Ive been asked about missiles recently, several times actually. I guess because I fly the Vengeance, it makes me pro or something. I dunno. Anyways, here's my helpful post for the month of May. This will not contain charts or graphs to prove I am correct in anything. This is entirely my own observations and calculations. If Im wrong, fuck you, because Im right.
Missiles are awesome as well as shitty. They're awesome because they always hit if your target is in range and they're shitty because of delayed damage and high velocity ships. Missiles have several things you need to know in order to use the most effective ones for the situation. Listed here are what you need to worry about the most:
Target Velocity - how fast is your target moving?
Target Signature Radius - How big or small is your target?
Explosion Radius - How big is your missile?
Explosion Velocity - Can your target escape the radius before the explosion hits it?
Missile Velocity - Unlike lasers or projectiles, missiles have fuel and travel time. They start out at zero and expend fuel to increase speed and reach its target. If target is further than fuel (flight time) provides, you miss.
If you examine an Inferno Rocket, for example (all level 5 skills in EFT), you will see the rockets velocity is around 3500, the same from t1 to the Caldari Navy to the T2 Rage versions. This means that if your target is faster than that, you most likely will not hit it, even if within range. Luckily, there arent too many ships who can handle going that fast while also putting out enough dps to break your own tank. Also, using a t2 rage rocket, the flight duration is reduced, causing t2 rockets to have a slightly shorter range than t1 or faction rockets. Something to keep in mind.
Keeping with the same Inferno Rockets, lets look at the explosion radius and explosion velocities. Both t1 and Faction are the same with a radius of 20m and a velocity of 225. The Rage rockets have a slower velocity, but higher radius, each at 210 and 30m. What this means is that the t1 and faction ammo are better at hitting smaller targets, like drones for example while the t2 versions are better at hitting bigger targets, not drones. If youre wondering what the radius means to you, it means that if your signature radius is bigger than the rockets radius, you will take full damage from the rocket if you are sitting still with zero velocity. If however, you are moving when the rocket explodes, lets say 200m/s, you will end up on the edge of the explosion radius when the "boom" reaches you, allowing you to take less damage from the explosion. Pretty fucking cool, yes? See the point needed for a web? Just because a rocket always hits, it doesnt mean it does full damage.
So with all of this in mind, you want to web an opponent, 2 webs if possible. Make sure they can use their MWD often if they have it equipped. You may be saying to yourself "Well, whats the point of webbing, if they can MWD?" Well, thats why I said 2 webs if possible. MWD's increase signature radius, making them a bigger target to hit, giving them a more difficult time to escape your missile's explosion radius, because they are bigger with MWD on.
While I have signature radius attention, I should also mention that t2 Rage missiles increase your own signature radius, while Javelin missiles give you a maximum velocity reduction penalty. I hate javelin missiles, and so I rarely use them personaly, although there have been fights where I would have loved to have some. I solved this dilemma by using faction webs (14km normal, 18km oh'd), allowing me to surprise any kiters and slow them down enough to force them into deep falloff to maintain their speed advantage and unable to break my tank or allow me to fancy fly and slingshot into scram range of them.
In any case, this is a basic example of missiles. Im sure most people are competent enough to switch these numbers around for bigger missiles and adjust their targets accordingly. If you arent able to understand this, dont worry, come visit me in Heild and Ill show you how they work. Nothing better than first hand experience; I always say.
Fly drunk, Fly Punishers!