[Fitting] Epithal

Epithalo/
I’ve decided to continue the theme of low-sec travel for a couple posts. If you haven’t checked the blog lately, I recently posted a guide to low-sec travel and a frigate travel fit for low-sec. Today, we meet the low-sec fit Epithal.

Epithals are very useful niche industrial ships with a 50,000m3+ bay for Planetary Interaction products. Planetary Interaction is actually a pretty good motivator for traditionally high-sec-only characters to first venture into low-sec. Planetary yields on low-sec planets are much better than ones you can find in high-sec, and they allow you to set up much more efficient PI networks requiring less frequent maintenance and attention.

Unfortunately, they are most likely going to use a terrible fit for low on their first adventure. Hopefully, this post will help them get into low without losing their ship (and PI haul) on the first trip.

Low-sec PI networks, when planned right, can be set up such that you only need to check on them maybe once a week to reset your extractors. An issue you can run into at that point, however, is that your PI network (if you prioritized planetary yield over location convenience) can be pretty far-flung. If you’re using a basic T1 industrial, this can require multiple low-sec round trips to pick up a week’s worth of accumulated production from each planet.

These days, on my main character, I use a DST to pick up from all my PI planets in a single round trip circuit. My PI alt, however, doesn’t have the skills yet for transport ships. So, I decided to accomplish the same kind of single-round-trip circuit with an Epithal. The following are some examples of possible Epithal fits suitable for moving through low-sec.

All of the following fits start with a base setup of two Warp Core Stabilizer Is, an Improved Cloaking Device II, and an Experimental 10MN Microwarpdrive I in order to be capable of the MWD/Cloak trick with some point defense.

[Epithal, MWD-Cloak Shield Buffer 1]
Warp Core Stabilizer I
Warp Core Stabilizer I
Power Diagnostic System II
Power Diagnostic System II

Experimental 10MN Microwarpdrive I
EM Ward Amplifier II
Thermic Dissipation Amplifier II
Medium Shield Extender II

Improved Cloaking Device II
[empty high slot]

Medium Core Defense Field Extender I
Medium Core Defense Field Extender I
Medium Core Defense Field Extender I

At all V, this fit has 9,266 ehp with a passive shield buffer and of course can accomplish the MWD/Cloak trick. Depending on your skills, the above fit may require a PG implant. If you don’t want to use a PG implant for whatever reason and you don’t have the skills necessary to fit this setup without, you can remove the two PDS IIs and replace them with a Reactor Control I and another low-slot of your choice. Inertia Stabilizers or Nanofiber Internal Structures are the first things to come to mind, or a Damage Control Unit. Another possibility could be a Shield Power Relay to help your capacitor keep up with a continuing sequence of warps and mwd cycles. You could improve on total ehp if you replaced the amplifiers with Adaptive Invulnerability Fields, but I personally like having passive modules on a fit like this.

[Epithal, MWD-Cloak Hull/Shield Buffer]
Warp Core Stabilizer I
Warp Core Stabilizer I
Reinforced Bulkheads II
Damage Control II

Experimental 10MN Microwarpdrive I
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Cap Recharger I

Improved Cloaking Device II
[empty high slot]

Medium Transverse Bulkhead I
Medium Transverse Bulkhead I
Medium Transverse Bulkhead I

At all V, this fit has 10,571 ehp, though it requires the activation of three modules to get there. Personally, for MWD-Cloaked haulers, I prefer setups that don’t require module activation, so that your tank is “up” all the time and there’s no possibility of taking alpha before you get your modules online (more of a smartbomb situation). Without the active mods online, the base tank is 5,070 ehp, which makes me nervous. The Cap Recharger is there because there’s not enough CPU to throw on any additional shield tank mods, and your capacitor may need help staying up, especially if you’re moving through a succession of small-diameter systems (less recharge time to make up for mwd cycle + warp at each gate).

Some people may cry foul on double tanking, but, in my opinion, in a hauler situation like this, it is perfectly acceptable to push your ehp up by whatever means are available if you’ve already built the core of your fit and if there’s nothing better to fit in those slots. If you think there’s something better to put in those slots, please contribute a fit in the comments.

[Epithal, MWD-Cloak Shield Buffer 2]
Warp Core Stabilizer I
Warp Core Stabilizer I
Reactor Control Unit II
Reactor Control Unit II

Experimental 10MN Microwarpdrive I
Large Shield Extender II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II

Improved Cloaking Device II
[empty high slot]

Medium Ancillary Current Router I
Medium Ancillary Current Router I
Medium Ancillary Current Router I

Speaking of maximizing your ehp, at all V this shield fit has 13,299 ehp with active mods (8,146 ehp base), though it’s hard to get there on an Epithal’s PG, requiring three PG rigs and two PG lows to fit the LSE II. On the other hand, this fit has almost as much ehp with its modules off as the first shield buffer fit and clearly the most of these fits with modules on. On the other hand, it’s slightly more skill-intensive.

I’d recommend playing with fits until you find one that’s best for your skills, keeping the base setup of 2 WCS, Tech 2 Cloak, and meta MWD (meta version to help your capacitor).

Now get out there and make some low-sec PI pickups.
o7

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