Friday, 31 August 2012

A change of pace

Recently I've been yearning for a different way of playing EVE.

Though I don't mean joining some NullSec E-Peen waving or returning to the horrific featureless wasteland of HighSec, I just want to do something different in LowSec. And Faction Warfare is starting to hold my interest after hearing all about the scandal, insanity and full-blown ISK fountain that it supposedly is from various blogs and forums.

For the Minmatar anyway ;)

But frankly the whole ISK side isn't the thing that's been catching my attention. Since I'm dying alot less these days, PvP is much less expensive than it used to be, and I'm keeping my head above water finance-wise. So the ISK (while attractive) is more of a side-show for the supposed small-gang/solo PvP paradise that FW claims to be. So I decided I wanted to try it for a few months or so. There are two annoyances for this however. The first, more minor issue, is that I'll have to move all my crap to whichever faction's "staging system(s)" I decide to join. This will be annoying, but do-able. I'll have to use my freighter for a couple of runs (if I'm lucky, maybe only one) and probably borrow an Orca run or two from corpmates. Either way, it's more a question of time than any real effort or ISK.

Speaking of corpmates, that brings me to my next issue. I recently discovered (while chatting on a newb alt I placed in FW to test the waters) that if I want to join FW, I have to join either with my whole corp (which is not going to happen :P) or I join on my own, and I leave Adamas Anima for the time I'm in FW. I'd hope it was obvious, that this made me pause for a while. I've spent the vast majority of my time in EVE with Adamas Anima, and I've made good friends with many them. Dropping corp just to have moar PvP funtimes makes me feel a little selfish, and I was worried how my corp would react.  However, my corpmates have been fully supportive of me, and I'm certain when I come back a glorious war hero (sarcasm) they'll welcome me with open arms.

So at the moment I'm in corp stasis while I drop roles and such, and in a few hours I'll be deciding which faction I'll join. I'm still uhming and ahhing whether I'll join a FW Corp or just jump straight in with the NPC militia. I think I've settled for a certain option, but I want to do some more research before I tie myself down.

Suffice to say however, I've always enjoyed fighting as the underdog...

Fly safe :)

Saturday, 25 August 2012

He who Dares, wins

First of all, I'd like to link this post. Seems like my targets enjoy blogging too :)

But anyway, on with the fight report!

In the last week or so, I've been looking for a new "flagship", so to speak. My Vengeance, while still beautiful and deadly, is starting to wear a little thin on me once again. It's also starting to warp my perceptions of other ships I fly. For example, I don't fly T1 frigates anymore purely because I don't feel safe in them. After the "LOLTANKALLTHETHINGS" that a Vengeance can pull off, a dinky little Incursus has a tank like paper. I obviously want to get away from this, because T1 frigates (specifically the Punisher) are what made me start, and then fall in love, with solo PvP.

So my first "new flagship" choice was an Omen Navy Issue, which I've wanted to fly for a long time now, but I currently haven't trained T2 Medium Pulse Lasers, and I have an unwritten rule that any T2 or Faction ship I fly must have T2 weapons, because it deserves it. So I put the ONI on the backburner and kept looking. My second choice was a Dramiel, but I had heard about it being nerfed fairly recently, and didn't want to look stupid by losing it to a new "weakness" that I knew nothing about. Also autocannons are getting boring. My third choice was the Daredevil. I checked out the bonuses, and it looked pretty awesome. I then looked at a few fits on Failheap/Battleclinic and examined some lossmails. It seemed fairly versatile, and I was interested in flying one to say the least.
Then I remembered somebody in Amarr Local mentioning that Kill2 had done a Youtube video flying a Daredevil. Since Kill2 is one of my Solo PvP "idols", I decided to check it out.

By the end of the video I was already on my way to Jita to buy Seraph a brand-spanking new Daredevil. It made that much of an impact on me.

Daredevil fit. That DPS is with Null, which I find scary

The video is here if you haven't seen it already. If you have, you can skip these next few paragraphs, I'm just going to explain the video. The basic idea of the fit is a shield buffer Daredevil, with silly DPS and a super-web as provided by the ship bonuses. Some of you will already have seen the problem with this. A Daredevil has three mids, which usually means you fit the "golden three" of PvP, which is a point, web and propulsion. Of course if you want a MSE on there, one of them will have to go. So which do you drop? Answer, the point of course. For those of you who only even PvP a little, this probably screams blasphemy, but the more you think about it, the more it makes sense.

You obviously only engage other frigates, because frigate fights are fast, which means adrenaline is higher and more mistakes are made, (like the opponent not noticing he's not being pointed). Also it's sort of expected to PvP with a scram or long point, so this will literally effect how they see the fight. The human mind is a powerful tool :) Furthermore, you're flying a faction ship, so that's going to make them want to hold out as long as they can for that shiny killmail. Hopefully long enough that they get melted.

However, you need to minimise the time your opponent has to notice he can run at any moment, so anything with a strong buffer or stupidly high active tank (like an ASB tank) is out of the question. And of course, kiting ships are dangerous because you'll probably never catch them (unless you can hit them with that super web you're packing). So while this ship fit limits your engagement envelope, it also makes them much more exciting, since you're living on borrowed time. You have to hope your DPS breaks them in half within a minute or so, otherwise they'll have realised they can warp out whenever they please or you're dead. Either is bad, though obviously the latter is worse ;)

The bit where I actually fight something

So with all of this in mind, I started roaming around in my new Daredevil. The only faction item fitted to it is a Gistii B-Type AB, because I like the extra boost it has over T2. My friends asked why I didn't have a faction web, and frankly it's a matter of cost. The only advantage a faction web gives me is more range, and I want to keep that 90% web, which means only a Fed Navy Web will do (as far as I know). And for the price of that web, I could buy and fit another Daredevil. I'd rather have two ships than one expensive one. (Oh the irony while I fly a pure faction Vengeance).

Terribad picture I know, but the fight was too fast

After a few jumps, I found myself sniffing around Fensi, where a Caldari Navy Hookbill was loitering with deadly intent among the belts. Having no idea about the capabilities of the Hookbill or my Daredevil, I asked who was more likely to win in our public channel, whilst chilling outside the top station. The general consensus was "Lol he'd die over and over and over". Still feeling cautious, I waited for him to notice me on station and warp over to look. Since I'm flashy, he fired at me almost instantly, which gave me some interesting hints about his fit and DPS. His DPS was decent, but he had a tracking disruptor and only one web. I reckoned I could easily keep on top of him during the fight, but that TD might create some problems. While I was mulling this over docked in the station, I saw a corpmate of the Hookbill jump into system. I quickly undocked and spammed D-Scan. I saw a Kitsune flash up for a second before either cloaking, docking or warping out of range. Well fantastic, that gave me an even shorter time limit. After a lot of cajoling and trolling, Korvus and iwinyoulost convinced me to take the fight.

Mundens Bar - Public Channel
Seraph Minayin > may aswell take the fight i guess...?
Seraph Minayin > it's gonna die someday anyway

iwinyoulost > Goodbye seraph.
Seraph Minayin > lols
Korvus Falek > lol
iwinyoulost > :'( you're gonna die
iwinyoulost > /emote funeral march
iwinyoulost > tell me how fight ends
iwinyoulost > i wanna see lossmail :3
Seraph Minayin > >.>

I warped into the belt the Hookbill had flown off for and saw him 50km away. I had a few seconds to make a decision on ammo, so I plumped for Null, hoping the extended range and tracking would make his TD less helpful. I overheated my guns, let him get close, then swung towards him and hit on my web (I had been aligning out). His speed started dropping fast, and rockets began to smash into my shields. I winced at each hit. Sucking my breath through my teeth in worry, I glanced up at his shield readout, hoping to have made a decent dent in them (I was already at 75% shields myself).

He was already in half armour and dropping fast. I was shocked, to say the least.

 In the space of ten seconds, his ship had exploded and his pod was just floating there. I vaguely remember mumbling a series of swears at this point in pure amazement. I then realised he hadn't warped his pod out straight away, so I started locking it. With that Kitsune hanging around somewhere, and a total lack of a point, I decided to just pop him if he didn't run, instead of a ransom attempt. My blasters tore him into a new clone, and as I scooped the corpse and the loot, his corpmate warped in with a Kitsune. I decided to GTFO, and warped off to a safespot. I had some fun in Mundens.

Mundens Bar - Public Channel

Seraph Minayin > oh dear
iwinyoulost > :O ?

Seraph Minayin > Corpse -> the poor sir appears to have had a catastrophic pod rupture

Seraph Minayin > what a shame
Raptrox > lol
Korvus Falek > lol
iwinyoulost > hehe

Smiling to myself, I checked the Hookbill mail, then posted it into the channel. I then checked the pod mail.

 Shits were shat.

That's easily my most expensive solo kill to date, even if it was only a pod...

Of course I had to rub this in everyone's face too.

Mundens Bar - Public Channel

Seraph Minayin > I'M NOT EVEN SORRY!
Seraph Minayin > Kill: markusikkk (Capsule)
Seraph Minayin > HOLEY SHEETS
Seraph Minayin > 1BIL POD
Seraph Minayin > LAWLAWLAWLAWL
Korvus Falek > lol nice!
iwinyoulost > LOLOLOLOLOL
iwinyoulost > 1b pod!?!
Korvus Falek > guess that beats my 600 misk pod death
Korvus Falek > gimme a link so i can show corpies =P

And to make it even better, one of his corpmates offered to buy the corpse off me for 10mil. Pft, you've got a deal.

Private chat - Fibrizo Kravitz

Fibrizo Kravitz > hello
Seraph Minayin > o/
Fibrizo Kravitz > im friend of  markusikkk and im looking for his body to my rare collection XD
Seraph Minayin > orly
Fibrizo Kravitz > could you give me or sell me ?
Seraph Minayin > well we've become quite attached ;)  -> Yes that was a necrophilia joke
Fibrizo Kravitz > he's officer in my corp and it would be great to have his body XD
Seraph Minayin > how much do you want for it? :)
Fibrizo Kravitz > name your price
Seraph Minayin > well i dont want to bankrupt you
Seraph Minayin > how much is your max limit?
Fibrizo Kravitz > is 10kk ok ? :S
Seraph Minayin > 10mil?
Fibrizo Kravitz > yep ;/
Fibrizo Kravitz > i wiped out of money for my jaguars XD
Seraph Minayin > hmm
Seraph Minayin > ah go on then
Fibrizo Kravitz > :D
Seraph Minayin > i have other corpses :)
Fibrizo Kravitz > where is his body ?
Seraph Minayin > i'll contract it to you
Seraph Minayin > i'm in fensi V moon 1
Seraph Minayin > contract is up
Fibrizo Kravitz > :D
Seraph Minayin > :)
Seraph Minayin > ty
Fibrizo Kravitz > thank you XD
Seraph Minayin > enjoy his corpse!
Seraph Minayin > ...that sounded weird
Seraph Minayin > o7
Fibrizo Kravitz > o7


Seriously. 10mil for a corpse
Fly safe ;)

P.S The pun in my title is awful, I know :P

Monday, 20 August 2012

I've missed something here haven't I?

So I'm back from Spain and it's nice to have a decent internet connection again. I've been catching up with my corpmates and all the blogs I read, which wiped out a fair few hours while I fiddled on my two accounts. I decided to sort out all my "logistical" things before I got back into PvP, and started to download a new update.

Judging by the size of the download I had when I started the client, something fairly chunky was added, but I decided I couldn't be bothered about reading the patch notes until later. If it was earth-shaking, my corpmates would have mentioned it right?

Instead I reset all my market orders, which seemed to have survived my two week absence surprisingly well. I made a few more trips on Zendrak before logging onto Seraph and going out hunting. I logged into Pananan with ten people in Local, which was a little odd. Local usually maxes out at three or four. I undocked to have a poke around and stumbled into a cyno with several dreads and a carrier around it, right outside the station. Quietly wetting myself, I docked back up again and tinkered some more on my alt.

A few hours later, Pananan was all quiet again, so I headed back into LowSec. I roamed around in my shiny new HAM Drake, but it was too slow for me to find anyone. I returned to Pananan planning to do some exploration or ratting, when I saw a Procurer on D-Scan from the gate. I raised an eyebrow, and quickly narrowed him down to the top belt. I stifled laughter. This was too easy.

I threw my Drake into warp, and within seconds I was only 15km off the foolish Procurer. He started aligning out for warp, but it was too late. My disruptor had him nailed down and I started flinging HAMs into his face. He seemed to be taking far more hits than I would have expected for such a puny barge, with each volley only taking off maybe 5-15% of his shields. All of a sudden he flashed to red on my overview and I panicked. Was he a "bait barge" with a cyno? It would explain the ease at which I had found him. But no Supercarriers fell from the heavens to rain death upon me, so I frowned in confusion. His shields were still only slowly dropping, and I was worried my Drake was malfuctioning. Even a poorly skilled HAM Drake should 'splode a Mining Barge with no more than a sneeze. And then I stopped shooting.

Not out of any compassion mind. I was jammed.

I think I said something along the lines of "Hugmhgm?!" while gawping at the Procurer calmly aligning out to the station and warping away. I hadn't seen any ECM drones, and believe me, I made sure I had those bastards on my Overview. It turned out a few minutes later that the pilot had fitted a Multispecteral ECM instead of warp core stabs, on which he said

"Sethis Vokan > warp stabalisers aint worth shit"

Fair enough. I was pretty stunned as I warped away, surprised that an unbonused jam managed to save his ass. We chatted a bit in Local.

Seraph Minayin > the fudge...?
Sethis Vokan > lol
Seraph Minayin > shrug
Seraph Minayin > well played sir
Seraph Minayin > i admit i wasn't expecting to be jammed by a mining barge
Sethis Vokan > glad it worked
Seraph Minayin > lol
Sethis Vokan > warp stabalisers aint worth shit
Seraph Minayin > true
Seraph Minayin > people just bump you
Sethis Vokan > thought id try sumut new
Seraph Minayin > thought you were bait for a minute
Seraph Minayin > was very confused when you red boxed me
Seraph Minayin > didnt realise you had a jammer
Sethis Vokan > well glad it worked
Seraph Minayin > heh i bet

Sethis Vokan > that worked really well,
Sethis Vokan > am a bit chuffed

I then turned my attention to the patch notes, wondering how the hell a Mining Barge had tanked me long enough to survive several volleys of HAMs and fire off a jam cycle. I found the answer pretty much instantly in a fairly recent Dev-Blog.

- Procurer/Skiff: primarily made for self-defense. Better mining rate than the ORE frig (wait what frig?), good ore bay, but capable of having battleship-like EHP

Well bugger. Mining barges are no longer my whipping boys. Also how the hell did I miss this? Next time, I'll read the patch notes after every update. Then I might have realised what the hell was going on, since I was far more worried about the lack of decent damage from my Drake rather than how a Procurer was redboxing me with no guns, drones, webs, scrams or neuts. If I'd thought through the possibilities, it's possible I may have realised he was trying to jam me, and tried to keep bumping him out of alignment instead of cackling like a stereotypical villain while following him from a few kilometres away.

Anyway, well played Sethis. I hope to catch you another day! o7

Fly safe :)

* P.S. I apologise for the lack of screenshots in this post to break up the wall of text, but Overwolf has been acting up recently, and is refusing to take any screenshots of EVE that vaguely resemble what my screen is showing. *

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Just so you know

For the next two weeks, I'll be on holiday with the family in sunny Spain.

I have no idea if I'll have any sort of internet connection, but even if I do, it won't be stable enough to run EVE at a decent speed. So I'm setting some long skills in my two queues (Battlecruiser V for Seraph, and Advanced Spaceship Command V for Zendrak) and I doubt I'll have anything to say about EVE while I'm out there.

If I do manage to get a decent connection though, any posts will likely be purely theoretical, so I apologise for the lack of PvP stories in the coming days.

Fly safe in the meantime ;)