Friday, 30 September 2011

Moving the Right Way

"Move and show me what you can do
When you step into the circle and shake like we do
Move when you just can't take it
 And move if you just feel like breaking it"

-- (Move, Thousand Foot Klutch) 

Controlling the movement of your ship is critical in Eve for successful combat, from frigates to supercapitals. First of all however, I will state the most important lesson to be learnt:

If in combat, you rely on the orbit button, you are doing it WRONG!

Now that I've got that out of the way, here's the right way of doing it:

Manual piloting is the best way of flying your ship, ie. double clicking in space to where you want to go.

In addition, in most situations, orbiting is simply the wrong thing to do. I see this all the time - blaster boats that orbit @ 500m then complain about Blasters being "useless" since they can't track. If you want to maximize your outgoing DPS, use keep at range instead. If you want to minimise incoming DPS, use a tight orbit (against turrets, with missiles you want to have a wider orbit to achieve maximum speed or alternate between approaching and pulling away whilst staying in your optimal).

An excellent example of the wrong use of orbit is in an ex-Tusker's PvP video - Anxiir's Highly Addictive video. Fast forward to Anxiir's Cruor vs Hawk fight. Anxiir's Cruor has a 90% web fitted and dual neuts, meaning that the Hawk is moving very, very slowly (I seem to recall <50m/s). However, Anxiir is unable to track him and thus dies without actually landing a single shot, despite being in his optimal the entire fight! Why? Well, his Cruor has Conflagration loaded (close range T2 ammo so tracking penalty), which isn't helping, however he foolishly decides to orbit at 500m - this has the double effect of being hit harder with the Hawk's rockets than he should have (he wasn't able to get up to top speed) and of increasing the Hawk's transversal massively, even with him webbed down to a very low speed!

Now, let's look at some scenarios:

1) You're in a frigate who landed on top off an armor Battlecruiser and are then webbed. Using "Orbit @ 500m" will see you die - the medium guns on the enemy BC will be able to track you without a problem. However, by using manual piloting to maintain as tight an orbit as possible, the BC will still not be able to track you.

2) You're in an Interceptor and need to keep a Zealot (long) tackled until your Rapier can get webs on him. By using orbit, you leave yourself open to him "juking" you off his tail, or worse still - him coming to a complete stop and then blasting off in another direction with an overheated MWD which will result in him achieving fantastic shots against you. By manually piloting, you can stay on his tail whilst maximizing your transversal through keeping your course at least 15 degrees from his (with you being faster, this is possible). If he tries to pull away with a sudden manoveur, you're already ready to get back on his tail and should be able to survive.

3) You're in an Shield BC fighting 2 Armor BCs. Using orbit at 20km, they can easily spread out so that they are 15-20km apart and thus you will inevitably run into overheated web/scrambler range of the one you are not orbiting. This seems to happen frequently with people I fight and is so easy to work around.

These are just a few choice scenarios and I haven't even touched all the benefits of manual piloting rather than relying on orbiting, such as keeping point on an enemy whilst still staying aligned so you can warp off/burn off if another enemy lands.

Until next time, fly dangerous.