Lasker Emanuel, is known for his PVP videos on YouTube, where he flies solo, piloting all the way from Magnates to Dreadnoughts, and is a member of The Initiative. Lasker brings us his new interview series “Content Creators”, talking to PVP-oriented individuals from across the game. Stay tuned to New Eden Report for more of these in the future.
In EVE Online, it’s fairly easy to undock and have nothing happen, or undock and have a complete disaster happen, but if you want anything in between these two extremes, someone will have to put in a lot of work. Someone will need to figure out what ships you are flying, against who, arrange logistics, come up with plans, gather intel, and then ultimately respond as reality comes into contact with the plan. That someone is a content creator, and I find their role in New Eden fascinating.
In this series, I interview content creators from soloists to FCs and hear their thoughts on the work, planning, and fun that come from choosing a goal and pressing the undock button.
My guest today is Auraus Porcaleus. He is one of many skilled pilots and content creators within the micro gang community, particularly noted for his work fighting outnumbered with 100 MN T3Cs as documented in his video series, Legionnaire and Legionnaire II, he is also a veteran of both the Arena Tournament and Anger Games 2. Hello and Welcome.
Thank you for having me, Lasker.
Very glad to have a chance to talk. How did you get started with EVE PvP?
My earliest memories of PvP were when I started out in FW space. I was drawn to the easily accessible and very inexpensive PvP FW space had to offer.
What did you like to fly in FW space?
I came to really love tech one frigates. The rock paper scissors style matchups made it easy to understand win conditions and learn more about basic mechanics and strategy. The frequency of the fights made for ample time to practice module and ship management skills as well.
Over time I was not only able to have a blast but acquire new skills and experiment with new ships and fits.
How long ago was this, who were you flying with at the time?
This was around 2013-2014. I was flying with a small Cal-Mil Corp—Proioxis Assault force. Home to CEO and intergalactic rap artist Cpt Blastahoe.
Home to a few other close friends of mine, my time in FW and in Proioxis provided opportunities to fight with just 3-4 pilots, and fight over small but enticing objectives in FW space.
At what point did you decide to transition to other types of PvP?
I began to notice differences in the fighting styles and typical fights between lowsec and 0.0. I saw these differences in other players’ footage and in battlereports and the like in other chat channels. This was also the time where the term micro gang was coined and the MiG movement began to acquire a strong following.
Lowsec had become rather stale, I began to notice that frequently the fights were incredibly one-sided. When there is a high density of players, fights were often very quick and one-sided as there was an interest to prevent long fights to also prevent an overwhelming 3rd party from participating.
The fights in 0.0 seemed to isolate two groups with little outside influence as nullsec is so vast. Those who roam would travel to a populated system and hopefully start a fight.
These fights were much longer and more interesting to me as the meta was much different and the viability of using other ship classes made for more interesting fights than in lowsec.
And so at that point, you thought fighting in a small gang in Nullsec looked fun, what did you do next?
Friends God’s Apples and Liam Inkuras were in Verge of Collapse at the time; a group that was eager to move into and operate out of the newly created Thera system. I joined fairly late after the Thera hype but was able to to get a strong feel for their 0.0 small gang style.
Other groups began to gravitate to Thera shortly after. Groups like Volta, Furnace, MIEF, and others all equally sought the benefits from roaming from a system with so many static wormholes. Late USTZ roams were made possible by linking up in several different channels and flying with members from all different groups.
Is this what you are still up to today? Do you roam out of Thera?
Very similarly, I roam out of Kingless.’s C2 wormhole system with a static nullsec hole.
Thera became frustrating to roam out of as many times the location of a hole would be provided publicly on Eve-Scout. While a selfless service to those of New Eden, it deterred many players in 0.0 space from operating and venturing within their space and consequently diminished the available targets and potential for content creation.
Roaming from J-space provides an element of exclusivity that was absent in Thera. Along with many other small gang groups, roaming from a nullsec static has become the way to go in search for targets and content.
You’re best known for your work flying a 100 MN Legion, what made you chose this ship and fit to invest time in?
100mn ships have become popular and very strong since they are resilient against the fairly new carrier and supercarrier fighter squadrons. Carriers and supercarriers have become increasingly more frequent as a response to roaming gangs. As a result, I looked for strong platforms to use oversized afterburner’s on in order to be able to fight against carriers as opposed to being forced to leave.
I had experience flying 100mn VNI’s and the 100mn Tengu before the T3 re-balance. I liked the ability to mitigate damage and dictate range with the oversized afterburner. These qualities enabled me and other users to frequently fight outnumbered against larger firepower.
I was also inspired by Chessur and Wild’s 100mn Legion fits they flew before the t3 re-balance. I sought to recreate their fit following the re-balance after many though the possibility of 100mn on t3s was gone as many T3s had their power grid nerfed in place of weapon fitting bonuses.
Brumom Atom, a Russian player also had great success in the legion following the re-balance. Seeing his success on zkill in the legion lead me to use his fit as a base to add my own preferences.
How much of the power is to do with being able to mitigate fighter damage, how much to being unscrambled, and how much due having a high speed with a low sig? Or is it the combination of all these things together?
It definitely is a combination of all these things together. I would have to say the most important being unscramble. It may seem complacent and lazy to use such a seemingly one-sided tactic on a ship, however, the reason I believe it works to my advantage is that I am able to be much more aggressive in the fights I take. I believe it’s important to be aggressive and to entice your opponent to fight by coming into and close to scram range as to keep your opponents interested. I see frequently that opponents get bored and often discouraged if they aren’t able to catch opponents that kite. In the legion, I’m able to be aggressive in order to keep opponents interested and the fight going.
The damage mitigation is of course incredibly important and shines greatest against fighters and large weapon systems. You’ll see in my discussion about the evolution of the fit how the role of mitigation has diminished and what decisions I made to accommodate this.
Let’s dive right in, what does the current version of the fit look like?
Imperial Navy Heat Sink
Imperial Navy Heat Sink
Coreli A-Type Adaptive Nano Plating
Corelum B-Type Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane
Centum A-Type Medium Armor Repairer
Shadow Serpentis Damage Control
Dark Blood Warp Disruptor
Dark Blood Warp Scrambler
Thukker Large Cap Battery
Core X-Type 100MN Afterburner
Heavy Pulse Laser II
Heavy Pulse Laser II
Heavy Pulse Laser II
Sisters Expanded Probe Launcher
Heavy Pulse Laser II
Heavy Pulse Laser II
Heavy Pulse Laser II
Medium Nanobot Accelerator I
Medium Ancillary Current Router II
Medium Energy Locus Coordinator II
Legion Defensive – Nanobot Injector
Legion Offensive – Liquid Crystal Magnifiers
Legion Propulsion – Wake Limiter
Legion Core – Augmented Antimatter Reactor
Genolution Core Augmentation CA-1
Genolution Core Augmentation CA-4
Genolution Core Augmentation CA-3
Genolution Core Augmentation CA-2
Low-grade Nomad Epsilon
Eifyr and Co. ‘Rogue’ Evasive Maneuvering EM-705
Zor’s Custom Navigation Hyper-Link
Inherent Implants ‘Lancer’ Gunnery RF-905
Eifyr and Co. ‘Alchemist’ Neurotoxin Recovery NR-1005
Conflagration M x6
Scorch M x18
Improved Exile Booster x3
Imperial Navy Multifrequency M x12
Imperial Navy Microwave M x6
Nanite Repair Paste x2000
Synth Frentix Booster x3
Sisters Combat Scanner Probe x8
Sisters Core Scanner Probe x16
Agency ‘Overclocker’ SB7 Dose III x3
So there is a lot going on here, the things that jump out at me are of course the oversized AB, the cap battery, having a disruptor and a scram, but not having a web.
Why don’t you walk us through how the fit is put together and what makes it go?
So, of course, the most integral part of the fit is the 100mn afterburner. As mentioned previously this is what allows you to travel at a fast speed but maintain a low signature radius. For my choice of weaponry, I have heavy pulse lasers. The legion can be opted to be configured as a drone/missile platform, but I much prefer the instant application of the energy turrets as opposed to waiting for both missiles and drones to travel. Unlike the missile/drone legion, the damage is not split between two weapon systems, and lasers cannot be destroyed like drones can. This does, of course, come with some downsides as lasers only deal EM/Thermal damage and are limited on range.
I’ve opted for total tank and damage in the lows. You’ll notice a lack of agility mods and nano’s which may perplex some as I kite with this ship. I’ve realized that there is so much damage in the current meta that applies regardless of 100mn or not, that the marginal increases in speed and agility don’t benefit me far as much as the extra raw tank does. Some players like Brumom use the reactive armor hardener, however, I very much enjoy having the hull resistances and unshifted resist profile by default. You’ll notice I have too many close calls in my videos for me to swap the damage control for anything else.
In the rigs we have a single ACR to make everything fit in conjunction with the Genolution set, a t2 range rig, and t1 tank rig as I’m limited on calibration.
The web versus scram argument has been the age-old question when discussing how to fit your 100mn ships and deserves a discussion of its own. I’ve chosen to use a scram for the purpose of controlling/dictating range against opponents that use microwarpdrive’s, and fit webs to their ships. The scram is critical in controlling range against ships with microwarpdrive’s and webs since the scram denies their ship a ~500% increase in propulsion, essentially meaning you reduce them by ~500% or by a factor of 5, leaving them at 20% their microwarp velocity.
Meanwhile, the web slows down opponents by 60%, leaving them with 40% of their velocity intact. Between the two methods, the scram is 100% more effective at slowing targets down than a single web.
This isn’t the most important issue either, the most important use of the scram is to prevent ships with MWD’s and webs from holding you down/slowing you down indefinitely in order to prevent their friends from piling on top of you. You can see the extensive use of the scram as a defensive module in my videos.
The web provides a degree of defense that is two-fold: to slow down your target, and to maintain it’s sig bloom should it be microwarpdriving. The latter of which is most beneficial as it means a greater certainty of weapon application since your target moves at a slower speed, but retains an equally high signature radius.
Not only does the scram provide more defense than a web, but it provides the ability to play offensively to screen larger ships from approaching your gang members. This works in conjunction with the 100mn to ensure you don’t become tackled yourself, and you can dictate range and disengage afterwards. The scram also aids in preventing MJD’s from battleships that may try and escape your gang.
Overall I’ve been very pleased with using a scram over a web. Despite the one benefit of the web, I’ve come to find the scram provides a more reliable method of defense and offense that I’m looking for in the Legion.
You are sort of using a brawl/kite style with this Legion fit?
Dipping in close to keep them interested, pushing the fact that they can’t shut you down with scrams?
Yes, absolutely, that’s the name of the game, keeping targets interested to fight, and then mitigating damage with speed and signature at range, while also applying damage of your own at range.
Very interesting stuff, how often are you using your legion to screen larger/slower gang members? Is that your primary role in the gang you fly with?
It’s incredibly difficult considering how cumbersome and unagile the legion is with no agility modifiers apart from implants. I know for sure in one of my fights in my videos I screened a Machariel from Alex in his gila and an atron/tackle from uMill’s loki but apart from a few ‘almosts’ the Legion doesn’t excel at screening targets. Because of this, no, the primary role is most certainly not to screen as the lack of agility renders the legion unreliable at screening. To screen in the legion takes some planning ahead of time and also a bit of luck that targets won’t deviate off their expected course of travel.
I’d say the primary role I’ve come to fill in the legion is ironically a tank. I take the majority of the aggro from opponents in the fights on my channel and in doing so my gang members can fly their ships without being forced off since the damage is concentrated on me.
The legion with heavy pulses is great at killing tackle and small craft as well, and its damage also makes for a strong cruiser dps ship.
I have heard that 100 MN ships have terrible agility, how do you find flying it?
It’s something to get accustomed to, but I’ve found that with a little planning and optimal decision making, the 100mn really shines with all the benefits I’ve mentioned so far. The agility issue is largest and most annoying when it’s time to go back in and get more kills when I get a feel that targets plan to disengage and I’m unable to close range fast enough to point them.
Let’s talk a little about how you find content, let’s say you have just sat down to play, either by yourself or with a small group of friends, what are the steps you take to find a fight?
Because we live in a wormhole system, we use wormholes to find targets and players in other systems. We first determine where our current wormhole goes to, and using some knowledge of the map and nullsec residents we normally decide if it’s worthwhile to either roam out of or to roll (intentionally collapse so that a new wormhole spawns, hopefully to a better region/system).
Once we have a decent hole we either send out tackle, typically interceptors on alts or sometimes myself on my main, to search for targets to elicit a response, or we send out a very small kitchen sink gang in hopes to escalate a fight.
What are the tackle looking for? Ratters and miners?
Typically yes, or if ships respond to the tackle snooping around, tackle ships will tackle those too. Tackling miner’s and ratters will generally elicit a response, tackle ships will tackle anything from barges to Rorqual’s to carriers.
And then the locals put together a defense fleet and send it forth, and you try to see if you can’t get a good fight out of what they have put together?
If we feel the opponents may be able to commit more, we generally either send out a group of strong, small ships, like Retributions and Jackdaws, or order to give them the idea that committing larger ships will win them the engagement. Hopefully, they oblige and we escalate slowly with a few cruiser dps ships. With a little bit of effort and patience, we’re able to magnify the duration and scale of our engagements so that opponents aren’t too discouraged or perhaps scared if our response is too large.
I feel like the ability to create a good engagement, when there is the right number of ships on field, of the right type, but not too many and not too few is one of the hardest, most important, and most difficult to understand skills in EVE online.
It absolutely is, concealing advantages and orchestrating escalations is something so few groups do very well in the game. You can recall that this is the sort of thing Rooks and Kings popularized, and along with brilliant narration, was the type of skill and art that has captivated so much of the EVE community.
Do you have any new projects you are working on these days? New fits, hulls, strategies, or something else you are trying out, working to improve?
I’m currently looking into 4-5 man compositions with several different ship types. I have several ideas and am looking forward to trying them out and capturing footage of them working or failing (lol). I have a few fits for the Vedmak I’d like for me and my corpmates to try out and am eager to try them out on TQ. Apart from TQ theorycrafting I enjoy sharing the footage I capture with others and hope to excel at video editing and grow my audience.
Give me an example of a 4-5 man composition with different types of ships.
I’m currently exploring the viability of frigate logi. we’ve talked about concealing advantages and increasing staying power so far, and I think that frigate logi are something that’s incredibly underestimated on TQ. I was thinking something like :
- Drake Navy Issue
Something apparently very kitchen-sink-ish to conceal the advantage of strength, but good projection from the Drake and Loki, projected control from the Loki’s web, a single link from the Drake Navy, and tackle/screening from the stiletto.
It does lack damage as opposed to a traditional 3 dps ship comp but I’m curious to see if the scalpel increases the average/overall damage output of two ships that are able to stay for longer, as opposed to 3 ships that do more damage in a shorter amount of time that may have to leave.
Interesting, you are trying to create as much hidden synergy as possible?
Absolutely, giving the appearance of a loosely organized micro-gang is the key to having opponents underestimate you and being more aggressive towards you and thus you getting either more fights and kills.
I feel like the Drake is doing a lot of work on that front, “everyone knows” drakes are bad
I feel like people tend to overestimate the badness of a bad hull
Derth is a certified Drake enthusiast. I have some footage of him and myself fighting together and the strength of the DNI is much more than most expect.
using ‘bad’ hulls is another strategy for baiting out fights and increasing the number of engagements you get. Perhaps this is something to balance out the scariness of the Loki, that’s also something to take into consideration.
What one link would you chose? Rapid Deployment?
There are arguments for all 3 skirmish links. Interdiction would increase the range of control from the loki and stiletto, increasing the range at which you can point things and also web them to keep them away from all the gang members. Rapid deployment works as an overall great link as everyone benefits from being faster. Evasive increases the survivability of the scalpel and stiletto, but not so much the drake and loki.
I’d have to say I’d probably go with Rapid Deployment since it’s effects are beneficial to everyone equally.
Switching gears a bit, what do you think of the current health of the game?
This is a topic I was about to brush on following our portion discussing enticing opponents and ‘baiting’ them into engagements. I feel as though the game is much different than the footage I see from years past. Of course, most will laugh and say this is a given and “well what do you expect?”, however, I feel that the changes to skill injection/ship balance/citadels etc are far less important than the root problem that they exacerbate: players don’t want to fight anymore.
It’s become increasingly more common to see players who prefer to PvE in 0.0 to simply wait out small gang roamers as opposed to defending their space. Players involved in PvE have an interest in continuing their activities undisturbed, and they know roaming gangs want fights and will look elsewhere should they not get them.
I don’t give too much thought about the health of the game, ultimately I think the best players adapt and learn how to excel in the meta and continue their great feats regardless of the health of the game.
It does seem a shame if they joy of a small gang roam is more and more limited to only the best.
It would be nice if both the PvEers and PvPers had a reason to be in space, interact, and could participate in an interesting contest of skill.
Yes, we’re all searching for the dynamic content that brings both together. But we must be fair in saying each player has their own play style and each should be respected and treated equally and impartially.
That’s very true, I am often struck by how many different ways there are to play EVE
One last question for you, if someone was interested in learning to play in your style, what advice would you have for them, how should they get started?
Anyone searching to play small gang should use all the many valuable resources other players have created. There are chat channels in game, creators on YouTube, users on Reddit. There are so many different areas of expertise within small gang PvP. So many different areas of knowledge that all contribute to a strong player. Most importantly be motivated and reach out to those who enjoy small gang, players like myself love lending hands and providing feedback/footage you name it to help those who are interested.
Is there one resource in particular that you would strongly recommend?
Anyone single resource? I’d have to say YouTube by far. There’s a vast selection of content types to choose from, there’s plenty of raw footage, entertaining footage, and tutorial/voice over footage for players to analyze and follow along with. It’s important to make comparisons between players and see what works and how their strategies are similar. Here’s a list of my favorite eve channels for any of the types of content I mentioned:
–cuffdawg is just an npc hunter
–God’s Apples EvE
I have never watched Birdlike, I will have to check out his stuff
Birdlike has some incredible footage. Absolutely incredible – Probably the best fights out of most of those channels.
There’s actually a number on that list I have not watched before, looking forward to going through the list.
I keep my gaming account separate and am subbed to all the eve pvp’ers
‘cuffdawg is just an npc hunter’ is another good one.
I will make sure to check that one out as well. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me Auraus Porcaleus, it was a real pleasure.
Thanks for having me! I appreciate the opportunity and enjoyed sharing with you.