Sunday, February 28, 2010

You Can All Let Me Go Now: Tackling in Eve Online

In Eve Online, brand new players can play an important role in player vs. player fights by learning how to tackle. The Eve University tackling guide describes tackling as "The art of immobilizing the opponent in a way that said ship is unable to move." If a ship can't move, whether the pilot has been playing for 3 days or 3 years, the ship will eventually die.

I took the Tackling 101 class yesterday and learned that tackling is just a little more than targeting a ship and clicking on a tackling module. Here are some of the highlights.

Mid-slots: The most important equipment for a tackling frigate is in the mid slots. In order of importance, the equipment is speed modules, warp scramblers/disrupters, and webifiers. Speed modules are needed in order to catch up to a ship in order to tackle it if it is out of range. In this case, speed really can kill. Eve University recommends microwarp drives in its standard tackling fittings but Agony Unleashed likes afterburners. Each one has its uses, although if I'm camping a Minmatar station or a system stargate I can see why afterburners would be preferred. Afterburners use less cap and can't be shut down by the enemy's warp scramblers, enabling a frigate to speed tank. I think the micro-warp drives would shine in deep space battles covering hundreds of kilometers, though.

Warp disruptor and warp scramblers both have their uses. The warp disruptor has a range of 20/24 km, which should cover the jump diameter of most system stargates. The constellation and regional gates can still be a problem for one ship to cover by itself. One of the drawbacks of the warp disruptor is that it only has 1 point of warp scramble strength and ships using an inertia stabilizer or having a built-in inertia stabilizer like deep space transports and the Skiff have a warp strength over 1. So that is where the warp scrambler comes into the picture. The warp scrambler has a warp scramble strength of 2, but gets the extra point at the expense of its range, which is only 7.5 km. But on the plus side, the warp scrambler also disables the micro-warp drive of the target and uses less capacitor to initially activate. Eve University prefers the warp disruptor on its tackling frigates, probably because with so many new pilots Unista fleets have a much higher than average percentage of tacklers.

Webifiers are relegated to third in importance because not all of the tackling frigates have 3 mid slots. The Punisher, the Amarr tackling frigate, only has two, which is nice because we Minmatar pilots love to speed tank. Also, the mis-use of a webifier can actually lead to the target getting away. If the web is applied, the target's top speed is reduced, thus allowing the target to achieve warp faster. The rule is, first scramble/disrupt, then web.

Low slots: Low slots are used for going FAST. The two modules to put in the slots are Overdrive Injectors and Nanofiber Internal Structures. Both use no CPU or power so they are almost a no-brainer for a ship that needs to go really fast.

High slots: The basic message was, "these are not important." Basically the role of the tackler is to disable the enemy, anything else is just icing on the cake.

We then had a practical exercise involving practicing tackling in a regular fight, around stargates ala gate camps, and stations. The title of this post came from what the instructor would say whenever it was time to move to a new section of the practical exercise. The entire class took approximately 90 minutes.

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