Enjoying Time Off and Doing My Part for the Game Economy

Since I have a few days off before starting my new job, I am enjoying more time in game. It really is amazing how free I feel now that I have released myself from the toxic environment. Anyway, enough of that, and on to more important matters.

My last few losses demonstrated a dire need to re-familiarize myself with the process of going on the attack. Sliding into plexes with an opponent waiting to defend has proven a challenge – one that used to not be as intimidating. The only solution is to put myself out there more, which is the whole point to my quest with this blog.

Eventually I jump into a system, and d-scan a merlin in a plex. I can’t identify the pilot, but I don’t see any other Gallente milita members around. Whoever is in there will be a viable target. Warping in at 10 km from the gate, I prep my micro warp drive to overheat, and in my mind I begin forming the steps I need to take when I come out of warp after jumping into the plex. A deep breath, click, slide… I come out of warp and double click a location below and past my opponent. Then I attempt to click on my prepped micro warp drive, but Junge Junge has me scrammed and double webbed by this point.

XQ0033 Kill Mail
Junge Junge’s Merlin Fit

Post battle reflection: double click out into space and hit F1, (which is why I situated the module on that button in the first place). Basically, the fight is over before it began. A brawler in my face successfully establishing warp scramble lock and double web just puts this whole fight on his terms, and I’m not sure if any tactic I take within this Tristan fit would have succeeded on such terms.

As we exchange “gf” in local, I remember the detail of the F1 button. The F1 button is much faster than moving the cursor to the screen button. Those moments make all the difference. If I could have gotten just one pulse out of the micro warp drive, maybe, I could have pulled out of scram and web range – big maybe. Junge Junge positioned himself well in the plex, and played his hand like a pro. Well done!

At this point I have to apologize. I have been diving into the game, and I have not been as detailed at keeping notes after each battle. So, there will be some points, as in the case with this next battle, where I can not recall how the fight was initiated.

I believe I was attacking a plex. After flying around, I was getting frustrated by several pilots just flying off as I slide into their plex. B’aldrick Aivoras from EVE University, (Junge Junge’s corp mate), decides to have a go at me with his Kestrel. He slides in, but defending these plexes just allows me to establish the fight on my terms. Keeping him at about 17 km is just too far for his rockets to reach. B’aldrick Aivoras made a pretty good go at my drones, however. I actually like this, when I’m on my game, as I can begin to recall the drone that is being attacked. As the drone is flying back to dock in my Tristan, almost all of these short ranged pilots do not realize that they are focusing fire on a drone that is also far out of its range. Many seconds of fire are now wasted, and the other four continue to work on the ship’s defenses. I think many drone pilots recall all drones, when one is fired on. Years of PvE play has actually prepared me well for this little detail.

51st kill

As you can see with his fit, if he caught up to my Tristan, double web scram would have been lights out for me. If I were in his place, considering my earlier observation of attacking my drones, I believe webbing the drone being attacked would not only serve the purpose of creating a slower target, but also serve as a visual marker to demonstrate when the drone flies out of range. When the web shuts off, that should indicate to change drone targets.

Please make no mistake about my attempt to reflect on B’aldrick Aivoras’s combat. As far as I’m concerned, I would have also lost this fight if I were in his shoes. I am just attempting to reflect on strategies to take with other ships and situations. I do not plan to fly Tristans forever and always. I figure it may be wise to start thinking beyond my current strategy.

My victory over B’aldrick Aivoras also gives me a little revenge from my last loss with Junge Junge. Eve University is another good corporation that I can depend on for getting good fights. I believe PvP is just one aspect of their corporation, but they are a great group of players for anyone to join up and gain great experience from Eve.

Again, if I recall correctly, Christopher Joseph Souder took me on while attacking a plex. I saw the heron on my short range d-scan, and I just knew this was going to be a long fight. As he posted himself outside the gate, I rolled my camera view away from the plex beacon, and double clicked away from it. I shut off the overheat prep on my micro warp drive, and just cruised a bit away from the beacon. Eventually the heron slides in and comes out of warp. I situate my camera angle to center on the heron, and double click in between the edge of my right side screen and the heron. I click and turn off one pulse of the micro warp drive, establish lock, and eventually set my drones to attack. Now I just maintain distance and my warp disruptor lock, and wait for the dance to end.

52nd kill

As I predicted, this was a long fight. The double fit shield boosters is just a beast to break through. The big challenge for me was managing my drones as they took damage, and maintaining disruptor lock as Christopher Joseph Souder continued to increase range and fast approach again. Not sure what eventually went wrong for him, as I see many cap boosters were left among the kill mail drops. The damage applied to him never really seemed to go to extreme, so I don’t believe the shield boosters burned out or anything. My guess is that eventually it came down to the Heron’s capacitor management.

As I rely on my memory to write about these fights, I am getting more frustrated with myself. I want to be sure to do justice to the details. Managing this blog to recount these details is another factor with which I have to establish a routine. I’m enjoying the blog experience. The communications with readers is something I enjoy and encourage. My point: it’s another detail that I have to form habits to be successful.

The next encounter, again if memory serves, was my attempt to go on the attack. An aspect of the fleet warfare experience I am enjoying with the Caldari controlling most of these systems is the fact that any of the few systems controlled by Gallente draws Caldari pilots; like rotting apples attract fruit flies.

I see an Imperial Navy Slicer in a plex, and I slide in to take the challenge. I have prepped the overheat and my mental list of things to do. However, Sunde in his Slicer is just too fast for me.

XQ0034 Kill Mail

It really is difficult to kite a fast ship that has the additional advantage of optimal range bonuses to its turrets. I do a little investigation on zKillboard, and I find find Sunde’s fit from a recent loss. Uploading the fit, I simulate to see just how much that bonus affects the optimal range. Normally a small Focused Pulse Laser II has an optimal range of 6300 m. With the Navy Slicer’s bonus, these module’s optimal range extend, (according to the simulation), to 15 km. Combine that range with the fact that this Slicer’s fit is just faster than the Tristan – over 1,000 m/s faster – the Imperial Navy Slicer just outperforms my ship. Although I have not practiced the strategy know as “speed tanking”, I think this fit serves as a good example for that strategy.

I don’t remember the combat really going to my advantage in any way. As I reflect, I wonder if the drones also struggled to damage Sunde’s Slicer, as I’m sure the drones struggled to keep up with it’s speed and just hit such a fast target as well. This was a good fight in the fact that I think I learned some good details.

Sunde pods me, and I return to my home station jump into XQ0035. Eventually I return to Agoze, and smile as I’m greeted by a system of blinking opponent. D-scan directs me to a plex with a Worm. I warp, and slide into the plex. As I prep, I mentally prepare myself of another loss. I have heard so much about how tough worms are. In the past, I have often seen many LP farming pilots name their atrons “Worm”. This little tactic to confuse pilots always brings me a little, sincere amusement. I see this as a form of camouflage.

My Tristan comes out of warp, and I double click in to space, pressing F1, past my opponent. When I do this, I aim for a spot well above or below if my opponent is in front of the direction my ship is facing. After all, bumping into the ship sort of defeats the point of attempting to gain velocity! We lock each other, and I establish my disruptor point on the Worm. As I take out my drones, I’m watching my distance from the Worm. Miro Robin has me webbed, so I’m now just relying on hope to extend beyond web and scrambler range. My Tristan succeeds! As I look to click on my micro warp drive again to establish a comfortable orbit, I notice it is still on, which means she never scrammed me. That was a lucky strike for me.

The battle takes a while, as my drones wear down miro Robin’s shields. As the shields break, I continue to hit d-scan, and just hope no one is coming in to help her. My attention is mostly on maintaining drones and orbit. I am very happy with how well I am managing a comfortable orbit by turning the micro warp drive on and off, and thereby managing the capacitor.

53rd kill

When I dock to drop off the scooped up loot, reflect on the fight, and look over the kill mail, I’m surprised to see no warp scrambler on the fit. Looking on zKillboard, miro Robin is active in PvP, but she is mostly involved in gang fights. As I write this, two days later, she has already racked up 12 kills with her gang in just one day. This Worm fit seems to be her LP farming fit. A fit that is seriously overkill for defense against the Gallente rats that spawn in these plexes.

I wonder if I would have been successful in this combat if she had flown a Worm with a more standard PvP fit? I do not get the impression miro Robin was just an LP farmer, as I did not get the sense she attempted to run away initially. She was a respectfully active opponent throughout the combat. For the record, I do not really look down on 1v1 opponents that escape when the fight turns south. It may be a little frustrating on my part, but I completely understand it. Especially when opponents are flying the more expensive fits. Ultimately it is also a valid strategy, which I may also take once my risk averse nature is under control. I’m not sure it will ever truly be conquered.

Suggested Worm Fit Change

Miro Robin is a 55 day old character, (which really does not mean that much in this Eve age of Skill Injectors), but I’m wondering if this impacted her ability to enhance her fit with the modules that may have turned this combat more in her favor. I used the simulator with her fit, and made some changes that may work better for what she is trying to do. My disclaimer, I’m not growing a big head now and attempt to suggest I an expert. This is just an exercise to help me develop insights into ship fits and module interactions that I believe will improve my skills. I welcome any reader’s insights.

I still question the rig choices, since the shield defense is just overkill for the rats within the plexes she’s flying, but I’ll assume there is a method to her choice. I think a Core Defense Field Extender could replace at least one of the Anti-Thermals. The main point: the Worm needs a Warp Scrambler. The change to Tier II Webifier, (which removing the Kinetic Deflection Amplifier II allows), would have slowed down my ship just that much more, improving her chances of keeping me range.

This next fight I encountered after I settled in to attack a plex. After roaming for a bit, I had no luck in finding targets to attack. I completed a few plexes, and received some LP. On the third plex, Roxane Barviainen pays me a visit. Since I saw her approach on short d-scan, I prepared. I knew her Republic Fleet Firetail would be speedy, so I cruised away from the beacon to ensure I could establish a nice orbit.

I made a few mistakes after she slid into the plex. I immediately hit the orbit button, and didn’t realize my error until she almost closed the distance on me. Once again, the orbit button had my Tristan veer directly toward the Firetail, since I started the fight beyond the 17 km orbit distance established on my button. I was able to hit the micro warp drive in time to pull enough distance to allow my drones to go to work. I love how squishy these Firetail’s are proving to be.

54th kill

We exchange “gf” in local. A zKillboard investigation of Roxane Barviainen shows that she hasn’t had a lot of luck with this fit – losing six of these Firetails in solo fights within one day. She did start the day off with an Algos kill, so maybe this just indicates growing pains. One thing that confuses me about the fit however, (and maybe a reader can respond with the rationale), what’s with the Rocket Launcher? Or rather, what’s with the artillery? The medium slots establish the mission of the Firetail to get close range, but artillery is best at range. I wonder if the thinking is to severely slow down the opponent at close range, which will allow the tracking on the artillery to exact more damage than autocannons. Autocannons would have been my go to with establishing this fit. If any reader responds, I would appreciate a description of how to best pilot this fit in a fight as well.

Before I wrap up this post, the Eve industrialist in me has to point out something interesting. According to zKillboard the total financial loss I have incurred within these last six fights is 13.234 million ISK, but the amount I destroyed is 125.016 million ISK. The last six ships fighting against averaged a cost of 26.693 million ISK, just over four times the value of my current Tristan fit. I have also gained a greater appreciation for the modules and fits PvP pilots go for, and identified trends that may affect the market and create financial opportunities for those able to exploit them.

The cost of PvP was one of the intimidating factors for me entering into this aspect of the game. Not so much having the money to get started, but rather the belief that I could not keep up with pilots willing to dump millions into fits to overwhelm me in fights. I did not want to lose millions, but also I did not want to have the millions at the disposal of my opponents constantly rubbed in my face. A lot of financial risk concern, but if I’m to be honest – some threat on my ego as well.

Although I think the values on zKillboard may be a little inflated, what it demonstrates is that the ratio between the total value of ships I have destroyed versus the total value of ships I have lost is about 3.5 to 1. At the very least, my decision to get into PvP has been good for the economy.

Butcher’s Bill: 65 ships waiting to be destroyed; 54 kills.

No Game Achievements, Only Wrecks, and I’m Good with That

After finishing my last, long overdue post, I undocked and headed out to the neighboring system, which is now enemy territory. The system was crowded, and I immediately pinged an Executioner within a small plex. Already I can tell I just need to dive in again, since just the thought of mixing it up was giving me the shakes. So strange how this game inspires such real physical manifestations of anxiety.

Going on the defensive would have probably been the calmer move, but then again that’s not what this blog is about. I go on the attack! I fly in, and get even more excited, (thus shakier), as I realize that the pilot, COOLCHICK Rova, is not a bot that will go on the run. She gets a good amount of damage in on my shields, as I weave my way through the full stupid mode that I have slipped into. What I did right: prepped my micro warp drive to overheat… and that’s about it. The many details that I had previously organized slipped away. I didn’t even really have a good camera angle to allow me to maneuver through these details. Where I would manually click into space past my opponent to microwarp drive past before establishing orbit, I just panic and default to orbit button. Oh yeah, then I target her, and oh damn… deploy drones. Then I realized that I separated my Hobgoblins from my Warriors, (as I would in my PvE experience), so now there are two groups that I need to command. Like I said, I went full stupid.

Anyway, I finally get to the orbit I want, and my drones begin to do there job. They chew through COOLCHICK Rova’s shields quick, and get well into armor. To no surprise, I see massive armor repairs go into action on her active tanked ship. I also notice that she’s slipping away from my warp disruption range. That’s when I remember camera angle and position, and how I have not been managing this. I attempt a quick adjust, and I overheat my warp disruptor to extend the range. That’s when I noticed my micro warp drive has burned out. Nice. I’m back to the basics now.

The combat continues as I now slowly orbit at a good distance, but my hopes with winning have severely declined. COOLCHICK Rova is keeping up with her armor repairs, and her lasers continue to work away at me. This combat has gone on too long considering the number of errors I made. I guess COOLCHICK Rova senses this too, as she extends distance on me, and then flies away. This leaves me gliding slowly through this plex, mouth hanging open a bit in shock. What? No other ships on d-scan, so she could not think help was on the way. Maybe her Ancillary Armor Repairer ran out of paste? This is just a guess based on the significant damage repair she displayed. I don’t know. I just thought for sure I was a sitting duck for her.

Not much for PvP, but check out that fashion!

After the combat I looked at her profile, which just escalated my confusion. RvB, if I remember correct, is a PvP alliance. I quickly fly into a player station, make repairs, and now head out to the next system she traveled. This is my attempt to go round two. I figure she may have docked to restock, and would be willing to dance again. Nope. I chase her through at least three systems. I head to plexes and d-scan away, but she eventually exits the system I enter. Since I did everything short of trash talk, (which I really attempt not to indulge in), I am now confident she does not want to fight. Which again makes me question her selection in corporation and alliance. Oh well.

I settle into a plex to defend. I am curious how much LP will be earned from attacking a novice site while the Gallente militia is in Tier 1 status. Spoiler alert: about the same, if not lower, than defending with a high Tier rank. At least it takes more time to complete with all the npc spawns that you have to kill. Yes, sarcasm. I shouldn’t get too down on this. When the Gallente militia tiers up, I’m hoping to be surprised at the LP value. At least that’s my hope.

A familiar face pops into system, and welcomes me back in local – Daniel Alpena. You know him from the boom: XQ0016! There’s another pilot in system, and we chat in local for a bit. The other pilot seems to be giving Daniel crap about his -9.8 status not being -10, and references some bombing kills of multiple targets Daniel recently conducted. Personally I’m not sure if the other pilot was a little angry or having some fun, but the incident that was discussed assures me that Daniel Alpena has a lot of fun in a variety of ways in low sec.

I ask Daniel what he is flying, and he tells me a Tristan carrying a load of corpses. So, I remind him I’m a viable target, and moments later he arrives in my plex. The dance begins. I keep distance on him, which is always much easier while defending. We begin to work on each others’ drones. Daniel has guns, so he hits harder, but I successfully recalled and deployed as he damaged. I lose one while taking out his, and then I focus drone fire on his Tristan.

49th kill

Throughout the fight, I could have been better at maintaining lock on him. There were several times I drifted past my disruptor’s range. We exchange “gf” in local, and chat a little more. Apparently the Tristan I just wrecked had 47 kill marks on it. Daniel also joked that I should have fun with the 20 corpses that dropped as loot. The above kill mail does not extend far enough to show that, but yep 20 corpses! Daniel has been busy destroying bots. I recognized several of the names now in my cargo hold. I finish off the plex, and drop off the loot. I am one of those morbid pilots that have a cargo can to store corpses. Sort of a morgue freezer I guess. I have been with this game for years, and I keep thinking there may be more to these items than just morbid trophies. Even if that is not the case, morbid trophies still draws me in.

Not willing to log out yet, I make another small roam. Four blinking pilots in Loes, but I can only identify the location of one. Arderic Kion is running a mission – Demolition – in a Merlin. I think it’s probably a trap, but what the hell. Using the gate, I warp in about 50 km away. He’s finishing off the last rat, and does not appear to attempt to align away. I spam d-scan, but no ships yet. We lock each other simultaneously, and I easily establish an orbit at 17 km around him. Strange thing, as we engage each other the other three Caldari pilots leave system. The Merlin just melts under my drone fire.

50th kill
Guilt or justification payment?

I wish him a “gf” in local, and destroy his pod. After collecting the loot, I dock to look over my haul and kill mail. That’s when I realize this kill was cheaper than the bots I’ve killed. I see the Civilian Gatling Railgun in his cargo bay, and now I just feel bad. You see, along with my risk averse nature I have a high guilt factor that nags at me. Of course I do not know for sure, this is a new player, and I feel bad beating up on a three day old pilot. I send him an Eve mail and some money to help alleviate my guild. As I type this mail though, I do realize that he entered into faction warfare, so these kills can’t be too much of a surprise for him. Acknowledging the fact that he’s fair game in this war seems legit, but I still throw some cash at him to encourage him to continue to play. Funny fact about my stupid conscious, after I log off I fret the amount I sent him was too stingy. The next day I send him 5,000,000 ISK more.

But hey! Ding! I reached 50 kills! No achievement unlocked in Eve space though. Just cold reality. Another thing I love about the game. If you don’t get value from your own intrinsic reward system, you will not enjoy the game. Then again… there are the frozen corpses to scoop up.

This was my reward following the Merlin kill.

XQ0031 kill mail

The next day I log in and attack a plex. Xander Dayne flew in with his Tristan, and we battled for a while. I immediately went to work on his drones, which took more attention from me than I preferred. As I later stated to Xander, I love flying Tristans, but I hate fighting them. While I was commanding drones to kill drones, my attention drew away from the orbit distance. Xander was not recalling his drones, but kept his attention to driving forward to close the distance. Again, time away has made me sloppy. I was too sparing with my micro warp drive. Because I had prepped it to overload and burned it out previously, my micro warp drive unwisely became the object I needed to protect. Again, I need to get used to overheating it to establish the orbit I want, then turning off the overheat – not the whole module. The drive should remain on until I identify that much speed is not necessary for the fight. What makes my concern even more unfortunate is that Daniel had a neut, so when I realized how close he was I think I was able to get one pulse from the drive out before my capacitor was sucked dry.

After shooting out three of his drones and my cap running dry, I focused my drone fire to Xander’s Tristan. Now it was a straight out race. Soon after I focused my fire on his ship, Xander realized that he needed to deploy more drones. Now we had a race as drones pounded went to work on each of our ships. My hope to win sinks when I see he is active tanked. Each time his armor zips up with white, my hope slips more. I go boom, while Xander enjoyed his victory with 6% of his hull left. Xander and I chat it up for a while in local. He gave me some great tips, and I offered my newb insight for him as well. Good lessons were learned, and, much like Daniel earlier, Xander will be an opponent I will enjoy running into again. Daniel also dropped 50 million into my account for the encounter. Not necessary, but appreciated. This too most likely caused me to rethink my earlier gesture to Arderic, and led me to throw more money his way.

XQ0032 powers up, and away I go. To improve my attack, I roam looking for targets already in a plex. No luck, so I settle in to a plex and start my orbit. A Succubus comes in to system, slides into my plex, and just destroys me.

XQ0032 kill mail

Land 780 just swarmed me, and then without a word podded me. That’s fine. At least the loot fairy gave him the big middle finger from my wreck.

Thanks for the info Diana – whoever you are!

I was a little irritated by this, since I wasn’t sure how to process this encounter. Upon reflection, this Succubus seemed to really have trouble maintaining a comfortable distance. Considering the damage that was applied to my Tristan at such extreme distances, Land 780 had to be beam laser fit. My drones also seemed to really struggle keeping up with the ship, as very little damage was applied. I went on zKillboard to do a little research. Land 780 has racked up tons of kills, but most of them are among gangs. He has not lost a Succubus, so this is frustrating. I dig a little deeper into zKillboard, and found the fit pictured here. Of course this is just speculation, but considering the speed and other modules that were applied at various ties in the fight – I figure this is probably close to what I was up against. The bling modules are also my guess, but I don’t get the impression Land 780 is someone who enters into fights unless he feels he guaranteed a kill. Such pilots invest highly to glean every ounce of advantage.

If I sound a little bitter about Land 780’s victory, it’s probably more about me being spoiled by the other pilots I’ve encountered taking time to talk in some way. I too have podded other pilots, but I attempt to throw a “gf” up in local at least. The encounter with Land 780 was all business, which ultimately is fine. Doesn’t mean I have to like that style.

Butcher’s Bill: 67 Tristans waiting for their destruction; 50 kills.

Back from Break

Wow, how quickly six months go by… and yet not really. Apologies to my readers for the long delay between posts. To be straight forward, my real life work got the best of me. I fell into a funk, (as I felt stuck in my job), and my focus went into keeping my head down and just continue forward with what had to be done. The good news, I found another job! Although I’m staying in my career field, (which I considered leaving), I decided to give it another go – just try a different setting with another community. I’m hoping for the best, but honestly I’m just happy to leave the toxic environment that I felt was sucking out my soul.

Needless to say, my time was taken up with long hours and searching for other opportunities, in between trying to participate positively with my family. This takes up a lot of energy, as well as time. Although I have had some time to play Eve, I did not want to progress with Quin. Not that I did not want undock and seek destruction. I knew I was behind on my postings, and did not want to get too far ahead of my blog. As it is, I fear that my memory of the last events back in January will be rough. I hope you will forgive any lack of clear details that will follow, but I am committed to this task – regardless of how long it will take.

A long, long overdue thank you is due to Lt Lunar Lazair. One of the times I logged in to check on a few things, I noticed more ISK in the wallet than before. At first I was excited to think that many of the items on the market sold, but the sales did not add up to reflect the 500 million increase. Then I read my Eve mail, and noticed his message encouraging me to keep up the blog. He generously transferred the funds to me in support of my efforts. Although this was not asked for and of course not necessary, I really do appreciate the gift and support. Lt Lunar Lazair embodies the player that keeps me coming back to Eve, and I would encourage any reader that is interested in getting into PvP to reach out to him and his corporation – Proioxis Assault Force [PROIX].

Now it’s time to roll up my sleeves, squint really hard, and force out the memories of my last boom, boom adventures.

Some time after my last little kill of plex bot, I was flying circles around the button of plex, when I detected a Succubus pop up on my short scan. I began to prepare – pulling even more distance than normal, and the fight started in my favor. The pilot, Thoradain Greelich, could not close the distance fast enough, and started to pull away. I clicked the approach button and over heated my warp disruptor. I did not want to lose lock on him. However, he was able to whittle away at me, and at times in our dance he managed to close the distance and exact more damage than I preferred. The fight was long, and each of us had moments of over confidence followed by panic. The result was my Tristan not holding up to the stress.

XQ0027 Kill Mail

Thoradain Greelich and I conversed a bit by Eve mail. He complimented me on the fight, as he admitted that he thought his, as he stated, “blinged out” Succubus fit would melt my Tristan. He did not want to share his fit with me, but from his compliment I could tell this would have been a glorious kill if I won. At least I was responsible for reminding him, as he noted, underestimating Tristans can be a very bad mistake.

I follow this up with a bot kill.

45th Kill

I remember this was a crazy time, as many pilots were active in low sec during my online time. Many gate camps were popping up, and gangs were roaming. This brings me to my next encounter. Again, I’m minding my own business in a plex, when I see this gang pop into system. I know it is only a matter of time before I’m jumped, but I stay put determined to give a good fight. A Federation Navy Comet finds my plex, and we begin to dance. His buddies take a bit of time coming, and I know he’s most likely howling at them for help as my drones tear away at him. He can’t reach me from the distance I have on him. The first of his crew, Panty Raider, is flying a Republic Fleet Firetail, and she is so fast, (and the Comet pilot is actively flying away to the plex center), that I have no choice but to focus on Panty Raider. I make her the focus to my stay at 20 km distance button, and from my experience with Firetails I know she’s squishier than the Comet. I also know that I have to commit to this since three other ships, a Worm, Daredevil, and a Caldari Navy Hookbill, have joined in on the party in this plex. These ships have a combo of speed and long range weapons, but I’m already making plans on my next target after the Firetail pops.

46th kill

I now order my damaged drones to zap away at the Daredevil. The Comet pilot never really joins in the fight, which is disappointing since I would have loved to continue with the work I started on him earlier. This whole time I’m completely micromanaging the drones and maintaining distance with ships as they attempt to close the distance with me. I put a good scare on the Daredevil pilot before this gang finishes off my drones and I go boom.

XQ0028 Kill Mail

My goal was at least two kills from this gang, but that might have been ambitious. I was pleased it took a lot of time for them to kill my Tristan. I think when I get jumped by a small gang of this size and make up, my best chance is extending the time out to allow for wild cards to possibly enter the fray. Alas, that was not to be the case here.

My next kills are not exciting. Two more bots.

47th Kill
48th Kill

My next encounter irritated me. Not the pilot, Shiitake LC, but rather my continued issues with maintaining a favorable distance from my opponent. Shiitake LC’s Breacher was able to close distance with me to allow his rockets to go to town. This was not immediate however. Initially the combat was going well, but this Breacher’s shield repair was just crazy!!! This too frustrated me through the combat. The result was my ship go boom.

XQ0029 Kill Mail

Shiitake LC and I exchange “gf” by Eve mail. I was able to acquire his frustrating fit.

He flew the ship well, which I mean to say he managed the shield repair very well. I remember believing he was flying a shield fit, but I got very excited when I saw how deeply my drones ripped into his armor. That’s when Shiitake LC let loose with his cap boosters. This frigate must not have any cargo space leaving port. That is another little hang up I have to overcome. I like loot. I have a really difficult time with fits that are straight out combat oriented. This makes me just worry that I’m going to come across some juicy scavenge material, but cannot load it in between all the cap boosters occupying my cargo hold. Anyway, that’s another issue to get over some other day.

My next encounter is interesting in the fact that there really is not much to tell. Ciba Lelulu flew into my plex with his Wolf, destroyed me, then flew away like I wasn’t even an after thought.

XQ0030 Kill Mail

Pulling distance was not a factor, since his howitzers just shredded me. I think he was also fit for speed, as my drones seemed to have trouble tracking him. I even had the warriors out! I don’t really know what else I could have done facing off with a Wolf here. This just may be the check mate fit against this Tristan fit. If/when I encounter another Wolf, I’ll attempt different approaches. Maybe I’ll be able to glean some helpful details in future encounters.

That now brings me up to date. I can now return to flying and blowing up. Interesting detail since my last roam date, the Caldari are dominating the fleet war, and most of my near systems are under Caldari control. This will be an added dynamic to my fleet warfare experience. We’ll see how the LP pay out is for going on the offensive.

Again, thank you for hanging in there with me during my break. These things happen, and the fact that so many of us return after such breaks is a testament to how good our game is. Though I do not believe any skills I had developed have held up as good. Oh well, let the lessons continue.

Record: 69 Tristans ready to be dusted off: 48 kills.

Rust After Just One Week

My last post caught me up to my experience just before I left on a trip with my family. Apparently a little time off needs to be considered before you jump back in to the fight. Rust must be shaken off.

My very first encounter demonstrated this. Fortunately I was not able to catch up to an LP bot, but an actual gamer. Christopher Joseph Souder in his Incursus slid into the complex I settled in to defend. We started at a distance to my advantage, but that did not stop me from clicking on the button to orbit him. The problem: he was over my orbit range, which means I just ordered my ship to go directly at him. With Christopher steaming at me, I just created the opportunity for him to close the distance with me faster, as my Tristan will slow to adjust course to orbit while the Incursus drives in without interruption to his velocity. That equates to scram distance, and thus death time for me.

As the distance ticks quickly decrease, I realize my mistake and perform some sloppy combo of manual flight order, and then orbit order. Within these commands, he was able to scram and web me. Fortunately, however, the accelerated momentum I had built carried me out of his range, and allowed me to establish a nice orbiting distance for my drones to go to work.

Oh, but the slop did not end. I got too complacent at a point. Perhaps I attempted to manage my capacitor unnecessarily, but I decide to shut off my micro warp drive at some point. He drifts past my warp scrambler range, which could have been better managed by me overheating the scrambler as I notice his distance extend further than I want. I was more concerned about re-establishing my point on him than managing my approach vector. He turns back to me, effectively sling-shotting me, and gets in my face. Now it is just a race to see which of us pops first.

38th kill

We exchange “gf” in local. He adds that he botched up several things in our fight, and I reassure him that I did as well. It was just an ugly dance altogether. Something that did go right was the Coreli A-Type 1MN Afterburner module the loot fairy granted. Nice welcome back gift.

XQ0023 was acquiring a number of kill marks. Despite the lack of skill development I displayed in the last encounter, I was wondering if XQ0023 was going to break the kill mark record. While I considered this and roamed looking for the next fight, a message in Militia chat caught my eye.

Militia Chat – Communication or Baiting?

As I said before, I am new to this faction warfare thing. I am learning many things that are not necessarily obvious to anyone entering this game, and learning by additional research – via articles and YouTube vids. For example, I learned the etiquette of donating a percentage of our LP gains to the system hub to support the larger effort. I do abide by this, since I want to be a community member. Although I have not had much luck in responding to requests made through the Militia channel, (believe me I know the risks involved), I figured, “What the hell.” My goal is to combat my risk averse nature, and I have never been involved with this sort of action. Hikkoken was only two system away from my location. I set course, and fly.

XQ0023 Kill Mail

It was not necessarily a set up. Other ships were involved, bigger ships. I joined this faction effort in my little frigate, with my little drones. I was not too surprised to see the vultures, (pirates), gathering around the effort as well. All about 100km away, circling, looking for opportunities to sneak into distance for easy targets and establish locks. I was such a target.

Caldari Hub Attack Effort

It was interesting to see how much damage is needed to take on these hubs. With the force we had, the progress was slow. An annoying things about being taken out in such an effort is there is little chance someone is going to pod you. I remained for a bit hoping someone would take me out, but considering the extreme efforts they have to go to just to establish locks on a target or two, my pod was a very low priority target. I had to pod race it back home to jump into another ship.

I was intrigued by this effort, and wanted to know more. My paranoid side wondered if this was just a ruse to draw in random pilots to gather kills, but that did not stop me from jumping into XQ0024 to sail off to get back into this hub attack. Rust alert: I did not insure my ship.

XQ0024 Kill Mail

Oh joy! Rogue Caldari Union showed up to join in on the easy pickings. Big surprise!

Anyway, I was not as quick to kill this time as I was last time. There were several attempts to slowly sneak into range and establish lock on me, only to have me warp off to a nearby celestial. I warp back in to rejoin the effort, and the process would repeat. At least one of their cruisers was lost to the effort, which helps to reassure me that the attack effort may have been legitimate. I wish I could take some responsibility in the kill, (other than performing beautifully as bait), but my drones were not sufficient for such an action. My strategy was to orbit close to the hub, so I could dock my drones quickly when I would have to warp off. As you can see from the kill mail, they eventually had to coordinate effort for several ships to approach and attack before I could fly off.

I was not able to see the hub go down, nor do I know if this attack to regain Gallente control of the system was eventually successful. I did not want to make another trek back to the contested system after my two pod drives back home. I wanted to keep it close, and see what other mischief I could find. XQ0025 away, and again rust alert: no insurance!

I fly into a system, and see an Imicus on d-scan. There is only one other pilot in system, so I spend a few moments attempting to locate where the Imicus may be. Through narrowed d-scanning, I see he is just outside a station. I get excited about the idea of attacking something, and warp to the station. Now it is important to note here that the pilot was a neutral, not involved in faction warfare. I see him just sitting there outside of the station. I approach manually, deploy drones, lock him, and finally when in range hit him with my warp disruptor. Remember kids, warp disruptors and scramblers “hit” your target, and therefore considered a hostile attack.

The screech alerting me to my shields stripping away reminded me of those things called station guns. Man, how rusty can I get in a week!!! I pop under those guns, as my “victimized” pilot states matter-of-factly in local, “You shouldn’t do that.” He should think about renaming his pilot to “Captain Obvious”.

XQ0025 – in lieu of kill mail

No kill mail provided here, since I did not receive one. Zkillboard does not show the loss, nor does my loss activities within my character sheet. I find this strange, since the losses I incurred during the newbie quests I completed in the beginning all show. So stations guns do not count? Whatever, I am counting it as a loss. For the record, XQ0025 went boom as a result of pilot going full stupid. I will not allow the lack of evidence to hide an accurate record.

XQ0026 away! Roll the LP bot Butcher’s Bill:

39th kill
40th kill
41st kill
44th kill

For the 42nd kill, I almost included her as an LP bot, but I decided not to. Gaganya Cobon-Han may just be a new player. At first I was confused, since I have not met an LP bot that used a Tristan. If I slide into a complex with a Tristan, I can usually count on a fight. If the Tristan warps off, it is because an active player is looking for easy LP. I know, that is a thin line in difference, but there is a difference. Anway, Gaganya also has a fit that is much more expensive than an LP bot. What confused me, and almost caused me to almost count her an an LP bot, was the fact that there was just no fight from her.

42nd kill

There was enough doubt in my head at the time of combat that I called out “gf” in local. Later, I ran into Gaganya again. She flew in 70km from a complex, as I warped in on it. As I began to fly toward her, she flew off. I feel there is enough evidence here for me to consider Gaganya a real player.

The night after my little victory over Gaganya, I logged in to find something in the same system that I believe is too unusual, a real faction warfare pilot attacking a complex – Urza Warrior. I undock, and see he is in a Cormorant, and locate his location. I am still a bit intimidated by destroyers. It is important to respect the heavy damage they can spit out, but I think my hesitation is mostly rooted in the fact that a destroyer is a larger, or at least more advanced, class of ship than a frigate. There is just some dis-proportionality hang up thing with me on this. Cruisers, for example, just seem unobtainable as a single frigate pilot, although I have heard the success stories of other pilots. I did not pay attention to the details of such stories, but I would not be surprised to learn the frigates were better than T1. I could be wrong though.

I sucked up my insecurities, and warp to 10km off the gate to the complex. I prep my micro warp drive to over heat, and slide into the complex. I believed my first priority is to hit the micro warp drive to gain the distance that I want, so when I finally land that is exactly what I do. Massive damage hits my shields has I fly off, deploying my drones, and hitting him with my warp disruptor. It is not until I am able to settle into an orbit and gain some transversal velocity that I begin to mitigate the incoming damage.

43rd kill

From the kill mail, I see that the 150mm Prototype Gauss Guns kept him in the battle even at the distance I preferred. If I did not keep moving, he would have shredded me, even at my distance. I wish him “gf” in local as he flew off in his pod, and think the rust is starting to fall off.

XQ0026 Kill Mail

Ah gate camps… They keep us humble. Not much to say here. They insta-locked, and made short work of XQ0026. That is all that can be said.

Record: 73 ships ready to fly: 43 kills.

A New Personal Best, but Still so Much to Learn

As work dragged on toward holiday break, (in the process almost breaking me), I was able to squeeze in a few hours here and there to play. The night began with me setting course to a highly contested system. A few jumps into my trek, I decided to just defend a complex, and see what fate brought me.

Ha te later entered system, and he seemed to want to play. He slid into my complex at just over 30km from me. I clicked my orbit button, and quickly followed up with a desire to slap myself. At that moment I realized my orbit button will simply direct my ship straight toward this Incursus. Once the auto distance program detected that my desired distance had been reached, my ship would bank away to begin orbit. While my ship is banking, my velocity would slow as Ha te could continue to steam ahead, and close the distance more. Maybe even enough for him to pin me down with his warp scrambler.

I quickly work the camera view on my combat grid to position my view to center my ship with the incoming Incursus. I double click off to the right to create more of an angle to my approach, and repeat this a few times until I close enough distance to begin to orbit. I had my micro warp drive overheating this entire time. Once I settled into a orbit, and shut down my micro warp drive to see how this speed versus the Incursus’ speed treats our distance separation. Meanwhile, my drones were going to work on him.

My frustration chatter

Ha te banks away during one of my off warp drive cycles, and warps off before I have the chance to overheat my warp disruptor in order to extend the range. My reaction in local reflects my disappointment. I mean, come on! I only have a limited time to play, and after all he attacked me.

As I finish my local chatter, I notice my Medium Shield Extender II has burned out. I am a bit confused on how that happened, but take the opportunity to dock up for repairs.

Quickly, I pay the repair bill, and head back to the novice complex. Hey, what do you know, Ha te is waiting for me at the gate! Considering I was landing right on his position, I decided it is my turn to scoot out. I wait for the warp engines to shut down, then immediately slide into the complex. As soon as I land out of warp in the complex, I hit my micro warp drive. I was not concerned about establishing an orbit or anything, I just wanted to pull some distance. As Ha te flew in right behind me, he was able to lock and warp scramble me for just a moment. Fortunately my velocity was already high enough to coast me past his scramble range. I establish a nice orbit of 20km around him to watch my drones go to work.

This time I am attempting to be more aware of our distance, since I did not want him escaping again. While I go through this mental check list during combat, I discovered something unfortunate. Here’s a not-so-pro-tip for any would be PvPers out there: when you repair a module that has been burned out, you must online the module before you undock. Imagine my shock as I learn that most of my shield strength is not online. Well, all the better that I was able to keep my distance.

19th kill

Double armor rep Incursus. Look at the damage I needed to apply – over 8000!!! Nice fit.

I felt that I was making too many errors, since I was tired. Considering my shield status, I just scooped up the loot, and docked up for the night. I was not even up for completing the defense of the complex.

The next night, I log in to see a flashy in local. I undock and see a Coercer on d-scan. My first reaction is intimidation. I have identified the complex he was attacking, but I never fought a destroyer, and destroyers have so much more dps than a frigate. Keeping to the tenants of my challenge, (to take on all fights), I set course, and slide into the complex. Pablo Emirio is waiting for me, as I jumped in too close to him for my comfort. As I slow down out of warp, I just begin to click on my micro warp drive. My plan is to get at least a cycle to run in order to increase my velocity and pull some distance – in case he has a warp scrambler fitted. As I fly into my 20km range and deploy drones, I see that he has a disruptor – that’s good for me!

My Tristan orbits him from a nice distance, as his pulse lasers fire away ineffectively. The Coercer goes boom, and I am amazed! I “gf” Pablo in local, but he is silent. This is, to date, my largest FW kill.

20th kill

Not much action after that. Seems the night started on a high, but whimpered out. I was not able to log in for a few nights. Work was just awful.

Saturday night, and I am free to roam. I set course for a contested system, and head out to look for mischief. Oh look, an LP bot.

21st kill

With these kills, there really is not much to write about, other than identifying a kill. This one, however, was a little funny. There were actually two bots in system. Bino Koraka here was at the gate leading to the novice complex, which was already occupied by the other LP bot. He did not attempt to fly away, nor use the jump gate to slide into the complex. I get the impression his program was stuck, “Caldari Atron in complex… I’m a Caldari Atron… does not compute…” Fortunately I come in to put him out of his misery. I did not pod him, and his pod stayed there for such a long time. The pod’s inactivity is what convinced me the program was stuck.

The little sucker that was in there was able to fly out as I came in. Oh well. I defended the complex, dumped off the loot I collected, and continued along the set course.

Frarie had a few LP bots in system. I chased them off, and decided to sit in and defend a complex. The system had a decent contested percentage. HUNZY 0511 and Arien Licinius jump into system. I see that they belong to the same alliance, and since one of them is in Stay Frosty I know this will be a fight if they are in a ship that will fit in this complex. I just hoped it was only one that would be able to take me on.

HUNZY slides into my complex in his Tristan. His distance was a little further than my comfortable orbit, so I manually move toward him, maximizing transversal, before settling into an orbit. Within this time I order my drones to pound away on him. I click on my “drone” overview tab, but no drones are present. Strange. I watch his shields melt, and significant damage applied to his armor. About the time I see that he is active armor tanked, I see Hobgoblins deployed. I decide not to work on his drones when I see they are tech I, but I commit to myself to monitor the situation. If he started to attack my drones, his will die.

Soon after this as HUNZY and I are dancing and working well into his armor, Arien slides into my complex in his Incursus. HUNZY and I have made our way out a little ways beyond the complex, so Arien has some distance to fly to catch up. This gives my drones enough time to make the enemy Tristan go boom!

22nd kill

I spend a moment or two sorting things out. I had HUNZY’s drones targeted in preparation for my change in plan, and I thought I had the Incursus targeted as well. I was wrong. Although I was monitoring Arien’s distance, I targeted him – again, and manually piloted into position to orbit at 20km. Again, drones going to work on the Incursus. He too was active armor tanked. His blasters were ineffective at my distance. HUNZY hung out in his pod watching his wing man get whittled away until he finally went boom as well.

23rd kill

We all exchange “gf” in local. I was very happy, and just stunned if I’m honest. As soon as I saw the Incursus land, I could have sworn that was the end to XQ0018. I scooped up the loot from both wrecks, and dock to repair and drop off the cargo. I also take a screen shot of the kills marks, since XQ0018 is now the record holder.

6 kill marks – sweet!

It is always tempting to put ships like this away for a bit, to try and build up these marks, but that leads to sloppy play style. Take a picture, and move on. I finish defending the complex, and decide to take my loot back to my home station to continue my profit effort.

After I take care of some in game house keeping, I am feeling pretty good about myself, and decide to continue to roam effort. I noticed too many LP bots in systems as I passed through to my home station, so I set off to do a little policing.

Agoze is fairly busy with pilots, but I manage to nail an LP bot.

24th kill

As I scoop up the loot from this Atron, I pick up two ships on short d-scan: a Tristan and an Imperial Navy Slicer. I set orbit distance around the button, as I see that these two pilots are sitting out at the gate. Obviously they are coordinating their efforts to gang up on me. Both ships slide into my complex at a distance to my advantage. I decide to primary the Slicer. I know that this Slicer is the ship that will push my distance requirements to the limit, and if I have any chance at winning it may be as a result of out pacing/distancing the Tristan as we battle it out. I also know that the Tristan’s drones will be an issue. Essentially there is going to be just too many targets on the field against me.

The fight does not go on too long. Maybe longer than my opponents expected. My drones were able to work into the Slicer’s armor throughout the fight, but he was active armor tanked. He had to rep constantly throughout the entire battle. To my surprise the Tristan’s drones were not much of a factor. The Slicer was the threat, as I speculated.

No response from them in local after the fight. I will have to keep an eye out for their corporation and alliance. My brief research into each of these pilots confirms my impression of them, they are gang pilots. Not too many, if any, solo kills cataloged by them.

Anyway, for the record, XQ0018 holds the record at 7 kill marks! Obviously I was not able to capture this fact with a screen shot, but that does not diminish the accomplishment. This was a great streak.

Record: 82 ships ready to explode: 24 kills recorded.

We Talkin’ ‘Bout Practice

After my last post, I took a break for an hour or so before heading out again.  Not really interested in defensive plexing, but not really on full attack mode either.  I just wandered here and there.  I am frustrated, but I do not want to give up.

I land in Loes, and there are two enemies in system.  I guess I am tilting a bit at this point, because I just warp to the first novice complex I see on the scanner.  Nothing.  Warp to the next… nothing.  Very strange.  I look into the pilots now, and see that they are not LP farmers/bots.  I begin using my d-scan with narrow angle, but I can not find them in system.

Then I notice something that was in my face all along.

FW Missions Welcome Everyone to the Party

Someone is running a mission.  Despite my years of PvE, I am not familiar the mission “A Wolf in the Fold”, but I can see that a Tristan is still in the complex.  This should be interesting.  I warp to the gate, and begin to speculate on what sort of NPCs I may have to run up against as well. 

I gate into the plex, and the Tristan is still there.  Five warrior IIs deployed.  The Tristan is over 40 kms away, so I begin to zoom forward.  There are no NPCs in this pocket, (just a bunch of wrecks), so at least that is not a thing I need to worry about.  As I approach, the Tristan suddenly warps off.  He left all of his drones.  

I scoop up the drones, and loot the wrecks left behind.  I do not know if anything I looted was mission critical, but I do not think so.  Looting the field just fulfills my greedy side, and it helps make me feel victorious somehow.

As I loot more enemy pilots enter system, blinking in local.  I dock to unload the cheap loot I acquired, (more convinced now that I really inspect it that nothing is mission critical), and head back out.  I scan a ship in a novice complex, warp in, and watch him fly off.  I play this game a few more times, and begin to do something I normally do not do – smack talk in local.

Me, Smack Talking

As I circle the button in the complex I decide to nest in, it does not take me long to realize that there will not be any takers to my challenge.  Not that I really was expecting any.  Very frustrating.  I scan, but detect nothing in system.  I am at a complete loss as to where these four enemy pilots are.  

Then, more from curiosity than anything else, I scan the mission complex.  There really is no reason a pilot would be in there, since he finished the mission.  ‘Lo and behold, the Tristan is in there.  I figure, “What the hell.”  Falling for a trap is better than this slow death of zooming all around a system hunting cowards.  Away I go.

As I warp in to the complex, the Tristan is still there, and a Heron appears – right on top of me.  From my experience with Alice P Liddel, I already know this Heron is not an explorer fit.  The Heron and I lock each other, and the Tristan scurries off – seems he will not even chance his safety as an observer on the field.  Not much to this battle, since I started at such a disadvantage.

XQ0014 Kill Mail

The only lesson I can pull from this combat is the lesson I knew flying into it, “If it looks too good to be true, it is.”  I would not fall into this trap if I was being selective, but this challenge is to help me cope with loss.  It is a bitter pill to swallow though.

Heron PvP Fit

The Heron pilot, Roxanne Valentine, ends up being cool though.  According to the Eve Mails we exchange, she was attempting to hunt LP farmers, came across this complex, and was disconnected.  When she reconnected the Tristan was off at a distance, and I was the closest target.  Normally I would not believe such a coincidence, but like I said she was helpful.  I also like Stay Frosty corporation.  They are fun to have around.  She shared the Heron fit.  

In further conversation, as I asked for advice, she also shared two Tristan fits for me to try out.  One of the fits I knew about, but the neut fit Tristan is something I have heard of.  It will be interesting to fly around and try out.  My commitment to my current fit is set for the next several Tristans, however, as I have already fitted them out in preparation of many more booms.

I asked Roxanne to put in a good word for me with Stay Frosty, and we part ways.  I may look into moving into this corporation eventually.  Unless things change with FW, I just do not see myself staying with this side of Eve.  I like the LP gains, sort of.  I would prefer more value to kills.  Also, the current state of the Gallente/Caldari war is completely dominated by Gallente.  We will see, I still have a while to go with this current challenge.

The next day after work, I hop on, and take to roaming.  After traveling a few systems, I come across an LP farmer/bot, and fly to the complex.  He zips off as I land, and I take to circling the button for a while.  There are several people in system, but I spin around for about five minutes with no takers.  Lynx Artrald enters the system, and I see a Republic Fleet Firetail heading my way on d-scan.  I know these suckers are fast, so I make sure my orbit is at 28 km hoping he lands at a distance.

The Firetail lands at about 10 km from me – good enough.  I had my micro warp drive prepped to overheat, so I target Lynx and hit orbit.  I begin to pull distance as my drones go to work.  Damage is getting through, and I am happy with the progress through the fight.  Then I turn idiot.  I attempt to shut off the overheat on my micro warp drive.  I want the unit to continue to run, but I do not want to burn it out.  The result was me turning off the entire unit.  A detail I did not become aware of, until I saw the Firetail close the distance quickly.  He scrams, neuts, and blasts me in the face now, and runs through my shield quick.

At some point, as I attempt to pointlessly figure out how pull distance without my micro warp drive, I notice that it has become a bit of a race.  Granted it is a race that does not favor me, considering my shields are tankiest part of my ship.  However, the Firetail is in structure, and my drones continue to hammer away.  Pop goes my Tristan.

XQ0015 Kill Mail

We exchange good fight in local, and Lynx offers to pod me home.  Accepting his invite, I load up into XQ0016, and away I go again.

Although I fly out into Lowsec space immediately, I am not hunting at this point.  I find a vacant system, and fly to a station with a repair facility.  It really pissed me off shutting down my micro warp drive in that battle.  I feel I could have taken that Firetail out with enough time at a distance.  Even if that is debatable, what is not is the fact that once he scrammed me, my battle was done.

Middle Button to Shut Down Overheating!!!!

I make some runs away from station running the micro warp drive, over heating it, and shutting it down.  The thin green bar above the micro warp drive is fine to prep, when that click has my full attention.  Once in battle, clicking becomes less exact.  I determine clicking the middle, double dash line button just to the right of the capacitor is the way to go.  It is called the overload rack.  If I click on the button, ( it turns green), then click again, (blinking green fades away), it will shut down the overheating only.  I need to keep that micro warp drive on!  I practice this a few times, dock up, repair my damaged modules, and head out to hunt.

Standard scene set up again, I enter system, chase off LP farmer/bot, and begin orbiting the button.  A few pilots enter system as the bot runs off.  A pilot from Stay Frosty and one from the Caldari State pilot draw my attention.  I begin spamming d-scan, waiting for one of these pilots, (my money was on Stay Frosty), to approach.  Time goes by.  The Caldari State pilot leaves system, and then I see a Federation Navy Comet approaching.  I did not notice Triakis Semifasciata enter, but he was looking for a fight.  I know Navy Comets are tough, so I brace myself.  Orbiting at 28 km around the button and prepped my micro warp drive with overheating.

Triakis enters at a distance to my advantage.  I lock him, and click to orbit at 20 km.  Almost all Navy Comets I have seen on ZKillboard were blaster fit, so I believed distance was necessary for my survival.  Once distance was set and my drones were going to work on him, I shut overheating off – as I practiced. 

I wish I could say things went smooth from here on out.  In this battle, I struggled to control range.  I looked up, and he started closing in on me.  I overheat micro warp drive to extend distance, shut it off, and see that he was beyond my warp disruptor’s range.  I begin to manage the few modules I have, overheating micro warp drive and/or disruptor, to gain speed and/or extend the distance to lock him.  I began to get more panicked each time I lost lock, as I started to see a real opportunity to win the fight.

Through this flurry of attention distractions, I catch a glimpse of red, and see that Triakis has begun to beat up on my drones.  I recall one, deploy two, and so on from there.  Each time looking at my distance to keep point established on him.

14th Kill

We exchange “gf” in local.  It was a good fight, but I am not sure I fought it as smooth as it might have been fought.  Triakis tells me in local that he is new to this, and just trying to get used to PvP.  I confess I am as well.  I also complimented him on staying in the fight.  There were several opportunities for him to warp off to save his ship.  He was committed to stay in the fight though!

I scoop up the loot, and head back to my home station to drop off, and to repair and replace drones.  Nothing like a win to heal a wounded ego.  There is still so much for me to learn, and I still need to accept loss.  It is inevitable, but I will go down fighting.

Record: 85 ships remain: 14 kills. 

Boom Goes My Ships and Ego

Oh my, but I suck at PvP!  Maybe at the game in general.  This little voice is turning out to be my greatest opponent.

Since my last post, I teased myself into believing I might actually be improving.  It started with a condor.  Lovekostb Bur is a pilot for the Caldari State, and he seemed interested in a fight.  I had just finished, (it was secured just as I felt lovekostb may be flying to me), and I was wondering if the gate into the complex would remain after I secured the complex.  Using my d-scan and speculating on lovekostb’s flight pattern, I was guessing he was attempting to locate my direction.

After a minute or two went by, I decided I should just warp to a moon, and attempt to locate him.  As I warped off, the Condor flew into my complex.  Damn!  Well, at least I know he wants to fight.  As soon as I landed from warp, I warped to a small complex.  It took him so long to find my last location, it seems to be the thing to do to let him come to me.  I entered warp away from the moon, and in to the moon flies in the Condor.  DAMN!  

I wait at the complex gate for a few moments, trying to think if I should stay here or just fly into the complex.  Not seeing the Condor getting closer, I wait another few moments, left click on the gate, and just as I’m about to select enter – in warps the Condor.  Okay, let’s fight!

I deploy drones and orbit at 20 km.  I am able to easily pull distance, and my drones go to town on him.  Almost immediately as the fight begins, I know I won.

11th Kill Mail

As I wrap up the fight, I turn my focus to loot the wreck, and I notice another frigate on my overview – a Damavik.  Not recognizing the name, I immediately get startled as I jump to the conclusion this must be a Triglavian ship, and I remember my last interaction with such a ship.

Damavik – Triglavian Frigate

In obedience to my rule, not to run away from a fight, I lock on to Isana Izanagi’s Damavik, and direct my drones to attack as I pull range.  Fortunately, my fight with the Condor helped my range from this Damavik’s warp in location.  I am happily surprised to watch my drones begin to chew away at his ship, causing him to active tank the damage.  I see that he has started to attack a drone, I recall, save it, and deploy a replacement.  He works on a second soon after the first gets out of his weapon range, which I also recall, and deploy a replacement.  I have settled into this routine, as I see that I have distance, my micro warp drive is running but not overheating, and the Damavik does not appear to be able to close the distance.

We dance like this for a while, and it appears my drones are beginning to win over his active tank.  Unfortunately, I run out of capacitor, and lose lock.  Isana uses this opportunity to run away.

The Damavik Pilot – Couldn’t Work Past a Kite Fit

I remain at location for a while.  Half in shock, and half from greed – I needed to loot that Condor wreck.  Isana warps back the complex gate, but he is over 90 km away from my location.  I scoop up my loot, and begin to make my way toward his location.  As I’m about to approach lock range, I deploy my undamaged drones, but he warps off again.  I guess he thought better of  staying to take on a kiting Tristan on my distance terms.

It was getting late that night, and I did not want to play cat and mouse.  I believe I gave him enough chances to take out my T1 frigate with his Triglavian tech, I do not need to actually lay myself out on an alter of sacrifice.  

Although I have some hours of opportunity to fly during the week, I find nothing to fight.  I go on the offense, and just waste time chasing off LP farmers/bots.  I defensive plex, and pilots just ignore me in system. 

The next opportunity to fly around, that provides any sort of action, is this weekend.  It takes me some doing to convince myself to do this, I’m surprised that, although I wanted to play Eve, I just did not seem to be in the mood for this.  Believing it was just pessimism over the lack of activity in the last few sessions, I convince myself to push out of the station.

I make a short attempt to roam to look for fights, but again all I do is annoy a few LP farmers/bots as I have to draw their attention away from looking at their bank statements.  I begin defensive plexing.  Another Tristan comes into system, and flies toward my complex.  I prepare for the fight, and mentally begin to form the strategy to take out his drones.  When he flies in, I pull distance.  My drones immediately act in defense as he locked and fired on me before I could target his drones.  The drones begin to rip through his shields.  I do not let that distract me, since in my mind all that does is confirm he is armor tanked.  I direct my drones to attack his.  This takes much longer than I expected.  I go through two of his drones, as he finishes my shields.  At this point, I know the battle is done.

XQ0011 Kill Mail

After a little research on ZKillboard, I can see that he was equipped with 125mm Prototype Gauss Guns, loaded with Caldari Navy Tungsten Chages, (adding 40% more range on his long range equipped guns).  Considering he was also equipped with tech II transverse bulkhead rigs, this battle was just not going to end well for me.  Perhaps, if I manually piloted to extend transversal advantage to decrease incoming damage from his gauss guns as I take out his drones?  Maybe.  It would be tough, if there was a way.

Ed Cetera gives me a “gf” in local, and I return the sentiment.  He offers me a compliment in taking out his drones.  I get a bit salty here, and mumble, “Not really,” as I believe I should have been able to take out more.  That, and any inconvenience I may have created for him is minimized as I just left him plenty of replacements for this ship and future ships.  I state this fact in local, with a “:)” as an attempt to not sound as salty, but I have to admit my ego was stinging.  Not Ed’s fault, he was great, and fought well!

I was too into my head, I just went on automatic.  After the combat I immediately warp away, and I realized I have a long trip home.  Pod express next time, just stay and take it.  Along the way I realize I am really letting this get to me.  I force myself to jump into XQ0012, and fly away – forgetting the detail of insurance by the way.  Another habit I have to form.

I set course to a system with the largest contested percentage, and begin to look for opportunities along the way.  I would rather run into something than defensive plex, but if I have to defend a complex I want the LP value to be high.

Within the system before my destination system, I chase off an LP farmer/bot from a novice complex.  I take some time spinning around the button.  The complex was close to completion, and I needed to take a break from just flying system to system.  As I orbit these buttons, I have taken up the strategy of setting the orbit range to 28 km.  I have noticed this seems to decrease the opportunities for these brawlers to come in and randomly appear on my face.

An Imperial Navy Slicer enters the system.  It does not take long for the pilot to locate me, and head into my novice complex.  The point of entry distance is perfect for my kiting strategy, but this ship is built for speed, Shade Anid equipped it for even more speed.  The Slicer just overtakes my overheated micro warp drive fueled velocity, and begins to beat me up.  He is so fast, my drones struggle to damage him – speed tank here.  Although I had two Warriors deployed, I think for these ships I need the full compliment to have a chance to damage him.  Anyway, he makes short work of me, and my uninsured XQ0012 goes boom.

XQ0012 Kill Mail

At least this Rogue Caldari Union pilot does not need to fly around in a herd.  Doesn’t communicate with me at all, no “gf” or anything.  The impression I have developed of members within this young alliance is that they are just… bullies (for lack of a better term).  They seek to win at all costs, and probably avoid anything that look like a challenge.  This is a valid strategy, but I think a strategy that develops weak pilots.  Maybe continued experience with them will disprove my initial impression.  We’ll see if these pilots and alliance will continue to show strength when they inevitably face a challenge or threat.  Maybe this is not as much of a factor in low sec as it is in high sec.

The increase value of this ship is from the loot I was able to scoop up from an random wreck I found on my travels.  Would have been nice to keep, but I forgot to dock up and dump it off at a random station.  Of course this strategy begs the question, am I really going to go around and clean up these random loot caches I create?  We will see what I can come up with in this struggle to make this activity profitable – or at least minimize the cost.

Again, I forget to stay and get podded, (something I know a Rogue Caldari Union member will do), warping off in my pod for a long trek back to my home station.  If I am honest, at this point my ego is just screaming.  I want to do better, and this fight did not even allow me to delude myself into believing, “I might have won if…”  Ultimately, I know there are ships, if flown by a competent pilot – which Shade is, I will not be able to win against with this T1 fit Tristan.  I think I am aware of this.  There is this nag in my head that just wants to, at minimum, put up enough of a fight to place a scare, or excitement, into my opponent.  

Anyway, XQ0013 away, and insured!

Oh look, an LP farmer/bot.

12th Kill

I call this one, “I can’t be a bot, I’m in an Incursus.”  This is where I may be developing into a bit of a prick.  After the Incursus goes boom, I lock up Tofi’s pod with my warp disruptor.  I loot the wreck, as I normally do, and keep her locked.  I take position in orbiting the button for a bit, while continuing to keep point on the pod.  In my defense, I am waiting for any text to appear in local, or direct message invite, from her.  If I received any sign of life, I would have removed my lock, and allowed her to fly off.  No such communication was attempted, so I just maintained that lock until she slow boated her way out of my disruptor’s range.  This boredom/annoyance inspired action is what I have come to.

For any reader that may be looking for ideas on how to gather kill marks on their ships, I have developed an anti-LP farmer/bot strategy.  It really is not that devious, just thought I would share to inspire others to help swat away these nuisances. 

I equipped my alt with a PvP fit Astero, cloak and all.  Fly into a novice complex, manually double click down or up into space, and give one pulse to your micro warp drive.  It will take some distance to begin to show ANY distance from the complex beacon.  Once you see a distance greater than 2500 m, stop and cloak.  Let the fishing begin.

Once your bot/prey enters system, it will not detect you in the complex, so it will timidly approach.  I wait for the bot to engage in a fight with the NPC frigate, approach cloaked.  Ready to hit your micro warp drive when you hit 2500 m from the beacon – as this will uncloak you.  As soon as you do uncloak, race toward the ship, lock, and just destroy.  

I have not had one of these farmers/bots escape this trap.  Again, this is just fishing.  I found it best to just have my alt sit in this trap while I play.  When I hear the sound of combat, I shift my attention to the alt.  Free kill mark, and another victory against bots won.  I will not continue this action, however.  The faction hits are not good for my industrialist and trader.

Anyway, back to my challenge.  I again travel along a set direction based on high contested percentage.  One jump away from my destination, I enter a system with a Caldari State pilot flying a Tristan.  He is attempting to secure a large complex, so I get kind of excited about not running into an LP farmer/bot.  I land in the complex, and the pilot flies off, and out of system.  I am now alone in the system, frustrated, and now just looking to work off the remaining time to this large complex, (as I see that it is below the 20 minutes default).

Normally I do not care about completing these complexes when it comes to a fight, but this one was frustrating.  I was less than a minute away from collecting a juicy LP reward from this large complex when Meredudd in his Retribution enters system, and heads my way.  Of course!

XQ0013 Kill Mail

Meredudd knows how to pilot a Retribution.  I have the distance on him, but I do not believe this was a much of a concern against his beam lasers.  He was able to get the damage in on me, but it took him some time.  I was orbiting, and this must have made it tougher for his lasers to hit.  Lasers struggle with tracking.  I may have been able to optimize this more to my advantage if I implemented a manual pilot strategy to increase transversal.  That will be something I have to look into, and get used to.

I think this little fight was rougher than Meredudd expected though.  As I said, it took him a while to work through my shields.  My drones made short work of his shields, and began to bite into his armor.  That’s when the damage just stopped!  I could not get any more damage through from that point on, nothing.  I attempted to locate his fit through ZKillboard, but he has not lost a Retribution, so I have to resort to the little experience I have, that battle with Balzaque in his Retribution a few weeks back.  That battle took a while too, and I remember there was a period in that fight that my damage came to a halt.  Balzaque had pulse lasers equipped, so in that battle time and distance were just not his friends.

As I stated in my reflection from the fight with Balzaque, I imagine this damage halt was the work of an equipped Assault Damage Controll II unit.  When it is activated it increases damage resistance by 75% for 15 seconds!  First, this damage negation period seemed much longer than 15 seconds, but in frigate fights time is subjective.  Second, wow!  When implemented effectively this is crippling for my offense.  Mental note here, if this is in effect, I will be sure to apply resources to other targets during this time – like drones.  In the case of a Retribution, no drones.

Meredudd never went after my drones, he just kept trying to close the distance – probably to assist his laser tracking.  After I popped, I again fly away in my pod, we exchange “gf” in local.  Meredudd states that he burned out a few of his mods in this fight.  I interpret that to indicate the fight surprised him, and distracted his attention from his regular routines.  This is a victory, and I am happy about it.  It was a good experience with a cool pilot.  However, I still feel a bit disgruntled as I make my long way home for another ship.

Maybe this weekend I am just not in the right head space.  Again, I force myself into XQ0014, insure it, and anchors away.

As I make my way through systems implementing the routines I have begun to form, I  reflect on what is bothering me.  The question is answered by a not so surprising source.  Oh look, another LP farmer/bot.

13th Kill

These kills just do not impress me any more.

I am worried that I am not improving.  Am I just killing plush targets, just to explode under the guns of better pilots?  It’s not for lack of trying.  I am not avoiding or attempting to select prime targets.  That is the worry that is nagging at me.  These articles of bots ruining the game, concerns over Eve dying, and my experience with games that I love eventually dying is kind of dragging me down.  Most likely, I am probably not in a very good mental head space this weekend.  Stress at work, holidays, yadda yadda…  I need to push all this aside, and just enjoy the moments.  Continue to learn, and stop being so emo.

Status: 87 ships at the ready, 13 kills.