My new level two manufacturing agent for Core Complexion, Inc. decides to put me through a trial-by-fire, sending me on a three-part encounter mission. I suppose she hasn't noticed my Drake battlecruiser parked outside and thinks instead that I am a fresh recruit. But that's okay, I can chew through level two encounter missions in the Drake with no problems. My heavy missiles mock any pitiful excuses for cruisers found in level two missions and my light drones chomp on frigates as if they were a delicious blue cheese balanced on top of a crusty slice of baguette.
I could try to pretend that a danger of taking on level two missions in a battlecruiser is in being over-confident and getting blown up whilst not paying enough attention, but with my fittings and skills the level of distraction needed to get the Drake destroyed would require wandering philosophers to knock on my door and engage me on a discussion in free will and responsibility for a few hours.
My Drake is quite safe in the level two encounters and the rewards are better than for courier missions. Indeed, once I get to level three missions with Core Complexion, Inc. I will look for an agent in security or command so that I will be more likely to receive encounter missions. My training in scrap metal processing should have completed by then allowing me to refine minerals from the looted modules, and the quality of salvage will increase too.
Never the less, I have brought a complement of shield hardeners with me so that I can feign a level of danger by making sure I equip the right hardener for the expected type of rat damage. Going up against Serpentis I open my fitting window to ensure I have kinetic and thermal hardeners fitted when I notice a new feature present since the recent patch. Along with all the general information available the status of the capacitor now shows the excess recharge rate.
The excess recharge rate value is put to use with an indicator displaying whether the capacitor is stable—at a certain level, as the recharge rate is presumably non-linear—or if it will drain completely, and, if so, how long the capacitor will be able to power the on-board modules. This is a nifty new feature that I believe has been available as a minor part of the EVE Fitting Tool but is now directly a part of the fitting screen interface and lets capsuleers determine whether a certain load on the ship's capacitor can be sustained indefinitely.
It should be possible to calculate the stability of the capacitor manually. Each module that uses the capacitor lists details of its activation cost and duration on its data sheet, which could be summed for all modules to provide an overall rate of drain on the capacitor. This rate can be compared to the capacitor capacity and recharge rate to determine its stability. That is my assumption, at least, as it no doubt can get a little complicated with myriad activation costs and durations of different lengths. I have preferred to fit the modules needed and balance the drain on my ships' capacitors by switching modules on and off to maintain adequate charge on the rare occasions when that becomes necessary.
But there is an advantage to knowing that you have a set-up with a stable capacitor, being able to switch on all required systems without having to worry about sacrificing offensive, defensive or support systems to conserve the capacitor's charge. I note that the capacitor on my Drake will discharge fully in a prolonged combat, which is a little troubling, but it appears that the fitting screen assumes every module fitted and on-line will be running permanently. In my case, the new tractor beam is a luxury that will be used sparingly, if at all, and I am likely only to be encountering a single damage type in level two missions so only one pair of matched shield hardeners will be required at a time.
It is a simple matter to take some modules off-line, or even remove the fitting from the ship, and the capacitor tool recalculates the excess recharge rate and shows new figures for me. With all launchers firing and two matched hardeners protecting the shield I have a stable capacitor, which is splendid. No more guessing or worrying about running out of charge, I know or can find out which set-ups are stable and which need to be watched, with heavy-drain problem modules easily found by taking systems off-line briefly in the safety of a station. The tool even shows pictorially the charge level of the capacitor at its stable level, or a percentage value when hovering the mouse over the display, so if I have to use a temporarily powered module I can gauge when I pass the point of capacity stability.
Whilst the new capacitor tool in the fitting window is hardly critical when taking my Drake on level two mission encounters it is a nifty addition to the interface. It will prove useful for determining suitable ship set-ups without having to resort to a calculator or separate application, and any change that makes my computer do more calculations and myself fewer is a good change. It also reminds me that I need to improve my core competency skills.