21 Jun 2007

Musings on solo-pirating. Part One.

Solo pirating has been my preferred way of playing an EVE Pirate for the last two years. I enjoy the freedom and ability to choose targets, not to mention the ability to log in and out and not mess up any group operations.

However, solo pirating does limit myself in terms of available targets. Ideally, one should be in a fast-locking, speedy, hard-hitting and cheap ship. In other words, frigates (a rifter for example) or cruisers such as a stabber. However; being solo and in a frigate usually means you have to contend with:

1. Inability to scout ahead - unless you double-back.
2. No possibility of calling in backup.
3. Limited target availability.

Using a rifter, I have speed and hard hitting power on my side and I can rip into all T1 frigates, T1 destroyers, some T1 cruisers, T2 interceptors (if I fit dual-webbers) and of course T1 mining barges.

To me the advantages of the rifter are:

1. Cheap.
2. Very hard hitting - great ability to 'alpha-strike' someone.
3. Speedy.
4. Fast locking on targets.

However, the disadvantages include:

1. Inability to tank damage from missiles;
2. Difficulty in tanking damage from more than five drones at once;
3. Small capacitor on rifter;

The longer the fight, the greater the chance of defeat not because of potential gang mates coming in to help the victim but because of the likelihood that the rifter would have ran out of cap by then. No cap doesn't stop the rifter from firing but it does stop the armour repairer from working and more importantly, the warp disruptor.

Switching to the punisher drops my DPS but gives me probably the hardest frigate tank available; this is the infamous 'bleeder' setup. However, I have still been killed while being in the punisher by having either my cap drained or damage that 'bleeds' past the armour repairer between the repair cycles (i.e. frigate guns).

Moving up to assault frigates has changed the mix once more. The Jaguar, to me, with the extra mid-slot now can be used as a decent shield tank but I might lose the tackling mods. However, the high resistances offered to the Jaguar (both on shield and on armour) makes it a nasty ship; in fact I am seriously thinking of a passive shield tank (via a named medium extender) and then active armour tanking. A bit crazy but I am willing to give it a go. Cooker-cutter setups are fine but it does mean that anyone who scans the various eve forums might get a good idea what you are flying.

Doesn't actually bother me if people have an idea on what I am flying but I certainly don't want to make it easier for potential victims.

Going to experiment over the next week or so and I will see how it all goes.