The meta is an abbreviation of most effective tactics available. In gaming, it usually refers to ships, items or strategies that have proven to be powerful, and thus many people want to use.

Why are things the way they are, and how has it come to his? These are questions that many of us never bother to ask ourselves. Despite this, it can be quite educational to think about how things became the way they are today, this can teach us about past mistake, and keep us from making future ones. In Eve the term meta also refers to the current political landscape. I’d like to iterate that I am not referring to this kind of meta, in this article.

In EVE the ship-meta has led us to a situation where large fleets of Battleships and T3 cruisers battle it out in nullsec. While in many smaller scale combat situations take place in smaller ships like in lowsec and nullsec. In this article, I’ll take a closer look at why this division came to be. Why are the large and powerful ships favored in large fleet battles and why do players prefer the faster ships for small skirmishes? Of course, the value of the ships and the willingness of players to risk more valuable ships is an important factor I’m not going to discuss too extensively, as it’s more of a personal thing as to what what a player believes to be expensive. Instead let’s take a closer look at two ship types, their strengths, and weaknesses and think about how these tailor to a specific setup. I’ll focus on battleships and frigates, as these ships differ the most in their stats, and make an interesting comparison.

Frigates are fast and affordable. They have the speed to get into the fight quickly, do their thing, and when they eventually get lost, be replaced easily. Looking at frigate fights in a 1v1 setting, there is usually a brief chase in which the contestants try to catch the enemy (or get the hell out) and maneuver their ships into their optimal range. When the shooting starts the fights are usually over very quickly. In my experience within the first 30 seconds after they start (some exceptions).

But what makes frigate fights so fast? It has everything to do with the statistic lines of frigates. Looking at T1 ships, they often have between 125 and 175 Damage/second (DPS after this point), and the effective EHP of frigates is relatively low. Normally most fittings fall somewhere between 2500 and 7500 EHP. If these ships are pitted against one another, you will realize why frigate PVP is so fast. With 175 DPS, it takes only 15 seconds to chew through 2500 EHP. And even with the lower  125 DPS, you can destroy a fairly tanky 7500 EHP frigate in only 60 seconds. Especially now that people prefer high damage setup over the high tank versions. Of course, good damage mitigation and suboptimal ranges could make the battle last a little longer, but in general, the fights will still be over quite fast. When looking at the balance between damage and tank, it’s interesting to calculate a ratio. With an average of 150 DPS and 5000 EHP, the tank/damage ratio is 33:1, an average number.

Now let’s look at battleships. Battleships the biggest ships many people will ever fly (Many people never access capitals, but the story is similar). Battleships are expensive but have a good damage potential,  more importantly, they are very hard to kill. A fitted T1 battleship has a damage capability somewhere between 500 and 1000 DPS. The tank depends on the fitting but commonly falls between 75 and 125.000 EHP. Taking an average of 750 damage and 100,000 EHP into account, that would leave us with a tank/damage ratio of 133:1, a very high number, compared to the 33:1 of the frigate level. Pitting two  battleships against each other, it would take them over 2 minutes (133 seconds to be exact) to break one another

Comparing the two ratio’s you will see that the larger ship type has a relatively high defensive stats and relatively low damage output. The smaller frigates are just the opposite. You could find this pattern in all different ship classes, bigger ships get an increase in damage but a bigger increase in defense. Their damage doesn’t scale as impressively as their tank. This generally means that fights between larger ships take longer than smaller ships, simply because it takes them longer to chew through that HP-buffer.

Looking at fleet combats many things favor the slow and steady approach that battleship brings, most importantly the ‘delay’. There is usually a time-delay of 5-10 seconds between the fleet commander landing on the grid, and the fleet reacting to his first orders. Caused by normal personal reaction times and assessment of the situation. This could lead to people getting ‘left behind’. In a slow battleship fleet, the usual range someone could fall is 5-10 km behind the group. With a frigate fleet, moving at 3000 m/s a small time delay may result in a distance over 50 km. That could result in the stragglers being caught and being out of repair-range of their logistics. High-speed frigate-fleets are a lot harder to command and control. Many frigate FC’s start their fleets with comments like: “I’ll tell you where to go, but you are the one flying your ship, be smart” for this reason.
A similar delay in shows up with logistics. It takes time for logistics pilots to find a damaged ship, lock it and start their repair cycles. With a battleship, the 100,000 EHP buffer, gives the logistics some time to save it (unless the enemy fleet can one-shot them). With a 5000 HP frigate, the help will often arrive too late, especially if multiple ships start shooting it (have you ever tried keeping a large fleet of 3000 m/s frigates in logistics range?). It just doesn’t work very well. When taking the above into account, you’ll see that the relatively high HP and slow speeds on battleships are advantageous in keeping them alive and coordinating fleet movements. While many FCs find frigate fleets uncontrollable due to the speed.

In solo-fights, on the other hand, there is no delay between commands, no logistics, and allies to anchor up. These fights are more focussed on the pilot’s own wits and skills. And thus slowing the fight to a controllable speed is less of an issue, the ratio’s of tank/damage is less of a factor. Instead, a pilot would prefer an engageable ship (A ship that people are willing to fight), that is able to escape when in trouble (unless you like being outnumbered 20 to 1, in which case you can take a battleship just fine) and is quick enough to catch targets before they flee. Preferably all of the previously mentioned. With this in mind, smaller ships like frigates, destroyers, and fast cruisers are better suited. Of course, a ship with high damage and tanks has an advantage, it enables the pilot to kill more targets, but the balance between the two is more skewed in favor of damage output. Ships with high DPS are favorable, as they allow the pilot to take an enemy out before help arrives.

In nullsec, PVP battles there many non-battleship fleets. Namely T3 cruiser or destroyer fleets and or even caracal fleets. You could think that all of the above doesn’t make any sense. But let’s take a closer look at those setups.

It may seem a T3 cruiser fleet, being cruisers have an unfavorable hitpoint/damage ratios. But the T3 cruisers are a bit of an exception to this rule. Common fits of these ships are actually fairly tanky. Their tank has usually less raw HP than their battleship counterparts around 50,000 HP, but when fit with shiny faction armor plates and hardeners they can quickly go to 100 to 150.000 HP, combined with a small signature (which gives good damage mitigation) and these cruisers become harder to kill than most battleships. Comparatively, their DPS usually ranges somewhere from 500 to 800 (quite close to that of a battleship). Taking this in, they are actually more suited for the job than they may seem at the first sight. Of course, a well fit T3 cruiser can be a lot more expensive than a fit battleship, but in exchange for that value, the pilot gets some well-needed maneuverability.

T3 destroyers follow a similar pattern. For example, a fleet fit jackdaw often has DPS  between 150 and 250, their tanking capability close to 20.000 EHP. With a damage ratio of 100:1 this is actually pretty close to the ratio of battleships. When adding defensive mode, a 70 km engagement range, and a small signature, these ships are quite durable and a fair choice for a fleet. Not that these ships get anywhere close to battleship tanks, but that isn’t always necessary.

Caracal fleets and many other T1 cruiser fleets for that matter would seem not really suited towards fleet combat. Their damage and tank just don’t hold up in a comparison with battleships.  Let’s be honest they aren’t the greatest ship for large fleet battles. Still, people fly these, because they are often ‘good enough’ for the job. For many fleets, there is no need for expensive ships. Why risk a 25 billion battleship fleet, if  2 billion in caracals get the job done? They are fast, flexible, but also expendable. But when the important objectives are being contested, most FC’s will probably prefer a sturdier fleet.

In conlusion, larger ships with high hitpoint/damage ratio’s make battles slower, which is generally favorable for fleet combats, as it’s more forgiving when fighting with a delay. In solo PVP, these factors don’t matter, which favors the speed and ease, of engagement, of smaller ships.

 

 

In the next article “Molding the Meta – Part 2 Speed vs power” we will take a quick look at the selection of ships for specific situations.

275 Comments

  1. Great post. I was checking constantly this blog and I am impressed! Very useful info specially the last part 🙂 I care for such information much. I was looking for this certain information for a long time. Thank you and best of luck.

    October 15, 2018 at 22:57 Reply
  2. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but other than that, this is excellent blog. A fantastic read. I’ll certainly be back.

    October 15, 2018 at 22:57 Reply
  3. I intended to put you the little bit of word to say thank you yet again regarding the remarkable techniques you’ve featured on this page. It is certainly seriously open-handed with people like you giving openly precisely what a number of us could possibly have distributed for an ebook in order to make some dough on their own, precisely considering the fact that you might well have done it if you ever decided. The solutions likewise acted to be a fantastic way to comprehend many people have the identical zeal much like my very own to learn more and more with regard to this matter. I know there are several more fun opportunities ahead for individuals that start reading your blog.

    October 15, 2018 at 23:00 Reply
  4. Its superb as your other blog posts : D, regards for posting . “To be at peace with ourselves we need to know ourselves.” by Caitlin Matthews.

    October 15, 2018 at 23:41 Reply
  5. This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I have joined your rss feed and look forward to seeking more of your great post. Also, I’ve shared your web site in my social networks!

    October 16, 2018 at 01:11 Reply
  6. As I web site possessor I believe the content matter here is rattling wonderful , appreciate it for your efforts. You should keep it up forever! Good Luck.

    October 16, 2018 at 02:13 Reply
  7. As I site possessor I believe the content matter here is rattling fantastic , appreciate it for your hard work. You should keep it up forever! Best of luck.

    October 16, 2018 at 10:39 Reply
  8. Wow, marvelous blog layout! How long have you been blogging for? you made blogging look easy. The overall look of your web site is magnificent, as well as the content!

    October 16, 2018 at 15:53 Reply
  9. Its like you read my mind! You seem to know so much about this, like you wrote the book in it or something. I think that you can do with a few pics to drive the message home a bit, but instead of that, this is wonderful blog. A fantastic read. I will certainly be back.

    October 16, 2018 at 15:53 Reply
  10. Thanks for sharing superb informations. Your site is very cool. I’m impressed by the details that you¡¦ve on this website. It reveals how nicely you perceive this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for extra articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found simply the info I already searched everywhere and simply couldn’t come across. What an ideal website.

    October 16, 2018 at 16:49 Reply
  11. whoah this blog is magnificent i like studying your articles. Stay up the great paintings! You realize, many persons are looking round for this information, you can help them greatly.

    October 16, 2018 at 17:27 Reply
  12. I want to show some thanks to this writer just for rescuing me from this particular predicament. As a result of checking throughout the internet and obtaining principles that were not pleasant, I believed my life was done. Existing without the answers to the issues you’ve resolved by means of your entire short article is a serious case, and the kind that would have in a wrong way affected my career if I hadn’t discovered your website. Your own personal skills and kindness in controlling all the stuff was very helpful. I don’t know what I would have done if I had not encountered such a thing like this. I am able to now look forward to my future. Thanks for your time so much for the expert and results-oriented help. I won’t hesitate to refer your blog post to any individual who desires guide on this area.

    October 16, 2018 at 17:34 Reply
  13. I simply had to thank you very much once more. I do not know the things that I would have gone through in the absence of the entire creative concepts contributed by you on that subject matter. It was actually a real frustrating issue in my opinion, however , looking at this professional avenue you processed it took me to cry for joy. I am just happy for your information and have high hopes you find out what a great job that you’re doing training some other people through the use of your webblog. Probably you’ve never come across all of us.

    October 16, 2018 at 20:53 Reply
  14. I have been browsing online more than 3 hours today, yet I never found any interesting article like yours. It is pretty worth enough for me. In my opinion, if all webmasters and bloggers made good content as you did, the internet will be much more useful than ever before.

    October 16, 2018 at 21:45 Reply
  15. hey there and thank you for your info – I’ve definitely picked up something new from right here. I did however expertise several technical points using this web site, as I experienced to reload the website lots of times previous to I could get it to load correctly. I had been wondering if your web hosting is OK? Not that I am complaining, but sluggish loading instances times will sometimes affect your placement in google and could damage your quality score if advertising and marketing with Adwords. Anyway I’m adding this RSS to my e-mail and could look out for a lot more of your respective fascinating content. Make sure you update this again very soon..

    October 16, 2018 at 21:45 Reply
  16. Hey, you used to write great, but the last few posts have been kinda boring¡K I miss your tremendous writings. Past several posts are just a little out of track! come on!

    October 16, 2018 at 23:15 Reply
  17. Thanks a lot for sharing this with all of us you actually recognize what you are talking approximately! Bookmarked. Please also talk over with my website =). We will have a link exchange agreement among us!

    October 16, 2018 at 23:15 Reply
  18. I¡¦ve been exploring for a bit for any high-quality articles or blog posts in this kind of house . Exploring in Yahoo I ultimately stumbled upon this website. Studying this info So i am glad to show that I’ve an incredibly excellent uncanny feeling I discovered exactly what I needed. I most certainly will make certain to don¡¦t overlook this website and give it a glance regularly.

    October 17, 2018 at 01:38 Reply
  19. Thank you for sharing superb informations. Your website is so cool. I am impressed by the details that you¡¦ve on this site. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this website page, will come back for more articles. You, my pal, ROCK! I found just the info I already searched everywhere and just couldn’t come across. What an ideal web site.

    October 17, 2018 at 01:38 Reply
  20. I simply had to thank you very much once more. I’m not certain what I might have handled in the absence of the type of suggestions documented by you concerning such a industry. It was before the scary difficulty in my view, nevertheless being able to view your well-written way you solved the issue took me to leap for delight. Now i am thankful for the support and in addition wish you find out what a great job you were getting into educating people thru your web site. Most likely you’ve never met all of us.

    October 17, 2018 at 02:42 Reply
  21. Thanks for sharing excellent informations. Your site is so cool. I’m impressed by the details that you have on this site. It reveals how nicely you understand this subject. Bookmarked this web page, will come back for more articles. You, my friend, ROCK! I found simply the information I already searched everywhere and simply couldn’t come across. What an ideal site.

    October 17, 2018 at 03:18 Reply
  22. My brother suggested I might like this web site. He was entirely right. This post actually made my day. You can not imagine just how much time I had spent for this info! Thanks!

    October 17, 2018 at 03:18 Reply
  23. This is really interesting, You’re a very skilled blogger. I’ve joined your feed and look forward to seeking more of your great post. Also, I have shared your site in my social networks!

    October 17, 2018 at 15:05 Reply
  24. Some truly nice and utilitarian information on this site, besides I believe the layout has got fantastic features.

    October 17, 2018 at 22:58 Reply

Leave a Reply