To The Victor Go The Spoils

For those of you who don’t know, operating in wormhole space can be a stressful and hectic experience. With the spawn of every new connection comes a change in the rules. Nothing stays the same for very long and that is what leads to a lot of the excitement. Even if sometimes that excitement comes at the cost of your profitability, planning, and health.

Summer Friday had me out of work early today and I got home as quickly as I could to log in some Eve time. Just before getting home my phone had lit up with messages from the corp saying there was trouble brewing in the HQ system. Am I the only wormhole pilot that isn’t in a European timezone? I swear I am always missing the action. Anyway there is a K162 connection in our HQ which has lead to some class four inhabitants. Apparently a few of them are parked in our system in battleships and other nasty things. Our forces are apparently in stealth bombers monitoring the situation. I log into the comms channel in time to catch Oz formulating a plan of attack. It sounded something like this:

Oz: “You guys warp in and get into bomb range, while I fly around over here and kite the Dramiel.”
Me: “You’re going to kite a Dramiel?”
Oz: “To keep him off the bombers while they make their runs.”
Me: “You’re going to kite the fastest frigate in the game?”
Oz: “Yes?”

Good luck with that. I’m going to work on my target practice. The enemy ships were clustered in one of two bookmarks, which Snow had already scanned down. Oz and I took potshots at ships when the opportunity presented itself. We even managed to take down a Kestrel at some point. Unfortunately they managed to catch Oz during one attack leaving the score 1 T1 frigate to 1 T2 stealth bomber. Oh well, this has been fun either way, and in all honesty I’m glad for the chance to practice bombing on real targets for a change.

The enemy fleet begins running the three anomalies we have in our system. They have an overwhelming force present. A pair of Ravens, cloak fitted Loki, Dramiel, a few Drakes, Hurricane, and Onyx make up the fleet that we know about. Anything else can still be on their side of the wormhole. There is no way we can force them out of our system in a direct engagement. But we can make their trip as frustrating as possible and deny them as much isk as we can.

We deploy Snow into the anomaly they are currently working on and have her bookmark wrecks from the sleeper ships as they come up. Oz and I then position ourselves around the enemy fleet for what I am calling “surgical bomb strikes of annoyance.” When the intruders get a couple of wrecks up Oz or myself decloak and attack the wrecks denying them the loot. Sometimes we used torpedoes, sometimes bombs. We attacked their drones when they would cluster them around a single target. Basically we did whatever we could in our outclassed ships to harass and demoralize the enemy. It worked well.

In the first anomaly they only made off with the loot from a single cruiser wreck. The second anomaly they fared slightly better with two or three ships worth of loot and maybe one or two salvages.  We couldn’t keep them from stealing all our anomalies, but by god we were going to make them fight for every damn isk they tried to take. I would say the mission to make them wish they had never bothered with our system was paying off, right up until we got the idea to try to collapse the wormhole on them.

Now I’m not sure when that idea came about, I was busy bombing wrecks and drones. I think it was a bad call to be honest. They were about done with our anomalies and I don’t think they would have caused too much trouble after they got what they had come for. Regardless, a wormhole collapsing fit Abaddon was eventually caught on the wormhole and destroyed. We tried what we could to draw their attention away from Snow’s cloaked ship, but with that number of hostile ships buzzing around the wormhole it was only a matter of time before they found her.

The engagement ended and I logged off to grab some dinner. Hopefully I can wash the taste of defeat out of my mouth with a few slices of Sicilian pizza and Pepsi.

The Little Things…Literally

I log into my captain’s quarters in Shuria. No one from the corp is online and I decide to pass the time maintaining my planetary resources while waiting for someone helpful to log on.

One and a half minutes later I realize it doesn’t look like anyone is logging on, and that my planetary infrastructure is not nearly as robust as I originally thought.

I walk over to my favorite agent and ask for some work. Apparently some Guristas are bothering the folks in Bashakru. Even though I’m fairly confident I’ve removed these pirates from this same system at least two dozen times in the last year. The Amarrian border patrol really needs to get their head in the game.

I warp into the conflicted area and begin blowing up Caldari vessels, watching salvo after salvo of missiles crash against my armor with little to no affect. There is something strangely satisfying about running these kinds of missions. I think it has something to do with overcoming an enemy force that literally throws everything they have at you, and you barely blink or can keep your eyes open during their meager assault on your superior armor.

I love drones.

I have a few theories for this. First off, although non-living metallic constructs of death and destruction, I find them adorable for the most part. Little ship puppies that don’t like to go far from their master’s shadow unless you throw a stick for them to chase, or in this case a annoying warp scrambling frigate. I love drones so much that I even genuinely feel bad when they become engage by an enemy and take damage. I swear I can hear their little whimpering through the voice comms as the ships shift focus to them.

The Guristas threat eliminated I salvage what I can from the wreckage. Time away from the wormhole has been unexciting, however profitable to my personal wallet. Which is always nice. I realize now just how much time I spend hunting pilots (which are often times not even there), instead of something profitable like gas harvesting or mining. All the same I miss w-space and the thrill of the hunt. Hopefully I will return in the very near future. As for now the decision of running another mission or hanging out with my girlfriend is obvious.

Part-Time Job

Last time I was on I had played into the wee hours of the morning. In my exhausted state I decided to remain outside the wormhole, declining to make the 12 jump trip back to my home system and resigning myself to a night of mission running this evening. I was fine with the decision, even excited to see I got a Blockade mission from my agent. I might be able to make some ISK yet! I fit the appropriate hardeners onto my mission running Abaddon and head out.

If only tanking like this could be so easy in PvP. The mission goes smoothly even if it takes a while. I had forgotten how boring mission running can be, especially by yourself. But with no corpmates online the options for getting back into w-space were slim. So while I exchanged broadsides with enemy battleships I opened up EVE-HQ to start putting together some fits for my new rides the Devoter and the Legion.

I’m leaning heavily towards the assault offensive subsystem for the Legion. Fittings I have come up for the ship have a passive buffer tank with over 100,000 effective hitpoints, 500 dps, and over 1,000 points of damage per volley (according to the Eve Fit Tool with all skills at level V). As much as I want a cloaking ship, I just can’t get that kind of combat potential out of the covert subsystems.

21 armor plates and a few rolled tungsten modules make me feel like the evening wasn’t a total waste of time. All in all not a bad night, perhaps not as productive as it could have been. I’m really excited about the new ships and can’t wait to max out some skills to really get them up to their potential. But for now it’s a salvage operation and a not so early night.