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Cable Udan
Posted - 2011.08.04 11:12:00 - [1]

Hey all,

I've been playing EVE for a few months now and I'm just about to break the 5mil SP mark. Pretty much since finishing the SoE epic arc I've been PvPing. I started off in RvB for a couple of months and then decided I was off to lowsec for epic pew pews.

So far, I've been pretty fail at it, and I can't work out why. I've read Rifter Drifter plenty as well as many other PvP guides scattered across the internet and I generally use cookie-cutter builds from Battleclinic (though I sometimes test out my own failfits from time to time).

The thing is, I'm finding I get annihilated most of the time. The only solo fights I've ever won were where my opponent was younger than me or I was in a higher ship class and had the obvious advantage, but I don't know why. I mostly fly active tanked (armour) Rifters with T2 guns and mostly T2 mods. I know all about transversal and how to use optimal+falloff to my advantage, overheating mods, I've mastered the use of d-scan and all the stuff that goes with PvP, but when it comes down to the actual pew pew I always seem to be out-damaged and out-tanked by 80% of my opponents.

Can anyone shed some light on this? I don't believe in the theory that people with more SP > players with less because I've seen week-old players tackle and pop much older pilots. Do I just suck at PvP, or do I really need more SP, and is it something I'll get better at over time? Despite getting popped most of the time, I still bloody enjoy PvP.

-- Cable

Cannibal Kane
Kane's Terrorist
Posted - 2011.08.04 11:27:00 - [2]

Edited by: Cannibal Kane on 04/08/2011 11:28:33

For some reason some people grasp pvp some don't, some got what it takes, some don't. Like yourself I have had my wins where it was an obvious outcome. But there are some instances where i leave a fight and wonder how the **** did i get through that, shaking hands and all looking at my ship belowing smoke from the damage.

EvE pvp seems to have a mix of it all with alot of luck mixed in as well. Just keep going on. Been playing for 8 months... and I still see myself leaving alot of fights with half structure left.

Also knowing your weakness is good thing maybe? Loosing a ship is not a loss.. loosing it for the wrong reason is.

Pentag Blade
Curatores Veritatis Alliance
Posted - 2011.08.04 11:29:00 - [3]

I dont think you are doing much wrong --looking at some of your losses you were facing better ships and or more experienced players

personally i would look to buffer a rifter rather than active tank and maybe try shield tank --medium extender scram ab in mids damage mods in lows--shield rigs are also cheap Smile

Sofa Raddis
Posted - 2011.08.04 11:42:00 - [4]

Slightly older than you at 7,7m SP I'm finding that the "doing" part is getting better, I now run away when I have to.
I haven't tried RvB but I've been in the milita for a little while now, roaming mostly around amamake and auga\korm, I'm getting
better at avoiding the fights I can't win, by knowing ships and checking pilots, which I think is an important lesson.

I can fly all minnie frig hulls except ewar, but seldom roam in anything richer than a t2 fit rifter.

It just now recently I've started looking for a corp as I feel I have the skill points and knowledge to not be a
liability\plain cannon fodder. 1v1 fights do happen, but are an exception rather then the rule in low sec roams. Lonewolfing
is a slow(but sure) way to get combat experience.

The more SP theory is quite daft as Rockefeller would not stand a chance against the red baron in a dogfight, pilots are different.

Brutor Tribe
Posted - 2011.08.04 12:02:00 - [5]

If you're fighting in frigates then you'll find that whoever locks & aggresses first has a significant advantage. I spent a year flying frigates and destroyers and its about as close to "twitch" gaming that you'll get in Eve. I found the average fight lasted under 40 seconds, many being over in as little as 20 secs.

I don't fly frigates much now but even with much better skills I'd expect to get my arse handed to me if I engaged someone who fights in them every day. Takes a little time to get back up to speed....

Lady Spank
In Praise Of Shadows
Posted - 2011.08.04 12:02:00 - [6]

Before you go reading the whole ramble of nonsense I just wrote I will give you a TL;DR

Experience, experience, experience! You are on the right track, go fit out some more Rifters and check back each time you have lost another dozen or so.


FIRST AND FOREMOST. Solo ain't easy! If you get a string of bad fights, screw ups of just plain lack of wins it can be quite disheartening. Try not to let that happen.

You are at the very start of your career so it's reasonable to expect you to lose a lot of engagements. Even if you think you have the theory cracked, the trick is to gain experience by putting that theory to the test. I think you have the right attitude to do great. Getting a lot of research under your belt and not letting 'low' skillpoints put you off. Keep working at it and your technique and knowledge will grow in line with your extra % here and there from growing skillpoints.

If you haven't got thermodynamics trained to at least III yet then I suggest you make that a priority. Most frig duels should start with mods running hot and the fight is often over before you need to think to turn them off. You did mention overheating so I assume you already do.

I've had a quick look down your last 10 losses and I'm seeing some familiar names of very competent corps or individuals. I wouldn't feel bad losing to the likes of The Tuskers or Heretic Army. You've been trying different fits and hopefully are getting some knew knowledge from each fight you have. I see you don't always solo, nothing wrong with that but you won't learn the same as if you build up a stack of Rifters and just get out there.

Oh and don't assume the goal is to get good killboard stats, they only tell half the story anyway (if even that). It's all about getting those fights and seeing what you can stand off against!

I'm a terrible PVPer who engages the wrong targets all the time. Why? Because I like to push my luck. I'm not as active as I was last year but when the mood is right it's great going out on the hunt. If any of this sounds patronising its simply because I don't want to make assumptions.

You mentioned using falloff to your advantage but your fit (with the trimarks) looks a little on the heavy side for this. There's hundreds of different thought on what the best Rifter is. Often only differing by one mod but try and lighten the fit up a bit so you can control range, overheat your ab too.

I don't see any fits with 200's. If you aim to kite with a web then 200's are good. Just don't try and kite things which are obviously faster than you. Tracking or falloff skills might be causing you problems here? How are your gunnery supports?

Do yourself a favour and sign up here for a free killboard. I think it's a much better alternative to Battleclinic although you can refer to both for different things. PLEASE note: KB stats are ONLY useful for two things. 1. Evaluation of your engagements, 2. Linking failfits and awesome battle-reports for e-peen rights. Guess which is more important? Wink

This is another haven't slept, ramble of a post but I hope some of it makes sense!

Lady Spank
In Praise Of Shadows
Posted - 2011.08.04 12:06:00 - [7]

I forgot one observation. Finding a GOOD FIGHT is quite rare and often times you will feel you simply outclassed the opponent. On the other hand, you can often lose because you feel it was bad luck with the fittings, theirs was better suited to handle the fit you had on at the time. This happens more often than the great engagements where the odds feel more even and you pull through with 90% heat damage and a slither of hull.

They only represent a small percentage of the fights you will get over time but they are the very reason for doing it in the first place. Get more fights in and you will find them.

Lady Spank
In Praise Of Shadows
Posted - 2011.08.04 12:11:00 - [8]

I like the blog too. I think you more or less 'get' EVE pew so please do stick at it. The Rifter v Punisher write-up proves this.

Sofa Raddis
Posted - 2011.08.04 12:34:00 - [9]

Good point by spank on the subject of overheating, it is the reason I won my first 1v1, leaving with 40% hull and 70% heat damage.

And later lost the second due to the heat damage nearly breaking my mods, had to go cold, and was out dps'd. (to be fair also outmanouvered a bit)

It's basicly an extra damage mod. I trained it very early, even before having t2 mods (I know, I know).

VIP Ares
HUN Reloaded
Posted - 2011.08.04 12:36:00 - [10]

I can just tell you I random checked your several losses on battelclinic, and in all of them you faced superior ships.

T1 frigate agianst faction frigate, or assault ship. It is normal to loose in such conditions.

I managed to find a rifter vs rifter fight, there he had 200mm autocannonc compared to your 150mm. I guess he punched a bit mor dps then you :)

Also, your trasher fit is a bit unconventional, AB+artillery, that is not working.

Also, you do not use rigs on some of your ships. You should always fit at least t2 equipment with rigs.

You should be aware that most of ppl that go to pvp will also have expensive set of implant, which when counted in can double the combat strength of your ship comparing to having none.

Etc, etc....

Keep up what you are doing, you will surely become very good eve pvp-er in time.

Cable Udan
Posted - 2011.08.04 13:03:00 - [11]

First of all thanks for the comments everyone, especially Spank for the detailed post :)

Regarding my skills, I have Thermodynamics at IV but getting it to V is taking a backseat at the moment. My primary Gunnery skills are at either IV or V and my gunnery support skills (Motion Prediction, Rapid Firing, Sharpshooter, Surgical Strike, Traj. Analysis and Weapon Upgrades) are mostly at IV though a couple are at III and my main goal at the moment is getting them to IV.

I know some of my fits are indeed failfits (such as that Thrasher you brought up) but I was just messing around with them. I'll start rigging all my ships instead of the odd one or two now - these days I usually go for a Collision and Burst Aerator rigs on my Rifters. Does this maximise DPS by using one of each or am I best off doubling up on one or the other?

Also is it best to use 200mm's? I read somewhere a while ago (I think it was Wensleys blog) that 150mm's gave you slightly higher dps/tracking in comparison to the 125mm and 200mm. Is this true or should I try out using the 200s?

Once again thanks for taking the time to comment. I don't feel too bad about my losses now, hehe.

-- Cable

Sofa Raddis
Posted - 2011.08.04 13:09:00 - [12]

Edited by: Sofa Raddis on 04/08/2011 13:12:27

Use one of each damage rig, I reckon they compound eachother (not a math wiz sry)

And regarding the guns, 150's dps peak higher at a certain sweetspot, 125 does more up close and during high traversal, 200 gets and keeps an advantage right after the range which 150's peak.

I prefer 150's with a gyro. <--- in great detail o.O

Brutor Tribe
Posted - 2011.08.04 13:29:00 - [13]

Edited by: Othran on 04/08/2011 13:30:32
150s are better if you have low skills as they will track when you're in a tight orbit.

200s are better for falloff.

Last time I tested I actually got better "real-world" dps with 125s rather than 150s but the range is limiting - you really need a decent warp-in to get dps on fast.

Edit - That Rifter Drifter link pre-dates Dominion so its not really valid now. Look for the one called "Rock, Paper, Scissors" from around February this year.

Sofa Raddis
Posted - 2011.08.04 13:38:00 - [14]

Edited by: Sofa Raddis on 04/08/2011 13:49:29

This discusses ammo types in relation to resists, not gun sizes.

But discussing resist is also very helpful of course. Anyway my bad.

Brutor Tribe
Posted - 2011.08.04 13:47:00 - [15]

The problem with the older article is that it doesn't reflect the changes in projectile ammo which came with Dominion.

Sofa Raddis
Posted - 2011.08.04 13:58:00 - [16]

Yes EMP ammo all over it, but the general difference between the gun tiers just got more defined, it's not like it was a total revamp, ammo got the most changes. I did notice the date and kept the changes in mind, and it did help me, but thanks for pointing it out, others might not notice.

Brutor Tribe
Posted - 2011.08.04 14:28:00 - [17]

Edited by: Othran on 04/08/2011 14:28:39
Originally by: Sofa Raddis
Yes EMP ammo all over it, but the general difference between the gun tiers just got more defined, it's not like it was a total revamp, ammo got the most changes. I did notice the date and kept the changes in mind, and it did help me, but thanks for pointing it out, others might not notice.

No worries, the OP reads that blog anyway but for others reading they need to know that there have been significant changes.

Also there's the TE2 which newbie PvPrs should look at. When I saw the changes I burst out laughing and said "its Minnie god-mode" - wasn't far wrong really. I can't remember the last time I fitted an ambit rig on an AC ship....

Sofa Raddis
Posted - 2011.08.04 14:41:00 - [18]

Yes indeed, tracking enchancers are very good.

Sometimes prefer fitting my wolf with 200s and a TE2, although tracking gets pretty meh with barrage the range is ridiculous!

Brutor Tribe
Posted - 2011.08.04 14:47:00 - [19]

Edited by: Othran on 04/08/2011 14:47:49
Yeah I tend to fly this when I fly a Wolf :

[Wolf, 22km AC range]
Pseudoelectron Containment Field I
400mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Tracking Enhancer II
Tracking Enhancer II

1MN MicroWarpdrive II
Warp Disruptor II

150mm Light AutoCannon II, Barrage S
150mm Light AutoCannon II, Barrage S
[empty high slot]
150mm Light AutoCannon II, Barrage S
150mm Light AutoCannon II, Barrage S

Small Projectile Collision Accelerator I
Small Projectile Burst Aerator I

I prefer the Jag for up-close work which I know seems strange given the bonuses, but there's no way I'm flying an artillery Jag - frigates are meant to be fun and ACs are more fun than arty Smile

Sofa Raddis
Posted - 2011.08.04 14:54:00 - [20]

I agree totally :)

Nice fit, 22km range on a frig is pure christmas, although the pseudo can get abit expensive for a poor sod like me, it's worth it on a wolf I reckon. Will try this one sometime for sure.

Trixie Smithers
Posted - 2011.08.04 15:28:00 - [21]

Slightly different spin...

Eve is not a PvP game in which theoretically matched and equal opponents square off like knights in a joust. That kind of crap only happens in high sec, and even there it generally only happens because the other guy felt (or knew) he had a trick or advantage. You, sir, are the exception in that you actually want a fair fight and are willing to risk losing to get it.

Get that "fair" nonsense out of your head.

Eve PvP is not Knights battling for glory, it is drunken bums fighting over the dumpster behind the KFC. Eve PvP is tricks and traps and traps within traps. Learn to fly your ship well, learn what it can and cannot do, learn when to stay and when to go, get some friends, and get dirty. Start thinking of your ships as what they are, murder weapons, and then look for victims.

Mara Abraham
The Tuskers
Posted - 2011.08.04 15:57:00 - [22]

Good day, Cable Udan:

1. Know the mechanics of the area you are at (i.e. session timers, gcc, bubbles or lack of, etc.).

2. Know the ship you are flying; sometimes it takes losing 10 to 50+ of the ship to know it well.

3. Have a good grasp of what other ships are capable of doing -- what are their strengths and weaknesses? How are they most commonly fit? Given a type of fit, how most likely will they fly the ship.

4. Pick your targets. - T2 ship vs. t1 ship (yours). Rails means he probably was around max scram range from you. You had phased plasma loaded, and if he was able to maintain range, probably was not hitting him well or for much damage.

For that fight, do you recall what was your range throughout the fight? - rifter vs. rifter... but you had no rigs... and Tuskers (while not unbeatable) have a history of being combat experts. - t2 ship vs. t1 ship (yours). The battle covert ops ships are often extremely underestimated. If he had the dual web (or web and td) version, with rails he could have been far enough that you were barely able to hit him. See - destroyer is anti-frigate. While you can kill destroyers in a frigate, that's typically for advanced pilots. along with related articles are well written in terms of getting to know the type of ships you might face.

You might find and helpful, not sure.

Cable Udan, continue persisting to learn. PVP in Eve, especially in the first few months of practicing, learning, getting some kills, and dying can be extremely frustrating. You will run into situations where you thought it was 1v1 and it wasn't or that you thought you knew what fit they might be using, and they surprised you, etc.

But over time, if you have patience, and keep track of what you did correct, and what needs to change, you will get the hang of it.

Thank you.

Brutor Tribe
Posted - 2011.08.04 16:37:00 - [23]

Edited by: Othran on 04/08/2011 16:42:52
Originally by: Sofa Raddis
I agree totally :)

Nice fit, 22km range on a frig is pure christmas, although the pseudo can get abit expensive for a poor sod like me, it's worth it on a wolf I reckon. Will try this one sometime for sure.

Its just there for cpu usage. Not sure I've ever flown one in low-sec but it'd probably be cheaper to have a jumpclone with the relevant implant to allow something cheaper/better.

Edit - if anyone does fly this I'd recommend you try flying a Rifter with 400 plate and mwd first. It's horrible to fly. Flies like a brick. So you need to manually pilot the Wolf fit and keep it out of medium neut range.

Gizznitt Malikite
Agony Unleashed
Posted - 2011.08.04 18:14:00 - [24]

I bet your feeling overwhelmed with the advice now. I have a couple of thoughts:

1.) If you are going active tank (repper), you should almost always fit a NOS. Most of the close range fits of yours I looked at did not include the NOS with the repper. The nos gives you important extra cap to keep that repper running!

2.) Load the approrpiate ammo. Most ships have a resistance hole that you want to hit. Typically load EM against shield tankers and Fusion against armor tankers. Also be aware of t2 resists: Gallente/Caldari t2 have big Thermal/Kinetic Resists. T2 Minnie have EM resists, and T2 Amar have high Explosive Resists. One of the reasons the rifter is sooo revered is its ability to switch ammo to hit most resistance holes.

3.) Its fairly standard for rifters to fit only 2 rigs, but you can often get better performance by dropping one damage rig for 2 extra rigs: mix and match tracking, falloff, or tanking rigs to boost your ship's performance.

4.) Be aware of your enemy's range: If they start hitting you at 15-20 km's, they are typically long range, which means you can orbit under their guns. If they don't hit you until 5-7 km's, they are typically close range and you can stay outside of their range. The speed of the rifter means you can control range against many ship types, us it to your advantage.

Remembering and applying all of these concepts takes practice and experience.

Alpha Squad
Posted - 2011.08.04 18:28:00 - [25]

Edited by: Ralnik on 04/08/2011 18:40:50

I looked over your losses and TBh, it's not that bad as most of the ships you lost to are quite capable of beating a Rifter. A few can go either way like say the Merlin's but it can be a very close fight.

I'd suggest that you start rigging your ships with the cheap damage rigs. The Rate of Fire rig & the added damage rig will help you a lot. Also it might be worth while checking out the price on the +3% gunnery implants for projectiles. (I used to use +3 for RoF & +3 for small gun damage, +3 for tracking & +3 for fall off if I remember right)

I'm not sure how expensive they are now days, but if they are cheap then likely worth getting those. As a younger player you are against the odds, so it's best to do anything possible to up the chances on your side, because you can bet the other guy will be.

Personally I've always been a fan of cap boosted Rifters, because you can perma run everything. However small rigs have changed a lot of stuff and when I did much of my Rifter fights it was just after small & med Rigs were introduced. People have figured out a lot of different fits now days so the game has changed a bit.

Anyway give this fit a try, I used to have a lot of luck with it. (draw back is no web)

One thing I will add, you should have your basic armor skills maxed and should have very good capacitor skills (min of 4's) if you are using a active tank set up. Resist skills aren't needed on that fit. Also never under estimate your navigation skills as they are "very" important with frigs. (just leave afterburner @ IV though, as having it to V can sometimes hurt you on dual prop fits that you might use later on)

If you don't have hull upgrades V & mechanic V or week cap skills it might be best to go all buffer with a 400 plate.

Black Jack Shellac
Posted - 2011.08.04 20:41:00 - [26]

Edited by: Black Jack Shellac on 04/08/2011 20:42:54

So to me, the take home message of this article is default to PP.
But if you are having a hard time getting through their shields switch to EM?

And be able to overheat your mods (Thermaldynamics >= 3.)

Grog Drinker
The Tuskers
Posted - 2011.08.04 20:45:00 - [27]

Edited by: Grog Drinker on 04/08/2011 20:57:43
I was in this situation a few months ago. I found that my navigation skills were very lacking. Navigation skill are just as important as your tanking skills. They let you dictate range and fight on your terms.

If you want to kill above class ships in your rifter I would suggest hunting Interceptors and Slicers. I have had some success in getting these to land on top of me within web/scram range where you can brawl them down.

Also rigs are pretty much required for pvp. The small T1 rigs are pretty cheap and any competent you fight will be using them. Leaving them off puts you at a disadvantage.

Lady Spank
In Praise Of Shadows
Posted - 2011.08.04 21:03:00 - [28]

And some rigs are cheaper than others if you want to save money. Damage rigs are super cheap to throw on.

Cable Udan
Posted - 2011.08.04 21:42:00 - [29]

Edited by: Cable Udan on 04/08/2011 21:43:00
Wow, this has been a pretty overwhelming response. Big thanks for the contributions. Huge Wall of Text(tm) incoming.

I'll keep buying 150s but I'll also get a stack of 200s and see how they fare too. I'll use them on my long(er) range fits with Barrage for that extra bit of dps. As far as ammo is concerned I generally rock around with some Barrage and RF Phased Plasma. I read Wensleys write-up on ammo and thought that RF-PP was the best all-round ammo to use as it does pretty good damage against shield and armour tankers alike. Is it worth bringing along EMP and Fusion and load the required type when needed or should I continue to use the jack-of-all-trades Phased Plasma?

Tracking Enhancers, are they gold? With my active tank fit I use my "spare" low slot for a T2 suitcase. I used to run a Gyro II in that slot but found after a little testing I had more survivability with the DCUII. Should I perhaps use a Gyro/TE II and then rig my resist holes? Input on Tracking Enhancers vs. Gyro would be much appreciated.

Othran: Once I can fly assault frigs I'm definitely giving that 22km AC fit a try - it looks mega!

Trixie: I think you're quite right with my mindset there. Whenever I fly through my lowsec roams I always looks for solo targets with the thought that a gentleman-y duel is about to go down. Its since dawned on me that 99% of the time I couldn't be more wrong. I once jumped in on a Merlin whilst in a Rupture and three of his friends warped in almost immediately after (Rifter, Helios and Heron. I managed to pop the Merlin and get the Rifter down to half armour before he disengaged. The two others frigs left pretty quickly after that). I now engage targets knowing that if he doesn't have a friend land on top me during the battle then I'm lucky, hehe. I quite liked your jousting knights analogy :)

Mara Abraham: Thank you for the points you've made. The links you posted were/are quite informative too, especially the Know Your Enemy one, so thanks. For the fight against the Enyo, he nailed me with a long point at about 24km and started hitting me hard at around 18-19km. I tried to close in on him but I'm pretty sure he had a MWD as even overheating my AB couldn't get me close to him.

Gizznitt Malikite: I've bought a stack of E5 Vamps and will always have one fitted to my SAP fits now, thanks for that. You mention using the correct ammo and I brought it up earlier in the most. When you say about the Rifter being revered because you can reload the appropriate ammo, is it a good idea to lose 10 seconds worth of dps to get a more powerful round on the enemy or should I keep pounding away with whatever I have in my guns once the battle begins?

Ralnik: I'd never considered using implants before. I've only been podded a couple of times and two of those instances were from disco phoons on a gate, if memory serves. The other two I blame lag for not warping me to whatever celestial I had at selected at the time. I picked up a low grade Snake Alpha for 10mil so that got plugged straight in. The other LG Snakes are kinda a tad more expensive so I might wait out on that front. I'll try and hunt down the +3% damage and RoF ones as well. If they're (relatively) cheap I'll definitely get them plugged in. I feel comfortable in my Pod Escape Drill(tm) so I don't mind fitting them. I'll definitely give you cap boosted Rifter fit a try, it looks pretty solid, plus having my repper on and not having to worry about cap will let me concentrate on more important things like ensuring my mods don't burn out etc.

Grog Drinker: I know you - you feature on my killboard as a victor, lol. Thanks for the advice on Interceptors and Slicers; I'll have a go if I see any in space. My Nav skills are okay I think. I have ABs to IV but MWDs only to III as well as Fuel Conservation to III as well.

Once again, a big thanks for the tips and advice, you've all helped harden my resolve against what has felt recently like a losing battle :)

Mara Abraham
The Tuskers
Posted - 2011.08.05 02:36:00 - [30]

Good day:

Unless I start off knowing what I'm hunting, my default is RF Phased plasma. However, if I get into a system where there's a potential target; and I can identify the ship type or possible ship type from dscan, then I'll change ammo prior to the potential fight.

Once in the fight, I'll only change ammo if I know I have the 10 seconds to do so; and that I believe that I can make up for that loss of time. Obviously, if they pulled range where only barrage would hit (but then there's a tracking loss on barrage; is there a tracking disruptor on me that would nullify it?), then potentially make the change.

Thank you.

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