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# EVE Evolved: The art of tanking - Armour tanking

Brendan Drain
01.05.09
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Back in 2005, I became obsessed with the art of tanking in EVE Online. Before writing the definitive tanking guide for EON issue 2 (for which the EVE community dubbed me "the tanking guy"), I spent a lot of time working out the mathematics behind the art. At a time when people preferred a trial and error approach to combat, I went as far as to create a spreadsheet to automate calculations on the strength of your tank. Over the years, more advanced tools like EFT (EVE Fitting Tool) have been released which have this functionality and more. In this short series of articles, I aim to cover tanking from start to finish in a concise and informative manner. In this first part, I begin with an introduction to tanking and follow up with a brief guide on how to select which type of tank to use and a complete overview of armour tanking.

What is tanking?:
Any MMO player will know the role of the "Tank" but the word's usage in EVE Online is a little different. Broadly speaking, a tank is whatever you use to keep yourself alive and it's something every ship can do. The MMO holy trinity of tank, healer and damage-dealer are combined into every ship in EVE. Because of this ability to self-heal, the word "tank" in EVE generally refers to the combination of both resisting damage and healing it. Fitting your ship then becomes a matter of balancing between tank and damage.

Read on to find out how to select what type of tank to use and learn all about armour tanking.

When is tanking used?:

While tanking is relevant to all aspects of EVE that involve combat, its usefulness in PvP is somewhat limited. Once fleets begin to get above a certain size, their concentrated fire will blast almost any ship apart in short order regardless of how strong its tank is. With this in mind, it becomes clear that setting up your tank effectively is most important in missions, complexes and deep space asteroid belts. Since NPCs tend to deal a lot less damage than players, a well-designed tank can handle them reliably.

Differences between shield and armour:
While on the surface shield and armour may both seem like simple hitpoint buffers, they work very differently. Shield recharges slowly over time like your capacitor but damage to armour must always be repaired manually. If your shield drops below 25% hitpoints, extra damage can leak through and hit your armour but damage cannot leak through your armour and hit your hull.