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There are plenty of people who already know about this, but an increasing number who don't, so here's a quick page I put together that you can point people to instead of shitting up fleet chat.
The MWD Trick is a simple technique used on MWD equipped battleships to enable to them align up to speed faster from rest. It can also be of use to plated battlecruisers, but battleship size is the sweetspot where it has the best effect.
Important Note: Since Quantum Rise, this trick's usefulness has been greatly reduced, as now even battleships take only a little bit more than ten seconds to align from stationary with Evasive Maneuvering to III or IV (which every battleship pilot should be at). Accounting for lag, which may make your MWD kick in late and slow your warp cycle, it is not always useful to try this trick today. Also note that plates now have a minimal effect on battleships' agility.
Using the MWD Trick
Simple - pulse (activate and immediately deactivate) your MWD as the first thing you do after dropping gatecloak. Your ship will enter warp immediately after the MWD cycle ends (ten seconds), assuming you're not bubbled/scrammed or otherwise impeded.
- In a mixed fleet where the FC has ordered you to burn to a specific destination, the fleet can move faster if people do this.
- You have been chilling at a pos, and suddenly a call comes out to warp to a tackled target. Be first on the scene for the chance on that coveted killmail top spot!
- You are in a different system, and burning to join a large battle already in progress (a la RISE's Black Friday/Sov4 day).
- You're running away from a gang chasing you - those seconds or so can make all the difference in many situations.
- You want to spend as little time as possible in potentially hostile systems (empire chokepoints etc), this gets you on the move quicker.
- It uses cap - depending on your capacitor skills, it may not be worth it. Unless you are burning to a battle already in progress, your cap will probably recharge at the other end so this is not a major problem.
- Normal MWD penalties apply, see signature radius.
- Check your align time in EFT to see if it is worth using for your setups. A plated BS will see a large gain, but if your align time is only for example twelve seconds, then the cap cost may outweigh the time saving.
- You should NOT use this in high lag situations, or even when you are approaching a system in which a large fleet battle is taking place. As soon as you notice any delay between clicking the module, and it actually activating, stop using this technique.
- If you forget to use it until a few seconds after beginning your acceleration, don't bother. Using it late is normally worse than not using it at all.
- If you're already moving, e.g. bumped or undocking, there is no need to use this and it could hinder your align time.
- The direction that your ship is facing makes no difference to the align time when accelerating from rest - if you are already moving in that other direction, then this will of course have an effect.
- There's little point using this in a fleet that uses gangwarp travel, unless you are consistently not up to speed when the gangwarp is triggered.
How it works
In eve, a ship must be travelling at 75% of its maximum speed in the appropriate direction before the warp drive engages. Activating the MWD increases that maximum speed (by 500%) and also the rate at which you accelerate. You won't get up to 75% of the new top speed within the ten second MWD cycle, however when it deactivates you retain the velocity you had attained before it deactivated. Your ship quickly decelerates to fall back within the non-MWD top speed, however you are now already travelling above the original required 75%, so you enter warp.