A great way of maximising your potential in combat and especially in solo work and small gangs is to have the best tools available for the job. This is no real shock statement as such, it is quite obvious to all that the better your gaming platform and internet connection then quite rightly, the better your game will perform. Apart from running smoothly and minimising lag, it looks great too and whilst the visual aspect of EVE is cool there are other factors and equipment worth considering.
It is surprising how many people overlook the importance of a good gaming mouse. I can remember the first time I upgraded from my standard issue store mouse to a gaming mouse and it was quite an enlightening experience. For years I had thought of my mouse as just a point and click tool and I never really even considered the benefits that a good gaming mouse could bring to my gaming. It was only when I started playing EVE more and more that I realised how much quicker and smoother a gaming mouse makes your play style.
My current weapon of choice is the Roccat Kova +. I have tried 3 or 4 different brands but when I first used this mouse I was blown away by the feel and fluidity of it. As a recommendation I would advise not to order a mouse blindly over the net. Instead, make sure you visit a store and actually get a feel for the mouse in your hand. Some gaming mouses might fit comfortably for one person but be fiddly or too clunky for someone else. Try before you buy!
It really isn't going to help your gaming now you've purchased your shiny new gaming mouse and you're using it on an old book or on your grubby desktop. A good mouse pad should be purchased with your new mouse. Currently I am using a Roccat Sense gaming pad. It is comfortable, feels smooth and optimises the performance of my mouse.
Mechanical Gaming Keyboard.
A mushy old standard keyboard just won't cut it when it comes to pvp. For one it feels horrible and also it will be less responsive to your input. In a fast-paced gaming arena where each clicking of a key could be the difference between a killmail and a lossmail it is vital to get your actions input as quickly and efficiently as possible.
But why a mechanical keyboard? A mechanical keyboard uses actual, physical switches underneath the keys to determine when you have pushed a key. Press a key, and you press its switch down. Press the switch down, and the keyboard sends a signal to the computer telling it that you pressed that key. In an instant, no pauses whatsoever.
Most ordinary keyboards are composed of a set of three plastic membranes, with rubber dome-shaped switches underneath each key. Press a key, and the rubber switch pushes through a hole in the middle membrane to connect the top and bottom membranes, which creates an electrical circuit that causes the keyboard to send the input to your rig. This kind of keyboard design is inexpensive and it doesn't give you as much tactile or audible feedback when you press a key, which can change the way you type and bog things down, especially when gaming.
Also, the 'thunking' sound from a mechanical keyboard is like music to the ears in comparison to the rubbery mess of a rubber dome keyboard. My advice would be to again pop down to your local store and bash some keys, it might not be noticeable at first to some, but after a few days of using a mechanical keyboard in EVE and for anything else for that matter you will never go back!
For reference, at the moment I am using a Razer BlackWidow keyboard.
Some good quality screen real estate can make for a more pleasurable viewing experience but it also makes for a better tactile approach to your gaming. A cluttered screen is bad form and the only real way to prevent this cluttered approach is to plug in a nice widescreen monitor. You don't need to go overboard by any means, something in the region of a 23" HD or LCD screen would be more than ideal.
To boost the performance of your rig and maximise your gaming experience, a top line graphics card can be more than just a visual improvement to your play time. Crisp, smooth and perfectly rendered graphics during combat is a real bonus. There is nothing worse than an old graphics card jumping or pausing when you are in a battle. There are so many different cards out there for a wide range of budgets so choosing one can be difficult. It really does boil down to what you can afford, what you want and what your machine can handle. A top range graphics card in a poorly spec'd rig is a bit like putting a 1 litre diesel engine into a Lamborghini. So choose wisely.
My current graphics card is the PNY GeForce GTX 550 Ti and it suits my machine perfectly.
I hope you found some of this information useful. It would be great to hear what other people use as their set up and even greater if one of you tells me you pvp on your laptop. So what powers your gaming? Are there any other essentials that you can't live without when it comes to pvp and EVE gaming?