Pro Tips: Let's get HEAVY with ace pilot Nydwen

by CCP Games

Welcome to the second in our series of hook-ups with the world’s best EVE: Valkyrie pilots, in which we help you become a better battler.

Here we pick the big fat brain of extraordinarily talented pilot Nydwen. He likes to fly fighters but he specializes in heavy class craft. Here are his thoughts on the finest ships from the heavies and how best to exploit their unique properties.

Nydwen, the stage is yours…

The Spectre SHIP Spectre cropped “This is the starting heavy ship you’ll gain access to in the class. Its primary weapon is the flak cannon alongside a MWD (Micro Warp Drive) and EMS (Electro Magnetic Shield) system.

The Spectre is a good introduction to the basics of the heavy progression tree and teaches you co-ordination of the various abilities that will carry over into the later heavy ships you will unlock.

The flak cannon is a potent area of effect weapon (AoE) meaning it dishes out its damage over an area rather than a single point and as such it does not require a direct hit to the enemy ship’s hull to inflict damage.

The EMS should ideally be used both offensively and defensively alongside the MWD.

The EMS system works to destroy any incoming missiles and it also partially disables auto-aim weapons such as the Mag Cannon, which will lose lock while the EMS is active.

When used offensively the EMS will charge any of your shots fired from your primary weapon to produce EMP (electromagnetic pulse) projectiles. These projectiles can stun the hostile ship for around five seconds which will allow you to take up position in their weakspot. Just bear in mind that while the EMS is active, your weapon will not inflict any actual damage.

As with most of the heavies, it is a lot easier to hit a target the closer it is. A great trick is to use the MWD to lure hostiles in close. The MWD takes a short while to spool up and when a heavy is doing this, enemies tend to head straight for them as they think they are trying to escape and will attempt to ram you, thus cancelling the MWD. So, start spooling, then when the bad guys approach, stop spooling and they’ll be at close range and vulnerable to your heavy weaponry.

The Rhino SHIP Rhino cropped The Rhino is the mainstay of the heavy tree and the ship of choice for grinding your way to unlocking the Maelstrom.

The Rhino operates a similar flak-style weapon as the Spectre and Cyclone although it has a much higher rate of fire resulting in a greater damage rate.

The Rhino is also something of an oddity among the heavies in that it has low shields and high armor, which is the reverse of most of the line.

It lacks an EMS system and instead uses countermeasures which again will shoot down incoming missiles but unlike the EMS it will not charge the shots to the EMP version – this is the trade-off for the far greater rate of fire.

For a beginner the Rhino is one of the easier ships to master and achieve kills with.

A highly effective tactic with the Rhino is to warp into the fight to get up close and personal, deal as much damage as you can and then use the MWD again to escape when it gets too hot to stick around. This is a highly recommended ship

The Maelstrom SHIP Maelstrom cropped “This is the ship I specialize in. It is the last unlock in the heavy tree and it is both hugely fun and challenging to use.

The Maelstrom is a shield-based ship meaning it comes with high amounts of shield but only moderate armor.

It is equipped with EMS, MWD and the mighty Mortar.

The Mortar is unique in that it takes precision aiming to hit anything with it. It’s an extremely powerful weapon and it is easily capable of taking down anything other than a heavy with a single shot. It can also deal a lot of damage to heavies. In both cases though, this will only happen if you get a direct shot on the enemy ship’s hull.

The drawbacks are that the mortar rate of fire is approximately once every two to three seconds and has a slow projectile speed. More frustratingly, even a very near miss results in little or no damage to the target.

That said, the rewards for a good aim are enormous.

When using the Maelstrom, the preferred tactic should be to use the MWD to warp into a combat situation, Use the EMS in order to charge your primary weapons projectiles, the resulting EMP effect can be used to stun the target and get in to their weak spot, once there you can start work to finish off your adversary. One word of warning though: remember, when you are using the EMS offensively, you will be vulnerable to missile attacks and auto-aiming weapons during the recharge time so be aware of your surroundings before you use it.

It’s good practice not to use the EMS against fighters. Instead, a single, well-aimed shot will take them out and you’ll still have the EMS available should you need it.

The micro warp drive is your best friend in this ship. Stay mobile and don’t be afraid to use it to draw the hostiles in closer, making it that bit easier to line up the direct hull shot.

Superb tips there from Nydwen. So there you have it pilots, no need to just play it safe with your fighters any more. Armed with the solid gold advice above you can now dive into heavy class and start dishing out some real damage. Happy hunting!