Recounting My Destruction, Part 1

My last post, I identified the explosion of XQ0058. Before my extended break from Eve, I posted the boom of XQ0034. Many ship kill mails to catch up on, so here we go.

XQ0035 Kill Mail
Dramiel fit

Dramiels continue to give me problems. Ciba LexLulu represented Stay Frosty well here, but I do not think a Tristan really stands any sort of chance in this match up. Especially this kiting fit against his howitzer fit.

I was able to locate a possible fit on ZKillboard.

ZKillboard, throughout this time, became a mixed blessing. I enjoy the intel it provides, as well as the reflection opportunity to improve my PvP knowledge. However, the stats inspire a lot of competition within me. Competition against whom? That is the question. I discovered that I begin to set goals for myself, or maybe it is more accurate that I began to fret over my stat image. During most of this time I was maintaining a ZKillboard rate of 50/50, and a dominant solo stat. I have to admit that I enjoyed this, and wanted to expand the lead of kills versus losses.

I mention this, because I feel some of my losses here began to take a toll. If I’m to be honest, I do not believe I was as reckless as I meant to be as I started this challenge. The remaining kill mail messages that follow contain a little more emotion than they should, and I think may have also contributed to my break. That and real life obligations of course.

You will see near the end of this parade of kill mails I enter a bit of a slump. As I reflect back, I do believe I put too much emphasis in maintaining, improving a perceived stat standard, and this led to me focusing on the wrong details – adding a certain level of stress to the experience.

This emotion is not new, I understand, but a genuinely believe it is an important detail that I need to put aside to improve my game. Focus on the battle at hand, without worry of the perception of others, or stats. As I re-engage in this challenge, I am aware of this, and my latest loss, (which I will post in a future entry), reflects my determination to fly dangerously with intent to burn.

XQ0036 Kill Mail

XQ0036 went on the attack into a plex. Once I was scrammed, not much I could do to pull the necessary distance needed for the drones to take him down. Important note here, the Loyalty Points awarded back when I was killed here, versus the Loyalty Points awarded in my last kill mail: 192 LP vs. 1,528 LP. Great boost! So happy this got more attention, and boosted.

XQ0037 Kill Mail

XQ0037 was defending a plex. Kalmaaron in his Imperial Navy Slicer was just too fast. He was able to quickly close the distance, scram, and finish the job – quickly.

XQ0038 Kill Mail

XQ0038 was the victim of my logging after some time within my break. My log ins were sporadic, and I was not really paying attention to CCP events taking place. I believe I was inspired to go to a local asteroid field to kill a rat, in hopes of collecting bonus skill points. I did not intend on a rat getting point on me, and being a bit more challenging than normal. I believe I prefer the kill mails were the station guns took me out, rather than this one. Oh well, XQ0038 sacrificed.

XQ0039 Kill Mail

XQ0039 attacked Physical Removal’s Kestrel. This is a skill I need to focus on when attacking a plex in a kiting fit. It is so challenging to pull distance from the target, distance needed to survive the fight.

If I remember correct, I researched his fit as I was surprised at how little damage I was able to inflict before exploding.

XQ0040 Kill Mail

The kill mail for XQ0040 may seem like a gank, but it was actually more fun than that. It would have been presented better as a stand alone post, but my slacker break prevented a proper story roll out.

Revenge for my 64th & 65th kills

Captain Arimanius and Hyper Codar brought a friend to redeem themselves after I took both of them out in their Kestrels. I guess when you can’t gank with two, bring a third! It was fun though, and totally worth XQ0040’s demolition.

XQ0041 Kill Mail

Following up a fun ambush in XQ0040, XQ0040 was just an ambush. Heading to a novice plex to attack a condor, Lauralite Ann Brezia sat in wait in her Lachesis. XQ0041 was quickly locked, pointed, and destroyed. Sakein even got to get some credit for lobbing a few missiles in the ambush. I am happy for the changes CCP has made to the plex gate proximity. Although I have not fallen victim to this strategy too much, it is annoying.

The story on this is not closed though, there will be revenge!

XQ0042 Kill Mail

Dramiels are just death for this Tristan. Again, XQ0042 was defending, and just could not go the distance. However, when I scanned this Dramiel was about to enter the plex, I began to pull away from the plex entirely. Porphyrios Malchos had to steam forward quite a distance to catch me, while I was quick to set drones on him. By the time he closed the distance, my drones were well into his armor as I established point on him. He had just inches of internal structure left on him when he finally blew me up. Although this strategy and his determination made this an interesting fight, it just establishes further how dominant Dramiels are against my poor little ship. Porphyrious Malchos was a great sport about this as well, and donated 10 million ISK to me for my effort. Hey, every bit helps, and I appreciate the gesture!

XQ0043 Kill Mail

XQ0043 was defending a plex when six “brave” pilots attacked the mighty Tristan. I forget which ship it was, (although I seem to remember the Merlin), but I was focusing my attention on one in hopes of getting a kill out of the gank. The only joy I was able to get from this endeavor was the fact that they had to hurry and finish me, before one of their pilots lost a ship. I deprived three of them from getting in on the kill. I will glean such a victory condition from a one sided fight as this.

XQ0044 Kill Mail

Pretty straight forward fight here. XQ0044 defended the plex when Teo Enat in his Federation Navy Comet came in, closed distance, and melted me down.

XQ0045 Kill Mail

In contrast to XQ0044, XQ0045 began to pull distance away from the plex as Lufax was scanned at the entrance of the plex. Similar to the strategy I employed with the last Dramiel, I depended on Lufax’s determination to kill me to commit to closing the distance. Meanwhile, my drones spent the time clobbering at him. Overall, I was happy with the way I managed my speed and distance, but the extended fight depended too much on such details. In the end I blew it, and he was able to close distance to blow me up.

XQ0046 Kill Mail

There must have been a Federation Navy Comet fire sale during that time. XQ0046 was defending a plex. Ultimately I was just too conservative with my Microwardrive. Too slow, and made it easy for him to catch up to me. One interesting note here about ZKillboard, later Judge Sarn shows up on my Kill Board. The damage I applied to Judge Sarn, (apparently never completely repaired after our fight), allowed me to be tagged on to Nuke Cave’s kill mail. Unfortunately this takes away from what I am sure was a solo fight. However, this helps me to understand that the stats prevented on ZKillboard are not perfect.

XQ0047 Kill Mail

XQ0047 was defending a plex when Reiner Hass in his Incursus attacked. This turned out to be a long, long fight. Reiner Hass could not close the distance on me right away, and began to work on my drones as he continued to get to me. This began the drone dance that I have become comfortable with, removing and deploying as each begin to take damage. Unfortunately the details that go into this take a toll on my attention. However, I have to say in this fight I was up to the task. As modules burned out from both ships and drones finally fall after many drips in and out of the drone bay, Reiner Hass finally closed enough distance to finish me off.

XQ0048 Kill Mail

XQ0048 went on the attack, but ended up chasing off an LP farmer. I began to pull some distance form the plex entry point to think about my next move when I scanned this Worm at the gate. Pretty straight forward fight from here on out, as the Worm just has too much power over the Tristan.

XQ0049 Kill Mail

XQ0049 attacked this plex with Fat Zero’s Federation Navy Comet defending. I was still attempting to engage my Microwarpdrive for one burst – hoping to pass through far enough past his scram. No luck.

XQ0050 Kill Mail

Seeing this was my 50th ship in the challenge and my interest/frustration with attempting to attack plexes, I changed my fit up to a brawler. I needed a little change as well. I was beginning to feel comfortable with the kite fit, and felt I could manage more modules. Additionally, my ZKillboard was just so full of the previous fit, I started to feel some pilots were beginning to prep specifically for my engagements – or at least they would be able to.

XQ0050 was able to gain a kill before meeting this end, (and the kill was sweeter as it was revenge). However, this kill mail demonstrates the need to experience more fits. Hilary Clinton Ongrard met me outside of a plex. I was able to experience the Coercer’s massive dps in this fight. So intimidating in fact, I went full stupid – I did not turn on my armor rep during the fight. Again, I need to get used to managing other modules and other fits.

The end to my 50th ship is probably a good place to stop this long post. Although some details may have been lost over time, I hope it enjoyable to read over.

Part 2 coming soon.

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.