Show Us Your Brains… Mmmm, Brains
That’s right pilots, we want to crack open your brainiums and take a good hard look at the grey matter contained therein, so we can see what makes
Are you one of the brave individuals who will be taking their first steps into the world of PlayStation VR when it is released on October 13? If the answer is yes, you don’t need us to remind you that the place to be on launch day is a wild and lawless region of the universe known as New Eden, the setting for PSVR’s killer app EVE: Valkyrie.
Thanks to the game’s cross-play system, when PSVR gamers climb into their ship for the first time and launch into space they’ll be joining thousands of PC players who have already been flying for some time on the Oculus Rift platform. It’s a friendly community and doubtless they’ll give you plenty of help on your career as a pilot.
To get you started though, there are a few essentials you need to know. So buckle up pilot! Commit the following advice to memory and you’ll be able to hold your own on the big day.
You never forget your first love and this is also true of the first ship you get to fly in EVE: Valkyrie. In fact, the Wraith fighter is such a good all-rounder that even the expert pilots tend to make it their ship of choice.
The Wraith is the perfect balance of speed, durability and agility, making it not only good for rookies, but it can really shine when in the hands of a pro.
The ship’s primary weapons are its Gatling Guns. These are fixed, forward-facing guns and while you will need to be fairly accurate when firing them, they pack quite a punch and are great against shields, armor and indeed anything you point your nose at. The Gatling Guns have two stages of heating up, so the longer you fire them, the hotter they get, and at each stage of heating up the fire rate decreases. Want one piece of good advice? If you reach the highest level of heating up, it’s best to lay off the trigger as the guns cool down pretty quickly and you can resume again at a higher rate of fire. Don’t just persevere with a sluggish rate of fire.
Your secondary weapons are head-tracked missiles. Simply press and hold the secondary trigger, look at an enemy and you will achieve missile lock-on. This means you can be concentrating your Gatling Guns on a target directly ahead of you, while simultaneously dishing out damage to support ships in the area.
When playing in a team, it’s best to use the Wraith to take out the enemy’s support ships. This makes their other craft more vulnerable and ideally placed for your teammates to take out. The Wraith’s versatility means you can pretty much flip from an attacking stance to a defensive one at will, so be sure to practice a combination of attacking, evasion and re-engagement.
Once you achieve Rank 5 (which takes very little time) you will find you have unlocked the other two classes of ship, heavies and support.
Fun though the fighter class is, particularly The Wraith, you should take the time to experiment with the other classes at your earliest possible convenience. They offer a significantly different type of play and might even suit your flying style better.
Heavies are slow but heavily armored. They also pack some pretty devastating weaponry. If you’re a contact sport sort of person, then heavies enable you to park yourself in the thick of the action, drawing fire from enemy ships, which you can, to a degree, soak up. This will leave your teammates free to support, heal you and take out the enemy more easily. Heavies for the most part also boast a MWD (Micro Warp Drive) that after a five second charging up period, transports you several kilometres away from your current position.
This can be used effectively to either escape a battle that is going south, or warp to where you are needed most. Remember, always make sure your path is clear when warping. Hitting friendlies will drop you out of warp, while smashing headlong into an enemy will seriously damage you.
Support craft are the swiftest, but the weakest ships in the game. That said, they perform a pivotal role in any team’s success. Support craft do have offensive weapons, but relatively speaking, they are not that effective. That is unless you decide to concentrate on destroying drones. Generally avoid going fully into the heat of battle with a support ship. You are there to provide aid. So use your ship’s Buff Beam to heal other players.
Target them for long enough and you’ll heal them completely, but best practice, especially in a particularly fierce battle, is to use your speed and agility to zip between your teammates offering a little medical top-up as needed. Or ‘triage’, as experienced EVE: Valkyrie pilots call it.
Tempting though it is to dive straight into battling, we would strongly advise that you take some time out to thoroughly explore the single-player Scout Mode. This gives fresh players access to all of the game’s maps with the added bonus that there aren’t any enemies around. You’ll have plenty of time to explore the maps, discovering defensive points and short cuts and the like. You can also find ‘echoes’ here, which when collected, fill you in on some of the game’s backstory. Keep your eyes open for free salvage floating too, hoover it up for use later when crafting.
Now you can move onto the other single-player modes: Recall and Survival. In Recall missions you will learn all about the history of the Valkyrie while getting to take part in historic battles plucked from the memories of dead pilots. It’s also an opportunity to hone the skills you will later need for multi-player dogfighting.
Survival missions are a test of endurance pitting you against wave after wave of enemies in a bid to score as high as possible and show off your achievements.
It’s worth noting that to coincide with the release of EVE: Valkyrie on PlayStation VR, a major new update is coming online that includes a Test Arena for rookies. It’s a big virtual playground in which you can take on enemy ships that have been ordered not to fight back giving you ample opportunity to try out some fancy new moves without getting killed in the process.
When you enter into full-on battling at the early stages of your career you may find the experience bewildering and the frequency of your demise quite alarming. Keep these three top tips in mind and it should give you an advantage over the other rookies out there.
Don’t be afraid to run and hide. If you took our earlier advice and spent a bit of time in Scout mode getting to know the maps, you will already have an understanding of the structures and space debris such as asteroids you will come across. When being pursued, try to tightly turn around an object to lose the enemy or cause them to crash. Also, finding a narrow place to hide means that heavy class ships in particular won’t be able to follow you.
Don’t be too gung-ho when entering into a fight. If you announce your arrival with all guns blazing you will soon become the object of your enemies’ desire and as a rookie, you won’t last long. Scope out the environment, identify the more vulnerable ships and surprise them. If an experienced pilot is already aware of your presence, he or she will have no trouble evading your attack no matter how many missiles and primary shots you let off.
Never try to simply boost your way out of trouble. Even if you’re boosting and turning, you will offer an experienced pursuer a very predictable trajectory. You need to practice using your boost and brake in short bursts, rolling and constantly adjusting your direction of travel in unexpected ways, while also plotting a course in the general direction of cover. When rolling, your ship plots a corkscrew trajectory so learning to exploit this with variations in speed and direction should keep you out of trouble.
The Quartermaster, a friendly in-game shopkeeper, is your key to progression in the game. By bringing him the spoils of battle he can provide you with a whole range of goods and services.
A priority purchase, when possible, should be the acquisition of additional launch tubes. The more tubes and craft you own, the more tactical options you have for any given battle.
When you have them, you can hand over blueprints, salvage and silver to the Quartermaster and he will be able to craft new ships and ship upgrades, again increasing your effectiveness.
He can also offer a range of customization options so you can bling up your ship and more practically, you can purchase implants that will boost the amount of XP you can earn in battle.
As an aside, when we referred to the Quartermaster as a shopkeeper, that was selling his importance to the game somewhat short. With October’s Joint Strike update, players will be able to access two new Recall missions that begin to paint a picture of an altogether more enigmatic character whose role in the war of the Valkyrie is pivotal, so be sure to check those out.
Got all that? Good! Armed with the information above your career as a pilot should be, if not plain-sailing, then certainly a little less bumpy than it would have been.