After last night’s marathon run of missions I’m still feeling out the prfitability of the level 2s. I ran three combat missions and one courier route, and made about 4 million all told off the former (not including whatever I put up on sell orders – about half a million worth of stuff. This is not a bad return – only an exceptional Level 1 is as profitable as garden-variety Level 2s. I remain curious as to where exactly the Level 2s will top out – the six that I’ve run so far have all been in the same general neighborhood.
I did refit Harsh Negotiator as planned. Right now she has four 180mm Dual Autocannons and two Heavy Missile Launchers in the high slots, an afterburner and a Medium Hull Repairer I in the Mid slots (yes, there’s an open one,) and in the low slots a Gyrostabilizer, a Medium Armor Repairer I, an anti-Explosive Armor Hardener and two 200mm Armor Plates. In this iteration the ship is less tough for two reasons; first, there’s just less armor on it, and second because the effective range of autocannons is much less than the effective range of artillery; I thus have to close to about 10km to be effective, opening me up to considerably more crossfire.
This would be a lot easier and more efficient with a Battlecruiser, but the addition of the armor and hull reppers saves me 3-500K in repair costs on each and every mission, even if it takes a bit of extra time, so right now it’s looking like that may not be quite as long a slog as I thought. As of last night I was up around 10 million ISK again, giving me some much-needed breathing room. I need to find out if there’s a skill that lowers capacitor usage on the Armor Repairer – the thing eats cap like candy.
I did pick up the Combat Drones Specialization skill, level 1 of which seemed to make an immediate difference. I also grouped the drones for the first time, which makes managing them literally three times easier. I can’t wait to get to Drones 5 and Combat Drones 4, which are now on my priority list, although all this week I willl be training Minmatar Industrial up to 4 so I can actually fly the Mammoth I bought during the next two weeks, when I’ll be doing little or no mission-running but a lot of mining. I actually put in half a dozen orders for low-priority, trainable skills at bargain prices and several of them fired last night. I do not see an immediate need to be able to use, say, Smartbombs, but at least this way the basic skill is already bought (and soon learned to rank 1) so I don’t need to worry about it again.
I also topped 1000 Loyalty Points with the Brutor Tribe, so I browsed throgh the LP Store for a while. I’d been planning on taking the Small Artillery Specialization skill (which costs 1000 LP,) but I saw that the Medium equivalent is also available for 3000 LP, so I’m going to hold off for that. Both Standings and LP gains are noticably higher on the Level 2 missions than they were at Level 1, so to my way of thinking it shouldn’t take all that long to get there.