Deep space transports a closer look

Bustard deep space transport banner
When reviewing the new deep space transports it’s vital to look beyond the bonuses to local repair modules and velocity and instead look at what the vast majority of players will want to use them for.  With the base fleet hangar space exceeding the maximum cargo space of any T1 hauler it would be fair to say that come Kronos anyone who is capable of flying a deep space transport will do so.

Additionally with the increased prevalence of suicide ganking of haulers it would be fair to say that players will focus on surviving suicide ganks as the core objective of DST’s.  This makes the bonuses to velocity and local repair obsolete for the vast majority of players who will instead choose to buffer fit for survivability.

When it comes to buffer fitting these two ships there are a few things to keep in mind, first if you can fly a Bustard or Mastodon then do so a shield buffer fit with limited powergrid is much easier to fit than an armor fit due to the horrendous powergrid requirements of 1600mm plates. In fact to fit even a single 1600mm rolled tungsten on an Impel required a 3% PG implant and two ancillary current routers. This gives the shield DSTs a large advantage over their armor counterparts here’s an example of this in action.

Bustard before overheating

Bustard fitting before overheating

Even before overheating the bustard has a massive 152k simply with modules activated. The biggest danger for sustained combat would be energy neutralization but I’m not too worried about this in the case of suicide ganks as it’s the first 30 seconds of survivability that counts until concord shows up to save the day. With a battleship sized buffer tank there really is nothing to complain about here, and it only gets better with overheating.

Bustard with overheating

Bustard fitting whilst overheating

Turn on overheating and the Bustard simply goes from ridiculous to insane with a 247k EHP buffer tank. All of a sudden we’re talking about EHP just below that of a freighter but with a much smaller signature radius, only 236m compared to 3360m, we’ll likely see suicide gank squads requiring in the region of 10-12 gank fit Talos battlecruisers. This should meant that a bustard is able to fly safely with up to 1.5bil of cargo much less than the couple of hundred mil which sees most T1 haulers targeted by suicide ganks from a single destroyer currently.

Impel before overheating

Impel fitting before overheating

The impel proved to be a much more tricky beast to fit in my short amount of time playing around with fittings the best tank I achieved was 132k before overheating but was limited to only a 800mm plate. However at the same time as you can see it also manages to fit a 10mn microwarp drive which improves survivability by giving you the chance to run back to gate, gain range or negatively affect tracking all of which make it more difficult to take you down. Alternatively there’s the option of changing for one of the new medium micro jump drives or even a 10mn afterburner if you still want to be able to use your propulsion module whilst being warp scrambled. This means that what the armor DSTs lack in tank they gain in fitting choice opening up other methods of survivability than just pure tank.

Impel with overheating

Impel fitting whilst overheating

Once the armor hardeners are overheated on the Impel the tank shoots up to just under 204k which is just over 80% of the overheated tank of the Bustard. Still this is very respectable and puts EHP in line with a very well tanked battleship, with a max velocity up to 1063m/s you really do have the choice to make a run for it too and should at least be able to burst it before anyone gets a warp scrambler on you giving some time to start to retreat back to the gate or make a run for it.

Which to choose and final thoughts

Overall it’s a close call as to what is best a Bustard or Mastodon both of which are shield tankers and have high EHP or a Impel or Occator both of which are armor tankers with lower EHP but the ability to fit a propulsion module without negatively affecting their tank. Personally I would always lean towards the shield tankers for surviving a suicide gank as it’s my personal opinion that if someone wants to gank you they’ll do a good enough job of ensuring you’re warp scrambled and webbed so much that you will be lucky to travel more than a few meters a second which effectively nullifies any bonus of a propulsion module.

Where I can see higher usage of both Occators and Impels is doing PI in lowsec in situations where you’re more likely to be faced by 1-2 aggressors you’re much more likely to be able to survive with a propulsion module and flying a Bustard or Mastodon will only serve to prolong your inevitable death. I’m expecting to primarily see the new medium MJDs used here as a method to escape aggressors who are using warp disruptors rather than scramblers.

Overall I have to say I’m really impressed with the tanks of all of the deep space transports it’s probably double what I would have originally expected. I’m sure there will be more than a few frustrated suicide gankers and I hope that CCP revisit their changes to the T1 haulers giving some of them survivability more in line with DSTs.

  • Degestus Chene

    Thank you for creating and testing these fittings.

    I always wanted to know how I get the new stats of rebalanced ships into EFT to play around with them.

    • Danny Centauri

      It’s quite easy download the latest EFT and then there will be a folder called Data and another called Data_Kronos. Rename Data to anything and then rename Data_Kronos to Data this then switches your EFT over to the Kronos data.

  • Lair Osen

    How did you get the new EFT files? I tried to get them from but can’t figure out how to find stuff on the site.