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Which helps a ship with a buffer tank last longer - HP or resistances?

Asked by [ Moderator ]

A buffer tank is built using armour plates and armour hardeners/membranes or shield extenders and shield rechargers/hardeners/amplifiers (ignoring rigs for now). The plates/extenders increase HP and the others increase resistances (or recharge in the case of shield rechargers).

If I have 6 slots I can devote to my tank, is it better to have more HP modules or more resistance modules to survive longer? Obviously you would have a mix of both to maximise your total tank, but is there an optimal value for the number of (e.g.) HP modules?

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5 answers


nashwolfe [ Editor ]

I'm going to add another answer because I don't entirely agree with the others, and don't feel they cover all bases (no offence guys!) I'm not going to touch PVE because we can all tank that.

I'm also going to assume you're working with logistics ships, since no gang should be without.

  • Buffer: Unless you're working solo, this is only in place to soak damage until the logistics boats save you. Of course it has to be large enough to take the enemy's alpha.

  • Resists: These are really NOT about increasing your buffer (again, unless you're solo) but more to make the logistics ships' work easier. If your resists are at 50% the logistics have to repair 50% of the incoming damage. If they're at 80% the logistics only need to rep 20%.

So it's clear that if your resists are not good enough, your logistics will not save you no matter how big your buffer.

  • Active Hardeners: These are genius, and not to be overlooked in favour of EANMs. They are particularly useful for high priority ships like logistics, capitals and command ships since when you are called primary they can be OVERLOADED for a huge bump to your resists.

To answer Darina's question about tanking with 6 slots - I would consider the ship type, and go something like this:

  • Trimarked armour: 1x plate, DC II, EANM II, 3x active hardeners for the weakest resists

  • Untrimarked armour: 2x plate, DC II, 2x EANM II, 1x active hardener for the weakest resist

  • Capital ships already have enough buffer to survive alpha from pretty much anything but supercaps (and don't really stand a chance against those) so I would go for 6 resist mods.

  • Shield tanking is a little more complex since each extender increases the sig radius of the ship, making it easier to hit and take more damage. In a six slot setup I would usually go for 3x extender, 2x invuln, 1x hardener for the weak resist. (Swapping out the hardener for for an ECM or capacitor mod might be more useful in the long run but that wasn't the question :)

NN comments
annie anomie

Some really good points here. Certainly tallies with my practical experience of armour BS. I find a mix of EANMs and actives gives the best combined resists and I like being able to overheat when primaried.

Am I right in thinking that active hards are NOT stack nerfed with EANMs too?


That’s my understanding, yeah – and damage controls aren’t stack nerfed either – otherwise I’d probably prefer another EANM or hardener.


I’d disagree with the mods you’d use to tank with six slots. You use less plates in your trimarked fit – I reckon that’s illogical. Trimarks increase armour hitpoints by a percentage. So the more initial armour hitpoints you have, the more gain you’re going to get from the trimarks. So if anything, I’d use MORE plates in the trimarked fit.


Also bear in mind that active hardeners use cap. It sounds obvious, but you can easily get capped out, especially in ships like HACs that have little cap. At that point, you’re not going to be able to overheat anything. I’ve lost a Legion this way. Thought I had 120k EHP, got capped out, went down like a sack of ****. Still, good answer. +1

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bucky o'hair

The simple answer is..

For PVP, 1)Armor tanking, Load up on the plates EANP, don't bother with hardners.
2)Shield tanking load up the extenders, and, if you want a invulnerbility field.

For PVE, use rat specific hardners to go with the plates/extenders.

Oh and always always always stick a Damage control II in one of the lows.

Happy hunting..

NN comments

So with (e.g.) six low slots, how many plates and how many EANPs?

bucky o'hair

Well, it depends on use, but generally 1 plate, 2 EANPS a DCII and damage mods in the last 2. that is more or less the standard flavor.

annie anomie

EANPs? PVE buffer tanking? :E


EANP was only mentioned in the PVP scenario in Bucky’s answer.

annie anomie

He mentions PVE and plates. I suppose that could be true if you’re PVEing with RRBS/Logis.

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annie anomie [ Editor ]

It really depends if you're solo or flying with remote reps and what ship you're fitting up.

On a battleship I tend to fit for a balance of raw HP and resists. I typically go for two plates, a couple of EANMs, a DC and then active hards which I can overheat. I am asssuming the fit has a cap injector (why else am I freeing up mids by armour tanking?) so I am not worried about having to tank with no cap.

The two plate buffer is so the ship will survive till the logi / other BS / carrier can lock me (I'd be a bit worried with only one plate). The rest is all about maximising the efficiency of RR.

A three plate set-up (especially trimarked) would have more raw EHP and thus last longer solo but I don't really fly armour BS solo.

Shield is a bit trickier at BS level because a large shield extender is only equivalent to an 800mm plate and Invuln II's have no armour equivalent. Also a shield BS will probably have quite high base shield HP anyway.

In this instance I'd start with one or two Invuln IIs and for each extra tank mod look carefully at whether the LSE or Invuln is doing more for me. You can quite happily overheat one invuln for the duration of most single engagements too which will also adjust your figures.

For smaller ships base values are going to be lower and risk of neuting is higher (smaller ships are easier to cap out instantly unlike a BS are less likely to have a heavy cap injector or two to keep everything running). The cap drain of active tanking mods is also more likely to become a real issue especially on a cruiser. There I tend to start with two Large Shield Extenders and then start adding invulns.

On a frigate I tend to start with an oversized tanking mod (400mm plate / Medium Shield Extender) and then add HP amount rigs and a DC. Most stuff cannot hit you properly anyway so you mostly have direct hits from ships using small weapons to worry about and bufferless fits will melt pretty quickly when a dessie / AF gets the tracking right.

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matt_12 [ Editor ]

I say both... I always have the same dilema when making a fit.

without resists your tank will go down much faster.

Without hit points you have less hit points to take.

I've always found keeping the resists above 60% across the board to be a good first gambit, it won't always be possible, but once you get over this I would then definately consentrate on hit points first.

ultimately a lot of the time this decision is made for you due to CPU and Grid restraints.

Shield is different from Armour due to the fact it regenerates, so you tend to stick an IFII or 2 on and go rest extenders to get maximum hp.

If you know what your going up against you have the advantage and can change the omni tank to more focused and get better resists for the same bang.

But ultimately there is a definate trade off, especially with armour, do you go high resists or high HP if you can't go both, then look at the class of your ship!

If your ship is a frigate, it's never going to get much HP, I would always concerntrate on resists, because ultimately if you take a direct alpha blow from a battleship your dead anyway. Most blows will be glancing due to your speed, and better to minimise the impact of these blows then worry about being able to take to many of them.

A big ship that can fit multiple 1600 plates I would fit the extra HP because ultimately again if your primaried your dead, but resists are less cruicial as being able to sit there and absorb the HP for extended periods is nice... especially as the buffer will mean more hope of getting remote rep.

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As usual in Eve the things aren't as easy as it seems. Your question has various parameters which need to be looked at:

Gang Size Number of Logis Your buffer vs. Resistances

Your logis can repair you but its a factor or repair amount vs. repair time. The bigger the buffer the more time they need which might hurt other damaged ships of your roam. The better your resistances are the less they need to repair but your survival is shorter.

So take your reistences, buffer size, number of logis, their repair amount and time to repair lets say 50% of your damage, make them a function and find the optimal spot :)

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