Posts Tagged ‘Fittings’

To T2 or not to T2?

A T2 ship

A question we are being asked a lot is “Are T2 modules  needed for faction warfare?” So I thought I would write a brief post to answer that as honestly as I could.

The simple truth is that higher skills will always help, they make guns hit harder, modules work quicker and actions use less cap; all things that are useful, but, and this is the important bit, there are many cases where the actual cost in fitting a T2 module is not worth it. Because of this a great many ship fits will use high meta items due to lower fitting requirements and superior overheating profiles.
The are very few cases where T2 modules genuinely add extra functionality not matchable by T1 (meta 3 or 4) counterparts. The only place you genuinely get something unique is weapon systems due to the T2 ammo and increased damage or range these offer.
All other T2 modules come with significant negatives in the form of fitting requirements and/or poor overheat characteristics (they often burning out very quickly). There are negatives to using the high meta T1 items as well, this is eve after all, and eve is all about making choices. Often the high meta items can be expensive, this is why you need to approach ship fitting itself with quite a bit of thought. Its a good idea to decide how much you want to spend first; a 7 Mil DCU isn’t worth it on a sub 1M frigate.
When you do theory craft your own fits I would recommend using a fitting tool to come up with a ship fitting that does what you want then look at the market to see if those parts are available at a reasonable price, if not go back to the fitting tool to find alternative modules, eveHQ has a good “Show meta Variations”  button for this very purpose. But remember to check the market before you discover the lynchpin module on your ship costs 120M.
Designing entire fits using a fitting tool before you start buying modules will often save you time and money long term over just buying modules as you go along and let you spot places where you can save or use extra fitting space to achieve more efficient and/or cheaper fits.
Unfortunately no short guide can cover every T2 module and explain when the excessive fitting costs of fitting a T2 module over a T1M3/4 become worth it, that will often be a personal calculation based on how much CPU or Grid you have left on the ship as well as the ISK in your wallet. But as long as you stick to eve’s golden rule “don’t fly what you cannot afford to lose” every time you fly a newly designed ship you will get more feeling for the relative merits of different modules for different situations. In fact I would argue there is a sense of achievement on using a well thought out yet cheaply fit ship to achieve your aims all of itself, over just throwing all T2 modules on and flying off into a gate camp.

Lets go fly a kite!

The original “Lets go fly a kite song” from Mary Poppins

As I threatened here is a hopefully not to long post about kiting I will write this blog with a view toward Faction Warfare but these tactics will also work in most PVP as long as you adapt it to your particular situation. Kiting is a skirmish tactic that often allows you greater potential to run away if things have not gone your way or even to take on greater numbers through use of superior agility and positioning.
[Editors note: I suggested that all reading this post do so in the awful fake cockney accent of Dick Van Dyke: Cor Blimy marie poppinsa”]

 So what is “kiting”?
“Kitting” is using range and superior positioning to mitigate your opponents damage while still deploying your damage. For the benefit of this post I will discuss 2 “kitting” tactics, these are:
“Outside web” range Kiting.
“Within web” range Kiting.
The difference in these tactics is important as failure to fly correctly for your fit and tactic will generally lead to a rapid death.
“Outside Web” kiting.
First I will concentrate on a current classic “outside web” range kiting fit that is being used to great effect in faction Warfare. This is a little ship that I have blogged about in the past, the now quite excellent condor! This I shall call the “Roman Makeev” for a pilot that fly’s this fit regularly to great results.

3x Light Missile Launcher II

Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I
Warp Disruptor II
2x Balmer Series Tracking Disruptor I

Ballistic Control System II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II

2x Small Auxiliary Thrusters I
Small Low Friction Nozzle Joints I

Now there are a range of slightly different flavours on this fit due to peoples fitting skills/ flying preference but the basic premiss is the same, the aim of this ship is to make turret based ships cry, the double tracking disrupter mean you can make their range about as far as they can spit, or there tracking so poor they couldn’t hit the station they were undocking from. Combine this with a speed somewhere in the region of 4km/s and your never being closer than around 20km and you have a ship that slowly plinks away and kills all those Merlins etc I love so much.
Naturally it has counters, tracking disrupters do not help against drones or other missile users and if someone gets a web or scram on it it near insta-pops but this ship is cheap! Tech 1 variants represent a great way for newer players to get involved. As long as you choose your fights and battleground it should see you through and it generally has the speed to run if your target is not something you wish to take on, just keep using dscan. This is very much a skirmish ship and will teach you a lot about maintaining range, which is great as the next tactic needs and builds on that. 
“Inside Web” kiting.
This is the more dangerous and some would say cooler big brother to “outside web” kiting  mentioned above. would this read better as “With this tactic you aim to control range to a much finer degree, holding you ship in an engagement envelope either under or outside of your opponents optimal range”, often your aiming to be between 7km and 9km away from your opponent. With this being an envelope of only 2000m you can understand why this takes more control to achieve. But why do you want to be at such a particular range? well it’s because at that range you minimize the effective dps of close range brawlers using blasters, autocannons and pulse lasers, while still deploying higher damage than most “outside” web range kiters.

As an example of a ship for this style of combat I shall use another common Faction Warfare fit.  

Caldari Navy Hookbill

3x Rocket Launcher II

Experimental 1MN Afterburner I
Medium F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction
Fleeting Propulsion Inhibitor I
Faint Epsilon Warp Scrambler I
Balmer Series Tracking Disruptor I
Ballistic Control System II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
2x Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer
Small Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer

This ship is not as cheap as the condor though still not expensive if you are in the Caldari Faction as 10,000lp, a merlin hull with a Caldari AI nexus chip and you have a new Hookbill hull!
This ship has far higher dps and ehp than the condor while still keeping a tracking disruptor which allows you to further mitigate turret based damage. Again their are variants of this ship based on personal fitting skills and or flying preference, but the basic premise remains the same, control range, mitigate incoming damage and deploy your own damage.
As with the condor this can be countered by drones and or other missile users but unlike the condor being scram webbed yourself is not an instant death sentence as you will be doing the same back and this is a pretty quick ship meaning most things that can out-fight it can’t keep hold of it. Its nastiest counter is getting neuted but then this is the case for many tactics.
So how do I kite?
Just burning directly at your opponent on orbit will often bring you too close and get you scram webbed before your orbit can stabilize. Actually getting in range requires careful manual flying at an angle to your opponents direction of travel. Getting your approach angle correct will require practice to make perfect but your main aim is to make sure your angle of approach will not take you within 17/18km of your opponent when you are using “outside web” kiting. With “inside web” kiting this is not such a worry as you will be using your own scram and web.

Once you have got your tackle engaged you need to watch your range like a Hawk (pun intended), often just hitting orbit is not enough. you will want to set your “keep at range” button to the limit of your tackle range (scram or point) and your orbit right in the middle of the range your optimal. Your opponent is not likely to want to let you dictate range. A good opponent will try to close range or even run away by using rapid course changes and even overheating propulsion modules, be ready for this.
If your range drops rapidly you may wish to use keep at range or manually fly away and maybe even overheat your prop mod.

If your range increases rapidly you may wish to hit approach or manually fly toward the opponent and again maybe even overheat your prop mod, be careful though, you do not want to close within range of any webs or scrams you do not wish to be caught by.

As you can see, range control is the most critical part of this tactic. Getting this wrong can often spell disaster, a good example would be warping into a plex and being scrammed and webbed before you are able to pull your range; so choosing when and who to fight is of paramount importance. It is also worth mentioning that where possible you need to keep your transversal velocity (the speed you are travelling relative to the angle of travel of your target) as high as possible to further reduce the opponents opportunity to land clean hits (but not effecting your missiles). Orbit can do this but often with practice you can do this while manually flying. you can further decrease their ability to hit with your tracking disruptor….
How do I Use a tracking disruptor?
Which script you use in your tracking disruptor will depend on the situation you are in.
“Outside web” Kiting
If your in a 1v1 at 20km from an enemy frigate you probably want to be using range scripts this will mean their guns cannot reach you. Against a cruiser or above tracking scripts give those medium or above size guns a really hard time tracking you.
“Inside web” kiting.
In a 1v1 against a close range frigate brawler pull range and use a range script, against pretty much all else close in and use a tracking script to reduce their guns ability track and hit you.
There will be exceptions but only experience will be able to teach you those, get out there and get fighting! 
Wait no love for Turrets?
Both these fits are missile centric, this does not mean that kiting cannot be used by turret based ships. I chose missiles as they do not suffer from tracking issues (or indeed from tracking disruptors) and as such they are much easier to deploy the dps and require less skill in mitigating your targets transversal as such they are a good platform for people new to these tactics.
This said kiting turret ships are still very viable, you just have to choose your battles well and fly better. Example kiting ships would be Atron, Executioner, Slasher etc and fits for those are commonly available (just ask in militia chat) If there is more demand I may devote a further post to them specifically.
Happy Kiting!

Faction Warfare, pvp for great profit?

So you may have read Hark’s feelings on Faction warfare and I agree with his findings but as has been mentioned in other blog posts I am notoriously bad at pve and earning isk, I have a terrible habit of loosing interest and…. oh something sparkly! Does it explode?

Anyway I had been looking at faction war from a distance for a while as a way I might actually be able to make use the potential risk of pvp (which I welcome) to help me spend more time isk making. In fact if i kill a ship from an opposing faction I get LP for it! This sounded as close to isk earning nirvana as I was likely to get, so with this in mind I jumped in two footed with my standard nullsec fits, you know the ones, MWD (no PVP without MWD) point and then tank and spank….. I got curb stomped……

I lost frigates and cruisers in rapid succession and when I had lost enough for relatively little gain I finally stopped and tried to analyze why. Looking into the mirror is never a kind experience. I realised I had made some pretty fundamental errors and had failed entirely to adapt to the new environment and its nuances. I had subconsciously bought with me a null sec mentality to combat. With this sobering thought I took a step back and looked at the mechanics of the battlefield I found myself in and started again.

The faction warfare “why-do-I-suck-so-bad!” soul search

Now the basic mechanics of plexing have been outlined by Hark in his previous post but I will outline the most important points again…

Different Plex sizes inhibit certain classes of ship from entering.

Another key mechanic of these plex’s is that in all but “large” plex’s they are only accessible via an acceleration gate that deposits you within 5km of a beacon within the plex. This is a choke point through which any ship entering the plex must pass. Large Plex’s operate diffirently and can be warped into at range but for the basis of my current combat this difference is not one I regularily use.

Now because of these key mechanics and your use of dscan (Which Hark did a guide to in his previous post) you can choose which fights you wish to take on. As a result if you are the person inside the plex you can also choose the range at which you wish to engage, this opportunity is often key to who will win the resulting engagement.

So with this re-evaluation of my battleground I went back to one of my favorite ships, the Merlin and decided how I wanted to fight. As there is nothing I like better than smashing things to pieces with overwhelming firepower, so blasters would be perfect. As I will be choosing the initial engagement range ( I would be sat slap bang on the warp in beacon waiting for people to come in)) I would not have the usual issue of having to get into range, YAY!

In fact my main issue would be keeping people where I want them (i,e, at my optimal), so I needed a fit that would allow me to control range as much as possible so I could effectively deliver my dps, as such my choices had to be very different from the usual null sec frigate fits that are mainly about being as quick as possible (MWD) so you can get the tackle (point) and wait for your friends to make them dead.

Now I realised I needed fits that reflected that my targets would be coming to me and I wanted to keep them there so I need a scram to turn off any mwd, a web to slow them down from running away and make them an easier tracked target, and an afterburner to help me dictate range. After these choices everything else has to be to maximize dps and survivability.

With this my redesigned brawling Merlin was created:

3x Light Neutron Blaster II
Experimental 1MN Afterburner
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
Warp Scrambler II
Medium Shield Extender II

Damage Control II
Micro Auxiliary Power Core I
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II

2 Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer

This ship also had the great side effect of having enough dps to kill the npc’s in medium sites meaning that if I found myself logged in at a quiet time, I could do the larger sites for those tasty bigger rewards. So long as it worked in the way I had theory crafted I might have the ship I was after, the only way to find out would be to try it.

Proof of the pudding….

And you know what happened? I didn’t get all that much combat. I think my choice of frigate may have contributed to this. You see in faction warfare circles the Merlin seems to be building up a pretty good reputation. In all honesty the Galente part of me is a little sad to realise that currently the premier T1 blaster frigate in eve is probably Caldari! That aside though, when combat did occur I noticed an immediate change in my fortunes; as long as I stuck to my game plan, I started winning; Incursus, Tristan, other Merlins, all began falling before my (overheated) guns. I have not won every fight, but I was finding that often even if the fight wasn’t going my way the range control of my fit allowed me to get away safely, in fact one escape was actually more fun than some of my fights just due to the angry tears displayed in local after I warped out. I don’t think the guy had thought his fit through, he had an amazing (for a frigate) tank but no ability to control range and thus had failed to make a efficient and effective PVP fit (i.e. stopping my escape).

So my faith in my fit and tactics started to increase and my wallet began to grow from the time I was spending in plex’s waiting for fights. I started taking more risks as my little ship had paid for itself many, many times over. Just as I started feeling this way, a Dramiel appeared on scan. I have flown these little beasts personally and I know just how nasty then can be, but my confidence was high and the plex I was in had only 1 minute 30 left to run so I thought “well he’s gonna be at 0, why not give it a go….”

So I overloaded my guns and waited for him to come in. When he arrives I lock him, scram and web on, start pounding on his shields, he doesn’t seem to be able to pull range…. I think I have him…. I think…. almost….Blammo!

I got him and still had my armour  But at this point I nearly made a fatal error, I had failed to notice another hostile had turned up in local, thankfully my brawl with Dramiel had carried me way off the warp in. While I was looting the wreck and linking the kill in militia chat a Talwar (which according to the dramiel pilot had warped to the wrong plex!) warped into the plex and opened fire on me. I entered warp after a few volleys from him with 28% structure left (I have no idea what his fit was but his missiles hurt). This near loss was a rude awakening but did not dim the elation. This one kill pretty much made the previous weeks plexing worth it too me, but the fact I am actually making good isk while getting these sorts of fights is the icing on the cake!

This kill is also a special one for me as it showed me I had finally adapted to my new circumstances, to create a “faction warfare” mentality. You see the Dramiel was set up very much like I would have done with a “null sec” mentality. The Dramiel’s fitting is all about closing range for initial tackle and then holding on long enough for supporting dps. This mindset is further supported by the presence of dps backup in the form of his friend in the talwar. Unfortunately his fitting had as a result sacrificed its own ability to effectively control range when webbed. As I had now specialized my fitting for Faction Warfare I was able to use the factors in the plex to kill one of the deadliest ships in New Eden one on one.

Since this fight I have even taken more risky fights…like this one.

but again due to the choke point/Early warning nature of the plex system; as long as I am paying attention I have the final say in which fights I am willing to take. As a result when t2 frigs or destroyers turn up I have plenty of time to leave and it is at this point that I found another nuance of faction warfare I was not expecting.

Maturity in eve?

The Majority of fights I have had so far have actually been with low sec neutrals, not other faction warfare pilots. When a fight has obviously not been winnable for me I have often said so in local and wished them good hunting and the amazing bit? Generally this isn’t greeted by smack! In fact more often than not I have been told “I wouldn’t take that fight either” and “good hunting to you too”, there have been exceptions but in the main I have found the locals to actually be quite friendly and even engage in fitting and tactics discussions  in local, occasionally even linking fits freely. For me this is quite the revelation and a great reflection on this sub section of the community.

So is this eve Nirvana?

Well its not far off and it is one of the better communities I have had the chance to try: it is not perfect however. I still feel the plex system while good needs more iteration: At the moment, if you are alone you can find yourself waiting for a 20 minute timer to wind down with little else to do than troll militia chat. Its a little to close to mining in that respect for me, but I can put up with that for the community and the fights! There are blobs, but these are an exception and generally only catch you if you not paying attention. I think the potential improvements are a topic for another post as this one is already a bit long, I may also post about kiting fits as well if there seems to be demand for it.

In summation.

Faction Warfare can be great fun with the opportunity to make good money, there are more lucrative revenue streams but none with the same potential for some quite excellent pvp. If your wondering about trying it go for it, really what have you got to loose? If you don’t get pvp you earn money, if you get a fight doesn’t matter: got pvp!

From <>