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 Curatores Veritatis Alliance. 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.


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.

My guest today is Tomalak, an excellent solo PVP pilot. Many of his experiences are documented on his YouTube channel.

 

 

Lasker Emanuel

Hello and welcome!

Tomalak

Hey Lasker. Thanks for having me!

Lasker Emanuel

How did you get started with solo PVP?

Tomalak

I started PvP after reading a blog back in 2015 about can flipping in highsec. That’s where you steal the loot out of people’s wrecks and turn suspect, hoping they will get annoyed enough to shoot you. I thought it sounded interesting so I gave it a try in an Incursus and got hooked after my first kill. Not long after I saw some of Chessur’s slicer videos. It opened my eyes to the amount of knowledge required to be good at PvP.  So I fit up 10 slicers and off I went to FW lowsec. I think I probably lost all of them without getting a kill!

Tomalak

Eventually I found Suitonia on Twitch and would watch his streams religiously. I gave it a shot myself with his Kestrel guide open on another tab and loved it. Haven’t looked back since.

Lasker Emanuel

What year was this?

Tomalak

I think I started in nullsec around mid 2016.

Lasker Emanuel

So you were roaming null in a Kestrel and you got hooked, where did you go from there, did you start trying to explore different hulls? Or regions to roam?

Tomalak

Yeah I can still remember my first nullsec kill like it was yesterday. I was sitting on a gate in a Kestrel in Querious back when Horde and Brave lived there. Then a bomber decloaked on me. It was a great feeling killing something more expensive than your ship and doing it in a T1 frigate made it even better. From there I pretty much just copied Suitonia in everything he did. From ship fits to regions. We both love flying cheap frigates and just generally being a nuisance!

Lasker Emanuel

Do you guys fly duo frigates or is it mostly solo?

Tomalak

I think we both prefer solo. There’s a certain rogue-like aspect about flying on your own deep into nullsec in a throwaway frigate and seeing what you can get done. If we come across each other we will usually have a fight if it’s a reasonable match-up.

Lasker Emanuel

Ah nice!

Tomalak

Don’t ask me about the score though!

Lasker Emanuel

Would never dream of asking…

Do you have a favorite hull to roam in?

Tomalak

The Kestrel will always have a special place in my heart. It’s also probably the best T1 frigate for nullsec so that helps.

Lasker Emanuel

It certainly does not hurt that it’s strong

You recently made a video about flying a solo Jag, can you tell me more about that project?

Tomalak

Sure!

I should preface by saying that I absolutely love anything with rockets, so when I heard about the assault frigate changes and the Jaguar in particular I was very excited.

Lasker Emanuel

Tell me what you love so much about rockets.

Tomalak

Haha, well I could be here for hours.

Lasker Emanuel

Fire away man, that’s what we are here for.

Tomalak

But what I like in particular is their application and ranged damage. You only need a single web to apply rage rockets to most nullsec ships as they don’t often fit an afterburner to mitigate your dps. I feel scram-kiting is a great middle ground for solo PvP, with the ability to brawl down long-point kiters and scram-kite brawlers. It opens up a lot of options to outplay your opponent and gives you a great engagement profile. Of course not having to worry about tracking is an added bonus!

Lasker Emanuel

You can fly defensively and focus on minimizing the incoming damage, since the rockets are going to apply regardless.

Tomalak

Yes exactly!

Lasker Emanuel

So the new Jag is coming out, and now it’s a rocket ship.

Tomalak

Yeah so often what I often look for in a nullsec frigate is it’s ability to fit dual prop and its ranged application. Now the Jaguar has rockets, can fit the holy quaternity of mwd/ab/scram/web for amazing range control, and has a really nice tank with its shield boost bonus. On top of that it has great speed, low signature, and nice shield resists. On paper it looks good, but flying it is even better!

Lasker Emanuel

It outperforms how it looks on paper?

Tomalak

Absolutely!

It may not have the best DPS but some of the often overlooked stats like signature can help a great deal in fights.

Lasker Emanuel

Can you share the fit?

Tomalak

[Jaguar, Jaguar]
Ballistic Control System II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
EFFA Compact Assault Damage Control

5MN Y-T8 Compact Microwawrpdrive
Medium Ancillary Shield Booster
Fleeting Compact Stasis Webifier
1MN Y-S8 Compact Afterburner
Initiated Compact Warp Scrambler

Rocket Launcher II
Rocket Launcher II
125mm Gatling AutoCannon II
Rocket Launcher II

Small Bay Loading Accelerator II
Small Anti-Kinetic Screen Reinforcer II

Hornet II x2
Mjolnir Rage Rocket x800
Inferno Rage Rocket x800
Republic Fleet EMP S x500
Caldari Navy Inferno Rocket x500
Navy Cap Booster 50 x45
Republic Fleet Fusion S x500
Hail S x500
Scourge Javelin Rocket x300
Caldari Navy Mjolnir Rocket x500
Republic Fleet Phased Plasma S x500
Caldari Navy Nova Rocket x500
Nova Rage Rocket x800
Scourge Rage Rocket x800
Nanite Repair Paste x60
Caldari Navy Scourge Rocket x500
Agency 'Pyrolancea' DB3 Dose I x1
Standard Blue Pill Booster x1

I went through about 10 variations of a similar fit because finally settling on this one.

Lasker Emanuel

What’s the most different variant that you considered?

Tomalak

Haha well I’ve been through a lot of them, but I did try a flux coil active-tanked one that I never want to look at again.

Lasker Emanuel

That sounds pretty different.

Tomalak

It was painful to fly without dual-prop and losing some DPS really hurts the Jaguar as it’s not great to begin with.

Lasker Emanuel

Often when you are fighting bigger stuff in frigates it seems like one of the main problems is the neuts, and you are almost (or completely) dry on cap, any thoughts on dealing with cap pressure in this kind of up-ship fight?

Tomalak

Yeah of course you would love to have a nosferatu to somewhat mitigate the cap pressure but that’s often not possible. I would usually try to avoid fighting cruisers that commonly fit medium neuts in a frigate unless I have a nos (too many bad memories!) or I have both capless tank and guns. Offlining the MWD to give you those extra precious gigajoules can help, but this can often backfire!

Lasker Emanuel

How often with capless tank and weapons do you find you can hold point under a med neut?

Tomalak

Well the issue with medium neuts is there is no way to mitigate it within scram range, so you will always end up dropping scram at some point without a cap booster. You just have to hope they don’t notice too quickly and keep spamming that scram hotkey.

Lasker Emanuel

Ha! I guess if you can fit a small NOS they cycle pretty fast.

Tomalak

Yeah a small nos is really good against medium neuts because of the fast cycle time. Unlike getting scrammed which would instantly turn off your MWD, the scram lasts 5 seconds no matter what and won’t drop until the next cycle. So hopefully your nos  can give you some extra cap before then or you get lucky with the timing.

This is where offlining your MWD can turn into a mistake. If your scram does drop and your opponent notices, they can pull range and have their way with you.

Lasker Emanuel

Do you ever use an enduring scram to try to make it easier to keep up under these conditions?

Tomalak

I use a compact scram more for CPU reasons than anything else. I think with rockets you preferably want to have a T2 scram if possible because you will often be fighting right at the edge of its range against stronger opponents.

Lasker Emanuel

Yeah, it’s hard to beat having as much scram range as possible

How about new project, do you have anything currently underway?

Tomalak

Well I’ve been having a lot of fun with the diamond rats recently but I would love to do a Damavik in the future.

Unfortunately with the prices atm and how often I die it’s a bit too expensive right now.

Lasker Emanuel

Yeah, you have to make the economics work out for yourself or you won’t be doing it very long. What do you do in game to make ISK?

Tomalak

Actually I just live off PvP loot for now. Probably why I’m perpetually poor!

Lasker Emanuel

I actually was toying with the idea of starting a new toon and just trying to get by on what I could loot, it sounded like a fun challenge.

Tomalak

Yeah it makes loot a lot more meaningful and it’s a fun side-quest. Especially with the cargo delivery feature added recently you can get your loot out of nullsec a lot more easily.

Lasker Emanuel

Oh, I don’t know this one, how does cargo delivery work?

Tomalak

I think it was introduced because of contract scams but basically you can deliver items to citadels regardless of whether you can dock or not. So fill it with loot then asset safety it to the closest lowsec station!

Lasker Emanuel

Ahahaha, that’s fantastic!

Tomalak

Yeah all it takes is forcing one VNI out of their site and you have 5 free navy drones covering the cost of your frigate.

Lasker Emanuel

The thing I love about EVE is there are so many ways to play. I love the idea of being pleased to have chased off a VNI and now you are ISK positive for the roam.

Tomalak

Haha yeah I’ve tried my hand at the various pve aspects of EVE but there’s nothing like paying for your ship with the loot of your enemies.

Lasker Emanuel

It sounds like a fun way to do it. Do you have any advice out there for people who are new to solo PvP, or maybe new to your variety of it, but they have watched your channel, they think it looks like fun and they want to try it?

Tomalak

Honestly the best way is to put yourself out there and try it yourself. Don’t be afraid of losing lots of ships and getting out there and dying again. Learning in T1 frigates and destroyers is great because they are insanely cost-effective. I see it as every loss is a lesson learnt, and you can learn a lot more for your isk if you fly cheap!

Lasker Emanuel

Are there resources that you would direct them to in addition to your YouTube channel?

Tomalak

Absolutely! I can’t recommend Suitonia’s Twitch and YouTube channel enough. He helped me immensely over the years and I’m very grateful to have content creators like him around. The in-game channel Bringing Solo Back also has a lot of great PvPers where you can pick their brains on ships and fits. I’d also like to shoutout the fittings subreddit (/r/fittings) which has a load of people happy to share their knowledge whether it’s for PvE or PvP.

Lasker Emanuel

It’s been a pleasure speaking with you, thank you for your time today!

Tomalak

No problem! Thanks again for having me.