Assessing the usefulness of capacitor batteries.

Something different today! I’m going to be taking a look at one of the… neglected, modules in EVE Online, the Capacitor Battery, poking around at why I think it isn’t used, and what could be done to make it more viable!

Firstly, let me explain what it is, since most people wouldn’t know, because almost no-one uses them, not even for intentional shit-fits.

2015.07.14.23.34.54In this case, a T2 Medium Capacitor battery gives 3 benefits:

  1. Reflects 10% of incoming energy neutraliser effects back onto the attacker.
  2. Reflects 20% of incoming energy nosferatu effects back onto the attacker.
  3. Boosts your total capacitor by 420GJ.

What does the reflection mean? Well, I haven’t gone looking for places where the mechanics of a capacitor battery are well-documented, but to be honest I don’t know if I’ll find anything. Correct me if I’m wrong, of course. For now though, I’m going to take an educated assumption based on what I know about it, having used it a few times.

Lets say you’re fighting an enemy Armageddon in a Megathron. He applies a Heavy Unstable Power Fluctuator I (HUPF I) on you. If the Armageddon has Capacitor Emission Systems at 4, it costs him 400GJ every 24 seconds to drain you of 600GJ of capacitor. This means for every point of cap he expends neuting the Megathron, he Megathron loses 1.5 points of cap.

Now lets say the Megathron is has equipped a T2 large capacitor battery. In terms of neutralisers, it reflects 12.5% of the neuting amount back onto the attacker. We run the numbers again!

12.5% of 600GJ (neuting amount of the HUPF I) is 75GJ. This number is subtracted from the amount applied to the Megathron, and added to the cost of the Armageddon.

Essentially, the Armageddon now expends 475GJ of capacitor to neut out 525GJ of the Megathron’s capacitor.

For everyone point of cap the Armageddon spends neuting a Megathron with 1 capacitor battery, the Megathron loses 1.105 points of cap.

In this scenario, capacitor warfare gets a lot closer, and unless the Armageddon is fit with dual capacitor boosters, most fits might strain to keep neuts on cap batteried Megathrons indefinitely. At the very least dual cap booster setups will start to eat through their cap boosters a lot faster.

Lets take a look at another scenario, this time we’ll use something with a bonus to cap neuting amount. A Curse neuting a Vexor Navy Issue.

With Capacitor Emission Systems IV and Recon Ships IV, a Curse expends 102GJ to neut a whopping 324GJ of the VNI’s cap. 1 Curse cap point for ~3.24 VNI cap points. We already see a large difference in the ratios compared to above due to the cap amount bonus of the Curse.

VNI equips a T2 medium capacitor battery. Neut reflect amount: 10%

10% of 324GJ = 32.4GJ

A Curse expends 134.4GJ to neut out 291.6GJ of the cap-batteried-VNI’s cap. Ratio is 1:2.17

So what exactly does all this mean?

For one, that the capacitor battery is a very cool module in cap warfare, and it can make ships like the Curse struggle when applying its neuts to batteried ships, as the Curse itself requires at least one capacitor booster to run 5 neuts indefinitely. Of course, it doesn’t HAVE to run it indefinitely if the pilot can judge when ships are depleted of capacitor, but it’s good to have, especially in drawn out fights. A cap battery can force even a cap-boosted Curse to be careful when applying neuts, as it pressures the pilot a bit more as it risks getting itself capped out due to the reflected amount.

I’m always looking for ways to turn the tables on our enemies without simply overpowering or outnumbering them. A smart tactic here, an unconventional fit there, a stroke of ingenuity. A simple step that counters an opposing setup. Recently, I’ve been noticing lots of Curses, and seen a lot of Rooks too. Rooks aside, the Curses can shut down ships with much more reliability with their neuts.

I looked at the cap battery, ran some simple calculations like the ones above, and still, I didn’t like it. Why?

What are the drawbacks? Well for a T2 Medium Capacitor Battery:

  1. 75 CPU (can be reduced to a minimum of 45 with Energy Grid Upgrades)
  2. 75 PG
  3. … and a mid slot.

The 2nd and 3rd drawbacks are the big problems. CPU can be reduced with skills, but the PG makes it harder to fit bigger weapons/prop mods, and the mid slot, well. For shield tankers, those mid slots are so precious, and for armour tankers, there are just so many better options, especially on a logistics ship where a cap battery could be most useful. ECCM, EWAR, webs, cap boosters all spring to mind.

The thing is, the cap battery takes up a mid slot for an effect that isn’t sufficient to warrant the consumption of a mid slot. How can we change this?

1. Buff the module

There are two routes I’d go about for this. Firstly, I’d consider introducing a skill, Capacitor Battery Operation or something along those lines, and make it increase the reflection amount of batteries.

Secondly, I might attempt to just buff up capacitor battery stats. I like how it increases cap capacity, but it takes up such an awkward amount of fitting that most fits have to compromise quite a bit to fit it. It would be more interesting if, say, the capacitor provided by the battery couldn’t be neuted. A mechanic like that would probably mean reworking how capacitors work in the whole game though, so I’ll let that remain as wishful thinking. A more obvious buff would just be to increase the amount of neut reflection, and decrease the raw cap boost as well as nosferatu reflection. This is to encourage usage of nosferatus against cap battery users, and to make batteries a stronger counter to neuts rather than vampires as they are now.

2. Make it a rig

If a big rework of the module isn’t doable, maybe introduce a rig that reflects neut/vampires. This can stack on a battery to create viable ‘cap hole’ ships, where neuting one would severely impact the cap of the one doing the neuting.

Anyway, I wanted to do a whole spreadsheet thing on this but I felt like getting my initial thoughts on paper first. I might develop this idea further later down the road, depends how much I run across situations where I think: “hey, a cap battery would’ve been nice right about now if it wasn’t too cumbersome to fit”. 😛

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5 thoughts on “Assessing the usefulness of capacitor batteries.”

    1. I’ve noticed when combined with a capacitor recharge fit, they can improve cap life greater than a heavily stacking-penaltied cap recharger, however once again, that eats up either low, mid or rig slots to get to that passive cap recharge threshold.

      It’s very rare to see passive cap recharging outside of capital warfare in PvP as well, and PvP is where we’ll see most of the energy neutralisers being used on you.

  1. You forget their usefulness in PVE. If going up against red crosses that heavily neut, these become a viable option, especially if flying an armour ship. Though they can be useful on shield ships, too.

    I’m not saying they’re good in all situations, but since the capacitor warfare changes, they’ve at least morphed from laughable to potentially useful.

  2. It would be amazing if they were much more of a defence than they are right now.

    The ‘protected from neuting’ is my dream, which I would give a lot for. I fear that it might be a little over-powered though, with Supers and Titans. Being able to neut them out is a serious counter (even if Brave never managed it).

    Rob K.

I'm just a poor boy, but I'd like some commentary~

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