Me and My Rifter: A Guide To Getting Knocked Out & Coming Back For More

Sometime, you need to get out of your element a little bit to learn some new things. I decided I needed some pew practice, so with that in mind I spent a large part of January can flipping (which I’d really never done any of) and trying to pick fights with ships and pilots that definitely out-classed me. I exclusively used a rifter to do so, and while I lost a few fights, I snagged a couple pretty nice victories as well.

Warning: long post

It has been a lot of fun, especially with the fights where I was definitely out of my league and starting to go down and had to overheat my entire ship to the brink of death to win. I also pulled some pretty serious douche-bag moves, especially to unsuspecting mining barge pilots (although I avoided players under a month old unless deliberately attacked). To the retriever pilots of Fricoure, Vittenyn, and surrounding areas: I’m sorry. But, I hope you learned something about trusting people, especially when those people have a skull next to their name, are flashing red to you, and are a part of a corp called “Suddenly Ninjas” that your corp inexplicably has set to negative standing (honestly, what is remotely trustworthy about any of that?). My intent was not to grief you into leaving this wonderful game, but rather to educate you into staying.

Why a rifter? For one, they’re amazing to fly, and with the right skills, fitting, and know-how, you can push them to their utter limits into deadly little ships. People love to underestimate them too. Sure, in the end, they’re just a frigate, but those months and months spent training into flying battlecruisers and battleships translate into one mean little frigate.

I’ve gotten more than a few questions in my inbox about the rifter fitting I use for most of my shenanigans, so I figured I’d write something up about it. The short answer though, is go to Wensley’s rifter guide at I will bow before his expertise and attention to detail and say that his guide is a MUST read for anyone who flies a rifter, ever. I’ve been reading that thing over and over and over the past month, and I glean new tips and info every single time.

For those who seek immediate gratification, I’ve been using two rifter fits primarily, both pretty much versions of Wensleys. The first, and most recommended one:

[“Failsauce” – can flipper]

3x 200mm Autocannon II
‘Limos” Rocket Launcher

X5 Prototype I Engine Enervator
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
Cold-Gas Arcjet Thrusters

200mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plate
Small Armor Repairer II
Damage Control II

2x Small Projectile Collision Accelerator I

The above is my standard rifter. Load it up with Republic Fleet EMP S (for melting shields), and carry around some RF Phased Plasma S to switch to when you’re into armor if you want. For rockets, I’ve been using gremlins or foxfires. If you’re really feeling like Butch Cassidy, drop the DCII for a Gyrostabilizer II for even more gankage.

This fit has worked VERY well for me, but note that it relies pretty heavily on the pilot having some good armor tank skills. Get those armor compensation and repair systems skills trained up. Over the past month, this has snagged me a handful of cruisers, 2 BC‘s, a Crow, an Ishkur, a Nemesis, and about 15 destroyers.

Now, not all of these fights were straight head-to-head knockouts; some of them required some smart flying and again, I urge you to read the Wensley’s guide. You also need to pick your battles with this one. Even though my goal was to fight things out of my league, sometimes, they were TRULY un-winable fights. But, that was the point. This ship costs a grand total of around 5 million isk, so go ahead and lose a few.

The other fitting is taken from Wensley as well, which he in turn took from Kal’Kalagen (seriously, check out that guys fits, not to mention ridiculous KB stats). Its roughly the same thing, with a much bigger plate, and some smaller AC’s and a MAPC to fit.

[“Failsauce II” – heavy armor]

3x 150mm Autocannon II
‘Limos” Rocket Launcher

X5 Prototype I Engine Enervator
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
Cold-Gas Arcjet Thrusters

400mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plate
Small Armor Repairer II
Micro Auxiliary Power Core 1

2x Small Projectile Collision Accelerator I

Again, this is going to take some armor tank skills to pull off, and note that this plate slows you down even more.

A couple of tips I’ve picked up for flying these:

* Stay the HELL away from Arbitrators. Those little bastards will drain your cap in about 3 seconds and the drones will eat you alive.

*Speaking of drones, drone-boats should maybe be avoided, particularly ones with T2s. A Vexor can ruin your day, however a way around this is to kite the drones. Orbit the Vexor out of scram/web range at about 15km. Use your web and ACs to pick off the drones one by one, and when you’re on the last 1 or 2 (if you’re still alive), narrow your orbit until you can web the Vexor. With the last of the drones gone, overheat the shit out of your guns and tear him a new one.

* With ranged frigate class ships (i.e. the Nemesis and Crow), feinting is your friend. Both of these ships are faster than you. Period. And if they’re flown remotely well, they’ll stay out of range of you. Both these kills I got by feinting a charge, and then ABing in the opposite direction away from them. Both pilots, in their haste to “catch me” MWDed right into my web range.

*Ok, I admit it…I had RR help on the Iskur, but comon ;).

*For added dickhead fun, after you’ve popped someone for taking their stuff back from your can right in front of you, and they’ve warped back to station, pop a can next to their wreck. Name it the exact same thing as the wreck. For instance, “Fuzzytheminer’s Retriever Wreck”. Then transfer all the loot drop into the can and pop the wreck. Wait around until the aggro timer has worn off and giggle as the same miner or their hauler alt comes back and scoops the loot from “their wreck”. Pop goes the weasel.

*Milk it. You’ve just stolen someones ore and time. You are officially a douchebag now, so go for broke. Bait people into fights, goad them, blow up the ore can you’ve just stolen. A lot of people are just going to hate you and go about their business, but the real hotheads out there are going to KEEP coming back for more. They’ll come back in a dessie, then another frigate, then they’ll bring a friend in an equally poorly fit dessie. You get one of these guys and you can get 4 kills out of flipping one can.

Anyways, I’m not telling you to go out and piss everyone off, but this is honestly a great way to just pick some fights. Knock a few people out, get the shit kicked out of yourself by their bigger friends, and then jump back in and do it again. The cost of these ships is negligible, so go pick some fights and lose some. I’m telling you, the knowledge gained from losing that fight is worth 5mil.

I’ve had a hell of a time, and made some pretty good friends along the way with fellow griefers and flippers as well as victims and other miners. Plus, even if a bunch of them were hapless miners, snagging top killer on the TEARS KB for January with 47 kills felt pretty good.

So now, its back to ninjaing more often. It looks like the weekly salvage op might get up and running again, even with my weird RL schedule these days, and the Ninja-Raven is hungry for bear-meat. So, stay tuned, and thanks for reading (especially if you made it all the way down here on that monster of a post :p).




~ by Aiden Mourn on February 2, 2010.

6 Responses to “Me and My Rifter: A Guide To Getting Knocked Out & Coming Back For More”

  1. Always love seeing that Rifter schematic, good choice. Has can flipping changed materially due to game mechanics or anything since the extant guides were published?

  2. I love the post, particularly the part where you replace their can with your own, very cruel. However:
    Your fits are getting a stacking penalty for having 2 Collision Accelerator rigs on them. Unless you’re trying to conserve a marginal amount of ammo, you’ll get a slight increase in DPS if you swap one out for a Burst Aerator.
    Also, “Get those armor compensation and repair systems skills trained up.” Armor compensation skills only give a bonus if you have an inactive active hardener, or a passive hardener (which is why the shield ones are almost completely worthless, since people primarily use active hardeners). One reason why Punishers have so much more tank than Rifters is their 4th low allows them to have an armor hardener, which utilizes compensation skills. Rifters (generally) do not.

    Other than that, no amount of publicity can live up to the value of the Rifter, so I wholeheartedly approve of this post. One thing about Wensley’s guide though, is that it was made before cheap rigs and autocannon ammo changes, so if you really love Rifters, you might want to try a falloff Rifter fit that kites the enemy. Essentially, you lose some buffer, try to be a little faster and more agile, and use 1 burst aerator and 2 ambit extension rigs, as well as falloff intensive ammo, to get outrageous amounts of falloff so that you can just safely orbit people and slowly pew them down. A little less fun than your fits (and I personally prefer the vanilla Rifter like you fly, except I use 150s and a small nos), but are great for surprising people with an unexpected fit.

  3. Great post. Its always good to see someone using the Rifter for evil. There are lots of good ways to do it.

    Arrhidaeus is right, the armour compensation skills won’t help you at all. The ones you want are things like Mechanic that boost your hit points. I’d also agree with Arrhidaeus on rigs, at least for the SAR II fit. For the 400mm plate a lot of people I know swear by trimark rigs and a small neut instead of the launcher.

    Either way. Keep up the great work. You’ve actually made me want to go do a bit of can flipping and general hi sec shenanigans.

  4. @ Casiella: to my knowledge, nothing about flipping has changed at all. High-sec aggro-mechanics got a bit of a tweak in that you can no longer extend aggro with a “hidden timer” to someone.

    @ Arrhideus: Correct with the stacking penalties. I was thinking the penalty wouldn’t be too much of an issue, but I’ve since switched to one collision accelerator and one burst aerator, and I think its definitely working better. Also, my bad with the armor comp skills (/emote redface). Heh, I think thats just my wishful thinking that having trained them all up, they work in any instance. As for the range-fit rifter, I’ve GOT to try that, thanks for the tip!

    @ Wensely: Thanks, I appreciate it man. I’ve actually just fit up a new rifter with 2 of the trimarks and 1 collision accelerator, with the 150s and the neut in the highs and I’m anxious to see how that fares. And I highly recommend shenanigans of any sort that involve toying with people in high-sec 😉

  5. thanks for your help.


    1) In the event that you do not need the scrambler and webifier, such as working in a group with that task designated to someone else, what would you use in those slots? Have you tried a sensor dampener or tracking disruptor and are they effective?

  6. 2) For the rigs, have the two Collision Accelerator & Burst Aerator been more effective than Wensley’s fitting with a Burst Aerator and 2 Ambit Extensions? Is the extra DPS of the Collision Accelerator more useful than the extra falloff gained from the 2 Ambits? How much more falloff range do you get with 2 Ambits? Does the 50% drop in DPS apply evenly across the full falloff range or does it get lower as you get farther?

    3) Have you tried using Neutralizers with the Rifter? Are they effective or do they use too much cap to be worth the trouble?

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