How I Combat Trained Pilots In Factional Warfare

How I Combat Trained Pilots In Factional Warfare

During my time in Factional Warfare I have experienced many styles of leadership and environments. I have been part of new corps and established corps. I have joined starting groups and alliances, some which have become integrated into alliances and others which have dissolved their alliances. I have been part of civil wars and have also opted out of participating in civil wars. I have been part of capital escalations within factional warfare and with entities outside of factional warfare. I have lived in null-sec, highsec and lowsec AS a factional warfare pilot and have participated in sov warfare in defensive and in offensive campaigns. I have joined groups who have joined factional warfare from the outside (null, high, wh, piracy) and have been a lineman for veteran groups inside the warzone. I have, in many cases, been the slut of Gallente factional warfare in having experienced the meta through very many lenses and experiences. I have briefly had a taste of very many different perspectives and have practiced under radically different methods of command. I have acted as a leader, but most often I have donned the color of a new recruit with an old uniform.

In all these years of schizophrenic corporation choices, a majority revolving within the gravity and import of lowsec Factional Warfare since the day I joined, I still would not consider myself to be elite in any way, or a master of strategy or any certain style of pvp. I do boast many things to my name that I have aided in the transition as a pioneer in the development of in the past and current meta. I helped break people of their fixed ideas of necessitating meta 4 modules if it wasn’t tech 2, when issues of availability became apparent after a huge nerf to salvage that was available in lvl 4 missions, which drastically reduced the number of pilots that were doing full clearing of their missions and shifted the highsec mission mind to a blitzing meta, along with the introduction of burner missions, which also played a factor. I was one of the first pilots to push the use of little known rigs, like Ionic rigs, before the electronic attack frigates were given a natural buff to their targeting range, and saw first hand their immediate reduction in price in trade markets when their demand became apparent. I was with Bohica [RAMMU], who popularized the kite Tristan in our warzone and who helped us win our 2nd victory of total warzone control. Who were also some of the first to fly kite arty Muninn’s before they were used against us by Snuff, to the great dismay of many who did not remember this brief time or know their weaknesses in tracking and dependency on ranged webification. They joined Black Legion shortly after our victory and, with a salute to one of the best learning experiences I ever had, I stayed behind. I was one of the first to use rails in short ranged pvp and scram kiting with a Tristan. I was one of the first to use plate buffer that was supported with an active repairer, when it was a big no-no to have a mixed pactive (passive/active) tank. An expression that never really caught.

I have been present during some of the greatest changes in Eve, such as the t1 rebalance, tiercide, cyno mechanics, and capital rebalance (some of which have had nothing to do with Factional Warfare), or Dust514 influence and orbital bombardment. I have also experienced the on-going evolution of FW in Tier/system bonuses, complex npc’s, missions and general player perspective that rides the wave of the FW concept, with all its rewards and drawbacks. I have publicly shared the revolutionized concept of mass p1 pulling in planetary interaction which are then imported to dedicated factory farms during the days where any internet query would result in someone dismissing lowsec and highsec PI as never worth it. It was always Null/WH or bust.

I require the foreward of this history, not because I crave the credit for any of these things. While I am sometimes bothered that my sniping Harpy was ridiculed, proposed as a direct counter to sniper cormorants, or that my 125mm rail Catalyst was met with derision because it had no point, only to see null-sec implement these doctrines to great effect and later see the same naysayers adopting the same ideas. Believe it or not, I possess the predated kill mails and snapshots that would challenge anyone’s dispute to discredit me. Therefore, I continue to share freely a new method I myself have created for the development of manual piloting pvp skills for anyone that is interested in trying these exercises with a friend or by themselves. I have never met anyone or heard of anyone training the way that I have trained capsuleers. I know it is effective and it has always shown immediate results.

First things first

One of the very first things that I have learned to do prior to training was ascertain a pilot’s understanding of the virtual world that they inhabit. In the long hours I have spent training, I have come to realize the wide arc of what each pilot’s familiarity is within New Eden, within their ship, and with their UI.

To break through the ice with any new pilot, I first request that they meet me at a pre-designated spot in which the training will occur. This will force them to travel to you. If you are offering training as a service, make sure you have equipment both inside highsec as well as lowsec, so as to accommodate anyone that is very low security status or to just avoid getting Concorded if you forget to renew a dual while you are preparing for the next practice encounter. The following are the ships which I have used to train 95% of the guys I’ve had the pleasure of spending almost an hour with each. These are cheap and affordable fits that anyone can get into. Some of them are pvp viable. Some are intentionally gimped to be slower to give your trainee the advantage in personal skill or even character skill points. Not everyone will have their navigation skills at lvl V, but with enough practice with these exercises, you will immediately be able to recognize when a pilot has the personal skill, but is being held back by low SP. Such a pilot is easy to push into Omega or even an injector or two. Either way, patience is key until you can build experience to streamline the training process.

[Atron, artep atron]
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
100mm Crystalline Carbonide Restrained Plates
Damage Control I

1MN Monopropellant Enduring Afterburner
J5b Enduring Warp Scrambler
5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwarpdrive

Light Electron Blaster II, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Electron Blaster II, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Electron Blaster II, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge S
[empty high slot]

Small Hybrid Burst Aerator I
Small Anti-Explosive Pump I
Small Auxiliary Thrusters I

Antimatter Charge S x1000
Null S x1000

[Atron, Tartep atron]
Type-D Restrained Nanofiber Structure
Vortex Compact Magnetic Field Stabilizer
Damage Control I

Faint Epsilon Scoped Warp Scrambler
Fleeting Compact Stasis Webifier
5MN Cold-Gas Enduring Microwarpdrive

Anode Light Ion Particle Cannon I, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge S
Anode Light Ion Particle Cannon I, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge S
Anode Light Ion Particle Cannon I, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge S
[empty high slot]

[empty rig slot]
[empty rig slot]
[empty rig slot]

Federation Navy Antimatter Charge S x640
Antimatter Charge S x1000

Your first exercise should involve these two ships. The pilot acting in the defensive position should be the least experienced, while the teacher, or more experienced pilot, should begin as the actor warping into the engagement pocket. The trainee should be in the ship with the scram and the web, while the trainer should be in the dual-prop Atron. Now that the pilot has arrived at the rendezvous destination, request that he open up a trade with you. Ask him to check his fit prior to undocking to make sure everything is online, undamaged and loaded. When the green light is given, ask him to undock. Show the noob how to open a site that has not yet been opened and have him meet you there, or (after fleeting with him) ask him to warp to you once you land in the safe spot you will be using. Ask him once he lands to ctrl+B bookmark this location in his own personal bm’s. Remember that his person might be doing all of these things for the very first time and is unaware that you are already grooming him to be an efficient combat pilot that is learning how to find a destination, reship, repair his ship, and how to warp to his comrades.

Now we are going to make this into a game. The first pilot will situate himself in a safespot anywhere in system. If you are in lowsec, you will be using one of the gated complexes as a training arena. Make sure to pick a spot that’s quiet, or also use a safe in lowsec if you must, but the complexes provide the perfect simulation for what is actually going to be experienced by a Factional Warfare pilot. The first pilot will jettison one piece of ammo (open active ship bay, click and drag the ammo stack, drag to an empty area inside the same bay or overlapped with a different icon and with Shift pressed unclick. Default is 1, just push enter). It helps everyone if this pilot jettisons the can at least 15km away from the warp in. Do it yourself first to just streamline this and when you try again, have HIM do it with his ammo afterwards. I use a pack of tobacco and have often been reminded about this entire experience when someone finds a pack of smokes in their old hangers. Please be sure to add the container to both our overviews.

Now the object of the game is that the trainer in the dual-prop Atron must now warp away and ask the trainee to prepare himself to tackle you as you come in and do his/her best to pound as much dps into you as they possibly can. The hybrid weapons are a perfect set for this use. The trainer need not ever fire their weapon system. What the trainer is going to attempt to do is loot the can ASAP and then warp out with more than 50% armor. If the trainee can reduce him to less than 50% armor, let him stop his guns from cycling and let you go. He wins. As a trainer, you are obligated to utilize every option in at your disposal when you land. If he is zero on the warp-in, overheat your mwd and blow ahead. If he is on the can, try to lure him away from the can to try to catch you and then circle back around for a scoop and a clean warp away. Talk to the pilot after every engagement to see what they were thinking and trying. As the trainer, do your best to slide away from their point range with your afterburner heated. Your trainee has a bit more reach with his scram, but that’s for good reason. Give them a chance to notice when your point falls and likewise, when their own also fails to reach the same range as the web. Notice that this exercise can be practiced by any person on any level, but you as a trainer are trying to determine where your trainee is in terms of how good he is in positioning himself and how well he flies by how much damage he is able to apply before you gtfo. There are a ton of things which can happen here, but it would take too long to get through most of them. This is a learning experience. So long as you stick to the smoke can and armor damage level as an objective, you will get enough out of this first stage to help each other learn the importance of Thermodynamics and timing Ctrl+space while using a mwd. If they fail to apply both scram or web or even to apply a decent amount of damage, try to help them organize their slot layout so they naturally can roll their fingers over the modules they need in one smooth motion, rather than clicking individually on each with the mouse. F1:weapon f2: scram f3: web f4: prop. Have them checkbox to hide inactive modules and to get in the habit of rearranging modules on the undock in this way and never underestimate the awful attempt at overheating by clicking on the tiny button. Please make sure they know how to shift click the module to prep it for heat and use ctrl for targeting.

The 2nd exercise: How to Slingshot

[Tristan, Ramcat]
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Damage Control II
Drone Damage Amplifier II

Medium Azeotropic Restrained Shield Extender
5MN Cold-Gas Enduring Microwarpdrive
Warp Disruptor II

Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Small Capacitor Control Circuit I
Small Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I

Acolyte II x8

[Atron, Dekutron]
Damage Control II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Small Ancillary Armor Repairer

Warp Scrambler II
1MN Monopropellant Enduring Afterburner
X5 Enduring Stasis Webifier

Light Neutron Blaster II
Light Neutron Blaster II
[Empty High slot]
Light Neutron Blaster II

Small Nanobot Accelerator I
Small Hybrid Burst Aerator I
Small Targeting System Subcontroller I

Void S x900
Nanite Repair Paste x16
Antimatter Charge S x1000
Null S x900
Federation Navy Antimatter Charge S x480

The trainer will be hopping into the kite Tristan after the trainee learns how to exit his first atron and trade it back for the Afterburner Atron. Don’t worry if your trainee can’t fit into the Dekutron, he can offline the guns if he wants to, as he doesn’t necessarily need them to perform the maneuver. Meta any of the tech 2 modules, but do so with a voice laden with hesitation and disapproval before you assure them that everything is fine. The objective here is that the afterburner ship must sit at the warp in point of either the safe or inside the complex and do his best to procure a scram and web on the ship that is entering in on him. As the trainer you must decide yourself whether to try the first dive heated or not. You make the choice on how difficult you wish to make this on your pupil, but know that you can discourage anyone from learning if you make things too difficult or they are just blown away to not even trying with the skill gap you can present. Don’t overdue it. This is about your trainee. If they seem disoriented, recommend that they enable their tactical overlay and pull out to where the camera sits on the 5km ring. Your objective is to humble/encourage and inspire/instruct him. If the padawan fails to scram you, you commit to a 16,500 orbit with your AI governing the long point and range and now calmly explain to them that they are now caught by a kiter at range because they failed on the catch and must now do their best to either pull away or swing you in. They must escape the unfortunate circumstance. DO NOT manually pilot against them while they do their best to swing out of this; let go of the steering wheel and zoom in on them and make sure they are trying to align to celestials on their way out and that they are trying to change directions every 3-5 seconds, alternately approaching and withdrawing. Tip them that they can attempt to aim for where they can predict you will be at the end of those 4 seconds by the arrows indicating your flight path, and to try to set themselves up with a celestial for their gtfo maneuver so they can initiate warp immediately after they break point. A new player will learn quickly how important heating is in this exercise, on top of getting a lot of practice with heat management on an afterburner. Sit back and don’t worry about cap, your Tristan should be cap stable if you are skilled correctly. Reacquire point as soon as you lose it so they get a grasp of how important their alignment is when they break point. If they fail to lock you timely, take a moment to ask them about their targeting speed skill, Signature Analysis. Remember to encourage them to make the important decision early on whether they should commit to an escape or an early stretch and dive back in to ‘sling-shot’ you back into their web and point range. Recommend that they keep their web and scram heated the entire time they practice, whether they are trying to escape or not, as many players keep a loose orbit and over-commit with an approach or over-correct. Always be ready to capitalize on a mistake! Make sure they are not reducing their speed while they work at this, as many people think turning off the AB will aid in turning, but the inertia and mass is not so significant when using an afterburner as opposed to the micro warp drive and they will only be losing speed while it’s off.

The 3rd exercise: How to kite

[Incursus, Neutron Spear]
Damage Control II
Small Ancillary Armor Repairer
200mm Steel Plates II
Adaptive Nano Plating II

J5b Enduring Warp Scrambler
1MN Monopropellant Enduring Afterburner
X5 Enduring Stasis Webifier

Light Neutron Blaster II
Light Neutron Blaster II
Light Neutron Blaster II

Small Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Small Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Small Targeting System Subcontroller I

Hobgoblin II x1

Void S x480
Federation Navy Antimatter Charge S x480
Nanite Repair Paste x16
Antimatter Charge S x1000
Null S x480

[Tristan, Ramcat]
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Damage Control II
Drone Damage Amplifier II

Medium Azeotropic Restrained Shield Extender
5MN Cold-Gas Enduring Microwarpdrive
Warp Disruptor II

Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Small Capacitor Control Circuit I
Small Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I

Acolyte II x8

Here are a set of the two other ships you will be using to train kiting in. You are basically switching roles now. The first were a training exercise in brawling and this one will be much more difficult as it requires a huge amount of manual piloting than they have previously experienced. You are downgrading to a slower plated Incursus to make this easier for your trainee to manually pilot to maintain a point on you, despite your best effort now to sling shot them to either scram them or escape. The trainee’s own skills with the Tristan will show if they have very low Engineering skills, together with low High Speed Maneuvering and Propulsion Jamming. On the other hand, you should still have plenty of time to practice and the capacitor warnings will serve them the better so that they realize, again, that there are many skills which are also important for pvp other than fitting, dps and resistance. Teach your pupil that they can more easily manage their range by alternating between the first top 4 buttons on your Selected Item overview box when another vessel is selected. Approach, warp, orbit, keep at range. Recommend that they make minute adjustments with approach and keep at range with fine tuning BRIEF instances of these. Meaning, don’t spam approach when your target is at 22km and touching 23km and wait to see your desired range before you resume your orbit. Spam approach and let it ride for one second or maybe two and then spam orbit again or you will be hugging a web and kissing some blasters. Once again, I’d like to recommend setting 16,500 for the Tristan as a good orbiting range and have a keep distance of 30k for if ever the new pilots finds himself terribly disoriented, he can always spam Keep at Range and likely find himself well away from point range of most things.

There is probably a lot more that I could add. I think this is enough. Most trainees don’t have the energy for more than this in one day and I do feel this is enough to inspire anyone to not be a F1 monkey anymore. If you help give birth to a manual combat pilot, you do a service to the whole of Eve. As for myself, I still wait on 2020 for CCP’s promise to show FW some much needed love. Until then, Fly well. o7

3 Likes