Interfaced directly with a ship, a Capsuleer exerts direct control over its every action – including all elements of combat. It is therefore important that you understand the principles guiding the many weapons, tactics, and countermeasures available to you.
Optimal Range is the range within which a target's distance will not affect your chance to hit, though tracking speed still applies for moving targets. Falloff Range begins past Optimal; as a target moves further away, your chance of hitting steadily decreases. At a distance equal to Optimal Range+Falloff, turrets will only have a base 50% chance to hit; by 2x Falloff, this chance is reduced to 6.25%, and continues to decrease.
Tracking determines how well a turret can keep up with a moving target. Smaller turrets have better tracking than larger weapons, which means that a sufficiently small and fast-moving target may avoid being hit by significantly larger ships’ weapons if they orbit closely enough. The higher a target’s Angular Velocity (which can be made visible as a column in the overview) in relation to whatever is firing upon it, the smaller the chance that the shot will connect.
When engaging a target, it is important to try and minimize incoming damage. If you approach directly, your angular velocity will be close to zero – allowing enemy turrets to easily hit you. If you approach on a spiraling path inward, you can maximize your angular velocity and make it far more difficult for an enemy’s shots to connect. This maneuver can be performed by repeatedly double-clicking in space to manually adjust your path as you go before pressing orbit once in a tight range.
Missile Launchers function very differently from turrets, firing fueled projectiles that race toward their targets. Each missile has a Maximum Flight Time and Velocity, which can be used to calculate how far they can be expected to travel when launched.
It is important to note that a target moving away from a pursuing ship may outrun missiles fired at them, as missiles travel their calculated range from the exact location they were fired from. Conversely, this may prove very helpful if the tables are turned and you yourself are moving away from a foe using this type of weapon.
A missile always hits its target if it can be reached. Instead of having a chance to hit or miss, a missile’s Explosion Radius and Explosion Velocity determine how much damage it will inflict.
Explosion Radius indicates the size of the missile’s detonation from the exact point where it contacts its target. A target with a smaller signature than a missile’s Explosion Radius will occupy only part of the radius the explosion is spread across, taking only partial damage.
Explosion Velocity is the speed at which a missile’s explosion will reach its full size. Depending on a target’s speed, it may partially or even completely outrun the detonation and take little or no damage as a result.
TURRET AND LAUNCHER UPGRADES
The damage and application of turrets and missile launchers can be improved by fitting appropriate modules or rigs to your ship. Each class of weapon has a specific type of low-slot damage module – including Heat Sinks for Lasers, Magnetic Field Stabilizers for Hybrid Turrets, Gyrostabilizers for Projectile Turrets, and Ballistic Control Systems for Missile Launchers.
Tracking Computers and Guidance Computers are medium-slot modules that affect turret tracking and range and missile explosion radius and explosion velocity respectively. These modules can be loaded with scripts to focus on enhancing one attribute over the other. Tracking Enhancer and Guidance Enhancer modules are low-slot variations which cannot be scripted. Rigs affecting damage and application can also be fitted to ships, providing even more options when designing the ideal fit for a given purpose.
While Sensor Dampeners and Weapon Disruptors each affect two target attributes, Target Painter modules drastically increase a target’s signature radius alone, greatly increasing its chance to be hit by any kind of turret, the damage it takes from missiles, the speed at which it can be target locked, the ease with which it may be combat probed down, and more. Certain Minmatar ships grant significant bonuses for these modules.
ELECTRONIC COUNTERMEASUERS (ECM)
ECM modules inflict a chance-based disruption of enemy target locks, with the chance of successfully jamming an enemy ship determined by the strength of the jam versus the enemy ship's sensor strength. Jammed targets will be unable to lock any more targets and will lose lock on all current targets, except for the ship jamming them.
There are four different sensor types, one for each Empire: Radar for Amarr, Gravimetric for Caldari, Magnetometric for Gallente, and Ladar for Minmatar, and four types of ECM modules – each of which specializes in jamming one of these sensor types. Multispectral ECM modules have less of an overall chance at jamming, but can potentially jam any sensor type. Certain Caldari ships provide strong bonuses to ECM modules.
By disrupting the functions of an enemy ship’s warp core, you can prevent them from escaping. Warp Disruptor modules have a longer range; Warp Scramblers have a shorter range, but will also shut down enemy Microwarpdrives and Micro Jump Drive activations.
Some ships, such as the Venture, have an intrinsic bonus to warp core strength, and pilots may fit a Warp Core Stabilizer to increase core strength on any ship. For each +1 warp core strength a ship has, an additional point of disruption must be applied to prevent them from warping, by bringing the target’s warp core strength below zero. Standard Warp Disruptors and Scramblers inflict -1 and -2 core strength on a target respectively.
Specialized Weapon Disruption modules can drastically reduce the effectiveness of enemy offensive modules. Tracking Disruptors lower the tracking speed and range of all variants of turrets, while Guidance Disruptors affect the explosion velocity and explosion radius of missiles. Both can be fitted with scripts to target only one attribute, with far greater potency. Specific Amarr ships provide bonuses to these types of modules, as well.
Nearly every active module a ship may use requires Capacitor to activate and stay active. Energy Neutralizer modules attack enemy Capacitor directly, rapidly draining a target of its vital power supply – potentially disabling weapons, defenses, and much more as power is lost. Though these modules can be a potent addition to many PVP fits, certain Amarr hulls provide significant bonuses to their functions.
Where ECM breaks and prevents target locks based on chance, Sensor Dampeners inflict a significant reduction to the scan resolution and targeting range of enemy ships – rendering them unable to lock you or any other targets beyond the reduced range and greatly increasing the time it takes to lock any target. These modules can also be loaded with scripts to exclusively target scan resolution or targeting range, with higher potency. Certain Gallente hulls greatly boost the strength of this type of electronic warfare.