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How to decide what range your enemy fleet is fit for?

Asked by [ Moderator ]

The scenario is that you are in a fleet and you know the enemy is approaching, or you are approaching them. Scouts are reporting positions, numbers, fleet composition and all the usual details. How can you tell what their optimal range is likely to be before you get on grid? Is it just a guess?

The type of tank should be easily guessable from the type of logistics ships and type of combat ships, but if you can't tell what range they are likely to want to fight at then you might get completely obliterated such as the recent eVoke vs. R.A.G.E. battle.

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3 answers

3

astronomix [ Editor ]

  • First, past experience. The majority of fleets will be close range because it's easiest and least skill-intensive to fit that way, and you don't have to be specialised. So if you have to guess, guess close range.

  • Looking at ship types. A fleet full of Apocs/Maelstroms/Rokhs etc. will be snipers. A Drake blob will have HMLs. BCs like Hurricanes, Brutixes, Myrms, Harbingers, etc. will generally be close range. If they're a mish-mash of ship types, they're probably close range. So you can usually just tell by looking at fleet composition.

  • Observing and identifying how they're trying to tackle you, how they're moving, how they're positioning themselves to begin the fight, etc.. For example, a sniper fleet will never want to engage you on a gate - they will always be wanting to warp in at range. Or perhaps a close range fleet will be wanting to fight on a gate and will be trying to get you at point blank range using bubbles.

  • Using "Look at" and identifying gun types, best done in covops

  • Getting them to shoot at you by flying past in an interceptor or the like. Use logs to check gun types.

  • Use a ship scanner.

The reason why I listed the last three methods last is because I think they are the least effective, even if they are the most accurate. By the time you screw around checking logs and trying to identify gun types, the enemy will probably have moved on unless it is a massive fleet with an objective.

So you want to be quickly identifying how they're fit so you can prepare a response swiftly.

NN comments
deantwo
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nice list ^^ even i learned a thing or two by reading this ^^;

darinas
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Analysis of behaviour! Nice answer! You would expect a LR fleet to be safe-spotted until required and a SR fleet to be on or about the gate, but what about a mid-range or missile fleet??

astronomix
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Missiles are pretty easy. The only missile boats that are used en masse are Drakes, and they’re basically always HML fit. The only ones that fit HAMs are those that are in regular close-range BC gangs. Cerberus will always be using HMLs. Caracal is the only one you need to watch out for if you’re in a frigate, as they can fit light assaults, but that’s hardly a fleet boat.

There aren’t really many other proper mid-range fleets. Sniper HACs could be considered mid range, and there are always Abaddon fleets (Hellcats).

astronomix
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All in all, if you’ve got a good knowledge of current PvP trends, you can predict ranges to a pretty high degree of accuracy. AHACs, Drakeswarm, Hellcats, alpha Maelstroms, nano-faggotry – they’re all pretty easy to identify. There are simply very few surprising fleet setups out there, and very few alliances that are inventing them (PL is one).

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4

annie anomie [ Editor ]

Scouts should be using "Look at" to spot the gun types and you can tease them into shooting at stuff and see what they're firing with.

edit http://dl.dropbox.com/u/153442/Eve/EVEGunComparisonV0.9.html

Visual turret recognition guide courtesy of Ryuichi on SHC forums.

NN comments
harlock
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Use friend with different setups ?

canhasgank
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4? I believe you mean 3. That is a total of 6. AC, Arty, Blasters, Rails, Pulses and Beams.

darinas
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You can tell what type of gun it is by the “look at” option? Wow! I never knew that! Any tips on learning to recognise the turrets if you don’t have alts that can fit them all?

annie anomie
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Hmmm. I have heard a pictorial guide like that being mentioned but I cannot find such a thing now. I’ll look more when I should be working tomorrow.

TBH though it’s not so difficult to learn by sight.

There’s four main weapon types with LR and SR variants. You can generally tell at first glance roughly what you’re looking at.

Blasters have quite a different “look” to projectiles or lasers etc. The details are the different tiers and tech levels.

darinas
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Are the turret graphics on ships affected by any of the graphics settings in the ESC menu? I know screen resolution makes a difference, but I mean something like the turret effects switch making turrets appear different.

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2

deantwo [ Editor ]

you can do the "look at" to maybe see what turrets they have fitted, or if they have turrets at all.

but mostly i'd say that the ship types are a give away too. mostly the Drake and other misslie boats as they can't/won't have turrets on.

but one thing i noticed about my new T2 Blasters is that they don't look like the T1 version, so you may have to get very use to "looking at" turrets if you wanna be able to use that "look at" trick. but yeah it does work a little (at least you can see the size of the turrets clearly)

other then that i mostly hear that close-range weapons are "best" for PvP. but that could just be the local Low-Sec people around me that think that. so i'd mostly think close-range unless misslies.

NN comments
canhasgank
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I believe all T2 variants look a little more “pimp” than their T1 counterparts.

darinas
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If the enemy fleet was all megas or geddons (which can both be fitted for extreme long range and devastating close range) getting the visual cue wrong is probably worse than not knowing in the first place. I was hoping for a “ship scanner” trick or two – get in, scan 1 or 2, and GTFO before you are tackled. Might be possible.

deantwo
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well… yeah… i like to use the Ship Scanner… but… i guess i just thinked about that as a dead give away… but it depends on if your in Hi-Sec, Low-Sec or Null-Sec… can’t scan people when cloaked you know

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