Deep Space Transports

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Deep Space Transports (DST) are the Tech 2 variants of bulk transports a subgroup of the T1 haulers. As such, they are meant to haul relatively bulky goods. For that they have a fleet hangar with a base capacity of 50k m3 which goes up to 62.5k with Icon skillbook2.png Transport Ships trained to five. Note that, fleet hangars are not affected by modules such as expanded cargoholds or rigs such as cargohold optimization. At the same time, a fleet hangar can carry all sorts of cargo including assembled ships and you can also open it up to fleet and corp members.

Further, DSTs have bonuses to active tanking, either shield resistances or armor resistances, helping them to fit substantial tanks. Finally, they get a role bonus of 100% to overheating benefits of Afterburners, Microwarpdrives, Local Repair Modules, and Resistance Modules.

They also have a role bonus of +2 warp strength: this means they can't be tackled by just one warp disruptor or non-faction warp scrambler, though they can still be caught by bubbles, gangs of tacklers, or HICs. Further they can fit an Interdiction nullifier.

Where blockade runners are meant to rely on speed and stealth to slip by the enemy, deep space transports are designed to bust their way through the enemy, relying on their warp strength and tanking abilities to escape. This probably won't work against a determined and well-prepared gatecamp, and using a deep space transport indicates to all and sundry that you have cargo you want to protect, so you should think carefully before deploying one.

Each empire has one DST:


Fitting

As already mentioned, you cannot increase the DSTs' fleet hangar's capacity through fitting. Thus an important fitting aspect for hauling ships is already taken out of the equation. The other important aspects are travel speed and safety. Safety can be achieved by being tanky or slippery.

DSTs struggle with the MWD + cloak trick due to their long align time. You either have to heat the MWD or improve your align time through fittings. Warp core stabs work especially well on DSTs due to their already increased warp core strength. Interdiction nullification modules are very useful if you want to take it to space where bubbles are allowed (i.e. nullsec, wormhole space, and Pochven). Note that burst jammers disable nullification. Still if you don't need nulli, you might want to fit a burst jammer to shake off tackle in case you get caught.

In highsec, you might rather go down a buffer tank route so you are simply not worth to suicide gank. The DSTs' bonus to overheating resistance modules (shield and armor hardeners) helps to fit a strong buffer tank. But you also have to make sure that you actually turn them on and overheat them.

DSTs are able to fit Micro Jump Drive. This is especially popular when using drifter wormholes as shortcuts. Otherwise, they usually fit an MWD. But sometimes also an afterburner so that they can crash gate in case they get scrammed. A cycle of afterburner can also help to enter warp faster. Some people even like to fit all three kind of prop mods.

Comparison

As the ability to fly a specific DST is gated by the corresponding Hauler skill level 5, many only consider it worthwhile to train into one DST. Which DST is the best for you depends on the way you want to fit it. Before we discuss this in detail, you might also want to ask the people you fly with what they use. No DST outclasses the others by much and it's sometimes very convenient when you can hand over a DST.

The CaldariBustard works well with a strong buffer tank. This makes it well suited for highsec hauling especially as it has good resists against Catalysts which are the most popular suicide ganking ship. But it struggles when you want to be more slippery as it doesn't align very fast and hasn't many low slots.

The MinmatarMastodon is very balanced. It has a faster base align than the Bustard and a low slot more which allows it to further improve its align time. Even though it has a mid slot less, it can still fit a good shield tank due to its balanced resist profile which is a bit weak against Catalysts though. The Mastodon is also especially fast which is helpful if you have to gate crash.

The GallenteOccator has the fastest base align time and its many low slots allow it to further increase that. It can also fit a good tank and its resists are especially favorable against Catalysts. Its three mid slots allow it to potentially fit all three kind of prop mod.

The AmarrImpel has the most low slots. This allows it to fit a good armor tank. Those also allow it easily go for slippery fits. This ability isn't as strong as it used to be though as you used to be able to fit multiple warp core stabs (see history section).

To summarize and repeat: Depending which way you want to fit your DST, one or the other might be best. But all are able to pull off the typical approaches. Thus you might mostly decide depending on your surroundings so that you may utilize them together with your friends.

History

DSTs gained the ability to fit interdiction nullifiers since their introduction on 2021-05-18.[1] At the same time warp core stabs were reworked to be limited to only one per ship. This indirectly affected DST fits more than it did other hulls.

See also

References

  1. ^ Patch notes and news post for the changes to nullification and warp core stabilizers.