“Automatic” – EVE Online Solo PVP

Zip Slings 2017-06-18

Solo PVP in EVE is an intentional handicap. This is a community-based game, and flying is, more often than not, a team exercise. Placing yourself at that disadvantage is, in my opinion, the core of Solo PVP. You are playing the game in a way that it was not intended to be played.

Now, of course, I came into this way of thinking before the Orthrus and Svipul existed, and as we all know, those ships and ships like them could not be more clearly aimed at being Solo PVP monsters.

So why not fly them? It would be trivial to throw together a video of an Orthrus smashing small frigate gangs to bits. Or a Gila. Why fly a ship that is, in the minds of many, relegated to yolo fast tackle and trolling? My answer? Uncertainty. When a Garmur tackles your autocannon Thrasher, you can be reasonably sure that you are going to die, and the Garmur pilot can be reasonably sure of that outcome as well. But when the Thrasher wins, then Solo PVP becomes exciting for me (and if I’m being honest, I feel like many people agree with me here). This is the reasoning behind why I fly the Stabber. No implants, no boosters, T2 fittings, (and in the past, no links). Just me, my fit, and my understanding of what other pilots expect me to be able to do. That expectation of what other pilots assume leads me to my fit, and why I chose it.

The standard Stabber fit in the minds of most looks something like this:

What other people fly

Details change, of course. Some have more damage modules, some have a point instead of a scram, some use heavy missiles, and some even forgo their two extra high slots in favor of 425mm autocannons.

My fit looks like this:

What I fly

I almost always leave station hoping to find a battlecruiser or cruiser to fight, but you wouldn’t know that from looking at this fit. Part of fitting with Solo PVP in mind is understanding that you will have to deal with frigates and destroyers. Some will want to try to get under your guns, and some will want to point you so their friends can come along and kill you. The web and neuts make quick work of any that try to get close, while the dual Tracking Enhancers and always having Depleted Uranium in cargo help to deal with pesky interceptors.

With so much fitting devoted to dealing with small ships, how then do I deal with cruisers and battlecruisers when I encounter them? Well, the ship is clearly designed to kite. The MWD and Point should make that obvious. But one of the major drawbacks of the Stabber is its poor cap life. You only get a handful of MWD cycles before you are cap-dry and have to either bail or die. The web helps mitigate this drawback. You can let brawling ships get closer than you would normally be comfortable with by overheating the web and pulsing the MWD when needed. The neuts also perform a vital role here. Sometimes you are just going to get caught. They are faster than you, you get a bad warp, whatever. I can’t tell you how many times I have neuted off a scram and managed to escape.

I’ve managed to go on a bit more than I had intended, and while there is a good deal more that I could talk about regarding the fit, I will leave it at that for now. I hope you enjoy the video, and I would be more than happy to answer any questions in the comments either here, on the video itself, on Twitter, etc. Fly Dangerously.

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Comments

  • Pew Pew

    I really like solo so I think this is really cool. I think the foundation of talking about it is sharing your experiences so having your video really helps.

    I do have some questions.

    “Well, the ship is clearly designed to kite … You only get a handful of MWD cycles before you are cap-dry and have to either bail or die.”

    I don’t quite see how this makes sense? Surely kiting means you need a lot of range control and so need to run your prop mod a lot. I tried kiting in a stabber a couple of times and just ran out of cap and got run down.

    I notice you actually cap out in a couple of the fights in the video (against the hecate, for example). Surely this means it can never really be a proper kiter? I feel personally that the stabber is an odd ship because it’s the fastest cruiser so would be awesome if it were cap stable. Personally I’d happily trade the drone bay for cap stability with prop mod on. Do you agree, what do you think?

    “The web helps mitigate this drawback. You can let brawling ships get closer than you would normally be comfortable with by overheating the web and pulsing the MWD when needed.”

    Surely the problem with this is that when you’re in web range you’re also in scram range and so using the MWD may no longer be an option?

    June 18, 2017 at 12:21 pm
    • Shivvy Pew Pew

      “I can’t tell you how many times I have neuted off a scram and managed to escape.”

      June 18, 2017 at 3:18 pm
      • Zip Slings Shivvy

        Also true 🙂

        June 18, 2017 at 7:53 pm
    • Zip Slings Pew Pew

      I mentioned the Orthrus (and implied ships like the Garmur) in the article, as these ships are able to permarun their MWDs which makes them excellent at kiting. What it also does, however, is make everyone painfully aware of how fast they are and how pointless it can be to try to catch them. The Stabber overcomes this psychological barrier by being very fast, but perceived to be easy to catch. The situations where you need to decide to bail or commit are when the odds are severely against you, such as a large gang of frigates or several fast cruisers chasing you. I find that in most cases where I am truly successful at kiting, one of two things happens: 1. They run out of cap, allowing me to coast without MWD and wear them down 2. I made the decision that I’ve worn down enough of their HP (or I see another advantage) and dive in to finish the kill with higher DPS, neuts, web, etc.

      To me, the drone bay is indispensable. Asking for cap stability (or just more cap life) is not going to keep you safe from Svipuls, Sabres, Faction Frigates, (T1 Frigates), Interceptors… You get the idea. Just because you’re in the fastest T1 Cruiser doesn’t make you the fastest ship on grid. You will get run down, and the drone bay, web, and neuts, allow me to deal with that when it inevitably comes to it.

      Imagine a blaster Thorax trying to run me down. (This has happened. He died.) I can turn on my MWD and try to stay away from him, or I can overheat the Web, pulse the MWD, and as he gets in close to 15-14km, I pulse the MWD again and spam the web. It catches as he hits 13km, I coast out to 17-19km again, rinse, repeat. For reference, see here: https://youtu.be/m3UtaFcyqq0?t=3m47s

      June 18, 2017 at 7:53 pm
      • Pew Pew Zip Slings

        That’s really cool, great response, thanks.

        June 18, 2017 at 9:28 pm
  • Rolfski

    If you want to give yourself a real challenge, why not go alpha clone with one of your accounts and try to be solo PVP king? Working with these limitations should spice things up considerably, especially if you go hardcore mode and choose Amarr.

    June 18, 2017 at 1:04 pm
    • Zip Slings Rolfski

      Obviously This can be taken to extremes. Why not fly only Corvettes? Why not only use Civilian modules? Why even play with your monitor turned on? The answer for me is right about here. T1/T2 ships with T2 fittings, no implants, no alts.

      June 18, 2017 at 7:39 pm
      • Rolfski Zip Slings

        Except these aren’t extremes at all, this is just the reality of the game. The far majority of newbro’s will get their PVP feet wet as an alpha clone. Not to mention all the vets that decided to go casual.

        Many, including CCP, are claiming that you can be competitive in PVP as an alpha clone. Why not take up the challenge and prove they are dead wrong? Now THAT would actually be an interesting article to read.

        June 19, 2017 at 7:37 pm
        • Zip Slings Rolfski

          I’ll consider it, although I fear that I would end up proving them right 😉

          June 19, 2017 at 8:01 pm
          • Rolfski Zip Slings

            It doesn’t matter really. You can still give your expert opinion on what CCP should improve on alpha clone balance and put some much need pressure on them for this. There’s a reason Crossing Zebras deliberately never put out an Amarr alpha clone fitting guide. Yet 9 months in and zero has been done on much needed alpha clone related balancing.

            Not to mention INN could really, really use more alpha clone focused articles. So far they have been done pretty poorly in that regard, unworthy really of alliance that claims to be newbie-friendly.

            June 19, 2017 at 11:32 pm
          • Fuck, I once spent an entire blackops deployment flying only T1-fit, T1 garbage and had the time of my life. IDK if solo PvP is the right environment for alphas, but if you’re PvPing with your friends you can have a ton of fun flying Slashers and Thoraxes. Putting arbitrary limitations on your ship and gear selection can be fun.

            June 20, 2017 at 5:11 am
        • Rhivre Rolfski

          I don’t think they are dead wrong. I think a brand new player with no PvP experience cannot be competitive in PvP, however, if you are CCP Rise as an Alpha, that is a different matter 😉

          June 19, 2017 at 8:13 pm
  • We have a saying for ships like this: they have Ferox-factor. IDK if Ferox still has Ferox-factor, incidentally, but it used to be a terrible ship that everyone underestimated.

    Nice little video!

    June 20, 2017 at 5:08 am