Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Root of All Evil

I refuse to answer that question on the grounds that I don't know the answer.
--Douglas Adams

A comment left yesterday by a reader deserved a response.  I started to answer his query in the comment field, but my latest Remap has left my Charisma quite low and I've yet to train Brevity V so it quickly grew into a rather long response.  Instead of burying all that in the comments of another post, I decided to reply to it here for all the world to see.

In response to this post about my recent Arbitrator loss, USnameri writes, 


I have to ask why the tech II Tracking disruptor? The meta 4 seams to be equal to or better than it's meta 5 equivalent in every area besides price.

Though in my neck of the woods the cost difference is only ~1.25mil.


Here's the fit he's referring to:

[Arbitrator, GTO Judge]
Damage Control II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
800mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I

Warp Scrambler II
Medium Capacitor Booster I, Cap Booster 800
Tracking Disruptor II
10MN Afterburner II

Medium Energy Neutralizer II
Medium Energy Neutralizer II
Small Energy Neutralizer II
Small Energy Neutralizer II

Medium Ancillary Current Router I
Medium Ancillary Current Router I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I

Hammerhead II x5
Hobgoblin II x5
Warrior II x5
Valkyrie II x5

It's a fair question, as the Balmer Series Tracking Disruptor I is better than the Tracking Disruptor II that I was using.  Better in the sense that they have identical attributes, but the Balmer is easier to fit.  This is a pretty common design of many of the Meta 4 vs Meta 5 items within the game.  The reason anyone fits the T2 module in these cases comes down to price.

What you get for training the required skills and giving up some additional CPU or Grid is that the T2 modules are generally significantly cheaper than the Meta 4 equivalent.  The reason for this can be found by examining the way they're produced.  Meta 0 and Meta 5 are produced by the players within the game.  This means their price is based upon the cost of the other items required to produce them, with some degree of markup added.  Meta 1 to 4 items are found as loot drops on NPC wrecks and the price follows more of a supply curve where the higher Meta items remain at a higher demand.

So, I'm not really losing anything by using the T2 Tracking Disruptors, except a little CPU that I wasn't using anyway, however, there is another item that I'm using where that is not the case.  The difference between Meta 4 and 5 Medium Energy Neutralizers is similar to that of of Tracking Disruptors, with the Meta 4 giving the same stats while requiring less CPU and less Grid.  The difference being that my fit would actually benefit from having spare Grid, as it would allow me to drop a Current Router and replace it with an additional Trimark, giving me another 3k EHP.  My motivation for not doing it is simple

I don't know where USnameri does his shopping, or whether Balmer Series TDs are inexpensive or T2 are overly expensive there, but I do know what they cost in Jita where I buy them.  A T2 runs about 370kisk there, while the Meta 4 will cost you 3.7misk.  That's right, they are 10x the price.  The Energy Neutralizers aren't far off at 2misk and 11.5misk respectively.  It was actually my intention to use Meta 4 Neuts and have that extra EHP until I got ready to buy them.  Suddenly my 10misk Cruiser was going to cost me 30misk and I had to ask myself whether 20misk was worth 3k EHP.  For me, it was not.

Anytme I'm building a ship I'm weighing cost vs benefit, and this time the cost was just too high.  If money were no object I'd probably shove a bunch of Faction Modules on there and have a truly optimized ship, but I've mentioned my meager earnings in the past and that remains just a pipe dream.  I do encourage anyone when building a ship to compare the prices for the various items.  You'll often be surprised to find Meta 2 cheaper than the Meta 0 version while still superior in every way.  Usually when I spot the killmail of someone using a lot of T1 Meta 0 modules I know that they weren't really paying attention when buying and fitting the ship.

One final note on the ship I'm using right now is that I wouldn't recommend it.  That's not to say the ship is a bad one or anything, just that I haven't spent enough time in it to encourage others to fly it.  In a couple of months when I've got all the kinks sorted out, I'm sure there will be a post devoted to my Arbitrator fitting and how to fly it.  Until then, use at your own risk.

Thanks USnameri for the question.  Everyone else, go check out his new blog if you haven't done so already.  Tune in next week for the post that would have gone here in which I sell out on my morals and try to be one of the cool kids.




  1. Woah. You haven't even bought the skillbok for Brevity, have you? :P

  2. Thanks for the info. I'm new and often confused by the various meta levels and names of modules. Is there a reference somewhere that lists them relatively simply - especially for the basic stuff like warp scramblers and afterburners and webifiers and the like?

  3. Jack, if you don't already have it, go get the EVE Fitting Tool. One of the many things this program will do for you is allow you to see modules in order based on their Meta level.

    Jaxley, have you seen the price for that thing? I do have really good Drone skills though...they allow me to drone on and on about a variety of topics...

  4. Excellent! I do have EFT but didn't know about that feature. Thanks!

  5. Nice post. Low sec piracy, especially for solo pilots is all about minimizing costs while still flying a competitive ship. I think the challenge here is to find m4 items that are equal AND cheaper than their T2 equivalent.

  6. FNG

    Thanks for the reply and the advertising. I seriously need to stop shopping in Teonusude.