Amarr Arbitrator - Armor or Shield Tank

I am considering fitting out a Amarr Arbitrator and am a bit perplexed on whether I should fit for armor or shield tank. I understand that Amarr ships are “normally” run with armor tank but since the Arbitrator doesn’t get bonuses for armor, does it really matter if I shield tank it?

As best as I can tell, the only difference would be that if I armor tank it, I can use the mid slots for Tracking Disruptors which the ship has a 7.5% bonus for but if I shield tank it, I lose that ability to use the mid slots for Tracking Disruptors.

Is that really the only difference or am I missing something. This is my first “real” Amarr ship I have ever fitted out so please help me understand.



You would normally armour tank one. As you correctly noted, the number of mid-power slots allow weapon disruptors to be fitted.
A good operational concept is to fight at range, using disruption to limit the damage you take while your drones chew the heathen apart.
A couple of range scripted disruptors and modest skills can make your opponents feel deservedly impotent.

You can shield fit the Arbitrator, but it is not as effective and has the signature of a small moon increasing the damage that others can do to you.

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Personally I don’t do ‘normal’ or ‘supposed to’.

I do what works for me.

You’re ‘supposed’ to armour tank a Vexor, because Gallente, but when I changed mine to shield fit it had more DPS because of all the freed up low slots for gun / drone modules and had more EHP.

Depends partly what you want to use it for and whether or not your priority is high DPS or high tank. It’s a lot easier to go for high DPS when the low slots are free for damage enhancing modules.

A quick look at the EVE Uni Wiki fittings page for the Arbie shows a mix of Armour and Shield tanks.

So yeah, do what works for you, that’s my advice.

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A shield fit Arbi pretty easily can reach 25K EHP and ~30 shield regen a second. Making it a very economical mission runner. This does however completely negate its weapon disruption role. However since most PvE content is one vs many weapon disruption is normally of fairly limited use. And the guns in high slots plus hull bonus damage to drones with drone damage modules in the low slots will allow you to efficiently clear PvE content.

Weapon disruption and an armor tank is of far more use against some harder missions with significantly lower enemy counts that hit harder than usual or when dealing with PvP. A bonus-ed weapon disruption mid or two can absolutely make hash out of the damage application of the odd battleship in a level three security mission. But frankly speaking… most newer players bash their heads against higher level missions with bigger more expensive ships rather than skill up and approach things tactically.

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it’s an arbi, very similar to a vexor, which can be fit many different ways

and this is the PVE forum where TDs just aren’t useful at all so you don’t need to fit them anyways.

Thanks all for the information. So, after trying different fits, the one I settled on looks like this. Please comment if I am way out in left field. It is pretty cap stable (gives me around 9 and a half minutes).

[Arbitrator, *Simulated Arbitrator (Shield Tank)]
Mark I Compact Power Diagnostic System
Shield Power Relay II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II

10MN Y-S8 Compact Afterburner
Large Shield Extender II
Large Shield Extender II
Adaptive Invulnerability Field II

Prototype ‘Arbalest’ Rapid Light Missile Launcher
Prototype ‘Arbalest’ Rapid Light Missile Launcher
[Empty High slot]
Drone Link Augmentor I

Medium Core Defense Field Purger I
Medium Core Defense Field Purger I
Medium Core Defense Field Purger I

Federation Navy Hobgoblin x6
Caldari Navy Vespa x3
Imperial Navy Infiltrator x3
Republic Fleet Valkyrie x3
Federation Navy Hammerhead x3

Scourge Light Missile

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Looks fine to me. I’d probably bring specific sets of medium drones rather than 3 of each.

and maybe swap an extender for a drone nav comp to get them going a bit faster between targets. Of course that depends on what you are doing and if you need the tank or not.

Which sector of space are you planning on using this in? Because that determines what your primary resists and damage type selection should be.

Yes you can easily shield tank an arbi if TDs are not required. Base your choice on rats youre fighting (sanshablood do EM too much for shield imho) and whether or not you want to turn your drones into little birds of doom, as 2 drone nav computers + 2 drone tracking computers will allow you to use mediums only easily.

Should work well in null asteroid belts where you don’t have to fight as many NPCs at once.

Do not try this in anything like a hub or rally point.

Thanks again for all the great information. I have to admit that when I read these responses to my build and got to the “what are you doing” and “which sector of space are you planning on using this in”, I had a brief moment of panic. I have no idea. I guess I just assumed I would start running missions and earn some ISK but I am not entirely sure who I want to run missions for. I did some quick searches online and it seems that Sisters Of Eve is the most recommended as their LP can get items which sell well.

So, my plan is forming up to be as follows…first, using an Arbitrator fitted as listed above, complete the SoE Epic Arc and then find a SoE mission agent and start doing the highest level Security missions I can. I am assuming that this Arbitrator will carry me through level 2 and 3 missions, at which point I will have hopefully skilled up (and saved enough ISK) to move up to a more capable ship to do Level 4 missions (an Armageddon perhaps).

Any advice on whether this plan is doable or am I doomed?

You will handle the SoE epic arc easily in an Arbitrator. I last did it in a Confessor without any issues.
You will handle Level 2 security missions with it, but will struggle on quite a few of the Level 3 missions - they are really Battlecruiser territory.

Train up your drone skills you can easily add another 40% or more DPS, and flight speed, and defence to them that way. And if you train to T2 drones then they are a third of the price of faction drones - it hurts less if you need to abandon them to save your ship.

Being able to pay for expensive ships and fittings isn’t a substitute for having the skill bonuses and experience that comes with time. Use the time you will spend on missions to train up the basics: fitting skills, gunnery, drones (missiles if you like 'em). Sheilds and Armour skills are boring, but important.
Going hell for leather for a battleship so you can undock in it with second rate defences and poor weapon skills and flying it into the middle of something you don’t understand is a good way to start hating the game.

Most things mature into something better with age. Including capsuleers.

If you find yourself over in Amarr/Domain give me a shout and we’ll fly out on some higher missions if you want to see what they are like.

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Very good advice, thanks! I will try the SoE epic arc soon and then go back to the chain gang working the asteroid fields in my Venture for a bit longer while I train up enough skills to try level 3 missions (and hopefully have enough ISK to purchase a ship capable of doing them).

I may take you up on your offer. You are only a half-dozen jumps away from me now. I’ll drop you an in-game note and coordinate that. Thanks!!

Oh, and a good scotch. Scotch matures into something better with age. Just saying… :slight_smile:

Most definitely.
Both making contact and an aged whisky.

for lv2 missions that fit will be complete overkill. I’d guess it will work for lv3s too but I haven’t run anything fit like it to compare it to. A kiting cruiser can pretty easily tank most lv3s, just gotta let your drones work through the targets.

Only if you handle your drones with care. You should know that the Arbitrator is a combat support ship and other than the large drone bay, not very good at tanking some level 3 missions.
Have you considered a laser boat? Both the Omen and Maller are very capable combat ships and more suited for level 2-3 missions.

When you are trained a little more you should give the Prophecy or Harbinger a look. Those will be able to carry you through most level 3 missions easy.
They fly a lot different than a cruiser and you should get used to less mobility before you step into a battleship.

Aye, clearing level 3s with a cruiser efficiently pretty much screams for having close to a full T2 fit on said cruiser. Meaning expect to pay ~30-35m for a cruiser fit that does so. And a lot of the reason why is getting past certain DPS or range thresholds is considerably easier with T2 stuff.

That said, you can totally clear the overwhelming majority of L3s with a T2 fit rail kite Vexor, Moa, or Thorax. Or a missile kiting Caracal. Honestly a Vexor with good drone skills and good hybrid rails can happily maul things from 60K range for over 300-500 DPS depending on skills and if you are using T2 ammo or not.

While it is possible for the Arbitrator to do so, it won’t be fast at doing it nearly as efficiently as some other options could. Mainly because its damage is almost exclusively from the drones which certain rats, elite frigates especially, love to focus fire out of existence.

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