Monday, July 15, 2013

Back in the Saddle

After more than a month spent almost entirely with my explorer alt, with a few minutes every day devoted to my planetary interaction alt and my trading alt – it’s time to get back to some pvp.

I enjoyed the month a lot. In fact, it was great fun. I spent time in a wormhole looking for targets (a boring waiting game, but I did eventually catch a venture with my stealth bomber). I had a freighter full of PI products (assembled over several months on some low sec planets) hauled to market by our good friends at Red/Black Frog Freight. I even ran about 70 distribution missions (**shudder**) to boost my trading alt’s standings with the Caldari Navy to lower the amount they gouge out of each transaction.

Overall it’s been fun and an opportunity to investigate some of the other activities Eve offers. Eve is great that way – always something new to experience.

But now I’m going to return to pvp. With my trader making more than enough to finance my two accounts and my explorer knee deep in loot from Gurista 3/10 and 4/10 DED sites – I have plenty of isk to burn on ships. And burn them I no doubt will – both the isk and the ships.

I was listening to the most recent High Drag Eve Online Podcast and Zao Amadues noted that he had been away from pvp for a few days and was amazed at how his skills had deteriorated. My skills are nowhere close to Zao’s – so being away for more than a month should put me back to zero (though not that big of a drop really)…

My plan is to try to alternate evenings between Pirate Jack Dancer and my RvB alt.

Jack Dancer will be doing mostly solo roams looking for 1v1 frigate fights. What you’ve come to expect from this blog.

My RvB alt is a totally different story. I’m going to force him to join fleets and get some fleet experience – headset, microphone, and all! I’ve never been comfortable with fleet activities due to my sometimes hilarious blunders (I don’t mind killing myself, but would be sorry to be the cause of others’ destruction…). But RvB should be an excellent place to learn - they are a fun laid back bunch with a lot of rookie pilots – so I shouldn’t stand out as a complete dolt. But on the other hand, maybe I will…

So to get started on my pvp return, I had my trusty rifter cruising the spacelanes of Heild in Molden Heath and spotted a badger on scan. I narrowed it down to a planet cluster with a customs office and warped to the customs office at zero. I've done this dozens of times when spotting various ships on scan and I don't think I've ever landed on top of one of them. They are probably at a station near the planet, or maybe at a POS next to a moon, or alert enough to leave the customs office when they see me coming.

But not in this case. I landed right on top of the badger! Yes! I set a tight orbit and started pelting him with my autocannons. And as I was tearing him apart a Republic Fleet Firetail, piloted by Wolf Hagemann, landed on top of both of us. What to do? I decided to continue pummeling the badger and targeted the firetail so that I could switch targets when the badger was destroyed.

In short order the badger exploded and I turned my attention to the firetail.

That didn't go as well. The firetail, who I assumed was a friend of the badger, had gone through my shields while I was working on the badger. But with help from my armor repairer I was able to give as much damage as I was receiving - but in the end, with the firetail in deep armor, I exploded.

I headed back to the station and picked up a slasher. I warped to planet II and issued a challenge to Wolf Hagemann in local. He immediately landed on grid and we started round 2 of our contest. I noticed that the firetail was still damaged from our previous bout - his armor was down to about 20%. Very generous of him!

We circled - he tried to keep distance and I tried to close to around 5k to do maximum damage with my barrage and have maximum protection thanks to my tracking disruptor. Of course, I should have realized that Wolf's firetail was equipped with artillery (someday I'm going to start looking at opponents and be able to tell what sort of equipment they carry...). But in the end, I managed to do more damage than I took - though I was in structure when the firetail finally exploded.

GFs were again exchanged in local and Wolf opened a conversation. We compared fits and tactics.  It turned out that he wasn't with the badger - but seeing both of us there decided to drop in.  I thanked him for taking the second fight even with his damaged armor and he said, "I figured I'd give it a try."  That pretty much sums up my approach to pvp...

Overall, it was an excellent return to pvp!