- Why you should be living in nullsec
- How to avoid ‘catch bubbles’
- How to make gate bookmarks, and why
- How to safely enter nullsec
- The secret to travelling nullsec without dying
- How to travel like a Ninja
You’ve jumped into a lowsec or a nullsec system with your ship and find yourself surrounded by ships and drones that you just know are going to toast your ass as soon as you decloak. This is where your heart starts racing, and your anxiety level goes up a few notches!
But don’t panic. Panic is your enemy. Stay calm and you’ll get out of this alive.
The Cloak + MWD trick
This is often regarded as an exploit, but it’s been in the game for many, many years now, so CCP seems to think it’s actually a feature. The only people who don’t like it are the ones that you escape from because of it.
This is something that is worth mastering, to help you travel in a little more safety. It won’t guarantee your safety, but it can go a long way towards avoiding being attacked by multiple ships in a gate camp. It is a method of gaining speed whilst you are cloaked during one cycle of your microwarpdrive. As your MWD cycle comes to an end, you drop your cloak and warp off instantly. Ideally you will be vulnerable for less than a second as you break the gate cloak, and then the next time you drop cloak you instantly enter warp.
To make this work, you will need an Improved Cloaking Device II (you don’t need to worry about this trick if you have a Covert Ops cloak fitted), and an appropriate microwarpdrive fitted to your ship – 1MN for frigates or destroyers, 10MN for cruisers or battlecruisers or industrials, and 100MN for battleships. To fit a 10MN MWD on an industrial requires a ton of powergrid fitting mods. This MWD-cloak trick won’t work on an Orca for reasons I’ll go into an a minute. This trick will also not work with a prototype cloak, it will not work with an afterburner, and it will not work with a microwarpdrive that is too small for the ship.
The method is this: after you jumped through a stargate and loaded grid on the other side, you align to your target, which breaks your gate cloak. Immediately you activate your cloak and microwarpdrive. Preferably both at the same time, but if you have to do them one after the other, activate the cloak first.
When your microwarpdrive cycle is almost complete (with less than a second to go before it ends), drop your cloak and hit the warp-to button. You will enter warp the instant your MWD cycle finishes.
This works because the speed required to enter warp is always three-quarters of your current maximum speed. When you have a microwarpdrive and an improved cloak active at the same time, the maximum speed bonus from the MWD (+500% to +625% depending on your skills, but it also depends on the mass of the ship) and the maximum speed penalty (-75%) from the cloak combine to give a maximum speed of about 40% to 90% higher than your unbonused speed. So you accelerate towards this higher maximum speed whilst cloaked. When you drop your cloak and your MWD at the same time, your maximum speed goes down, whilst your current actual speed remains the same. This current actual speed will be more than three-quarters of your current maximum speed, and so you will instantly enter warp.
This is also why it doesn’t work with prototype cloaks (their speed penalty is -90%, making your maximum speed whilst cloaked and MWDing lower than normal) – and why it doesn’t work with afterburners or wrongly-sized MWDs (their speed bonus is far less than a proper-sized MWD). It doesn’t work on Orcas because their huge mass means they get a much lower speed boost from a 100MN microwarpdrive than a battleship. In actual fact it can sometimes work with afterburners. You would definitely need to test this with your ship though, because it depends greatly on the mass of the ship in question. It’s unlikely that afterburners would work on industrial ships because of the mass of the industrials.
It’s a trick that is worth practicing in highsec in peacetime with the ship/fitting you intend to use before you go into lowsec or nullsec. Get it right before you need it in a time of crisis.
Here’s a video that shows how it’s done.
Click here to read the next guide – How to survive a wardec