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.

Enjoying Time Off and Doing My Part for the Game Economy

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

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

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

XQ0033 Kill Mail
Junge Junge’s Merlin Fit

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

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

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

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

51st kill

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

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

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

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

52nd kill

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

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

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

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

XQ0034 Kill Mail

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

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

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

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

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

53rd kill

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

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

Suggested Worm Fit Change

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

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

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

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

54th kill

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

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

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

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

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