Wednesday, 31 December 2008

One and a half kills

After undocking in my Rifter last night to find Amamake full of gangs I decided to check out neighbouring systems. Soon, I stumbled upon a 12-day old pilot in a Myrmidon. He jumped out of the system soon after I had appeared, but I knew he took one of the two jumpgates and followed him. A perfect setup: there were just two of us in the next solar system.
The pilot started ratting in a belt, displaying his Tech 1 drones, and I quickly engaged him. I noticed he started targeting me so I decided to wait and see if he aggroes first. He did not. Instead he scooped up his drones and moved to another belt.
All right, man, I'll aggro. I scrambled him and started orbiting. He first sent medium-sized Hammerheads after me and then switched to light Warriors. I was taking some damage, especially when slowing down due to asteroids, but my repper was able to compensate that. The other pilot tried saving his drones by recalling and then redeploying them, but they didn't last long.
When there were no drones left, I started attacking the battlecruiser itself. Shield down, armor melting... I opened a convo with my target and suggested that he pay me 20 million isk to save his ship. He agreed and I let the badly beaten Myrmidon go. Hmm, not a bad start.
I returned to Amamake hoping that at least some of the local gang members had left. There were just a few ships on scan, but, sure enough, once two Rifters started a duel in belt III-1 a Falcon uncloaked there and others arrived quickly to finish off one of the frigates. Not my piece of cake, fighting in that belt.
But there was something else on scan that drew my attention: a Cheetah covert ops ship. Those rarely stay on the scanner for a long time, but this one did. Quickly, scanned it down to a station and warped. There it was, moving away from the station at about 600 m/sec.
I decided to try to chase it. On many occasions such chases ended with the other pilot warping away just when I was about to get into scrambler range, but there was nothing else to do anyway.
By the time I was close enough to attack, the stations was more than 150 km away meaning senty guns would not attack me. Lock, scram, web, bang-bang. The pod disappeared quickly, making me wonder what the pilot had been thinking of before. An 88 million isk kill, according to Battleclinic, - a price of a good battleship hull!
Satisfied with that, I docked up for the rest of the night.

Monday, 29 December 2008

December Recap

So, I've scored 53 kills this month and 18 losses. Some have been more memorable than others.

Expensive Toys
The first place goes to a fight against two Tech 2 frigates: a Manticore stealth bomber assisted by an Ares interceptor. I was scanning Amamake belts as usual when I noticed a Manticore in one of them. It disappeared from the scanner soon, but did not show up elsewhere so I decided it might have cloaked in the belt. From my previous Manticore kill (assisted by a Falcon who just happened to be there, so not a clean one) I knew it would not be able to kill me quickly. I warped to the belt and waited. Just as I had expected, the Manticore decloaked and started shooting me with cruise missiles. No worries, I can tank that, I thought as I sped up towards the target. Lock, scram, web and I started to return fire. But then the third ship showed up in the belt and started locking me. Damn, I'm still going to kill that bomber. So I did and by the time it popped I still had enough armor and cap to repair it. I switched to the second target, an Ares interceptor, whose pilot made a mistake by getting too close to me. He died just as quickly. I snatched his pod, too, and asked for ransom. He refused and was sent to a cloning vat.
That was easily my best fight in terms of isk destroyed, but I still don't understand what those guys' plan was? Maybe they hoped to kill a noob or two.

Griffin Power
I think I've boasted in my first post about not losing to a Tech 1 frig for a long time. Well I got punished for that (no, not by a Punisher). During one of my roams, I spotted a Griffin at a Faction Warfare complex in Amamake and decided to kill it. I jumped in and we started approaching each other. I got the lock and opened fire, but then the Griffin jammed me. OK, I thought, this is not a Falcon, he can't do that forever.
Turned out he could. The Caldari frig permajammed me and I could not even escape as he and his drones slowly chewed at my armour. A good fight and a good lesson.

Bits and Pieces
I also engaged two Hurricanes this month in my Rifter, both controlled by unexperienced pilots which allowed me to tank them easily. The problem was, I could not break their tank. In both cases, I had to let them go and retreat when someone else showed up in the same belts. Maybe when I train up for a Jaguar things will change.
Cruisers have been easier targets: I caught one Navy Issue Caracal and got it into structure when the pilot offered me a 10 million ransom. I should have asked for more, but it just happened so that I needed to leave my ship's control console so I accepted the deal.
Also, to take on bigger targets I ganged up with other Amamake pirates on a few occasions. To make things easier, I've set up a chat channel for us criminals. Convo or eve-mail me to join.

Thursday, 18 December 2008

Ups And Downs

I love it when people complain about being killed in lowsec: "hey, this is not fair, I was fighting rats!". I usually respond with "rat in hisec if you want to be safe", but I guess they still feel offended. That was the case with Yvie Ly whose Rifter I destroyed in Amamake on Tuesday. Don't they read the pop-up message when entering lowsec?
Shortly after that I saw my old acquaintance Brutus Severus in local and offered him to gank a ratting Rupture. Brutus agreed and we warped to the target belt. He arrived first and started to take damage from the Rupture's drones and autocannons. I was dispatching the drones, but by the time I dealt with them my partner's Rifter was destroyed. "I'll finish that Rupture," I thought, settling into a tight orbit around the cruiser with my afterburner on.
Or was it on? Damn, all my cap-dependent modules were off and I was taking damage from the Rupture's guns. I quickly toggled them on and continued to chew through the cruiser's armour, wondering what had happened. Then -- BANG -- my cap dropped to zero, everything went off again and I realised the other pilot was draining or neutralising my cap. Frantically, I tried to relaunch my afterburner to reduce incoming damage, but in vain. My Rifter exploded while the Rupture was just a few percent into structure.
I sent a sincere "gf" to Kastet Mamont, the Rupture pilot and apologies to Brutus for getting him involved in a failed gank attempt.
Just 40 minutes later, having got myself a new Rifter, I noticed another Rifter and a Thrasher in a belt. I figured out that if they were fighting, I could kill the survivor. Well, I was wrong: despite being less than a month old, Dedal Halfov downed my Rifter with Tech 2 150mm autocannons after dealing with his first victim. He was at a comfortable 53% of structure. Guess someone forgot to tell him new players should spend their first months studying learning skills.
Later on that day my homey Dr. Dre came through with a gang of tanqueray I moved to a neighbouring system of Auga and spotted a Rifter in a Faction Warfare complex. I jumped in, but the Rifter, equipped with a microwarp drive, quickly got away. I returned to a safespot to see and wait if he returns. He did, but together with a Blackbird ECM cruiser and my corpmates told me to stay away from that thing. Fortunately, the Blackbird soon disappeared and the Rifter was once again alone so I decided to try again.
This time the other pilot, mr kangaroo, decided to give it a try and started approaching me. We did the usual Rifter dance, watching each other's shields and then armour melt under autocannon fire. The fight was close, just the kind I really enjoy, but the speed advantage was on my side with mr kangaroo's MWD shut down by my warp scrambler. I was at 15 percent structure when his Rifter exploded. We exchanged gf's and discussed each other's setups: turns out he also had no damage control module and used a gyrostabiliser instead.
On Wednesday, I returned to Amamake and soon scanned down a Tristan at one of the planets. Its pilot Sojiuro, who had beaten me once in the same ship, offered a one-on-one. I lost the previous duel after orbiting too close to him, at the range where his Tech 2 blasters outdid my autocannons. I made no such mistake this time, settling into a 7.5 km orbit (actual distance was about 5 km). I destroyed his drone and then his ship comfortably staying out of blasters' range and laying down torrents of barrage fire. As usual, we exchanged gf's while I scooped the loot.
I moved around neighbouring systems in search of new pray and soon scanned down Gambuk's Breacher in Kourmonen. He chose to engage me, but I guess Breacher just wasn't designed to take out Rifters.
My next target on that day was Eddie Monaghan who ratted in Amamake in his Rifter. Unlike some other pilots, he made no drama about the loss.
In the evening, while watching gangs roam through Amamake limiting my attack opportunities, I spotted a lone Osprey cruiser piloted by another Amamake resident Speshtard. I offered him a one-on-one and he agreed, despite noting that his chances weren't good - I like pilots who do that! Indeed, it turned out his missiles weren't hitting me hard while I was dealing with his drones, keeping a tight orbit. I destroyed the cruiser and thanked Speshtard for the fight.
That was a good time to dock up and go to sleep, but I decided to hang around a little longer. Soon, I spotted a Caracal at the infamous belt III-1. I hesitated for a while, knowing this was one of the riskiest places in New Eden to be in, but then said "what the hell" and hit the warp button. Of course, that turned out to be a trap set up by the VooDoo Technologies alliance and the Drunk GanG corporation. As soon as the Caracal had a point on me, a Lachesis, a Jaguar and a Rapier warped in and quickly destroyed my ship. This was the second time I fell into their trap - I MUST become more attentive to pilot identities and affiliations.
All in all, a nice couple of days, but at least one loss could and should have been avoided.

Friday, 12 December 2008

An introduction

Hello, my name is Nursultan and I'm a pirate.
Like many others, I did not start killing people immediately upon arriving in New Eden. I spent about eight months in the high-security Empire space running missions for Caldari corporate agents until I felt there should be more to life than mindless shooting of predictable and underpowered enemies.
It was about August this year when I stumbled upon Ka Jolo's pirate diaries. Boy was I thrilled by the adventures he described: fighting against real opponents, inventing new tactics, tinkering with loadouts, setting up traps, ransoming victims, KILLING PEOPLE!
Following Ka Jolo's advice, I bought and equipped a Rifter, trained some basic skills and went to the nearest lowsec to launch my new career. I remember very well my first fight: trembling and sweating, I engaged a Kestrel, a ship generally considered subpar for PvP combat, and was destroyed by its missiles, having learnt that ship type advantage is not enough to succeed.
But less than an hour later I scored my first kill - a Tristan frigate. From that point on I knew what my mission was: bring more violence and destruction to the universe.
Although I've never applied to join Ka Jolo's corporation, the Tuskers, I've learnt a lot from them about setups and tactics as I built up my list of kills and losses. I've stuck to Rifter as my weapon of choice and plan to use it for some more time as I continue to improve my skills at using its weapons and defensive and navigation systems.
This pays off: I haven't lost a frig duel for a month now and yesterday came out on top in a fight against Brutus Severus, a more experienced pilot who had beaten me twice in our previos Rifter-vs-Rifter fights.
Finally, why am I writing this? To brag about how cool I am, of course, but also to hopefully entertain some readers and lure more pilots into the realm of New Eden and, particularly, the darker side of life in EVE.