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Flying The Arbitrator In EVE Online

Posted Tue, Jul 13, 2010 by Space Junkie

The arbitrator, a tech one cruiser-class Amarr ship, has two exceptional and advantageous capabilities: a bonus to using tracking disruptors, and a bonus to drone usage. It is one of the few non-Gallente ships that receives a bonus to using drones, making it an excellent choice for any player that has developed those skills. It is also easily underestimated, despite being able to pack a wallop between its two advantages. As a tech one cruiser, the arbitrator is very cheap, with a good cash to effectiveness ratio.

This guide covers fitting and using an arbitrator for PvP combat, with a brief treatment of using it to run missions included at the end.

Why Fly The Arbitrator?

EVE Online

The Arbitrator relies on drones and electronic warfare to get the drop on opponents.

Fly the arbitrator if you want to surprise more advanced players, add significant damage-dealing while still supporting your friends with electronic warfare, or just plain love drones.

Decent electronic warfare platforms that do not specialize in the Caldari-flavored ECM modules are rare. Indeed, they are so rare that players in EVE Online will tend to underestimate their capabilities. The arbitrator’s potent application of tracking disruptors will offer a compelling lesson for these unwary pilots.
The arbitrator lives and dies based on its drone skills. If you have decent drone skills, which most pilots in EVE Online eventually train, the arbitrator is one of the best options out there. I prefer it to any of the tech one Gallente cruisers because of the utility of tracking disruptors.

About Tracking Disruptors

Tracking disruptors are the Amarr flavor of electronic warfare. They differ significantly from ECM in the following ways:

  • Rather than temporarily shut down a target’s ability to lock targets, tracking disruptors reduce the optimal range, falloff range, and tracking of turret guns (including lasers, hybrids, and projectiles).
  • If the target is within optimal range, the disruptor is always effective. Within falloff range it has a percentile chance each module activation cycle of having any effect.
  • If the target is not using turrets, then the module will not have any noticeable effect.
  • Tracking disruptors offer no protection against non-turret weaponry, such as warp disruptors, stasis webifiers, or energy neutralizers.
  • A target ship’s race and sensor strengthy are unimportant to tracking disruptors.
  • Tracking disruptors can be loaded with scripts, which are a special item that causes an item to specialize its effects. The options available to tracking disruptors cause the module in question to double its effectiveness at either reducing tracking, or reducing optimal/falloff range. When it does so, it stops penalizing the unscripted option. I.e., if you script a tracking disruptor with a ‘Tracking Disruption’ script, it doubles the tracking penalty afflicted on its target, but ceases affecting turret ranges.

Tracking disruptors are similar to ECM in that they do nothing against drones, smartbombs, bombs, or any other weapon system or module that does not require locking to be effective.

High Slots (A Dash Of Projectiles)

  • x2 Dual 180mm Autocannon I (Depleted Uranium M)
  • x1 Small Energy Neutralizer I
  • x1 Salvager I

Autocannons are not lasers, but that’s a good thing. These projectiles add a bit of extra punch to your drone damage, and have decent damage flexibility. The medium-range ammo listed above could easily be swapped out for ‘Titanium Sabot M’ if you find the damage profile of that ammunition more to your taste.

You may also care to carry a long-range ammunition in order to snipe, since you actually have a pretty good lock range. I like ‘Proton M’ but tastes may vary. This is especially handy if you want to be sitting a bit farther from a gate that you are camping, because you expect that fleeing may be in order.

The small energy neutralizer has very limited range, but can be a life-saver if a frigate-sized ship gets that close. Or a ship with precarious capacitor stability.

As always, faction ammo is better if you find the price tag worth it.

Mid Slots (Tackler and E-War)

  • x1 Y-T8 Overcharged Hydrocarbon I Microwarpdrive
  • x1 Warp Scrambler I
  • x2 Tracking Disruptor I (Un-scripted)

Nothing ruins a pilot’s day like a warp scrambler. The drawback being that it has very limited range. I strongly suggest ameliorating this by purchasing a tech two warp scrambler, which improves the range of the module from 7.5km to 9km.

The tracking disruptors should probably not be loaded with scripts unless you know exactly what you are doing. Carry the scripts, just in case you end up in a situation where you need them. If you are being hit by a target that is 100km off, ruining his tracking is no longer as effective, and you should switch to an ‘Optimal Range Disruption’ script. Conversely, if you are fighting a target that is only 1km away, you should load a ‘Tracking Speed Disruption’ script

Upgrading to “named” equipment will yield significantly better results. The “MWD” module listed above is now available for very lower prices, thanks to the Tyrannis expansion, and is much superior to the basic tech one version. Named tracking disruptors can get pretty expensive, though, so do not go for the best-named version unless you really, really know what you are doing.

A tech two warp scrambler has much better range than its tech one version and is probably the single best thing to upgrade to tech two on this fitting.

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