Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Stabber, and a Drake

Yesterday, after I had my Small Projectile Turret V training, along with Small Autocannon Specialization I and  Engineering IV finish, I decided to jump back into one of my empty clones, and head back into low-sec. I still had one of my rifters fit without any T2 guns on it, so I figured I'd just run with it, and see how long it lasted, and once it was gone, I'd start running with my T2/Rigged fits.

I didn't find too much early in my roaming, so I decided to head to Amamake. Getting there, I see a Rifter on scan, but as I scan him down, and warp into the belt, he warps out, and then leaves the system. I had also noticed a Merlin on scan, so I turn my attention towards him. I narrow down the belt he's in, and warp in to 0. He's on scan at 200KM away, so I warp to the planet and back in, and start burning in towards him. As soon as I can use the look at command, I do so, and keep it there, he doesn't move for quite a while, so I'm thinking he might be AFK. At around 70KM out though, he turns around and starts burning towards me. We finally get in range, and we both mutually scram/web each other, but the trouble is that he's out of my effective range, and is able to do pretty major damage with his railguns and missile launchers. Seeing that this will be a losing fight, I start burning away from him. I manage to break scram and warp out, while deep in armor. I had barely scratched his shield at the time.

After sitting in my safe and repping my armor back to full, I decide to give it another go, so I warp in to the belt at 30, and wait there. I won't be making the same mistake twice. He's back out at 200km from the belt, and not moving. Eventually I see his velocity pick up as he turns and starts burning in. I hadn't been paying attention to the D-Scan for a while though, and it's at about this time that a Navy Slicer warps in, and locks me far too quickly for me to even think about getting out of there. Short story even shorter, I didn't last. The merlin then decided that was his cue to warp in, and try take on the Slicer. I didn't stick around in my pod to see what went down, though I found out with This killmail.

Not discouraged by this, I head back to Rens to grab one of my other rifters, this time a T2 fit, and with rigs. The fit I'm using is currently 

[Rifter, Johnny Hobo]
Small Inefficient Armor Repair Unit
Damage Control I
200mm Reinforced Titanium Plates I

Limited 1MN Afterburner I
Stasis Webifier I
Initiated Harmonic Warp Scrambler I

Small 'Knave' Energy Drain
150mm Light AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
150mm Light AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
150mm Light AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S

Small Projectile Collision Accelerator I
Small Projectile Burst Aerator I
[empty rig slot]

Starting my roam at Eifer as has become normal for me, I head out. I have trouble finding anyone wanting to play again, with another rifter warping out as soon as I find him, and leaving system again (I didn't recall the names, I wonder if it may have been the same both times). Coming to Ingunn, I see a stabber on scan, and figure, "Sure, why not." I find him in a belt, and what happens? He warps out. Seeing that he's still in the system, but not on scan, I check the stations, and sure enough he has docked.

I start chatting for a little bit, watching to see if he undocks, and sure enough he does. I follow, and notice he's staying right by the station. Soon he drops a can with a couple missiles in it. So he actually does want to fight. I grab them, lock him,  start orbiting at 500. I see him lock me, and scrams, so I scram, web, and open fire. Loaded with RF EMP his shields fall extremely fast, and he's having some serious issues hitting me while webbed as I AB around him. Starting to eat through his shields, he finally lands a couple solid hits on me, dropping my shields. I finally have to start using my armor rep after this, but it doesn't matter, soon he's in structure, and then the Stabber is no more.
For practice, I then target/scram/web his pod, but let it go.

Grabbing all I can, I warp out to a safe spot, and drop a jet-can with some of the loot I was able to carry, and warp back. Not paying attention, and having my overview only showing loot, all of a sudden I'm surprised when I start taking damage. Switching over, there's a drake. I manage to get away from him and back to my safe. Chatting with him for a while, He's offering to give back anything he had looted from me. I don't trust him, but eventually my greed gets the best of me, and I warp to the customs office where he said he was waiting. Not being too trusting, I warp in to 100km, and see him at 0. He starts burning towards me, and asking about what was mine. I pre-align to my safe spot, but then stop paying too much attention to it all, too busy chatting. Yeah, I'm that stupid. I try to run, but he must have been MWD equipped, because I just couldn't pull away from him. Thinking back, I should have tried to scram him to run. Once he gets my rifter I say, "Not really a gf, but oh well." He was quite impressed with how long I lasted though, saying something along the lines of, "Nice tank, I'm quite surprised at how long you lasted."

As I'm flying my pod home, I notice my wallet flash, and the pilot of the drake had sent me 2 million ISK. I tip my hat to you Lord Jasta. Thanks.

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Exploding Spaceships

After reading Taurean's blog for the last little while as I started playing Eve, I figured it may be an interesting thing to do myself.

A little about myself, as it pertains to Eve
I've played Eve trials here and there over the years since I had first seen they had a free trial, but never gotten too far, or done much other then the tutorials. It always seemed like an interesting game, but most of the time I had been playing some other MMO at the time, and it was just to check it out. I never really started playing with the intention to keep playing very long.
One of the major reasons for that, is that I had always just seen it as a PvE based game, which doesn't hold that much interest to me. While playing Rift though, it eventually came up that the leader of the guild I was in (Ascended Inquisition) was a capsuleer, and was mostly into the PvP side of things. I still wasn't all that interested until he started talking about how useful a new player can be in a relitively short time, running as a tackle for a fleet. This interested me most of all, as I knew the way that the skills in Eve Worked, and had always just assumed it would be a long time before I'd be able to really get into the game.
So, I started playing on another trial, and played for about three days. At that point, I promptly forgot the game existed, and went back to playing Rift.

That was all a few months back, so fast forward to this past December . After I quit playing Rift due to the glaring balance issues, and unfulfilling PvP I had set my sights to SW:ToR. I had played in a couple betas for the game, and thought it would be a good fit for me. It didn't take too long before I found it lacking though, the storyline was amazing. I basically played through to 50 as I would have played a single player RPG. Ran a couple instances with the guild on the way through, but never too much of that. Then once I was max level, the PvP just got boring, coupled with technical issues with it (the game likes to crash my computer) and I decided to call that quits fairly quick.

So after that, I wasn't playing any MMO games, which is a rarity, as I've had subscriptions/active accounts on some kind of MMO for the last four or five years, if not longer. At first I was just looking straight ahead to Guildwars 2 (which, by the way is looking amazing), but then I saw an add for Eve again. I figured I'd start a trial, but this time I didn't just play a little and leave it at that, I was actively reading things on the forums about getting into PvP. That quickly took a turn to Taurean's blog, which in turn got me hooked onto seeing what I could do like that.

At the point of writing this, I'm waiting on a GCC after getting my second kill (and first in low-sec), while on my fourth Rifter that I've fit for this.

The first kill I got was yesterday was while I was trying to get some fights through can-flipping. After finally finding a target, I flipped the can of someone flying a Osprey (I think?). He noticed as soon as I did it, and flew to the station. I grabbed a load of the ore out of my can and started ferrying it back (I had nothing bigger then my Rifter nearby). As soon as I came out of the station, I noticed he had come back out with a Rifter of his own, and was warping back to the belt. As soon as I got there, he locked me and started blasting. I returned fire and soon enough, this was the result.

My first kill, on my first try to do anything. I was rather pleased. I had noticed the fight was rather one sided, and then I took a look at the items that dropped and it became apparent why. Not a good fit by any measure.

My first loss of a ship came that night. I figured I'd head into low-sec and see if I could find anyone to fight. Sadly as I warped into Amamake there was a gate camp that took me out right then and there.  I decided to get into the other rifter I had fit and roam starting from Eifer. I had been through here a few times before on missions when I was just starting, and figured there was a good chance of it being fairly empty and slow there. Which I was right. I didn't get in a fight for the rest of the night.

I logged on this morning and soon after I got on, hoping that being a Saturday it would be fairly busy. I decided to roam again, starting at Eifer. Another couple hours of fruitless searching. A few times I had targets on my D-Scan (Which I'm not too efficient at using yet) who warped out before I had a chance to find them.

In one of the systems though I did manage to find a rifter at the sun, warping off as I got there. I right away warped out, and kept scanning him. He was heading back to the sun I guessed when I found him again, so I warped there. He must have warped to 100km off, while I went to 0, so we burn towards each other. Getting in range, I fumble around getting everything on him, stopping my scram for a second accidentally, and not getting my guns on him right away. I enter armor a little bit before him, and mean to start pulsing my armor rep. Instead I forget about it, and leave it running constantly. Soon I notice my cap starting to really get low, and I end up turning off my web and ab, and actually start to pulse the repper. I'm pulling ahead of him in the dps race at this point and am feeling pretty good about it. He sees this, and turns away from me with his ab on. With mine off, and no web on him, he quickly pulls away and warps off at about half structure, while I'm at about 20% armor. Too bad.

I eventually came to Auner which was quite busy. I warped to the sun, as I didn't have any safe scanning points set up in the system yet (I had been dropping them as I went through systems) I warped around 30 KM off of a crow. Not good. He right away locked and pointed me, and started to kite me. I couldn't scratch him from the distance, and his speed was much greater, so I had no hope of getting close to him. Shields down, and a Republic Fleet Firetail jumps in, Corpmate of the Crow. I realize that whatever slim chance I had before just evaporated, soon punctuated by the Kitsune from the same corp that warped in.

I went Boom and tried to get my pod out. No Bueno, they got the point on it before I managed to warp. Not that it mattered. Soon they invited me to a chat, at which point I wished a GF and asked them to go ahead and pod me. It was an empty clone anyways, and I was rather far away from any ships. They happily obliged.

Back in Rens with my stock of Rifters, I fit one a bit differently then the last few (no active tank, using a neut rather then a nos) and went to Amamake. Right away I noticed it being quite busy in there, and I just wasn't comfortable with that. No real targets that I thought I had a chance with either, so I kept on roaming. Nothing really came up, and I went bake to Amamake. I noticed a Thrasher and a Tristan on my d-scan as I went to my safe. I quickly narrowed down where the Thrasher was, and figured I'd warp to the belt fairly far off to see who the pilot was. Soon I saw it was FatGuyInACoat warping out in the thrasher as I came in. Looking him up on BC I noticed that my chances were slim to none. I returned to my safe, and started trying to find the Tristan, who I narrowed down to being at the sun. Landing around 70km off of each other, we burn towards each other I lock on and get the scram/web/neut on. After about 10 seconds, when my shields were about gone, I finally took notice that my guns weren't firing. Go me! As I was going down, who did I notice warping in? but the Thrasher I had seen earlier. It was then that I noticed he was in the same corp as Hahbahdahishboo (who I never looked up before engaging). They got the point on my pod, and after looking up my character age, I guess figured it wasn't even worth asking me for a ransom.

At first I was plannning to just quit with the PvP for a while until my skills get a little bit higher, wanting to get the T2 autocannons, and a few more support skills up. After running a couple missions and recovering any money I had lost earlier in the day, I figured what's the damage with heading out with one more rifter. Starting in Eifer, I did what is now becoming my normal roam, though I'm still exploring some of the systems and routes.

I come to Aset and find a thrasher on D-Scan which the pilot has never re-named. Looking him up, I see he isn't much of an older player then I am, so I figure it's worth a go. Worst thing that happens is I need to grab another rifter. I quickly narrow him down to being in one of the belts. I warp in and see him 30km off pounding on a rat battleship. I right away knew he was an ac fit because of how close he was in orbit with the BS, and had pretty much thought this would be another rifter gone, but I hit the afterburners anyways and hope he doesn't warp off before I get in range, I quickly target and scram him, and start blasting away. He just keeps blasting at the battleship, seeming to pay me no mind. His shields are down, and I'm starting to eat into his armor, and finally he targets me and starts firing, the race is on. My shields evaporate in no time, and he's chewing through my armor. At around 60% armor I hit his structure. I'm pulsing my armor rep the best I can, hoping that I might get through this. Not too long after, the blue flash of a ship exploding, and it's not mine!. Looking at the kill mail, it shows that the rat did a good chunk of the damage, though he was at full shields when I started attacking him, it's very possible that the battleship was able to start landing a few hits once I had the Thrasher webbed.
My second kill, and an extremely lucky one at that.

I manage to get a point on his pod and invite him to chat. I ask him for a 4 million ransom, to which he says he doesn't have the money. I end up blasting the pod (I've gotta watch out for doing this too much, as I have no alts I need to keep my sec status high enough to get everywhere yet). Some of what he said made me think that he really has no ideas as to how to keep himself safe out in low sec, using the d-scan and paying attention to local, so I sent him mail right away with some of the tips I've read, (and try to follow as best I can).

All in all, my first few days of dipping my feet into the piracy side of Eve have been quite exciting, and I'm looking forward to getting into it more. That said, I'm probably going to wait a few days until more skills finish. Loading up EFT my skills as of right now do around 71% of optimal DPS. In 3 days, I should be up closer to the 80% mark, so that might be a better time to start heading back out there again.