The Larold’s Guide to Crimson Harvest 2018
[As always, a humble request to like this post if you found it helpful in any way. Sorry - I don’t have a blogging platform or Youtube Channel set up, so I figured I’d do my best to pass along what I’ve learned in the form of a guide, right here. I encourage you to bookmark it and share both in-game and on the channels.]
The Crimson Harvest for 2018 is divided into two sites - Crimson Harvest Fields and Crimson Gauntlet.
Both types of sites can be found in your overview via warpable beacons. For this event, sites are appearing in Hi-Sec, Low-Sec, and Null-sec, but not WH-space. (Cited by CCP to be for creative reasons, but they promise not to leave behind WH space in future events.)
The Gauntlet site is exclusively a combat site. The Harvest site is primarily a mining site, but actually has multiple opportunities for combat, including (what I consider to be) the hardest wave of the entire event.
I’ll now break the guide into two sections, one for each type of site.
=== Gauntlet Sites ===
The Gauntlet sites will require primarily two things: lots of tank, and lots of gank (DPS). If you are a newer player interested in Gauntlet sites, I highly recommend you visit the in-game Events channel. There have been lots of helpful folks there who will review your fit and offer tweaks.
In general, I feel the vast majority of Eve players will need either a beefy cruiser or average-or-better battleship to complete the Gauntlet sites safely. You will be facing tougher-than-usual blood raiders opponents that web, neut, do high DPS at close-to-moderate range, and have very solid tanks.
Here are the specifics of what to expect.
When you warp to the site, a minor wave of 2-4 slightly-tougher-than-average frigates appears. When you eliminate them, another slightly strong wave appears, with 2-3 frigates and 1-2 cruisers. One or more of the cruisers may have moderate neuting.
After the second wave is where many new-to-the-event players get hung up. Nothing happens. You must destroy one of the three Cookhouse Shield structures. (That’s not the exact name, but you’ll see what I’m talking about.) Make sure you have Large Collidable Structures enabled in your overview, and then you will see the shield structures. Destroy one of them - they go down quickly.
Now is where the fun begins. A third wave will spawn at 45-50km that is significantly more powerful than the previous ones. Occasionally, you may get a double-spawn. The wave will consist of 4-8 frigates (many webbing), 2-6 cruisers (several neuting), 1-2 battleships, and a very tanky battle-cruiser.
Fortunately, 45-50km is enough range such that you should have time to pick off the ships as they begin getting in range. The frigates start hitting between 10-30km, the cruisers from 20-35km, and the BS start at about 40km. You will need lots of EM tank if the ships are not dead by the time most of them are in range.
You should be careful about destroying non-empty wrecks. There’s a modest chance for non-cruddy loot to appear in any non-empty wreck. An MTU can be very helpful for this event.
After the third wave, you need to remain in a combat stance. If you’re new to the event, you will feel like the site is over, because nothing spawns… for a short while. After maybe 30 seconds, the final wave warps right near you - say 20km away, and it’s a big one. - lots of frigs, cruisers, usually 2 BS, and… a very hard-hitting, tanky boss destroyer.
After killing off this 4th and final wave, the beacon will de-spawn. You are free to gather up - suck in the loot. The wrecks can be salvaged, but they offer standard T1 salvage. It is up to you to determine if it’s worth your time and ship / fitting hassle to salvage.
** Beware of griefers **
It is possible that someone can (and probably will eventually) warp into your site and start killing structures causing more ships to spawn. Keep an eye out for this and be prepared to either bail out or modify your strategy. I believe you can warp back in at a range of your choice which may help immensely.
=== Harvest Sites ===
Harvest sites consist of two pockets - a short first pocket with 2-4 of the tougher Event frigates (similar to the combat sites). The acceleration gate to the second pocket is roughly 5-8km away. The first pocket also has a couple of asteroids containing the special event ore.
The second pocket in Harvest is where all the crazy action is at. And yes, I do mean crazy.
If you intend to run Harvest sites, please tattoo the following in your mind:
**You absolutely need to be paying attention at all times or you may get wiped out by the BANANA SPAWN OF DEATH **
Yeah, that’s what I call it. I hope you will, too. You see, there is a structure that is not targetable in space. And I don’t think there is a way to get it to show on your overview. It’s shaped like a… giant shiny space banana.
If you get too close while mining asteroids, the hardest wave of the entire event will appear and start hitting hard.
I want to defer talk of the banana spawn for a moment and cover the Harvest site 2nd-pocket in a more chronological order of what to expect.
First, there are three silo structures. When a silo is destroyed, a modest wave is spawned 60-70km away. 2-3 frigs, 2-3 cruisers, and 1 BS. (Occaisonally I have seen two.) You should have more range / time to deal with the wave compared to the Gauntlet sites.
This is also a HUGE GRIEFING OPPORTUNITY to be aware of. It’s another reason that miners should not go AFK. Someone can come along, pop a silo, and you’re dead in 10 seconds.
One approach that is a bit time consuming is to run a Harvest site in your combat vessel, and take out all three silos in the second pocket. Then, come back in your mining ship and mine, while avoiding the proximity trigger BANANA SPAWN. (See how I keep using that term? You should too.)
The mining itself is straight forward. The asteroids become viewable in your overview by selecting ‘Deadspace Asteroid’. There is plenty to go around. The raw ore from one harvest site should be enough for 1 individual to produce their own accelerators for the duration of the event.
Ok, back to… the banana spawn.
The death of the banana spawn is what causes the beacon to de-spawn, so that is why I discuss it last. First, what should you expect?
About 10 frigates, many webbing. About 6 cruisers, many neuting. 2 BS, both hitting hard and tanky-as-heck. And a boss destroyer, that does as much damage as a hard-hitting BC close up.
Most of the people in the Events channel that tell you they can face-tank this wave either a) Are lying, or b) have multi-billion ISK blinged setups and seriously-maxed skills.
I am not ashamed to admit that, in my tank-and-gank Gila, I warp out, then come back to the site, fly through the first pocket, and when I land in the second pocket, I’m now at good range from the Banana Spawn. I now have time to take out the ships as they approach - first the frigs, then the cruisers, then the BS.
The loot from this wave tends to be fantastic in my experience.
Now, I want you to pay special attention to the following behavior I’m about to describe.
Once the Harvest beacon despawns, a bookmark will not help you. If you warp out of the site, and no one else remains, ** the asteroids will despawn immediately. **
So if you wish to do a full-clear mining of the site, you will need to have a buddy. This is because many of the asteroids are close enough to trigger the banana spawn. You will need a combat-capable pilot to take down the banana spawn. When the beacon de-spawns as this wave dies, you can then take turns leaving the site to get your mining ships. You absolutely will want to coordinate to ensure at lease one pilot is on-grid at all times to prevent the asteroids disappearing.
Again, be careful of the silos and the proximity spawn. This is not an event for AFK miners - you are begging to get griefed.
And now I will try and provide a short FAQ to cover some questions I saw come up a million times in the Event channel.
Q: Is the loot worth it?
A: Yes. Some of you may have heard about the accidental surge of faction drops, then the over-correction, etc. The loot tables have stabilized, and they are great. You will find running both of the sites worth your time.
Q: I’m a new player. Can I do these events?
A: Probably, with some preparation and guidance from folks on the Events channel.
Q: Where do I find these events?
A: In your overview, in almost every system in Hi, Low, or Null sec. Not WH space.
Q: How often do they respawn?
A: Frequently, about 5 minutes. Enough time to let you dock up and store all your goodies.
Q: What are the goodies?
A: All sorts of great stuff. The loot drops include Cold Iron SKINs, accelerator blueprints, fireworks, Blood and Dark blood faction items, and holiday fun items. (I personally hope my joke of “You guys should make a Corrupted Loot Table” item makes it into the event somehow.) Oh, and your usual assortment of typical meta items - some junk, some valuable.
Q: What kind of ship do I need for Gauntlets?
A: A strongly EM-resistant, somewhat thermal resistant cruiser or battleship that has massive DPS, or reasonable DPS combined with outstanding range. Gilas and VNIs are extremely common. Battleships and the occasional Marauder can be seen, but these can sometimes be overkill for experienced players. If you can run one of these sites in a T3D or frigate, more power to you, but I don’t recommend it.
Q: How bad is the neuting?
A: Modest to moderate. The cruisers that neut drain about 100 J periodically, but they are among the softer ships in the event. Put your DPS on them asap and you should be okay. The main thing to avoid is having a puny capacitor reserve with a long recharge time.
Q: What should I do if someone contests the site?
A: In these events, ** killing shot owns the wreck **. The juiciest ships you want to own the wrecks for are the destroyer boss, the battlecruiser boss, and the battleships. But even the frigates can occasionally drop awesome stuff.
Q: Do the deathglow SKINs drop in the loot?
A: No. They are only available by earning agency points or purchasing from the market.
Q: How do I claim rewards?
A: On the main screen in space, there should be an event section. As you meet goals, ‘Claim Reward’ buttons should appear. Glance over there periodically and click when one becomes available. You won’t get credit for the next goal until you click-to-claim.
Q: How do I avoid the banana spawn of death if I can’t tell how far away the banana is?
A: There is an asteroid very close to the banana. Hold shift and click-drag around the banana in space. You should end up highlighting this asteroid. Keep this asteroid at least 40km and you should be okay. (Until someone comes in and intentionally triggers the banana-spawn.)
Q: What do I do with the ore?
A: The ore can be refined to produce a mineral or sold on the market. This mineral is used in the production of accelerators. Three skills will improve your reprocessing yield on the ore:
- Reprocessing Efficiency
- Veldspar Processing (<-- Yes, I specifically took steps to confirm this.)
Q: Does ore drop as loot in any of the sites?
A: No, but you can acquire a tiny bit of the refined mineral from each destroyed silo in the Harvest sites. (But remember, a destroyed silo triggers a combat wave that most miners alone can not handle.)
Q: What kind of mining ship should I use?
A: Whatever your skills allow. I’ve heard people using Borca’s to deal with the whole site. I’m a mining noob, so I only can assume that includes dealing with the rats.
Q: Where do I find the non-ore components to build the accelerators?
A: Honestly, the best way is the market. Prices have come down to reasonable levels. But, if you want to build from your own stuff only, data sites hold what you need, combined with planetary interaction (PI) for a couple of the components.
So, yeah, market is the best bet for most people.
Q: What happens once / after I get 1,000 event points?
A: Nothing, except the counter keeps increasing. Specifically, you don’t earn any more rewards, and you don’t get to repeat the cycle. (Unless you use an alt character of course.) There is no tangible benefit, other than bragging rights, to having more than 1,000 agency points for this Event. (However, since the loot drops seem to be quite decent, you may want to continue to run the sites for reasons besides Agency rewards.)
Q: Will mining crystals help improve mining yield?
A: No. Generous player(s) have done extensive testing with all varieties of tech level and types of crystals; nothing results in increased yield.
Q: How do I redeem my rewards points?
A: First, make sure you are docked, and docked where you actually want your reward item to exist. Now, you have several options:
- Hit Alt-Y to bring up your redeem menu
- Go to the New Eden store and look at the bottom of the screen
- Log out and log back in again. At the character selection screen, at the bottom, you’ll have the opportunity to redeem items (if you are docked).
Finally, I’d like to close with a couple key bits of knowledge I feel new-to-events players should have.
== Get to know and love cerebral accelerators ==
If you care at all about how fast you train skills, Cerebral Accelerators are amazing.
Get your Biology skill to level V immediately. Buy a basic or standard accelerator, consume it, then start that Biology training.
At Biology V, the effects of the accelerators last 2 days, not 1. (Or 6 days for Extendeds instead of 3.) This effectively halves the cost of accelerators.
== ‘Select All’ is your friend ==
If all else fails, go to your ‘all’ tab in overview, or go into settings and do ‘Select All’. You’ll then eventually find what you’re looking for on the overview.
== Save one Extended Accelerator ==
Save an Extended accelerator for the end of the useful life of the event accelerators. (Check their expiration date and time on the info tabs.)
When there are less than 48 hours to go to accelerator expiration (if your Biology is at V), don’t inject another Advanced or Standard - it’ll only last 2 days, and move you past the expiration date. Instead, consume the Extended accelerator you saved, and then you will have 6 days worth of boosted training, which takes you well past the expiration date of the event accelerators.
== Please try not to whine ==
Please don’t whine. CCP has been doing their best to communicate with players in a transparent and honest way. Eve is built on technology and code. Technology and code has bugs. Accept it and have fun. This is a great event.
Happy Crimson Harvest all!
P.S. Thank you to CCP for the effort, sweat, tears, and love you put into these things. Keep them coming.