This post is a bit late--it covers many ships I flew solo during the
glorious days of the Querious fight club (RIP), pre-WWB, and shortly
after. However, my past year (or two) of solo PVP in null has amounted
to some of the most fun I've ever had in EVE or any game for that
matter. Many of the ships I've flown over the past year in null sec for
solo PVP are usually considered off-meta, if not out-right broken, such
as assault frigates. My experiences with assault frigate solo PVP over
the past year has been largely positive--they get a ton of fights and
can hold their own against most comparable ship classes minus the
On my quest to solo PVP in every
non-industrial ship, this past year I finally tackled navy cruisers,
assault frigates, and the new navy EWAR frigates. They each have their
strengths and weaknesses in the current meta and in solo PVP in general,
but navy cruisers are as close to the most versatile and affordable
ships for solo PVP (and available for Alpha clones as well). I was lucky
enough to find tons of navy cruiser versus navy cruiser 1v1s, such as
was an amazing fight in a hull tanked ENI versus a Zarvox fit SFI, with
a blue pill running (as confirmed by the pilot later). The main fit I
like for the ENI is a dual medium armor rep, for the decent sustain
potential. The plated version and the hull tank version lack sustain in a
fight but do a ton of DPS. (Then again, against a blob, having some
buffer plus 800+ DPS is exactly what you need to kill something before
you die.) The SFI has range control against almost any ship in a 1v1,
but at the very end of the fight I managed to pulse my MWD out from 10km
and secure a few wrecking shots that ended up winning me the fight. Had
the fight started and ended at better ranges for the SFI, a hull tanked
ENI stands little chance!
Crispy means a job well-done
Overall, my scoreboard for navy cruisers includes
some of my favorite fights in 5 years of EVE, and I am for sure not done
flying these ships.
Oh this Vexor. What a ship. What luck.
I've flown the Vexor a few dozen times over the past two years but
sometimes avoid it since it will scare away some fights. The average
Svipul pilot, in my experience, will readily engage a rupture (and the
latter, if fit right, will kill it) and other T1 cruisers, but not
usually a Vexor, for instance. And there's few things I like more than
killing Svipuls (pre-nerf and post-nerf still), so I hate to scare them
off. The Vexor continues to be an incredible ship for solo PVP in both
NS, with a variety of possible fits, but because it is commonly viewed
as a strong ship it can struggle to find decent fights. I had a few fits
I wanted to try out in null sec specifically, so in between navy
cruiser losses I flew some T1 versions.
This was a
slightly uncommon Vexor fit as well, with dual medium armor reps instead
of one plus an ancillary MAR, giving it slightly more sustain in longer
fights. (It's EVE though: how often do you get a long drawn out 1v1 or
1v2-5 as opposed to a 1 versus blob where an ancillary rep might at
least give you the time to kill something?) Yet this Vexor seemed
unkillable even when I tried to kill it.
In addition to a few odd T3D kills, I agreed to a 1v1 against a Dramiel.
I was surprised he wanted to fight my Vexor (and he was surprised I had
neuts), so when I won I agreed to fight something bigger. He brought
out a Vagabond
(note: he was shooting Phased Plasma, which may seem like a mistake, but
I had a tech 2 explosive rig that gave me the same explosive armor
resist as thermal/kin). The quick math I did in my head suggested that
if he is XLASB fit I will just barely be able to tank his gun DPS with
both reps overheating, and somehow I ended up winning (and maybe what is
more surprising is that I did not burn out my reps).
playstyle when solo is that I can be a touch risk average when I first
fly a ship or undock for a roam. Getting that "first kill" of the night
is a big psychological barrier for me, and sometimes I feel like I'll
never get another kill again when in the midst of a drought. I know if I
bring out a ship 3 times and die to 3 consecutive blobs I'm going to be
"tilted." So, in this case, having secured a few good kills in this
Vexor I was ready to throw it at anything lockable.
In the next fight I roamed to F-I-N-K's
former space in Querious and tackled a Skiff. A Skiff alone can match
the light drone DPS of a Mrymidon, with the buffer of a battleship. To
defend it comes two Caracals, and I decide to let the Skiff go just in
hopes of winning a 1v2. As I'm fighting, a griffin lands but fails its
ECM cycle--the kind of luck I rarely get! I can barely tank the damage
of this one RLML and plus a HAM Caracal and I bleed into structure
before killing the first one. The RLML one goes into reload and gives me
a window to repair armor to full and kill it. Something strange then
happened during the middle of this brawl: the Skiff comes back. It's
drone DPS really hurts but the Caracals are dead and my drones are
popping the Griffin. All said, Caracal +
Caracal + Skiff + Griffin, not bad by my standards.
final fight I have goes even better, and would probably be in my
favorite 5 fights of all time. I roam to BX2- where Brave had a medium
sized corp. They bring a pretty rough group consisting of some tackle, a
Caracal, Cynabal, and an arty Mael, but at this point I will fight
anything. I manage to pop the tackle Firetail, Caracal, and and Svipul
at the sun, freeing me of tackle, but I am getting pounded by both an
arty Mael 80km off and an arty Cynabal. I yolo into the Cynabal and get
into a close orbit. My drones are dying which is bad news for this fit
since it only uses light neutrons in the top rack, but somehow the Cynabal
goes down too. I still get the shakes when PVPing and at this point my
nerves are shot, but at the gate waiting for me is like the final boss
for this Vexor, a Gila.
Such a close fight! Meanwhile my PVE alt was in system ready to do a relic site when I died - no poors!
This was the final fight of probably my best
performing single ship in 5 years. I had already lost a ton of cap
boosters and drones due to fighting a Cynabal while under arty Mael
fire, leaving me with light drones and less than 10 cap boosters to
fight this Gila. An impossible fight anyway, but I promised if they
fought me at the sun I would not leave system until I died. I had the
Gila in structure as you can see from the screenshot, but two things
happened at the same time: fraps ran out of disk space, causing my
computer to severely lag, and my damage control burned out, reducing my
tank severely (and this was just before the passive DCU change--had I
had the base 33% resist hull bonus this fight would have been even
closer). With all my drones dead, no cap charges left, and just small
turrets to fight the Gila, it was a battle against time before I died to
the Gila's overwheling DPS. But damn what a fight and what a lucky ship
that got me so many great fights! RIP Vexor.
my time in Querious CCP released navy e-war frigates, a class that
turned out to be some of my favorite ships at the level of the frigate
menace, even for null sec solo PVP.
Vigil Fleet Issue is probably my favorite frigate level ship at the
moment. With rockets it can do over 200 DPS. Tank runs either a republic
fleet MSE for buffer (the easy version of the ship to fly), or a split
MASB/SAAR fit like its Breacher cousin. The former is easier to fly
while the latter gives more sustain in 1v1 fights (as rare as they are)
but the latter is also paper thin and requires better piloting.
Here are some highlights from flying them in null:
there's assault frigates. By reddit "CCPLS" thread count alone they are
surely the class players think are most in need of a balance pass, but I
(mostly) disagree. The major problem with assault frigates was that
T3Ds--and the Svipul in particular--did everything assault frigates did
only 2x-3x better. However, flying assault frigates successfully simply
required not fighting Svipuls! And flying them extremely well requires
paying close attention to their tech 2 resist bonuses. Assault frigates
are best when matched up with over-confident frigates and destroyers
especially when they cannot avoid shooting into your tech 2 resist
And now with the fantastic nerf to T3D
versatility, assault frigates are an incredibly strong and under-rated
class of ship that pack a lot of damage and a lot of tank--if being a
bit too slow. (A 10% buff to assault frigate base speed, in my opinion,
is the only balance change they need to be in an ideal but not OP
Perhaps most importantly for solo PVP, assault
frigates are widely seen as engageable (because widely seen as weak).
This means they will often get tons of fights, and tons of fights you
can easily win.
"Blarpy" (a blaster fit MSE Harpy) got a hidden buff with the change to
shield extenders and buff to faction MSEs, giving it a bit more tank
along with its nice amount of DPS and making the Blarpy an ever more
awesome ship to fly for go-crazy-brawling. It is a great ship to fly
when, say, inebriated, as it requires only a few button clicks and a ton
Ishkur is a rare ship in null sec, especially solo. With very low speed
and no tank bonus it seems an easy target. Until it scrams you or puts
its drones on you, and you realize you are an EM based ship like a
Confessor and are completely screwed! The Ishkur is perfect for taking
down over-confident kiting Confessors that get too close, or small
frigate gangs that primarily shoot EM or Thermal.
Wolf is a perfect example of CCP's occasionally short-sighted
balancing: The Svipul was released as essentially a Wolf that goes at
least 50% faster, with at least 50% more damage, and at least 50-100%
more tank, plus having a similar range. However, this does not mean the
Wolf is a terrible ship, especially now that the Svipul is in a
healthier place. The Wolf proved to be one of my favorite ships in
Querious for solo PVP due to the fact that it was considered trash, and
that its resist profile perfectly matched the NPC damage types in the
region, making it great for killing unwary ratters, such as this VNI, as well as this VNI.
No one, to my knowledge, flew the Wolf more effectively during this time than the great solo PVPer Quinten Sarn, and I emulated some of his fits and tactics, such as his resist and sustain-heavy Wolf that
is perfect for surprising the stock VNI ratters. However, I also flew
the arty Wolf, an extremely rare sight in null sec, and it decent. Not
good, but decent enough to win small skirmishes with frigates and
had good fights in all of the other assault frigates as well. They are a
ship class that is off-meta but underestimated, and as a result they
attract more fights than most other ship classes when flying solo.
Eve online is a game that is fundamentally balanced against solo
play, and solo PVP in particular. Solo PVP in EVE Online is like trying
to go solo in League of Legends--good luck defending all lanes, etc.
Only the best--or, in my case, the most masochistic--can stomach it. And
let's be honest: solo PVP in EVE is not somehow about being better than
other players (though that certainly helps), but about a dedication to
flying your own ship against all odds.
However, it is
possible to fight the good fight (by sheer resilience), and that's what
makes solo PVP in EVE so rewarding. You will die a lot, and you will
struggle to find decent fights, but you will also get amazing fights
where you win against all odds, 1 against 1 ship that out classes you,
or 1 against 2, or one against 3, or one against 20 where you take out 5
before you die. After almost 6 years in game, it is still the most
compelling reason I have to continue playing.