Posts Tagged ‘ characters ’

Blog Banter 14: Year in Review

Welcome to the fourteenth installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to Check out other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

The first banter of 2010 comes to us from the EVE Blog Father, CrazyKinux himself, who asks the following: As we begin another year in New Eden, ask yourselves “What Now?” What will I attempt next? What haven’t I done so far in EVE? Was it out fear, funds, or knowledge? Have I always wanted to start my own corporation, but have never dared doing so? Is there a fledging mercenary waiting to come out of its shell? Or maybe an Industrialist? What steps and objectives will I set myself to accomplish in order to reach my ultimate goal for this year? EVE is what you make of it. So, what is it going to be for you?

Before I explore my future in Eve Online, let me start by reviewing the past year. (Warning: Very long read!)

I first began playing Eve Online eleven months ago on February 3, 2009. Because I created my Eve Online account on a whim after reading about the Band of Brothers vaporization, I had no idea of what Eve really was and never intended to play beyond the trial. So after creating my character in less than five minutes, I logged in for the first time and was quite surprised when I did not find any mages casting spells (the inspiration behind my character’s name and portrait). Of course I quickly recovered from my initial shock and was proudly flying around a mighty Omen within two weeks (according to screenshots I took back then, it was fit with a shield booster, hull repairer, armor plates, small and medium lasers, and mining equipment). Then I ran into a player who helped me fit my ship better and quickly recruited me into his corporation, Amarrian Empire.

I was beginning to like Eve. So after long deliberation, I subscribed for a month. Soon I was flying a big bad Harbinger and running level 3 missions. At this point, I realized (painfully) that my total Eve possessions no longer fit into my cargo hold, so I set up base in Ekid (in Amarr space). My corp was highly active, and we had corp ops nearly every day (usually missioning). The majority of the other corp members were as new as I was, so in a way we grew up in Eve together. After a month, I was in an Apocalypse running level 4 Amarr Navy missions out of Mani. Completely enthralled by Eve, I decided to subscribe for longer.

Not too long after I had started running level 4 missions, my corp joined StarFleet Federation, a CVA-allied alliance. After my CEO, Zealot Hill, gave me my first tour of nullsec (Providence), I was happily ratting instead of missioning. It was at this time that my lust for PvP slowly began to emerge. Eager for a taste of “real PvP”, I quickly learned to use intel and jump bridges and shortly thereafter was x-ing up for every Proviblock fleet I could, whether it involved defending a POS or repelling invading red fleets.

But after two months in Amarrian Empire, many of the corp members and I were becoming dissatisfied. Not only was the alliance quite demanding, but our CEO was also implementing some policies we did not agree with. As a result, a large portion of us quit Amarrian Empire and joined Transdimensional Trading Company, essentially the same corporation under a different CEO.

Although Transdim was comprised mostly of people from Amarrian Empire, it had a completely different atmosphere. It was much more relaxed than Amarrian Empire, with very few corp activities. This lack of activity and focus was harmful for us newer players. Like the isolated cells in Conway’s Game of Life, most of the people I had started out with eventually quit playing (currently only one person still plays; all he does is switch skills). The rest of us, spread out over three empires, went about our own activities. Some missioned, some popped Sleepers, some mined, some traded, some manufactured. I killed.

My first real PvP was a Punisher vs. Punisher + Merlin fight on April 9, 2009 (I killed the Punisher; the Merlin ran away). I began hunting solo in Amarr and Minmatar lowsec, slowly building up PvP support skills (which I had never trained earlier due to not needing them for PvE or large nullsec blobs) as well as PvP confidence. I fought a small pirate corp (Matari Insurrection), and soon was flying with them. But I did not become a pirate. I needed highsec access for making ISK, so I adopted the “yarrbear” lifestyle. At the end of May 2009, I also started this blog, Yarrbear Tales, with an announcement that I hoped to someday be an “Evebrity”.

Today, nine months after leaving Amarrian Empire, I am still in Transdim. I mission (and sometimes PvP while doing so) and rat in nullsec to gain ISK and security status. Then I solo PvP and fly alongside pirate corps to lose that ISK and security status. Sometimes I do have identity crises and considering joining a pirate corp, but I have never actually taken the plunge. I have accomplished a lot in nearly a year of playing Eve:

Broad skill training. I have 15.1 million skill points now. I can fly every T1 ships in Eve, use all weapon types, and fly T2 Amarr frigates and T2 Amarr and Minmatar recons. Although this wide diversity of skills training means that I am not very good at flying any particular race, I do have personal experience with flying various ships and races now (EFT is good, but it cannot replace experience).

PvP status. I am ranked at 15,400 on BattleClinic. This is not as high as I wanted, but overall is not too shabby for someone who has to spend over 70% of his time ratting up sec status.

Lots of ISKies. After nearly hitting rock bottom a month ago, I have 40 ships (3 battleships, 5 battlecruisers, 2 recons, 10 cruisers, 4 destroyers, 5 frigates, 1 assault frigate, 1 interceptor, 4 stealth bombers, 1 covert ops, and 4 industrials) and 3.22 billion ISK in total assets (try missioning nonstop for a month until you have to take a two week Eve break to detoxify, and you will have that much ISK).

Complete EFT collection. I have finally finished creating at least one EFT fit for every ship in the game (except for a few industrials and mining ships). Eve crashes if I try to import them all at once.

“Evebrity” status. Yarrbear Tales has had 56 posts, 427 comments, and 369 spam comments (huzzah, real people are winning over bots!). Despite being quite new (7 months), it averages 500 hits per day and many more syndicated views (views from RSS feeds, etc). The two most read blog posts have been Piloting Savviness (which was featured on Massively) and the Punisher Guide. Yarrbear Tales is also a member of the Eve Blog Pack and appears in the Capsuleer iPhone app.

TweetFleet. A couple months ago, there were very few Eve Tweeters; today the TweetFleet is a thriving community.

So that has been my first year in Eve. Frankly, I do not know what the future holds for me, as I have tried various Eve occupations and yarrbearing seems to be the best for me. Here are some possible roles in Eve and my “completion status”:

Blogger. Obviously, I am a blogger. However, I do not post consistently, so I will have to work on that.

CEO. I have never been a CEO and am not interested in taking all that responsibility. Maybe a director, but not a CEO.

Courier. Jumping around space your entire life is one of the most boring things you can do. Even ship spinning entertains me more.

Industrialist. Once upon a time I made a Tormenter for a new player training mission. The Tormenter (and blueprint) is still sitting in its manufacturing station undelivered. Someday™ I will go pick it up and get into manufacturing/R&D.

Logistics. I do want a carrier/jump freighter some day, but without a second account I cannot spare the training time for skilling an alt to fly one.

Mercenary. The idea of fighting for pay is fascinating, but station games and neutral remote repping disgust me.

Miner. As mentioned earlier, I have used mining lasers at one point in my career (I even made a mining battleship). But I would sooner stop playing Eve than mine.

Missioner. I already do more of this than I would like. Hopefully I can gain ISK via other methods so I do not have to do this too much.

Ninja Salvager. I am good at probing (battleship in under 30 seconds) and have tried ninja salvaging for a week. But it seems like a horrible waste of time. If I am going to probe missioners, I might as well do it in lowsec so I can actually kill them (I already do this). And if I just wanted the ISK, I could mission.

Nullsec dweller. Huge blobs and horrible lag are not my idea of fun. Until CCP fixes Dominion lag, I will never try this.

Pirate. Being blinky (security status below -5) brings too many detriments. Not only can you not access highsec, but you also have an inherent PvP disadvantage on gates and stations.

Podcaster. It seems like too much work, especially since I am already blogging. However, I suppose I could be a guest on a podcast someday.

PvPer. Already am one. Currently I am starting to specialize my skill training on Minmatar ships.

Ratter. Already am one.

Role Player. A little bit is great, but too much gets annoying.

Trader. I know that people become disgustingly rich by doing this, but it is just so boring – “Market PvP” is nothing like the real thing. However, I will attempt to devote some time to this over the next year so I can stop missioning as much.

Wormhole Explorer. I spent nearly all my time in wormholes when Apocrypha first came out and even lived in a wormhole POS for a bit. The lack of reliable contact with known space frustrates me.

So overall I have no set goals for the future, aside from trading more, dipping into industry, and flying more specialized, skill-intensive ships (Vagabond!). 2009 has been a good year; may 2010 be even better!

The Price of Immortality

I do not usually write fiction, but here is a short story that takes place shortly before I became a capsuleer.

It was dark out, but a nearby streetlight delineated her silhouette in muted hues. We had been talking for a while. She drew closer to me, gazing up at me. Her eyes shone softly. “I have to go soon,” I said. “Aww,” she said, biting her lip. She reached for my hand. The touch was electrifying.

“Sage, I, uh…”

She hesitated, and looked down for a moment.

“You…?” I inquired, prompting her to continue.

“I think you know…”

She was staring deep into my eyes again, her eyes pleading for understanding.

“Yes, I know.”

My fingers brushed her cheek, warm and soft. She blushed, perceptibly delighted by the touch. She pushed up to me.

“And?”, she half-whispered, her arms wrapped around me. I sighed as she embraced me. She wasn’t understanding what I felt. Her face drew nearer, expectant.

“I can’t…you know that. I’m sorry.”

Her face fell.


I slowly shook my head. It couldn’t be. I tried to look away from her eyes. They were begging for something I couldn’t give. My mind ran through all the possible ways it could work. But it wouldn’t. I knew that. I wanted to say yes. But no…

“Please? We could make it work…”

I sadly shook my head again and tried to pull away. She clung to me, unwilling to let go. I hugged her tightly, closing my eyes and breathing in the scent of her jasmine in her hair.

“I’m sorry…” I whispered.

After holding her for a minute, I gently pulled away. She didn’t resist this time. We stood there, eyes adverted. Eventually she broke the silence.

“So this is it then?”
“Yes…I’m so sorry…”

After a few painfully long moments, I turned and began to walk away. Pausing as the inky blackness of the night enveloped me, I glanced back briefly. She was still standing there.

“Goodbye Iris,” I said.
“Goodbye Sage,” she replied.

Her expressive eyes locked onto mine again a final time. But they were no longer bright and  bubbly. Now all I could see was sadness, and my heart ached at the transformation.

All along the walk back to my shuttle, a single question haunted me: was it worth sacrificing my humanity to become an immortal capsuleer?

New Signature

Made my first signature for myself:


Took me about an hour because I was trying out a new tool and couldn’t decide on what looked good. Let me know what you think.

EveHQ: One Tool for Everything

Manasi recently wrote on his blog of the wonders of EveHQ. Having used both EveHQ and the other Eve tools extensively, I’d argue that EveHQ is far from as good as advertised. Edit: Thanks everyone for the feedback! EveHQ is actually quite a useful tool with its own unique pros. Let’s compare EveHQ to other Eve tools.

Skill Training (EveHQ vs EveMon)

  • Pro: EveHQ has  a nice “Queue Summary”, which lists all the skill plans in one location and shows their training times, number of skills, etc. EveMon requires you to look at the plans individually.
  • Pro: EveHQ lets you set a primary skill plan (it gets bolded). Not really a huge factor, but could be useful for some who don’t remember what they were training.
  • Pro: EveMon import. Self-explanatory.
  • Pro: Queue merging. For those who made too many queues, this could be useful. Edit: EveMon has this as well. Thanks, AnrDaemon!
  • Con: Prerequisites and dependencies. While EveMon shows these as a colorful, easy to understand tree, EveHQ has two separate tabs for these. Plus it doesn’t tell you what you currently have a prerequisite trained to – only the fact that you don’t have it.
  • Con: No skill priority management. You can’t set something to high priority or low priority in EveHQ. In EveMon, you can resort queues by fastest skills, priority skills, learning skills, etc.
  • Con: EveMon suggests specific learning skills to speed up your plans. EveHQ doesn’t. Yes, you should train learning skills first. But how many Eve noobs know this? And how will you know whether it’s worth training Clarity 5 instead of 4? Edit: EveHQ has this as well. At the bottom of every queue there is a blue “You can learn this queue faster” button. Thanks, Cyberin!
  • Con: Item availability. EveMon lets you click “Show me what this skill enables” and shows you what level you need to train a skill to use T1 or T2 items. EveHQ doesn’t. Edit: EveHQ shows this under the Dependencies tab. Thanks, Vessper!
  • Con: Limited remapping. EveHQ does have an attribute optimizer. But EveMon has more options for remapping, including the ability to set remapping points along your skill plan.

Winner: EveMon. EveHQ’s skill training manager is well made. However, EveMon’s better features and more intuitive interface give you more control over your skill queues and allow you to understand skill trees easier. For casual skill queue-ers, EveHQ will suffice, although those who want the best skill planning software available will find EveMon more attractive.


Winner: EveHQ. I’m not a CEO, so I don’t know how good this is. However, no other tool has it, so it’s a +1 for EveHQ. Edit: How many level 4 missions do I need to run to get my standing to 8.0? Answered in just a couple of clicks. Also if you are CEO/Director you can ask the same question but also allow you to nail it down to how should do what mission from your corpmates to get your corp standing to 8.0. Thanks, Quivering Palm!

Character Creation

  • I’ve played around with this a bit, and it is pretty neat.

Winner: EveHQ. Once again, no other tool has this.

EveHQ Fitter (EveHQ vs EFT)

  • Pro: Import from EFT. Obviously, EFT doesn’t need this feature, but it’s good for EveHQ to have.
  • Pro: Import fits from your assets.
  • Pro: Auditing tool. Edit: You can easily see how ship and module stats are being modified by your skills, modules, stacking penalties, and remote/fleet effects. In EFT, you need to open module info windows for the original and the fitted versions. Thanks, Vessper and Quivering Palm!
  • Pro: Doomsday Calculator. Not really a killer feature. In EFT, just set damage type to EM/Thermal/Kinetic/Explosive (based on what race titan is doomsdaying), and subtract 52,000 (Doomsday Operation level 1) or 70,000 (Doomsday Operation level 5) from the EHP displayed. Unless you’re horrible at basic math, it’s not that hard.
  • Pro: Ammo analysis. Useful for those who are just starting and don’t know what different ammo does.
  • Pro: Meta level. EFT doesn’t show this; you have to look at the actual stats.
  • Pro: Mass export to Eve. EFT only allows you to export one fit at a time. EveHQ lets you export more than one (although exporting more than around 5 at a time will cause import errors in Eve).
  • Pro: Locking times. This is useful for a casual look at locking times. However, if you want to see things like how good a Sensor Booster would be, you should use a targeting calculator, as EveHQ doesn’t take into account a MWD or other modules (e.g. Shield Extenders).
  • Pro: Wormhole effects. Not sure how useful this is, as there are a bajillion different wormholes and it’s easier to just check a wormhole database when you do find a wormhole.
  • Pro: “Find module to fit”. Edit: You can right click an empty slot and select “find a module to fit”. It’s not magical, but may show up a module you could never think you could actually fit in there. Thanks, Quivering Palm!
  • Pro: BattleClinic fitting viewer. Excellent tool for those trying to figure out how to fit a new ship. This is better than EveMon’s Battleclinic tool, as it not only allows you to import fits, but also gives you basic stats on the fitting.
  • Pro: Up to date. Apparently EFT is still using Apocrypha 1.2 and EveHQ is using 1.3.1. I haven’t noticed the difference; unless I’m mistaken, the only module change has been some tweaks in how Strip Miner fitting is calculated.
  • Cargohold: EveHQ lets you see how much cargo your ship can hold, even taking into account things like Giant Secure Containers. Edit: Thanks, Quivering Palm!
  • Con: No boosters. EFT allows you to add boosters to the equation. Casual fitters don’t need this, but it’s useful for hardcore PVPers.
  • Con: No implant suggestions. If you’re slightly over powergrid or CPU, EFT lets you know what implants will let it fit (+1%, +3%, +5%). EveHQ doesn’t.
  • Con: No easy way to switch skill sets. For example, in EFT, you can just select “All level V”, while in EveHQ you must either click Pilot Manager>Set All skills to level 5>Ok and then Pilot Manager>Reset all to actual>Ok. This is tedious, especially if you’re trying to quickly see if your skills are just poor or if something really doesn’t fit. Edit: In EveHQ, you can also make and import a character via the Character Creation Tool. Thanks, Vessper!
  • Con: Difficult to access Online/Offline/Overheat settings. You have to right click>Module Status>Overheat. Try setting all the guns to overheat (hint: you have to do them one at a time). Then try setting them back. Now imagine doing that 10x more for other fits. In EFT, you can just Control+Click the module to overheat on/off and alt+click to online/offline. Edit: In EveHQ, you can also middle click to access these settings. Thanks, Vessper!
  • Con: Module info windows are huge. In EFT, you can open many side by side and compare stats (I regularly compare 5+ modules at once, so this is a problem). In EveHQ, one window takes up half your screen.
  • Con: Fitting windows are put in tabs. While this may be good for keeping things organized, it makes it difficult to compare two fits (EveHQ does have a “Compare Fits” option, but it only shows DPS and tank).
  • Con: All completed ship fits are sorted by name, not ship type. For even Eve veterans, that makes searching for certain ships difficult. (What was the name of the Caldari mining frigate?)
  • Con: Poor layout. EFT is clean and easy to understand. EveHQ is not. For example: the available CPU/powergrid/calibration bars are on the upper left, the Drone Bay bar is on the lower left and requires scrolling down, and the number of turret/launcher hardpoints and rig slots available is on the upper right. In EFT, all that info is in one box.

Note: Manasi mentioned some other “pros” of EveHQ, which are actually found in EFT:

  • Shows how exactly your skills affect the ship your flying in – That’s what the character import in EFT is for.
  • Targeting info range scan res sensor strength – EFT has all this as well.
  • Propulsion Spped/ align times etc – Once again, EFT has this. Hover your mouse over the Mobility section.
  • The great thing is when you hover over icons even MORE info is shown ( drone control range) (maximum warp distance) – Hover your mouse over the Drone bandwidth icon. Hover your mouse over the warp stats.
  • Cost of the ship based on areas you set up in the markets you set up in EVE Prism – EFT auto-grabs prices as well; you can set custom prices if you want (right click on a module, select properties, add the price).

Winner: EveHQ. EFT certainly has an easier to use interface, quicker access to often-used features, and better arrangement of information. But EveHQ has more hands-on features, like the audit tool and ammo analysis. For beginners at fitting, EveHQ can be a bit overwhelming, but hardcore fitting wizards will find it useful.

Item Browser (EveHQ vs EveMon)

  • This may be a surprising comparison, as EFT initially appears to be a more obvious choice for this. But EveMon has a nice Item Browser that works as well as EveHQ’s.
  • Pro: Ability to view blueprint specs. Edit: Thanks, Quivering Palm!

Winner: EveHQ. Despite nearly identical features, EveHQ’s integrated blueprint viewer puts it ahead of EveMon.

Map Tool (EveHQ vs Dotlan’s Jump Planner)

  • Pro: It works.
  • Con: It’s hard to use. You have to move between various tabs to set everything up. Dotlan’s is all on one page.
  • Con: It doesn’t show as much system info as Dotlan’s does (ship kills/day, jumps/day, average system population, etc.).

Winner: Dotlan’s Jump Planner. The last thing you want to do is jump your dreadnought into a busy system with neutrals/reds/pirates who’d love to get in on your killmail. Edit: This is an unfair criticism of the tools, as your cyno pilot, not your tools, ultimately is responsible for safe jumps. Thanks, Vessper!

Market Tool (EveHQ Prism vs EveMEEP)

  • Pro: Blueprint manager. EveHQ’s manager integrates with your assets, unlike EveMEEP’s, which shows all the blueprints in Eve.
  • Pro: Asset manager. The asset management allows you to filter your items as well as download prices from Eve-Central.
  • Pro: Transactions and journal can be exported as a .csv into your spreadsheet software. Edit: Thanks, Quivering Palm!
  • Con: No manufacturing schedule. EveMEEP shows you a calendar with current jobs (research, invention, manufacturing).
  • Con: Limited finance management. EveHQ lets you view transactions and journal (same as in-game). But EveMEEP lets you do that AND lets you see total profit between dates, what you spent/gained money on (Bounties/Market/Mission/Other), average ISK from items bought and sold, and the number of items bought and sold.
  • Con: No invention calculator. EveMEEP has this.

Winner: EveMEEP. EveMEEP has far more features than EveHQ. Of course, I’ve only tried EveHQ Prism and EveMEEP; there are many other good tools out there. Check the Market Resources wiki page for more info. For example, I’ve heard great things about EMMA (although you need to pay for it). Edit: EMMA is now free. Thanks, Dexter! Edit: EveHQ Prism is not a market tool, it’s more of an asset manager tool. Thanks, Quivering Palm!

POS Planner (EveHQ vs MyPOS)

  • Pro: Displays DPS and tank info for your POS.
  • Pro: Shows stats for each POS module and allows you to see stats for weapons based on different ammo.
  • Pro: Maintenance options for your POS. Edit: With just a few clicks you know how much fuel you need for each of your POSes, how much it will cost you, and how much volume it will require. Thanks, Quivering Palm!
  • Con: Slow, even on a relatively fast computer.
  • Con: Poor UI. For example, the POS fitting picture has a fixed size, so those with small screens will find that the module list at the bottom is crammed in on the screen.
  • Con: Steep learning curve. While MyPOS guides you through the setup process, EveHQ simply shows you a POS fitting screen. For those who have used POSes before, this is not an issue. For POS newbies, this can be quite challenging.

Winner: EveHQ. Though MyPOS is simpler and laid out better, EveHQ’s POS Planner offers far more info on your planned POS’s stats and the POSes you already have.


EveHQ provides a plethora of features, some of which appear in other tools, and some of which are entirely unique to EveHQ. Although plugins overall are characterized by poor interfaces, each is good enough to hold their own against more specialized tools. This one-tool-for-everything offering makes it a great tool for both casual users and skill training newbs, CEOs, character creators, EFT warriors, pilots, market junkies, and POS managers.

Piloting Savviness

PDF version here: Piloting Savviness

Although I’ve only been flying through lowsec wrecking mayhem (well, as much as my little Rifter will allow) for one week, I’ve been very surprised by the lack of pilot skill many people I’ve faced demonstrate. Against people with about my amount of skill points (4.5 mil), I’ve been doing quite well.

I started off in a PVP autocannon Punisher fit, as many guides have suggested. With it, I “won” 4 fight against Rifters, even those with more expensive T2 modules. I had two 1v1s with a Rifter, who managed to get away both times because I lost a point. I then got this kill, which I was quite happy about. Shortly afterwards, I fought another Rifter, who again got away. This was because, even with an afterburner, my Punisher could not keep within 8km (scrambler range) of Rifters fitted with an afterburner and web (plus a Rifter’s base speed alone is faster than a Punisher). So I switched to a Rifter.

I’ve been using the Rifter (fitted similarly to wensley’s suggestions in his excellent Rifter Guide) since then. And so far I’ve had quite a bit of success for a carebear who was so afraid of lowsec that I never ventured out of highsec for the first two months of my life.

Which makes me wonder sometimes: why am I doing so well against ships that theoretically should kill my Rifter? Part of it definitely is fitting. For example, this Stabber, which was shield and armor tanking. But another part is piloting. It’s true that you learn the best from experience. But pirating doesn’t have to purely be a school of hard knocks.

I think it’s definitely true when people say that winning a fight is more about pilot ability than skillpoints or ships. Tactial errors can and will get you killed. Of course, pilot ability can’t save you all the time, particularly from blobs. But it does play a huge part. So how do you get this piloting ability? How do you acquire Piloting Savviness level 5?

1. Know your ship. This is a given. You can practice on NPCs and corpmates.

  • Find the best orbit range that lets you get hits without being hit. Don’t just orbit at 500 or whatever Eve says your turret’s/launcher’s optimal is (for missiles, find your max range – EFT helps with this). Find your guns’ tracking speed, and turn on “Radial Velocity” in the overview. Make sure you can hit a target (e.g. turn off afterburner if necessary to lower your transversal).
  • Find the tightest orbit range at which you can maintain near-maximum ship speed (different from transversal – this is useful for fighting missile ships).
  • Find out whether you should orbit at all (this point may be a bit controversial among the Eve community). If your ship does more DPS or has a tougher tank but has poorer tracking (e.g. cruiser vs frigate), you may want to simply “keep at range” (e.g. in a Punisher vs Rifter fight, you may want to negate the Rifter’s tracking speed bonuses by simply approaching and keeping at range.)
  • Find out how long it takes you to close distances if you spiral in (and as all the guides say, do NOT simply click ‘Approach’ unless you can tank all the damage you are going to get).
  • Know what to do if your opponent has “tricks” like a neut or smartbomb (e.g. get out of smartbomb range if their turrets do less damage).
  • Get familiar with the damage types and optimal ranges of your ammo (e.g. I often use Fusion S instead of EMP S because of the damage type and slightly longer optimal).
  • Practice monitoring cap and keeping a point (e.g. if your opponent starts running, do not simply keep orbiting. If you can kill him, pursue it by clicking “approach”. If he does more DPS and is trying to kite you (make you follow so that your transversal goes down), refuse to fight on his terms.)
  • Know how to pulse your cap-draining modules (e.g. pulse your armor rep so that cap stays near the max cap recharge point of 34% – no more (don’t overconserve it – by using cap well, you will be able to “use” more cap in the long run. so turn on that armor rep/shield booster as soon as you start taking enough damage for one cycle to rep) and no less (in 1v1s against tough opponents, every bit of cap counts. don’t let it drain)).
  • Use your ship’s strengths/bonuses (e.g. if you are in a Rifter and fighting a Punisher, you may want to pulse your afterburner to take advantage of your tracking speed bonus).
  • Know how to respond to drones. Know which ones will hurt you and which ones won’t. Have a corp mate set drones on you (you can either ignore them and shoot the ‘mother ship’ or you can try to destroy them).
  • Know how to use drones. Know what damage types they do. Know their speed. Know their resistances. Set keyboard shortcuts for telling drones to attack/come back. Know how effective pulling in and putting out drones is (if you have a large drone bay and your opponent is having a hard time taking out your drones, you may just want to leave them out and just send another one out as necessary).
  • Know your align speed (EFT helps with this). Know how fast you warp. You should be able to guesstimate how many seconds it takes to arrive at different objects.

2. Know other ships (both targets and threats). Obviously, this is another huge factor in PVP. Know which ones to run from and which ones to fight. Don’t just go, “Oh hey, there’s a ship my size. Attack!”

  • Know the ships’ bonuses and make them worthless (e.g. when in a Punisher and facing a Rifter, don’t do your usual orbit-tightly-and-shoot technique. They have bonuses for tracking; you don’t. I’m not saying not to orbit at all, I’m saying to just orbit loosely enough that their bonus means nothing for them).
  • Know the other ships’ resistances (and change ammo as appropriate; also know which type of shield/armor tanking they do, and use ammo against that).
  • Know the other ships’ fits. Use EFT and Battleclinic. See which fits are rated well. Look at them and get an idea of what type of fits to expect (e.g. I’ve made at least one EFT fit for every ship of every race from frigates up to battlecruisers). This takes time, but it’s a one-time effort. And be pleasantly surprised if their fit is lacking.
  • Know the other ships’ speeds and optimal orbit distances (if they have short range guns, try orbiting farther away. For example, if you are in an interceptor and are fighting a Rifter, you should almost always try to stay farther than 10km away. That way they cannot web you, cannot turn off your MWD, cannot run out of disruptor range, and cannot hit you. Of course, if you’re in a Taranis or other blaster boat, you may have to come closer).
  • Know the other ships’ tracking speeds. Use the DPS charts in EFT to figure out what distance and speed you should orbit at.
  • Plan accordingly, and know your responses to actions. And before going into any fights, know what the opponent may try to do. Once again, be pleasantly surprised if their pilot skills are poor.

3. Know your surroundings. Make use of the system map. It’s not there just for probing.

  • Know its size and location of objects. Know where clusters of “juicy” belts and planets are.
  • Know where stations are, and know what agents are in the station that newbies may use.
  • Know how much gates and stations can protect you (if you’re blinky red, not at all; when I don’t have a GCC, I hang around stations so that I can dock to get out of danger).
  • Know your system’s occupants. Know who is usually there. You may want to set “permanent” residents red so that you are wary of them.
  • Know nearby systems. Know how many people are usually in them. Know why they are popular.
  • Make bookmarks. Don’t be lazy. Don’t wait until you have a GCC and a cloud of angry/opportunistic capsuleers chasing you to make a safe. Make a couple deep safes. Make enough so that you can hop from one to another every few minutes to thwart probers. Make bookmarks outside gates, belts, and stations. Eve isn’t simply a 2D game. If you have a battleship or other long-range ship, you can even hop from one bookmark to another and pummel your opponent while he vainly attempts to close in on you (just make sure not to get scrammed). Fight on your own terms.
  • Know how to use directional. Figure out a good scanning strategy. Set up an overview setting called “Scanning” that lists only ships.
  • Watch local. It will take up extra space, but keep it in a separate window from your other channels. THIS IS CRUCIAL (when I first started, I didn’t do this because I wanted to see more than just a mass of windows. That quickly changed when I got blobbed without realizing that the local count had shot up). Watch local for large gangs. Watch for GCCs that indicate recent battles.

4. Know your opponent. In smaller systems, know EVERY single pilot in local. You are never alone – local is your best friend.

  • Before warping in on anyone, try to find out as much as you can about them. See their bio, what type of person they are. Big-time “I keel you” pirates are often brash and overconfident and often have support. Look at their corporation history and alliances. Check their standings – see if they missioned a lot. If they have medals, check those out too (and salivating over medals that you wish you had doesn’t really hurt either). If some player (noob!) has certificates, check those out. For players older than Apocrypha (around March 2009), check their race. Players less than a year or two old are more likely to have trained largely toward ships of their starting race.
  • Set dangerous corps/militias red. This will help you easily see blobs.

5. Know your computer. Eve may be like a whole world in itself, but you do happen to live in another world.

  • Move your windows around. Those that you don’t use much, make clear and pin them down. Know exactly where on the screen things like targets, the overview, modules, chat, drone bay lists, fleet windows, etc. are. And make sure all pertinent information is clearly visible. Don’t try to save room by stacking windows; when PVPing, you often forget to check stats that are not immediately visible. The only windows I stack are overview and the fleet list (when you’re fighting, you almost never check your fleet list; all important people should be on your watch list).
  • Declutter your overview. Learn how the overview works. Customize them to your liking (Manasi offers some practical advice here). You should never have to search through a long list for your target. You might even end up shooting your teammate.
  • Configure graphics. Yes, textures and all are pretty to look at. Your wreck isn’t. Set settings as low as necessary (and as low as you can bear – I play on a laptop with a 13″ screen).
  • Configure your ship controls. Group weapons. Hide passive modules and empty slots. Move offensive modules (turrets/launchers, nosferatus, energy destabilizers, tracking disruptors, smartbombs, ecm, etc.) to the top row. Move defensive/nonoffensive modules (afterburner, armor repair, shield booster, etc.) to the middle row. Move resistance modules (damage control, active hardeners) to the bottom row – you rarely ever need to turn these on or off. Memorize their location and keep them in the same place every time, regardless of ship, to avoid confusion.
  • Use custom keyboard shortcuts. Make sure they’re intuitive and easy to reach. (e.g. I have ctrl+1, 2, 3, etc. for the top row, ctrl+q, w, e, etc. for middle row, and no shortcuts for the bottom row. Telling drones to attack is ctrl+9, and recalling drones is ctrl+0).

The lists above are just a starting point towards succeeding in Eve, toward acquiring Piloting Savviness level 1. You need to go further. As you train skills and gain experience, hone your techniques. Fly smart. Fly deadly.