NullSec Ratting

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Icon timer capsuleer.png This page is about ratting at the NSC and not about ratting in general. Plenty of what is written here differs in other parts of New Eden.
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Killing pirate NPCs, or ratting as it is also called, is a way to earn ISK in New Eden. At the NSC it is mainly done in asteroid belts or in combat sites. While you face off against NPCs in the same manner as in missions, it is not considered the same. See this page for for more information about running missions at the NSC. Since combat sites can be found by probing, ratting shares a small overlap with exploration, and ratters can benefit greatly by having a ship capable of scanning down signatures.


Contents

Why rat at the NSC?

Main article: Ratting 101

Hunting and killing pirate NPCs (a.k.a. "rats") at asteroid belts or in combat sites is just one of many ways to earn ISK in EVE. Since the majority of ISK is gotten through loot drop, and since loot is dropped at random, the reward for ratting is rather irregular. Some days you can be lucky and get hundreds of millions or even billions worth of loot (if you are very lucky), and other days you will only get the standard bounty from the rats and the from salvage. Still, this is a easy way to earn ISK, and the requirements for doing this can be very low, depending on what kind of ratting you do.

Types of ratting at the NSC

At the NSC there there mainly two types of ratting to be done:
Clearing asteroid belts in a system, and hunting down and completing combat sites. Combat sites can furthermore be divided up in combat anomalies and combat signatures. More on these below.

Advantages of ratting in belts:

  • Generally easier.
  • Is done in the same system, not so much traveling around.

Advantages of doing combat sites:

  • Generally better ISK pr. tick.
  • More variety in the PvE.

While abyssal combat sites are also technically combat sites and can be done at the NSC, they have very different rules and are outside the scope of this article.


Asteroid Belt

The asteroid belts in system 5-DSFH. Clear them from top to bottom, from bottom to top, or whatever other order you want to.

Belt ratting is the act of going from asteroid belt to asteroid belt, killing the pirate NPC ships that are found there, and then go on to the next asteroid belt and doing the same there. This is done to collect the bounty on the ships, as well as trying to get rare spawns and rare loot. There are a few different rare spawns you can encounter in asteroid belts, and the article will go more in-depth below.

Ratting in asteroid belts are greatly affected by the true-sec of the system it is being done in. Both the size of the bounties, as well as the chance of rare spawns, being affected by it, with lower true-sec giving better bounties and higher chance of rare spawns. So one factor in choosing a system to kill rats in, is the true-sec of the system. Rats in asteroid belts respawn after about 20 minuttes, so you also want a system that have enough belts so you dont run out of pirat rats to kill. At the NSC, 5-DSFH, are the best system to belt rat in, since it got a low s, are the best system to clear belts in. 5-D is also deep in the NSC pocket, and as such are slightly safer to be in (if you pay attention to intel etc).

Belt ratting is generally easier than doing combat sites, and can even be done in T1 destroyers like Algos or Catalyst, but are best done in cruisers like the Vexor or Caracal. If undertaken in a destroyer, remember never to fly directly towards the hostile ships since it makes you far to easy to hit.

Rats in belts use ewar such as webs, warp distrupters and scramblers, and damps.


Faction Spawns - Shadow Serpentis

Elite versions of the normal rats with the prefix "Shadow" in front of their name. These ships are slightly harder to kill, have a much bigger bounty and drops Shadow Serpentis faction modules. These can also spawn in combat anomalies.

Capital Spawns - Serpentis Dreadnoughts

If you warp to a belt and see a dreadnought there, you should warp out immediately! These ships are very powerful and need coordination to bring down.
Dreadnoughts and Shadow Serpentis Dreadnoughts are capital pirate ships. These rats hit hard and have a lot of tank, and as such you need a fleet (5+ people) to kill them. Should a dreadnought spawn while you are in a belt, warp off immediately, or face the possibility of it killing your ship.

  • Serpentis Dreadnought: 60.000.000 ISK bounty - no loot
  • Shadow Serpentis Dreadnought: 120.000.000 ISK bounty - loot consists of BPC and modules

The dreadnoughts can warp off, so be sure to bring warp distrupters or scramblers.

They can also spawn in combat anomalies.

NPC Hauler Spawns

This is a NPC freighters that are hauling around ores. These ships can drop more than 100.000.000 ISK in ores, and you want a hauler docked nearby so that you can loot the ores. Remember to bookmark the wreck when you switch into your hauler.
NPC hauler spawns are not the same as the NPC mining fleets.

NPC Mining Fleets

Main article: NPC Mining Operations

The NPC mining fleets are NPC mining ships and industrial haulers that operating in the asteroid belt. When attacked they will warp off and call in a respons fleet to attack whoever aggressed them. The miners and haulers can then be scanned down with combat probes and killed. The respons fleet uses advanced A.I. tactics, such as dedicated logi ships to heal incoming damage. The loot is gotten from the haulers, and the respons fleet gives no loot of their own.

While these fleets can be killed solo (usually in T3D), they are best undertaken in a small fleet.

Officer spawns

Main article: Faction modules#Officer

These cannot spawn at the NSC
Officer spawns are extremely rare named pirate NPCs. They have high bounties, but are done for the officer modules that they drop. Each pirat faction have their own officers, and these officers only spawn in select regions. Syndicate is NOT one of these regions, and as such officers do not spawn at the NSC.


Combat Sites

Main article: Guide to combat sites
The scanner window, with a combat Anomaly and a combat Signature halfway scanned down.

At the NSC, in addition or instead of ratting in belts, you can also complete combat sites. These sites can be divided anomalies, signatures, escalations and static complexes.

  • Cosmic anomalies:
    • Visible in probe window without scanner.
    • The easiest of the bunch.
    • Low chance to either spawning Shadow Serpentis faction rats and Dreadnought capital rats (like in belts).
    • Can escalate into DED sites or Expeditions.
  • Cosmic signatures:
    • Can either be gotten as an escalation from clearing an combat anomaly, or be found in system (where it needs to be scanned down with probes).
    • Unrated Complexes has moderate chances for faction spawn and low chance to escalate into a new combat site.
    • DED combat sites have guaranteed faction spawn that can drop DED modules and can under some circumstances escalate into a new DED site.
  • Expeditions:
    • Escalates from anomalies and unrated signatures.
    • And as such cannot be found, but must be gotten from other combat sites.
    • They usually consists of many parts, and expeditions can escalation into new expeditions in new systems.

The system security (not true-sec) determines what level of sites that spawn, while region determines what pirate faction sites spawn. Since the NSC is located in Syndicate, we get Serpentis pirate spawns, with the occasionally rogue drones combat sites as well.

At the NSC, there is the possibility of 22 different versions of combat anomalies to spawn. Ranging from Class 4, level 2 sites (Serpentis Hidden Den), to the Class 10 site (Serpentis Sanctum). Serpentis combat anomalies are usually worth your time doing, while the rogue drones combat sites are generally of questionable worth.
Unrated combat sites, DED combat sites and Expeditions are generally more challenging and needs preparations or to be done in a group, but also offers higher rewards. It is important to know that, while higher class of combat anomalies means the site will be harder. The difficulty of Unrated Complexes, DED Complexes or Expeditions does not 100% correlate with Class. CCP haven't been great at balancing these combat sites, so be sure to look them up your first time.

Before you undertake a combat site for the first time, it is adviceable to read up about it here:

Here you can look up the different sites and what challenges and possible rewards they contain.

Tips

Combat anomalies consists of one ungated pocket, with some rats already there and more spawning in waves when previous ships gets destroyed. To not get overrun, you should look up the wave trigger, and kill that ship last. Once you enter a combat anomaly, brun away form the warp-in and make sure that you don't fly directly towards the rats, as it makes you far to easy to kill. Once you are a bit away form the warp-in, drop down a mobile tractor unit and orbit it at about 20 km. The reason to get away from the warp-in, is so you aren't to close to it if hostile players warps to it. The mobile tractor unit are not a must, but it makes looting and salvaging wrecks far easier. Just remember to bookmark it in case you have to run.

Combat signatures and Expeditions are far more varied, and there for harder to give general advice for. They usually consists of a couple of gated deadspace pockets. This means that hostile players cannot warp directly to you, but have to scan you down and take the gates to reach you. This makes you far harder to catch while running, just remember to keep an eye on the intel.

The higher difficulty of combat sites means, that you want better ships than for belt ratting. At least a Vexor with T2 drones and T2 tank are generally advisable, if you cannot fly this, think about keeping to running missions or killing rats in belts for now. Once you have the ISK to afford a Vexor Navy Issue or similar powerful ratting ships, consider upgrading to this.


How to be safe from other players

The NSC is located in null security space and players can therefor kill other players without repercussions. Ships used for PvE are often expensive, and hunting these ships can be a fun and sometimes even lucrative endeavour for players. It is therefore vital for anyone ratting at the NSC to stay safe. There are a number of precausions a member of the NSC can take to greatly increase his or hers chance of survival:

  • Be in fleet.
  • Be in the intel channel.
  • Be on coms.
  • Once you enter a combat site or an asteroid belt, burn away from the warp-in point. The distance a hunter have to travel from the warp-in point to you, can sometimes save you.
  • Keep an eye on local to see if neutral or hostile player enters your system.
  • Use D-Scan to check for ships and probes.
  • Create and use safespot bookmarks.
    • And stay aligned to these safe spots, if there are unknown players in system.

The idea is to be in fleet, in the intel channel and on coms, so that the player doing PvE activities can be warned in advance if there are hostile players in the neighbouring systems. This way, you can go to a safe spot or dock up in stations or structures before the hunter enters system. Since Cruisers and specially battleships are slow to align and enter warp, it can sometimes be to late to escape when the hunter enters your system, so a warning in advance can sometimes save your ship.

Also, by being in fleet, etc., you can also warn other members of the NSC and thereby helping them survive.

If you see this on your D-Scan, it is time to dock up.

Nsc mission 9.png

If you get caught anyways

So you followed the above advice, but got caught anyways? This happens. The most important part is to stay calm. Being in fleet and on coms also allows you to call for help if you should be caught.

  • Calmly call out for help on mumble and in fleet chat.
  • Describe where you are and what ship caught you.
  • Stay aligned, so that you can warp off if the hunter loses point or scram.
  • Direct your attacks on the hunter.
  • If there are help coming, wait for it and tell them if the situation should change.
  • Thank your rescuer!

Hopefully you didn't lose your ship. Stay docked and wait for the intel on when hunter leave the pocket.

Unfortunately even with these precautions, you still sometimes will lose ships. In these situations, it is important to go through the process and see what you have learned, so that you don't make the same mistakes again.

Preparing your ship

The NSC is located in Serpentis space, and the rats you will face while ratting are Serpentis NPCs and sometimes rogue drones. This makes it easy to prepare both the tank of your ship, as well as the type of damage you should deal.

The type of ships used for ratting at the NSC range from beginner ships like the Algos or the Vexor, to intermediate ships like the ever popular Vexor Navy Issue, the Gila or the Dominix, and up to very strong ships like the Ishtar or Tengu, and even the Rattlesnake.
These ships are mostly "drone boats", that sometimes have secondary weapons as well. The reason for this is the versatility that drones brings to PvE. Other popular weapon against Serpentis rats are missiles and hybrid turrets. You want to avoid weapon types like Laser turrets and projectile turrets for PvE at the NSC, their damage type aren't great against the weakness of Serpentis ships.

Below you will find a tabel with what kind for damage your ship should deal out, and what your ship should resist:

Faction Damage to deal Damage to resist Electronic Warfare
Serpentis Kinetic / Thermal Thermal (55%) / Kinetic (45%) Sensor Dampener
Rogue Drones EM/Thermal (varies)

As you see, against Serpentis rats, you should deal kinetic damage, and needs to tank both thermal and kinetic damage. Against rogue drones, it can vary a bit more, but you can just stay away from the rogue drone combat sites if you are unsure. No matter what you fly in and how you fit it. You want to pilot the ship correctly, this means never to fly directly towards NPC battleships as it makes you far to easy to hit. In combat anomalies, drop down your mobil tractor unit and orbit it at about 20 km. In belts and combat signatures, you should manually steer your ship so that you approach the rats to the side.

Below you will find a small list of example fittings for ships that can be used to rat at the NSC.

Ship fitting examples

100MN NSC PvE Beginner
Vexor: 100MN NSC PvE Beginner
EFT
[Vexor, 100MN NSC PvE Beginner]
Drone Link Augmentor I

100MN Monopropellant Enduring Afterburner
Denny Enduring Omnidirectional Tracking Link, Tracking Speed Script
Cap Recharger I
Medium Compact Pb-Acid Cap Battery

Medium Armor Repairer II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Damage Control II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II

Medium Anti-Thermal Pump I
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I


Hornet I x7
Vespa I x7

Tracking Speed Script x1

Fitting template high slot label.png
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Fitting template mid slots label.png
5955_64.png
41032_64.png
1195_64.png
6073_64.png
Fitting template low slots label.png
3530_64.png
11269_64.png
2048_64.png
4405_64.png
4405_64.png
Fitting template subsystem slots label.png
Fitting template drone slots label.png
2464_64.png
15508_64.png
Icon dashed diamond.png
Icon dashed diamond.png
Fitting template drone slots label.png
Fitting template charge slots label.png
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Icon dashed triangle.png
Icon dashed triangle.png
Fitting template rig slots label.png
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FITTING DIFFICULTY
EVE VERSION
June 2018
ALPHA CAN USE
YES
EFT
FLEET-UP
SKILLS
NOTES
RECOMMENDED SKILLS
  • Gallente Cruiser 3+
  • Drones 4+
  • Hull Upgrades 5
  • Mechanics 4+
NOTES
  • This is an absolute beginner fit for ratting at the NSC. With this you can only hunt rats in asteroid belts. You want to upgrade to T2 modules and drones (specially drones), when you have the skills for it.
NSC ratting VNI
Vexor Navy Issue: NSC ratting VNI
EFT
[Vexor Navy Issue, NSC ratting VNI]
Drone Link Augmentor I

10MN Monopropellant Enduring Afterburner
Denny Enduring Omnidirectional Tracking Link, Tracking Speed Script
Cap Recharger II
Medium Cap Battery II

Medium Armor Repairer II
Damage Control II
Armor Thermal Hardener II
Armer Kinetic Hardener II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II

Medium Anti-Thermal Pump II
Medium Anti-Kinetic Pump II
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit II


Hornet II x7
Vespa II x7

Tracking Speed Script x1

Fitting template high slot label.png
23527_64.png
Fitting template mid slots label.png
6005_64.png
41032_64.png
2032_64.png
3496_64.png
Fitting template low slots label.png
3530_64.png
2048_64.png
11648_64.png
11644_64.png
4405_64.png
4405_64.png
Fitting template subsystem slots label.png
Fitting template drone slots label.png
2466_64.png
21638_64.png
Icon dashed diamond.png
Icon dashed diamond.png
Fitting template drone slots label.png
Fitting template charge slots label.png
29001_64.png
Icon dashed triangle.png
Icon dashed triangle.png
Fitting template rig slots label.png
31011_64.png
31011_64.png
31372_64.png
FITTING DIFFICULTY
EVE VERSION
June 2018
ALPHA CAN USE
NO
EFT
FLEET-UP
SKILLS
NOTES
RECOMMENDED SKILLS
  • Gallente Cruiser 4+
  • Drones 5
  • Hull Upgrades 5
  • Mechanics 4+
NOTES
  • The VNI is a very popular PvE ratting ship. It is a flexible ship, and this is but one of many different ways it can be fitted.
  • Still, it is an expensive ship and you want good drone and tank skills before you fly it
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