Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Tough Tormentor

I strolled out of the station in Auner in my Republic Fleet Firetail with little hope of immediate death and destruction.  The only possible target in the system was in the same station - probably wasting his time playing video games or some such nonsense.  Loser.

A few asteroid belts had nothing of interest and no one showed up in the meantime, so I jumped to the next system to see if there was more activity.

In Resbroko I often find pilots.  It's a popular system for the faction warfare folks and there were a dozen in local.  I headed for a safe spot and checked the dscan.  Yes.  A victim!  There was a Tormentor in one of the faction warfare complexes.  Just what I was looking for.

I headed that way and jumped through the gate, turning all the knobs up to 11.  The Tormentor was just a few km away when I landed so I immediately hit all the big red buttons and set to orbiting the poor soul.  My guns and rockets were quickly taking massive chunks out of his shields.  “This shouldn’t take long,” I thought to myself…

Things went very well, I was quickly through his shields and then halfway through his armor.  He tried to repair his armor, but I was sure it would be a losing battle.  I turned off the heat on my guns and rocket launcher so that they wouldn’t burn out.  I wouldn’t need the extra heat damage.  “This shouldn’t take long,” I thought to myself…

Then I heard the message that I had run out of rockets.  I forgot to reload them after killing the hound stealth bomber the night before.  No problem.  I’ll just use my autocannons.  “This shouldn’t take long,” I thought to myself…

I noticed that he seemed to be keeping up with my damage more than at the start of the fight.  While I was having little problem repairing my armor – he also seemed to be doing OK.  He was having massive swings – I’d have his armor almost down to nothing then he’d pull almost all of it back.  But the trend was clear when he started to dip into his structure.  He was fighting a losing battle.    “This shouldn’t take long,” I thought to myself…

I turned up the heat on my guns to give them the extra oomph to smash through the last of his structure.  He vainly tried to repair the damage to his armor and managed to get half of his armor back.  I, in the meantime, was losing a bit more armor than I was repairing and also seemed to be getting close to my structure.  But I would prevail now that I had overheated guns and he was often in structure.    “This shouldn’t take long,” I thought to myself…

The bashing continued – his ship was dipping seriously into structure and then recovering big chunks of armor.  My armor was being whittled away and I was into structure too.  But it was just a matter of hitting him at the right time when his armor was gone and his structure low.  One good shot and he’d be history!    “This shouldn’t take long,” I thought to myself…

My structure was being depleted – almost half of it was gone.  But he also was having some serious struggles.  His structure stood at just a sliver – maybe 10% left.  But he was pulling back big chunks of armor every few seconds.  Suddenly it didn’t look like as much of a sure thing as I had thought.    “I hope this doesn’t take much longer,” I thought to myself…

I continued to batter at the Tormentor and hoped for the best.  I was clawing back armor whenever I had the chance – but it was starting to look like a toss-up on who would survive.  Then it happened.  BOOM!  The Tormentor blew up!  I survived.

GFs were exchanged in local and I picked up the meager loot thinking to myself, “I’m glad that didn’t take any longer…”  I checked the killmail and discovered that it was a dual rep Tormentor (which even with one armor repairer is a tough nut to crack) -  that explained how he was able to repair so much damage.  Definitely a GF.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Bomber on Scan!

I managed to pull myself away from my Wormhole PI alt and my Red Frog freighter alt and my station trader alt long enough to have Jack Dancer fly out of the Auner station to see what was happening.  Lots and lots of drones were the first impression.

Lots and lots of drones.  Like 30 or 40 of them.

I went back to the station and grabbed a covert ops ship and tossed out some combat probes to hunt them down and picked up a dozen hobgoblin IIs.  Just cleaning up the neighborhood.

Then I went back and grabbed a fighting ship.  My newest plan is to not assemble any new ships - but to use up all of the ones I have already assembled in the station.  There's more than 20 of them - all sorts from rifters to battle ventures to wolfs (wolves?) to breachers to jaguars to firetails to ruptures.  Some of them I've never even flown - but they're put together and ready to go.

So, I hopped into one of the half dozen firetails sitting there and left the station looking for trouble.

The firetail is set up basically the same as my usual slasher fit - the extra mid slot has a tracking disrupter with an optimal range disruption script.  The plan is to orbit something at around 5k or 6k and shoot them from outside their range.  It's worked with the slasher and I was hoping that it would work with the firetail.

I did a quick dscan and there was a hound.  That's something I don't often see - a stealth bomber.  I narrowed down the scan and found him at an asteroid belt.  Probably ratting.  I turned everything up to 11 and warped to zero on the belt.  Sure enough he was there - but 30k away from where I warped in.  I've flown stealth bombers and know that they can put out a lot of damage.  My first thought was that I didn't relish the idea of flying 30k while being hit by his missiles - so I turned around and left the vicinity pronto.

At my safe I had some time to think about the situation.  Not so much the dynamics of the firetail vs. hound fight - but more my weltanschauung as an Eve player.  I've gotten a bit too care beary with all of the PI, hauling, and trading.  Time to blow up some of those piles of isk that the other activities have accumulated for me.  So I warped to a planet and again headed to the asteroid belt that held the hound - ready to have a fiery finish to the evening.

I landed about 30k away again, but this time I headed towards him with my afterburner overheating.  25k.  20k and still no explosion so I targeted him.  15k.  10k and I was still alive to tackle him and turn on the web.  Guns and rockets activated, I was doing damage.  Also the target disruptor with the range script (which, as everyone knows, is totally useless against missiles...).

I set my orbit for 5k and continued to rain destruction on the bomber.  He went through shields and then armor (stealth bombers aren't known for their defensive prowess).  Then into structure and BOOM!  He blew up!

To be honest, I'm not sure if he ever shot at me.  It could be that he was afk the whole time.  My situational awareness isn't always the best in these fights as any reader of this blog realizes...  (a post mortem review of the combat logs shows that he didn't shoot in my direction at all).

I tried to grab his pod, but made the noob mistake of not hitting the approach button - so whatever direction I was heading when the hound blew up was the direction I just kept on going - inside and then quickly outside of warp scramble range on the pod.  He apparently woke up then because he flew off to safety.

While not an epic fight - it was nice to get a kill worth about 50 million with 10 million isk worth of loot in the wreck (that took me 4 trips to haul back to the station).

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Sunday, November 17, 2013

This Weekend's Checklist - CHECK! CHECK! CHECK!

  1. Find out that if a freighter is mistakenly sent to low sec on autopilot, it doesn't automatically stop at the first gate with that pop-up screen saying, "This is dangerous, do you really want to do it?"  If you're dumb enough to use autopilot, Eve Online figures you get what you deserve.

  2. Discover that paying more than 300m for insurance on an Obelisk freighter that "I'll never lose" (see 1. above) was actually a pretty good idea.  I got a 1 billion isk insurance payment when it blew up.

  3. Realize that I'm a very bad pilot when it comes to flying in big RvB fleets out to shoot CCP noobs.  Can't find the guy I'm supposed to anchor to (orbit around apparently).  Didn't know how to "assign" drones. Overview doesn't have fleet mates to warp to when they're buzzing around a battleship more than 150k away  - and when I change to a different overview to show everyone, there's a Very Good Chance(tm) that I'll warp to the target and then start shooting a fleet mate rather than the battleship everyone else is shooting...

Overall, a weekend chock full of learning experiences...

Friday, October 25, 2013

Blame it on the Rifter...

When I first read about the EVE Second Decade Collector's Edition, I thought - I'll get it!

Then I read that it was $150.  Hmmm...  Maybe not.

But then, as the release date got closer, I rationalized, "I've been playing this game for almost 3 years and only paid for the first year (when I didn't know any better) - since then I haven't sent a penny to CCP because I've been financing my addiction, errr... passion with PLEX.  It's probably time to send some money to them."

And I thought, "Plus, what could be better than a rifter shaped usb hub?!!?!!"

So ordered it.  And I watched the tracking info as the package made it's way from Georgia (in the US) to Seattle - several days by truck.

But today the wait is over!  It's arrived.

I'm sure you've seen the CCP unboxing video -  - opening the box here at home was pretty much the same...

Great stuff inside the box (I'm a board game fan too - so the Danger Game will be fun to break out with the gaming group on Wednesday night) and lots of in-game loot:

·         1x 30 Day Pilot License Extension
·         1x Genolution Core Augmentation CA-1 Implant
·         1x Genolution Core Augmentation CA-2 Implant
·         1x Women's 'Excursion' Pants (black/gold line) Apparel
·         1x Women's 'Minima' Heels (gold) Apparel
·         1x Women's 'Executor' Coat (green/gold) Apparel
·         1x Men's 'Commando' Pants (blue) Apparel
·         1x Men's 'Trench' Boots (gray) Apparel
·         1x Men's 'Street' Shirt (white) Apparel
·         1x Women's 'Function' Shirt (white) Apparel
·         1x Men's 'Esquire' Coat (silver) Apparel
·         1x SPZ-3 "Torch" Laser Sight Combat Ocular Enhancer (right/black) Apparel
·         1x Tash-Murkon Magnate Ship
·         1x A piece of Steve Special Edition Assets
·         1x Band of Brothers Director Access Key Special Edition Assets
·         1x Press pass to Prometheus Station opening Special Edition Assets
·         1x Lost reminder to pay sov bill Special Edition Assets
·         1x Assassination Contract: Mirial Special Edition Assets
·         1x Premier ticket for: The last G campaign Special Edition Assets
·         1x Premier ticket for: Clear Skies Special Edition Assets
·         1x Premier ticket for: Day of Darkness Special Edition Assets
·         1x Alliance Tournament I: Band of Brothers Special Edition Assets
·         1x Alliance Tournament II: Band of Brothers Special Edition Assets
·         1x Alliance Tournament III: Band of Brothers Special Edition Assets
·         1x Alliance Tournament III: Cult of War Special Edition Assets
·         1x Alliance Tournament IV: HUN Reloaded Special Edition Assets
·         1x Alliance Tournament IV: Star Fraction Special Edition Assets
·         1x Alliance Tournament V: Ev0ke Special Edition Assets
·         1x Alliance Tournament VI: Pandemic Legion Special Edition Assets
·         1x Alliance Tournament VII: Pandemic Legion Special Edition Assets
·         1x Alliance Tournament VIII: Pandemic Legion Special Edition Assets
·         1x Gnosis Blueprint - 5 runs Blueprint
·         1x Genolution 'Auroral' AU-79 Implant
·         1x Alliance Tournament IX: HYDRA RELOADED and 0utbreak Special Edition Assets
·         1x Alliance Tournament X: Verge of Collapse Special Edition Assets
·         1x Alliance Tournament I: KAOS Empire Special Edition Assets
·         1x Alliance Tournament III: Interstellar Alcohol Conglomerate Special Edition Assets
·         1x Alliance Tournament IV: Pandemic Legion Special Edition Assets
·         1x Alliance Tournament V: Triumvirate Special Edition Assets
·         1x Alliance Tournament VIII: HYDRA RELOADED Special Edition Assets
·         1x Alliance Tournament VI: R.U.R. Special Edition Assets
·         1x Alliance Tournament IX: Darkside. Special Edition Assets
·         1x Alliance Tournament X: HUN Reloaded Special Edition Assets

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Tristan Tristan!

I had a slasher in Heild so I clone jumped there from the Solitude low sec backwater that I had been roaming unsuccessfully for a couple days.  Actually I was going to jump my clone to another one in null sec - but I hit the wrong button...

Like I was saying, I had a slasher in Heild and jumped in it to head back to Auner - something like 18 jumps through low sec.  It was pretty uneventful - nothing really around and when I got to the Metropolis faction warfare there were either empty plexes or plexes full of nasty ships that would shrug off my slasher without a second thought.

I continued on.

Eventually I was just a couple jumps from home in Auner and spotted a tristan owned by  Shiva Makoto in a FW plex.  Tristans can be tough nuts to crack with all of those drones.  But it was time to have a fight, so I turned everything up to 11 and headed in.  One of the things turned up to 11 was my tracking disruptor (the slasher has 4 medium slots and I stick a tracking disruptor with an optimal range script).  It can be magic against ships with guns (and is worthless against ships with rockets or missiles) - so I'm always looking for a gunship when flying these slashers.  The tristan sorta filled that bill, but it also had 5 drones that would not be affected by the tracking disruptor.

But again, I degress.

I hit the jump gate and landed in the plex right on top of the tristan that had hobgoblin IIs hovering around him already and he appeared not the least bit surprised by my arrival.  I asked my tristan to orbit at a comfortable distance to hopefully mitigate some of the damage the tristan's 2 autocannons would be doing.

At this point comes the question about whether to shoot the drones or the ship.  I have a rule that I follow in answering this question - if it's a frigate shoot the ship, if it's bigger then shoot the drones.  It may not be a good rule, but it's the one I use to simplify things.

I targeted the ship.

It didn't go especially well, or especially badly.  I was doing damage and had him repairing his armor.  He was doing the same to me.  But to a greater effect.  It was pretty clear from early on that the drones were tearing into me enough that I wouldn't survive.

And I didn't.

GFs were exchanged in local and I headed in my pod the two jumps back to Auner.

I looked over the ships in the hangar and noticed an old rifter that I hadn't flown in a long time.  I hopped in and looked around the system.  There were two or three ships in a couple of the FW plexes and nothing that looked like a good fight.

I went back to trying to figure out why my iPod was suddenly giving me a "Connection Lost" error whenever I tried to use Facetime(tm).  I also flew my explorer around looking for profitable Gurista DED sites.

45 minutes later, after having not solved the Facetime(tm) problem and having conquered one Gurista Scout Outpost (4/10) that yielded a few million in the drop (I've been on a dry spell lately with the drop gods...), I headed out of the station in the rifter.  And look who was there - Shiva Makoto.  The same Shiva Makoto that killed my slasher two systems away.

I, of course, turned everything up to 11 and headed to the plex where he (and his tristan) were no doubt waiting for me again.

This time there would be no silly tracking disrupting or speed tanking.  This rifter was built for damage and survival (3x 200mm autocannon IIs, a rocket launcher, 200mm of reinforced rolled tungsten, and an armor repairer II - all pretty standard for a rifter).

I set a close orbit, ignored the hobgoblins whizzing around my ship, and started pounding the tristan with top of the line Republic Fleet Phased Plasma ammo and Caldari Navy Inferno Rockets.  It was hurting the tristan plenty.

This time I was ahead right from the start in the damage race.  He went into armor first and then into structure.  I was ahead!  But not actually by that much...  My armor repairer to doing its best to keep up but I was soon into structure.  He was even further into structure.  I'd pull back a little armor to give me some breathing room - but his next blast would immediately destroy that armor and also some of my hull.

I kept pounding him and was never behind.  But never far ahead.

Eventually, the tristan exploded!  I was smoking from all parts of the ship.  Of my once beautiful ship, only 44 hitpoints (out of an original 3000+?) were still intact.  Shields were destroyed.  Armor was 100% destroyed.  Structure was at 9% intact.  And my guns were at 92% heat damage.  It was a very, very close fight...

***Addendum - I ran across Shiva Makoto an hour after that second fight.  He was finishing an FW plex in Auner and when he was done we had the rubber match - the 2 out of 3 determiner.  It didn't go well and  my rifter was destroyed.  Shiva Makoto noted that he had forgotten to overheat his afterburner in the previous fight and had lost range control.  I had not overheated my afterburner in this fight because of the damage the heat does to it and to adjacent modules - but maybe I should in the future.  I see that the rifter is a faster ship than the tristan, so overheating would have let me get close instead of being held at 4000+ km...

Friday, September 20, 2013

Lucky Rifter

I was looking for a fight and there were only two other pilots in Auner - I knew that for sure because they were lounging in the same station as I use as a base there.  So I decided to make a roadtrip.

First stop was the neighboring system of Resbroko.  That looked a lot more promising.  There were a couple dozen pilots in the system.  Nice!  I noticed that one of the pilots was Haki Aldard who is a member of the R1FTA sister corporation - Black Dragon Fighting Society.  So I reminded myself to be sure that anyone I jumped on wasn't Haki.  I didn't want a repeat of that embarrassing fiasco...

I checked out the various faction warfare plexes and one of them had a punisher.  That's fine.  I pointed my rifter towards the jump gate, turned everything up to 11, and hit the warp drive button.

I landed and jumped.  It wasn't Haki Aldard (it was Walksovernow) and he was waiting for me just a few hundred meters away.  I hit all the right buttons and soon I had the punisher scrambled and webbed (of course, he had me in the same situation...).  I started pelting him with my autocannons and rockets.  Things went reasonably well, I worked my way through his armor and started on his shields when I noticed a couple distressing events.

My warp scrambler and web shut themselves off because they had no more capacitor.  The rascal had an energy neutralizer and he was trying to disable my ship!  Fortunately, autocannons don't need cap, so they kept up the attack.  I turned off the afterburner to try to save some cap and managed to, at least temporarily, get my warp scrambler to hold him down again.

Then I noticed that my guns had burned out.  That wasn't ideal.  I resigned myself to a slow death as I had no way to harm the punisher.

And to top it off, a merlin arrived (no doubt one of Walksovernow's friends) to make it 2-1 against me.  Excellent...

I continued my orbit of the punisher and remembered that I thought I remembered someone saying that maybe it was possibly possible to un-group the guns and continue shooting with the one or two of the three that were unburned out.  If any were still in working condition.  I checked the guns and one option was "clear group".  What did I have to lose?  I hit the "clear group" button and it turned out that two of my guns were still functioning!  Attack!

I might be going to die to these two - but with some luck I would take down the punisher before I did!  It was slow and they were doing damage to my armor and structure.  I tried to align out and get away - but to no avail.  My warp engines were seriously scrambled.

I continued the fight.  The punisher was in structure.  I was in structure.  It was a race to destruction.  An then the punisher exploded!  \o/

I immediately warped away so that his pal in the punisher couldn't scramble my engines and was relieved to hear the friendly voice say, "Warp Drive Active".

With just 58% structure - I had survived the 2-1!

GFs were exchanged in local.  I said, GF.  Walksovernow said GF and noted that "the rifter was lucky" - which I totally agreed with.   Haki Aldard say GF.

What?  Haki Aldard?  Oh no!  He must have been in the merlin that arrived half way thorugh the fight!  Instead of surviving a 2-1, it was a case of me being on the gank side of the 2-1!

I've really got to start paying attention to pilot names when there are friends in system.  This is getting ridiculous!

Haki opened a private conversation and we chatted a bit.  I admitted that I hadn't realized the it was him joining the fight and sent him a link to that previous fiasco.  He said he knew about it from my blog already (I'm surprised anyone in our two corps doesn't flee when they see me in a system - I'm going to get a well-earned reputation as a menace...).

Haki apologized for joining the fight without asking - but said that he needs all the experience he can get.  I was happy he had arrived and I could use some experience too from the looks of it...

Sunday, September 8, 2013


Well, this time the relapse wasn't exploration...

In what appears to be my destiny of trying everything Eve has to offer, I've been active with one of my alts who recently completed training for flying a freighter.  He bought an Obelisk with his profits from several months worth of Planetary Interaction in an out-of-the-way low sec pocket and hit the trade lanes.

I have a history of this sort of activity.  Prior to playing Eve I played on a Star Trek mush called Among the Stars -  It's like Eve but without the pretty pictures.  Without any pictures in fact.  It's a text based multi-player game that includes pvp and an economy of sorts.  I used to buy goods from NPCs in one station and haul to to another station where the NPCs were offering to buy the goods for a higher price.  I remember some of the routes being very long - like 8 or 10 hours - and I'd get up at 2am (much to the chagrin of my wife...) to unload cargo and grab some new cargo for another run.  All of this was using ascii text - no pictures.

So when my hauler alt finally was able to fly a freighter, I thought I'd give it a try.  And it's worked out pretty well.  I'm enjoying finding contracts to haul - especially since I can load up the freighter and send it off on autopilot while I'm doing whatever else I'm doing.

From these two weeks of hauling cargo I've learn some things about contracts and hauling that might help others when they want to move things around the Eve universe.  I know that I was always confused about what I could have hauled and how much to pay them...

First off, when you set up your courier contract (it's an option on the contracting screen) be sure to move things in reasonable units.  860,000 m3 and 1 Billion ISK in collateral are the magic numbers - keep your cargo under these two limits (one because of the size of most freighters and the other because of the danger of freighters carrying valuable cargo getting ganked).  If you have to, break up your cargo so that it fits these two limits.  Don't underestimate the value of your cargo and set a lower collateral - the hauler can see exactly what he's hauling and you're tempting fate if you have 2 billion in implants insured for just 1 billion isk...

And to answer one of the most often asked questions, you can have anything hauled - including assembled and rigged ships - just as long as the cargo fits the size limit.  I've had jobs hauling orcas, battleships, piles of battlecruisers, full loads of minerals, piles of miscellaneous loot, etc.

If you are within the two limits (860k m3 and 1B isk) then you need to decide how much to pay for the hauling.  Again there are a couple magic numbers.  500k isk per jump and 1m isk per jump.  For instance, if you want to haul something from Jita to Amo (the high sec system closest to my home in Auner) then it's a trip of 21 jumps.  A contact with a 10 or 11 million isk reward for the hauler - about 500k per jump - will get picked up relatively quickly - probably within an hour.  A contract with a 3 or 4 million isk reward - 150k or 200k per jump - will sit a while, maybe even for a day or two.  And a contract paying a reward of 20 or 21 million isk - a million isk per jump - will probably get picked up in a matter of minutes.

If you want something hauled quickly (remember "quickly" is a relative term when you consider how slowly these freighters go...), consider a million isk per jump.  If you want it done today, then 500k per jump will probably work.  And if you don't care when it arrives - throw out a smaller number.  You might want to be on the high side of these numbers if you expect to have the cargo hauled to some out of the way location in Khanid or Aridia - the person hauling the cargo won't have any good options for a return load.  On the other hand, if you are sending something from one trade hub to another (or from near one trade hub to near another trade hub) - then you might want to save some money and go with a lower reward because the hauler will probably be able to get a contract for a return trip and will take yours with that in mind.

The size and value of your cargo doesn't really come into the equation (at least for me).  Personally, I consider any contract that's under 860,000 m3 and with collateral of 800 million or less (I'm still a bit leery of ganking and don't want to tempt fate hauling a glittering cargohold full of shiny loot).

Those numbers are only valid for high sec to high sec trips.  They do not cover trips to high sec islands surrounded by low sec!

For low sec, the number of jumps doesn't matter quite as much.  Then it's a question of cargo size and the number of low sec jumps required.  Look at some of the other orders for low sec (including to high sec stations located in pockets surrounded by low sec) and get a feel for how much you need to offer.  A round number like 20 million or 30 million or 40 million might be worth trying.  The hauler will be using a blockade runner (3,500 m3) or deep space transport (35,000 m3) or jump freighter (320,000 m3) - so it's a totally different economy and there's not afk hauling...  Definitely no afk hauling...

Hopefully that helps un-confuse you about hauling.  I've been amazed at how many people are running cargo around Eve and how quickly jobs will pop up and then disappear as someone accepts them.

And I promise that I'll be back to Pirate Jack Dancer's mayhem soon...