12 July 2013

This is the end

  So, after beating around the bush for a while now I've finally come to the sad conclusion that this is the end of my EvE career.  I've started liquidating assets and before you ask, I'm donating them to my friends who will be using them to further fund PvP in the name of interesting null-sec.

  EvE is basically the only MMO I've ever played, and I cannot say that leaving isn't bitter-sweet.  As much as we gripe and complain day-to-day, I find myself fondly looking back on even the most mundane tasks which I completed in the company of good friends.  I don't use the term friend here lightly either; I feel that I have formed strong relationships that I will be sorry to let go.  Obviously I will attempt to text and speak to these guys regularly but as we all know, time moves on.  I am very glad to have played this crazy game for so long and I will miss it.

  I've decided I need to move on as my wife is expecting and I already felt like I devoted too much energy to EvE.  I appreciate all of the fun, drama, bitching, and every little thing you guys have done to enrich the EvE experience :)

And don't fly safe, ever...

14 March 2013

Ship Modeling - Stolen Post :)

Sorry for the rip off from Poetic Stanziel but I wanted to play with the work done over at http://shipviewer.ericmartindale.com/ships and I thought I would start by using the embeded ship toy :)

08 March 2013

Good Fights, and Avoiding Them

I was going to write something about this whole issue where fitting warp core stabs is apparently cheating at EvE and ruining everyone's fun.  Mind you, these are pirates who are complaining about having their sweet juicy kills taken away from them in most cases.  But Mabrick has put it much better than I could have: http://mabricksmumblings.blogspot.com/2013/03/the-art-of-gf.html

05 March 2013

Tanking Styles: "Other"

Right of the bat I'm going to preface this whole post with the fact that a lot of people have a lot of different opinions on these alternate tanking methods.  I am by no means an expert as I prefer straight up tanking or even a little ganking in most of my day-to-day EvE combat.  These tanking methods basically boil down to avoiding damage through various means and I will go ahead and warn you that when they don't work you are left without a tank :o

Why would I use alternative tanking methods?
Well, that's a good question.  For some of these types of tanking it may be the only option your ship has (stealth bombers or interceptors for example) or you might just be crazy and looking for a fun time.  Other times it may be a specific counter to something your enemy is doing but this is advanced stuff best covered in another post.

Types of alternative tanking
To me there a re several types broken out like this:
  • Signature Radius Tanking (referred to sig tanking)*
  • Tracking Disrupting Tanking*
  • Speed Tanking*
  • Range/Locking Disruption or Active Electronic Warfare Tanking
  • Range Dictation Tanking (staying far away or getting really really close  8))
  • Hull Tanking... Please don't   >:(
  • OMG WTF WAS THAT?!? tanking.
     *These are similar and can very successfully work in concert (though not necessarily required).

Time For The Details

Signature Radius Tanking ,or as its more commonly referred to "sig tanking" is a tricky little thing to pull off sometimes.  Generally speaking, sig tanking relies on your ship being naturally "small" and hard to hit.  Ships get this "smallness" through their base attributes, their bonuses, your implants, and even your fleet boosting setup.  Most often sig tanking is used on assault ships or interceptors because they are not only small but some hulls get bonuses that help you perform this little trick (the Taranis for example gets a per level reduction in MWD signature penalty which makes you both fast and small). Without the interceptor MWD penalty, pretty much every sig tanking ship will have to use Afterburners since MWD's make your signature huge when turned on.

Sig tanking relies on this smallness of your ship to make it very hard for enemy guns to hit you (it also makes missiles do a lot less damage on impact).  It relies a bit on the luck of not running across a fleet of destroyers or something else that really threatens frigates.  But if you end up running across a bigger battle cruiser (for example) he will typically have a very tough time hurting you.  In most cases these ships are less than lethal alone so you will be playing scout or tackle.  However, with a bit of practice you can really use sig tanking to free up your tanking slots for damage mods.  That makes you a pretty dangerous little ship.
Practice needed: High
Skill Training needed: Low

Tracking Disrupting Tanking is another technique mostly suited for frigate hulls but on an extreme scale it can be used on faster cruisers or similar ships.  Tracking disruption tanking is an active and offensive form of tanking and is one of the few alternative or "meta" tanking methods I use regularly.  This form of tanking relies on the mid slot module Tracking Disruptor II primarily as well as a little bit of speed tanking which we will cover next.  If you mix in some signature radius tanking it will also boost the effectiveness of this form, so these three can actually be intertwined if you like.  Placing active tracking disruptors withTracking Speed Scripts installed causes your enemy to have significantly reduced tracking.  This means that if you are sufficiently fast you can "out run" the gun tracking of your target and basically avoid all damage.  

There is more than just targeting and engaging the Tracking Disruptor on your enemy involved here though.  It is important to keep your speed up to actually take advantage of your enemy's reduced tracking ability.  You will also need to make sure that you are using your speed to fly in circles around or lines parallel to your enemy.  This is a very rough description of keeping up your Transversal Velocity which is a whole 'nother topic that I could spend days on, so you might just want to go here for a primer: http://wiki.eveuniversity.org/Velocities#Transversal_Velocity

As side note on this form of tanking, the effects are greatly reduced as the size of the enemy fleet grows since you can only really apply your disruption module to one ship (maybe 2 if you have a pair fitted).  So pick and choose when to fight and when to run!
Practice needed: High
Skill Training needed: Medium (Tracking Disruption is a skill you will need to train)

Speed Tanking takes advantage of the speed of your ship to avoid incoming damage in several different ways.  In most cases when you hear someone refer to speed tanking they are talking about using extreme speed to out run the tracking of your enemy's guns or the speed of their drones or missiles.  That means to combining high speed with tracking disruption tanking can improve your survive-ability further.  To me speed tanking can also be used for a lot of other things and actually gives you the ability to use other types of meta tanking such as Range Tanking (because you can easily burn away from ships that are going to hurt you).  

Again this tanking method relies heavily on keeping up your Transversal Velocity to avoid incoming fire.  A nice bonus is that unlike tracking disruption tanking the effectiveness of speed tanking does not disappear when the enemy fleet grows.  With that said, it does get a bit harder as you must be careful never to fly straight at an enemy and each additional target makes it a bigger minefield to keep track of.  

As a side note speedy ships are fun :)
Practice needed: Low
Skill Training needed: Low

Range/Locking Disruption or Active Electronic Warfare Tanking.  Here I am using this label to group a variety of different actions which can sometimes be used as tanking or to help your normal tank by reducing or eliminating some incoming damage.  I think everyone is probably familiar with Electronic Counter Measures in Eve, especially if you've ever been "jammed" during a fight.  I won't belabor the ECM topic any more, but suffice it to say it's hard for someone to shoot you if they can't even lock you!

Another action that I feel falls in the same category is Sensor Dampening which I actually use fairly often.  There are two options for scripting the Remote Sensor Dampener Module: Scan Resolution Dampening which makes your target's locking speed slower and Targeting Range Dampening which reduces your target's lock range.  Each one can be useful but if you are in a small ship the Scan Resolution Dampening script can force your enemy into some maddeningly long lock times.  The targeting range script is not always very practical as some ships have more than enough targeting range to still kill you.  However stacking the effect by having several ships in your fleet apply the module can effectively eliminate the targeting range of many ships.  

In personal use I often fit the Scan Resolution Dampening script to my Stealth Bomber when I go out solo or in 2-3 man small groups looking for a juicy target.  This gives me more time to shoot the enemy before they lock me but also gives me a bigger window to decide if I can win or if I should get out of there before they can get me pointed  8)  Here is an example of a ship that should have "insta-popped" me but lost because he never locked me in time:http://edk.evemeatay.info/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=1987

Practice needed: Low
Skill Training needed: Low

Range Dictation Tanking.  I won't spend much time on this.  This basically boils down to being able to shoot further than your enemy and having the speed needed to keep that distance from them.  The new long range tier 3 (attack) battle cruisers very often use this.  In many setups they have no tank at all and just rely on having enough speed to keep distance and being able to shoot from very far away.

I also consider the opposite in this category.  Many people will call this "getting under their guns" but because of maths that I don't feel like explaining guns have to go faster to track you as you get closer and closer to the ship.  This has the effect of making you appear faster to the guns.  At some point you can get so close that the guns can't keep up (assuming are in a relatively fast ship of course).  This works for long range guns, please don't try it when your enemy is using blasters for cryin' out loud.

Practice needed: Medium
Skill Training needed: Low

Hull Tanking.  For "for the lullz" fleets and maybe some very special applications only.  Please don't hull tank, it's embarrassing when you die.  With that said I once heard that in the original dream that was EvE, Gallente ships were actually going to be hull tanking ships.  That would explain a lot about their weird setups sometimes.  But I've gone off topic, don't do it  ???

Practice needed: High
Skill Training needed: Ludicrous

OMG WTF WAS THAT?!? means (to me at least) any form of surprising your enemy with overwhelming firepower, stupidity, numbers, or all of the above.  

Instead of going on about this I'll just link some videos that I think convey the idea: 
Haulers Killing a Vagabond: http://youtu.be/bTn9EASiPMY
Blops: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UF0ShAhEHw8
Fun:    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ndWUlntJ58U
etc, etc.  You get the idea.

01 March 2013

Flying Fast Tackle

If you have one and haven't already be sure your Sensor Booster is on.  If you are on a gate camp or waiting on someone to jump into you;  Stop your movement and pre-ignite your MWD or AB if you have the capacitor for it.  If not be ready to switch it on.  The reason you will stop your movement in this situation is so that you can accelerate from 0 instead of potentially being on the wrong side or moving the wrong way when the target appears.

Fighting in a Fast Tackle Ship
  • Once you have a target, move towards the target with your AB or MWD on.
  • Lock the target as soon as you are able, and "point" the target as soon as you are close enough.  "Point" is a commonly used term meaning two things. Most often it means you have a warp disruptor engaged on the target (Disruptors have 1 point of warp disruption strength, hence "Point").  It can also be used more loosely for any tackle on the target including Warp scramblers (which have 2 points of disruption strength and may be called out as "Scram" by a fleet member).
  • Only when you actually have the target "pointed": Calmly speak up on comms to inform your FC that you have the target engaged and pointed.  Keep it quick and informational IE: "Meatay has dickfaceenemy pointed" or "point on primary."
  • As you get close to the target (nearing 10k but not necessarily exactly 10k) set your orbit on the target to something outside 6KM but WITHIN your point range of course.  Being outside 6km protects you from smartbombs which are not good for you!
  • Turn off MWDs at this point, pulse it as needed to keep proper distance to target.  AB's can keep running since AB's don't make your ship easier to hit and usually take less capacitor.
  • If you have any fitted turn on stasis webifiers, tracking disruptors, or any other useful modules.  Keep an eye on your capacitor, don't let that point drop!

The Finer Points
Proper Overview Setup
You need to have your overview setup properly.  At the very least please don't have your fleetmates on your overview so you don't accidentally shoot them (facepalm).  If you aren't comfortable setting up your overview or just want to steal my color scheme you can download my overview setup here: http://evemeatay.info/fittings/Meatay's%20Overview%20Pack.zip  After downloading you should unzip the file to your EvE -> Overview folder in your "My Documents" (Windows).  If that folder doesn't exist yet create it ("Overview") and then unzip.  Next, in EvE you will need to be in space; then you can click the little 3 bar thing above your overview and near the bottom will be an option to "Import Overview Settings."  Choose that, pick my file, and voila :)

Flying (Any) Ships Directly Toward an Enemy
Don't do it!  With that said sometimes to get a tackle you will have to do so but if at all possible please attempt to "swerve" towards your target.  By this I mean you should fly in directions that get you closer to your target while keeping up your lateral speed to him (transversal).  This makes it harder for his guns to track you and it makes you live longer.  This is true in pretty much anything smaller than a Battleship.

19 February 2013

Retribution 1.1 Lands

  Retribution 1.1 landed and there are many things to discuss in it.  The one that I found surprisingly fun is this:
Added an Autopilot Route Visualizer into the space scene. This option is turned on by default but can be turned off in the Autopilot Route settings utility menu
  This is quite a small change but it adds a lot to the environment and the immersion of EvE for some reason.  We already knew the stars were more than just pretty space ornaments when CCP moved the stargates around to point them the right direction, but it's very neat that they are able to map a route out through the stars in the sky.

Patchnotes: http://community.eveonline.com/updates/patchnotes.asp

08 February 2013

An EvE Documentary?

  I just read on Massively that some Swedish players are attempting to make a documentary on EvE Online. You can fine their Fundraising Site here.  It sounds interesting and I love to see activity from the EvE community.  Lately it had started to appear that the community was getting a lot quieter with some of the heaviest contributors falling silent over the last few years.  I wish these guys luck and I plan to chip them a few dollars at least.

21 January 2013

Blops gets some love

Not much to add here but I'm just excited because I always want to do more "BLOPS" but often run into the range and other limitations which hamper my fun.

Read more about the changes:

17 January 2013

Modular POS (or at least a little POS love)

  First off, go read and support CSM Two Step and his POS initiative if you agree that POS's are worth a little bit of CCP's time and effort.

  For my money the POS system in EvE has asked players to make a lot of compromises and put up with a lot of hardships in order to use them.  These days less people are forced to "live out of" POS's than they were when they were first introduced; mostly thanks to the proliferation of null-sec stations.  However there are still a fair amount of WH dwellers and others who put up with the shortfalls of the POS system daily.

  For example, a big problem I have personally is the inability to share hangers at a pos with my alliance mates.  I have at least one POS that is used by my alliance but I must keep an alt handy in order to assist them with the hangers.  The ship array can be set to alliance use, so it seems logical that there could be an alliance hanger module as well.  Additionally, I find the permissioning system to be archaic.  Advanced or case by case permissions should be available.  As it stands EvE players have been "making do" with a POS system that was already bad when it was released.  Many of us have been content with the fact that CCP would get around to it; mainly because it may have been terrible but it did at least work.  If CCP is going to abandon the promise of iterating on POS design, I believe it will make a lot of people unhappy.  It's certainly going to make me sad.

  I do understand that POS's affect a much smaller number of players than many things CCP can focus their energy on.  However, I feel that they may be underestimating the market at least a bit here.  Perhaps if POS's were easier or more user friendly they would become more useful to more players.  As it stands many see it as one of those "black magic" areas of EvE that they never want to venture into.  I don't think CCP must redesign the whole system but I do think a lot of patient players deserve a little bit of love in fixing some of the biggest drawbacks at the very least.

  Again, go add your comments to Two Step's post if you like.

11 January 2013

Losing Time

  So, I keep losing track of time and forgetting to post :(

Nothing has really happened anyway, so it's not like I've missed posting anything exciting.

I'm a little underwhelmed by the Battlecruiser changes and I know CCP is always trying to nerf the drake but I have to say I'm a bit bummed at the "playing field leveling" that this appears to be.  I'm late talking about this so you can read more about it at: http://themittani.com/features/review-battlecruiser-tiericidehttp://evenews24.com/2013/01/09/dev-post-retribution-point-release-combat-battlecruisers/, and http://www.ninveah.com/2013/01/combat-battlecruisers.html.