Overheating 101

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This is a deprecated class syllabus, intended as historical record for the teaching department.

Creating syllabi is no longer our process for new classes, and no classes in the syllabus library are considered current. They are here for historical purposes only, as well as an optional starting point for designing new classes. Please do not assume any of the classes you find here have slides, or have even been taught for many years. If you do use information in a syllabus, ensure that you have brought it up to date with contemporary EVE.

Class Information

This chapter contains the standard information of this class pertaining to scheduling and class contents. The General Information should be sufficient to create a proper class topic for scheduling on the Eve University forum. Additional information relevant to the teacher is listed under Notes for the Teacher.

General Information

Illustration link for class description on the Eve University forum: FQP2U.jpg.

A fairly short (maybe) introduction to the art of overheating. Although some of the class is primarily intended at newbies who might have received a (notify) You need thermodynamics skill at level 1.0 to overload this module message and are wondering what that means, it also contains a lot of information about how heat damage works and tips to reduce it, which may be of interest to some seasoned veterans as well!

Topics include:

  • What overheating is
  • Skills required
  • How to do it
  • Heat damage
  • Repairing heat damage
  • Methods on reducing heat damage

Student requirements:

  • Mumble registration and access - make sure you have Mumble sorted out and operational well before the class begins. Use the Mumble guide for set-up.
  • Access to the Class.E-UNI in-game chat channel
  • Additional information: The class will be a lecture with a Q&A afterwards. There is no practical element, so you are free to attend wherever you happen to be docked.
  • Duration: around 1 hour.

Notes for the Teacher

Required materials:

  • Class.E-UNI chat channel, to receive questions and post relevant links
  • This wiki page
  • The slideshow for you and students to refer to during class: http://eveuni.org/overheating101
  • Someone to link a few skills/modules for you

Class Contents


I have a presentation that goes with this class, and you can find it at this link: http://eveuni.org/overheating101.

So welcome to Overheating 101! In this class we'll be looking at what overheating is and why you should be doing it. We'll go over what it actually is, how to do it, and what happens when you do it.

So, who knows what overheating is?

What does it mean to overheat / overload a module?

(slideshow page 3)

Overheating - or overloading, the terms are interchangeable, but I will be using overheat - is the act of purposefully pushing a fitted active module beyond its normal limits, obtaining better performance for a short period of time. The drawback of this is that the module overheats (hence the name) and becomes damaged. If you overheat it for too long, the module will break and you will not be able to use it again until you dock up and repair it.  A broken module is forcibly offlined, and you will need to repair it before being able to online it again.

The majority of active modules can be overheated, although some cannot. Passive modules cannot be overheated. Any module able to be overheated will have a small green bar above its icon on your overview.

So now you might be asking; well what are these bonuses? Are they any good?

Overheat bonuses

(slideshow page 4)

Well, they are very good.

To see what sort of bonuses you get when overheating, click the Show Info on any module and go to the Attributes tab. The Overload Bonus will be listed part way down. Here are some example bonuses:

  • Propulsion modules (AB/MWD): +50% speed
  • Shield / armour hardeners: +20% damage resistance
  • Warp jammers (scram/point): +20% range
  • ECM jammers: +20% jam strength
  • Armour repairers & shield boosters: -15% duration (i.e. it cycles 15% faster) AND +10% repair/boost amount
  • Autocannons, Blasters, Pulse Lasers: +15% damage
  • Artillery Cannons, Railguns, Beam Lasers and Missile Launchers: -15% duration (ie. +15% rate of fire)

The bonuses are extremely significant, even for a short period of time. Note that the bonus on long range weapons and missiles does not increase the damage done, merely rate of fire. Overheating these weapon systems will not give you a bigger alpha strike. Bonuses this large can make a huge difference to solo PvP, or even small gang PvP where one ship is very important. They are less significant in big fleets, although it does depend partly what role you have and what you are flying. If your overheated warp disruptor gave you the extra range to stop the target getting away, resulting in a kill, then you can see it was very important.

If you overheat everything relevant as you go into a 1v1 PvP encounter, you might now be getting 15% extra damage and well over 20% extra tanking, which is extremely powerful.

I haven't included every overheatable module here, if it can be overheated it's always worth checking what the bonus is before you use it. Another very important point to remember is that bonuses that cause a module to cycle faster will have an impact on your capacitor life.

Now you know how amazing overheating is, the next question is what do I need to do this?

Skills Required

(slideshow page 5)

Well fortunately there is precisely one skill required to be able overheat stuff, and that is this one: Thermodynamics (link in chat).

You only need it at level 1, although there are benefits to training it higher than this that I'll cover later.

You'll find it in the Engineering section of your skills, and it's a rank 3 skill, which means it only takes a couple of hours to get to level 2, and a couple of days to get to level 4 (depending on your remaps and implants, of course).

The prerequisites are Power Grid Management 4, Capacitor Management 3 and Science 4. This was reduced some expansions ago, making overheating much more accessible for a lot of pilots. None of these will take very long to train, except Power Grid Management 4, which in giving you 5% more power grid to fit your ships with, is extremely useful anyway.

The skill book is 4.5 million ISK though, so it's not cheap. But if you intend to go into PvP in a big way it could be the best 4.5 mil you'll ever spend.

How to overheat a module

(slideshow page 6)

To overheat a module, you can click the little green bar above the module on the overview - it will have Toggle Overload in the mouseover text. It's admittedly quite a small target, and so there is a shortcut you can use to overheat module, which is Shift + click. You can also set keybinds to directly overheat modules. To find these, press Escape - Shortcuts - Modules.

If a module is currently active, and you set it to overheat, it won't overheat instantly, but will overheat on the next cycle - the little green bar will flash to indicate that it is about to start overheating. If the module is not currently active, it will not activate; but the little green bar will light up to indicate that when you do activate it, it will overheat.

Stopping overheating works the same way. If the module is currently active, it will stop overheating on the next cycle, but it will remain active - the green bar will flash to indicate it is about to stop overheating. If you deactivate a module then it will also deactivate the overheat. To reiterate - turning the overheat status on or off does not affect whether the module is actually active or not.

If you want to overheat a lot of modules quickly, there are three small circular buttons immediately to the right to the right of the heads-up display - the upper will overheat all the high slots, the middle will overheat all the mid slots, and the lower will obviously overheat all the low slots ((link image below)). You can also set shortcuts to do this, the same way as before.

Overheating Overview 2.png

When to overheat modules

Overheat whenever you can! With the significant bonuses to range, speed, tank or DPS on offer, it would be silly not to.

Being aware of how overheating affects your modules enables you to judge when to overheat stuff. For example, tackle modules such as point, web or scram have a bonus to their range, enabling you to catch targets from further away. If you are a tackler and trying to catch a fleeing target, overheating theses modules will give you some significant advantages in tackling it. Once you do have it pointed or webbed, you can perhaps stop overheating it to avoid burning out your modules (I'll talk a lot more about heat damage in a bit).

Overheating weapons will result in a big increase in your DPS. If you have a damage-dealer role, and you need to kill a target quickly (maybe before their back-up arrives, or before they kill you) then overheat your weapons.

Finally, if you're about to die, overheat everything. It may just save your ship, and even if it doesn't, your opponent will loot a bunch of damaged or broken modules, costing him more money to fix them!

Speaking of broken and damage modules: this big increase in effectiveness gained from overheating stuff does unfortunately come with a downside. Whilst something is active and overheated, it causes heat damage to itself and other modules in the same rack.

Heat damage

Managing your heat build-up is probably the most critical part to overheating successfully. Coincidentally it's also the largest part of this class.

Whilst modules are active and overheating, they, and other modules in the same section, will take heat damage. The amount of heat damage taken is a set amount, and can be seen in a module's Show Info. This is the amount of damage a module has a chance to cause (to itself or to other modules in the same rack) per overheated cycle. The structure HP of a module can also be seen, and this is universally 40 HP. Well, some Titan-only modules like Clone Vat Bays and Jump Portal Generators have 99,999HP (just to ensure you can't burn them out), but apart from them, it's all 40HP. Once a modules damage exceeds its structure HP, it will be forcibly offlined (also known as burnt out). The fact that it goes offline is important, and is both good and bad. More about this later.

Heat damage is shown around the edge of the circular module icons, as you can see in the picture on page 8 of the slideshow.

However, heat damage is not the same every time you overheat. Whether a module takes damage or not each cycle is a random chance, presumably using some kind of algorithm that CCP won't tell us about. Although we can't know exactly how heat damage is applied, we can do some experiments and draw our own conclusions. All the following tests were carried out with Thermodynamics at level 1 ((by Kivena)).

It is important to note that is the layout on the fitting screen that affects whether modules are 'adjacent', not the layout on your overview. You can drag modules around all over the place on the overview and it won't make any difference to which ones are adjacent, or which ones count as high or mid or low slot.

(slideshow page 8)

Here's a simple example to start with. This test was done in a Thrasher - a Minmatar destroyer - which conveniently has 7 turret hardpoints, allowing for plenty of modules to demonstrate heat damage. The middle modules is activated and overheating, whilst leaving the rest online and inactive.

Using a turret to demonstrate this means we can use remaining ammo count rather than having to get a stopwatch out to keep a count of time.

((link thes images directly, larger sizes than the ones in the slideshow))


This montage of images on page 8 of the slideshow shows what happened over a roughly 7 minute period.

Note that in this still image it is sometimes hard to see the heat damage, because the red sections flash grey/red when they take damage, but it is obvious in game.

As you can see from the bottom row, the end result is that once the red sections completely surround the module image, the active turret burns out with 8 rounds remaining. All of the other turrets also took significant heat damage. The two modules adjacent to the active turret were damaged the most, but the other four took varying amounts of heat damage.

Note that heat damage does not spread over other racks (high slot modules cannot damage mid or low slot modules, for example).

On the next page, page 9, you can see the results of seven more tests, where one module is overheated each time.

1Turret Thermo1.png

It is not always true that further away modules take less heat damage than ones closer to the source of the overheating, sometimes they can take more. Heat damage is based on chance, where the closer a module is to an overheated module, the higher chance it has to take damage from that overheating module. Sometimes ones further away can take more, and sometimes even more than the overheated module itself.

Residual Heat

An important component of heat damage is the small dial visible in the middle of the heads-up display, within the semicircular shield, armour and hull indicators. This is split into three sections - low slots, mid slots and high slots, and indicates what I'll call 'residual heat' in the modules. As well as seen in the montage on page 7, you can also see them on the image on page 4. At the start of the overheating, the dial is at zero. After a while it builds up, until around 50 rounds remaining it's almost full. On mouseover of this dial you can see the actual heat percentage, as I did in one of the rows of the page 7 image.

It goes up faster if you overheat more modules (if you overheat this whole rack of 7 turrets for example, it shoots up extremely fast).

After you have stopped overheating, it gradually diminishes, until eventually the residual heat is all gone. The residual heat takes much longer to dissipate than it does to build up. This residual heat on your ship does last between docking and undocking as well, if you do it fast enough.

This heat acts as a sort of multiplier, as your ship gets hotter stuff gets damaged faster. Technically, it gives you a higher chance for your modules to be damaged.

Heat damage appears to be applied at the beginning of a module's cycle. In theory therefore, skills that make your modules cycle faster will correspondingly cause them to burn out faster, although the number of cycles should not change. Another interesting feature is that a module that burns out will cycle one last time despite being offlined at the beginning of the cycle due to heat damage. You can accomplish a lot with this final hero cycle!

To recap heat damage:

Active and overheating modules have the highest chance to suffer the heat damage specified in their Show Info.

The closer another module is (in the fitting window) to an active and overheating module, the higher chance it has to suffer the heat damage specified in that module's Show Info. Note that it's the heat damage value of the active and overheating module that is used. If a module is not overheated, it's own heat damage value (if it has one, passive modules do not have this value) is not used.

Just like ECM electronic warfare – another chance-based mechanism – heat damage can be very unpredictable, and will not be the same every time you overheat.

(slideshow page 11)

On page 10 of the slideshow you can see the collated results on a bunch of tests using a smaller high-slot rack. This was a Jaguar - Minmatar Assault Frigate - with three turrets and an energy vampire. Note that all three of the turrets were overheated until they burnt out, whilst the energy vamp was left inactive. Not just one turret like before.


For the five tests on the left I had the nosferatu module (inactive) in one of the centre slots of the high-slot rack, and for the five tests on the right I had it in one of the end slots. What is very noticeable about these tests is how much heat damage the nosferatu module takes. When it is in the middle, it takes damage from both sides, and frequently burns out. When on the side, it only has damage one one side, and always survives. In addition, the turrets on the left last a little bit longer than those on the right.

((That one row with the line through on the left is ignored because I forgot to reload to full ammo.))

A t-test can be carried out to decide whether this is statistically significant (one-tailed, because we're expecting the turrets on the left to last longer). The result is that we are 89% confident that these two values are statistically significant (scientific experiments typically require a 95% confidence). In theory, therefore, placing other modules between your overheated turrets or missile launchers like this can give you a little more overheating time - but be careful not to burn out your 'spacer' modules.

A player called Xola Zuni did some tests as well and posted the results over at the Rifter Drifter blog, which you can find here: http://www.rifterdrifter.com/2011/05/harder-better-faster-stronger/. His results mirror these pretty well.

(slideshow page 12)

Now, one thing that will definitely make a difference to how long you can overheat is the presence of empty slots or offline modules. If you remember the test on page 8, where one turret was overheated in a rack of 7, which lasted on average nearly a whole magazine. Doing the same test with only one turret and 6 empty slots, results in that one turret lasting much, much longer (nearly two full magazines). Exactly the same situation occured when the other 6 turrets were offline (instead of online but inactive). It seems that in these two cases, the damage that would have been taken by the adjacent modules does not contribute to the 'residual heat' gauge, which consequently rises much more slowly.

However in the case of the offline modules, they do still take that damage (even though it doesn't contribute to the residual heat) and will still need repairing.

If you remember I said that when a module becomes broken it is forcibly offlined, which is both good and bad. This is why it's good - the rest of modules will last longer than they otherwise would, meaning you can overheat them for longer. As more and more modules become broken and offline, the rest of them will last longer and longer, until you only have one left, which will last a very long time.

There is no reason to think turrets behave any differently to midslot or lowslot modules. The one big difference is that turrets have a much much smaller heat damage value compared to other modules, so they can last a lot longer in terms of number of cycles. Things like propulsion modules, tackle mods and repair mods have a larger heat damage value and therefore will last for far fewer cycles. This, when combined with the fewer mid-slots or low-slots most ships have (not all), means that you are less likely to get average results and more likely to get "extreme" results. Stories abound on forums about overheating modules at one end of a rack and having a module on the opposite end burn out first, and similar tales of woe.

Incidentally, propulsion modules, especially microwarpdrives, have a much higher heat damage value that other modules. Overheating these modules will burn out your modules faster than you might expect.

(slideshow page 13)

Before we leave heat damage entirely however, a very important factor is how heat damage works in regards to grouped turrets or missile launchers. On page 13 of the slideshow you can see an image of two separate tests. The first one had a group of six turrets overheating, with another turret inactive. The result was, all the turrets burnt out on the same cycle. This happened in every test carried out.


In the second test, as well as overheating the group of six turrets, the other, single turret, is also overheated. In this case, the turrets in the group burn out at different times. Although once one burns out, the group becomes unusable, and you have to un-group them to be able to continue individually firing any still online.

A group of weapons, without any external factors, will each deal exactly the same heat damage to each other and will therefore burn out together. The server counts a grouped turret as a single turret when it comes to calculations such as damage (in order to save on server CPU requirements and hence reduce lag), and clearly this "single turret" concept extends to heat damage.

But, if you have one or more other overheated modules - or groups of modules - that other module will do the normal heat damage distribution to the group. This causes modules in the group to have slightly different heat damages to each other, and thus some will burn out earlier than others.

So the lesson here is to always group your turrets or launchers into at least two groups and overheat both or neither.

Repairing heat damage

(slideshow page 12)

There are two ways to repair heat damage to modules.

The first is simply to dock up at a station with a Repair Shop, and use the station service to repair all your modules. Higher meta level modules cost more to repair - Tier 1 cost the least, Tier 2 cost more, Faction modules cost the most. Medium or Large modules also cost more than Small modules. Here's an image as an example: 6cdDN1P.png - these are meta levels 1, 5 and 12.

Remember when I said earlier, if a module burns out it is automatically offlined, which is both good and bad. Here's why it's bad - because repairing a module does not also online it. If you had broken modules, and docked up, you must open the fitting screen to re-online your module(s) before undocking. Not remembering this and being in a hurry will result in you docking, repairing, undocking, finding all your modules still offline and unable to be used, and having to turn around to re-dock and online them again. ((I did this a lot whilst testing out overheating for this class...))

Using a repair shop in this way is the only way to repair broken modules.

(slideshow page 13)

If your modules are merely damaged, and not broken, you can repair them in space using a substance called Nanite Repair Paste. To use this, you simply need some of it in your cargo hold, and when right-clicking on a damaged module you will see an option to 'Repair Module'. Note that you don't need any skills at all, not even Thermodynamics, to be able to repair heat damaged modules using this paste.

A module under repair cannot be used, and no other modules - on any rack, high mids or lows - can be overheated whilst one or more modules are being repaired. You can however repair and reload a turret at the same time. You can repair a bit at a time, by right-clicking on a repairing module and selecting Cancel Repair (this can be useful when repairing modules bit by bit whilst travelling through systems).

In a very similar fashion to station repair costs, repairing higher meta level items or large/medium items will consume more paste.

(slideshow page 14)

There are two skills (in the Engineering group) that improve your repair efficiency:

  • Nanite Operation - which reduces the amount of Nanite Repair Paste required by 5% per level, thus causing you to use less paste
  • Nanite Interfacing - which increases the amount of damage repaired per second by 20% per level, thus making your repairs faster

Neither of these skills are required to use nanite repair paste, they only make it more efficient. You have no indicator of how long a repair will take, or how much paste it will use, until the repair is finished, and there are no "partial" repairs. As one example, with zero Nanite Interfacing skill it can take approximately 4 minutes to repair a T1 light missile launcher that is 90% damaged. With Nanite Operation trained to III, the repair uses one unit of paste to heal 35 hitpoints of module damage.

An unfinished repair will cancel following a gate jump or other session change. Despite the high (5M ISK) cost of the Nanite Interfacing skillbook, it's worth considering that it's uncommon during an E-Uni roam to stay in one system long enough, for a repair to complete with zero skills. Safely and quickly docking at a station with repair facilities may be your only opportunity to keep pace with the fleet, but your FC should be made aware of your intentions first!

Now, most of you may know you can hide passive modules on your overview, to reduce clutter on your heads up display. Who here hides the passive modules on their overview?

It's important to note that not just active modules can burn out. As I noted earlier, an overheated module damages other modules in the same rack, especially those adjacent to the overheating module. It's very easy to forget that passive modules can take heat damage, have them burn out, and not know about it.

If you plan to overheat a lot, it may be a good idea to show your passive modules on your heads up display. At the very least, you should be aware that this can happen. Not realising that that medium shield extender on your interceptor is burnt out when you go into tackle a target, can result in your swift and unexpected demise. (source: experience :( ))

How to reduce heat damage

I'll go through a few simple methods to reduce the heat damage you take, and reducing the likelihood of your modules burning out.

The first is to train up the Thermodynamics skill higher. Each level reduces the heat damage taken by 5%, so training it from level one to level four means you can overheat your modules for roughly 15% longer.  In my tests earlier, you'll remember that overheating one module, with Thermodynamics 1, lasted to between 4 and 21 rounds remaining.  With Thermodynamics 4 it lasted one entire magazine, and then burnt out at about 100 to 110 rounds remaining. So training up this does let you overheat for quite a bit longer.

You could also arrange your modules optimally, with spacer modules in between active/overheated modules to absorb your heat. Here's some examples, firstly an ECM Blackbird - ROdAvRG.png - where the jammers are arranged with the MWD and shield extender in between so I can overheat the jammers for longer.

Also this Hurricane - NVj8To7.png - with the energy neutralizer in between two groups of three turrets to absorb heat damage.

Finally here's a cloaky Proteus for wormhole work - aukF2zU.png - the probe launcher especially but also the cloak are arguably both more important than the turrets, as if the probe launcher becomes burnt out there is no way out of w-space. So the probe launcher is kept far away from anything overheatable.

However, as I already explained when I was testing, although this does mean you can overheat for a little longer, you also suffer those spacer modules taking a lot more damage and a much greater chance of those modules burning out. Whether the chance of gaining a little longer overheat is worth burnt out spacer modules is up to you - it probably depends on your modules and your situation. To take a couple of high-slot examples, burning out an energy vampire will worry you a lot less than, say, burning out a probe launcher that might be your only way out of a wormhole.

Don't group all your turrets or launchers into one group. They will all burn out at the same time. Group into at least two and overheat both or neither. Then once one of your turrets burns out you can un-group and continue firing the rest of them.

Another important thing to do is to repair your modules at the first opportunity! Always bring plenty of nanite repair paste ((25-50 for frigates, 50-100 for cruisers, 100-200 for BSes)), and use it as soon as you can after you take heat damage. Or dock as soon as you can to repair your broken modules. Leaving heat damage to build up between engagements is a sure-fire way to burn out your modules.

Finally, all four Strategic Cruisers - T3 cruisers - have ship bonuses that reduce the amount of heat damage taken, and one of their subsystems has a further bonus to heat damage reduction. If you love overheating stuff, they are perfect for the job and can often sustain overheated modules for a very long time.

And that's it for this class, if you have any questions then please ask now, otherwise thank you for coming! If you have any suggestions for improving this class feel free to send me an evemail.