Monday, December 12, 2011

Plight of the Solo PvPer

While solo PvP in Eve is not dead, it is certainly one of the most difficult modes on play in Eve that I have encountered.

Null sec warfare certainly has its trials and tribulations, but for the average pilot there is not much more than fitting your ship to required specs and following orders of the FCs properly. It may be more costly in terms of ISK for lost ships and implants but there is a certain amount of freedom in being able to lame some or all of the blame at the feet of others; others, incidentally, that do the work of finding the enemy and evaluating engagement opportunities for you.

Not so in solo PvP. The job of finding the targets to engage falls solely on the pilot. And since he is a fleet of one there are a lot of hazards out there that a fleet of you and 50 friends can safely ignore. Thus we run into the plight of the solo PvP pilot: which ship to use?

Battleships give the most DPS and tank combination, allowing certain latitude in engaging on gates and stations while ignoring the sentry guns, or even taking on numerous smaller foes. However, they are slow to align and warp making them easy targets for hostile ships to tackle and wear down, plus they can run on the pricey side when they do get destroyed.

So we downgrade to a cheaper battlecruiser which has decent DPS and tank, a little more agile, smaller caliber weapons for threatening even destroyers and frigates in the right circumstances. Still can get caught on gates by larger fleets but not so expensive to lose. But you are still big and unable to enter some faction warfare sites and a lot of viable targets cruiser-sized and smaller will simply refuse to fight you.

Well, what about a cruiser then? Your number of viable targets has dropped considerably now, and any fleet bigger than 3 frigates will give you serious trouble. Really, it seems like a solo cruiser has none of the advantages of a bigger ship but all of the disadvantages of a smaller ship unless you go Tech II or III and really raise the price tag.

Destroyers? Very situational, and the lack of mid slots means that tackling target frigates is problematic. Better used in wolf packs.

So we're down to frigates. Small and agile, they are hard to catch at gates. Even Tech II versions are affordable. You can enter all Faction Warfare sites (EDIT: well, not Tech II frigs sadly, but faction frigs can for a more expensive option). And good pilots can in the right circumstances threaten destroyers and some cruisers. But your viable target pool has shrunk very small now and any well coordinated fleet of enemy tech I frigs is a tough battle usually ending in your demise. At least the cost of a loss is not too devastating.

* * * * *
So what's the answer to this conundrum? My response is to keep a couple ships of every type handy, roam in a frigate and if a target presents itself that requires MOAR POWER then I dock and re-ship. Once the opportunity is over, back to the frigate.

Tomorrow we'll talk about the Art of the Duel.


  1. You can enter all Faction Warfare sites.

    Newp, t2 frigates cannot enter minors. It's one of the most unbalanced aspects of FW, your jaguar cannot enter the plex, whereas your enemies daredevil can.

  2. Solo pvp is far from dead, even for someone like myself who doesn't bother to venture to far from home of an evening. Probably the main thing I would say that solo pvp really benefits from two accounts. (Yes I know) but having a booster alt that can probe and isn't a scary looking -10 like my main means I can hunt easier, and the extra point range/and speed makes skirmishing against larger forces quite possible.

  3. Yes, I need to get my alt out and going now that I'm getting into a groove in the area.

  4. @Kalaratiri: I will edit that in.

  5. Bah, what do you know about duels? Oh wait...

  6. Speed is king in solo pvp for any hull type below BS.

    An alt that can boost your performance opens up more possibilities. Either more speed and better point range or add more tank to make 'inyourface' pvp an option as well.

    I for one will be bringing my booster alt home if I ever get this fucking laptop back yaaAARGh!!!1one1!!!

  7. Umm, if you have an alt providing boosting, then its not much of a solo fight, is it?

    I'm sure it falls into "well, everybody does it" kind of mentality.

    For me, solo PVP only seems to last until your target is heading into structure then his alt's blob lands on your head.

  8. @Knug Lidi - The alt plays prober and scout -- it never gets in the fight.. therefor the fight remains solo

  9. 1v1 is fun as hell when it happens correctly, even when you're on the losing side. But too many players seek the advantage of having buddies and/or jammers. I had what started as an epic fight once, my Hurricane vs a Cynabal. It was going to be a tight affair until a Falcon decloaked. I'll leave the rest to your imagination.

    But despite stuff like that I keep doing it. It's better to lose having fun than to stay docked up.