#3 Eve Online – Frigate Warfare for Beginners

#3 Eve Online – Frigate Warfare for Beginners

Tools – Osmium (https://o.smium.org/)

Player v Player (PvP) combat is probably one of the hardest skills to master in Eve Online, and is often a skill that players get into only after they have lost significant numbers of ships. One reason for this is that it can be very hard to know where to start. Of course, theories vary widely from pilot to pilot and regardless of the content on this page I strongly suggest looking for a wide variety of opinions on the matter of starting out pvp. There are just so many ideas, philosophies on fittings, flying strategies and tactics that it is impossible to cover in a single blog post. As such we will not be focusing too much on flying frigates in large fleets but instead focusing on duels and small gang pvp where you are much less likely to find pilots kitted out to be a pure point or pure sniper. Instead most ships will be fitted to take point and deliver Damage Per Second (dps) on their own. A well-organised small gang frigate fleet might fit to free up extra mid slots on some pilots in the fleet relying on one or two members of the fleet to lock down an opponent – but this is not a document dedicated to complex fleet strategies. At this stage that will simply complicate things for anyone just starting out. Most ships in Eve will be fitted to fill one of three categories in a PvP, they will either design their fit to brawl their opponent, lock them down and deliver as much dps as possible in a short period of time, while kiters at least in frigate combat try to control the range of the fight in staying just inside warp disrupter range. They tend to deliver less dps then brawlers, but have much more survivability. Speed tanking for frigate kiters is a personal favourite, but it can be hard to master range control because it is just not as simple as hitting orbit and shoot, there are ways to sling shot orbiting ships or push them into an object in space that might stop or drastically slow their ship instantly. Let’s take a closer look at the basics, and some examples of ships that are useful in each of these roles, we will focus on the T1 variants of these ships, but the same principles apply for faction ships and over time you will begin to recognise the traits and bonuses that make some ships best suited to certain roles over another.

Brawling

As we touched on a moment ago, brawling is that act of fitting a ship to get as close to an opponent as possible, pinning them down and delivering maximum dps in a very short amount of time. This ships often have a high death ratio but they can deliver big punch very quickly, and when it comes to frigate warfare, you won’t usually get a second chance if this guy gets you locked down unless you’re in a brawler as well, in which case may the best pilot win. A hint, neutralisers and drones can really make a big difference in this fight as well as your ability to control the range of the fight.

Indispensable equipment – Warp Scrambler, Stasis Webifier, Energy Neutralizer, MWD

Typical Weapons – Rockets, Blasters, Pulse Lasers

The rest of your equipment will very much depend on your fit. Most of these ships will have 3 mid slots, are often a bit more naturally tanky, have a slightly larger capacitor, the drawback is that they tend to be a little slower than other frigates making range control very hard which is why locking down your opponent is so important. As such getting inside Warp Scramble and Webifier range is critical, it is rare for a brawling frigate to be able to do much damage from range unless they have drones equipped (which is rare for an all-out brawler).

Kiting

Kiting is probably a bit more of a fine art then brawling and describes the strategy of fighting your opponent from a distance just inside your ships optimal range. They tend to employ weapons that make use of longer ranges then brawls preferring to stick with a Warp Disrupter as opposed to a Scrambler for the added range. They don’t tend to deliver as much dps as brawlers, but instead rely on keeping the enemy out of range. This strategy also has the advantage of making a Stasis Webifier pointless, freeing up a mid-slot to make use of tracking disruptors or target painters which can be critical in these kinds of fights especially if you end up solo against another kiter.

Indispensable equipment – Warp Disrupter, MWD

Typical Weapons – Light Missiles, Railguns, Beam Lasers, Drones

As before all other equipment depends very much on the ship you are using. It is not uncommon for a kiter to have 4 mid slots as well, which can be very valuable. The goal of a kiter is to be the fastest ship on the field and to have absolute command of range in a fight, as such speed tanking is a very common strategy with kiters, they are naturally faster, usually having some drone capacity and can deploy electronic attacks, but they do tend to be quite easy to kill.

Kite-Brawling

 

These ships are probably the hardest to pilot they rely on have some ability to attack from range while still being able to fight a brawl if need be. The ideal role for this pilot is to sit just outside of a brawler’s gun range while pinning them down and delivering dps. Drones are a very common component of these ships and this is exactly what allows them to take on kiters. They will almost never control the range against a kiter, but with drones they have the capacity to strike at range and kill their opponents – they tend to be a bit tankier then kiters, and as such can usually out last them in a toe to toe fight. But as usually range is critical. It’s not uncommon for these guys to fit an Afterburner and a MWD and make use to the most appropriate one depending on their opponent. The brawlers scramble will shut down the MWD, while the burner still gives the Kite-Brawler a shot at holding range, while the MWD give him a shot at getting in close to a kiter.

Optimal Range – 7-10km (Within Webifier range)

Indispensable equipment – Warp Disrupter, Drones, MWD/Afterburner (maybe both depending on the ship)

Typical Weapons – Rockets, Blasters, Pulse Lasers, Drones (They will tend to use ammo that hold better range)

The equip on this one is the harder to get right because it can be so hard to balance – the reality is that there are few T1 frigates that can fill this role effectively. Most important for this role however is a skilled pilot who can manipulate their opponents orbit to control range. It is not an easy role to fill and is something I do not recommend for pilots just starting out, but it can be very effective especially if you are flying solo.

 

Many of the principles we have explored here are also applicable to larger ships, while making allowances for the range of bigger weapons, at which point a specialized point pilot becomes critical for locking down an opponent. But these discussions are for a later post. For now, focus on the basics with a specific focus on kiting and brawling as the two first strategies to master as a combat pilot. Osmium is a site I use to store fits and look for ideas on how to fit certain ships. But the most important thing to remember is that you will lose ships, especially when first starting out, but as you gain experience. No matter how good you are, the expectation of losing ships should never leave you mind as a combat pilot. Expect to lose ships and a lot of them, that’s why you should learn in something cheap like a frigate. It is a good way to master pvp skills, get you used to hot keys, and develop your skills for balancing a ships strengths and weaknesses in a fight. Above all though, have fun and try to learn something new each time you lose a ship. If you can take something from each fight you will very quickly become a skilled pilot regardless of SP.

 

Some Personal Favorites of the T1 lineup

The Merlin

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While versatility is not always the key to being a great frigate, The Marlin is nothing short of a ship that can fill any three of the strategies listed above very effectively. It is this level of unpredictability that makes it one of the most dangerous frigates for pvp combat. It is probably one of the best suited ships to the kite-brawl role, but can easily fit for kite or brawl as required – weather it is blaster fitted with a solid tank or mwd fitted with rails and duel webs it is a great ship for controlling a fight on your own terms.

 

The Tormentor & The Crucifier

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The Amarr T1 frigates are not always the best suited to pvp, while they can be very effective as pve ships they simply do not measure up to other T1 frigates. Capacitor issues cause by their reliance on energy weapons can play a big factor in deciding the outcome of frigate combat within less than 1 minute of a fight with very few T1 frigates can run kite with a MWD while sustaining fire from beam lasers for long period, they are also highly vulnerable to capacitor attacks and this will shut them down very quickly in a brawl. The Tormentor and the Crucifier are not exceptions to this rule, but their capability to deploy drones does offer a little extra versatility that can make them very effect ships if you can manage your capacitor and stay out of Neut range. Their ability to tank and utilize Electronic Warfare from 15-20km out means that they can do very well in a kiting role. Both ships, The Tormentor and Crucifier are quite slow as far as frigates are concerned however and this can cause problems, but The Tormentor can do a lot of damage for a T1 frigate, and the Crucifiers extra mid slot leaves plenty of room for a double web.

 

The Incursus

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The Incursus is a bit of an anomaly of the frigate world, with possible the best tank of any T1 frigate in the game. Its ability to absorb damage is legendary, and it can be fit as both a kiter and brawler depending on the situation. While its potential dps may not be as high as some it is quite fast and it can still hit from range. A solitary drone can also be a very annoying fly in frigate combat that could turn things in your favor very quickly as a brawler.

 

The Breacher

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Probably one of the most specialized ships in this short list, it makes this list as a pretty brutal attacking force. Depending on how it is fit, its Damage output can be quite extra ordinary and recent updates to rockets have only served to benefit this ship. While it is almost exclusively a brawler, it is probably the best at it as far as T1 frigates go. If you do not score kills 1v1 in this ship it would be a surprise.

 

The Tristan

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The most versatile T1 Frigate in Eve right now, the Tristan combines everything into one little package. It’s solid drone bay, respectable speed and ability to fit either rail guns or blasters mean that it is a hard ship to read on the battle field. A fight with one of these is always risky because it 100% depends on your opponent’s fit as to whether you will win. The Tristan can choose its engagement window better than any other Frigate be it at close range or better yet at 15-20km. This choice means that no matter how you fit it, the Tristan will usually be the one dictating the terms of the fight unless you can catch it out. This ability to dictate terms in the Tristan means that it can decide the outcome of a fight more often than any other frigate now in Eve Online. But this expected to be some changes when SISI is deployed that are expected to nerf the Tristan amongst others, but it remains to be seen if this will affect its versatility.

 

Other ships of note include, The Atron: Providing excellent DPS and a great speed tank, it is right up there with the best, and can compete with most T1 frigates with the right fit. The Slasher: another excellent example of speed tank and capability of dictating combat range in a fight, its reliance on its speed is reflected in its paper-thin hull. The Kestrel: not as versatile as they once were, but they can still serve up massive dps, it is not as tanky or fast as it once was though, so it is a bit easier to catch these days. The Maulus: Often underrated, it is a viable option that can sometimes catch out an opponent, but often does not measure up if it is caught out going toe to toe with a specialized brawler or kiter. The Executioner, not the worst choice in a fight at all its fast and it can deliver dps, but it is vulnerable to capacitor use, cap stability is critical in this ship.

 

Fly Dangerously!!! o7

 

Regards

JTC

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#1 – Ships of Eve Online – Mining Frigates

#1 – Ships of Eve Online – Mining Frigates

The Venture is one of the most versatile ships in Eve. It’s hard to catch and easy to hide in, and remains a common ship that even experienced miners keep ready to fly at a moment’s notice. The reason for this is the mining frigates ability to get in and out of a location quickly capturing much needed materials from dangerous regions of space that you would not dare take a Mining Barge or Exhumer without the protection of a large security force. In recent years the Prospect and most recently the Endurance have added much needed depth to this class of ship offering two T2 variants to choose from, each with its own set of strengths and weaknesses. These ships remain my mining ships of choice purely for their ability to enter any kind of space easily without being detected, gathering rare ores or gas that otherwise might be extremely difficult to acquire in Low or High security space without spending large amounts of ISK on the market. Let’s explore each ship in a bit more detail to understand their appropriate use for each situation.

 

Venture

Light weight cheap and effective for mining not just for newer players but also for more experienced players that perhaps don’t have the SP for a Prospect or Endurance, or simply if you do not want to risk the ISK value of the ship. Venture’s also have the added advantage of increased warp core stability meaning that a warp disruptor will not pin it down should someone want to gank you in one, and properly fitted these ships are so fast into warp that catching it in the first place takes a lot of skill and luck on the part of the ganker, or simply a lack of attention from the miner. The sheer versatility and disposability of these ships makes them an indispensable part of any industry pilots ship collection – in fact most pilots keep multiples. The one major drawback on these ships is that their ore hold is only 5000m3, which as any manufacturer knows is a very tiny amount of ore. It has enough space in its drone hold to utilise two light drones as well offering some limited protection from npc pirates, but I would certainly not be relying on this to help you should you get ganked.

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Prospect

A much costlier option then the Venture for certain, but it’s ability to fit Covert Ops cloaking as well as its bonuses to mining lasers and gas harvesting make it a great ship for moving through very dangerous regions of space without being detected. Unlike the Venture though, this ship does not have the same kind of warp core stability as the Venture meaning that it may be easier to pin down if you get surprised in this ship. However, the speed and stealth of this ship more than make up for it. This ship has great versatility and a reasonable tank for a frigate, it’s lack of a drone bay also means that the pilot must be on alert always for not just gankers but also npc pirates, the tank and speed of this ship is enough to mean that most npc pirates will be unable to do little more than scratch the paint if fitted correctly for a good speed tank. This is probably the best option for making a quick entry into Null Sec or a Wormhole to make risky runs for valuable or rare ores and is a must have for covert or “ninja” mining ops.

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Endurance

The Endurance is a much less specialized ship then the Prospect and in many ways, embodies what one might expect from a bulkier, tankier and harder to kill Venture rather than an outright covert ops mining ship. It’s larger drone bay, significantly higher hit points, 15000m3 ore hold and massive bonuses to its single mining laser make it perform effectively as a general-purpose miner. It’s drone bay mean that fitting Mining Drones is not just possible but an effectively way to boost this ships mining performance to levels comparable to that of a Mining Barge or better in a much faster, safer and harder to kill mining frigate. The biggest difference however comes from this ships ability to mine for ice through the use of an Ice Mining Laser making it a valuable asset for gaining access to more dangerous Ice Belts in Low and Null sec. It can still fit a cloaking device making it easy to hide, but it cannot fit a Covert Ops cloaking device making it much easier to track and kill then a Prospect. The price is comparable to that of a Prospect, you can expect to pay somewhere between 20-35 million ISK. The issue with the Endurance is that it is much less disposable then the Venture, and will take significantly more mining runs to pay for the cost of fitting it.

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Each one of these ships is a must have for any pilot operating in regions of space that are dangerous and can even be very useful in HS during a war-dec for sustaining a reasonable amount of mining production in a way that is much safer then attempting to do so using larger mining ships which are very slow and very easy to pin down. This is why Mining Frigates remain a favourite of mine for mining in almost all conditions. With my Prospect I can sneak into almost any region of space utilising the ships covert ops capabilities to acquire respectable quantities of Crokite, Bistot, Arkonor and Mercoxit – as well as the providing quick and easy access to Gas sites. The Endurance is much easier to detect then the Prospect due to its inability to fit a Covert Ops cloaking, but it is still fast and hard to catch while being a bit more tanky and offers a considerably larger drone bay then the Venture. The Endurance also offers the ability to equip ice mining equipment and secure ice for hard to reach locations as well. It’s ability to get into Low and Null sec and gather the much more valuable types of Ice make it a crucial ship if you ever intend to enter fuel production in any kind of significant quantity without the backing of a major alliance. Overall these ships offer versatility to independent manufacturers that you would otherwise be unable to get without going to Jita.

 

Regards

JTC

#2 – Eve Online – Don’t Get Ganked

#2 – Eve Online – Don’t Get Ganked

Tools –

Haulers (Game channel)

Dotlan (www.dotlan.com)

It never fails to amaze me just how many pilots to this day still get caught out in a paper thin industrial ship trying to move a few billions ISK of blueprints and other valuable items through bottle necks and trade hubs… and all too often a peak game times. Our aim here is to offer some simple strategies for avoiding losing your precious cargo. But first you must understand how ganking works and why pilots gank. The reality is ganker’s gank because it can be hugely profitable for them, because there is never a shortage of people willing to risk expensive cargo in easy to bring down ships. It is a simple calculation, the ganker(s) will scan a ship often one or two systems before its destination, to see the value of its cargo. If the cargo is worth more than the ships they are likely to lose to CONCORD in the gank then your ship might be judged a worthwhile target. It goes without saying that trying to move a billion ISK worth of Blueprints or a Citadel in a Bestower through one of the key gank points then that would be a very bad idea.

There are two different kinds of systems that need to be watched always while travelling, the first kind is simple enough and obvious, the major trade hubs are where most ganks occur. Jita and Amarr are home to many corps that watch for pilots not paying enough attention or pilots carrying way too much ISK in their hold. The other kind of system are the major bottle necks and the most direct pipes between the major trade hubs. The most common and well-known bottle necks in eve are Niarja and Uedama. Both systems and numerous others are routinely patrolled by corps with an eye towards ganking and travelling through these systems especially in industrial ships and freighters should be regarded as a high-risk activity. The reason for this is that there is no nearby fly around and if you are flying a freighter it is not only time consuming to add another 50+ jumps to your trip, it could be very risky and costly as well and may not be all that much safer. The better solution is simply, use scouts to check for gate camps, and remember it only takes one ship to get a point on you or bump you off warp and you are in trouble so you can never be too cautious. If you are unsure, simply dock up one system out and wait for 30 minutes either side of Shut Down. If you are moving blueprints or something small, don’t take an industrial ship – instead use a shuttle or interceptor. Unless you are unlucky enough to get smart bombed or scanned then you should be fine. Scanners generally ignore anything that is not a freighter or industrial ship, and in all likelihood, are not going to have a point capable of locking down a shuttle before it enters warp. I have on more than one occasion successfully moved hundreds of millions of ISK worth of BPOs and BPCs in the 5m3 hold of a Gallante Shuttle. One the one occasion I did it in a Bestower it didn’t end so well. Also, Dotlan can provide useful statistics on recent ship kills and activity in systems before you enter them, this can help determine ahead of time if a system is being patrolled. Map statistics is also a useful tool in game and will allow you to view pilots in space in the last 30 minutes as a means of recognizing when a system is very active. Obviously Jita and Amarr this will not help much, but for the bottle necks and generally while travelling this can save a lot of hassle.

Always remember as well, hauling is something you do not have to risk everything on each time you wish to move goods into the major trade hubs. Check out the Haulers channel in eve for truckers willing to provide legitimate services for a relatively inexpensive cost compared to the billions of ISK you could lose trying to haul something like a Azbel. Collateral will cover your costs if it goes wrong, and for a few million ISK to make sure your goods get to where they need to be, it can be a very worthwhile investment. These are simple things that should cross your mind every time you travel with anything of value in Eve. Use the tools available and learn to recognize the signs of a gank before it happens. Dotlan, in game Map Statistics the Haulers Channel can all be great sources to know when a system is being watched. The highest areas of activity are always the bottle necks and always watch yourself in the trade hubs. Sometimes ganking just happens, but if you keep alert and use these tools you will avoid getting ganked most of the time. Shut down time is your friend as well, because even the gankers need to dock, and it usually takes them time on either side of shutdown to get in position and get ready. The opposite is true of game peak times, it stands to reason that the more active the game is the more gankers there will be. Evening time is the USA and usually remains steady for around an hour either side of 22:00 game time.

Just some food for thought while travelling, the old internet saying applies here, don’t feed the trolls and there will be less of them. In the end there is no full proof plan to avoid getting ganked. But following these suggestions will help you avoid it more often then not.

Fly safe o7

JTC

#1 – Eve Online – A Tutorial for Complex PI Production

#1 – Eve Online – A Tutorial for Complex PI Production

I was asked to provide a quick guide for my PI setup for those just starting out with PI.

Tools – Eve Planets (eveplanets.com/)

The first thing is to produce with a plan in mind – if you want to make POS fuel – then you need to plan for it. Not all systems have plasma worlds in them to make this easy. But you don’t need it. You just need the refined materials required for each product involved in the manufacture process.

If you don’t have a plan, that’s okay, you can still start on some higher demand products on a single world, and just sell the individual products in any of the trade hubs for a solid passive income.
My recommendation if this is your choice is Machine Parts, Coolant, Rocket Fuel, Construction Blocks, Depleted Uranium, Consumer Electronics (tier 2 products) – As well pretty much any of the refined PI materials (tier 1 products) used in the manufacture of these products will sell quite well (Oxygen, Toxic Metals, Precious Metals, Reactive Metals, Electrolytes, Plasmoids, Water and Chiral Structures) – that is not to say the other products are useless by any means it’s just that these are some of the more lucrative and easy to make in PI. My advice is use EvePlanets.com to help with your PI planning.

To make Tier 3 and 4 products, you need to plan your production lines and you will require more than one world.
Below is an example of a refining world that maximises the refining of extracted materials and refining those into Tier 1 materials that can then be exported for use in more advanced manufacturing.

CaptureRefining.JPG

The next is an example of a manufacturing world. This particular one is designed for manufacturing the Tier 2 and 3 requirements for fuel manufacturing, and Gel-Matrix Biopaste which is used for the manufacture of Nanite Paste.

CaptureManufacturing.JPG

Hope this helps – if you need help or advice or if you have any questions please feel free to ask. If you want feedback on your setup feel free to ask.

If you prefer a more passive approach to PI you can still make a healthy passive income buy simply adding an advanced production facility to the refining worlds and have your refining worlds focusing on the production of one or more advanced products. But for complex production this simply will not work, but it can assist greatly in a corp where one character focuses on complex PI production.
There is also a ton of other tutorials, YouTube videos and other things to help you if you need more guidance on this and I am always happy to help when I can with answering questions so please leave a comment.

Regards

JTC