Among the Stars: Frostlines in the Sandbox


Line in the sand (phrase)

A line in the sand is a metaphor with two similar meanings:

The first meaning is of a point (physical, decisional, etc.) beyond which one will proceed no further.

The second meaning is that of a point beyond which, once the decision to go beyond it is made, the decision and its resulting consequences are permanently decided and irreversible.


The Operation Frostline event is shaping up to be an interesting part of the latest release. On the surface, it’s another seasonal event, but while the surface may be still, the waters under it are turbulent.


Others have written volumes about the politics involved in the Upwell Consortium’s rise to prominence, but the short version is that it’s a power play in the making. A play between Yani Sar Arteu, CEO of ORE, with his allies in Mordu’s Legion, against the Serpentis. Yes, ORE and Upwell are fighting a war against the Serpentis corporation, after Arteu deposed Orion Mashel, puppet CEO of ORE for the Serpentis. Arteu has taken back his company, and is now out to hurt the people who pushed him to the side. What better way to do that than by attacking the R&D efforts of the Serpentis?

That is where capsuleers come in, since we are very good at attacking things. Serpentis storage facilities have been exposed, and with the blessing of CONCORD, the locations have been broadcast to all of New Eden. The result is pretty predictable. Empyreans have started bringing out their ships loaded with hurt, and all the bloody-minded greed that goes with it.


These sites are comprised of two rooms connected by an acceleration gate. Very similar in design to the Blood Raider sites from October’s event, they should present limited challenge to destroyers and larger craft. As you would expect, the sites are guarded by Serpentis, which deal Thermal and Kinetic damage with a slight lean toward Thermal. Frigates, cruisers, and battlecruisers are to be the only ship classes present, and all types like to stay relatively close, so if you bring a weapon system with slow tracking, like medium artillery, you may have a hard time hitting things


On warp-in, you will encounter a small group of frigates near a gate and NCO station. This is the first wave, which will be followed by two more waves of frigates, triggered by the destruction of the last ship in a wave. They spawn from the station, so if you can drag the fight that direction, you’ll find it faster to clear the next wave. After clearing three waves, the gate will unlock, and you can proceed to the final room.

After landing, you will be presented with essentially the same fight, except with cruisers instead of frigates as the opposing force. Three waves will spawn, with 4 – 5 ships per wave, having the cruiser’s higher dps but worse application. Clear them, and the last ship will spawn. It is a standard battlecruiser, and will drop a can instead of leaving a wreck. This is your payoff.


CCP hit a home run here. Instead of only a skin, like the Blood Raider event, this one gives clothes your capsuleer may use to get a nice Serpentis look. Who doesn’t like a new look? I have confirmation of shirts dropping, and have heard rumors of full body armor style suits for that don’t-mess-with-me-in-pod-or-out look. I expect if these drop that they will be very valuable items, especially over the long term. As you can see, I got a Quafe Zero booster in addition to the two shirts, and according to CCP: “…apparel, synth-grade boosters, ship blueprints, all manner of high and low value modules, implants and Nexus Chips” are all on the list of potential drops.


As for what ship to use, you have a huge range of options. The dps and tank requirements aren’t huge, so feel free to use whatever you feel comfortable with. The Escalator Vexor I mentioned in an earlier column works wonders when loaded with Thermal damage drones. An alternative is my heretical PvE Svipul. I know that using these things for ratting seems wrong, but it feels so right. Here’s the fit:

[Svipul, Escalator Svipul] Small Armor Repairer II
Damage Control II
Gyrostabilizer II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II

1MN Microwarpdrive II
Small Electrochemical Capacitor Booster I, Cap Booster 200
Fleeting Propulsion Inhibitor I
Faint Epsilon Warp Scrambler I

200mm AutoCannon II, Phased Plasma S
200mm AutoCannon II, Phased Plasma S
200mm AutoCannon II, Phased Plasma S
200mm AutoCannon II, Phased Plasma S
Small Diminishing Power System Drain I
Small Diminishing Power System Drain I

Small Nanobot Accelerator I
Small Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Small Auxiliary Nano Pump I

It is truly a do-it-all boat. The armor tank keeps the sig radius tiny, the scram and web make sure if someone wants to try and brawl you down they get a surprise, and the two Nos keep everything running well. And I do mean well. It is 40% cap stable with both Nos running. A word on Nosferatus though: the way they work is by draining cap out of another ship and adding it to yours. But they only do so if you have less cap than your target. So if I have 300 Gj, and my target has over 300 Gj, it drains the full amount the module is capable of draining. If the target has less than 300 Gj, it does nothing. But it also costs nothing, so you may as well run it. The reason it works so well on NPCs is that they have a permanently full capacitor, so it always drains. Fly in, Nos two targets, and enjoy permanently running your MWD and Repper! The only notable weakness it has is an Explosive resistance hole, so use against Angels and Rogue Drones is not recommend due to that being their primary damage type.

The way I usually fly it deserves explanation due to the three different modes it has. I travel in Propulsion mode, then in warp to my site, I shift to Sharpshooter mode. That gives a nice boost to scan resolution and allows a faster lock time. Then when targets are locked, I swap to Defensive mode, and go nuts. That’s when you turn on the MWD to close in, since in Defensive it barely increases your sig radius. Smaller sig means that you harder to hit, so there is less damage to tank. If you orbit at 1200m, most cruisers and above won’t be able to track you, MWD or not, and your guns should do the rest.


Well, that’s all for today, hopefully this is a help to our new explorers and combat pilots who want to celebrate the festivities with explosions and showers of ISK. As always, if you have questions or comments, feel free to leave them below. I’m also taking ideas for the next column, so mail them to me in game at Verdis deMosays, on Twitter @Verdis_deMosays, and to Nick Dirkers on Facebook.

I would also like to thank capsuleer Ymenoa Merenet for the feedback on my drone salvage article. Following fleets and scanning down abandoned drones has proven profitable. 30 million ISK for the last run alone. I would also like to thank capsuleer Mano Ex, who i killed in lowsec on his second day in Eve. We had a good conversation, and I’m hopeful he continues to fly dangerously. He’s doing it right, taking risks and learning! It’s what I love to see in new pilots.

So get out there, explore New Eden, and have a great time! See you Among the Stars!

This article originally appeared on, written by Verdis.

Let your voice be heard! Submit your own article to Imperium News here!

Would you like to join the Imperium News staff? Find out how!