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.

Back After Some Pay Back

Excuse the delay in between posts. My family and I were able to take advantage of a last minute get away after Christmas, and it was quality time with the family. No regrets! Well, other than cutting into what I thought would be significant gaming time opportunities. But family time! That takes priority… right?

Before I left, I had some events that led to some nice booms in game. Starting with a bot.

32nd kill

Then leading to my explosion.

XQ0022 kill mail

Dravinol caught up to me in a complex as I struggled to manage my manual piloting. As mentioned before, if I do not pull enough distance from my opponent – I will just die.

No problem though, more Tristans where that came from. I hop into another ship, insure it, and head out on another roam. Growing a bit bored in my travels, I settle into a nice little novice complex that already had a few minutes knocked off of it. I did not remember at the time, but I was about to encounter a couple of old friends looking to blow me up again.

Lauralite Anne Brezia slid into my complex in her own Tristan. Fortunately for me, I was at a nice distance, and began to work to maintain it. I used several Warrior IIs to hamper her ability to shoot up my drones, in case this would work out to be a drone battle. My drones began to pound into her armor quickly, and she was not actively attacking my drones. Seeing the damage she was applying to me was minimal, I decided to keep my focus on her Tristan. Good thing too, since I picked up an Incursus on short d-scan.

Sterling Blades slid into my complex, and began to burn toward me. I made a quick decision as he broke into my “anything closer than 20km” comfort zone, and I engaged him as the primary target for my keep at 20km activity. I figured the more he attempted to close in, the worst that will happen is that he would drive us away from the Tristan. Good thing I made this decision as soon as I did, since Sterling actually caught me within 10km at this early point of our encounter before I was able to break past his web and scram range. Praise be to my overheated micro warp drive!

Meanwhile, I kept my drones attention on the Tristan, as Lauralite was now well into structure. I am so glad I invested skill points into control distance of my drones, as they eventually popped the Tristan and raced back to me to focus on my next opponent.

33rd kill

At this point, I keep Sterling at a nice, comfortable distance while my drones go to work. I have to order a few back into my bay, as he began to target them. No worries, fresh ones were waiting to replace my recalled drones. In this battle I also noticed that if I effectively manage my drones, I can waste a lot of my opponents energy and ammo. Unless they are actively tracking the targeted drone’s range, they will continue to shoot even after the drone passes beyond their optimal range on the way back to the drone bay. Cool for me, as the drone stops taking damage, and this equates to nice moments wasted before your opponent realizes he needs to change target.

I was amazed as Sterling continued to melt, and finally went boom.

34th kill

After I scooped up the loot, (including replacement drones – yay), I docked, and conducted my little reflection research on the fight. That is when I noticed that these two victimized me in the past. XQ0017 went boom as they teamed up on my approach to novice complex. Only that time, Sterling first engaged me, later to be joined in by Lauralite. To be fair, in that fight Sterling pretty much just bested me, but I am just not a fan of the whole gang up thing. I felt SO GOOD taking them out in their effort to 2v1 me!!!

That was the highlight to my pre-vacation roam. The follow up efforts are just a sad line of confused LP bots.

35th kill
36th kill
37th kill

XQ0023 was proving to be a productive little ship. I gathered so many LPs flying with her, and she continued to rack up the kill marks. Granted a few more quality than the majority, but kills just the same.

Although I spent some time in game when I returned from vacation, I will end this post here. I will continue the tale for a near future post, which will hopefully catch me up. I sometimes worry that I make these posts too long, and hope the few readers I gathered enjoy the efforts. I attempt to provide reflections in these posts, along with the narrative accounts, (to the best of my memory), of each notable battle. I am always open to suggestions to improve the content, if anyone would like to offer any.

It is good to be back, but I hate returning to work. Today was tiring, but I wanted to be sure to get this post out.

Record: 78 ships waiting for their day: 37 kills.

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.