Player VS. Player
This page is intended as an overview and guide to PvP combat in Vendetta.
- 1 General
- 2 Etiquette
- 3 Choosing Your Weapons
- 4 Combat Training Videos
- 5 Techniques
- 6 Combat Ranges
- 7 Awareness
- 8 Group Combat
- 9 Flight Assist and Autoaim
- 10 Other General Combat Tips
- 11 Questions and Comments
Thank you to everyone who has contributed to this guide. What started off as me sharing some general knowledge and my approach to the mechanics of PvP has grown into a wealth of knowledge full of different opinions. This has become an invaluable tool for both the newbie looking to get his feet wet in PvP and the veteran looking to sharpen his skills.
Vendetta Online is a game primarily based off of player vs player combat. Though there are other things you can do to earn a living as well as have fun, the "no where is safe" environment means that it's good to at least have a general knowledge of PvP. Therefore, this section may prove useful whether or not you choose to become a combat pilot. I can't stress this enough, YOU CAN (and will) BE SHOT ANYWHERE. Sometimes you don't choose the fight, the fight chooses you. So read on and attempt to master the art of PvP to fight for your nation, or in the hope that if (and when) you're attacked, you can make your attacker wish he'd picked a different target.
When To Start PvP
The twitch based combat system of Vendetta truly makes PvP related to skill more than to equipment. However, equipment can still make a difference. In PvP, though you see a variety of ships, you almost always see the best variants of each type of ship. It is highly reccomended to get combat, light and heavy weapons to level 5 (5/5/5/x/x) before beginning PvP. These levels will give you access to a good variety of ships and weapons that will increase your chances of surviving PvP. Once you have access to all of the ships and weapons, it becomes all about who's the better pilot.
Some Message Board Threads
- Dog fighting strategies - http://www.vendetta-online.com/x/msgboard/1/13981
- Thoughts on fighting. - http://www.vendetta-online.com/x/msgboard/1/13523
- Direction and Vision of PvP Combat - http://www.vendetta-online.com/x/msgboard/3/13854
Much of the combat in Vendetta Online is done in the spirit of fair competition. While nonconsensual combat is a central and expected part of the game, an atmosphere of respect generally permeates all combat activities. In more tournament oriented battles, it is expected that you will not run once the fighting starts, even if you run out of ammo, and that you will acknowledge a win or a loss by sending a message of "gf" ("good fight") or similar. You are, of course, not required to do either.
The penalty for death is minimal. Making a fuss about dying or killing is silly.
Choosing Your Weapons
There are plenty of ships and weapons available for use in combat, and the type of ship and loadout you choose will have an impact on your performance as a pilot. Experiment and pick what's best for you. Many pilots specialize in a specific type of combat and have their own layouts of choice. For a beginner, it is a good idea to hone your skills in one ship before moving on to another, but remember that as you gain experience, it's a good idea to expand your skills to include multiple ships and weapons. Anyone can specialize in one ship and loadout, but a veteran fighter can fight in any ship you give them, and that works to their advantage.
There are many different ships in VO that are suitable to combat, and many of them are more suitable to a specific style. If you find that one kind of ship doesn't work well for you right away, you can either practice in it to adapt and improve, or find another.
Heavy Ships Heavy ships such as the Hornet, Centaur and Ragnarok have an appeal of extra firepower that is hard to ignore. Offsetting this are their inability to move and evade quickly, and a large cross-section that makes them an easy target. They also have more armor, to deal with some of the extra damage they will take in a fight. To be proficient in a heavy ship, a pilot has to deal with all of these features and develop a combat strategy that uses them to his or her advantage. Heavy pilots must be prepared to take damage and exchange blows without fear of getting hit in order to deliver a heavy dose of firepower. They strafe and turn slower, so the pilot must stay aware of the situation to prevent opponents from getting above, below or behind them. Due to the difficulty in evading fire for extended durations, heavy pilots should aim to get in quickly, and kill quickly to end the fight. Fights between two heavy ships can be over in a matter of a few seconds.
Light Ships Light ships such as the Centurion, Vulture and Valkyrie are more agile and smaller, allowing them to evade fire more easily. This comes at the cost of a reduction in armor and overall firepower. Light pilots need to react quickly and make their shots count. Often it is necessary to change tactics constantly, getting in close to deliver a stream of fire, or controlling distance in a standoff to avoid a heavy hitter and give the pilot more time to react. Due to their agility and turn rate, light ships can be more difficult to aim as well as to hit, so fights between two light pilots can turn into an endurance match.
Great variation is also available in the weapons you choose to equip. Energy weapons provide endurance and require energy management to use effectively. Ordnance such as rockets have a limited ammo supply, but are effective in well-planned strikes. Homing missiles have very little manual accuracy, but can track a target without your assistance, allowing you to fire and forget. They are easy to dodge however, so should not be relied upon in PvP. It is often a good idea to fly with a mixture of energy and ordnance, allowing you to balance your strategy and pace your attack.
Energy Weapons Some energy weapons such as Gauss, Plasma Devestator and Gatling Turrets have a wide range of auto-aim, making it easier to hit your target at close range, but their auto-aim can destroy their accuracy at a long range unless you turn it off. Smaller, faster weapons are better when long-range precision and accuracy is required, but they also require more skill in aiming manually.
Ordnance Weapons Ordnance weapons such as Flares and Jackhammers are easy to use, but take some practice in becoming efficient with them. They travel more slowly than energy, allowing your target more time to evade at long ranges. They also have an additional handicap at exceptionally close ranges, as the proximity fuse does not arm until a short time after it has left your ship, so it may streak right past your target without detonating. When using ordinance, pace yourself and conserve your ammunition. Wait until you have clean shots to fire, and don't panic and fire it all off at once. Because rockets' forward velocity is impacted heavily by the velocity of your ship, you can aim them better when pressing forward. It is essential to coordinate both your strafes and aim for a good rocket 'throw'.
Strong and Proven Setups
- A light fighter (Itani Border Guardian, Orion Rev C, Corvus Vulturius, or Serco Vulture Guardian) + either:
- Two blasters (Typically Neutron Blaster MkIII or MkII or Axia Accelerated Positron Blaster)
- One blaster and one Sunflare
- IDF Valkyrie Vigilant or Valkyrie X-1 + some combination of blasters and Sunflares.
- SkyCommand Prometheus + Gatling Turret & 2 Sunflares
- TPG Atlas Type X + Auto Gatling Turret & Sunflare (Atlas of DOOOOOM!)
- Centaur (MkIII or Tunguska Aggresso) + Jackhammer & Sunflare & AGT
Don't be afraid to make your own combos, the possibilities are endless! Well, not really, but there's a lot of them.
Combat Training Videos
Currently, there are 3 training videos available to the public. There may be more coming depending on how much free time I have. The following videos deal with some basic topics:
-Dealing With Lightning Mines: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=48klc-K6xvg&feature=related
-Flare Dodging: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FGTthZoA9o0&feature=related
-The 5th Strafe: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5XiuxNGV0E4
Backrolling - Although effective in botting, it is frowned upon for PvP. Backrolling involves holding two strafes, one of them being backwards, and one roll key. This makes you difficult to hit, but keep in mind you won't hit your enemy much either. There are much more effective and creative ways to fight than backrolling. Backrolling is not to be confused with keeping your distance. To be backrolling, one must be locked into a backwards + sidways strafe with a roll.
Jousting - Best applied when using gauss cannons, jousting consists of leaving FA on and making passes at your opponent. Gauss is most effective when jousting because of its good auto aim, and high damage per shot. Though heavier, plasma devastators are also effective at this tactic due to the same advantages.
Spamming - Not to be confused with simply using missiles. Spamming involves emptying most of the ammo from a missile tube at one target. This is another frowned upon tactic in PvP. Not only is it very annoying, but when facing an experienced pilot it is very ineffective as well. The best use of missiles is through careful aim and timing your shots correctly.
Rocket Netting - When using rockets, a useful tactic can be to use their proximity detonation to your advantage. Netting involves shooting multiple rockets in slightly different directions giving your target less escape routes. I emphasize slightly because if done with too much variation, not only will your rockets most likely miss, but you'll make a large target of yourself as well. As with all techniques, this one takes practice to become efficient.
Power Strafe - Power strafing can technically be considered any manuver that involves keeping your ship in a strafe at a high velocity. In my opinion, this is easiest to accomplish by turning FA on, forward thrust to 0 and using full thrust on either your port or starboard strafes. It's best to vary your strafes though, as staying in a pure power strafe for very long will make you a target.
Distance Control - In my opinion, this is the most difficult style of combat, but can be one of the most effective. Distance control involves using FA off and on when needed to keep your target exactly where you want him. Note that this does not mean simply staying far away. Real distance control (in an energy dogfight, for example) involves staying between 200-150m from your target and not allowing him to get an angle on you. Pick and choose your moments to close the range inside 150m so that you always have a good shot when you move in close, then back away once your enemy has recovered and is able to line up a shot on you. Distance control can take months to perfect, but if you stick with it the results can be very rewarding. Before you become experienced in this tactic, expect to get blown up plenty of times while practicing it.
Chain Firing - A great way to get out more shots in less time which raises your chances of actually hitting the target. It's easily achieved by setting weapon ports to different weapon groups and then using the appropriate firing keys to fire. Chainfiring is not autonomous, however, so you will have to time clicking the buttons just a fraction of a second apart to achieve chainfiring. Don't let go of the first button when hitting the second! Your weapons will continue the chain if you successfully start it and don't let go of the buttons. Also, if you are chainfiring two weapons, set the tertiary group to fire both weapons at the same so that when you get a chance at that easy hit you can still deliver both weapons worth of damage. This tactic is widely accepted in Vendetta-Online, and enhances the performance of slower firing weapons.
Recovering from a flare hit
Flares are the bane of many a new pilot in PvP. With their proximity fuse, high damage, and concussive stun, flares can be a terrifying weapon to face in a duel. Worse still, some pilots know how to juggle a target with flares, which will lead to a quick death unless you know how to recover. Your primary focus after getting hit by a flare should be to recover quickly so as to avoid getting hit by follow-up flare attacks. There are three useful ways to recover:
Natural recovery - You can let nature take its course after being hit, and allow your ship to spin with minimal resistance. In mouselook mode, your vision will remain facing your opponent and your ship will automatically turn to face in the direction of your opponent once again. When using a joystick or gamepad this is more difficult as your point of view will spin along with your ship. This is not a useful way to recover if your opponent is adept at juggling.
Quick recovery - You can use your radar to follow through in the direction of motion in which your ship is spinning, coming about to face your target more quickly. This takes practice, and is easier to do with a joystick or gamepad. If, for example, your perspective is jolted down and to the left, you should apply full stick in that direction until your target comes back around to perform a quick recovery. You can then lay down defensive fire or dodge away from your opponent's line of fire.
Turbo evasion - You can immediately engage turbo in order to avoid the line of fire of follow up flare attacks. Continue until you are at a healthy range (100-200 meters) then turn to face your opponent. This tends to equalize the playing field, but be careful not to turbo directly into an oncoming flare. This works best with a light ship.
What Range To Fight At?
Your desired combat range depends entirely on your ship and weapon configuration:
All energy weapons are best used at close range with the exception of rail guns. (Though rail guns use ammo, they are often considered energy weapons due to their high energy consumption.) Under 150m is optimal for most.
Rockets and missiles are best used when at mid-range, around 150-200m. Be aware that all rockets have a safety range where they will not detonate. If your target gets too close to you, you will not be able to hit.
Rail guns are best used at long range and are a defensive weapon. Stay as far back as possible, make your enemy come to you, and remember that you are capable of scoring a hit on your target anywhere under 1000m. But, I'm not going to give away all the secrets of rail combat, you'll have to find those on your own.
Heavy ships such as the Ragnarok and Prometheus turn very slowly. Naturally, you want to keep your target in front of you. So heavier ships are best used at close-mid range while being careful not to let your enemy get the turn on you. Depending on your loadout, heavy ships can be useful at long range as well.
Light ships can be used at a variety of ranges and depend, once again, on the weapon layout you are using or facing. Obviously one would want to take the fight as close as possible if his enemy is using rails, while one might want to keep his distance if his enemy is using rockets. Don't get stuck in a rut. Adapt and be flexible.
Tips On How To Control Your Distance To The Target
If you're aiming for distance control, you're going to want to be able to switch back and forth between FA off and on very quickly. However, keeping FA off will yield the best results when trying to stay at a specific range.
Possibly the most valuable tool in combat is a pilot's awareness. When in a dogfight, it can be difficult to keep an open focus. It is all too tempting to focus tightly on the crosshairs and try to get that crack shot in. If you do this for too long in open combat, you're asking to be ambushed. A great pilot will know when you're sneaking up behind him and have adjusted before you're within weapons range.
How To Stay Sharp
When not in combat:
- Frequently check the in sector ship list (the "u" key). This is an invaluable tool for knowing who is in the sector, how far away they are, and whether or not they are hostile. You can often plan your target order and tactics or make the decision not to engage at all before your enemy is within radar range.
- Don't go AFK in space unless you're in an empty sector. And by empty I don't just mean a sector with no one in it. I mean a sector that's out of the way, in the middle of space. No wormholes, no stations, no nothing.
When in combat:
- Get used to glancing at your radar. If you see red dots closing in, chances are you might want to disengage and re-evaluate the situation before engaging again. If you see many small yellow dots (rockets), you'd best get out of the way before you explode.
- Pay attention to sounds. Often times you can hear a ship that is close to you. That engine noise can be a sign that someone is trying to line up a shot. Also, should you hear incoming fire that doesn't appear to be coming from your target, check your radar to see who is closest to you. If it's apparent that the fire is coming from your wingman, you may continue as normal. If it's not clear who the fire is coming from, assume that it's an enemy and adjust for it.
- The eyes have it. The best way to keep track of the situation is to keep it in front of you. When fighting multiple opponents, if possible try to keep them in view. This applies doubly if you're flying a vulture or any other ship with a large profile. Though sometimes, with smaller ships such as a centurion, you can get away with (and often it is better) to let the enemy surround you and rely on your agility to keep you alive. Though I can't stress enough, if you take your eyes off of a target carrying rockets, you deserve what's coming to you.
- Coordinate with your wingmen. Be aware of who is doing what and where at all times. If there's more than one of you on a target, try to adjust your flying to make sure that both of you have clear shots. It is very annoying to have a friendly pilot unintentionally intercept shots that were meant for an enemy.
Also known as "furballs", group combat can be a real blast provided you can survive more than a few minutes.
- Have a plan. Know what targets are priority and which you can let slide for a while.
- Communicate with your wingmen.
- Be aware of the entire battlefield.
- Focus the whole group's fire on one target before moving to the next. Don't turn the battle into a bunch of little 1 on 1's. Use your team to your advantage.
- Don't be afraid to call for help.
- Watch for rockets. They're devastating if you don't see them coming. That being said, try to take out ships with rockets first.
- If you're in a heavy ship, stay near the smaller fighters on your team.
- If you're in a smaller fighter, protect the heavy ships on your team.
- And again: adapt, adapt, adapt.
If you die early, don't get frusturated. Learn from your mistakes and you will get better with practice.
Flight Assist and Autoaim
|Flight Assist On||Flight Assist Off|
|Autoaim On||The most aggressive mode. When facing an opponent that does not control his/her distance but prefers to engage at close range, you may use this mode to gain the upper hand if you are in a lighter ship.||A strong defensive mode. When facing an opponent that is advancing aggressively, this mode may be used to punish him/her when they attempt to turbo closer.|
|Autoaim Off||Useful when advancing on a defensive pilot. If your opponent is backrolling or dodging in a predictable pattern while attempting to control distance, this mode may be used to line up careful shots against him/her.||The most versatile mode. When facing a pilot of unknown skill, or in the beginning of a fight before his/her weapons and tactics are known, this mode can provide quick changes in direction while providing opportunities to strike at different ranges.|
When To Use Auto-Aim And When To Turn It Off
Learning to toggle your auto-aim takes a great deal of practice. In close range, the auto-aim is mostly accurate and you're pretty safe to leave it on. When fighting at ranges outside of 250m, you may find your energy weapons are more effective with auto-aim off. The key is to not get frusturated and keep working at it. Eventually, you'll find yourself getting an occasional hit at long range with auto-aim off rather than never hitting at range with auto-aim on.
When to use Flight-Assist And When To Turn It Off
It is somewhat easier to land ENERGY shots with FA turned on. It is easier to dodge and aim ROCKETS with FA turned off.
Other General Combat Tips
- Remember to try out new layouts once in a while.
- Remember you can strafe in all *4* directions!
- Adapt adapt adapt! Make the enemy play into your strengths.
- Be patient.
- Don't get frusturated. If you feel that anger boiling up about being ganked by those two guys you hate, turn off the game and take a break for a while.
- Remember, it's just a game.
- If you're really interested in learning PvP, find a mentor to spar with. And not just any random mentor, people will do anything just for a mentor point. Ask around and find out who's good at PvP and try talking to them about practicing. If you're going to practice PvP, you're going to want it to be with someone who is much more experienced than you. You'll learn much quicker this way. And again, refer to #4 above.
Does Anyone Fight With Mouselook On?
From what I've heard, people who use a joystick setup prefer mouselook off. I use a mouse setup and prefer it on. Though there are some pilots who use a mouse and like mouselook off. My advice for this, as with everything else, is play around with them both and find out what you like.
-- This is a matter of preference, though in order to utilize a joystick properly, mouselook must be off. I'm going to edit in a section on this a bit later. ~ Cunjo 12:42, 6 February 2007 (EST)
-- That depends on what you use the joystick for. I for instance (being left-handed) use the joystick for strafing and turning and the mouse for aiming. For this I need to keep MLook turned on. Btw: "a bit later"? :P ~ Andy Spades September 2011
Dodge binds are programmed dodge patterns. Basically, you press a button and the ship will carry out the manuver that you have programmed ahead of time. I can't stress enough, DO NOT USE DODGE BINDS. While temporarily effective, they lock you into a predictable pattern and make you incredibly inflexible. The binds will take away your ability to adapt during a fight. Also, you're not going to become a better pilot by using programmed binds. Keep practicing, find tactics you like and perfect those, but never lock yourself into a pattern such as a bind.
The following players are experienced PvPers and have expressed an interest in mentoring players:
- Chaakin Tockoa
- Maalik, &c.
- Estrian Prosis
- Mr. Chaos
- Shape (not active)
- Gavan (not active)
- Ghost (not active)
- Eldrad (not active)
- Bojan (not active)
- Spellcast (not active)
- Borb Sarken (not active)
That's just a few. There are other good pvpers who I haven't listed because they haven't expressed a desire to mentor that I know of. Ask around on channel 100 for people who are experienced at pvp. Remember, you don't want to get taught by any old sap who just wants to use you for your mentor point. The pvpers on this list are all veterans and are usually willing to teach you a thing or two. You can look for me online as well if you like. I'm always more than happy to mentor new pilots. You can find me in-game as Ghost.
You should also consider checking this thread on the VO forums, which lists possible mentors and is mostly more up-to-date than this wiki.
Questions and Comments
If you're unsure of something, or have a question that wasn't covered, click the edit button to the right and post your question there along with your in-game name. You'll have to make a wiki account, but that's quick and easy. Either myself or someone else will be happy to assist you when we can.
Player Submitted Questions
- Is Ghost in the running for Most Detailed Editor? Galadrix 22:35, 17 August 2006 (EDT)
- If I add tips to the page should I put them in a fancy colored box like that?
- On an IBG, is it worth mounting twin Ions mk3 for 200kg total, instead of twin Neutron for 1200 or 800kg total? (I calculated a loss of damage per second of 1000) Gilneas 08:01, 9 March 2007 (EST)
- I pilot a Valkyrie most of the time, tri-neut. I have trouble being unpredictable in combat- I lock into a pattern and die. Any advice?
- I have difficulty with people that backroll. At the moment I try to get around the side of them so that auto-aim will have a chance at working. I've tried turning off auto-aim and trying to predict where their ship will end up while rolling, but I haven't had much luck yet. Any ideas? --TerribleCabbage 00:30, 7 October 2007 (EDT)
- Not that I know of =P Thanks for the formatting mate. It looks pretty now =) --Ghost
- If you're posting a general combat tip, just post it as normal in its proper section. But if your tip is more specific or something that you personally recommend doing in combat, feel free to make a template and post in there. That way, people can discern from general ideals that everyone pretty much adheres to and more specific tips from certain players.--Ghost
- No. The Ion has more than just the disadvantage of damage, it also has a lower speed. This means you'll hit less often in addition to not as hard. The Neutron is the best mix of damage and speed in the game, and that makes 600 kg sort of the expected weight for any weapon- in other words, the point we measure from.--Aramarth
-I concur. The velocity difference is too much to use the Ion as a primary weapon in PvP. The low weight, however, makes it a viable choice for a secondary weapon. I most often fly a valk with two neuts and an orion xgx. The less weight balanced with the power of the two neuts makes a great difference. I'd take it over a tri-neut anyday. The other thing to remember is that when dealing with low thrust fighters (light fighters) every little bit of mass has an effect. But on an IBG, you're going to want something with velocity to hit your target. But if you can, get a version of the neut (N3 or Law neut) that has 400kg instead of 600.--Ghost
4. The best way to be unpredictable is to not enter the battle with a specific dodge pattern in mind. Try to watch your target, note which way he's moving, which way he's facing, when he's firing etc. React to these respectively by trying to counter them, dont let his cockpit face you if you can avoid it. I realize that's kind of a basic response. I can give you more in depth tips in-game after fighting you myself. A lot of it depends on FA on or off and a number of other factors. But the simplified version is, if you find yourself in a pattern, do something different =) If you have FA on switch it off or vice versa. If you're rolling a lot, try to concentrate on your strafes more. Vary it up. Message me in-game or post your in-game name so I can find you, and I'll try to give you some more specific advice..--Ghost
5. Backrollers can be pretty annoying. First let me specify the kind of backrolling we're talking about as the term gets thrown around a lot lately. True backrolling is when someone holds three keys; backwards strafe, a side strafe and a roll. It launches them in a backwards spiral that is impossible for autoaim to track at range. The most annoying thing about backrolling is that it often keeps both pilots out of effective weapon range, resulting in a long drawn out battle where no one is really able to hit the other.
When fighting a true backroller, the first thing to do is stop pursuing. Your forward throttle should be at zero, although you should still be dodging (it won't be difficult as they'll be spinning out of weapons range). Now comes the waiting. Eventually, the backroller will do one of two things: spin out to a ridiculous distance, realize that their tactic isn't a good one and close distance to start fighting again or keep spinning out to over several thousand meters at which point the fight is pretty much over. If he stays within 600m (most energy weapons range) turn off autoaim and, like you said, try to shoot where his ship is headed. It takes practice and can be difficult, but in time you should be able to predict where to place fire and he will fly into it for you. This is of course assuming he is doing a true backroll. Once most backrollers take a few hits, they wise up and try something new. Also, backrollers eat flares. Just time it up so you place a flare where he'll roll into it. Again, it takes practice, but after a while it will become second nature.
Backrolling is a defensive tactic. It can be used very well to avoid being hit temporarily, but it gives the backroller almost zero offensive opportunities. Just don't get impatient and give him a shot at you. While he is backrolling, he should not be able to hit you. Remember, EFFECTIVE energy weapons range is inside 150m. Outside of that, you should not be getting hit. If he wants a fight, he'll have to come into weapons range eventually. If he's not looking for a fight and is backrolling to try and escape, then it becomes a game of cat and mouse. I hope this helped. Backrollers are annoying at the most and although they can be tough to kill, if you stay smart and patient, they should never be able to kill you while backrolling. Post again here or contact me in game if you'd like additional help. Eventually, backrollers learn how boring the tactic is and adopt other styles.--Ghost