This week marked my first PVE loss to rats in 1155 days.
The mission: step 2 of the minmatar epic arc, The Cost of Preservation.
As I warp into the mission area I spot my target, a single gallente cruiser. As soon as the target is locked missiles are on their way and I engage my afterburner to close range. Before my target goes down two waves of ships spawn, together they amount to about a dozen battleships and cruisers accompanied by half a dozen frigates.
Within a minute the first frigate and two battleships are down and then I turn my attention to the four NPC frigates that by now webbed me and in particular to the one that was pointing me as well. The webs took away my ability to speed tank so my shields were beginning to drop.
Because my fitting lacked webs and target painters my ship has trouble applying damage to elite frigates so they usually took just as long to take down as a battleship but I never had trouble killing them before.
Except this time after the frigate went below half shield it started repping itself and even after I overheated it repped to full between volleys. Not that much later I was in my pod looking at the wreck of my ship.
After getting through the 'WTF just happened' phase I jumped into my hawk to pick up the dropped items. The next step was picking up my Golem so I could complete the mission. Since NPC's only point but don't scram I could always use a MJD to get out or relocate if my tank was not up to the job.
For the rest of the mission chain that was exactly what I did.
Fitted with shield resistance modules supplemeted by MJD+MWD for mobility my golem would warp into the mission area. After getting into position I'd enter bastion mode and drop a mobile depot and tractor unit. Switch out the prop mods for two target painters and optionally a webifier to better apply damage. When shields dropped low a shield booster and amplifier were fitted and I'd rep back up to full.
Another 11 ( out of 15) small combat drones gave their life trying to kill small red crosses.