Tuesday, 10 January 2012


This post is about using one or more characters to support your "main" character in PvP directly, thus I will neglect to consider market alts and the like. Instead, the categories of alts I will be considering are:

i) Boosting Alts
ii) Neutral Logistics Alts
iii) Scooping Alts
iv) Falcon Alts

I am aware that some people PvP on more than one character separately, but in my eyes those are also "mains" in that they are used to PvP separately and not together.

In no way do this post suggest that everyone trains an alt to assist them in PvP. Some pilots such as Wensley, Miura Bull truly do fly solo with no alts of any kind and do great things. Personally, I prefer to be able to engage any gangs I run into within reason and there is no doubt that using an alt will increase the amount of gangs you can engage, both in terms of ship types available as well as in sheer numbers.

i) Boosting Alts

In the interest of full disclosure, I have a single alt. He can fly 3 flavours of T3 (Loki, Legion and Tengu) and has practically maxed Leadership skills (Fleet Command III, can use all 4 types of T2 Links etc. etc.). At the moment he only has a Loki & Legion purchased, but if I ever fly active shield tanks I might purchase a Tengu for him. He flies along with my main most of the time. In theory I use him to scout before jumping my main in, but generally he's either trailing behind with probes & links if I need them or I'm using him to check out systems a few jumps away from my roaming path even as my main travels along the path, in order to maximise the number of systems I check.

What do they do: Boosting alts directly effect the characteristics of your main's ships, depending on which links are used:
  • Armored Warfare Links boost the armor tank of your main's ship, roughly by ~50%-100% depending on the field, assuming a max skilled boosting alt.
  • Information Warfare Links boost the sensor strength of your ship in order to make them harder to jam, whilst at the same time increasing the effectiveness of your own Ewar, both in terms of range as well as in effect.
  • Siege Warfare Links do to active shield tankers what Armored Warfare Links do to active armor tankers, but are generally more effective due to the reduced amount of mids used in an active shield tank so diminishing returns are not so evident.
  • Skirmish Warfare Links boost the speed and tackle range of your main's ship whilst at the same time reducing his signature radius, making him harder to hit.
Boosting Alts are a pretty controversial subject amongst PvPers. Some people think they are unacceptable, whereas others think they are perfectly valid to "even the odds". For me personally, it depends on the context.

Using them in a frigate 1v1 is pretty much a no-no, unless if I am pretty sure the other pilot has backup incoming or has his own boosting alt. Using them when fighting a gang "solo" is perfectly valid, although you should hear some of the complaints I get! Some people seem to think having a boosting alt is cheating when fighting 5 Battlecruisers with a single Drake and walking away with a kill or two, with the rest of them running for the hills.

Bottom line regarding boosting alts is that they only augment the abilities of a pilot and ship using them. A poor pilot in a boosted ship will still lose to a good pilot in an unboosted ship, with all other things considered equal.

ii) Neutral Logistics Alts

This is when you have an alt that undocks a Carrier or a Logistics ship to rep up your ship when you're doing to die otherwise. Thankfully these are pretty rare in low/null sec, since their effectiveness is much lower. Lame, very low risk tactic and has no place in PvP where if you mess up, you deserve to die.

iii) Scooping Alts

Similiar to Neutral Alts, these are regulated to Carriers and Orcas who scoop up the offending ship whenever it comes into danger, with the pilots then warping off in their pods. Even less risky and even less suited for PvP. Heretic Army in Amamake in particular tend to make extensive use of this tactic, either camping the high sec gate with multiple Orcas standing by or on top station with a Carrier "assisting" a frigate.

iv) Falcon Alts

Unlike Boosting Alts, these are much pretty despised. They don't augment the pilot's ability, but rather diminish it by sheer negligence. I've flown with a few people who have Falcon alts and they are all, without a doubt some of the worst pilots I have ever seen, used to using their Falcon alt to bail them out of tricky situations rather than simply out-thinking or out-flying the enemy. I recently fought a gang which had 2 Falcons. When I managed to kill one of them despite all the ECM, they raged in local about how lucky I was not to get jammed. And that's what ECM boils down to - luck based success.

Don't rely on luck, rely on your piloting skill.

So, what alts do you guys have if any?

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