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I've encountered a level 2 security mission that's giving me some problems. I fly a Caracal for it, and one of the first things that happens to you is you get stasis webbed as soon as the mobs spawn. The ones doing the webbing are a couple of really fast frigates that my heavy missiles just can't seem to hit. Is there any way to deal with this in my Caracal or should I fly something smaller to handle this, like a Kestrel? I've tried drones, but they don't hit hard enough or fast enough (Hobgoblin I).

High Slots: Heavy Missile Launcher I x 5 (I switch between Scourge Heavy and Inferno Heavy Missiles)

Medium Slots: Medium Shield Extender x 4, Small Shield Extender x 1

Low Slots: Ballistic Control x 2

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4 Answers

I'd try a light missile caracal in level 2 missions, if I remember correctly there are mostly smaller enemies in those missions that you'll hit better with smaller weapons. You'll be slower to kill the big ships, but a lot faster for all the small stuff.

You should also change your tank, usually you'd use something like two large shield extenders and 1-2 Adaptive Invulnerability fields, all depending on your fitting skills of course. Small shield extenders are a waste of a slot, you'll always want to oversize them: Medium Shield extender on frigates, large ones on anything bigger.

Warrior drones are the fastest ones, you might want to train Drones to V, so that you can learn Drone interfacing (+20% per level). That makes a huge difference for your drone damage, and you'll need it for the higher level missions in any case.

The Target Navigation Prediction skill also helps with hitting the small ships with missiles, and also the more expensive Guided Missile Precision skill.

Here's an example fit for a missioning Caracal, you can of course downgrade all the T2 modules if you don't have the skills to use them. You can also change the invuls to rat-specific hardeners, that should further improve your tank. Though that should not be really necessary in level 2 missions if you have halfway reasonable skills.

[Caracal, Caracal fit]

Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II

Large Shield Extender II
Large Shield Extender II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
10MN Afterburner II

Light Missile Launcher II, Scourge Light Missile
Light Missile Launcher II, Scourge Light Missile
Light Missile Launcher II, Scourge Light Missile
Light Missile Launcher II, Scourge Light Missile
Light Missile Launcher II, Scourge Light Missile

Medium Core Defense Field Purger I
Medium Core Defense Field Purger I
Medium Core Defense Field Purger I


Warrior II x2
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Indeed. It sounds like you may need to train up some of your missile support skills as well as use light missiles in lieu of the HMLs as Mad Scientist recommends. –  RESPAWN Sep 10 '12 at 19:35
    
Ok, so skill training aside, Heavy Missiles are a no-no in level 2 missions? I ask because I was able to literally one-shot everything in the level 1 missions, but now on these level 2s I'm emptying out entire racks of missiles (literally hundreds of missiles per attempt) to extremely little effect. Even if I do swap out my extenders to invulnerability fields and the appropriate rat specific hardeners, that only means I can tank for a little longer before having to pull out of the mission. My bigger concern here is the damage. –  cornjuliox Sep 12 '12 at 1:28
    
I also forgot to mention that the missiles I'm using are rat-specific too. I've tried rapid assault and light missile launchers, and there's not much of a difference. I really don't want to lose the awesome range I get from the heavy launchers (84 km), if possible. –  cornjuliox Sep 12 '12 at 1:37
    
@cornjuliox Missiles make a lot less damage to ships that are far smaller than the targets they are meant for (read about explosion radius, explosion velocity and signature radius if you want to know more about that). If you use heavy missiles, you don't fire yourself on frigates but let your drones kill them. That doesn't work that well in a Caracal with only 2 drones. You don't need that much skills for a Drake for level 3 missions, if you like HMLs. There you'll have bigger ships in the missions and 5 drones for the small stuff –  Mad Scientist Sep 12 '12 at 6:31
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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Ok, looking back on my question several months later, now that I can run LV 4s with no problem, I can see where I went wrong. I know some of this has been mentioned in previous answers, but I felt it best to summarize and add a few things of my own.

  1. Heavy missiles are NOT ideal for LV 2s, for the following reason: Using missiles on enemies whose signature radius is smaller than the missile's explosion radius will result in decreased damage, sometimes drastically. That being said, I was able to mitigate that effect by using a Drake fitted with two target painters, a full rack of meta Heavy Missile launchers, and some light tank (two adaptive invuln IIs, anti-EM rig, anti-Therm rig, Core Defense Field Extender).

  2. The mission I was running when I wrote this was the first of the "Recon" chain, which doesn't require you to fight anything at all, since the ships in this mission put out an unnaturally high amount of DPS. In fact, you can finish the mission in an untanked frig with a microwarpdrive. Simply burn straight down as fast as you can towards the acceleration gate, and once you land in the second room the mission will be marked complete. Using a guide like http://eve-survival.org/wikka.php?wakka=HomePage Eve Survival will help mitigate that.

  3. The fit I posted in my original question is utter crap, disregard it. Fit something like this instead:

[Caracal, Missioning]
Damage Control II
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II

Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
EM Ward Field II
Thermic Dissipation Field II
Medium Shield Extender II

Prototype 'Arbalest' Rapid Light Missile Launcher, Mjolnir Light Missile
Prototype 'Arbalest' Rapid Light Missile Launcher, Mjolnir Light Missile
Prototype 'Arbalest' Rapid Light Missile Launcher, Mjolnir Light Missile
Prototype 'Arbalest' Rapid Light Missile Launcher, Mjolnir Light Missile
Prototype 'Arbalest' Rapid Light Missile Launcher, Mjolnir Light Missile

Medium Core Defense Field Extender I
Medium Core Defense Field Extender I
Medium Core Defense Field Extender I

Meta it down when appropriate, this should see you through most LV 2s if you can't fit into a Drake, barring the aforementioned "Recon" missions. Swap the Invulns for mission specific-hardeners, and the missiles for mission-specific damage types where appropriate.

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I haven't played Eve for a while, so if any of this has drastically changed in the last 18 months this answer is out of date.

The way I see it you have two options, if you want to stick with the Caracal (which is a fine ship, so you should):

  • Take a couple of light drones. These should be able to take out the smallest rats in the second tier of missions. (This will mean you'll need to train some skills in the drones section, which for a Caldari pilot will probably be wasted later on, but the ones you'll need shouldn't be expensive.) I see you've tried this, so it probably isn't enough, unless you want to invest in skills to beef up the drones you can use.
  • Switch one or two of your launchers to Assualt or Rocket launchers (Just one Assault really should be OK, IIRC). You'll lose that little bit of firepower on the bigger rats, but it probably won't be that noticeable; and you'll also have more power/cpu to work with on your other slots for shield boosting (possibly get a fifth medium extender?).
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Sounds good. Someone else also recommended Assault rocket launchers to me as well, I'm missing one skill, but its not too hard to train up. –  cornjuliox Sep 8 '12 at 14:17
    
Skills for small drones are useful for any pilot, I wouldn't consider them wasted. –  Mad Scientist Sep 9 '12 at 11:58
    
Only useful if you use drones, which you may as well - but in Caldari ships they're never going to be more than a small bonus. –  TZHX Sep 9 '12 at 12:17
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Possibly you may wish to try out switching out one or two extenders for stasis webifiers. You may need to switch out the bcs's from the lows to Shield power relays instead to keep the same tank (or use some rigs)

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Exactly, swap out some tank to slow the webbers down enough to allow you and your drones to kill them(preferably with light missiles). You only have to last long enough to take the tackle down. Once the webbers are down, dock up and re-fit to take down the bigger ones. –  Tib Sep 27 '12 at 13:51
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