For new pilots in Eve Online, combat is a very strange and complex affair. True, the basic parts of combat are easy enough: Lock target and fire. But there is a lot of preparation that needs to be done.
First off, combat in other games usually means “Bigger is Better.” That is not the case in Eve Online. While it is highly unlikely that a frigate can defeat a player battleship, two or three could potentially do the job, and a good frigate pilot can defeat a cruiser class ship depending on circumstances.
So, here’s what you need to know on the basics of each ship class:
Ship Use By Class
Frigate class ships – Generally are used for scouting and tackling (see below). Large numbers of them can be dangerous however to solo or small groups of ships.
Destroyer class ships – Used primarily for anti-frigate and anti-cruiser operations. High DPS, but typically a weak tank.
Cruiser class ships – Typically used for DPS or in Special Roles like Electronic Warfare or Logistics (see below).
Battlecruser class ships – More DPS and Tanking ability, these are simply used for damage dealing and are sometimes used in command roles.
Battleship class ships – Lots of Damage and Tanking ability, coupled with poor manuvering and poor speed.
Industrial class ships – Simply put, they haul stuff. Poor tanking and manuverability.
Capital class ships and above – Not important for you newbie at this time.
What is tackling? Tackling is the act of keeping your opponent on the field of battle and not escaping. All ships have what is called “warp strength”, and on most ships this value is “0”. This is an important factor because it determines if you can warp out successfully (It is important to note that a ship can warp off when it reaches approximately 75% of if current top speed). Messing with that warp strength can be done in several ways:
Warp Disruptor – Typical Range 20km to 24km (certain ships can increase the range). This module disrupts a ship’s ability to warp, but while it does have range, it isn’t very powerful, with only a -1 point against Warp Strength.
Warp Scrambler – Typical Range 7.5km to 9km (certain ships can increase the range). The module is similar to the Warp Disruptor but twice as powerful (-2 points against Warp Strength, rather than just -1). The Warp Scrambler also has the advantage of inhibiting MicroWarp Drives or MWDs, making escape much more difficult for your target.
Stasis Web – While this module won’t prevent a ship from warping off, it will slow the ship down considerable. However, be warned, if your target that you are webbing is NOT scramed or warp disrupted, then it will be easier for them to get away. The reason for this is that warping involves getting to 75% of CURRENT max speed. For example, if the ship you are fighting normally has a max speed of 100m/s, it needs to get to 75m/s before it can warp. However, if you use a Statis Webifier I on that same ship, which has a 50% speed reduction effect, the ship will now have a current max speed now of 50 m/s, and so it would only need to get to 37.5 m/s before it can warp off.
Warp Bubble/Interdiction Probes – Allowed only in Null-sec regions of space, these devices cover a large area, and do not allow most ships caught in its field to warp off (some Tech 3 ships have the ability to warp through these fields however).
Infinite Point – Only available on Heavy Interdictor Ships, these are essentially a very powerful Warp Disruptor that, when locked on a target, will not allow the ship to escape unless they get out of range.
Neutralizing Capacitor – Warping off requires a certain amount of energy from the ship’s capacitor. It is feasable, but difficult, to drain your enemy’s capacitor so low that it cannot warp off.
Bouncing – In order to warp off, a ship needs to realign itself in the direction of where it is going to warp off to. It is possible, with game mechanics, to “bounce” a ship out of alignment by colliding your ship with their ship. But for all practical purposes this is usually only effective against Battlecruisers, Battleships, and Industrial class ships.
There are some beginner frigates that are more ideal ships for Tackling:
- Rifter/Breacher (Better Defenses)
- Probe (Better Probing)
- Slasher (Better Speed)
- Punisher/Tormentor (Better Defenses)
- Magnate (Better Probing)
- Executioner (Better Speed)
- Kestrel/Merlin (Better Defenses)
- Heron (Better Probing)
- Condor (Better Speed)
- Incursus/Tristan (Better Defenses)
- Imicus (Better Probing)
- Atron (Better Speed)
What is scouting? This one is a bit easier to understand for most new players. It simply means jumping into a system and finding out who is there. The typical ship used for this task are frigate class ships because they are fast, manuverable, and difficult to catch. However, there are some rules that need to be adhered to.
- All your scout ships should have a Microwarp Drive
Your ship needs to have the ability to move and move fast. With a small ship like a frigate, you can attain some very high speeds with a MWD, which can get you out of danger quickly. Just make sure you don’t go in straight lines.
- All your scout ships need to have a Warp Disruptor
If you are using a scout ship, the point of that scout ship is usually to find targets of opportunity or to watch out and distract enemy pilots. In either case, you cannot do that job successfully without a Warp Disruptor. When looking for targets, you need to be able to hold them down while the fleet arrives. When distracting enemy pilots, you need to be able to force them to deal with you first, thereby allowing your fellow pilots to escape.
- Understand WHY you are Scouting
It is critical to understand what information you need to pass back to the FC when scouting. This can vary depending on what you are doing as well as where you are. For example, a scout pilot in a PVP fleet flying in null-sec would need to pass along different information than a scout pilot watching out for ganking camps in high-sec.
Typically a PVP Fleet Scout in null-sec will need to indicate the following pieces of info quickly:
How many reds and neutrals are in system?
How many reds are on gate?
What shiptypes are seen /on scan (found using Directional Scan)?
Your FC may also want the additional information:
Who are the reds and neutrals?
If there are any blues in system?
The FC will likely have you do the following as well:
Make safespots in system.
Hunt down any particular ships.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, a scout flying cover for say an industrial in high-sec might need to relay the following information at each jump:
How many neutrals are on gate?
How many High Volley ships are at long range (i.e. 50 to 100km+ away from the gate)?
How many ship kills in this system recently? (Found by checking and filtering the star map)
The whole point of your job as scout is not to get caught or killed. Their job ISN’T to fight. A frigate in most gangs rarely is the deciding factor in the actual combat. On the other hand, losing a decent scout (no matter what the price of the scout’s ship) while on a PVP roam is very frustrating for the rest of fleet, and unless a scout is replaced quickly.. it usually means the end of it too.
- A good scout is a PREPARED scout
If you know ahead of time the route you are going to take, or you know it is going to be a route that you will be travelling on a regular basis, save yourself (and your fleetmates) time and heartache by establishing both warpoff points and safe spots.
What is a “Warpoff Point”?
A warpoff point is a location far enough away from where you are that it can activate your warp drive (165km+), but in the direction that you are currently facing.
To understand how to make warp off points, it is vital for you to know a basic principle of system gates. When you jump in to a new system, you will randomly appear somewhere around the gate. The only constant, however, is that you will always be pointed in the same direction.
So, in order to make a warpoff point off of a gate, you just need to jump into the system through that gate, then without change direction, increase your speed to maximum (Microwarp Drive included) and get at least 165km off of the gate.
Important Technical Note: Having a warpoff point between 165km to about 400km off of the gate can be useful if you plan on harassing any potential gate camps. However, if you are just concerned about escaping gate camps, you might want to making that warp point out 600km+ and farther (often much farther), so that you are off of the local space grid. This makes it very hard for the enemy fleet to find you and catch you.
So, what is a “Safespot”?
A safespot is somewhere in the system that you can warp to that isn’t a celestrial. The easiest way of making these is to warp to a far off planet from the gate, then during the trip, selecting the “Add Location” button at the bottom of the “Places” tab, which in the “People & Places” dialog box. It’s a bit of a click fest, I know, but it is important that you do it.
Now, the ideal safespots are ones that are 14.3AU from any celestrial. Why? That is because the Directional Scanner has a range limit of about 14.2 AU. Other good spots would include ones that are within 0.1 AU of a gate and ones that are 400km or more above, below, and to either side of a gate (this is to avoid being pulled into warp bubbles).
Probing, what is it?
Probing, along with exploration, has received a substantial update