Archive for January, 2011

Fishing in High Sec

Posted in Chronicle with tags , , , , , , on January 28, 2011 by Baa

We fancied trying something different as a corp. We’ve been heavily involved in 0.0 battles over the past few months and a bit of R&R was in order. What to do? We’ve done high-sec ganking in Jita. Looking for ships with expensive cargos and popping them in expendable ships. It has its benefits, but is a bit predictable, and there are so many other people doing it. What we wanted was something different.

A high sec fishing expedition. This is an extension of the high sec ganking, or can baiting. When you gank a ship in high sec you need a hauler alt to loot the wreck. Sometimes someone else gets in first and steals your loot. In fishing we create a wreck, filled with interesting looking loot, either side of a popular gate and wait for people to loot it. Once they do they go flashy red to our fleet and we tackle them and see what drops. Its relatively low risk and ethically neutral. We only shoot those people that can’t resist the shinies.

I joined in for an hour last night, sadly just too late to get in on an Orca kill, and flew a gank Thorax over to the gang.

Almost immediately we had a bite, a Caracal that couldn’t resist the wreck. He looted on one side of the gate then jumped through, not realising that we were positioned both sides of the gate and part of the trap was making people think they could jump the gate to escape.

Next was a Harbinger, then a Badger II carrying an array of loot, though none of it worth that much, and another Harbinger.  We then had to re-seed the wrecks.

New wrecks in place the biggest issue was keeping the empty T1 haulers away from them. Although we’d get an easy kill, its unlikely that we’d be able to make a profit on it.

In the next 10 minutes we got another couple. A Coercer and an Armageddon. The pilot gave us a ‘good bait’ comment on local.  I had to log at this point but the gang continued for a another couple of hours.

In the end I had a bit of fun for a bit over an hour, managed to push my total kills for the corp over 200, and got within 1 kill of qualifying for the ship replacement programme for next month.

Waiting for the Weekend

Posted in Character with tags , , , on January 26, 2011 by Baa

I’m not going to get much online time until the weekend but am looking forward to it.

We’ve recently instituted a new corporation ship replacement policy. You can qualify for it either by donation or by your PVP efforts. The qualification via PVP is 60 kills in the previous month,. So far I’m sitting on 53 kills and I should be able to get the remaining 7 on Saturday and Sunday.

Thinking about that I’m amazed. I used to struggle to get to 10 kills in a month. Now if I don’t get 30-40 its a disappointment and I can see that figure rising. Its a shock to me, but I seem to be getting better at this PVP lark.

Flying Interceptors

Posted in Character with tags , , , , , , on January 24, 2011 by Baa

Anyone that has looked at my killboard stats will notice that I spend the majority of my PVP time flying around in Interceptors. More specifically fleet, rather than combat interceptors, which with my current skills means an Ares.

I’ve mentioned the past that you need to learn how to fly each new ship, or fit, so I thought I’d take some time to explain on how I fly the Ares. It may help others starting to fly this type of Interceptor, or people might be able to point out something I could improve on.

The first thing is to define the role you are taking in the fleet. For me this depends on whether we are on a roam, or its a fleet action. On a roam I’m scout, with my job being to find enemy fleets or lock down unsuspecting Carebears. In fleet actions I’m tackle. All that needs to be done is pin down an enemy ship and stop it escaping.

When looking to fit these ships the first thing I look at is tackle, so that’s sensor resolution and a long point. The second thing is survival. You can’t really fit a decent tank on a fleet Interceptor, so survival is all about traversal. You need to be able to sustain a high speed orbit outside neutralizer range. DPS isn’t going to count for much, unless you snag an industrial, so this should be the last thing you look at when fitting.

The main difference I have between my fits is that the roaming setup has a core probe launcher and the fleet setup has smaller guns so that I can fit a small neutralizer.

To illustrate the use of the ship I’m going to recount a couple of actions from the last few days. I used the knowledge I’d built up from flying these ships to reasonable success.

The first action was a roam. We’ve been involved with battles for space for a while as an alliance, but one of the corp FCs wanted to take out a corp frigate roam as a change and to see what we could find. A route was planned, a start time posted, and we assembled at 22:00 to set off.

I was in the fast Ares with the probe launcher and 19.45 AU/s warp speed so was designated scout for the evening. We jumped along the route scanning systems as well went. Most had one or two reds in, but we didn’t have any luck in getting them tackled. Either they were really watching local, or were bot driven and warped on ‘seeing’ a red in local.

That was until we got the AGCP-I. I jumped in ahead, acceleration to lose my cloak, popped out a core probe, and starting scanning. There were 13 others in local and a collection of carriers and other high value ships on D-scan. The probe came back showing two Angel Sanctums and two Angel Havens in system. All within D-scan range.

I aligned for the first and narrowed down the D-scan. Nothing. The same for the second Sanctum and the first Haven. The final Haven showed a Nidhoggur and Noctis on scan. Time to warp in. I warned the rest of the gang, who were just coming into the previous system, what I was warping to and the FC told them to get on the gate.

I landed.

Both ships were still there, in fact neither of them looked to be aligning out. I locked both and pointed the carrier.

“Nidhoggur tackled. Get in here and tackle the Noctis”.

Local climbed as the gang jumped in and warped towards me. In the meantime I was burning out to a 25km orbit from the carrier, the warp in point had landed me within smart bomb range. I switched overview tabs to one that only showed drones. Neither the carrier nor the Noctis were going to shoot me, so traversal speed wasn’t that important, the real danger was going to be drones.

The Noctis managed to warp out just before the gang started to arrive. The carrier pilot must have woken up, as a flight of ten Berserker I’s had been launched and, from the yellow flashing boxes, sent after me.

I started targetting the drones and watching their distance. As they got close I blipped the MWD for a single cycle. That forced the drones to engage their own MWD to catch up, but then overshoot as my speed dropped. Repeating this I limited the damage taken to less than 30% of shield, and we managed to chew our way through half the drones before they returned to the carrier.

Our bombers had been pounding the carrier with torpedos the whole time and now the rest of the of the fleet added our DPS. The carrier was shield tanked, we could see the shimmer of an Invul field, but we were slowly but surely eating into it.

A call had gone out via our corp and alliance channels advertising the tackled carrier and calling for support. It was on its way but would take a little while to get to us. The carrier pilot had posted for help in local but, so far, no help had arrived.

Fighters were launched and sent them after me. They suffered from the same problem as the Berserkers though, too slow to keep up reliably, and blipping the MWD stopped them being able to deliver any damage. We began to eat our way through them. It was a surprise that we didn’t see any light drones, Warrior IIs would have caused us a bit more of a problem, we assumed that the carrier was a fail fit and didn’t have any onboard.

The fighters changed target and snagged once of our bombers that was concentrating on the carrier. Not a surprise, it takes losing a ship or two to recognise the danger.

The rate of damage slowed, but we managed to get through the shield tank. What’s this, armour tanked as well? It looked like it. This was going to take a while. Our reinforcements, in the form of a couple of Canes began to arrive. The carrier started to drop quicker. As it got to half armour a rescue fleet entered grid.

We took out a Jaguar. I was then jammed a by a Rook and lost my point. I also started to take damage so warped out and back. As I dropped back onto grid a Lockbreaker bomb went off and the carrier warped out. We tackled a couple more ships and took them down but our main quarry had escaped.

I looked back on my role in the engagement and couldn’t think of anything I could have done different. I did wonder about whether I should have stayed when the Rook had me pointed, but it was the Lockbreaker, rather than the Rook that had freed the carrier.

Later in the roam we were operating with a couple of scouts as we went through the familar ground of Insmother, I peeled off to take an alternative route for a couple of jumps. Jumping through I ran through my usual routine. As I was scanning a Rapier appeared on grid. I burned for him and locked him up. He aggressed, probably thinking that an Ares would be an easier kill. I got a point, settled into a wide orbit with high traversal, and called in the rest of the gang. I did get deep into armour, but the Rapier went down. The lesson for the pilot had to be “don’t engage a single Interceptor on a gate unless you know the next system is clear.”.

The second action was a couple of days later. We were trying to engage a few separate red fleets, but were stopped by lag in one case, and them running away in others. One of the gangs was reported to be heading through towards our Empire border system so we gave chase. I was running in fleet mode so had smaller guns and a neut fitted.

My extra speed meant that I was catching their fleet and ran across them on the BND gate in IOO. They seemed to be waiting so I warped to a tactical spot above the gate and aligned parallel to it. They seemed to be burning off to optimals but waiting to see what they could catch. Another of our Interceptors jumped in but instead of warping safe, it tried to burn away. A red Lachesis got a point and they burned after the Interceptor. It wriggling like a fish on a hook, but couldn’t get away, and eventually died. In the meantime the rest of our fleet had arrived on the other side of the gate. I warped down to the wreck and got a point on a Tengu.

I tried to settle into my usual orbit, but I was soon scrambled and lost my speed. Our fleet jumped and warped to me and, just as I was thinking I would explode, our logistics restored my shield to full. All but the Tengu warped off the field and it melted.

In this engagement I waited for my moment and grabbed the highest value ship. If I’d tried to tackle straight away I would have died before the fleet could have arrived and the enemy would have probably left at that point having got a bonus kill.

If anyone has any tips on frigate flying that I’ve not covered, please post them. I’m always looking to learn and improve.

Bye bye Jump Bridges

Posted in EVE Online with tags , , on January 20, 2011 by Baa

Ah, the perils of blogging. Just as you get on a roll along comes real life and side swipes you so you aren’t able to update as often. I’ve still been playing a little but time has been so restricted that given the choice of a bit of pew-pew and writing an update the blog, I’m sorry to say, misses out. I have still be reading when I can though, and that has led to this post.

I’ve been reading the latest CSM/CCP meeting minutes and, even though the first two tried to induce a coma, read the 3rd part yesterday. It started off as normal, then when it got to the discussion about 0.0 went completely crazy.

No opposition to the removal of jump bridges? CCP Grayscale respond to that with “sweet!”. Looks like they are on their last legs. Perhaps they won’t even last the year.

Looking back over the past 6 months play jump bridges have played a major part. Either our own, to move force quickly to repell invaders, or Solar Fleet using theirs to quickly move forces close to our borders.  Their removal will have a big impact on how we do things.

  • No quick relocation of ships from one system to another. I moved my PVP hanger to our border station in 20 minutes. All it took was warps to the jump bridge and back in either system. The most time was spent waiting to be able to get into a new ship in the station.
  • No quick logistics pulling PI products back to Empire bordering systems.
  • Every journey will be made the long way. This isn’t too much of a problem, its only relatively recently that I’ve been in an alliance with JBs that exist to traverse space rather than being tactical. I’m used to having to fly many jumps to get somewhere.

What impact will the change have? It will make it harder to defend large chunks of space. Moving the blob will be slower. This may lead to smaller fights, it might also mean an increase in conflict. An attacker knows where they are going, a defender has to be able to muster forces at the target. Jump bridges help to even this out a little, so much so that a good attacker will look to disable them before attacking in force, or lay a trap at a known jump bridge. In the end it will probably lead to less space held, and more opportunities for smaller alliances to hold space in their own right.

The other thing that stood out was the nerfing of super carriers. Its going to happen. The only question is what shape the nerf takes. It has to happen, they are the win button of EVE at the moment. The only way to defeat them is to field more than the other side. Their destructive power was demonstrated last night. A carrier was in triage on a station in Maila. One of our corp tackled and we jumped in two Nyx. Around 30 seconds later the carrier was down.

I’d expect major changes to super carriers in the next 12 months. Enjoy their power whilst you can.