Shield recharging time

4th April 2009 – 3.20 pm

In a previous post about EVE Online's certificate system I noted how the description of the certificates isn't just the corporate nonsense typically found on meaningless awards given merely for turning up to a course, but can be informative and useful both for determining whether the certificate will benefit you personally as a capsuleer and as a method for presenting the physics and mechanics of New Eden. For example, when getting my core competencies up to a level that isn't embarrassing for someone piloting a battlecruiser I stumbled on some information about shields that I hadn't realised previously.

A couple of basic numbers about the shield are its capacity and recharge time. You could have, and for the sake of the maths I will use simple numbers, a shield capacity of 5,000 HP and a recharge time of 500 s. Because other games I have played have been based on unit gain per tick my instinct was to create a third property of my ship's shields, the recharge rate, which would be 10 HP/s using the example numbers, and apply this value to EVE Online. I thus assumed each ship had a recharge rate that was derived from its base capacity and recharge time before any skills or modules had been fitted and, although I could fit modules that changed the capacity or the recharge time of the shields, the recharge rate was fixed for the ship.

My assumption led me to believe that if I increased my shield capacity the recharge time would also increase, with 10,000 HP taking 1,000 s to recharge because the base recharge rate of the ship would remain at 10 HP/s. However, it turns out that I was entirely wrong, as the skill certificate system points out that the shield capacity and shield recharge time are independent variables. In other words, the capacity of the shield has no effect on the recharge time.

The third property of the shield that I inferred is a real property but it is this recharge rate that is derived. If I take my example shields above and add a shield extender to boost my shield capacity to 10,000 HP nothing happens to my shield recharge time. In fact, extending my shield in such a way not only increases my maximum shield capacity but it increases the recharge rate of the shields, because the recharge time remains at 500 s to give a recharge rate of 20 HP/s. Not only can I soak up more damage overall but my shields are also recovering more HP each second, allowing a passive tank to withstand greater damage per second values.

If I had been paying more attention I would have noticed this myself, particularly as the fitting screen has a nifty function of highlighting in yellow all the properties of the ship that will be modified after fitting a module when you are hovering your mouse over that module. Still, even though I missed this it shows that learning skills through the certificate system can offer information beyond simply learning appropriate skills for a role and that the text accompanying the certificates can be educational.

  1. 3 Responses to “Shield recharging time”

  2. Wow, I didn't realise this either and have been working under a false assumption all these years. Do you know if the same applies to the capacitor (for all us active armour tankers out there).

    Good find.

    By mandrill on Apr 4, 2009

  3. Capacitor and shield recharging should work same. Both work with size of shield/capacitor and recharge time of shield/capacitor. That function is relatively complicated to evaluate, however its derivate that gives you actual recharge rate as a function of actual capacity is relatively simple.

    So what EVE does? You fit ship changing max. capacity of shield/capacitor and its total recharge time. These are basically constants in formula. Each tick then EVE client computes your actual recharging rate based just on your actual capacitor/shield state and adds that amount into your cap. Next tick computes new actual recharge rate.

    Consequence, capacitor battery can be on frigate sized ships improving recharging better as recharger itself.

    Peak point is about 30% of capacity for capacitor, about same for shields too. If you got Drake, notice that it is toughest there...

    By X1376 on Apr 4, 2009

  4. Also, a quick and fairly clean estimate of peak recharge is 2.5 x [shield cap/recharge]. Like x1376 points out the recharge rate of your shields [and cap] is not linear.

    You can play around with fitting Shield Extenders and Shield Rechargers to get a better rate. The Shield Power Relays however, currently don't exhibit a stacking penalty and make a significant impact on your recharge rate. Playing around with resists further complicates the situation.

    Finally, when you factor in rigs it nearly becomes a whirlwind headache. The Drake standard "Core Defense Field Purger" is excellent at getting your recharge rate below 300 and allowing you more flexibility in your low/mid fits. Conventional wisdom is that you will get more use out of the staying power of the CDFP's than the alpha strike resistance if you used the Core Defense Field Extenders to increase total shield hit points.

    By Kename Fin on Apr 5, 2009

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