Thursday, 16 July 2009

Hi Kids, Do You Like Violence?

Tuesday brought some good fights but it's only today that I've got time to describe them.

Not so sassy
First I fought Sassy B in a Rifter duel. He used a shield tank setup with a neut while I stuck to the traditional armor tank with a rocket launcher in the fourth high slot. With Barrage loaded, I chose the usual 7.5 km orbit.
Sassy B was hitting me pretty hard but I was ahead in the damage race thanks to having bigger guns - 200mm vs 125mm - and the rockets. I overloaded my midslots as he entered structure to make sure he does not escape but then switched the rack overloading off to avoid burning them out. That was a mistake: burning out his afterburner, Sassy B managed to escape, just like Leeloo Malaquin did in our recent Rifter duel.
We exchanged compliments and discussed pros and cons of different setups. Sassy B said he'd only got one neut cycle on me before our orbits stabilised. It looks like neuts on Rifters are all the rage these days. I might give them a try.

Some time later, I was in Bosboger, a scanner's nightmare due to the myriad of ships parked at numerous player-owned structures. Still, I managed to spot a Dominix in a belt with Ogre I's out, ratting apparently. I was still in a Rifter so I decided to call in guys from the Python Cartel whom I had seen next door.
I convoed Lanissum while warping to the Dominix and tackling it. Unfortunately, the Pythons had moved by that time and were taking a while to get back and change ships. Things were going well with the Dominix at first as his Ogres struggled to track me. But then he recalled them and unleashed a pack of Hobgoblin II's. Cursing, I started targeting, webbing and shooting them but it was a fight I could not win. Maybe Gneeznow's cap booster setup would have worked here but somehow whenever I use that one I don't encounter drone boats.
Surprisingly, after finishing off my Rifter the Dominix did not leave and the Pythons got him in the end.

Rat Tackle
Finally, while scanning around in Amamake a bit later, I spotted a missioning Cyclone owned by a young pilot. My prober mate quickly pinned him down while I was thinking what ship to fly. I knew for sure I'd kill him in my Jaguar so I chose a Rifter to see if I could pull it off in a Tech 1 frigate.
As I landed in his mission site I saw the Cyclone was about 50 kilometres away. Damn, that will give him enough time to spot me and warp out, I thought. But then I saw a message saying the poor guy had been scrambled by a rat! Afterburner overloaded, I quickly approached my target to scram and web it (in case he was speedtanking those battleship rats).
I did not expect him to be able to hit me but my systems were registering some damage. WTF? A smartbomb! Fortunately, there was just one and my armour repairer could deal with it, patching the holes just as quickly as they appeared.
The Cyclone, on the other hand, was slowly going down. I overloaded my weapons to break through its shield regeneration peak and then it was just a matter of time before the ship was blasted into pieces.
I then made a stupid mistake which allowed the pod to leave, but that did not matter much after my first solo battlecruiser kill in a Rifter (hey, rats don't count, ok?).

Friday, 10 July 2009

They Took My Rings, They Took My Rolex

I like to think of myself as a rather competent Rifter pilot. This means I take it very seriously when someone else beats me in a Rifter duel. Fortunately, there haven't been many such cases recently and I can only remember three pilots who did that: my corpmate Arquebie, Amamake resident Drek Grapper and, most recently, Brick0Joe, a member of The Python Cartel.
Our first encounter took place in Amamake, right after I had killed and podded some poor chap in an Incursus. I only suffered shield damage and so decided not to leave when Brick0Joe's Rifter started approaching me. Once in scram range, we both employed the same tactics of staying rather far away and shooting with Barrage ammo. But my armour was dropping alarmingly fast while my opponent was still holding quite well. Also, he was faster than me and I overloaded my afterburner too late to get away.
As my Rifter went down, I typed a sincere "gf" and tried to figure out why I had lost. There could be several reasons why I was overpowered: skills (I haven't yet got some of those lengthy level V gunnery ones), modules (I did find out, for example, that Brick0Joe fits Arbalest rocket launchers whereas I usually prefer cheaper ones) or implants (I only had a cheap one giving +3% to small turrets' damage).
I decided to eliminate the difference in modules and try again, this time also without leftover damage from an earlier fight. I got the modules hauled and requested a duel with Brick0Joe who kindly agreed. I warped to Gulmogorod, chose a safespot and waited for my opponent who soon showed up.
This fight went a little bit better: I got him into structure but then went down. After exchanging gf's I asked Brick about implants and he said he was using some without elaborating. So, I guess, a combined difference in skills (I did not ask but suspect his are maxed out) and implants, made him far more lethal than me.
Fortunately, this means I will be able to catch up eventually. In the meantime, I know which fights to avoid.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Fuck The Police!

Coming straight from my mailbox:

2009.07.07 17:56

Dear Sir/Madan,

Electus Matari has placed your corporation on its valid targets list (please see for the full list), due to your crimes in Republic space (namely, piracy).

The -5 standing means that our combat pilots are authorized to fire on ships of your organization without warning. It does not usually mean they will hunt you down.

If you need more information, or feel there has been a mistake, please feel free to contact me at any time.

Elsebeth Rhiannon

Electus Matari
Alliance diplomat

Thursday, 2 July 2009

We Do Love Them Holes

Egghelende was slow this morning so my prober mate decided to look for wormholes and soon found one leading to w-space. The entrance was clear on both sides so he warped closer to the main cluster of celestials and started scanning. There were a number of mining and industrial ships on scan as well as a few combat ships and several POS towers.
He dropped probes and started looking for ships that were not at towers. Pretty soon he located a couple of hulks and a retriever at a gravimetric site. He warped to them at a safe distance and started approaching while I was making my way to the system. Unfortunately, his covert ops ship got decloaked by an asteroid and the miners quickly left.
They also decided to protect the entrance the intruder had used and sent a Broadsword class heavy interdictor there.
My mate stayed to see if the miners would come back, probing out other signatures in the system in the meantime. The miners did not return, but the Broadsword was replaced by a large bubble and a Navy Issue Raven! Unfortunately, it disappeared before I could figure out how to deal with it -- and potential support -- on my own.
Just about that time Jyren's Rage brought a gang of corpmates to Egghelende and invited me to join. A few minutes later, I saw the CNR pilot's name in the local comms channel and alerted the fleet. He disappeared from he local quickly but only to show up on the other side of the wormhole where my invisible prober mate was still sitting.
I boarded my Jaguar and warped to the wormhole entrance and waited for others. Just when Jyren's and two of his mates landed, the CNR jumped back into Egghelende and fired a round at me before reentering the wormhole. My fleetmates quickly followed him and Jyren's reported a point.
Two cruisers and two assault ships started circling the Raven tearing its shields with drones, blasters and autocannons. I expected him to call for support (saw a Vagabond and a Drake in that system earlier) but there was none. It quickly became clear that the faction battleship was losing this battle and an explosion soon followed.
I was already pretty excited by the juicy kill when Jyren's, who had grabbed the loot, said "He had Caldari Navy Invulnerability Fields. And a Ballistic Control".
While heading back, we calculated that our loot was worth about 900 million, or 225 million for each of us. Gotta make sure it reaches the market safely.