Wednesday, July 21, 2010

No Blog Banter ~ Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah

Like the wise Kirith, although slightly less adamant than him. I will not be posting on this months Blog banter. Honestly the whole idea of it just doesn't really effect me that much.

I participate in small gang warfare, even after all the "improvements" suggested by the zealous CSMers, or the upcoming CCP backed new content, nothing really fixes or significantly changes my style of game play. If you are really looking for yet more opinions on the CSM to CCP relationship, I recommend taking that interest over to the list of active posters on the Blog Banter.

No Blog Banter ~ Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah

Blog Bantererssss
  1. Growing Pains | CrazyKinux's Musing
  2. CSM: Hoax or Serious Business? « Lost in New Eden
  3. CSM-Power to the people or puppets of CCP « A whole lot of Yarrrr!!!
  4. Gaming the CSM | A Mule in EvE
  5. A Taste Of Democracy | StarFleet Comms
  6. CSM: Player Power or Paper Tiger? | I Am Keith Neilson
  7. Governance Thrash Redux? « The Ralpha Dogs
  8. CCP Doesn’t Care: Blog Banter 19 « OMG! You're a Chick?!
  9. The Cataclysmic Variable: It's Crunch Time!
  10. The 19th EVE Blog Banter is upon us… and about the CSM and CCP | Victoria Aut Mors

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

You too can be Jason Statham or David Carradine!

RJ over at EVEOGANDA has launched a new idea, a change in the concept of internetz spaceship racing as we know it.

Death Race 2010 is pretty simple from the looks of things; but it will be tough to win.  The following is a snippet of the rule set coming from Rixx.

"On Sunday, August 22nd, hundreds of Eve pilots will embark on a dangerous, crazy and highly competitive race from their low-sec launch system, through the murky gate-camped systems of zero space and emerge once more into Empire!"

Looks pretty crazy, I must say, and seemingly a very good idea.  I will be one of those crazy pilots, probably more killing minded than others there, just waiting for the right time to kill some peeps!  I expect small fast ships, bigger fast ships and slower but more powerful bruisers to show up in numbers, it will be interesting to see who even makes it to the starting lines let alone the finish!

So how does it all work?

"To enter just pay your entrance fee indicating the name of the in-game character who will be participating in the race.  The entrance fee is non-refundable and will be used solely for the Race prizes.  If you don't show up on Race day you don't play, simple as that."
"• Entrance fee is 5 million isk per racer
• Enrollment begins on August 1st, 2010
• Shuttles and Cloaky Ships are not allowed
• Ships that can fit a Cyno are also not allowed and using a Cyno is forbidden
• Aggression is permitted after the race starts
• Gangs, Teams and Corps are permitted (But each racer pays the entrance fee)
• Fleet up will occur in a low-sec system to be announced
• The Death Race is Sunday, August 22nd and will start at 18:00 Eve time

> Other details will be announced as race day approaches.  Details regarding entrance fees and enrollment will be posted shortly."
This should be a great event, I look forward to seeing the prizes and more importantly, the carnage.  There should be a Death Race 2010 dedicated Kill Board so people can watch the fights as they progress, and the losses.  I'll make sure to suggest that to Mr. Javix.

As for some clarifications, he hopes fitting swaps, changes to ships in flight will cost the people who do such dastardly things, a bunch of time, the one valuable commodity in a race such as this.  T3's are allowed so it should be interesting seeing who shows up in those gilded ships, ready to avoid the bubbles of nullsec but drawing every greater numbers of gankers and interest with every system they fly through.  Possible ship idea's are flowing now, so good luck to all!

Until then, tune those engines, pay your fee, and I'll see you on the track.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sexy and Shiny

Feared pilots across New Eden are only enhanced by the ships they fly.  Thanks to a great listing by Kirith, there have been many other bloggers displaying what they think are the top five badass looking Pirate ships or rather, for me, ships in Eve.

Let's start it off with #5!

#5 Has to be the beautiful but ultimately difficult to fit, fly and use Navy Omen.  It's the short range brother of the Zealot, packing quite a punch and a small drone bay to boot, but its look is just one of pure sex appeal.  Hire extra crew to keep all that chrome polished!

#4 the so ugly it's sexy (in my opinion) Vagabond.  While I love this beast, I can say that it is far from the most sexy ship in the game, but for me it's still close to the top despite it's flying Vulture/Chicken look some claim it has.

#3 has to be the sleek black sex appeal of the Curse!   All neuts NOS and drones, speedy and shield tanked.  I miss the extra thruster it used to have in the back, but none the less, still just another sexy variation of the sleek Yarrbitrator hull.

#2 Guns bristling, lazors pewing, there is no substitute for the sex that is the Crusader!  One of a few frigate class hulls to house 4 gun slots, the Crusader shows them off well, hanging them from wing to wing, dripping menace and death.  While it is a difficult ship to fly just right, and a harder one to fit outside the cookie cutter setups usually employed, the Crusader is still damn sexy!

#1 my all time favorite Pirating boat, the Rupture.  While recent graphical changes have limited it's previously even more sexy rear-Castle, the Rupture retains it's 19th century Warship vibe, giving it the broadside needed to finish first in my list.  It also helped that I flew it near constantly for over a year I liked it so much.  I always imagined throwing crazy parties, while waiting for targets to show up or just after they did, all housed in the rear of that fine ship.

Others chattering about the same topic :

Kirith Darkblade
Mail Lite
Kishin Hattori

I will try to keep updated if more people post the same, but I'm not promising anything!

Friday, July 9, 2010

We are Rote Kapelle

Well it's been a while since RK looked collectively at our front page and re-did the wording introducing our alliance.  Through some collaboration and revisions on my part, this is are a few samples of what we came up with.  I like them both so it's going to make the "choosing" process later down the line harder =/

There are those who see the hand of god in turning hounds against their fellow man.  Zealots who proclaim their religion loudly, their "savior" providing their chains.

There are those who yearn for the freedom of their brothers so strongly, that they bind themselves as surely as if they wore a collar.

Some declare themselves free of religion while worshiping their production lines and financial devices.Others build temples of bureaucracy, chaining and sacrificing freedom in the name of securing said freedom.

There is a secret. They are all mad. And they envision themselves your master.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Art of the Vagabond (The Art of Part 2)

1. Overview
2. How to fit your Vagabond/Suggested fits.
3. Implants
4. Target Selection
5. Tactics
6. Boosters
7. Relevant skills
8. Useful links

First let me link the notably worse off Vagabond threads in comparison to the Rifter threads for EVE through the wiki and and eve-o forums.

Vagabond (Guide)

Vagabond (Fitting)

Now you know why we need this post!

Hull: Stabber Class
Role: Heavy Assault Ship

The fastest cruiser invented to date, this vessel is ideal for hit-and-run ops where both speed and firepower are required. Its on-board power core may not be strong enough to handle some of the larger weapons out there, but when it comes to guerrilla work, the Vagabond can't be beat.

Developer: Thukker Mix

Improving on the original Stabber design, Thukker Mix created the Vagabond as a cruiser-sized skirmish vessel equally suited to defending mobile installations and executing lightning strikes at their enemies. Honoring their tradition of building the fastest vessels to ply the space lanes, they count the Vagabond as one of their crowning achievements.

Minmatar Cruiser Skill Bonus: 5% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret rate of fire and 5% bonus to max velocity per level

Heavy Assault Ship Skill Bonus: 10% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret falloff range and 5% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret damage per level


The slot layout of 6 (5 turret, 2 missile) highs, 4 mids and 5 lows would seem to indicate that the Vaga would be a better armor tanker, but looking at resists and the intended use of the ship as a skirmisher makes that idea unfeasible for this hull.  Vagabond's excel with a shield tank, usually two t2 Large Shield Extender(LSE) or 1 T2 LSE and one best named. 

Passive buffer vs Active booster

The Vagabond's cap is one of it's weakpoints, and the buffer given by two Large Shield Extenders(LSE), t2 or otherwise, combines with their lack of cap use fits better with the skirmishing idea of flying the Vagabond.  Traditional fits have two LSE, a 10mn MicroWarp Drive(MWD) and a Warp Disruptor in the mids.

Less "traditional" variations have one LSE dropped in favor of either a warp scrambler or a Stasis webbifier (web).  The less traditional variations tend to be much less sturdy than a dual LSE tanked Vagabond, but can be useful to operate as heavy tackle of fast and elusive targets like other Vagabond's, slowing them down enough to allow the rest of your fleet to catch up.  Be warned that you are giving up half of your buffer tank to give this added utility and usually if not always that is a bad idea.  Specifically it places your Vagabond at a significant disadvantage both in fleet in terms of survivability and solo against other fast ships, leaving you with not enough tank to be able to handle the incoming damage long enough to fetch you kills.

To re-emphasize, Dual LSE Vagabond setups are the golden standard of this ship for PvP.

Propulsion Mods

The decision to make between a Vaga with a MWD and one with a AB is not a very difficult one.  Unless you are fitting specifically to operate in an area where MWD's do not function, IE missions or a complex, always fit a MWD.  Best named is usually your best bet, the Y-T8 module.  Since the speed changes the better MWD, like faction, t2 etc, does not mean an increase in speed just a change in cap use and MWD capacitor penalty.

Pulsing your MWD blooms your sig radius while the MWD is active, leaving you vulnerable to being properly tracked and hit by the DPS you are trying to avoid, and causes increased missile damage.  Only use it to close distance, establish tackle or dodge incoming missiles swarms and drones, or, and most importantly, to maintain range.  Leaving it on will not only drain your cap completely but also increase the incoming DPS beyond what the Vagabond's buffer can sustain.

Missiles vs Energy Neutralizers and Nosferatu

Some Vaga pilots live and die by Heavy missile launchers, Heavy Assault missile launchers, or even standard missile launchers.  Others prefer fitting Medium Neuts, and almost none fit Medium NOS(anymore).

Missiles can be useful for solo work, adding DPS, being able to target and inflict damage at range, while not having to worry about tracking.  Also known as the usual upsides for missiles.  A t2 launcher should be fit if using a Heavy Missile launcher and precision missiles and rage ammo should be kept on hand to boost your DPS when needed or provide extra damage against smaller targets as they will be your primary concern while flying the Vaga.  Otherwise Faction missiles will do well for overall DPS.

Medium Neut's add utility against your primary enemy in a Vaga, that being tackle frigates with Scrams or webs to slow you down or disable the MWD.  Neut's can remove the ability for light tackle to hold on to your Vaga long enough for their gang to finish you off, by draining their cap while staying out of both web range and scram range.  The best named or t2 neuts can reach out to 12km.  A single cycle, properly timed, can disable intys and t1 frigs as they close on you, giving your guns enough time to remove them from the field before they can disable your MWD or disable their points to allow you to regain distance and/or warp out.  Without cap they can't tackle or MWD, giving you a window to get out or kill them if you are aligned or lucky enough.  Overuse can cause problems with the already cap-unstable Vaga, but used in bursts when needed it can be the game changer to break tackle and get out of danger or kill the threat.

Medium Nosferatu modules fit as well, but once inside medium NOS range you are likely about to give up your speed and get inside of tackle range, having full cap will not help against close range DPS.  The NOS module does not provide any useful benefit, and gives up some of both the missiles and neut's utilities.


The Vagabond has a 25m3 drone bay with a corresponding 25m3 drone bandwidth.  5 Light drones fit perfectly but there are a few different idea's on how to fill that space.

Combat drones are very popular.  Warrior's give you extra speedy drones that excel at removing hostile tackle from your overview by either chasing them off or killing them.  They also add a decent amount of DPS to your tally, allowing you to kill faster and more efficiently.  Hobgoblins give the best DPS of all light drones but do thermal damage vs the warrior's explosive damage, many of the tackle frigates out there armor tank limiting the actual DPS increase given by the Hobgoblins.  Hobgoblins also suffer from being slower than the nimble Warrior drones and tend to be outrun easier by fast tackle inties and some t1 frigates, the exact same people that will or should be drawing the attention of your drones most often.  I fly with Warrior II's when using combat drones.

5 Light Hornet EC-300 Drones can be a real life saver, working to jam the lock of a tackler releasing you from his scramblers grasp.  Due to the low cost of EC drones, leaving them behind is a very good trade off vs losing the Vagabond.  Though their jam strength is low and they do not add any DPS, they can break tackle of frigates and sometimes cruisers when you get lucky.  Increasing your survivability vs tackle's weak sensor strengths.

Tracking Enhancers, Gyrostabilizers, Nanos, Damage controls and the fight for your Lowslots

With 5 lows, the Vagabond is a tough balancing act of getting everything you want to fit in the slots provided.

Gyrostabilizers increase DPS and rate of fire, while Tracking Enhancers (TE) give you better falloff and tracking, the various nano modules increase your speed or agility, Damage Control units (DCU/DC) help buffer your fit and shields.  But what to fit?

Damage controls units seem like a good idea, but usually the extra HP they yield is either lost by use of nano modules and rigs, or misused, leaving you thinking you have more time to get out than you really do.  Once shields are down, it is rare to see a vagabond leave the field in one piece unless they are already moving to leave the fight.  The extra armor and hull HP granted by the resists given by the DCU rarely makes a difference at that point, in fact most Vagabonds have around 900-1200 hull HP so doubling that and the extra shield resists doesn't help that much.  For solo operations, it can add enough HP to survive the blob long enough to make an escape or allow you to kill tougher more advanced targets.

Gyro's and TE add much more to the Vagabond than a DCU in almost every case.  The increased tracking and DPS will allow you to down targets at a much faster rate, and the extra falloff granted by TE gives you a much longer engagement distance with auto-cannons, especially with barrage, allowing you to engage easily outside of Heavy Neut range, conventional point range, as well as Web or Scrambler ranges on unbonused ships.  Extra falloff on a Vaga is a great thing.  Even when webbed by a Rapier the extra DPS given by Gyro's and the extra falloff given by the Tracking Enhancers usually allows you, in a 1 v 1 situation, to drive off or kill the Rapier before they can kill you or before their backup arrives, just remember their shields have a kinetic hole just as big as yours!

"Nano" modules come in three forms, Ineria Stabilizers, Nanofiber internal structure or Overdrives.

Inertia Stabilizers (I-stabs) can significantly increase your agility, at the expense of your signature radius.  Part of the Vaga's tank is being too small without the MWD active for larger weapons to hit properly at range, but the extra agility can get you into warp faster at gates and hot on the heels of your target, while the larger sig raidus makes you easier to gain a lock on before warping.

Nanofiber Internal Structures (nanofibers) Increase your agility and your speed at the cost of hull hitpoints.  Like I said in the section regarding Damage Controls, once in hull you are most likely dead anyways, so the drawback is mostly mitigated by the intended flying style of the ship in the first place, making these great additions to the Vaga as well.

Overdrive injector systems (overdrives) Increase your speed while not increasing your agility, at the cost of Cargo space.  While the drawback is trivial for a Vaga pilot who mostly carries ammo and loot in their hold, the speed boost without agility is largely just straight line speed and can actually feel like it's decreasing the overall agility, thanks to the time it takes to slow down and turn even while giving you a boost in overall speed.

Faction Warp Disruptor or Tech 2?

Usually here would be the argument for Scrambler vs Disruptor, but if you are fitting or thinking of fitting a scrambler on your Vaga for anything but specialized work like killing another Vaga and then putting the warp disruptor back on your Vaga then you are doing something very wrong.

Faction Warp Disruptors have smaller fitting requirements and more importantly longer range to place your points out on targets.  With the Domination and Republic Fleet having ranges out to 30km, 28km for True Sansha and Dark Blood, 26 for Shadow Serpentis, and then Khanid, Dread Guristas, and Caldari Navy all match the t2 range of 24km with better overheating stats and fitting.  So what does that faction name get you besides an increased price tab?  Being able to engage outside of heavy neut range of 25.2km, and hold a target down long enough to kill them while being able to turn and run if needed without having to worry about cap warfare.

Tech 2 have a bit less fitting requirements if you are not willing to spend the extra 50-150 million isk on a faction warp disruptor they can work.  Overheated t2 can reach beyond heavy neut range, so can still sustain tackle on things that would otherwise dead-cap and kill you or drive you off.  Much lower price tag is the real difference though and can be worth it when money is tight.

Example Fittings

Stolen shamelessly from BattleClinic, we have the two highest rated fits for the Vagabond.

First and highest rates is the "Mighty Gabe fit."  Notice the dual LSE in the mids as well as the Neut fit in the highs.  Here Gabe went for more tank and lost very little speed over the Polycarb rigged version because of the addition of a single Nanofiber in the lows.  This fit has a good mix of speed, survivability and damage output.  One note is that as shown, you must fly with e PG implant, called the Hardwiring - Inherant Impants 'Squire' PG series, or for short PG2(1% power grid boost), PG4(3% power grid boost) and PG8(5% power grid boost).  That takes implant slot 6, so if you plan on flying with snakes and the Omega or using the CY-/MY- Series of speed implants you will be unable to do so.  However by downgrading one of the LSE to a best named Large F-S9 Regolith Shield inductor you can make it work without the need of a fitting implant.  Though this will, of course, lower your EHP.  Faction LSE use the same Power grid (grid) and CPU as a T2 LSE so no help there.

The so-called Pirate fit is designed to emphasize DPS and speed, while putting less of a premium on EHP.  With the Nanofiber of the above fit replaced with another Gyrostab, this fit pushes roughly 50 DPS more with just the guns than the above.  To fit the Dual t2 LSE's here you will also need the same powergrid impants as above.

These fits can both benefit from the addition of a set of Snakes or speed/agility increasing implants, moving their already impressive speed closer to the 5km/s overheated mark.  At that speed you tend to be fast enough to get out of dodge quickly when things go wrong, giving you the elusive striking power the Vagabond is known for.

A few Non-Traditional Fits for those who care...

The TD-Bond can be useful if you are planning on running in a gang and need to add a little ewar.  Very limited use though as you can only TD one target and if you are engaging a swarm of targets you might miss your second LSE more than wanting that TD.  If you are flying this solo good luck, and when you lose it expect to be laughed at on some level so be prepared to defend your fit.

With a Large cap battery in the place of the second LSE, the perma MWD Vagabond can do just that, run it's MWD without fail forever, however once you activate your Disruptor, your cap stability will be just under 9 minutes before you cap out.  This suffers from very low EHP and requires either the PG4 or PG8 implants to fit, or reduction to a best named shield extender will cost you yet more EHP but allow you to fit the PG2 implant.

3. Implants

The Vagabond gains tons from various implants.  Most notably Snakes and some hardwirings.

Snakes have a velocity modifier, giving you a increase in base speed of roughly 15% with low grade snakes and high grade snakes giving you a boost of roughly 22% in speed, both of these numbers include the Omega implant.  This boost can increase your ability to kite damage without the MWD active as well as increasing your MWDing speed allowing you to avoid tackle and other unsightly ends.  Many great Vagabond pilots owe much of their success to their snake sets and swear by them when flying the speedy Heavy Assault Cruiser.  Pirate implants use slots 1-6 with the Omega taking slot 6 and usually being the most expensive part of the set.  The LG Snake Omega is around 350-450m Isk. HG Snake Omega aka Snake Omega is around 3+ times that last time I looked.

Other pirate implants can be useful, but none so much as the Snakes, look at the full list here to determine your flavor.  (Get Snakes or on the outside Halo implants)

As for Hardwirings, Navigation hardwiring and Medium Projectile Hardwiring are the focus for the Vagabond pilot.


Most of the highly useful Navigation impants are also in slot 6.  The CY-2 gives you a 5% bonus to ship velocity, the MY-2 gives a 5% bonus to MWD and AB speed increase.  Both of these are slot 6 implants, however the cost of them is dramatically less than a low-grade snake Omega.  So if you are looking for a replacement for the LG snake Omega the CY-2 averages around 150m to 200 mil isk and gives you slightly more benifit than the MY-2 that costs between 75m and 125m isk.

The AY series gives a bonus to ship agility, and fits in Slot 7.  The cost for the AY-2 (5% bonus) is around 125m to 175m isk.

Slot 9 holds the last relevant implant, the GY series.  The GY-2 gives a reduction of MWD cap use of 5% at a cost of about 125m isk.


Slot 6 gunnery implants are for small turrets so don't are not used on the Vagabond.  Good news so you can fit the Navigation links you want or the Omega of your choice.

Slot 7 gunnery implants - 'Gunslinger' AX- implants add tracking, 'Deadeye' ZG- implants add falloff.  The 'Lancer' beta series implants reduce cap use of firing weapons so we are thankfully free from that constraint.

Slot 8 gunnery implants - Improve medium turret damages per race.  The 'Gunsliger' MX- Series are for medium projectile damage increase.  Since it does not share a used slot with the above navigation implants it makes a solid choice.

Slot 9 gunnery implants - 'Gunslinger' CX- implants increase turret damage of all types, while the 'Lancer' Delta increases all Turrets rate of fire, and lastly the 'Deadeye' ZGA increases all turrets optimal range and is useless mostly since the Vagabond fights in falloff and not in optimal.

Slot 10 Gunnery Implants most gunnery implants here are for Large turret damage and thus do not fit with the Vagabond, however one 'Gnome' Implant rears it's head here, the 'Gnome' KZA series reduces turret CPU need.  Useful for some fits of the Vagabond.

Note about Implants

No implants are required to fly the Vagabond and there are many more un-implanted vagabond pilots than implanted ones.  The utility you get from putting on even the 3% implants is well worth the isk investment in most cases.  Just remember to remain outside the bubbles so you can get your expensive pod out.  Suicide bumps are costly in bubbles.

4. Target Selection

Vagabond fit selected, check, rigs and MWD online, Check. guns loaded?  t2?  Barrage M loaded?  Check check check.  Now it's time to fight and die in the Vagabond.  Become the nano people hate and the dashing murderer they wish they could be.  But what to shoot first?

Top Targets

The Vagabond is lucky to have the speed of many a Frigate so it's survivability is without question, aka ability to get out when threatened.  However choosing the correct targets can still be a difficult, and dangerous task until you get used to the type of fight you should be engaging in your Vagabond.

You - Solo, Them - Any

With the tracking enhancer changes your engagement envelope is wide open, anywhere from 10 to 35km.  In one on one situations, you have a wide path of targets.  Feel safe engaging nearly any solo battleship without utility Highs(or just stay out of Heavy Neut range to keep your cap and with it your ability to leave when things go south), battle cruisers(mostly depending on pilot age, Drakes and Harbingers can be very tricky), Cruiser(other HAC's included, though Ishtars and Zealots will be tough), or Frigate hulls.

If range is maintained between 19-30km depending on your point, you can be untouchable, or rather unkillable, while being able to push DPS and avoid large turrets while out-ranging most medium ones.  The range buffer should allow you to engage at will.  Tougher targets like Drakes who get a nice damage bonus to kinetic and usually field a tough tank can still be engaged.  In all cases, if you maintain range and you start taking too much damage or look to be about to be pounced by backup, your superior speed should allow you to disengage and escape.  Use this ability often and wisely.

Notable exceptions to this rule are most Recon Ships, who all seem to be designed to kill Vagabonds or at least make life difficult.  Curse's in particular should be avoided!  Neuts from these can disable your MWD, cap you out and make you a sitting duck for their drones to kill.  Focused DPS on them might save you but their bonus to tracking disruption and ability to Neut out to ~37km can leave your cap dry in an instant and guns ineffective, unable to track, or reach the curse.

The main thing to remember ALWAYS is keeping proper skirmish distance from your opponent.  Any ship can carry a warp scrambler and once you lose your MWD/mobility, it's gonna either end in a lost Vagabond or a very close call.

You - in a fleet, Them - Fleet

During a fleet battle the two main uses for the Vagabond are heavy tackle, or mid-DPS.  Ideally piloted, the Vagabond should keep 20+km range, staying around the outside of the fight, helping to kill small, fast targets before they can land tackle on anything, skirmishing in and out of range to mitigate damage taken while providing tackle and secondary DPS after hostile tackle is off the field.

The main thing you should be worried about at that range are most Recons and Battleships.  Falcons and Rooks can be dealt with if you can clear or manage to miss their ECM attention long enough to get a lock and kill them, Arazu's can scramble out to 21-27KM, allowing them to disable your MWD for long enough for something else to tackle you, namely the 20+ Bombers they usually carry around in their back pocket.  Curse should be avoided/primary as well in this situation, as you will be one of their primary neut targets and easy meat for tracking disruption.  Rapiers are special cases as when solo you can usually crumple their shield tanks before they can get through yours, but in a fleet fight, webs will effectively do the same thing as a scram, killing your speed, allowing you to be tackled by others and killed.

Advanced Solo Targets

Harbingers, Drakes, Hurricanes, Cyclones, Myrmidon, Rapier, Huginn, Zealot, Ishtar, Cerberus, HAM Sacrilege or any BS with one free high slot are more advanced targets, especially difficult would be Tempests at range, Dominix and Armageddons.  While still not impossible, extra attention has to be made to watch your shields, capacitor, speed and range from target.  Watch what modules they are or are not using.  In the case of an Armageddon, sometimes they only fit a long range point and no web, allowing you to close inside their tracking and kill them before they can kill you.  Show info on the target, if you know who the pilot is, it can give you enough Intel to identify if the pilot is likely to have the support skills in place or a good fit in place that could pin you.  The Rapier and Huginn are tough targets because they are one of a few craft that can dictate range in the engagement, however your DPS is likely going to be higher than theirs (at pretty much every range) allowing you to usually drive them off in solo situations, sometimes fast enough to let you escape before their friends can get secondary tackle on you.

Ships to avoid

Not this time Mr. Curseypoo!
Curse, Vagabonds, Dramiel, Cynabals, Bhaalgorns, Machariels, Arazu and Lachesis.  For most they are deadly because they can limit your ability to leave when the fight isn't going your way.  Curse are especially deadly (if it seems I can't stress this enough, it's because I can't) thanks to an arsenal of bonused Tracking disruptors, Neut's and a multi-use drone bay.  In addition, avoid any ship that can do what you do, only better.  This means other skirmish ships, like the Dramiel, as they can easily out speed you, tank you long enough to get under your guns, and then proceed to slowly and painfully kill your ship.  A medium neut serves best as do small ECM or warrior drones to help you escape.  Cynabals are just as fast as a Vaga, or faster.  Usually pushing a bit more DPS and once again showing the ability to catch and tackle.  Other Vagabonds can be avoided as well, or kited if you are sure you are faster, unless you are sure that they are solo, in that case enjoy the 1v1!  Faction BS should be left alone in general unless you are sure of their fittings.  Bhaalgorns and Machariels you should be very careful with(read "run away from").  Both can engage and hit at range with the Bhaal having the nasty ability to remove all your cap in one cycle then close in and web you down from 20+km(and that's just the t2/best named numbers).

It's important to remember that leaving the field and returning soon after is easy and recommended in the Vagabond.  Creating and using bookmarks to drop pounce/retreat spots near gates or a fight are always a good idea.  These nearby spots can allow a quick warpout and warp back into the fight, disrupting enemy DPS and locks on your ship.

General Engagements

Often times solo you will only engage targets that you know you can kill easily and avoid those tougher targets.  Since the missile and need for speed changes the Vaga's signature radius has become more of a problem, requiring even more precise and careful movement to avoid return fire.  The Vaga remains one of the premier skirmish ships.

Though the Vagabond is a expensive HAC, if warped in at range and flown properly, one can escape from the fight before being killed.  It's thanks to this reputation that you should not hesitate to go in harms way, just keep your escape plan handy, transversal high, and never stop moving.  Watch your capacitor levels, it's important to understand just how much cap is needed for that one last burst from your MWD.  Keep yourself above that level to provide just one quick burst of speed to get out if possible.

5. Tactics

The Vagabond's role is most basically to get out to range or warp in outside of scram range, orbit at 19-27km depending on your point and throw damage downrange.  You pulse the MWD to keep range on the target and keep and eye out for any fancy tricks to get you close enough to scram, web, or Neut.  Some examples being; your target flying into the rock fields in belts to try to snag you on one of the roids, MWDing away from you to break your point or turn around and catch you pulsing your MWD to catch up, resulting in a dangerously close range and or tackle.


Usually orbit is set to just below your point's maximum range.  With a t2 warp disruptor that means just under 24km, around 20-23 KM from your target.  Usually this leaves you with a get out of dodge buffer if things turn sour.  Faction pointed, the Vagabond stays further out, 24-29 KM from target, to avoid any chance of a tackle that they can't escape, as well as out of Heavy neut range from the target.  Best named heavy Neuts can reach to 25.2 KM, so with a t2 warp disruptor even orbitting at your max range to hold a point is still inside neut range, so always keep an eye on your cap.  If you do not need to place point on the target, if they are in a bubble or already tackled, venturing closer to increase DPS can be useful against high damage targets as can staying outside of neut range in smaller battles or fluctuating situations where you never know what will be next on the field.  Set your default orbit to your best range and then manage orbiting closer with the right click menu on the target and orbit -> options, say at 10km, 15km or 20km.  If trying to keep a good distance, you can also use the same options to set orbit at current range.

Keep At Range/Approach

Both of these tactics can cause a lot of problems for the Vagabond pilot.  Since they both minimize your transversal, they allow your opponents to place effective hits on the shielding of the Vagabond.  Unless supported by a gang and going to try to uncloak a target approach should not be used.  Keep at range can move you back inside of a range of a target but since it can allow you to be hit more effectively, basically limiting your transversal, orbit is a much better option if you are going to use the buttons.

Manual piloting

Once familiar with orbiting at range, most vagabond pilots try to achieve the same kind of orbit using manual piloting.  With a manual piloting you can keep your range where you want it and also react more smoothly to any changes in velocity and direction your target might make.  Orbitting to remain abreast of your target instead of directly behind or in front of them is the best bet for manual piloting.  Keeping in these area's reduces your DPS slightly due to transversal but also prevents your targets from being able to MWD towards you quickly and catch you inside web/Neut or scram range, and also prevents them from easily MWDing away from you to break your point, or spin around and catch you as you try to catch up.

Anti-Drone combat

I'm just going to add a link to the Rifter drone combat section since though the Vaga is vastly more resilient to drone damage thanks to more EHP they can still be a threat and knowing the basics of removing them from the field is important.  So without further ado.... Linkie

6. Boosters

Upon Id's suggestion below,  I will expand a bit on this part of flying a Vaga.  While not required, boosters can help extend your range, tracking and DPS.  Boosters like Sooth Sayer, that modifies Falloff, Drop modifying tracking speed are the best used on the Vagabond.  Both can help increase your effective DPS by preventing misses (better tracking) or allowing more actual DPS on target by extending your falloff a bit more (Sooth Sayer).  Situationally, another good choice could be X-Instinct, to help reduce incoming missile damage by shrinking your sig radius some and making you a harder target given that your MWD is not blooming your sig radius to that of a small moon.  I have added a link for combat boosters from the eve online wiki to the bottom of this post.

7. Relevant Skills

The Vagabond, like most HAC class ships requires a heavy skillpoint investment.  However the Vaga shines through when more than just the base skillpoints are invested into it.  Sadly that leaves a rather long list here that I will break down into two groups.  The first are the requirements to fly the ship, and the second the skills that most directly effect the fitting, flying and abilities of the Vagabond.

Primary Skills

  • Minmatar Cruiser level 5, rank 5 - Needed of course to get in the ship at all.
  • Heavy Assault Ships level 4, rank 6 - See above
  • Assault Ships level 4, rank 4 - a requirement for HAC(Heavy assault ships, aka Heavy assault cruisers)
  • Engineering level 5, rank 1 - a requirement for AF (Assault ships, aka Assault frigs)
  • Mechanic level 5, rank 1 - a requirement for AF (Assault ships, aka Assault frigs)
  • Weapon Upgrades level 5, rank 2 - HAC requirement
  • Gunnery level 4, rank 1 - HAC requirement
  • Small Projectile turret level 5, rank 1 - Needed for t2 medium projectile turrets
  • Small autocannon spec level 4, rank 3 - Needed for t2 medium projectile turrets
  • Motion Prediction level 4, rank 2 - Needed for t2 medium projectile turrets, increases tracking on all guns.
  • Medium Projectile turret level 5, rank 3 - requirement for t2 Projectile turrets
  • Medium Autocannon spec 4, rank 5 - Spec skill for medium autocannon turrets, 2% bonus Rate of fire per level (RoF)
  • Trajectory Analysis level 4, rank 5 - Works in concert with the falloff bonus of the Vagabond, allowing you to extend falloff range a bit longer.
  • Advanced Weapon Upgrades level 4, rank 6 - Going to need all your Powergrid and CPU to fit a Vaga properly, this will help.
  • Shield Upgrades level 4, rank 2 - Frees up a bit more Powergrid from those Large shield extenders, drop to best named if t2's don't fit to free up some more grid.
  • High Speed Maneuvering level 1 rank 5 - This skill allows for the use of t1 and best named Micro Warp Drives (MWD's).  The one skill that will change your eve life forever.
  • Navigation level 3 rank 1 - Required to use MWD's, but it also increases your base speed, speed is life, level 3 is a minimum.
  • Afterburner level 3 rank 1 - Required to use MWD's
  • Acceleration control level 4 rank 4 - increases the speed pushed by your MWD and afterburners at a rate of 5% per level.  Only rank four to level this one up before High Speed Maneuvering for a faster speed gain.
  • Evasive maneuvering level 4 rank 2 - this skill increases ships agility, making you turn faster and get in and out safer.
  • Cybernetics 4 rank 3 - enables use of learning implants up to +4's and also a host of the 3% skill hardwiring implants to make you faster, hit harder and live.
  • Science level 4 rank 1 - Enabling skill to train Thermodynamics!
  • Thermodynamics level 4 rank 3 - Allows you to overheat your modules for a short amount of time, boosting DPS, speed, range of your warp disruptor and neut cycle time.  All this can help you move faster, point at longer ranges and maintain point, get faster kills and neut out tackle quicker keeping your bacon raw.  You can use Nanite repair paste to repair the damaged modules in space.  Always carry some.
  • Nanite interfacing level 3 rank 3- 20% increase in repaired amount on a damaged module per second.
  • Nanite Operation level 3 rank 2 - 5% per level reduction in consumption of nanite repair paste to repair modules.
Secondary or Advanced Skills

Those skills are all well and good, but to get the most out of your vaga you are going to need a whole lot more!  Most of these skills should be trained up to at least 3-4 anyways, pushing them to 5 will give you a strong advantage.

  • Heavy Assault Ship level 5, rank 6 - This gives you the extra edge, adding even more falloff and damage to your hull, it is a long train but worth it in the end.
  • Advanced Weapon Upgrades 5, rank 6 - Another long train but the bonus PG it gives is a lifesaver for any ship fitting, not just for the Vagabond, likely get this before HAC 5.
  • All gunnery support skills to 4 or 5.  They are in the order you should get them : Motion Prediction rank 2, 5% bonus to tracking per level.  Rapid Fire rank 2, 4% rate of fire bonus per level.  Surgical Strike rank 3, 3% damage bonus per level.  Trajectory Analysis rank 5, 5% falloff bonus per level.  Sharpshooter rank 2, 5% optimal bonus per level (doesn't help that much as you fight in falloff).  Controlled Bursts don't effect projectiles since they use no cap!
  • Navigation skills are a MUST for this ship to be at it's best.  Every extra m/s counts in the equation of dead Vaga vs escaping Vagabond.  This means almost every Navigation skill to five, minus Afterburner, Fuel conservation and any and all capital jump skills.
  • Shield upgrades 5 rank 2 - gives you that touch more PG to make everything fit and is required even with a PG implant to make two t2 Large shield extenders fit properly, or you can drop to one t2 and one best named for a slight drop in EHP.
  • Cybernetics 5 rank 3 - if you plan on flying with the best implants in your head, namely HG snakes or any of the 5% speed implants/Omega implant for the snake set.
  • Capacitor skills - Energy Management level 5 rank 3, gives you 5% more cap per level.  Energy systems Operation level 5 rank 1, this will give your cap faster recharge, helping to keep your cap alive for a bit longer to power that MWD!  5% recharge per level.
  • Shield recharge skills - Gotta have those shields up for as long as possible!  Shield Management level 5 rank 3, gives 5% bonus capacity per level while Shield Operation level 5 rank 1, gives 5% per level faster recharge.  Both are very important skills to have.
  • Energy Emission level 4 rank 2, 5% per level reduction in cap use of Neutralizer modules, well okay any energy emission module but the Neut is what is important here!
  • Medium Autocannon spec level 5 rank 5 - it's pushing the ends of the skill plan but the extra damage can't hurt if you have time.
  • Thermodynamics level 5 rank 3 - Like above, but this time level 5 for a bit more time overheated.
  • Nanite Interfacing level 4-5 rank 3- 20% increase in repaired amount on a damaged module per second.
  • Nanite Operation level 4-5 rank 2 - 5% per level reduction in consumption of nanite repair paste to repair modules.  Make repairs much faster with these two skills for less use of the repair paste, especially now that price for the paste is increasing, thanks PI.
  • Biology level 4 rank 1 - for use of boosters
  • Neurotoxin Recovery level 4 rank 5, cost of around 300 mil isk right now since it is not seeded, but reduces the side effects duration of using combat boosters.
  • Nanite Control level 4 rank 2, gives less a chance of the side effects happening, making your boosters that much better to use.

8. Useful links
Art of's Series;