Latest in Gaming

Image credit:

EVE Evolved: Five interesting combat tactics

Brendan Drain , @nyphur
Although EVE Online's combat isn't twitch-based, the outcome is often swayed by strong tactical and strategic influences. Whether you're running missions, battling Sleeper AI in a wormhole site or engaging other players in PvP, chances are you've pulled off a few fancy tactical maneuvers. Over the years, we learn these little tricks and teach them to each other. From mundane ways to avoid damage from NPCs to the cat and mouse games we play with other players, tactical maneuvers are a big part of EVE's gameplay. In this short article, I look at a few of the tips and tactics players use to gain an edge in combat.

Angular velocity:
If you've ever used a turret-based ship and found yourself missing enemies a lot, there are a few tricks you can do to even the score. Open the overview settings menu and under "column" select "Angular Velocity". This shows the transverse velocity of enemy ships relative to your own in radians per second, which is the same measurement your turret tracking score uses. By checking the show-info pane on your guns, you can look up the maximum tracking speed of your guns. Ships with an angular velocity greater than your turret's tracking speed will be practically impossible to hit so having this information on-hand means you can avoid picking targets that will just waste your time and ammo. Another useful trick to do is to match your course and speed as closely as you can with an enemy ship rather than just approaching it. This will decrease their angular velocity relative to your ship, allowing you to hit some fast ships you otherwise wouldn't be able to.

Skip past the cut for four more interesting tactics and tips. Do you have a particularly useful tip or a clever tactical maneuver you use a lot? Leave a comment and let us know what it is.

MWD back to gate:
Perhaps the first tactical maneuver any pilot learns when they get into PvP is microwarpdriving back to the stargate. When you jump into a star system, you might find there are enemies waiting for you. Since you spawn 10km or so away from the stargate and you need to be within 2.5km to jump, you might assume you're done for. If your ship has a microwarpdrive fitted, you can use it to gain a speed boost and attempt to re-approach the stargate. If you get within jump range of the stargate before being blown up, you could escape by the skin of your teeth. Remember not to activate any hostile modules, including smartbombs and ECM burst, as hostile actions will prevent you from jumping for 60 seconds. If all the enemy ships open fire, they'll be unable to follow you for the same reason and you can escape on the other side of the gate.

A good gate camp will shut down your microwarpdrive with a warp scrambler and reduce your top speed with stasis webs within a few seconds. Despite this, it's still your best option and often the microwarpdrive imparts enough speed before it's shut off that you can coast into jump range on inertia. If you try this, remember that after jumping you gain a 30 second session change timer, during which it's impossible to jump again. After jumping into a trap, wait for 10-20 seconds before attempting to approach the return stargate. Remember that after jumping into a system you are automatically cloaked for 30 seconds or until you move so there's no need to panic and act hastily.

Twinned remote repair ships:
It's common knowledge that energy transfer modules like "Large Energy Transfer Array II" can be made to send another ship more capacitor than they consume. With each level of the Energy Emissions Systems skill, the capacitor usage of transfers drops by 5% but the amount they send doesn't change. Adding "Egress Port Maximiser I" rigs to the ship will further decrease the activation capacitor cost by 15% per rig.

Even without the rigs, it's possible for two ships to transfer capacitor to each other and so generate excess capacitor out of thin air. This is particularly effective on pairs of Guardian or Basilisk logistics cruisers, both of which get a bonus to the power-grid and capacitor usage of energy transfers. It's also very effective on pairs of Dominixes and Scorpions, with four large Tech 2 energy transfers providing enough capacitor for each ship to nominally run two large remote armour repairers.

Read on to page 2, where I look at deploying drag-bubbles in nullsec and the phenomenon of bumping.