I was sitting in Auner wondering what to do. I had spent much of the morning sneaking in modules and ships with my hauler alt and had plenty to choose from.
Maybe it's time to put together a Merlin now that I have Caldari Frigate skill up to IV and Small Blaster Specialization at III. I sorted out the items in the warehouse, remembering to use a Miura Bull(tm) approved medium shield extender instead of the small, and soon had a neutron blaster equipped Merlin ready to face the vacuum of space.
I headed out to an asteroid belt to shoot a rat or two just to see how well the blasters worked. They seemed to do ok - with one shot the Angel frigates were turned to space dust. I set the orbit range to 500m because blasters have a very short range.
While shooting the rats I noticed a destroyer on scan - a thrasher. I thought that would be a very good test of the merlin - if I could get under his autocannons, I might be able to destroy him before my ship turned to a burning wreck. But I did not have high hopes - my frigates usually die to destroyers.
I headed to the top belt to make it easier for him to find me. While I waited I cruised away from the Angel frigate and battleship that were guarding their precious rocks. When the frigate got close, I destroyed it in one shot. Nice.
Then the thrasher landed. The pilot was named Kolt and I saw that he has been playing since 2003 and has a -9.7 security standing. An experienced pirate. I assumed his destroyer would be well equipped and I started making plans to get my pod out when my destruction happened.
Fortunately, he landed more than 100k away from me. My plan was to fight up close - the closer the better - and so when he came in my direction, I kept moving away from him. After a minute or two I decided to bite the bullet and take the fight. I headed to the sun and figured that he would follow. I chose to land at zero in hopes that he would do the same so that we would be very near to each other at the start of the fight. I had no hope of approaching through the barrage of 7 autocannons that a thrasher carries.
I landed and waited.
Soon I saw him on dscan and a few seconds later he landed. 3k away! Perfect! My only hope was to get in close. I had noticed at the asteroid belt that his speed (4k+/sec) indicated that he had a microwarp drive - so when I scrambled and webbed the thrasher it was pretty much dead in the vacuum. I set my orbit at 500m and started pummeling him with my hybrid charges.
Death came quickly to the thrasher. I might have taken a glancing blow, but hardly more and Kolt's ship was soon a fiery heap of wreckage! I scooped up as much loot as I could from the wreck (noting that it had been an arty thrasher - to explain the lack of damage to my close fast flying frigate). But I couldn't get all the loot into my hold - 3(!) Covert Ops Cloaking Device IIs had fortunately survived the explosion and were too big to fit. For those I had to return in the station and head back in my own destroyer (due to the larger cargo hold) for retrieval. It was a very fortunate drop for me...
Afterwards we had this postmortem in local:
Jack Dancer > gf
Kolt > lol pressed to zero , my bad , gf
Jack Dancer > I was hoping that might happen...
Kolt > yep i had already figured that out in warp lol
My first impressions of the blaster merlin were very favorable...
I recently popped out of the station in Auner looking for trouble and noticed a destroyer on scan with the pilot’s name still associated with it.I checked and the pilot was less than a month old.
After scanning the FW sites and not finding the destroyer I thought maybe he was ratting in one of the asteroid belts.My first scan found him.
I headed his way (warping to zero) – turning everything up to only 10 (a one month old character shouldn’t be a challenge for my slasher, even if he is flying a destroyer - so no need to go to 11).I landed just 3k away from him and scrambled his warp engines.The battle was short and I’m not sure that I took any damage.
Afterwards the pilot asked for a conversation and we chatted.He started off with, “What could I have done better – I’m new.”An excellent opening line for all of you noob PvPers out there – if you want to learn, feel free to ask whoever destroyed you.Most of the time we’d be happy to help.
I told him that there really wasn’t anything he could have done once I landed on top of him like that.He was doomed.But we talked a bit about what he could have done prior to me landing on him, and I’ll mention that here (along with a couple other things I’ve thought of since then…).
Change the name of your ship to something other than, in my case, “Jack Dancer’s Rifter”.“Titanic” might be a suitable name…No reason to give people total insight on who they are attacking.
If you have a choice of asteroid belts to rat in, choose some with a bunch of other belts nearby.For instance, instead of going to Planet II’s single belt, go to one of the 6 belts that are near to Planet VIII.That will give an evil person a tougher time sorting out which one you might be in and maybe give you enough time to escape when he lands at the right planet, but at the wrong belt.
Don’t rat at zero.If you land at a belt, burn away from the rats and get some distance between you and where Bad People™ like me might land.The rats will follow you.
Use local – when you arrive at a system, check out everyone that’s in local.If you see someone named “Jack Dancer” (THE Jack Dancer!) and he’s a member of a scuzzy bunch like the “Black Rebel Rifter Club” and he has a minus 6.5 security rating – you should be very, very careful.A trick that I learned at the Agony Basic PvP class (I highly recommend that class!) is to click on someone’s name in local and then hit <ctrl>-A (on a Windows™ PC) to highlight everyone in local.When someone new comes into the system, you don’t need to figure out who it is – their name will be the only one not highlighted.You can look at their info and then highlight everyone again.
Use dscan – if you see a rifter or slasher or merlin or ? on dscan right after some low life with a very negative security status has arrived, it might be a good time to head for a safe spot.
Learn how to use dscan to your advantage by lowering the scan distance.Change the 2 at the start of the distance (2,147,483,647 ) to a 1 (1,147,483,647) – it will cut the dscan range in half (to about 7au) and you’ll know when people are getting close.Or take the 2 off entirely (147,483,647) and it’ll cut the range to about 1au so you’ll know when people are breathing down your neck and will arrive in a matter of seconds.
Of course, for any of these dscan tricks to work – you need to constantly be hitting the dscan button.Every 5 or 10 seconds when you think danger might be lurking nearby.Every 30 seconds even if you think you’re totally safe.
That’s it for now.Anyone else have any advice for noobs to avoid Death by Pirate?