PvP is seriously cool in Eve.

PvP in Eve is amongst the most harsh of MMOs I know. When killed you lose your ship, which can be worth 100M, 500M, 2.0B or even more. You do not lose 'experience' or skill points, though. (Unless your clone is out-of-date).

PvP in Eve involves destroying opposing ships and structures. The damage caused in warfare is counted in the ISK value of what has been blown up -vs- what has been lost. A fitted ship can be very expensive, 100M ISK easily, and you cause economic damage upon the opposition by destroying ships. Most corps will help cover the replacement cost of ships lost during sanctioned PvP operations. However, the economic warfare rendered upon an opposition can crumble their ability to maintain a defence.

When you are involved in a kill as victim or winner, you receive a 'killmail'. It's an Eve mail listing what happened, who was involved, and what was destroyed. Players then post these killmails to their corporation or alliance killboards. They record all killmails. Thus, the economics of loss and gain are calculated and shown as a tally.

The scale of Eve PvP is incredible. You can have 100-a-side 'blobs' of ships attacking each other and structures. Often you'll see 10 or 15 ships in a gang, perhaps chasing one target who encroached your territory, or defending a gate. Alliances can construct player-owned structures which have huge offensive and defensive capability, but are fixed in place.

There is so much PvP in Eve.

Noobs and PvE players are protected to some degree by the police called Concord. They will actually materialise and kill an aggressor if you are in a secure system. Their guns will also attack at huge range aggressors who act near stargates in secure systems.

You can still get PvP'd though. I lost one of my first purchased Frigates when I jumped into an asteroid belt where two other noobs confused me for a threat and attacked. They didn't pod-kill me, though.

Do not feel safe in high-security space like 0.9.
You can still be suicide ganked by people who want your cargo really badly, at any cost. Read this page for more on that.

Low sec
As you move out of Empire (which is in the middle, basically) towards the outskits, you enter 'low security' space: 0.1 to 0.4. You are not guarded by Concord here. Be on your guard.

Then you enter 0.0 space which is totally unpatrolled: your PvP situational awareness needs to increase. Your risk of ganking is severe. Best to go there once you are in a Corp. Read my 0.0 section for more.

Gate camps
Read my travel section to learn how to escape from hostiles camping a star gate.

There are many roles in Eve PvP. It's surprising how varied it is, really. You do not just DPS a target in order to win the day. Other roles are crucial, such as:
  • covert ops (like a hunter, used to probe or locate enemies)
  • electronic warfare (which is like stunlocking, to weaken a target)
  • cyno generator (to create a cynosaural field for a gigantic capital ship to jump to)
  • interdictor (creating bubbles which prevent the target from warping away)
  • 'healer' for friendly armour or shields, called Logistics in Eve (you can remotely repair an ally's tank)
  • 'group buff' by using gang warfare links (you can 'buff' the speed, armour or information powers of your gang using warfare links)
  • tackler (you stop the target from escaping).
Many of these skills require intelligence or memory attributes instead of the typical will power and perception used for ship and gunnery skills. Put some consideration into these paths when you start your character, so you can lay out your attributes consistently with the goal.

The Tackler
A common job for new PvPers is to be the 'tackler'. You use warp disruptors and stasis webifiers, plus other electronic warfare gadgets, to stop the target from running away, so all your Corp mates can complete the kill.

Here is a superb training flick to help you out: Tackle Training Video (or here in low bandwidth).

The main goal of a tackler is to get to its target as fast as possible to scramble and/or web it. The warp scrambler stops the target from warping away from you. The Stasis Webifier slows their movement to 75% of normal.

Note you should be ok with getting your ship blown up a lot as a tackler. You will be in a Frigate, most likely, because it's fast.

Tacklers are dangerous to the target ship and they will do what they can to drop you ASAP. As a tackler you likely have to get in close. If you can web him he can probably web you right back and that pretty much ends most frigs once that happens (speed is your defense and once taken away there is not much left to protect you).

Most corps have a frig replacement policy for their tacklers (or all their younger players). Usually all the gear you need will be provided free of charge too.

Tacklers are the most under-estimated role in the game. Everybody wants to get to the big ships with big guns. But the truth of the matter is that without a tackler you might not even get a lock on some ships.

A few pointers...
  • Start by fitting your mid slots first. After all you are a tackler not a damage dealer. It is ok if you can't fit all the slots.. just focus on tackle (scram, disrupt, web)
  • Equip anything that a)extends life but does not use cap b)does not affect your sig radius negatively
  • You will not be targeted as often as you think unless you are a sole tackle (there should always be at least 2 tacklers and enough damage to kill the target before they both go down)
  • Set orbit to 2000m inside your optimal range the second you undock (Make sure if you fit a web that optimal is now 6000m). Orbit your target don't sit stationary.
  • Do not hesitate... Once primary target is called.. find it and attack it. The best tacklers I've got are the ones that go balls out!
  • Turn on your scrambler and disruptor while you are locking. They will activate the second you acquire lock.
  • Do not turn on the webifier until your disruptor/scramber is on them
  • Use an Afterburner, not a Microwarp Drive until you're quite experienced.
  • Create an overview that shows ONLY targets. Use ctrl+click in overview to acquire lock
  • If guarding a Stargate, bump target to un-align and keep from approaching gate again and then orbit

Suggested items to fit:
  • Mids: Warp Disruptor, Warp Scrambler, Stasis Webifier, Afterburner
  • Lows: Signature Amp (faster lock time) and Damage control unit (lots of life with little cap usage). Basic Inertia Stabilizers"(increases how fast you can turn) and "Basic Overdrive Injector System" (makes you go faster) are good choices too.
  • Highs: Anything you can fit.
Microwarp Drive?
Micro Warp Drives ("MWD") have 500% signature increase. You must turn it off once within tackling range or you'll get killed. Read the comments below for further discussion.
Much of the above information came from this forum post. Authoring credit goes to the posters therein.

The power of bookmarking
No, don't scoff. Bookmarks are like navigation upgrades. They let you survive, hide and find things. Read this superb guide from Agony Unleashed to learn more.


Anonymous said...

Thanks very much for your overview and introduction to the game. I discovered this game by chance while searching through posts of older 90s sci-fi games (lucky for me it would seem :) desperately searching for something more interesting in a game (WoW really just comes down to button mashing and grinding/questing for better gear/lvl). I am downloading the trial at this very moment and look forward to giving it a try!

Thanks again :)

Asestorian said...

Sorry for spamming your lovely guide, however, I would like to give some personal views here.

Specifically I am talking about MWDs, or Micro Warp Drives. The post you used suggested that a tackler not use them. However, I disagree.

Let me explain. As has been said, a tackler needs speed in order to get to their target as quickly as possible. An afterburner does increase speed, but an MWD will increase speed much further, often over 1,500m/s, even for a new player.

I suggest fitting one instead of an afterburner, using it to get close to the target then turning it off in order to save cap and reduce your signature radius again. If you find you need to escape, turn it back on and fly away from your target till you can warp.

Saved my butt as a tackler many times :)

Hammer said...

Thanks for all your great comments, Asestorian. I've fixed the one about MWD and will address the other points later today. I appreciate your help, thanks very much.

Anonymous said...

Cool , thanks for featuring the training video flick my corp has made by Sol "Kamikazi" Flare.

About the AB vs. MWD comment here, thats an age old beaten to death thrice over discussion, better suited for on a forum then in blog.

Generally there 2 schools of thought. Speed vs. Cap/Powergrid/Sig radius.

It is true that an MWD is better.
but the average Joe Noob
a) doesn't have the skill to fit one
b) If he does he most likely has no powergrid left to fit anything else
c) If he does he most likely doesnt have the cap to run it
d) if he does his sig radius lights up like a fireball with a 500% size increase and gets popped in 1 shot by a Cruiser/Battleship sized gun while he is on the approach to the target.

The Afterburner is just easier to get into for a Newbie, easier to fit and handle.
The MWD is more for the experienced, specialised Tackler pilots in ships like Interceptors.

symon said...

Hey just wanted to say great job with the guide, have been playing for about a year now and you really seem to have one of the more complete breakdowns I've read. Just a side note I was the "target" in the tackling video and it was great to see someone put it to use. Also you don't mention the power of the voice chat system when used in combination of fleet ops, need to be adult about it and make sure your FC can get all info and distibute it without having to talk over others though.

Mr said...

Ya nice guide, I've been playing a couple months but mostly as a high-sec mission runner. Have been slowly treading the waters in low-sec for ratting in my now-disposable Caracal ^_^
Kind of curious about getting into mining, I hear it's boring but the money is awesome, no idea yet.
Mega thanks for the ctrl+click in overview = target lock trick, I never knew...reckon I'm gonna be going over the keyboard shortcuts in Options with an attention to detail :P

BluOrange said...

'Lowsec' is usually used to mean 0.1 - 0.4 space, with '0.0' or 'nosec' being used for 0.0. The distinction is important because of things like gate guns, which have spelled the end for many an inexperienced pirate.

Agony Unleashed teaches how to use frigates for more than just tackling, my name is a link to the website. (We recommend that newbies fit afterburners, but our experienced pilots use a whole bunch of configs that we don't recommend in the BASIC class.)

Silvana Starbreeze said...

Turn on all mid-slots while you are locking. They will turn on the second you acquire lock


If the web activates before the scram (which can happen in this case) the target will be able to warp off quicker because -> lower max-speed == lower warp-entry speed - and if max-speed with web drops below current speed he goes to warp the instant you web him.

Hammer Judge said...

Thanks Silvana, fixed.

BluOrange said...

Thanks for the very nice link to the Agony Unleashed bookmarking guide! (Please fix the spelling of 'Unleashed'?)

I noticed a very minor thing, the 'snooty EVE player terminology' for 'healer' is 'logistics'. This is probably because the Logistics skill is required to fly the tech2 ships that have bonuses to remote repair modules.

cmenke said...

I have to disagree on disagreeing with the Afterburner tip. Many times, tacklers have instapopped when approaching their target because their transversal was 0 and their sig radius was way up due to the MWD. In such a sitation any turret BS can lock you up in 3 secs and a full volley of direct hits on you. It will rip you apart immediately.
Yes, experienced pilots have the knowledge and calmness to approach in a spiral, but we're talking about new players here.

The downside is of course that they will often not be able to catch the hostile Battleship that is on the edge of the bubble it warped into, simply because they can't close the distance fast enough. But for the newbie thats less frustrating than being blown up on the first occasion every time.