Editors note: this post was originally written and submitted by Ammzi.
As you might have noticed (or not depending on how often you stick your head out of the rabbit hole) incursions have struck New Eden. I have created this short guide to help everyone learn about how incursions really work.
I will be splitting this post into different sections containing possible fitting techniques, strategies, fleet composition and where you can find more information.
What are Incursions really?
An incursion is an invasion by NPC Sansha forces on a constellation.
Systems in the constellation will be divided into different categories: staging, vanguard, assault and headquarters. The staging system contains scout sites, the other systems contain site types of the same name. Players can gather up within these systems and fight against the Sansha forces to drive them away. When inside an incursion area, a bar will show on the upper left of the screen indicating the strength of the sansha presence, also known as “influence”. The bar begins at 100% and completely red. The influence will gradually increase over time to a maximum of 100%. When a site is completed, the influence is reduced and the bar will become more blue. When the bar is at 0% and completely blue, the mothership (final boss) will spawn in the Headquarters system. When capsuleers destroy the mothership, the incursion will be completed and all loyalty points earned will be awarded.
The “historical” and roleplaying official justification for incursions can be watched here.
Why Should I do Incursions?
There are several reasons for you to get out and begin doing incursions and one of them is ISK – lots of it! When completing an incursion site you will receive ISK and CONCORD loyalty points. The amount you recieve depends on which class of site you completed.
The ISK and LP rewards, assuming you are in highsec and have the optimum amount of pilots, follows.
Vanguards: 10.5 m ISK + 1400 LP. Maximum of 10 pilots in fleet and on site.
Assaults: 18.2 m ISK + 3500 LP. Maximum of 20 pilots in fleet and on site.
Headquarters: 31.5 m ISK + 7000 LP. Maximum of 40 pilots in fleet and on site.
Assuming you have the right fleet composition you can currently complete a vanguard site in 5-10 minutes, assault sites in 20-30 minutes and headquarters sites in 35-50 minutes.
There are plenty of other reasons besides the ISK you should join in on incursions.
The first one is getting solid experience in fleet combat. Working together with 39 other pilots struggling to fight off 10 heavily fitted Sansha battleships and a ton of support ships can be a tough job. To win, you will have to learn about fleet compositions, efficient strategies, how logistics work, broadcasting/tagging and much much more. Pilots from all over EVE will join together in one place. You can gain contacts and hear tales from all across New Eden. And if you’re looking for a new corp, it sure beats spamming the recruitment channel.
How do I join an Incursion and what should I bring?
The first couple of days of incursions proved to be very hard for capsuleers since this is not your normal PVE. Fighting Sansha is as close as you can get to combat PVP in EVE without shooting other players. Therefore you will mostly find fleets categorized by tanking type (armor or shield) as well as what class of sites are being run.
The fleet compositions for the different types of systems in an incursion follows.
Vanguards: 2-3 Logistics, remainder DPS consisting of HAC – T3 – Command ships – BC and possibly a hacker for the Override Transfer Array sites.
Assaults: 4-6 Logistics, remainder DPS with a mix of short range and 120km+ ships.
Headquarters: 7-10 Logistics, remainder DPS with a mix of short range and 120km+ ships.
Always remember: if you are shield tanked you will want to join a shield fleet, if you are armor tanked you will want to join an armor fleet. Mixing tank types does not work, as you will learn later in this article.
Should I fit like I do for missions? What fittings are used?
One thing is to made clear here. Your lvl 4 mission fit WILL MELT in an Incursion.
Forget everything about running missions: incursions are completely different.
In an incursion you will want to fit buffer and resists on your ship. That means no local rep and no passive recharge tank! It is a bad idea to try to tank alone in the larger sites. You should fit in a very similar way to pvp, just with less emphasis on points and microwarp drives. For armor that means reinforced rolled tungsten plates and resist, resist, resist. For shield this means shield extenders and resist, resist, resist.
The buffer gives the logistics in your fleet time to lock you and activate repairs. Buffer is particularly important in armor fleets because the repair modules of armor logistics will only repair you at the end of a cycle rather than at the start, leading to a repair delay several seconds longer than for shield ships. Once friendly logistics have an eye on you the effective hitpoints that they repair on you per cycle is dependant on the resists of your ship. With good resists you are very unlikely to go down, particularly if you also have a low signature radius or high speed.
To tell friendly logistics that you need help, press the little “Need armor/shield” button in your fleet window promptly as soon as the Sansha lock you. You can tell when you are locked because yellow square brackets will appear around the icons of the Sansha. These brackets turn red once they open fire. Make sure that to the right of the broadcast icons you see a symbol with 4 arrows pointing in all directions: if not, click whatever symbol appears a few times until 4 arrows appear. A quick tip to optimise the speed at which you broadcast is to set up a keyboard shortcut for broadcasts. The faster you can make the broadcast, the faster friendly logistics can lock you and more likely you are to survive.
If you are interested in incursions, here is some channels and mailing lists you can join to learn more and find people to fly with.
- “BTL Pub” – for shield ships to form in.
- “BTL Armor” – for armor ships to form in.
- The Ditanian Fleet – for armor ships to form in.
- “incursions” – official CCP incursion channel.
- “Phatt Incursions” – information and tactics primarily for shield ships. Run by a superb shield fleet commander.
- “Public Incursion Blacklist” – a list of known griefers and other people you would be advised to keep out of fleet. Currently applies mostly to The Ditanian Fleet.