were you expecting? A magical guide about how <your favourite ship> does sites? Unfortunately, that isn’t the case. The Gila still hits harder than almost anything else in-class despite nerfs thanks to resist bonuses and crazy good damage. To make things worse, the fit that INN describes as an entry level fitting for Tier 1-2 sites goes on to be able to run T4 sites relatively easily according to NER. This isn’t a dig at either organisation, it’s making a point that THIS is how you do it. Here’s my version:
[Gila, T4 Runner] Caldari Navy Power Diagnostic System Drone Damage Amplifier II Drone Damage Amplifier II 10MN Afterburner II Adaptive Invulnerability Field II Adaptive Invulnerability Field II Large Shield Extender II Large Shield Extender II Large Shield Extender II Rapid Light Missile Launcher II Rapid Light Missile Launcher II Rapid Light Missile Launcher II Rapid Light Missile Launcher II Medium Energy Nosferatu II Medium Core Defense Field Purger II Medium Core Defense Field Purger II Medium Core Defense Field Purger II Hammerhead II x2 Hammerhead II x2 Infiltrator II x2 Valkyrie II x2 Vespa II x2 Eifyr and Co. 'Rogue' Acceleration Control AC-601 Zainou 'Gnome' Shield Management SM-701 Zainou 'Deadeye' Guided Missile Precision GP-801 Zainou 'Gnome' Shield Operation SP-901 Zainou 'Deadeye' Rapid Launch RL-1001 Inferno Fury Light Missile x4000 Inferno Precision Light Missile x1000 Scourge Fury Light Missile x4000 Scourge Precision Light Missile x1000 Caldari Navy Inferno Light Missile x1000 Caldari Navy Scourge Light Missile x1000
Variations on this that I’ve seen include:
- Replacing one invul with a passive hardener for site weather
- A Damage Control instead of Power Diagnostic for more capless buffer
- Shield Power Relays for the best cap regen possible
- More shield extenders, fewer shield extenders, a web for dark sites….
The list just keeps going on, but when it comes down to it the standard passive Gila is cheap and effective. My setup uses a Caldari Navy PDU to get the regen, and also to allow space for a 10MN Afterburner II and Medium Nosferatu II. Doing this gives us better cap stability than most other setups providing that you stick your nos on nearby ships. That’s vital since the invuls and sig tanking with speed are what let you survive. I’ve included a full set of 1% implants which cost 4m ISK, upgrade them to 3% if you enjoy the fit or if skills are an issue.
The fit itself should be able to run the following filaments (and below):
- T4 – Gamma (+Shield capacity, easiest)
- T3-4 – Exotic
- T3-4 – Electrical
- T3 – Firestorm
- T3 – Dark (remove an extender for a web, run the 3% implants)
The key to any of these sites, though, is going to be proper piloting and target prioritisation. Don’t expect to go AFK and let the drones do all the work like in nullsec you dirty krabs. The trick to not dying is to focus the targets that will hurt you most and to keep transversal up against the big boy battleships, ideally without just clicking orbit. That order depends on what you’re flying, but for this Gila it simply goes Heavy Neuts > Logi > Partial HP Ships > Webs > All Others in a typical situation. The use of a nos and PDS also means that you can be a little more forgiving of neuts and instead blitz through Plateweavers (remote reps) before moving on. Either that or just split your DPS between missiles and drones. Keep the cheatsheet open and burn backwards away from the rats if you need more time to think and analyse the grid.
If you do mess up and die then don’t worry about it. With a 300m ISK fit you’re all but guaranteed to run into problems at some point like the Leshak wave. There isn’t much point splashing the cash unless you know that value is going somewhere useful. Overtanking is definitely a thing and will cut down on your long term profits. So too will dying, but running cheap like this means that the losses won’t sting quite so much.
A magical guide on how to make your favourite ship work
The easiest way to make any ship complete any level of PvE effectively is to compare it to something you already know works. For cruiser abyssals this essentially means comparing your new ship to every aspect of the Gila and asking yourself “is this as good?” Let’s go through a similarly priced Sacrilege and see how it stands up for each stat. Heated/drugged numbers in brackets.
|DPS Tanked||343 (404)||407 (657)|
|AB Speed||671 (884)||628 (817)|
|DPS||765 (804)||668 (758)|
|Application||RLML+Med Drones||Dual web|
|Cap Stability (Resist)||+11.5GJ/s (-0%)||+17GJ/s (-27%)|
|Price||351m ISK||367m ISK|
Without going into a lecture on how to fit ships, this is honestly all it takes to make something work. There are definitely nuances such as the Gila’s ability to apply damage from further away and the Sac’s extra neut resistance, but those can mostly be ironed out if you know what you’re doing. Pick a ship then give it tank, DPS, application, a good capacitor and compare to others. The same is true if you’re developing a kiting abyssal ship. Find one that works and compare other ship fits until something matches closely enough. Just make sure you know what you’re fitting. An XLASB for example looks great on paper if you don’t know about the minute reload!
If you want the Sac fit here it is. Reactive Armour Hardener vs Assault Damage Control is your choice, but I’m personally a fan of the “oh shit” button. This particular fit should run Dark sites easily enough providing that you get your webs on.
[Sacrilege, T3-4 Abyss] Ballistic Control System II Assault Damage Control II Medium Armor Repairer II Medium Armor Repairer II Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II Republic Fleet Large Cap Battery 10MN Afterburner II Stasis Webifier II Stasis Webifier II Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II Heavy Assault Missile Launcher II Medium Knave Scoped Energy Nosferatu Medium Bay Loading Accelerator II Medium Auxiliary Nano Pump I Federation Navy Hammerhead x5 Hammerhead II x5 Inherent Implants 'Noble' Repair Systems RS-601 Zainou 'Snapshot' Heavy Assault Missiles AM-701 Zainou 'Deadeye' Guided Missile Precision GP-801 Zainou 'Deadeye' Target Navigation Prediction TN-901 Zainou 'Deadeye' Rapid Launch RL-1001 Standard Exile Booster Agency 'Hardshell' TB5 Dose II Nova Javelin Heavy Assault Missile x3000 Nova Rage Heavy Assault Missile x3000 Caldari Navy Inferno Heavy Assault Missile x2000 Caldari Navy Mjolnir Heavy Assault Missile x2000 Caldari Navy Nova Heavy Assault Missile x2000 Caldari Navy Scourge Heavy Assault Missile x2000 Nanite Repair Paste x100
I have to confess I’ve run very few of these to date. The step up from T4 to T5 Filaments is pretty hefty and I hate risking my blingiest ship when my computer crashes so easily. Suitonia has a pretty great guide on his own Sacrilege fit, here’s the video:
Following the same rules that I described above, it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out a decent fit. Just make sure that the focus is on throwing out as much DPS as you can; some of the EHP grinds in chaotic filaments can be lengthy. Check out some of the guides in the resources section. I personally got my fit from an ex-corp member who ran them all the time so I can be quite confident that this one does the job, too:
[Gila, Ashy's Level 5 Runner] C3-X 'Hivaa Saitsuo' Ballistic Control System Imperial Navy Drone Damage Amplifier Imperial Navy Drone Damage Amplifier Corelum B-Type 10MN Afterburner Thukker Large Cap Battery  Pithum A-Type Medium Shield Booster Pithum C-Type Adaptive Invulnerability Field Pithum C-Type Adaptive Invulnerability Field Pith X-Type Shield Boost Amplifier Dark Blood Medium Energy Nosferatu Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Light Missile Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Light Missile Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Light Missile Rapid Light Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Light Missile Medium Core Defense Operational Solidifier I Medium Capacitor Control Circuit II Medium Semiconductor Memory Cell I 'Augmented' Hammerhead x2 'Augmented' Valkyrie x2 Caldari Navy Vespa x2 Federation Navy Hammerhead x2 Republic Fleet Valkyrie x2 High-grade Crystal Alpha High-grade Crystal Beta High-grade Crystal Gamma High-grade Crystal Delta High-grade Crystal Epsilon High-grade Crystal Omega Eifyr and Co. 'Rogue' Evasive Maneuvering EM-703 Inherent Implants 'Squire' Capacitor Management EM-803 Zainou 'Snapshot' Light Missiles LM-903 Zainou 'Deadeye' Rapid Launch RL-1003 Agency 'Hardshell' TB5 Dose II Caldari Navy Scourge Light Missile x2000  Thukker Large Cap Battery Gravid Large Cap Battery Mutaplasmid capacitorBonus 1868, cpu 37.55, energyWarfareResistanceBonus -31.8, power 313.73
Tips and Advice
- The key to running sites is good flying and target prioritisation
- Be aware of Triglavian NPC damage ramp. You might tank fine now, but that can change
- Partial HP battleships need to die quickly, they will rep up over time.
- Killing a Vila ship will disconnect it’s drones, you don’t need to kill them individually.
- Fly into a Deviant Automata Suppressor or blue cloud if you’re having trouble with small frigates
- The Deviant Automata Suppressor can firewall your light missiles.
- Faction drones with extra HP can be worth it, T2’s are cheaper and work fine if you are careful, though.
- Firestorm filaments usually mean much tougher Triglavian tanks, this helps them ramp up better against you!
- Grabbing the extra loot cans other than the Biocombinative Cache often isn’t worth it with an afterburner fit. They yield only a few million ISK.
- Generally, you should fly as if it’s PvP, use range and transversal to your advantage whenever possible.
Ever since their introduction, I find that the frigate sites are my preferred option for running abyssals. You usually means you do have to hunt down two
victims friends to help out, but that’s all worth it in the end with a chunkier 3x sized loot pot. Dying together is better anyway since you can blame someone else for all your problems.
With these sites, you’ve got two schools of thought and a good few options out there. Eventually, though, it all boils down to whether you’re going to kite or sig tank on an afterburner. I’m a fan of kiting myself, but I’m a cheap bastard and I like going zoom.
What I would consider as the ‘best’ option for abyssal frigates is to go with the 1999 approach of dressing in black and pretending to be Neo. You’re going to want (only!) Dark Filaments and a set of Hawks. Bonus points for skins that imitate clothing from The Matrix. Realistically any three high damage, long range ships should do the job, but Hawks have the benefit of missiles, easy fitting, and high damage.
[Hawk, Abyssal - Dancing makes me whole] Crosslink Compact Ballistic Control System Crosslink Compact Ballistic Control System 5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive Astro-Inertial Compact Missile Guidance Computer, Missile Range Script Small 'Siesta' Capacitor Booster, Navy Cap Booster 75 Astro-Inertial Compact Missile Guidance Computer, Missile Range Script Small Clarity Ward Booster I Light Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Light Missile Light Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Light Missile Auto Targeting System I Light Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Light Missile Light Missile Launcher II, Scourge Fury Light Missile Small Warhead Calefaction Catalyst II Small Polycarbon Engine Housing I Zainou 'Gypsy' CPU Management EE-603 Eifyr and Co. 'Rogue' Evasive Maneuvering EM-701 Zainou 'Deadeye' Guided Missile Precision GP-801 Zainou 'Snapshot' Light Missiles LM-901 Scourge Fury Light Missile x4000 Navy Cap Booster 75 x90
The trick is to use range scripts and simply orbit the exit gate at roughly 15-25km depending on arena size and collidable objects. As long as you keep moving then nothing should hit you at all. Once this orbit is set up you have to delete the scrams and webs immediately. The only time I’ve ever died in there has been because of a sneaky Spearfish or Upholder digging their claws in. Fortunately for you, dear reader, that has taught me that the way to survive this is to switch orbit to whomever is tackled. Staying on the gate will cause you to drift out of missile/lock range and when a Hawk is scrammed you need all the heated DPS you can muster to free them.
As with the cruisers discussed before, you’re going to want a list of priority targets. For the Hawk that goes Scrams > Webs > Remote Reps > Partial HP Ships > Neuts > All Others. You can refer to the cheatsheet for particular names, repeating popular resources is not the reason this guide is here! This fit can do T4’s easily and T5’s, while spooky, can work too. I do recommend trying out the T5 once you’re used to it, a single site is probably enough to replace all three Hawks and it’s more exciting than Nestor krabbing.
Not Going Fast
For a more traditional approach to PvE it’s entirely possible to outfit a trio of Assault Frigates with a reasonable tank. The benefit here is that you know you can actually take punishment like a BDSM enthusiast. Of course, that comes with the downside of often needing a healthy amount of bling for each ship. Despite this, there is a charming little Youtuber who has shown that it’s actually possible to use a solo alpha Kestrel to run sites. It’s a fun little video and his production quality is great.
Of course, most of my readers are going to be after the big money. Luckily my friends in Villore Accords [GMVA] are big advocates for a particularly nice Retribution fit. Rather than copy theirs exactly, here’s my take on the same concept:
[Retribution, T5 Electrical] Corpii C-Type Small Armor Repairer Corpii A-Type Adaptive Nano Plating EFFA Compact Assault Damage Control Extruded Compact Heat Sink Extruded Compact Heat Sink Thukker Small Cap Battery Coreli A-Type 1MN Afterburner Small Focused Beam Laser II Small Focused Beam Laser II Small Focused Beam Laser II Small Focused Beam Laser II Coreli A-Type Small Remote Armor Repairer Small Anti-Thermal Pump II Small Anti-EM Pump II Zainou 'Gypsy' CPU Management EE-602 Eifyr and Co. 'Gunslinger' Motion Prediction MR-701 Inherent Implants 'Noble' Mechanic MC-801 Eifyr and Co. 'Gunslinger' Surgical Strike SS-901 Inherent Implants 'Noble' Hull Upgrades HG-1001 Aurora S x4 Gleam S x4 Imperial Navy Multifrequency S x4 Imperial Navy Standard S x4 Imperial Navy Xray S x4 Nanite Repair Paste x50
The idea is that you anchor up 5-10km from someone and keep range from the biggest neuting and webbing threats, shooting them with Aurora. Once the main threats are down you can switch to Multifrequency and head in close to maximise damage. Try not to fly into sig radius (blue) clouds and don’t hit any rocks! It should work out well enough providing that everyone pays attention and gets reps on quickly. Do note that these Retris will only run T5 Electrical Filaments (and below). At the time of writing that will set you back about 90m ISK before you even enter!
Tips and Advice
- With a team of three, it’s worth it to grab the extra bits of loot on the edges if you aren’t trying to blitz sites.
- Turn your MWD off before entering a new room in a Hawk. If you leave it on then you’ll be hurtling towards potential scrams at 4km/s.
- Create a channel and lay out your target list in the MOTD for all to see without needing a cheat sheet.
- Watch to make sure that you don’t fling out of the arena, particular in Hawks.
- Avoid blue clouds when sig tanking or you’ll be hit like a truck.
- Stay near to whoever gets tackled, you need to kill it immediately.