Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Analysing the dumb things I do

*Warning! Text heavy post!*

I apologise for the snail's pace that I've been blogging at this month. After Borderlands 2, I stupidly decided to buy another recently released game that took my fancy, called Dishonoured, since it was pretty cheap where I live. I hadn't heard much about it, but it looked fun, and I was pleasantly surprised when I played through it.

Erhmagerd, so kewl
But since I bought Dishonoured, I've had even less EVE time and my Borderlands 2 time has suffered too. Damn having responsibilities and everything, otherwise I could just sit on my ass all day and play games. But I felt a little guilty leaving my little blog without a post for over a week, so I decided to type one up last night. As a change of pace, I decided this post will be about my recent losses, rather than my kills (not just because I haven't been able to kill anything recently). Hopefully it'll be a learning experience for me and you, which is always a good thing.

Mainly it's for me though. After all, I'm the one who keeps doing stupid things in Assault Frigates :)

So here's the basic plan; I'll link the mail, explain a little about the situation I was facing, and then what I did (which got me killed). Then I'll discuss alternatives to what I could have done that I thought up after the fight. Of course, if you have any different ideas, feel free to share them in the comments :D

Here we go! The first fight is...

1) Jaguar (Me) vs Shield Brutix, Coercer (Later on)

The Situation
-Solo roam, ended up in Pynekastoh with two squids in Local. I assumed that if I attacked one, the other would turn up fairly fast. Even so, I was confident I would be able to disengage fairly quickly in my Jaguar if the shit hit the fan, since it's pretty nippy for an Assault Frigate. I found one squid-boy in a Brutix outside a medium plex, and decide to engage for the lols. I could tell from the speeds he was reaching that he was shield fit, so I loaded up EMP ammo and got in close. His guns couldn't track me and he hadn't launched any drones.

- I ripped down his shields at a decent speed, but his peak recharge slowed me down to the point I was worried that I wouldn't break him. Overheated guns pushed him past the edge, but by the time I was past the peak, the Coercer had landed, 50km or so off us. The Brutix was in armour, but I knew there was no way I would burn him down with EMP ammo before that Coercer got in range and pissed on my parade. It was only now the Coercer was here that the Brutix remembered his drones and stuck them on me. The combined fire from his drones and the pulse lasers of the Coercer soon exploded my face. The Brutix was in half armour when I died :(

- I could have disengaged the moment the Coercer landed. There was no real chance of me killing the Brutix without dying from the Coercer, and I would have most likely been able to break off from the Brutix under an overheated AB before he could catch me again. So I could have run away like a little girl, but I was too fixated on an "above class" kill.

- I could have switched targets to the Coercer and prayed I could kill him before I took too much damage. The Jaguar has a strong native EM/Therm resist, so that would have bought me some time, and I know that most Coercers in FW are pretty much fit for pure DPS, with a minimal tank. Chances are he would be running a similar fit to the people in the Gallente Militia  (light armour tank in the lows, i.e plate and DCU, with two heatsinks). If he had dropped, I potentially could have then tanked the drones of the Brutix, or atleast killed them off, before finishing him off too (if he didn't run when the Coercer died). It's nice to dream anyway.

- Sadly I did neither of these things and stayed on the Brutix, clinging to the insane belief that he might die before me. Jaguar down!

2) Enyo (Me) vs Punisher, Harbinger, Thrasher, Thorax

The Situation
- I jumped from Nennamaila (home system) into Enaluri and noticed a minor plex pop up as soon as I did so. I warped to it instantly and caught this Punisher before he could hit the gate and escape me. He pretty much melted under my LOLOLOL ENYO DPS. I then caught sight of several more ships coming in on close range scan, with the Thorax and Thrasher landing pretty much on top of me a few seconds later and the Harbinger landing around 15-20km from us. I decided to primary the Thorax, since I knew they tend to be all DPS/No tank, completely forgetting the fact that Thrashers are frigate killers.

- I was chewing nicely through the Thorax, with him in deep armour (yay Void ammo) when his flight of Vespa EC-600s got a jam on me, and screwed me over. I lasted the whole 20second jam period, was lucky enough to not get jammed again and instead pewed after the Thrasher, since the Thorax had sensibly pulled range from my blasters. The Thrasher took some serious hits, but I had come out of the jam cycle in seriously low armour, so by the time I had locked the Thrasher and started murdering him, I was in hull and going down fast. One last volley from the Thorax put me in my pod.

- Primarying the Thorax over the Thrasher was a seriously bad move on my part, I admit it. The Thorax and the Harbinger were having trouble tracking me anyway with their large guns, and the main problem was indeed the "Frigate killer" sitting right on my ass, pewing hot lead into my face. I'm under no illusions I could have killed the Thrasher before the ECM drones cycled on me (I had a good 10-20 seconds from the Thorax landing before I was jammed), and after he was down, I'm pretty sure I could have lasted long enough to kill the Thorax too, since the Thrasher damage would have been wiped away. Sadly I doubt I could have killed Harbinger aswell, but you can't have it all I guess :)

- There was also a chance to run between the Punisher dying and his buddies landing. I had maybe four or five seconds which I could have used to align out and run like a little girl, but instead I wanted to loot the Punisher and hopefully grab some more kills.

Derp derp, Enyo down!

3) Imperial Navy Slicer (Me) vs Rapier
- Yes a Rapier. No, this wasn't me assuming I could take on a Recon cruiser, he was cloaked :D I was chasing afk plexers, when I found an Incursus in a Major. Warping in left me 50km off the Incursus, followed shortly by a Rapier uncloaking not 10km away from me.

- I panicked and completely forgot about the cloaking delay for targeting the Rapier would have to suffer, and attempted to burn away under my MWD. Big mistake. Overheated webs and point caught me at around  35km and after that I was pretty much screwed. Slicer down!

- Obvious one would have been to warp away. He wouldn't have caught me in time and I would still have my beautiful Slicer. Not really much more I can say about this one :(

There's a couple more recent losses I also wanted to look at, so when EVE-Kill finally gets round to adding them to my lossboard, I'll update this post here. Mainly though, the next two losses are bad engagement choices rather than any actual mistakes during the fight. But otherwise I hope this post has been useful in some way to show you, the reader, that you have more options in a fight than simply "ERHMAGERD, DIE IN A FIRE".

I've definitely helped myself by doing this anyway!

Fly safe ;)

Saturday, 13 October 2012

A fight and some things

The Gallente Milita cashed out last week, which was pretty nice for me since I was expecting to miss it entirely. Instead I got home from work and found that I had two hours to get everything sorted before the LP dump happened. I had a close call getting Zendrak to Villore in time with the ship hulls I wanted (Navy Megathrons ftw) but in the end I walked away with around 3b profit from the cashout, along with a couple of Navy Vexor BPCs that I'm saving for a rainy day. So that was quite a nice end to the week, considering I'd only really tried to get LP for about two or three days. The rest was plexing when I was bored, or LP from killing squids. Pretty decent I think.

Then I stopped playing EVE for most of the next week, because something happened.


Yeah, I decided to buy Borderlands 2, since I enjoyed the first one quite alot. Big mistake as it turned out, because I got utterly sucked in, and my EVE hours went down the toilet. I think the awesome voice acting of "Handsome Jack" (the main villain as I can tell so far, I don't think I'm too far into the story yet) really got me hooked, purely because I found his sense of humour hilarious. The whole thing about his diamond horse had me giggling for hours.

Maybe that's just me though.

But anyway, I realised I was neglecting EVE, so I carved a few hours out of Borderlands to have a crack at some PvP, which I found pretty fast (which made a nice change).

Looking through my ship hangar in Nennamaila, I was tempted to fly something small, since my escapades with battlecruisers recently have often ended with me stumbling into armour gangs and dying horrifically. I decided on my all gank/no tank Enyo and undocked.

Seriously, hull tanking an Enyo works really well
I went straight into Akidagi, as per usual, purely because it's right next door to Ichoriya, (a Squid HighSec staging system) meaning you usually get a fair amount of traffic running through. There was only one war target in Local though, along with some neutrals and some guy who was blue to my corp (who jumped out a little later). Since our LP push, Akidagi was currently ours, which meant all of the sites were Gallente plexes. Therefore, all the rats would be on my side for once, which is nice and helpful in a PvP situation. Warping off the Nennamaila gate to the centre of the system I pinged D-Scan.

I picked up a Federation Navy Comet and an Ares interceptor. I was happy to fight either of them, and started scanning plexes, an obvious place for them to be. I found the Ares at a medium plex, and decided I could probably slingshot him if he tried to kite me. I hit warp, and then went on through the acceleration gate.  I landed in the plex a few seconds later with the Ares around 50km away from me, currently kiting the rats with rails while capturing the point. When he saw me land he began to align out, without any prop mod running (around 500m/s). Deciding I may aswell show I was interested in fighting, I began to burn after him under my AB. Annoyingly he lit his MWD at this point, and his speed jumped to over 3.5km/s.

Yeah, no way am I going to catch him when he's going that fast.

Instead I turned around, flying back towards the beacon while aligned to the Enaluri gate. I hoped he would turn back and come in to kite me, giving me a chance to jink into his orbit path and scram him down. (Look at me theorycrafting the engagement like a pro-pvper :D). Instead, I didn't have to worry about any of that, since a neutral pilot (flashy red) landed in the plex as I passed the warp in, leaving him only 20km from me. He was flying the Fed Navy Comet I'd seen on D-Scan earlier, and I decided there and then that if he locked me I was going to try and melt his face off.

He locked me. Oh hell to the no.

I flipped around, (since I was still aligning out to Enaluri) and set my orbit to 4.5km, as I noticed I  had Null ammo loaded from earlier (I expected to catch the Ares on the edge of scram range, if I caught him at all, so I'd need the extra falloff Null offers). The Comet came roaring towards me, with three Hornet EC-300 drones popping out behind him.


I launched my single Hobgoblin II and overheated my guns, expecting this to be a brutal and violent brawl between two blaster fitted monsters.

Well that was pretty much the opposite of reality, since his shields evaporated in a single volley, swiftly followed by around three quarters of his armour in another two volleys. I was shredding into his hull when his dual reps caught, which kept him alive for about another half a second, before I fired off two more volleys and exploded his ship. This little Enyo scares the life out of me with the DPS it puts out. I pretty much alpahed through his tank before his reps could cycle, which is pretty cool.

I offered a "gf" in Local, which he returned, before telling me to "enjoy the loot ;)". Curious, I opened the wreck and my jaw dropped. I thought I liked expensively fit frigates. This guy just went nuts with his ISK it seems.

The loot fairly loves me for once :D

The thing was, as I looted the Comet wreck, the Ares pilot appeared to have noticed our chatter in Local, and decided he wanted a taste of the potential shiny loots. Apparently unconcerned at the speed at which I'd murdered the Comet pilot, his MWD swiftly turned 50km into 8km, at which point I webbed, scrammed and blasted him into the void. Frankly he died even faster than the Comet. Obviously, greed is bad.

And I'm not too sure what he's doing with that fit, but I digress.

Onto the other things
- With this FW cashout I could by an Archon right now. Seriously. Right now. I couldn't fly it, sit in it or use it in any appreciable way but it would be mine. Should I do it? Probably not. But god knows I want to.

- Also in regards to Zendrak's skill training, he's currently ticking down Amarr Cruiser V, to be followed by the Logistics skillbook when that finishes. I'll be able to sit in a Guardian by Christmas, but actually flying it in an Incursion/Gang won't be happening till atleast late January/early February. It's not actually too far off, which is nice.

- I'm getting noticed more often in Local chat these days, which is stoking my ego a little. For example:

Nennamaila Local Chat
Alex Thule > hey seraph is that u with the blog?
Seraph Minayin > uhm i have a blog yeah
Seraph Minayin > zomg i'm e-famous :D
Alex Thule > i love it.. im subscribed.. anyhoo catch ya laters o/
Seraph Minayin > :D o/

I was smiling for a good while after. It's always nice to get compliments :D

- The origins of the term "Squid" to describe a war target was explained in Militia Chat the other day to a new guy who got confused as to why we were insulting a dish he enjoyed very much. I was pretty close to be fair.

Keaton Skor > A squid is an enemy combatant
Keaton Skor > Caldari-Amarr -> Cal-Amarr -> Calamari -> squid
Keaton Skor > so now you know
Cal Stantson > also they're slimy little shits who run away all the time and you can never get your hands on them

- I am stupidly excited for Retribution, the Winter Expansion. Making cruisers relevant in PvP can only be a "good thing", and I reckon frigate gangs will be much more prevalent with these "Logi-Frigates" being created. Also I have a  sneaky feeling the Punisher will become the core combat ship of these gangs, since high resists are always a plus when working with Logi ships. I'm looking forward to flying an Omen that doesn't suck too.

- Also yes, I'm back to using clunky old Battleclinic, since EVE-Kill seems to be constantly committing seppuku whenever I try and find killmails for blog posts. Also it seems to have eaten half my kills, which annoyed me a little bit ;D

When/if it gets working again, I'll switch back.

- And finally, at the recommendation of my corpmates I've decided to stop training for shiny new ships (like dat Harpy) and round off my gunnery support skills to V first, something I've been avoiding for like half a year now. It's a slog, but it'll make EFT less smug when I switch to "My Skills" and watch the DPS drop by like half. Because seriously that makes you feel a little bad inside doesn't it?

I've already trained Motion Prediction V, and currently Rapid Firing V is cooking away. I'm hoping to have most of them trained by the New Year, before switching back to SHINY THINGS training.

Fly safe ;)

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Want to play a game?

Let's play a little game. A short PvP quiz if you will.


Here's the scenario. You're in a duo of a Hurricane and a Rifter, both sitting at zero on the gate. Your 'Cane is a classic 425mm Autos/shield tanker, while your Rifter is fitted with a long point and a MWD, with a light active armour tank. There's a war target Taranis buzzing around who's been following you for several jumps now, after skirmishing with your fast tackle earlier. At this moment, he's sitting 160-70km off the gate, just observing. Here are the three most obvious options (in my opinion) for what you can do.

A) Ignore him. It's not like he's going to risk engaging a Hurricane on his own, and all he's currently doing is watching you

B) Send out the Rifter to tackle him. With a MWD and long point, he'll hopefully last long enough for your 'Cane to warp to him (150km is minimum warp distance), neut him out and fling drones in his face.

C) Call in backup tackle to kill him, because the Rifter will most likely die, and you don't want the Taranis following you long enough for an enemy gang to catch up with you and kill you both.

Which would you do?

Well personally I would go for option C, since getting constantly scouted is just begging to get caught eventually...

Oh wait, no sorry, you can't do that one, because the Taranis murdered your other tackler (a Malediction) about five minutes before, using the exact same tactics as he is now. Also your Griffin died a minute or so after the Malediction when he tried to smartbomb on the gate, so you can't even jam out the Taranis and tackle him. I forgot to mention those ships at the start ;)

You could call for help in Militia Chat, but you may look a little silly calling for help about a puny Interceptor.

So instead the duo take the secret fourth option:

 D) Have the 'Cane burn out under MWD and assume the Taranis will sit there quietly while you tackle him and let your Rifter buddy (who stays at zero on gate) whore on the mail when you catch it.

What could go wrong?


Incase you hadn't guessed by now the Taranis was, of course, me, and this exact scenario (in reverse) was the one facing me last night. I personally expected more frigate tackle to turn up any second, but noooo, that would be the sensible thing to do, and all squids have apparently had their sense surgically removed years back.

So earlier I had baited a Malediction off gate from his gang including a Hurricane (who was using T1 guns), a Rifter and a Griffin in Iwisoda, and quickly melted him. However, I baited him a little too far which gave the rest of the gang room to warp, and I was soon jammed out (but not tackled) by the Griffin. With the Hurricane aligning towards me too, I decided to warp back to the gate (after pulling my drones) and jump on through. The aggression timers on the gang gave me time to scoot off gate on the other side in Rakapas and hold at 160km. I waited to see what they would do next.

The Griffin, Rifter and 'Cane all jumped in together, before crashing back to gate. The Griffin then decided to smartbomb for some reason and got torn in half by the gate guns. His pod zoomed off, slightly embarrassed. Then essentially the above scenario happened next. Go read it again if you've forgotten ;)

Back? Good. I'm now sitting around 170km off the gate to Iwisoda with a Hurricane steaming towards me, apparently determined to murder my face. I wanted to get another kill, purely to be an asshole and get away again without dying. While I knew the 'Cane had T1 guns fitted (he fired at me earlier and I saw it in my log), which made him a tempting target, I was pretty sure dual medium neuts and a flight of light drones would really screw me over. That made the Rifter my preferred target, and they were helpfully splitting up for me.

I decided to be super tactical and waited for my moment to strike. With the Hurricane 110km from me, I warped to the gate at zero, where the Rifter was sitting perfectly still, not even orbiting in jump range. The Hurricane was left over 60km off the gate, unable to do anything to save his buddy as I lit up my blasters and beat the living daylights out of the poor Rifter. Then I caught his pod too and popped that.

The Hurricane warped away.

I had a good giggle, patted myself on the back, scooped the loot and ran off back to Nennamaila.

Also Nennamaila is damn pretty. I love blue stars

And this has happened fairly often in the last couple of days. Baiting fast tackle ships into doing something dumb is disturbingly easy. Here's some examples:

I engaged an Interceptor as he jumped into me in Hikkonen, and he was soon dead as a doornail thanks to the LOLDPS the Taranis can put out. Unfortunately, his gang arrived halfway through the fight and popped me not long after the Crusader went down. And then they got my pod too which was a little embarrassing.

But I soon grabbed another Taranis and tempted this Crow a little too far away from his friends for them to help him. He died too quickly for them to catch up and tackle me :D

Then the next day in Nennamaila I was skirmishing with an Assault Frigate gang outside a medium plex, who had some fast tackle in the form of a Condor and a Caldari Navy Hookbill. They chased me around 80km away from their gang, where I proceeded to slingshot and murder the Hookbill, before forcing the Condor to pull range by setting my drones on him. I escaped in structure (around 78%). And I'm assuming the other guy on the mail shot at him earlier, because he had full shields etc when I caught him :P

I also helped a friendly Raptor pin down another kiting Condor (I swear these things are the FOTM in the Caldari Militia) and kill that too. Because I'm so helpful and stuff.

"Meh" you say "So this ship can kill lightly tanked fast tackle. So what?"

Well it can also brawl down rocket Hookbills like a freakin' boss and it locks fast enough to catch pods. That was nailbiting fight to say the least...

38% hull, proper casual like
The Taranis is easily my new favourite ship, and it's also my current "go to" ship when I see war targets bumbling around outside the station, since they invariably have fast tackle you can bait away from the safety of the herd, and it's fun as hell to do so :D Since the last ship I loved like this was my Vengeance, it's a fairly impressive feat for this humble Interceptor to win my affection...

Fly a Taranis. Come and hull tank with the "real men" ;)