Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Soul Crushing

If you don't particularly  care about my skill progression, you're perfectly welcome to ignore this post ;)

I have finally "bitten the bullet" as it were, and developed a year-long(ish) skillplan on EveMon. I was fully aware that what I had been doing before this was simply training for random ships as they caught my fancy, training those skills to a minimal level, then switching to another new ship. It's made my skills a little haphazard, but it's not a major problem in itself.
It's just annoying me because I want to be able to fly a core group of ships perfectly, or near perfectly, and my current approach will not get me that anytime soon. So I decided on what I wanted to be able to fly and do within a year, then planned around that. My total time for this skillplan (as of writing) is 407 days, 22 hours, and  11 minutes.

It's minorly depressing, I'm not going to lie.

But I'm glad I did it. I made a list of the ships I wanted to fly and I found that most of them were frigates, with a few randoms thrown in. Here's the general idea (all are linked for the new guys who don't have a clue what they are):

- Hurricane
- Malediction
Ganky, Hull-Tanky Taranis :)
- Anathema
- Taranis
- Myrmidon
- Purifier
- Vengeance
- Ishkur
- Hawk
- Crow
- Curse
- Pilgrim
- Wolf
- Jaguar

Obviously these are in no particular order, but it's pretty clear I have a serious thing for frigates, especially the Tech II ones :)

So I decided to train for all of them. Well most of them. All of the Assault Frigates, Interceptors, and Covert Ops boats. However there is also Cruise Missile Specialization IV snuck in at the start of the plan to help my Scorpion Navy get into Incursion fleets, along with skills for Tech II rigs. But then my "real" plan begins, starting with Amarr ships, then Gallente, then Minmatar, before finally finishing on Caldari frigates.

There's more when you scroll down...

And I threw in some training for the Sentinel while I was there. It appeared to be a frigate-sized Curse after my near death experience with one, and I wanted a turn to lay down the ass-kicking, insta-neuting surprise on an overly-ambitious pilot.

Here's a few highlights of my skillplan:

- All racial frigate skills to V
- Interceptor V
- Assault Frigate V
- Covert Ops V
- Electronic Attack Ships V
- T2 Small Autocannon Spec. V
- T2 Small Blaster Spec. V
- Advanced Weapon Upgrades IV <- I'll regret not going for V later...
- Rocket Spec. V
- Most scanning skills to IV, if not V
- A load of new drone skills I realised I would need for the Ishkur (IV/V)

Mini Drone-Boat!

As you can see, it's incredibly specialized into frigate hulls, along with a load of navigation/fitting/gunnery/electronics and engineering support skills that I've been putting off for months which will help all my ships. By the end of this plan, I'll be able to fly any frigate in the game, fully T2 fit, with support skills that will actually make me useful. I'll be able to use all T2 Small Weapons (apart from Small Artillery and Small Beams) to IV at a minimum, though the more common skills (projectiles for example) will be to V.

While seeing a 400+ day skill plan slowly tick down is soul crushing, it's also incredibly exciting. I've used my second "new guy" remap, which has cut off around 40 days of training (sweet) and finally upgraded myself to +4 implants, which cut off a few more weeks (Infact not long after newly fitting my +4's I got podded. Typical). Now it's a waiting game...

This is the thing about EVE. You have to create your own goals; what you want to do, to fly or to have achieved by a certain point. You need something to aspire to. Otherwise, you burn out and the game loses its joy. The freedom to do whatever you want is what makes me love playing this game so much.

Anyway EVE worship over, I can't wait to be flying my shiny new ships in the coming months. Think of all the lovely pew pew!

But in the meantime, I've got some rocket skills to ram into my head :(

Fly educational!

Tl;dr Long skill plans are helpful, if depressing :P

Also, I'm awesome

I'm being sarcastic.

But seriously, I won a lottery on EVE!

19.5 mil is nothing to sniff at in my opinion, it'll pay for my new Taranis :D

The lottery was run by Ispia Jaydreth. If you want to join in, or just check out the blog, then I reccomend you do so, it's always an interesting read :)

Say hi from me!

Monday, 27 February 2012

Messing with the Mission Bears Part 3

Once again I'm back in Penirgman scanning down mission bears. I've found about three or four missioners, but nobody seems to care when I flip their stuff, though the youngest player was from 2010 so I wasn't really expecting anyone to shoot.
Then finally I scan down a Harbinger. I'm already pretty confident I can kill this guy, my neuts on my newly fitted out Hurricane should shut off his guns long before he gets me down to even half armour. I fit it out to defend against EM/Therm damage, then switch back to my Magnate to enter the mission area. I hit an acceleration gate and head through.

When I landed on the grid I opened up the info screen on the pilot, Nekohacks. He was a new player, starting on the 2nd January 2012. I guessed to be in a battlecruiser by now, he must have missed out quite a few support skills (like cap skills), and I seriously doubted he would have T2 drones, tank or guns by this stage. (I was starting to get overconfident here and it almost gets me killed later).

Expecting this relative noob to not think twice about shooting me once I stole from him, I grabbed some tags from a nearby gallente frigate wreck. Within about three seconds he had started locking me, and a few seconds later he started firing. I smirked behind my screen and warped back to station. I had already started laughing with my corp and I fully expected a Harbinger killmail within the next five minutes.

I docked up, grabbed my Hurricane and headed back out. I jumped through the acceleration gate and landed around 20km from the Harbinger. I locked him up, hit my afterburner on and reloaded my guns with RF Fusion ammo (stupidly I still had RF EMP loaded). I got about 15km away before he launched his drones (Hornet I's, like I thought :P) and started locking me in return. I launched my drones, started up my guns and...

My internet disconnected. My jaw dropped. I could not believe this was happening now. I was fully aware of the new logout mechanics, and I was terrified my Hurricane would get melted before I could log back on. Losing my PvP fit battlecruiser to a newbie fit PvE Harby would also be incredibly embarrassing, no matter how it occured. Not very PvP god-like.

I was back on around four minutes later, my fingers crossed as I logged in. To my relief my Hurricane was still alive, all my drones still in my bay. Excellent. I was back in the site, but no sign of the Harbinger. Not so excellent. Maybe I had scared him off :(

Then I realised he would be back to complete the mission eventually. I warped out, realigned and aimed my D-Scan at the site. I had eight minutes left of aggression on him. Six minutes. Five...

Harbinger back on D-Scan. YES!

I warped straight away, then realised we might meet on the gate and tried to cancel it. Too late. And as I landed on gate, he was already warping in. Damn, he must have seen me. I followed as fast as I could, and landed almost on top of him. My connection was steady now, so I was fully confident I could nail him. I switched on my two neuts and started shooting while heading out to my optimal. His shields took some time to drop and I was worried I should have used Phased Plasma instead, but by now I was commited. I fought on.

Then I had a nasty shock. His armour was around 70% by this point, guns still firing and rep still going despite my two neuts. My armour was at 50%, and I was buffer fit. I started getting worried. If his cap didn't die soon, I would probably die unless I warped out, and that would let him escape. I aligned to the station and prayed. At around 18% armour his guns stopped. Jackpot!

Thank god his guns stopped (The second time)

But I had forgotten that I was aligning away from him, and my neuts dropped range. I panicked, at this point my armour would not survive a few more volleys from those lasers, they were doing surprising damage (I think I need more tank).

I turned around and burned back to him as fast as I could. His lasers started to fire as my neuts got back within optimal and I almost fled. But I tried to hold my nerve and stay on the field. He'd barely had any time to get some cap back, and by the looks of his armour, he'd wasted a cycle on his repper. My armour was at 10% before he stopped firing again and I breathed a sigh of relief. I wore him down again, and before long, he exploded.

Then I saw the fit. Full Tech II tank and PvP fit (web and disruptor). No way was this a random noob, this must be an alt of a PvP player. I was just lucky he didn't have Weapon Upgrades IV by this point, a Heat Sink II could have probably given him enough DPS to nail my Hurricane.
Pretty lights :) Oh god the armour...

Also his rigs gave him a decent resistance to my Fusion rounds, which would explain my frankly lackluster DPS against his armour. However, I was quite pleased that even with all this against me, my strategy (if you can call it that) of "Neut the living daylights out of him" worked in my favour, and no doubt saved me from an embarrassing lossmail.

Ironically until I had seen the fit, I felt quite bad for killing what I thought was a noobie player, but the moment I saw the PvP fit, I didn't care. Nice to know I have standards.

Anyway, scan them bears out, but remember, some of those buggers are grizzlies :)

Tl;dr Good planning can save your life :P

Friday, 24 February 2012

Messing with the Mission Bears Part 2

I'll warn you now, this post is text heavy due to the amount of rage in local this bear produced. Don't fear though, I still have some screenshots for you. Anyway on with the post ;)

Once again I'm in Penirgman scanning away, looking for people in missions. I'm having a bit of trouble nailing down this one signal, ZTN-003 and I make it my personal challenge to catch this slippery bugger. After fifteen minutes of swearing and losing the signal several times, I have a 100% location on a Nightmare. Ah.

I'm not even in the site and I know this is going to be problematic. The Nightmare is worth nearly a billion ISK by itself, and a "decent" fitting is normally enough faction mods to make you cry. This is not some random newguy bashing away at L4s in his Drake. This guy knows what he's doing, and if he actually attacks me, I'll be surprised as hell.

Anyway, I pull my probes and warp in.

As I hit the grid I land barely 20km from the Nightmare; pilot name Diokletion. I start flying towards the nearest large wreck. By the look of the rats and the mission space, I'm in the middle of a L4 Blockade. Sweet. (For those who don't mission much, if at all, the Sansha Blockade is one of the hardest and most lucrative missions you can get in terms of bounty and salvage . That said it's not massively difficult to complete in a decently fit faction battleship)

Within ten seconds of being on grid, I get a chat invite from Diokletion. I'm pretty sure he's either going to offer to turn the wrecks blue for a certain amount of ISK (something I usually do for Ninja Salvagers) or he's going to go for the straight up rage. Guess which he chose.

*Private Chat*

Diokletion > gtfo
Seraph Minayin > lol why
Diokletion > just fuck off
Diokletion > 1v1?
Seraph Minayin > XD
Seraph Minayin > magnate vs nightmare
Seraph Minayin > good times
Diokletion > nope
Diokletion > pvp ships
Seraph Minayin > i pvp in my poid <- I spell bad I know
Seraph Minayin > rawh
Diokletion > take something please
Seraph Minayin > huh? <- I'm acting dumb here, he clearly wants me to aggro him
Seraph Minayin > oh you warped
Diokletion > oh rly?
Seraph Minayin > oh crap <- Rats target me and my armour drops fast
Seraph Minayin > lol gg <- Never fear, I escaped!
Seraph Minayin > hey your back <- I wait on D-scan until he's back in site and warp back
Diokletion > i report you
*He leaves*

Lol you mad bro? Besides he can't actually report me for anything :P

So anyway I stick around his mission a bit longer and salvage about five or six large wrecks. So far I'm at almost fourteen armour plates, and I've barely worked for it. Yet again new guys, at this rate don't bother training for Level 4's, just whack in some salvage and scanning skills and you'll have enough ISK for your first month easily (not PLEX, just general costs).

First wreck, you can see Dio with the red minus :)

Diokletion seemed to get a bit pissed at this and switched to Local chat.

*Penirgman Local*

xxxSKELETORxxx > you guys are suck.. boring war. have a good night guarding IX-3 we go to sleep
Diokletion > Seraph Minayin take something you faggot
Seraph Minayin > i think you mad bro
Seraph Minayin > calm down, it's a game
Diokletion > yeah and you ruin it <- First tears?
Seraph Minayin > so me salvaging a few wrecks is making you hate eve
Diokletion > no hate you
Seraph Minayin > :(
Seraph Minayin > but i like your shiny wrecks
Seraph Minayin > it's not like im attacking you
Diokletion > i wish you would
Seraph Minayin > dude lets talk this over like sensible adults
Diokletion > so i can destroy
Diokletion > YOU
Seraph Minayin > seriously
Seraph Minayin > well you seem a bit mad
Diokletion > maybe

I keep salvaging, mainly the wrecks close to him so I'm always in his vision ;)
I salvage some more wrecks but he stays quiet. I get bored and send him an invite.

*Private chat*

Diokletion > 5secs
Seraph Minayin > so are we cool?
Diokletion > nope
Seraph Minayin > this is just my job dude
Seraph Minayin > dont hate
Diokletion > GTFO AND SHUT UP
*He leaves*

At this point I'm actually having more fun winding him up than I am stealing his shiny wrecks :)
More plates in my cargo...
Another chat invite. I wonder what he wants?

*Private chat*
Seraph Minayin > hey
Diokletion > just to let you know im gonna pay a mercanery corp to kill you <-TEARS :P
Seraph Minayin > sounds good
Diokletion > its worth it (:
Seraph Minayin > lemme know when you get one
Seraph Minayin > thats cool, waste your money
Diokletion > sure (:
Seraph Minayin > so we friends now?
Diokletion > no im not a fan of gay ppl
*He leaves again*

Bringing out a merc corp purely for a ninja. I am loving this...

I get bored just bumping him so I flip one of his cans. He begins to lock me, then realises what he's flying and warps off. Uh oh. I warp to a wreck 170km away and align to my station. I don't want to lose my salvage :P

He warps back in. In a Tengu. Wow. I warp out to my station then realign to the mission and spam D-scan.

*Penirgman Local*    -   Huge Chunk, I've edited out the bits not relevant to his rage :) 

Seraph Minayin > awwh a t3 vs a magnate
Diokletion > (:
Seraph Minayin > you scared of losing?
Diokletion > now you wont come back
Seraph Minayin > says who ? ;)
Diokletion > dunno, maybe meh?^^
Seraph Minayin > well you're blinded by rage over a few pixels so you might be biased

At this point he pops up in my overview. Oh noes! I dock up

Diokletion > where are you now?^^
Seraph Minayin > cloaked up watching the paladin :) <- His friend apparently dropping in
Seraph Minayin > i assume you know him
Diokletion > you cant fit a cloaking device into the pala <- I think he means the mission
Fixit Tickit > Dickletion I think you should quit before you embaraas yourself some more.

Local players join in the fun!

Diokletion > wow nice spelling (:
Fixit Tickit > It was intended
Jeinvay Kunsu > wow a spelling nazi
Fixit Tickit > err
Seraph Minayin > he bought out a fully fit pvp tengu to attack my little scanning frigate
Fixit Tickit > embarass*
Seraph Minayin > somebody is overcompensating

Fixit Tickit > somebody is downright scared
Fixit Tickit > im a lil' drunk excuze my spelling
Diokletion > if hes ninja salvaging meh i gotta take my revenge <- Seriously?
Jeinvay Kunsu > have fun with that
Diokletion > i will xD
Fixit Tickit > Have fun.
Seraph Minayin > its quite pathetic how pissed you are at me salvaging
Fixit Tickit > /emote patiently waits for tengu killmail. <- Want this
Seraph Minayin > they're my wrecks as much as yours
Diokletion > let me think
Diokletion > mmhmm
Diokletion > mhmm
Diokletion > mmhmh
Diokletion > mhmhm
Diokletion > NO
Seraph Minayin > why not
Diokletion > its my mission dude
Seraph Minayin > so
Fixit Tickit > what?
Seraph Minayin > not your ship <- I mean the wreck, not his Nightmare :)
Diokletion > i know that ur too low for eve (: <- Too low? What?
Fixit Tickit > not your space
Seraph Minayin > its a sansha ship if anyone's
Fixit Tickit > you have to share with others
Wife Xadi > stop crying about it, and do someting about it
Diokletion > my mission
Seraph Minayin > right...
Seraph Minayin > the wrecks are a side effect
Seraph Minayin > which i take advantage of
Jeinvay Kunsu > it might be YOUR mission, but its in EVERYONE's space...  <- Excellent point there
Fixit Tickit > if it is his mission, how are you in it?
Diokletion > you are playing eve 2 years less than me i have more exp so i know what to do<- LOL?!
Seraph Minayin > scan him down
Fixit Tickit > I know
Seraph Minayin > its not hard
Fixit Tickit > I'm just proving a point
Seraph Minayin > lol diok
Seraph Minayin > if you're so experienced why are you still doin  level 4's?
Fixit Tickit > lmao doik
Jeinvay Kunsu > age does not dictate experience
Fixit Tickit > age does not dictate anything but potential for skill
Seraph Minayin > and i put my skill into scanning ;)
Fixit Tickit > I tink, that if concord has not done anything yet
Fixit Tickit > seraph is 100% allowed to take and salvage your wrecks
Seraph Minayin > ^

I undock after my aggression timer is done and warp back in.

*Penirgman Local*
Seraph Minayin: HI BESTFRIEND

I couldn't resist.

He wasn't pleased.

*Still in Local*
Diokletion > ur such a frickin coward <- Wait, I'M the coward in this equation?
Seraph Minayin > \o/
Seraph Minayin > lolol
Fixit Tickit > um...
Seraph Minayin > magnate vs t3
Fixit Tickit > tengu.... magnate
Seraph Minayin > yes not fighting makes me a coward
Fixit Tickit > who;s a coward?
Fixit Tickit > tengu >.> magnate
Fixit Tickit > really?
Fixit Tickit > ser, if you fight him i'll give you drunken reps with my oni <- That would make my day
Seraph Minayin > lol
Seraph Minayin > i dont pvp <- False information incase of a fight. Shit mind games is how I roll
Fixit Tickit > i do
Seraph Minayin > i have a ratting arbi <-This was purely so he'd assume my arbi was crap if he attacked
Jeinvay Kunsu > altho i remember the bit about salvaging/stealing: Its not a crime, you're just borrowing stuff without the intention of returning it
Seraph Minayin > does that count
Fixit Tickit > uh
Fixit Tickit > naw
Seraph Minayin > shame

By this point Diokletion had finished his mission and warped off while his friend in the Paladin murdered the last few rats. He logged off a few minutes later. Rage quit?
I stuck around and salvaged all the large wrecks. Final count of 25 armour plates. Woo!

What I found funny was that, now the tables are turned, I'm totally on the Ninja's side. I can see how stupid it is that mission runners see wrecks as their property, yet only a few days ago, I likely would have venomously defended Diokletion. And also I have much more respect for ninja salvagers, this is clearly a fully fledged profession. I only have basic skills, somebody who specialised in scanning could no doubt make money salvaging way more efficiently and much faster than I did. 
Final salvage total, and I only went for the large wrecks :)

I may do a short guide on what to do to make money on your first month in EVE, and this will definitely make the grade if I do so.

I may not have got a kill but his rage was certainly entertaining for an hour or so. Hopefully I can find him again and relive old times ;)

Next post will be about how I finally get a kill doing this. Third time lucky amirite? Right?

Tl;dr Making mission bears rage is almost as fun as pew pewing them :D

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Messing with the Mission Bears Part 1

Yesterday I went on my first scanning session to search for missioners. I quickly fitted up a Magnate for the job and headed over to Penirgman. I had been reading forum posts on the best techniques for finding them, and alot of posts lamented that by the time you had a 100% signal on a missioner, they had already warped out. I only had basic scanning skills (III in most things), and I was worried that I would never catch anything.

I reached Penirgman and warped to a moon to begin scanning. I didn't want to sit outside a station with probes everywhere and give the game away. I started scanning for ships and soon realised a problem. I had literally over 150 hits with a whole system scan. There was no way I could single out a mission runner through all this. I ran over to the forums again and checked the posts.

Oops. I forgot to create a custom filter to scan down battleships.

Made new filter and hits dropped to around 50. Still quite a few too many. I moved my probes away from stations to avoid picking up any battleships waiting on station. A small cluster of battleships appeared "underneath" the system. I chose one at random and began scanning it down. It was far easier than I expected, and I had a 90% signal within eight minutes or so. I dropped the scan range down to 1AU and instantly got a 100% signal. I pulled my probes, saved the location and warped to it.
Oh hai

My first mission bear was Nekron xD. He was flying an Apocalypse Navy Issue, but within minutes of me landing on grid he warped out. How odd. I salvaged all the large wrecks I could get my hands on, but he still hadn't come back. I was speed tanking the remaining rats so it was no problem to wait, but I got bored and warped back to station to drop my loot. I then headed back out to scan down a new person.

About ten minutes later I had another 100% signal, this time on an Armageddon. I warp to the mission, only to discover the mission gate was locked and I need a "R.S Officer Passcard" to unlock it. Sigh. I open contracts and check what's available. There's one in system for 12 mil, or one two jumps out in Amarr for 30k. I went for the 30k one obviously.

I get back with the passcard and pray he's still in there. Jackpot!


"Rightism" however, was salvaging as he went. Damn, I would need to loot a wreck as it got tractored past me. I set myself up between him and a wreck and waited while it flew towards me. Click "Loot all". Bam, stolen goods aboard and I aligned to the station. I seriously did not expect him to engage, he was a 2007 player and should know better than to...
Oh it's on now...

Oh he just shot me.

I warp out and grab my Arbitrator, full to the gills with neutralisers, tracking disruptors and a cap booster. I felt ready. I warped back to the mission. He was still there!

He was also 60km away. And I had forgot to fit an afterburner or MWD in my excitement. I had a web instead. Derp. I had given the game away at this point though, so I burned towards him at about 360m/s. This was going to take a while. It wasn't until I was 45km out though that he actually seemed to notice me flashing on his overview and locked me. He launched drones and waited. I crawled closer.

At about 42km his drones started flying at me. A mixed flight of Hobgoblin IIs and Acolyte IIs. I launched my Warrior IIs and hit the enemy drones with a web. They dropped fast. Rightism launched another flight of drones, this time with two mediums and three lights. I didn't see the mediums at first, as they lagged behind slightly, so they did a surprising amount of damage to my buffer before my Warriors made them explode. I was barely 30km out when he launched an Ogre II, a Beserker II and more light drones.

Seraph vs the bottomless drone bay

Jesus christ how big was his drone bay?

My Warriors seemingly had little effect on his heavies, despite the ease with which they tore apart the light drones. His heavies were tearing through my buffer scarily fast but I had almost killed one and I hoped the DPS would drop swiftly if it went down. I aligned but stayed on grid. Ogre II was at around 50% armour and mine was around 10%. Too close. I pulled drones and spammed warp as my armour broke. My Damage Control was saving my hide, but my hull was falling fast...

That is basically no hull at all

I warped out with 4% hull while in full panic mode. At first I thought I had lost my ship when it stopped for the "warp boost", but seeing her flying through space while burning a smoke trail made me happy as hell.

Emotions for pixels. Who'd of thought it.

I checked over my loot from the two missioners. About 8 armour plates and a random assortment of chips and broken capacitors. Not a terrible haul. Plus it showed that missioners get very upset if you steal from them.

Crap I did wrong
- Should have fit a propulsion module. No AB/MWD on a PvP fit is an unforgiveable sin
- Didn't bother to actually check what drones I had. If I had taken Valkyrie IIs, I probably could have murdered the heavy drones before they evaporated my buffer
- Forgot to switch out resistances for EM/THERM damage. That Ogre was doing insane amounts of damage to my thermal hole
- Forgot to turn on my tracking disruptor early, and I'm pretty sure he got in some lucky shots with his main guns because of this

But overall I made a few million and learned some important lessons. Next time, I'll try and actually kill something :P

Tl;dr Scanning for lols and profit is good fun

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Quote of the Week - Sun Tzu Inspired

The quote this week comes from our esteemed CEO. Without further ado...

Myopic Thyne > The best battles are those that are won without firing a shot

At first I thought this was incredibly stupid. How can you win a fight without actually fighting? It doesn't work.

Then later on I spoke to a ninja salvager (Dan Sen) while I was missioning. Besides some interesting information he told me, (which I posted about earlier) he also linked me this killmail.

Huh?! He used a target painter and instapopped a battlecruiser?

Well no, it's actually alot simpler than that. This killmail is all down to the way killmails are formed/calculated (whatever you want to call it). Any offensive module fired at a player is recorded in their damage log until a session change occurs (e.g docking), even if it does no damage. This is how people whore on killmails by firing at something far out of their range, even if they don't hit it, the shots are still recorded as attempted damage, and therefore shown on the killmail.

Still not make sense?

What if I told you (if you didn't already know) that CONCORD is not shown on killmails?

Yeah this is suddenly awesomely stupid. Here's the sequence of events from what Dan told me.

Dan scans down the BC -> Dan begins to loot and salvage, therefore turns flashy red to the BC -> BC fires on Dan, but he survives, target paints the BC and warps out -> Dan waits out aggression timer and warps back in -> BC assumes he still has kill rights on Dan and fires -> CONCORDOKKEN -> Dan gets more free loot and carebear tears

So I guess it is possible to win a fight without you firing a shot :D
Myo clearly knows what he's on about when impersonating Sun Tzu...

Misson Running gets interesting

I was running missions earlier this week to earn a bit of extra ISK. I was worried about getting poor again (a constant fear for me) and the nearest Incursion was 15 jumps out and in LowSec. The nearest HighSec Incursion was over 20 jumps. Far too much effort for the chance of being accepted into a fleet for only a few sites. So instead I refitted my Scorpion Navy Issue for L4's and headed out to Penirgman. I decided not to bother salvaging the missions, and instead simply go for the bounties. On my first mission I had a Ninja Salvager warp in on me.

Normally these guys piss me off, and it was a battleship heavy mission (Mining Misappropriation or something), so the salvage would be worth quite alot. However this time I couldn't care less about the salvage and turned all my wrecks blue so he could loot them too. Surprisingly the ninja sent me 5mil as a way of saying thanks and we started chatting.

I asked him about "Ninja Salvaging" and he said he'd only tried it a few times (including this one) and normally had decent results (in the range of around 5-8 mil per mission salvaged). I was intrigued, and after he'd cleared my wrecks and left the conversation, I did some extra research. While the ISK wouldn't really be worth it to me, it definitely sounded like a good way for new players to earn ISK without having the horror of grinding standings for Level 4's and with a far lower skill threshold. I dug deeper...

And hit a forum post complaining about "Ninja Looting". The poster essentially was complaining about the practice of scanning down misson runners and looting the wrecks. Obviously this turns the looter flashy red to the misson runner, allowing the missioner to fire at them, which this guy did. However this time instead of simply dying or running away, the ninja came back in a fully PvP fit battlecruiser and beat the living daylights out of the missioner. The ninja then made off with around 300mils worth of faction fittings, laughing all the way.

I was horrified and inspired at the same time. Recently my carebear side and my PvP side have been disagreeing alot, and this situation was no exception. My carebear side completely understood where this unlucky missioner was coming from, especially as my faction fittings on my SNI are worth over 300mil also. Having to replace that ship would be devastating for me. Don't fly what you can't afford to lose? I can afford to replace it, but my god I would be EVE poor afterwards.

However my PvP side wanted to start trying this immediately. 300mil in lootz, and carebear tears? Awesome. Plus if they shoot at a ninja looter, they've accepted the inherent risk in that, so losing his ship was a side effect of his idiocy. No mercy for the stupid people!

I researched more and found a good mission system to start trying this out. Surprisingly it wasn't too difficult... Oh wait :P

I then tried to find the main weaknesses of mission ships.
- Reliance on active tanks
- Total lack of warp scram/disruptor
- Ammo/Resistances will be chosen based on the mission being run.
- Will hopefully still have full rat aggro

So what?
- Active tanks are usually only "burst" tanks for PvE. Getting an active tank totally capstable gimps the rest of the fit and is barely needed, if ever (Note to self, write a post on why being cap-stable is seriously overated in PvE). This means that a couple of neuts will utterly screw up the tank of a missioner. Easy kills ftw.
- The lack of any tackle on the other guy's part is a huge advantage to the ninja. Start taking more DPS than you expected? Just warp off. He can't stop you.
- To maximise tank/DPS, missioners will fit to nullify the main portion of a rat's damage, and fit ammo (if applicable) to hit their resist hole. Amarr space is mainly Sansha/Blood Raiders, which means EM/Therm damage. So I should use those resistances in my tank and use kinetic/explosive ammo to hit the runner in his resist hole.

Luckily Hobgoblin IIs use Therm/Kin ammo and Warrior IIs use explosive rounds, no need to train for new drones. Neuts means any ship with utility highs is best, and it needs to be fast enough to catch them before they warp off. A ship that also is not well known as a PvP boat would be an advantage, as the missioner will feel more confident in winning, and therefore engaging anyway. However it needs decent DPS so the missioner doesn't have time to call for his corpmates, and it needs enough tank to survive against battleship size weapons. A battlecruiser sounds like a good idea at this point.

Time to start looking for fits. My next post will hopefully be the results of my messing with bears :)

Tl;dr Ninja looting sounds fun as hell

Friday, 17 February 2012

What is this I don't even...?

Sometimes in EVE, I am literally speechless at the lengths people go to act like dribbling idiots. Like this killmail. I'll wait here while you give it a glance over.

Bit of weird fit to be honest (DPS fit for a gang perhaps?), but it's not a fail in itself. Look at the cargo.

Yeah. I laughed too. I was directed to this lossmail by none other than the killer himself, who provided me an interesting little extra detail about this utter fail.

Lexar Mundi > I tracked him from Hiro to Jita, I waited on a gate for like 1 and a half hours just for him to jump back in to Kaaputenen
Lexar Mundi > I noticed on his losses the two combat ships he flew were railguns so i took the risk and jumped him on the gate
Seraph Minayin > this was during a wardec too?
Lexar Mundi > yes the second week of a war dec


Seraph Minayin > this was during a wardec too?
Lexar Mundi > yes the second week of a war dec

Seriously...? Seriously...? Two freaking weeks into a wardec and you decide it's perfectly safe to undock in a Faction Battleship, and use it to transport about 24 billion ISK in blueprints?

Are you out of your freaking mind?

I've joked before about rich people in EVE often being incredibly dumb with their money (obvious example; look how much money Spaceship Barbie has made off greedy rich players) but this just proves my point. If you absolutely HAD to move those blueprints, atleast use something like a blockade runner. Hell use Red Frog (or is it Blue Frog for cargo over 2 bil?) or some other courier service. Damn even use a neutral hauler alt, anything but make yourself an easy target for the wardeccers.

What made this even worse was that the guy in the Megathron fired back at the Absolution, maybe under the impression that his massive E-Peen Navy Issue would crush a T2 Battlecruiser.

Yeah no.

This just resulted in the Mega pilot getting tagged with an aggression timer. For anyone out there who doesn't PvP alot, an aggression timer means you cannot dock in stations or jump through gates for 30 seconds after you have stopped firing guns/offensive modules (e.g neuts) at another player. Which then resulted in this.

Wow. Just wow. Not only have you lost yourself over 24 billion in Blueprints, you then proceeded to spaz around on the gate trying to jump back through for long enough that a goddam battlecruiser could lock you. I mean even the most inept of carebears would have realised that sticking around in your pod infront of a wartarget would be a stupid idea.

But rich people seem desperate to lose their money so I guess you did that pretty well.

24.5 Billion ship loss + 2 Billion pod loss = 26.5 Billion ISK in total. All because the pilot had a derp moment.

(Gratz on the sweet kill though Lexar)

Fly smart people.

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Speed is the new cool

Today I dusted off my Malediction which I had been trying to ignore until I had "AWESUMS SKILLS!1!!11!" to fly it. But I was bored, I had just lost my Rifter to a Jaguar that jumped me on a planet, and I couldn't be bothered to fit out a new ship. My Malediction was calling and I could not help but fall for her beautiful hull. I jumped into the cockpit after renaming her the "Malware". I fully expected to lose my ship but my trade alt was making me decent money and I wasn't too worried about losing 20mil or so.
To LowSec!

I started out in Amarr and took the two jumps to Ami. In an interceptor, the only targets I was sure of killing was other frigates, so I bounced around looking for some. Nothing.

Sigh... time to head further into LowSec.

It was on the gate to Fensi that I first saw Lemba, going through the opposite direction to me. I noticed the "Imperial Navy Slicer" in my overview and decided against trying to engage. I was pretty certain a Slicer could nail my interceptor, so I avoided dropping cloak too early. He jumped through and I began to explore the system. Everyone was either in a POS or in station so I soon left.

A few random jumps later I saw Lemba again, this time in Pananan. Again I decided to avoid him and look for easier targets. He bounced around the system before dropping from local, apparently unable to find a target he could engage. I quickly had the same opinion and jumped into Gademam, hoping for an miner or two to catch unawares. No such luck, but Lemba was in system AGAIN, on D-Scan along with a random Manticore, which soon cloaked. A trap? No, they were in different corps, so I was safe. Bored due to a lack of targets I began to play with the idea of engaging the Slicer. I looked through Lemba's Slicer losses on Battleclinic and found a common fit, and based my plan of attack on that.

And for those to lazy to look at the link...

Lemba's fit I guessed he had:

Medium Pulse Laser II
Medium Pulse Laser II
Small Energy Neutralizer II

Limited 1MN Afterburner I
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I

Damage Control II
Small Armour Repairer II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Adaptive Nano Plating II

Small Auxiliary Thrusters I
Small Polycarbon Engine Housing I
Small Polycarbon Engine Housing I

My reasoning
He clearly aimed to mainly speed tank, and repair anything that managed to hit him with the repper, probably hoping to further reduce damage with some limited resists provided by the ANP II. However, I knew a downside of his fit was that Nanofiber Internal Structures reduce overall structure HP, so he would be squishier than a normal Slicer. Also, his use of lasers would play to my resists strengths, EM and Thermal are less effective against armour.His use of a neut would usually worry me, but I have a cap booster on my setup so I can perma-run my reps as long as I have boosters, so at most I would simply have to boost more often. Also running an armour repairer and a neut would drain his cap pretty fast, so I reckoned once I got into his armour he would have to switch off the neut to stop his tank from dying. His main advantage was speed, but Interceptors are built to kill fast stuff, and my rockets would have no tracking penalty unlike his lasers, which I assumed would have difficulty tracking me up close at over 1km/s. So I felt I had the advantage in this fight, and was confident even with my not yet maxed skills I could kill him before he killed me.

Based on this I challenged him in local to make him stick around, then pretended to back down (I'm scared of Slicers!) to give him the idea that I had a terribad fit and that he would win in a fight. Overconfidence on his part would play into my favour. (A crap attempt at psychological warfare I know, but I wanted a Faction Frigate kill really bad)

I started trying to scan him down while bouncing between planets, the usual approach. I thought I had him narrowed down to a belt at one point, but when I warped in he had already left. Damn. I flew back to a planet and started scanning again. Suddenly he dropped out of warp almost on top of me. Either by luck or design he had found me, and we both began to lock each other up. We both hit our afterburners and zoomed around each other at almost 1000m/s each. I was hopeful at this speed he would have some serious tracking issues and I was kinda right.
D-Scan led me to a belt but he had already left :(

He was missing about 1 in 3 shots, which was reducing his DPS by a fair amount. I had already switched to Nova rockets, relying on the fact he was likely to keep armour tanking. Due to me using explosive rockets, and his tracking issues, we both lost shields at about the same time. My rockets started to chew up his armour pretty fast, but his SAR II was keeping him in the fight. I'm not quite sure what happened at this point, but my armour suddenly started melting shockingly fast. I switched on both reppers and my armour jumped back up to 100% from around 48%. I assume he switched off his afterburner to save cap, and the reduction in speed increased his tracking to the point where he was hitting me consistently.

However my tank was holding and he appeared to steadily run out of cap as the fight continued. My rockets were slowly wearing him down and he soon dipped into hull. His armour would jump back up occasionally as he gained enough cap for another rep cycle, causing my attack on his hull to stop for a second, but in the end I still had the majority of my armour when his cap ran out and his repairer stopped. The next salvo of rockets made him go boom. Woop! The 'Malware' gets its first PvP kill!

Then I remembered something from EFT. My lock speed for a pod is under two seconds. My jaw dropped and I spammed CTRL-Left Click on the pod in my overview. I started locking him and I switched to spamming my warp scram. I got him. Jackpot.

Time to be ultra-pirate and demand a ransom. I wasn't sure quite how much to ask for, but I knew the implants in my head are worth about 40mil (I really need better implants). I decided to play it safe and demanded 20 mil for the safety of his pod. He paid up, and I felt like an utter badass as I let him go. We exchanged "gf" in local as I looted his wreck for any decent T2 modules. I played coy when he asked about my fit, I only revealed I was using a dual rep setup with a booster. If we meet again I want to have the intel advantage :P I bounced between planets as I waited for my GCC to run out, not wanting to lose my Malediction to station guns like I did with my first Rifter.
First ransom!!

After 15 mins, I headed back to HighSec, glowing with the happiness of a solo kill, with a great story to tell my corp, and you guys reading this blog.

In hindsight I should have probably ransomed his pod for more. Lemba is a 2009 player, so I probably could of ransomed him for nearly 100mil, especially if he had been using +5 implants. But 20mil is better than nothing ;)

Tl;dr A true GF Lemba, if we meet again, I'll be sure to give you a wave o/

Jumping to conclusions is bad for your health...

Today I was out soloing again in my Rifter (which I've become steadily more fond of the more I fly her). I was painfully aware my killboard has had little activity for quite a while now, so I had decided no matter what to get into a fight with something, win or lose.

I landed in Ami to an essentially empty local except for a Drake and a Cynabal, neither of which who I had a hope in hell of killing. I'm desperate not stupid ;) I then jumped into nearby Bridi, which usually has several cruisers kicking around looking for a fight. Local was totally empty except for me. Seriously? The one time I want to run into a cruiser, they're all offline.

I then jumped into Fensi. Jackpot! Two players in local, both of which in T2 frigates according to the D-Scan. Either a Jaguar (I'll die), or a Sentinel ( LOL Ewar frig!). It's probably quite obvious which one I started searching for. After about a minute or so of spamming D-Scan while hopping between planets, I had narrowed him down to either an asteroid belt, or a planet (both symbols were on top of each other). I assumed that he would be kicking around the belts looking for a fight, so I jumped in at zero, hoping I would land right on top of him. As I hit the belt, a red player bar appeared in my overview.


I hadn't noticed this guy (Volstruis) was at -9.6 security, which suggested he was no idiot checking out Ewar frigs. It also suggested that he was either confident he could take the Jaguar (I had been in system at max 2-3 minutes by this point, so he had probably been in belt waiting for the Jag before I found him first) or he was bait for a gang. Local stayed at three though, so he appeared to be soloing. Therefore I was quite certain I could take him. I knew very little about Ewar frigs at this point, save for the fact that many players deride them as useless and underpowered, so I hoped the superior DPS of my Rifter would offset his jamming. My first mistake here was that I assumed the Sentinel was a jamming boat like the Keres.

Hey he's 200km out! I'm totally safe!
Luckily as I worried over this "experienced player alert", the Sentinel was over 200km out from me, and the belt rats appeared to be chasing him (they didn't lock me up anyway). I hit my afterburner and started to fly right for him. I assume he must have had a warp-in for the belt because all of a sudden he was only 10km from me and yellow-boxing me. Woot! I was certain my web and scram would hold him still long enough for me to break his puny Ewar ship with my autocannons.

Yeah that didn't happen.

What actually happened is that my cap vanished. All of it. Gone. My scram and web stopped, along with my afterburner and my jaw hit the floor. I'm pretty certain my reaction was along the lines of "OMGWTFBBQ?!" The Sentinel then began to pull away from me and I started to panic. At most my range is around 5km. I could see from my overview that he was Tracking Disrupting me, and I assumed from the fact he was now hovering at around 15km that he was using a range script. With no cap I realised I would never be able to catch him, and although my guns didn't need cap, they didn't have a chance in hell of hitting him at that range. I decided to try and bug out. I guessed that he must be using a disruptor over a scram, which meant I'd need to be about 25km or more away from him to be able to warp. However the whole warp thing was going to be a problem without any cap, let alone getting that distance from him without an afterburner on. By this point the Sentinel had whacked out his drones, obliterated my shields and started gnawing my armour. Yeah you guessed it, no cap, no armour repairer.

Luckily though, by some sort of divine intervention, I hit upon the idea of using my nos on his drones. I have no idea if this actually worked, or his neuts ran out of range (I was flying away from him as fast as I could by now) but either way my cap was slowly returning. I managed to get off a few rep cycles to stop me dying a fiery death, then switched on my afterburner to gain some range while aligning to a nearby planet and spamming warp. It took a few heartpounding seconds that seemed to stretch on forever, but I finally got the message "You cannot do that while in warp".

YES! I was free!

I zoomed away from the Sentinel and bounced around a few planets incase he tried to follow before heading to my safespot. I chatted with Volstruis after, and he lamented the fact that he had managed to lose his point on me. I agreed that if he hadn't lost said point, my Rifter would be a smoking wreck right now, those Warrior II's hit like a bitch. I had managed to kill two and maim another (he only had four out which surprised me) but I was sure another minute would have ended my attempts to murder his ship. We exchanged "gf" in local and went on our separate ways.

I then checked the description for the Sentinel, as I had completely underestimated my chances of killing the slippery little bugger:

Amarr Frigate Skill Bonus: 20% bonus to energy vampire and energy neutralizer transfer amount per level and 5% bonus to effectiveness of tracking disruptors per level

Electronic Attack Ships Skill Bonus: 40% bonus to energy vampire and energy neutralizer range and 5% reduction in capacitor recharge time per level

Drone bandwidth: 20 Mbit/sec 
Drone Capacity: 60m3

Ah. That explains what happened to my cap at the start of the fight and why he was only using four drones. I was just lucky the other guy made a mistake in his tackle, allowing me to escape. So lessons learned from this fight?

1) Never underestimate any ship, no matter how much it is laughed at on the forums.
2) Learn the capabilities of Tech 2 ships instead of assuming you know what they will do
3) Don't panic when you lose all your cap in a Rifter, your guns aren't affected ;)

Tl;dr Ewar frigates are more dangerous than you might think

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Skill Training Complete...

I'd wager there's few more satisfying moments in EVE than when you're sitting in station updating orders, and you hear the magic words "skill training complete" chime from your other client.

When I first started EVE, I made the assumption that bigger = better, and that a fleet of battleships would tear apart a frigate fleet. It just makes good sense right? I mean, some of the guns on battleships are the same size as several of the frigates! So of course the battleships would win... Except in EVE, a fleet of frigates would be a nightmare for a battleship group, as they would have to rely on their drones to fight for them due to piss poor tracking vs smaller targets.That's one of the reasons I love EVE. Few ships are utterly useless, no matter how easy it is to get into them. If flown well, they can still be used to great effect. (Although no frigate fleet would have the DPS to break the tank of a decent battleship fleet, assuming both sides have logis. It'd be a draw)

But anyway, I was chugging my CNR through an Incursion the other day and I realised how bored I was of battleships in general. Yes they look awesome. Yes they have firepower that would devastate an entire city. Yes they can take a hell of a beating and take on multiple ships at once. 

But they're so slow. Speed is the new cool, and Battleships are the obese people of the spacelanes. So I started looking at other options for PvP. While battleship combat sounds awesome, I wouldn't be able to stand the time it would take for my ship to react in fight. I wanted my ship to be fast, sleek, and sexy. Obviously, I found my way towards interceptors. More precisely, the Amarr Malediction.

She's beautiful...
This ship seems to be everything I want. Fast, missile based and hot as hell. (Khanid designs are my guilty pleasure. Amarr style with the laziness of Caldari missiles. What's not to like?) I started training for it immediately, planning on picking up Assault Frigates along the way due to the Vengeance, which appears to be built like a Punisher, but with a bigger tank and rockets. Sweet.

I could train Assault Frigates in a matter of days, but the skills I needed for an Interceptor were far more navigation based. I tend to ignore navigation skills (who needs speed when I can have moar firepower?). So it was with some horror that I contemplated a 60 day skill plan for one ship. While alot of the skills would be useful in the future, I still couldn't believe I would have to spend two months to have decent support skills for this wonderful design. But I wanted it. Badly. Gritting my teeth, I started to train Evasive Maneuvers V, and bought the Interceptors skill book.

This is one of the few things I dislike about EVE. Sure I could fly an Interceptor by the end of the week. But flying it, and flying it well, are two entirely different things. 53 days different. If you start using a ship without support skills, you have no right to complain when it gets shot out from under you ;)

But 10 days into my plan and I'm pretty glad I started. I can sit in my Malediction and fly it around, but it's still got alot of training left before I decide to risk it on a corp roam. But in the meantime, atleast I look cool to all those battleship-flying chumps hanging around Amarr...

Thursday, 9 February 2012

Quote of the Week - Incursions

Yes I know everybody does this. But mine will be mainly from corp members, and I'm not going to tell them when I start looking for a quote to avoid them spamming stupid things.

Anyway, the quick backstory here is that we were chatting in corp and explaining to the newer guys what Incursions were and why quite a few people dislike them. Which is when Khrystynah pulls out this, which I felt perfectly explained the actions of a fair few players ;)

Khrystynah > ohhh, so all the cool kids who fly in nullsec space doing PvP masturbation and making money got their feelings hurt by incursions, because that means that people have an alternative?

Now I'm not saying that these players are wrong, but I'm pretty certain that Incursions aren't breaking the game as much as some people believe. So what if some of the prices for faction ships have crashed? They were overpriced anyway. Who cares if people are making money with minimal risk? People make ISK with just about the same amount of risk in NullSec everyday anyway.

No I don't mean PvP. Well maybe you could class blobbing under "minimal risk".

But what I mean is Anomalies. If you are deep within alliance held sovereignty space, the chances of you getting ganked while running an Anomaly is even less than dying to rats in a decent Incursion fleet. Infact you can do Anomalies with far less effort than an Incursion, if you get a local carrier to lend you some fighters :)

So really, I can't understand why (mainly) NullSec players are making such a fuss about Incursions. It's just our version of NullSec Anomalies. Deal with it.

Monday, 6 February 2012

It's a good thing I can run Incursions

Over the last week or so of me attempting PvP, I have spent over 30mil on ships, modules and rigs. Experimenting with an Arbitrator didn't end too well either and cost an extra 7-8 mil. It's made me realise quite how much the markets are driven by the demand created by PvP fights. For the guy selling Republic Fleet ammo and Punishers, I've probably contributed about 20 mil to his coffers. And I'm barely doing PvP in comparison to some players! I can only imagine the ISK NullSec Alliances spend purely on ammo, let alone ships and fittings.

The pure cost of sucking at PvP has shown me I'm going to need some more ISK before I devote myself entirely to asskicking (or getting asskicked, similar idea). So I have two solutions, run a load of Incursions and live off those profits for awhile (yawn), or start retraining my industrial/hauler alt into a Uber-Trader and make passive ISK through that.
Market PvP, here I come!

I'm sorta leaning towards the trader option, purely because it seems much more fun. Also I've not really dabbled much in the economic side of EVE besides lining the pockets of frigate builders. So I'd quite like to see it from the "other side of the fence" as it were, and make some money while I'm at it. If I do well then I may write a little about it on this blog, and if not... well it'll make a good "What not to do" guide ;)

I've worked out a skill plan in Eve-Mon, bought the skills I need and whacked the first few in the oven. My alt had a nice 250mil of my Incursion payments added to his wallet, and I've invested pretty much all of it into the market already on items I reckon will sell. I'm probably going to lose all my ISK knowing my luck...

But if I get rich, I'll let you know :)

Friday, 3 February 2012

So close!

I nearly got my first above class kill on a Vexor today in Highsec. I was roaming around the belts in my shiny new Rifter, when I saw a yellow can and a hauler chugging towards it. Easy target. I burned right at it and flipped it with the hauler barely 3km out. He locked me, and at first I was half expecting a Battle Iteron to kick my ass. Instead he warped out.

Trying out the Rifter
Hoping he would come back in a PvP ship I loitered around the belt for a minute or two. I wasn't disappointed. He warped right back in, unfortunately flying a cruiser. I normally avoid attacking cruisers, but I noticed the guy was a 2012 player. That meant that at most he'd had a month's worth of training. No way would he have decent enough skills to be flying a drone boat like the Vexor effectively in one month. Not only that, but I guessed he would be inexperienced at PvP and make some mistakes. I was mostly right.

I burnt right at him. Due to where his can was in relation to the warp-in point, we were about 20km from each other. I switched my ammo to Fusion S and hit my Damage Control on. He had already launched his drones. All four of them. And they were Hammerhead I's. In my mind I had already won. Here's why:

1) I had been utterly right about his lack of skills, four drones meant he couldn't possibly have Tech II drones, which would have been a problem for me.
2) Hammerhead I's. Conformation he couldn't use Tech II drones and he was using mediums on a frigate. They would have a hard time tracking me while I shot them to pieces.

So I settled into orbit at 1000m from him to screw up his tracking with his blasters (again no way would he have decent tracking skills after a month) and started to lock up, web and destroy his drones. They dropped fast. I was expecting more drones to pop out, but none arrived. Either he hadn't realised that I would aim for his drones, or he had forgotten to load more. So instead I switched to him. And had a shock. My cap had utterly disappeared while I had been nailing the drones. Luckily I was using a Nos and autocannons so I hadn't suffered massively, but the fact I hadn't noticed this pointed out how poor my tactical awareness is. I switched all my important mods back on. He only neuted me twice more then stopped. I assumed his cap skills were causing him some pain trying to keep that neut running, so he had switched it off. I was slowly wearing down his armour (it was around 50% by this point), and I was certain I would win this. I had been utterly right about him not being able to track, and my shields had actually started to regenerate.

Then another orange jumped into the belt. Crap.

While I had been waiting for the miner to come back in, I had set his whole corp to orange, so I could see if any of them wandered by and saw me flashy red after stealing from a can belonging to them. While the miner might have been inexperienced at PvP, he was not stupid, and had called for backup. Unfortunately, this orange was their CEO, flying a Daredevil. I overheated everything and prayed that the Vexor would explode before the Daredevil reached me. There was not a chance in hell I could fight it and survive. The Vexor was inching towards 25% when the Daredevil locked me. I prayed even harder, my hands clenched into fists.

But it was no use. Clearly there is no god :(

Angry at myself for not paying closer attention to local, I warped my pod back to station, before writing a sarcastic EVE-Mail to the Vexor pilot. After I sent it, I realised how pointless that had been. I had just provided him with tears. He was surprisingly mature though, and I attempted to reply in good faith, complimenting his choice in fits, as the neut was utterly unexpected on my part. Now that I've calmed down a little after being denied my EPIC KILL!1!1!!, I can totally understand why he did it. I would have done the exact same in his position. In my excitement to get a cruiser kill, I forgot to pay attention to what was going on around me and I payed the price. Next time, I need to calm the hell down and focus on popping the other guy before celebrating. In my mind I had already won, and that lost me my Rifter.

Tl;dr New guys are inexperienced, not stupid, and fighting one does not guarantee an easy kill :(

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Solo LowSec kill!

Today has been a busy day. I spent some time checking out our corp's new POS set up in LowSec to allow all the new guys at PvP (such as myself) a safe haven for practice. For example, if we get overwhelmed in a fight, we all just run away and hide behind cosy shields. Not very "badass PvPer" but we're still learning ;)

Anyway, shiny blue forcefields are only interesting for so long, and the system was pretty dead at that point besides me and a few other corp guys. So I headed off to Ami in my newly fitted out Rifter, after I decided that every PvPer ever can't be wrong. And I'm starting to like this ship. While it's nowhere near as tanky as my Punisher (see a few blogs back) it's much faster, with the smaller plate also allowing me to fit weapon rigs instead of fitting ones, and the three midslots provides room for a web, giving me an even bigger speed advantage over other players.

So I'm bouncing around Ami, hitting my D-Scan, trying to find an Incursus that keeps popping up now and again among the Drakes and Jaguars. Eventually I get bored, and giving up on finding the Incursus, I warp straight to belt one. Bad idea.
A Jaguar, Enyo, Fleet Stabber and another random ship appear in my overview
Seeing two flashy reds and two yellows in my overview makes me nearly crap my pants. I align to a nearby planet and start spamming warp. Luckily they were either ratting or killing each other, so I escaped without any potentially fatal attention. Muttering to myself at my carelessness, I notice that the Incursus is back on D-Scan, seemingly mocking me. "Oh it's on now" I think.

About eight minutes later I realise that I'm useless with the scanner, and instead switch to jumping between belts hoping to find him. On my third jump I strike gold, figuratively speaking. It was the Incursus, seemingly ratting. Unfortunately I had landed about 10km from him, so I had to react fast before he warped out. Stupidly I had also not prepared in the slightest for this fight, as I still had RF EMP S loaded in my guns, despite the fact that shield-tanking Incursuses (Incursi?) are incredibly rare. Also I was mildly suspicious it was a trap. Who rats in a system with over 15 pilots in?

But I was desperate for a kill, so I hit my afterburner to overheat, and rocketed towards him while locking on. I hit my guns and scram at the same time. He didn't even appear to have realised I was here yet. And then I got that stupid Concord warning. "This is a criminal action la la la". Guns still hadn't fired, and by now the Incursus had noticed I was there and was locking me up. Almost face-palming, I ignored the warning and told my guns to fire again. His shields melted instantly, though I wasn't too surprised, EMP ammo vs untanked shields is a no-brainer. But then his armour started melting only slightly slower than his shields. My jaw dropped, was he using a kite fit? I wasn't expecting him to go down fast, but I am used to the "grinding down" style of my Punisher. Maybe the Rifter is more ganky. By the time I was halfway through his armour he had only just dropped my shields, and when he exploded I was still at 75% armour. Either the Rifter is better than I thought, or he had a seriously poor tank.

I scooped my new loot and warped off to a nearby planet, ecstatic at my first solo PvP kill in LowSec. It was while I was bouncing around planets, waiting for my GCC to run out, that I saw the cyno appear on my overview, and a Moros popped up on D-Scan. Besides Chribba's Veldnaught, I had never seen a capital ship in Eve, so I warped to the cyno at 100km to check it out.

Stupid mistake.

The smarter ones among you will have already realised how dumb this was. For those of you like me, who know very little about capitals, let me explain what I learnt in about 10 seconds in LowSec.

1) Capital ships are slow
2) Capital ships on their own are juicy gank targets
3) Any capital ship on it's own outside a fleet is going to get attacked by a gang if it isn't somewhere they can't hit it within about 20 seconds of it cynoing in

So it was obviously a station the cyno had been dropped at. No capital pilot is going to get their alt to drop a cyno anywhere else unless its in the middle of a fleet fight. I still had four minutes left on my GCC. Unfortunately while I was checking out this huge ship slowboat towards the station, I did not notice the sentry guns take aim at me. Oops.

Victim: Seraph Minayin
Corp: Adamas Anima
Alliance: Unknown
Faction: Unknown
Destroyed: Rifter
System: Ami
Security: 0.4
Damage Taken: 3466

Involved parties:

Name: Amarr Sentry Gun / Zoar and Sons (laid the final blow)
Damage Done: 1900

Name: Astra Winter
Security: -0.10
Corp: Tempus Stabilis
Alliance: None
Faction: None
Ship: Unknown
Weapon: Modal Light Electron Particle Accelerator I
Damage Done: 1474

Name: Blood Converter / Blood Raiders
Damage Done: 92

As you can see, I got pretty nailed by those guns. The earlier damage was from the Incursus and a random belt rat. (Weirdly Battleclinic doesn't show my loss as being due to station guns, probably because it's a manual post. I need to get round to putting my API key on there) I also lost most of my sweet lootz from my fight, and this annoyed me more than the loss of my ship. After I waited out my GCC in a station, I bought a Kestrel, flew over to my wreck, and grabbed whatever had survived.

Getting my property back
I've learnt some valuable lessons today. The main one being to ALWAYS wait out my GCC away from gates and stations, a classic mistake for those unaware of LowSec mechanics. However I've also realised I need to practice my D-Scanning skills, and that warping to zero on asteroid belts is an incredibly stupid idea. Maybe next time I'll be less dumb ;)

Tl;dr While in LowSec, pay attention all the time. Don't assume you'll be fine like I did :)

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

A snag with the Punisher...

One problem I found with my Punisher today was the fact I had no way of dealing with frigates using cap boosters, other than wearing them down through the use of my nos. Hardly an elegant solution and it takes a hell of alot of time to do it, enough time that in lowsec, it would probably get you blobbed.

However in High-sec duels, this is less of a problem. Blobbing only happens if you take from a can that clearly is owned by a corp with about 50000000000 frigate kills. I normally drop my own can, because blobbing the other guy is no fun to me, I want a fun fight. (come to Amarr if you want some awesome duels, it's not just me hanging around outside the station). But today I realised the horror of neutral alts/friends repping the guy you're trying to kill. Which lead to this.
Time for a new ship...

While I'm a little disappointed I didn't get the kill, I'm glad I've had the experience that tells me if the other guy is cap boosting, expect him to call for help. By the end of the fight I was barely keeping my repper on, but I had got into Yabbiy's hull. And that's when a nearby Osprey turned flashy red, and Yabbiy's shields went back up to full. At this point I knew I was dead. My cap was nearly out, my repper was overheated to the point where I was certain it was about to die, and my guns were in a similar position. It was inevitable I would lose. No surprise comeback for the plucky underdog today ;)

We private convoed after I had gone all splodey and I admired Yabbiy's fit despite his use of a repping buddy. I've never seen a cap-boosting Punisher before, and it was surprisingly effective. To my dismay, Yabbiy told me that he had run out of cap-boosters right at the end, which was why the Osprey intervened. To say I was devastated  would give you an small idea of how I felt. If that Osprey hadn't been there, I would be the proud winner of a true "gf" and pleased I had beaten a player so much more experienced than me, in both skill points and PvP. Yabbiy mentioned he was impressed by my fit too, and was intrigued to see it, so atleast I can say I had some sort of surprise advantage over older players? Grasping at straws I know :D

Tl;dr Cap-boosting ships are a problem. And neutral reppers make me sad :(