Wednesday, 28 March 2012

A few busy days

It's been a busy few days in Eve for me. Minmatar Frigate V finished training, so the past few days have been spent on Mechanics IV/V, with that being three days out. Once that's finished I'll of course be training into Assault Frigs, and I'll be glad to get something a little different out there in space. I've had a few Firetails (and as I write this, there's another one in the cargo of my hauler) that just haven't done too well yet, but I've worked out another fit in EFT that I'm happier with.

There have been the usual nondescript kills, but other then those two it's been fairly good fighting all around.

Soon after I put up my last post, I resumed roaming that day. Finding a two day old Catalyst in Ruerrotta on a gate, I approached him and locked, hoping he might fire upon my flashy-red self, he didn't but instead warped off to a belt. Following him, he once again warped off, but this time to a station. At this, I decided I probably was just wasting my time, so I left the system and decided to try my luck elsewhere. Not finding anything in a few jumps, I came back through there, and saw him out once again, sitting outside the station now. I set my Firetail into orbit around him at 5k and lock him again. This time, he does what I had been hoping he was going to before. He locks and opens fire. As soon as that happened, my scram, web, and tracking disruptor (with an optimal range script) are powered up, and my guns start spewing their Barrage shells towards him. It doesn't take long until his ship is a wreck in space, and I'm grabbing my spoils.

Later that night, I'm heading back through the Amoen/Avaux lowsec pocket that has become a favourite of mine, and once again I see Takezo Kensei, the pilot who had tore me to shreds in a Sentinel the day before. he was flying a Vengeance at the time, and challenged me to a 1v1. I declined that, saying that I wasn't liking my chances of a Firetail vs a Veng. He offered to re-ship into a Rifter, and at that I accepted. Not much to say about that fight, other then he absolutely destroyed me. I'm really not sure what happened with it, if he had a fleet-boosting cloaky alt/corp mate in system, but it didn't last long

Returning to Iges and deciding that was enough with the Firetails, I jumped into the Rifter I had there yet, and right away found an Incursus on scan. Finding it at a belt, I was around 20km off as I warped in, and got to around 15k before she warped off. Going back to my scan spot, I saw her back on scan in the same belt as before. Jumping in, I was around 15k off, but this time managed to get in range of an overheated scram, and took minimal damage before my autocannons took care of the Gallente frigate. Landing a point on the pod, I tried for a ransom, but they declined.

The highlight of these last few days is most definitely this next fight though. Back in the Amoen/Avaux pocket, I saw a Tornado on scan in a belt, warping in I was around 50k off of the 'nado. Turning on my AB I started in for it, spiralling so as to maintain as high of a transversal as possible. Getting to roughly 35k away, a Thorax also jumped into the belt, and seeing that, I warped straight to a safe thinking that they were together. Soon though, the Tornado left system, and all that was left on scan was the Thorax. Not knowing what they were capable of, I asked in the corp if a Rifter had a chance against a Thorax, to which I was told they most definitely did. Warping into the belt, I set my orbit to 500 and burned in, locking and scramming the Thorax and saving my web for his Hammerhead IIs. I had taken out two of his drones, but then for some reason decided that it was time to set my guns back onto the Cruiser. I dropped his shields relatively quickly, being at around half armor by this point, but the incoming damage was still too high to deal with. Overheating my armor rep, I went back to taking out the drones, dropping another as I hear the warning for my armor nearing the end, still two left though, and not too much left holding my ship together. Downing another as I hit around half structure, still pulsing my overheated armor rep whenever it wouldn't cap me out, it was just enough to drop the last drone. I checked my structure, the reading was at 17%. Now just hoping that the Thorax wouldn't get a lucky hit on me, I turned my guns towards him again. Eating his armor, he still hadn't gotten anything, and then I was surprised. His guns went silent. Giving up? when I was that close to dying myself? He entered structure, and then I saw something new on my overview and started getting ready to try and bug out of there. What really surprised me when I actually looked though, it was his pod. He had ejected, and was able to warp out before I got his pod. At this point, I really wished I had Gallente cruisers trained, but really had no choice but to destroy the ship as there were no corp-mates nearby who could have jumped into the burning hull. Talking with the pilot in local after, he had burnt out his guns at that point, and figured ejecting was the most sure-fire way to save his pod. This would probably be the first real above class kill, since the stabber I had gotten earlier was some major mistakes from the other pilot.

Ending the night on a high-note there, the next evening I logged back into and found myself in Avaux fairly quickly again. This time I saw savagewolf1974 in a Talos, sitting on the sun. Having a real lust to take out a T3 BC yet, I right away jumped in, and started spiralling towards him. I took minimal damage as I came towards him, just the drones he had launched. Being a smattering of T1 drones, I took them out quite quickly and went to work on the Talos, with my autocannons throwing their EMP shells towards it. As soon as his shields were down, I swapped over to Fusion and was making quick work of his armor, at which point an Omen warped in on us. An Omen in his corp. Overheating my Rifter's scram, web and afterburner, I made a hasty retreat, but not before taking some rather devastating hits before managing to get out of scram range and warping out with the duct-tape holding the hull together on fire.

Fleeting up later with Darm/Prenumbra/HoG, we went on a short roam with HoG two volleying a taranis on a gate, and scanning down a Hurricane running a mission, whom I hero-tackled before they arrived and finished the job after the pilot refused a ransom.

Looking at how much I've written, I think this wall-of-text has gotten long enough. Still got more that I think is worth posting, but having some in reserve is never a bad thing.

Fly dangerous.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Disappointment again

After a fairly successful few days that I wrote about in my last post, the days after that didn't hold the same fortune.

It started out alright with me finding a Hound and a Tristan running a plex in Turnur. The only two pilots in system were in the same corp, but I figured it would probably be a decent fight for my Rifter yet, so I went in for it. Going through the Acceleration Gate though, they both warped off. The hound went off of scan, but the Tristan stayed, so I scanned him down to a belt, waiting. Soon the deadly dance had begun, with my autocannons throwing their slugs towards his ship. They're doing their work efficiently, as they start to dig into his armor while my shields are still holding at around half strength. Around this time, I realized I had actually forgotten to use my Nosferatu, and my cap had dropped much quicker then ti should have been. That delay caused me to stop using my ab/web in order to maintain point, which also let him start hitting me harder with his blasters. The race was officially on as my shields gave out, he was still at around half armor, with my overheated guns spewing the phased plasma shells towards him as fast as they could. Able to eat through his armor, and then make short work of his hull, my Rifter had 30% of its armor left. GFs were wished, and I waited out my GCC. It was a closer fight then it should have been, though I realized later that even with my nos running the entire time, his dual neuts would have killed my cap any which way.

I later found Haesslich Sokard in Uisper, and chased him from celestial to celestial for a while, but when an Electus Matari blob rolled into the system he docked up, so I figured that was that and left system. Coming back later, I saw him out again, and this time was able to find him, and he didn't warp away right then. Getting in range, I soon saw him launching missiles at me, and figured that this would be an easy win, and I was correct. Talking to him in local afterwards, it was his first time actually trying to fight, and not just getting ganked by someone who got the drop on him, and the ship was just thrown together with what he had extra, which explained the launchers. GFs were wished, and I hope he ends up getting out there and blasting some people now.

Soon after that, my luck ran out though, not used to being flashy red, I was sitting on a gate as Rebelskull (all kinds of caps in his name) came up in a Firetail and locked me. I heard that and came back, and figured why not, I'll engage this yet. Bad idea, his Firetail outclassed my rifter most definitely, and launched my pod. I was lucky to get my pod out though, he was on the ball and had it locked before I was able to get through the gate, (after taking some minor damage to my pod even).

That was the straw that made me spend more money though. I had been thinking about trying Firetails for a while before that, and a corp-mate had sent me a nice looking fit, so I figured I would try it.

[Republic Fleet Firetail, Solo]
Adaptive Nano Plating II
Damage Control I
Small Armor Repairer II

Experimental 1MN Afterburner I
Balmer Series Tracking Disruptor I
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator

'Malkuth' Rocket Launcher I, Mjolnir Rocket
200mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Phased Plasma S
200mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Phased Plasma S

Small Projectile Burst Aerator I
Small Projectile Ambit Extension I
Small Anti-Explosive Pump I

I've yet to really have a good fight to test this out in though, even though I've lost a couple.

I first figured I'd give an Oracle a shot, not actually expecting to get it. Warped to it and saw it very far off of the warp in, so I tried to get closer. Warping within about 80k of it, I decided to try burn for it, but it was MWD equipped, so I didn't have much of a chance. I landed a couple glancing volleys on me once I had gotten ~40km off, and ate through my shield and half my armor before I turned around and warped out. It was a good test, but not something I'll seriously try to engage again all that soon.

I also tried to fight a Caracal, I had Hail loaded, figuring it was large enough to hit with that in close range, but in hindsight, I probably should have stuck with RF EMP. He seemed to be AFK when I first engaged, and his shields dropped very slowly, and eventually he came back and started firing on me, at which point I decided to disengage. I tried again later after my GCC where he enaged me outside of the station in Naguton, with the same results, didn't even come close to breaking his tank. Things didn't go well with the last two fights, but I was happy to just get out both times. That didn't last though.

Yesterday, after another not-so-successful Repo. roam, I decided to head back towards the Metro area, and on the way I had picked up a couple Kestrels and Incursus on my scan. I thought this could actually be fun if I could separate them a little, and lo and behold, the one kestrel was sitting by itself on a gate. I locked him and went into orbit, and he locked back and fired. I made fairly quick work of him, and was hoping to get away before too much backup arrived, but right before I had gotten out, they were there, with more of a force then I had originally thought. I picked the nearest Incursus to me and started firing. My autocannons tore through his shields, and were doing work on his armor, and the incoming damage to me was nearly matching what I was doing to him. Knowing I wasn't going to escape with my ship, I aligned to a planet and had my guns and rep overheated. Sadly, with the Incursus entering hull, my Firetail became spacedust.

Heading back to Naguton where I had my last Rifter, I once again set out towards the Metropolis area. This time I saw Unbless83 in a plex, in a Rifter and thought it would be another fun fight. Using the Acceleration gate, he was sitting near the warp in, and we both engaged. Minmatar frigates dancing around each other, autocannons screaming. I noticed very quickly that he was shield tanked, as my shields were down while he still had around 1/4 remaining. I kept pulsing my rep to try and not run out of cap too soon, my armor was still depleting at  an alarming rate, though his shields were starting to run low. I then decided to go all in. I overheated my armor rep, and quit pulsing it, but it may have been too little too late. His shields gave out with my armor very low. Everything overheated, trying to keep things going, but my hull gave out with his still at half integrity. 

Not a good night. I got back to Auner in a Reaper, and logged on my hauler, bought some ships and fittings and set my autopilot for a station in Amo as I went to bed for the night.

Getting on today, I get into one of my fresh new Firetails and start roaming. Hours go by, and I find a whole lot of nothing through most of the day. I eventually found Takezo Kensi in a Sentinel on a gate in Ruerrotta. He's flashy-red, so I figured it was worth a shot. The problem was, before this, I had never seen a Sentinel, and really had no idea what it was capable of. Opening fire, getting my scram/web/TD/NOS on him, I notice very quickly that I'm running out of cap, and that's when I figure that I'm in real trouble. I tried to quit attacking so as to get through the gate, but his drones were able to destrpy my Firetail before I was able to de-aggress. I probably should have just kept attacking, and hope to get lucky, but that's what happens when you don't know what you get into. Lesson learned.

Now here's hoping that these next ships fare better for me then the last ones. Fly dangerous.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Getting the hang of things.

It's been a while since my last post. I did that right before my first roam with Repo. and while it wasn't too successful, it was a learning experience for a bunch of us. On to the meat of this post though.

Becoming more efficient with the d-scan, and learning where targets may be has netted me a good number of kills since my last post. from a Probe in Eifer (who I think put a cool $1,000,000 bounty on my head), to a Cyno Rifter (who actually fought back.... and I also derp'd and let the POS guns get me), to a Retriever, a Hoarder and a Sigil.

For actual fights though, there have been a few good ones.

In Orfrold, h0tsauce had scanned down a rifter, and with all targets in system being much older then either of our characters, I waited on the gate for him to jump in and engage. As soon as he called point I jumped in. Jumping straight to them I get my web on the other rifter, who is just entering armor at the time. I wind up my guns and start blasting, and as the hostile rifter reaches structure, I hear Hoss say that he's just entering armor, catch being that he was in a shield tanked rifter. At about that time, an Arbitrator warped in, so as soon as the hostile rifter was destroyed we left without grabbing any of the loot. After about 5 minutes I decided to go and check if the arbitrator had actually grabbed it or not, and being afraid he was still at the belt I warped to 40, and saw the wreck still having items in it. Still seeing the Arb on scan I quickly scooped the loot and got out.

Later that evening we had a Cyclone on scan in Resbroko. Being that h0t has the better probing skills I lend him my probe I had in system to go and scan down the cyclone, which hadn't had it's name changed, and was a 1 month old player IIRC. Getting 100% I wait for him to get back in his rifter before I jump to the bookmark he had left. Getting to the mission area, I see that the cyclone is 60k from the warp in, so I overheat my AB and try get to him as Hoss warps in a couple seconds behind me. AB overheated and scram primed I'm closing in as fast as I can, which turned out to not be fast enough. The pilot warped out and left a "nice try guys" in local. Oh well. We go around and loot the wrecks for good measure, getting a meta 4 MSE which I would later lose on one of my rifters.

We got in one more fight that night, with myself h0tsauce and Judaires trying to find a fight. Eventually we jump on a thrasher sitting at 0 on the sun in Floseswin. Hoss is the first in and gets a point on the thrasher, but at the same time starts taking some massive damage. Jud and I both get in and I open up. Jud, who is flying a Griffin starts jamming, and luckily for h0t gets one as h0t's rifter hits structure, and he's able to warp out. Thinking we've got this made, I set in to my optimal orbit, and forget to check my d-scan, and fail to notice the spike in local. Seeing a bunch more thrashers appear on my overview I call "get out, get out" for Jud over teamspeak, and he's able to do just so. Not so luckily for myself, one of them gets a point on me, and I don't last much longer.

Getting on the following day in Auner, I see Miura Bull on scan in a rifter. Though he's a much older character, with much more practice in all this, I say "why not" and jump on him. Guns overheated, damage control on, we both get through each other's shields at nearly the same time, but that's when his skill-point advantage (and possibly ammo choice?) rear its head. He blow through my armor much quicker then I'm able to punch holes in his. With my rifter venting atmosphere I get my pod out and invite him to a conversation. In my actions to align my pod to be sure I get out I hadn't noticed how far down his ship had gotten before I didn't have him targeted anymore. Finding out that I had gotten into his structure, and that he had to overheat his armor rep (which I hadn't even thought about), I felt fairly good to see where I stacked up against him there.

There were a few more kills and deaths since my last post, but nothing stands out too much (though I shot the shit out of an Asteroid rather then doing anything to that last pod). Strangest one being a flashy red that left his (really tanked) rifter afk outside a station.
I had seen him in a mission with a drake (who's pilot had left system in a pod shortly before this kill) earlier, so I called h0tsauce in right away, afraid of backup. None came and we podded him.

I'm definitely getting more used to everything, and more confident with my target selection. Having gotten under a -2 sec status (currently at -4.25 as of writing this) I've trained up an alt for hauling ships out, as well as doing some trading to hopefully support my piracy habit (though I'll probably be selling a plex very shortly to make sure I don't have any unwanted breaks in the action).

Signing off for now, fly dangerous.

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Some losses, few wins, and a Corporation

So, there's been a few changes for me lately, most notably that I've joined Repo. and am currently going through their assessment.

The day that I joined I decided to go back into Low-Sec, even though I hadn't finished training Eng V and Thermodynamics. It all worked out though, because soon after I got out there, I found Jak Hazan in a Rifter. He was a little slow to attack me and I had his shields nearly down before he even started to do damage, and was well into structure before his guns broke my shield. Needless to say, He didn't last.

After wandering around for a while longer, I eventually fleet up with h0tsauce 0nyaD0g from Repo. and we go out looking for a fight. After a while of nothing, we find a Navy Hookbill on scan. Both of us are newer players, and really have no idea what we're up against, but think that 2v1 we may just have a chance. Hoss engaged found him and engaged, and I warped in, h0t was taking a beating really quick, and the hookbill was just kiting both of us. I keep attempting to manual pilot into range to get a scram on him, and he seems to be manually piloting to avoid that, which causes him to lose point on h0t who then warps out with major damage. As soon as that happens I start spamming warp on the nearest celestial to my direction, but it was too late, he had his point on me, and it was just a matter of time. No matter what I tried, I just couldn't touch him. It did take much longer then I expected it to, but My rifter kersploded.

The next day after more roaming with no success, Yakov Pavlov, another Repo. Recruit and I fleet up and try to jump a Coercer. Not much to say about this other then we didn't have any chance, He was able to get both of us from around 20 km out.

After those two losses, I took most of a night off to run some missions and get some isk back in the accounts, but near the end of the night I decided to do a quick roam, which I'm glad I did. I found a 14 day old character ratting with a rifter in a belt in Eifer. I jump in about 20km off of him, get my 'burner going and speed towards him, worried he's going to jump before I get there. Luckily he doesn't and i get my point on him, and the dogfight begins. It soon becomes apparent that I'll come out ahead here. Downing his rifter I get a point on his pod right away. I invite him to a conversation, and ask if he's willing to ransom his pod. Figuring he's a new character, something around 3 million would be a fair price for it all. He quickly agreed, and I sent him on his way with a (slightly) fatter wallet.

That would be my only stroke of luck though, as yesterday I lost two rifters.
The first to haerod, member of r1fta. h0t and I had been playing cat&mouse with another pair of rifters, who didn't seem to be together, and a rupture. Eventually h0t docks and has to go afk for a few minutes, which is when I jumped on haerod. Bringing guns on each other, we both get through each others shields in around the same amount of time, but as my armor gets chewed away at a much faster rate, it becomes apparent that he'll be coming out ahead. GFs are exchanged and I get my pod out.

Fitting another rifter, this time with a shield tank to try it out, I head out. h0t is in Auner trying to find a few, and I wait on the gate. When a Cynabal and Tengu both appear on scan coming to the gate, I bug out and head through. Eventually I scan down one of the ships h0t had been trying to find, a rifter once again, I warp in and tell h0t to warp to me. Getting him scrammed and webbed I set my orbit to 500 with my 125mm autocannons blasting away. As his shield melts, my damage hits a brick wall as I get to his armor. He keeps working through my shields, and I get worried. As my shields evaporate, my armor soon follows, and I still hadn't done much to his armor. As I explode, h0t manages to get his point on the guy, and Finish the job.

All in all, it's been an interesting few days. Going on a roam with Repo tonight, and then Engineering V will finish tonight, so I can finally get Thermo trained.

Fly dangerous.

Monday, 5 March 2012

Catalyst and Incursius

So after the Stabber kill/loss to the drake in my last blog post, I took a few days off of my low-sec roams to jump back into my training clone, and to run some missions to fill the wallet again.

So on Saturday I got back into an empty clone, and jumped in one of my rifters to go out in low-sec again.  Eventually finding a Catalyst on D-Scan in Sirekur, and seeing he was a fairly new pilot, I figured he would be a good first target for the evening. That said, I had it in my mind that the Catalyst was a frigate, not a destroyer, so I didn't think I had much to worry about (Lesson 1: make sure you actually check out what kind of ship you're facing, if you aren't sure). Warping in on him in an asteroid belt, he's fighting some rats and is at about half shield. I hit my afterburner and hit approach, hoping that he won't warp off before I close the 10km I needed to get into scram range. Closing in on him, I get my scram, web, and nos on him and start blasting. The remainder of his shields don't last long, but then I realize that even though he's webbed, I have next to no transversal on him, and he hits me pretty hard a couple times, doing some major damage to my shields. That's when I realized that since I had hit approach to close in as fast as I could, I had never switched it over to orbit afterwards, and then rammed him a couple times (Lesson 2: Pay attention to how your ship is flying, and make sure you're using the right commands). Luckily for me, by this time he's gotten through my shields, his armor is gone and I'm starting to get hits into his hull. By the time he kersplodes I'm at around half armor, with my armor rep running full time.

It wasn't my best performance of all times, and his fit wasn't anything to write home about, but I'm happy enough to get another destroyer kill under my belt. Waiting out my GCC I get my loot back to Rens and put most of it on the market before heading back out. Doing a quick lap through some of the low-sec systems, I find nothing and log off for a while to do some things around the house.

I come back a few hours later, and not too long after I see an Incursus on scan in  Holfjalgund. We both seem to be hunting each other, as she appears/disappears on d-scan a few times, and I see her warping out of a belt. Eventually we find each other and engage, setting into my 500m orbit, her Incursus blasts right through my shield and is into my armor well before I'm half through her sheild. Thinking I my be in trouble I was really wishing I was a few days ahead on getting my Thermodynamics trained. Once she started hitting my armor though, the damage really seemed to hit a wall, and I was able to keep my armor in fairly good shape while I slowly worked through the shields. Eventually the shields fall, but I keep my focus on pulsing my armor rep and not running out of cap; the last thing I wanted to happen was to lose a kill because I had to drop my web or afterburner to keep the scram up. I was really surprised the next time I looked up and saw that the Incursus' armor was gone, and was deep into structure already. A few seconds later, There was a pod in space where the Incursus was. I was quite happy with this win, though the pilot was younger then I. I was even happier about getting two kills without losing a ship.

To round out that night, I ended up playing chicken with two Thrashers. I kept warping to 50 or 100k out, trying to get a look at them. I saw the one, and right away noticed that it was an AC fit. Not a chance I wanted to fight a 2008 character with a fit like that. After a half hour or so of back and forth trying, I never did end up seeing the other Thrasher.

That is, until this morning. Seeing the same guy in local as the thrasher I never saw yesterday (NegativeTimmy Trald) I don't pay too much attention to it, until I warp to a gate and see him there. Being my newbish self, I don't think to look at him then to see what kind of guns he has fit. Also seeing another target (though I can't recall what it was) on D-scan, I warp to the asteroid belt nearby, not thinking too much about the thrasher who is right next to me as I warp. Another mistake I made right then? Warping in to zero. Soon after I land, and see the guy I was thinking about engaging, the Thrasher warps in on top of me, It doesn't take long and I'm in my pod and warping out. That's life as a pirate.

Going and grabbing another Rifter, I head right back into low-sec, knowing another person not to pick a fight with. Eventually I get to Siseide and see a Claw on D-Scan. Thinking that if I get lucky, and can get right on top of him, it may be fragile enough that I can burn it before it'll kill me. Narrowing his location down to an asteroid belt, I warp in, and find myself within 10k of the Claw. Locking on and getting my scram on I set my orbit to 500 and web him. Soon enough though, I can tell this isn't going to go how I had hoped. His damage output was much higher then I had expected, and I don't think I even made it through his shields before I popped.

After those two losses today, I figured it was about time to get back into my training clone and focus on making some money again. My next batch of rifters should also have T2 armor reps/damage controls, so that should help with my tank. Once I've got the training done for that, I'm going to shift my focus completely onto getting Thermodynamics going, and get that to at least three, probably four before I start training other skills again.

I look forward to seeing how things turn out once I get back out there.