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.