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...

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Man in the Arena

From Theodore Roosevelt's "Man in the Arena" speech - Sorbonne, Paris, April 23, 1910:  


It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

That Was a Surprise...

I thought I'd maybe check on some wormholes in Auner and headed to the hangar to grab a cheetah scanning ship.  Hmmm...  Where is that thing?  Lots of rifters and slashers.  But no cheetah.

I checked my assets screen and noticed that it was still in Lantorn.  That's right!  I had been heading over there a few days ago when I was ambushed by 9 (or was it 13?) enemies who destroyed my firetail.  Checking the link, it turns out it was only 4 of them.  It seemed like more at the time...

Whatever.

I decided to head over to Lantorn to pick up the cheetah. I found a merlin that seemed like a good ship to take me the 7 jumps - and if I could find a fight or two along the way and lose the merlin that would be fine too.

It didn't take long to find a fight.

In the next system over, Resbroko, I saw a Republic Fleet Firetail on scan.  I quickly narrowed it down to a faction warfare plex and turned all the knobs up to 11.  I didn't have much hope of surviving against the firetail in my modestly equipped merlin and I wasn't high on any performance enhancing drugs.  But it was worth a try and the worst that could happen would be I'd head back one jump for a new ship.

I landed on the gate and jumped through.  The firetail as close and I chose a close orbit, scrambled his warp engines, webbed him, and started tearing into him with my overheated blasters.  Things went very well.  I was doing plenty of damage and he was hitting me lightly - my speed might have been too much for his 200mm autocannons.

Whatever the reason, in a relatively short time the firetail exploded!

That was a real surprise.  But a nice one for a change.

I continued on - through masses of FW gangs that I avoided.  Waved hello to former Black Rebel Tomba when we were in the same system, and eventually made it to Lantorn without incident.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

One-A-Day

I've been on a one-a-day schedule here for the past three days.  Losing one ship a day.  First a rifter, then a slasher, and tonight a firetail.

The rifter I've mentioned.

I was out in the slasher last night and came across a merlin at a gate in Orfrold (that name dances off the tongue, doesn't it?  Orfrold).  I sat there for a few seconds and he sat there for a few seconds.  No sense fighting at the gate since the gate guns would tear through my slasher in a volley or two - so I headed to the sun hoping that he would follow.  Nielendorane Galtran followed me a few seconds later in his merlin.

We jumped on each other and started blasting away.  I was taking some damage, but when I turned on the afterburner to get some additional speed (and with it distance from my foe) things got much more comfortable.  With barrage ammo and the range script in the tracking disruptor I was able to destroy the merlin relatively easily.  GFs were exchanged in local.

I moved on and came across an imperial navy slicer at a plex.  That should be fun.  I turned everything up to 11 headed to the fight.  We started battling and things weren't especially going well - slicers can be tough.  And then the slicer's friend arrived in a harpy and things definitely went down hill fast.  I blew up quickly.  GFs were again exchanged in local.

Then tonight I noticed that there were a lot of abandoned drones in Auner - the FW guys seems to abandon drones with every fight.  I like to clean the system up now and then, so I headed to the hangar to get in my Cheetah to scan them down.  No Cheetah.  I looked around and I had apparently left it in Lantorn for some reason.  I hopped into a Republic Fleet Firetail that was handy and headed to Lantorn.

Along the way I scared a FW plexer in a plex to the point that he fled from me in his warp stabbed merlin after I started to pummel him.

Further along I came to the Hadozeko/Ardor gate and prudently landed at a perch a couple hundred km from the gate.  There were 3 thrashers and a catalyst at the gate.  Hmmm...  We looked at each other for a few seconds and they jumped through.

I waited for about 30 seconds so that they could move along to their next stop, and then jumped through.

That was a mistake.  On the other side were the 4 destroyers.  oh oh.

I have been in this spot before and usually the frigate that I'm flying can just fly away from gate camps.  Occasionally I get caught, but usually not - so I wasn't too worried.  "We'll see how this goes," I thought.

I picked my next destination, hit the warp button, hit the damage control button, and suddenly everything was turning red.  I was caught and taking massive damage.  This is bad.  I slammed the warp button repeatedly and just a couple seconds later, after my firetail blew up, I managed to get my pod away safely.

GFs were exchanged in local and a brief chat:

Caldari Joans > gf
Caldari Joans > figured you wouldn't jump through
Jack Dancer > gf
Lelden Praxis > gf
Jack Dancer > I'm not that clever...  :-)
Caldari Joans > ahh lol
Lelden Praxis > lol
Caldari Joans > live and learn
Caldari Joans > got the pod out!

I made the next jump into Lantorn and decided that those drones could wait for another day to be picked up.



Sunday, March 2, 2014

Welcome Back Jack!

For the past couple week's I've been away from Eve - Cold Turkey.  Our daughter got married in Chile (where she lives) and we were down there for the excitement.  She has internet of a sort - but a dial-up connection was just too painful to deal with, so I was glad that I put a couple loooooong training choices on my two accounts.  Jack is finishing Neurotoxin Recovery V.

Speaking of which, today I was wandering around Metropolis looking for trouble and popped a Standard Exile Booster to try out drug enhanced flying.

First off I met a Republic Fleet Firetail that was sitting about 70km away from a novice FW complex.  That seemed like it would be a good test for my rifter so I headed towards him with everything turned up to 11 and my mind buzzing from the exile booster like I was back in college...

The Firetail fled.  Or at least he headed in the opposite direction from me - very possibly waiting for some help.  He was facing a Jack Dancer Rifter...

I left him and ended up in Auner.  Here I found an Atron in a novice FW plex.  Excellent!  I again turned everything up to 11 and headed to the complex.  I jumped through the gate and there he was.  No running this time - Mr. Spaxi was looking for a fight too.  I had a few technical difficulties - it's been a while since I was in a combat situation...  Eventually I sorted things out and the Atron was a flaming ball of rubble.

As I was fighting Mr. Spaxi's Atron, Aeonax Aeternal arrived in a Kestrel.  I turned my attention to him and again fumbled with the controls.  Eventually I again got things straightened out and his ship blew up.

As I was finishing with Aeonax Aeternal's Kestrel five other Bastards ( No, I'm not calling them a derogatory name - their corp is named The Bastards...) arrived in short order and attacked me. I again fumbled around and managed not to destroy any of them before my rifter was a heap of smoldering duct tape.

I was proud to see that they felt it would take 7 of them to destroy it though.  Rifters still get respect...

The first two - Mr. Spaxi and Aeonax Aeternal - were members of Meatshield Bastards which is The Bastards training corp.  I've met some of them before and they're always up for a fight and good sports win or lose.

In the end GFs were exchanged in local, the exile booster seemed to work pretty well, and I went off to find some munchies...

Saturday, January 18, 2014

Smallpox Inoculation...

So today I joined the 100th RvB Ganked Roam.  It has been a topic of discussion for weeks with R1FTA and with (of course) RvB (where I also have a character).  I was excited at the prospect of a big fight with capital ships dropping into the system.

I moved some ships to the neighborhood of the secret fight location during the week and set aside some time this morning for the event.  When the call for x's to join the fleet went out Jack Dancer x'd up along with my RvB pilot.  I'd have two in the fight.  I wasn't sure how I would manage it, but I had them both in empty clones and cheap ships - so nothing too bad could happen even if it was a fiasco.

The RvB character got parked near the expected scene of the action and I mostly concentrated in advance on getting Jack Dancer over that way (it was about 15 low sec jumps away).  Patrick Kasper organized things for the Rebels and we all headed off in a relatively coordinated unit (well, as coordinated as our bunch ever is...).  The trip  to the staging area was like passing through a rainbow - flashy red and yellow ships on many of the gates.  Fortunately, they were after bigger (and slower) fish than our frigates.

Finally, after about 2 1/2 hours of sorting the fleets out, we were ready to jump into the system where the fight would happen - Hysera.  Jack Dancer's rifter arrived at about the same time as the Caracal of my RvB character.  The fight was on!

Or was it?  Immediately, confusion reigned.  With two (or was it three?) "friendly" fleets of a couple hundred ships each it was difficult to tell who was friend and who was foe.  And, with the R1FTA contingent mostly being less than upstanding citizens (and having a flashing red stigma related to our security status...) - we apparently got targeted early.  When I heard on comms, "It's ok to shoot the flashies" I had a bad feeling about things...

And with tidi setting in from all the ships arriving, it slowed everything down.  A couple of my R1FTA mates were targeted.  Then it was my turn.  I tried to get out, but no luck.  And my pod had the same fate.  I woke in a neighboring system where I had assigned my clone and reshipped into a rifter that I had there.  I headed back to the fight.

My other character's caracal was mostly sitting around in a confused state and I thought that I might zip out and come back at range to get a better view of things.  I picked a random customs station and warped to 70.

I switched back to Jack Dancer's rifter and navigated the slow jump back into the system and pointed him at a safe spot that we had set up earlier.

Then I switched back to the caracal to find it in the midst of a bunch of bad people in frigates who had, by chance, been sitting at that same customs station!  Webbed and scrambled my caracal was going nowhere.  I did my best to shoot at some of them, but with the tidi and my remarkable (not in a good way) skills, I didn't manage to kill any of them.  My caracal exploded, but I got my pod out safely (with a cruiser there's more time for future planning than in a frigate...).  I headed out of the system to pick up another ship.

I went back to Jack's rifter and tried to make sense of the audio comms and the fleet chat - but that didn't go so well.  I couldn't make heads or tails of it (and I'm thinking I wasn't alone).  Most of the R1FTA guys were talking about a new plan for the roam - leaving the system and flying on their own to see what they could find as a small gang.

Somewhere through here I was moving the rifter back out of the system and the RvB character back into the system.  Confusion not only reigned in Hysera but also in my mind.  I'd go from one character to the other - tidi was making for some slow warps - and back to the first character.  And at one point I found that Jack Dancer's rifter had disappeared and I was back in my pod (even though I had the impression that I was flying the RvB character at that time...).  How did that happen?  I didn't know and checked the killmail.  It was the police!  The station that had my extra rifters is one jump away in high sec and apparently the local constables took offense at my security status.  Fortunately, they don't pod people.

At about this point - 3 1/2 or 4 hours after I had first started the adventure, I gave up.  I got both characters to relative safety - Jack to a low sec station and my RvB character to a high sec station - and logged both of them off.

What did I learn?  Well, like a small pox inoculation, I think I'm safe from future Big Fights.  I'll stick with my solo roaming and small gangs of friendly pilots.

Patrick Kasper did an excellent job of coordinating the R1FTA wing, or squad, or whatever it was.  And Mangala Solaris (along with lots of other folks) put a lot of effort into the event.  And the R1FTA contingent was, as always, fun to be with.  Thanks to all of you.  And to you bad people that shot me - no hard feelings...