So, you’ve gotten that brand spanking new battleship.. and you wanna show it off. You wanna prove to your corp that you can handle yourself. You especially want to prove to the enemy that you are no one to be trifled with. So, you go to the market, fit the best stuff you can buy, practice against NPC rats.. and then the day comes..
… and you get your butt owned.
and here is how you fit your brand new Megathron (yes, this was from an actual killmail):
- (High Slot) – Focused Afocal Medium Laser I w/ Radio M
- (High Slot) – Tachyon Afocal Maser I w/ Infrared L
- (High Slot) – Tachyon Beam Laser I w/ Radio L
- (High Slot) – Improved Cloaking Device
- (High Slot) – Expanded Probe Launcher w/Core Probe
- (High Slot) – ‘Arlebest’ Assault Missile Launcher w/Defender Is
- (High Slot) – Small Tractor Beam
- (High Slot) – Salvager I
- (Medium Slot) – Cap Recharger II
- (Medium Slot) – LiF Fueled I Booster Rockets
- (Medium Slot) – Analyzer I
- (Medium Slot) – Codebreaker I
- (Low Slot) – Triple-Sheathed Adaptive Nano Plating
- (Low Slot) – Large ‘Accomodation” Vestment Reconstructor I
- (Low Slot) – Gallente Navy Adaptive Nano Plating
- (Low Slot) – Damage Control II
- (Low Slot) – Co-Processer II
- (Low Slot) – Warp Core Stabilizer I
- (Low Slot) – ‘Collaterial’ Adaptive Nano Plating
- (Rig Slot) – Large Drone Control Range Augmentor I
- (Rig Slot) – Large Gravity Capacitor Upgrade
- (Rig Slot) – Large Liquid Cooled Electronics I
To anyone who knows how to fit a ship, the above fitting.. is ungodly bad. I highlighted in red those items that might be beneficial to this ship and its purpose. As you can see.. those were few.. and none of them were the weapons. Now, if you are new, you might look at this and not really understand. Therefore, I am going to give a set of “principles” that you need to think about first before you throw away a ship to poor planning and poor tactics. Because the very basis of every fleet.. is a well thought out, effective ship. If you can’t field an effective ship, you are detrimental to the fleet. Just because you bring more “guns” means very little if those guns are hindered by a poor tank, or by a poor setup.
Let me repeat it another way: IF YOU CANNOT FIT A SHIP PROPERLY, YOU SHOULD NOT BE IN A FLEET.
There are three principles which you should apply at all times when setup a new ship. Eventually, these will be second nature to you.. but for now.. write them down, memorize them, and apply them every time.
The First Priniciple: Ship Design Basics
This principle is simple but it requires you to understand the two basic of facts: In EVE, “Every ship has a purpose, but not every purpose works for every ship” and “Always fit according to Ship Bonuses”. Every ship has specific bonuses. I stress the word “specific”. A medium projectile AC will not gain any bonuses on a ship that has only Large Hybrid bonuses. A battleship fit with the wrong weapons will do less damage than a smaller ship fit with the correct weapons. This is true in all cases, so you should spend time and look at the ship bonuses before you buy it. Ask yourself these questions: What do I intend to do with this ship? Do the bonuses and ship attributes reflect what I plan to do with the ship? Are there other ships that are better for the specific task that I can use? Are my skills good enough to properly fit the ship according to its bonuses?
EVE is interesting in that just because its a bigger ship, doesn’t mean its better for every task. A frigate is excellent for tackling an enemy, or combating drones, or attacking other frigates whereas a battleship is horrible at all those tasks. On the other hand, a frigate cannot do the tremendous amounts of damage or have the range that are necessary in major operations, a trademark of a typical battleship. So thus, every ship in EVE has a purpose, but not every purpose works for every ship.
Another point to comprehend is that there is a significant difference on how you fit a ship versus NPC ships and versus actual human players. Against NPC ships, you can fit against their damage type and you can pretty much determine how much “x” damage there is going to be during any given time. You also have control over the battlefield, and the NPCs will react according to a specific set of rules that are easy to figure out. In PVP, many of the things you take for granted for PVE are no longer always under your control. Maintaining Range, Damage output, defense, these are all things that need to be reconsidered when setting up for PVP.
The Second Principle: Ship Design for Fleet
When you join a player corporation, it will eventually come under attack. This isn’t something that can be avoided, and many corporations actively participate and prepare for these battles. In time, you will as well. Once you’ve mastered what options you have to fit a ship, you will be better able to assist when in a fleet. That being said, once you operate with a player corporation, they might have PVP configurations that differ from what you had planned to fly.
For an individual pilot, following the setup suggestions of your corporation can give you a number of insights. Some can be positive, like how to operate a fleet as a consolidated unit, rather than a gaggle of ships or how to optimize your fitting depending on the tactics of a particular FC or overall strategy of the corporation. Others can be negative, like realizing that the FC doesn’t have the intelligence to fit his ship, much less lead a fleet, or that those in charge of the overall fleet don’t communicate or are more interested in mining than learning how to put up a solid fleet. Either way, you need this interaction so that you can become an effective team player. And just remember, just because it sounds silly, don’t necessarily mean its a bad idea. The now “standard” of combat fleet, the “spider tank” doctrine, was thought up by a player only a couple months old, not an Eve veteran.
For an FC, having you fit your setup according to a “standard” allows him to gauge the strength of his fleet correctly. This allows him to make good calls regarding who, how, and when to attack an opponent. It also allows him the ability to use certain tactics more effectively.
For a corporation/alliance, having you fit your setup according to a “standard” can improve the respect/fear of those around you. A corporation that is well known for having well-flown and well-fitted ships will illicit more respect from both your allies (who will not have a problem with you in their fleets) to more caution/fear from your enemies because they know they will have to expect more losses from you.
The Third Principle: Ship Design for your Style
This should be the very LAST thing you should worry about, because in my opinion, its a very complicated process. You won’t really know what your style is until you are familiar with the types of ships you fly, who you fly with, and you gotta get beyond what is “comfortable” as well.
For example, one of the more common ships I fly, the Huginn, was not a favorite when I first flew it. In fact.. I hated it. Not the “well, I’d prefer chocolate over vanilla”-type hate. It was the “ZOMGWTFWASCCPTHINKING!!”-type hate. It took nearly a year after I lost my first Huginn to bother about trying one again (lost the first one to low-sec gate guns, right after CCP improved their damage). Looking back, I had made several critical errors in my thinking. The first was that I was trying to make the Huginn a heavy tackler for lowsec gate fights. The second was trying to make the Huginn a heavy tackler for lowsec gate fights.. with my skillset. And the third and just as important, I was trying to make the Huginn a heavy tackler for lowsec gate fights with my skillset, when our corporation needed ships capable of handling gate guns. However, after gaining experience using battleships, battlecruisers, interceptors, null Space, gate camps, Recons, and HACs and seeing other corporations’ fits as well as various alliance fittings I had gain enough knowledge to experiment with various logical configurations to make a useful and effective setup.
One thing you must realize, particularly with a support ship, is that with new configurations the differences will not likely be noted by most (if not all) in fleet. So, make sure you mention ahead of time what your configuration is to the FC. He might notice and if several FCs notice a positive improvement, you then have good backing to make it the new “standard”.
Well, that does it for this post, again feel free to leave comments and suggestions. Remember, keep your guns loaded and your enemies running!