PvP Questions for PvP veterans

I'm new to this game, enjoying the depth a lot, but it's sometimes hard to find reliable sources of less direct information. One thing I've been thinking a lot about is how to maximise small ships. Specifically Sidewinder. I'm not sure why this appeal to me, but it sounds like it would be fun and rewarding to improve my skills flying a sidewinder against bigger ships. Thinking about this, there's certainly aspects I theorise that I can use to maximise my chances, but I lack the knowledge to make informed decisions.

One of those is how targeting and micro gimbal works.

How hard is it to hit a sidewinder at 3-6 km range?

How hard is it to find such a small target at those ranges? What difference does it make if the Sidewinder have not opened fire/stops attacking? How does this change if cold running or activating silent running?

I think part of what appeal to me about the Sidewinder is their physically small size. Their area is about a quarter of a cobra, and about a third of an eagle. It's an aspect no other ship can compare to.
 
Good timing lol, I guess I class as a veteran now, and cut my teeth with the small ships.

Targeting, or rather subtargeting is selecting an indiviual module on your opponents ship either via the left panel or the binds that can be found in the control settings (I beleive its labelled as "Select next subsystem". That will then provide a reticule on the selected module that can be microgimballed onto with railguns or other hitscan weapons. You will also get one on a leading/trailing reticule, but that wont be as reliable or precisce. This will enable you to hit the module far more easily than freeaiming.

Hitting any small ship is hard at any ranges provided you can master evasion and transitional thrusters. But I will warn you, if you want to get gud in a small ship, you are going to die. A LOT. Granted it's cheap, but dont get disheartened if it takes even a few months before you get a medium to run away, or even kill them.

Silent running will remove you from your opponents targeting and will keep you off sensors unless you drop under 1km range, fire your weapons, which will instantly resolve you as a target, however gimbals will not effectively track you. Zero effect on Freefiring turrets, or if you are to overheat past a certain point I beleive you also auto resolve but im not 100% on that.

If a small ship can maintain sitting in the blind angles of the opposing ship, then there is seldom little the opponent can do, but this is MUCh easier said than done. You will need to learn and master FA off, and be able to react on the fly. The biggest difference I've found going up in ship size is that the bigger you go, the more you have to plan your next moves. In the small ships, youre flying by the seat of your pants whilst constantly having to react and process new infomation to stay alive. Honestly this is a massively underrated aspect of flying those kind of ships. Earn your wings in a small vessel and flying a medium will feel like childs play by comparison. Different, but significantly easier. More tanking, more guns etc etc. When you've learned to fly without all those extra shinies they become a new level of powerful.

However I have to be honest here. Getting to top tier with a sidey is gonna be a slog, nothing is impossible but even in 1v1s ammo will become your biggest enemy. Unless you're prepared to carry a lot of mats to synth I would reccomend getting one of the Vipers or potentially the Courier. Then moove down to the sidey when you feel like you have found your footing in those ships. They already feel weak in PvP, the Sidey exacerbates this issue by a large amount simply due to the overinflated hitpoint pools provided by engineering.
 
go search youtube for Archon Fury - he did a whole series of sidey vs the galaxy. He used enforcers. The biggest issue with a sidey is the 1A distributor. if you have 2 fuel rails, you have to alternate, and add an extra fuel tank. Enforcers run out of ammo quick. also the sidey runs quite hot, so you cant use enhanced thrusters - better off with normal ones. still, a lot of fun.
 
a frag sidey might work pretty well. not tried that. I'm a fan of imp eagle and viper3.. sidey always feels quite slow and cumbersome compared to those. If you meet anyone with a decent rail aim, you will die in any of these small ships. type 6 or dolphin can tank a lot more damage if you want to remain in an offensively encumbered small ship - two SRB fuel rails being the weapon of choice there.
 
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Thank you everyone for the feedback.

Regarding performance enhanced thrusters, are you sure they can't be used? I was thinking either an armoured or low emissions plant, with 1c Bi-weave. If I want high grade long range I can't fit low emissions unless I go shieldless.

Here's a sample that I'm playing with:

Another thing I've been toying with which would allow low emmisions power plant would be to use power priority to disable certain modules when you deploy hardpoints, specifically the shield. You would then retract hardpoints when you expect fire and dodge attacks. The 1c Shields return in only 9 sec from broken.
 
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How hard is it to hit a sidewinder at 3-6 km range?
When it comes to hit scan weapons, usually easier than it is at 1-1.5km.

As far as aiming goes, if they can resolve you as a target, you effectively never get smaller than about two degrees of arc, because that's about how wide the microgimbal effect is. So, the further away you are the less your evasion counts, but they still only need to be accurate to within a degree or so.

Projectiles are another matter as travel time becomes significant at longer ranges.

How hard is it to find such a small target at those ranges?
Trivially easy. Even if you are very cold/silent, you'll show as an unresolved contact further out than that, and your specific location will be quickly revealed via nightvision, exhaust trails, or thruster flashes.

What difference does it make if the Sidewinder have not opened fire/stops attacking? How does this change if cold running or activating silent running?
If they can't resolve you as a target, then things get much harder because they actually have to hit your ship the hard way, with no auto-aim effects or lead indicators of any kind. A silent or cool running Sidewinder has a very small sensor signature and most combat vessels will need to get quite close to resolve one as a target. However, you will partially resolve if you shoot someone, even if you are silent or very cold, and if they have an emissive weapon, then they can keep your sensor signature maxed out and you targeted virtually irrespective of what you do.

The 1c Shields return in only 9 sec from broken.
Keep in mind there is a 15 second delay between shield collapse and regen even starting.
 
When it comes to hit scan weapons, usually easier than it is at 1-1.5km.

As far as aiming goes, if they can resolve you as a target, you effectively never get smaller than about two degrees of arc, because that's about how wide the microgimbal effect is. So, the further away you are the less your evasion counts, but they still only need to be accurate to within a degree or so.

Projectiles are another matter as travel time becomes significant at longer ranges.



Trivially easy. Even if you are very cold/silent, you'll show as an unresolved contact further out than that, and your specific location will be quickly revealed via nightvision, exhaust trails, or thruster flashes.



If they can't resolve you as a target, then things get much harder because they actually have to hit your ship the hard way, with no auto-aim effects or lead indicators of any kind. A silent or cool running Sidewinder has a very small sensor signature and most combat vessels will need to get quite close to resolve one as a target. However, you will partially resolve if you shoot someone, even if you are silent or very cold, and if they have an emissive weapon, then they can keep your sensor signature maxed out and you targeted virtually irrespective of what you do.



Keep in mind there is a 15 second delay between shield collapse and regen even starting.
Hmm, I see. I may have heard about those 15 sec delay somewhere but forgot about it. That makes a significant difference. Perhaps to the point where it's better to run shieldless for the easier/less power requirements allowing low emmisions PP and also lower heat making you harder to resolve.

Are you saying that you may be unresolved while you fire at them at enough range and distance? Cold running at 5+ km etc.
 
Are you saying that you may be unresolved while you fire at them at enough range and distance?
If you shoot someone, you partially resolve to them. They can target you, but as you still have a minimal sensor signature to them, gimbal tracking arcs are severely reduced...won't keep fixed hitscan weapons off of you though.
 
easier to run shieldless.. the distro draw regenerating shields on a sidey obliterates everything - even at 4 pips to shields. ditch the shield. armoured PP. Normal thrusters or you get too hot. keep in very close, two chaffs.

just try stuff out - you'll soon learn what works and what doesn't.
 
But the idea of tiny target way off will only work vs opponents with gimballed weapons or kintetic weapons. Anyone with rails or fixed lasers and a good aim will fry you pretty quick. So check their module config before you engage. And have fun.. I prefer a shieldless imp eagle for all the same reasons, but its got an extra hard point and a better distributor, which really helps.
 
But the idea of tiny target way off will only work vs opponents with gimballed weapons or kintetic weapons. Anyone with rails or fixed lasers and a good aim will fry you pretty quick. So check their module config before you engage. And have fun.. I prefer a shieldless imp eagle for all the same reasons, but its got an extra hard point and a better distributor, which really helps.
Would you say that a seasoned PvP player would find it relatively easy to hit even a sidewinder at 3-6 km distance with hitscan weapons even without any gimbal effect? I may still try it but perhaps I should change focus back to flying very close and attempt to stay in blind spot.

For that purpose I had in mind phasing cytoscrambler. If I understand it correctly you will deal about 9% absolute damage (based on the damage you deal -before- resistance) through shields. So if someone got 3GJ shields and take 20% damage from thermal, you would be able to deal 3/.2*.09=1.35GJ damage to hull before the shields break (at which point your damage essentially stops).
 
Would you say that a seasoned PvP player would find it relatively easy to hit even a sidewinder at 3-6 km distance with hitscan weapons even without any gimbal effect? I may still try it but perhaps I should change focus back to flying very close and attempt to stay in blind spot.

For that purpose I had in mind phasing cytoscrambler. If I understand it correctly you will deal about 9% absolute damage (based on the damage you deal -before- resistance) through shields. So if someone got 3GJ shields and take 20% damage from thermal, you would be able to deal 3/.2*.09=1.35GJ damage to hull before the shields break (at which point your damage essentially stops).
Until you've mastered evasion control and timing on SR and the like, range is the worst outcome for ship like that.

The longer range, up until the weapons can hit anymore and provided the weapons are LR, which if they are rails, they will be, the easier it is for an opponent to land shots because tracing the reticule for the microgimbal is much easier.

Stayng close as possible is generally the best way to deal with LR weapons but bear in mind that for traditional projectile weapons, if they are LR, the opponent is going to have to lead far less, meaning they will hit more often. However if you can keep the distance short and be accurate on top, Lr PA's will lose out to Efficient/OC/SRB, if you cant, the LR/Foc' will win every time.

Can't say anything on Phasing Cytos, never tried them, but I hear good things. But if you're working stuff out like that, you've already got a head for building ships and thats a big advantage over those who just copypasta the PvP build that is made to look most effective.
 
Would you say that a seasoned PvP player would find it relatively easy to hit even a sidewinder at 3-6 km distance with hitscan weapons even without any gimbal effect? I may still try it but perhaps I should change focus back to flying very close and attempt to stay in blind spot.

For that purpose I had in mind phasing cytoscrambler. If I understand it correctly you will deal about 9% absolute damage (based on the damage you deal -before- resistance) through shields. So if someone got 3GJ shields and take 20% damage from thermal, you would be able to deal 3/.2*.09=1.35GJ damage to hull before the shields break (at which point your damage essentially stops).
A good PvP player running fixed hitscan will find it easier to hit you 3-6km than inside of that. The further out you are the less exaggerated your movements the easier you are to track and target.

I've never seen a decent shield set up with 80% thermal resistance. A balanced resistance set up you're probably looking at ~56%. What will do you when shields drop and the hull isn't gone? What if I notice you're tickling me with phasing cytoscramblers and deactivate my shields?

Also not sure what all this is about enhanced performance thrusters being too hot for a Sidey. Makes me wonder what weapons are being run at the same time.
 
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A good PvP player running fixed hitscan will find it easier to hit you 3-6km than inside of that. The further out you are the less exaggerated your movements the easier you are to track and target.

I've never seen a decent shield set up with 80% thermal resistance. A balanced resistance set up you're probably looking at ~56%. What will do you when shields drop and the hull isn't gone? What if I notice you're tickling me with phasing cytoscramblers and deactivate my shields?

Also not sure what all this is about enhanced performance thrusters being too hot for a Sidey. Makes me wonder what weapons are being run at the same time.
Note that the resistance example I did was with 4 pips in shields, which make you take only 40% of absolute damage.

I've been considering using either 2 Cyto (for higher DPS), but as you said it would be vulnerable to someone noticing and deactivate the shields. However, if you run 1 rail and 1 Cyto, you can start sniping modules if they deactivate the shields.

I will make a quick Coriolis build and show 80+ shield resistance.
 
Try shooting your cytoscrambler at something effected by corrosive. Currently I'm experimenting with a cytoscrambler and a long range corrosive enforcer. Not 100% convinced yet. The main advantage of enforcers over cytoscramblers is even with corrosive, cytos are hit hard by a target having good hull hardness. If you go rail with a cyto then consider short range instead of long range.
 
Try shooting your cytoscrambler at something effected by corrosive. Currently I'm experimenting with a cytoscrambler and a long range corrosive enforcer. Not 100% convinced yet. The main advantage of enforcers over cytoscramblers is even with corrosive, cytos are hit hard by a target having good hull hardness. If you go rail with a cyto then consider short range instead of long range.
Definitely a lot of things to consider. I'm not sure if the 21 penetration on Cytoscrambler with corrosive outweighs having to go with a non-rail small weapons. Against a medium ship you'll still only do less than a third of damage before counting resistance. The short range rail is tempting if you intend to stay <1km away at all times, and got the skill to do so.
 
Definitely a lot of things to consider. I'm not sure if the 21 penetration on Cytoscrambler with corrosive outweighs having to go with a non-rail small weapons. Against a medium ship you'll still only do less than a third of damage before counting resistance. The short range rail is tempting if you intend to stay <1km away at all times, and got the skill to do so.
I can confirm that SR rails are one hell of a shield breaker. It's a bit problematic on a smaller vessel on account of the SR rails heat generation but both the Vipers can handle it alright and by extension proably the Cobras too.

Though I'll probably get scoffed at for this, I like using Plasma slug as the experimental as this allows real spam fire and given how hard they hit, it's a hell of a boon to have.

Good practice too, couple of LR rails/PlasmaSlug on the FDS is wicked fun.
 
Plasma slug is pretty awesome on anything with a fuel tank large enough to benefit.
Glad I'm not alone in thinking that aha.

The C4 tank seems to be the point where the DoT works out better than the standard ammo pool. IIRC the C3 results in less shots.

Ah Morbad what do you reckon about Hi-cap Pacifiers? I was ignoring the mod for ages because Coriolis does'nt show any DPS increase but it adds +3 to the mag, so thats 100% net increase a magazine and it doubles the total so surely that results in the most efficient mod for both staying power and DPS?
(Only for frags though as far as I can tell. Purley because you can empty the magaine in such a short timeframe, usually in one pass)

I have tested it and they can alpha a pair of C5 banks with screening but this was against a Python which is a fairly big target.
 
Glad I'm not alone in thinking that aha.

The C4 tank seems to be the point where the DoT works out better than the standard ammo pool. IIRC the C3 results in less shots.
Any shot from any plasma slug weapon of any size uses 0.02T of fuel. So, you get fifty shots a ton and once you get past about two tons of fuel per weapon, you are breaking even, damage wise vs. other secondaries. Of course, you also lose out on other effects, so there is some more costs to consider, but once critical effects are accounted for, plasma slug gets real appealing if you have 4+ tons of fuel per gun, unless you are keen on synthesizing all the time (and have a ship fast enough to make this practical without being interrupted) or aren't using your rails/PAs as primary damage dealers.

Ah Morbad what do you reckon about Hi-cap Pacifiers? I was ignoring the mod for ages because Coriolis does'nt show any DPS increase but it adds +3 to the mag, so thats 100% net increase a magazine and it doubles the total so surely that results in the most efficient mod for both staying power and DPS?
(Only for frags though as far as I can tell. Purley because you can empty the magaine in such a short timeframe, usually in one pass)

I have tested it and they can alpha a pair of C5 banks with screening but this was against a Python which is a fairly big target.
I don't have much first hand experience with pacifiers, but I have dabbled with frags a fair bit. If you are in a situation where you can keep up sustained fire (all six shots of the magazine) high-cap is great for frags that you won't be putting screening shell on. Screening shell helps high-cap proportionally less because the increased magazine size means it spends less time reloading.

Coriolis does show sustained DPS, which inclucdes time spent reloading, and you can see that it does edge out overcharged, but not doubleshot or rapid fire. Of course, both double shot and rapid fire chew through ammo much faster than high-cap and have much less total ammo. The real trick is making sure you can either sit next to your target, or make sure you can dump all six shots in one pass at close enough range. If you can't do that, those sustained DPS figures can be misleading.

I wouldn't use high-cap on most weapons other than frags, missiles, and smaller hardpoints that are only used to apply effects (e.g. corrosive or emissive). High-cap MCs and cannon kinda suck because DPS vs. overcharged takes a huge hit and the total damage of the ammo pool isn't that much better.
 
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