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.

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.

Disillusion & Awareness

A lot of flying lately, but few and far between battles. The down time lulls you into moods that are not favorable preparation for the clashes that may be stumbled upon.

This post may go out of time line sequence. It starts out as more of a routine up to date post, but it does get better.

First, I present the LP bot Butcher’s Bill:

25th kill
26th kill
27th kill
28th kill
29th kill
30th kill

I feel like the above kill mails should have had some sort of slow, sad music to create more of a mood as you scroll down. Then again, they were just bots.

Which brings me to my first observation, Zkill board padding. Not to say I, or other pilots, are doing this on purpose, but many of my kills are almost an embarrassment to count as kills. I note this, because in the past my industrialist/explorer spent a lot of time researching pilots in system. There were some times I may have been able to proceed with activities if I saw then what I can see now. I have a better understanding that many of these kills do not necessarily indicate quality of fighter pilot. As evidenced by too many pilots that have encountered that have run away from a fight with me.

Yep, that is right! There have been a large number of pilots in low sec that I start to engage with, (or enter a complex with me in it), but then run away. Those that initiate the fight, I kick myself over, since I need to get better at overheating my warp disruptor to extend range. The others however, I think many of them are out to literally pad their kill boards. I am so disillusioned!

I also realized another false positive to Zkill board padding, as I ran into a bunch of strangeness in a very active system. I engaged an Incursus outside of a gate leading to a complex. I was winning the fight, but it was taking some time. A gang of five ships fly in, all blinking criminal as they were running around engaging in all kinds of mischief. The Incursus and I were at some distance off from the gate by now, but a Federation Navy Comet was able to catch up, and he takes out the Incursus – stealing my kill. I did not know it at the time, since I thought I killed the Incursus and that this gang was following up on a trap. I later found out that I did not get credit for the Incursus kill, in game, but did on Zkill board. Since I did not get credit in game, I am not counting the Incursus as a kill for this blog.

Anyway, I targeted the Federation Navy Comet that was burning to me. I begin to apply damage, and keep him a range. I know this is the end for this Tristan, but I think I can squeeze another kill out before his buddies catch me. Then his buddies leave. This is strange… I continue to fight the Comet, and another gang of four ships pop on to the gate. I have no idea what is going on at this point. The Comet slips out of my warp disruptor range, as my confusion successfully distracts me, and three of the other ships zip off as well. Damage is starting to be applied to my Tristan, and I see that the cruiser that remained is firing on me. Just as I am about to manually order my Tristan to approach, I see my micro warp drive has burned out. Thoroughly confused, I warp off to repair.

Later, I noticed on Zkill board that I killed a Federation Navy Comet. Curious. I do not remember getting drunk while playing Eve. How could I have blacked out? I clicked on the entry, and see that I was included on the kill for the Federation Navy Comet that escaped me earlier. What?!?

I do not understand how the calculation is considered for such kills. Am I considered an active combatant until the ship docks? Was damage applied due to overheating from our battle the determining factor in my participation into the ship’s explosion? Whatever the case, it is another factor that I was not aware of before, and a realization that continues to demystify my initial analysis of a pilot’s combat history as I research them.

Now for my losses, with some description.

XQ0019 kill mail

I was so pissed at myself over this one. I was defending a complex when saw the Federation Navy Comet approach. As he entered the complex ready for a fight, I was excited, not intimidated. He entered a nice distance to my advantage, but that is when I decided to go full stupid. For some reason, I did not believe I needed to micro warp drive to pull distance. Maybe a combination of the dull that set in my brain between quality fights or a beer induced tired, (no not drunk), but Kriat Kadarwell closed the distance and began to melt my face with his blasters. Oh well.

XQ0020 kill mail

Okay, so this one really pissed me off. I had chased off a LP bot from a complex within a crowded system. I figured I would stay a while to see if anyone would accept my invitation to fight. I was ready to blow up, and get some experience. Horse Hugen, (to be known as Zamira’s little toady or alt from here on out), comes into the complex in his Punisher. I did everything right in this battle, and saw that my drones were working away at his active tank well.

Then I see the Republic Fleet Firetail on short d-scan about to enter our complex. I have to make a quick decision now, and decide to go for the Punisher kill. Hindsight reflection: should have focused my damage and distance pull on the Firetail. This would have most likely taken the Punisher completely out of the equation, but maybe a more valuable kill and control of the 2v1 combat that this became.

I have to admit that I had hoped that this was just going to turn out to be a brawl with the Firetail flying in to take us both out, but when I saw Zamira pass by the Punisher and b-line it to me I knew this was just a trap. Later, Zkill board research confirmed my suspicion. Zamira Roman, (as I now continue to witness as I fly through systems), hangs out in neighboring systems waiting for her little toady to engage in a fight. Yep, Zamira is an elite PvPer, alright!

What I am proud of is resisting my initial inspiration, to write an in game mail to Zamira telling her to just challenge me to a fight next time. I had the mail written, but then thought better of it and deleted it. This is Eve. All is fair. This 7 mil. lesson is cheap tuition compared to the other hulls she victimized to this scheme.

XQ0021 kill mail

Once again I am victimized by the Triglavian tech with this little Damavik. This was a fun fight though. I flew to a novice complex that was out of d-scan range, as I believed the LP bot in system was there. Faruzen ed Divalone was on the gate. Not sure if he was attempting to hunt the bot, or just fish for pilots like me. Whatever the case, I flew in at a comfortable distance from him, and we target each other.

I was able to pull range well, and deploy my drones. I saw that he deployed three Acolytes on me. At this point I decided to continue to work the Damavik’s hull. My drones chew into his armor pretty quickly, and I see that he is active armor tanked. Then I see all of my drones take damage, about three of them have no shields left! I think, “What the hell?!?” Not being familiar with Triglavian weapons, I wonder if this is a feature with one of their weapon types. I then rethink my drone deployment. Now I wonder if this is going to be a lengthy fight, and if so I should target his drones. Redirecting my drones onto his, I begin to take them out. His weapon continues to pound away at me, which again surprises me – considering I have successfully kept him at about 20km. I really need to learn about these weapons!

Smart Bombing Damavik

After my Tristan goes boom, we exchange “gf” in local, and later converse by mail. Faruzen informs me that he believes I would have taken him if I continued to focus on his ship. He did not want to share his fit with me, but later asked me how effective his smart bombs were against my drones. I informed him of the damage, but added that the damage they applied is what led to my decision to redirect my drones to his. In hindsight, not sure how effective those smart bombs are, (considering cap drain and such), for this ship. Later, I was able to find his fit on Zkill board. Seeing this also makes me a little sad, since it would have been such an awesome trophy on my kill list. Next time!

My final addition to this entry was another interesting encounter, as I was on the LP bot hunt. There were two LP bots in system, I flew to a novice complex that was out of d-scan range. A Daredevil was sitting on the gate. As I come out of warp, I notice that I have the shakes. This is something that does not happen as frequently as it did when I first started this challenge, but my first Daredevil battle is enough to inspire it again apparently. I land, we target each other, and I begin to pull distance – nice! Things are going to plan! Then he turns, speeds out of range, and warps off. Sigh…

Not detecting a bot in the complex, I warp to a gate of a medium complex. I know that at least one of these bots recently entered system, so it takes them some time to find a safe spot and scan for ANY threat. After sitting on gate for a moment, I warp off to another novice complex. The Daredevil is there, (side note: I am getting a little sloppy with using d-scan). Now I am not as shaky, as I begin to mentally create a checklist of what I need to do to make this fight work, keep the pilot engaged, and get a nice kill.

I land closer to him than I like, but click on my overheat prepped micro warp drive. Half way through the warp drive cycle, I see he has me disrupted. Not scrammed?!? Also, he did not apply a web on me. I had pulled enough distance that I think I would have had a chance to pull out of scram range, even if he had one. A web however, would have cooked me.

With my range established and drones applied, now I just had to wait. I shut off the overheating on my micro warp drive, and began to focus prepping my warp disruptor for overheating to extend its range when applicable. I click this on and off a few times during our battle, and keep him engaged in our fight. Finally…

31st kill

My most expensive kill to date!!! We exchanged “gf” in local, and I scoop up the loot. Unfortunately the loot fairy said no to the Federation Navy Stasis Webifier. Now that I see his fit, I think I got a bit lucky in this fight. Again, the webifier would have made more of difference than the disruptor. Anyway, there was more loot in his cargo hold that was not pictured in the screenshot. This was a good kill.

It is important to add here, that I have learned other details since my last post. I have taken to watching, or re-watching, Eve PvP videos, and some subtleties have popped up. Such as using shift-click to turn overheating modules on/off. Funny how these details are lost when I watched before, but now I catch them as I am actually practicing the activity that I was curious about.

Advice to any curious reader – get a ship, fly, fight, and blow up. Just get started, and a new experience and awareness will open up. There is still more for me to learn and get used to, but this has re-inspired my engagement with Eve. I wish I did this earlier.

Record: 79 ships ready for action: 31 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.

Time for the Manual… Piloting

XQ0016 broke my losing streak, and picked up my spirits. It surprises me how much of an emotional roller coaster the PvP component to this game can be. Win or lose, it is good to have an idea of what goes wrong, and develop ideas on how to play.

Before I head out for another roam, I take a lap in front of a station practicing overheating, and shutting it down without shutting off the micro warp drive. I practice with the overload rack, and I practice with the green bar on top of the module button. I think I am getting a better handle on how these function, so I head out.

Eventually I settle in for defensive complex. I have not earned many LPs with my latest antics, so I have some nagging issues about money. My goal is for each ship to earn at least 3000 LPs to be considered pulling its weight, financially. As I write this, however, I realize how unjustified my concern really is, since I have gone through 15 Tristans and currently have over 300,000 LPs earned over the various down complex defending with those ships. Again, financials will be a topic in a later post.

In a defensive complex I spin. Obelisk Camel and his Republic Fleet Firetail enter system, and he quickly finds me. He warps in just over 10 km away, I hit orbit supported by my overheated micro warp drive to pull distance. My drones go to work, and his shields immediately wear down. My disruptor is off, and I notice that Obelisk is burning away from me – out of range. My drones are still applying damage, but that has slowed as they too struggle to keep up.

I click to approach, and then after a moment click the orbit button again. As my Tristan shifts directions to follow the approach command, I can see that Obelisk has adjusted course to burn straight to me. Although I am new, I know this is the sling shot maneuver, and it is effective to get kiters, (like me), in close to scram. Fortunately, I already put in the command to orbit at a distance again with my micro warp drive on, and continue to keep him at a distance. My drones have taken his slow down in velocity as an opportunity, and take more bites out of his shields.

Again, Obelisk steams away from me, and this time I notice I can not keep up. Damn! My micro warp drive has burned out. I did not forget to shut it down, I clicked the overheating rack, as I practiced. I do not know what happened. Despite my own drop in velocity Obelisk continues to move further away. It is not long before he is moving past 60 km. I figure he lost interest in the fight, so I collect my drones, (which still does not spur him to approach me), and fly to the nearest station for repairs.

As soon as repairs are made, I undock, and fly back to the novice complex where we recently battled. I am kind of surprised to see Obelisk is still interested in fighting. I believe he went off for repairs as well. This was turning out to be a strange fight. He enters, and we begin again – exactly the way it started. This time, I place more attention to the overheating rack clicks. There seems to be some sort of lag with my clicks here. Frustrating, but whatever. I am able to shut down the micro warp drive from overheating, and begin to manage the module and the disruptor. Turning modules on and off, and overheating each to keep distance. Again, Obelisk is sling shotting me, but I manage to not commit too much to keep him at a distance. On one of his final attempts, I commit to approach a little longer than I meant to, and he is able to get in my face quickly. However, it is too late. My drones have worked on him throughout this fight, and his Firetail explodes.

15th Kill Mail

I am amazed, and this Firetail kill seems redeeming from the past Firetail fight. We exchange “gf” in local. He asks me to pod him, so I oblige. This fight took a while to fight. I finish the last minute left on the complex I was defending, collect my LPs, and stop in a station to drop off loot and repair.

As I said, I knew about sling shotting a kiter, but this is the first time, (at least that I noticed), I have had it applied to me. I see that it can be effective, and I am not sure I efficiently countered it with Obelisk.

I move to another system, and fly to the novice complex. Just as I start my little routine after warping into the complex, a familiar face, Tofi Jirgori, appears in the system – LP farmer/bot. I decide to try a little strategy hypothesis I mulled over during off hours, and warp to another, non-novice complex in the system. Considering the time it takes me to fly to the complex, I set course back to the gate of the novice complex. I land, and just a moment later in comes Tofi’s Incursus. What I theorized is these bot program scan for threats in the complex, (never mind the pilot that has killed her in the past is currently flying within the same system). The program simply detects no other pilot in the complex, so it sets course and warps.

I lock target, and begin to go to work. As this is happening, I notice Daniel Alpena appear in local. I have seen this pilot around, and I know he is going to head into this fight.

Daniel’s Federation Navy Comet lands on the gate as my drones apply the final hits on the Incursus to make it go boom! Tofi Jirgori has the honor of a milestone within my journey – first pilot I have killed twice!!!

I am not able to celebrate too much, as I know I have more work to do. I lock Daniel up, overheat my micro warp drive, and begin to orbit. At this point, I think it is appropriate to say I believe Daniel waited for me to finish off the Incursus. He warped in at a bit of a distance from the battle, but he did not lock me until the combat was done. Respect to Daniel.

I am able to pull distance from Daniel, and I see a familiar site – he begins to burn away from me. At this point I decide to attempt something I have seen done by kiters in videos, and manually pilot my Tristan. I have some issues with camera angle. I have to develop an eye for how this can be done most effectively, or at least how I prefer to view as I pilot. The trick here is not to burn straight toward Daniel, but double click into space to approach at an angle. This optimizes transversal, and creates a better position for my ship to resume orbit when he corrects course toward me.

To both of our surprise, I am a little better at doing this than I thought. My drones continue to chomp away at him. Daniel is very good at these 1v1s, and does not give up at any point. He keeps me on my toes and demands I place so much attention in maintaining distance that I run my micro warp drive more than I should, and my capacitor begins to run dry. Now that I am managing capacitor and attempting to manually pilot, I eventually make a mistake, and Daniel capitalizes on it to jump into my face.

From there he neuts and blasts away, now it is a race to see who pops first. He is into structure, but he has worked past my shields. Finally…

XQ0016 Kill Mail

After our fight, Daniel and I have a bit of a dialogue, and my loss is redeemed by his words. It is this sort of interaction that I have not experienced these years in PvE play, and this sort of interaction show cases the valuable community this game has to offer.

I have seen Daniel often enter into fights with other pilots in these systems, so I know he is experienced. If I can give him a run for his money in a T1 against his faction frigate, it reassures me that maybe I am improving. At least I can be viewed as a threat, instead of an easy mark.

I have more work to do, and more to practice. This manual piloting thing though… that is just going to take experience. Maybe I can figure out some way to practice on some rats, but that really is not the same thing. Rats are not actively trying to out think and out maneuver, but I may be able to get used to a camera angle that will be helpful. Food for thought.

Back in station, I load up XQ0017 and insure it. Anchors away. I set course for a distant system with high contest percentage.

I enter a system with an LP farmer/bot. Immediately warp to the novice complex, and engage the gate. The little sucker gets caught before he can warp off.

17th Kill

I lock Lomineresti’s pod, and stay with her a bit. I call out in local that if she says anything, I will release her to go on her way. I even express my belief she is a bot. Just silence. I am about ready to just call these pilots LP bots from here on out.

Eventually Lomineresti slow boats it beyond my range, as I resume my orbit to defensive plex. Finishing up with one novice complex, I head over to the next. At the gate to this complex, I meet Sterling Blades in his Maulus Navy Issue. We lock each other, and I am able to pull distance to kite him. Although I do not believe he commits to sling shotting me, he does engage in dancing in and out from my disruptor range. This causes me to manage the capacitor use from my warp drive and overheating my disruptor to extend the range. My drones continue to work on him, as his on me. His drones are not damaging me at the same rate mine are damaging him.

If you are wondering why I did not start working on his drones, I did think about it. However, I had seen Sterling tooling around systems in my travel to the system we engaged each other. I knew he was traveling with another pilot. My concern was confirmed as our fight continued. I figured that my drones were not under threat from him, so I would attempt to work on his ship as fast as possible in an attempt to end the fight before he called in help.

Sterling had an active tank, and my drones seem to keep him busy managing his armor. I make an error with manual piloting, and he is able to catch me. His partner, Lauralite, comes on scene.

XQ0017 Kill Mail

Although Lauralite did not perform any damage to me, she must have done something naughty to deprive Sterling of a “Solo” tag to this kill mail. Her arrival is one of the factors that threw me off my manual piloting game. The additional flashy object on screen caused me to double click in one direction, then in the other before I realized there were two flashy objects on grid.

Anyway, Sterling had some compliments for me following our “gf” exchanges. He was also encouraging that I would only get better from here. Another quality player in our community. Again, I am reassured that I am turning into a challenge. I just need more experience.

XQ0018 online and insured. Head out to look for just a little more trouble before bed. I will end with a bitter sweet note. An LP bot.

18th Kill

I guess the bots are turning to Incursuses instead of Atrons. Perhaps this is why I have had luck with locking them more often, before they fly off.

Record: 83 ships waiting to wreck: 18 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.