AB vs MWD?

Other than a MWD being jam-able by a warp scram, why would you want to use an AB instead of a WMD?

To put another way, what are the advantages/disadvantages of an AB vs MWD (and visa-versa)?


MWD will give you huge speed but will drain your capacitor VERY fast
AB will give you less speed but its capacitor juice drain is almost negligible, and is not warp scramable

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I find AB to be much more taxing on my power grid resource.

MWD also increases your sig radius…
While the AB may be PG intensive, it doesn’t drain and can be mitigated with skills and or rigs (IIRC)
while same could also be said for the MWD and cap batteries etc.


Screenshot 2022-01-28 204420
So i did a comparison, and the AB uses far less PG than it’s MWD counterpart.
100mn AB =/= 500mn MWD
10mn AB =/= 50mn MWD

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Here is a discussion of the mechanics surrounding this and other build mechanics. Read, lose ships, then read again.



where have you been hiding?

Tbh mwd tend to be used on pvp fits as position is so important

Afterburners tend to be used on active rep pve fits as they don’t effect capacity so greatly and allow you more maneuverability to address your enemies as you choose , as rats tend to be slower than player piloted ships

I realise this is probably a massive simplification and there are exceptions but in my experience its a fair overview


Some useful dimensions to compare against:

  • Fitting (Powergrid): AB takes less, MWD takes more
  • Sig Radius (Target-ability, Incoming Damage): AB doesn’t affect, MWD heavily increases
  • Total Capacitor Capacity: AB doesn’t affect, MWD reduces
  • Activation Cost (Capacitor): AB is less, MWD is more
  • Top Speed: AB raises this, MWD raises this significantly
  • Acceleration* (not really in the fitting window): AB depends on the ship, MWD increases it a lot
  • Crowd Control: AB vulnerable to neuts (no capacitor to run it), MWD even more vulnerable to neuts and additionally scrams (which includes environments like the ESS).

Generally, AB tends to be preferred in scenarios where capacitor plays a more important role than speed (ex: certain non-blitz mission running fits), or where MWDs are just not an option (ex: ESS robbing/defending fits), or where the sig radius penalty of an MWD will result in damage that kills you (ex: certain abyssals, certain burner missions). MWD tends to be preferred where an activity favors speed over brawn: fits designed to be able to disengage, fits designed for short engagements, or fits designed for range and speed, aka “kitey fits”.

There are some fits that “dual prop”, which is the act of having both AB and MWD. This is sometimes for a degree of versatility meant to surprise opponents, but we’re at the limits of my knowledge.

The fitting benefits of an AB means that sometimes an “oversize” AB can be fitted onto a ship. Sometimes desirable depending on the specific activity you wish to do with the ship.

MWD is also preferred for the “MWD+cloak trick”. This works with an AB as well, but the preference of an MWD is so one’s ship physically travels far away from the brief spot they were un-cloaked, so that they can safely warp off. It’s a very specific mechanic meant to mitigate a specific kind of threat.

*It is hard to see this without digging into the math, but the TL;DR is: because the top-speed bonus of the MWD is on orders of magnitude larger which increases max velocity disproportionately moreso than the additional mass increases the “time-to-velocity” (aka “makes it slower”).

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AB: Slow acceleration, Lower top end speed boost, no sig radius penalty so better for speed tanking, more cap friendly, more fitting friendly
MWD: Gets to it’s higher top end speed FAST, drains cap FASTER, will probably make the rest of your fit tight on pg/cpu, makes your frigate’s signature the size of a battleships*

  • Larger signature making it possible to land higher quality hits that do more damage, “smashes” versus “grazes” is a big deal and shouldn’t be undersold.
  • Oversized AB gives you nearly MWD top end speeds without many of the downsides of MWDs, but still suffers from the same slow ramp up to those speeds.

If you really want to go mach 3 with your hair on fire, I present to you a solution… The oversized MWD, cap stable Maller (battleship mwd on a cruiser ya’ll)

[Maller, 500mn Stable Maller]
Damage Control II
Capacitor Power Relay II
Capacitor Power Relay II
Reactor Control Unit II
Reactor Control Unit II
Reactor Control Unit II

500MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive
Large Compact Pb-Acid Cap Battery
Faint Scoped Warp Disruptor

Heavy Pulse Laser II
Heavy Pulse Laser II
Heavy Pulse Laser II
Heavy Pulse Laser II
Heavy Pulse Laser II

Medium Ancillary Current Router I
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit II
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit II

Hobgoblin II x3

Scorch M x10
Conflagration M x10

AB can be used to speed/signature damage mitigation, which usually works very well against NPC as long as you aren’t webbed.

MWD can be used much better for range-based damage mitigation, means „kiting“ the enemy outside his weapon range. Works good against smaller short range weapon boats. Fails against long range missile boats or drone bonused boats using fast drones.

I got a VR headset and pretty well abandoned Eve.

I still like the idea of what Eve used to be, but I couldn’t transition to the kinder and gentler high-sec. I still drop into the forums now and then when I’m looking for something to read.

The high-sec piracy of old just isn’t viable anymore (I’m sure someone is still doing some semblance of it, but it takes the patience of a saint now).

I still love the technical heart of Eve. If it was still as dark and gritty and mean as it was 10 years ago, I’d still be playing.


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I think AB fits are great for gate camping fits. Less PG use and you usually don’t even need the super speed boost, so you might as well not take the capacitor penalty. Just everybody park themsleves at the optimal range of their guns (remember that people pop around 12 km from the gate) and wait for people to come. If you have at least 3 tackle frigates, even your tackle don’t need a MWD. Some people make the argument you need some people near the gate in case they try to go back, but honestly one Prophecy or Butrix not getting a weapons timer is really all you need to prevent them from trying to crash the gate. I suppose if you were pursing an enemy force you might want people to be ready to chase through the gate, but at that point we’re less in “gate camp” and more roaming.

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