- Shield Buffer
- Ancillary Shield Booster
- Armour Buffer
The obvious option was to use the medium shield extender with light neutron blasters, as a fairly standard Merlin buffer tanked ship. With level V skills this particular configuration offered 196 DPS along with 8,019 EHP:
Whilst it was a fairly standard option Starwalker was looking for something a little different. He had tended to use buffer tanks for simplicity but wondered if going for an active tank might be good for a change. Given that, may be this was an opportunity to look at the new module - ancillary shield booster.
The ancillary shield booster option had only become available recently and it seemed an attractive option for active shield tanking. Using the over-sized medium booster provided 146 shield hit-points but it took 60 seconds to reload, consequently it seemed sensible to fit two to allow alternate use. The advantage of using this module over the standard shield booster was that it did not use the ship's capacitor. This ship configuration put out 177 DPS and had an active defense of 209.
However, for something a little different, Starwalker considered whether it might be a surprise for a combatant to run into an armour tanked Merlin:
If the target ship was using EM ammunition then it would be running into 70% resists and the most reinforced section of the tank with it 200mm plate. That seemed like a lot of fun and potentially a nice surprise that offered 196 DPS and 5,233 EHP.
There was also the glass cannon option that appealed to Starwalker too as this could rain down 249 DPS and still have an effective EHP of 3,750. It seemed a little too extreme to have only magnetic field stabilizers in the lows and damage rigs for 280 DPS and 2,298 EHP. It was also unclear what the final DPS result would be after stacking penalties were applied.
Starwalker knew that there was no "best" option as each fit would be better under some circumstances and worse under others and encounters were far too random to always be in the right ship at the right time. The important thing was what would be fun to fly next - decisions, decisions, decisions.