There’s something I don’t understand about the in-game ship-fitting tool and ‘cap-stable’. I have a fit (Vexor) with a 100MN Afterburner II. The ‘Fitting’ window says that this fit is Cap-stable, even with everything turned on. Out in space, however turning on just that Afterburner at full speed drains my Capacitor in a few minutes. The Fitting window doesn’t seem to include the capacitor drain of the basic ship’s engines in its calculations, is there any way to get it to do so ?
I am guessing … but when you say “drain” it never in fact goes to zero?
Have a look at the box where it says “stable”. There is also a % figure in brackets. This is the % of the cap at which it becomes stable. It could be as low as 2-3%, but it will be stable at that point.
Of course, a figure that low might mean there is not enough cap for you to warp away, but it does mean you can carry on with your AB running indefinitely.
PS. You can test this for yourself. In the fitting window (once you press simulation mode) turn a few active modules on and off. You will see how the % cap - at stable - changes as you do so.
Thanks. I hadn’t spotted the %-age figure before, it all makes more sense now. Further observation shows my Cap dropping to 50% quite quickly, but then draining at a much slower rate.
As an Amarrian pilot, I have have a long close relationship with capacitor depletion. The critical thing is that the recharge rate is not uniform. It peaks when the capacitor is at about 25%, and this peak is about 2.5x the quoted average recharge rate.
The downside is that as you approach zero capacitor then the recharge rate falls very low. The practical impact of this is that below about 20% you are getting into a rapidly degrading situation where heavy capacitor use weakens your capacitor further making recovery slower. Falling off this cliff, especially if your fit is capacitor dependant, is painful.
The existence of this peak is why there is a balance point for capacitor recharge against capacitor usage. And that this is always above 25%.
If you are having your capacitor depleting, turning off a heavy usage module, or switching to lower consuming ammunition, at 20% is much more effective than waiting until you are deep in the hole.
It should be noted that being “cap-stable” is not always something one should aim for.
In PVE, it has its benefits as a ship that can run all modules indefinitely has more “staying power.”
However, to make a ship cap-stable generally requires a sacrifice some performance… which can reduce efficiency and leaves little margin for error.
Generally speaking… all one has to do is make sure that the weapons and resistance modules (be it armor or shield) run cap-stable. Past that, the propulsion module and tank can be “pulsed” on an as-needed basis.
Granted, this way of doing things requires a bit more finesse and micromanagement (see: one needs to utilize certain tactics and prioritize certain targets to supplement the tank)… but getting used to doing this can help in other areas of the game (like PvP).
If all else fails… one can always fit a capacitor booster (loaded with cap batteries) to the ship and get a quick injection of power on an as-needed basis. This will raise the operating cost of the ship (especially with heavy use of cap injection), but can give a certain peace of mind.
Like your shield, your capacitor’s regen rate is not linear. It is the strongest at around 30%.