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Combat Basics Guide

Updated Sun, May 25, 2008 by Antithysis

By Chris "Antithysis" Weidler

Anyone who takes a month to train the skills can fly a battleship, but without combat experience, you will about as effective as someone who tries to stop a semi-truck with a roll of gauze (no offence Macgyver). Let’s take a look at how to fit a ship for any given task, and what types of ships/setups work better in different situations.

First on the list, one of the first ships I flew; The Thorax. This ship is designed as an all-out blaster boat, meaning that it is meant for point blank combat. As such, the way it is designed means that your capacitor runs dry rather quickly. This is ok, as the amount of damage you can put out with 4 or 5 blasters is enough to turn most enemies into a glass bead long before your capacitor empties, provided you get in close and don’t let the target get out of range. Here are the most basic skills you will need to fly this ship:

  • Gallente Frigate 4
  • Gallente Cruiser 3
  • Spaceship Command 3
  • Gunnery 4
  • Small Hybrid Turret 3
  • Medium Hybrid Turret 1
  • Mechanic 3
  • Repair Systems 2
  • Navigation 2
  • Afterburner 1

Now, don’t think this is me saying that you can take on experienced players with this list of skills, because you will be in for a rude awakening. For fighting rats, you shouldn’t have too much trouble with this fitting, provided you stay in Level 1 and 2 missions. Now for a far more effective setup, and only a bit more training time (1-2 weeks), I recommend adding these skills:

  • Medium Hybrid Turret 4 (+5% Damage per level)
  • Repair Systems 4 (Allows you to use a Medium Armor Repair II)
  • Hull Upgrades 4 (Allows you to use Energized resistances and armor hardeners)
  • Energy Grid Upgrades 3 (Gives you more capacitor)
  • Navigation 4 (Improves the speed of your ship by 2% per level)
  • Afterburner 4 (Increases the duration of afterburner modules)
  • High Speed Maneuvering 2 (Allows you to use Microwarp Drives)

The use of the Microwarp drive is, in my opinion, essential to the effectiveness of a Thorax. In essence, a MWD is like an afterburner that is on steroids. It boosts your speed by 500% instead of the paltry 100% that an afterburner does. This allows you to get up close to your target very fast, which is vital to using blasters. A Thorax’s tank is not very good, so you have to get in close and annihilate your opponent before you get popped. Bear in mind that while the Microwarp drive gives you a huge speed boost, it drains your capacitor 5x faster than an afterburner, so you have to be sparing in the use of it. My personal favorite setup for a Thorax is such:

  • 4x Medium Ion Blaster I
  • 1x Medium Nosferatu
  • 1x 10mn Microwarp Drive I
  • 1x Stasis Webfier (Any will serve, but I prefer the X5 Prototype model)
  • 1x Warp Scrambler I
  • 1x Medium Armor Repair I
  • 1x Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane I
  • 1x Explosive Armor Hardener I
  • 1x Reactor Control Unit
  • 1x Magnetic Stabilizer I

This is a balanced setup with some sustainability, but you want to get the work done relatively quickly. For pure DPS, you want to use the following setup:

  • 5x Medium Ion Blaster I
  • 1x 10mn Microwarp Drive I
  • 1x Stasis Webfier
  • 1x Warp Scrambler I
  • 1x 800mm Rolled Tungsten Plate I
  • 2x Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane I
  • 1x Reactor Control Unit (use a Power Diagnostic Unit if you can make it fit)
  • 1x Magnetic Stabilizer I

Notice the lack of any armor repair. This setup is meant to get in, gank, and get out quick. You rely purely on the amount of damage you are spewing out.

If you like this ship, and want to spend more time on it to make it even more effective, use the following setup:

  • 4x Heavy Ion Blaster II
  • 1x Medium Diminishing Power Drain
  • 1x 10mn Microwarp Drive I
  • 1x Stasis Webfier
  • 1x Warp Scrambler I
  • 1x Medium Armor Repair II
  • 1x Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
  • 1x Explosive Armor Hardener II
  • 1x Damage Control Unit
  • 1x Reactor Control Unit II

This takes about 2-3 Months to train for, so don’t expect it to come quickly. Just add the t2 modules as you get them.

Next on the list of ships, is the Vexor. The Vexor is the opposite of the thorax in a few ways, in that it is designed to tank the enemy damage and slowly wear down the opponent. It can be fit in a variety of ways, but my personal favorite goes as such:

  • 2x Medium Diminishing Power Drains
  • 3x 150mm Railgun I (Use named if you can afford them)
  • 1x 10mn Afterburner II
  • 1x Stasis Webfier I
  • 1x Warp Disruptor I (20km range)
  • 1x Medium Armor Repair I
  • 2x Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane I
  • 1x Explosive Hardener
  • 1x Damage Control Unit (Can be swapped out for a PDU or RCU if the fitting is a problem)

Since the Vexor doesn’t have much in the way of gun power, it relies on drones to do it’s damage for it. The large drone bay allows you to fit 5 Medium scout drones and 5 Light scout drones. For best results, get the following skills trained before using a Vexor:

  • Drones 5
  • Drone Interfacing 4
  • Scout Drone Operation 4 (5 if you feel dedicated)

This increases your drone’s maximum range and damage, and Drones 5 allows you to command the maximum amount of drones at one time (5).

With this fitting, your capacitor should not be too much of an issue, so repair that armor to your heart’s content.

For other races, a little experimentation is required. I specialize in Gallente ships, so I do not feel I have the training required to recommend fittings for them. If you really are having trouble fitting them however, feel free to drop a message on the forums and I’ll try to work with you.

The ships described here are fitted for PvP combat. Don’t think that I am forsaking your PvE players. To modify these fittings, fit resistances against the type of rat you are fighting. If it is Serpentis, fit high thermal and kinetic resistances, for Sansha fit high EM and Thermal resistances. Note that some NPC factions such as the Angel Cartel do all forms of damage, so just use the PvP fits I described here.

Now that you know how to fit a ship, lets go over how to take it into combat, One of the first things that any new pilot has to learn: PICK YOUR FIGHTS. Do not run headlong into a fight if you are unsure of your abilities or you ship. If you don’t use good judgment, your ship will end up as a pile of scrap. If this happens, don’t get discouraged. I found out the same way. You will just learn from the mistake and get a nice adrenaline rush in the meantime (red faced, eh Ralph?).

A few basic tips in combat are as follows:

  • Know your ships limitations.
  • Know your guns/drones max and optimal ranges. When you are at optimal range for your gun, you will do more damage and hit more often.
  • Know when to run. There is no shame in running from a fight you can’t win, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
  • Keep an eye on local. If the number of people in local takes a spike, warp out. It is most likely the target calling in backup.
  • Have a backup plan ready if the shit hits the fan. An escape route, safespots, instas to the gate, anything to get you out in once piece.
  • MAKE SURE YOUR CLONE IS UPDATED! If you get podded, you will lose months of training time if your total skillpoints is over the amount the clone you have covers.
  • Most importantly, have fun! It’s a game, treat it as one. If you lose your ship, you can always get it back. If you lose your pod, you always have a clone. There is no reason to take this game personally, and while smack talking in local may make you feel better for a bit, in the long run it will make you look like an idiot to your fellow players. And look at it this way, you die, you learn, you get revenge. And revenge is a dish best served with a side of blaster fire.

That’s all for now folks! Now get out there and get hunting!


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