Basics

Flying The Punisher In EVE Online

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Running level one missions is part of the charm of being new to EVE Online. This is a guide on how to use the Punisher, an Amarr frigate that recently received an art makeover.

Being a newbie may seem like a hassle, but if you stick with EVE for long enough you will probably end up thinking of these early days with nostalgia. It may seem incredible, but a lot of us EVE veterans pine for the days when we got wide-eyed at the sight of a passing battleship. There is a special place in our hearts for our first mission running ships. In my case, it was the punisher.

Why Fly The Punisher?

The punisher is a tough little frigate that excels at armor tanking. It can handle pretty much all level one missions, and can even do some of the level two missions (though by then it is probably time to upgrade to a destroyer or cruiser).

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The chief virtue of the Punisher is tenacity.

The punisher has two bonuses. The first is an important 5% bonus to armor resistances, while the second is a nice but not critical bonus to capacitor cost for firing lasers. Armor resistance is particularly good because it means your armor repairer is effectively giving you extra hit points, while the laser capacitor bonus is handy for new players that do not yet have much trained in the way of engineering skills.

One of the neat things about the laser capacitor bonus is that because it is not a damage bonus many players do not feel bad using a different weapon system. This is something that Amarr pilots can stand to learn early: do not be afraid to swap out lasers for projectile turrets, especially if you think it will give you an advantage. This is especially handy for mission runners, for whom the damage type inflexibility of lasers can sometimes be a problem. It is also nice to not have to worry about your weapons sucking your capacitor that is better spent on repairing your armor.

All of the modules listed below should be easy for new players to use, but can and should be upgraded to better items as ISK and skill points permit.

High-Slots (4)

  • x3 Small Pulse Laser I (Standard S)
  • x1 Salvager I

Pulse lasers are the default for this ship because they take less energy and deal more damage than the longer-ranged beam lasers. Standard S is the laser ammunition crystal that uses the least capacitor, which is good if you come under heavy fire. It is also a good idea to carry some Multifrequency S for when you do not need to repair your ship and are just looking to deal as much damage as possible.

The salvager is a newbie's best friend. Just be wary of using it too much. It can actually be a pretty bad capacitor hog, especially if you are also running your armor repairer, lasers, and afterburner.

Souping Up: As mentioned above, switching to projectiles is a good idea. I recommend "200mm Autocannon I" turrets.

Mid-Slots (2)

  • x1 Afterburner I
  • x1 Cap Recharger

The afterburner is to make you go faster, cutting in half the time it takes to complete most missions while also reducing incoming damage by making you harder to hit. Pretty straightforward. One caveat: if you find yourself needing capacitor in a crunch, you may want to turn this off.

The cap recharger is a good idea for players that don't have a lot of skill points in engineering. Once you have Energy Management Systems trained up to level four it is probably a good idea to switch this out for a "Stasis Webifier I" so that you can kill NPCs faster.

Low-Slots (4)

  • x1 Small Armor Repairer I
  • x1 Damage Control I
  • x1 Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane I
  • x1 Capacitor Power Relay I

The armor repairer is your life raft. The damage control and "EANM" both increase your resistances, making your armor tougher and your repairer therefore more effective. If you know that you will be fighting an enemy that deals a particular damage type, it may be best to swap out your "EANM" for a particular damage resistance. For example, against Angel Cartel NPCs it is usually better to have an "Armor Explosive Hardener I" fit.

The capacitor power relay is a good idea for new player with capacitor issues. Once you feel confident that you can do without it, try swapping it for another "EANM".

Rigs (3)

  • x1 Small Anti-Explosive Pump I
  • x1 Small Anti-Thermic Pump I
  • x1 Small Anti-Kinetic Pump I

Though rigs are sometimes viewed as optional add-ons, in this day and age there is no excuse for not rigging a frigate. These three rigs will increase your armor resistances where you need it, though this will come at the cost of slowing you down. It's well worth it: the resist increases synergize well with the inherent resistance bonus on the punisher.

Strategy

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Missions are not always meant to be done in one try. Warp in and out as needed.

Level one missions are usually pretty straightforward. Standard operating procedure is to zoom around shooting things that get within range while trying your best not to fly into more than cloud of enemies at once. If there is a single extra-dangerous enemy, you should generally try to keep out of range. Alternatively, if the big enemy is a cruiser or battlecruiser (there is at least one mission that pits you against one of these) then orbiting at a very close range may reduce the damage that you take. Missiles will prove annoying in either case, as these ignore tracking and tend to have fairly long range.

If things get too tough, warp out of the mission. Nothing says you can't warp in and out to nickel and dime your enemies into a more manageable opposition.

As you kill ships and it is convenient, loot the wrecks for better gear. Alternatively, better versions of the modules listed above are often cheaper than tech I. It is generally important to use the tech I names with new players so that you understand what modules we are talking about, but if you get info on any given module above and click on the variations tab, you will usually find better versions for a reasonable price. The one exception is damage control modules, which are coveted for some very particular fittings and therefore unspeakably expensive.

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