Dravos' Diary: A Newbie's Attempts To Git Gud

Hello, and welcome to my diary! Here I will be chronicling my personal transformation from a PvP noob into slightly-less-of-a-noob. I will be regularly updating my diary with entries in which I dramatically recount exciting PvP experiences I have in EVE and reflecting on what I learn from them. This will primarily be done for your entertainment, although I believe it will be helpful in accelerating my own improvement as well. A link to every entry will be added to the OP.

About Me:

I first became acquainted with New Eden in 2014 through DUST 514, which I played very heavily from then until its closure last year. I instantly fell in love with New Eden. I loved the lore and the concept. Moreover, I loved the complexity of CCP’s games, which DUST 514 shared through the fitting system. I made this EVE character in 2015 but never played past the trial, then I came back after alpha clones were implemented in November 2016. I was very grateful that CCP had made EVE semi-F2P because I missed New Eden deeply, but my experiences in the trial did not make me confident in committing to subbing. I am loyal to the Minmatar Republic, this loyalty being first aroused from my affection for the Minmatar Scout in DUST 514. Small and fast things are my favourite in all games I play; I get a David-and-Goliathesque sense of satisfaction from taking down larger, stronger, and tankier foes with things that often get underestimated. Ultimately, I play for fun, not to pad my killboard; I spent far too much time in DUST 514 caring about my K/D, so I’ve decided to eschew that attitude in EVE. That said, improving my skills and pushing my performance to the limit is also something I get a lot of enjoyment from.

My Playstyle:

I prefer to fly solo as opposed to gangs because this makes player skill more of a deciding factor, unless you have a very competent FC who’s good at organising the fleet through complex tactics. The prospect of blobbing some poor helpless guy is not one that appeals to me very much. I’m not opposed to flying with 1 or 2 others though; that can be fun. I’m located in Heimatar and do most of my fighting around Amamake, Auga, Kourmonen, Kamela, Huola, and Arzad. My favourite ship is the Slasher; it fits into the ‘small and fast’ archetype I mentioned above, and it’s cheap. I have a special love for tracking disruptors and I see a lot of potential for player skill to be a factor in the form of strategically swapping between tracking and optimal range disruption scripts.

The Story So Far:

After wanting to biomass from boredom after spending a couple months dabbling in exploration and station trading, I threw myself into low sec PvP in search of some excitement. I’ve been practising PvP in FW for about 3 months now, funded through a very generous donation from an old player from DUST 514 I know. When I started, I was stuffing my lows with plates and my mids with extenders (the orthodox fitting strategy in DUST 514), and wondering why I lost. After every fight I would ask for feedback (the veterans of EVE are incredibly helpful and willing to help newbies) and slowly I’ve come to grasps with the rough meta of solo frigate PvP. Now I’m at a point where I know how to make a fit that might actually work and have a solid bank of knowledge on most things relevant to PvP, so this is the perfect time to start this diary - it will be more exciting and in-depth than ‘Today I learnt the difference between a Warp Scrambler and a Warp Disruptor’. Very recently I started to practice manual piloting, but I’m not very good at it and it will be a little while before I’m proficient enough with it that I can implement it into live combat with reliable success. At the time of writing, I am still an alpha clone.

I thank you for accompanying me on this journey; it will be a lot of fun! :smile:

Entry 001: Every Journey Begins with a Single Step - 2017.06.19

Entry 002: So Close! - 2017.06.22

Entry 003: 1 Step Forward, 2 Steps Back - 2017.06.25

Entry 004: Punching Above My Weight - 2017.07.08


Entry 001: Every Journey Begins with a Single Step

Dear Diary

Much like a dog learns not to chew on the furniture through the rapid and successive application of a rolled-up newspaper to the head, I had a number of lessons drilled into me yesterday.

In search of a fight I was sitting in a novice plex in Huola in my trusty Slasher, fitted with a tracking disruptor and a fantastic speed tank. On my D-Scan appeared another Slasher, which quickly came within 1 AU; he wanted to fight. I was actually quite confident: if he was arty fit I would win the fight by getting the web and scram on him right away, and if he was autocannon fit with a tracking disruptor I would evade him better than he could evade me due to my superior speed tank. I swapped from Fusion to Phased Plasma because it’s difficult to tell whether a Slasher will be shield or armour tanked.

He entered the plex and appeared on my overview. Immediately I hit orbit @500m and activated my preheated afterburner. I got the lock and all my mods were on him. If he had been artillery-fit that would have been the effective end of the fight, but it turned out he was using autocannons like me. Suddenly, my entire shields were wiped out in a single volley. We were relatively close to each other (~2500), I had a tracking script on him and he was using 200mm autocannons (I was using 150mm). He shouldn’t be able to hit me! I thought. After two more volleys, I was in my pod.

I was very confused. Like I nearly always do after a fight, I messaged my opponent. ‘Were you using orbit or keep at range, and at what distance?’ I asked. The reply came in: ‘I orbit at my opponent’s optimal’. This confirmed some suspicions I had. What I believe happened was that when he hit orbit, his ship made off in a straight line for ~6km away due to the mechanics of the orbit command. Despite the fact that my ship was definitely faster, the initial distance between us when he entered the plex was enough that I ended up trailing behind him in a straight line (because I had hit orbit @500m). This completely nullified transversal and meant that I ate the full damage of his autocannons (which turned out to be dual-gyro’d), which destroyed me in seconds due to my non-existent tank.

What I take from this fight is that to prevent this from happening in the future, I should closely monitor the trajectories of my opponent and I during the fight to see if I begin to trail him for any reason. If this begins to happen, I will manually spiral into him to maintain some transversal, then hit the orbit command again when I am within ~2500m.

I was sitting in a novice plex in Kamela in the same fit I was using in my fight with the Slasher. On my D-Scan appeared a Rifter. Rifters have never given me much trouble before, but I would make a series of very silly mistakes in this fight. As he entered the plex I accidentally hit keep at range (set at 7250m) rather than orbit, causing some distance to develop between us. He was artillery-fit and my mistake at the beginning (along with the fact that my web and scram were not overheated) allowed him to escape scram range and set up a kite on me. Still, the fight was not over yet. I immediately swapped to an optimal range disruption script and this initially nullified all of his damage. I manually piloted away in an attempt to set up a slingshot and pre-heated my web and scram. He must have realised he needed to come closer and so came in, and combined with the slingshot which was successful he found himself ~7km away from me. I got the web on him, but then: disaster! My scram was on the alt+F1 key and the time it took for me to fiddle with it allowed him to get outside 10km. I had missed my chance, and was soon destroyed by his artillery.

The changes I had to make were obvious. I would no longer have my scram on the alt+F1 key. I would swap my neut for the place of the scram (I only have room for 5 mods to be visible on a rack before my D-Scan gets in the way). This should mean that I never have difficulty activating the scram when I urgently need it. Secondly, I would always pre-heat my web and scram if there’s any possibility that my opponent will be kiting (all Minmatar and Amarr frigates).

(In a subsequent fight I pre-heated the web and scram but lost because I burnt them out. Whilst pre-heating them is good, I must remember to turn off the heat once I’ve captured my opponent in scram range!)

For the final fight of the day, I would have an arranged 1v1 with a good buddy of mine. We were both in Slashers, except this time I fit mine with a 400mm plate and a Damage Control rather than speed tanking it with 2 Nanos. We warped to 0 and the fight began. I started as I always do, by orbiting @500m. Soon we were embroiled in a frantic tango because he was orbiting at 500m too. My tracking disruptor was mitigating his damage quite effectively, but things quickly became problematic. We were both using neuts. My previous strategy when I found opponents who were using neuts was to keep my neut on and pray I cap him before he caps me. If I capped him first, I would completely dominate his cap. If he capped me first, I would be completely dominated. It was a race to wrestle the other to the ground. I lost the cap war (probably owing to my limited capacitor skills as an alpha clone) and he shut off my tracking disruptor and afterburner. We were both on 20% structure. I did a last ditch manual piloting attempt to maximise transversal, but unfortunately my name was the one that was written over the killmail that popped up in the bottom-right corner.

From this fight, I realised that if I’m being neuted I should consider pulling out to scram-kite range with an optimal script loaded. I completely forgot that neuts have quite a limited range. If my opponent then comes in to counter the optimal range disruption, I should switch to orbiting @500m with a tracking disruption script.


From now on I will include a summary and conclusion at the bottom of the entry.

Entry 002: So Close!

Dear Diary

I’ve been having quite a bit of bad luck in PvP lately. Frequently I’ve been very close to securing a kill, only to lose the fight at the last second due to some intervening factor. Regardless, after every fight I learn something, so hopefully I won’t make those same mistakes twice. It’s been very hard to find a fight in the Min vs Amarr warzone as of late, probably because the Minmatar holds complete control of all systems. I’m considering moving to the Gal vs Cal warzone in search of more frequent and varied fights, but in the meantime I am more willing to take risky fights because otherwise I will be resigned to ship spinning.

I spied with my D-Scan an Imperial Navy Slicer sitting in a Novice plex. I was in a TD Slasher with a 400mm plate and a Damage Control. I knew the Slicer would be sitting in kiting range which would give him in the initial advantage. I decided to attack regardless for the reasons mentioned above. I loaded an optimal range disruption script in anticipation of the range between us. When I warped in he was cozily sitting about ~17km away. My initial attempt to burn straight towards him failed, but it quickly became apparent that he was using the orbit command. I had trained for this. I manually piloted in the opposite direction he was orbiting. He swung out to ~24km, at which point I spammed the approach button. I caught him with my overheated web and scram (I always have them preheated now, something I learnt from a lesson detailing in the previous diary entry) and begun to orbit him @500m with a tracking disruption script. By the point I was completely evading his lasers I was on 50% structure. Still, it seemed that there was no way for him to recover. Alas, a Federation Navy Comet appeared on my overview which promptly shot me down when the Slicer was on ~20% structure. it turned out they were in the same corp.

Whilst it disappoints me when people call for backup in 1v1s, I fully acknowledge it as a legitimate tactic: this is EVE, after all! Really, the fault lies with me for not checking my D-Scan during the fight. If I had seen the Comet, I might have used the slingshot to escape rather than capture the Slicer within my scram.

I was sitting in a plex when a Federation Navy Comet approached. This time I was using a Slasher fit with a MASB and 2gyros. I decided to stay and fight. I managed to maintain a tight orbit and managed my MASB well, being careful not to overep. I was successfully undermining his active armour tank with my neut. It looked like I was actually going to win. He was on ~20% structure when… I burnt out my guns. Nothing I could do, I typed out gf in local and waited to die. Very silly of me to not pay attention to my heat like that.

I was very lucky because he was using railguns. If he had been using blasters the fight would have been more difficult. I need to make sure I check what weapons my opponent is using in my log and adjust my range and tactics accordingly.

For the final fight, I did something very ballsy: I let a Succubus engage me. It was against my better judgement but my ships are very cheap and I wanted to fight something. The fight started well, except for the fact that I was using fusion when it turned out the Succubus was shield-tanked. Succubi have a particularly ‘Amarrian’ design which I associated with armour-tanking, but if I engage a Succubus again I will use Phased Plasma. I orbited him @500m with a tracking disruption script. I was completely evading his pulse lasers and steadily draining his capacitor with my neut. Then, the distance between us began to increase and the damage began to pour in. I didn’t last for very long before I was destroyed. After mailing him, he told me that he had been manually burning away to reduce transversal. I hadn’t done the thing I told myself in the last entry I needed to do: monitor both my opponent’s and my own trajectory and manually adjust it to spiral into him to maintain transversal if I begin to trail my opponent. This fight just further convinced me that I need to pay special attention to such things.

Summary and Conclusion:

It seems there are an almost endless list of things to learn to improve my PvP, and that’s part of the attraction. Although I have a very long way to go, I can see some of the products of my efforts to improve already, in the form of successfully pulling off slinghots and the like. I just need a little more push to get to the point where I can get kills reliably. Soon I will upgrade to omega status; I now play EVE enough, and enjoy it enough, to justify subscribing. I’m especially excited to try some of the frigates from the other factions such as the Executioner and the Slicer. Such kiting ships will help me improve my manual piloting, I’m sure. Maybe even the pirate frigs when I’m good enough! I guess this is one of the (seemingly rare) examples of alpha clones working as intended; I never would have come back to EVE if it were not for the introduction of alpha clones, and it showed me enough of the game to make me want to play more. The old trial period of 1 month max (normally 2 weeks) was not long enough to get players interested IMO.

For the future, I have a couple of long-term goals:

  1. Be good enough at PvP to make it self-sustaining. I really only play EVE for the PvP and the prospect of having to grind PvE is not appealing at all. At the moment I get LP whilst plexing whilst waiting for fights which gets nice money on the side. It shouldn’t be too hard for my PvP self-sustaining if I get a little better and continue to fly very cheap ships.

  2. Improve my skills as much as possible. To do this I will carry on with what I have been doing up till now: fighting and reflecting on what I could have done better.

See you in the next entry! o7


Keep trying and you’ll get it! I remember thinking I would never get a kill…now at 14k :slight_smile: . Not being overly boastful…but dedication will help. If you ever want to chat in-game I have some knowledge to share that may help.

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You bring a youthful player perspective that is great. As a healthy community we need players who record their rise.
Nice chat last night.

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@ISD_Stall Idk if you have the powers or if you’re the right person to ask, but would it be possible to move this thread to the My EVE sub-forum?

How goes it dravos? When I started eve the instruction were invisible and phased into a different dimension. It can be frustrating, but you have the spirit to become a memorable scribe of newbros learning the process. +1

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[quote=“HoleySheet1, post:7, topic:4730”]
How goes it dravos?
[/quote]Hey there, it’s going good :slightly_smiling_face: Went omega yesterday so I’ll be tinkering with some other races’ ships for a bit. Gonna try the Crucifier tonight due to the tracking disruptor bonus. I’ll be flying it like my Slasher and will update about it in tonight’s entry.

Thank you! I very much hope that one day people will point newbro aspiring PvPers to this diary to show them the general route of progression they can expect to follow.

Don’t be impatient…i didn’t get my first solo kill for over a yr…of course when i started i ground missions for sec…8 and 9 with amarr and caldari state allowing me to use all their locators…but its painful.
do not wreck your state standing…only sec…state is a pain to bring up. Faction war and missions against a certain state will affect this…don’t go below -5

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Yup, very true. Let’s see, if Amarr can get back on their feet and put up a real fight!

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Entry 003: 1 Step Forward, 2 Steps Back

Dear Diary

It feels like I’ve been getting worse! I went omega the other day and I was very eager to try out some new ships from the other races, but my experiences have not been good with them. Maybe that’s just because I’m not accustomed to their unique style of flying. After training Amarr Frigates to Level 3, I hoped in a Crucifier. I was very eager to fly them because of their bonus to tracking disruptors. I tried to make it like my Slasher - which may have been my first mistake, looking back. I fitted it with the following:

  • Pulse Lasers
  • Tracking Disruptor
  • Afterburner
  • Web
  • Scram
  • 2x Nanofiber
  • 1x Heat Sink
  • 3x Metastasis Adjuster

The problem with trying to fly the Crucifier like a Slasher, I think, is that it takes 2 Nanofibers to match the Slasher’s base speed and a Heat Sink to match the damage because the Crucifier only has 2 turret slots, as well as needing 3 Metastasis Adjusters for pulse lasers to match the tracking of 150mm Autocannons. This effectively gives the Slasher 2 extra low slots and 2 extra rig slots that it doesn’t need to spend on speed/tracking, which can be put towards tank (I like using a 400mm plate on my Slasher - it has enough base speed to support it). In addition, a Slasher can use a neut whilst a Crucifier cannot, something very useful against active armour tankers. I was also somewhat disappointed in the tracking disruptor bonus of the Crucifier; whilst it says ‘7.5% per level’, I found that due to the way bonuses are applied it was actually much closer to 2.5% per level, not enough to balance out the low speed/tank.

Regardless, I think my own lack of skill was more of a factor in the disastrous fights I had yesterday.

I was in my Crucifier and saw an Incursus in a plex. In anticipation of him being Blaster-fit, I kept my tracking disruption script loaded. When I entered the plex I found he was ~30km away. I swapped to an optimal range disruption script and tried to approach him, but wasn’t able to close the distance. I instead did a 180 and burned in the opposite direction in an attempt to set up a slingshot, but he appeared to be manual piloting and countered it adeptly. I quickly died because I had absolutely no tank on my Crucifier whatsoever. It only hit me afterwards that I had completely forgotten to engage my drones; I’m not used to flying drone ships and so I forgot about them.

From this fight I learned that I need to remember to make sure drones are deployed if I’m carrying them.

This next fight went absolutely terribly. I saw a Firetail and a Navy Comet in a plex. I knew the Firetail was friendly because I had seen him before. I entered in the plex believing either the Comet would be friendly too, in which case I would sit in the plex with them and farm the OP, or the Firetail and the Comet would be fighting and I would tip the scales in the Firetail’s favour. It turned out to be the latter.

The Comet and Firetail were brawling ~30km away from the beacon. The Firetail must have either died or warped off because he disappeared. I started burning towards the Comet and locked onto him. He was on 10% structure! I put on optimal range disruption script on him until I got to within ~15km, at which point I swapped to a tracking speed disruption script in anticipation of entering brawling range and orbiting tight. However, I found I was unable to get past 15km, and because I had swapped to the tracking disruption script and had very little transversal because I did not spiral in, I was now taking the full damage of his Railguns. Desperately I struggled to get transversal up and get the web on him, but to no avail. I died without him taking a scratch.

This demotivated me quite considerably. I had lost to a ship that started with probably less than 100 HP in structure. The melancholy set in and I wondered why I sucked so hard.

First off, again I had forgotten to deploy my drones. :facepalm: If I had done that I probably would have killed him before I got within range of his Railguns. Secondly, I should have spiralled in to him so that if I was unable to get within brawling range, I would still mitigate some damage through transversal. I was too eager to prevent him from escaping, but in future I must balance catching the target to prevent them from escaping, and safeguarding against taking damage due to nonexistent transversal. Thirdly, I swapped to the tracking disruption script too soon, before I was within brawling range.

Summary and Conclusion:

I think I’m going to stick with my Slasher as my go-to vessel for a little while longer; I’m more accustomed to its flying style. That said, I will try out some Gallente ships next.

The path to gitting gud has proven itself to be painful and arduous. Still, I wouldn’t be playing the game if it wasn’t! I will soldier on through countless more explosions and wrecked ships, learning a little more each time, until I become formidable in PvP.

See you in the next entry! o7

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Very, very few PvPers manage to do this just by looking for “goodfights” in lowsec or whatever. That said, it is quite do-able to make all of your isk through PvP even if you aren’t particularly good at it.

The key is to think like a pirate. To do so, you have to make a distinction between PvPing for sportsmanlike “goodfights” and PvPing to make isk by taking it from somebody who would rather you didn’t, in the form of either loots or ransoms. Or both. :smiley:

There’s some old EVE mythology that says that lowsec is the place for piracy, but the current reality is that the possibilities there are pretty limited. If you are clever you can set up in a cloaky Astero or Stratios or something and hunt explorers in lowsec, which probably won’t make you a lot of isk but may at least be enough to keep you in Slashers for awhile. Another possibility is to set up in a lowsec system bordering a highsec mission hub and try to catch the more foolish mission runners who think they can get away with hopping into lowsec once in awhile.

Wormholes offer some potential for piracy too. I don’t have a lot of experience there but it seems like if you are patient and fly something with a cloak you could catch some fairly valuable prizes hunting in wormhole sites.

But the most lucrative area for piracy, by far, is highsec. Suspect baiting PVEers is where the money is, big time. You can catch billion isk mission ships on a regular basis if you put a little effort into it. Sometimes you can even use jedi mind tricks to convince the bears to abandon ship and let you steal the whole thing, if you are clever and don’t mind telling a few little white lies for a good cause. Check out the channel “ninja dojo” if you want to try this and need some guidance. You can also make good isk in highsec by suicide ganking. These things may be a far cry from lowsec “goodfights” but they can sure keep your wallet healthy enough to blow up Slashers all day long without requiring a lot of SP.

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Entry 004: Punching Above My Weight

Dear Diary

I’ve been flying my Slasher like usual, still losing most fights. I’ve had some encounters with faction frigs lately.

I had watched a very impressive video by Chris Jartha where he beats a Federation Navy Comet with a Slasher (here). He did it by scram-kiting with an optimal range disruption script and shooting the drones, then shooting the boat. I found a Comet in a Novice plex and decided I’d try to copy his method. I warped and set orbit to 6750m (orbit rather than keep at range so I might mitigate some of the drone dps). I was keeping range quite well and steadily getting through the drones. It looked like I might actually win the fight. After I got through the first wave of Hobgoblin’s, he sent out a wave of Hornets. They jammed me and with the web no longer on him he was able to close range and melt me very quickly with his blasters.

Disheartening, but I learnt from this that when ECM drones are deployed, they are more of an immediate priority than damage drones.

I was sitting in a plex when a Firetail appeared outside the gate. I knew that if it was autocannon-fit and I was able to get the TD on it, I would have a very good chance of winning the fight. When he slid in I orbited tight and put all my mods on him. However, he was pulling range despite this. He passed 5km and I was confused. I should be going faster than him, I thought. A thought occurred. I hovered my mouse over the web icon, and it revealed that he was using 2 webs. Why would an AB Firetail want dual webs…? I glanced at my log and saw I was taking damage - a lot of it - from artillery. He was scram-kiting me with artillery using short-range ammo! I quickly swapped from my tracking disruption script to an optimal range disruption script, which reduced the damage of his volleys from ~400 to ~100, but by this point I was already in structure and died quickly.

From this I learnt that after I get the lock I must check immediately to see if I’m dual-webbed. If I am then I should assume that it’s a scram-kite arty fit and accept that I cannot control range, so I should embrace scram-kiting and swap to an optimal range disruption script as quickly as possible (maybe swap to Barrage as well). If they then counter by coming in closer then I may consider swapping to a tracking speed disruption script. I’m not sure what I would do if they swapped to medium-range ammo though; it would probably just become a dps race.

Summary and Conclusion:

Still learning, though not seeing much in the form of results yet. I’m sure that will come later. I shouldn’t be too dismayed considering that I was fighting faction frigs, but punching above your weight is a sure way to improve quickly. I’ve also joined a FW corp to have some people to chat with whilst I go about my EVE adventures.

See you in the next entry! o7