Thursday, January 13, 2011

Head Full of Metal

Insofar as she recognized at all that she was dreaming, she realized that she must be exploring her subconscious mind. She had heard it said that humans are supposed only to use about a tenth of their brains, and that no one was really clear what the other nine tenths were for, but she had certainly never heard it suggested that they were used for storing penguins.
--Douglas Adams

As I promised Toterra in a previous post, I'm going to give my opinions on implants from the POV of a lowsec Pirate.  A lot of these same things will apply to high and null security space, but then again a lot of it won't.  Also if you haven't read any of Toterra's posts from Scram Web go check him out.  He's been at it about 2 years, but does most of his dirty work over in nullsec with Agony Unleashed.  They offer PvP courses to anyone that's interested in learning, which is something I've never participated in, but commend them for the service to the EVE community.  I'd also like to point out that his links to my posts on the first day my blog was posted on Eve Bloggers were a great source of initial traffic for me.  So, thanks Toterra, hopefully I can return the favor someday.

On to the topic at hand, implants.  If you know absolutely nothing on the topic, here is a good place to start.  Every new EVE player gets some of attribute enhancing implants during the tutorial missions, and knows that they boost the learning times for skills.  In broad strokes, the other types of implants are either Hardwiring Implants or Advanced Attribute Implants.

Hardwiring implants take up slots 6-10 and there are a lot of them.  Go take a look at the above linked EVE Uni page to see just how many, but they usually come in three different flavors: 1%/3%/5% upgrades to some statistic of your ship.  In general, the 1% upgrades are extremely cheap, but don't make enough of  a difference to actually matter.  The 3% upgrades are usually in the ~5 million isk ballpark and, when you consider that a number of skills provide 2% increases to similar abilities, are a pretty good investment.  Consider that with 5 3% hardwiring implants you can probably get away with spending 25 million isk and seeing the equivalent of an extra level in 5 different skills.  Not a bad return on investment in my book.  The 5% hardwiring implants range from 100 to greater than 500 million isk and while they certainly provide a sizable increase in ship performance, I have a hard time justifying the cost.  I'd say that they're probably worth a look if you live in highsec and losing your pod requires some sort of particularly rare set of circumstances, but don't recommend them to anyone regularly engaged in PvP.  

Advanced Attribute Implants take up slots 1-6 are a sort of hybrid between the standard attribute enhancements and the bonuses seen from skill hardwiring implants.  They also have a set bonus, making them better the more of the same kind you're using.  For this reason, they're often used as a single set of 6 implants.  While they're basically the best of both worlds, allowing you to get +3 to attributes while also providing a sizable bonus to some other statistic, I don't recommend them for the novice player.  They're quite expensive, a full set can run over a billion isk, and will limit you to a +3 bonus to your attributes.  Once you're comfortably playing EVE as an experienced PvPer, they do became a lot more appealing though.

You may be a bit concerned about losing your capsule, and thus your implants while roaming lowsec, but let me shed some light on this topic.  Your Capsule is capable of entering warp almost instantly.  Anytime your ship is destroyed, no one will have a lock on your pod, and you'll have an opportunity to warp off before a lock can be obtained.  The key to successfully achieving this is to be trying to warp out before your ship explodes.  Selecting a warpable object and repeatedly pressing the warp button on the selected target window will produce a backlog of the command on the EVE server.  When your ship finally explodes, those commands will still be trying to process through the queue, leaving your ship warping off before anyone has the opportunity to lock and warp scramble your poor pod.

How effective is this technique?  From personal experience, I've lost about 20 ships since going to the dark side of Piracy...I've lost 0 Capsules.  On the other side of that coin, I've managed to land a podkill on about 1 in every 4 ships I destroy.  I can only assume that they weren't being nearly as diligent in their attempts to get their pods out.  So while this technique may not be 100% fool proof, you can be sure that you're going to lose a lot of ships before losing a pod.

I've certainly taken the long way to it, but that is ultimately the answer to Toterra's question.  The reason I'd rather use an implant to do a job that a Rig could do for 1/10th the cost, is because I lose more than ten ships to every capsule.  Hopefully you found of this advice helpful.  Join me next time for some tales of me putting holes in ships (mine and others) and some discussion of E-Honor.




  1. I know it is an old post, but to anyone reading it in backlog (as I am), there are now also 2%, 4% and 6% implants.

    Also, lag is the main enemy of loosing your pod in lowsec. It happens very rarely, but it eventually will.

  2. Hey there foksieloy. Glad to see people enjoying the archive binge on my blog. I'm not entirely sure what you meant by your statement concerning 2/4/6% implants, so allow me to clarify for posterity's sake.

    The vast majority of hardwiring implants have 3 grades. The ones that don't have multiple grades are typically the named implants like "Zor's whatchamacallit" which are usually pretty expensive but do provide a sizable bonus, often from 5-10%.

    Of the implants that have these three multiple grades, again the vast majority provide 1/3/5% bonuses. In fact, I can only think of 5 that don't provide these amounts, four that give 2/6/10, and one 5/10/15. They usually affect non-combat skills though, like Scan Deviation Reduction.

    Now, you may run across Hardwiring Implants in the Market Window or on certain websites that appear to have grades of 1/2/3/4/5/6%. While these additional levels of those implants exist in the database, they have never been implemented within the game. That bears repeating, You Cannot Get These Implants. You sometimes stumble across items like this that are an aborted idea from CCP and never made their way into the game. Just ignore them.

    Again, not sure which of the above implants you were referring to in your comment, so I hope that clarifies. Also, you're right about the lag. Since making this post I have lost a pod to a Socket Closed error, one to a weird session change timer that seemed to last several minutes and one to some soul crushing lag while I was in warp straight into a gate camp I should have been able to run in an Interceptor. The first two were petitioned and reimbursed, the last I was not so lucky. Still though, one lost pod not reimbursed over seven months makes implants totally worth the expense in my book.

  3. Actually, they have been implemented with incursion, available in Concord LP store. :)

    I actually missed it for a while, only recently noticed them, hence my post here.

  4. Well, what do ya know...I still can't find any market history on any of those items. So it looks like they've been placed into the game, but at least for the time being, aren't actually being bought and sold. Perhaps that will change in the future.