Manual Piloting for Missile / Torpedo Boats

One of the elements that makes Eve combat heavily skill-based is the angular velocity/tracking system for turret-based weapons. Players who manually pilot to mitigate incoming DPS and maximize outgoing DPS when necessary tend to achieve better results in PvP and PvE.

Missiles, however, use a rather boring and binary system in comparison. Missiles always apply some damage to the target consistently (unless the target can outrun the missile). It is a steady stream of damage that a player has little influence over. A turret pilot may have a bad matchup in terms of sig radius and tracking, but such deficiencies can be overcome through careful movement of the ship relative to your opponent. With missiles, you’re either just overpowered or doomed once the fight starts.

Missiles_Eve1

After some thought, I came up with an idea that would allow individual pilot skill in missile combat to shine:

Once upon a time, in the early days of eve, ships could fit multiple microwarpdrives at once. This would allow missile ships (lookup the cavalry raven on youtube) to fly faster than their own missiles. By setting the speed of your ship equal to the speed of your missiles, if you flew straight at your target, you could do a HUMONGOUS alpha strike against slower moving enemies since all missiles would impact the target at once as you drove by.

Nowadays, missiles tend to fly too fast make any use of missile stacking alpha strike tactics. But the mechanic could be brought back in a weaker form. For example, imagine if we had a module or some system that could manually increase or decrease the speed of a missile in exchange for a corresponding decrease or increase in flight time:

A player could then do a “dive bombing” pass straight at their target and try to adjust the speeds of their missiles as the distance changes to create a giant alpha strike: (see image below)

Missiles_Eve3

A key difference between this system and the old cavalry ravens in the nano-age is that missile speed is not constant in this proposal. If the target changes their flightpath or speed, the missiles will impact at different times, thus preventing a huge alpha strike. Variable missile speed requires the attacking pilot to predict when and where his opponent will move in order to synchronize damage for the best results. Likewise, the defending pilot can anticipate that an alpha strike is incoming, and maneuver accordingly to de-synchronize the different missile speed volleys and thus spread out damage overtime.

In a close duel between two missile boats, stacking volleys of missiles could allow a pilot to get past the ideal hitpoint regeneration threshold of a passive shield tank, help quickly eliminate a target before logi can react, or deal chip damage to armor/hull beyond the active tank of a ship. It opens up options in pvp with proper counterplay.


As it stands, missiles ought to benefit in some form or another from actively piloting your ship. Missiles are common mission fits, and being able to sync damage volleys against active tank rats might spice up PVE gameplay quite a bit.
(And maybe those 1-2 bonus launchers on some turret fits might finally see some use.)

Thoughts?

Open uni wiki and re-read missile mechanics. As there’s more to it than what you explain.

Also I see zero benefit from reintroducing old and broken mechanics. With only difference that this time it’s bit more complex to pull off

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Open uni wiki and re-read missile mechanics. As there’s more to it than what you explain.

Yes there’s a few extra mechanics I didn’t mention for the sake a brevity. But actually leveraging kiting for extra range in a practical fight is often just reserved to a few very specific ships (Orthruz) and firewalling tends to be only practical in gigantic fights.

Also I see zero benefit from reintroducing old and broken mechanics. With only difference that this time it’s bit more complex to pull off

Well that’s basically the premise. Eve needs more combat mechanics that are difficult to pull off with a big reward.

Right now alpha striking-muninns tend to dominate large sub-capital fights. If you want to see greater variety in bigger fights, there needs to be more possible methods of applying quick alpha damage. Being able to synchronize volleys of missiles might make them much more viable for the skirmish and flight tactics that have been commonplace over the last few years.

Mitigating damage with speed. For example

Mitigating damage with speed. For example

yes, but when it comes to manual piloting, that’s for the target/defender’s manual piloting skills (primarily).

What I am looking for here is a system for the missile user (launcher) to have more impact on the outcome of a fight by manually controlling his or her own ship. If both parties have more variables to input on the damage dealt during the fight, then it allows more intricate fights and for manual flight skills to shine.

This is incorrect.
Um there is a lot of things you can do to up your damage with only flying:

First of all you need to anaylse what the other player is doing, if they orbit you then you can manaul pilot in the opposide direction to their orbit and move back and forth which will slow them down a lot and your missiles hit them harder.

If they keep you at range then you can move perpendicular to them back and forth, if they are using arty turn 180 degrees just after they fire to avoid them hitting you while your speed goes to 0 and back up again. Their ship should be almost standing still.

Also your missiles do more damage if they hit a target that is chasing you rather than running away due to how explosion velocity and radius work if it hits them infront of their ship they travel a little into that sphere allowing more of their ship to be inside the explosion radius.

Fitting explosion radius rig’s on your ship instead of explosion speed will be much better if you use these tactics as the enemy speed is something you can control using the above, hope you become a little more dangerous after reading this :] peace.

If you want to put it into basic’s turret users try to lower the enemy transversal, as a missile user you are trying to get them to chase you and lower their speed.

If any thing drones need a reword they are boring as all hell and way to simple to use.

Also:

Missiles are more strategy than tactic’s this is true you wont be able to alpha an inti like a tornado can but there is still lots you can do.

On the pve side I like to afterburner tank my stealth bombers and brawl npc’s and when I orbit them their speed drops right down and the dps goes right up :] lvl 4’s are very do-able in sb’s.

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Those are some good tips I’ll keep in mind, however, there is one major concept listed there that I am not sure is correct.

Also your missiles do more damage if they hit a target that is chasing you rather than running away due to how explosion velocity and radius work if it hits them infront of their ship they travel a little into that sphere allowing more of their ship to be inside the explosion radius.

Unless there has been a patch of some sorts while I was away from the game for a long time, I was under the impression that the missile damage formula was simply:

eveMissileFormula
(drf being a constant given to each missile type)

I am not sure the direction of the target’s movement relative to the missile matters. Only the absolute straight line velocity is used to factor in the damage calculations. (which is why missiles end up being very un-interactive in comparison to turrets)

The effect you see of NPC mission rats taking huge damage as they approach is simply them turning on their microwarpdrives to approach and ballooning their sig radius.

Remember that CCP have never given us a formula, this was created by player’s from testing and reverse engineering, that testing never included if the ship was flying away or toward’s.

I have tested the formula and it is super close, but at times I was getting inaccurate result’s so looked to see why and that is what I found.

Having the video of Combat Mechanic’s from CCP them selves made that observation a lot easier thou as they probably have a different method of calculating it.

In my own testing there is a lvl 4 mission called exploited sensitivities with a bunch of Caracal npc’s shooting missiles and their damage is scary I use a perma mwd hawk to do this mission and I find when I can’t tank them I fly away for a bit to regen my tank and fly back in again. They can shoot to 100km’s easily and have only missiles so it was a good way for me to test this theory.

Would be easier with an alt but I’m a solo account pilot.

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