Clones and Podding
If you play Eve any significant amount of time, you will eventually end up losing your ship either from a PvP or a PvE encounter. Once you lose your ship, you will end up in your pod. You will need to know how to fly it properly in order to avoid getting "podded", in which event your capsule gets blown up as well. When you lose your pod, you will end up in a clone bay inside a station sometimes many systems away from the encounter. You will lose all your implants. As such is very important that you learn how to avoid getting your pod killed.
Implants are attribute enhancers that will increase your character's attributes and thus allow it to train skills at a rate faster than it would train otherwise. To use implants all you have to do is train up Cybernetics skill, stop skill training on your character, then right click on each implant to plug it in. Once you have done this, you can restart the skills training. You will notice that the training times will be shortened as the training is accelerated. This is because training rate of each skill is determined by its primary and secondary attributes that can be seen from information of that skills. Skills train at the rate of:
- (points in primary attribute + 1/2 points in secondary attribute) = skill points per minute
When you increase these attributes through the use of implants, the time to finish training the skill goes down. In fact, +3 implants put in for both the primary and secondary attributes of a skill will decrease the training time 12-15%.
Warning: If you get podded, any implants in your head will be destroyed and the training time will be recalculated in response.
Since implants are destroyed when you get podded, it is important to know how to use them in a way that won't see you in the ISK poorhouse. While a set of +1 and +2 implants is relatively cheap, a set of +3s or +4s can cost anywhere from 10 to 20 million ISK. Players who do not want to pay this price will often either use cheap sets or use a separate clone for pvp (see Jump Clones section).
Another way to avoid paying the full price for losing a full set of implants is plugging in an incomplete set. Most skills in EVE have primary and secondary attributes of either Perception/Willpower or Intelligence/Memory. So simply inject two implants, either perception + willpower or intelligence + memory. While you are in your PvP clone train only the skills that rely on the attributes you have boosted. If you get podded you will then lose only 2 implants instead of 4 or 5.
Keep in mind that once implants are plugged in, you can not remove them without destroying them.
Characteristics of a Pod
Pods have the following properties:
- Pods make though any distance in Eve within one warp, even the 300 AU warp of OJOS-T system in Great Wildlands.
- Pods enter warp almost instantly.
- Pods have approximately 500 effective hit points and get destroyed easily.
- Pods have very low subwarp speed, about 170-180 m/s.
- Pods are weakest to explosive/kinetic damage types.
One implication of these properties is that it is very easy to enter warp in a pod and thus save it from getting blown up. However if you find yourself inside a bubble and have to crawl to its edge to escape most likely you will get killed. If you get blown up, do not try to fly 15km to try and get back to the gate. Instead warp to a celestial and then back to the gate if required.
Getting Out With Your Pod Intact
If you end up in a pod after a PvP encounter, the odds are that the enemy will stick around to try and destroy your pod. For this reason you want to be prepared to get it out as soon as possible. When you start getting low on armor and enter structure, it is time to start looking for something to warp your pod to.
Look on your overview and pick any celestial body other than a gate. Warping your pod to a moon is probably the safest option in 0.0, but a planet or belt will also do. If you were in a ship, you would never want to warp to a moon, of course, without scanning it first because of probability of warping into a POS. POS guns however do not target and destroy pods so it is perfectly fine to warp your pod out to a moon. To find a moon easily, right click in space, pick out a moon and click 'warp-to'. Ideally you have a tab set up on your overview for "GTFO" where you can just quickly click on something to warp away.
Once you have found a suitable celestial object click on it such that you see a box around it. Just before you blow up, start repeatedly hitting the "warp to" button on selected item window. The reason for this is that there is typically lag associated with your ship getting blow up, your pod ejecting, and your character entering a new session. By spamming "warp to" button you are ensuring that you get you pod into warp as fast as possible, since the opponent wont experience that associated lag.
While you are in warp, open people and places and make a mid-warp bookmark. As you exit warp, immediately warp to your bookmark. This will give you a semi-safe point to hang out at, at least until your opponents get out scan probes and start scanning you out. Many players, however, will not bother scanning down pods.
Tip: make sure to configure your EVE client such that it gives you as little lag as possible. The more lag you have playing EVE, the more likely it is that you will get podded.
In a large, multi-ship engagement you can choose to stick around with your pod and watch the fight with all the associated explosions. You might also serve to distract your enemy. Some of them will attempt to target and kill your pod, which means that they will losing time and firepower firing at the other ships in your gang.
Whether you pick to hang around and watch a fight or not is a personal decision. If you have 100 million ISK worth of implants in your head, that will affect the decision quite a bit of course.
A jump clone allows you to do two things, first of all it allows you to jump large distances instantly without having to fly there. Secondly it allows you to keep several implant sets or blank clones for different combat scenarios. As an example; you can have an expensive clone with learning implants for running around in high sec as well as a blank combat clone for high risk PvP.
Please refer to the following article for more information on where to get jump clones: Jump Clones
Sometimes you want to be able to move several ships without having to buy and trash shuttles. The solution is simple: undock in your pod. Dock at a station then right click on your active ship and select "Leave Ship". You will end up in your pod. Undock and set destination to the system where you have more ships that you need to haul.
Note: if you clone jump or get podded, you will not be able to undock in your pod until you first enter a ship. In this case, simply enter your rookie ship and then leave it.
Many pilots are afraid of being in open space in their pods. However, pods have many advantages that you might not have considered previously. They can warp to POSes without getting killed in the process to do some recon work. Pirates can travel through high sec empire systems in their pods without having NPCs targeting and shooting them. Pods can make it through very long warps faster than most other ships.
Getting podded is something you have to think of as just another isk cost, one that will gradually increase as your character gains more and more skill points. Killing a pod of a 3 year old player is likely to cost him quite a bit of cash but killing one of a newbie won't cost him much. If you know the strengths and limitations of your pod and learn how to pilot it properly, will have a much better time PvPing in EVE.