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.
Then leading to my explosion.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
I have been in a slump. Defensive plexing just does not gather the action I believed. Maybe it depends on the time of day. However, I do believe I have been too conservative in my approach. Thus, slightly drifting away from my goal to explode through 100 ships. Of course I do want to gain experience, but when I am flying around things are just too slow.
This weekend I had the opportunity to play for a few hours. Starting with defensive plexing, I again hit a slow period. I decided to roam and look for attack opportunities. Within the first few systems I entered, I was lingering at gate as an Amarr Crusader warped in.
Lately, I have read several articles and posts of people complaining about bots infesting our FW systems. As I looked into the experience of the pilot, I saw what I have come to expect from an LP farmer – very limited time logged under experience. After hesitating on gate for longer than I should, I decided to head to the novice complex, since I was willing to bet that would be where he flew. When I landed I was about to use the gate to warp into the complex, but then on my overview I saw an Atron warping to my location. I deployed drones, clicked to target, and prepped my warp disruptor. When the Atron completed warp, I locked and attacked.
Another LP farmer off the grid. This time I did not pod, since I’ve determined that just allows him to get into a ship faster to continue his money grind. Notice the 19 loyalty points for me though! Fortunately with my drone fit, I am not wasting money on these kills. I have learned not to overhead with these encounters either, again just a waste of ISK for repairs.
This encounter causes me concern about the botting accusations I read about. I do see the same pilots resorting to these tactics, and I see the same patterns. I do not know how to program such bots, but I have to imagine the AI may have some limitations. As I fly into a complex, the pilot leaves. They stay in system for a moment, fly back to the gate to the novice complex I now occupy, and remain there for several moments. This pattern is not from all pilots I have run off, but the majority of these cheap Atron fits do follow the pattern. It almost seems to me the pilot returns to the complex gate in an attempt to run me off. Sort of like an anti-bot, LP farming bot.
Anyway, giving a big “Whatever,” to that issue, I continued my hunt. I end up in Heydieles system, and see that there are a number of pilots – a Caldari militia member among them. The novice complex is out of reach for my narrow d-scan attempt, but at this point I’m willing to just commit and fly to the complex. As I approach, an Atron is on scan, so I figure all is running according to my “shoo away LP farmer” plan. I enter complex, but the Atron is not able to fly off before I establish lock and point. I lock him, deploy drones, and… begin taking damage???
Burntime is not a Caldari Militia pilot obviously. Good farming for fights strategy here! He was on top of the complex button, and as an Atron was able to lock me up quickly for his guns to go to work on my shields. His warp scrambler would not allow me to pull any distance. I am happy to say that I was not too shaken by this surprise. My drones got out according to plan, and I established point from my disruptor. It was a close fight, with his Atron bleeding into hull damage before I exploded.
This fight also liberated me from another nag in the back of my head – implants. Burntime podded me, as he locked and scrammed me very quickly. Not that I hesitated in grid for very long, but apparently body hunting is important to Burntime. I was podded before being able to respond to his “gf” in local.
When Quin Fidel was created, I roamed a bit to defensive plex, but as I said in one of my first posts I was not committed to the idea of combat and loss – running from engagements. I put Quin on a shelf for over a year. Before doing so, I did stick several cheap implants into his head. I did not want to give up on the idea of making him my FW character, and I figured he could use the boost to skill training time. It was a good use of the down time, and I got a lot of use out of the implants. They are gone now. The nagging worry of losing them is now gone too. I think this may have been a factor in my decisions for roaming. I did not want to stray too far from my home base, due to pod travel time.
XQ0008 away! I continue to roam. Immediately chasing off three LP farmers from their complexes, but no kills. The final farmer, gets me to settle into the complex to work off the time he collected. He was less than a minute from securing the complex. I needed to review a few industry orders on my alt’s screen, so I could just spin in the complex, (I was the only pilot in system), and keep an eye on local for any possible threats entering system.
As I focused back on Quin, since he had less than a minute to secure this complex, I noticed a call for help in the militia channel. Someone asked for support in Nennamaila. I probably could have asked for more details, but I do not really trust this channel too much. I figured this could be a trap, or I could be a really nice guy to attempt support. Anyway the complex secures, and I head off to Nennamaila – just two jumps off.
I jump into system, and there is a whole lot of blinking from several in local. There are several members of the Rogue Caldari Union alliance in system, and they are generally the flashy pilots. They are not Faction Warfare, but seem to have fun at FW militia members’ expense. I know this, as I encountered three of them at the gate leading to the novice complex.
Not much to write about here. The Stiletto gained a quick lock on me, and the Garmur and Magus just went to town. I have to say that I was not too surprised to see this at the gate. I was expecting a trap of some kind, just not out outside of the gate. What I learned was that once point is established on my ship, I cannot access the gate into the complex. Do not fret, I tried to use the complex gate not in an attempt to run away – necessarily. I was actually hoping the Garmur would jump into the complex to balance out the odds a bit. Anyway, I am glad I learned this detail, for in the future it will be a detail that will serve well. I am curious if this is the case for both scrambler and disruptor. I could have sworn I locked and pointed a few LP farmers outside of a complex, and yet they were able to fly off. If anyone reading knows details, I would appreciate clarification – as well as any advice in general to offer me in any of my experiences.
A part of me wonders if this crew is simply fishing for LP farmers. It would be an interesting little trap. After checking their record on ZKillboard I see that they are just accumulating kills through this gang roam strategy. Minus the roam, since their strategy seems to be to farm one system for any and all gank opportunities. I’m podded here, jump into XQ0009, and I’m off again.
The last attempt to run in and hero the day inspires me to to level up my aggression. I just do not feel like defensive plexing today. I access the FW map, locate a system controlled by the Caldari, set destination, and warp there as fast as I can. I head into Ishomilken, and see that it is busy. Several Caldari pilots are in system. In an attempt to control any possible fight, I fly into a novice complex. More time goes by than I expected before I see any possible threat on d-scan – a Dramiel. All other pilots are flying shiney T2 frigates or larger ships.
Using d-scan to identify the Dramiel is most likely is heading to my complex, I switch out a few of my Hobgoblin drones for Warriors to exploit what I believed may be his ship’s lowest resistance, explosive damage. My later investigation into the Dramiel proved this was the right move. Although I was orbiting the button at 19 km, Dauros warped right on top of me – as he, I’m sure, was pleased to see. Despite my attempt to distance myself, the ensuing brawl favored him. I was not able to put a lot of attention into velocity and other such details. I was too busy attempting to pull distance. I believe I got him into structure, however, before XQ0009 went boom from under me. It seems once the distance war is won and my ship is warp scrambled, the battle is just finished for me.
We exchange “gf” in local, and he pods me back to my home station. XQ0010 online, and away.
Some time during the previous events, another message comes over the militia channel, we are about to lose Hikkoken. I set course, and rush in to help.
Once again, I see a large number of pilots, and not many are militia. My d-scan again shows a large number of T2 frigates and larger running around. I see a novice complex, narrow d-scan, determine there are no surprises waiting, and warp to 10 km. I deploy my drones, and begin to orbit the button – killing the faction NPC spawns as they pop up.
The system is swarming with blingy, expensive ships. Through d-scan, I can tell my presence is gaining interest. I notice this system is also being camped by the Rogue Caldari Union alliance, as some members are excitedly zooming here and there, and some accidental slips in chatter appear in local. Such as, “Is the Tristan in the novice plex?”
Smooth crew there.
I see a Tristan approach my complex. And prep for what I believe will soon be a gang of gankers invading my plex to add to their kill board. To my surprise TWAN Casaille is not apart of the gankers. His active armor fit Tristan was also armed with a nosferatu. Once again, he pops in right on top of me. He does not have a warp scrambler, so I am able to use my micro warp drive to pull some distance. He has a micro warp drive as well, and we begin to dance this way as I try to find a balance of pulling distance, keeping my signature radius down, and capacitor economy under the strain the nosferatu depletion.
Hindsight note here, I should have went to work on his drones early on. Learning the same lesson here as some of my past opponents. He was not engaged in drone management, and I think I may have taken him – maybe – if I immediately took out some of his drones.
A review of ZKillboard shows the TWAN normally flies with an Ishkur, but must have hopped into his Tristan just to pay me a visit. Awww!
While conducting my ZKillboard reflection, I also notice a kill credit under my name. Seems TWAN could not escape the Rogue Caldari Union swarm that was so excited to add another notch on their ZKillboard record. I notice that TWAN did not have any cap boosters in his inventory. His dual armor repairer fit must chew through capacitor. I’ll take some credit for going through those.
For the record, I am not counting TWAN as a kill.
I have boarded XQ0011, but not launched yet. I have to log and re-group my mind. This last chain of losses has sort of tweaked my ego a bit. I know it is silly, but for years I believed I just suck at PvP. Rationally I know it is something that takes practice to get better at, and yet something about this game brings out the worst in my loss averse nature. Ego maybe? The kills are inspirational. I don’t know. I like the fact that I’m committing to this, but hope the sting of loss does decline. I need to be less focused on kill to loss ration, and just keep focused on gaining experience over anything else.
Record: 90 ships in dock waiting; 10 kills recorded.