As I talked about in my last post Angular Velocity is one of the major factors in hitting your targets. We will revisit angular velocity in the future but today I would like to talk about something even more important.
Turret tracking seems like a simple concept but there are a lot of subtleties to this game mechanic that can be overlooked by the casual player. I admit that untill a short time ago I overlooked many of the intricacies of EvE combat myself.
The first thing to remember about tracking is that a turret's resolution is the number that compares with the signature radius of the target. Ignoring speed, this is the reason a battleship has trouble hitting a frigate. Speaking in generalities this means that a larger gun is meant to shoot at a ship with a larger signature radius. It's a bit like moving up from a rifle to a bazooka, then to a cannon. With each iteration you get more power and range but you lose some finesse.
The next key point in tracking is tracking speed. Tracking speed is basically the ability of your gun to move within it's own axis. What this means for combat is that even if your large gun could hit a frigate that was not moving you just could not rotate it fast enough to hit one that is moving around you. Going back to the analogy; imagine trying to move a cannon compared to repositioning that rifle. When it comes to speed, larger turrets generally suffer and those intended for long range are slower than those intended for up close combat.
The last, and simplest key is also the most overlooked in my opinion. Too many pilots focus on optimal range without knowing what that means to their turret's effectiveness. When it comes to optimal range you want to fight inside of your optimal if at all possible. It is best to fight as close to the optimal range as you can. If you can avoid it you should never engage a target beyond you falloff range as you will never hit it; and the area between your optimal and falloff ranges is going to be less effective than within optimal. Basically as you extend beyond the optimal range of a turret the chance to hit gradually reduces and reaches zero just beyond the falloff range. This is one of those mathmatical curves so there is always a slim chance of a hit but I would not bet on this!