Archive for the ‘ Guides ’ Category

Ventrilo Tweaks for Noobs

Note: This miniguide assumes that you already have a mic and have installed Ventrilo.

Make Everyone The Same Volume
Follow these directions: About: Vent Settings. You can make some small tweaks to the settings, but overall the suggested ones work fine. For especially quiet people, you can also right click on their name in the main window and go to Miscellaneous>Special Effects>Volume.

See Who Is Talking on Vent
In the Ventrilo window, go to Setup>Overlay. Here are the settings to change:

Enable Overlay Support. Select this. Otherwise nothing shows.

Auto Open. When selected, the overlay always shows. I keep the option checked because otherwise the overlay keeps popping on and off, which gets annoying.

Screen Location. Set to Manually Position. To adjust the position, close the settings window, right click in the Vent window, and go to View>Manually position overlay. I place mine in the upper left corner, right next to the system name.

Popup Timeout. This setting is affected by the “Auto Open” setting; I just leave it as is.

Status Page Options. Uncheck “Recent events” and “Commanding messages”. They just waste screen space.

Hopefully those two tweaks are useful for you. If there are any other tweaks you use, let me know and I will add them to here.

PVP Tips #2

Configure the ‘warp to’ distance. As soon as you appear on grid with a target, change the default warp range by right clicking on your ‘warp to’ button and entering a number (this can also be changed via right clicking in space). This helps increase your safety because when you need to get out quickly, most people will assume you warped to either 0 or 100.

Remove the targeting crosshairs. These vertical and horizontal lines clutter your view and make space look like a spreadsheet, so press ‘Esc’, then go to the ‘General Settings’ tab and uncheck “Show Targeting Crosshair.”

Keep your PVP overview clear. This one seems obvious, yet a lot of people have clutter mixed in with ships on their overview’s PVP tab. This tab should only display ships (but not friendlies), capsules, bombs, and mobile warp disruptors. This will help stop the annoying Eve tendency to scroll the overview list when new targets appear, in addition to decluttering your overview.


Add militia to the overview. This applies mainly to those who PVP in lowsec. It is difficult to quickly identify who belongs to the militia (and which militia they belong to) because they are often in different corps. By displaying militia in the overview, you can quickly see whether or not people on grid are in a militia fleet.

Use relevant “velocities” on your overview. There are several speed measurements you can display in Eve: velocity, transversal velocity, angular velocity, and radial velocity. Velocity is how fast a target moves. Transversal velocity is the tangential component of that velocity. Angular velocity is a target’s transversal velocity divided by their distance from you (ω = v/r), which determines whether or not your turrets can track a target. Radial velocity is the radial component of a target’s velocity (how quickly they are moving towards or away from you). On your overview, you should have velocity, angular velocity, and radial velocity.

Use the tactical overlay. If it is a 1v1, this is not mandatory, but during fast-moving fights, the tactical overlay is essential for quickly ascertaining the location of everyone on grid – especially useful for belt games where small, fast ships are hanging around at 100+ km.

Ninja Ratting

As you may already know, ratting in nullsec is one of the fastest ways to gain security status. However, for those not in a nullsec alliance, nullsec ratting can be quite challenging, as not only must they have enough DPS and tank to kill NPCs, but they must also be able to stay (relatively) safe while doing so.

Several ship classes can meet these criteria to greater or lesser degrees, but one greatly neglected type is the stealth bomber. Stealth bombers are cloaky T2 frigates that have battleship class firepower but less EHP (effective hit points) than rookie ships. The cloakiness and impressive firepower clearly are desirable traits, yet the paper thin hull poses quite a problem.

The most obvious way to attempt to solve this is to speed tank: simply orbit the NPC battleships at around 50 km, fire torpedoes at them, and use a microwarpdrive to stay away from the battleships’ smaller escorts. However, this method is very ineffective, as NPC cruisers hit MWDing bombers quite easily, and one mistake will put a stealth bomber in armor or hull (and repairing can be difficult while deep in nullsec).

So at first glance, this lack of tank appears to make stealth bombers unsuitable for ratting. But the stealth bomber has a special method of tanking that few others have: stealth tanking (yes, I coined the term). Stealth tanking is strategically using your cloak to prevent enemies from getting a chance to even target you (obviously this does not work against Sleepers, who can see through cloaks). This takes advantage of the fact that stealth bombers have no module/targeting reactivation delay after uncloaking, and can recloak after fifteen seconds. The concept is quite simple, but some quirks in NPC targeting behavior make this more complicated than it appears. Here is how to ninja rat.

Choosing an appropriate ship. Select a stealth bomber with damage bonuses against the NPCs that you plan on killing. For example, use a Purifier on Sansha rats and a Hound on Angel rats. Fit a target painter to increase DPS and a MWD to help you escape bubbles and increase your mobility.

Warping. Once you have reached a suitable nullsec system for ratting, set a custom warp distance of 10 km (do this by right clicking on your “warp to” button and changing the default from 0 to 10,000). Why 10 km? Warping to 0 can be dangerous, as everyone lands at that range. Warping to 100 km is another favorite warp range, and it places you too far away from the rats. And warping to anywhere between 20 and 70 km will usually land you amidst the asteroids, causing you to decloak and start bouncing off of asteroids. Warping to 10 km, on the other hand, places you just inside the asteroid belt’s circle while staying clear of the very center.

Landing in a belt. If you get decloaked upon warping in at 10 km, move away and recloak as soon as possible. If the belt has scrambling frigates (“loyal” frigates for Sansha), then move on to another belt. If you get scrambled, you will die nearly instantly. If you arrive at a belt and find that you are too far away, you can decloak, MWD closer, and recloak after 15 seconds before getting targeted (I will explain why in an upcoming blog post).

Attacking. Once you cloaked are in a belt with battleship rats, you can begin attacking. Uncloak, fire two volleys, and recloak right after the second volley is fired. Wait 15 seconds before repeating the process. You can cloak while your second volley is still en route to the target because your launcher and painter still finish their cycles after recloaking. However, you will need to get to within around 30 km of the rats, because if the launcher and painter finish their cycle before your torpedos hit, the torpedoes will simply vanish without inflicting any damage.

Ninja ratting is a fairly exacting art, as you cannot simply warp in, activate all your modules, and wait for the NPCs to die. But what benefits do stealth bombers have in comparison to other ships? Here are a few:

Safety. Stealth bombers, like their covert ops cousins, are among the best ships for getting through gatecamps. In addition, if you are jumped while ratting, it is quite easy to get to safety by cloaking and warping off. You can also scout out areas while cloaked, which other ships cannot do.
DPS.
Stealth bombers can kill most NPC battleships in 6 volleys. In addition, NPCs do not repair damage taken while you are cloaked.
Speed.
Being frigates, stealth bombers can outrun larger ships both in and out of warp.
Low cost. First, cheaply fit stealth bombers cost a mere 30 mil ISK, a price comparable to T1 cruisers. Second, they only use three torpedoes per volley; at 6 volleys per battleship and 100 ISK per torpedo, you only spend 1800 ISK per battleship on ammo. And third, repair costs for stealth bombers are extremely small, around 40,000-80,000 ISK to fully repair hull and armor damage.

In conclusion, if you are planning on ratting in hostile nullsec, consider using stealth bombers, as they are safe, powerful, fast, and cheap.

I hope this guide has been helpful; please leave any thoughts, suggestions, and questions in the comments below.

The Maller Guide

PDF Version.

The Maller is an Amarrian T1 cruiser with a 6/3/6 slot layout and a 10% bonus to Medium Energy Turret capacitor use and 5% bonus to all Armor resistances per level. Due to these bonuses and slot layout (and lack of drones), the Maller is essentially a cruiser-sized version of the Punisher. As a result, its fitting and fighting style is remarkably similar to that of the Punisher (you may want to read the Punisher Guide before continuing).

Fitting

The Maller’s key distinctions are its phenomenal endurance and slightly-larger-than-average capacitor and powergrid. Its endurance comes from its 6 low slots (compared to the Rupture, Omen, and Thorax’s 5 lows and the Caracal’s 5 mids) and its armor resistance bonus. The Maller’s 1,500 GJ capacitor is the largest of the cruisers; the Moa, which has the second-largest cruiser capacitor, only has 1,375 GJ. In addition to this large capacitor, the Maller also has the most powergrid: 900 MW as opposed to the Rupture’s 860 and Thorax’s 820. Although these distinctions may initially seem insignificant, they are crucial to fitting the Maller.

As with the Punisher, a Maller fitting starts with the low slots to take advantage of its bonuses and distinctions. The Maller is a very slow ship (especially with armor plates) and also has poor damage (no drones and no damage/rate of fire bonuses), so speed and weapons upgrades modules in the lows are a waste of slot space. Thus the low slots are best dedicated to armor modules, which capitalize on the 5% bonus to armor resistance per level.

The Maller’s large capacitor enables it to active tank quite effectively, and its large powergrid and resistance bonus also facilitate a fearsome buffer tank. The types of tank differ in that an active tank focuses on armor repaired per second, while a buffer tank focuses on increasing EHP (effective HP; the net amount of damage you can take before you pop). For both types of tanks, a Damage Control II is helpful, as the Maller has plentiful low slots and a Damage Control’s resistance bonuses do not suffer from stacking penalties. T2 equipment, while not mandatory, is immensely helpful, as the extra 5% here and there really boost its survivability. Armor plates are the only exception to using T2 modules, as meta 4 (Rolled Tungsten) plates add less mass to your ship than meta 5 (Steel II) plates (thus your maneuverability improves).

Choice of modules for the three mid slots is fairly restricted. For PVP, you must fit a warp disruptor/scrambler in one of the slots. A disruptor has longer range, but a scrambler works better as it turns off a target’s MWD. Due to its slow speed, the Maller is a poor tackler – even if you fit a warp disruptor (24km range), your opponent can easily escape if he is outside web range (11 km).

The other two mid slots can be fitted in several ways. For active tanks, one of these will usually be a cap booster and the other a stasis webifier or afterburner. For buffer tanks, most fit an afterburner and stasis webifier, but dual stasis webs can be stunningly effective. Not only do webs require less capacitor and leave more powergrid available for other modules on the ship, but they also allow you to successfully engage frigates (it also allows the use of T2 close range ammo). The drawback to this is that tackling is more difficult.

In the high slots, you can theoretically use energy turrets (lasers), hybrid turrets (blasters/railguns), or projectile turrets (autocannons/artillery). However, projectile turrets deal lackluster DPS, and the fact that the Maller rarely suffers from capacitor shortages negates projectile turrets’ largest advantage. Thus, unlike on the Punisher, projectiles are a poor choice. Choosing between hybrids and lasers is a slightly more difficult choice, as hybrids have more DPS and better tracking, but lasers ultimately are better. Not only do they have better range (essential for a ship that cannot easily dictate engagement range) and less capacitor use (but only for medium energy turrets – small energy turrets use twice as much cap as blasters), but lasers also use less CPU (the Maller has very little CPU).

Fitting five turrets in the turret hardpoints still leaves one free high slot. The only practical module to fit here (excluding a Salvager) is an energy neutralizer or nosferatu. The key difference between the two is that a neutralizer takes away both your cap and your target’s cap at a fairly even rate (you lose a bit less cap), while a nosferatu only drains your target’s cap if it is higher in percentage than yours (so if you have more cap than they do, it does absolutely nothing). A nosferatu also drains far less cap from the target (a Small Nosferatu II removes 9.6 cap; a Small Energy Neutralizer II drains 54 cap) and requires slightly more CPU (15 vs 10) and powergrid (10 vs 9).

For the Maller, neutralizers are a better choice. You have a larger capacitor, so nosferatus are not as effective against other cruisers (and useless against frigates). In addition, it helps disable active tanks, which is very useful since the Maller has low DPS (even less than some gank frigates). In addition, unlike with the Punisher, managing the neutralizer is quite easy.

Suggested Fittings

Here are some fittings for the Maller.

PVP – Active Armor, Pulse

PVP - Active Armor, Pulse

[Maller, PVP – Active Armor, Pulse]
Damage Control II
Medium Armor Repairer II
Medium Armor Repairer II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Adaptive Nano Plating II
Heat Sink II

J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
X5 Prototype I Engine Enervator
Medium Capacitor Booster II, Cap Booster 800

Focused Medium Pulse Laser II, Amarr Navy Multifrequency M
Focused Medium Pulse Laser II, Amarr Navy Multifrequency M
Focused Medium Pulse Laser II, Amarr Navy Multifrequency M
Focused Medium Pulse Laser II, Amarr Navy Multifrequency M
Focused Medium Pulse Laser II, Amarr Navy Multifrequency M
Small Energy Neutralizer II

Medium Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Medium Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Medium Auxiliary Nano Pump I

This dual-repped Maller can tank 370 DPS while dealing 221 DPS. The neutralizer can paralyze frigates, but is less effective against cruisers, particularly if they have a cap booster. The active tank suffers from an inability to tackle effectively, as a cap booster is required to keep the reps running. A heat sink is used due to the fact that stacking penalties make a third resistance module less effective than increased DPS.

PVP – Armor Buffer, Pulse

PVP - Armor Buffer, Pulse

[Maller, PVP – Armor Buffer, Pulse]
Damage Control II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Reactor Control Unit II

Warp Scrambler II
X5 Prototype I Engine Enervator
X5 Prototype I Engine Enervator

Medium Pulse Laser II, Conflagration S
Medium Pulse Laser II, Conflagration S
Medium Pulse Laser II, Conflagration S
Medium Pulse Laser II, Conflagration S
Medium Pulse Laser II, Conflagration S
Medium Energy Neutralizer II

Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I

This buffer tanked Maller has 85,395 EHP, as large as some battleships’ tanks. The dual webs and scrambler allow it to pin down targets so effectively that even Conflagration frequency crystals can be used (T2 crystals decrease tracking speed). Many frigates engage Mallers due to the fact that they lack a drone bay, but this fit is deadly for them. MWDs are turned off by the scrambler, and afterburners are not fast enough to counteract the dual webs. Once a target is tackled, there is virtually no escape. The Medium Neutralizer on this setup increases the deadliness of this fit, proving fatal for all frigates and cruisers without a cap booster. At 158 DPS, the damage this fit produces is not very substantial, yet the large buffer easily compensates for this.

PVP – Bait

PVP - Buffer

[Maller, PVP – Bait]
Damage Control II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
1600mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I

Warp Scrambler II
X5 Prototype I Engine Enervator
X5 Prototype I Engine Enervator

Medium Pulse Laser II, Conflagration S
Medium Pulse Laser II, Conflagration S
Medium Pulse Laser II, Conflagration S
Medium Pulse Laser II, Conflagration S
Medium Pulse Laser II, Conflagration S
Small Energy Neutralizer II

Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I
Medium Trimark Armor Pump I

This fit is a slight modification of the armor buffer fit presented earlier, replacing the reactor control with another Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane and downsizing the medium neutralizer to a small. These changes make this fit best used in a fleet as bait, as the small neutralizer is not powerful enough for solo work while the increased EHP (85,395 to 98,261) can be very helpful while the fleet is warping in. With bonuses from a fleet commander and a full set of Slaves, this fit can reach a stunning 160,761 EHP – more than the average T1 battleship. With that much EHP, even a gank-fitted battleship with 1000 DPS would take 2m 40s to kill a Maller with this fit (and do not forget that large guns and drones will have trouble tracking a cruiser).

Targets

The Maller can kill all T1 frigates, destroyers, and cruisers, but avoid range-fitted ships.

Tactics and Tips

It is difficult to make mistakes while flying the Maller. Simply overheat your mid slots when tackling, get close to the target, activate the turrets, pulse the neut, and overheat the turrets as required.

Keep the fight simple. There is no need for fancy tactics. Reduce the target’s options with your webs, scrams, and neuts, and make sure you stay in range. Many pilots have very little experience with fighting Mallers because few people fly it (the Arbitrator and Omen are considered to be better). As a result, they often underestimate the Maller – most enemies will blunder right into web range, allowing you to pounce on them.

Remove drones from the equation. Against drone-dependent ships like the Vexor and Arbitrator, web and kill dangerous drones before returning your attention to the target. For example, if a Vexor pilot deploys Hammerhead IIs, kill them before fighting the Vexor. Because most Vexors only have one flight of medium drones, this will force your opponent to use small drones. It is going to be a long fight (on average, around 5 minutes against cruisers), so reduce their DPS as much as possible.

Enjoy the fight. Think of the Maller as a Venus fly trap. Snare your opponents, then leisurely crush and digest them. Watch with satisfaction as your luckless victim slowly come to the realization that he is dying and escape is impossible.

Punisher Guide PDF

Blipmusic, who made the Piloting Savviness PDF, has also made a PDF of the Punisher Guide. Download it here: Punisher Guide PDF.

Having Fun in Eve Online

Logging into Eve last week, I began wondering what to do. Lowsec was too blobby for effective solo PvP, missions were dull, ninja salvaging was too much work…I found myself sitting in a station, listening to the annoying, omnipresent choirs at Amarrian stations and practicing the fine art of ship spinning. So after disabling “Load station background” in the settings (to stop myself from ship whirling and twirling), I set out to keep myself preoccupied in Eve.

The Ship Quiz

Eve@phase’s Ship Quiz was not only fun, but it was also productive. I got 85%. I learned that a Skiff is an exhumer (not a T1 mining barge), a Rhea is a Caldari jump freighter (never seen one before), and a Vargar is a Minmatar Marauder (I don’t recall seeing one – it certainly is not as popular as other marauders). Aside from the Vargar, the results seem to show that I am not too familiar with the industrial/carebear aspect of Eve.

Ooh, Pretty Laz0rz

With ship spinning no longer an option, I decided to run a level 4 mission in an Abaddon. Halfway through, I got bored, so I went back to the station, and put various frequency crystals in my guns. The pretty colors kept me sufficiently entertained for me to finish the mission.

Pretty Laz0rs_1

Pretty Laz0rs_2

Concordoken-ing Remote Reppers

With the mission done, I wandered over to a trade hub to fit out some new PvP ships to replace the ones I’d lost. Then I saw this in local (name changed):

RR_Guy > anyone need armor?

I grinned ecstatically and quickly fit an Executioner (40k ISK) with 1 Gatling Pulse Laser I (3K ISK) and the first frequency crystal I found in my hangar. Then I undocked.

00sage00 > RR_Guy, i need armor
RR_Guy > no you dont!
00sage00 > in 1 sec i will
RR_Guy > XP
RR_Guy > who are you aggroed to? lol
00sage00 > i’m stealing the can
00sage00 > D: no rep?

RR_Guy kindly started repping me. But I didn’t steal the can. I didn’t pewpew another player. I didn’t get any aggro. I shot Concord.

I instapopped. RR_Guy, guilty of assisting me in criminal acts, exploded seconds later.

RR_Guy > god damnit
00sage00 > rofl
RR_Guy > sage just caused his corp a few war decs

(A week later, I still don’t have a wardec :[ )

I redocked, and began preparation for yet another fiendishly fun Eve project:

The Attack of the Industrials

Various PvP industrial fits have been floating around on Battleclinic, such as this “Battle Bestower”. I wasn’t very impressed; the fits were quite weak. Was the Bestower the best PvP industrial out there? Or was there something better? I started to compare stats.

Top Four PvP Industrials (the Sigil was a close fifth)

Stats Mammoth Bestower Badger II Iteron Mark V
Powergrid 80 70 80 85
CPU 750 750 1000 850
Slots 2/5/4 2/4/4 2/6/3 2/5/5
Speed 110 125 115 110
Tank HP 1094 1173 548 1368
Capacitor 562.5 687.5 625.5 750
Sensor Str. 8 9 13 12

According to the chart, the Iteron Mark V had the best combat potential. With this newfound knowledge, I created a mindbogglingly amazing fit for such a formidable combat beast (Battleclinic):

[Iteron Mark V, Iteron Mark V: THE BEST PVP Industrial]
Small Armor Repairer II
Small Armor Repairer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II

1MN Afterburner II
Warp Scrambler II
Stasis Webifier II
Small Capacitor Booster II
Small Capacitor Booster II

Light Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Small Energy Neutralizer II

Medium Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Medium Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Medium Auxiliary Nano Pump I

Stats
6,980 EHP
70.6/61.8/61.8/47.2 resists
127 hp/s repaired, 153 hp/s repaired with heat
Cap stable with neut off, 8m 12s with neut on
45 DPS, 51 DPS with heat, 101 alpha
183 m/s

So what’s so amazing about this fit? Not only is this ship better than any other industrial, it’s also better than T1 frigates. This dual-repped ship has a tank stronger than that of any T1 frigate, and is cap stable with the cap boosters.

DPS is a bit low, but that’s ok. Active tanked frigates will have their cap neutralized, so they will slowly go down. And buffer tanked frigates will also die.

Here’s an example: a cookie cutter active tanked Rifter has 3,686 EHP against your blaster’s damage (5.75 thermal, 8.05 kinetic). Your neut will vaporize its cap in 20 seconds, probably before you even break through its shields. So it will take you 82 seconds at 45 DPS to pop him with Caldari Navy Antimatter. The Rifter, on the other hand, will not even be able to break your tank (109 inflicted – 127 repaired).

What about a fully gank fitted blaster Incursus with 211 DPS and 1,681 EHP? At 84 DPS (211 inflicted – 127 repaired), it’d still take it 83 seconds to kill you. You could kill it in 37 seconds. In fact, even if your gun somehow broke and you didn’t kill him after 37 seconds, he’d probably run out of ammo (who would’ve thought that killing an industrial took a couple thousand rounds of ammo?).

The Iteron also has a few things that frigates don’t have:
1) The “hauler” and “stealth” tags on Battleclinic.
2) Tons and tons of cargo space. You can have nearly infinite ammo, cap booster charges, and nanite repair paste in your spacious 7,500 m3 cargohold.
3) The element of surprise. Frigates don’t expect a industrial to fight back and pwn them.
4) The all-important LOL factor. This industrial rates 9.3 on the LOL factor, and a killmail earned with this fit would simply go off the charts.

I haven’t been able to use this ship yet as I don’t have Gallente Industrial V, but soon it will be ready. Carebears beware: the Can-Flipping Iteron of Death, Doom, and Destruction, is coming Soon™ to a belt near you.

Iteron of Death, Doom, and Destruction

Piloting Savviness PDF

Blipmusic has created a beautiful PDF of my Piloting Savviness guide. The typography and formatting are simply stunning. Download the PDF here: Piloting Savviness PDF.

Thanks very much blipmusic!