Friday, February 17, 2012

Turn it up to 11! Overheating in Eve Online.

Living in the desert and being a PvP player in Eve Online means I know a little bit about overheating.

First one is easy. Turn on the air-conditioner when it gets too hot and don't go outside for long in the summer.

The second is a little more complicated but can give you a real boost in PvP. In a previous blog here I listed several ways to give a major boost to your PVP abilities using neural implants, faction modules, combat boosters (drugs) and alts with warfare links. Overheating might be a minor and very short term boost, but it's a very important one.

Certain modules in Eve Online can be "overheated". Basically in a spaceship engineering sense you pump extra power into them to overload them. This does not affect your ships power-grid or your capacitor. Basically you "work" them a bit harder. Get them running at over 100% if you will. This causes three things, firstly the bad things - they heat up and as they overheat they take damage. The damage is to the module itself and does not effect your ships shield/armour/structure HP's. However, they do their job much better than when running normally.

To see what happens when you over heat a module simply have a look at it's info. Guns and missile launchers tend to fire faster, propulsion jamming mods reach longer, reppers rep faster, propulsion mods give you more speed and hardeners... well they harden a bit more.

In order to overheat a module you need the Thermodynamics skill. Each level you train reduces the overheat damage the modules take by 5%. Also T3's are good for overheating in as they have a bonus to overheat damage.

To overheat a module you can click the tiny little green bar at the top of the module icon, or now you can shift-click the button.

You can also overheat an entire rack (entire line of low, mid or high slots) with these buttons

As you overheat a module, the heat spreads to nearby modules. If they are overheating too, then the rate of damage they take is increased. Overloading one module will mean damage is taken much slower than doing an entire rack.

You can keep an eye on the temperature here....

And module damage is shown graphically on the module icon and also by hovering over the icon

It is possible, and is actually easy, to "burn out" a module by overheating it too much. In that case it'll go offline until you fix it at a station. Providing it's not totally buggered you can use nanite paste in space for a temporary fix between battles. To use nanite paste simply open your cargo bay and use the right click menu.

You can also "pre-overheat" modules by turning the overheat on but not activating the module. This way the module takes no damage as it's not running, but as soon as you do activate it it'll run with the overheated stats. Very useful for points when gate camping.

Overheating can win you a fight, it can also help you escape from a fight that is going south! It can help you catch a target you'd have missed otherwise but it can also bugger up your ship and doom you!

A nice example of overheating working well occurred to me earlier this week.

I was solo roaming in my autocannon Hurricane. I noticed a squid (Caldari Militia player) in local as I jumped into a system. He looked to be in a Ferox from the D-scanner. I bounced about a bit looking for him and we both landed on a gate at 0 together. What luck! He locked me up, I locked him back. Mexican stand off. I didn't know what his intention was.

Did he want me to agress so he could jump through the gate and run away with me unable to follow him due to aggression? (A typical Caldari response to a 1v1)

Was he thinking that's what I wanted to do and was waiting to see if I ran.

I didn't know, was he wanting a fight or me to make a move so he could flee?

Another squid entered system, I was outnumbered. The other squid landed on gate in a Manticore and jumped. Then he jumped back. I was still tempted, a stealth bomber wasn't a major issue. Then yet another squid entered system. A war-target Tengu landed on us, that was me out of there. I warped to a pounce off another gate and the Tengu jumped out, I wasn't about to get sandwiched on a gate. I went to the other gate at 0 and the Ferox had obviously followed me and was already there. Again we locked each other up.

Now, do I open up and hope that the Manticore and Tengu were simply mission-whores passing through and wouldn't be back. Or should I just say engaging in this situation is a bad idea with a Tengu and a Manticore possibly joining in?

Oh bugger it! FIRE!!!

I open up on the Ferox and he returns fire. We're both close range fit, my autocannons and heavy assault missiles verses his apparent full rack of blasters. As the fight starts it's obvious that my shields are dropping faster than his. Time to heat things up a bit.

I overheat my AC's and HAM launchers plus my invulnerability field. Suddenly I'm firing faster and therefore doing more damage (+15% extra DPS) and my shields have higher resists (+20% bonus). Almost immediately I notice a difference. My shields are dropping slower than before and his are dropping much faster. I keep an eye on the heat and module damage, toggling the overheat when needed. I start to get the upper hand and soon his shield is lower than mine. He pops as I'm in around 2% shield. A very close 1v1 between two fairly equal battlecruisers - and I won due to overheating. Without overheating he'd have won, no doubt.

Mutual gf's in local and I return the two jumps to station to repair the heat damage to my modules.

Overheating works and goes to prove that not all MMOG PvP encounters are shin kicking contests that are won by the guy who started with the biggest boots!


  1. Well written as always, but it is a bit of an understatement to say overheating "works" or it was an "minor, very short term boost".
    As you wrote you would have lost the Ferox duel without OH, and in general it is of major importance to enter duels with overheated modules. Tbh I think it was a mistake not to pre-OH the Invul.
    When you fight in AF e.g. you can even expect to be able to OH your modules the entire fight!
    Also don't forget to place your fittings in a way you get max OH-time, not overheated modules function as heat sinks giving you extra OH-time.
    Btw, you wrote OH won't affect your capacitor, that is true for most modules but a repper (shield or armor) needs more cap if overheated.


  2. It is a bit misleading to say that tech3's get a bonus to overheat damage. It's more to clear to say this: with the proper subsystem, tech3's get a reduction in overheat damage.

    1. It's a hull bonus. All Strategic Cruisers get it no matter what the sub-systems used.

      "XXXXX Strategic Cruiser Skill Bonus: 5% Reduction in the amount of heat damage absorbed by modules per level."

  3. Actually, the tech 3 base hull bonus (eg. Gallente Strategic Cruiser, the skill) is a 5% bonus to reduction in overheat dammage. There is also another engineering subsystem that does the same; so with Thermodynamics 5 and the right setup you can get some crazy timers on the overheating; which you'd never really need.

    I think I'd rather see the subsystem for overheating confer a bonus to the added performance of overheated modules.
    Noone really uses the subsystem in particular because 6-7 minutes of heating on guns isn't useful for PvP (if you take more than 2 minutes you're doing it wrong?).

    Just my 0.02 ISK

  4. Depends on the fight tbh, in WHs the longer timer is good because if you burn out your guns they have to be totally swapped and then if your in one of those 3hour long fights having the extra OH time can be good as well.

  5. Actually the long times are useful for either WHs(have to replace burnt out guns/mods) or if your jumping into one of those 3 hour long fights.