Barriers to PVP
Something that seems to come up a fair bit in chat is getting into pvp and the difficulty in finding workable BPs that give you a chance in PVP. The workshop is filled with things that claim to be pvp but absolutely are not. There are BPs that were pvp worthy a long time ago or maybe worked in alpha 10 but are unworkable under CPU and/or the new thrust mechanics. One way to get around this is to joine a pvp mega alliance who will have a full set of working bluprints but not everyone wants to do this for various reasons. This is to give some basic BPs that can be modified or used. None are going to be top of the line examples but at least they are the right direction.
Zackey’s excellent (but in need of updating) guide is the best one I’ve seen for pvp concepts. Well worth a read:
Generally PVP builds tend to want:
Thick armour, especially to the fore
Resistance to lag shots
Redundancy in systems
Bait to attract fire away from the cockpit and critical systems.
If you can fly it first person view, its not a pvp build
On HWS, Xeno builds are best. But a good design is more important than the block type. Here are a few builds on the workshop.
Scorpion seems to be an unsual builder in, unlike J Randall, Spanj and Xcal who are clearly PVE builders who sometimes think they are dabbling in pvp, Scorpion is a pvp builder trying to make pvp builds more aesthetically pleasing. Because, and let’s be honest here, most pvp builds are ugly. His interior design has come a long way, sadly we will need to undo his good work. He has two Alpha 11 builds; the cheap Legacy gunship which I find extremely underwhelming even for its cheapness and the Seraphim. The Seraphim, as it is, has too large a class size to be useful for HWS, but is very easy to bring down in class size in 5 minutes in creative (remove all the railings and walkways from hangar area, remove all curved or corridor blocks in the ship and replace with solid blocks, remove elevator on one side, remove all lights and med devices apart from the main one, remo all deco terminals). It has exposed thrusters which is not great, but at least there are plenty of thrusters spread about so it is not immediately crippled. I would strongly recommend moving the core further back as well as it has a tendency to be cored very easily early in an engagement with its current placement. You are aiming for under class 5. Here it is after 5 minutes in creative (I also removed sentry turrets and repair bay).
This one is very cheap and is somewhat durable from the front. Its flying turrets are illegal on HWS though so you need to change them. The easiest way is to connect them something like this:
Or just cut and paste turrets from another pvp build from any of the last few versions.
For some reason they also have every level of extender. Remove all except for the 4 tier 4 extenders. I also dislike the warpdrive placement a lot as if you are surprised from the rear you will be toast and unable to warp away. Still its cheap and can throw out some damage before it goes down. Seems a lot more thrown together than its predecessor but still an easy one to update. Has laser drills.
This is one I built as a cheap ship to use on HWS or give to faction members and allies wanting to go into pvp space. It’s between the last two in cost but outperforms both in combat (Seraphim’s dispersed turrets would probably make it stronger against an experienced pilot though). It also has a yellow secondary cockpit of cowardliness. It has extraneous bits like the dragon’s front claws, the dragon head would be better replaced with something wider and you need to keep a careful eye on the fuel gauge (or add more fuel tanks). Has laser drills. Tested it a fair bit against pvp builds in purely static combats, its not actually been used in pvp yet. Buyer beware.
None of these CVs will win against a top-tier HWS pvp build one on one but at least they will put up a fight (destroy their fancy Xeno blocks) or give you time to flee. If you have friends with you the balance will change swiftly as 2v1 firepower is good. At the same time, experience counts
All your turrets should be targetting the same thing. The traditional setting would be turrets and mounted weapons (shoots both CVs and SVs if armed). If you are a pirate, warp drive of opponent is first priority. If you are fighting a CV, you might want to go just for turrets. Against just an SV, maybe just generators.
These are even harder to parse the workshop for than CVs. The number of “pvp” SVs with an open cockpit at the front behind glass is almost comical. This is one I built towards the end of the last season to use this season. Again, this is not going to be a cutting edge build but will do the job.
It was built to be under 3000 blocks (due to season 10 limits) and checkerboard hardened steel and carbon (before carbon became worthless). This is pure hardened steel but the yaw suffered in the change I find it fine but hair-trigger pilots may want more. 3000 blocks is no longer the limit so I will be rebuilding and replacing things like wing parts which were included to keep block count down. If you are using this for PVE POIs I would suggest swapping the dumbfire rockets’ position with the homing rockets’ as dumbfire are more useful for pois and the 1 block of height makes a big difference when sniping from craters on Protoz. The ship has a warp drive which is generally NOT the done thing for pvp, particularly against CVs in space. Normally a pvp ship just gets a drive chucked on the back when warping temporarily. Removing warp drive would also free up CPU. I included it as I expected to use it for commodity trading (before supergate changes) and I still find it handy when scouting in a system. Only two fuel tanks so watch the fuel gauge (sadly true of many of my builds).
Note there are two SV paths, the other one is to use an ultralight craft which is much smaller, cheaper, harder to hit and relies on shield and evasion rather than armour.
Can’t help here yet, not found one or built one for Alpha 11 yet.
PVP cockpits on SVs and HVs
Closed cockpits are the standard as they give protection against lagshots. They are also placed deep inside the ship.Exiting the cockpit actually puts you inside the armour and you usually walk backwards through your ship to exit. Counter-intuitive, slightly immersion breaking but effective. Make sure the SV or HV is level before exiting cockpit so you don’t get hung up on a block. In space, make sure your jetpack is on before exiting cockpit.If you do get stuck get back in the cockpit (switching to 3rd person might help) or at worst press the tilde key and type detach. Once you get used to it you won’t have problems. If in PVEI tend to strap a cokpit on top and an armour locker on the back as most pois will not even come close to getting through your shield.
Going to PVP in a cheap ship
Words often spoken, and sound advice, are “don’t take to pvp what you aren’t prepared to lose”. For mining this is easy- take the cheapest workshop starter or warp sled of your own devising, throw 6 laser drills on it and go mining. Tier 2 or less is disposable. If you encounter a pirate you will be dead in seconds. You could also build a slightly tougher tier 2 ship with decoys to give you a chance to warp to safely or time to type CB:gohome Or maybe you will just have wasted resources on a slightly more expensive ship
Getting Killed in pvp
Its going to happen, its fine, really.
There are three kinds of pilots that will kill you
- They kill you, take everything you have then repeatedly kill you on spawn to inflate their kill count… This apparently no longer works for repeat kills
- They kill you, take your stuff but give you a ship to get back to pve
- They kill you, return your stuff and give you a nice ship to take back to pve
Type 1) is the rarest thankfully and most pirates are in fact good eggs. Against type 1 you have two defences:
- Don’t respawn immediately, go do something else instead. Log in later spawn a ship and go somewhere (probably to a nearby planet it get fuel if you have not got OCD7
- Make use of the cb:sethome:ID command at your home base and use CB:gohome immediately after death. This way is better.