Thursday, June 27, 2013

5 Mistakes I Made When Learning to PVP

So you’re wanting to start pvping. Perhaps you’re a new player, or simply new to that sort of game play in EVE.

You’ve probably heard all the pat answers that people give to new players. The ‘Do not fly what you can’t afford to lose’ sorts. I’m not going to iterate all that here, but give you a very honest look at some of the mistakes I made when I was first starting to get into PVP.

Hopefully, you won’t have to make them yourself.

1. Do not avoid what you do not understand.

Okay, so really awkward confession –until I had about 40 million skillpoints, I completely avoided guns. After primarily using missiles, which more or less did damage to most things at most reasonable ranges, the idea of having to manage range, ammo, and understand the differences in all the different guns really intimidated me.

So, I never used guns.  At all. For a very, very long time. This significantly limited what I could do, including what ships I could fly.

I used a very good excuse. I wanted to be very specialized, and I wanted to do everything well before cross training, rather than being a ‘jack of all trades and master of none’ sort. Back in those days, being able to say you were ‘pure such and such race pvp’ was a good thing, so people would nod their heads and treat me like I had a clue what I was talking about.

If you don’t understand something, try it out. Or ask. It could be that you’re missing some great thing that would be perfect for your own, personal pvp style.

2. Just because they seem like an awesome pvper, doesn’t mean they’re always right.

Being new, surrounded by very ‘old’ players can be intimidating. But just because they’re ‘old’ or have a lot of kills, doesn’t mean they’re always right about a fit or strategy.

It’s natural to follow someone else’s lead. I’ve been there done that. But eventually, you need to find out things for yourself. And maybe, you will find that you disagree with some of your mentors on some things.

Contrary to what some people would have you believe about the hard line between a right and wrong fit, there’s a whole lot of gray in EVE when it comes to pvp.

3. Don’t get too comfortable or settle for what you don't really like.

There were a few corps I was in where the pvp conditions were less than optimal. I found myself constantly frustrated by the spinning in station, or waiting for an FC to tell us what to do, among many other things.

I didn’t know any better to understand that the problem was that the style of PVP for that corp was just not my thing. I didn’t know any better to even consider finding something different, as I didn’t know what that ‘different’ was.

If you’re trying to pvp and you’re not having fun, then you’re probably doing it wrong FOR YOU. Don’t listen to the elitists who claim that this or that is the ‘best’ kind of pvp or takes the most talent.  The pirates will tell you that nullsec pvp is mindless and boring and without skill. The nullsec pvpers will tell you that low-sec is for risk averse people who don’t want to risk larger assets. Pirates will tell you that Faction War is only for noobs. Someone will probably tell you that EVE University will only teach you how to fly a blackbird, or that being in TEST or any other huge alliance means you’ll end up a faceless number in a massive, overgrown fleet. Frigates are the way to go. Supers are the real ships. Solo pvp is the elite pvp.

The list will go on, and on, and on, and on.

Find what you like to do and do it, and don’t listen to those people. If you love small gang Faction War, do it. If you love being a part of a huge, 1,000 man offensive, do it. If you like flying frigates, fly them.

And above all…experiment and ‘get out there.’ It’s so easy to get passive, and to settle for something you don’t really like because you’re too lazy to go looking for a new corp or a new play style.

4. If at first you don’t succeed, you probably were doing it wrong.

It’s so easy to judge something based on your first experience with it. Specifically with ships, or setups, or etc. I don’t know how many times I got blown up in a ship and decided ‘eh, it’s not for me.’ More often than not I was fitting it wrong, or not completely understanding what I was doing.

If you get blown up, or something goes wrong, try to figure out why before throwing the whole idea away. Tweak your fit, or try a completely new fit. Chances are it’s a good type of ship and it will serve you well once you learn how to fly it properly.

And NEVER disregard or avoid a ship just because someone else tells you it’s horrible. If you want to try it out, or it perks your interest, DO IT. They were probably fitting it wrong themselves when they decided it was useless.

5. Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff

I still occasionally ask myself, ‘Susan, why did you just avoid that fight? You’re in a 10 million ISK ship for goodness sake, just go TRY.’

Obviously, being suicidal all the time is not always optimal. But it always amazes me how many people avoid even relatively close fights because they’re afraid to lose their tech 1 destroyer.

If you’re scared of losing what you’re flying, then fly something cheaper. It has nothing to do with what you can afford. Don’t let fear interfere with your pvp. And, if you have to jump in a whole bunch of noob ships and suicide them to make yourself realize that dying isn’t all that bad or scary, then do it.

Risk adversity is the number 1 killer of fun pvp. Don’t go there.


  1. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  2. This is really great advice, and it's not just for new PvPers. It makes me want to get good at something new.

  3. A very interesting article, with a lot of good advice. A piece of advice that I often give people who want to try PvP is "Don't worry about your Kill Board too much, just go out and have fun!". Thanks for a good read :)


  4. In relation to #5 (great advice, btw), I used to be a pretty focused KB warrior. Brought my link alt with me everywhere I went and it was rare for me to do something ballsy, even if I knew how much fun it was.

    Then I screwed up and suffered my most painful loss to date, in the form of a deadspace-fit tengu and a 500mil isk pod. Surprisingly, instead of making me even more gun-shy, the opposite occurred, and I just stopped giving a crap. Big losses these days don't bother me, and Ive found myself taking fights that no sane person would. Yeah, my loss count is a little higher, my efficiency a little lower. But damn, the amount of fun I was having skyrocketed.

    Sometimes you just need that swift kick in the butt to get things right!