Sunday, May 13, 2012

Retiring/Going Back to Tengu School

First off, I'd like to say how much I appreciate the traffic this blog has seen over the past two weeks. If the info I posted motivated one new player to experience lowsec PVP then I think it was a success. However, I've decided to switch my toons back to their original roles. Bill was supposed to be my PVE toon, rockin the Tengu. Thankfully, his training hasn't deviated too far from that original plan.

With that said, I'm shutting down this blog but I will continue posting at Gimme Back My Bullets. I'll try to include useful information from time to time and hopefully attract new players to the wonderful world of frig-pvp.

Thanks again for reading.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Choosing a Ship (Part 1)

Many people in this game place value on being able to fly a lot of different ships. This is often an important factor in big fleet type organizations. If you want to participate in a fleet, you need to be able to fly a ship the FC needs/wants in his/her fleet. As a solo-frig pilot fleet composition obviously isn't as big of a deal, therefore specializing in a single hull is encouraged. The more you know about your own ship, the more fights you'll win... The more relevant SP you bring to the grid, the more fights you will win... etc.

To start off, take a few T1 frigs from your own race and go to lowsec. Caldari grab your Merlins, Amarrians grab a handful of Punishers, Gallentians jump in an Incursus or two, and Minmatars mount up in your Rifters. Look at the ship's bonuses and fit to best exploit those bonuses. Go out... Fight shit... Learn... Ask your opponent questions (after the fight), most people are happy to help. Try short range setups and long range setups... Shield tanks and armor tanks... Active tank and buffer tank... Find what works best for you. Download Eve Fitting Tool or Python Fitting Assistant (Google them, shit I can't do it all for you...) and don't be afraid to experiment. There was a day when people laughed at others flying shield-fit Hurricanes... Also don't be afraid to lose. These ships are cheap and you don't learn dick by sitting in a station or at a safe-spot while epic kill opportunities warp on by.

After you've lost a stack of T1 frigs, ask yourself "do I like speed or is it cool being a slow turd in space?" "Do I like to get in someone's face or do I like the challenge of holding my opponent at range?" "Do I like the survivability of an active tank or the cap independence/simplicity of a buffer tank?"

If you want to be a solo-frig pilot look at getting into an interceptor or assault ship. Electronic attack ships are cool but most people won't fight you. Nobody likes being jammed/webbed/neuted/damped and kited. Covert Ops ships are not known for fielding immense amounts of firepower though stealth bombers have their place. Interceptors and assault ships are your best bet when you have nobody else to rely on.

Interceptors are light and fast while providing enough firepower to do some serious damage. On the other hand, assault ships are a little heavier and slower but have real kick-in-the-face potential as far as damage goes and they are a lot tankier than interceptors. I prefer assault ships due to their balance of damage and maneuverability while maintaining a nice tank that can withstand a lot of punishment. Interceptors just feel too fragile to me, though I know a lot of people who use them effectively.


Thursday, May 3, 2012

On The Grid (#1)


The Rifter is a very powerful combat frigate and can easily tackle the best frigates out there. It has gone through many radical design phases since its inauguration during the Minmatar Rebellion. The Rifter has a wide variety of offensive capabilities, making it an unpredictable and deadly adversary. 
~ Evelopedia

At the end of each week I'll review a recent fight, looking at what I did correctly and what I did wrong. It's only fitting that the first of these posts be about Bill's first 1v1 despite the fact that it was full of fail. Hey, that means there's more to learn from right?

I picked up another Rifter on the directional scanner (d-scan) while bouncing around in Heild. Based on local, which was mostly populated by my own corpies, I identified the pilot as a 2009 character. At first he seemed to be avoiding me, warping out as I landed. At one point he was within 20km of my ship before bugging out. When we finally engaged, I was surprised because I thought he was gonna bail again. We ended up fighting at a planet, which I prefer. There aren't any rats to fuck up the kill-mail.

It was a pretty straight forward fight but I came out in a pod.


Base Rifter Shield Resists
Speed Control: I was flying a shield tanked Rifter, which is a rare setup. Most people rock an active armor tank with a 200mm armor plate. So I approached my opponent at about 3/4 speed, mimicking an armor tanked Rifter. Why do this? I'm hoping he will load fusion ammo, the best ammo to use against an armor Rifter. However, fusion ammo hits my shield-tank's highest resist (Explosive).

Base Rifter Armor Resists

Know Your Range: Oh the bad... This is basic stuff here. Usually when I fight a Rifter I load phased-plasma because you never know what kind of tank they're using. In this case, I needed all the help I could get with my low skills so I took a chance and loaded fusion ammo. When the fight got underway I was pretty disappointed with the damage output of my little Rifter. My shields were dropping like a rock but his were taking little damage. Was he shield tanked too? No I was webbed... (A web means armor tank because armor tank modules use low slots, shield tank modules use mids. I'll talk about this in a post about fitting theory.). So why the fuck am I not hitting this dude? I started to over-think the situation... Did he have anti-explosive rigs fit? So I changed ammo to phased plasma... It takes ten second to change ammo... ten long seconds of not shooting. Needless to say, I exploded and didn't even get through the shields on his armor tanked Rifter. I don't advise changing ammo mid fight (Sometimes you can get away with it but it's best to stay wrong unless you can pull range to reload). What does this have to do with range? My older character has maxed out gun skills and thus much better range than Bill. This combined with the fact that I haven't flow a Rifter in forever, flying the Wolf nearly exclusively for the past 6 months, lead me to expect more damage at 6k than I should've and thus I second guessed my ammo choice. Patience would have definitely been a virtue here. 


Bill's Mom

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Overview and User Interface

Okay, so I know I said this post would be about spaceships but in the interest of giving you an informed and unbiased opinion, I've reached out to a few Rebels and asked for their perspective on the various weapon systems available. Deciding what weapon you want to use is the first step in identifying what ship you want to fly.

So in the mean time keep pluggin in those core skills and lets talk overview/UI...

The User Interface...
...or UI is how you interact with your surroundings. It is important to find a setup that works best for you and your system's capabilities. I play EVE on a 15" Mac Book Pro, which I find very limiting as far as screen space goes. I have to really think about what chat channels are necessary and which are luxuries, what tools are essential to my success and which ones are superfluous. Some things you should always have displayed are the Local Channel, D-Scan, Overview, and Item Selection Buttons. These windows should be opened and pinned no matter what... Now I'd like to direct you to one of the most informative blogs around, The Altruist, written by the former Director of Agony Unleashed's PVP University, Azual Skoll. His most recent post deals with setting up your UI and I highly recommend you take a look at. I especially like the idea of the "Gutter" and, even with my limited screen size, I've recently incorporated it into my UI settings. Azual's guide is a great place to start and then you can adjust the UI to suit your needs.

K.I.S.S.: Keep it Simple Stupid

The Overview...
... is one of the most important tools in the game. How you have it set will be determined on your mission/role in a fleet or whatever the fuck you are doing. There are an infinite number of wrong ways to set this damn thing, which could easily result in the death of your buddy at your own hands. Mr. Skoll mentioned in his UI post that he is working on an overview post as we speak... Definitely watch out for it! Until then, this is the guide I used... EVE UNI OVERVIEW GUIDE. Again, this guide will provide you with a great foundation for your overview, as well as give you an understanding of how the overview can be manipulated. You can then adjust it to suit your needs.

You, you, and you... Get in the fuckin pit and operate my modules!

Monday, April 30, 2012

New Beginnings

Welcome to Wild Bill's Rage Machine. This blog is pretty simple... It focuses on a new player's evolution in EVE... "But Bill there are a thousand blogs like this..." Yes you are correct about that but if you will shut the fuck up for a second, I will explain why mine is different... I am an experienced player, been playing since 2007 off and on but mostly on for the last 2+ years. Therefore, Bill's development as a lowsec pirate will have the luxury of hindsight and there are only hundreds of blog like this... The point of this blog will be to share that hindsight with new players who might not have access to good teachers in the game. Feel free to ask any questions or add your own knowledge via the comments. All comments will be posted without censorship...

Before I get into my first post, I want to make a little disclaimer... There's a million different ways to approach this game. What I am about to write does not constitute the only correct way to play EVE online. Bill's goal is to become a nasty -10 solo-frigate flying bastard. I plan to fly the Wolf and my skill training is based solely on that goal, with a few detours to improve my present game-play. For example, I took 8 or so hours to train Destroyers III for everyone's favorite festival of lights, HULKAGEDDON! Now that we got that out of the way, if you are interested in solo-frigate pew pew, stick around.

Bill is a little over two months old and armed with just under 4 million skill points (SPs). His training has been extremely focused because I am an SP/Hour whore. To maximize Bill's SP rate I trained for implants on day one. Cybernetics IV is the required skill to use +4 learning implants. There are +5s available but I am too damn cheap for that shit. To get into my +4 implants as fast as possible, I used one of the two remaps CCP graciously allotted me and boosted my attributes for Intelligence and Memory. These are the primary and secondary attributes used for training Cybernetics as well as other essential core skills.

Once Cybernetics IV was knocked out, I turned to various core skills. To identify what these are, look in the certificate planner and read through the core certificates. The core skills improve power-grid, capacitor, targeting, and navigation. In addition to these important skills, do not overlook Thermodynamics. Bill is currently grinding out Thermo V for another 6+ days.

Core Certs
Shield tanking and Armor tanking skills also use Int/Mem as primary and secondary skill. Since I want to fly the Wolf, armor tanking skills are important to me, however I have spent considerable time studying shield tanking skills as well. I did this so I could fly a shield Rifter in the mean time because I figure if I want to win 1v1 fights with my low SP I need to embrace the element of surprise. The shield skills will still be helpful when I jump into a Wolf because they will provide a little buffer before my opponent gets to my main armor tank.

I deviated from the int/mem skills briefly to get Bill into tech 2 guns. However, the required skills don't take a long time to train, even if you aren't mapped for them. I was tired of sitting in a station and I have a strict rule against flying ships without T2 weapons, suicide ships excluded. 

So far Bill has won 2 out of 3 1v1s... lost a ship and pod to insta-locking gate camps on two occasions, died a horrible death in a 1v2, and ganked an innocent miner (if there is such a thing). Standby for further updates... Yarr bitches...

[EDIT] I wanted to add something about Core Skills... I already know what ship I want to specialize in so I know what skills I need to work on. If you're new to the game, you probably have no idea what ship you want to fly as a solo-frig pilot and therefore, have no idea what skills to work on. Core Skills are what you want to start with... These skills will benefit whatever ship you choose. While you train those Core Skills you can read about the various ships and modules to choose from in the Evolopedia. In my next post, I will give my own opinions on the different T2 frigs available as well as a link to some great guides on the different ships and their roles.