Sunday, November 23, 2014

Thestarling

I was heading back to my home in Auner and looking for trouble along the way.

In on FW plex I landed near an executioner - but he smartly decided to scamper off.  So I didn't manage to catch him.

Then a couple systems later I spotted a tristan in a plex.  Tristans are tough.  Real tough.  I don't remember winning against them, but I do remember lots of losses to them.  But the rifter I was flying was built for exploding - so I headed in with everything turned up to 11.

Things went reasonably well for a few seconds.  Then turned bad.  Very bad.  I quickly exploded.

The other pilot turned out to be former Black Rebel Rifter Club corpmate Thestarling.  A much more lethal pilot than I am.  We exchanged GFs in local and caught up on old times for a few minutes before I headed two jumps back to Auner to equip another frigate.

Friday, November 21, 2014

Pesky Kestrel

Having about 20 minutes of free time last evening, and not being tied to the market and my planetary interaction systems, I headed out in a rifter to purchase some modules for a different rifter build that I was considering.  The closest available low sec option for the modules was about 7 jumps from Auner so I headed that way looking for trouble enroute.

In this case trouble was looking for me too.

I found a kestrel in a system.  Kestrels aren’t a favorite prey of mine.  I have a bad feeling from when I was flying a slasher with a range reduction script (which has zero effect on missiles of any sort).  So I usually pass on the opportunity of fighting rocket equipped ships like the Kestrel.  It’s probably not a correct decision when I’m not flying a range-reduction slasher – but old habits are hard to break.

I jumped to a couple more systems and noticed that the kestrel was following me. 

In the market system I spotted a purifier in a Faction Warfare complex.  I remember Miura Bull saying one time that he never passes on the opportunity to fight a stealth bomber when in a frigate. So I don’t either.

But when I arrived in the FW plex the bomber was a safe 75km away.  I headed towards him at maximum speed in hopes of getting close enough to catch him.  I didn’t.  He prudently cloaked up and was gone.

In the meantime the kestrel had arrived – so I turned in his direction.  The usual scram, web, guns, and rocket routine.  Plus the afterburner to keep my speed as high as possible to cut down on the rocket damage I was receiving.  We circled each other and did serious damage both ways.  My armor repairer was keeping me alive and my weapons were putting some serious dents into his ship.  Eventually my ship prevailed and the kestrel blew up!

I picked up the undestroyed modules from his ship – took additional damage from the rats that were infesting the FW plex (even to the point of taking some hull damage) – and headed to the station to pick up the modules I came for and to repair the smoking damage to my ship.


GFs were exchanged in local.  The purifier pilot asked if we could maybe kill some of the rats in the FW plex for him.  Both the kestrel pilot and I declined…

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Another New Plan


I was contemplating changing my capsuleer life style the other day. 

Maybe I would cut back from two accounts (currently one account consists of Jack Dancer-Hauler-Trader and the other is WH dweller-Red Frog contractor-RvB member) – maybe go with just one account (Jack Dancer-Hauler-RvB member I was thinking) and sell the trader and WH dweller after clone costs go away in the next update (then the wasted XPs on these accounts will no longer be considered wasted XPs by potential purchasers…).  With just one account I would splurge for a year’s subscription in cash so that my only need for ISK would be to replace combat losses.  No more worries about the rising ISK price of PLEX.  No more daily worries about updating my Jita market offers and my two characters’ PI (which on an average day is my entire Eve involvement).  That would save about 20 minutes before work and another 20 minutes after work every day that I could use for more interesting endeavors. 

Like piracy.

But I do enjoy Dabbling in All Things Eve™ – so losing my Red Frog hauling option and cutting back on market trading might not be the best plan.  I enjoy both of those.

I came up with another plan. 

Market trading and PI will now be once-a-day morning “before work” activities.  It means less attention to them and probably less profits, but I have a pretty comfortable bankroll to fall back on.  The plan will free up the “after work” time for solo piracy, exploration, and RvB fleets.  Stuff that I'd like to do more of.  We’ll see how this plan works out.  

And to kick it off, I was flying around Metropolis last night in a rifter looking for trouble.  It was a busy evening – lots of pilots in systems.  My standard hunting plan is to find systems with a few pilots – maybe 6 or 7 max – so that there’s less chance of help arriving for whatever enemy I manage to catch up to.  There were several systems with more than a dozen very mean people in them.  So I passed through those relatively quickly.

Eventually, I found a target.  An incursus was in one of the small FW sites (the system only had 4 other pilots – so it looked relatively safe).  I headed there with my guns and rockets turned up to 11. 

I landed close (he was waiting for a fight) and immediately turned on the scrambler, web, autocannons and rocket launcher.  I was using barrage ammo (which has a range advantage) so on my way to the fight I set my “orbit at” range to a comfortable 6,000 meters.  Close enough that I’ll be inside my web and scram range, but far enough to stay away from his nasty blasters.

The plan worked to perfection (or at least as close to “perfection” as any of my ill-thought-out and even worsely executed plans can…).  The incursus was taking lots of damage – I was taking none.  I soon had him in low armor and his armor repairer was doing yeoman duty trying to keep him alive.  I turned off the heat on the guns and rockets (they were starting to glow a bright red) and closed the orbit to 2.5k to increase my damage to get through to his structure.  It worked.  He soon blew up! 

\o/

We exchanged GFs in local and he noted that he just couldn’t get close enough to me.  My combination of a web and barrage was a winner.  During the fight I noticed that he had me only scrammed – not webbed – so I had total range control with my speed advantage when compared to his.


A nice start to my new plan of evenings with guns blazing…

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Rifter Madness!


I was roaming around my base in Auner looking for trouble.  The other 6 pilots in Auner were sitting in the station, so I started jumping through the systems leading away from high sec.  In one I came across a merlin on scan.  A perfect target for my rifter.  Or, more likely, vice versa…

I narrowed him down to a Faction Warfare plex and headed there with everything overheated and all knobs turned up to 11!  But, when I arrived, he was gone.  A runner.  Or a cloaker.  Many of the FW guys are reticent to do battle with anyone.  And, it’s probably a good idea for many of them seeing as they are often either new players or new alts of players and don’t have many skills.

So I continued on.

The next couple systems were filled with FW pilots – 25 in each.  That’s a big number for our neighborhood and I moved through them as quickly as I could. 

Then I found a quiet system.  And I found that same merlin.

I narrowed his location down to a plex and again headed there with guns overheated.  This time he was there and waiting for me.

I set the orbit to a tight 500 meters and started peppering him with my blazing autocannons.  In return he was taking big chunks out of my shields with his neutron blasters (those things are vicious!).  I turned on my armor repper when he reached my armor and continued to take his shields down step by step.

It wasn’t looking good.

But then I finally made it through his shields and things changed.  His armor and hull quickly disappeared and then there was the big explosion!  I won!  \o/

We chatted in local and he asked about my fit – whether it had a plate.  I shared it with him (it did – just the standard 200mm).  He said, “that explains it”.  I didn’t mention that I was also wearing the slave implants (Thanks The CEO!) that no doubt boosted the armor by large amount…  J

I scooped the loot and headed to a station to repair.  Then I headed to a nearby system where I had some exile boosters from a previous purchase.  I grabbed one of those and headed back to Auner – it was getting late.

I managed to slip through the busy FW systems and when I arrived in Auner there was a Procurer mining ship on scan.  Hmmm…

I found him in an asteroid belt and turned up everything to 11 on my way there.  I had no real hope that my rifter could kill him (especially since I was low on ammo after the previous fight) – but I was game for trying.

I arrived to find 5 hobgoblin II drones flying around the procurer and a bunch of wrecks from the belt rats.  I tackled him, targeted the hobgoblins and started killing them.  Well, killing one of them.  Then I targeted a second and started in on it.  My shields were rapidly being destroyed by the drones so I gobbled down the exile booster pill and turned on the armor repairer.  I also noticed that I was not tackled – the procurer didn’t have a scrambler so I was free to leave if necessary.

I was having trouble hitting this second hobgoblin but doggedly continued.  My armor was losing to the combined efforts of the 5 drones and soon it was almost gone.  It was time to leave!  I picked a planet and hit the warp-to button – at about the same time that I heard those scary words in a very comforting voice, “The capacitor is empty”. 

Oh oh.

I kept jabbing the warp button and a couple seconds later I was flying through space.  I had escaped the procurer with my rifter burning and smoking – but intact generally!

I said “gf” in local and got ignored.  I then looked at the effects of the exile booster and noticed that I was suffering from a side effect – “reduced tracking”.  That explained why I was having trouble hitting the drones even with them webbed.


A fun evening.

Saturday, June 7, 2014

Implants

First off, my thanks to The CEO who offered me a new set of pirate implants in the comments to my previous post (to replace the set I so foolishly lost being afk and writing a blog post) at a very reasonable price.  Very reasonable.  My sincere thanks.

Secondly, on the topic of implants, my usual go-to set has not much changed since a couple years ago (though I now use a Zor's Custom Hyper-Link in slot 8).  99% of the time I'm flying with these (plus the new CA-1 and CA-2 in slots 1 and 2 that help tremendously with fitting).  This set is reasonably priced and gives worthwhile advantages both offensively and defensively.

I don't generally fly with fancy Slaves or Snake implants.  When I'm looking for a bit more adrenalin I'll stick them in and then start to panic when my ship comes close to structure.  The added thrill is fun.  And my record at escaping with my pod in low sec is pretty good.  I get a lot of practice.  A lot.

As to the CA-1 and CA-2 implants that are currently selling for upwards of 40 million each - I managed to purchase a bunch of them by putting up buy orders in out of the way backwater regions for 3-6 million.  People that received them as a CCP gift and had no use for them would sometimes just sell them rather than sort out a more profitable option (try figuring out out to get to market from the Solitude region for instance...).  Since there were no other buy orders in these out of the way regions, my offer was the best they could get.

Thanks again to The CEO.  Much appreciated.

Saturday, May 24, 2014

Victory! And Defeat...

I find that I tend to neglect Jack Dancer and instead use my limited Eve time to update PI, update station trader orders, and on weekends fly cargo afk around space while I’m puttering around the house or driving around town.  Plus sometimes I wander around null sec with my explorer looking for relic sites and trying to escape bubbles on gates.

But I have been getting some thrills with Jack Dancer recently.  Mostly fiery deaths – but thrills nonetheless (you can check my killboard for proof!).

Today I updated Jack Dancer's skill queue and noticed that there were a dozen other pilots in Auner.  That's a large number and I popped out of the station to see what was happening.  There were a couple ships on grid and I zipped out to my automatic undock spot and then came back to a perch near the station to see what was what.

One of the ships on the station (at a station perch of his own) was a rifter.  OK, that would work.  I was flying a 400mm armor rifter.  I checked the local FW complexes and there was a couple on dscan - one medium and one large.  I was looking for a small one just to limit the size of ships that could come through.  I checked the "probe scanner" tab and there were several novice and small FW complexes that hadn't been activated yet - so I immediately warped to a novice complex to activate it and hoped that the other rifter would see me heading there.

He did and arrived shortly after.

I was loaded with barrage and set up a 6km orbit to take advantage of my ammo.  In retrospect, this was probably of little value - with a 400mm plate weighing my rifter down, I didn't have especially good speed and the other rifter would be able to dictate our range.

The battle went reasonably well.  Both ships went though the other's shields relatively quickly, but then my large shield started to slow down the other rifter's damage.  He was repairing the damage to his armor, but I was marching slowing through it (barrage doesn't do the greatest damage).

Eventually the other rifter exploded while I was about 1/2 way thorough my armor.  GFs were exchanged in local and my opponent, Qintes of the Meatshield Bastards (a fun bunch), asked politely if I'd share my build.  I opened a conversation with him and passed it along.  We chatted a bit and will probably meet again.

In retrospect it was good that I didn't have an armor repairer since Qintes' rifter included an energy sapper and in the future I'll need to remember that a 400mm plate definitely lets the other ship dictate range.

And as a final postscript, I just popped back to the game to get information on Qintes' "5W Infectious Power System Malfunction".  After the fight and repairing in station I had left Jack Dancer afk in a deep safe 14.6au from any celestial while I wrote this report.  Totally safe since it's not on dscan from anywhere.

Totally safe.

Unfortunately, when I returned to the Eve screen, I was no longer at the safe spot.  I was in station.  In my pod.  Oh oh.

(Editor's Note:  This is just a lesson to potential bloggers that blogging can be a very dangerous enterprise...)

I checked the kill report and BraceKirk of the Bastards had destroyed my rifter and podded me (along with my low grade slave set that had done yeoman duty in the fight with Qintes...).  It turned out (I chatted with BraceKirk to see how he had managed it) that he also had a deep safe out there and I was the only ship on dscan (of course).  He probed me down and then sent in his condor to finish me off.  Nice job BraceKirk!

Time to go back to my trader alt to have him put in orders for a new slave set...