Wanted Dead or Alive; But Mostly Dead

Another milestone has been reached in my Eve career. Today my friends, Vultirnus had the first bounty placed on his head. That’s right, old Vult is now a wanted criminal. All because he blew up a Heron, can you believe it!? The bounty is probably more than the cost of the ship. Seems like I picked on someone who’s a little touchy about getting their frigates blown up.

It was an interesting day to say the least. I logged in and scanned down our home system. Nothing too much new to worry about. We had a null-sec connection that was still critical from my collapsing efforts yesterday. Our static, and a new connection to a class 1 wormhole. That deserves some attention. I warp into the C1 and start poking around. There are a few derelict towers and one active tower, but no ships or pilots to be seen. That’s fine with me as I also find a ladar and grav site as well as four anomalies. I decide to scan the system down since I’m alone and would like as much free intel as I can get.

The C1 has its hi-sec static connection and a connection to a C2. I scope out the C2 just to make sure that no hostile pilots are buzzing around before I start pillaging the C1 for it’s isk. As everything is quiet I grab my new sleeper slapping Zealot and head into the C1 to “relieve” the C1 inhabitants of their anomalies. I pull in about 120 million isk in about 45 minutes. Not a bad operation for a lone pilot in a hostile system.

That’s when things start getting weird. Industrial ships start popping up on my directional scanner. Only for a second or so at a time. I have all the signatures in the system bookmarked. I have no idea where these ships are coming from or where they’re going. Just then Azx logs in. We get into some cloaky ships and head into the C2 to see if we can shed some light on what is going on. The industrial ghosts continue to haunt us for a while, long enough for me to log off to attend to some real life obligations. Azx continues to monitor the situation and determines the ships are now dismantling a tower in the C2.

sniper spotI get back online as soon as I can. Ok I could have gotten on earlier, but Wolverine was on tv and well, I like Wolverine. Anyway I get on in time to join up with Snow and Azx and try to ambush these industrial ships moving cargo from the POS to a hi-sec wormhole. After much observing we get a good handle on their operation and get ready to take down the next ship we see. Sadly at this point a Bestower, Vexor, and Orca have made it through the wormhole and the hole has gone critical for mass. But a pilot continues to come back in just a pod to move more ships out of the system. Eventually I attempt to grab a Buzzard as it runs to the wormhole but was not able to lock it down fast enough to manage a kill.

So as it stands our ambush was unsuccessful. We didn’t manage to catch any enemy ships and we’ve now given away our intentions. Then some other ships start popping up on the scanner and then disappearing. We have no idea what is going on. Pilots are all over this system, but apparently just alts of the other pilot we saw. Finally I have an idea. All of the ships still in system appear to be frigates which are a pain in the ass to catch. Unless you have two sensor boosters with scan resolution scripts. Something my sniper Oracle just happens to have fitted. As I fly back to our home system to grab the Oracle the Buzzard shows up on the hi-sec wormhole along with a Heron.

philippe frenchI’m flying as fast as I can to get back to the C2. The Buzzard jumps through but the Heron remains on the hole. Snow is parked cloaked by the hole watching and Azx is in a Tengu out of scan range aligned to the hole ready to jump in if I need the help. Finally I arrive at the C2 and warp to 70km off the hole. The Heron is locked in less than a second and vaporizes as eight large tachyon lasers melt through the ship’s structure. The pilot probably didn’t even realize I was on grid before he died. The pod ejects and I’m able to lock that and destroy it as well.

We didn’t manage to make a big isk kill, but at least we got a corpse out of it. Then to my amazement, a notification pops up on my screen. Wouldn’t you know it, the Heron pilot put a 20 million isk bounty on my head! A badge of honor as I see it. The corp enjoys a good laugh over it, and I decide to initiate a new practice in my Eve playing. I open up my mailbox, and type out the following to my latest victim:

new mail

Hey every blog needs it’s visits. Seems like a good way to keep things light hearted; and maybe rub it in a little.

Fitting Theory – Dragoon PVP Fit: Journey Through My Fitting Process

I thought I would try something a little different here. I’m at work right now and my computer is processing some big chunks of data, so I have a little time to think about this new Amarrian destroyer and how it might be utilized for pvp. But instead of just posting a fit and how it works I thought I would kind of spell out my thought process and how I come up with fits most of the time.

So let’s start out with the ship itself. I always like to read through the description and the bonuses to get an idea for how the developer’s think the ship should work. It also helps to weed out possible conflicts with fit designs. The Dragoon says it’s a destroyer built to deal a lot of damage but has a really weak tank. It also gets the following bonuses:

  • 10% bonus to drone hitpoints and damage per level
  • 20% bonus to energy vampire and energy neutralizer transfer range per level
  • 25% bonus to drone microwarpdrive speed

So obviously what jumps out at us first is that this is a drone attack boat. Great! That makes some of our decisions a little easier. But let’s focus on this second bonus, the one to vamp and neut ranges. With these bonuses, assuming we have maxed our associated skills, we could neut or vamp out to about 13km.

Now let’s look at our fitting potential. We have 3 turret hard points and 3 launcher hardpoints available to us. With all the slots filled and hobgoblin II’s buzzing we can max out dps roughly around 400. Which is equivalent to the Coercer dps output if you really go all out on dps. The problem is we can’t get that same level of dps with the Dragoon and fit all the neuts and vamps would like (because who doesn’t like fitting those!?).

So when we look at it, we have a ship designed for dps output with a weak tank, that actually gives bonuses to things we can’t use if we want to have the same dps as the other standard destroyer available to Amarr. Between the weak tank, and the apparent lack of dps I’m already worried about flying one of these, but let’s delve a little deeper and see if we can figure something else out.

Let’s forget all about turrets and missiles for now. Let’s assume we run heavy neuts and vamps and just use drones for damage. Our dps would drop to roughly 250. Not great, but not as bad as it could be maybe but how are we going to mitigate incoming damage. Most of our low slots are already used up for drone damage amplifiers? Speed tanking might be a good option. We don’t have room for armor, but our neut range bonuses will let us get out of range for most people’s autocannons and webifiers (albeit with some fancy flying). That might work, but if we mix the two ideas together a little we end up with a few missile launchers (weapons independent of speed to hit) and drones with a speed tank.

[Dragoon, pvp]

3x Light Missile Launcher II (Mjolnir Fury Light Missile)
3x Small Energy Neutralizer II

Faint Warp Disruptor I
Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I

2x Drone Damage Amplifier II
Small Armor Repairer II
Co-Processor II

Small Capacitor Control Circuit I
Small Polycarbon Engine Housing I
Small Auxiliary Thrusters I

5x Acolyte II
5x Warrior SW-300
5x Hobgoblin II

What we end up with is still far from great. Especially if you start to compare the stats to other empire’s dps and tanking abilities. I can only really see this ship in a small gang scenario acting as an anti-frigate vessel. In solo pvp I would rather be in a Punisher or Coercer to be perfectly honest.

Varus, Give Me Back My Legion(s) – Augustus Caesar

A flurry of activity this morning has more than made up for the last few weeks of inactivity. I started off the morning in my Pilgrim hunting in Gallente FW space. Things were going fine. I even managed to catch an Imicus speed tanking a major complex by himself, while afk. That adds up to a simple frigate killmail for me! As I’m congratulating myself on the clever kill, I had stalked up to the orbit path of the ship while cloaked, Oz asked to help him out in a lo-sec deadspace complex in our static. I think I have time for that and it sure beats spending hours hunting elusive T1 frigates.

I head back to the HQ system and swap ships for my Legion. My beautiful Legion of invincibility. I jump back through our static wormhole and join Oz in the destruction of many Gallente NPC pirates. As we finish up the last room Snow logs on and helps out by grabbing a Noctis and sweeping up our mess. We’re just getting started when Oz notices combat probes on the scanner. Snow aligns for the wormhole and I drop a can so I can start to orbit the acceleration gate’s drop off point to intercept anything that might cause trouble. Oz positions himself on the front end of the acceleration gate to give us a heads up if someone does show up.

Only a minute passes before Oz calls out that ships have landed on the acceleration gate. Snow warps out as Oz joins me in the first room of the complex. D-scan is showing a Tornado, Talos, and Drake on scan. A Drake on Drake brawl sounds slow but doable, and I’m positive I can easily handle the Talos and Tornado on my own. Oz asks if we’re going to engage or run. I make the call to fight it out. These ships shouldn’t be a problem and my bloodlust is up from my earlier kill.

I believe there is a quote from someone famous that I can’t recall with enough precision to find it on google, but it goes something like, No man goes to war believing they will lose.

I should have kept that in mind. Obviously a secondary fleet was in waiting. Why else would they have attacked with three outclassed ships? Regardless it was too late to think about it now, as the third and fourth Drake warped into our position along with a Blackbird. The Tornado was destroyed easily, and we managed to drive a few other ships off before finally succumbing to the punishment of all those missiles. The Legion fought bravely, I couldn’t have asked more from her. But in the end even her armor wasn’t enough. Oz lasted another minute or so before joining me in the HQ system in a pod.

I didn’t mind losing the Legion, that’s what combat ships are for. I didn’t mind losing the skill points for not ejecting before it detonated. Four days of training again to me isn’t worth the possibility that they could fly my Legion home. One thing that did bother me is the half a billion isk armor repairer module which was unscathed in the attack and I’m sure met with much enthusiasm by it’s new owners.

No I didn’t mind losing. It was a fun battle, and the Legion will be built again and again as need be. But it is important to remember that with every defeat comes a lesson, and it is important to make sure that your emotions after the fight do not prevent you from learning it. Mine was to assess the situation a little more carefully before engaging. In truth we should have pulled out of the system as soon as we saw the probes, but I think we were both having an itchy trigger finger. We should have realized the backup fleet was just outside system though. Even without a scout to think a corp with only three members in relatively weak ships would engage our forces was absurd. I should have seen through their deception as the acting fleet commander. It will not happen again.

R.I.P. ISS Hades’ Scorn. I will avenge you.

Lessons Learned…The Hard Way

It was a sad night to be me.

First off my apologies for the tardiness of this entry. Real life has been hectic to say the least, but I managed to log in for a while a few days back to get some much needed time in a capsule. The corp channels are empty but I see a Thorax on scan along with a few wrecks. I immediately run a scan and start checking the anomalies hoping to get a fix on his position. I spend about 5 minutes warping around and scanning looking for him, before I realize it’s the unpiloted ship parked in my corp’s own tower. Embarrassing to say the least, but at least I have the system to myself.

I scan the system down since I see from the bulletin that no one else has been willing so far today. It turns up a ladar site along with two lo-sec connecting wormholes and a wormhole leading to class 4 space. I check in on my planetary obligations before deciding to harvest, what I would call, a metric-shit-ton of gas. Hours of time spent collecting the precious fluffy goodness. Mind bobblingly boring, but I realize the investment is solid with the amount of isk we can make using it.

My trigger finger, or I suppose my “drone attack button finger,” is getting itchy so I hop into my Pilgrim. I love this ship to death. I admire its fine hull while I warp into one of the neighboring lo-sec systems to find something to kill. Oz shows up a short time later and is more than willing to led a hand in the mayhem.

We decide to setup a small blockade in one of the lo-sec systems nearby and begin to monitor the traffic passing from one gate to the other. A particularly large amount of capsules are zipping through the system. They also happened to be flagged yellow, every one of them. That’s when I noticed we were in a factional warfare system. That would explain the rather large roams of ships passing through from time to time and the large exodus of capsules, likely the result of an engagement with the enemy that didn’t go according to plan.

Oz tries to catch a blockade runner on his gate but isn’t successful. That’s when he decides to call it a night. I decide it’s probably a good idea as well and start making my way back to the system with my exit worm hole in it. As I warp to one of the gates I see a Velator sitting on the gate. Since the proximity of the gate is going to drop my cloak anyway, I decide to warm up the combat systems and give it a go.

The frigate is locked and scrambled before he knew I was there. Combat drones pour from my holding bays and race towards him. He has started accelerating towards the gate, I have only seconds to finish him before he escapes. The protective gate guns have started annihilating my shielding. I don’t pay it much attention since it’s my armor which is the real strength of the ship. I start moving towards the target, worried that he might get away even though he’s webbed and scrambled.

Just then a fleet of ships warps in on us, clearly the enemy’s cavalry. That’s an odd choice for a bait ship, but I guess I should have seen it coming with the amount of pilots in local. I’m panicking at the number of ships locking on to me and barely have time to notice that the frigate has already exploded. Congratulations are in order, unfortunately there is no time. I am spamming the gate activation button, and then start cursing myself, more audibly that my girlfriend in the other room would have liked, for not realizing that you can’t operate a gate after engaging a neutral pilot.

Two Harbringers, a Vagabond, and a Curse are making me pay for my mistake. The ever persistent gate guns are exactly cooperating with me either. I try to align to a celestial body, knowing it’s fruitless since I see at least two scramblers activated on me. I have a surprising amount of time to watch the drama as my tank was even more robust than I could have hoped for. Eventually however her hull succumbs to the thrashing. My pod manages to warp away before getting caught, but it’s little consolation for the loss of my favorite ship. With the criminal tag on for at least another 15 minutes, I decide to just log off and get on with my real life before logging back in later.

It was a crushing defeat. In hindsight, taking the risk over a lowly frigate wasn’t worth it, but the Amarrian bloodlust got the better of me.  The important thing to remember during these points of low morale, is that we capsuleers are immortal. And that has one thing going for it that most people don’t seem to realize. We have the ability to learn from our mistakes in combat. This encounter specifically made me aware of a few things. Namely to recognize exit strategies and have them ready before the enemy arrives. I should have known the gate wasn’t going to work and aligned to something else as soon as came out of warp. This simple mistake is going to put me a few hundred million isk in the red, but it’s worth it knowing that I’ve gained valuable combat experience and hopefully will recognize the threats before they arise in the future.

I checked the killmail the next day and found that the enemy who dealt the most damage was the sentry gun. Something that made the loss somehow a little easier to bear. Those silly Gallentean militia pilots couldn’t possibly have killed me on their own!