After more than 1,800 battles in World of Warships I finally got my first Tier X Ship – the Japanese Cruiser Zao.

As I have remarked before, I generally only use a Ship until I get its first win of the day, then I move on to a different ship. This approach has slowed down my climb up the Tiers – levelling most of the hulls at the same time.

(It is also one of several reasons why my win-rate is poor. The primary reason is I am not particularly good at the game – but my approach means I play the ships I am poorer in more often than the ships I contribute better in.)

I hit a real hole at Tier VIII.

This is the best I can hope for – a mix of Tier VIII, IX and X 

I find myself – far more often than not – stuck playing in Tier X battles.

At first glance Tier VIII, IX and X ships can look relatively similar, but there are some key differences that make being in a Tier VIII ship against a higher Tier very uncomfortable.

If I compare the Tier VIII Japanese Cruiser Mogami against the Tier IX Ibuki and Tier X Zao.

The Mogami had 39,100 HP, the Ibuki 39,000, and the X Zao has 40,800. It would appear they basically are the same – but the Tier IX and X ships both have Repair Party Consumables, meaning they have the chance to restore some of their damage. They also both have progressively lower and better protected Citadels. It doesn’t matter how I angle my Mogami, bow or stern on citadel strikes are as common as flank citadels.

All three Japanese Cruisers use 203mm Main batteries. Again, it appears they are basically the same – but the range increases once configured for each tier from 15.8, to 19.2, to 21.3 km. The Zao also has 12 barrels against 10 at Tier VIII and IX and does better damage. The much more fragile Mogami has to be much closer to do less damage than the Zao.

The Ibuki and Zao also have the important sixth Upgrade slot over the Mogami’s five.

The Mogami and Ibuki have 4×4 Torpedo launcher tubes, with a range of 10km. The Ibuki’s Torpedoes are a little faster and do a bit more damage. The Zao has 4×5 Torpedo launcher tubes which do a bit more damage again and have an option for fast 76 knot Torpedoes with an 8km range, or slower 67 Knot Torpedoes with a 12km range that can be fired from stealth.

The biggest difference however is that your Tier X opponent’s rain down either more shells, or bigger shells on you. The ability to survive some knocks is vital. The Tier X Battleships are particularly ruinous. One straddle from a Battleship Salvo and my Mogami was often left with a sliver of health – dead the next time I risked showing myself. The Ibuki in part, the Zao more so, are easier and more forgiving to play than the Mogami in Top Tier Battles.

It got so demoralising I resorted to playing Tier V matches. It ended up being quicker and more enjoyable to pay a proportion of the Tier IX and X upgrades with Free XP instead of grinding through them at level.

My next Tier X ship will likely be the French Cruiser Henri IV.  That is my Tier IX Saint-Louis above, in which I am a fair way into grinding the required XP for its upgrade.

Playing with the Damavik

The Damavik is the (new-ish) Triglavian Frigate. After waiting for the October changes to the ship to go live (one low slot was moved to a mid slot) I finally sat down to start experimenting with fitting and flying it.

Obviously as a Carebear I am focused on finding if I can get a workable PVE setup, plus I wanted to see how the Entropic Disintegrator works.

Oddly is the answer to that last question.  The Disintegrator is very quick to switch targets and has great tracking, having no problem hitting opponents.  Against lower EHP stuff it is really quick and efficient at killing.  Running a level two mission however I found it could not break the tank of a T1 Battle-Cruiser Rat, even after giving it time to spool up to full damage.  It couldn’t scratch the T2 Cruiser Rats.  On paper the DPS exceeds many of my other small PVE ships, but in practise it doesn’t feel that effective against a tanked opponent.  More experimenting required.

It is a pity about the low slot moving to the mid slot.  For PVE I’d have preferred that change wasn’t implemented.



Blast from the past

I had an odd email today with the title “Important DUST 514 update!”.

Old DUST 514 players are being given the time limited opportunity to claim / reserve the name of one of their DUST characters in the new first person shooter being developed by CCP Games.

If you do this (by creating an account) you will be able to claim any potential Veteran Rewards in the new game – the first being a unique drop suit.




Toy Box

The EVE Toy box has been rather empty for a while, so I spent almost 3B ISK to add some stuff to it.

I have no idea if any of these will become permanent members of my Space Ships hanger.


While I can fly them all, I had to add to my training queue to cover off their T2 Weapon variants.

It is nice to have some skills training that you are actually waiting on.  My most recent trained skill was Rank V in Heavy Interdiction Cruisers.  I can’t remember when I last flew one of those hulls – and I don’t expect to fly one any time soon either.  Before that was Medium Autocannon Specialization V and Small Blaster Specialization V – two more skills I am not likely to use for a long time.  I am now just a few days off finishing Interdictors V – another hull type I don’t see a use for.  As I have rank V in pretty much all the skills I actually use, my Skill queue was filled almost mindlessly.


I am not sure how the ammo works.  I might have grabbed far too much or far too little.  I’ll work it out.  The pricing of the stuff was a bit mind boggling and all over the shop.  The volumes sold are very low.  Maybe 20 Frigates, 30 Cruisers and 30 Battleships a day from Jita.  As the skills finish training I will just play around with each Hull and see if I can get a fitting I find a use for.  At least it should get me undocked and into some content for a little while.

Burning through the Reserves

The following screen grab is of my Corporation Master Wallet for the last 3 months.


Each month the outgoings are 2M ISK for the Alliance Maintenance Fee (for one Corporation) and 10K ISK for Office Rental.

The Corporation has a 5% tax – but because I haven’t been doing anything in game to earn ISK, there is no contribution from me.

The Corporation also has four Customs Offices, with low tax rates set (2% for Neutrals).  Only two pilots have used any of these offices over the last 3 months, and even then rarely.

The vague idea was that between the above Tax input that the Corporation and Alliance would remain roughly ISK neutral.  That was working out initially, but not so now.

No need to panic just yet.

Of actual note – isn’t it odd that for Alliance Maintenance Fees, the Journal Entry Type is incorrectly spelt as “Maintainance”, while the Description is spelt correctly as “Maintenance”.

Balance tends to mean Nerf

CCP announced some balance changes in the October release.


It was suggested these are outcomes of the CSM Summit.  Given some of the items, the cynical side of me wonders if this is a direct form of appeasement towards some of the louder player rabble.

First – ECM. If someone gets an ECM jam on you, you will still be able to lock / fire upon that pilot. It will only stop you locking other pilots. If you already had a lock on the ECM ship, the lock won’t drop. To compensate, there will be some slight buffs to ECM ship fittings and tank, and in the longer term, ECM strength.

That should please the ECM haters.

While there is an interesting elegance to the idea, it takes the ECM Ship option away from solo players (as it will seemingly be pointless). It relegates these hulls to a couple niche fleet roles. It will still work ok as a possible counter to Logistic Ships. It can still be used in small gang PVP – where a Tanky ECM ship can take the fire of a single or small number of targets, allowing the other ships in the gang to be configured as glass canon DPS. It might still work for a solo player dual boxing a hauler with an ECM guard, although it means the ECM ship will more likely die if you must use it.

Unless the extra tank and fitting options bring up new uses of the ECM hulls, I doubt I would have a need for owning one any more.

The use of ECM drones isn’t nerfed as hard. If I read right, the jammed pilot will be able to lock the ECM drone, but it didn’t indicate they could lock the pilot using the drones. I will have to confirm that.

Second – the Interceptor nullification is being looked at. Another thing I’ve noticed many players hating on.

CCP have indicated the original change increased the number of people roaming, so they did not want to remove the option. Instead they will remove it from the Combat Interceptors (Claw, Crusader, Raptor, Taranis) but leave it on the fleet Interceptors (Stiletto, Malediction, Crow, Ares). I use a Malediction as a out of Hi-Sec scout / shuttle, so it will still be of use.

Third – there will be changes to Heavy Interdictors, and possible small changes to the FAX, with future Capital balancing. None of that impacts me.

Fourth – there will be a balance change to the Triglavian Damavik (Frigate), moving one low slot to a mid to hopefully increase the number of people who use the hull.  I don’t use those ships as yet, but I might down the track.

Limited Fundraiser for another Loss at CCP

As part of a fundraising initiative for the family of CCP Mankiller (who passed away in July from Cancer), CCP have released 8 skins.  Once $20K USD of these have been sold (all to be donated), they will be forever removed from sale.  I expect that means they won’t be around for long at all.


They are at a nicely priced 60 PLEX each.  I grabbed a couple for my own use.