I may claim to be a deity of many things, but PVP is not one of them. Despite that, I've picked up a lot of useful information in my time and decided to put together a selection of PVP tips for this article. It's not a definitive list, but some of the main things that I think are important to know for running a PVP gang, and mostly centred on the small scale warfare I've been involved with in the last few years. Let's open with another one of the golden rules of EVE:
Fly what you can afford
Not just a PVP tip; it's difficult enough to make money from your victories, and flying ships and fittings that you can easily replace will help you PVP for much longer.
Quite possibly the most useful feature available to every pilot in the game. Everyone in your gang should have at least a basic idea of how it works and be able to scan targets down. For those of you not in the know, here's a brief guide: If you click on your ship that little white square is the very centre and you can use that to aim the scanner more accurately. Now, a 360 scan will give you an idea of what's nearby, but what you really want to do is reduce the scan radius down while changing the direction in order to work out where your target is sitting. The best thing to do is practice scanning down other corp members until you are comfortable with how it works. Being able to use the scanner lets you track targets as they warp about the system and is great for scanning a gate/station/etc as you can have a good idea of what ships you want to call as the first targets before your fleet has even dropped out of warp. Consider yourself half-blind without it.
Essentially, the kind of ships and pilots that are useful to have in your fleet. Specialisation is very important; having pilots covering a variety of roles makes the fleet much more flexible in regards as to what it can engage.
Fleet Commander (FC)
Having a specific member of the fleet directing all of the action is the most efficient way of running a gang; they tell the scouts where to go and gang warp the fleet into position. After moving the fleet into an engagement their main responsibility is the calling of primary targets, and ones that can keep a cool head and are able direct the fleet's firepower efficiently are an incredible boon to their corporation. It's also worth having a second and even a third FC, to take over primary calling in the event of the main FC being taken out of the fight, having to warp off, or disconnecting.
A tackler's role is to keep the primary target held down with a warp scrambler while the bulk of your force tears it to shreds. It doesn't matter how big your battleship fleet is, if the enemy decides to disengage and run tacklers are your best hope for pinning down targets. Light frigates and interceptors are the main choice of ship for the job, with the tackling interceptors in particular excelling at this role as they are stupidly fast and can also warp scramble a target from outside web, warp scramble, and energy neutralizer range. Webs are optional, but worth it for engaging fast targets and stopping ships from reaching the safety of a jump gate.
You there! Yes, you in the cheap cruiser, I have a job for you. You are going to jump in there and take a look around, die horribly, or both. Information is power; if I wanted to sound really fancy I'd dig out a Sun Tzu quote right about now to emphasize the point, but anyway. The scout is usually a fast frigate, or failing that the poor bugger in the most disposable ship in the fleet. Utterly indispensable, as they are usually your fast tacklers as well they serve the dual purpose of reporting enemy sightings and being able to pin them down until the rest of the fleet catches up.
Electronic Warfare (EW)
Having at least one electronic warfare ship in your fleet can give you an incredible advantage over your opponent. Even shutting down, or reducing the effectiveness of only a couple of ships can easily swing a small engagement in your favor. Let's look at the four main EW modules:
Effects the falloff/optimal and tracking of turrets; any gunship hit by one of these is going to have almost no chance of hitting other ships at all.
Those familiar with the four basic types of EW will know that ECM is king; where the others have varying levels of effectiveness on certain targets, ECM is a universal nightmare for all pilots. The only major downside is that anyone in an ECM ship instantly becomes a priority target for the opposing fleet and they will try to take it out a s quickly as possible.
Multiplies the signature radius of the target ship an makes it easier to hit. Seemingly neglected in combat at the moment, rumblings from the test server seem to suggest that Painters may be making a comeback.
Increases the locking time and reduces the locking distance of targets. Suddenly finding out your lock time just rocketed from a few seconds to almost a minute is just no fun at all.
Tackling a subject like PVP in EVE is a mammoth task, and with the possibility of jarring changes in the way combat works with the Quantum Rise expansion this article could go on forever. With that in mind, in-between other articles I'll be taking the time to focus on more areas of PVP, with the intention of enlightening new pilots in this vast, dangerous universe.