Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Live from Thera

Jack Dancer had heard about a special wormhole named Thera that has recently appeared.  It was time to see what all the excitement was about.

I looked at Eve-Scout  and found an entrance relatively close to Auner.  So I headed there in a bare bones Stiletto and an empty clone.  I figured that I would probably die jumping into a gate camp in Thera - so no need to carry any extra valuables.  But I also was embolden by the new "free clone" rules - so even if this empty clone gets podded, it wouldn't cost me millions to replace it.

On the way there was one scary part - I had to pass through one high sec system.  My security rating is -8.9 the last time I looked and that's not what high sec citizens consider acceptable.  When I jumped in there was a warning from the police to leave.  I did - via the gate at the far end of the system.

My Stiletto was equipped for fast alignment (under 2 seconds) - so theoretically I was pretty safe.  It takes a second for someone to lock me and another for them to shoot and with under 2 seconds of align time I should be in warp by the end of that second second.

The trip was uneventful until I got to the system with the wormhole to Thera.  It's low sec and had 11 other pilots.  Plus about a dozen signatures to sort through.  I tossed out probes and around the ninth signature (the fourth wormhole) I found the link to Thera.  I bookmarked it and headed there.  I landed and passed through the wormhole into the new space.

I expected to find ships on the other side.  But fortunately, there were none.  I bookmarked the entrance (never forget to do this!) and picked a station at random  (of the 4 in system) to warp to at 100km.  I had no bookmarks in the system (of course) so I dropped a couple enroute.

It was a long "enroute".  Thera is a big place.  A very big place.  Setting up a deep safe more than 15k from anything will not be hard at all...

Very big.

Eventually I got halfway to the target station.  In an interceptor that travels at 8AU/s...  Halfway...

Then, a while later, I arrived 100k away from the station.  It was a madhouse.  There were bright flashy ships everywhere!  YOW!  I saw enough in an instant to decide to look elsewhere.  I headed back to one of my recently set up safe spots.

Then I chose another station and it turned out to be much quieter.  Just one Algos floating a hundred km above it.  I set up a perch and then landed at the station.  First thing I did was change my medical clone home to this new quieter station.  Looking at the map, the busy station is one of a pair that are close to each other - it wouldn't surprise me if one of them becomes the "Jita" of Theta.

So, now I have a clone in Theta.  I'll need to get some ships, but with the various options for exits (there must have been 20+ signatures available and lots of them were probably wormholes) I should be able to get to a market sometime soon.


Postscript:  When I discovered there was a route via Amo (one jump from Auner!) I headed back to Thera with a covert ops frigate loaded with boosters (thinking there might be a good market for illegal drugs there -the market didn't look that good though, so we'll see).

Then I went back to Auner in my pod and grabbed a firetail to have something with guns for personal protection in Thera.  I jumped through the wormhole in Amo and landed in a warp bubble!  YOW!  With the stiletto I was flying earlier it would have been no problem (interceptors aren't affected by warp bubbles) - but the firetail had no such luxury.  Fortunately, it wasn't a serious gatecamp - just a couple guys in small ships.  So I burned back to the wormhole and headed back to Amo with just a few of crusty edges on my shields.  I called it a night - happy to have two ships in Thera (one covert ops and one interceptor).

Friday, November 28, 2014

Three fights - one win, one draw, and one loss...

I flew over to a nearby system to get some illegal boosters and on the way noticed a couple incursuses (incursi) in a faction warfare plex.  I considered it.  My rifter wouldn't survive, but it might be fun.  But then I remembered that I was on a mission to pick up some cargo and decided to let the incursi live.

I stopped in the station, made the deal for the drugs, and headed back.  On the way back I noticed that Amand Caldurik (a fellow Black Rebel Rifter Club member) mentioned in the corp chat that he had lost his firetail to two incursi.  The same two that I had noticed.  They are a tough pair (one of them has 116 wins and 4 losses in November.  Personally, I'm much more impressed with Amand's record of 67 wins and 61 losses in November.  It shows a willingness to have fun.

But that's another topic.

So, as I was saying, I headed back to Auner with my illegal boosters.  When I got back there was activity in the system, so I dropped off the stash and headed out to see what I could find.

In one of the FW plexes was a kestrel.  Not my favorite target, but worth a fight.  I jumped through the gate on the plex with everything turned up to 11.  The kestrel was waiting and we started tearing each other apart.  My guns were doing good damage, but his missiles were too.  Soon we were both through our shields.  And shortly after we were through our armor.  My overheated armor repairer was struggling to keep up.

Then it was a race through the last of our defenses.  Smoke was everywhere!  And just as I was getting ready to finish off the kestrel - a firetail landed!  YOW!  I hoped that I would have enough to finish the kestrel before the firetail finished me.  And luckily, I did.  The kestrel exploded and I was left with 40% of my hull intact.  A very close fight!

GFs were exchanged in local and the firetail pilot noted that he should have overheated his prop mod to get in on the excitement (and sneak in on a kill or two...).

I immediately repaired my damaged rifter and headed out for round two.  A firetail is a tough frigate and I didn't have much hope of survival - but it would be fun trying.  I landed at the plex, turned up everything to 11 and headed through the gate.  The firetail was waiting for me.  The fight was on!

This one didn't go nearly as good as the fight with the kestrel.  I did some damage - but the firetail was doing more and able to keep up the repairs on his ship better than I was doing.  Eventually I lost my shields and armor and was going through my rifter's final defense - my hull.  And about that same time I noticed that my guns had burned up from overheating.  YOW!

Fortunately, I had somehow slipped far enough away from the firetail that I was no longer held by his warp scrambler - so I hit warp and heard the reassuring voice telling me I was in warp and safe.  This time I had 70% of my hull left - I was again smoking and on fire.  My armor repper also burned up due to overheating as I was flying away.

A very close call.  GFs were exchanged in local.

I again headed back to the station and I noticed that my opponent, Khallii, was also in the station repairing.  I again headed out with the rifter - this time changing my ammunition to barrage and moving my orbit distance to 4km.  I wanted to try staying away from those firetail guns...

I managed to stay away from the firetail's guns.  Because Khallii re-shipped to a breacher.  Unfortunately, I couldn't stay away from the breacher's rockets and the rifter finally died a glorious death!

GFs were again exchanged in local and we chatted about the sad state of the rifter today compared to its past glory...


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.