Tue. Jun 15th, 2021

These articles are meant for the intermediate Eve Online combat PVP’r. I am by no means the top echelon of solo PVP in Eve but I’m also not bottom of the barrel with a few wins under my belt. 9000+ wins at the time of this writing (with about 3000 losses for a total of just over 12,000 fights). And I’m not some glorified F1 null pilot fighting in blobs and rarely getting killed because no one targets me. No, I’m a hardcore solo pilot with myself, a ship, and Eve Online as my canvas to paint destruction. I use some in-game terms and slang so if you don’t understand something, Google it or you can send me a quick in-game email or click here. Additionally, I might not use the exact right name for some of the modules, but with that Eve experience, you currently have it should be immediately apparent which modules I’m talking about. This series of articles I plan on writing will be more in the combat theory and application area so if I mispeel sumting or refer to some module by its generic name, it’s probably on purpose. If not, drop me a line @ support@zettabytes.org for further clarification and/or edification.

  • HIGH SLOTS
  • 3x 200mm Autocannons (or maybe 150mm if you run into fitting issues)
  • MIDDLE SLOTS
  • 1mn Afterburner
  • Warp Scrambler
  • Stasis Webifier
  • LOW SLOTS
  • Small Ancillary Armor Repairer
  • Multispectrum Energized Membrane II
  • Damage Control Unit
  • Gyrostabilizer

That’s your standard Rifter fit. You can add damage rigs for more DPS, or armor rigs for more tank. Multispectrum Energized Membrane II can be dropped and replaced with another Gyrostabilizer for sicker damage, in which case I would dedicate my rigs to tank; maybe a couple explosive resists and a kinetic resist or nano pump possibly. This is all standard Eve ship fitting fare. But, it’s a standard fit dishing out about 170 DPS with a stasis webifier to control your opponents movement and apply that DPS. This is all well and good but the above template for the Rifter is somewhat generic and depending on the situation could get you killed.

I’ve been playing Eve Online since 2007 and in the beginning, I was a carebear mining and whining. I would occasionally run missions as well but I truly didn’t love the game until I became involved with the PVP aspect of the game. That’s player versus player for the uninitiated. With that said, there are times when I build ships that I need to build something specific, something out of the ordinary to counter a situation so that I can get a kill. A Purpose-built ship.

It goes something like this. I hop in my generic fit Rifter, head over to the novice factional warfare complex in Amamake and punch (punching is the act of activating a factional warfare complex gate; nerds right?) into it. As my warp completes I see with horror that I’ve warped into a Tristan that’s sitting 18 kilometers away from me. This is a distance I will never be able to cover as he sends his drone damage onto me. Additionally, there’s almost no chance of warping out as frigates lock each other for what in all intents and purposes can be said is instant (it’s a second and a half to a couple seconds maybe, but you get the idea. The Tristan has long pointed (long point is another term for warp disruption) me at 18km and I can’t get close to him (because he’s defensively pulsing his MWD to make sure I can’t get close), and he’s out of range of my weapons, and because the warp disruptor has me pointed, there’s nothing I can do but wait for my death as he assuredly giggles to himself on his side of the world for catching another victim. This is a relatively common situation in Eve and unless you react to it lighting quick or have fitted your ship to counter this situation, there’s really nothing you can do. Unless your ship was fit like this:

  • HIGH Slots
  • 3x 200mm Autocannons
  • MID Slots
  • 5mn Microwarp Drive
  • Warp Scrambler
  • Stasis Webifier
  • LOW Slots
  • Small Ancillary Armor Repairer
  • Multispectrum Energized Membrane II
  • Damage Control Unit
  • Gyrostabilizer

Now, we run into the same scenario and he’s still at 18km but now we have a microwarp drive and can easily close the distance and set the orbit to 2500m or something. Make sure you TURN OFF your MWD (microwarp drive) otherwise you will run out of capacitor with it on (which will affect your ability to run your armor repairer (small ancillary armor repairer). This fit is meant to accelrate and run the ship under hull power, which will be approximately 500m/s. Leaving the MWD on also give you what is known as signature bloom and without going into the details, it makes it easier for you to be hit and open to higher than normal damage, so turn it off, only after setting the orbit @ 2500m or whatever. Optimally you would be manually piloting, but manual piloting is not something your always gonna do. Manual piloting for me is a piloting technique I and many others use to mitigate damage. That means lessen damage. And lessening damage sometimes means flying under the guns and taking no damage, but manual piloting and flying under the guns are topics for future articles. Make sure you put your warp scrambler on the Tristan so he can’t engage his microwarp drive. Now your sitting at close to your optimal range orbiting the Tristan and shooting him and basically waiting for him die. Just keep shooting, repair the incoming damage. If the incoming damage seems significant, defang the Tristan. This takes time and practice, but basically kill his drones. You only need to kill 2 to lessen the DPS enough to tank. You’ll eventually break his tank (either by forcing him to go through all boosters for active or going through all buffer for buffer Tristan fits). Now I realize this is all easy to say but you just have to do it. And keep doing it until you get it right. Don’t get disheartened by losses because your going to have a lot of losses in the beginning. It’s the same with any other game. Nothing replaces the practice and experience you gain through actual online PVP fighting, nothing.

Now were we really 100% dead in the above situation with the generic Rifter fit? Well, yes. I mean you could try slingshotting with an afterburner, but this will not work against astute pilots who watch your ship visually or watch the acceleration change in the overview, and slingshotting is not really an afterburner thing. NOTE: if you have no other extra details available in your overview, at least have the Velocity (m/s) information so you can judge your opponents speed based relative to your speed. You need to manipulate the overview settings to see this information as by default velocity information does not appear. The overview I personally use is “Z-S Overview” which I have found to be the best overview in game optimized and updated for the current release. Go to “Z-S Overview” channel in Eve chat and the links to install this premium overview package are there. Z-S Overview has velocity and other information included in the overview by default.

Now one of the things I do that I always end up hearing about is taking that same fit above, but changing the stasis webifier to a small capacitor booster. Sometimes this is needed if I suspect energy neutralizers or I think I might need extra time to beat the other pilot. The point is there is that there is no one great all-around kill everything fit. Sometimes you’ll have to adjust your fit or your playing style. Don’t get hung up on being a shield person or an armor person. The ship will dictate more than anything your tank and playstyle, so familiarize and fly a lot of ships. On the flip side, when you’re first learning maybe just concentrate on 1 ship for your first 200 losses just to get the hang of fitting and learning how to fly, punch into plexes (Factional Warfare ComPLEXES), activating modules, you know, all the basic stuff which you should already know by now.

Who am I? I am pilot ‘rljpdx’. I live in the Heimatar region of space near the Rens trade hub. The system that I call home and live in is Amamake. I currently rank 16th in all time total kills in Amamake, have over 9000 kills in over 12,000 online fights. About 30% of the fights I’m involved in are solo, as I try to be a predominantly solo pilot, however, I have been known to side with this or that faction or go on a wormhole gank if it’s mutually worthwhile. So come and visit and say hi, I never shy from a fight. You can almost always find me in Amamake local. This is my blog and I write about all sorts of other eclectic stuff so I will occasionally pump out an article on Eve Online, the online MMORPG that I love to play on a daily basis.

Now we’re going to move on to a little more controversial but a fun little fit I like to call the Rifter Perma Tank.

  • HIGH Slots
  • 3x 200mm Autocannons (or 150mm Autocannons if you run into fitting issues)
  • MID Slots
  • 1MN Afterburner
  • Warp Scrambler
  • Small Cap Battery II
  • LOW Slots
  • 2x Small Armor Repairer II
  • Multispectrum Armor Hardener II
  • Damage Control Unit II
  • RIGS
  • 3x Capacitor Control Circuit I
  • AUGMENTATIONS
  • Agency II Repair Pill (5% repair buff) + Standard Exile (20% repair buff)

The main thing to understand about this fit is that it is NOT a fit to be used against high DPS ships. High DPS ships like the Succubus or Daredevil or even the close up Federation Navy Comet will punch right through the tank. So what kind of ships can it go against? Well, specifically, it can hold its own against ships that dish out about 150-200 DPS, and like to brawl. So this is a fit to handle a certain kind of ship and a certain kind of fighting, mainly close fighting in the scram kite range (5-9km) with an orbit to minimize incoming DPS. With this fit, you turn on both reppers (Small Armor Repairer II) pre-fight and then forget about repping. I like to have the reppers repping in unison, meaning they have the same timing. You can accomplish this by pressing both hotkeys to activate your repper. For example, I usually put my two reppers so they are in the first two module slots (not the fitting screen module slots, the module slots in your on screen HUD where you click to activate) and then I hold down the ctrl key and press F1 and F2 at the same time. Establish an orbit in the 4-7km range, and then whittle down your opponent with your own 125-145 DPS while your reppers repair 100% of the incoming damage, that is if you have done it right. This is kind of a trick fit, but not really. It’s a standard template you will see me use on various ship fits. Another thing you have to be aware of with this fit is heavy neuting (from a Small Energy Neutralizer II for example). You will be able to handle minimal energy neutralization as the battery gives you some defense against it, however if multiple targets are neuting you or you make a mistake and try to take on a Dragoon destroyer (which has 3 small energy neutralizers (neuts) which will drain all of your energy and ‘cap you out’. ‘Capped’ is the Eve term for running out of capacitor. Without capacitor juice you can’t move, you can’t fire energy based weapons; basically your a dead stick waiting to die. This is something that can be factored into a fight as well because some weapons don’t require capacitor to shoot. Autocannons, missiles, and rockets for example don’t need any capacitor to function so this is something you can think when gauging an opponent for a fight. This is actually a super fun fit to fly because you will surprise a lot of people with that janky perma-tank but take it from me, it werx and has provided me with many LOL as well as fun and skillful kills and isn’t that what gaming is all about, just having some good clean super frustrate your opponent till he breaks his keyboard and throws his mouse at his mom, fun. This fit can be modified neatly by changing the battery to a small capacitor booster using booster 400’s and then you can change all 3 capacitor control circuit rigs for something more sensible like damage or tank rigs, up to you. The final thing is the pills. Take those pills I prescribed above with this fit and it will highly optimize the Small Armor Repairer II operation; by approximately 25%, and that is a significant gain. Now you don’t absolutely have to have the pills. In which case buy the super dirt cheap Synth variants of the Exile and Agency repair pills for a close to 10% repair gain.

One thing I want to mention before I move on is that that kind of tanking is barely considered active armor tanking. You don’t have to put any thought into repairing your ship because it is happening automatically and your ship was crafted in a way that allows you to do it. However, this is far from actual active armor tanking. When your active armor tanking it takes skill and immaculate timing to operate a medium ancillary armor repper in conjunction with a T2 or officer/deadspace armor repairer or even the more advanced triple rep fit and that’s something I will go into in a future article.

As you become a better pilot at Eve Online and flying more and bigger ships, remember that as you face new situations to pay attention to whats going on. The Eve client has an in game feature that can help with this. You can add notes to individual players by right clicking or selecting that person from a chat window and locating the Notes section. Eve is fast paced so you probably won’t be doing a whole of this but as time goes on you will learn the characteristics of the different which will lead to better customization of fits and all around piloting.

The final thing I want to talk about involving Eve PVP is the notion of having won a fight before it has even started. You do this by having enough experience in Eve combat so that when you scan down that Tristan in the plex you have a mental ABC checklist of exactly what your going to do and how your going to react once you’ve entered the plex and are about to commence the fight. This mental preparation goes a long way and is actually used in any skillful enterprise. In fact you learned it in school, it’s just that’s you’ve forgotten. Additionally this will keep you calm in the heat of battle so you don’t get frustrated and punch wrong buttons or your monitor or something.

Please leave a message below and let me know what kind of stuff you want me to write about. You can also send me a message in game to ‘rljpdx’.

By rjohnson

Computer Nerd

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