Ship progression in Incursions
- 1 Planning ahead
- 2 Ship progression
- 3 Fit progression
- 4 Skill progression
Unless you are already heavily invested into a certain race or weapon system, it might be a good idea to think of which logistics ship, strategic cruiser or pirate faction battleship you'll want in the end, rather than what your first incursion ship should be. Don't worry too much about it though, as the race specific ship and weapon skills you train for the minimum skills only amount to a little over five days worth of training. So changing your mind along the way wouldn't be much of a detour.
Depending on the race, training for strategic cruisers will make quite some progress towards being able to fly logistics as well, or the other way around if your goal is to fly logistics. That said, most strategic cruisers pale in comparison to the pirate faction battleships who remain the epitome of incursion boats.
You should also consider secondary value of whatever you train, perhaps you can find an end-of-the-line ship that not only furthers your goals for incursions but other goals as well given the skills you'll end up training for it. If you already know that you like smaller ships, or have plans for diving into a wormhole in the future, it would make much more sense training into a strategic cruiser than a pirate faction battleship.
So take some time to consider which racial ship line, what racial weapons would benefit you doing missions, exploration, PvP or whatever else you'd like to do in EVE.
While there's little in terms of progression for logistics, it's worth mentioning that it can be highly advantageous to train into both the Scimitar and the Basilisk. Progression is mostly based on skills once you can fly these two ships, most notably Logistics Cruisers V that opens up for a lot of options.
Scimitaris cap stable on its own and does not require a cap chain to run all its remote shield boosters. That and the bonus to remote tracking computers means it's favoured in any fleet that either doesn't need utility cap or has it covered already.
Basiliskrelies on establishing a cap chain in order to run all its remote shield boosters. The extra high slots allow for either more remote shield boosters or extra utility cap for the fleet. It is often used to ensure enough utility cap for the more difficult incursion sites featuring heavy neuting.
Pirate faction battleships
The Machariel, Nightmare and Vindicator hulls are preferred for incursions due to a combination of higher base stats, better bonuses and better slot layouts.
Some of these have a natural progression, like the Maelstrom pilot only needing Gallente Battleship to move into a Machariel and a Hyperion pilot only needing to train Minmatar Battleship to get into the Vindicator. Left a bit on the side is the Rokh with a low priority synergy with the Nightmare given the Caldari Battleship skill and a slightly stronger synergy with the Vindicator given that they both use the Large Hybrid Turret skill for their guns.
Training up a racial battleship skill from scratch to III takes less than four days and training a new racial turret skill to III is about a day and a half, so even if some of these ships have natural progression; don't feel like you're a slave to your initial choice of ship or weaponry.
Nightmarehas very good damage at any range due to fast-swapping crystals and compensates for the innate low tracking of lasers with the ship's tracking bonus. It also has plenty of utility midslots available. Has some cap issues putting some pressure on good cap skills.
Macharielcombines a flexible engagement range for autocannons with a high rate of fire. Fit for long range the impressive alpha is unmatched, although it does suffer comparably with lower overall dps. It also has enough midslots to fit for any occasion.
Vindicatoris a brawler without match, both in terms of damage and incredibly strong webs. Despite appearances, it is also a very potent sniper when fitted with railguns, and tech two ammo makes it possible to use blasters at medium range.
Command Ships and Strategic Cruisers
These ships are not ships you train into for for the sake of doing incursions as a damage dealer ...
Cruiser-sized hulls like Command Ships and Strategic Cruisers are less powerful with their weaker medium weaponry and sometimes low number of utility midslots. A lot of these ships also have some issues with range projection, even when using long range weapons. Unlike regular tech one battleships, they also focus on skills that make little to no headway towards the more powerful pirate faction battleships.
Given their lower dps potential, these ships also require very high skills (near max) and tech two guns to be able to perform. These ships are not ships you train into for the sake of doing incursions, with the exception of the ongrid booster role, but used as an alternative if you can't fly battleships and you happen to have these trained high already.
Ill-suited for public communities
Almost all communities shun these two ship classes (with the exception of command ships for ongrid boosting). Instead they favour having their members temporarily go into the tech one battleships, until they can afford to upgrade to the more powerful pirate faction battleships. Any other ship class is just a waste of time and effort better put into getting them skilled and ready in the appropriate high-end ships they desire, since people make enough ISK to upgrade to a proper pirate faction ship after just a handful of hours worth of running.
Accepted in the EVE University Incursion Community
In the EVE University Incursion Community we have no real reason to casually bar these ships as regular damage dealers, since properly fitted with long range medium turrets they can often perform similar to or slightly better than our tech one minimum fits. They can also be used effectively for Nation Consolidation Network assault sites. Since we have some members who spend the majority of their time in other campuses flying smaller ships, this allows us to include more people into our community.
While we accept them, they are still not recommended for the majority of players as they require very high skills and tech two weapons to perform. They should only be used for very specific reasons when other alternatives are much less desirable.
For the most part, fit progression is really only relevant for high-end ships like the three pirate faction battleships mentioned above. Logistics ships use pretty much the same rigs, changing only a few modules based on their desired fit. Remember that upgrading from a regular battleship to a pirate faction battleship alone is a big upgrade and the best use of your ISK for the initial upgrade.
See upgrade priorities for more information and remember that your options are highly limited by your choice of rigs. That choice also heavily influences the amount of ISK you need to front to make the fit work. The examples below will use the more common setups, so will not include specialized fits such as the warp speed variant.
If you're not entirely sure how you want to fit your ship in the end, the same principle that we follow to fit our minimum fits can be applied to pirate faction ships as well. Practically you can fit a Vindicator more or less the same way you'd fit a Hyperion. The same goes for fitting a Machariel similar to how you fit a Maelstrom.
Here's an example of a Nightmare fit according to our principles, with only a minor change to rigs since their increased stats make shield extender rigs superfluous.
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
EM Ward Amplifier II
Damage Control II
Large Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I
Large Energy Burst Aerator II
- The Nightmare is often the only decent entry-ship for Amarr pilots.
- Even using the standard setup the ship sports plenty of midslots allowing for a high number of utility modules, four to be exact.
... will free up an extra midslot.
If you want to keep the cost of the fit down while still having some improvements, you could go halfway with the cheapest deadspace modules. The advanced thermal rig setup from the fitting principles page will free up an extra midslot.
Here's an example of a Machariel fit according to that principle.
Pithum C-Type Adaptive Invulnerability Field
Pithum C-Type EM Ward Amplifier
Damage Control II
Large Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I
Large Projectile Burst Aerator II
- With a cheap setup you'd use up 3 midslots for tank, leaving only 2 midslots for utility modules. But since you're only using 2 midslots you now have room for an additional midslot.
- Increasing the tank for this fit can be as cheap as adding a normal Adaptive Invulnerability Field II module for assaults and headquarters.
... gives you maximum damage and will free up two extra midslots.
If you're willing to spend a little bit more on your favourite cash-cow ship, you can take it one step further with one of the more costly deadspace hardeners. The advanced electromagnetic rig setup from the fitting principles page gives you maximum damage and will free up two extra midslots.
Here's an example of a Vindicator fit according to that principle.
|Note:||This fit changes the rig to a Large Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I and will not work with other resist rigs.|
Pithum B-Type Adaptive Invulnerability Field
Damage Control II
Large Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Large Hybrid Burst Aerator II
- With a cheap setup you'd use up 3 midslots for tank, leaving only 2 midslots for utility modules. But since you're only using 1 midslot you now have room for two additional midslots.
- Increasing the tank for this fit can be as cheap as adding a normal Adaptive Invulnerability Field II module for assaults, or if you want to solidify your tank for headquarters, a second Pithum B-Type Adaptive Invulnerability Field.
For the most part skill progression is as simple as just topping off the minimum skills you needed to get ready and perhaps train a couple of new skills to be able to use a different set of drones or a situational module. There are however some differences between skill progression for logistics and damage dealers.
Progression for logistics is practically an intertwined mess of both fit and skill progression, as skills like Logistics Cruisers V and all the support skills all play a vital role. The more powerful tech two remote shield boosters require better fitting skills and utility modules require more cap, at the same time you want to use less fitting modules to free up room for even more utility modules while still keeping a good enough tank.
It's possible to change the priority or shorten the train early on by using implants to improve your capacitor regeneration or fitting room. This is because logistics have relatively small capacitor capacity and even small changes can often make or break a fit. See recommended implants for more information.
Most of the progression in terms of skill for damage dealers surrounds gunnery and drones, but also to some extent capacitor management and fitting skills. Skill progression for damage dealers are completely disjointed and separate from ship progression due to the fact that you'll perform better in a pirate faction than you would in a tech one hull no matter what your skills are. So as your skills improve you'll progress the same regardless if it's in a fancy ship or your old but trustworthy tech one battleship; You simply upgrade when your skills allow you to.
|Tech two weapons
As soon as you have the skills for it, toss away those old meta turrets and replace them with your tech two turrets of choice. All ships, tech one battleships as well as pirate faction battleships benefit greatly from the much more powerful tech two turrets (and their advanced ammunition).
|Improved drone skills
There are several drone-related skills to help improve your performance. First training into medium drones and improving drone control range, then general drone support and specialization skills. Later on you might train heavy drones for headquarter sites or sentry drones for vanguard sites.
Some skills improved basic capacitor regeneration, others reduce capacitor usage instead. Some ships will have little to no issues with cap, while others are much more subject to it and require very high skills. Implants play a small role in this as well, so your mileage will vary here depending on your skills, ship, fit and implants.
Long range weapons and propulsion modules in particular put a lot of strain on your power grid while tech two weapons and damage upgrades require a lot of CPU. This is not an issue early on, but as you move into assaults and headquarters, you might need to train skills that reduce the power grid and CPU requirements as well as improving the base output of your ship.