The most difficult Abyss type
Before the release on SiSi and during few weeks after release the T5 Dark Abyss was the hardest mode to complete due to the NPC dps power, Abyss buffs and its penalty. Some fixes were applied… Since its release I wasn’t a frequent guest to the Abyss sites due to unstable connections, DDoS and mainly due to stormy weather during this summer, until this event happened “Secrets of the Abyss”.
So, I changed my mind while rating the Abyss difficulty levels and I don’t count the Dark Filament space as the most difficult, until you know how to prepare there.
The Dark is very hard or impossible to fulfil with a wrong ship or in a bad fit. With a Webifier installed, missile launchers or high tracking drones it’s well manageable and playable. Due to a pocket buffs and penalties it don’t requires very high dps and tanking. NPC BS will get a big nerf to their guns and your vessel’s improved velocity will dodge better some strikes. The most dangerous NPCs there are Cruisers and BC, while frigates are invulnerable with low tracking. In the Dark Abyss its only important to know which targets to shot firstly, when to kite away and when to brawl. Therefore, both AB and MWD fits will work greatly.
The Electrical space will reduce the EM resistance by -50%, but will improve the Cap recharge. It requires a better tank, but it can be easily compensated by the Cap recharge buff, because we can fit much more powerful modules to build a Cap stable fit. This space grants a better resilience versus Neut NPC spawns and, what is most important, NPCs EHP isn’t increased and most of them can’t apply a strong EM damage.
The Exotic Abyss is similar to the Electrical one with one essential difference - there isn’t a Cap buff. So, this space applies a higher challenge versus Neut spawns and the available drone and drifter BS can apply a higher kinetic damage. In return many usable T2 Cruisers have very nice kinetic resistances and their highest dps mode including kinetic damage type.
The Gamma space is just designed for shield tanked ships, due to its penalty to Explosive damage -50% and shield bonus buff. This is the space where we can’t mitigate the BS incoming damage through speed tanking like in Dark, we are very vulnerable to Neuts, any Webing rats a very dangerous and due to damage type and resistance penalty both Triglavians and BS are hitting pretty hard. It’s an Abyss mode where both high tank and dps are required. It means both cap stability/resistance and high Explosive damage type, which isn’t easy to achieve. High dps is required, because NPC shield is boosted also and such kind of ships like drifter or drone BS are kind of time consuming to destroy. A shield tank advantage is its strength versus the incoming dps of small frigates, while is very vulnerable versus BS strikes.
The Firestorm Abyss has all disadvantages of explained above scenarios, with a very small advantage to capsuleer’s ships - a bonus to Armor, which is very useless for any active tanked Cruiser. Compared to it, a shield bonus grants better abilities to both passive and active tank modes with the ability to build a good high dps shield tanked vessels. Almost all armor tanked ships have low explosive resistance. Almost all available Cruisers (including T2) haven’t high Thermal resistance by default. Therefore, it makes difficulties to build a strong omni tanked Cruiser for Firestorm space. Almost all possible spawns, I have noticed, have very high dps based on Thermal damage: or they are big swarms or Rogue drone frigates, or they are big groups of Cruisers, or they are a party of healthy BS. The third nasty moment about Firestorm pockets is its nasty bonus to NPC armor, especially BS. Just pay attention, practically every BS type have a huge bonus to armor buffer: Leshaks, Karybdis, Overminds and Lucid Deepwatchers. The five Leshaks will stay longer on grid, Deepwatchers will be veeery healthy because they also repairing each other. This requires very high tanking and dps abilities from capsuleer’s ship. So, overall every Firestorm pocket of any Tier potentially has dangerous spawns which can wipe you due to unable to tank it or unable to destroy all ships in time. There isn’t a pocket there which you can complete calmly, especially when there are some many spawns of Triglavian ships with Thermal/Exlosive damage type and healthy Armor above. The T5 Firestorm is hard to fulfil in any ship with any fit.
So, yeah, I had the hardest, pressure and risky times while doing Firestorm Abyss no matter what Tier it was.