Tuesday, 23 April 2013

A Pilgrim for Love, not War

So how about a PvE Pilgrim?

Specifically for exploration in Radar and Magnometric sites.

I know some of you are probably already laughing at me. But when you look at the Pilgrim, the bonuses it gets, the slot layout and the abilities it has, it actually makes quite a lot of sense.

First up, let’s look at the main feature of the Pilgrim, the fact it can fit a CovOps cloak. This is a major benefit in LowSec, as although gatecamps are rarer than people seem to think, they can happen and this cloak will probably save your ship unless they’ve got an experienced decloaker with them (which is incredibly unlikely from my experience, since most people can’t decloak ships for sh*t in LowSec). So you can move around pretty much untouched in dangerous areas, and loiter quietly in system if it gets a bit hot in there or you need to desperately run to the toilet. Just make a few safe spots, warp to them and cloak up. Totally undetectable. This is of massive benefit to a PvE fit ship in dangerous space. Don’t overlook it.

Hacking dat comm tower

Now in terms of fitting, the Pilgrim pretty much screams out to be fitted with an armour tank, unlike its brother the Curse. This opens up the mids for almost anything you can think of, like analysers, codebreakers, propulsion, cap mods, drone mods, all that jazz. Usually this is down to the pilot but for an exploration ship you pretty much have to put exploration mods on there. Otherwise, the rest is up to your imagination. Further sticking with this theme of slot layouts is the spare highslots you have. Obviously you need two (for the cloak and probe launcher) but the other two are open to whatever you like. You could go for drone links, salvagers, tractor beams, guns etc. Once again, it’s pilot preference but it shows the adaptability of a PvE Pilgrim. Very few modules are “required” and that gives you room to tinker with your fit until you find something you like. A nice added side effect of the Pilgrim being an Amarrian neut boat, is that it’s got insane amounts of cap for a cruiser. This makes it pretty easy to balance a decent tank vs long cap life without the use of dozens of cap mods, making it useful for lazy explorers who like to leave their tank running throughout the site.

Another bonus the Pilgrim gets is its racial T2 resist bonuses. Since it’s Amarrian, that means increased Exp/Kin resists, which is extremely useful for an armour tanker. These bonused resists let the Pilgrim work well in any type of space, regardless of rats, since the resists can easily match the DPS of any LowSec Radar/Mag site when fitted properly. This is great, because it means you can roam far and wide looking for sites without worrying about your tank too much. If you enter a new region, just dock up, peel off the specific resists and whack the new ones on. Problem solved. Infact, the resist bonus is probably enough on the Pilgrim that you could omnitank it pretty well now I come to think of it, which would be an even better solution than carrying lots of armour hardeners around. I’ve not tried it myself since I prefer to tailor my tanking to the rats, but I’m pretty certain it would work.


So you’ve taken up all your slots with exploration modules and tank. How do you kill stuff? Those sites are guarded you know…

Luckily for you, the Pilgrim is a drone boat!

Since it’s not at all difficult to manage drone aggro despite the rat changes recently, I only carry a set of mediums and a set of smalls for the region I’m in (Angels = Minnie drones, but otherwise Gal drones are best for the damage they do). If you want to be universal, a set of Hobgoblins and Hammerhead IIs will serve you perfectly well however. A set of mediums and a set of lights takes up 75m3 and you’ve got a 150m3 drone bay. Now what? Well if you’re smart, you’ll take a set of medium ECM drones (Vespa EC-600s) incase you’re caught in a site by some solo prober. It’s unlikely if you’re paying attention, but some backup is never a bad idea. If you’re a little skittish, then take some light ECM drones too, but otherwise you’ve got 25m3 of drone bay to play with. Of course, if you’re confident you’re not going to get caught in a site then you can bring along whatever drones you like. Once again, pilot preference. You could take replacements, or even some light armour maintenance drones to rep your combat drones when you’re out for long periods and don’t want to dock.

So keeping all that in mind, how is my Pilgrim fit?


Pilgrim - Exploration - “Monarch”

High Slots
- Covert Ops Cloaking Device II ***
- Sisters Core Probe Launcher  -> Sisters Core Scanner Probe ***
- Salvager I
- Small Tractor Beam I

Mid Slots
- Experimental 10MN Microwarpdrive I ***
- Omnidirectional Tracking Link I
- Codebreaker I ***
- Analyser I ***
- Large Capacitor Battery II

Low Slots
- Medium Armour Repairer II ***
- 2 x Rat Specific resist modules (e.g Blood Raiders = 1 EM and 1 Therm) ***
- Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
- Drone Damage Amplifier II

- 2 x Medium Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I

Drone Bay
- 5 x Valkyrie II
- 5 x Warrior II
- 5 x Vespa EC-600
- 5 x Hornet EC-300


(The *** denote what I feel are “compulsory” modules. Feel free to switch out anything else)

And here’s the stats at all Level V skills for those too lazy to put this into EFT or whatever you use.
DPS: 237 (5 x Valkyries)
Tank: Approx 180 - 200 DPS depending on rats (it’s enough, don’t worry)
Speed: 1379m/s (MWD) 1966m/s (MWD Overheated) 205m/s (MWD off)
Cap life: 4mins 35 seconds (Two active hardeners on, rep on, one exploration module running)
1min 12 seconds with everything on (which is dumb)

So that’s my fit.

As you can tell I’m a little skittish when you look at my drone bay, but I’d rather prepare for the worst ;)

Also this fit is quite tight on CPU, though decent fitting skills should make it fit at Recon Ships IV. If you’re still having trouble, either get a 1% CPU implant or drop the T2 items down to meta/upgrade to faction. Getting a cheap faction hardener should solve the CPU pretty easily. Also if you’re the type that likes your ships capstable, you can drop the second exploration module (analyser vs codebreaker) for a Cap Recharger II to be 41% cap stable while running your rep, active hardeners and codebreaker or analyser. I’m not a fan of this myself since I’d rather not dock every few sites to swap modules, but if you want to ignore tank/cap management so you can worry more about your D-Scan instead that’s a fair compromise in my opinion.

One point I must stress however, is not to take this ship into LowSec combat sites. It will die. This Pilgrim is only for Radar/Mag sites, and it does them extremely well. Also don’t pimp it beyond solving the CPU issue as mentioned earlier. It doesn’t really need it, and eventually you will lose this ship. Maybe not for a few months, maybe a year or so, but it will die. As it is, you can make your money back on this fit within only a few days of exploration, so pimping it is cutting into your potential profits. There’s no need to bling out the tank or whatever, it works just fine.

So that’s my thoughts on a PvE Pilgrim. Any other thoughts? Ideas? Something I’ve overlooked?

My loot box after two and a bit days of random scanning

If you're looking for a good exploration fit, then give this a try. I promise it won't disappoint. I made about 250mil with my Pilgrim in a week without really trying too hard with my awful scanning skills, so people with higher skills/more drive to explore can probably make a pretty decent living out of this.

Good luck out there guys :)

Also I’m currently working on a replacement Legion fit for LowSec combat sites, since once you’ve got a Pilgrim, a Legion isn’t that far off. Plus you can use the Legion for the Radar/Mag sites too, so you don’t need to own two ships. If I can get it working well, I’ll write another little guide on here for the Legion.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Without direction

As you may have guessed from the last post, I joined a wormhole corp on both my characters a little while back. I won't go into reasons why, but I decided I was going to leave Shattered Paradigm and try out wormholes.

And I loved it. Really I did. I made about 700million ISK in a C5 in like two days without even trying, and I was looking forward to some T3 fleet action when I got my skills up some more.

And then my corp got the double blow of an eviction, followed by a massive corp theft halfway through it.

I personally lost close to 2bil in Fuel/Ships/Skillbooks (which were stolen) and a Large POS + Mods that I had leave behind when we evacuated, since we didn't have enough time to unanchor it. And this evacuation wasn't streamlined or pretty. Oh hell no, that would be far too simple. It involved me scouting Zendrak through no less than five C6 wormholes, two C4s and a C3 which lead into LowSec (all of them occupied) looking for a way out for my Anathema, and my Bestower that carried about 300mil of stuff I'd managed to get out from the now clusterfuck that had been my home for almost a month.

And to add insult to injury, my LowSec exit couldn't be somewhere nice and quiet like Domain or Genesis. Oh hell no, it was smack dab in the middle of a faction warfare zone in Metropolis. It was in Vard, to be exact. One jump from the infamous Amamake. Which I'd have to go through to reach safety in HighSec.

I can tell you I needed several pairs of clean trousers after that scouting run.

But I made it, Bestower and all, and now I'm recovering my assets and seeing what I've got left. I'm not bankrupt by any means, but I'm looking at a nasty dent in my wallet, and I've got no idea how I'm going to fix it. My initial instinct was to get right back in a wormhole and rake in the cash, but I'm a little burned out from wormholes after that heroic escape attempt. So for the moment, I'm returning to the comforting home of LowSec with Seraph, and getting Zendrak back to business in HighSec.

But I'm lost. I don't know what I'm aiming for now.

I need to recover my wallet's health, get everything back together and think.

Maybe something will come up.

Anyway, fly safe guys

Sunday, 14 April 2013


Unknown Region
Unknown Constellation
Classified System (-1.0)
21:19 EVE Time (Local System)

Floating deep in unknown space under the furious glare of binary suns, a flicker appeared, as though the surface of reality was twitching. It steadily increased in frequency, moving faster and faster, fluctuating back and forth violently until the space around it literally tore from the stress. From the centre of the flickering tear, an stormy-surfaced orb appeared, reflecting the system's suns in its awful black and orange core. Slowly, the rolling surface of the orb calmed, currents and waves of light disappearing into a sleek stillness that emanated pure malice to those looking upon it.


"We've got a new signature"

"Where does it link to?"

"We're not sure, scouts are heading over now. But we believe it's back into known space"

"I see. Are we going for a supply run?"

"If we can. Form up on the hole in four minutes. You're on logistics."

"Yes sir"


Even when surrounded by multiple warships, the flickering tear in reality looked no less menacing. Nestled deep within his Guardian class cruiser, Zendrak couldn't tear his eyes off the camera drones, devouring every detail of the dangerous but beautiful space surrounding him.

A burst of static shocked him out of his reverie.

"Logistics group, are we stable?"

Zendrak sent a silent confirmation into the fleet channel, the communication shortly mimicked by his two cap chain partners, also in Guardian logistics cruisers some fourty kilometres off the hole. The chain was up, and repair systems were ready incase of an emergency. His corpmates had learnt long ago not to take unnecessary risks when traveling through wormholes. Orbiting closer to the hole was a Legion, two Abaddon Battleships and four Hurricane Battlecruisers, providing the guns of the operation. A single Devoter Heavy Interdictor sat almost on top of the bulging event horizon, to the point that it looked slightly blurry through the camera drones due to the distorted reality around the hole.

"Stability confirmed, scout jumping in now"

The Legion class cruiser, fitted for covert operations and deep-space scanning entered the tear, the silhouette of her golden hull twisting impossibly before it disappeared into the unknown. Several seconds of unease descended onto the fleet, each pilot wondering what was awaiting them on the other side.

Another burst of static.

"...Fleet this is Eyes. System appears clear of hostiles. Location is LowSec known space with highsec entry, Genesis Region. Currently twenty-one jumps from Jita --- Wait.. An unknown has decloaked off the hole"

"What's his ident?"

"Checking now... It's a Pilgrim Recon Cruiser... Shit he's jumped in"

"Damn it. - Fleet, get ready for hostile action. I want this thing dead before it can get into our home"

The Devoter's bubble ballooned to life, surrounding everything around the hole with a shimmering sphere that would prevent the intruder from warping away. There was a few seconds silence.

The wormhole flared...

Nothing happened.

The fleet watched patiently. They knew if the intruder didn't instantly jump out, they would catch him.


Zendrak stared out at the hole, already locking up his fleetmates incase the hostile decided to go on a suicide run. Madness for sure, but stranger things had already happened. He waited for some sign of the intruder.

Still the space around the hole was empty.

A gentle chime from Zendrak's comms array dragged his attention from the fleet. A communication request? Out here? He accepted the request warily, wondering who wanted to talk to him.

A rush of static filled the new channel for a few seconds, until a calm, warm, and familiar voice came across.

"....... --- Ah brother, I see you have made some friends out here. Is there any chance you can tell them not to blow me into the nearest scrapyard?"

Zendrak's jaw dropped inside his pod.



Friday, 5 April 2013

That awkward moment when you're still not dead

Yesterday I was on a roll.

No seriously stop laughing, I was doing really well and I don't know why. I've been flying terribly these last few weeks and my killboard has been suffering for it, so I've been trying to fly less expensive ships until I get over this bump in the road. Which led to yesterday's shenanigans!

I started out at around lunchtime, messing with a Coercer hull that I've had hanging around for like, ever. I realised I actually had the stuff to fit it too. "Well why not?" I thought. "It's going to be cheap after insurance anyway"

So I quickly cobble together a fit from what I've got in my module box and my loot box. It looks half decent so I decide to give it a try. I undock from Ualkin and head towards Amamake, since it's normally pretty busy with frigates around now.

Here's the fit if you want to give it a try:

Coercer - Pew
8 x Dual Light Pulse Laser II (Scorch S/Imperial Navy Multi S)

Warp Disruptor II
Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I

Heat Sink II
400mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plate I
Damage Control II

Small Energy Collision Accelerator I
Small Energy Metastasis Adjuster I
Small Anti-Explosive Pump I

When I arrived, Amamake was being terrorised by an armour BC gang so I decided to head to the surrounding systems for targets. Almost straight away I saw a Condor in Vard in a small plex, so I warped on over, Scorch loaded and hoped he would decide to go for me. I land in the plex only 5km from him. He's not moving. So I insta-blapped him.

Laughing I warp away and keep roaming, eventually moving through Auga where I see another Coercer on scan. "Screw it" I thought.

Warping in I hope I'll atleast get him into hull before I die, since I'm fully expecting this fight to go badly. I land about 15km from him, switch to Scorch again and whack up the overheat. He starts firing back, but most of his shots seem to miss, and he explodes gloriously just as my shields break. Looting the wreck shows me why, Tech 1 lasers and only gamma crystals. Unlucky good sir!

I offer a "gf gf" in Local and keep moving, pumped from my two victories (shut up, wins have been thin on the ground for me recently ;D). I head back to Ualkin to drop off my loot and decide to switch to my shield Thrasher for a few jumps. Heading back towards Amamake again, I spot a fellow Thrasher in a small plex, and warp over to engage.

I land only 5km from him, so I bump him with my MWD incase he's trying to align out and overheat my top rack, spewing phased plasma rounds straight into his shields at point blank range. He doesn't react for a few seconds before beginning to lock me back but it's far too late. By the time I'm at 3/4 shields he's already in hull, and soon pops. I scoop loot then check D-Scan on short range, hoping a foolish frigate will come in for a brawl.

Oh shit, AF gang.

I warp off just as the first  Hawk lands. That was a close one.

I head back to Ualkin, drop loot and switch back to my Coercer, missing the comforting "bzzzt-pew" of my lasers. Once again, I roam around the Amamake area, looking for fights which seem plentiful today. I quickly find another noob frigate hiding in a small plex, this time a Tristan in Kourmonen.

Landing 16km off him, I start burning over under MWD while sticking my long point on him. He sticks his drones on me in return (which I shit you not, were Navy Acolytes) and starts burning away, presumably trying to pull range but with my overheated MWD we're going the pretty much the same speed.

In the same direction.

No tracking issues at all, he goes down in five cycles of my lasers. I laugh again, scoop the loot and realise he's still sitting there in his pod.

Point. Lasers. Pop. Scoop the corpse.

I dock up to repair my MWD which has taken some heat damage and roam out again. I catch sight of a Federation Navy Comet in a small plex and argue with myself about engaging for a while. Then I decide to ride my luck and engage anyway.

Warping into the plex finds me 20km from the Comet, and a quick glance at his ship shows railguns.

Thank god!

He tries to hold range at around 10-12km, which I'm perfectly happy to let him do with the incredible thing that Scorch is, I just burn at him to make him fly in a straight line away from me. Both of us are overheating, and the damage I'm doing is bleeding through into his hull (he's active tanked). I'm slowly dying and I'm worried I'm not going to pull through this alive.

50% armour...
40% armour. He's barely into hull...
30% armour. Shit come on baby!
20% armour. He's in half hull.
10% A beautiful blue flash.

And I'm still alive!

"Gf" is swapped in Local, and I head over to the wreck like the vulture I am. And I get a dose of good luck... A 50mil ISK loot drop!

Epic win!

Cackling hysterically to myself I snatch the modules and run back to Ualkin, dropping them straight into my loot box. I admire my stuff for a few minutes before I head back out again, feeling in my bones I've still got some fight left in me. And I find it pretty fast in Siseide, where I see a Rifter warping to plexes, maybe scouting them. After a few minutes I catch him at the entrance to a novice plex and melt him.

Heheh I love these lasers.

Still warping around Siseide I catch sight of a Merlin on scan at a small plex.

Warping to the accel gate sees a Tristan landing next to me. Is he a friend of the Merlin? He warps in before me, and I hold on the gate for a few seconds deciding. Then I realise I might aswell go out with a bang, and warp in.

When I land I see the Merlin and the Tristan already blazing away at each other, so I decide to join in the fun. I lock them both up, point the Tristan and start melting the Merlin with my lasers, relying on the Tristan to point the Merlin for me. Pro tactics, am I right?

The Merlin pretty much collapses under the weight of our DPS, so I switch my guns over to the Tristan, hoping to get him before he slips under my tracking. Unluckily for him, he had been orbiting the Merlin, so when it popped, he slowed and stopped moving for a few seconds. Those few seconds got me several overheated wrecking hits with Imperial Navy Multifrequency crystals, and basically vaporised his Tristan before his drones even nibbled my armour.

Amarr Victor!

Apologising to both the pilots for crashing their party, I looted the wrecks and went back to Ualkin. They both seemed pretty cool with me joining in, since they both got killmails for their efforts even if I was the only one to be alive at the end.

So today was a good day for PvP, and I've found a new ship that I love to fly. I think things are finally looking up for my killboard!

Anyway, good luck out there guys :)

Wednesday, 3 April 2013

Sometimes I worry I'm too cautious

So as you might have guessed from the :omgsomanywords: narrative posts I've done recently, I now own a Pilgrim Recon Cruiser. And it's pretty damn awesome.

Well technically I own two of them but I'll talk about the second in a later post.

The first one is fit out for PvP. I won't bother telling you my fit because I'm still tweaking it after each fight I have to try and improve it, but basically it's got neuts, tracking disruptors, an active tank and several flights of drones. Pretty basic for the Pilgrim from what I know.

Now when you look at what the Pilgrim can do to a solo ship, it's pretty scary. I can cap out most battlecruisers within thirty seconds, even faster if they try to use guns such as lasers/blasters which need cap, or use propmods etc. The bonused tracking disruptors can cut ranges down to less than 5km or screw up their tracking to the point they're not going to hit a battleship sitting next to them. Of course, anything with drones or capless weapons is in slightly better shape, but not by much.

But here's the problem. That's what a Pilgrim can do to a solo ship.

Solo ships are bloody rare these days.

So that makes me wary when I finally find a potential target, mainly because my Pilgrim is expensive and I don't want to screw up my killboard, which is pretty bad anyway at the moment. I mean spent a good ten minutes on EVE-Kill when I was tracking that Maller, scouring his killmail history for any evidence it was bait fit, or perhaps going to murder me somehow. In my head, this is playing it safe with a potentially expensive lossmail.

However, one of my corpmates, Sarayu Wisdom says I worry too much when engaging targets. He's also a Pilgrim pilot, but he's been flying it longer than me and has a slightly different fit, to the point where any differences should be minimal. So basically we have similar capabilities and should engage similar targets right?


Here's an example. Wisdom and I were roaming around Kor-Azor LowSec a week or so ago. Both of us in Pilgrims, but we were in different systems scouting, and would meet up to attack things. Now I'm up in Pananan at this point, trying to catch a Bestower doing his PI runs. Wisdom is sitting just off the Ami gate in Fensi, a few jumps away watching for the local pirates while cloaked up.

TS3 Comms

Wisdom: Got a Vigilant on gate with me
Me: I'm trying to catch this Bestower, hang on.
Wisdom: Where are you?
Me: Pananan, about two or three jumps
Wisdom: *Silence*
Me: Damn it, he's got warp core stabs. He got away.... What are you doing?
Wisdom: *Still silent*
Me: Dude are you okay?
Wisdom: *Bursts out laughing* Yeah I'm fine but that Vigilant isn't.
Me: ...Are you shitting me?
Wisdom: Nope! Look it's in fleet


Turns out Wisdom had decloaked off gate just to see what the Vigilant would do. The Vigilant then apparently decided that engaging under gate guns would be a great idea (Wisdom isn't flashy), so he burned at Wisdom guns blazing. Wisdom disrupted his guns, neuted out all of his cap in about fifteen seconds, then stuck his drones on the Vigilant to make it go down faster. The "fight" lasted all of thirty seconds. The same thirty seconds that I spent chasing a stabbed-up Bestower.

I sulked for ages after that kill. Mainly because I would never had engaged it myself, and it bought home to me just how cautious I'm getting with my Pilgrim. Maybe I need to just say "Fuck it" and engage more often? I don't know, I see traps and cunning plans behind every ratting Legion, and I just assume that solo ships aren't solo anymore, because they never were when I was in GalMil.

Either way, I had seen that Vigilant roaming around several times before, and I never engaged it. No balls or playing it safe?

I don't know anymore.

Good luck out there guys :)

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

Well bollocks to this Russian lark

Zendrak recently left Red Alliance.

Seraph! Why was your alt flying with those damn ruskies/idiots/mouthbreathers/bads/scumlords/insert insult here anyway?

Because I was part of an industrial corp (Saku Industries) that had been recruited into RA in order to provide them with capitals. So basically the capital building corp I was in joined RA, and by extension, I joined RA too.

Which sucked.

No seriously, I got Alliance-wide messages almost everyday. Usually atleast three or four. And they were solidly written Russian essays, I swear to god. They could have been having a bloody literature competition for all I knew.

But Seraph, why were you even in that industrial corp to start with?

Did you even read the last bit?

They were building capitals

I wanted to help. Or atleast, make it appear I was helping, while planning to steal blueprints/components/completed capitals when I had the chance. And it would have worked too if it wasn't for those meddling Russians. Saku Industries had about zero corp security, they didn't even ask for my API. Robbing them blind would have been beautifully easy.

Then RA came into the picture and royally screwed up everything. So disgusted with my luck, I left Saku Industries without so much as a goodbye, came here to whine a little, and then started looking for a new corp. A corp I would be in to actually play with rather than attempt to rob blind because I swear I have awful luck when I try to steal things. And what's the first ad I see when I enter the recruitment channel?

A C5 Wormhole corp, "Dark Energy." looking for Logistics/Capital/T3 pilots. Well shit, that's almost me down to a T.

So instantly I joined their recruitment channel, chatted with them and was invited to hop onto their TS3 comms for an impromptu interview, right there and then. We seemed to get along well, so they asked for my API key (good start compared to Saku) and they'd look it over. Within about ten minutes they agreed I came back clean (as I expected, I've not actually done anything wrong on Zendrak) and said I could put in an application whenever I liked.


I've never done Wormholes before, and these guys seem like great teachers. Plus the projected ISK payouts look insane, and I'm hardly one to turn down a few billion a month! So Zendrak has been roped into Wormholes, but he's got a few skills to train before I'm going to join the corp in the hole, since he's got zero scanning skills (which is bad in a Wormhole) and needs to be able to fly a CovOps frigate at a minimum. But all of this is fine, because I've still got lots of things to deal with in HighSec for the moment, like organising all my crap and selling off surplus modules etc. So this means while I put my shit in order, I can tick down those skills I need, and hopefully within a week or so, I'll be welcomed into my new home with open arms.

Or maybe well aimed lasers. I hear Wormholers can be dangerous ;D

P.S Just to make it clear, I am not planning on trying to steal from these guys, mainly because Wormholes pay so well I have no need to, and also because their security measures make stealing things almost impossible. Which is good because I don't want my stuff stolen either!