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EVE New Citizens Q&A

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Short range vs long range (the confounding delema)

Cardcaptor Sakura
#1 - 2016-05-07 19:41:34 UTC
What is really a definitive way to know if being short range is better and if being long range is better?
I got hooked on the harpy and the eagle because their double range bonuses...are really nice.

But see...which types of fights are seen more often..short or long? Both Pvp and pve.
Is there a way to accommodate both for long range and short range?..example blaster are short range more damage with rails are long range lower there something long range high damage?

I think the double range bonus on the harpy and eagle are the only ones that exist with that unique double bonus, so I am very hesitant to use a different ship and loose that advantage of big range.
Imperial Academy
Amarr Empire
#2 - 2016-05-07 19:53:04 UTC
Everything in Eve is situational. There are no inherent "shoulds" or clear cases of something being better.

I know if blasters or rails are better we'd have to know what it is you are trying to do and how you are trying to do it and even then your personal style and preferences come into play.

In other words the weapons themselves don't tell you much without some context.

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Ice Fire Warriors
#3 - 2016-05-07 20:53:50 UTC  |  Edited by: ShahFluffers
Cardcaptor Sakura wrote:
What is really a definitive way to know if being short range is better and if being long range is better?

Welcome to EVE where there is no such thing as "definitive."

Both tactics have their strengths... both have weaknesses... both are situational and will decide how you fit your ship and fly it.

Know that long range weapons generally deal far less damage than short range weapons. You may have a long engagement envelope, but that won't count for anything if all you can do is fire spitballs.
Long range weapons also tend to use up more ship resources... so you will have less in the way of defense, utility, and/or speed.

Conversely, you can have all the damage in the world with short range weapons... but you can't close the gap between you and a long range ship, your damage might as well not exist.
Short range weapons generally mandate heavier defenses to allow them to survive the "closing range" part... but heavier defenses means slower ships.

Cardcaptor Sakura wrote:
I think the double range bonus on the harpy and eagle are the only ones that exist with that unique double bonus, so I am very hesitant to use a different ship and loose that advantage of big range.

Don't just look at the bonuses. The devil is in the details (stats).

Amarr ships can pull off some pretty insane optimal ranges even with short range weapons (pulse lasers). The reason for this has to do with Tech 2 ammunition.
NOTE: Tech 2 ammo generally comes in two flavors for both long range and short range weapons; super short range, very high damage... super long range, average damage, penalty to tracking (see: damage application).

Also consider that even with the range bonuses or double range bonuses a ship should not be pigeon-holed as an exclusive "long range weapon only" ship (or vice versa).

There are examples of Harpys using blasters. Their range bonus allows them to perform some unusual tactics where they can skirt JUST outside of the engagement envelope of their target ship while dealing some respectable damage.

Gallente ships can also be used to great effect with ranged weapons, despite the fact that almost none of their ships have range bonuses (dat damage bonus!!).

Cardcaptor Sakura wrote:
But see...which types of fights are seen more often..short or long? Both Pvp and pve.
Is there a way to accommodate both for long range and short range?..example blaster are short range more damage with rails are long range lower there something long range high damage?

It depends.

Generally, you are going to fit your ship for a specific tactic and will operate more or less at a certain range. If you can't do that... then there is a good chance you will die.

Honestly... there is no way to prepare for "everything." Ships, modules, weapons, and bonuses were not designed to allow you to do that. Regardless of how you fit, there is a tactic or a module that will be able to take you down with ease.
The real trick is picking your fights so the odds more in your favor (and this will come with experience... so be prepared to die often).
Sakura Nihil
Faded Light
#4 - 2016-05-07 22:59:13 UTC  |  Edited by: Sakura Nihil
As a personal rule of thumb, the fewer the number of people there are in the fleet, the better short-range weapon setups tend to be. It allows you to improve the amount of damage per person, which helps when breaking through active tanked setups, and as you need ships to fit warp disruptors and scrams, it tends to synergize better. As others have mentioned before, "short" range is a bit of a misnomer as well, blasters are in-your-face, but pulse lasers and autocannons tend to be more flexible and reach out towards mid-range fine. You can also load close-range missile launchers with long-range ammo to get increased engagement range out of them as well.

As the size of the fleet goes up, however, the more longer range fits start to win out, as you're able to afford a few pilots not doing damage, who in turn can turn to specialized roles (such as dedicated tackling ships). That allows your damage ships to focus solely on killing targets, and even though your damage per person drops down, it's compensated by having more available ships shooting at the target, and the flexible nature of long-range setups means that once the target goes down, the fleet can quickly swap to the secondary and engage it with little delay. By contrast, a close-range fleet may kill a primary, only to have to run down the next target at 10-20km, doing little damage in the meantime.

Your mileage may vary on this, of course. For instance, it's entirely possible to get a small fleet together, say a heavy interdictor and a few long-range Tier 3 Battlecruisers, and camp a gate where the HIC tackles anything jumping through a gate and the battlecruisers volley through the target ship in one salvo (high alpha damage, in PVP terminology). Regardless, if you're flying solo, as long as you've answered the question (how am I going to pin down the target I'm trying to kill), that's the first step.
Tau Cabalander
Retirement Retreat
Working Stiffs
#5 - 2016-05-08 04:04:49 UTC
For what it is worth, my favorite ship for several years now has been a blaster Harpy.

Of course it doesn't make good use of the optimal bonus, but rather the very "tanky" Harpy hull allows it to survive long enough to get in close to use the blasters.

I use T2 void ammo and a webifier, and switch to T2 null ammo when something webs me.
Cara Forelli
Caldari Colonial Defense Ministry
Templis CALSF
#6 - 2016-05-08 04:23:58 UTC
Today I took out my Condor with light missiles (long range and pitiful DPS) and wailed on a Breacher for about 10 minutes while running circles around him. Couldn't break his tank. Eventually I derped and flew into his scram range, at which time he immediately killed me.

You should fit your ships to abuse their strengths. Mine was fit for speed so he couldn't catch me (unless I messed up). His was fit for tank so I couldn't kill it with long-range low-damage weapons (unless he messed up). Basically a stale-mate matchup. But against a different target it could have gone very differently for either of us.

So it really just depends on your target, which is why you hear the phrase engagement envelope - basically what type of ships/fits you can engage with a good chance for success. Some ships are fit for a niche playstyle with a narrow engagement envelope - meant to excel at a specific type of fight. Others are fit for a wider engagement envelope, usually at some cost (ie they don't excel but can take many types of fights).

So again. It depends on what you want to fight. A lot of times longer range weapons improve your flexibility and survivability but decrease your damage output and tackle-and-hold potential. They are just part of the story though - tank, speed, maneuverability, damage application, and signature size should all factor into your fitting decisions as well and will directly affect your engagement envelope.

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Titan's Lament

Sabriz Adoudel
Move along there is nothing here
#7 - 2016-05-08 06:09:03 UTC
My personal preference is short range weapons with a microwarpdrive.

That said, both options are absolutely viable.

Just be aware that if you are flying true solo (i.e. no capacity to escalate with alts or help from other players) then you need to actually destroy your opponent before they can escalate a fight. This is the reason I like harder hitting approaches when true solo - get in fast, get a kill or die trying, and GTFO.

Your mileage may vary.

I support the New Order and CODE. alliance.

Sakura Nihil
Faded Light
#8 - 2016-05-08 15:24:05 UTC  |  Edited by: Sakura Nihil
In some cases, there's also personal preference. I know some people that enjoy skirmishing tactics, running around right at the edge of scram and web range, playing a very dangerous game of cat and mouse and using their speed to stay safe. In contrast, others (myself included) tend to prefer short-range all-in engagement, finding a target and pinning them down and beating them over the head repeatedly. There's an old adage about the blaster Taranis that describes the approach well, namely:

"Two ships enter, one might leave"
Ice Fire Warriors
#9 - 2016-05-08 23:14:31 UTC
Ahhhh... glory be to the old Taranis days!

Mine was "run in, drones out, scram, overtheat all the things, pray."
Pandora Carrollon
Provi Rapid Response
Apocalypse Now.
#10 - 2016-05-09 22:37:38 UTC
I fly Gallente ships primarily. I also tend to favor mid to long range engagement. I have run across a couple of rules of thumb:

If you are in their face, you can do all your damage... but they can usually do all their damage to you. Your defense must equal your offense and you are in the thick of it so your awareness and reactions need to be great.

If you are in the middle ground 10km - 30km (roughly as the larger the ship, the longer the middle ground), it's all about ammo swapping for railguns and other multi-range capable weapons. You have to anticipate the ranges and thus carry more ammo aboard, realize that an ammo change out is usually at least 5 seconds so that's dps you are losing. Middle ground general sucks all the way around. Only stay here if you can outpower your opponent or their weapons can't reach you and you can hit them with some heavy stuff... thus "outpower"

Long range is not as easy to keep. This is the realm of the rail, torpedo, artillery and missle ships.

As a primary rail user, I can't stand missle boats. Those things hurt when they hit and they can swap their ammo vs. what tank you have on. So PVP you are going to be stuck with adjustable or multi-level defenses, you can't specialize. PVE, you can specialize but need to do so properly as NPC's can still swamp your defenses with numbers. As a rail user, you are also stuck with only 2 damage classes, Thermal and Kinetic. It is the bane of hybrid weapons. Anyone that knows they are going up against a rail user knows how to fit for defense.

So, while missles are awesome for multi-role, multi-range, they do have a drawback... they are timed flight. You have to know your ranges. If a target is running from you she might be out of your range, but if coming toward you... in your range. It's a little tricky out at the edges. Also, missles can be intercepted but usually you don't see the interceptors mounted on smaller ships.

You'll digest all the above and tend to see players adopting the combat range and style that most suits their needs. As was said previously, the ammo you choose (T1 vs T2 vs Faction) can have a big impact.

Find what you can fight properly with first, range works itself out after that.
Iria Ahrens
Space Perverts and Forum Pirates
#11 - 2016-05-10 00:56:32 UTC
It doesn't matter what you fly. The hard part isn't even the fitting, it's learning to size your opponents. Flying in Eve really is a glorified paper-rock-scissors game. But played in the many Japanese variants. "jan-ken-po.."Look over there" -> made you look, you lose."

You pick a ship, your basically choosing to fly as paper, rock, or scissors. That means if you're flying a rock, you look for scissors and run away from paper. That is Eve. So you can choose a ship because you like the ship and it fits your style. Or you can choose a ship because of the ships it is effective against. Either way, you locking yourself out of some strategies.

There is no pwn everything ship. The devs have worked hard to make every ship viable and desirable for everyone. The ships used to have progression from suck to best, but now they have roles.

Soooooo better.

My choice of pronouns is based on your avatar. Even if I know what is behind the avatar.