It’s Still Solo

EVE Online ships explode all too often, killing almost everyone aboard.

Blind jumps into hyperspace are a terrifying right of passage for each EVE Online player count member.

The Republic Frigate is many things, but it’s very rarely an Assault Frigate hunter. When you’re flying solo, you need to be able to disengage from unfavorable encounters.

Keep an eye on your directional scanner to see where there might be useful landscape. In this case, decorated Matari Warrior Joseph Swolin and his fleet were already busy throwing down at an outpost.

Flying solo means no multiboxing, no backup, and no comms; you just gotta believe! I figured the Minmatar boys in the plex might appreciate me bringing a kiting war target assault frigate to the beacon at 0. I took the gate and when I slid out of warp I found that the fight was spread out, with an ally double teamed about 40km from any support. There were other, easier kills nearby that I could’ve likely taken advantage of, but I decided to save an ally was a better mission.

By the time I caught up with Donald Trump in the slasher, he’d slid barely out of tackle range and dove right back to the beacon. Unexpected.

Of course, I followed; by the time we arrived at the beacon from within the skirmish, the retribution that’d been chasing me across multiple constellations thudded out of warp.

Shit.

Donnie The Clown In EVE Online?

Donnie The Clown’s slasher was clearly fit for speed, evasion, cargo space; he was screaming around the beacon in an oblong 20km orbit at better than 3km/s. The brawl taking place within a few hundred meters of the beacon still raged on, but there were only two ships left; one ally, and one war target.

Abandoning pursuit of the slasher, I adjusted my own orbit to within range of the enemy Imperial Navy Slicer; it had already taken heavy damage by the time my first autocannon barrage landed. Unfortunately by this time, Lithalnas in the retribution had managed to lock on to the rifter and start dealing heavy damage from long range. The 200mm plate armor held until the fall of the slicer, and during the ensuing evasive maneuvres. With only shorter range weapons, the rifter was unable to return fire on the retribution from greater than 20km.

With one kill already, I used the distance of the retribution against it, launching into warp with no impedence save for the laser blasts forcing the mighty rifter off grid.

Evading long range fire from the retribution and pursuit from the slasher, I somehow managed an escape with minimal damage. The crew, who should always be considered before heading into battle, are overjoyed.

And much more experienced.

Iron Sharpens Iron

More leaked sparring footage from a legendary training camp.

Personally, I don’t care who they put in front of me. I don’t care about their reputation. I don’t give a shit about their followers. They get in my ring and I’m gettin’ all up in that ass.

When I’m hungry I don’t pet the cow before I eat the steak. I don’t touch gloves before sparring if I know you got bitch in your blood. If you make it out of the ring, I’ll shake your hand. Otherwise, good luck with your recovery.

Reaching The Surface

After traveling to an unconquered planet, Hannibal is faced with the struggle of survival with little support from logistical supply lines.

Training is difficult. The barracks are tiny and cramped; mere tents in the jungle hidden in the shade of a skybreaking cliff. The geography is extreme here, with blistering heat in the starshine for 20 of the 48 hour days. It takes us half this day just to gather food and supplies from the trees all around and their plentiful inhabitants. Gravity is punishing here; everything feels heavy, from our supply packs to our actual bodies.

All manner of insect, lizard, and flying creature plagues us by the minute while the sun is high. At night, the insects and lizards get much worse. Every once in a while, we find a large, boar-like creature, with two long, straight, sharp horns jutting out from its crown. Unable to smuggle our rifles from the ship orbiting some 12,000km above, we resort to fashioning weapons from the exotic timber of this alien world. I’ve fashioned a club, heavy, with a weight on the end. I carry this with me every day when we forage; it has saved us from hunger many nights.

How To Play Solo In EVE Online

I have a small contingent of crew members to assist and help carry out my plans. This includes smuggling additional personnel to the surface of the planet from the automated customs office in orbit. We make other weapons and tools from the dense, oily bark of a strange tree so massive its branches break the clouds above.

Scouts have reported that there are people on this planet, somewhere, but we haven’t seen any with whom we hadn’t personally traveled. What there have been plenty of are magnificent beasts of every horrifying appearance you can think of, but nothing resembling a typically sized man or woman. In an environment of survival like this, instincts are honed, the belly becomes filled with exotic meats and fruits, and the mind is free from distraction to focus completely on any task.

White hot intention has illuminated every exercise. I spend every waking moment sharpening the skills that will protect me. Chopping wood for months on an alien planet has given me power and stamina. I feel good. I have little more concern for space politics while on this new world, save the customs office checkpoints. Once on the surface, we’re the only people in the geographical vicinity, whatsoever. It’s true that it’s difficult to get people down to us, but we make exceptions aside from Minmatar crew.

There are certain prisoners of war that we have captured and incarcerated who have become more useful since sparring partners are so scarce in this side of the galaxy. They’re fed well and allowed extra freedoms in the weeks leading up to their transport to the outpost. Once they reach the surface, they are retrieved by my crew and brought to the camp. With us, they eat well, they rest well, and they work a fair amount, as do the rest of us.

What Happened To The 23rd Imperial Crusade

The only difference is these prisoners of the Pendulum War have to fight me to determine their fate. They’re all given the same deal; if you can beat me in just 1 round, I’ll let you go free. It sounds easy because it’s supposed to. So they all take the deal, one after the other.

Because of this, I now have quite a few permanent residents on the surface in our fledgeling community. It’s only fitting that these former colonizing slavers are forced into inescapable servitude on a far away planet, cut off from the rest of their so-called civilization. I will set free whoever can beat me in a fair fight. None of them have come close.

So now, I have plenty of sparring partners from which to choose; my height, taller, shorter, bigger, smaller, southpaw, old, young; you name it. The best part is, even if I beat one of them really bad, and he needs to heal for weeks, he’s always welcome to another try. It’s the only way off this rock, as far as they know. We don’t even tell them what star this planet orbits. Nope. Amarrians are not for trusting; they’re for fighting.

EVE Online is a very old space mmo that spans hundreds of storylines.

They come in all shapes and sizes, and I can’t wait to drive my fists into as many of their sullen, downtrodden faces as I possibly can. They all want out of this colony and would likely say anything to make that a reality. I’m not taking it easy on any of them. Every time I call, they line up outside my gym, one after the other. The first few are always energized and motivated when the door to the sparring rings opens. I try to make an example out of that first guy.

If the second guy believes he can win still, he gets it even worse. By the time I get to the end of the line, some of them realize they just watched their most admired comrades defenseless as I beat their brains in with my bare hands in fair fight after fair fight. Oh, the expressions on those faces!

It’s a wonderful life.

There’s Got To Be More Than This

EVE Online Player Count Sees Uptick With Update, But Something Is Still Missing

EVE Online Player Count Is Climbing Despite Lack Of New Players

Despite killing so many with missiles, cannons, lasers and such, there’s still nothing quite like the look on all those faces, after you’ve smashed a fist into one of them. I’ve always loved stellar combat, even in the battles I’ve lost. Watching the enemy crew panic as mine slides onto the grid within a few kilometers of them is one of life’s true pleasures. Extracting salvaged parts is yet another. But with no real feeling of consequence to maneuvering, so many kills lately have left my bloodlust unsatisfied. I found myself wandering the stars, thirsty for a target of real consequence.

I found one, on a station, orbiting a planet, which orbits a star, somewhere in Great Wildlands. Since the expulsion of the Matari Liberation Front from the Minmatar Republic, my old cohort of freedom fighters has been reduced to common pirates in the eyes of the empires. Without awakening the rest of my many clones resting throughout the cluster, I contacted an old friend, a trader that’s always in the major trade hub stations orbiting Jita. He’d caught wind that there’s a customs office in New Eden that employs smugglers who have secured a route from orbit to the surface of a desolate, but inhabited, gambler’s planet. A sufficiently funded capsuleer could then travel to the surface of the planet to carry out otherwise impossibly illegal deeds. The possibilities for exploitation are almost endless.

EVE Online new ships can't land on planets yet

He arranged transport for me to the surface of a temperate, if arid, world for a new kind of specialized combat instruction. There’s a new type of fighting, up close, and very violent, that I recently witnessed, and it speaks to my Brutor roots. It’s called boxing, and it’s the most beautiful thing I ever saw; no ships, no pixels, just fast, smooth action, speed, power and momentum.

I’ve already started training. It’s brutal. No interstellar mission with infinite funding has ever prepared me to live on merely 20 ISK per day on a hostile world, filled with hostile people. A few of my captains have stubbornly insisted on accompanying me to the surface of the planet to ensure my safety; their loyalty is appreciated. If we fought together, high above this planet in the reddish skies beyond, I would expect them to risk their own lives to save each other. Now, on this one planet, the rules are different. There is no Minmatar Republic to uphold any semblance of empirical law. For all intents and purposes, we were isolated from every other capsuleer, and from the galaxy itself while on the planet. And there’s no turning back.

Once in the cargo transport to the surface, there’s no returning to orbit. I gave each loyal officer opportunities to stay aboard the customs office and return to the ship to leave me to my foolish fate planetside, but each captain valiantly refused, despite having no knowledge of any mission or endeavor that I was to take part in. Little did they know that we had traveled to the surface of a strange world with no supplies or support in search of a new way of life. They were willing to die for me, but would they be willing to live?

EVE Online Solo Frigate PVP | Rifter vs. Slicer

EVE Online Ships Solo Frigate PVP

Back in the day I caught this slicer slippin’ way out of bounds. I was a little overmatched in firepower, but had lots of confidence. Without hesitation, or transversal, I risked everybody on board to seperate the enemy crew from their vessel.

I probably wouldn’t do that again. Facetanking artillery/beam weapons is not adviseable. I just had a feeling this time.

Usually what you want to do is establish an orbit around ships like that, to try and disrupt the tracking of their turrets. If you can get within range, it usually works. The Imperial Navy Slicer can be a fairly quick vessel, so it’s a gamble trying to close range at an angle.

So I gambled and closed range directly. In retrospect, taking a tech 1 frigate into a fight against an enemy Navy frigate is a bad idea.

The Crucifier is one of the Amarrian Navy EVE Online ships

Every kill counts. Some people like to do it in groups, but I like going one on one. Try solo frigate pvp in EVE Online if you dare.

Hunger

An excerpt from a long discarded journal, found among wreckage in a salvage yard. The initials on the leather bound cover read, in ornate golden letters: HD.

It’s been weeks since I’ve entered Factional Warfare. I’ve lost many more ships than I have destroyed and have not yet reached a level of equilibrium to sustain these efforts, although I have made slight progress to that end. I’ve developed a fondness for the Minmatar Navy frigate, the Republic Fleet Firetail. Of course, I’ve destroyed so many this past week that you’d just as likely assume that I have some deep-seated aversion to their existence. 6 firetails lost in a single week. And what have we learned?

Not much, actually. I didn’t exactly focus on target selection on the night that I lost most of these ships. In fact, I pretty much exclusively engaged ships that were designed to counter frigates. The Amarrian Destroyer-class Coercer was the main culprit. Never one to be discouraged, and foolishly valiant, I sacrificed crew after crew of those frigates that I thought I was so fond of, within minutes of each other, to the point that the enemy pilot lost all animosity and began offering pointers.

Now, as far as the lore goes, that’s a definite no-no; Amarrian and Minmatar fighters fraternizing is something I think I’d never see years ago around the time of my first encounter with Amarrians. Eve Online has changed, and I think it’s for the better in some ways. The community has become much less elitist toward those who are obviously either new or unskilled, whereas before there was a shocking embrace of psychopathic exploitation. This isn’t to say that there aren’t still plenty of anti-social types in EVE; they’re just a little more easily avoidable now.

I guess I did learn a few things from all of those countless digital deaths. First of all, I learned that Minmatar ships are typically more densely populated than their Amarrian counterparts due to less automation and therefore more of a need for larger crews, which reinforced my suspicions that Republic Fleet leadership is a proponent of various macabre practices of population control.

I learned that equipping microwarpdrives on EVE Online ships decreases capacitor capacity, thereby reducing the amount of time that ALL modules that require capacitor can be activated without some mitigating tactic. I chose a nosferatu unit (of course) to use a portion of my enemy’s capacitor to make up for my own cap gimping, and to put more pressure on the enemy’s ability to use their own equipment.

Over the course of the fighting, I also eventually gleaned that the best defense isn’t necessarily to even consider defense; that is, to focus on defensive capabilities during solo frigate PVP engagements can actually be a death sentence. I haven’t had a single fight that lasted more than 45 seconds, and usually the goal has been to lay as much damage onto the enemy as possible, as quickly as possible. Repairing damage is only important as a means to lay more damage on the opponent than he/she lays upon you. It may seem counter-intuitive at first to fly a small, vulnerable ship with the majority of optional modular space allocated for more and more firepower with very little left to defense, but after fitting a number of conservatively constructed frigates I am now assured that it is much safer to kill than to attempt to save one’s own skin to a fault. A small ancillary armor repairer and damage control are the only real physical defenses I found necessary in most cases. Eventually, I found that it’s much more important to try not to take direct hits if possible,to stay out of the optimal range of the enemy’s weapons, and to know when to withdraw.

Target selection in EVE Online is much more important than I gave it credit for. Although not all destroyers are off the table for frigates, some most certainly are. I had a much easier time destroying a Cormorant than a Coercer, and I imagine that a Thrasher or Talwar would’ve been much more difficult.

Experience plays a significant role in effectiveness. Pilots that are the literal scourge of wormhole space are more vulnerable in low security space. You’d be surprised how well you might do against an intimidating foe that’s out of his/her element. I’m not good at this game, but I was able to easily deal with a member of a corporation that is relatively well-known for their bloodthirsty, months-long wormhole campaigns with a simple Alpha alt in a t1 frig. The mechanics gave me the home field advantage, and I was able to outmaneuver him.

I also learned that sometimes you can do everything wrong and live just as easily as you can do everything right and die. There’s always someone just a warp away that does things just a little more right. Even if your target selection is perfect, the target might have a trick up his sleeve and lure you directly into a viscous dick-punch before you realize what happened.