Baptism by Fire

Apologies for not posting in a while. My life has been a bit of a mess lately. Work has been pretty all-consuming with 4:30 am wake up times and 12 hour days. Ugh. Anyway we’re here now and we all have some catching up to do.

Faux Pas is starting to hum along pretty well. Attendance is still fairly light, we have a lot of members out on vacation or off starting new jobs and moving. But the drive of the guys I’ve seen online so far is promising. This corp is starting to become exactly what I wanted to; a stress-free group of guys who just like to fly together and have some fun. No obligations, no fuss, just lo-sec roams and some good fights. I won’t be able to recap all of the fights I’ve had since my last post, but I’ll try to give you some highlights.

palmfacepandaOne of my favorites was actually a sad loss. My personal friend Eno logged on for about an hour looking for me to bring him out and find a fight. Not always a patient person but I was in the mood for a quick fight too. He was in a Tristan while I brought out my Crucifier. I took him into one of my favorite lo-sec areas and sure enough we found a lone Retribution on the scanner. After a little time spinning the camera around, I think I have a lock on the ship and I warp the squad into the fight. Eno is still working on basics of Eve and pvp especially. Since his skill set is so low, his align times are significantly higher than my lightning fast Crucifier. Those agility rigs make a world of difference! Anyway I ended up on grid with the enemy ship on my own for a few seconds while Eno played catch up. I hit my warp disruptor and sent the drones off to war! I was doing pretty good damage but the tracking disruptors weren’t making much of a dent on his small pulse turrets. I should have known! At 15 km I can’t keep my transversal velocity high enough to out run his turrets, and in the heat of battle I didn’t think to switch to the range disruption scripts. I managed to fly out of his engagement range, right about the time that Eno landed on grid. Poor guy was in a poorly fit Tristan alone against an assault frigate. It didn’t take long for him to pop. The worst part was I hadn’t explained to him how the pod ejection system worked yet, so he got a nice quick trip back to his starting system when his pod popped!

Oops! Well at least I made it out alive. I wasn’t so lucky in the next fight. Highfive logged on and joined me for a lo-sec roam since his static wormhole connection was so close to where I was operating. We managed to find ourselves a Vexor to fight. It wasn’t a great target for his Stabber and my Arbitrator, but we were bored so we decided to give it a go. I made a fatal mistake and got within his web range which quickly lead to me getting blasted out of my ship. But I managed to get a good amount of damage in and Highfive was able to just barely finish him off! Unfortunately he took a little too long collecting his loot and managed to get himself killed by a Brutix that entered the same belt shortly after. Lesson learned. Loot and scoot, don’t hang around if you don’t have to!

2013. too long ago I was in one of my 0.2 systems looking for clone rats when I found a very young player trying to do the same. He must not be very used to using the directional scanner as I caught him in a belt pretty quickly. My Crucifier took him out of the fight entirely, not that he was really in it, while Highfive popped his ship in a Tristan. Really wasn’t much of a fight, but hey it’s always fun to get a kill! Soon after that we had our first official corp night. A night when the corp is guaranteed to try to get online so we can all go out and fly together for a while. We climbed into a pair of destroyers and frigates and headed out for a fight. I got a call on comms about halfway through our roam that a friendly was being chased by a Hawk, Retribution, Enyo, and Jaguar. That’s a lot of assault ships, but maybe with his tracking disruptors we would have a shot? We fleet warped to their belt and engaged the hostiles. Luckily the Hawk wasn’t there when the fight started. We primaried the Enyo and managed to bring him down before the T2 ships leveraged their firepower and systematically destroyed our whole fleet! It was bound to happen. Our pilots are still pretty new to pvp for the most part and we were horribly outgunned, but there’s no better way to learn!

It’s been a fun couple of weeks! I’m really excited to have some of the other corp members start showing up again after their respective real-life hiatuses. And I’m going to hold off on some of the videos for a while. I keep taking videos with 2 audio channels, one for the mic and one for the gameplay, but YouTube keeps cutting one of them out. And I get so distracted with the video stuff I forget to take screenshots so you’re left with a wall of text blog which no one enjoys. If anyone has any tips for encoding the videos let me know!

Fly Safe!

The Hunting Is Good

imagesMan it has been a while since I have posted here and for that I am truly ashamed. It’s been a very busy couple of weeks. The new corp is finally up and running and recruiting has gone really well so far! A couple of real-life friends and a good number of people from in-game have joined the Faux.Pas ranks and we’re out to have some fun! I’m really happy with the way things are going so far and can’t wait to see what the next few weeks are going to be like. For now it has quieted down a little. Almost all of our members are on vacations, or have recently moved, or have some other excuse for not being on a lot at the moment. So while I wait for everyone to get settled at our new home, I have been heading out for some hunting.

The killboard is starting to fill out nicely. On a roam with Azx we came across a Coercer who was drooling at the chance to take down two little frigates ratting in his system. We had split up to cover more belts faster, and as luck would have it, I managed to pick the belt he was in. The fight was fast and brutal, we locked each other down and I released my light drones while his first volley of laser-fire obliterated my shields! His second volley did less damage but still took me down to a few bars of armor. As my warning klaxons wailed my tracking disruptor finally started taking his turrets out of the fight. If there is one thing I know about Coercer’s it’s that they have no tank. Even my three little drones manage to quickly eat through his armor and his ship exploded just as Azx made it into the fray.

Trinity8A few days later I was out flying solo. I have to say I am loving my Arbitrator these days. It has the dps to take out clone rats, but allows me to do it in a way where I can move well away from the warp in point of the belt. So if someone does scan me down they end up a good 40-50 km away from me giving me time to assess whether or not I want to engage. Unfortunately for a Moa I came across that day, he was not that far from the warp in point. I had never really fought a Moa before. A solid turret boat, I wasn’t too concerned, but there is always a little apprehension when engaging a target you’re not familiar with. Needless to say I had no reason to worry. A relatively new pilot and a very poor fit means an easy kill. But not much loot to be had unfortunately. Luckily the transporter clone tags have gone back up in value and are currently hovering around the 47 million mark. My personal wallet continues to climb and I’m actually nearing the first billion I’ve ever had all to myself!

Later that same day I could not believe what my d-scanner was telling me. I was looking for rats in a 0.2 security system that was empty except for one other pilot in local. The only ship on my scanner? A Retriever. A lone mining barge. It must be unpiloted in a POS tower somewhere. But when I scan it to a 5 degree band at a planet with a belt, I can’t help but hope he’s mining. So I punch my warp drive and land 10 km away from the Retriever. He’s not aligned, has no drones, and isn’t moving. This guy is about to learn a lesson in afk-mining in lo-sec. My drones spill forth and obliterate the miner. I even rammed his ship just to make sure if he was warp stabilized he wouldn’t get away. Not an impressive kill, but the minerals he has on him is a solid couple of million which I won’t argue with. Not a bad day really, two kills and about 200 million in tags. I’ll take it!

The latest entry on the killboard is the most interesting, since I actually wasn’t involved in the kill. The day after finding the miner I find another one. But this one has a Corax escort with him. That’s fine with me, I’m pretty sure I can kill them both if one doesn’t warp away. I hesitate attacking as two new locals show up in channel. My trap sense is tingling, but I’m far enough away from these guys that I can call the drones out to attack and keep my distance to see what happens. Sure enough two Vexors arrive on the scene, but they aren’t there to help the miner and his friend. Both cruisers engage the Corax as the miner somehow makes his escape. The destroyer dies and I recall my drones while taunting the Vexors to give chase. I know I can’t take two Vexors, but that doesn’t mean I can’t have a little fun with them first. I’m not sure why this one ended up on the killboard though. I did damage the Corax, but I didn’t post it to the board. Eh what can you do.

All in all things are going great and I’m excited every time I log into the game again! It’s a great feeling. I was really worried about leaving the wormhole corp and how it would affect my relationships with those players, but they’ve all been really supportive and I’m having a lot more fun in game now than I have in a long time. Here’s to the future and some epic fights to come!

Fail of a Fight

I’ve been out of town for the last week on a work assignment. After getting back I’ve had very limited time to get into Eve. Lot of things I need to take care of in the real world before being productive in a fake one. So I find myself with some time today and decide now is as good as any to get some time in the pod.

The home system is very quiet with just our static connection and a relic site to deal with. All that can wait, I’m hungry for a fight and I’m not going to find one here. I grab my ratting Arbitrator and head out to lo-sec to see what I can see. I cruise through the belts for a while looking for clone rats but don’t manage to find anything more exciting than a few battleships. My security status finally jumps up to 1.0! Huzzah!

As I cruise around the lo-sec chain I find a system with one player in it. He has a suspect timer so my curiosity is immediately peaked. I can engage him on the gates and not get blown out of the sky by the security guns. He also happens to land right at the same gate I’m jumping through! Ho ho! Looks like a fight is on! I shed my cloak launch my drones and warm up all the combat modules I’ll need. He uncloaks and the fight is on!

palmfacepandaBut it doesn’t last long. His missiles annihilate my shields and I’m quickly running out of armor. I have my lasers and missiles firing and the drones seem to be doing good damage, sorta. Oh wait, they actually aren’t attacking at all. I’m trying out some new hotkey combinations and I must have hit something wrong because they’re not engaging at all. That’s embarrassing. I’m also now very much aware that I have a tracking disruptor that my whole tank is sort of based on, and that’s not going to help too much against this missile boat. Why exactly am I fighting this guy?

The ancillary armor repper does wonders! It somehow kept me alive for quiet a while. I’ll definitely be equipping those to my pvp ships more often! In fact the pilot of the Caracal even messages me after the fight saying how impressed he was with the repair unit’s performance. But even that boosted armor income isn’t enough and I lose my ship. No big deal, that ship was build to get destroyed and I’m glad to have tested the ship’s ability a bit, although maybe telling the drones to attack would have changed things slightly. Live and learn! Luckily no one was there to see it right?

Oh wait…
Video footage of the attack

If nothing else it’s good for a few laughs. I’m still working on the quality and stuff, but I think they’re fun to watch regardless. I’ll see if I can fix them as this experiment continues. If you like the blog be sure to subscribe to Vult’s youtube channel. I’ll be trying to post a lot more of these up in the future!

Death of An Interloper

It’s raining out when I get up this morning and that’s all the excuse I’m going to need for a day full of Eve. I’m strangely motivated to mine today. I want to see that corp wallet go up some and I think I know just the way to do it. I jump into my Hulk and hit a belt.

It’s a weird feeling I’m not going to lie. I never thought I would be in a belt of lo-sec space in a Hulk. Yet there’s something strangely satisfying about mining in Eve. You feel so industrious, so honest and humble. I imagine it’s a lot like working with your hands for a living. It’s straight forward honest work and you reap the rewards almost instantly.

I mined almost all day. Literally. It was productive though, I set the lasers to blast through a few asteroids while I got some other work done online. I can minimize my browser and still keep tabs on local in-game at the same time. I lost track of the number of cans I ended up mining. It was easily above 20. I think the total net worth of minerals we had after refining was close to 200 million isk. Job well done.

That isn’t to say the day was without some excitement. From time to time an unknown player would appear in the local comm channel, causing me to spam the warp button to get to safety. Nothing seemed to threaten us, most pilots left in a few seconds. I was alert and on my game even though my attention was focused elsewhere.

Then Ivellian Drafia appeared. It’s a pilot I had seen before in the area. My notes told me that he was in a Arbitrator last time I saw him, and sure enough one appears on the directional scanner shortly there after. Oddly enough we also see a flight of core scanner probes appear. The daily notes from the corp show that there is a C3 wormhole connection in our system at the moment, and I immediately grab my Pilgrim and park it 10km from the hole.

I monitor my scanner closely, and eventually the cloaked Arbitrator reveals itself. But he doesn’t land at the wormhole, or leave the system. Instead I see a wreck appear on the scanner. He is popping rats somewhere and he’s not in a local belt. He must have found a radar or mag signature with his probes. Oz is only a few jumps away and I call in some help to locate our target.

While Oz grabs his scanning ship, I use the directional scanner to narrow down the site’s location. I must have done a decent job because Oz has the radar site locked down in about three scans. Not too shabby! He fleet warps us to the site, and as suspected, the Arbitrator is there surrounded by the wrecks of enemy ships.

I’m currently situated about 50km from the enemy ship. He is burning quickly towards one of the hacking cargo containers in the site. I align my ship and begin to close the distance. I know it will take him a little bit of time to break the cargo container open and I’m banking on that time to allow me to close the gap.

The speed fit Pilgrim has a big advantage here over it’s slower armor fit counterpart. With the warp disruptor I can lock my opponent down from 20km out, and the MWD fitted to my ship will help me close down the last few kilometers very quickly. My ship feels like it is crawling towards the Arbitrator, but the pilot doesn’t seem to be in any rush. At about 24km away I drop my cloak and ignite my micro-warp drive. Within seconds I have a positive lock on the ship and my warp disruptor engages.

A fleet of light drones emerges from my drone bay and rockets towards my prey, who has yet to even move or otherwise acknowledge my presence. The drones shred the enemy ship’s shield and armor. The pilot appears to have just accepted his fate. He never attempts to align or move but merely congratulates me on a well executed kill in local.

The kill is a profitable one. Not only do we snag a few handy modules from the ship’s smoldering wreckage, but we now have a cleared radar site at our disposal. Oz quickly sweeps up the mess and relieves the remaining cargo containers of their spoils.

With the excitement over I return to my Hulk and pick up where I left off. The corp still needs money and 20 million isk worth of stolen loot isn’t going to get us there. I mine for another few hours while continuing to clean my desk and get a few things ready for my board games’ debut tomorrow.  All in all a very good day in the sandbox!

Worst Static Ever

I get home from work and immediately log into Eve, even though I had told myself I would at least start my laundry first. OK, maybe I’ll start it after I finish scanned the HQ. Scanning reveals a new signature from the bookmarks. Which is great, because looking at my map, our current static is in one lo-sec system in Gallente space which borders lo-sec and null-sec. Two places I never want to spend too much time. On top of that I’m pretty sure that lo-sec system is going to be patrolled and heavily.

Either way I scan down the new signature hoping for another wormhole connection but just getting a mag site. Oh well, I through my laundry in the washer and jump into an Arbitrator. Maybe I can find some trouble. I jump through our static to the lo-sec system and buzz around for a while scanning. Nothing in system ye…

Oh, a Megathron, that’s cool. A bit out of my class thou…

Oh a Hurricane, hmm maybe if I was super lucky and cou…

Oh a Cerberus, hmm probably couldn’t break hi…

Ok that’s it I’m not hunting here. I bring up my map again while my ship floats in a safe spot. Nine jumps through stupid Gallente controlled space. Nothing about that seems pleasing, even if it does get me to FW space on the other side. This night is starting to smell bunk already. That’s not the only thing I smell. A guest of my roommate is also trying to use the oven and now our apartment smells of leaking explosive gas. I should probably go take care of that. Oh well, less than two weeks to go on large energy turret V. That is exciting if nothing else appears to be this evening!

The Hunters Become the Hunted

I log in Saturday morning to find most of the corp already in-game. Not much is going on, we have our static wormhole connection to lo-sec and that’s about it. No anomalies, no other signatures, in short nothing to do. I get my planetary obligations sorted out and deliver a new order of rocket fuel to the ever eager missile production team. It’s nice to feel wanted.

Our connection is close to hi-sec, right on the border actually, so Oz and I take the opportunity to go shopping. Our wallet is flush with cash from his subsystem production and I’m more than happy to help him spend it. We had been talking earlier about the recent engagements we’ve had in the HQ system. After browsing through our hangars we realize we have a very specialized fleet. Almost no T1 ships to speak of, and the T2’s we do have are very specialized and honestly not particularly useful in many fights. We need to solidify a good fighting base of ships to keep in the HQ for system defense.

I write up a corpwide email detailing our new goal. Every pilot should have two combat ready battleships and two combat ready battlecruisers focusing on damage output. It won’t guarantee that we can fight off every hostile force that comes our way, but it certainly will be more effective than just bombing the wrecks in our own system’s anomalies.

Between one of our runs to Amarr we notice a hostile pilot in our HQ system’s local communication channel. Apparently he had warped to the tower and managed to not get decloaked in our warp bubble and can traps. We quickly scan down the new wormhole that connects us to a class 2 wormhole system and setup a blockade. We park an interceptor on either side of the wormhole and I position my new sniper Oracle 95km off of our side of the hole. With my sensor boosters and tracking enhancers I can lock frigates in less than three seconds and pop them in one or two volleys. The waiting begins.

The waiting lasts for a long time, and we never actually see our intruder again. Eventually we collapse the C2 connection trapping the scout in our system. We see him later on in the static system, where he threatens to bring out his pvp ship. Interesting how he has a pvp ship in this system he didn’t have a connection to until we locked him out of his own wormhole.

Now that the intruders are dealt with and our new purchases are fitted out and sitting in our hangars, it’s time to hunt! Oz, Snow, and myself fit out some T1 cruisers and get ready to roam. I’m piloting a speed tanked Arbitrator, Oz is in a brawler of a Maller, and Snow rolls out in a Retribution. Unfortunately we find a few ships in safespots in our static system, so we ask Snow to head back to HQ and get a scanning boat instead. It’s incredible how often you find ships in safespots in lo-sec systems, especially in FW systems. Having that scanning boat leads to a lot of kills and I’m grateful she was willing to forgo a combat ship to help the team out.

We find an Imicus afk in a safespot, and as par for the course, I blow that shit up. We cruise around for a while longer looking for someone to shoot but don’t manage to find much. Until a Jaguar lands on Oz’s Maller at one of the gates. He warps through and Oz gives chase as the rest of us enter warp to catch up. After a short game of cat and mouse Oz manages to lock him down at the sun of the system we’re currently in. I enter warp to join the fray. The Maller is having a hard time breaking through the Jaguar’s shield tank. Luckily my Arbitrator is fit with some serious energy neutralizing power. After one cycle of the neuts, the Jaguar starts breaking down. Another Jaguar enters the fight but is surprisingly ineffective at, well everything. He start shooting my drones, which is annoying but doesn’t accomplish much. I have plenty more. The first Jaguar finally explodes and our attention shifts to the second one.

The second Jaguar begins rocketing away from us. Neither Oz nor myself can keep up with him, our caps are both empty. Not only that, but they aren’t regenerating very fast at all. Neither of us see any neutralizers or vamps on us, but our cap is still not regenerating. I don’t know what’s going on, but I’m not a fan. The Jaguar is out of disruptor range, but he’s still not warping out.

Well shit, that means this is going to be a trap…

Sure enough I click the d-scanner and see a whole fleet of ships start to appear in system. We need to get out of here and now. I align to a FW complex (probably not the best idea, but I was panicking). A Talos leads a small fleet of ships into our area. I don’t remember what they all were, but it was a lot more than we were going to be able to handle. Oz’s ship is aligned and just about to enter the warp bubble when his warp engine gets disrupted. I warp out, Oz is a lost cause at this point. I’ll never be able to save him. Oddly the enemy fleet is able to catch his pod as well. A near impossible feat without specialized modules. We’re surprised and saddened when his pod explodes ejecting his corpse into space.

Still in the grand scheme of things we managed a 53 million isk kill and lost a Maller that topped off around 40 million I think. So not too bad, although losing all of Oz’s implants definitely swings the scale back to the negatives. It was still a fun roam and we’re getting better at the fleet combat every time we go out. I’m excited to see us improve even further.

Another interesting point I wanted to make involves the Pilgrim speed fit I had come up with a few weeks ago. Oz had actually built one and tested it out before all of this went down (during my first trade run). He topped out at about five kills if I remember correctly, before he accidentally got caught on an acceleration gate and subsequently destroyed. But the reports coming back from him are promising. He was able to chase down assault ships that tried to run from him, and the flexibility of being able to engage and disengage at will is incredibly valuable. My Arbitrator fit mimics the Pilgrim fit, but with only four mid-slots, it has a hard time being as effective. Still I think a switch over to the new Pilgrim fit is in order for tomorrow!