Adjustments to Get Me Wrecked

I’m back to work, so my playing time is once again limited.  One of my purposes with this blog is to provide me more incentive to just get out there and stick it out.  Commit to blowing things up, and/or getting blown up.  

I have to admit, there are times I just don’t feel like I’m in the mood.  Not that I don’t want to fly, but the risk of losing does weigh heavy on my mind.  Really, this risk averse thing is not just a gimmick.  The embarrassment of losing or making the mistake that cost you the combat has a way of just hovering over you, a specter of doubt that hinders you from undocking.  

My objective is to move past that, and improve.

XQ0006 kill mail

Ungh, this combat…  I was so bad.  

In my continuous pursuit to combine work and Eve, I have taken to spinning in a faction warfare complex in vacant systems.  It’s sort of like fishing.  When a pilot pops into system, I direct my attention to checking out the pilot’s history, and spamming d-scan.

An interesting point of note here, I have reconfigured the windows to my screen.  In other words I have moved my overview down, and the ship movement quick buttons closer to the bottom of the screen in an attempt to minimize mouse movement.  I am also attempting to get used to the keyboard button controls when possible.  All this needs time and experience to become familiar with the set up, and develop the muscle memory.

Another key component to my change is radial velocity.  I have added the column to my overview.  In an attempt to analyze my losses, I have determined that I spend too much time obsessing over the distance marker just below the target circle.  Radial velocity gives me a faster report when the target is gaining on my, by indicating a negative number.  A positive number, of course, indicates the target is moving away.  I recalled this column in my previous reading and viewings of PvP combat, and after some refresh research added it to my overview.

I think it was my fixated attention to this overview that distracted me from other key points that I have been getting better at, and in fact I was in control of in this combat.  I had the Hookbill at a good distance, drones chomping away.  As he pulled away, I adjusted, and then quickly corrected to maintain an extreme distance.  He was obviously passive shield tanked, so once I got through 80% of his shields I directed my attention to overview a little more often.  Wrong!

My overview set up accurately communicated that he was gaining on me… quickly.  I went to click the MWD, but it was burned out.  Ah, I forgot to turn the damn thing off from overheating.  Thought I had that down!  Then the color red caught my attention, and I realized he had already destroyed two of my drones, and working on the third.  Gah, just when I thought drone control was an actual strength of mine!  Recall the damaged drone… nope.  Destroyed three of my drones.  Deploy my reserves, and begin putting my whole focus into drone management.  

The good news with him only 1200 meters away from my face, my drones zip into the hanger much faster.  Little by little, after a long time, he kills all of my drones.  He had to completely focus his efforts on targeting and shooting.  Each time he attempted to aim his guns at me, the drones pierced his hull deeper.  In the end, I got him down to 19% hull, but I have NOTHING to hurt him with.  Just a sphere in space serving as target practice.

XQ0006 goes boom, my pod flies away, and we exchange “gf” in local.  Edward Brody is kind enough to offer advice, and really compliments me on the fight.  It was a good fight.  I think this highlights how important it is to have these experiences.  Never fixate on one detail, and never feel like you have the fight in hand.  I need more experience to get these procedures down, and prevent such mistakes.

Fortunately, I have 94 more Tristans, and 9 kills recorded.

Bad Day for LP Farmers

I don’t know why, but I really got annoyed by the ISK farmers today.  Maybe it was when I realized most of them are probably controlled by just a few players multi-boxing.  I do not believe they are bots, since I was able to catch up with a few.  This indicates, to me at least, the player’s attention may have been drawn away.  In a few cases, there was reaction within the fight, (mostly desperate attempts to run), but this encourages me to keep making their experience with farming difficult.  

6th kill

I’m sort of becoming infamous in a few systems, as LP farmers will simply fly out of system when I fly in.  Again, another positive indication that their is human control behind these farmers.

7th kill

Easy kills here, simply because they really don’t fight.  As I’m involved in the fight, I just making sure they stay within my disruptor range.  What’s the harm, right?  There were also some pod kills that either went along with these pilots, or an odd pod that I ran into.  I’m probably doing the farmer a favor by podding.  But, again, it amuses me.

I do wonder how much LP these farmers collect.  I identified at least six of the Atrons zipping from station to station, landing on any novice complex they can find.  I know I chased many of them off their game, but I have to think they are probably just laughing at my futile efforts – laughing all the way to the bank.  Sick contrast to the 45 to 70 LP points I collect for each of the kills.  Sad really.

Engaging in these battles really didn’t do anything to improve my PvP skills either.  However, I think I’ve already come a long way to feeling comfortable in this hostile environment.  Maybe too comfortable.  I chased off one of these Atrons from a complex, as I detected with d-scan.  I did not have to fly into the complex, but instead chose to loot several wrecks that were present at the gate.  I did believe this to be strange, so I continued to ping d-scan as scooped up the loot.  Lo’ and behold and Atron comes zooming in to the location.  I was confused by this.  At first I thought, “Did this guy make a mistake?”  Then I Looked at the the employment history of the only other pilot in system, and quickly prepped my micro warp drive (MWD) to pull away from the gate.

8th kill.

The Atron surprised me, and came at me hard.  I was able to pull away to 20 km, and let my drones go to town on him.  In the middle of the battle, Jorrien turns around and increases distance.  I thought I was going to lose him, and he was fast.  I closed the distance, which I believe he anticipated.  He turned and closed distance very quickly.  I clicked on my MWD pulled more distance, as Jorrien began to go to work on my drones.  

I don’t know if I was just surprised, or if this fight was faster than others.  I never felt in control at all throughout the entire thing.  Jorrien had me working with so many systems, it sort of got overwhelming.  As I managed my drones, he caught up to me again.  At this point he was well into structure, but his armor repairer was significantly performing its job.  Two of drones were down, but Jorrien now in my face focused his fire on my ship.  All I could do was attempt to find a way to pull more distance, and hope my drones could finish him off.  Fortunately they did.

I was shaken up by this battle.  I had to mail Jorrien my “gf”, which I neglected to do immediately after in local.  Jorrien was very gracious, and sort of chastised himself for not going to work on my drones earlier in the battle.  That would have changed things for sure.  His guns were powerful.  He also mentioned that the ship had 14 kill marks.

Speaking of kill marks, XQ0005 has the new record – 4!

XQ0005 – 4 kill marks.  Personal best.

But then, nothing lasts forever.  Boom time!

XQ0005 Kill Mail

On the way back to one of my home stations, I reflected on my previous actions versus my intent.  How much risk have I actually been taking?  I have been looking for any and all targets when I enter a system.  The only real available targets have been those ISK farming Atrons.  Am I getting more confident, and just reshaping my risk averse nature?

I really wasn’t impressed with my performance in the last battle with Jorrien.  I parked in a random station, dropped the loot, and immediately headed to a complex.  After completing one, I moved to a small complex.  Anonymous BTard came in to the system blinking red, fresh off a battle.  It did not take him long to find me in the complex.  I deployed drones, pulled distance, and locked him when he flew in.  

I did not perform well in this fight either.  I am beginning to doubt myself I guess.  He was fast!  In my effort to manage my MWD and our distance from each other, I shut off the MWD instead of shutting off the overheat option.  I think I caught it soon after, but that small amount of time is all he needed to get in my face and shred me to pieces.  A part of my distraction was from frustration at how little damage my drones were doing to his shields.  I do not understand this impatience that has been coming over me.

Anonymous BTard is a great pilot, and the fit is solid – and expensive.  Essentially he’s flying a 40-50 million ISK T1.  I have to add, he definitely knows how to fly it.

XQ0006, anchors away!

Immediately, we catch another LP farmer in a complex.

9th kill

My self concerns aside, at least this destruction is good for the economy.

Record: 95 Tristans ready to take flight, 9 kills.

Struggling on the Offense

As I said before, I’m over 100,000 LP orbiting the button with defensive complexes for faction warfare.  I feel this is a good way to make ISK, although I haven’t looked into this side of things yet.  I have to say, plexing sites is probably more tedious than mining.  Mining can be a task that runs in the background with just a tenth of your attention.  Spinning around the button demands more attention, much more.  Boring, just boring.  Maybe more accurately, I have to be in the right frame of mind for this.

I have been attempting to mix it up, and roam around looking for targets.  This allows me to practice my pin pointing with d-scan skills, and just run into strange things in low sec here and there.  Mostly I’m chasing off LP farmers.  Atrons seem to be their ship of choice.

Entering these sites to attack has brought new subtle skills to my attention.  I haven’t figured out a procedure for engagement with this yet.  A major disadvantage is I’m potentially entering on the hunted’s terms, as I have used to my advantage in the recent past.  As a kiter, I need to pull distance.  If I’m going against a brawler, as soon as they scram me – I’m done.  Any advice as to how to combat this will be much appreciated.

Just hanging out at the gate

Entering Brarel system, I popped this pod at the gate.  I was pretty sure I would be safe from the gate guns, since we are at war.  I have to say I’m glad my belief was confirmed as I attacked.  At least this was a calculated risk, and not just me getting all excited with blood lust.  Owidasi was one of two Amar pilots in system.  After she went boom, I flew to a planet beyond d-scan range in an attempt to locate the other.

Found an Incursus at a novice site.  He was warping through the complex gate as I approached.  Hindsight, the fact that I d-scanned him at the sight, warped to him, and he then just started to warp into the complex should have set off some alarms in my head.  Although the whole point to this challenge would not have stopped me if alarms did go off, but I do need to develop this sixth sense.  At the time, I thought this was an interesting coincidence.  The fact that this was an Incursus got my hopes up for a combat.  I still held some doubts, since the Incursus’ ship was named [pilot’s name]’s Incursus.  LP farmer’s ship name of choice is the default ship name.  I can’t remember the LP farmer’s name, since my attention was soon interrupted.

XQ0004 goes Boom!

After the LP farmer flew off, I was turning off my overheated modules.  The little sucker got a late start on his warp off – just as I was about to lock.  The moments I took to look over the damage from overheating and to think about docking for repair, I pinged this Heron flying into the complex.  “Alice P Liddell’s Heron” as it appeared on d-scan in fact.  Good news here, pinging d-scan has almost become habitual for me.  Bad news, I did not assume a defensive position while I was thinking – should have hit orbit at 20 km.  I was scrammed immediately.

As soon as I saw Alice flying in, after the Incursus warped off, I felt like a mouse that had just sprung a trap.  My industrialist character roams around this area a lot, and I’m familiar with many of the frequent fliers in these parts – faces and names not necessarily activities.  Alice is a regular in Brarel.  By regular I mean when she is in Brarel, she is there for hours!  The fact that she doesn’t even name her ship, and just happens to be in a Heron set up for PvP… Too much of a coincidence for me.  Checking her kill board shows a similar pattern.  She victimizes faction warriors and explorers.  Although she is not confined to Brarel, that system is definitely her default.

For any and all PvP enthusiasts following my blog, first thank you, and second I hope you can see an opportunity here!

Anyway, Alice’s Heron was an active shield tank.  I attempted to move away from Alice after she pounced.  Double clicking into space, I attempted to create an escape vector to allow an increase in transversal and distance, but I just didn’t have the speed.  I believe my drones surprised her, since they eventually worked past her shields and chewed into her structure.  It was close.  I’m not going to take too much pride in this, since Heron’s are not combat ships.  I’m sure Alice’s  five year old character skills, (as well as a creative combat fit), carried the victory home for her.  

If my suspicion is correct, Alice has a fairly ingenious little system, or trap, here.  Farm LP with her Amar militia alt in a system that is predominantly Gallente, (good income), and occasionally gank  anyone looking for a fight.  Originally I suspected she may have been cloaked up outside of the gate.  This caused me to dive deeper into her Zkillboard history.  Thanks to a Wingspan delivery agent, Sroak Enaka, we have the fit.

Creative bait/trap fit

Wonder how many Navy Cap Booster charges she had left after our little dance?  The fight did go on for some time.  By the by, the Cap Booster in my inventory was just some loot I picked up along my travels.  I’ve been making some spare ISK cleaning up while attempting to find boom boom opportunities.

XQ0005 away!

I returned to the hunt.  I chased off too many Atron pilot LP farmers from their complexes like waving wasps off your BBQ dinner.  I decided to settle in and defend for a while.  May as well make some profit.  

As I was about to complete my third complex, a retribution pilot decided to pay me a visit in my small complex.

This is just the start of the story.

I saw him hovering a long time close to the complex, as I pinged away tracking him.  You could almost see the smoke escaping his ship from his thought process.  He finally committed, and entered.  As per my procedure, I prepped to overload my micro warp drive, and had my drones out.  I locked him, warp disrupted, and hit the micro warp drive to establish a good distance – 22 km.  I knew this might get rough, so I extended my distance out.  I prepared to really track our distance throughout the fight.  I didn’t want him to escape if it went well.

I was getting worried at the beginning.  He burned toward me, and my drones did not seem to be really doing any damage to him.  I know they were on the attack, since I was notified that I took a security hit for initiating the attack, (something I’ll need to work to improve by the way now that I’m negative security status).  I think my trouble doing damage has something to do with the Assault Damage Controll II module.  I do not know much about how this works, just the theory as I read from it’s description.

Finally, as I kept my distance, my drones started to chew through his shields.  He then turned his aggression at my drones.  I began to recall and deploy as they were damaged.  Some did not make it back, but a few had some time to sit in my drone bay to recover shields as its replacement filled in.  During this drone management task, I saw that he was pulling distance away.  I overheated my warp disruptor, and hit the approach key to close some distance.  Recalled drone, deployed drone, and then hit orbit again.  I noticed that I accidentally shut off my disruptor within this time.  I must have accidentally did this in my attempt to stop overheating.  I was able to click it back on before he escaped.  Slowly, working through structure, and finally Boom went the Retribution.

I was AMAZED!  I have to admit, I was also quite pleased with my management of throughout the fight.  The drones went through a battle.

Started with 8 drones, (lost two Hobgoblin IIs)

We exchanged “gf” in local.  Then there was some frustration expressed by Balzaque, and another in system joined in the conversation.

Balzaque hung out in system for a while.  I am not one to smack talk, and I do not like to crow over my wins.  This fight was tough, and I was happy.  After this conversation, I began to feel a little bad that I posted the Kill Mail in local.  I didn’t want Balzaque to feel humiliated.  I also empathized with his pain.  He just lost 55 mil. ISK assault frigate to a t1 Tristan.  I have felt this helpless in previous attempts to dive into PvP – hence my current self tasked challenge.

As I flew back to my home station with my newly acquired loot, I wondered if there was any advice I could offer Balzaque.  Not that I now consider myself an expert, but maybe I could start a conversation to review this fight.  I looked him up on Zkillboard, as I thought about what I might offer him.  No character found.  Strange…

I accessed his name through my Zkillboard report of the fight.  This fight was his only entry.  I then looked up his character in game…

How many skill injectors does it take to get to the center of an assault frigate?

One ferking day old character!!!!  Piloting a Retribution!!!!  Balzaque, that “makes no sense.”  Hate the player, not the game.

Record: 96 Tristans in dock ready to go, 5 kills.

Here Comes the Boom!!!

Third kill mark earned!  I wish it was more exciting, but not really.

3rd kill

I caught one of the Atron farmers, but not the major gnat flying around.  We’ll see if Konst is actually a runner, or merely AFK when I entered his complex.  I didn’t see much activity from him after a locked him, so I’m uncertain of how active he is.  I do know that his Zkillboard demonstrates numerous such losses.    Maybe he’s a non-running variety of farmer that has calculated opportunity cost to develop an efficient LP gathering scheme without wasting the time of running.  Who knows.  I received a very small amount of LP to mark my first Faction Warfare kill.  Also, the kill mark added to my ship as a result sure was pretty while it lasted.

Goodbye XQ0002.  She holds my kill mark record at 3!

I have never encountered, nor flown, a Kikimora before.  This little sucker, piloted by a pirate named Wild Haze, was quick, and hit hard.  I have to admit that my attention to detail was often distracted in this fight.  When I was about to gain my bearings in the fight, my attention was drawn to the damage my ship took with each hit.  I’m also unsure how she was able to get in my face so fast.  She hit me with a war scrambler fairly early into the combat, which shut off my micro warp drive.  A detail I had to remember as I spent several moments clicking my micro warp drive, and becoming frustrated as I knew I had turned it on and overheated it.

Anyway, I’ll have to research these little ships, and that weapon more.  It’s a shame that I couldn’t keep distance.  I was getting damage applied well for the start of the combat.  It would have been a large ISK loss to her if I was able to take it out.

On to XQ0003.  A short lived experience, but good reminder.  I decided to roam more, and plex less in my pursuit to go boom.  I saw an Ibis on d-scan, and believed the pilot in system was about to light a cyno.  I don’t know what this says about me, but now that I’m getting into this PvP activity I’m getting blood thirsty.  In my defense, I would never take out such a target in the past.  Not because it’s against my moral code or anything, but because I always felt the pilot would have support.  Again, this is risk averse thinking!  With that in mind, I went in for the attack.

4th kill

I’m proud to state that I have always known that I cannot attack others at the gate, (at least not in a frigate), or die from the gate guns fire.  I learned this from viewing the odd YouTube video on low sec PvP.  I guess I never really put this together though.

XQ0003, short lived – but destroyed with a kill mark!

Stations have guns too.

Now I’m in XQ0004, and wiser for the wear.  Or am I?

I came across this pod as I warped into Ostingele.  Immediately I thought, “Easy target,” but then thought better of it.  No, it wasn’t the gate guns that dissuaded me, I was really debating why I should or should not attack a non faction warfare pod.  Finally I thought any pod that was just hanging out at the gate must be looking for what Eve pilots call “the pod express” back home.  In other words, I destroy the pod, and the pilot returns to her home station.  I thought to myself, “I’ll just do her this favor.”  The fact that there were also 22 other pilots in system seemed to promise more action if this was some sort of trap.

As I destroyed the pod, I was reminded of the lesson I thought I had already learned.  Fortunately I escaped with 27% hull left.  Now, wiser for the wear?

This kill also helps me establish a rule for my activities in this blog.  I am not counting pod kills in my record keeping.  In fact this pod kill is my second.  My first was the LP farmer in the Atron.  Pod kills just don’t seem worthy of tracking as “pilot kills”.  

Record: 97 Tristans at the ready, 4 kills.

Oops, I Did It Again!

I am now over 100,000 LPs, as I have expanded into medium and large complexes.  I am still defending for my faction.  I have taken to aggressive defense as well.  I have chased off many Caldari and Amar militia from their complexes, and even spent some time hunting after them as they ran to other systems.  My hunting skills need to improved.  I am still amazed at how many people run off. 

Yes, I am a hypocrite!  For a time I engaged in the same strategy.  At least I have come to realize I have a problem, and that is the first step to recovery.  Right?

That little Atron pilot is just a gnat that needs to be swatted.  She just runs, and runs.  Stays in the area, never engages, but I’m sure she’s making a killing with LPs.  A small victory was entering a system, locating her complex, entering, and watching her run.  I saw the button marker had just seconds left!  That explains why she stayed as long as she did.  I was just a moment away from locking her!

After I chased her off that complex, I remained for 10 minutes.  I had an appointment I needed to keep, and only had 10 minutes before I had to log.  I worked off the time she accumulated to capture the complex, but I was not able to capture the complex for LP rewards.  Why did I do that?  Because it makes me feel better making her farming effort a little more difficult.

Simona needs to be swatted!

Anyway, one thing I forgot to mention in my last victory is that I also began to switch up my drone deployment.  I have looked into the types of ships that fly in the area, and I have determined that the warrior drones need to be deployed with two of the hobgoblins.  The explosive damage they spit out serves well against the vulnerabilities of many of the ship types flying through the systems.  I have become pretty good working with drones, with the years of piloting a Dominix through Level 4 missions.  Although PvP stretches my attention thin monitoring the many details in each combat, checking on drones when I’m under attack comes pretty naturally to me.  Also, I’m usually solid about remember to scoop them up again before I fly off.  Usually.

Which brings me to my next victory, and believe me – I’m so surprised by this.

2nd Kill

Gibsen flew into system just after I completed a large complex.  I was orbiting within a small complex at the time, and pinged his Hookbill.  I can’t stress this enough, I was sure this was going to be explosion number two for me.  My drones were deployed, and I prepped my micro warp drive to overheat.  Gibsen is a pirate, with -10 security status and all.  His kill board is filled with victories over militia pilots from all factions.  To his credit, he seems to hunt for 1v1 combat opportunities – I respect this so much.  I believe I am just getting very lucky with these 1v1 fights.

The reason I mention the large complex versus the small is I believe this was my key to winning this fight.  Not only did I have extra moments to prepare as he navigated through the gate, (which the large complex does not have), but I was able to pull significant distance away from his entry point.  Although the warp in point for the large is also defined, the extra moments allowed me to mentally prepare and predict his fit.  I have played this game for a while, but ship fits and abilities do not come naturally to me.  Unless I have flown the ship for a good amount of time, I have to recall from knowledge gained throughout my leisure reading and viewing experience.

Gibsen flew in, we locked each other, and I immediately hit my overheating micro warp drive to orbit at 20 km.  Positive note, I clicked the warp disruptor as the lock was being established.  So, I’m improving there.

I kept 20-22 km distance from Gibsen throughout the combat.  The killmail reassured me that I made the right decision.  If Gibsen got on top of me, his two webifiers would have slowed my Tristan to a crawl, and his rockets would have melted my shields and armor.  Webifiers have a range of 10 km, (I believe 13 km if overheated), so I didn’t want anything to do with that.

From his kill report, I see that Gibsen loaded Scourge Rage Rockets, which deal kinetic damage.  Assuming I do not have any boosts to the Tristan’s weak points, I would have expected Nova Rage Rockets – dealing explosive damage.  Deal damage to known weakness sort of thinking here.  Not that I would have known this at the time, (and it will take me some time and effort to be able to recall this information instantaneously in game).  I had to look up this detail after the fact, as I analyzed the combat.  I’m just wondering what led to his decision to use Scourge over Nova, especially since he carried a good selection of all damage types.  Gibsen has so much more experience at combat than I, so I’m sure there was some thought process.

Another positive note, I was able to shut down my micro warp drive from overheating before it burned out this time.  When I realized the battle was going extremely well for me, I prioritized monitoring our distance from one another.  My shields showed insignificant amount of damage versus his shields were almost finished as my drones continuing to pound away. 

When Gibsen realized he was not going to be able to close the distance, (and probably realized I had no guns mounted), he began to attack my drones.  I saw this early, and I was prepared to begin some drone management here.  Unfortunately, this is where my lack of PvP experience did me wrong.  I recalled one of my warriors a little later than I should, and Gibsen killed it off on it’s return route.  PvP damage is just so much faster than PvE.  No problem for me though, I just deployed a spare hobgoblin, and ordered it to attack.  

Somewhere at this point I believe Gibsen decided that he may want to run off.  I could be wrong, since I am relying on ship distance numbers to tell me that story.  I have the battle field expanded out far, so details like ship orientation forward or away is lost on me at this point.  I know there are ship’s orientation arrows on the expanded field, but again – I’m new to these visuals.  Have patience with me.  Anyway, I was monitoring the distanced between 20-22 km and watching the health status of my drones.  Suddenly I saw Gibsen pulled out to 24 km. 

I clicked to close the distance, and popped on my micro warp drive.  I felt comfortable with this hasty move, since he was well into structure.  I barely had any damage on my shields.  At this point, I’m just concerned about keeping him on the field for the kill.  I lost point on Gibsen just as my drones dealt the final damage, blowing him up.  Hindsight note here: I should have overheated my warp disruptor.  This would have extended the range of the established point, and provided me with more time to close the distance in a controlled, safe manner.

We exchanged “gf” in local, and I scooped up the loot.  I was happy to see the Republic Fleet medium shield extender fall in the loot drop.  Later, I looked on Zkillboard, and was amazed by Gibsen’s experience with PvP.  Truly impressive.  This is where I would like to get more involved in our community.  I just don’t communicate with other pilots as much as I would like.  This is one of my ambitions for this blog.  If any reader would care to provide me comments, advice, or ask questions, I welcome the communication.  I hope to hear from you.

Main carry away for me from this interaction with a Hookbill, my goal to blow up allowed me to follow through with this fight.  If I allowed myself to be selective, I would have ran from any Navy Faction ship – believing  a T1 frigate had no chance.  Already I’m beginning to see how the right circumstances can lead to favorable outcomes.

Record: 99 Tristans in dock; 2 kills.

Surprising Start

As I stated at the start, my time can be limited.  This has often held me back from joining large corporations/alliances.  I have always been very straight forward with my time commitment obstacles when joining a corporation, regardless if I initiated the request or another corp recruited me.  Each time I am promised, “Yeah dude, we all know life happens.  Just join in when you can.”  Yet, inevitably, one day I log in to find I’ve been kicked from the same “relaxed” corporation to make room for more active players.  Always nice mails sent to explain, but still something burns from reneging on a deal. 

Anyway, distracted off topic rant over, I have not spent the time since my last post  mourning over my first loss – crying, on the floor, in the fetal position.  I haven’t!  I have managed to log in, and fly around here and there.  I jet into a plex, orbit the button, and wait.  I have to admit, I do take a few jumps to find systems that are not crowded.  I would like to gain experience with PvP, so I am attempting to locate systems that will increase my chances at 1v1 combat.

Just to establish how much I’ve been out in attempt to blow up:

The LP count for Federal Defense Union (FDU) has been accumulated by 3-4k increments at a time.  Each plex 10-15 minutes to complete, remaining in novice and small complexes.  I have yet to complete anything larger, reference my previous post.  Maybe that should be the key to blowing up more, making myself an easier target.  And yet, many of the past up opportunities to take me on are from frigates!  Also, I have yet to encounter a faction warfare pilot that is interested in a fight.  I have come across many opposing faction pilots in system, and even attempted to fly into their plex.  Each time they just fly off, or pass through the system.

I guess I’m going to have to get more aggressive with my plan.

There is exciting news to share though!  My first kill!!!!

Watson Crick is the man!  I was plexing a small room, and Watson flew right in.  I spotted him on d-scan, and deployed my drones.  I was better at prepping my micro warp drive to overheat as Watson flew in – but the story on that does not stop there.  I was already orbiting the button at 20km, so I liked my defensive preparation.  As soon as Watson dropped from warp, we targeted each other.  I clicked him to orbit at 20km, and hit my micro warp drive to maintain the orbit.  Little did I know, or care at this point, that this distance helped his fit as well.  At least my orbiting maneuver disrupted his turret tracking a bit, which as it turns out I needed any and all advantage to win this fight.

A little after we engaged, (about the same time I noticed I was warp disrupted), I realized I needed to click on my own warp disruption to lock him.  I attempted to keep an eye on transversal velocity, but found that my eyes kept jumping to his target icon.  Watching the slow damage progress to his shields, I calculated that he too was shield fit.  Seeing no recovery from the shield damage, I also guessed he was most likely passive fit as well.  This was going to be a race to the end, and it was turning out to be close.  Suddenly I heard the startling sounds of warning from my shield indicator, alerting me I was low.  My eyes dart back to transversal, then back to his target icon.  Quickly followed by the shocking shriek indicating my armor was low.  That sound came on me a little faster than I expected!  That’s when I realized I forgot to shut off my micro warp drive, and it burned out.  Nice move noobie-me!

Both of us in structure, (and my ship moving much slower), I notice he’s at 22km.  Now I’m not sure if he was attempting to pull range.  This is another detail I’ll need to gain a eye for as this game, hopefully, slows down for me.  I hit the button to fly to him in an attempt to maintain the 24km range of my warp disruptor.  In hind sight, if Watson wanted to get away, I’m sure he could have easily done it.  A better move for me here would be to decrease orbital range.  Moving toward him simply took away my transversal advantage.  Considering both of our ships were well into structure, (mine less than 25% structure left at the end), I’m sure Watson was just as interested in seeing this combat through to the end as I.  That was a great fight, from a great pilot!

Personal note: considering this was my first kill, I really appreciate the loot fairy honoring me with the fireworks drop.  It’s just poetic.  Also, I placed the Tristan kill mark as the featured image to this post.  I am enjoying it while it lasts.  As tempting as it is to save, this ship must seek its destruction.

I have been able to fly around a bit more than usual lately, since I have enjoyed some time off from work.  I do have some work to complete over this weekend, so we’ll see how much of this I can continue.  Even when I return to work, I’ll be able to post an hour or so of fly time most nights.  I will see this challenge through.

Current record: 99 Tristans in dock, 1 kill.

First Blood – My Blood

I spent a few hours plexing.  I was jumping from novice to small plexes.  I knew in the back of my mind that these were good sites to cut my teeth on.  Still, I jumped when anyone new popped up in local.  I spammed the ‘v’ button to activate my directional scanner.  When a ship showed up on my scan, I would reduce the distance an hit the key again to see if they were flying to take me on.  Nothing.

One of the exciting moments was a Stratios that came into system.  It immediately cloaked, but not before I already pinged it on my d-scan.  The cruiser released a bunch of combat probes, and immediately set to narrowing down my location.  I felt this was funny, since I was simply circling the button within the plex I was defending.  Eventually, he was able to lock on my location.  His probes remained, surrounding my plex.  I was ready for the fight, although I knew my Tristan did not have a chance against a Stratios.  I continue to spam my d-scan waiting for his Strat to decloak to jump in for our fight.  It never came.  I do believe he flew to his ship lock, but then discovered he was prevented to fly into my small plex.  I would love to take this moment to laugh at him, but obviously I forgot this detail as well.  Let this be a reminder to the reader – I do not know much about faction warfare.

With that said, I’m pretty happy with how well I’m negotiating the d-scan.  When I warp into a new system, I take a few moments to alt+left click to direct my narrowed band d-scan to each plex in an attempt to identify any ships that may be plexing.  I’m very surprised how many people warp off as I approach.  I feel I’m an easy target, and yet off they go.  Within the hours I spent flying around, I repeatedly ran into an Atron pilot offensive plexing.  I think I must have chased her off of three sites.  I even sat in her vacated site to work through the additional time she added to attack the site, hoping she’d come back.  There was a time she did come back, sat out by the gate leading to my site, but then she flew out of system.  I sense the risk averse force is strong in that one!

Fear not, I did manage to blow up.  

XQ0001 Down, 99 more to go

An Incursus took me on, when I decided to get really greedy in a sleepy little system and go for a large plex.  In these large plexes, there are no gates to lock ships out, but the Loyalty Point (LP) rewards are big.  Milja Itazura got into system, went to one of the plex sites, and then finally located me at the large (not sure if he’s into the locating with d-scan thing).  I do find it a bit ironic that the moment I decided to head out to a site that provides no protection from ship size, a frigate pilot takes me out anyway.

As you can tell from Kill Report, I have a passive shield tank set up.  When Milja warped in, I targeted him immediately and set my drones on him.  I drew the first hit, taking the security status hit.  I am not going to lose any sleep on this, since I know the naughty boy was not just stopping in to say, “Hi Quin.”  When I locked him, I hit the orbit key, which I have set to 17 km.  I think this is where I made my first mistake, I did not click on my micro warp drive – maybe even overheating it to get distance on him.  I have to remember to prepare that sort of thing as I see a pilot flying in for mischief.  Before I knew it, the Incursus was just up on my ass within his blasters’ range.  My drones, Hobgoblin IIs, did a great job melting through his shields, but my own shields did not hold up well from blaster damage.  At least not as well as his active armor tank.  

The combat was a little fast, and some details escaped my attention.  For example, when I realized how close the Incursus was on my Tristan, I attempted to punch on my micro warp drive.  His scram would not allow that, so the distance contest was won by him pretty early into the battle.  I also noticed that I did not lock him up with my warp disruptor for longer than I care to admit.  I need to have this be an immediate action as I lock target.  I attempted to keep an eye on velocity and transversal velocity, but I think that awareness went out as soon as I realized I was not keeping the distance I wanted.  I need to stay out of scram range to win.  My goal here is to maximize transversal velocity to my advantage.  I do not have weapons, so I do not need to worry about turret tracking – an Incursus does.  Again, as he got in my face quickly, any possible opportunity I would have was lost.

A redeeming point to this battle, if memory serves correctly, I got him into structure.  I don’t feel the battle was as one sided as I believed my first losses would be.  I’m also glad I had a 1v1 battle for my first faction warfare experience.  Although I hope for more opportunities such as this, I do not believe this will hold up through my loss experience.

For anyone curious, I knew the PvP game was going to be fast for me, which is why I took such a passive fit.  As I get more comfortable with the game, I’ll see what I can do to add to my ship’s tool box.  Any suggestions of Tristan fits you think I should/could use, please feel free to leave me a comment, send in game mail, or both.

XQ0002 is now fired up, and ready to go.  Record now stands at: 99 Tristans in station; 0 kills.