Monday, April 21, 2008

Baby Steps

Combat with other pilots in EVE can be a harsh mistress, especially as newb. It is extremely difficult to find a fair fight, especially when I am flying around solo in a frigate or cruiser and without the proper knowledge or funds to equip my ships well. Only once in my career so far have I managed to engage and win a solo fight and to be frank, the odds were weighted heavily in my favor. That first solo kill was on a week old pilot even fresher than myself flying a poorly equipped Imicus frigate. In the immediate 8 days after it I didn't have a single kill either solo or as part of a gang (but I did lose several of my favorite frigate the Incursus as well as an expensive Thorax cruiser to ships or groups much larger than myself).

So with this all in mind, I set out the other day with the intent to find some adventure. I was not in the mood to aimlessly wander through low security space scanning out ship after ship or blob after blob of ships that I could not even consider engaging. Instead, I began warping around the asteroid belts of my home system, hoping perhaps to find some pilots around my experience level to goad into attacking me.

After killing a few rats and checking a few belts, I found a young pilot with only slightly more experience than me in a Catalyst type destroyer. He was mining but obviously had some drones and/or guns because there were several pirate wrecks surrounding his ship. My Incursus would probably have a very difficult time with this type of ship but I did have several others docked in this sector that would make quick work of a destroyer fitted with mining lasers. I looted the wrecks around him which in turn gives him the rights in CONCORD's eyes to attack me. I went from wreck to wreck slowly, giving him time to consider the attack and finally i saw that he has me targeted! Moments later he fired a shot and launched a drone and I immediately aligned and warped back to my home station. I quickly fitted a Vexor type cruiser with the proper modules for a fight, undocked and returned to the same belt to find the pilot who had engaged me. I warped in just in time to see his blinky red name disappear off my overview and I cursed myself. Did I just lose my chance? I launched my drones and stayed put for a few minutes hoping that he was only returning to unload his ore and will be back. After a short period of time, he did warp back into the belt, still flagged for me to attack and this time flying an industrial Iteron III. I targeted, warp scrambled, webbed and quickly killed his ship. I looted the wreck (which contained nothing worth any considerable amount of isk) and warped back to my home station, thrilled with the fact I had managed to net the second solo kill of my career. Sure it was on a young pilots defenseless industrial, but considering how hard it has been for to find any action, I was fairly satisfied.

At this point I thought the encounter was over. So again I got back into my favorite frigate and began to wander the belts looking for perhaps my luck to repeat itself. I encountered a couple of pilots including one in a battleship that could have easily crushed me, so I stayed far out of their path (and most definitely did not loot the wrecks of their kills lying about). A few minutes later I entered the same belt where I had killed the Iteron and to my surprise, the young pilot is already back with his Catalyst! This time he has brought along a friend in a Thorax class cruiser. I was considerably more wary... could I handle a Thorax solo let alone a Thorax and a Catalyst? Would they even take the bait if I did try to get them to engage? I decided that there was only one way to find out and returned to the station to pick up my Vexor again. I returned to their belt and began looting their recent pirate kills which gave them both the rights to attack me. Both ships followed me from wreck to wreck as though discussing and contemplating what to do. Finally with no wrecks left to loot, I merely floated up into their immediate vicinity and silently dared them to engage. After a few moments, success! The cruiser attacked me followed soon after by the destroyer. I immediately focused fire and my medium Hammerhead drones upon the Catalyst, knowing that it has significant firepower but not much in the way of shields or armor. With him webbed and scrambled and myself slowly orbiting and sucking away his energy, my drones ate away at his ship and soon destroyed him. Now I focused all my energy on the Thorax. he was still at full health but my own shields were completely down and my armor was starting to take damage. I turned on my defensive modules, sent in my drones and began the same slow orbiting dance of death with my next target. He was taking damage slowly but steadily and for a few moments I was worried about the fact that my armor was nearly gone and my ship had nearly run out of energy to run its modules. Just in time, I see the Thorax start taking damage to the structure of the ship and explode in flames. My ship was out of energy and nearly out of armor but I had lasted and won out.

I looted the wrecks (again containing nothing of value) and returned to my home base to post solo kills number 3 and 4 of my career on my corporations kill log. The next day I received a message from the pilot owning the Thorax that I had destroyed. He wanted to know how he and his friend had lost. Just because I blew up 10 million isk worth of their stuff doesn't mean I shouldn't be polite so I gave them some advice about how I was equipped and how I think they could have themselves been better equipped to handle the fight (or how they should have just avoided it in the first place).

No comments: