Friday, November 12, 2010

The Importance of Patience

One of the biggest problems I see new students make in the Uni is to rush into new ships.  I see players that want to get to cruisers as quick as possible, as as soon as they touch cruiser, they're already rushing for battleships.  Now, in PVE, this isn't necessarily a bad thing.  PVE typically requires much less in the way of skills than PVP, and newer people can pull off L3 or L4 missions without great skills.

PVP, however, can be an entirely different beast.

PVP is one place where you want to be able to get the best out of your ship, as you know your opponent will be doing the same.  You won't be fighting against rather stupid AI, but against players who want to win, and will do everything they can in order to win.  As an example, here are some stats from my standard Thorax (t1 cruiser- unrigged) fit.

My thorax is entirely gank oriented, with 640 dps (without implants or heat), 12.5k EHP, and a top speed of  1400 m/s.  The range is 2.3+6.3 with antimatter. It has a web and scram as well.

If I fit a thorax with 3s in most of the skills, a massive change occurs.  I have to downgrade several modules, and end up with a fit that only does 260 dps, 10k EHP, and a top speed of 1230 m/s.  The range is 1.6+4.3.

The extra skills make a HUGE difference.  Now, I don't expect people PVPing in a cruiser to have the same skills I do (Cruiser V and AWU V definately aren't must-haves), but this example should show how skills can drastically change the performance of a similiarly fit PVP ship.  Students who rush into the cruiser without those supporting skills will often have a poorly fitted, poorly performing cruiser, where their FC might have preferred them in a medium fit, medium performing frigate instead.  Additionally, losing the frigate is a much cheaper learning experience than losing the cruisers.

In a perfect world, I'd like to see the general PVP pilot  (ewar is a slightly different thing) spend a few months at least doing nothing but frigate PVP before trying cruisers, and a few months doing cruisers before ever stepping into a BS.  PVP is a lot more fun if you're really flying a ship well and learning how to use it, instead of just trying to rush to the next thing too fast. Frigates are very fun to fly, and people miss out by not spending enough time in them.

I would recommend that someone have 3/4s in common supports, a 4 in the ship skill, with a handful 5s in important supports that deal with their ship before really doing PVP in a cruiser regularly.  For BS, I recommend 4/5s in supports.  Frigs can be a lot of fun with almost no skills, but are also great fun with massive support skills. This works out to roughly a few months in-game before Cruiser PVP, and 6-8 months before BS PVP. Obviously, this would change depending on if you've trained non-pvp related skills, etc...

Disclaimer: I'm not saying that students have to wait till they have 2m, 5m, or 10m SP before PVPing.  People should always be willing to grab a frigate and go pew pew, even with <200k SP.  They just should rush to bigger ships without the support skills. The game is much more fun when you aren't losing 10m worth of cruiser fits that you really can't perform well in.


  1. I agree; I've only ever used cruisers twice for PvP in the Uni, and both times only in response to explicit instruction from the FC. Otherwise I have used a frigate or ocassionally destroyer every time, even when I've been technically able to fly everything up to BS. My reasoning for not doing so is as you laid out. I've still had a lot of fun and done some good work in frigates, and will continue to do so as I move further into their T2 counterparts (first roam in an Inty last night, and it netted me my first final blow \o/). Despite its advanced nature, I can still fly a T2 frigate better than I could fly a T1 cruiser or larger, and it can still work out cheaper and do jobs larger, more prestigious ships couldn't. I will be flying a Drake for PvP in my nullsec apprenticeship, but the Drake is perhaps a special exception to the norm in (nullsec) fleet PvP. Plus I can get it replaced at below cost; neither of these situations would be available to me as a Uni pilot.

  2. IMO whether it's more fun to lose cruisers time and again, or more fun to deal with running frigates for exceptionally long, all depends on the person. If someone's willing to cough up a plex to try and run about, it's an entirely different beast, I'd say, then trying to have to advise someone that doesn't have the ISK to burn to not blow some by potentially getting popped in PVP.

  3. Its a bit different, but I know I would rather have someone with few skill levels in a frigate, then a cruiser. FCs might look at the thorax (for example), expect a certain level of performance, and base their decisions upon that. However, an underskilled player won't have that level of performance.

    I imagine FCs in the Uni already have a lower expected level of performance for cruisers than FCs elsewhere, but we can still have people flying at well below the already lowered expectations. That can adversily effect the entire gang, especially if multiple players are doing it, and targets are chosen without an accurate idea of the gang's capabilities.

    I have personally seen players PVP in BS that are woefully underskilled to what I would expect for BS pvp.

  4. I've still never flown a cruiser, or even a destroyer, and I'm hovering around 5 million SP. t2 fleet frigs way way way fun to fly, and a good thing for me to make a speci-ality. Rake Yon would agree.

    We're both consistently near the top of the killboard, and only ever fly frigs. I think the ability to fly them well with low SP and there relative cost is a big draw for me.