Fri. Sep 24th, 2021

Losing a ship is terrible. But there are terrible ways to lose ships. Jumping into low sec just to find you’ve jumped into a 20 man gate camp full of Rapiers and Hyenas and every other ship in Eve. Or you’re in your pod warping to the next gate and all the sudden your pod with all those new training implants blows up; smartbomber. Or you punch into the medium factional warfare complex to fight that Stabber and once you punch in, there’s 3 Curse’s sitting inside the plex waiting for you. Or your opponent has looked on zKillboard for your previous ship loss and you’re flying a ship with the exact same fit; now your opponent has valuable information about your ship and can start devising a way to try and take advantage of that.

That’s what I want to talk about in this article. zKillboard is a great resource for us Eve Online pilots but just like any great informational resource, it can be used for the power of evil to look up our ship fits and give our opponents the high ground. By knowing how your ship is fit your opponent will be able to make decisions on how to beat you, refit his ship to counter you, or simply run away. Additionally, by looking up your ship fit on zKillboard our opponent has taken away one of the most valuable assets in Eve combat, and that’s the element of surprise. Do not underestimate the power of this kind of research. I have won MANY fights by simply knowing what fit the other guy was using because I scraped the information from zKillboard. It’s second nature for me to research a pilot and the fits he/she likes to use and this goes hand in hand with that maxim I mentioned in the previous article, that of winning a fight before it’s even started.

Never use the same fit twice in a row. People will catch on quickly if you are using the same fit and the killboards will reflect that as well. You’ll go from having a steady stream of wins to a steady stream of losses because people are now anticipating your fit. I usually have two versions of most ships; a shield version and an armor version. On the ships where it doesn’t make sense to do that I will then usually build short and long-range versions of the ship in question. For this example, I’m going to go with a Merlin because it’s a great little ship and is versatile enough to build both armor and shield versions.

  • HIGH Slots
  • 3x Light Neutron Blaster II
  • MID Slots
  • Medium Shield Extender
  • 1mn Afterburner
  • Warp Scrambler
  • Stasis Webifier
  • LOW Slots
  • Micro Auxiliary Power Core I
  • Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
  • Damage Control Unit II
  • RIGS
  • Rig to Taste

That is a shield Merlin fit that I like to use in certain situations. With Void ammo, this fit unleashes hellish DPS on your opponent. Just over 200 DPS iirc. To do this your gonna want to keep your distance from him less than 3.5km, so set your orbit at somewhere between 500m and 1500m. This is a perfect example of face blasting. If your opponent is scram kiting you and keeping you at distances of between 4000m and 9000m your void ammo will never hit him and you can bet your bottom dollar that he’s doing this on purpose to nullify (or voidify, hehe) your damage. In this case, you’re going to want to have Null as your ammo of choice loaded in your Light Neutron Blasters as this will hit a little wider out to 10km or so. The rigs I tend to use on the shield version of the Merlin are usually 2 Small EM Shield Reinforcers and 1 Small Thermal Shield Reinforcer or 1 Small EM Shield Reinforcer and 2x Small Core Defense Field Extender. I’m leaving rigging out of the main fitting information above but I will put recommendations under the RIGS column; ship rigging is kind of a wild card and I use what I think is best for the situation at hand. Your not always going to guess right and it’s true that you can get further gun information about your opponent by looking at the guns on his ship. However, I no longer need to look at a ship’s guns to know what kinds of guns are in use because a lot of the time I’ll be able to figure out the gun-type by damage and distance from me, and this will come as second nature to anyone who is involved in Eve Online combat over time.

  • HIGH Slots
  • 3x Light Neutron Blaster II
  • MID Slots
  • 1mn Afterburner
  • Warp Scrambler
  • 2x Stasis Webifier
  • LOW Slots
  • Small Ancillary Armor Repairer
  • Damage Control Unit II
  • Magnetic Field Stabilizer
  • RIGS
  • 2x Nano Pump + Small Explosive Armor Reinforcer or 3x Nano Pump

That is the dual web armor version of the Merlin, which is a good to ship to have in your PVP arsenal because for me it complements the shield fit. This is a range control ship and the two stasis webifiers will slow down your opponent significantly. Whether your using void or null as ammo (or even antimatter for that matter) you can be assured of your DPS applying because your opponent will be moving dangerously (for him) slow. You can get close and faceblast your enemy into submission with void ammo or if he has close-range guns which are tracking you, then you can move out to scram kite rage (4000m-9000m) and keep your transversal up (keep orbiting) and use null ammo to pound him. I’ve suggested some rigs above but if you consider yourself an intermediate level combat pilot you can switch up the rigs, however in this instance I highly suggest the nano pumps to increase rep amount and possibly even a single small explosive armor reinforcer rig as better opponents will know to use explosive ammunition against this fit.

Scram Kiting. Let me touch on scram kiting. What this means is keeping your opponent in range of your warp scrambler while you apply damage. Particular effective against neutron blasters using void for ammo as void only hits out to 3.5km or so if you’re orbiting your opponent anywhere outside 3.5km, your opponent will never hit you. Is scram kiting useful if your opponent can hit out to your warp scramble range? Yes and no. You won’t get the benefits of say not being hit, but you do keep your opponent inside scram length so they can’t warp away. Scram kiting is beneficial against autocannons as well as their accuracy and damage are affected by distance. Is scram kiting brawling? Yes, scram kiting is pretty much brawling. The kiting was brought into the name I think for that aspect of not being able to be hit, but I’m too sure of Eve lore, so who knows.

Is the shield version better than the armor version? No, and vice versa. It’s all about having the right tool for the job. A short-range Rifter is going to lose to a kiting Garmur, but that same Garmur will lose to that same Rifter if it tries to punch into the factional warfare complex the Rifter is sitting in. I say this to make another point, just because that player you’re going against has years more experience than you, that alone is not going to give him the win. Anyone can be beaten at any time in this game and just like in real life you can make a critical mistake in Eve and lose that 500m Orthrus to a 20m Stabber if you’re not paying attention and paying too much attention to statistics and whatnot.

If you’re going to PVP in Eve online it’s very important to gain experience. You just have to go out there and keep doing it win or lose. If you want to get good at this game you’re going to need to put the time in. Unfortunately Eve Online is not a game for the casual gamer. It’s a game that takes a significant amount of time to learn and the players that stick it out usually become lifelong players, because that seems to be the nature of the game, or at least that’s how it’s evolving. I mean there’s an actual graveyard in Eve of actual players who have passed away which players, the game, or CCP wants to be remembered and this is a really cool thing. There are a lot of unique things like this in Eve Online and my guess is this is why people take the time to learn the game and stick with it.

Don’t make it easy for people to kill you. Don’t be predictable. Make it easier on yourself to kill people. Use all the resources available to you and then take advantage of them. Whether you want to be a solo pilot terrorizing Amamake or a miner in Rens ‘situational awareness’ I guess might be the best term I can come up with to keep you safe in Eve, as well as try to gain you the high ground in a fight. If someone starts giving you crap about how you ran away, give it right back to them and tell them you didn’t run, you escaped. They were just too incompetent to catch you.

By editor

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