Belt rat spawns


Npc's on belts

This is an introduction to Asteroid Belt NPC Spawns, mostly focusing on spawns of deep end 0.0 belts.

See also the introduction in Pirate hunting and description of NPC rats. There is also separate guide discussing various advanced ratting tactics.

In general 0.0 ratting provides comparable income with level 4 missions, it although may be more monotone and boring.

Spawn generation

A spawn is a group of 1-8 NPC rats seen on belts and gates; they appear and fight together.

Each time a player starts a warp towards inner grid of an asteroid belt, the system checks whether the belt will be empty, or whether you'll get a spawn, and of what type the spawn is.

Each system has maximum number for spawns, which depends on total amount of asteroid belts, and may depend on security status. For example, a system with two belts seems to always have 2 spawns, while a four belt system will have 3 spawns as the limit.

For systems with numerous belts the limit seems to be half the number of the belts. For example 24 belt system has a limit of about 15, while 38 belt system has a limit of about 22.

Thus the fewer belts a system has, the more likely you are to get a spawn on entering a belt.

Spawn stability

Once the spawn is generated, it will stay in the system until downtime unless disturbed. So if you quickly check spawns on system, and return 12 hours later, you will find the same spawns unless someone else disturbed them.

Disturbing in this context means killing the spawn, or hanging around the spawn long enough to make it vanish.

If a system has empty belts (any system with 3 or more belts), the spawns may randomly switch between the belts.

Spawns have some chance to just vanish if you are hanging around there; in my experience one in 25 spawns did that. Consequently, if you find a really valuable target, kill it fast.

Respawning timers

If you kill a part of a spawn, the killed ships will reliably reappear in 20 to 25 minutes. This allows the use of farming tactics: leaving a low end ship of a good spawn and waiting for the rest to reappear.

If you kill the whole spawn, after the same 20 - 25 minutes the game will allow a new random spawn to be created.

Typical spawns in deep 0.0

These values apply equally to any NPC home system (like Stain), and good -1.0 true sec non-sov system. No statistics yet how system security status in non-sovereignty system affects.

Although different NPC race have different ships names, and varying weapon / EW systems, seems the ships follow mostly the same distribution in regard to their bounty. That means the chance of getting three 1.4M bounty NPC battleship is the same whether you are hunting Guristas or Sanshas.

Regular spawns consist of 1-3 upper class ships (BS to Cruiser class) and 1-3 lower class ships (Cruiser to Frigate class). You are more likely to get 2 or 3 ships (40% chance each) per type, rather than only one (20% chance).

The median spawn would be 2 600k Bounty Battleships with an escort of 2-3 15k Bounty Frigates. Average total bounties of the spawn seem to be 1.4M, while median is only 1.0M.

Only 11% of the spawns will have a total bounty above 3M, and mere 3% will have 4M+ bounty. The majority, about 50%, will have a total of around 1M bounty. So it is important to make use of farming tactics.

Special spawns

In belts you may encounter three kinds of special spawns, these are officers, faction commanders and mineral hauler spawns. If you try to farm such spawn, know that only the non-special ships of the spawn will reappear.

These special spawns being rare, it is rather difficult to get good estimates of the chances for their apperance.

Anyway, some guesses:

  • Chance for faction and hauler spawn is of same magnitude
  • The chance to get a faction spawn is somewhere between one per 20 to 50 cleared spawns, at least in good 0.0 space.
  • You could expect to run into officer spawn for every 20 to 40 faction spawns you find. Thus chance for officer is about one in 400 to 2000 cleared spawns, at least in good 0.0 space.
  • Seems likely that 'NPC home' regions, like Stain, have increased chance for officer spawns.

You should note that active farming will drop your chances to see special spawns to half or so, depending on how good spawns you keep because special spawns coming up only with new created spawns.

Officer spawns

These seem to consist of an officer with heavier than usually escort. You could see something like a 30M bounty specially named guy, like Vizan Ankonn, and 4 random battleships as escort.

Finding an officer spawn wont always mean a jackpot; of 6 officers I have ever found only one dropped loot worth more than 1 Billion. Loot usually consist of 0-4 officer items, and 1-8 faction items.

See an officer is extremely rare and only in null sec systems.

Faction spawns

These tend to look almost normal, with one ship turned to a faction/commander variant who has 7.5 times of the normal bounty. This faction ship may be of any size, and is named according to his NPC race specific class, like a Sansha ship will then be a True Sanshas ship. See a full list of them at this description of rats.

Hauler spawns

These appear in groups of 1 to 4 hauler class ships, with random escort of 1-3 other ships. Most common is haulers with 3.1M Tritanium. Other typical haulers are Convoy (12.5M), Carrier (25.0M) and Trailer (6.5M). You might occasionally also run into Transporter, Bulker, Trucker or Loader.

Instead of tritanium you may find other minerals, 70% less minerals by each step. So in Carrier you could find 25M Trit, 8.50M Pyerite or even 18.5k Megacyte. You will see low-end minerals much more often than high ends.

The maximum sized, and rare, spawn would be 4 carriers, dropping 100M tritanium. This would need about 30 rigged greater industrial ships, or e.g. 8 Rorquals to be carried home at once.

Belt Rat anomalies

  • It seems warping on the belt grid is not always enough to trigger a spawn; probably it needs to target some smaller trigger area. Thus you could first warp to 300km and see nothing. Then warping to 0 km and seeing a spawn as soon as you start warp.
  • Occasionally you might see two separate spawns in a belt. This appears to be related with one spawn moving on another belt without the earlier spawn having gone yet.
  • Run-away spawns: sometimes a spawn may decide to leave the belt, and start flying away at maximum speed, perhaps towards another belt. After a while these will leave the visible grid area, and be very hard to find. System NPC spawn limit will be down by one till such rogue spawn is killed or downtime resets the system.
  • Although system specific limit is good for telling how many spawns you can expect (at least on small systems), there is a small chance of expected spawns not appearing. In a test set of 200 Gurista spawns in a -1.0 two belt system this happened 4 times; in set of 2x200 Sansha spawns in a two belt system 0 times.
  • Starting a warp away from the belt may trigger spawn at the start belt.
  • You may see spawns, even officer ones, on gate grids as well. These seem to be independent of the belt spawns, and are too rare to give any chance estimates here.