March 9, 2012

Fit a Damage Control Today!

Let me tell you about this neat module called the damage control.

Also known as "the briefcase" or DCU, it is an extremely important module for all your ships. In fact, repeat after me:
"I will always fit a Damage Control unless I have a very compelling good reason not to."
 Try it. Good. Now go practice it.

But why?

Good question. Let's look at what a Damage Control I does:

  • 7.5% shield resistance bonus to all damage types (12.5% with T2)
  • 10% armor resistance bonus to all damage types (15% with T2)
  • 50% hull resistance bonus to all damage types (60% with T2)
Now, you might be thinking to yourself:
"Hull tanking is useless, and an Invulnerability Field (25% T1, 30% T2) for shield tanking or an Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane (15% T1, 20% T2) is a far better use of my ship's precious CPU."
While that is true for strictly armor or shield tanking, there are many reasons why you should bring a briefcase over another resist module.

Stacking Penalty. You get less and less effectiveness out of redundant modules on your ship. By the time you fit a third EANM, it only gives you 11.4% bonus to resistances. The damage control modules do not take this penalty when combined with resist modules. That means that even though you get that little from a third EANM, you would still get 15 from a DCU. It's less vital for shield tanks as the bonus is smaller, but still nice to have a low slot tanking module for your shields.

Edit: As crazyike on Reddit points out, the DCU is also the only low slot module that raises shield resistances -- and without stacking penalty at that.

Prophecy - DCU Required
You Are Gallente. Or rather, flying a Gallente ship. I had a previous blog post about what tank is appropriate for what ship, and pointed out that on almost all Gallente ships, the default shield/armor/structure balance gives the highest buffer in structure. While structure tanking as a tactic in and of itself is silly, on Gallente ships the Damage Control boosts your durability by a LOT.

By default, an Incursus has 1.68k EHP. With a 200mm plate, it has 2.65k EHP, but you use up a bunch of your powergrid that would better go towards blasters. With a DCU II, it has 2.57k EHP -- not that much less. And if you want to be tanky and fit both, you get 3.71k EHP. Compare that with the 3.2k EHP you would get out of fitting a 200mm plate and an Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II.

That extra bit of tank helps you be that much more effective as you have less of a chance to instantly splat.

Hull tanking like a boss
Close Fights. It's the way our psyches work. If you get to the end of your tank (be it hitting armor when you are shield tanked, or hitting low armor when you are armor tanked), you make one last effort to win or escape. When you do not have a DCU fit, that effort is almost always simply futile -- you die much too fast.

Ever been in a fight that you lost by a hair? How would you like to have won that fight with 20% structure left? Fit a DCU.

When is it OK to not fit one?

Long answer? Very fast ships that can easily escape when the fight goes south often don't fit a DCU. The most popular fits for the Vagabond and Slicer do not include a DCU. Heavily shield tanked ships often also forgo a DCU for a Power Diagnostics System or for a Shield Power Relay. I'm looking at you, Drake pilots.

Short answer? If  you have to ask, then you  should fit one.

It's hot drop o'clock. Do you know where your DCU is?

Update: And for some practical proof...

... I give you my Jaguar:

21% structure integrity, getting away from a failed salvage operation. Had that DCU not been there, I would have been lacking a Jaguar. Fit your DCU today!


  1. Shield Tank with 2 Invul fields still has way more resistances than 1 Invul 1 DC ... o0

  2. Except that a DCU is a lowslot mod, and an invul is a medium slot one. It's useful if you want to save your mid slots for something else.

  3. What the second Anonymous said. Also, an Invulnerability field eats up a *ton* of capacitor, and uses more CPU than the DCU does.

  4. I would suggest that a power diagnostic system is a viable option for the shield tanked races like Caldari and Minmitar. If your shield has already been penetrated the benefits of the Damage control is minimal and Isn't as large a benefit compared to a proper shield tanked ship.

  5. It's why I mentioned PDSes. Read the last section again :)

  6. "It's hot drop o'clock. Do you know where your DCU is?"

    Fitted to my first lowslot and always fucking on. I never go out of my POS bubble without all my resists on.

  7. Would there be any merit to fitting more than one DCU? I've never seen any fits that would use that, but reading your article got me thinking and I'm curious to hear your thoughts on that.

  8. You cannot have more than one active at one time, so no.

  9. Not mentioned but significant - regardless of whether you are tanking shield or armour, having more EHP "under" your tank can save your ass if you're waiting for logi to get on you.

    I've finished a few close fights with full armour and a third my structure left - id have popped without the DCU

  10. @Anonymous2 and Petrus

    Here is Anonymous1. Would you agree that one should not "fit a DCU today" regardless of the 99% capstableness and 8 medslots? Because that was my point. I might go for huge DPS or need some more tracking for my turrets, so every lost lowslot is a huge minus. I WILL have to think about how my cap and slots look before fitting a DCU and not just mindlessly fit one on every ship I ever own.

    The first post I would disagree with btw, the others have saved many of my ships or at least "infotained" me. Great work!

  11. Well... I might be a bit biased pro-DCU as this is a mostly PvP-oriented blog. I agree that with certain ships, an extra nano, damage mod, tracking enhancer, or other mod would be more useful than a DCU. I fly my Vagabonds and Slicers without DCUs, for example.

    For "general purpose" PvP fits, where you are expected to find a balance between damage, tank, speed, etc, I stand by the fact that a DCU is one of the most useful mods you can fit. For ultra-tank, ultra-damage, sniper/kiting, and many PvE fits, there are often better mods than a DCU that you can fit in the last low slot.

    Either way, when you fit a ship you need to think the fit out and make the best decision you can for it. This blog post was not meant to sound like "a DCU is the best mod ever and you fail if you don't use it", nor "go use a DCU now because I tell you so", but rather something like:

    "Don't overlook the DCU when fitting, as it is a very useful mod. Here, have some reasons why I think it's worth considering."

    The title is sensationalist, really. A parody of advertisers' sayings of "buy such-and-such today!"