When CCP removed the cost of medical clones from the game, it saved a considerable cost to people who regularly fly in nullsec, where pod death is common. For pilots with a decent amount of skill points, it could easily exceed 10 million per clone, which often surpassed the cost of fully fit T1 frigs. It is common for people to fly without implants in nullsec for precisely this reason, but what tends to be forgotten is that it’s possible to purchase a good set of 3% hardwires for less than what a new medical clone would have cost.
Hardwires are implants that occupy a capsuleer’s six through 10 slots, and will give a bonus from 1% to 6% to specific stats, just like skills would. For example, the implant Zainou “Deadeye” Sharpshooter ST-903 gives a 3% bonus to optimal range like the skill Sharpshooter gives a 5% bonus per level. The stats of a hardwire can easily be read from their code. For the ST-903 implant, the “ST” is an abbreviation of sharpshooter, 903 tells you that it is for slot nine and that it gives a 3% bonus. There are, however, hardwire implants that don’t follow this pattern and either give special and/or higher bonuses which have unique names, and usually carry a higher price tag as well.
The hardwires with an even number bonus (two, four and six) are from CONCORD LP and usually come at a high price, while the ones with an odd number bonus are acquired from a wider spectrum of sources—with the 3% ones fluctuating in price. This can be used to get some excellent 3% hardwires that are extremely cost effective. While a 3% bonus might not sound that much, it can be the difference between life and death for a skilled pilot, and even if you lose the pod, you can just write it off as a small cost increase to the ship.
The sixth slot is most commonly known for either fitting implants or faction omegas. However, for a cheap clone with no need for a fitting implant, there are some interesting choices. First of all, it is the slot for the small weapon damage bonus: SP-603, SE-603 and SH-603, which give bonuses to projectile, energy and hybrid turrets respectively. The price of these implants average around 1 million, but can be found much cheaper as the price cycles alongside the Factional Warfare control tier, so it can be worth buying a stock of them when the price is low. With a price as low as a half million ISK, it is worth using these on even simple T1 frigs. Note that the missile implants follow a different pattern and are usually expensive.
For ships that use an active armour tank, there is the RS-603 implant which gives a 3% reduction in the cycle time for local armour repairers, thus increasing the strength of the active tank as well as capacitor usage. These can be found for less than a half million, and are worth putting on any ship that uses and active armour tank; however, they don’t benefit ancillary armour repairers that much as the amount repaired each cycle is far more important than the cycle speed. Lastly there is the AC-603 which gives a bonus to AB and MWD speed increase. With the price around 5-6 million they are expensive for this purpose but may be worth using on ships where speed is highly important. While it isn’t as good as the NN-603 which offers a flat 3% speed increase, it still only costs half as much and offers nearly the same speed increase.
The seventh slot doesn’t offer many choices for a cheap clone and will most likely be left empty. The only 3% implant with a low price is RA-703 which reduces the capacitor required for remote armour repairers. Amarr logistics are the most widespread armour logistics, and they rarely have problems with cap stability. The implant can still be a help in situations where strong neuting power is encountered however.
In the eighth slot there are a few choices. Like the sixth slot offers damage implants for small turrets, the eighth slot offers the medium turret damage implants: MP-803, ME-803 and MH-803. Likewise they will fluctuate significantly in price and will only be worth it when the corresponding Factional Warfare tier is high, so stocking them up when the price is low is highly recommended. The ME-803 can currently be found for as low as 5 million which is reasonable for ships like Navy Omens and Zealots. MP-803 and MH-803 are on the other hand selling for 15-20 million which defeats the purpose of a cheap clone.
The eighth slot does also offer the MC-803 implant which gives a 3% bonus to structure for 1.5 million isk. The new wave of hull tanked ships will benefit from it, but it can be useful for others as well. You have probably encountered ships that have survived with a sliver of hull left; 3% extra tank can be a game changer.
The last reasonably priced implant for slot eight is the SE-803 and it is the shield equivalent of the RA-703. At a price way lower than a half million, it is a cheap but effective choice for shield logi pilots. Minmatar logis especially can struggle with cap stability, and a 3% reduction in capacitor required for shield transporters can be significant.
If you feel like spending a little more, you can even get the 5% set of these medium turret implants (ME-805, MH-805, and MP-805) for prices ranging from 10 to 30 million ISK. At the current prices for the MH implants, the better 805 is actually cheaper than the 803.
The ninth slot offers three different choices, with the first being the ST-903 implant, which offers 3% optimal range for a little less than one million isk. Any laser, artillery or railgun ship will greatly benefit from it, and it may even be worth it for some blaster ships when null ammo is being used. The second option is an HS-903 which offers a 3% reduction to MWD activation cost. For one million isk it may be a great choice for ships that are reliant on MWD usage, but struggle with the capacitor. The last one, NC-903, fills a niche role as it reduces the side effect of combat boosters by 3%. For the cost around a half million isk, it may be a great choice for pilots who use non-synth combat boosters as it makes the side effects a bit more manageable.
The last slot offers limited choices for a cheap clone. While it is the slot for large turret implants, the high price of them hurts the cost effectivity. Both of the implants in the tenth slot offer niche bonuses. The first one is WU-1003, which reduces the CPU cost of turrets by 3% for the price of 2.5 million isk; missile launchers are not affected however. The other option is NR-1003, which reduces the chance of a side effect by 3% and like the NC-903 benefit combat booster users.
Niden loves to use his Confessor to purge the squids from space that rightfully belongs to the Gallente Federation, however he wants to get extra performance out of it without risking getting an expensive clone smartbombed. The SE-603 and ST-903 are logical choices as they empower his lasers. In slot eight, he uses an MC-803 to give him a small boost to his buffer. Seven and 10 are left empty. The cost of his clone would be:
Xander Phoena is a bro and volunteers to fly a Scimitar for his PL buddies. Since they will be roaming in nullsec, he wants a cheap clone. In the sixth slot, he puts an AC-603 to boost the speed of his Scimitar. He uses both an SE-803 and HS-903 to help on the capacitor. The seventh and tenth slots are left empty. The cost would be:
Gorski Car is happy about the BC warp speed buff and wants to celebrate it with a Myrmidon solo roam to nullsec. To further enhance his Myrmidon, he uses an RS-603 to boost the active tank, and an MC-803 to improve the structure buffer. Since he also wants to use a Standard Exile Booster to improve his tank, he uses both an NC-903 and NR-1003 to help dealing with potential side effects. The cost would be:
With 3% hardwire clones costing less than 10 mil, they represent a minor cost compared to most ships in EVE. Even for ships as cheap as T1 frigs, it may be worth picking up an implant or two. Players rarely fly only a limited selection of ships, but creative compositions of these implants would allow you to cover a wide array of ship types. In some situations they may be so cheap that you can just unplug one and replace it with another type. For pilots wanting to get even more out of hardwires, they can put some 1% implants in the empty slots, mainly seven and 10, or even use some of the not so cheap 2% or 3% implants. Just be aware that in some situations, the 3% implants are still cheaper than the 2% ones.
Tags: implants, Mizhir