Friday, 29 May 2009

Click Click Boom, Just As Soon As We Hit the Room

If you are worried about losing ships, don't fly with Jyren's Rage. But if you want to have fun (as in lots of fighting) he's one of the best guys around.
We ganged up yesterday night and started looking for targets in Siseide and Egghelende.
The opportunity soon presented itself when a group of guys from Broski Enterprises, including a Harbinger and an Ishkur, engaged Jaster Arcturus' Myrmidon in Egghelende's top belt. The Myrmidon killed the Ishkur and, as I warped in, was finishing off the Harbinger. I shot a few rounds at it before the Amarr battlecuiser exploded and then warped out.
"The Myrm is almost dead!" Jyren's Rage said, knowing how to provoke me into reckless acts of violence. I warped back but it was gone -- only to reappear soon. I placed the tackle on the battered ship, but it destroyed my Rifter with just a few rounds of medium autocannons - an interesting choice of weapons for a Gallente ship.
But this was just the beginning. Lured by all the loot left at the belt, ships were coming back there.
I undocked my Rupture and headed to the belt as well, to be met by a Thorax. We pointed each other and opened fire. As I tried to get into a wider orbit around my opponent, I realised my first mistake: I had an afterburner equipped due to chasing mission runners earlier. Cursing, I overloaded my weapons and turned my attention to the Ishkur which had also joined us at the belt. I sent my ECM drones after him and turned back to the Thorax. Which was comfortably sitting there in structure, but not taking any more damage from me since my guns had burnt out. AAAAAARRRRRRRRRRGH!!!
Jyren's Rage was shooting the Thorax too in his experimental sniper Maller, but it lived to kill me. I warped out and docked up. In the meantime, the Ishkur killed the Thorax.
I jumped into my Jaguar and warped straight to the top belt. The Ishkur was there and I quickly scrammed and webbed it, setting into a 7.5km orbit where his blasters wouldn't reach me. Rage was shooting the guy from distance while his drones tried in vain to dent my passive tank.
The Ishkur, still holding some loot from my Rupture, soon fell to our combined assault.
Satisfied with that, I called it a night. Fortunately, I will be able to buy a new Rupture with the money from ransoms and loot accumulated over the last week.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Call Me Pyromaniac

As hinted in the previous post, tonight, after dropping all th roles in my current corporation, I plan to join Pyrotechnics Inc, a young pirate corporation operating in the Amamake area. I have met its founder BiggerGuns through Brutus Severus months ago, even before he joined the Tuskers. 'Guns has been inviting me to join ever since establishing Pyro and I've finally decided it would be the right thing to do.
One of the reasons behind this decision was a chat with Ashnazg who asked me why I was still with Starbridge. Starbridge is an executor corporation of an alliance uniting mostly Russian-speaking players. What I liked about it was the freedom to do anything I wanted to do. The problem was I ended up doing it alone since most of Starbridge pilots either rarely engage in PVP at all or prefer bigger ships and different tactics such as gatecamps.
Pyrotechnics, on the other hand, favour the same approach as me: frigate- and cruiser-sized ships, quick raids, relatively small fleets, piracy above carebearing. Plus they are based in Amamake, the area where I usually operate.
In fact, while I haven't recruited anyone for Starbridge whiile being a recruitment officer, it was through me that Arquebie, a fantastic pirate, met the guys from Pyrotechnics after which he joined their corporation.
Hopefully, I will contribute to the rise of my new corporation and one day we'll be in the same league as the Bastards and the Tuskers.
If any other pirates reading this blog are looking for a new home, Pyrotechnics might be the place for you.

Monday, 25 May 2009

Don't Mess With Ashnazg

The past weekend has been good. I've killed a few cruisers on my own, then me and my friend caught a couple of Brutix class battlecruisers one by one when they were doing their missions. The pilots paid us a total of 45 million isk in ransom for their pods.
And, on top of it, yesterday I probed out a Dominix battleship at a mission site. I immediately alerted the guys in the Pyrotechnics channel and Ashnazg (who runs his own corporation) said he would be in Egghelende soon. In the meantime, I warped my Jaguar to the spot and put the tackle on the huge ship.
His drones did not bother me at first so I concentrated on the Dominix itself, but all my attempts to breach his defences were futile. Moreover, light drones started denting my passive tank and I switched my attention to them while inviting Ashnazg to join the party.
The Dominix pilot was spamming the local chat, calling me a twat and telling me to leave him alone since I wouldn't be able to destroy his ship. "My capacitor is stable," he boasted.
Things changed when Ash showed up in his Vexor. He quickly picked off the light drones that were bothering me and started working on the battleship. But even our combined assault wasn't enough. That is, until Ash turned on his neutralisers. "Cap stable?" he taunted the pilot in local.
With its cap drained, the Dominix could no longer tank us and soon exploded. The pilot was smart enough to warp out his pod quickly, but we were still happy as the loot drop appeared to be quite generous.
I'm really impressed by how efficiently Ash dealt with that ship and really happy we're on the same side. I must try to do the same with my Rupture but I'm afraid the Vexor is just stronger. And so is Ash.

UPD: Ash has provided a detailed account of the Dominix kill from his perspective here.

Friday, 22 May 2009

Mission Busting Tips

I thought I should share some of the lessons I've learnt while hunting down mission runners in Egghelende so there you go:
DO make sure your prober is cloaked at all times. His own probes can decloak him and when he warps to a mission deadspace he usually hits the acceleration gate which decloaks him as well.
DO NOT jump into mission sites with your prober unless his ship is also fit for tackling. Clouds present at many sites will decloak him.
DO scan mission sites before jumping there. Other pirates might have discovered them before you.
DO NOT jump into mission sites with all your gang at the same time. The fastest ship should go in and tackle the target as one ship has more chances to stay unnoticed.
DO remember that microwarp drives do not work inside mission deadspaces. So a traditional interceptor will not be a tackler of choice there.
DO NOT give up if your target warps out. Return to the mission gate and wait. Many pilots return to those sites within a few minutes.
DO a background check on your target before engaging. His mates might be nearby and aa skilled pilot might be able to dispatch you on his own.
DO NOT be greedy. Call for support when you see a tough target.
DO form a fleet with your prober before undocking so that you don't waste time or risk losing your ship.
DO NOT linger at safespots with your killer ship while probing. It's quite annoying to get probed out while probing out someone else.

Thursday, 21 May 2009

Should I move to

Somehow I spend most of my time in Egghelende these days, although I do visit Amamake quite often to resupply or kill a ratter. Egg' seems to have fewer blobs and more carebears, although it's still a tough place for a solo pirate, a fact I've learnt the hard way.
So, for the the last month I've mostly flown in gangs that usually consisted of pilots from Pyrotechnics Inc, Mayhem Brothers (mostly Jyren's Rage) and Corpse Collection Point (namely Ashnazg). This has been a great experience and we've had lots of good fights. But now I'm back home with my family which means less playing time, very limited voice comms usage and going afk quite often.
In the last few days I've done some solo piracy, probing out and killing mission runners in Egg', like these guys in a Thorax and a Celestis. My Rupture seems to be the best ship for such kills as my favourite assault frigates are often not allowed through mission gates.
The problem is that any ship bigger than a cruiser usually draws attention of other pirates, especially the guys from Eternal Perseverance who often use battleships, HACs and other expensive ships. Yesterday, for example, I probed out a Rokh only to find it already warp scrambled by an EP Sleipnir.
I'm wondering if some day we could get together a fleet strong enough to take on those guys.

Wednesday, 6 May 2009

A 100 million isk Thorax

How do you lose 100 million isk?
Buy a Thorax, equip it with expensive modules, fill in all three rig slots, accept a mission in low security space, go to the deadspace and sit there comfortably tanking the NPCs, completely oblivious to what's going on around you. Don't pay attention to scan probes - they're such a pain to scan for. You can even remove everything but NPCs from your overview - you don't want to be distracted.
But don't complain when pirates probe you out, fly more than 50 kilometres to you in the deadspace, tackle and destroy your ship and then also snatch your pod.
That's the story of the Thorax I mentioned in the previous post. I was really surprised when I finally found the killmail for it yesterday.
Also, yesterday Jyren's Rage, Coco Pennywise and me killed a Harbinger in one of Egghelende's belts. The guys got a quick tackle on him and the battlecruiser's drones weren't enough to deal with us although Coco had to warp his Stiletto out at one point. We then ransomed the pod for 40 million.
Later, we tried to take on a group made up of a Zealot heavy assault ship and two Drake battlecruisers who were running a mission. I tackled the Zealot and flagged it as outp primary target. But Soon my Jag was webbed and started taking heavy damage so I told everyone to get out. Unfortunately, we lost one Celestis that could not escape quickly enough.
Finally, we probed out a group of several T1/T2 frigates and a cruiser at a safespot and tried to take on them, but they managed to escape. One of our fleetmates stayed there cloaked and soon told us the group had returned. We jumped again but only managed to kill a Kestrel and its pilot's pod.
Still, not a bad evening.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Go Go Vent!

Ran the first small fleet operation yesterday using my vent server where almost all fleet members were present.
That made a huge difference: Jyren's Rage, flying a nimble interceptor, was feeding intel to me all the time, checking out belts and planets, and other guys were aware of what we were up to - without the need to type all the time in two languages.
I'm not saying this is purely due to voice comms, but we suffered no losses yesterday despite getting into a couple of unsuccessful engagements.
We killed a Thorax that Rage had tackled in a belt and a Vexor I had probed out at a mission site and then another Thorax which was also running a mission (a killmail for that one is missing at the moment). Got the pods from all three as well since they refused to pay ransom.
At one moment we were trying to kill a Raven doing work for one of Empire's agents. A Myrmidon came to his help and we had to keep warping out and in to repair. Then a Chimera carrier showed up, followed by a Scorpion ECM battleship.
We chose to retreat but then saw a large Drunk Gang fleet warp to our opponents and destroy the carrier. Damn, should have fired a round at him!

Monday, 4 May 2009

A Long Overdue Update

It's been a long time. My apologies, dear readers, for not writing: I have a habit of blogging at work and I've spent the last three weeks at a different office doing a bit more work.
But this also means I had more time to spend in New Eden on evenings and weekends, which I devoted to roaming with Pyrotechnics guys, Jyren's Rage and his Mayhem Brothers corpmates and a group of Russian players including Nart Apsua, Andrik R, Wolfed and others. Between these groups who in some occasions joined up in one fleet we had some really good kills including a Dominix, a number of battlecruisers and lots of smaller ships.
I have also scored a number solo kills, mainly mission-runners that I had probed out.
But I must say I really enjoy our small (and sometimes not so small) fleet operations. The only problem is we're all too reckless sometimes and I often lose rather expensive ships such as Wolves and Jaguars.
Another problem is comms: first, we don't have a voice facility that our mixed fleet can use; second, it's often made up of players who don't speak either English or Russian. I think I need my own vent server as it's easier to repeat voice commands in two languages than to type twice while also fighting.
That's it for now, I hope to be able to return to at least weekly updates from now on.

UPDATE: Got myself a Vent server now.