Archive for July, 2012

Cyno killer Qu’est-ce que c’est

Posted in Chronicle with tags , , , , , , , on July 23, 2012 by Baa

“Cynosaural fields detected. Prepare to Jump”

The jump gate activated and we appeared in the target system. Two cyno beacons appeared on the local scan. Almost instantly warp drive was engaged to get to the fields before they could be used.

“Ships on scan; Magnate, Rifter, Talos class”

“Concentrate on the Magnate and the Rifter. Ignore the Talos”

Dropping out of warp the two frigates were lying next to the active cyno beacons and we started to lock them. With the Talos present it was going to be interesting…

The guerilla warfare is still in progress, popping cyno frigates in transit or before the field can be used. The opposition have got wise to the disruption tactics though and have changed tack. Instead of a single cyno they are lighting two or three, in a couple of different locations in system. They are also starting to guard the ships running the beacon. Initially this was fail defence. There’s no point in undocking a Talos, or an Oracle, or an artillery fit Hurricane, to protect your cyno ship against an interceptor or interdictor. The cyno frigate is going to have popped by the time the battlecruisers have got a lock and the traversal is going to make putting any sort of damage on the small fast ship next to impossible. I have switched from an interceptor to a destroyer, or interdictor though, to reduce the number of shots I need to kill the frigate before warping out.

The last attempt yesterday was different. Again there were two cyno fields, but instead of the battlecruiser a Proteus and Stabber, were undocked. It still didn’t stop me getting the kill, but looting was out of the question, and I did take damage, mostly from drones. I think it’s about time I switch tactics slightly, something that can deliver a lot of damage from range. I have just the ship in my hanger.

Guerilla Warfare

Posted in Chronicle with tags , , , , , , on July 18, 2012 by Baa

We entered the hostile system and immediately launched a directional scan looking for other ships.

“Probe on scan. Possibly at the station.”

“Let’s get to the station. Engage warp.”

As entered warp an alarm tripped.

“Cyno field active. Its in the direction of the station.”

“Prepare for combat as soon as we exit warp.”

The game was afoot. Something would be jumping to the cyno beacon. It was our job to destroy it before it could happen.

If anyone has been looking at my recent kills you’ll see that this is pretty indicative of the success I’ve been having lately. On the face of it they’re pretty cheap kills. The victim can’t get away. I justify it based on the guerilla warfare that we are currently fighting and my self appointed role of disrupting the enemy supply lines.

The kills are easy, three volleys and down they go. The aim of course is to get the cyno down before its used. Not always possible, but a worthwhile aim. Once you’ve popped one cyno ship it starts to get a little more difficult. The next one has an escort, usually an autocannon armed hurricane or similar. Still, if they are willing to escort it, they must really want to move something. The task then is a bit harder; warp in, kill the cyno, burn or warp away without dying. It only gets problematic if they start undocking interdictors.

My current weapon of choice for this is a rail-fitted Taranis. It allows me to do a decent amount of DPS whilst aligning out so that once the ship has popped I can either engage the MWD or warp out.

The purpose of this is to interrupt enemy logistics and force them to have to bring people to deal with the threat I, and my corp mates, pose. Getting killed is a possibility, but something to be avoided if possible. It’s no good getting an extra kill if it means losing a ship and thus having to re-ship. It would give them time to get their ships moved.

The result is smack talk in local. I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been called names in the past few weeks. The insults vary; I’m not a real PVPer, I’m a coward who runs away, etc. These pseudo tears are good. They show that I’m having the effect I want. PVP in EVE is not just about destroying ships. That’s only a small part of it.

Null-sec Wasteland

Posted in CCP with tags , , , on July 16, 2012 by Baa

“Scan is clear. Moving to the next gate.”

The tension was mounting as we traversed space, the last ten systems we had jumped through had all been empty.

“Jumping to the next system. Damn, traffic control, we’ll have to wait.”

The traffic control could mean one of two things. Either the system was heavily occupied, or the gate has been taken offline due to lack of use.

“Traffic control cleared. Jumping through.”

As we arrived in system and established contact with the local communications grid we could see that it was empty. Only five more jumps to our destination.

The above seems to be common in vast swathes of null-sec at the moment. The was a brief period, with the initial introduction of iHubs and the like, when the null sec population swelled and it was worthwhile developing systems. Now it seems less so. There was even a throwaway comment in the ATX commentary that “no one rats anymore”. This seems a shame. What’s responsible?

I guess the first finger of blame will point a CCP for the null sec nerfs to switch off the ISK faucets that the iHub introduction created. Suddenly it was only worth developing those systems whose true sec rating was worth ratting in anyway. The lesser systems, the ones that most benefitted from the iHub improvements, were no longer worth the investment. They now support solo botting Tengu’s at best, most of them lie empty. We had a brief gold rush, the gold dried up, everyone moved on to other things.

The second finger of blame has to go to the force projection capabilities of the large alliances. It’s so easy to drop a fleet of super-caps into a system to obliterate a small operator it forces those that would try to settle to find other things to do, occupying wormholes for example. This is a bigger problem than the nerf. The sheer power of super-cap fleets is now making even semi-permanent settlement of 0.0 impossible. Other than the large coalitions the main null-sec alliances now seem to base themselves in NPC null sec, or low-sec systems with a null-sec entrance. The idea of building something and holding space only exists in CCP promo videos.

The recent war in Geminate is a case in point. BricK sQuAD only took systems Geminate for the good fights. There was no expectation that it would be a permanent occupation. In fact it was expected that it would be lost. NCdot have taken most of Geminate and left it empty and abandoned.

The third finger of blame has to be the ISK faucet provided by moon mining. This is something that seems to be being addressed but at the moment it’s the be all and end all of ISK generation rendering everything else pointless. What’s more those in charge of the moon goo can increase its value by destroying ships built with it. Hulkageddon anyone? It doesn’t matter if you lose expensive ships blowing up Hulks if the miners need your moon goo to buy new Hulks. You are helping to keep your sales prices up.

So what can be done about it? The aim has to be to make holding space more worthwhile and easier. So here are a few steps to consider:

  1. Remove the moon goo. Passive ISK generation shouldn’t be possible. I know that PI fits into this, but hopefully Dust 514 will have an impact here. If this kills the economy then reverse some of the previous movement towards all community provided resources and have them seeded by the NPC corps.
  2. Reduce the jump ranges of combat ships massively. At present it’s far too easy to move a huge super-cap and cap fleet halfway across the map to stomp on someone and then withdraw. Removing this ability would make more systems relevant. It might even create a frontline that wars are fought over.
  3. Make super caps more vulnerable. They are still pretty much the “I win” button. Yes, I know they are expensive, and people have invested in them, but if you drop a fleet of them the only thing that can beat them is a bigger fleet. They should be rare.
  4. Add defensive system upgrades. Gate and station guns for one thing. The ability to suppress local based on standing, deny the enemy intelligence. Perhaps even the ability to charge for, or prevent, use of the gates into an occupied system. This could potentially lead to more emergent gameplay; spies lighting covert-cynos for a black ops fleet to neutralise gate controls etc.

We need some more out of the box thinking on null-sec that will upset the current, destructive, status quo and encourage more capsuleers to make their home there. If nothing is done it will become more of a wasteland than ever.

Honour within EVE

Posted in Chronicle with tags , , , , on July 2, 2012 by Baa

The Crow broke its orbit and started burning away, the gassing from the holes in its hull making steering a little difficult. Too late we noticed and adjusted our own course. It escaped our warp disruption field and fled the field heading for the next gate.

“Good fight” came the message over the wide-band local channel.

“Good fight”, we responded, “Catch you next time.”

The ship then disappeared from system.

This was a typical solo encounter. I’d seen the Crow on D-scan as I arrived at the gate. It had to be following me so I jumped through, burned back to the gate in my Taranis, and waited.

The gate flashed indicating a new ship jumping through. I primed the warp disruptor ready to capture whatever decloaked. It was the Crow, 16km away. I didn’t want to get too close so settled into a 20k orbit, training my railguns on the rival interceptor and released my drones.

Its light missiles started eating away at my shields quicker than I was damaging his. No real worries though at it had more shield in the first place. The drones started to hit home and his shield lowered quicker. Mine where gone, the missile hits stripping armour. Then his shields dropped. The drones and rails soon removed his armour and started to eat into hull. At this point I missed a trick, I shouldn’t have worried that another pilot had jumped into system and instead closed to prevent him burning off. Like I say, I missed the trick because he was outside disruptor range at the start of the next cycle and warped off to the next gate.

I could have chased him to the next gate and tried to catch him on the other side. It might have got me the kill. I chose not to preferring to swap “good fights” in local. The combat had been close to start with and fun. The risk in following too great considering the damage I had suffered, even more so given that I’d be delayed recalling my drones.

All in all it seemed a fitting end to the duel. We’d both engaged in a 1v1 battle to see who would prevail. Given that I’d got him into hull and had around 60% armour left myself had proved the point. I was the honourable victor.

Next time I’ll close to short range once I’d got rid of the shields. Next time there will be no escape.