Friday, January 15, 2016

Cutting the Net - a level 4 Faction Warfare mission - in a Tristan

Mistakes were made...but it still worked easily!
(Update 1/22/16 to show four successful runs)

I like doing level 4 faction warfare missions when I get the chance, but being in the Gallente militia means you have to run them in a pretty expensive ship. Tengu/Proteus (at least 700M ISK) are recommended, though I know a guy who uses a 100M ISK Hecate.

I follow a couple of guides written by experienced mission runners, both of whom said Cutting the Net (CTN) should be declined. Why? To complete the mission you need to retrieve an object and get it back to the agent. This is annoying and time-consuming, not to mention you run the risk of losing your ship and failing the mission.

There was, however, a tantalizing throwaway line in one of the guides about CTN. "It can be completed in a frigate."  Which frigate? How frigatey is this frigate? Assault frig? Blinged-out pirate frigate? A Tristan?!

Why This Mission

It pays about 30K to 55K LP, depending on agent location and which tier your FW side is in. Converted to ISK at the average 1500 isk/lp, that's up to 70M isk for a low-risk, few minutes work in a ship costing a few million isk at most. And I'm pretty sure this will work without any Tech II modules too. I think it would be a good mission for risk averse players who don't mind the slightly aggravating process of getting the CTN mission.

I found a video of CTN being run and tried to estimate incoming damage, and also asked mission runners that had done the mission. "About 200 dps" was the consensus, though they had done it in an Ishkur and other similar ships.

Being a good Gallente I figured I'd try getting a Tristan through the mission, despite having no shield-tank bonuses. I've also had almost no experience with Medium Ancillary Shield Boosters (can't you tell from the video?) and failed the mission a few times before getting the fit right.

[Tristan, Cutting the Net]
Micro Auxiliary Power Core I
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II

Medium Shield Extender II
Medium Ancillary Shield Booster, Navy Cap Booster 50
Limited 5MN Microwarpdrive I

[empty high slot]
[empty high slot]
[empty high slot]

Small Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I
Small Anti-Kinetic Screen Reinforcer I

Small Core Defense Field Extender

You will also need a mobile depot and three warp core stabs to stay safe en-route to/from the mission. The rigs I picked were for Serpentis rats - adjust to your preference.

I think it's possible to do this with a wide range of frigates. An obvious suggestion is a dual MASB Breacher, which gets a bonus to shield reps.

Note: this was done in an old version of EFT, so the names might not work in-game. You get the idea though.

How to Run the Mission

The mission consists of two rooms about 80 kms across. At the end of the second room is a container with the 80 m3 item. Overheat your MWD and zip across the first room really fast. Try to arrive just ABOVE or BELOW the gate so you don't bounce off it like I did in the video.

Don't activate the MASB too early or let it auto-repeat, as I did in the video. I didn't realize how well the speed tanking would work at cutting down on rat DPS.

In the second room do the same - overheat and burn to the target and hit ctrl+space when you're about 15km from the target. You should come to a halt in looting range of the container (which is a Spawn Container, not a regular kind - you'll notice it wasn't on my overview in the video!) Grab the loot and warp out.

This fit ends up being 10 m3 short of cargo space for taking the mobile depot back home. You could try just two WCS and a cargo expander instead (I recommend this!), or just jettison the micro aux power core and buy a new one.

How to Get To/From the Mission

Put three warp core stabs on the ship and carry a mobile depot. When you reach your target system, make a safe, safe up and refit your ships.

Risks and Consequences

What if you fail the mission? What if you get blown up? Failing a faction warfare mission has no consequences. You'll get an email from the agent after twelve hours saying they're disappointed in you, but that's it. If you quit the mission (with the "Quit" button in the mission window), you'll take a standings hit, so never do fact, why is that button even there? I can't think of any reason you'd want to click it.

If you get blown up, you're out a few million isk. Rebuild the ship and try again.

How to Get Offered the Mission

This is where we have a drawback. There are ten possible FW missions and you have, I believe, an even chance of being offered any one of them. If you specifically are looking for CTN, you need to fly around as many FW Level 4 agents as you can, and request the mission until you get it. Remember you can decline ONE mission, then request another and click "Delay" if you don't get CTN. You have a week to accept a delayed mission.

So with two attempts at each agent you'll get CTN once per five agents. It might take a while longer, or it might come up right away.

Another scenario might be that you're an experienced mission runner who usually turns down CTN. This post might give you an incentive to accept CTN along with your other regular missions, and run it in a dirt-cheap ship that you won't mind losing.

I have started doing a "farming" loop where, if I want to while away 40 minutes, go visit 12 agents and "delay" any CTN offers I get, with the intention of coming back later to run them.

Notes From the Future

I have run this a few times more and the fit is definitely sound. I didn't realize, however, that to accept a mission you need to be in the same station as the agent. So if you want to accept a delayed CTN offer you'll need to fly back to the agent. In one hour I was able to run two missions, with all the travel made necessary by it. But in a triple-stabbed Tristan I was very safe and got 94K LP for the two missions.

Notes From Even Further in the Future

I tweaked the travel fit to use only two Warp Core stabs and a cargo expander. Why? It lets me keep all my modules and carry the loot back to the agent. The ship is immediately ready to undock and use again, instead of having to obtain another Micro Aux Power Core. This lets me, for example, leave a copy of this ship at every Galmil FW agents' station. If they give me Cutting the Net I can jump into the Tristan, run the mission and come back.


I'm very happy I came up with this! It's very satisfying to find a way to use a 3M isk ship to generate a 70M isk return with very little risk. If it works just one time, you have enough funds to pay for dozens more attempts - give it a try!

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