Introduction to PvP

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This is a depcrecated class syllabus, intended as historical record for the teaching department.

Creating syllabi is no longer our process for new classes, and no classes in the syllabus library are considered current. They are here for historical purposes only, as well as an optional starting point for designing new classes. Please do not assume any of the classes you find here have slides, or have even been taught for many years. If you do use information in a syllabus, ensure that you have brought it up to date with contemporary EVE.

This class is meant as an absolutely basic introduction to PvP, giving a more synoptic view of the subject than our Tackling, EWAR, and Fleets 101 classes. This makes it suitable for a teacher who's cutting their teeth, as there are a lot of subjects where you can gesture towards another class and link a wiki page if covering a question would take you beyond your knowledge or just take up too much time.

This syllabus should tell you in a fairly detailed way what the class ought to cover rather than directly what you should be saying. Do feel free to elaborate on it or modify it as you see fit, pad it out with remarks from your own experience and so on.


Class Information

This is the standard information about this class's scheduling and content. This should be sufficient to create a proper class topic for scheduling on the Eve University forums. Additional information relevant to the teacher is listed under 'notes for the teacher'.

This class will cover the very, very basics of PvP, and will hopefully be useful for anyone with little or no PvP experience.

Scheduling info

Duration: 2 hours Location: N/A -- there is no practical element to this class, so students don't need to be in a particular place to attend

Class Description

  • PvP combat, what makes it different to PvE combat
  • How a University fleet is organised and how it functions
  • How to join a University fleet
  • Managing the risks of PvP: insurance and clones; podsaver routine
  • The killboard: killmails, lossmails, what to do with them
  • Other forms of PvP: small gang and solo
  • Eve University Rules of Engagement: who we can shoot, where we can shoot them
  • Different PvP environments: highsec, lowsec, nullsec, wormhole space
  • Q&A


  • Mumble registration and access
  • Access to the Class.E-UNI in-game chat channel


  • This class has no practical element, as noted above, so you do not need to be anywhere in particular to attend it
  • You are welcome to record this class [cut this out if you'd rather no one recorded it, for some reason]

Notes for the teacher

Required materials:

  • Class.E-UNI chat channel, to receive questions and post links


  • There are a lot of opportunities to dump links in class chat in this class and it may be useful to have the links you know you'll need handy in a text document.
  • After running this class I found opening the questions session at the end out to general PvP-related Q&A worked quite well. We were able to cover some topics which people were interested in but which the class proper didn't include.
  • You may want to break for questions at points during the class, too.
  • Another option would be to spin the end of the class into a lowsec roam or internal PvP competition; this would require either a lot of stamina on your part, or having a pre-arranged FC/organiser on hand to take over.


  • Introduce yourself
  • How the class will work:
    • Only the teacher will talk on TS
    • Questions asked textually in Class.E-UNI chat channel
    • TS opened for questions afterwards
    • People are welcome to record the class [unless you don't want them to, of course]
  • Why the class exists: general view of PvP, complements detailed classes on Tackling, Fleets &c (it might be good to post a link to the audio class archive in chat)
  • This class's existence shouldn't imply that you need to study before PvPing; best way to learn is by doing
  • List what you'll cover during the class

What is PvP?

  • Arguably most of Eve pits players against players (see 'market PvP'), but for this class we're talking spaceships blowing each other up.
  • Things that separate PvP combat from PvE combat (besides the obvious 'players are smarter'):
    • Enemy players need to be tackled, unlike npcs
    • Electronic warfare is actually useful (and for uni fleets, a good way to level the playing field)
    • PvP means a lot of DPS in a short time, PvE means less DPS but for longer periods

Uni PvP fleets: how they work

  • At the top, a Fleet Commander who controls the fleet; anyone can FC in the uni -- take advantage of the opportunity!
  • Wing Commanders: few defined roles in the uni, but often admin that the FC delegates; often second-in-command
  • Squad Commanders: keeping track of squad members; squad chat channel for reinviting disconnected pilots and transcribing FC's commands
  • Scout(s): in a cloaked ship, find and identify the enemy, provide a spot for the fleet to warp in; try to conceal their identities in public places (killboard, public AARs)
  • The rest of us, divided into:
    • Tacklers: hold the enemy in place and stop them warping away (link the wiki tackling guide)
    • Electronic warfare: interfere with the enemy's ability to lock and hit us (link the wiki ewar guide) -- important force multiplier for University fleets, which are often less skilled than the enemy
    • Damage dealers: deal damage
  • Tackling and ewar recommended for new pilots: it doesn't take much ISK or skill training to become effective in these roles

Uni PvP fleets: how to join them

  • What you need before joining a uni fleet (essentially this):
    • Ship insurance (to be covered in more detail later)
    • Implants you're happy to lose
    • Overview set up (link to the definitive guide)
    • Auto-target back turned off: 'Press the Escape key to go into the game's configuration panel > general settings > "inflight" section > Auto target back: select 0 targets' (explain that this targets people who target you -- not always useful -- allies may target you to heal you, for example)
    • Ship you're happy to lose, fitted for a fleet role you understand
    • Rename that ship! (So it can't be traced to you if it shows up on the directional scanner)
    • Be registered on Mumble, preferably be on Mumble before the fleet is called; can wait in the PvP waiting room if you like
  • Once you're ready, keep an eye on Alliance
  • Explain how FCs call for scouts and then roles, explain proper format for x-ing up
  • Stress the importance of keeping Alliance clear; using corp chat to ask questions about the fleet
  • Questions about where it's going or how long it'll take are unlikely to be answered
  • If there's a PvP fleet out already, you're unlikely to be able to join it, at least in wartime

Managing the risks of PvP

  • Insurance: really reduces the amount of money you lose; great for T1 hulls, not so great for T2 hulls
  • Medical clones: not connected to jump clones; how to move them around
  • Jump clones: switchable clones which help to preserve expensive implants; can be configured for different purposes with hardwirings
  • Podsaver routine: smartbombs and bad luck with lag aside, it's hard to get podded in highsec and lowsec
    • Realising you'll lose your ship
    • Switching to the podsaver tab (anyone who's done the overview setup should have one)
    • Spamming the 'warp to' button as fast as possible before and while you explode

The killboard

  • Where to find killmails: Character Sheet > Combat Log
    • Can ignore Settings, there's only one
    • Killmails and lossmails aren't actually evemails, but they used to be, which is why they're called mails
    • Kills and losses get listed here; losses are whenever you're blown up, but you only get a kill listed here if you land the finishing blow
    • However, when the mail's posted to the killboard everyone involved including ewar and tacklers should appear on it
  • How to post a mail (can link the wiki guide in chat):
    • Click the 'copy kill information' in the top right of the kill or lossmail box in the Combat Log
    • Go to our killboard
    • Click on 'post mail' in the top bar
    • Paste the mail into the box, put the password (found in the Alliance Bulletins in the Corporation window) into the password box, click Process
  • Now you must comment on the mail.
    • Comments on kills are helpful, especially if they're unusual kills
    • Comments on losses are vital and losses without comments make the directors sad, especially if they're odd losses (in sovereign nullsec space, where we aren't allowed, for example)
    • Fill in your in-game name in the name box
    • The password for comments is not the same as the password for posting mails; see Alliance Bulletins again
    • Try not to reveal intel in killboard comments

'Other' forms of PvP

  • In the university, especially during wartime, you can get the impression that regimented medium/large fleet PvP is the only form of PvP there is; this isn't true
  • Small gangs:
    • TS is often more relaxed (FC's discretion); if everyone's on the same channel this is a good way for newer players to learn what FCs and scouts do and how they communicate
    • Individual ship choices and fittings tend to matter more, as do pilots' individual alertness and experience
    • Below a certain fleet size it's hard to justify taking out large and slow ships, especially if you're low-SP pilots
    • Smaller fleets often find it easier to get fights but conversely there are more fights you can't win
    • If you have a very few pilots, consider getting fast ships and spreading out across adjacent systems -- if one person finds a fight, everyone else can rush to their location -- if they can survive for long enough
  • Solo PvP:
    • Eve isn't very friendly to solo PvP but it can be done
    • Expect to run away and/or lose a lot; consider sticking to insurable T1 hulls until you have some experience
    • Your ship has to fit to do everything: tackle, tank enemy fire and deal sufficient DPS
    • Since you're your own FC and scout you have to learn to use their tools: local's memberlist, the directional scanner, maps (Ombeve's or dotlan), a good memory for ship names and types and the ability to quickly judge whether or not you can take them on
      • Ultimately you rely on your ability to weigh the abilities of the enemy ship/gang/fleet vs your own, so in the end learning all ships will help you take good decisions; try using flashcards like these (link broken) and also hypothetically fitting all ships in EFT

Rules of Engagement

  • These determine who we can shoot where
  • There are essentially (simplifying the Rules of Engagement slightly here) five classes of people we can shoot -- an enemy pilot might tick several of these boxes at once, of course
  • Wartargets:
    • We can shoot anyone who's at war with us, anywhere we meet them
    • Usually red flashies, if you have the standard overview setup
  • Outlaws:
    • Anyone with a security status (this is not the same as standings with the Uni) below -5.0 is an outlaw
    • Orange flashies on the standard overview
    • You can shoot them anywhere
    • You usually don't see them in highsec though now and then one will sneak through in a pod or a very fast ship
    • There are outlaws who have high standings with the uni (indicated by a blue square on their overview icon with a white plus symbol in it); even though they're flashy, you shouldn't shoot them
  • GCCs:
    • Anyone who launches an unprovoked attack on anyone else who isn't an outlaw in lowsec gets what's called a Suspect Flag, which lasts for fifteen minutes
    • This has various implications involving gate and station guns, but the most significant for us is that Concord doesn't mind if you shoot someone with a GCC, and neither does the Uni
    • As with outlaws, high standings with the uni -- the blue square with the white plus symbol -- overrides this
  • People with bad standings with the University:
    • The University sets bad standings to some people, in some cases because they're unpleasant and in others because, although not unpleasant, they'll shoot at us and we need to know they're coming
    • Bad standings appears on the overview as either an orange box with a white minus symbol in it or a red box with a white minus symbol in it
    • Bad standings doesn't necessarily mean we dislike them, but it does mean we can shoot at them
    • However, it's possible for someone to have bad standings with us but good security status, so you'd be Concorded if you shot them in highsec
    • Don't shoot bad-standings-but-good-security-status pilots in highsec
    • Do shoot them in lowsec if you're happy to deal with the Suspect Flag and small security status loss that comes with that (much higher security status hit if you pod them)
    • Do shoot them in nullsec and w-space: there are no consequences there
  • Neutrals or blues who've fired first
    • If someone tries to kill you, feel free to kill them back.
    • Then tell a diplomat (lurk in the Diplomacy.E-UNI channel until one appears)

PvP Environments

  • Finally, some notes on the PvP differences between the game's different kinds of space
  • High security space:
    • PvP in highsec is mostly war declarations, garnished with canflipping, ninja salvaging, suicide ganking et cetera
    • Lots of docking games: pilots will sit within docking range of a station when fighting, and de-aggress in time for their aggression timer to run out so they can dock up without dying
    • Highsec PvP also sometimes involves neutral out-of-corp remote-repair support
  • Low security space:
    • Lowsec is where most PvP-focused unistas go to get their PvP, especially in peacetime
    • Lots of lowsec is completely empty but bottleneck systems leading to highsec or nullsec are often busy (and dangerous)
    • Systems on short-cut routes (such as the famous pipe between Minmatar highsec and Caldari highsec, including Rancer) are also dangerous; the Rancer pipe is often gatecamped in an almost industrial fashion
    • Lowsec is also where most factional warfare fighting takes place
    • Pirates, with varying amounts of class, hang out in lowsec; some are just gatecampers who'll run from a proper fight, others will give you an interesting (though almost certainly not fair) battle - here is a list of known piracy havens:
    • Stations are still fairly common and so, therefore, are docking games
    • Carriers can operate in lowsec and are sometimes dropped on our gangs or used to remote-repair
  • 0.0:
    • University pilots are allowed anywhere in NPC nullsec.
    • NPC nullsec is lawless space, the same as the rest of nullsec as far as most game mechanics are concerned, but it can't be claimed by players
    • In nullsec stealth bombers can use bombs, area-of-effect weapons which don't work in low- and highsec
    • Stealth bombers can warp while cloaked using covops cloaks, and don't have any targeting delay after uncloaking, so they can strike with almost no warning
    • Bombs are most dangerous in groups, and to ships with large signature radii; you will have a short time after their launch to notice they're there and try to escape
    • In nullsec players can put up warp-disrupting bubbles, which prevent you from warping if you're inside them (though MWDs still work)
    • (Hopefully all the information about bubbles here is correct. (I've encountered them only a handful of times.) When I taught this class there were a lot of extra questions on bubble mechanics, some of which I couldn't answer.)
    • You can put a bubble up on a gate to try to catch anyone who jumps through, killing them as they try to burn out of it (a 'bubblecamp')
    • You can also put a bubble up at a gate or celestial object in such a way that it drags people warping to that object from another particular object to its edge; your victims come out of warp on the edge of your bubble rather than at their destination, though they should be on-grid with their destination (a 'drag bubble')
    • These are obviously ideal for traps
    • Concord doesn't care what happens in nullsec, there are no security status losses for unprovoked attacks
    • Many ostensibly 'neutral' groups you encounter in nullsec will fly 'NBSI', not-blue-shoot-it -- unless we happen to be blue to them, they will attack us
    • NPC nullsec has a few stations, but not very many; docking games are much rarer
    • Since there aren't many stations, you can get camped in the ones that do exist quite easily
    • Going to nullsec to rat and/or for PvP is fun and educational, provided you do it in ships and clones you can afford to lose
  • Wormhole space:
    • Class is too short to cover the mechanics of how wormholes appear and disappear, but that's what they do
    • There are some wormholes which lead from one part of known space to another part of known space, they're not relevant to our discussion
    • Other WHs lead to pockets of wormhole space ('w-space', as opposed to 'k-space' for known space)
    • Wormhole space is like nullsec: stealth bombers can use bombs, players can use bubbles, Concord doesn't care what happens there
    • But it has some extra features: the memberlist of Local chat in wormholes only shows people if they speak in the Local
    • So most of the time in a WH you have no idea who could be out there
    • There are no stations in w-space, though players can put POSes up
    • The way that WHs work limits the size and number of ships that can pass through a WH
    • Players in a w-space pocket can manipulate the WHs there into closing, opening new WHs to other pockets or back to k-space
    • All this makes w-space a dangerous, fast-moving but also therefore very exciting PvP environment
    • As with nullsec, w-space is fun and educational, and as with nullsec, be prepared to lose whatever ships and clones you take into w-space

Now open the floor for general questions

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