Saturday, January 12, 2013

Play the hand you have, not the one you want

Hello all! Sorry about the lack of activity lately, there has been quite a number of complications for me; stationside demands, technical difficulties, and illness have all kept me from updating this for some time.

(( As of today, January 12, 2013, I have been having problems with my ISP for 6 MONTHS. I am on service call no. 12, there is some issue with the node where I disconnect from the internet several dozen times a day for a few seconds. EVE has basically become unplayable, but they think they have finally tracked the issue down, so i am crossing my fingers that I will be pewing again soon. I would simply switch providers, if the only other option were  not infinitely worse, a DSL provider using phone cables installed in the 1930s. I have also finally finished my bachelor's, so it has been a busy - and tiring - few months. On to the blog! ))

Today, I am going to talk a bit about the most common question I am asked; "How do you find a solo fight?" In another post, I talked a little about using the map, and provided a link to an excellent video tutorial made by Kil2, but this post deals specifically with how you find a fight you can take, and expect to win, in a frigate or AF. Solo flight does not mean an endless string of 1v1s; it would be very dull if it was. While I will never turn down a fun 1v1, I no longer undock with the intent of finding them. I undock and look for a group of targets that I can possibly do something with; these fall into 2 types, which are groups I want to destroy every ship in - or as many as i can, anyway - and groups I want to kill a specific member or members of.

In the first case, I am dealing with a group of ships I want to engage, because I think I can, if I do my job right, kill most or all of them. This will, when I am in an AF, usually be a group of frigates, other AFs, or possibly destroyers. Groups I have engaged in this  manner in the past, off the top of my head, have included Firetail/Dramiel/ Succubus, Wolf/Jaguar/Jaguar, Coercer/Coercer/Omen/Dramiel, Ishkur/Stiletto/Jaguar, and so on. You can see a pattern in these sorts of groups; they do not have tanks with varied resistances I have to deal with, they do not have ECM or excessive amounts of drones, and they do tend to have ships that do lowish DPS or DPS i am very heavily tanked against. Now, I wont (normally) charge in, guns blazing, and just try to grind my way through all of them at once. Splitting them at a gate, for instance, or warping around, getting them to chase me, warping at random distances to celestials until one lands on top of me, will be my usual tactics. A lot of times, this blows up in my face, but sometimes, everything goes my way.

Finding a group that has resistances that dont require me to swap ammo is a plus, as is finding groups I can probably pick apart, or that I can fight at range. I would not WANT to fight, say, a Vengeance and a Wolf at the same time, as the damage I will wish to deal to one is virtually useless against the other, though if i could split them, and get the wolf first, by itself, I may try it. These tend to be extended running fights, and reloading or swapping ammo in warp, and getting in a few rep cycles and some precious cap regen, is very important. These tend to be my most memorable fights, and as I said, I will often lose; I will still take the fight if I believe I can destroy a couple of them before I go down. Groups of faction frigates or destroyers i can isolate are my favorite, as they have very weak tanks, and tend to just crumple. I WILL avoid anything I know is likely to have heavy TDs or ECM; I wouldnt want to fight against a Sentinel, Dramiel, and Hookbill, for instance, as the combination of TDs and fast targets would simply be way too much to overcome.

The second case is when I find a group I wish to kill one member of; this is usually a heavier or larger gang of ships, such as cruisers or battlecruisers, who have tacklers I want to kill. This is usually easier than the first case; warp to a gate or whatever at range, and tacklers will, almost always, burn out to try to get you. Why? Because that is their job! They are in a gang, they want to land tackles, and many do not understand that the Wolf theyre burning over there to point or scram is simply going to shred them long before their friends get anywhere near enough to open fire. Of course, this must be done carefully if the gang you are pulling a tackler from has snipers or recons, but it is still doable; ensure you are out of their gun range, but close enough that they cannot warp to save their friend(s). If they have ECM on field, it is best to warp to a celestial a ways away, and see if the tacklers will chase you. You want the tackler to be of a sort that you can just nuke; dont try this, in general, if they have Vengeances or Hawks as tackle. Stilettos, Dramiels, and the like are what you want to find. They are flimsy, they do not generally orbit beyond the range of a 2 TE wolf, or even a 1 TE wolf with barrage, and they tend to burn at you in a lovely straight line. Spam your dscanner if you fight at a celestial, and be ready to bounce the instant the tackle dies if you must; dont die because youre trying to loot a wreck. I score pretty often in null with this method, as tacklers are much more likely there to attempt to scram you on gates, because, of course, there are no gate guns.

Solo flight is not "PvP". As someone once told me, it is "PvP+P+P+P...+P". You have to find ways to take fights which, at first, may not seem to be in your favor, or otherwise, you will simply not find many fights. Also, as 1v1s seem to become less and less common, you want people to think they have (or actually have) some advantage, so they will attempt the fight. Nothing screams "Advantage" like 10 of your friends sitting on the gate with you.

Sadly for them, and lucky for us, those friends are meaningless if they cannot save that tackler from the wolf he burned 60k to tackle.

Hope to be posting kills (and maybe... some video?!?!) soon. However, for now, feel free to drop me a line in game if you need or wish to, and until next time... fly it like you stole it!



  1. o/ Ava, glad to see you posting again!

    What are your thoughts on going up against double damp, LML Hookbills/condors/hawks?


  2. Sorry about the delay in replying, my ISP was still having fun at my expense. The double damp (or even triple) frigs seem to be the rage today, but as they also tend to be extremely risk averse (why else would they fly that thing?) they tend to stay at extreme point range, so theyre usually easy enough to slip away from; ive done it several times in AB fitted Rifters. Alternatively, sit on the warpin of a plex and scram them the instant they land, and kill them. Set drones to aggressive in a ship like a comet or tristan also will chase some of them off or even kill them. You can even fit a sebo to a ship like an artillery wolf and just alpha them. Theyre annoying as hell, and I except CCP will realize, sooner or later, there is a small balance issue regarding TDs, frigates with a lot of mids, and everyone else, but theyre also very, very flimsy one trick ponies.