How to Train Your Wallet
One of the most significant upgrades you can make to your carrier ratting income is by training into T2 fighters. Although this seems like a no-brainer, the long training time is off-putting for many. After all, 40+ days is a long time to spend on a single skill.
Recently, I decided to take the plunge, since carrier ratting is my only active ISK-making venture. As it turns out, the difference is pretty astounding.
Crunching the Numbers
By training my Fighters skill from level 4 to level 5, I was able to secure a 5% increase in fighter damage. This figure is not too impressive, but the damage boost gained when switching from T1 to T2 fighters is significant.
The Dragonfly I has a base blaster cannon damage of 79.8 per fighter, with an optimal range of 4000m. The Dragonfly II has a base blaster cannon damage of 88.2, with an optimal range of 4800m. That gives an overall 10.5% increase in damage. Alongside the 5% increase in damage from training the Fighters skill, that’s a 16.025% increase in damage. The increased optimal range from the T2 fighters means better damage application, resulting in an even further damage increase.
The Dragonfly I’s missile volley has a base damage of 239 per fighter, while the Dragonfly II’s missile volley has a base damage of 265 per fighter. This equates to a 10.9% increase in damage for the missile volley, which jumps up to a 16.4% increase in damage accounting for the extra skill level.
Furthermore, the Dragonfly I has a base velocity of 837m/s, while the Dragonfly II has a base velocity of 872m/s. This means T2 fighters offer roughly a 4.2% increase in velocity over their T1 counterparts. Although it might not seem like much, the added velocity will also provide better damage application, resulting in more accurate shots from your drones as they close gaps more quickly. In addition, your drones will have a higher transversal velocity, increasing their survivability when ratting.
T2 Fighters: The Final Verdict
Aside from the lengthy skill training required to use them, the other major con associated with using T2 fighters is their cost, a whopping 12 million ISK per fighter. That puts a full squadron (27 drones) at 324 million ISK. However, with the increased velocity and durability of T2 fighters, they are much more difficult to lose while ratting. The drones will hold their value, making them an investment, and not a sunk cost.
When I ran T1 fighters, my ticks would average about 50 million ISK, for a total of 150 million ISK/hour. I found that I could effortlessly hit 60 million ISK ticks after switching to T2 fighters, and likely go much higher with a little more attention. That’s another 30 million ISK/hour, a 20% increase in ISK/hour!
I recommend that anyone who regularly rats in a carrier train for T2 fighters. This is the next step in maximizing your income from carrier ratting. Although the initial investment of time and ISK may seem daunting, the payoff will certainly be worth it.