Solo ESS PvP/robbing tips

I pretty much ignored ESS’s when they came out. It has been on my list, but there are always more things that I want to do in EVE than I have time for. Over the last few days I have finally gotten around to trying a bit of ESS PvP though.

It has gone poorly so far. I have been trying a variation of Grunt Kado’s blaster Moa fit solo. I’ve linked to 10 sites so far. Of these, only 1 completed the 6 minute timer without a response. 13 million isk. Cha-ching. The other 9 all resulted in a response fleet arriving within 3 minutes with overwhelming numbers. It didn’t seem to matter whether there was 5 million in the bank or 150 - same sort of response in every case. I haven’t yet gotten a winnable fight, nor have I been able to complete robberies and get any significant isk to dry my tears with.

I know people do this successfully, but I’m feeling like a total noob here. Can anyone give me any advice?

How do you assess which ESS’s are likely to result in either a successful robbery or a reasonably winnable PvP situation? Are there regions to especially target or avoid?

Should I be flying something different than a blaster Moa? I can see that people have been successful with similar fits, and I like its performance. I feel like it should perform well in 1v1, 1v2, 1v3 scenarios with other cruisers, but those are not the scenarios I’m seeing. Should I be flying something different, like a beastly BS or an overpropped cruiser? I am on a budget here, so I can’t see bringing a marauder or something blingy.

Are there any communities around this activity that I could join to discuss further? Chat channels or discords?

I can’t help but think that there are some fundamental flaws in the mechanics of ESS’s which make it hard to get good fights. Maybe if the timer was 3 minutes instead of 6, for example, the ratters might be more likely to come as they are to defend their ESS rather then call in a blob and respond in the exact counter to what the robber is flying. Response fleets seem to get there in under 3 minutes most of the time anyway, but there might also be the possibility of holding the field that long and then successfully disengaging with the loot in your cargo hold anyway.

I’m not having great luck so far but am planning to stick with it until I either figure out how to be successful or can honestly say I’ve given it a fair shot, so any help would be appreciated.

The purpose of the ESS is not to deliver “good fights” for robbers, it is to force the locals to defend a part of their bounty (aka send a response), instead of just docking up whenever someone enters the local and wait it out. If they do, they will lose some of it (aka giving it the robber for free).

In a system/constellation where locals are active and willing to defend, you should never successfully rob a bank solo. And no, the system should not be tweaked in a way that you can.

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We can split hairs about what we respectively assume the purpose of ESS’s to be, or whether they live up to such expectations, but that’s not really the purpose of this post. Personally I think encouraging good fights is usually a good reason to tweak game mechanics as a general rule. But I’ll admit I’m a novice at ESS stuff so maybe my idea is dumb in some way that I haven’t understood yet.

So…,any tips to share?

The few times I’ve been in an ESS defending or robbing it I was in a group, but if I’m going to try solo ESS robbing, I plan to use this as inspiration:

Ok, excuse me for going off-topic, you are right.

Blasters and brawlers in general are inherently not good for going against more than one ship, especially not on a T1 cruiser hull, and especially not when you are on the defensive.

The reason is that once a brawler is in the fight it is committed. It has to be able to dps race everyone it is facing and win or lose, unless you are fighting particularly bad opponents with particularly bad fits you are going to lose. Skill also becomes less influential for a brawler as opponents multiply, because as they add more things like webs you lose options. Once you’ve got two webs on you aren’t moving and are at the mercy of your opponents who can easily move out of you’re blaster optimal range or attempt to get in under your guns (iirc blasters don’t have greatest tracking with t2 ammo, might also want to consider changing that if you are relying on it for larger damage numbers) either way its their choice not yours.

Brawlers also need to have the initiative, that is be able to choose who to engage or not, because again they will not be able to escape once committed, much of a game like eve is about setting the conditions for victory prior to the fight, simply being able to recognize when to take a fight or not is key to winning or losing your ship.

Now I’ve never been much good at roaming PvP myself but I was in corp with some guys who were. They made me a lot better than I was learning how to dictate the fight. learn how to use MWD heating it and cycling it at the right time is incredibly important, I once caught a vagabond with an armor Cane despite being probly around half his speed. A good ship to start with learning how to fight multiple opponents is the RLML Caracal or OSNI, they have simple tactics too, align away and titrate the MWD to keep the range just right. You likely wont have much more success kicking a hornets nest, after all a blob is a blob, but with a kite you are much more likely to be able to disengage or at least take a ceptor down with you.

If you want to keep with Brawling I’d suggest looking into Hull tanking. You can get a similar buffer fit with a lot of ships using the hull, and save pwrgd and cap for other things. their main downside is not being able to receive decent reps and omni tank cant be used to stack against anticipated tgt, but that doesn’t really matter if you are solo against multiple enemies with multiple dmg types. For instance you can buffer fit a Cane to 55k with guns that’ll heat to over 800 dps for about 90mil to boot since hull tanking is cheap.

Active fits are on a knifes edge, you have to be in a situation where you take a lot of damage (more than the buffer) but slowly enough to not be overwhelmed in order to truly benefit from them. Not so good against a blob unless they are in ships of a weaker class than you.

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