Tuesday, January 31, 2012

PVP Podcasts

I'm always looking for videos and podcasts to help improve my meager PvP skills.  Kil2 has some excellent videos on youtube and now I came across some podcasts that he does with Kovorix.

Check them out here: http://www.club-bear.com/pods.html

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Rematch in Hek - Death of Rodan the Flying Rifter

I started the morning off with a tour from Dodixie to Hek looking for more illegal miners.  None to be found.  But I did come across Rutkov (my nemesis from yesterday) at a gate and exchanged hellos.  He was in his wolf and I knew that a rematch with that monster wouldn't be a Very Good Idea(tm).  So I passed on the opportunity.

I pulled into Hek to look over more than 4,000 Foxfire Rage Rockets that I had purchased at an extremely good price overnight just to be sure they were in serviceable condition.  They were.  I also noticed that my arch-enemy Rutkov had shown up in local.

Just to show that I can learn from my mistakes, I left the station and immediately warped to my instant undock location.  Safely past the one ship mini-gatecamp I noticed that Rutkov had switched from his wolf to a rifter.  As I've said before, I hate fighting rifters.  It seems like they always do pretty much what my rifter does, but better.  On the other hand, Rutkov had made the effort to swap ships, so the least I could do would be give him a fight.

I mentioned that he was in system in the Black Rifter intel channel and received an offer of assistance, but I asked for this to be mano a mano between me and Rutkov.  The Rebels certainly understand the concept of non-blob behavior and stood by.

The fight was a good one.  I'm still at a loss as to what's happening during the 40 seconds of mayhem, but I put everything in motion as I should have (all systems activated and turned up to 11, orbiting close and spewing death from my autocannons and rocket launcher, armor repairer turned on when the shields were collapsing).  I don't think I was ever ahead in the fight, but I was never too far behind.  Eventually the sirens and red lights started and I exploded.

GFs were exchanged in local and Rutkov generously offered to return the surviving modules from my wreckage.  I thanked him and told him to keep them.

In review there's nothing that I could have done differently or better.  It was just (again) a case of the better pilot winning.  I did see in the lossmail that Rutkov was equipped with 200mm autocannons.  I don't have the support skills yet to replace my 150s with 200s, but it's the skill that I'm currently training.  So in a couple weeks I should be able to try out the bigger guns in my standard rifter fit.

GF Rutkov.

Current Death to Flying Things Score: 3-16-1

Saturday, January 14, 2012

It was the worst of times... It was the best of times...

I read over the latest list of illegal miners and smugglers that the Black Rebel Rifter Club has signed up to bring to justice.  I see these lists of war targets (WT) and usually look for the flashy red ships, but don't often get lucky.  So when I had wrapped up some trade deals in the Hek station I saw that a WT was somewhere in the Hek system.  OK, maybe I'll go find him.

I undocked my rifter of fury (named "Godzilla") and immediately discovered the WT right outside the station - a guy named Rutkov in a wolf.  Remember when I killed a wolf?  This story doesn't have that fairy tale ending...

So, what did I do?  Basically panicked.

YOW!  Wait a minute!  I'm not ready! Give me a second, would ya? Do overs!  Do overs!


I was taking damage, so I targeted the wolf, started shooting, orbited, scrambled and webbed him.  To no avail.  I died relatively quickly.  Not surprising since Rutkov has more experience than me, was flying a better ship, and also was prepared for combat.  (As a side note, he seems like an OK person.  He apologized in local after the fight for being over-shipped - though I had no problem with wolf/rifter combat.)

There were several lessons to be learned as I thought about what had happened.  In the excitement I forgot to turn on my Damage Control Unit or overheat my modules.  As I said, things happened quickly when I left the station.  I've made bigger blunders in the past (boy, have I!), but in an ideal world I always turn on the DCU and turn all the dials up to "11".  And I could have avoided the sudden panic if I had just warped to one of the two "insta-undocks" that I have outside that station.  I would have been out of the clutches of the rascal and could have turned everything up to 11 and fought the wolf (probably to the same fiery result) in a more measured and focused manner.  The insta-undocks are there for just this reason, but I didn't use them.

Next time I'll be ready to warp away when leaving a station if there are WTs in local.

So I pointed my pod to Auner and put together another rifter (this one named "Rodan" - I like that name...) to see if I could find any other non-wolf WTs.  I set my autopilot to Dodixie and headed off.  It didn't take long.

One jump away from Hek, In Uttindar, I saw that another WT was in the system.  I started jumping from one asteroid belt to the next in hopes of finding him.  Sure enough, there he was!  A guy named Provinchka, illegally mining and also destroying law abiding Serpentis citizens (frigate wrecks were all around him).

I had the DCU activated this time and also had all the knobs turned to "11" - so it was a simple matter of orbiting the criminal and administering justice with my 150mm autocannons and rockets.  Which I did.  With gusto.  He had Valkyrie II drones buzzing around, but with my speed they weren't hitting me much.  I was barely into armor when the covetor blew up.   I scooped up a couple strip miner modules and the valkyries from the wreckage and they'll pretty much pay for the rifter I had lost earlier.

So a win and a loss in my personal "Death to Flying Things Campaign".  The current standings: 3 wins, 15 losses, and 1 draw.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The Jack Dancer Standard Set of Implants for Rifter Pilots

A couple posts ago when talking about adding jump clones I mentioned that I would be filling the heads of most of them with the “standard set of implants”.  That "standard" has changed a bit since my last post on implants and now includes the following:

Slot 6 - This is still a no-brainer.  The SP-603 (formerly called the SX-1) gives 3% additional damage from small projectile turrets.  And these things can be extremely cheap if you put out orders in the right trade locations.  I’ve picked up a bushel of them for about 30k each.  No rifter pilot should enter space without one in their head.

Slot 7 – Another easy choice.  The EM-703 (formerly called the AY-1) gives 3% improvement to ship agility. 

Slot 8 – The MC-803 (formerly called the ZET300) improves your hull by 3%.  Also consider Zor's Custom Hyper-Link (improved AB and MWD speed).  I haven’t purchased any of these, but they might be worth trying.  There’s also a cheaper Zor’s Custom Navigation Link that fits slot 7! (AB boost but no boost to your MWD) – so be sure you know what you are buying.

Slot 9 – Here we get away from my previous ideas about implants and spend some additional isk.  The SS-903 (formerly called the CX-1) grants an additional 3% damage from all turrets.  Well worth the money.

Slot 10 – And finally, slot 10 is another change from my previous post.  The HG-1003 (formerly called the ZET500) gives 3% improvement to armor (like the MC-803 did for hull). 

Each of these implants has an additional upgrade that often costs 5x or 10x more for a 5% improvement instead of 3%.  For the additional 2%, it’s probably not cost effective.  But on the other hand, if you have more isk than you know what to do with, then SP-605, EM-705, MC-805, SS-905, and HG-1005 might be worth purchasing.

Let me also say that anyone serious and with isk to burn should look at Slots 1-6 for a complete Low-Grade Slave Set.  It’ll cost the better part of a billion isk, but I salivate when looking at what it could do for my armor tank – 33.83% improvement!  I wonder if a Dual Repper Low-Grade Slave Set Rifter would be fun…  It would certainly surprise your opponent.  But with that price tag, I’m afraid it’s only going to be speculation for me for quite a while…  And I can’t imagine having the billions and billions of isk for the “high-grade” Slave Set (which provides 53.63% armor improvement!).

And as a final suggestion.  You might consider setting up region-wide “buy” orders for 10 of each of these implants at rock bottom prices.  Look to see what other “region-wide” orders might be offering and make yours just .01 isk higher.  Be sure to make the buy orders “region-wide” in regions with or without a trade hub and see what happens.  You might be surprised at the results (but don't expect immediate satisfaction!).  Update the orders every few days or weekly so that they are the best region-wide offer available (no real need to watch them closely).

Monday, January 9, 2012

Shirley Temple RIP

I had decided that it had been too long since I last lost a ship and so headed out in the newest rifter off the assembly line, the SS Shirley Temple, to see if I could change that record.  I searched the map for systems that had recent NPC kills and visited some of them but didn't find any of the rat killers.

Then I strolled into Gukarla and found a bunch of potential targets.  Potential targets in the sense of targets that I had no chance whatsoever of defeating.  Especially since they all seemed to be friends with each other...  There was a Stabber Fleet Issue, Myrmidon, Loki, Legion, Ishtar, Arazu, Drake and Cynabal.  More than even the SS Shirley Temple could handle.  So after hanging out in a safe spot or two I decided to move on.  But just to be on the  safe side I warped to 100k from the Taff gate to see if the coast was clear.  Sure enough there was the Stabber and Legion sitting on the gate.

I made a bit of a mistake at this point.  I assumed that being 100k away from them that I was safe.  I chatted with the guys in the Black Rifter corp channel about the ships on the gate.  Then I noticed that the Stabber was about 50k from me.  And then an instant later 40k.  How did that happen??!?!!

I immediately (well, my definition of "immediately" might be different from other people's since it involved fumbling around with the mouse trying to find the sun...) gave instructions to warp to the sun to get away.

Too late.  I was targeted.  Oh oh.  But I had heard the "Warp drive..." words so I had hopes of escaping.

Nope.  The warp drive engines died.  And so did Shirley Temple.

What did I learn?  Be careful around enemies - even if they seem to be a safe distance away.  Chatting with the Rebels and not watching the targets can result in bad outcomes...  But, on the bright side, I did lose a rifter like I had set out to do...

Death to Flying Things updated score: 2-14-1.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

The Ultimate Rifter Fit!

I came across this video on youtube.  It think it is probably the best rifter fit I've ever seen and wanted to spread the information and get more people to fit their rifters properly.  It's unconventional, but totally solid and I highly recommend it for everyone - especially those that I happen to meet in honorable battle in order to give me an extra challenge (as if I needed one!).

If you're new to PvP then fit up a rifter exactly as explained in this video and come to Auner and try your hand against Jack Dancer!  I look forward to it!