Friday, April 10, 2015

Solo pvp and multiboxing

Often people talk about solo pvp. It's like an epitome of skilled gameplay in EVE online. It's the ultimate honor. Flying solo ship in the universe, taking on one or more enemies is considered something amazing in the game where having a second comes as natural as having second arm.

I've seen some interesting videos, such as how one myrmidon pilot kills 3 faction cruisers. Then there are other types of "solo" pvp. Such types include having a falcon alt and/or gank links, and or simply extra dps ship. It is piloted by one pilot so it must be solo pvp right? Hell yes. Now before you grab a pitchfork, hear me out.

Everyone must find their own game in EVE. Some gets blood flowing by having a good fight 1v1. Some gets blood flowing by a good executed gank, theft or whatever. Multiboxers like to win. They use additional accounts for force projection so they can play and compete against larger groups and also inflict more damage. This type of style should not be looked down on. Is it unfair that suddenly on 1v1 fight a falcon decloaks and fucks you up? Most certainly yes. Is it fair that you take a 1v1 fight and suddenly enemy friends come to help? Also not. But if you have a falcon alt and run into a small gank, at least you have a chance of "solo" killing 3 other guys.

There will never be equal grounds in EVE. Unless fight is prearranged, chances are someone will have more people, some will have better ships and any other advantages you can think of.  One can't pilot effectively 10 ships. Not anymore at least, with isboxer now gone. However, you can quite comfortably pilot 2-4 or even few more ships. Depending on what are you flying and for what purpose. So since multiboxers like to win, they prefer to kill someone 9 times and explode the 10th versus exploding 9 times and killing someone on the 10th.

The other side of multiboxing

People also tend to forget to mention that multiboxer is also risking more ships. If he happened to get blobbed, he will lose much more than solo guy. Multiboxer will also not be as efficient fighting against same amount of people. 4 same ships piloted by 4 same people (or even 2) are more likely to defeat the guy managing 4 clients with same type of ships.

So why multiboxers use multiple accounts instead of just bringing friends? I will tell you biggest advantages from my perspective. Take it from the guy who uses 4 ships in a fight. 

  • First big advantage I get is a sense of accomplishment.  Even if I use multiple accounts, fighting off a small gang or being able to gank targets that I otherwise couldn't is what makes my blood flow in EVE. While you can bring friends to kill same targets, feeling of accomplishment diminishes by the amount of people involved. Sure it's same kill, but in first scenario it's you and you alone who pulled it off, so you take all the credit. 
  • No need to get organized. You log in and you are good to go. Anyone who tried to launch and organize a fleet activity know that it can be quite painful. Even to get a few guys on a moments notice may not always be feasible and targets may be gone.
  • Do what you want to do, when you want to do. Perhaps stalking in wormhole for hours to no end might not be too appealing for others, but it is for you. Suddenly target appears and you try to get people you are back to "get organized" issue.
I also encounter plenty situations where target is too big to chew. In those cases I sure wish there were friends around. But you can't have everything. You have to choose and make compromise. I fully endorse multiboxing. It brings more content and more targets for other party.

Solo pvp in wormholes

I have done my fair share of solo pvp. I never soloed pvp in lowsec days, however I did constant trips to c1-c2 w-space and was stalking systems with my cloaky proteus. Solo. At the time, ship of choice was always a Drake. And older pilots will remember, what crazy tank they had. Nevertheless I always took an opportunity to gank one in an anomaly. Fights were usually quite close, with me ending up in 10-20% armor, but Drake in a wreck. I had a lot of fun. Biggest ballsy situation I had was to take on on 2 Drake pilots. Which one of them carried a god damn scrambler. So I managed to kill one of the Drakes and use my light ecm drones to jam another one and get out with barely any armor left. It was long time ago, but I still remember!

So you can have fun solo pvp experience. You just have to know where and when to look. Unfortunately, I also remember a lot of juicy targets that my Proteus couldn't handle. And then I thought: wouldn't it be great to have some support? Who the fuck would be willing of rolling themselves in random wormholes and stalking for days with me? So it was then when I rolled a few extra alts. 

Next, a story on a gank and how multiboxing probably saved my ass.


  1. ISBoxer isn't dead at all. Dashboards are allowed, you just can't use any of the various functions that make multiple inputs easier like broadcasting and keymaps. I've never tried to use it for PvP, but L4's and mining work pretty well via the dashboards that I have setup. When I first started using ISBoxer a couple of years ago for mutliboxing I was very aware of the controversies surrounding broadcasting so I made a conscious decision not to use those features and that has proven fortuitous.

  2. How do you control four ships at once? How many screens do you have?

  3. @ Nikor. I was more referring for pvp purpose, that isboxer does not give as much advantage. Perhaps there are still some good points to use, but no more soloing bomber fleets or smartbombing battleships with ideal sync.

    @Raziel. I use old fashioned way, by switching windows. Even though I have 3 screens, switching between windows is faster and more convenient than moving head around.