This is very long and I put a lot of research into this so enjoy.
Bigger is always better!
When you are new to New Eden you get a rookie ship and you shoot bad people in missions to make a bit of isk, “we having fun all ready, Whoo Hoo!”
Then you get a better ship, a Frigate. When this happens you start to think about what other ships there are out there for you to fly and finally you ask “what is the biggest and bad ass ship in the game” and everybody will tell you it’s the “Nightmare”. It just looks so cool with those spikey things… Haha I got you, it is off course the Titan.
So in New Eden there is nothing bigger than a Titan at the moment. This is an Orbital city in space that must host hundreds of thousands of people in it if it was a real ship and to fly one must be on every new pilots list of things to do one day when they hear about it the first time.
The question most new pilots first ask when hearing about them is: “How do I become a Titan pilot?” directly followed by “Is it worth it?”.
I noticed that after the big fight in null that Reddit had a topic on this so contacted some of the pilots on there to get there stories. I will add this at the end but first let’s just look at some info about this monster ship.
How much does the ship cost to fly?
This off course depends on the people building them but it looks to be in the region of about 80 Billion isk just for the ship. That’s just the hull.
So if you sitting in your mission ship doing level 4 missions earning 50 mil a day on average then you going to be missioning for 1600 days and that is about 4.5 years of every day achieving 50 mil a day. If you make more, then well done, your time goes down but I think 4.5 years for a ship hull is… well mental.
Why would you ever fit your Titan Tier 2 so you jump straight to the Officer fit. You have just spent 80 Billion on a ship and losing it with Tier 2 modules on is like losing a battleship with Tier 1 modules on… You just don’t do it ever.
With the big battle having so many kills I spotted one worth 255 Billion as it was mostly officer fit.
255 Billion isk / 50 mil / 1 year = 14.3 years.
So that’s a shocking amount of time dedicated to flying 1 ship and we still have not included the Skill books needed to actually get into the ship and add the modules and use them while on field in battle.
So I think it safe to say that no one man band will own its own Titan and it will normally be done through a Corp or even at an Alliance level.
How long do I skill for this bad boy?
Apparently it takes a minimum of 3 years.
So you could skill for a Titan faster than you could afford to buy one and fit one and I guess if you plan on piloting for 3 years or more then you could possibly go for it. I mean you have to basically not ever cross train any race and really hope your Titan is the one that people want.
What do you do with a Titan?
“OMG I got a Titan!! WOO!! WHoOO!!! WHoo!!!”
So you got a Titan and you sitting in a Massive POS with shields protecting you. Now what? Well from what I hear from most people with Titans… That’s basically it.
You sit in a POS for safety and when you needed you will jump your ship into a war zone of possible other Titans and shoot whoever the FC nominates to get the big DPS Dooms Day face smash. You will then warp away if you can and cloak. Wait for your capacitor to fill up again and then jump back to your POS where you hope nobody is waiting for you and safely park it nice and snug in the shield of protection.
Now I know that sounds ok to do but it sounds like this sort of thing does not happen very often and you are jumping around in a possible 255 Billion ship. I see Mission runners complain about high sec ganks in their 5 Billion Isk Faction Battleships and the dread and horror when they lose that ship but let’s not kid ourselves here. This must be the most stressful thing you can ever do in New Eden.
You have skilled for 3 Years nonstop and saved every little isk you could to finally get one and then you have to jump it into a battle where there is a 50/50 chance of you not coming back in it.
My respect has gone up massively for Titan pilots while doing this research. These pilots have balls of steel.
So you just jump in and DD and that’s It?
Well its prime job is to turn the fight in your Corp or Alliances favour and kill Capitol class and bigger ships like Carriers, Dreadnaughts, Super Carriers and off course other Titans.
The titans also have some nice little features like being able to bridge people and giving massive boost to everyone in the fleet.
What a titan booster?
Apparently it gives bonuses out to whoever is in fleet and in system with it.
They give the following boosts:
- Amarr – Avatar – 7.5% bonus to gang members’ capacitor recharge rate per level
- Caldari – Leviathan – 7.5% bonus to gang members’ maximum shield HP per level
- Gallente – Erebus – 7.5% bonus to gang members’ maximum armor HP per level
- Minmatar – Ragnarok – 7.5% reduction in gang members’ signature radius per level
What is a Titan Bridge?
Well a Bridge is when you have a ship in one system and that ship is fitted with what is called a cyno. The ship with the cyno will warp into the battle and can then activate the cyno generator which then creates a direct line for the titan or black-ops Battleship to jump people to. You can do this with a Black Ops Battleship as well but all ships in that fleet must be Black Ops or Covert Ops. The titan has no such restriction so you can bridge anything you want. You could titan bridge rookie ships onto a Battleship if you really wanted too.
So now your titan can jump people like a star gate but instead of just jumping one system it could jump 5 or more systems dependant on the titan pilots skill level. I have seen some very interesting videos on youtube about this and they seem like really fun to do but then I have also seen a video where a guy jumped his titan into 130 pilots shooting each other instead of the fleet waiting to get bridged… maybe not so much fun.
So then I guess the question is what do you use your titan for most then?
The answer unfortunately is bridging fleets. It seems like Alliances have so many of these things that they just use them to bridge from one system to another and this becomes a bit of a problem for a Titan pilot. You get told that there is a fleet going out and you will get the call to get into your titan and then bridge the fleet to the cyno pilot and then you can park your titan again.
So it seems like it’s a bit of a prison. Yes you heard me right.
You can’t ever leave the ship. You can’t dock a supper carrier or titan so you have to stay in it at all times.
You can only put it in a POS and you can’t leave the ship because would you trust anybody with your 5 Billion Nightmare in a POS just sitting there in space? Now would you do the same with your Titan?
So basically it’s a very long skill train with a MASSIVE isk drain to get into a ship that will just be parked in a POS to bridge people to systems where they have fun and you park it back in the POS nice and snug. You never know but maybe you actually get to use the Dooms Day once or twice.
A real titan pilots story – Umbdrehung.
I quit EVE four years ago, but it doesn’t seem like the experience of owning a titan has changed much. I had the 50th in-game titan, back before they changed the doomsday and before they were so prevalent. My titan pilot was Dyami and my main was Dungar Loghoth (thanks for the shit name, random name generator).
How I got one
Being wealthy and playing the political game. I left Goonfleet for Pandemic Legion, having had a long and established history with them. Was a director in a few of their corporations before coming back the last time. I got rich buying and selling characters – fixing them up, flipping them, what have you. I used the isk I made from other endeavours to pay for them via time-cards. At one point, I was running twelve accounts and baby-sitting another 8-10 (this is important because I could use them for all sorts of things without having to pay for them).
This had gotten very old – I was doing this for years and had more assets and money than I knew what to do with. Plus, not to brag, but PL were really fucking good at the game and the minimal losses we would take were made up very, very quickly. At a certain point, the skills/ships/impants made you invulnerable 99% of the time (I had a full snake-set and officer-fit vagabond and machariel on my main, aint nobody killing you unless you fucked up big-time). And the losses you take on a T2 fitted battleship just aren’t all that much when you’ve been playing for years and years. I know, first world problems and all that.
I eventually approached Shamis (I’m assuming he still leads PL) about getting one, and we agreed that I would provide the pilot, fittings, and half the hull cost, and the alliance would pay for the other half (about 60b). This was probably the ~5th titan in PL at the time, so buying one was still a pretty big deal.
I sold off most of my assets, characters, etc, and contacted a few people I was friends with who were in the market to sell. Eventually I worked out a deal with Evil Thug, and bought the pilot first, then the titan. I was elated. Literally, EVE is like heroine and this was speed-balling for the first time. I had a cloaking device and nanos/warp-cores on it, and needed to move it 5-6 cyno fields into Fountain (where we were squatting at the time). I knew ET pretty well so I didn’t think he would try to gank me, but I was still understandably worried. But jesus, 120b isk + pilot implants jumping around with a cloak and WCSs is an adrenaline rush like you wouldn’t believe (also, recall that titans are worth less $USD now than back then because of inflation – I was paying 150m a month for timecards). I recall shaking hard enough at some points that I could not click the jump button. Fitting the damn thing took about a month because of how rare some of the items are, so there was a pretty shitty period between getting it and actually being able to use it.
What was it like
Like most of EVE, it was a boring grind 99.99% of the time, but was hair-splitting, pants-shitting, epicly awesome 00.01% of the time, which made up for it. I remember one time roaming around Outer Ring, and some asshole jumps into the system in a viator with a cloaking device. The nerve, jumping in and cloaking. Who does that? We burn to it and try everything to decloak it, no luck. But it’s a fucking viator, that shit could be loaded with stuff. So I got the bright idea to cyno in the titan around a few times and DD it. No particular reason, just late at night, bored, and we wanted to see what was inside. We had maybe two dozen people online and it was incredibly stupid and risky – but also hilarious. The guy in the viator took it really well, he couldn’t believe how unlucky he was. There wasn’t anything worth looting in it.
Jumping into fleet fights (remember, when I played, I had the big smart-bomb weapon, not the shitty single-target one) was heart-wrentching. I was super paranoid – it’s a mind-fuck to go in blind, blow your load, and hope that you get out. Even if I had another account in the fight (sometimes you don’t becasue you’re trying to throw together a cyno-chain), you come in entirely disoriented, spamming your DD key and trying to align to an object to warp out. Jumping in wasn’t the scary part, so much as trying to get out was. It was obviously more safe if you had a POS in system, but often there wasn’t one, so you’d warp to a random moon at a random distance, cloak, and wait for your capacitor to re-charge so you could cyno out. One time I jumped into a pretty signifcant fleet (maybe 150-200 battleships + support) in Syndicate, DD’d, and warped to a moon….only to find out I had warped to their staging POS. That was probably the closest I ever came to shitting my pants.
You have to really trust your alliance to your core and respect what they are putting on the line. The pilots in the fleet deserve credit too, and the FCs especially. If Shadoo or Shamis or Grath fucked up, I imagine they would feel intensely guilty at getting your ship owned. Everyone else would throw themselves at the enemy, losing ship after ship, clone after clone, to try and get you out. That’s a strange feeling, being elevated to such an important status but also knowing you’re simultaneously putting them at huge risk.
I think there has to be mutual trust, respect, and terror between titan pilot and fleet. If I dooms-day wrong and miss, that’s really bad, but probably not the end of the world. If they primary the HAC on top of them instead of the HAC on top of me, I’m boned. I couldn’t imagine putting my $10,000 ship out there with anyone but PL. We’d fight like cats and dogs a lot of the time, but when it was good and you wiped the floor with someone, there was no better feeling.
Space Coffin -or- Why People Quit Eve
I agree that it is a space coffin, but I also know that the vast majority (can’t say all, but it’s gotta be close) of titan pilots have other accounts. I kept a few, and that keeps you sane. But there’s a change in attitude as well – all of a sudden insetad of “hey, want to go roaming” it’s “hey, can you jump me to x“. Another example: you’re paying a hell of a lot of attention to your titan account (even thought it’s just sitting there) to make sure you didn’t bounce off the POS, someone’s messing with your hangers, bumping into you, etc, even though your other accounts are in an active fleet fight.
Two of the biggest changes for me were hesitating more logging in to change a skill or to jump someone – for example, a typical “plz bridge me because I’m a lazy shit-bird” looked liked:
- log in alt
- check system for neutrals/hostiles
- check neighboring system for neutrals/hostiles
- log in with titan
- “shit, I bounced”
- warp back to POS
- wait for a dozen people you may or may not personally know to get really fucking close to your ship (one of the first titan kills was done by someone getting close, smart-bombing the titan, and the pilot logged out without knowing they were tagged, and it was destroyed)
- check aggression timer
- check for neutrals/hostiles again with alt
- log titan out
- watch titan warp off with alt account
- watch it disappear on scanner
- close alt.
That’s exhausting and it burns people out. You can tip all you like, but at a certain point, 10m isn’t worth it (and anyway, you young-blood titan pilots have it easy, we never got tips).
Game-wise, as well, it was a mind-trip for me to go from titan (and it’s speed, roles, functions, options, etc) to the bumper-machariel or small-gang vagabond. They were all insanely expensive, but switching mind-sets could be tough (running a fleet BS, covops, and titan at the same time really pushed it).
As I became disillusioned with EVE, I was around less and less and felt worse and worse about not being around to help out, especially because PL’s US timezone coverage was shitty at the time. I put feelers out there about taking a break for a while, but I was insistent that I was not going to just “share” the titan account – I think that Orange Species and the other shit-lords that were on 23/7 with 10 different people actually running the account was bullshit and allowed BoB (in particular) immense power that they otherwise did not deserve. So I transfered the character – titan and all – to another director in my corporation and quit for a few months.
When I came back and asked for it back, he said no and refused. Acted like a petulant child about it too. We were obviously really close prior to this, and that hurt a whole lot. Even though everyone sided with me (pretty open and shut case, it belonged to me and he agreed to give it back when I started playing again), he held all the cards – it’s not as though we could kick him out of the alliance.
Fortunately, in one of my brighter moments, I had asked Shamis to back the trade before doing it – in case it got blown up, the dude fucked off with it, the corporation left, whatever. Shamis paid me to the penny for everything I had put into that account. I don’t keep up with EVE much anymore (I click through the threads I see about the huge fights every few months, hence visiting this sub), but I’m not sure there’s ever been another player that had their titan “stolen” from them. Kind of fitting, since that’s basically been every experience in EVE for me – getting out of shitty sitatuations and fixing terrible mistakes to make them O.K. in the end.
“Honour” and shit is often thrown around as a joke, especially in EVE, but Shamis could have rightful told me to fuck off since he knew I was fully intent on quitting for good, but he didn’t. PL4lyfe.
Thank you so much Umbdrehung for allowing me to use that comment you made. It really clears it up as to what a titan pilot is all about.
If you ever do come back to New Eden then please come join us at the bastards for some small gang piracy. You will have fun I promise.
That’s It. I’m sorry it was long but you should now be able to make up your mind to say:
- yes I want to do that
- no I think I will choose something different