Friday, December 14, 2012

Graduation Day!

With completion of Acceleration Control V yesterday, I'm finished with the Infamous Rifter Plan made famous (errr...  infamous) by Kirith Darkblade.  The plan is designed to max out all the skills that a rifter pilot uses - to put him at the top of the heap (skillwise at least - I still have a long way to go with my personal flying abilities...).  The skills are also valuable for other Minmatar ships.

I took a few sidetrips while on the plan.  I skilled up my covert ops skills to be able to fly a Cheetah probing ship.  I also studied Assault Frigates to level V so that I can fly the Wolf (a meaner Rifter).  And I got my destroyer skill up to V.  I also put a few levels of training into the alts on this account (a trader and a hauler) to allow them to do what they need to do.  But generally, I have been working on the plan since I started this blog.

I did leave 3 skills uncompleted (listed below in red).  They are at level IV instead of V and I can't really see the need to boost them to 5 - two are fitting skills and I can fit everything I need right now and the other is a minor skill that keeps damage from bleeding through shields to armor (currently it would happen 5% of the time and for 15 days of training I can drop that 1 in 20 possibility to a 0 in 20 possibility).

So, unless there's something I missed, I'm done with rifter training and will be moving on to training for non-Minmatar frigates (and their weapon systems) and things like interceptors and cruisers plus the new ecm compensation skills.

Here's the Infamous Rifter Plan with my current skill levels:

- Electronics V
- Propulsion Jamming V
- Signature Analysis V

- Energy Management V
- Energy Systems Operation V
- Engineering V
- Shield Management V
- Shield Operation V
- Tactical Shield Manipulation IV

- Advanced Weapon Upgrades IV
- Gunnery V
- Motion Prediction V
- Rapid Firing V
- Sharpshooter V
- Small Autocannon Specialisation V
- Small Projectile Turret V
- Surgical Strike V
- Trajectory Analysis V
- Weapon Upgrades V

- Hull Upgrades V
- Jury Rigging III
- Mechanic V
- Projectile Weapon Rigging IV
- Repair Systems V

Missile Launcher Operation
- Missile Bombardment V
- Missile Launcher Operation V
- Missile Projection V
- Rapid Launch V
- Rocket Specialisation V
- Target Navigation Prediction V
- Warhead Upgrades V

- Acceleration Control V
- Afterburner V
- Evasive Manouvering V
- Fuel Conservation V
- Navigation V
- Warp Drive Operation V

- Thermodynamics V

Spaceship Command
- Minmatar Frigate V
- Spaceship Command V

Monday, November 26, 2012

Golden Retriever

This report is thanks to our fearless leader (or is it former fearless leader?  or is it our fearless former leader?) Miura Bull - without him, it wouldn't have happened.

I looked at MB's recent kills and noticed that he was doing well in a small low sec pocket of space.  I had a jump clone in Solitude and knew that there were a couple similar spots there - so I decided to try my luck.  I loaded up a rifter and headed to Sarline - the first of three low sec systems isolated from the rest of low sec by a bunch of high sec systems.

A quick scan noted both a retriever and a procurer somewhere in the system.  I assumed that they would be docked up in a POS somewhere or would flee when one of them shouted, "OMG! Rifter on scan!"  But just for form's sake, I flew to a safe spot and scanned around.  They were both in an asteroid belt.

Being a bit unacquainted with mining ships (and remembering that one of them had recently been buffed into a tough ship) I asked in the R1FTA channel which was tougher - a retriever or a procurer.  It turned out that the procurer is the tougher of the two.  So I turned everything up to 11 and made for the asteroid belt aiming to attack the retriever.

I had little hope of success.  For several reasons...

  1. I was a negative security status member of the Black Rebel Rifter Club - surely they would be alert to the danger when they saw me arrive in the local channel
  2. My rifter had been in Sarline and on their scanners for probably 4 or 5 minutes while I was chatting with my R1FTA mates about the procurer/retriever decision.
  3. When I landed I would have to be close enough to scramble their warp engines before they fled.
  4. These things usually just don't work out for me...
But, in this case everything worked.  I landed about 30k away and hit the overheated afterburners to head for the retriever.  The procurer fled, but the retriever didn't.  I webbed and scrambled him and started pounding him with my autocannons and missile launcher as I orbited close.  Part way through I remembered to turn off the heat on the web and scram and afterburner.  

As the retriever was going into structure I noticed that my warp scrambler had burned out (gotta remember to turn off the heat sooner...).  I figured that he would soon just warp away, but even there I was lucky and he didn't.  Instead he blew up in a fireball of destruction.  \o/

I made a grab for his pod and started pummeling it, but in typical Jack Dancer fashion I failed to orbit the pod and instead was flying off into space in a random direction - soon far enough away that my weapons were out of range.  His pod was damaged, but still had some structural integrity.  Eventually, before I could turn around and get close to him, he warped to safety.

My guess is that he was afk mining.

I headed in to grab any loot from the wreck (including golden omber), but not surprisingly a friend of the retriever pilot showed up in a rifter killer cruiser.  I warped to a safespot to wait out the GCC.

Sab Than Jouhinen (the unfortunate retriever pilot) and I chatted a bit (He seemed keen on having me fight him again "like a man" in the system filled with half a dozen of his friends...) then it was time for me to wrap things up for the night.  The cats needed to be fed...

Death to Flying Things score: 18-45-1 (there are a couple new losses in there due to misadventures related to a thrasher...)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Armageddon vs. R1FTA Gang

It all started in typical Jack Dancer Style(tm) - I screwed up.

After my RvB alt took the Agony PvP Basic class last weekend (which I very highly recommend - it's an excellent course on PvP) I thought it would be a good idea to set up the R1FTA voice comms - they seem like they could be handy.  Now, don't get the feeling that voice comms are a vital part of the Black Rebel Killing Method(tm).  They aren't.  Probably the most common reply to a question about voice communications by a Black Rebel pilot would be, "We do that?"  And the voice comms have nothing more to do with today's story than as just a preamble...

So, as I was saying, I was setting up the mumble service.  In the meantime Jack Dancer was floating in space in Heild in his safe spot where he can scan around to look for targets.  The safe spot was not aligned with any other routes in space and was one that I've used for weeks.  On my way there I had noticed that someone had combat probes active in the system, but assumed they were probing out mission runners or miners or something shiny and worth a lot more than my beat up rifter.

So, after getting mumble working and ready for some final sound checks, I flipped back to the Eve screen to see if there were any new juicy targets for Jack to destroy.  Instead of juicy targets there was an Armageddon battleship sitting nearby with it's combat drones out and whizzing around menacingly!  YOW!  Battlestations!  Battlestations!  Flee!  Flee!

Fortunately, he hadn't locked onto my little rifter yet (it probably would take a while for a battleship to sort out such a small target) so the drones hadn't started to destroy me and my warp engines weren't scrambled.

I escaped and immediately deleted that "safe" spot.

It was a very close call and I reported the incident in the R1FTA non-voice channel.  We had a laugh about a battleship stalkng a frigate.  But a few minutes later Eraebus asked if anyone was game for trying to catch that battleship.  I was fine with the idea and volunteered to again let him scan me down while others could come along and destroy him.  We thought that he was using a Helios covert ops ship to do the scanning and that he was dual boxing.  Tavisturus in a Caldari Navy Hookbill also joined the fleet.  Eraebus was flying an Imperial Navy Slicer.  We were all in little frigates.

I set up a new "safe" spot near the sun and waited.  Sure enough combat scanner probes started getting very close to me.  It was tense.  And soon after I was visited, not by the Armageddon battleship, but by a Stiletto interceptor.  This is a ship especially designed for the job of nailing down an opponent and holding him for others to destroy.  I knew it was trouble.  Either the opponent was triple boxing (Armageddon, Helios, and now a Stiletto) or there were more than one of them stalking me.

I immediately turned everything up to 11 and tried to attack the Stiletto.  Unfortunately, Stilettos are much faster than my Rifter.  So I didn't really have much chance of catching him and with a long point he could keep my warp engines dead from 20km away.

I called in the rest of the R1FTAs and we started chasing him.

Now, for some reason, I DID catch the Stiletto.  Maybe he was avoiding one of my comrades and flew towards me.  Maybe he was distracted by the other ships he was flying (flying three ships at once can be confusing...).  Maybe one of the other rebels webbed him and slowed him down.  I don't know.  But I did manage to scramble his engines and put a web on him.  Then I started orbiting and pounding him with my 150mm autocannons.  Eraebus and Tavisturus joined in the destruction.

About this time the Helios arrived.  And the Armageddon.

The arrival of the Helios was a complete mystery.  It had no guns or reason to be there.  I can only assume it was a complete blunder by the pilot (again, possibly confused trying to fly three ships at once).

Once the Stiletto was destroyed I burned for the Helios in hopes of catching it.  Eraebus had the same idea and destroyed it before I got there (probably with one or two shots - it was a flimsy thing).

We then turned our attention to the battleship.  The aptly named Armageddon.  It was not a flimsy thing...

It had drones out and we first targeted and destroyed those.  The big lasers (Dual Heavy Pulse Laser IIs) on the battleship were having a terrible time targeting our fast little frigates and were no danger to us.  The drones on the other hand had to be destroyed or they would kill us.  With three of us targeting the drones, it was no problem.  They died and we settled in on the task of killing the battleship.

I orbited at 500 meters and pummeled the beast with my autocannons and rocket launcher.  Unfortunately, I hadn't expected to live this long, so hadn't brought sufficient supplies with me.  My rockets ran out relatively quickly and I was left with just the autocannons.

The Armageddon was low on shields and soon into armor.  Then things slowed down.  The three of us continued to pour on the damage, but when he lost about a third of his armor he was able to repair enough to keep the damage stable.  We were at a stalemate.

But, unlike the webbed and scramed battleship, we had options.  Eraebus headed back to the station and returned with a Rupture.  A cruiser could put out more damage than our little frigates.  That turned the tide in our favor.  The battleship's armor started disappearing and, after I reloaded with the last of my ammo, the battleship blew up!  The pod was caught and also destroyed.

Victory for R1FTA!

I had 19 shots remaining in my autocannons.  We looted the field and headed home.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Busy Busy Busy

Well, I've been busy...

I decided to try flying something other than my rifter for a change - and chose a slasher with a fit to kite and pepper my unlucky opponent with barrage from afar.  So far, the plan has killed no one and I've lost three slashers...

The first was the one I previously reported losing to the sentinal.

The second was a vain attempt to kill a rupture (that's a cruiser, much bigger than my little slasher frigate) at the DED site in Heild.  I was surprised (and encouraged) by how well the slasher did.  I was never close to surviving, but it took a while for the rupture to kill me and I managed to target and kill a couple of his T2 drones and made him recall them to avoid my wrath.  I took that as a moral victory.  Eventually, I exploded.  But it was a better showing than I've had in the past when drones started whizzing around.

Then there was a battle with an incursus.  Since they re-balanced the frigates (all except for the rifter...) the incursus has been a beast.  This one was no exception.  I think there was a certain amount of pilot error involved too, since I had the set-up to do well against the blaster toting incursus.  I should keep range (6km) and shoot my helpless prey with barrage.  His short range blasters shouldn't hurt me as much as I would be hurting him.  Dictating range has never been my strong suit - usually in fights so many things are happening and the adrenalin is constricting my eyeballs so much that it's all a blur.  Same in this case.  In relatively short order Seliah Alard's incursus destroyed me.

Which, in a roundabout way brings me to RvB.  That's the alliance that Seliah Alard is a member of (his corp is the Red Federation).  Over the weekend I joined the Red Federation with one of my alts.  This alt has been roaming wormholes and NPC null sec in a stealth bomber.  So, since it seemed pretty obvious that I need practice killing things - I had him join RvB.

For those that don't know, RvB includes two corps (Red Federation and Blue Republic) that are continually at war with each other.  They mostly fly small ships (frigates, destroyers, and cruisers are most common) and battle in a couple systems that lie between their two headquarters.  Undock, target an enemy and start shooting.  Simple as that.  I'm hoping that practice will help with my adrenalin management and battle awareness...

Unfortunately, my alt is specifically trained to shoot big missiles from stealth bombers - so I'm  training him to shoot hybrids and also picking up the other frigate skills that I passed over when training him.  But he should be ready in a couple weeks to fly frigates with T2 modules.

If the first weekend of RvB action is any indication, it should be an interesting experience.  They put 10,000 fully T1 equipped frigates (yes - ten thousand) in a POS in a nearby system and gave members (both Red and Blue) the password.  We could fly our pods in, pick up a frigate, fly out to a mass of other frigates, and shoot anything in sight (we were all in the same fleet to make it ok with the authorities - this was in high sec).  My alt could only fly the breacher frigates which were equipped with rockets and managed to get a few kills and to lose twice as many ships.  There were about 100 people active (the event started 24 hours before) and there were hundreds of frigates of all makes and models still available.

Ten thousand fully fitted frigates.


Now back to Jack Dancer.  I'll be flying rifters this month - Peri Simone of R1FTA is sponsoring a contest with prizes for the alliance members that have the most kills while flying a rifter in the month of November.  What better excuse to get rid of some of the hundreds of rifters that I have piled up here and there?

I picked up my first kill today.  I was at a high sec gate after taking a quick trip to Hek to see if I could catch any of our war targets out sightseeing.  One of our war targets appeared in the system, so I held on the gate in hopes that they would be heading towards me.  They were.  It was Lilith Briggs in an atron.  I've died to atrons before, but that didn't stop me from trying to catch her on the gate.  It didn't work - she jumped through.  But on the far side she was waiting.  I turned everything up to 11 and attacked.  Things went very well and very soon she exploded.  GFs were exchanged in local.  And I see from the kill  mail that she was T1 fit - that would explain my good fortune.  But a kill is a kill - both for my personal Death to Flying Things Campaign and for the Rifter Contest.

Death to Flying Things score: 17-43-1 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Sentinel on Scan!

I had just completed the 2/10 DED site in Heild and picked up a Gistii module worth 14 million isk, so I figured that would pay for a couple frigate losses.  I went looking for targets.

There was an incursus flying around with a relatively new pilot.  I almost caught up with him at the sun a couple times and also at the DED site.  But zigged when I should have zagged and we never were on grid at the same time.

Then I saw a sentinel piloted by Erick Odin (an experienced pilot) at the DED site.  I've never fought a sentinel, so I looked to see what it was as I warped in with everything turned up to 11 on my slasher.  It's an electronic attack ship with bonuses for energy vampires and energy neutralizers.  Hmmm...  We'll see how this goes.

I landed a ways away and started burning towards my prey.  We both targeted each other and I set my orbit and activated all my modules.  Immediately I heard that calm voice say, "The capacitor is empty."  That didn't take long!  My autocannons continued to fire, but I was doomed since none of my other modules were working...  I blew up.

GFs were exchanged in local and Erick Odin offered me the modules that had survived the slasher's destruction (he had no room in his sentinel since it was packed with cap boosters...).

Personal Death to Flying Things Campaign score: 16-41-1

Sunday, October 14, 2012

It's a Trap!

So I had a jump clone and a rifter (just one) in Eugales.  I decided it would be a good idea to pick up both of them and move to somewhere that I could use them more.  And if the rifter blew up on the way, so much the better.

I stopped in Dodixie to do some business then headed out on a roam.  I jumped into low sec via the Jel/Egghelende gate.  That jump still gives me chills up and down my spine.  As a 2 week old character (not Jack Dancer - it was my explorer alt) I picked up a level 2 mission (or something) that required a delivery to Egghelende.  I put the package in my Iteron II and hoped for the best on my first trip to low sec land of pirates.  Instead of good luck I was destroyed, podded, and decided to change mission agents... Jel/Egghelende is a scary place!

But back to this story.

I passed through Egghelende without trouble and in Siseide saw a procurer (a mining barge) and a condor in an asteroid belt.  I assumed the condor was destroying the barge, but just to be sure I immediately turned everything up to 11 and headed that way.  I landed near the procurer and instead of fleeing he just sat there while I approached.  Excellent!  Though, at the time it seemed a bit odd...

I attacked and was amazed at how little damage I was doing.  I then remembered reading something about mining barges having their defenses buffed.  And this one might have been especially buff...

At about that time the condor arrived and there were hobgoblin drones flying around everywhere.  I tried to target the condor, but he was 20k away and using some sort of voodoo so that I couldn't target him.  I was in a tough spot.  I tried to burn away to get out of range so my warp drive would kick in - but no luck.

I held on longer than I thought I would against the drones, but eventually I blowed up.

I made a couple obvious mistakes.  One was not running from what was obviously a trap (though losing a rifter worth 6 million isk isn't really a big loss... so I'm not sure this is a "mistake").  Another was not targeting the hobgoblins.  They were doing all the damage and I should have tried to destroy them.

So it goes.

GFs were exchanged in local and my Death to Flying Things Campaign score is currently 16-40-1.

Wow, that was quick...

I was up on a Sunday morning and hadn't had my morning coffee - but I thought I'd see what was happening in Heild as the coffee was brewing.

I took out the new slasher to my safe scanning spot and looked around.  A daredevil at the Plex - no thanks.  An industrial at a POS - no luck.  A merlin at the sun.  Yes.  That's the one I'm looking for!

I turned everything up to 11 and headed to the sun at range (my strategy was to orbit at 6k and destroy the rascal with barrage ammo).  I arrived with a finger poised over the Ctrl key in anticipation of locking my unfortunate opponent.

False alarm.  The neighborhood of  the sun was empty.  So I started scanning around to see where the merlin might be.  As I'm doing this CraftyCroc arrived in that daredevil I'd spotted earlier.  Since I was trying out a new ship and since one of the goals of the Death to Flying Things Campaign is to shoot stuff for experience rather than glory - I attacked.  I knew I had little (none?) chance of surviving.

From the start my plan didn't go very well.  CraftyCroc had craftily landed right on top of me - he must  have selected the same range as I had.  And my attempts to orbit at 6k were not going well when I noticed that we were inside 1k.  I think a daredevil might be a bit quicker than my slasher...

Plus there was the damage he was dispensing from his light neutron blasters  Things appeared on my screen like:

  • CraftyCroc (Light Neutron Blaster II) hits you for 370 damage


  • CraftyCroc (Light Neutron Blaster II) hits you for 402 damage

Not surprisingly (just 21 seconds after I first hit "approach" to initiate combat), I blowed up.

GFs were exchanged in local and I went back for another in a never ending line of ships.

Death to Flying Things score: 16-39-1

Thursday, October 11, 2012

What's Up?

While you might not know it from reading this blog - I have been pretty active recently during the past month.  Mostly losing rifters (7) and a thrasher (1) while killing a punisher.  Not a very good ratio - but it was fun.

Lost twice to the famous Sard Caid.  The most recent loss is here at the 2 hour 34 minute mark on one of Sard's videos. It's fun to see a fight from the other side - and actually have time to see what happens during that minute of mayhem...  Thanks Sard!

Jack Dancer is down to just 3 more skills to complete the Infamous Rifter Plan.  Propulsion Jamming will be at 5 in a couple days, then Acceleration Control to 5 and Shield Management to 5 and I'm done.  A bit less than a month of training for those three skills.  Next up will be Assault Ships.

Jack Dancer's Death to Flying Things Campaign Score: 16-38-1

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Start Practicing!!!

Yarrr!  Matey!  Tomorrow (that be today to you lubbers in the down under) be Talk Like a Pirate Day! (Wednesday, September 19th)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Jack Dancer - Rabid Killer

I had a few minutes before heading to bed, so I decided to check out the 2/10 DED site in Heild and see if I could find some trouble.  The site had recently been cleaned out, so I headed to my scanning spot and looked around.  There was a Slasher on scan.

The Slasher is a Minmatar frigate (like the Rifter) that has recently seen some improvements by CCP.  I've thought about flying one to see what they are like, but this seemed like a good chance to check it out from the other side.  I used d-scan and found the Slasher at the sun.  With everything turned up to 11, I headed there at top warp speed.

Rollstone was waiting for me.  We circled and started spewing hot projectiles at each other.  Things went well for my Rifter in this match and the Slasher blowed up!  \o/

     Jack Dancer > gf
     RollStone > gf
     RollStone > moar?
     Jack Dancer > Sure.

I patched up the rifter (it was a bit burned from overheating and the shields and armor needed repairs) and headed back to the sun.  Rollstone was waiting for me - this time in a Rifter.  We again circled and the result was the same.  His Rifter blowed up! \o/ \o/

GFs were again exchanged and we spent some time chatting about builds and implants until he had to head to lunch (it's always amazing how worldwide Eve can be - Rollstone lives in Japan).  I'm sure I'll see Rollstone around more since he said he's based in Heild now.  I look forward to it.

It was nice to be in the winning side of a fight for a change!  Personal Death to Flying Things Campaign Score: 15-31-1

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Jack Dancer - Business Man

In some ways I’m very different from the typical Black Rebel.  I seem to be a better business man than rabid killer of innocent pilots… 

I often hear of people having trouble earning isk to pay for their PVP activities.  Let me help with some of my experiences earning isk - I currently have four “money makers”.  Listed from least profitable to most, they are:

  • Datacore Farming
  • Exploration
  • Planetary Interaction
  • Station Trading

Datacore Farming

This is an incredibly “hands off” method of isk generation.  I’ve set up one of my alts to be able to work with a level 3 research agent somewhere (I can’t remember where) and every few months when I think of them for some reason I go and collect the datacores that he’s produced.  Training the skills takes a bit of effort and time – but once it’s set up there’s zero daily maintenance.

This used to be more profitable than it is today (CCP made some changes that affected datacore prices).  So I probably won’t take the time to train my alt so that he can talk to level 4 agents.  But I might.  We’ll see.

I wouldn’t recommend this as a isk generator.


In a huge contrast to Datacore Farming – Exploration is a very time intensive “hands on” method of isk generation.  I have succumbed to the siren call of exploration on occasion and have spent days and weeks devoting most of my Eve time to it.  So beware!

I worked up the appropriate skills on one of my alts so that I can fly a cov-op frigate (helios) and a heavy assault ship (Ishtar).  With them I can ramble around high/low/null space looking for hidden DED sites.  These require the use of probes to discover and then a ship appropriate for fighting the rats that protect the sites.  There are other sites too (radar, magnetometric, etc.) that can be profitable – but not to the extent of the DED sites.

My best haul from a DED site (in high sec!) was about 500 million isk.  I’ve had a couple of those.  On the other hand I’ve gone through a dozen DED sites in a row and collected a total of maybe 20 million isk from all of them.  This activity is very much like gambling – sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.  You have to be prepared for extended dry spells.  And they can be brutal - you sometimes wonder if you'll ever find anything of value.

I find exploration to be a fun activity, and have always enjoyed the gambling aspect of life – so it’s a good match for me.  But beware – it can become so much fun that your PvP skills might get neglected…

Planetary Interaction

A new one for me is Planetary Interaction (PI).  I trained an alt so that he can fly a blockade runner (viator) and about a month ago set up 5 planets to produce whatever it is they produce.  I’ve focused on producing robotics which appears to be the highest priced, highest demand item.  My planets are all in low sec in a back corner of a quiet region.

PI is tricky.  I watched some youtube videos, read some webpages, and thought I could sort things out.  It wasn’t that easy.  I’ve made some big blunders.  You need to be sure that the customs office associated with the planet has a reasonable tax rate (not 100% like one of the planets I selected!).  You need to be sure that your set-up can reach the minerals that you need.  You need to be sure that you aren’t producing too much basic stuff so that your system gets clogged and stops.  You need to be sure you visit relatively often to keep your extractors extracting.  You need to…  (You get the idea…)

I don’t have a handle on how profitable this is.  But I do know that the viator’s cargo hold (3750 m3) full of robotics sells for about 30 million isk.  How often I can produce that and get it to market is still undetermined.  But I generally get the feeling that it’s going pretty well.  I’ve filled up a couple viators and have more robotics waiting to be gathered and hauled to market.

The time requirements are hard to categorize.  Every day I spend 10 minutes resetting my extractors to continue extracting materials (these extractors work on a timer, so I think it could be set to as long as 2 weeks if you don’t want to mess with them very often).  Plus every few days I mess with my production facilities to be sure they’re making what I want them to make and are getting the materials they need (often they aren’t).  Plus every week or so I gather the robotics that have been produced and haul them to market or to a central station for storage.

I’m still very much a beginner at this.  My facilities often go dry or I forget to set up a supply link for one of their needed materials, or I produce too much of one item and not enough of another.  It’s complicated.

But it also seems to be a “hands off” isk generator generally.  I can check every day for a few minutes or just let it run for a few days without checking.  Either way it’s churning out robotics components that can be sold for a profit.

Station Trading

I’ve spoken about my station trading multiple times.  I drifted away from it a few months ago, but now I’m back.  It’s paying for the two PLEX I need for my two accounts plus adding to my bottom line every month.  I’m up to about 3 billion in cash+buy orders+sell orders and have generated about 50 million isk per day over the last month according to my spreadsheet. It takes about 20 minutes in the morning and 20 minutes in the evening.

I’ve seen people say that they don’t have luck at station trading and can certainly understand that.  Finding profitable items can be tricky. 

Here’s what I would suggest: Start an alt and put them in Jita (you often hear that other markets are better for beginners, but the volume of Jita trades makes it a great place to get your feet wet – you’ll get fast action). Be sure you have enough trade slots available (I have about 40) – you want to diversify. 

I would recommend starting by trading implants.  Look through all of them (there's a lot!).  Find some that have a 30% difference between the buy and sell prices and also have a relatively large number of trades every day.  There are a lot of profitable implants (and a lot of unprofitable ones too).  Your goal is to find 25 or 30 profitable items to buy (the other 10 or 15 of your trade slots will be for your sell orders).  Put up buy orders to purchase at least 3 but probably fewer than 15 of each implant on your list - depending on their price, their profitability, their demand, and your bankroll.  I started buying and selling 200k items and now have a few buy orders for things costing 45 million isk.  You need to ramp up your activity depending on your bankroll.

I can do 10-key by touch, so there’s no hunting and pecking.  My usual routine is to go through my list in the morning updating the buy orders to be .01 isk higher than any other buy order and updating my sell orders to be .01 isk lower than any other sell orders.  I don’t worry about someone else coming along and beating my price by .01 isk because with the volume of activity in Jita my order will work its way back to the top pretty quickly (and even if it doesn't, I'll be updating it 12 hours later).  In the evening I do the same.  20 minutes each time.  I definitely recommend this isk maker if you can spare the time from your PvP addiction - though I also recognize that this sort of bean counting isn't for everyone...


That’s it for isk making ideas.  Of course, if you are totally devoted to PvP it might be worth buying PLEX instead of wasting your play time with any of these options.

For more information on all of them, I’d recommend the wiki of our wonderful good fight friends at Eve University -

Monday, September 3, 2012

One Morning - Three Fights

It being a holiday here in Seattle (Labor Day), I took some rifters out for morning tours.  They didn't end well, but were fun just the same.

First off I poked my nose into a FW site and found a merlin that wanted a fight.  Things were going well until I didn't notice the heat building up and my guns, web, and scrambler all burned out.  After that my missiles made a valiant attempt at destroying the enemy, but it wasn't to be.  I blowed up.

Back to pick up another rifter and I started chasing around a merlin.

I managed not to catch him, but decided to sit on the FW gate and wait for him to come to me.  That worked out well, but then he just activated the gate and entered the site.  A couple seconds later a dramiel followed him through the gate.  This looked promising.

I waited 30 seconds so that they could soften each other up and then I jumped through to hopefully destroy the survivor.  The merlin pilot was in a pod heading home and the dramiel was all mine - sufficiently softened up I hoped.  Wrong.

I hit all the controls (careful not to over-overheat this time) and started pelting the dramiel with projectiles.  Surprisingly he apparently was undamaged by his fight with the merlin.  I eventually exploded.

In looking over his kill report from the "battle" with the merlin I noticed that the merlin didn't carry any guns!  It was one of those silly "orbit something or other to get FW rewards" ships...  So my clever "let them soften each other up" failed miserably.

Back for another rifter.

A few systems over I came across another merlin in a FW site.  I jumped in and started burning towards him (70k away).  But immediately behind me came a thorax cruiser.  He was only 7k away - so I turned and set my 500 meter orbit to circle in close - hopefully under his guns.

Things went well.  I remembered to turn off the heat on my modules when it wasn't needed and I was taking the thorax through shields and into armor.  I was barely in armor from taking hits on approach and then he wasn't hitting me with either his heavy neutron blasters or his hammerhead IIs.  I thought I had a good chance.

But then he DID start hitting me with his heavy neutron blasters.  I'm not sure why.  I was still orbiting close, but it's possible that in turning off the overheating on my modules I mistakenly turned off the afterburner and it allowed his guns to track me.  Or maybe I ran out of cap.  I don't know (a common theme in my loses...).  But pretty soon, with the blasters tracking me, I blowed up.

GFs were exchanged in local and also this:

   Euscrops Tevyushki > i think my turrets were missing for like 30 seconds
   Jack Dancer > I had hopes then - but eventually it didn't work out...
   Euscrops Tevyushki > i had fears, but those didn't work out either

Three fun fights.  Personal Death to Flying Things Campaign Score: 13-30-1
And another.  My rifter destroyed by a merlin in a FW site.  A tough day of losses...

Personal Death to Flying Things Campaign Score: 13-31-1

Sunday, September 2, 2012

DED Touring

When Glorious Leader Miura Bull recently posted a proposed 2/10 DED Roam - I loaded up a rifter with ammo and headed out!  It looked like my sort of activity - I like the gambling aspect of the DED sites and it should lead to some fights.

I was right on both accounts.

I emptied a couple of the sites in Hrober and Altbrard with no jackpot at the end.  So much for the gambling aspect.  But as they say on the forums, "random is random".

The next stop on the roam, at the aptly named Hedaleolfarber, had an empty DED site - someone else had gotten there before me.  Same with Erstet.  But there was a wolf in Erstet, and since I was also looking for some fights I headed to a safe spot and tried to find where he was.  Surprise!  He was at the DED site I had recently left.

I turned everything up to 11 and headed towards him - landing right on top.  To keep the gambling theme alive - I threw snake eyes.  I orbited and spewed hot projectiles while he did the same to me.  The wolf can spew a lot more projectiles than my little rifter and soon the tide of battle had turned.  I blowed up.  I warped my pod to safety.  GFs were exchanged in local along with some disparaging remarks by the other pilot, 1scoria, on the rifter and people that fly them...

A side aspect of this roaming through the DED sites that I hadn't considered was the possibility of blowing up far from any replacement rifters.  Very, very far from any replacement rifters.  I slipped into a station to pick up a rookie ship and eventually found a station with some of my rifter stock.  I headed back to continue the circuit.

From this new station, the closest DED site on the route was Ragnarg.  I headed over there and immediately spotted a condor flown by Syrias Bizniz (nice name!).  I don't think I had ever come across a condor before (though my memory isn't what it once was) so I chased him from asteroid belt to asteroid belt in hopes of noble mano a mano combat.  Since it seemed like he was avoiding me by jumping from place to place - I took that as a good sign.  Apparently I'm not as good with signs as I used to be either...

Eventually I found him at a belt and attacked!  Things did not go well.  That condor hardly noticed my hot projectiles.  I don't think I ever had his shields anywhere close to half destroyed.  I blowed up.

Looking over the killmail it might be that Bubba - Miura Bull's cousin or stepchild or brother-in-law (or whatever he claims to be) who manages my equipment in the warehouses - was again cutting corners.  The killmail lists the ammo as "Phased Plasma" - but I specifically ask for all of my ships to carry the more expensive "Republic Fleet Phased Plasma".  Damn that Bubba!  He sold the good stuff on the black market, loaded up crap in my rifter, and no doubt spent the proceeds on exotic dancers!  I'll have to deal with him somehow...

After our fight, as I was waiting out the GCC, Syrias Bizniz and I chatted about things.  We both agreed that the rifter is no longer the monster it once was (though in the comfort of my pod I knew nothing about this ammo switch!).

Personal Death to Flying Things Campaign Score:  13-27-1

Monday, August 6, 2012

Damn Those Incursuses!

I've been spending time out in NPC null sec recently with my explorer looking for shiny loot.  Without much luck, but with a lot of paranoia.  It's been fun.

Tonight I decided to see what trouble Jack Dancer might get into and left the station at Heild in one of my shield rifters.  No one was around and the constellation was in the midst of an incursion, so I headed for the 2/10 DED to see about at least killing some rats.  That went well (though there were a lot of them) and as I was finishing up the first room I saw a challenge in local:

     Jaa-Ko Arakal > hey jack frig 1v1?

I gave the answer every Black Rebel would give -

     Jack Dancer > Sure.  Give me a second.

As I approached the station to repair and refit I saw that Jaa-Ko was flying an Incursus.  I recently had a Very Bad Experience(tm) with an Incursus and decided to change things up this time.  I loaded barrage so that I could stay away from those nasty lasers.  I set my orbit range for 4k and hoped to do better this time.

Jaa-Ko offered to fleet up and I warped to him at a safe spot.  It wasn't very safe for either of us for very long - I immediately set about my plan to orbit at 4k+ (with the afterburner it should be even a bit more) and started pummeling him with barrage ammunition.  The new plan didn't go well and I think I might know a few of the reasons...

I remember hitting the big red AUTOCANNONS and MISSILES buttons, but I don't actually remember turning on the web, scrambler, and afterburner (those are smaller buttons...).  It's possible that I wasn't slowing Jaa-Ko down and wasn't flying with my afterburner to keep range and make myself harder to hit.  Especially since I see that his Light Neutron Blaster IIs were hitting me with about 300 damage!

In the end, it was too much incoming damage and not enough outgoing and I blowed up while Jaa-Ko was still in armor.

We exchanged GFs in local, he generously offered to return the loot from my wreck (which I declined - he won it fair and square), and we talked about our ships and the fight.  He mentioned that he's applying to join the Black Rebels and I would certainly like to have his Incursus in blue on my overview rather than flashing red from this experience.  I give him a thumbs up for membership.

Death to Flying Things Score: 13-25-1

Friday, July 27, 2012

Overheat Early and Often

I remember when I first looked at the Thermodynamics skill I thought, “That might be handy, but I’ve got a lot of other stuff that will be more useful.”  That has changed.

I’m currently training Thermodynamics to level 5 (one of the final dozen - yea! \o/ - skills that I need to get from 4 to 5 to complete the Infamous Rifter Plan).  And I can’t wait for it to get finished.  As opposed to my first acquaintance with overheating where I thought it was a mysterious and scary procedure that was sure to burn up my ship – I now find it indispensable.

When out on a roam and flying from place to place I always (well, when I remember) activate my damage control and then overheat everything in anticipation of trouble.  When a fight does come along I always start off with everything overheated (“turned up to 11”) and once I’m orbiting close and have my victim webbed and scrammed I turn the overheating off on those modules (that shift-click combo is so much easier than the old method of trying to hit the tiny bar with adrenalin-active hands…).

My guns and missile launcher stay overheated for the entire battle.  My afterburner usually does too.  And often, in the excitement of the moment, I forget about the heat and everything stays at “11” (though I’m getting better with this and it’s not happening as often as it once did).

In summary, the 11+ day wait for Thermodynamics to go from level 4 to 5 is well worth it for me.  I rarely burn out modules (my fights are too short) but having some extra time before they go up in smoke will make combat much more comfortable.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

One Up - Two Down...

A quiet Sunday morning let me wander around in my rifter for a while.

I first came across a rifter in an FW site and warped in only to see it run away.

I later found another rifter in a different system's FW site and warped in - this one didn't run away.  I burned towards him, orbited and spewed hot projectiles.  The fight went well and I was ahead for almost all of it - eventually Philpip exploded!  His fit was an almost identical fit to mine and it was nice to be able to come out on top of the fight.  Overheating everything again might have turned the tide.

I then was in the Tararan system and saw this:

[ 2012.07.22 15:11:20 ] Ollster > 1 vs 1
[ 2012.07.22 15:12:18 ] Ollster > or afraid

I of course answered,

[ 2012.07.22 15:12:29 ] Jack Dancer > on my way

Maybe a mistake on my part...  I used my usual technique - overheat everything and orbit close.  But this time with a radically different result.  We both reached armor at about the same time, but then Ollster was hardly bothered by my Republic Fleet Phased Plasma projectiles.  I think by the time I blowed up - he still had 95% of his armor intact.  YOW!


We chatted in local and he was generous enough to share his fit and I saw why things didn't go well.  He was shooting lasers at me (next time against an Incursus I think I'll load barrage and stay a bit further away) and he also had dual T2 armor reppers.  No wonder he was keeping up with my damage!  Nice one Ollster.

I picked up another rifter and continued along until I came across Marcus Deadgray in a Cynabal camping a gate.  I usually just ignore this sort of thing and warp to the next gate - the rifter is agile enough to not get caught.  But not this time.  BOOM!  I blowed up and also my capsule was slow in leaving and it blowed up too.

Which, actually, wasn't bad because I had set my clone location to our null sec station in Pure Blind (my general destination on these recent roams).  So for the price of a 1 million isk clone upgrade (the clone that blew up was without implants) I'm now 40 jumps away in null sec.  Probably should have done that earlier...

Death to flying things score (I don't count death to gate camps...) is now 13-24-1

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Rifter Duel in Auner

I had a few minutes and thought I would check out Auner to see if there were any fights available.  Sure enough I saw a rifter on scan.  I've documented how much I don't enjoy rifter vs. rifter fights, but I'm in the mood to get some PvP thrills and so I tracked Somagrave (a character about 1 month younger than me) to a Faction Warfare site.  I arrived and  he left after I had burned within 30k of him.  Typical response by a FW frigate.

So I headed back to the station to repair the damage my overheated afterburner had done and undocked immediately.

Somagrave's rifter was again in the FW site.  So I repeated the surprise visit - but this time with different results.  He didn't fly away.

I burned towards him and turned all my modules up to 11.  Interestingly, his rat minions in the site targeted me and came after me.  I ignored them.

When I was within 10k of Somagrave I hit all the activate buttons.  Scrambler.  Web.  Nosferatu.  Autocannons!  Nothing happened.  Instead, a message popped up on my command console telling me that I hadn't targeted anything yet.  DOH!  I scrambled to target Somagrave while taking damage from his autocannons.  I figured it was a mistake that would cost me another rifter.

By the time I had a target lock most of my shields had disappeared.  Fortunately I was flying a rifter equipped with an armor repper!  I orbited close and returned fire.

Somagrave was definitely ahead - the targeting blunder had really given him an advantage and I was soon in armor while he was still comfortably in shields.  But then my overheated armor repairer started doing yeoman service.  It pulled  back damage while my autocannons were tearing into his shields and then his armor.

It was a close thing.  We eventually both hit structure at about the same time and I was thinking that it might come down to a matter of who got a repair cycle last.  But I also noticed that my armor repairer seemed to be doing a better job than his.  I even repaired some armor when I was half way through my hull just to give me some additional breathing room.

In the end Somagrave's rifter exploded!

I was far into structure.  It was a close match and one of the best I've taken part in.  GF GF!

It's very possible that my overheated armor repairer was the difference (if Somagrave hadn't overheated his, it could explain things).  Or maybe some of these skills that I've been taking to 5 for just a few percentage additional value really do make a difference.  I don't know.  I do know that the two rifters were almost identical twins (I have a meta afterburner and web while Somagrave's fit T1s).  And he was shooting barrage and I was shooting phased plasma (which also might explain the difference).

In the end a very exciting and close fight and a confidence builder for me.

Current Personal Death to Flying Things Campaign Score: 12-23-1

Cruiser Down!

Fresh out of the clone vat, I was back in space looking for trouble.  Using the nifty d-scan and system map technique I found Matrim Finard in a Faction Warfare site in Auner.  He was in a Stabber.  A cruiser that should be better than my rifter, but I had hopes of getting under his guns and being safe from his violence.

I headed to the site, slipped through the gate and found him about 50k away.  Usually other frigates flee in this situation, but I was hoping that his cruiser vs. my frigate would give him reason to stay.  I overheated everything, used the approved spiraling angled approach to my target, got within 15k without any apparent reaction, and hit the "orbit at 500m" button.

Warp scrambler, active.
Web, active.
Nosferatu, active.
Autocannons - Fire!

The stabber was quickly reduced to scrap while I didn't even hit 50% on my shields (and this rifter was an armor rifter - not the shield rifter I had been flying).  A glorious victory!  \o/

I remembered to loot the wreck this time and headed to a safe spot to wait out the GCC.  Looking at the killmail I see that Matrim took every precaution - he was triple tanked - shield, armor, and hull were all protected.  I checked and he's a relatively new player - about 3 months old.

And I found this comment in local (in reply to my "gf") to be very revealing:

      Matrim Fidard > umm why did that happen?

Updated Personal Death to Flying Things Campaign Score: 11-23-1

Road Trip Ends in Tears

I'm a big fan of road trips (or in Eve's case - space trips).  So this morning I decided to make 60 low sec jumps with an ultimate destination in null sec where I have a couple rifters.  I was looking for trouble along the way.  And if I make it all the way, fine.  If not, then I'll have a story.

Well sorta.

I didn't make it all the way and got blowed up by a small arazu gatecamp.  Nothing to see here.  Move along...

Postscript - one other advantage of an extended roadtrip like this is that I run across people that read this blog.  Several of you this morning took time to say hello and thanks again for your comments.

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Death to a Tiny Dancer

So, I saw that I had junk strewn all over the Metropolis region from some region-wide buy orders that I had posted months ago.  Why not cruise around in my shield-fit rifter and pick modules up while looking for fights?  Excellent idea!

I made a couple stops and picked up some items while d-scanning each system as I passed through when I saw a rifter in Vimeini sitting in one of the Faction Warfare sites.  I zoomed in and burned directly at the villain who goes by the name Sheltering Sky.  I turned up all the dials to 11 and I could feel the heat emanating from the stressed components of my rifter.  But I paid it no mind.  This was combat!

I settled into a close orbit and my overheated autocannons were pummeling the rascal but good.  Unfortunately, he somehow had turned his rat minions on me and his autocannons were also eating through my shield fit rifter.  For a while it looked good - but then when we got into his armor he was able to slow down the damage.  Unfortunately, once he was through my shields I had no way to survive.  I yearned for my missing armor repper...

I blowed up good.

GFs were exchanged in local and I headed back to my base in Auner for another in a long line of rifters.  I was thinking that these shield fit rifters seem to die too easily.  Maybe Sheltering Sky was using anti-shield ammo.  Maybe as I burned at him with an overheated afterburner he was able to see how fast I was moving and that I was shield fit - he would have time to switch ammo.  Or.  Maybe he was just better than me...

I resolved to return to the trusty armor repping rifter of my youth.

But then our Glorious Leader Miura Bull posted a comment on the lossboard related to this battle.  In his kind, gentle, compassionate, and fatherly way he subtly noted, "SMALL SHIELD EXTENDER? ZOMHG".

Ahhhh...  Once again Bubba down in the warehouse had cut corners!  He installed a small shield extender instead of the medium that I had ordered.  Grrrrrr...  I'm going to have to review all of my stock to see what else the cretin had mis-represented.  I'd fire the rascal if it wasn't for the fact that he's Glorious Leader Miura Bull's brother-in-law or cousin or Godchild or something (I can't remember what it was that Bubba said, but I'm pretty sure he's a close relative of MB).

Death to Flying Things Campaign Score: 10-23-1.

Monday, July 9, 2012

A Little About Jack Dancer And A Lot About Other Things

Yes, Jack Dancer is still alive and well!  After leaving Seattle for an Eve-Deprivation week in North Carolina for a niece’s wedding (the highs were around 105F (41C) and the low temperature there was never as cool as the high back here in Seattle!) I’ve been cruising around low sec without causing any undue distress to my many enemies.  I popped into a Faction Warfare site yesterday where I had located a rifter.  Unfortunately, he fled.  But then we had a nice conversation – he is just a month-old player and asked about the Black Rebels.  I told him good things.

One thing that I’ve recently learned (that will probably get 99% of my audience rolling their eyes in amazement that I can be such a noob) is that the system map can be used with D-Scan to quickly look for targets.  My previous method had been to find a “safe” spot and then look around space by lining up my rifter with the various celestial objects and hit d-scan at a 15% angle.  It works, but my new technique is better.

With it I go to a "safe" spot and open the system map with the display of all the planets orbiting the sun, then line up the little “You Are Here” marker with the various FW locations, asteroid belts, planets, sun, gates, etc. and then hit D-Scan.  I can use a 5% angle this way and it’s faster and more accurate.  Plus I don't have to wave the screen view up and down to try to find that planet or gate that's not on the solar plane with the others (I especially hate that...).

OK, you can unroll your eyes now…  I’m a hopeless noob…

In other news, my alts have been taking up my time with various fun activities. 

My explorer alt stumbled through a wormhole to a different part of high sec space to find a very shiny 520 million isk item drop in a Gurista 4/10 DED site.  A personal best.  It's not always like this - sometimes I hit a dozen 3/10 and 4/10 sites that result in 15 million isk total.  Exploration has some serious ups and downs and is much more like gambling than salary work. 

My station trader alt is back in business in Jita and he’s pulling in the isk again after finding some profitable items to specialize in.  It’s a 20 minutes in the morning (when I have time) and 20 minutes in the evening activity (on most days, but not all) and it’s fun to watch the daily spreadsheet totals as they get bigger and bigger.

I picked up one of those “Power of Two” deals for 2 PLEX about 4 months ago that gives 6 months worth of playing time.  I am training that character to fly stealth bombers and right now he’s sitting in a Purifier in a C2 wormhole space.  The C2 has a high sec exit and a C1 exit – so it’s convenient and I should see some PVP activity there.  It’s fun to be cloaked up and have the local residents not know about me lurking outside their POS bubbles…

And my newest activity is Planetary Interaction.  I trained my hauler alt on the basics and yesterday set up a production facility on a Plasma planet in low sec space far from any of my other characters.  I used a couple of the video guides on YouTube to help with sorting out all the options (and there are a LOT of options!) and lost a Viator when leaving a low sec station due to panic and stupidity before actually getting the production facility set up…  Now I avoid stations and camp out at safe spots in low sec with my hauler.  We’ll see if he manages to produce anything useful…

So, while I don’t have much Jack Dancer News – I still have been having fun.

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Drums of Peace Beating Louder

Rumors are spreading that peace may break out at any moment between the Black Rebel Rifter Club and the Eve University.  If so, R1FTA will be able to continue our summer vacation plans (that had been interrupted by the arrival of the unistas) before returning to our home in Heild (with the unistas no longer present) later this summer. 

Last I looked we had destroyed more E-Uni ships than they had destroyed of ours and also had destroyed more isk than we had lost.  So, a successful campaign from my perspective.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Oh oh. Sorry Jericho!

When an Eve University student loses a ship, there's a bit of public humiliation - they need to tell their comrades what they learned from their blunder.  Sorta like China in the 1960s with re-education during the Cultural Revolution I guess.  When I destroyed Jericho Guardian's autopiloting Iteron the other day I never imagined that I would be getting the poor guy in trouble with the teachers.

On  the lossmail on the Eve Uni board it says this:

Neville Smit2012-06-16 11:59:09 Management is aware of this loss.

Oh oh.

I'm thinking it might be a good idea for the R1FTA pilots to also make public confessions with every loss.  I'm sure they'd be a bit more colorful than what's to be found on the Eve Uni lossboard.

And Jericho, if you're expelled from Eve Uni I'd be happy to put in a good word for you with the R1FTA bosses (such as they are).  Anyone with the balls to fly an iteron on autopilot during wartime can fly in my fleet any day!

POSTSCRIPT: See my comment below - it looks like Jericho was expelled for this 20m isk loss...  Amazing.


How Many Unistas Does It Take To Kill A Frigate?

Ganjjabeard found out.  Twelve.

A Thrasher?  Just 10.  But they did have 4 battlecruisers to add some dps.  You can never to too careful...

Saturday, June 16, 2012

War Casualty

It was war and as I came through a gate in Aufay there was an enemy - an Eve University Iteron III slowboating to the gate - obviously on autopilot.  Jeesh.

I shot him down, scooped a bunch of hobgoblin and hammerhead drones and left his pod dangling in space next to his wreck to show Jericho Guardian the errors of his ways...  Education is important to me...

Personal Death to Flying Things Campaign Score - 10-22-1 (Double digits in kills!)  \o/

Friday, June 15, 2012

This Means War!

This morning at 0930 SET (Standard Eve Time) war broke out between the Black Rebel Rifter Club (aka "The Good Guys" aka "R1FTA") and Eve University (aka "unistas" aka "The Blob"). 

No two more different groups of players exist in Eve.

R1FTA believes in flying small ships solo or in small groups with no rules, no responsibilities, and no electronic support.  We fly around looking for a fight and never camp a gate or station as a large group.  The only two infractions that will result in immediate removal from the Black Rebel Brotherhood are not honoring ransoms and not honoring 1v1s.

On the other hand, Eve University is composed of many new players and believes in overwhelmingly large fleets of large ships backed by electronic support.  They camp gates and stations and rely on numerical superiority and electronic countermeasures to overcome their inexperience.  1v1 fight?  God forbid!  Everyone!  Help our classmate!  War breaks out?  Unistas are mandated to either stay in station or fly only in large fleets - that used to be one of their many, many, many rules that could get students expelled from the university (not sure if it still is).

What started this war?  Well, the unistas moved into our low sec station in Heild a week or two ago and last night (prior to the war) there were a dozen of their ships camped on our station's exit hoping to catch individuals as they left...  That's just not right.  Plus some of the other pirate groups in Molden Heath decided to fight the unistas and we're joining them.

Let there be no confusion - R1FTA has no chance of winning.  But it should be fun and that's our goal.

Note:  Personally, I have no real problem with Eve University.  Their play style is different and not to my taste, but it suits their corp composition in many ways (lots of new players learning the ropes who would face endless struggles if sent out solo - just witness my blog for what horrors would await them!).  And I've learned quite a bit from the various classes that they offer on their website - the audio recordings on all sorts of topics are very informative.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Destruction of a Cheap Rifter (Mine)

Well, another loss to report.

But first let's put it in perspective.  My explorer character (who I have been having a great time with - it satisfies my gambling craving) has been doing very well flying an Ishtar and searching out radar sites and 3/10 and 4/10 DED sites in Gallente high sec space.  This has pretty much taken over as my primary isk generating source (though I still have a station trader in Jita).

A couple days ago I lost an Ishtar (and a Helios sent in to bookmark the Ishtar wreck) in a Serpentis Watch site due to inattentiveness.  Then earlier today I lost another Ishtar to a gate camp in a low sec system that's usually very quiet (the microwarp/cloak trick worked to escape the camp - but while I was sitting at an asteroid belt complimenting myself on my success the rascally pirates followed me in a couple hurricanes and destroyed my pve Ishtar in short order).

Since those two Ishtars had earned enough to pay for themselves, along with three replacements sitting in stations ready to go, and a few PLEX to keep my accounts active - it was not more than I could afford to lose.  But generally, things have not been going well over the last few days.

So tonight I decided to fly a Rifter for a change.  I strapped Jack in an armor rifter in Ishomilken and set a low sec route to my old stomping grounds in Auner.  There was some of this Faction Warfare in Ishomilken and I thought I'd look for a new neighborhood (especially since Heild (my other recent location) is overrun with Eve University students flying in large fleets).

The trip to Auner is about 40 jumps and I doubted that I would make it the entire way.  I was right.

About 8 or 9 jumps into the trip I found miso Padecain in an Incursus alone in a system.  We ended up on a gate together and each targeted the other - which pretty much gave away our mutual intentions.  He warped off to the sun and I followed.

I had barrage loaded so set a 4k orbit.  He threw out a hobgoblin II and I targeted it with my guns while my missile launcher shot at the Incursus.  To no avail - the guns couldn't hit the close orbiting drone.  So, after a while of not hitting the drone I turned off my guns to return to shooting the Incursus.  He was going though my shields and armor about as expected - but I was not doing much damage to him at all.  I was more than halfway through armor while he was still less than halfway through shields.

Then I noticed that I had not actually ordered my guns to fire again after untargeting the drone.  DOH!  I hit the big "SHOOT THE INCURSUS!" button and started doing some real damage - he dropped through shield and into armor very quickly.  But it was too late.  I blowed up.

The lossmail says the loss was 6.5 million ISK which is a lot less than my other recent losses, so I was happy with that - but unhappy that another blunder cost me a kill.

Current "Death to Flying Things Campaign" score: 9-22-1

Monday, May 28, 2012

Merlin is no Magician

My explorer had been doing some profitable low and high sec exploration during much of the 3-day weekend along with Jack Dancer making an uneventful foray into Great Wildlands null sec.  Then on Monday evening I checked Heild and found a bunch of activity.

This game is a lot of fun when there are other pilots around.

I had a bit of sparring with Sebastian  Petras (we were both in rifters and he was sitting at the sun when I found him), but he was able to break off the engagement (due to the fact that I didn't have room to equip a web to slow his escape down) when things were going well for me in a shield tanked rifter ...

[ 2012.05.28 23:45:49 ] Sebastian Petras > damn jack.. shield tank?
[ 2012.05.28 23:46:03 ] Jack Dancer > Gotta keep you guessing...
[ 2012.05.28 23:46:08 ] Sebastian Petras > lol
[ 2012.05.28 23:46:16 ] Jack Dancer > gf
[ 2012.05.28 23:46:22 ] Sebastian Petras > gf

A few minutes later Sebastian Petras was ganked by Sleepysheep and Rahgg Graageor.

After that I joined haerod and Thestarling in fleet to catch up to Sleepysheep and Rahgg Graageor who were terrorizing the neighborhood in their Tornado and Jaguar.  I managed to zig when I should have zagged and wasn't involved in the excitement when haerod and Thestarling turned the Tornado and Jaguar into burning masses of twisted metal.  But it was fun to at least be in on the hunt.

Then it was time for a trip out with my delightful wife to grab a couple Vietnamese sandwiches...

When I got back, I found Heild to be quieter, but with a couple possible targets.  One of them, Jareedon, was flying a Merlin and appeared to be ratting in the asteroid belts.  I managed to land on him once, just as he was leaving.  And then seemed to miss him at a few other belts.

But finally...

I caught up with him.  I targeted, orbited, turned everything up to 11 and started pummeling him with my autocannons and rockets.  As a side note, these new rocket graphics are great.  Like watching Chinese fireworks.  I totally approve.

I was doing good damage to his ship's shields while my shields evaporated (I had switched to an armor rifter - gotta keep people guessing...).  But my armor was built of stouter stuff and held up nicely.  I methodically worked through his defenses and it didn't take long.  He exploded.  \o/  GFs were exchanged in local.  And in the corp chat channel Grernandez noted that he was also hunting for Jareedon, but I had managed to catch him first.

It turns out that the fight took long enough for my warp scrambler to burn out as had my afterburners. I'm going to have to remember to turn the overheater off when I have my victim scrambled and webbed...

But it was a clear win in the Death to Flying Things Campaign.  Current score 9-21-1.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Inferno's New Inventory System

The biggest noise related to the expansion ("Inferno") that arrived a couple days ago is related to the new inventory system.  The forums are filled with angst and CCP has a plan to fix some of the major inconveniences. 

Personally, the new inventory system seems fine.  I can still do my usual shuffling of items and building of ships.  No big deal. 

But apparently it is a big deal to a small group of Eve players - botters.  Their botting programs aren't working and the new inventory system is causing havoc with them.  It seems possible that this is a side reason for CCP's changes to the inventory system since it's no doubt a main part of any botting software.

Check out The Nosy Gamer for a fun read on the subject (he's often writing about botter tears...).

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

R1FTA Is Hiring!

We're looking for pilots interesting in our unfettered, unorganized, unsavory style of play!

Check out the details (thanks Duke and Kaeda!) here:

Monday, May 14, 2012

Short Trip to Null Sec

With the realization that I have far too many rifters sitting around and that I had been spending far too much time with my explorer alt finding profitable radar and DED sites (which is a lot of fun and very profitable) - I rededicated myself to getting Jack Dancer more active.

First stop - Null Sec.

I recently watched the excellent Kil2 video on finding fights using the map and followed his method.  I mapped out a route through some active systems - Ubtes, 7Q-8Z2 and to a final destination of U3K-4A (a dead end system in the Great Wildlands) - a very convenient route from Heild.

Things started off well.  The low sec jumps were completely empty and the entry system at 7Q was pretty quiet - just 4 or 5 pilots in local.  I searched around for them with no luck.  So I moved on.

SUR-F7 was also quiet.  So I moved on.

OK-6XN was definitely not quiet.  I landed in some of those warp bubbles that I had heard about.  Oh oh, that's trouble.  I was 12k from the gate with a Federation Navy Comet, a Heretic, and a Rapier on top of me.  I didn't panic (though I probably should have...) and tried to return to the gate with my afterburner overheating and armor repper fired up.

My rifter didn't make it.

Neither did my pod.

Well, it's a start on getting Jack more active - I found some pvp...  I probably should have been flying with an empty head.  Though the price on the lossmail of those implants is much higher than what I actually paid (for instance, I bought scores of the SP-803s for about 20k instead of the 700k on the loss mail).  

I'll be back for more.  But maybe not back to OK-6XN...  

Thursday, May 10, 2012

What's In My Hangar?

With many of the blogs I read having a common theme lately (“What’s in my hangar”) I thought I’d add my list. 

As you might guess, for a blog titled, “Jack Dancer – Rifter Pilot” mine isn’t too complicated…

1 – Cheetah
1 – Hound
1 – Wolf
1 – Rupture  
1 – Bestower
5 – Thrashers
224(!) – Rifters

The Cheetah, Hound, Wolf, and Rupture were purchased to fill up space on a Black Frog delivery (and possibly as future ships to fly).  The Bestower for hauling junk around.  The 5 Thrashers are for ganking and general high jinks.  And the 224 Rifters are what they are…

On a related note, my hauler alt managed to slip an Iteron V industrial through Bosena and into Heild loaded with rifter hulls, modules, ammo and implants last night.  It was an exciting trip with a different alt acting as scout and checking the gates (the scout was targeted, but managed to warp off before being destroyed by one of my Black Rebel brothers…).  The Iteron is now back safe in high sec.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Ratting Leads to Death

So I thought I'd head over to Jita and along the way do some ratting to get my security status back under that magic -2.0 so that I could freely run around and pick up some rifter components strewn around the galaxy.  Things were going well on the ratting front.  Earlier I had managed to kill two Gurista battleships with my rifter which seemed to help - my status had dropped form -2.1 down to -2.0.  Just needed a few more rat kills to get me back in the good graces of the authorities.

So off to Jita I went.  I killed a Gurista cruiser in Nikkishina and another one in Hasama.  Then in Mara I headed to the top belt to start looking for a rat victim, when instead I land right on top of a bright red flashing (his sec status is -10!) pilot named K'Roa T'Jal in a Gila (a Gurista faction cruiser)!

Battle stations! Battle stations!

I orbited, opened fire with overheated weapons and put a secure scramble on his warp drive.  Unfortunately, he wasn't going anywhere.  He let loose his 5 warrior II drones and started shooting missiles at me.  My shields, armor and hull all crumpled relatively quickly (I don't actually remember hitting the big red armor repair button on my control panel, so that might have hastened my demise...) and I exploded.

GFs were exchanged in local...

K'Roa T'Jal > gf bro
Jack Dancer > gf
Jack Dancer > I hate those warriors...
Jack Dancer > :-)
K'Roa T'Jal > ya .. this thing is tanked like a beast too
K'Roa T'Jal > did i make a dent in your cap at all?
Jack Dancer > Not sure.  Too much going on to pay attention...
K'Roa T'Jal > hehe =)
K'Roa T'Jal > good ole pvp shakes
Jack Dancer > yup
Jack Dancer > You made some serious dents in my armor.
K'Roa T'Jal > little rifter though it was ... you still got my blood up =)  thanks
Jack Dancer > Thanks to you too.

Looking back at the logs, the drones were tearing me up - but the missiles weren't doing too much damage (I tried to keep my speed up - orbiting further out than 500m probably would have been a better idea in order to keep a high rate of speed to avoid the missile damage...).

It was a fun adrenalin fight for both of us.

My personal "Death to Flying Things" score is now 8-21-1.

Ratting Leads to a Kill

I had this idea that I should grab all the junk I have strewn around space and haul it to Jita so that I can easily contract it to be delivered in low sec (now that my sec status is making it uncomfortable to visit some ritzy high sec neighborhoods).  So I decided to do some ratting last night to see if I could raise my security status from -2.1 up to -1.99 to allow me to cruise around high sec unmolested in my Bestower.

It didn't go especially well.  I killed rats on asteroid belts in a few systems, and saw my security status change from -2.1 to hmmmm...  errr... -2.1.  No change.  This might be a long process at this rate!

But enough of that drudgery.

This morning Jack is sitting in Ishomilken (in station!) and I'm also doing some exploration in another screen with an alt.  I noticed a challenge from Brick0Joe in Ishomilken local:

Brick0Joe > jack
Brick0Joe > I know you fight rifters
Brick0Joe > fight my rifter

What else could I answer, but

Jack Dancer > OK
Jack Dancer > Planet 9

Brick0Joe showed up in his rifter and we began the Dance of Death...

At first I was a bit worried.  No, make that a lot worried.  I had all systems overheating and we orbited close.  My shields evaporated while his weren't moving much at all.  Oh oh.  He's a very experienced player - his history goes back to 2005 and his security status is a cool -9.9.  I didn't have much hope going into this contest, and even less as I hit armor while his shields were slowly dropping.

But you just never know.

Once I got through his shields (and he was close to being through my armor even with my repper doing yeoman service) things started to change. I wrecked havoc on his armor as I was keeping mine generally in one piece.  Eventually, as I started losing burning pieces of my hull while trying to restore armor to hold off his attack, he passed me in the destruction race!  He was suddenly in structure - even lower than me!  And then he blowed up!  \o/

I was at 37% structure - so it was a close one.

GFs were exchanged in local along with an interesting recap of the fight.  Brick wasn't flying with rigs and was flying a shield fit rifter (something I'm going to try to do more often now that I bought a pile of regolith medium shield extenders for about 3.3 million isk each in a backwater market).

How did ratting lead to this kill?  Well, I forgot to change my ammo from last night's failed attempt at security status repair.  I was still shooting basic non-faction cheapo EMP ammo instead of fancy faction fusion or phased plasma that I usually have in the autocannons.  Since Brick0Joe was flying without rigs and didn't have his em hole plugged on his shields - my EMP was hitting his shields with 0% protection.  Nice!

Of course, my loyal readers will know that I didn't figure this out on my own - in the post-fight chat Brick pointed this out...

But, regardless, for a change I got lucky!

Brick0Joe has been away from Eve for a year and just returned.  I advised him to consider joining R1FTA and would certainly recommend him.

Death to Flying Things Score: 8-20-1

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Death To Flying Things Score - 7-20-1 (2 losses)

Just like yesterday, I had Jack minding his own business sitting in a safe spot while using one of my alts to look for valuable cosmic signatures.  I was moving probes around, positioning them just right, grumbling when it turned out to be a grav site and elated to find a radar here and there.  Every once in a while I'd check on Jack to see if any victims had wandered into Ishomilken.

At one point I'm dancing with some rats at a radar site and trying to keep my lone hobgoblin alive (I'm in a helios with room for just one drone) when I hear explosions.  "That's odd," I thought, "Those rats aren't anywhere close enough to be hitting me..."

Oh oh.

Jev North in a merlin had found my obviously misnamed "safe spot"...

I switched back to Jack Dancer's screen, targeted and activated all weapons and laid into Jev North as best I could. It didn't go well.

GFs were exchanged in local and I offered a rematch which Mr. North graciously accepted.

It didn't go well either.

I admitted defeat and didn't ask for 3 out of 5...  I doubt that I'll loll around in "safe spots" afk much more in the future.  Thanks for the lesson Jev!