Thursday, 19 May 2011

Punisher Plan: 4th Quarter Review

I had one major goal coming out of my last review - to destroy more ships than I lost in the last quarter of the Punisher Plan.

I acheived that goal, destroying 12 other ships on my own, and another two as part of a team. Critically, three of my solo victories were above class kills. This allowed me to acheive another of my major goals - to join the Tuskers before their recruitement drive ended.

It's been a very good five Punishers.

Was it worth it?

With 20 Punishers behind me, I am now able to take a look at the Punisher Plan as a whole and ask myself if the process was worth it.

And, in my view, it exceeded all my expectations.

The Punisher Plan:
  • encouraged me to look critically at what I wanted from my ship, and come up with a fit that balanced those (often conflicting) criteria.
  • pushed me to develop the character skills that are most important in pvp - fitting, dps and tanking skills.
  • pushed me to develop the player skills I needed to find and win fights.
  • helped me learn the roaming skills that let me travel and hunt comfortably in low sec.
  • earned me a place in an awesome pvp corp.
  • gave me the confidence and self sufficiency to know that I don't need a corp to pvp.
However, I use words like "pushed", "helped" and "encouraged" for a reason. The Punisher Plan is not some kind of magic formula - buying and suiciding 20 T1 hulls over the course of a day will probably teach you very little. It is very much a case of getting out what you put into it. I put in four months of solo roaming and critical self evaluation, and I am happy with where that got me. The mileage of others may vary.

All that aside, however, I am also a far different player than the one that started down this road, and I'm not referring to skill points. My whole attitude towards pvp has changed; it is no longer something I am trying to do, but something that I'm trying to do better. I see New Eden differently; I play the game differently.

And I mean that in a good way.

I would very strongly recommend a similar approach to any other new pilot trying to learn pvp - providing their motivation is high enough. They would not have to use Punishers, of course. They could do something similar with most T1 frigates - or even T1 crusiers. At the end of the day, the "Punisher Plan" is more about the plan than it is about the Punisher. It's about having a goal and working towards it. 

So, what would I do differently, if I were to do it all over again?

As happy as I am with the results, I now know enough about pvp to recognise that I have a particular way that  like to fly and that I probably started with the wrong ship.

I love tank, especially active or regenerative tank, but I also like having a level of control over the range and speed of the fight. DPS is a secondary concern for me, and I dislike having to pay too much attention to my weapon system once the fight starts - I'm focusing more on cap and tank.

While the Punisher definitely offers tank, it is slow, and has no room for a web. I simplified my weapons as much as possible with the Gatling Pulse Laser (great tracking, zero falloff), but I have missed more than one smooth change over from Multifrequency to Scorch. I suspect that I will love missiles when I get there.

My Punisher fit was a series of compromises. I lacked the tank of other Punisher fits, but could hit over 1000km/s with overheat, and my lasers required less attention than autocannons would have. I would certainly not recommend my Punisher fittings as a general build, and if/when I return to Punishers I will probably re-evaluate my fit.

Taken together, I probably should have started with something Caldari. I may still end up flying Caldari at some point, but right now I lack the skills to do so, and the Amarr T2 ships are beckoning.

What next?

Flying only one ship for several months has taught me a great deal about pvp, but it has left me with a pretty narrow skill set. I now want to mess about with a number of T2 frigates, each building on the new skills needed by the previous ship, to get an idea of what I want to be flying full time. I'll post more on that tomorrow, however.


  1. If you plan to toy with t2 frigates, you might like the AB brawling crusader. I like it more than the brawling slicer.

  2. If you ever do go caldari, I would strongly recommend trying the dual web hookbill. The rocket changes make it a very viable frigate brawler, and it can kill dramiels, even dual prop ones. It can control range so well in fact, that if things start going wrong you can just run away.

  3. Great read. Inspirational, but honest about the "work" that goes into learning and practicing pvp on Eve. Thank you for taking the time to write this up.