Monday, 17 June 2013

Wormhole Interbus Customs Office Bash

I hear that dreadnoughts can break an Interbus (NPC) customs office in less than an hour.

The problem with using a dread in a c1-c4 wormhole is that the only way to get one back out of a wormhole is as salvage.  The only way to get a dread into a c4 or less is to build one in that system.

Customs office in a low level wormhole system bashing is like breaking into a bank ... with sandpaper.  Being left alone with a lot of sandpaper, and you will probably break in.  You will not always be left alone.

The essential facts :
  • 10,000,000 shield hit points
  • 2,000,000 armor hit points
  • 2,000,000 hull hit points
  • 50,000 official shield recharge time.
While on the surface this looks like a mere 200 hps (heal per second) average shield regeneration, the peak shield regeneration is much higher, in fact 500 hps.

The capacitor regeneration formula (with caveats) can be found at

I have read somewhere (citation needed) that this applies also to shield regeneration, and found a slight variation (citation needed) on the above formula.  In-game experience from excessive use of breaking into banks with sandpaper suggests that this is correct.  
The numbers behind the above graph of shield regen per second are from my google doc at

Now for some numbers.  Lets say you bring 1000 dps. 10,000,000 shield; lets pretend an average 200 hps for the customs office shield.  Net dps is 800, so 12500 seconds, or 3.5 hours.  After that, you have another 4,000,000 armor/structure without any regeneration; 4,000 seconds or another 1 hour.  Totals 4.5 hours (which is very roughly correct, though I suspect a little under due to peak regeneration)

Yes, you probably should be at keyboard, and aware of your environment.  Are you going to check dscan every 5 seconds for 4.5 hours?  I can't.  I have tried, and am not capable.  Are you going to reload ammo every 10 minutes over 4.5 hours, when required?  Again, I have tried, and I can't.  I failed on a customs office bash because I tried.  Capacitor stable, lasers with T1 ammo and drones do not require ammunition, and will shoot until the earliest of a gank; successful bash; or downtime.

If you can not bring more than 500 dps, don't bother doing a customs office bash.  It is possible with 750 dps.  Possible does not mean quick.

I know that from personal experience, I can :
  1. collapse all wormholes
  2. set 3 cruisers and a destroyer onto a customs office, 
  3. hope/pray that no one hostile finds new incoming wormholes,
  4. go to sleep, 
  5. wake up to find a missing customs office
I also know from personal experience that (3) (hope/pray for no hostiles) does not always work and you can find yourself with brand new clones in highsec stations.

My customs office bashing ships have the following characteristics:
  • Glass Cannons.  These ships are replacement tanked.  That is, if you are found, then you count on replacing your ship.  There is a trivial token effort towards a tank at the very bottom of this list.
  • Ship : Laser/drone boats, with bonus to laser and drone: DPS, reduced capacitor, increased rate of fire. The other bonuses of range, tracking, resists etc are not used.
    • Gallente (Algos, Vexor, Myrmidon, Dominix)
    • Amarr (Coercer, Omen, ... I assume Oracle, Armageddon)
  • High slots : named short range laser turret (eg Heavy Modulated pulse energy beam 1)
  • Ammo : Multifrequency crystals  (T1) if you can do so and be cap stable, I have been using Infrared if not.
  • T1 drones to fill both ship and pilot slots (eg Ogre, Hammerhead, and maybe Hobgoblin).  Fill your ship bandwidth, and personal skill limit.  I have been recommended by someone with far more combat skills than I, that while you should fill your limits, 2 Hammerhead are better than 1 Ogre)
  • Low : Named heat sinks (eg Extruded Heat sink), Drone Damage Amplifier, in roughly equal numbers.   A mild preference for heat sinks if your laser damage is higher, dorne damage amlifier if your drone damage is higher.
  • Rig 1 Energy Collision Accelerator and 1 Energy Burst Aerator I of the appropriate size for your ship.
  • Mid : Named Capacitor Rechargers (eg Eutectic Capacitor Charge Array) to bring the ship to cap stable, then a tank wildcard.  I have been using one 'Cetus' ECM Shockwave and shield extenders.  I can not recall a time when these tanks would have made a difference.
Your pilots shall not have expensive implants, nor shall they have so many skillpoints you would cry at updating their clone.  Your pilot should have up to date clones.

Your decision on what class of ship to fly weighs your estimation of how much damage you will do before being ganked or coming back to keyboard vs your wallet.  Higher DPS means less time, means less chance of being ganked.  Higher DPS also means more expensive ships so you will feel the pain of a gank more.

Customs office shields do not regenerate during a standard downtime.  They do regenerate over some extended downtimes.   I have personally seen both behaviours during various customs office bashes.

If you find that you can bring 3000 DPS to a customs office bash, then peak regeneration becomes less significant.  10,000,000 @ average 2800 dps + 4,000,000 @ 3,000 DPS is 1 hour 20 minutes.  Under these circumstances, dscan/probe scanning becomes easier (generally with more players to share the scanning), reloading becomes easier.

Setting up an open move fleet means that the last one awake/online can become boss and warp the fleet home.  We think. There was a problem during a recent bash where we deliberately gave 'boss' to someone who we knew was going to be awake.

In a post coming soon, I will discuss the differences between an npc customs office and a player one.

One could almost determine what I am doing in game by looking over the last few posts.


  1. I have not done much EFT-warrioring, or extensive comparisons, but for structure bashes I have really come to respect the Blaster-Talos (and its sibling, the Brutix). Yes, you have to procure the blaster ammunition, but I think the damage output is worth it.

  2. Small wormholes are great place to have a carrier to make sure your little fleet is safe from random visitors. I don't think anyone can fit in a C2 hole that could break triage reps. Filled with fighters and running cap transfers on battleships it can speed up structure bashes too.

  3. Not apparently for customs offices. I had read 33% being mentioned. However, from my time bringing 600dps to a 500 hps regen structure, I am fairly confident that customs offices at least have a peak at 25%. Happy to see evidence to the contrary, but until them. ... I am sticking with 25%.

    Re-reading this, I do have one change : Up to date clones are now anacrhonistic. You no longer lose skillpoints on pod-death, nor do you need to keep clones up to date.


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