Sunday, 17 November 2013

Serendipity...Or a Marked Improvement?

Thursday was pretty rough.  We got one kill and lost...lots of ships.  I lost the most, as I was too lazy to bother warping my pod out after getting curb-stomped.  Still a fun night, just a little one-sided for most fights.  We did discover that Nisuwa is a pretty happening place.

This happened.

I had to digest the events of Friday night for a couple of days.  Tesla and I planned to get out and explode, but things really worked out for us for some strange reason.  When I say things worked out, I mean that there were actually very few explosions on our side.

This is my Kestrel. There are many like it, but this one is mine

First, an Atron landed on us in a novice plex.  Fortunately for him, he managed to escape Tesla's double-web and put some pressure on me.  Unfortunately for him, I still managed to blow him up.
I kept asking Tesla how things were going on his end.  Things went find for him, and the Atron was blaster fit and trying to get close enough to ping at my shields.  That being said, Tesla lamented that his hull had no prop mod equipped, so he couldn't come and contribute to the explosion.  Sorry, dear readers, I forgot to grab and screen shot of this fight.

Elated with a win from our first fight of the evening, we headed into Nennamaila and met with a neuting Tristan.  Tesla managed to grab it with his webs, and for some strange reason didn't lose the ability to fire his blasters due to being within range of the Tristan's neutralizers.

Fights without overview are hard.

We managed to take it down, but the drones managed to put a good hurt on me.

Damn, we missed the pod.  And, blackup has arrived.

A Gallente piloted Slasher warped in just as we finished off the Tristan.  I had to warp out, as my shields were pretty much gone.  Tesla apparently held the Slasher and managed to survive while I was recharging.  As I warped back into the plex, the Slasher warped out.  We decided to press our luck in a different system.

Due to shitty FCing on my part, Tesla and I got split on a gate.  Tesla's Merlin, with it's very specific fit, was quickly shredded by an assortment of Gallente frigates.  Say what you will about Tesla's Merlins, it's tough to get upset about the loss.  Some day soon, he'll have enough confidence in his abilities to throw a bit of isk at the ships, and maybe mix it up a little.

After repairing my Kestrel and giving Tesla some time to jump into another Merlin, we were back at it for one last go (by this time I was exhausted, and slightly drunk).  Our final engagement took a little while to happen, as there seemed to be a few larger-sized gangs moving about.  Finally, a Punisher warped into us.  This time, Tesla's fit was perfectly suited to take it down.  With two webs on it, the Punisher couldn't kite Tesla effectively.  This was compounded by the fact that lasers don't seem to be able to track for shit on something that's orbiting at 500 m.  Another win for us.

At which point, the beers, and the overall exhaustion from playing a game of hockey that day, caught up to me.  We called it a night at 3 wins and 1 loss between the two of us.  This may not be much of an achievement for some, but for the two of us it's a drastic change.  After the bludgeoning we had received the night before, it felt good to come out ahead.

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

Breath of Fresh Air

I've got back into Eve after a brief hiatus.  Don't ask for the details of this hiatus.  Other games lured me away briefly, but they can't compare to the Siren song of New Eden.

Tonight was a good night for me.  I found three fights with relative ease, and all three were 1 versus 1.  No surprise back-up.  It was exhilirating.

I decided to get back into a Kestrel (fit slightly modified) and see what kind of trouble I could get into.  Not long after parking my ass in a small plex, a Slasher warped in on me...and waited there for a while.  The waiting had me a little worried, as I new there was a Tristan nearby that could complicate matters.

The waiting was unbearable.  I heated my highs, as well as my scram and web.  I kept modifying my position on the warp-in, double-guessing my best option.  The whole time, my pulse was pounding in my ears and my mouth was going dry.  Suddenly, the war target Slasher warped into the plex.  I unleashed all the things on my screen and watched in shock as my rockets tore through his shield, armor and hull in no time at all.  Sadly, I forgot to grab some shots of this fight.  Whatever, victory!

My opponent warped off and mentioned that he has a strict no-Kestrel rule.  He added that unfortunately for him he's bad at rules.  Props to him for tossing the rules aside, I appreciated the good fight to open up my brief evening jaunt.

After I had looted the wreck, the Tristan I had seen on long range scan showed up at short range.  Again, this opponent waited for what seemed a long time before warping in, giving me enough time to recharge all my shields.  The Tristan warped in and dropped drones, then pulled out to about 8 km from me, letting his Hobgoblin IIs turn me into mincemeat.

I remembered my Drone tab!  \o/

I did manage to remember to lock up his drones and try to eliminate his main source of DPS.  That being said, by the time I managed to clear one of the field, he had replaced it.  Not long after that, I was in low armour.  Then I didn't have a ship anymore.  It was a good fight anyways.

For my last tour, I jumped in a Slasher that I had been sitting on (surprisingly, it's almost exactly the same as my first kill of the night...weird) and headed back to Enaluri.  I ended up doing some plexing waiting for a fight to come in.  Unfortunately, I didn't have enough time to clear the rat out of the plex, so when a Merlin warped in, I managed to forget to swap my DPS over to the more important target.  After losing, I explained to my opponent that I wasn't AFK, just forgetful.  

I had fit this Slasher with the intention that it would be a good fight against a Merlin and other blaster boats, as the TD would allow me to limit the incoming DPS and control the engagement.  After that fight, I'm not ready to rule it out.  I'm going to look at it more as my control case.  Must fly moar Slashers.

All in all, it was a good time getting back into Eve.  Cheers for the good fights and I hope I keep finding opponents like these.

Sunday, 3 November 2013

Saturday Adventures in Black Rise - Now with More Print Screen

Mission accomplished.  I have managed to remember to hit the print screen key in two separate fights.  With this accomplished, I should now put priority back on trying to succeed in the fights I'm in, because wow, did we ever get trounced last night. 

We've also got some better comms set up, making our roams a little better coordinated, as well as more entertaining.  My mic, unfortunately, still sucks.

Tesla and I started out in a Merlin/Kestrel combo.  We actually went through a few systems making a bit of LP before we finally found a fight.  This let us practice setting up on the warp-in at our appropriate ranges, making sure the right modules were on and overheated, etc. 

We finally engaged a Merlin and a Burst in a  Plex in Renarelle, losing our ships.  Then we were treated to a surprise pod express home thanks to BBQ FTW with a smartbomb fitted Maller.  Nice play, that.  Tesla was a bit perturbed to have lost his learning implants, but all in all he got his money's worth out of them.  I didn't even notice the Burst on the overview prior to exploding.  At first all my attention was on the Merlin, then when the cruiser warped in I swapped my rockets onto it.  This was a mistake, but I'm confident that with the speed we went down after the Maller warped in, concentrating fire on the Merlin still wouldn't have given us a kill.

Last Hookbill on the menu for a while
After that, I took my last fitted Hookbill out, accompanied by Tesla in a double-web Merlin.  Between the two of us, we had four webs.  Man, it would've been nice to engage against a Firetail or something.  Instead we ended up facing what started as an Atron and a Tristan.  Then morphed into multiple Atrons.  We managed to take down one of the Atrons before losing the Hookbill, followed shortly by the Merlin.  
I've read somewhere about the attrition frigate tactic used in Faction Warfare.  I can now speak to it's effectiveness.  Throw enough cheap frigates at any target and you're bound to overwhelm them.  Please note: if you see an Atron sitting at the activation gate to the Plex you are in for an abnormal length of time, he is calling for more Atrons to take you down.  Somehow the Tristan ended up on our killboard, however I can attest to the fact that we did not kill it.  He obviously wandered into a gang more capable than Tesla and I after looting our wrecks.

At this point, we thought we might win the engagement
Somewhere around this point in the night, Tesla and I struck up a conversation with a Gallente in local, in french.  I enjoyed the opportunity to shake the rust out of my french without being embarrassed (writing in local affords a bit of time to remember the right words.  IRL, there's a lot of pausing and red-face when I'm speaking french ).  Tesla needs to speak french for his job, so enjoys any opportunity to practice.  I mention this part of the night just to highlight one of the best parts of this game: single-shard server = all sorts of foreign players you can interact with.  How cool is that?

Anyways, my pod got smartbombed again on the way back to re-shipping.  Curse you Sniggwaffe!

We went out again and lost a Slasher and yet another Merlin in Kedama.  Details are foggy on what happened in this engagement, as by this time my late night previous, and the beer consumed up to that point had rendered everything slightly hazy.  I have set out a notepad in front of my keyboard in order to provide more details on these fights going forward.

The militia chat had details of a POS getting bashed in a nearby lowsec system - supposedly with Dreadnoughts - so I proposed to Tesla that we go and see what's happening.  He agreed to accompany me for one last flight.  We found the POS referenced, however we did not make it in time to grab a shot of the alleged Dread.

Relatively innoculous
I did manage to snap a shot of a POS module exploding.  Once I brought my overview back onto the screen, I realized I was in a bit of trouble:
Slightly troubling
Seeing as how the ships on grid were large hulls, I figured this would be a good opportunity to practice my spiralling.  I managed to avoid fire from the Tornado and one of the Oracles by altering the angle of my approach on the Tornado at regular intervals.  I'm not sure what I thought I would do when I got close to him.  Drunk logic is essentially non-existent.  It took me three tries to explain to Tesla to spiral on approach.  "Rotate in on him.  No, circle him.  Change your flight path thingy.  Yeah, spiral, that's what I meant."
Tesla was smart enough to jump his ship out.  I was not, and I died to the Osprey Navy Issue.  At this point, some reptilian part of my mind decided that my fun was over.  I docked up and went to sleep, saving myself from further embarrassment.

Saturday, 2 November 2013

I Never Remember the Print Screen Button, FFS

We have started the month of November off right.  Last night Tesla and I spent a good 5 hours roaming our home region in various fits looking for fights.  Good news is we got two kills.  Bad news is we lost 16.  How do you like that performance?

Tesla's goal last night was to explode with all his modules turned on (he's a little rusty, what with all the real life shenanigans).  My goal was to remember to take some screen grabs during a battle.  I'm happy to report that Tesla succeeded in his goal.  I, unfortunately, did not.  I think my solution to this problem will be a great big sticky note pasted to the underside of my main screen.  If that idea works, you will see better pictures accompanying these words.

On to the fights.  Due to Tesla's shaky confidence in his ability to press buttons, he's been flying old low meta-level Merlins until he is happy with his ability to pilot in a fight.  I can't blame his mindset, he doesn't want to waste isk on fights he knows he's going to lose.  I've been straying towards a 10-15 million ISK fit for everything I bring into the warzone.

First little frigates to die
So we brought a Merlin and a Tristan out first.  We set up in a small Plex and waited patiently for some action to come to us.  Unfortunately, about 20 seconds after setting up, Tesla had a distraction out of game that had him leave his Merlin orbiting the beacon unattended.  Not long after that, a Coercer landed inside the Plex and made short work of us.  I am confident that had Tesla actually been at his keyboard...we would still have lost the fight.  Still, it was a nice little warm-up for the evening.
Next we went out in a Breacher and a Merlin.  Tesla ended up getting caught on a gate by a QCats pilot.  I basically just chased the offending Hookbill around ineffectually while Tesla's Merlin melted.  I did manage to catch him briefly, but fuck, that Hookbill was fast.  Tesla's pod warped off after his Merlin died, and I just hovered over the gate, looking at that Hookbill.  Deciding that it was easier to take the fight on hand than to go looking for a more even one elsewhere, I burned at the Hookbill and started engaging.  Obviously that is exactly what he wanted.  I had trouble even getting him to about 75% shields.  Still an enjoyable fight, and we hadn't sated our thirst for destruction yet.
 Best kill/death ratio I've ever had with a destroyer

Next, I hopped into an Algos, after reading about their abilities in a few different blogs.  Great fun to fly, that Algos.  Tesla still flew a Merlin.  We warped into a medium Plex and jumped on a railgun Cormorant.  The Cormorant primaried Tesla's cheap Merlin, allowing my rails and drones to make quick work of our opponent.  I think I caught the Cormorant off-guard, I'm sure he wasn't expecting to see the other destroyer come at him so quickly.  Had we both been in frigates, I'm reasonably sure that this fight would have ended differently.

We regrouped in our staging system, where I repaired all my damaged modules, then headed out again with my Algos and another, differently fit Merlin.  This time, we ended up getting jumped on a plex gate by a Hawk.  Oh man, did that Hawk ever make short work of us.  It was nice to see the abilities of the Hawk - much like my personal favourite the Harpy, it has a strong T2 resists buff, but now with more rockets.  The Algos was a fun ship to fly.  My fit needs some modification, but I definitely plan to bring it into my stable of standard hulls.  Drones look awesome swarming an opponent too.  You'll have to trust me on it, due to the above mentioned issue with my print screen button.

Just like old times
Both of us jumped into Merlins for our next tour.  I went active-tank, Tesla went dual-web.  This ended up working in our favour, surprisingly.  We ran into our new acquaintance Kaiser Deus, this time in an Incursus.  Tesla's dual webs allowed us to take down Kaiser, however the three Polarized. Navitas, with a bonus Quafe Commandos pilot, took out our Merlins at pretty much the same time.  Suprise three-way fights are always fun.

We continued our losing of fights from then on.  I lost another Tristan and an Algos, and Tesla lost more Merlins.  Obviously by the time these fights took place it was getting really late, as neither a brick-tanked Vexor, nor an Ishkur are very survivable with our skills.  Still, we had fun and can't wait to go out again.  I think that Tesla has gotten over his fear of ineffectiveness in fights and may even start flying some better fits.

Here's to more fights in Black Rise.  Fuck Plex-farmers!

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Pew and pictures

Well, it's been pretty easy to find fights this past week.  So many that's it's been a bit of a blur.  I've had some really great fights, and a few lame ones - lame as in I get excited because I'm winning the fight, then my target turns out to be a plex-farmer and warps off because ::stabs::

I've been trying to get in the habit of pushing the print screen button more often during fights.  Unfortunately my frigate fights are over in about 20 seconds, and I'm so focused on making my opponent's HP bars disappear through sheer mind-power that I have not yet grabbed any decent screenshots during one of those battles.  Sorry.  Will try harder.

Tesla has his life back under control and we managed to get some tandem flying done a few times.  It ended as expected.  After Tesla logged out, I warped over to Innia as the militia chat was buzzing about Capital ships being dropped in system, and I don't see those very often.  Managed to grab the following pic:

There's two SOMETHINGS there.  Doing stuff.

I then agressed a flashy yellow Cerberus in my Condor.  I then proceeded to die very quickly.

While messing about on the map for one reason or another, I checked out the kills related to RvB's massive frigate free-for-all and snapped this pic, which is pretty cool:

 Kill moar frigates!

The weekdays were pretty busy for me in real life, so I didn't manage to accomplish much in space.  I did, however, notice that the Nightmare in New Eden event was scheduled for today and logged in to participate.  For some reason, I thought it would be a great idea to fit a snipey Cormorant for the event. Unfortunately, my route took me through Kinakka while TEST's staging system nearby is under heavy assault.  Killed by goons ;-; (edit: as pointed out by redditor nonesuchplace, I was killed by Sniggwaffe of Pandemic Legion, not Goons.  My apologies to Sniggwaffe for my ignorance). 

Tesla and I threw a few kill-whoring frigates at Tama.  I never once saw the Nightmare, and the lag was pretty bad for me (in fact, one death my Condor popped before my grid even loaded).  I did however get into a sweet brawl with a Merlin and a Caracal.  Aaannnd a bunch of other things...and the Merlin was fit with smartbombs?

My Merlin under heavy fire

Guys!  I need more speed holes!

o7 you beautiful bastards.
After a many death animations, I fit up some ships and roamed around the rest of the warzone looking for some decent fights.  I ran into an Incursus in Reitsato and had a bit of a scuffle.  I pulled my guns off his hull to take out his drone.  By the time his drone popped I was in half-armour and the fight was basically done.

Slasher going off to die a fiery death
I then jumped in to a Republic Fleet Firetail and managed to take it about 10 jumps before anything engaged.  I've fought them, I guess I can understand why not too many people want to take them on 1 versus 1.  I finally found a fight in a plex in Pynekastoh.  An Atron and a Federation Navy Comet were waiting on the beacon for me.  I kept my fire on the Comet and got him down to roughly half-armour when I exploded.  Good way to end the night.

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

There's Kestrels Everywhere!

These past few days I've (still) been flying through the warzone solo, looking for fights.  Fortunately, as TEST has deployed in the Caldari Militia, it seems like the Gallente have really brought their game forward.  With such a large group finally deployed with Caldari, fights must be easy to find.  The Gallente definitely like fighting.

I have a large stack of Kestrels I've been trying to burn through for two reasons:
1. I'm starting to get the hang of flying them and like learning the hull's strengths and weaknesses.
2. Kestrels are fucking fun to fly.

As evidenced by this blog thus far, I am nowhere near an elite pilot.  However, I did have one Kestrel engagement where I managed to perform above my norm.  I warped into a novice plex in Enaluri and waited for an engagement (as an aside, I notice that engagements come much quicker when you're a war target.  Less fear of trickery maybe, or perhaps just less fear, in general, of the Caldari militia).  Soon two Kestrels showed up on my short range scan.  I overheated my mods and mentally prepared for a Kestrel threesome.

My opponents didn't land on grid simultaneously, giving me about five seconds to lock, scram and web the first Kestrel and set up an orbit at my optimal range.  The second war target moved out to about 15 km from me and started peppering me with light missiles.  I kept my focus on the target I had locked, and managed to bring him down.  Unfortunately I was in low armour by the time I achieved this, and couldn't get back into rocket range of the remaining Kestrel.  I might have been able to try to break free of his point, but I was kind of elated for taking down the first one.  I figured I'd try for the other and the wost that could happen would be that I would die in a fire.  Fuck killboard efficiency, I just want things to explode.  It was a fun fight and I've made note of the fit as something I would like to try out.  Maybe when TESLA STARTS PLAYING AGAIN.  Stupid GTA V.

I brought out a Hookbill again, not long after losing another Kestrel to a Breacher (nothing really really sticks out to me in that fight, sorry).  I set up in a novice plex again, this time in Pynekastoh, and soon saw two Firetails coming in to join me.  Unfortunately, I didn't manage to take anyone down with me this time.  The combined dps of the Firetails quickly overcame my passive tank, and I couldn't manage the engagement distance very well due to the insane speed of Firetails.  Hookbill down.  I'm going shopping for some Firetails.

Last night, while Black Legion's Supercap fleet was facing down just about all other nullsec alliances in New Eden, I took a long jaunt through Black Rise and found a few engagements.  A couple of times my targets slipped out of range of my scram (shitfuck), and I eventually died to an Incursus.  Then my pod got popped by a smartbombing battleship on the way to reship.  Saved me some jumps.

Being back in the Warzone again seems like a good move.  Fights are easy to find and the way that plexes are set up you can somewhat manage the engagments you draw.  Mind-bogglelingly, with TEST in the State Protectorate, there is actual intel in the SPROT chat window now.  Last time I was in the militia, the only people who used that chat were Gallente spies who tried to get people to join their fleets for rapid awoxing.  Fun times.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

O_o I survived?

I made it back on today during a lull in the day for a tour through Black Rise again.  Amazingly, I made it back out of lowsec in the Kestrel I brought in.  I first engaged a Republic Fleet Firetail.  At first I thought I would be able to get into my optimal range and keep him there.  Next thing I knew, he was 20 kilometers from me.  I did my best to get him back in range, however I forgot to keep my transversal up to mitigate some of the damage he was applying.  It hurt.

I managed to escape the battle in hull.  There's a first time for everything, I suppose.  I complimented the pilot on his speed and then asked why he didn't point me to keep me on the field.  He responded that he was reading at the time I engaged him and never bothered to turn on the point.

Ouch.  My ego.  Lol.

Next I dropped in on a Merlin and managed to set up on him perfectly.  I set up an orbit outside of his optimal after a little maneuvering, webbed and scrammed him down and starting chewing through his shields.  I also remembered to monitor my overheating mods, and turned off the heat on my scram.  That turned out to be the end of that engagement, as the Merlin slipped outside of my point range and warped off.  Shit.

After bouncing around a few more systems, I ran across two Condors in a novice plex.  I warped in and tried to catch the Condor that I followed through the warp gate, but no big surprise, he evaded me.  I made use of my practice with slingshotting to escape his point and GTFO, as I couldn't really see that engagement ending in my favour.

Now here I am docked up and frankly quite surprised at myself.  I don't think I've ever made it back with my ship intact when I go out looking for PVP on my own.  Not sure if happy?

What I learned:

- Republic Fleet Firetails.  Get some.  Those bitches be fast.
- Modify your orbit before turning off the overheat on your scram.  Or better yet, if you think you can end the engagement before your scram burns out, don't turn the overheat off at all.
- Fuck Condors.