17 November 2013

Implants +3 and +3%

Starwalker had initially started with a simple set of implants with a low budget. There were really two goals: speed up training time and add little skill enhancements that might make the difference between victory and defeat in a close fight.

Over time he had gravitated towards +3 learning implants and +3% skill enhancements. Similarly, recently he had started to use the Genolution Core Augmentation CA-1 and CA-2 implants as they gave a useful increase to power grid and CPU for ship fits just over the normal limit.

Jester had written a comprehensive implant guide and that had prompted Starwalker to have a slight specialisation with a learning + rocket set and a blaster set. The price for his implants had also crept up over time and he now had 150m to 160m ISK plugged in.

Whilst he had wanted the improved learning speed originally he had experimented a little over time and his general thoughts now were:
  • The effect of speed enhancement implants (Zors...) were simply too small to make any appreciable difference. He had flown with them for some time in primarily afterburner brawling frigates and they would not make a slow frigate fast. They might be more useful if he were using attack frigates or interceptors but he did not fly them that often
  • Learning implants were useful initially or until the core training was done because there were so many useful skills and speeding up the process was beneficial. However, once that training had been done and it was now filling out specialist skills or training to level V then the bang for buck was reduced
  • Genolution fitting implants were useful on occasion but it really depended on whether the extra fitting room made a difference. On many frigate fits using level V fitting skills were sufficient and adding in the little extra CPU and power grid did not matter
  • Whilst using implants to enhance damage (or tank) seemed like a good idea most fights rarely went down to the last sliver of structure in a closely fought contest. It was usually much more clear cut as to who would win and who would lose. However, specialising a set of implants seemed to be the most useful concept such as to enhance gunnery or missile skills
The counter-point and something that Starwalker was seriously considering was that he should simply have a clean clone:
  • Getting podded would not involve a serious loss of ISK (and he had been podded all too frequently recently for a variety of reasons)
  • Core training for flying frigates was finished and the ~10% learning speed increase was not really material to what frigate he was flying and its level of combat effectiveness
  • Small improvements like +3% implants, especially when a few of them were focused together probably made more sense. However, the close fights where those little extra differences mattered were so few and far between that it did not really justify the cost
  • Significant improvements such as snake implants, +5% implants or similar were simply far too expensive to use and also he was quite happy to fight without those type of advantages
No doubt from a min-max perspective the case could easily be made for any small (1%-3%) advantages, especially when aggregating them but Starwalker was not a min-maxer. His experience was that most solo fights were usually decided by other factors such as ship fit and pilot error.

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