So You Completely Screwed This Up…
Alright so despite the best of intentions, you still weren’t able to tackle your enemy before he escaped to a distance far beyond your scram range, let alone your optimal. And to make matters worse, you’re still pointed and the enemy is establishing an orbit or is calmly keeping you at range. Fear not, you’re not out of the fight yet! Experienced pilots will know exactly where I’m going with this… it’s slingshot time! The slingshot will work when you’re flying an AB or MWD fit against ships that are moderately or even way faster than you. It would be difficult for me to top the treasure trove of slingshot guides on YouTube with mere prose, so I’ll spare you the extra reading and instead point you in the right direction for how to learn the art of the slingshot.
Like anything worth learning in EVE, it’s going to take a lot of practice to get this right but it is an absolutely essential skill in solo PVP.
Here are some common counters you can expect from enemies you’re able to nab before they kite away:
- Defensive Web – If you don’t have a web but a clever kiter brought along one, they will use it to slow down anyone who manages to get close to scram range. In this case you may have a real problem on your hands with this “defensive web” unless you tackle the target early and stay at point blank range. If you find yourself slipping away you may want to overheat your prop mod (especially if it’s an AB). To keep the pressure on him, take a few moments to load Null and make sure drones are on them (but watch drone health). If you both have webs, you should have the advantage if you’re AB fit – otherwise it comes down to the Meta of the web and good range management.
- Balls Deep! – Kiting Tristans love to do this when they get scrammed: load up null and close at point blank range with zero transversal. If you’re not super tanky because you opted for an extra magstab instead of the resists (or something like that), his extra DPS can be the difference. In this case, you need to watch your range. If you start taking heavy hits from his guns, try to put some space between you and him, or increase your transversal. Void damage is devastating but super difficult to fully apply. If your enemy is landing wrecking shots, back off even if it means you negate some of your own DPS. Chances are he will do little to no damage with Void if you’re only doing 50% damage with Fed Navy Anti-Matter or the like.
- Bait Tanking – As you get more experiencing PVPing you begin to expect a ship to die in a certain way. If your enemy is not dying nearly as quickly as you expected but you’re applying damage just fine, you may be moments away from a blob. Watch local, watch D-Scan, and if you have the ability to GTFO do so the moment something looks fishy. The main preventative measure here is situational awareness. Don’t get tunnel vision when you PVP!
- Slingshot – If you forget to turn off your MWD and you’ve inadvertently established an elliptical orbit you can get slingshotted just as I’d advise you to do if the kiter gets the best of you on his entry. An experienced pilot who watches your range carefully will absolutely be thinking about this tactic the moment that scram appears above his overview. In my experience, the most common reason you lose tackle (especially when you shouldn’t) is you were traveling far faster than you had to in the given situation. Not much I can advise specifically to this other than fight your battles zoomed out a bit (and even try out that nifty tactical overlay!) so you can see the nature of your orbit and, of course, pay attention to range!
Now Throw a GF up in Local…
This article is one big helping of “easier said than done” – don’t expect any of this advice to work if you haven’t done it a bunch first. My hope isn’t for you to be the top PVP pilot the next time you hit a plex – but to give some best practices to work towards.
Plus, there are many ways to skin an Atron. I would never dream of suggesting what’s above is the best way to engage in the sacred art of space combat. How do you layout your screen and utilize hotkeys to be the most effective PVPer you can be? I’m always changing and improving my process – let me know what you think in the comments!
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