Guide to EVE Online's "New Frontiers (5 of 7) An Unexpected Twist"

Woah, long title. Sorry for posting something so out of line with my normal set of Ruby-related posts, but this was difficult enough that I thought it was worth sharing my experience with.

EVE Online

If you don’t play EVE Online, you should totally check it out - there’s a 14 day free trial (30 days if you have a Windows machine and use Steam to sign up, or so I’ve heard)… but in my humble opinion, that’s not really enough time to try out EVE. This game has a ridiculous learning curve, and it takes a lot more than 14 days to get past the insanely-confused part of your relationship with EVE. I was pissed at it for the first month, but I kept at it because my friend was bugging me to play it with him, and now I’m totally in love.

The mission

Anyway, enough with the plugging - I’m not on staff, I just love the game, I swear! Since you’re here, I assume you want to run the infamous 5th mission in the New Frontiers chain. This particular mission has a well-earned bad reputation, and is considered by many to be harder than any other 3rd level mission. In my personal opinion, it’s harder than many 4th level missions if you do it wrong (aka, the way I did it the first two times around - I lost two t2 fitted Maelstroms, and my mates who were helping me with it lost two t2 fitted Abaddons and Drakes respectively); but it’s perfectly manageable if you take your time and prepare.

The summary of this mission is this - go in, kill shit, boss spawns, kill boss, and return with item. Doesn’t sound hard - but the thing is, if you actually fight all the enemies in this mission, they’re rape you. Really, really rape you. As an example, I was running this with a few friends, and one of them was tanking in an Abaddon with 6 T2 1600mm plates, lending over 45,000 total HP. We let it aggro the entirety of the mission’s drones, and it was popped in a little under… 2 minutes, if I recall correctly (remember, this is just a level three mission!).

Anyway, It’s a bitch, to say the least, but it’s do-able. The key is not to get into a situation where you are facing all of the drones - in fact, you don’t have to ever worry about a majority of them. The vast majority of the drones are tied to spawn triggers on the destruction of the neut, missile, and stasis towers. As long as you can deal with the effect of these towers without destroying them, you don’t need to worry about a good 80-90% of the mission’s intended enemies.

However, you’ll still have to face a substantial complement of drones - both before and after you take out the boss. I suggest a friend in a battleship configured for passive tanking (don’t depend on cap in any way - the plentiful neut towers are quite efficient at keeping your cap completely empty most of the time).

Another tip if you absolutely need capacitor, is to take in some extra drones, burn out of the range of the missile batteries (100km was enough for me), and then abandon the drones. The neuts will aggro to the drones, which don’t care about the cap, leaving you with no neuts to worry about for the rest of the mission.

There’s some warp scrambling drones on this mission (that’s what really caught me the first two times around), but I don’t think you need to worry about them if you’re being careful as described here - I never saw one the last run around, and I believe all the drones with warp scrambling ability are tied to the tower-kill triggers, so they shouldn’t be a problem if you don’t touch the towers (as described above). Might not hurt to carry a stab or two on the ships you bring in, though.

As for dealing with the drones you are stuck with, it’s not that hard - bring lots of drones of your own, I personally brought in Light Scouts, Acolytes specifically, because I thought they’d have a higher chance of hitting a bunch of other drones. They seemed to work pretty well, though Medium Scouts might not be a bad choice either. Whatever you do bring in, bring a drone bay full, even if you can’t field that many - sometimes the mission drones will target yours, and then yours’re dead. Have several ‘volleys’ with you. For your own fittings, consider short-ranged weapons, as you’ll spend most of your time targeting the little buggers. In my experience, by the time they’re targeted, they’re within 15km, so blasters, autocannons, and pulse lasers are a must. Also consider carrying a loadout of smaller weapons than normal - my mate’s Abaddon was fitted with cruiser-classed pulse lasers, and he had a much easier time raping drones than I did with my normal loadout of battleship-classed arties (for obvious reasons).

Once you have mostly dealt with the first wave of drones (they don’t appear right when you warp in, you have to sit there and enjoy watching the neut towers rape your capacitor for a while before they begin to appear), the boss will appear. He’s not all that difficult to deal with - he deals little to no damage himself, though he does take a little while to go down (especially if you’re fitted as described above with light drones and cruiser weapons, to be at maximum effectiveness against the mission drones). Once he does die, another wave of mission drones spawns, but you don’t really have to deal with them - just get the mission item from the cargo container dropped when you destroy the boss, and warp on home (in my experience, this second non-tower-spawn group doesn’t contain any warp scramers either).

Finally… Best of luck to you on this mission… may you not lose the towering stacks of ISK that I did on this mission. Oh, and R.I.P, my first two poor, poor Maelstroms. You never deserved what this mission did to you.