Flying The Ishkur In EVE Online
The Ishkur, named after the Sumerian deity of thunder, is a Gallente assault frigate. Much like the deity after which it is named, it fills the sky with destruction. The main aspect of this is that it has the best drone bandwidth of any standard frigate-sized ship. This makes it one of the best low-level mission running ships in the game, and an excellent platform for trickier missions like COSMOS or the low-level epic missions.
It is also pretty good at blowing up other frigate-sized ships in PvP, and has a decent shot at most tech one cruisers. Because assault frigates are so easy to train for, and are almost certainly on any pilot's long-term skill plan, this makes the Ishkur one of the best tech two options for new players, especially if they rely primarily on running missions for income.
This guide examines the Ishkur's strengths, weaknesses, and includes various suggestions for how to fit it with modules. This guide specifically focuses using the Ishkur to effectively run missions, for which the Ishkur is one of the best-equipped frigate-sized vessels in the game.
Why Fly The Ishkur
The Ishkur is adept at plowing through low-level missions, making it a great tech two option for newer players to work toward flying.
This is about your ability to turn on your drones, orbit something, and read the newspaper while your drones automatically engage one target after another, until the area is clear. Maybe another wave of them appears, and you pull your drones in before repeating the cycle. Warp back to home station. Mission accomplished.
The Ishkur can field a flight of five light drones, despite being a frigate hull. This means that you can chew through mission frigates and cruisers with relative ease and a minimum of personal oversight, and that you can out-run or out track anything likely to hurt you in a level 1 or level 2 mission.
A Word About Modules And Skills
The modules listed are for my suggested "end-game" fitting for this ship hull. Using tech one modules is absolutely fine for running missions with this, as the drones do most of the work. This is especially palatable for fitting reasons, which may be problematic for newer players.
The most important thing is that you don't run out of capacitor in a tight spot, and that your drone skills are as good as you can get them to be. In fact, I would say that you should at minimum train the following drone-related skills:
- Drones IV (ideally trained to V)
- Scout Drone Operation IV
- Combat Drone Operation III
- Drone Durability III
Of special note is Drone Navigation, which can be started once you have trained Drones IV. Unfortunately, if you train more levels in this than you have in Drone Sharpshooting (which requires Drones V as a pre-requisite) then your drones will often have trouble tracking small targets. This is one of the few times when higher level skills can actually work against you in EVE Online.
These skills will come in handy no matter what you do in EVE, since ships of every race use them. Even if you end up hating the Ishkur or Gallente ships in general, you will still most likely use drones.
Other helpful skills include anything that helps with fitting (Engineering, Electronics, and Weapon Upgrades) or capacitor (Energy Management), or with armor repair (Repair Systems). Training Assault Frigates IV wouldn't hurt the cause, either.
- x2 125mm Railgun II (Antimatter Charge S and Lead Charge S)
- x1 Salvager I
- x1 Drone Link Augmentor I
If you are like me and just want to plow through low-level or COSMOS missions as fast as possible, even if you need to (God forbid) actually lock and shoot things, then the turrets will come in handy. On the other hand, if you would prefer not to micromanage guns in favor of letting the drones do all the work, you can eschew these in favor of a "Small Tractor Beam I" to pull in wrecks and containers. With perfect fitting skills, you should be able to fit a third 125mm, at the expense of one of the other modules.
If you are having trouble getting everything to fit because of your low skills, the guns can be downgraded to their 75mm equivalents, switched for small blasters, or omitted entirely. It is very unlikely that you will encounter something in a level 1 or level 2 mission that five light drones can't take out.
For most missions, you should use Antimatter ammo in any guns that you have. But firing from afar often pays dividends by making missions take less time, overall. Thus, using Railguns and long range ammo are often more convenient than using blasters or short range ammo.
- x1 1mn Afterburner II
- x1 Small Peroxide I Capacitor Power Cell
- x1 Cap Recharger II
The main concern here is capacitor. For many missions, you will need to be able to run your armor repairer nearly constantly. Thus, it is imperative that you be as "cap stable" as possible. That is, do not run out of capacitor. Between the "peroxide" named capacitor battery, and the cap recharger, your capacitor should last for several minutes. This even with poor skills.
The key to using the Ishkur is letting the drones do all the work.
- x1 Small Armor Repairer II
- x1 Damage Control II
- x1 Adaptive Nano Plating II
A pretty standard armor tank. If you have spare CPU for some reason, you can upgrade the Adaptive Nano Plating for an "Energized Adaptive Nano Plating II" and get better armor resistances.
- x1 Small Anti-Explosive Pump I
- x1 Small Capacitor Control Circuit I
As of this writing, the drone-related rigs in EVE Online are not so hot. Nothing there is going to really make a difference, and certainly not at the cost of -10% CPU. What is very important is that you have at least one "Small Anti-Explosive Pump I" rig. This is because the Ishkur has a pretty deep vulnerability to armor explosive damage.
The "Small Capacitor Control Circuit" will make your Ishkur completely cap stable, even with low skills. Alternatively, it ameliorates your capacitor situation if you remove a Cap Recharger as described above.
The ranks that you have in Assault Frigates will determine exactly how many light drones that you can bring. If you know what kind of enemy you are going to be facing, pick your drone based on that damage type. Otherwise, a mix of "Warrior I" and "Hobgoblin I" drones will generally do the trick.
For your reference, the light scout drones and their damage types are as follows:
- Acolyte I: EM damage.
- Hobgoblin I: Thermal damage.
- Hornet: Kinetic damage.
- Warrior: Explosive damage.
First, make sure that your drones are in "aggressive mode" by undocking in your fit Ishkur, then right clicking on the tiny triangle in the upper left hand corner of your drones window. You should also have them focus fire via the checkbox for that. In aggressive mode, your drones will automatically swarm and attack anything that attacks you, so long as it is within your maximum drone control range. In passive mode, your drones will wait until you manually tell them to attack ships. For missions, it is almost always better to let your drones do your work for you.
Thanks to your small size and afterburner, you can outrun most ships in level 1 or level 2 missions, without too much trouble. If you start taking damage, use your armor repairer. If you are not cap stable with everything turned on, then you should avoid leaving this energy-guzzling module on any more than necessary.
If new waves of enemies spawn, some of them the may target your drones instead of you. If this is the case, simply tell that drone to return to your ship. Even when used by a careful pilot, drones will sometimes die. No big deal, just pop another one out. This is why you probably should not use tech two drones, although their increased effectiveness may well be worth it if you do not expect to lose many.
In PvP, with more appropriate fittings, the Ishkur can zip around targets without taking much too much damage, unless that target also has a flight of light drones ready to hit you. Your biggest dangers are from drones. From anything less than a full flight of "Warrior II" drones, there are great odds that you can use your weaponry to take out teams of drones attacking you, or at least outrun them long enough to get away. Watch out for battleships toting energy neutralizers, and travel with friends whenever possible!
That's all for now. Good luck out there!