Archive for August, 2010

Hanger: Eris

Posted in Character with tags , , , , on August 27, 2010 by Baa

I’ve just got my collection of ships down to our new home in Stain. It feels better to have a collection of different ships in my hanger instead of just chosing between an Ares and an Ishkur.  Sticking with roaming fits I’m going to look at my Eris next.

[ Eris – Roam]
[High]
75mm Railgun II – Caldari Navy Antimatter S
75mm Railgun II – Caldari Navy Antimatter S
75mm Railgun II – Caldari Navy Antimatter S
75mm Railgun II – Caldari Navy Antimatter S
75mm Railgun II – Caldari Navy Antimatter S
Interdiction Sphere Launcher
Prototype Cloaking Device

[Mid]
1MN Microwarpdrive II
Medium Shield Extender II

[Low]
Damage Control II
Co-Processor I
Tracking Enhancer I
Nanofiber Internal Structure II

[Drones]
Light Armor Repair Drone I

[Rigs]
Polycarbon Engine Housing
Polycarbon Engine Housing

As with the Ares, yes I know that there are better Interdictors out there. This is the only one I can fly though.

I do have a double bubble fit, but that loses the cloak and we often have another dictor in the gang so that fits a little redundant. The tracking enhancer is for extra range on the popguns so that I can make as much of a contribution as possible to kills. I’d have fitted a co-processor II and a T2 tracking enhancer, but those were all I have access to at the moment.

I’ve got more PVP kills with this ship than any other. As with anything else though, its a much about learning how to fly it properly as the fit.

Phantasic

Posted in Chronicle with tags , , , , on August 26, 2010 by Baa

“Stargate Activated”. The voice of Aurora cut through the tension on the bridge.

Coming into system we could see the target 300km away and motionless. A quick calculation and the warp drive is initiating launching the Ares class interceptor towards its prey.

200km … 150km… 100km… 70… 50… 40…

The warp engines cut. Damn! The calculation was wrong we are out of warp too soon, the Phantasm was out of disruptor range.

Too close to re-engage warp, the microwarpdrive is engaged and we lurched towards the larger ship. Would he warp off…

I logged on yesterday to do a little admin and maybe a little ratting. That was the intention anyway, a nice lazy evening with the TV on. Then the call went out on vent to warp to the Z-R gate to try and catch a Falcon. I jumped into system and headed for the gate. Damn, it had gone the other way. Off to the MMR gate quick. Then back to the Z-R gate. Then back to the MMR gate. Intel was sparse so we were trying to play the odds.

Then we had a local spike and two vagabonds and a scimitar appeared on scan. They weren’t ours, hold on the gate. The three ships landed. Hold. The two vagas engaged. Jump!

We all jumped through the gate and burned off. We waited. Eventually the Vagabonds jumped through. We warped off to a rolling safe, leaving cloaked eyes on both sides of the gate. The minutes passed. We were waiting to see if the Vagabonds would move on so we could jump back through and maybe snag the Scimitar. The Vagabond’s left. Jumping back through and warping off with their logistics friend and leaving system with most of the other reds.

A brief discussion and we decided to turn our little fleet into a gate camp. I jumped back into T-8 and swapped my Iskhur for an Ares. The Iskhur is ok, but I wanted the long point and the speed. We out one system, sent out scouts, and waited to see what would come through. Ships came close, but none ventured through.

In the meantime one of the remaining reds had appeared at a tactical off the other side of the gate we were camping. He warped off. Then back to the same spot.

“Can you give us a warp-in point?”, the FC asked our scout.

“Yes. Just give me 5 minutes. I’m 150km away”

The time passed as we waited for him to slow-boat cloaked to a position 20km behind the Phantasm from the gate. Eventually the message came over vent. “In position”.

Having a fast ship with a T2 disruptor, the FC asked me to jump and try to lock him down. I jumped through, checked my watchlist and set to warp to 20km from my cloaky friend. The warp engaged and I shot towards the target, heart-racing. Then I dropped out of warp, hit the disruptor and saw that I was over 40km away. Too far. I toggled the MWD, hit orbit, and hoped I’d get there before he decided to warp off. The Phantasm pilot can’t have believed his eyes, a little Ares burning for him. I got to 25k and hit the disruptor.

“Point!”

“Jump, jump, jump!”, said the FC.

As I settled into a tight orbit and engaged with my railguns, the rest of the fleet jumped through the gate and warped to me. No response from the Phantasm pilot. A swarm of light ships filled space with projectiles and his shields melted away, still no response.

“He must be AFK”

The assault continued. Armour boiling away into space, then structure began to crumble. Finally the ship exploded and I could breathe again. No damage to me, not even locked.

“Bubble the pod”

The bubble went up, but too late, the pod warped out. What? The pilot had just sat there and taken it. Why? An odd kill, but a good one for our little fleet.

Hanger: Ares

Posted in Character with tags , , , on August 25, 2010 by Baa

I thought I’d start a short series with the ships and fittings I use. Its probably going to draw a degree of criticism and mockery. That’s expected, and fine. I’m publishing the fits to see if there is anything I can learn from other people.

The first ship I’m looking at is my Ares collection. I know the old joke that the best way to fit an Ares is sell it and buy a Taranis, and for solo work this is true. In a fleet though I prefer to fly the Ares. I have two fits, one for roaming and the other for camping.

[ Ares – Camping ]
[High]
125mm Railgun II – Caldari Navy Antimatter S
125mm Railgun II – Caldari Navy Antimatter S

[Mid]
1MN Microwarpdrive II
Warp Disruptor II
Sensor Booster II – Scan Resolution Script

[Low]
Damage Control II
Signal Amplifier II
Signal Amplifier II
Nanofiber Structure II

[Rigs]
Polycarbon Engine Housing
Polycarbon Engine Housing

This has decent top speed with my skills, and a decent point range. We frequently have a gang link running boost the disruptor range so I get a 40km point overloaded. The signal amplifiers boost range and the scan res. The  sensor booster is just the icing on the cake. It gives me decent lock time and the range allows even large gates to be covered.

[ Ares – Roam]
[High]
75mm Railgun II – Caldari Navy Antimatter S
75mm Railgun II – Caldari Navy Antimatter S
Core Probe Launcher – Core Probes

[Mid]
1MN Microwarpdrive II
Warp Disruptor II
Warp Scrambler II

[Low]
Damage Control II
Signal Amplifier II
Nanofiber Structure II
Nanofiber Structure II

[Rigs]
Polycarbon Engine Housing
Polycarbon Engine Housing

For the roaming My job is to get a point and wait for the rest of the gang to jump in and help. I fit a probe launcher for quick scanning of anomalies to warp to and try and get a tackle. I’m also looking at lower range and more manouverability.

Character Development

Posted in Character with tags , , on August 24, 2010 by Baa

Only one man in a thousand is a leader of men — the other 999 follow women.

Groucho Marx

Having trained all of the T2 crusier skills to level 4 the question came of what to do next. Continue eeking more out of those, or moving onto something else. Given that there is still so much that I’d like to be able to do, I decided to concentrate on a new area. The question was which? The contenders were:

Caldari Cruiser skills: I trained these up to level 3 to enable me to use Caldari Battlecruisers. Training them further would open up T2 Caldari cruisers, giving me a choice between armour or shield HACs or Logisitics. Tempting, but really needs more effort on the missile skills so, although it looks quite a short training plan, its a long term option to be able to fly them effectively.

Strategic Cruisers: The, still, new shiny of EVE Online. This was very tempting. I’ve got good Gallente cruiser skills, and the support skills to go with them. This would be a relatively short training plan to get into a Proteus and be able to put a decent fit together. Realistically though, despite the lure, I’m not sure that I’m ready to fly one of these.

Industrial Skills: I’ve still got a fair way to go to be able to use T2 crystals for all Ores, and still can’t mine Mercoxit at all. Given our new location in space, with frequent visits from hostiles and poor quality asteriods, this was a non-starter. I may yet tweak my manufacturing skills a little to be able to use more slots.

Gallente Carrier: I planned this out in EVE Mon, especially given the fun we’ve had with having to move around. I could get in one reasonably quickly, but only to use for logistics, there would be another 3-4 months before I’d have the skills for combat. This is still on the horizon, but for the moment I’ll continue to rely on others. Well, either that or buy an alt that can already fly a carrier.

Command Ships: This would need an extra level of Battlecruiser, which would be useful for some of our fleets anyway, and utilise most of the skills I’ve already got trained up to a decent level. The only problem here was leadership skills, without being able to deploy gang links these are just big, expensive Battlecruisers.

In the end I decided to go for the Leadership skills. Information Warfare V is just completing, with Skirmish Warfare V waiting to start. Once I’ve got these I’ll get the appropriate specialization skills to be able to run gang links and start training Battlecruiser V. This will put me in a well fitted Command Ship in a month and a half or so.

Fleet fights and playing fair

Posted in CCP with tags , , on August 24, 2010 by Baa

I’m a little behind the times and have only just read the Fixing Lag: Character Nodes devblog from CCP Atlas. It was an interesting read but that I want to highlight is the following from the end of the piece:

A fleet fight which happens on a node with a hundred other systems is not a good experience for anyone involved since often times the node only has 30% left of its CPU capacity when the fight starts. You can help make sure that the solar system you will be fighting in is on a dedicated node.

I’ve seen a bit of 0.0 sov wars with large fleets over the past couple of months and, although I can see the point, I think that CCP Atlas is trying to be King Canute. In general the person knowing when the battle is going to be is the attacker. Even in the case of expiring timers the attacker still doesn’t need to resume the attack straight away. If they know the time of the battle, then they can manipulate the lag to their advantage. Why would they want to let CCP know when the battle is to be joined?

Throughout the battle for Insmother we were constantly fighting lag. From the standard fleet fight lag. To jump lag due to the numbers in the region/constellation. To hanger lag caused by goodness knows what.

Towards the end in EUU-4N we had damaged station services; medical, repair, and fitting. This appeared to have an negative impact on the hangers in the station. You could get an item or ship via trade, or contract, or just off the market. Despite everything indicating that everything was ok, the item wouldn’t appear in the hanger. Whilst this didn’t prevent us being kicked out, it didn’t help. We would have been able to put up a better fight if we’d been able to re-equip. We might have got more out if the cancelled orders had resulted in things appearing in the hanger. As it is, nothing of the kind happened.

/rant

Anyway. The point is that  CCP shouldn’t be relying on us to let them know where the battles are going be. They should be using some of the data they have to predict them. If there’s been a large fleet battle around a system and the station has entered its second timer, there is a good chance there will be another after that timer expires.

Stain: First Impressions

Posted in Chronicle with tags , , on August 23, 2010 by Baa

I looked twice at the person standing near the bar. I didn’t recognise them but that insignia on their arm…

I needed a closer look.

I paid my tab, and left a generous tip, then strolled towards the exit. A glanc at the stranger confirmed things. B4d Wolf. I tried to hide my reaction, but something must have given me away. The stranger looked at me and smiled as I walked out.

So here we are in Stain, system T-8UOF to be specific, and the initial impression is that its different. Sort of an extension of low-sec but with no doubts who the hostiles are. In low sec if someone isn’t flagged as blue then they might be hostile, out here they probably are.

Its a bit different having to look for Agents and running missions again. One of the reasons for being in 0.0 was to avoid running missions, yet here we are doing that. Well, I would be but as yet my faction standing for Sansha’s Nation is so low that none of the local agents will accept me. The only way around that is going to be either mission with someone else, get an alt down here with good enough standings, or just rat and wait for the corp standings to improve.

Being able to dock at every station, and having to pay for repairs, is another change. One I’m not that sure about. Docking games can be a little tedious.

The market is probably the biggest difference. We had a great market in EUU-4N, with most things available. Here we have very little and have to cobble together fittings. That will change though.

In Insmother we’d built a good reputation as being competent at pew-pew. Consequently we had good participation from blues in our gangs. This led to larger gangs and more success. This will take a little while to reproduce in our new home, in the meantime flying around will need a little more care.

An interesting side show is that one of our main opponents down here were alliance mates at the start of the year. We have a number of former members of their’s in our corporation. It will be interesting to see how that works out. So far they look to have adopted Noir’s tactics, of skulking around in cloaked ships looking for solo ganks. When faced with a fair fight they ran away.

Stain: First Kill

Posted in Chronicle with tags , , on August 23, 2010 by Baa

I bet this guy really felt it wasn’t his day.

This was our first real camp and kill in our new home. There was a bit of overkill and, though we bubbled and pointed his pod, the bloodlust was up and his pod went pop too. Hopefully this is the first of many kills here.