For relatively little time investment, you could get all your fighters to 4.
Speeds up the process
So every carrier could do lvl 5s,even with T1 fighters. With the questions you ask, i would not recommend it.
Lvl 5s WILL kill your carrier, if you ■■■■ up anything.
Locals will hunt you down really quickly. Even if you surrive, they will stop you from farming.
Well if you join the locals you will not have an issue. They will have intel channels of their own.
Well, you just apply i guess
Check for lvl 5 agents, fly over and see who is in local. Check the Killboard and you should figure out, whos the boss in the region.
Then you look at the corps of the groups and who is recruiting.
The hard part is not what you think it is. You could do lvl 5s in a lvl 1 carrier with lvl 1 fighters, the missions themselves are easy af. The hard part is the faction standing and other pilots.
For the ideal setup you want two characters, one to fly the carriers and pull missions and one to just pull missions. If you want to be safe and do this correctly and not lose carriers you gotta buy 3. Go to your agent and start pulling missions. You will notice that most missions (other than rogue spy part 1) send you to one of 3 systems. The system you’re in, and usually two neighboring systems. Figure out which systems they are and put a very cheap fit carrier in each system. Put the carriers in stations with large docking rings and create instadock bookmarks inside the ring.
Next buy a dramiel or similarly fast ship for both characters. The dramiels are for jumping gates. You pull missions until you get one you can do in a carrier and then you run the mission in one of your 3 carriers. To pull the right missions you need to decline a lot of bad missions. To do this you need faction standing and good social skills. Faction standing is less pliable than corp standing so it can tolerate more declines.
You can receive missions from an agent as long as you have either 7.0 faction or corp standing, but when you decline you take a large hit to corp standing and a miniscule hit to faction standing. When you complete a mission you get a huge boost to corp standing which translates to about 3-4 declines. You can decline until your corp or agent standing htis -2. At that point the agent will no longer give you missions. If you were to do this on one character you would eventually hit -2 in agent or corp and you would be screwed. The second toon, who is in fleet the entire time, took half of your corp standing increases, so he has some declines left in him. You then pull missions with the faction puller alt and rebuild your corp standing on your carrier main.
As far as the missions themselves there are plenty of small guides which are old but still valid. The missions take 1-5 minutes typically aside from operation wyrmslayer (the best mission) which can take up to 10. Basically all the missions follow this pattern: undock, warp to mission at 100km or 10km depending on the mission, do the mission, warp to your instadock and dock. That’s it. Easy right?
The next challenge is other players, this is what keeps most people away from lvl 5s–that and the massive initial investment. The reality is, most of the time when I run lvl 5s I’m either completely alone in system, or I know every single pilot in local. The use of a local checker tool such as https://localthreat.xyz/ is absolutely essential. You need to adopt the mindset of collecting intel and knowing everything there is to know about every pilot that comes into local. Use the in game standing tool to mark the baddies red or orange, and mark the other lvl 5’ers grey.
In 3 years of doing lvl 5s I’ve never lost a carrier. Most of my success is attributed to intel. Sometimes I put my alt in an astero and I spy. I fly around the pocket and see whats going on and whos around. I also know who hunts lvl 5 carriers. There are really only two groups that do it. Within those groups there are really only like 2 pilots that know how to do it, but make no mistake, these pilots are some of the most clever, and most dangerous in the game. I can tell you who they are but I can’t post it in here because I used to fly with them and I don’t want to blow up their racket.
Another thing that I find to be hugely helpful is mid grade nomads. Mid grade nomads and a few inertial stabilizers and an evasive command burst can get your align time down to just under 9 seconds. This allows your carrier to warp sideways and it never ceases to give me satisfaction.
Another tip: there’s a mission you may or may not have depending on which faction you choose to work for–it’s called breeding facility and it’s the absolute balls. I use a tornado for this mission and I can literally complete the mission in under 45 seconds including warp. Fit out a buffer fit tornado with artillary and split the guns into two groups. When you land on grid (10km) immediately pop the two closest breeding facilities and warp out. It’s less than 1 minute of work for like 40-80 mil depending on how high the LP store value is currently.
That’s the other thing. The rewards for doing lvl 5s are basically garbage. However you get a ton of it. So if you are able to cash in at the right time, in the right way, with the righty quantities you can certainly make 1 bil an hour, however these days it seems like more people are running them so you’re looking at more like 500-700 mil. The best hour I had, which was atypical, I made 3 bil because a high grade snake omega dropped from an officer wreck and I was getting really good pulls, but again–highly atypical. I believe they shadow nerfed the rewards for operation wyrmslayer after that.
Lastly… I’m not sure If I’ll leave this comment up. I’ll leave it up for a bit so some people could read it but I would suggest deleting this whole thread once you get the information you need. The competition is too fierce and if the hunters figure out where you’re at that will try to catch you.
As a side note if you do the math on a proper setup it ends up being a lot. So don’t do this unless you have about 20 bil you can invest into your setup. Having 3 carriers is essential, having a faction puller is essential, having good social skills, all of it. This activity is not worth doing if you don’t do it correctly. When done incorrectly (with a group instead of solo in a carrier) like I’ve seen countless times with people complaining that the rewards suck, you can maybe make 100 mil an hour. Do it the way I described and you will be make good isk… but don’t be a shmuck. If anyone new comes into local you dock up and figure out who they are. Death will come in the form of an new toon in an npc corp flying a bomber.
-I was in a corp when I learned how to do them but I’ve done them solo for a few years
-You can get standing from the data centers if you have the isk. You can grab a decent chunk of standing for cheap but the last 1.0 of standing costs billions. You could get up to 6 for under a bill and grind out the rest in fw or cosmos missions. I would search the forum for “The Plan” created by @DeMichael_Crimson . When I did it I did all the cosmos that gave standing and all the data center missions that weren’t stupidly expensive. All in all it took me 12 hours per character.
-Marauders are the worst thing you could use in a lvl 5. They’re actually more expensive than a carrier! If you MUST use a battleship the Golem is ok, Barghest, even Raven can work. The battleship setups use cruise missiles and extreme range tanking. The “Carrier missions” are the ones that don’t have gates. Some of the missions with gates can take over 2 hours which kills your efficiency. You can find some good resources here: Level 5 Mission Guide [Brave Collective]. I personally have a slightly different set that I run. Also note that recently, the orientation of “The Fortress” was flipped so that if you warp in at 100km, you land too close to the death blob. I stopped doing that mission altogether because it’s too dangerous. There is one gated mission I run called Rogue Spy part 1. It gives the highest rewards (other than Wyrmslayer) but takes 15 minutes when I do it with two passive fit rattlesnakes and it’s often times up to 5-6 jumps away. I would recommend this mission as an alternative activity altogether. You could run a passive rattlesnake setup and only do Rogue Spy Part 1, Breeding Facility & Cleansing Fire and treat it like an entirely different activity. I also don’t do “The Reclaimation” because I want to be able to go to jita so I don’t kill Caldari. Side note: most of the best missions are to kill Amarr. I would highly suggest just tanking your Amarr standing for better income. Just kiss it goodbye. Thank me later.
-Yes align immediately, set a route to your station so it highlights in yellow. Fit your carrier with t1 fighters, sensor boosters, inertial stabs and get under 10s align with 500mn micro, 2000 dps at least, and a flimsy buffer tank. Use firbolgs. For added safety include a 500mn microwarpdrive for burst maneuvers. The most dangerous moment is when you undock because if someone undocks behind you it has a chance of bumping you out of the docking ring, and if you get bumped out, even 1km, there is no chance of you ever making it back to the station. 1km might as well be 1000km. Agility will save your ass in so many situations. Imagine being able to warp off sideways when the ■■■■ is en route to the fan. It’s like moonwalking while giving the finger during a dance off.
-T1 Carrier* No bling needed on most missions. Keep it cheap and agile. 2 bil per carrier is enough. These are high risk machines.
The one mission that’s different is Wyrmslayer which you will want to do. In Wyrmslayer you want to fit a tank and an armor repper or shield booster and 3 faction smart bombs. You want faction smart bombs because they have a 7.5km range. In this mission you warp to it in your Dram and things start spawning, leave and come back in 8 minutes in your carrier. Then you wait about 2-3 minutes while furiously d scanning until the frigate swarm is in range, turn on the smart bombs and one of these frigates will trigger an overseer spawn when it dies. Kill the overseer and BOOKMARK the wreck. Hand in the mission and don’t forget to come back for that sweet sweet overseer loot. Warning: there are warp disruptors in this mission. Be on your A-game.
There’s also a guy named Hatelessgaming that has some videos of lvl 5s on youtube, but be careful. He’s a bit sloppy and I know he’s lost a few carriers. I believe Hateless stopped doing lvl 5s because the LP is a pain in the ass to cash in which leads me to the final caveat. The LP sucks to cash in. You could potentially lose a lot of isk if you mess up on that part. I lost a bill because I didn’t check the market thoroughly enough and ended up with a 100 implants that only move at a rate of like 1 per month. Check fuzzwork for potential cash in opportunities but also check Jita, cash in your LP when you can get 7-800 isk per LP. Some things net you less isk but are easier to move. Some things net you crazy good isk/lp ratio but move in smaller quantities. Diversify and try to be smart about how you cash in. Also always keep at least a bil in the wallet because cashing in LP costs isk.
One of the greatest perks of all this is cheap implants. I always buy improved implants through the lvl 5 lp store. It feels like getting them for half price because I always have some LP in the trough. Whenever I pvp I always run cheap implants because I have cheap access to them. It’s a nice little advantage to have.
Edit: To get started on this the first thing I would suggest is flying around the lvl 5 hubs in a cloaky for at least a few days. Look at all the systems, make a spreadsheet if you have to. Hang out and watch local. Research the other pilots in local. Start pulling missions, see where they send you. Study the map. Find the chokepoints, the highways, the gatecamps, the FW systems, etc. Check zkillboard for each system. Like, seriously. No one wants to do this part but it’s important. Be choosy about which system you set up in because it’s really hard to move once you’re set up. And be paranoid! Paranoia is your friend.
Looks like I got some sneaking arouind to do!!
It was Hateless gaming L5 that got me asking the question. My Alt kinda just started out as a support for my main but has slowly moved well beyond being just helpful.
The overall idea is to get funds to PvP. Barrak here started as a missioner (hence the high levels in Cruise/Torps) and I want to move him into Lowsec PvP but he is my main ISK earner.
Speaking hypothetically here. Barrak is an expert in Cruise/Torps (ie Spec L4s’ and all supports at max).
Would a Barghest Cruise at 250km range and 900 DPS work?
Yes, but, it costs almost as much as a carrier but its only half as effective
Barghest is great to have around though for doing Besieged Covert Research Centers when they spawn
This is exactly why I run them
I run everything in lowsec. It’s all about dupes. Instead of buying a Dominix for instance… I buy ten, and spread them around key systems in my region. I got 2 burner setups, 2 mining mission setups, 2 lvl 5 hubs. Take the lvl 5 mindset of duplicate ships and apply it to all lowsec PVE and you will be balling on an eccentric level.
It’s all doable. I wish more people would leave highsec but they just don’t get it. They just aren’t thinking big enough. They’re caught up in the 1 ship mentality. They’re jerking off to their shiny marauder.
Edit: Sorry, I don’t mean to sound bitter or judgy of high seccers. They’re fine. It’s just the misconceptions that bug me. Too many people think lowsec is pure chaos and it’s not. Lowsec above all else is mostly empty.
Interesting read. I’ve just started doing lvl 4’s and wasn’t sure the best way to get into lvl 5’s.
For a newer player I’d recommend the abyss over lvl 5s. You can make 3-400m per hour running the high tier cruiser abyss. If you’re willing to multi box you can run the high tier frigate abyss and make 900 per hour and the loot is much easier to cash in. It’s better in most ways. The only reason I still run lvl 5s is I enjoy flying carriers and have no other opportunity to do so aside from moving ships around lowsec. The isk is still pretty good but that bil per hour mark is getting harder and harder to hit, and I feel like I have to spend just as much time cashing in as actually grinding.
Also, CCP is talking about rebalancing all forms of capital PVE and I’m wondering if that means lvl 5s. I’m hoping if anything, they buff the lvl 5 LP stores, but you never know. Lvl 5s have seen several nerfs over the years including a major nerf to Wyrmslayer rewards. The future of lvl 5s seems a bit uncertain to me.
They’re worth getting into if you want to live in lowsec and enjoy flying a carrier and you have the isk to get set up. But otherwise, the abyss has overtaken them as the better way to make isk. Regardless of that, I find the flow state of the lvl 5 grind to be really satisfactory; and warping sideways never gets old.
Basically what I’m saying is they’re great but there’s already too many people doing them. The lvl 5 LP stores are in desperate need of a rebalance. It doesn’t make any sense that the higher level missions get lower quality rewards. Actually making a bil per hour is a rare thing these days unless you have a trade alt and you set up sell orders.
In conclusion, do them specifically because:
-You want to live in lowsec
-You want to fly carriers
-You have a suprlus of skills, isk and supporting ships
Don’t do them:
-Strictly for isk
-In a battleship
I enjoy flying carriers too.
Outside of mining and industry, it’s literally all I’m skilled for.
Since I’ve left null for the most part, I’ll have zero opportunity going forward. Unless by some miracle ccp starts allowing caps in highsec again, which I doubt.
Ya I doubt that they’ll ever let them back in highsec but they have been talking about capital PVE rebalancing lately. I’m hoping, praying, that it’s a positive thing for carrier pve. Carriers have been squeezed out of almost every niche in the game aside from lvl 5s.
I hope so too.
More realistically, they’ll probably introduce another round of nerfs, cutting carriers out of everything pve related.
When I was living in a wormhole our Corp used them continually. I think it was a C4 we were in.
Are they still used there much?
Not really. Dreads + Fax are better for most PVP situations
I run level 5 missions in Barghest with Cruise missiles. That is much safer as in Carriers because of faster warp speed and faster align time. It also can do Convoy attack and Rogue spy that are behind an acceleration gate.