Header art by: Empanada
The Abyss is a challenge in EVE like no other. It’s an instance based PVE ‘mission’ where you face three rooms of unknown foes as you fight to survive and complete the dungeon.
When the abyss was first previewed, players saw it as pure safe PVE with no risk from other players. People, we thought, would be able to farm and runs sites without a care in the world. We’ve now discovered that this could not be farther from the truth. The most dangerous part of the Abyss must be the random element of it all. Within Eve, players tend to fall into habits; they know which NPCs spawn in each wave, how best to run sites, and how best to farm incursions. Theses are all safe activities because we know what’s going to happen; we know how the game will behave and we know what we need to do to survive. The Abyss will violently shake you from that daydream.
Within the Abyss, you will find yourself having to assess the situation and make new plans on the fly. You must use the environment around you to the best of your ability. This guide has been written to help give you the broad strokes, but every instance will be different.
Before you take a step into the Abyss you need to understand the environment that you will be fighting in. There are five different environments in Abyssal Deadspace, each with its own buffs and penalties.
Dark Matter Field – bonus to maximum velocity and penalty to turret range
Electrical Storm – bonus to capacitor recharge, penalty to EM resistance
Exotic Particle Storm – bonus to scan resolution, penalty to kinetic resistance
Plasma Firestorm – bonus to armor HP and penalty to thermal resistance
Gamma-Ray Afterglow – bonus to shield HP and penalty explosive resistance
In level one sites, you will receive a 50% bonus from the environment and a -30% penalty. These effects apply for the entire time while you are in the Abyss, both to your ship and to NPCs. At time of writing, the penalty increased to by -50% for lvls 2-5, but not sure if this is working as intended.
All ships and drones are affected by these buffs and debuffs. This means that you should use drones that target the damage type which is penalized, as the NPCs will be similarly affected.
In each room of the Abyss, you will find one structure which contains the loot: the Triglavian Bioadaptive Cache. These have low HP and can usually be one-shotted. You will also find a gate which becomes active when the last NPC is dead. Within each room there are also clouds that apply local affects to that particular room – these are in addition to the general environmental effects. Depending in the location of these clouds, they can be avoidable. It’s important to take in the room when you first land and have a plan before you break cloak and start fighting.
A final element that you may find in the rooms are structures which apply effects to ships and drones in range. These can affect your tracking or apply area of effect damage that hits drones and missiles. The strength of the effects and their damage is determined by the type of structure and details can be found from the “show info” menu.
Now that you understand the stage that you will be fighting on, let’s look at who you will be fighting. There are two different factions that operate within Abyssal Deadspace: the Drifters, who are allied with Sleepers and the new Triglavians race, who are allied with rogue drone swarms.
Each level of room increases the difficulty of the NPCs that you face.
For example, you could face the Triglavians in the first room of a level one pocket, which will be about 3 frigates. If you were to encounter them in room 3 of another level one site, there could be 4 Triglavian frigates as the game steps up the difficulty as you progress.
Because of this scaling, just because you can complete one level two site, it does not necessarily mean that the same ship will be able to complete all level two abyssal sites of that type. The Abyss is not an instance that you can afford to become lazy in, with the time limit set at 20 minutes and death being the consequence for running out of time. You need to be focused to make sure you come out alive.
The Abyss allows all T1 and T2 cruisers, including faction variants, but because of the 20 minute limit and the random nature of foes and local effects you could be facing, you should be using at least a faction cruiser even for level one sites.
You can’t budget fit for these sites. Unlike other PvE encounters where you can warp out if you realize you’re unprepared, as soon as you enter the abyss you must either complete the site or get podded. It’s important to err more on the safer side and it’s far better to run lower level sites and come out alive than to end up dead.
Due to the different environmental effects, there’s no one fit that can run all levels and sites. Some ships will shine in some abyssal sites and have significant issues in others. You must always look at what site you are going into and check your ship and fitting. You want to be ready as much as you can.
Current faction cruisers for each race are:
Amarr: Augoror Navy Issue, Omen Navy Issue
Caldari : Osprey Navy Issue, Caracal Navy Issue
Gallente: Exequror Navy Issue, Vexor Navy Issue
Minmatar: Scythe Fleet Issue, Stabber Fleet Issue
When choosing which ship to use, you should assess the damage type and the benefits which are applied in the abyssal site by checking the filament. For example, Amarr armor ships fitted with lasers should run plasma firestorm sites, due to the bonus to armor HP and the penalty to thermal resistance that will apply to the enemies.
NPCs do not drop loot and you gain no salvage from their wrecks in the abyss. Instead, each room will have a container, the Triglavian Bioadaptive Cache, which has about 400 HP; blowing this up drops the loot for the room. The items dropped can range from blueprints for new Triglavian ships, Trivglavian weapons and ammo, parts for constructing the new equipment, mutaplasmids, and abyssal fragments for deeper levels. It’s also anticipated, but not confirmed at time of writing, that skillbooks for Precursor skills will be available. You’re not guaranteed to get another filament in each site, but if you don’t you can still buy them on the market from other players.
The lower levels in the abyss drop the lower ends parts and blueprints, meaning if you want to build the new ships, you’ll need to farm the materials in the lower levels as well as acquiring blueprints for the ships in higher levels.
For players who can’t access high end ships and have limited resources, this is a great opportunity. You will be able to sell any high end fragments as well as spare parts and prints to people not interested in running the lower levels.
Higher end players, on the other hand, can enjoy the convenience of buying any materials they need from players farming lower levels, as well as filaments for higher levels.
Abyssal Technology and Industry
Manufacturing Triglavian ships and weapons is likely to become an important industry, one that is as-yet non-existent. Industry works like any other production job, depending on materials and blueprints to produce limited runs. As an example, let’s look at the charges for the new Precursor weapons: the exotic plasma charges. These come in three different sizes and, for T1, 3 different flavors for a mix of ranges and damage. Shorter range charges the deal more damage, with longer range charges dealing more. The blueprints come as copies with 5 runs for a total of 5,000 charges and take 5 minutes per production cycle for a total of 25 minutes for the full five runs.
To construct the T1 ammo, you will need a small amount of tritanium and pyrite, between 27 and 580 depending on the size of charge, as well as two new materials found within the abyss: crystalline isogen-10 and zero-point condensate. The amounts of these you’ll need also vary based on the size of the charge.
If T1 is not good enough for you and you want only the finest T2 exotic charges, then invention is the way to go.
To carry out invention, you’ll need your blueprint for either Tetryon or Meson charges. You’ll also need to have trained High Energy Physics and Laser or Plasma Physics and Quantum Physics, depending on size of the crystal and the relevant datacore and the required decryptor. The procedure is the same, and with luck on your side you will have a new T2 BPC to produce the charges with. Because the required materials are low, you can aim for higher runs rather than worry too much about ME and TE.
You will need the same abyssal materials as you needed for T1 charges, plus an additional RAM for ammunition tech and Fullerides, which comes from moon goo. As long as these requirements don’t change, these BPCs are a great opportunity for any new players wanting to try out the production of T2 ammo and reactions.
The new entropic disintegrators are built with blueprints and materials from the abyss for their T1 counterparts, and the T2 versions required you to invent from the BPC. These wil also require robotics and laser focusing crystals, which are produced from reacting moon goo.
The three new Triglavian ships, the Damavik, Vedmak and Leshak, can be built with blueprints dropped in the abyss as well as materials from the abyss and standard minerals from ore. You’ll need the same materials that you use in ammo and the guns, just in higher amounts.
Flying these ships will require training the Precursor skills, which work like any racial ship skills, requiring one to train to level three in frigates, then cruisers, and finally battleships. A similar progression applies to the weapons.
Final Words of Advice
When the patch lands on May 29 and players rush to find filaments and start running sites within the abyss, you’d do well to be one of the first to bring items to market; both for bragging rights and the highest payout. For those players who will be the first to face the full dangers of losing their ships and pods, my advice is simple: a gold rush is coming. Be the one selling the pickaxes. Selling the filaments to other players earns you quick pay while you can let others forge the paths and work out the meta. The Abyss has been ever changing on the test server and nobody is 100% certain how it will play out once it hits Tranquility, so sit back, enjoy, and watch stuff blow up.
If you would like to get your feet wet and run some sites, the Gila and the VNI, because of their ability to adjust their main damage output via drones as well and their resistances, have proven themselves in lower levels of the Abyss. The standard PvE fits work fine.
Finally, please remember that if you don’t win in the Abyss you will be podded. You have to complete the site in 20 mins or you are killed. There is no escape once you’ve committed. This means you must be able to replace your ship and pod before you attempt the site.