by Todd LeavittIm going to use this thread to help people instance. I have found that people don't understand basic instance mechanics.
I recently beat i30 on Server#4, 3 of us did it around the same time. I beat it in the horrible time period of high He3 and low damage. I also beat it with 170K ships and it ran 1 mil He3. today that would have been a lot easier and Im guessing would have run 700K He3 a run. It took 45 minutes. I have mostly 3 star spell commanders. I have 2 5 spell commanders and 1 6 spell. I have a few 2/3 star blue and purples. the key to this all is to get the instance to run the same way every single match (it will) so you can then farm it. My strat works with small elite fleets, if you are a power player, you can avoid this all and just plow an instance with massive ships (and massive he3).
First Lesson: Pirate Mechanics
Every instance from 1-30 is the same.
Every ship based pirate fleet is set to attack "high durability"
Every Missile pirate fleet is set to attack "high attack"
Every laser and ballistics pirate is set to "closest target"
Every fleet should be designed for this fact. Every position you put those fleets in should be due to this. You can totally control every instance using this fact. How do I do it.
I create battleship Shield TANKS to take "high dur" attacks. 1 fleet (12000 ships)
I create battleship blocker shield/light dps tanks to take "closest attack" attacks. 3 fleets (9000 ships)
I create frigate DPS Laser ships to take "high attack" and some "closest attack" attacks. 6-11 fleets dep. on instance (10000 ships)
Shield tanks: these are battle ships loaded with TONS of shields specifically targeting SB attacks and virtually no weps or engines. In some instances I dont want these to move at all, in others where the pirate ships start on the other side of the screen you may want them to move up to 2-3 spaces to make sure they get in range at the begging of the SB attacks. you only need 1 of these fleets but it MUST have the most structure of any fleet. You should have 3K stacks. In i25+ I only needed 12000 in 4 stacks of 3000. Howlers are the best BS I had for this and work into I30 however you need EOS past i26. My i26+ tank is a cerbus III with 18 EOS, 5 PPT, 2 regen, 1 agi and 1 TCE. Up to i28 you can get away with a howler with a setup like 6 heat shields and 9 mag shields with maybe 2 regen and maybe 3 moves. dont put a wep on this ship so it wont move. If you are in an inst pre-28 and need it to move, put a temp battle ship stack in the middle with high shields and say 1 ballistic wep so the fleet will move. You can totally control the fleet this way. these guys will "plink" off SB attacks with no damage"
blocker shield/light dps: these ships are loaded full of shields and significant engines to stay in front of your DPS ships to 'block" and "lock" in the enemy "closest target" laser and ballistics fleets. I put 1 Ballistics on these and they are always positioned in front of dps fleets so that the pirates "latch" on to them. they are always set to "closest target" so that they always stick themselves in the pirates faces. I run 3 fleets of these in i18+. they have a little less duplicability then the shield tank. I usually run fleets of 9K in 3K stacks staggard. these will plink off laser and ballistics with very little damage. With EOS these will change to heavier ballistics DPS because you can run 10 EOS shields and put a good 6ish weps on it.
DPS Laser: these are the killers of the operation. Once the shield tank has pealed off the SB attacks the the blockers are in front of the laser/ballistics fleets, these guys (set to "max range") hang back and just rip everything apart. Every other fleet will be lasers ( 8+ fleets that only need to be at commander stack max). Why lasers.. they are by far the most efficient killers and he3 users. I always run 4-5-6 lasers in these and the rest go to agi and shields. Your largest laser fleet (high attack) will take the pirate missile attacks and since its a frig with high agi they aren't a problem if you mix the shields well. I would at least suggest a 5 star spell commander for 1500 stacks on this one. Fleetfoots like this took me will into i28. After i28 I had to have Poly's with 7 EOS shields, but still, I rolled into i30 with 50K fleetfoots the first time. my best fleet foot build (still used farming i28 right now) is build like: 5 lasers, 1 regen shield, 2 of each reflect shield, 2 eng (4 move), 1 shield, 1 agi booster.
Once you get the previous set you need to roll into every Instance with a plan. Every fleet needs to be set in its perfect position for the match. this might take me 15 minutes. you can do this by placing your ships at your space base in the exact position they will enter the instance. Name the fleets 1 through 15 in the way in which you click them in. enter the instance full screen, screen shot it and leave. Open up paint and paste it and look at the positions of your fleets. Turn them the right direction and move them to the position they need to be in.
Get the blockers in front of the lasers/balistics
Get the shield tanks where they will take the first round shots of the SB pirates
Get the laser fleets out of the way.
its not as hard as it sounds.
Once you have this set, you are pretty much locked in the first time for farming. the only time something may foul up is if a commander like natya pops and runs out in front. Try not to use anything that creates a "random" environment.
i28 locked in and set up farming configuration:
In this pic you see my shield tank in the middle. It doesn't move. the Pirate SB tankers lock onto it right from the start. Realize that once they do this the pirate ships also don't move. they will sit there all instance and wait for the dps ships to eventually get to them and will just sit there while dps takes them down. the legacy blockers are in certain positions to take incoming laser fleets. Since I have EOS now, they aren't as important to you see EOS DPS frig in front to. But I still need the howlers to deflect the heat lasers in i28. since the laser frig dps backs off, all those front howler blockers get latched onto by the pirate "closets target" laser and ballistics fleets the whole round while dps just picks them off.