Lasker Emanuel is primarily known for his solo PVP videos on YouTube, where he pilots anything from Magnates to Dreadnoughts. He is a member of The Initiative. Lasker brings us his new interview series, talking to PVP-oriented individuals from across the game. Stay tuned to New Eden Report for more of these in the future.


stitch k eve online news and media new eden reportIn 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.

Stitch Kaneland is known for his solo PvP work and can often be found testing novel fits that can take an opponent by surprise. He never uses alts (indy/probe/link etc), and generally flies relatively inexpensive fits, in an effort to see just how far he can push the “Casual” PvP experience.

He also takes a keen interest in the health/state of the game itself, and participates heavily in activities like the Battlecruiser rebalance. You can find his PvP exploits on his Youtube channel.

Lasker Emanuel
How did you get into solo & small gang PvP?

Stitch Kaneland
Got tired of doing the Nullsec CTA/farm isk life, this was before almost everyone was blue with each other. So there were lots of small fights happening that didn’t involve the big groups, but also involved having to do CTA’s almost everyday. Got burned out on being told how to play the game, what I could fly and who I could shoot.

Ran across Kil2’s and Prometheus Exenthal’s videos and really enjoyed the tactics and the fact they could operate from a solo perspective. I joined a Minmatar NPC Faction Warfare corp and started out with frigs/dessies, and had good success with a double web arty thrasher. I based out of Rens (3 jumps from FW lowsec) and would go to N-RAEL often for solo null stuff as it was fairly close by. I liked being in control of my content and, later in my career, went more for a nomadic playstyle. I’d move around in different bases in LS or border systems to null to get my content. Trying to dodge the blobby/dropping groups as much as possible to get actual content. Overall, it was a good foundation for me to work with in getting a solid understanding of the game mechanics.

Lasker Emanuel
Interesting. What groups did you find gave good fights during this time?

Stitch K
Brick Squad, Ethereal Dawn, IRC, Razor and Solar were the ones that I remember us fighting back then. Brick Squad and Ethereal Dawn were fun for roaming at the time.

Lasker Emanuel
After you did that for a while, what was the next step in your EVE Career?

Stitch K
Due to capital proliferation and changing dynamics around how nullsec entities grouped up, it became clear my particular play style was a dying breed. While not impossible to continue, I wanted to enjoy my play time in EVE, not spend 30 minutes to an hour roaming and getting carpal tunnel syndrome while searching every person in local and check if they had a cyno. So I decided to move to wormhole space and join Tuskers.

Also, as a side note, I may have misread your previous question. So, to clarify, when you asked “What groups gave good fights”, did you mean while i was in lowsec/roaming, or when i was living out in null and doing CTA’s?

Lasker Emanuel
Lowsec roaming. How did you find the Tuskers once you joined?

Stitch K
In lowsec, in the Amarr warzone, it was PIE, TMOCC, Shirak Skunkworks and NPC Faction Warfare corps. For nullsec, TAPI, Brave and PFR were all fairly decent to get fights in. They didn’t take themselves too seriously and would have small gangs around to fight. Of course, if you stuck around too long, they’d form a blob, but fighting them was a lot more manageable back then compared to now. Back then, capitals weren’t the immediate go-to response for a lone battleship most of the time.

Lasker Emanuel
There is a real problem where supers are so strong, apply so well, are more mobile, and so much safer (under your own capital umbrella) so it’s really suboptimal to do anything else, which is not great for the game.

Stitch K
I like Tuskers a lot, I’m able to participate in larger gangs/roams with content that wouldn’t have been accessible to me otherwise. Meanwhile, I can still dive through a nullsec hole or j-space connections to find things to fight, without going 30 jumps in a non-hyper spatial BS, heh. Also, the dynamics of fighting on a hole, or around one is pretty fun. Especially when the locals get aggravated and try to roll your hole. Running back to the hole before they roll it, or setting up on the other side is fun.

Lasker Emanuel
Some rolling ship comes in, you get tackle, and then they have to decide if they want to fight you or not?

Stitch K
That, or they park capitals on the other side of the hole, or land 1-2 cyno battleships on the hole. I’ve popped out with a max brawl battleship or 2 (with corp mates), and we just brawl them at max dps/heat to try to nuke them before cyno. If cyno gets lit, we jump back in. It may be cheesy, but so is parking cyno BS on a hole and trying to use capitals as a crutch, when you could just form a normal small gang and jump into the hole and fight/chase us.

That being said, I understand the locals do it because they “want us out of their space” and will do this to get rid of us. So I/we take advantage of it, as its still content.

Popping rolling ships is amusing, but not really “gfs”. It sometimes leads to fights, but more often than not, it just means they’ll suicide some poor alt in to finish off the hole.

Lasker Emanuel
I feel like the attitude of “we will do the most efficient thing possible” to protect our space is a reasonable choice, the problem is when the game is setup in such a way that The Efficient Way ends up being both easy to execute and super boring.

Stitch K
I agree, on the flip side, and coming from my perspective, when I solo roam, I’m not looking for ratters or looking to “attack their space” or take sov. My killboard does show me killing ratters, when I’m in small gang, because otherwise every docks up, and killing ratters/miners  creates fights sometimes.

When I’m solo roaming in a battleship, you’d have to be really terrible/afk to get caught by my no-prop battleship. And to be honest, warping into a haven/horde to try to catch an 80m VNI isn’t worth it for me. I prefer to just hang out a few jumps out of staging, or roam through. So, I’m not “attacking anyone’s space”, I just want to fight, but will still get the same response as someone who’s trying to shank their miners (i.e capitals).

That being said, I’m used to it by now and people are free to play the game and respond to any “threat” how they see fit. As we’ve discussed earlier, it’s more a matter of cyno’s/capitals being too easy that kind of skew/ruin the older roaming styles and make everything too easy.

Lasker Emanuel
In many orgs those miners are in Rorqs and so entirely safe from everything that is not either a 100 man bomber fleet or dread bomb (that is prepared to die to the inevitable capital escalation). Ah well, such is life.

Stitch K
Yep, and honestly killing ratters/miners is really boring to me. When I’m roaming, I want real fights and usable footage for a video (if I’m recording). No one wants to see a video of seal clubbing, unless you’re doing something truly unique.

Lasker Emanuel
Yeah, I hear you there.

You’re famous for some of your offbeat fits, do you have a favorite fit?

Stitch K
This is my go to fit for torpedo’s atm as its cheap-ish and does a ton of damage and applies quite well: https://zkillboard.com/kill/73488183/.

 

[Typhoon Fleet Issue, Stitch Kaneland's Typhoon Fleet Issue]

Heavy Gremlin Compact Energy Neutralizer
Heavy Gremlin Compact Energy Neutralizer
Torpedo Launcher II,Caldari Navy Inferno Torpedo
Torpedo Launcher II,Caldari Navy Inferno Torpedo
Torpedo Launcher II,Caldari Navy Inferno Torpedo
Torpedo Launcher II,Caldari Navy Inferno Torpedo
Torpedo Launcher II,Caldari Navy Inferno Torpedo
Torpedo Launcher II,Caldari Navy Inferno Torpedo

Abyssal Warp Scrambler
Heavy Stasis Grappler II
Large Micro Jump Drive
Target Painter II
Missile Guidance Computer II,Missile Precision Script

'Dyad' Co-Processor I
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Ballistic Control System II
Damage Control II
Reinforced Bulkheads II
Reinforced Bulkheads II

Large Transverse Bulkhead II
Large Transverse Bulkhead II
Large Warhead Rigor Catalyst I

Ogre II x5
Hobgoblin II x3
Hobgoblin II x2

~1300 dps cold, 1500 heated with faction. 1700 with rage.

Lasker Emanuel
Walk me through the design choice you made and how you fly it.

Stitch K
Originally it started as an armor tank, but it was about 900m isk total cost (although, hull cost for me was considerably cheaper due to FW LP, hull cost was about 190m, instead of 400m). After losing 7 or 8 of them, I looked at ways to make it cheaper, found hull tank offered a comparable EHP while being significantly cheaper. It also allowed me to squeeze in 2 heavy neuts, instead of 1 heavy and 1 small, which is huge for breaking active tanks.

It’s designed for 1 thing, nuking anything that scrams you in range of the grappler. Which is why its fit for max damage and application. I use that for tank more than the tank itself. Once scrams are dead, you’re free to leave whenever you want. Often times, I’m escaping in very low structure, or just narrowly dodging the blob as I kill scrams and MJD out.

Overtime, I’ve also designed them as being “Anti-T3” ships. Torpedo’s and heavy neuts do a fantastic job at breaking a lot of the cap battery active tank T3’s that are everywhere.

Lasker Emanuel
At the start of the fight will you align to some celestial? And then when it’s get out time MJD, warp?

Stitch K
At the start, I’ll normally approach to stay within grapple range. From there, it depends, if local spikes I’ll align out. If it’s just a small gang or solo brawl. I’ll just try to keep them within grapple range and loot them afterwards.

Lasker Emanuel
Do you ever have problems with ceptors or other fast ships hanging out at range and then diving in for the scram as you MJD? Or do the heavy neuts largely negate that strategy?

Stitch K
Sometimes, it really depends on the ceptor pilot. Although, I am very aware of that strat, so once I spool up MJD, I’ll have the ceptor locked up and stagger neuts the moment he tries to burn in. As well as have my scram OH’d to catch them if they try to do a drive by.

If I’m in my barghest, it’s easier to do as I have an 18km scram. So I can hit them with a heavy neut, scram them, followed by the med neut. That normally keeps them out of scramming me and caps them out.

Good ceptor pilots can still be troublesome, but in null, they are quite rare. Multiple scram frigs/ceptors is a problem though. Can’t neut them all, heh.

Lasker Emanuel
Yeah, at some level of outnumbered not much works.

With this level of focus on application, I presume you are using the Crash Booster?

Stitch K
Yep, standard crash booster.

Lasker Emanuel
I think I know the answer to this one, but the reason you are using a buffer tank instead of active is fitting space? Or is it just that the blob is coming and no amount of tank will help if you don’t kill and escape quickly?

Stitch K
Mainly fitting. Torpedos are kind of backwards to every other short range missile system, in that they use more fitting than the long range weapon system. There’s only 3 ships that can effectively active tank with torps, the Golem, Scorpion Navy Issue and Rattlesnake.

Lasker Emanuel
None of them super cheap.

Stitch K
Yeah, the rattle/golem can both be capital magnets as well. Esp the golem.

Lasker Emanuel
With this number of application mods and crash running, what do you find application is like on small stuff?

Stitch K
For my navy raven, which probably has the best application out of all my torp battleships, it has 144m explosion radius. A heavy missile has 140m explosion radius (max skills). That doesn’t take into account the target painter. So, most frigates die in 2-3 shots as I’m doing 7.2k to 8k vollies (plus drones). With the other ships, like the Typhoon fleet, Scorpion Navy, they’re still getting great application, plus the utility of neuts can shut down small stuff quickly.

Lasker Emanuel
What makes the Typhoon Fleet your go-to hull for this sort of thing?

Stitch K
Double heavy neuts, 125m3 drone bandwidth and a healthy drone bay (200m3), missile damage bonus (not RoF, so i have higher alpha), better EHP/fitting than t1 phoon and great slot layout. Overall, its very versatile and packs a bunch of utility.

Lasker Emanuel
What do you usually put in the drone bay?

Stitch K
5 heavies, 5 EC-600’s and 5 small combat drones.

Lasker Emanuel
Does that leave a little bit of space or am I doing the math wrong?

Stitch K
5 heavies would be 125m3, 5 EC-600’s is 50m3 and 5 smalls would be 25m3.

Lasker Emanuel
Oh, I glanced right over the EC drones and assumed they were the 300s.

Stitch K
No problem.

Lasker Emanuel
What makes you prefer the 600s?

Stitch K
Higher jam chance. I used to go with a set of 5 medium combat drones, but it was a redundancy. Heavy’s will track a cruiser under grappler+target painter fine. Whereas, against frigs, lights will be better combined with my torp alpha. The EC-600’s are useful both for escaping and in tactics. Since i can put them on logi, or drones to reduce incoming dps or break logi. I also live by a code, that if you put EC drones on me, I’m going to put EC drones on you and we’ll have a RNG battle.

Lasker Emanuel
Ok, so let’s say you get home at the end of the day, log in, and want to find a fight, what does your content finding process look like?

Stitch K
Currently, its check our WH chain to see what is available. If there’s a decent null hole, I’ll pop a battleship through it and roam around. Or if someone reports a camp or people in the j-space chain, I’ll go over there and see if they’ll fight my battleship. If there isn’t anything decent, and enough people are on, we’ll normally roll the hole until we get something decent. Sometimes, if it’s late USTZ, i’ll just solo roll the hole.

When I was doing more LS stuff, I’d base out of Rens or Dodixie to roam either the Min/Amarr WZ or Gal/Cal warzone. LS was a lot easier to get fights in, but you had to be in things people wanted to fight. Flying around in a faction frig or t2 ship meant a lot of people might not engage. Flying in a t1 drake, or ABC’s or other under utilized ships would get a lot more content pretty quickly (normally in less than 30 min, depending on location/timezone).

Lasker Emanuel
Do you have any projects or new experiments that you are working on?

Stitch K
I’ve got a small gang torp Barghest that I’m wanting to try out. I’ve also got a Golem that I’m trying to get some footage with. Very difficult to roam in a brawling Golem though, for obvious reasons.

Lasker Emanuel
Yeah I can imagine, hard to get enough but not too much.

Stitch K
Yeah, which, I mean Marauders are tough to break and attacks aren’t going to throw piecemeal at one. So it’s understandable that the response can be a little over the top. But normally, the response isn’t “throw more subcaps at it”, its, just “cyno in dread/carriers/super/titan” for ez killmail.

Lasker Emanuel
Yeah

Stitch K
So I’m relying more on j-space content for that one since capitals appearing is a little less likely.

Lasker Emanuel
If someone was interested in starting or improving their solo PvP, what advice would you have for them?

Stitch K
You don’t need to follow the meta (this will vary by person and personal preference, but fly what you want to fly that is within your means and find a way to make it work) and you don’t need alts. Be patient, and accept losses as a means to learn from your mistakes. If possible, record yourself, it helps a lot more than you think as you can see exactly what you did wrong, or what the other person did right.

In my opinion, a lot of solo pvp success comes from your own experience with fitting and understanding the game mechanics. Skimming Zkill is fine for ideas, but don’t just rip a fit off Zkill and expect it to perform the same way someone else had success with. Make your own fits and ask yourself “what is the goal of this fit?”. If you want to kill frigates with a cruiser/BC/BS, fit for it. If you want to kite, try to focus on only kiting and leave the tank a little weaker, add more/less projection depending on your goals. EVE has held my attention this long because of its flexibility in creating fits/ships, and is the funnest part of EVE for me. While your results may vary, it’s still very important to understand how to fit a ship properly and to actually have a goal in mind for each fit.

Lasker Emanuel
I couldn’t agree more, I have had a ton of fun just fiddling with fits in PYFA, and the feeling of having an idea, guessing that a thing will work well, and then actually pulling it off in game is fantastic.

Stitch K
Yeah, my earlier times in EVE when I was still farming ISK was browsing the now deceased Battleclinic and making fits/discussing fits on there. Got some good info and also that’s where I found that sometimes, no matter how many people say its a bad idea, you just do what you want, because it’s a game and I want to have fun.

You’ll learn a lot about what your goal is with your fit and can go through variations until you find the right fit that is fun, effective and different.

Lasker Emanuel
It’s also the case that people rely a lot on their expectations of how a ship will be fit to decide how to fly against it, if you have a surprising fit it can put them in a position where they are making suboptimal choices.

Like if they think they caught your Attack Battlecruisers away from a fleet but in fact it is a 100 MN, double web anti frigate Tornado.

Stitch K
Exactly. Which is why going against the meta can be very successful. Doing something completely different with a known ship is a good way to fool people. Like a polarized navy Aug. No one expects a navy aug to do 700 dps and have dual med neuts. They just think you’re a brick.

Lasker Emanuel
I did not know you could get 700 DPS out of a Navy Aug.

Stitch K
When its polarized you can, still has like 25k EHP too, cause it gets an HP bonus, which works well with polarized things.

Lasker Emanuel
It’s funny how many good ideas come back at the end of the day to taking a long serious look at hull stats and bonuses.

Stitch K
Yep, which is why the Navy Raven is a nice little secret with torps and cruise missiles. Only battleship to get an explosion radius bonus. Gives it some really good application that people don’t expect.

Lasker Emanuel
Very cool stuff. Thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today

Stitch K
Thank you, was fun.

Featured image credit: keacte