Posts Tagged ‘LowSec’

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!

Transport: A Guide to getting shit into null

Before I even start with a preface, I’m going to hit you in the face with a fact. Don’t use Blockade Runners or Covert Haulers to move things into NullSec; it will get you killed. Period. The only worse idea is a normal Transporter. Seriously it’s a really bad idea. Just about the only good way to get things into Null (en mass) without using a jump drive, is a covert T3 (interdiction Nullified, Covert Reconfigured, Warp Stabilised to hell and back).
So how do I advise you get things to NullSec? Well there are three options which scale with your wallet capacity. If you have a few billion to spare, buy a Jump Freighter (if you have that much ISK you should know what you’re doing so this guide won’t cover you). If you reasonably well off, and have the skills, use a Carrier (this guide is for you). If your new to NullSec, or low on cash (or skills), ask someone you trust (lol) to move your things for you. If you’re in the last category, your alliance may well have a logistics solution for you to fall back on.
So this guide is all about the Suitcase Carrier. Although it can’t carry as much as a Jump Freighter, nor move to NullSec directly from HighSec, it does have a few advantages over its distant Cousin:
               – Better Tanked
               – Faster Jump Time
               – Has Drones
               – Costs less
               – Jumps Further
               – Can carry full fitted ships (although nowhere near as much volume)
               – Can be re-fitted to fulfil a combat role once it arrives in 0.0
If you do have the option of picking which Carrier to train towards, there is very little difference between them for the purpose of transport; the Nidhoggur has the fastest jump time, the Chimera has the best natural tank. In all honesty, you should pick the one which makes the most sense to you; what you intend to fly in combat, what you can train into first, or as in my case, what your alt can fly as well.
Now you have your carrier, let’s talk about fitting. I don’t need a complex fitting diagram for each carrier, nor a stats page from eveHQ. It goes like this:
Anything you want + the best cloak you can fit + a cyno
Cap Rechargers; as many as you can fit
Capacitor Power Relays; as above.
Large Capacitor Control Circuits x3
Before you start talking about fail fits, this is a preventative tank. You can tank your carrier with dead space mods, and if you get in trouble there is a chance that your alliance will be able to drop capitals to protect you (that’s what the HighSlot cyno is for). But your tanked carrier will take at least 6 minutes to recharge in-between jumps. Mine will be in and out again in about 60 seconds. Of course the best middle ground is to jump with a friend for added protection and the ability to re-fit from travel fit to combat fit if you get engaged.
That is perhaps a point to emphasise, although this is a guide to solo travel, it is always better to travel with a friend. It’s more efficient, and safer. I don’t personally like Alliance cyno chains (spys), but its another point worth considering when picking your route.
Next up you’ll need a home to keep your carrier in. Again it’s worth checking with your alliance/corporation if they have a capital staging point in HighSec as there is always safety in numbers. The basic requirements for a Staging system are usually:
               – Has a gate that leads to HighSec (check it’s not an island by setting auto pilot to Jita from it)
               – Has at least one station (check it’s not a kick out station, see Q&A at the end)
The depth of your destination comes into a play a bit here. If you intend to go to shallow NullSec you might find you can easily jump to a variety of systems which meet the above criteria (if you need to check go to Dot Lan Maps Range checker). You may even just find a single matching system in range. Use your common sense, Check Dot Lan maps, or you in game map for activity (jumps and ship kills are a good measure), you don’t want to house your Carrier, in a system teaming with pirates. If you find a system which looks ok, send an alt ahead of you to check it out; that quiet LowSec system which matches all criteria for your new home could already be the staging system of another Alliance, and you don’t want to be the only blue jumping in a sea of reds.
If you’re unlucky enough to be jumping to deep Null, with no hope in hell of a single Jump chain, fire up the map and pick a matching system on the boarder of HighSec near your destination. If your jumping that deep out, the most optimal location doesn’t matter much, use the luxury of choice to pick the safest home system you can (use the same safety checks mentioned above).
With you carrier now housed and fitted in your new staging system we can start to look at getting your goods actually out of highsec. This, unfortunately, is the part where we start to need alts, or indeed a few friends. As you’re just one gate away from HighSec, getting your things in will mean minimal risk, and having a scout of some sort watching the LowSec side of the gate you intend to jump through will help even more. Here is how I advise doing it:
Get your scout/friend on the gate to HighSec in your staging system. Ideally get them in a cloaked ship 200km of the gate. This should be done around 30 minutes before you start moving things into LowSec. 30 minutes without a kill is the statistically proven time it takes an “ebill” pirate in a cloaked tackler to get bored and give up*. Get all the goods you want to move into the HighSec system next door (or the nearest station if it doesn’t have one). Ships should be assembled and fitted (you may want to consider Warp stabs/Frag Warping Kits if they are slow to align). If you have modules which won’t fit in the cargo of the ships, get a transport ship, preferably a Covert Hauler and shove them in that. Now rinse wash and repeat the following starting in HighSec:
               – Check scout (if no hostiles)
               – Undock in ship
               – Check scout (if no hostiles)
               – warp to the out gate
               – Check scout (if no hostiles)
               – Jump into LowSec
               – Warp to station and dock
               – Leave ship
               – Undock
               – Warp Pod to Gate
               – Dock in Highsec, pick next ship
Note how often you should be checking your scout? Yeah safety first, this is the green cross code of eve. You should also be checking the directional scanner on the scout to make sure someones not in warp to the gate as well. Between Frag Warping, the scout, and cloaked transport ships, you shouldn’t ever get caught, but always be ready for a surprise, and use your gut to tell you if the pirates have noticed you and are planning an ambush.
Planning the Route
It’s now time to actually plan your route. If you’re the lucky sole within jump range of your destination, you can pretty much skip over this section until we get to the bit about jumping to friendly stations, as the next bit is on setting up Mid-points. Mid-points are the places where you are going to be setting up cynos to jump to on the way to your destination. Again I advise that you use Dot Lan Maps Jump Planner to look at your options. Add your destination and staging system into the planner, give it your skills and click go. You should get a nice map of its advised jump route. DONT USE IT. The first plan rarely, if ever works. There are a thousand factors which it doesn’t know or understand. Instead scroll down a bit and look at the Jump Route. At the mid-point you will notice a little symbol that looks like thisClick it and look at the “Select Alternative Jump System” section which has just appeared. Handily this section will tell you two main factors in picking a mid-point, Kills and Jumps. Find a system which has a nice low number for both of these and open a new Dot Lan window, check the system, like the look of it? If so that’s your new mid-point; well scout it later just to be sure, if not find a new one.
Things to avoid (in rough order of priority high to low):
               – Enemy/Neutral capital Systems
               – Enemy/Neutral Station systems
               – Enemy/Neutral Ratting/staging systems
               – Enemy/Neutral systems
               – Systems with large numbers of Residents (cloaky/POS’d)
               – Systems with Stations in which you do not have docking rights to
Ideally you mid-point will have NONE of these.
Some other points might also affect your mid-point: If you have allies’ in-between staging and destination, consider jumping to their station (check you have docking rights!). Find out if your alliance has safe POS’s along a pre-set route, they may even have Cyno Generators on them.  Remember when you scout of these systems on your mid-point to make the correct book marks in advance. If you find that one is unsuitable find another, but remember to re adjust your fuel plans if you’re making a longer jump.
If you’re so deep in Null you have to do more than one mid-point, do this for each step in the route, slowly adding the systems you want to jump to into the planner until you have a set route from start to finish, once you have this make a note of how much fuel Dot Lan states you need for a run. Write down each system in your route and make a note next to each if they have a POS or Station you are jumping to (friendly ones!). If the mid-point location has neither, we will refer to it as a “Deep Space” mid-point. I will now go through what you will do in each system so you can understand how to set up ready for when you do it for real. If you have enough Cyno alts/friends so that you have one in each mid-point, you can set this all up in one go, and hopscotch along the chain at speed, this is probably the safest way to do it! If you don’t have this, the guide will tell you what to do with the carrier while you move the cyno onto the next system.
Jumping to a friendly station
Using an alt in a frigate, find out the docking radius of the station you’re in. To do this, undock and turn on the Tactical Overlay. Now fly your ship out until the distance column on the overview starts to count up from 0m. All the time your overview reads 0m from the station you are in docking range. When a capital ship jumps to your cyno at a station, it will land somewhere within 5km of your ship. therefore, you want to place your cyno so that it is over 5km inside the stations docking range, but still more than 5km away from the physical edge of the station itself. A good way to judge this is to have a Salvager on your cyno ship. Hovering over this when the tactical overlay is up will give you a sphere in which the carrier will land. If it’s not touching the station, and not outside of where you judge the docking range is, you have your position.
Why do we pick a point like this? If your Carrier lands outside of 0m on the station it will have to move within docking range. In a carrier, this can take a very long time; long enough for an enemy to use their ship to bump you out of range continuously until his fleet arrives. If on the other hand your carrier lands inside the physical walls of the station (or sometimes just close to them) physics has a little hissy fit and hurls your carrier away from the station at a speed which will take it quite a long way off station… generally not far enough to quickly warp back to the station (you’ll be facing the wrong way anyway), but definitely far enough that an enemy fleet will have a long time to get ready to kill your slow arse. Neither of these options are pleasant or safe, so it’s always best to have a good margin of error. If in doubt motoring to docking range is better than bouncing, and always have a book mark for a deep safe for emergency’s. We fit that cloak for a reason you know…
As a side note, some people prefer jumping to POS rather than a station (and Cyno Towers can save you fuel and ships), if you want to jump to a POS and then warp to a station, follow the section on Jumping to a friendly POS, but when you land, immediately warp to the station instead.
When jumping to a station system, if you don’t already have a Cyno ready for your next jump (if there is one), just dock up and get the cyno ready at your leisure.
Once your exit Cyno is ready, undock and immediately turn your carrier left or right to stop your momentum from pulling you out of docking range. Hug the station until the session timer is up and jump onwards. If enemies appear on grid, simply re dock and do not aggress.
Jumping to a friendly POS
This is pretty simple if your POS has a cyno generator. Get a scout in the system to check it’s clear and jump in. If there is no Cyno Gen, use your tactical overlay to place a cyno 10km outside of the towers shields. Remember cyno’ing to a tower doubles the space your carrier can land in to 10KM. Also landing a carrier inside the shields of a POS (even if you have permissions) will incur the same physics hiccups as landing inside a station, be careful; Once your carrier arrives in system, slow-boat your arse inside the shields.
Again when jumping to a POS system, if you don’t already have a Cyno ready for your next jump (if there is one), just sit safely inside the shields and get the cyno ready at your leisure. Remember if you’re alt tabbing away from your carrier at a POS, tell it to keep distance from the Tower at 500m. This stops any enemies with access to your POS from bumping your carrier out of the shields and having their wicked way with it while you’re setting up the next cyno.
Once your exit cyno is ready, you can simply jump from within the safety of the POS shields.
Jumping to deep space
This is the most dangerous jump of all and thus requires the most preparation. The first step is to get your cyno in the system and make a deep space safe (a backup one at the other end of the system is also a wise idea). Once you have this you will need to make four more deep safes. A quick point on directions;  When your in a system you should centre your directions on the only constant; the sun. Where ever you are in space, towards the sun is “sunward”, away from the sun is “out”; pointing you camera at the sun, and turning 90 degrees right is anti-clockwise, and 90 degrees left is clockwise.
From the location of your deep space safe, make another safe in each direction; sunward, out, clockwise and anti-clockwise, reasons for this will follow. You should now have a central safe point (in deep space), and four safes around it, one in each direction stipulated. Before you jump into a Deep Space system, your cyno will need to check that there are absolutely no neutrals or reds in the system; None, zip, zilch, if there is even a suspicious friendly in the system, don’t do it. Once you are convinced the system is safe, light your cyno and jump in the carrier. This is where the extra safe’s come in. Because now anyone entering the system can instantly see and warp to your cyno, you don’t want your carrier sitting next to it like a lemon. Instead you’re going to warp away to a safe point. But why do you have four? Well carriers are very slow to align, and we cannot predict which way you will be facing when you land on grid (you might be able to guess after you’ve done it a few times in the same system). By having four safes at 90 degrees to each other, our carrier will only have to align through 45 degrees in order to be pointing at the nearest one. When your carrier lands on grid, point your camera at the sun, and looking at the direction your ship is pointing in you should be able to guess which safe is closest and initiate warp to it. Once you’ve landed at the safe, cloak up.
In a worse case scenario an enemy (fleet) will jump into the system at the same moment you click jump on your carrier. The enemy will most likely warp to your cyno immediately. If you’re quick you should be able to warp way to the safe before they land. If for any reason you’re paranoid that the enemy got a probe scan off at the moment you landed at your safe, before you got your cloak on, align to your backup safe and warp there before re-cloaking. If you think any of your safes have been compromised for any reason, burn it and never use it again. Personally I won’t even share these safes with alliance mates.
When jumping to a Deep Space System, if you don’t already have a Cyno ready for your next jump (if there is one), just get to your safe and cloak up then get the cyno ready at your leisure. If there was ever a case for having more than one cyno alt this situation is it, if you make the non-cyno point safes far enough away, a good travel carrier can recharge for the next jump in warp, and exit the system immediately upon landing.
Once your exit cyno is ready, uncloak (if safe) and immediately jump to it.
The Final Jump Prep
Now you have all the tools ready for your move, and you’ve rehearsed exactly what you need to do at each stage of the route. If you’re an organised fellow, you may have even made a jump list so you can’t get confused. It’s time to do the Final Check list before setting off; here we go;
               – Jump Fuel loaded
Remember to 2x if you’re going there and back. Also 2x again if it’s the first time you have done the route. Most Carrier pilots will hold a full fuel bays worth of isotopes in the corporate hanger, just for emergencies.
               – Cynos in position
As per the guide above, with  cyno ship (cloaked where needed) and cyno fuel enough for you needs. Again remember they may need to light it twice if you’re going there and back again.
               – Cargo Loaded
Check your Corporate Hangers and your Ship Maintenance Bay as well as your cargo hold. Check you have all the spare fuel you need, and any spare liquid Ozone to replenish the Cynos.
               – Drones in bay
Last line of defence, don’t expect it to be there, check it is.
               – Cyno Chain ready
Final check to make sure nothing has been blow up then you weren’t looking.
               – First cyno in position
All Cynos, if you’re doing the hopscotch method.
Time to undock. Jump through the Cynos as we rehearsed earlier, and remember safety is key. If you’re unsure, get safe and wait until you know it’s safe. Good luck Pilot.
A: you didn’t plan this properly. Check the local market (if you’re at a POS or docked), otherwise, it’s time to beg an alliance mate to save you, or get a hauler with some fuel out. Sorry bud you’re on your own, learn from it.
Q: my cyno got killed moving to the next jump point….
A: Every type of jump has a safe point stay in it until you can replace a cyno.
Q: I’m at a deep space safe, when is it better to log off than stay cloaked?
A: Most of the time, if you’re staying for anything longer than the length of time to cap up, you might want to consider logging off, unless the enemy are almost on top of you. Its a personal preference though and you need to judge each situation yourself.
Q: I’m at a POS when is it better to log off than stay here?
A: Again if your staying longer than it takes to cap up, and there isn’t an enemy in the POS trying to bump you, almost always. Your own judgement is key again.
Q: Is there any tool in game to find a nearby jump point?
A: Yes the Jump Tool can. Its unbound by default but check in the menu and set it to a key, its a great tool.
Q: What’s a kickout station?
A: Kickout stations are evil things. Certain station models will deposit your ship outside of docking range as soon as you undock. These stations should NEVER be used to jump a capital from.
Q: Hey are you writing a guide when you lost your first carrier in a really stupid way?
A: Yup, deal with it. I lost a carrier jumping blind into a system with PL in it. It was stupid and I deserved to die. I did however learn from my mistake, and this guide is a result of the learning. You’ll note I heavily suggested having eyes in any system you jump to ;).
* Not true, but if they are willing to wait that long, they probably deserve the kill anyway, always bring something cheap through first though