Monday, July 25, 2011

Boosters - Part 1 - The Quick Guide

Part 1 - A Quick Guide to Combat Boosters in Eve Online
I've recently got into using boosters since I threw the law book out of the airlock and became a ebil piwat. So I thought I write a quick mini guide and ask some shady people about booster production and some of the interesting things that might be on the horizon from reading the CSM minutes. First a quick guide for those like me who have spent years of Eve without using boosters and never really looked into them.
Basically, boosters are drugs a capsuleer can take that boost certain abilities of your ship such as active tanking or turret tracking. There are eight types of booster out there and each come in four different strengths. To use a booster all you need to do is open your cargo hold.... you did put them in your ship before you undocked right? Right-click and select consume. The buff, any debuff and their countdowns (they last 30 minutes) can be found in the "Augmentations" section of your character sheet.

Gall what are you doing with a teapot? Oh, sorry Miss. Thought you were my CEO

Types of Combat Boosters.
Blue pill - percentage increase to shield boost amount.
Exile - percentage increase to armour reppers.
Mindflood - Percentage increase to capacitor capacity.
X-Instinct - Percentage reduction to signature radius.
Drop - Percentage increase to tracking speed of turrets.
Frentix - Percentage increace to optimal range.
Sooth Sayer - Percentage increace to drop off for turrrets.
Crash - Percentage reduction to missile explosion radius.

Strength, Legality and Side-Effects of Combat Boosters.
There are four stengths of each booster. Synth 3%, Standard 20%, Improved 25% and Strong 30%. These are rough numbers as different boosters have different strengths, for example strong drop is up at 37.5% and stong X-Instinct is only 15%, but give you a rough idea of the differences between them.
Also worth noting that Synth is the the only strength of booster legal in hi-sec. If you are caught by the NPC's in 0.5 or higher sec with them in your cargo hold you'll get a fine, standings hit and have the boosters confiscated. You don't get caught having them in your "bodily system" already. So drugged up pilots - OK, drugs in the spaceships cargo hold - not OK. Synth is also the only one which has no chance of any side-effects.
Whoa! What? Side-effects??? Yup, standards and the stronger boosters have a percentage chance of a side effect. Take the Blue Pill for instance, my favourite. There is a 20% chance that when using it you'll get a side effect. That could be one, some, or if you are really unlucky, all of the following -20% to Shield capacity, -20% to Turret optimal range, -20% to missile explosion velocity and -20% to capacitor capacity. You still get your positive effect, you just also get the negative effects too. Each booster has it's own side-effects so Crash will have different debuffs to Blue Pill.
Booster Slots
There are three booster "slots" for your character and you can have three boosters in effect at the same time. However there are groups which restrict which ones you can have going at the same time.
The first four in the list at the top are clearly defensive in nature and you can only have one in effect at each time.
The next three are turret buffers, again you can only have one at a time
The last one is for missiles and takes it's own slot.

Skill Requirements 
You need biology and science to use boosters. Which is fine if you stick to Synths. If you are using standard or improved you really need to train Neurotoxin Recovery and Nanite Control. The first reduces the chance you'll get a side-effect and the second will reduce the percentage amount "debuffs you". I have both trained to 4 so I have a 20% less chance of getting a side-effect and if I do get one the debuff is 20% less.

That's it basically. There are more complete guides out there. I just wanted to write this short one for people who don't use them currently. They can be VERY helpful! 

Part 2 coming soon.....
Which leads nicely onto part 2 where I chat with booster production corp "Uppers N Downers" about boosters and will removing the NPC customs officials on gates and getting players to enforce the law in hi-sec really work?

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