Monday, November 30, 2009

The Art of the Hurricane 2: Kiting Cane Maneuvering

Other posts in this series:
Art of the Hurricane 1: Kiting Cane Setup
Art of the Hurricane 3: Hurricane Basics

In this article I will be discussing piloting tricks with regards to my Kiting Hurricane setup (see Art of the Hurricane 1)

The fit is as follows:

[Hurricane, Skira Ranos Kiting]
Gyrostabilizer II
Gyrostabilizer II
Gyrostabilizer II
Damage Control II
Medium Armor Repairer II
Medium Armor Repairer II

Y-T8 Overcharged Hydrocarbon I Microwarpdrive
Warp Disruptor II
Shadow Serpentis Stasis Webifier
Medium Electrochemical Capacitor Booster I, Cap Booster 800

Skirmish Warfare Link - Interdiction Maneuvers
425mm AutoCannon II, Barrage M
425mm AutoCannon II, Barrage M
425mm AutoCannon II, Barrage M
425mm AutoCannon II, Barrage M
425mm AutoCannon II, Barrage M
425mm AutoCannon II, Barrage M
Small Energy Neutralizer II

Medium Projectile Ambit Extension I
Medium Projectile Ambit Extension II
Medium Ancillary Current Router I

Hammerhead II x1
Hobgoblin II x4

Some numbers: (with my skills/implants and with a single syth exile and sooth sayer used)

Speed: 1,480 Overheated: 2,090

Mobility (180 degree align): 7.8 seconds MWD on: 11 seconds

Tank: 120 DR 28k EHP Overheated: 155 DR 28k EHP

DPS: 600 dps Overheated: 676

Optimal: 2,760m (2.7km) Falloff: 24,500m (24.5km)

Warp Disruptor: 31km Overheated: 37.6km

Web: 17.1km Overheated: 21.6km

Before we get into more specific tactics, we should go over the baseline. First, and most importantly, is the issue of engagement range. This is a kiter, so the entire idea is to be well within 28km disruptor range but outside of the 13km range of an overheated web. When I initially used this setup, I flew at about 16-17km (which is ideal range for gun damage; with 2.7 optimal 24.5 falloff, you get 85-90% gun damage at 16.5km. Any farther and you start taking a large gun damage hit) This was also a cautious range, giving me a nice 3km buffer in case of someone surging forward to get into web range.

Unfortunately, I found that with the enhanced web range people were often dipping in and out of my web, somewhat nullifying its usefulness. Now, I set my orbit a bit lower: 15km. This seems to keep me between 15 and 16 km of a target, guaranteeing my web will always be on them and providing a speed buffer. This also ensures that, despite being in falloff, I'm at the top edge of the falloff curve and am dealing about 90-95% of my gun damage, maximizing the gank and GTFO role.


A oft-repeated adage among kiters and ceptor pilots is that "orbit function is for noobs." Another comment I hear from those that KILL kiters is "he/she was a tard that only knew how to use orbit". While I understand where both of these sentiments come from, I somewhat disagree. Orbit is THE SINGLE MOST useful tool in a kiters maneuvering arsenal, but you have to understand how it works and not rely on it too much.

Orbiting works as follows. When you click the orbit button on a target, the game looks to see if you are closer or farther away from the target than the orbit amount.

From INSIDE orbit range: If closer, your ship will flip until it is facing DIRECTLY away from your foe outwards, then go to full speed burn until it acheives the desired range, at which point your ship will turn and try and curve into the orbit circle.

This has some unintended side effects: first, most ships do not turn on a dime (especially a big fat battlecruiser.) If you pull range AWAY using the orbit function, expect to get "flung" extremely wide by the mommentum of your MWD boost, and your ship will spend quite a bit of time floundering around outside of 20km to get back into orbit range.

Example: You warp into a fight and land 0km from your intended target. You hit the "orbit" function on him (pre-set to 15km) and turn on your MWD.

Your ship turns away from your target, spinning 180 degrees (taking a full 11 seconds to due so due to your MWD-lowered agility) then accelerates to full speed in a straight line away from your target. You reach 15km from your foe, but you MWD is at full speed and your ships agility is at a low 11s, so your ship attempts to turn into orbit against the full force of your mommentum. You begin to decelerate, but too slowly: your ship continues to fly outwards, reaching 22km before it slows down and manages to re-orient itself. This problem can be even more intense if your foe is moving away from you.

If you are OUTSIDE your intended orbit range when you hit the button, something much more manageable happens. Your ship picks a side (probably based on ship facing) and begins to move towards a point 15km away from your foe off to one side or the other, smoothly sliding into the orbit circle as soon as it hits that point in a gentle curve. This is extremely easy to manage, and a highly advised way to "aproach" targets who are outside your orbit range.

It does, however, have one disadvantage: since your ship begins to head to a point some 15km away from your foe to one side, the speed of your aproach is a bit lower than if you used the "aproach" function (as the shortest distance between two points is a straight line). As such, I've developed a sort of a rule of thumb:

If I warp in 28km or farther from a target, I will hit approach, then hit orbit once I am inside of 22km. If I warp in closer than 28km, I'll hit orbit first. And if I warp in right on top of them, I don't hit orbit OR approach, but manually accelerate straight forward, then hit orbit when I reach 10km (and turn off my MWD at that point).

This is helped immensly by this setup's long-range tackle. Since you can guarantee a point within 32km (as long as you're quick on the draw with overheating and ALWAY remember to have your link onlined). Thus, you can focus on staying in gun range and not worry so much about tackle. Generally, your DPS takes the biggest hit at around 22km. If you're outside of 21km, you're losing a vast amount of your DPS (45%+) to falloff. Under 20km, you're dealing most/almost all of your dps. So the ideal fighting range is between 20 and 15, with 15 being the ideal low orbit. Since your mommentum tends to fling a bit wide in orbit, 15km is a good range.

Advanced Maneuvering: Counter-Kiters

Once your enemy realizes you're kiting them, an inteligent PvPer can be expected to try a few things:

1: Run-and-Reverse.

The classic way of getting a kiter into tackle range takes advantage of the problems inherent in the orbit and approach functions. The player attempting to get you will do the following: They will align in one direction with their engines on full burn but their speed mod off. Then, when your orbit puts you at the farthest point behind their vector, they will gun an overheated MWD cycle. This will cause your ship to turn after them to maintain orbit range, lowering your angular to 0 and causing your ship to acclerate directly towards the opponent. As soon as they reach a bit of range on you (20-22km away) they will cut the MWD, then hit the approach button on you and turn the MWD back on overheated. This means your ship is aligned DIRECTLY toward them, nose to nose, and your ship is trying to get into range of them. All the while, they're gunning towards you at max speed.

In an ideal situation for the counter-kiter, your ship will realize its "mistake" at around 15km (your orbit) and try to turn around to gain range (remember how ships try and gain orbit range?) spinning 180 degrees with your MWD at full burn. Now, as we know, a slow kiter like the hurricane takes a full 11 seconds to flip 180 degrees around. Thats 11 seconds where you are under 15km and not gaining range on your foe. Thats plenty of time for your enemy to close to under 13km and get you webbed, and even to get under 10km and have you warp scrambled (a death sentence.)

I've personally used this trick on Vagabonds, Interceptors, Zealots... you name it. If the kiter is caught unaware and does not know how to deal with the situation, things can get very bad very quick for them.

First off, this hurricane is somewhat less vulnerable to it than your average kiter. Since you can keep your foe webbed out to 21km, its very difficult for an opponent to gain a bit of a speed advantage on you for any length of time. But supposing they do pull it off, there are several ways to deal with it.

First off, the wide orbit trick. If you see a foe pulling this trick, and you find yourself outside of 20km, immediately set orbit to 20km on them. Your ship will make a hard turn and try and acheive the wider orbit instead of maintaining the nigh direct angle towards the opponent. This will cause you to curve into range instead of going in a straight line, maxmizing your speed advantage instead of losing your mobility. Once they pull their attempt and try and get your in range, web them again and hit 15km orbit. Your ship will gently curve to the lower orbit, never once forming the vulnerable straight line towards your foe.

Second, the low-arc trick (or the Matador trick). When you see them trying this, turn off your MWD. Be very careful you have not misjudged your opponent before trying this one though, if he's simply trying to run away you may be giving him exactly what he wanted. Wait till your opponent gets to about 25km, then hit approach on him. As you close range, turn on your MWD and hit your obit button. Your ship will make a sharp turn and attempt to establish an orbit, turning off to the side of his "return" bull rush attempt and diverting around, like a matador side-stepping and waving the red cape. Web him as soon as you can and continue the fight as usual. This later trick is my personal standard one, and although it is somewhat riskier and requires a lighter touch, its more effective at keeping up the DPS pressure on the enemy.

1: Persistent Burn

Another common and oft-effective counter kiter trick is the persistent burn. In this one, the opponent strives to use attrition to wear down your cap and eventually cause you to slip up. Your foe will click approach on you, turn on their MWD, and just leave it there. This will cause your ship to make a hard turn away from them, keeping up a 0 angular burn away. Eventually, your opponent hopes you will slip up and let you MWD drop, giving them a mommentary speed advantage. This is exceptionally effective when used by myrmidons, other hurricanes, and harbingers, as the raw attrition they put out in terms of DPS is enough to force you to micromanage your cap the whole fight. As an added advantage for you enemy, this means you will be slipping just under orbit the whole fight, giving them a bit of DPS on you with guns.

How to deal with this? Cheifly, out micro them. With all your mods save neuts on full burn, you can keep going indefinitely. Since you can usually tank your foe fine, just sit there with all mods online and wait for them to crack. You also will have a web on them the whole time, reducing the effectiveness of their attrition. I find that foes usually give up this trick quickly when it doesn't produce results and just sit still and wait for death.

Another way to deal with it that works especially well vs drone boats is to set a wider orbit. Orbit them at 17 or 20km, well outside enemy guns, and keep your MWD burning. This tactic is designed to wear the enemy down the way they are attempting with you: keep up the presure by shooting them and/or their drones while you orbit, breaking their DPS and their spirit while they watch you dance around outside of their range like an irritating, machine-gun toting sprite. The main disadvantage is that it leaves you somewhat open to the other anti-kiter tricks, as you can't keep your web on them to maintain your speed superiority cleanly. Remember to watch their speed like a hawk, and if the have a sudden burst of high speed remember to overheat.

That's it for now. Check back next time for combat tactics vs specific ships and gangs.

PS: Please comment with any suggestions or requests on what you would like to hear about pertaining to this ship. I have a lot to say on the subject, and I don't always know what bits people want to hear. Thank for reading!


  1. Dear Skira,

    Thank for your interesting, generous and very helpful posts.

    With Kind regards,

  2. Great tips. Your advice is always a huge help to newer pirates/pvpers like me!

  3. HA! I found your blog.... Andrew linked it.

    Anyway, now that I'm flying Canes, this is some awsome insight. OMW to training the Gang links once I settle a couple other things, and I appreciate the knowledge you share here. Great DT reading and useful. I'll be sure to put it into practice when able, ATM Fleet warefare is taking up a bit of time.

    Anyhow, Thanks!


  4. Hey there!

    Welcome to the EVE blogging community!

    I added your blog to my EVE Player Blogroll and will list it amongst the recent additions in an upcoming post.

    I'd appreciate if you made a post about it and added the blogroll page link to your blogroll!


  5. Great read, enjoyed that a lot, especially your explenation of the orbit mechanics. Kiting is indeed one of the most powerful assets to a solo PvP'er. In my trials and errors I've also discovered it's not easily mastered.. ;-)

    Watching kiters perform their magic in PvP movies is a thing of beauty. So elegant, so much finesse!

    As a request, maybe you could write an article about fighting other nano ships like vaga, rapiers etc using a nano cane? Vaga seems like a hard fight as the lacking in damage and tank is made up in superior speed and range.