Considering the large amount of new players, I've been trying to think of something good to do for them.
I wanted it to be educational.
Whilst theory crafting something today, I realised I was staring right at it.
For those that don't already know, EFT (standing for Eve Fitting Tool) is a small program which contains ships and modules, allowing you to 'fit' ships out of the game client itself.
It displays lots of the stats about the game (although it does exclude a couple of things), and is the basis of most ship fitting decisions.
It allows you to see what a ship can do, without the necessity of buying the mods in game, or logging into Singularity, the test server.
This blog post will hopefully show you some tips and tricks that you might not know about. I'm not going to go through any of the basics, as it's actually fairly self explanatory.
The first trick is reload time. The DPS figure that is shown as standard is a calculation of the base damage that all of your weapon system do. This is your maximum possible damage, assuming you are at exactly your optimal and with perfect damage. The base figure doesn't include the time it takes to reload your weapons, something which an important factor to every weapon except lasers.
Including reload time into your calculations makes the figure more accurate and there are two ways to do so. The first, and most simple, is to hover your mouse over the DPS figure. The hover-over will break down the DPS numbers so that you can see how much your guns, drones and other damage seperately. It also shows the DPS figure including the reload time.
If you go to File | Preferences there is a tick box option that allows you to always show DPS including reloads.
Within the targeting section of the Stats panel, the bottom left icon shows your Signature Resolution. This is basically how fast your ship can lock another ship and is displayed in "mm". To the average pilot, this does not give a ton of information other than bigger is better.
If you right click the icon, you are presented with a drop down menu with thee options. The first option is your default SigRes. The second option allows you to choose a "preset" hull type, with the numbers next to them being the base signature of the hull type. Once you have chosen a hull type, the value shown will be how fast you can lock that type of ship from your current fit. It isn't perfectly accurate but it's close.
The third drop down option allows you to select a set up you already have open. This is getting into pretty advanced theory crafting, but it can be useful, especially if you know what you're going to be fighting.
Under the Defence section of the "Stats" panel there are two numbers. On the left of the two numbers there is an icon which changes. By default, this icon is set to show whatever your highest defence type is, so either armor or hull.
The top number is your sustained defence, and if you hover over it, it will give a good explanation of exactly what it is showing. The bottom number is your maximum defence, and again, the hover will reveal it's secrets.
If you right click the icon, you are again presented with a drop down with three options. The first option is your default. The second option we'll skip for just a second. The third option expands into another drop down and allows you to select which area of your defence you want to display. This is particularly useful for the rare dual tank.
Back to the second option: Edit custom profiles...
The way EFT calculates your defence by default is by assuming all incoming damage is split equally between the four damage types (EM, Thermal, Kinetic and Explosive). In reality, this is almost never the case. This option allows you to add a custom profile with a custom damage split. This is useful if you know what type of ship and ammo an enemy (such as an NPC) is going to be using against you, and will allow you to more accurately correct your fit to match.
If you Google "eft custom damage profiles" you'll find plenty of links that list some stuff you can copy/paste into the EFT config file. I take no responsibility for your computer exploding.
Implants are cool. Your fit will often be much better with a certain selection of implants, and yet I see it being forgotten quite a lot of the time. At the bottom of the fitting window, there is a button you can press which will open a new panel. It's called Boosters\Implants.
You can search for all of the implants in the side bar and drag them to this panel and the effects will be applied to your ship. However, as far as I can tell, it applies all of the possible negative effects as well as the positive ones. Be warned.
The other cool tip regarding implants involves the CPU/PG section in the top right.
You will at some point, be fitting something, and it will tell you that you have gone 1-6% over your ship's limit. That's fine, as sometimes it's necessary.
When this happens, move your cursor to the actual percentage and right click. This tells you exactly what implant is required, and gives you the option to either add it to your currently selected character, or to the ship fitting itself.
If you add it the setup, it is displayed in the Boosters/Implants panel. If you add it to your character, it is displayed in the Character Editor. Be warned, it is persistent, and you will forget about it and next time you work out your perfect fit and try to fit it in game, you'll suddenly find you've run out of CPU/PG
The projected effects panel can be found at the bottom of the fitting window next to Boosters\Implants. Any modules that give off a projected effect (such as shield reps, armor reps, sensor damps, tracking disruptors etc) can be dragged from either the side bar or from another setup. Once there, the relevant stats will be altered. You can toggle the effect on or off to see the difference.
This is useful for seeing how much your ship can tank under logistics reps, or how badly your setup will be affected by enemy EWAR. The stats will only ever use the base stats and will not show the stats from bonused ships (i.e. webs from a Rapier)
If you live in wormholes, environmental effects can also be dragged here to see how good you are in your home system, and how bad you are in someone else's.
You probably already knew this one but if you ever wanted to know how to improve a certain element of your fit, you can right click a module and select "Change Affecting Skills...". This will give you a drop down of all the skills that affect that module. Again, this is a persistent change to your character sheet so don't forget to change it back (or re-import your API)
A recent update to EFT added a new feature allowing you to place ammo, charges and selected deployable into your cargohold. It will only allow you to select ammo or charges that your current set up uses though. It's useful for working out how much different ammo, nanite repair paste, containers, cap boosters and mobile depots you can squeeze in.
Next to the drop down where you select the setup you want to look at the is a blue question mark icon. Hover over this and it will tell you the ship and role bonuses that the ship gets. This is very useful when you're fitting a ship you aren't used to.
On the right hand side of the Stats window, there are three options you can change relating to your fleet composition. This is where you can see how much better your ship is if your fleet has pilots who are boosting. This ranges from 256 man fleets, to mining fleets, to solo PVP with offgrid boosts.
In order to utilize these options, you need to have already created some setups and have them open or minimized. These setups only need to include the Warfare Links that you'll be getting from your booster, and the character flying those ships should be set to [All level V].
Once you have them open, right clicking where it tells you to right click will give you the option of choosing Bonus from Ship, and you can then select the relevant setup.
EFT doesn't need you to fill all three positions like a real fleet would (i.e. you need Wing and Squad Commanders to get boosts from someone in the Fleet Commander position) so you don't have to set all three.
You'll likely have seen people sharing EFT fits in various places. To do this, click on the drop down between the current setup and the character and select "Copy to Clipboard". You can now Ctrl+V your fit someone else and share it.
This also includes importing it to EveMon, which will tell you exactly what skills you are missing.
A lot of people don't know that you can export your fits from EFT and import them into the client itself, where it will display when you browse your ingame fittings.
To do this, follow the same process as above, but click "Export to XML" instead of clipboard. You will now be given a choice of where to save the file and you should navigate to your Eve client setting folder (usually located in My Documents | Eve) save it in the Fittings folder (if this is not there, you can simply create a folder called "Fittings").
Now log in to your game (you can do this whilst already logged in), go to your fittings page (ctrl+f by default), click browse in the bottom right and then Import at the bottom. Click the ship type and then the specific fit you want to import. Voila, you fit is now in game.
This also works in reverse if someone shows you an in game fit and you want to play with it in EFT without the hassle of manually fitting from scratch.
Hopefully, you'll have learnt something new today.
Let me know if I've missed a trick, or made a mistake.