Thursday, October 30, 2008

Anatomy Of A Fight

90% of the combat in Eve revolves around what happens before and leading up to the fight as opposed to the fight itself. Scanning, warping and maneuvering to get yourself or your gang into an optimal position to lock down and engage victims. But what happens once opponents are locked up into a battle... is it simply orbiting, toggling your weapons and then watching the outcome as you munch on some pizza? Pizza with sausage? And bacon and pepperoni and peppers? Damn that sounds good.

No, there are many ways to strategically and properly make quick decisions and adjust your actions that will be the difference between winning and losing a battle. So without further adieu, let us use an example of a duel that I was involved in recently:

Vexor (me) vs Celestis (not me)

My fit:

Lows:
1x 1600mm Tungsten Plate
1x Medium Armor Repairer II

1x Damage Control II

1x Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II


Mids:
1x 10MN Microwarpdrive I
1x Warp Disruptor II

1x X5 Prototype Engine Enervator


Highs:
4x Light Electron Blaster II w/ Caldari Navy Antimatter
1x Small Nosferatu (offline as a heatsink)

Drones:
2x Ogre I
2x Hammerhead II

1x Hobgoblin II


Step 1 - Lock It Down:
I land 11km away from my opponent in a belt and the fight begins. I hold "Ctrl" and right click my targets name like mad on the overview until the target starts resolving. While the target is resolving, I toggle my scrambler and web so that they are blinking and will automatically turn on once the lock is made. The lock finishes and my scrambler turns on but my web is still blinking... he is JUST out of web range! The solution? I overheat my web for the extra range and pin him. I just have to remember to turn off the heat once he is within 10km or I risk damaging my web and the other modules in my mid slots.

Step 2 - Get Into Optimal Position:
Now that my target is effectively locked down, I need to get myself into what is the most optimal position to win the fight based on how I am fit and how I assume my opponent is fit. Since I have never seen a Celestis that was fit properly for combat in my life, I assume that he will be mostly harmless and disregard what his offensive capabilities may be. Knowing that I am fighting with slow Ogre drones and very close range blasters (700m optimal on my Light Electron II's), I give my MWD a single burst and hit the appoach button. Once within a few thousand KM, I launch my drones and give the attack command. Once even closer, I toggle on my blasters and set them to overheat for the extra DPS. Better to pour on maximum damage early in the fight then to have to try and catch up once it is too late. I just have to watch the status of my guns to make sure they do not hit 100% damage mid-fight and break.

Step 3 - Ensure Optimal Positioning Remains and Counter Enemies Moves:
So now we are in complete optimal position for the way my ship is fit. My drones and guns are doing full damage and my target is not going anywhere. The only downside to this fact is that it also applies to me. It turns out that he is fit with a big shield buffer and tech II medium guns so I am taking way more damage than expected and not breaking through his tank very quickly. I keep a very close eye on my capacitor as I need it to run my guns, scrambler, web and damage control. I try to use my repairer as much as possible but I cannot allow myself to run out of cap or I will no longer be able to cause damage, run my tank, lock down my target, etc.

It is also important to watch his distance and make sure he is not trying to open a gap on me. My electron blasters have a very short range and even with a web, he could move far enough away to negate 100+ DPS from my ship. I notice in my drone window that he has begun attacking one of my drones. I cannot afford to lose a single ounce of drone DPS while flying my Vexor so I give the command to that single drone to return to my drone bay and then I immediately relaunch it and again give the command to attack. The move is successful as he loses target on the damaged drone and moves on to another.

Step 4 - Someone Dies or Runs Away:
Finally, even though I have stayed calm and done everything right that I could in the situation, my armor tank breaks and I am about to explode. My opponents Celestis has run out of shields but too little too late for me. Knowing that the fight is lost and I do not want to let my pod get caught, I select a warpable object in my overview (usually a stargate) and begin spamming the warp button. This way I will not become a victim to the lag that follows a ship death and my pod will instantly warp away. I exchange "GF" messages in local and sulk away, a loser once again.

Conclusion:
Sometimes even when you do what you should, you simply lose due to your opponent being in a better ship, being better equipped, having better skills or just being a bit more lucky. Also, pizza is very delicious.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

ASDFJKL

What is "ASDFJKL"? It is the resulting string of letters generated when I slam my hands down on my keyboard in frustration. Not to be confused with "KKLNHKLG" which is the phrase generated by slamming my head in a slightly more severe display of anger:


But let's not be too restrictive as "ASDFJKL" is not simply a phrase or a word or a bunch of characters but an idea, an emotion. It is the emotion evoked when a gang of battleships arrives right on the gate as I jump through and I lose my freshly fit Brutix without even getting into a single real fight with it. It is the feeling I get when people turn tail and run even when they have a huge tactical advantage and all I want is a fight and some fun. It is the way I feel when I suicide my Thorax into an obviously baiting Hurricane in Amamake just so that I can get a tiny bit of an adreneline rush before docking up for the night.

Every time I have undocked my ship the past few days I have experienced at least one "ASDFJKL" moment. The new region we live in is very difficult to compete in while flying smaller ships or while flying solo. I don't think that I have ever had less fun with Eve than I have the past couple of weeks and it appears that I am not alone. My corporation that I love has taken a serious hit as several members left and several more have become fairly inactive. Myself and a small group of pilots from within the Python Cartel have decided that we will be leaving in order to persue a more active corporation where we will not be constantly outnumbered and having to try so hard to scrape up a gang. It pains me to say this as PC has been so fantastic since the day I joined but when game is no longer fun, you know you have to change something.

Is anyone interested in up to five active pilots who can fly all sorts of ships and love lowsec piracy? We are currently available...

Saturday, October 25, 2008

One Hundred!

Today we celebrate a wondrous event... The 100th post on Eve Newb! The fact that I have made it this far proves one thing: I write about stupid video crap way too much. Since I first began writing Eve Newb on April 21st of this year, I have recieved 35,346 pageviews during 17,813 visits from 7,134 unique visitors and I am still amazed and thankful every day for everyones interest.

To celebrate the occasion, I have decided to countdown my five favorite of my own blog posts ever! What? How can I be so self-centered that I am writing a "Best Of" for my own blog? Isn't it a cop-out to just recap old posts instead of writing some new and original? Well to your perfectly valid questions I say: Shut the hell up and stop making me look bad you asshats. God.

(5) Unbelievable: This is my most visited post ever thanks to some linkage on the Eve Online forums. It is the story of my ragtag band of pirates taking on three ferocious battleships and barely coming alive despite a fantastic and completely fair fight. I wish stuff like this would happen every day. Or every minute.

(4) Lost and Found: The story of how a great loss of a friend turned into a great increase in wealth and toys. I am sure that most pirates understand what it is like to tear up and the thought of when they bought their first battlecruiser. She was so pretty *sniff*.

(3) Thorax: The very first appearance of Mrs Pilkins the pony. Do I really have to say anything more?

(2) Going Commando: A recent post detailing the adventures of the Python Cartel, my battle Navitas and our engagement of a mighty Titan. I cannot think of an encounter I ever took part in that was more entertaining than this one.

(1) The Epic Journey: This one was actually a three parter (part 1, part 2 and part3) and was based entirely on REAL EVENTS! WOW!!! Was a fun trip where I ran into quite a few fun engagements and interesting people.

So there we go! The five greatest blog posts ever written in the history of the internet!

Filler

Clever Title That Somehow Relates To The Encounter Described Below

In character description of my current ship and location. Discovery and consideration of a potential target. Engagement of target with some sort of witty joke and attempt at dry humor that Mynxee finds amusing. Detailed description of mine or my targets destruction. Girly reflection on the meaning of the encounter and life itself.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Electronic Countermeasures

The Event

Floating lazily in my Brutix battlecruiser, several hundred kilometers away from a station, I monitored the many communications channels on my screens and in my ears and munched on some Cracker Jacks. I hate when all the damn peanuts sink to the bottom. This company has been around thousands of years and they still can't find a way to package a proper ratio of nuts to corn? I continued to munch as one new face appeared in the system and moments later his Megathron fell out of warp near the station I was orbiting. I kept on chewing my snack whilst keeping my eyes glued to my monitors and out the glass into space. He was slowly, very slowly, picking up speed and aligning himself towards me. I guess it was a fight he wanted.

I checked with my gang-mate Apoctasy to see what he thought about our chances:

[04:17:38 ] Spectre3353 > are you certain you can perma jam?
[04:17:47 ] Spectre3353 > like 100% certain? 
[04:17:47 ] Apoctasy > no

[04:17:51 ] Apoctasy > but we can try 
[04:17:53 ] Spectre3353 > ok well then he'll smoke me

[04:18:09 ] Spectre3353 > god im gonna regret this


Do I really want to lose a fourth ship today? I sighed and let the little birdy in my ear named Apoctasy convince me to give it a shot. I watched amused as the Mega slowly lumbered it's way slowly towards me and decided to speed up the process. Microwarpdrive on, I closed the distance and right as I was about to engage I gave the signal for my ace in the hole to uncloak.

[04:20:24 ] Spectre3353 > ok do it now 
[04:20:54 ] Apoctasy > k well I failed alot

[04:20:58 ] Apoctasy > round two coming up

Apoctasy and his Falcon missed the first jam. This did not bode well. Fortunately my opponent was only able to get off a single salvo before being jammed on the second try. I busily set about trying to burn through his huge buffer of armor plating but realized I was still taking almost more damage than I could handle. I had no choice but to turn my attention to his group of Ogre drones that were tearing me up. After several minutes of keeping my ship repaired, destroying the Megathron's drones, keeping him almost completely jammed and putting all the blaster and drone damage I could muster upon his hull, the battleship exploded. We had won without any losses and the loot was fairly good. I felted elated at killing such a monster of a ship that outclasses my Brutix in every way but I also felt a bit cheap at having him completely jammed by what many consider to be the most overpowered ship in the universe.

The Question

So I still cannot decide how to feel about having a Falcon on my side. I went most of my career having some gang members flying Blackbirds but it always felt a bit more acceptable having an ECM ship they could see coming and counter. The Falcon on the other hand with its cloak and ability to permanantly jam multiple ships from quite a distance is almost godly. I pretty much avoid any encounter we can with a gang that has a Falcon or a pilot that we have seen fly a Falcon previously. And on the other side of the coin, I feel perfectly safe engaging several larger ships even if I am alone in a tech I cruiser if I have a Falcon at my back. It is simply that effective. Is it overpowered by being able to take multiple ships completely out of the fight from a very long distance away? Should it not be able to fit a covert ops cloak? Does ECM in general ruin the combat experience whenever it shows up? Am I just being a girl about this and I should be happy to take whatever help I can get on the battlefield?

Leaving On A Jet Plane

I am taking a vacation from pirating to attend the 1487th annual Pokemon convention on Amarr Prime. I am very excited and planning on dressing up as Charizard. Because of my trip, there will be no new posts from me for the next week and a half. See you all then.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Great Escapes

After a terrible run when we first moved out to Metropolis where I lost no less than five cruisers, I have been running on what feels like an invincible streak for the last week. In several situations I escaped very lopsided odds and my own incredible stupidity from encounters with my ships flaming and beaten but still intact:

Brutix vs Incursus, Caracal and Ishtar

Ah, nothing like relaxing for a bit by sitting on the gate and popping haulers. I had specially fit my Brutix with a sensor booster so that I could quickly target and destroy the helpless industrialists and their juicy hauling ships. As a sacrifice to fit on that specialized hardware, I was flying my Brutix without a web. In other words, I would be pretty much in a crippled and extremely vulnerable state if I were to engage another actual combat ship. So it is no surprise that when I saw a Caracal and Incursus from an enemy gang show up in system, I couldn't help but follow them to a planet and engage. What can I say? I am stupid.

As I arrived in the battlezone and tried to engage my opponents frigate and cruiser, I was greeted by a third ship warping in. I gave a sigh and put my head in my hands. An Ishtar. A Caracal and Incursus I could tank all day long but there was no way I was getting out of this fight alive now, especially without a web equipped. Even if they came within blaster range, I could not hold them there to kill them. I stuck my drones on the frigate and aligned towards a distant station. The best I could do was to try and outrun them and warp away. I watched as the Caracal pelted me from range and the Ishtar orbited just out of blaster range with its drones assaulting my poor Brutix. I was running my armor repairer's and capacitor booster non-stop to try and compensate for the harsh beating my ship was taking. For minutes I managed to stave off death until my cargo holds were nearly dry of boosters and my hull began to crumple and burn. Still I managed to keep repairing just enough to keep myself alive.

What is this? The Caracal for some inexplicable reason was closing distance and soon was virtually on top me! I would make him pay for his absolutely retarded mistake. All seven blasters overheated and firing and my five drones all targetted upon the weak Caldari cruiser. He realized the danger he was in as soon as I opened fire but it was too late to flee. His ship was melted almost instantly. I toggled my MWD and managed to burn just out of scrambler range of the Ishtar who was probably not expecting his friend to explode so fast and I warped away to the station I had been trying to warp to the entire time. I cackled in the cockpit. I screamed. I cried. Those fricken morons. How did I just survive that fight let alone kill off one of my attackers? My entertainment was only multiplied as the frustrated Ishtar pilot accused me of having warp core stabilizers equipped. Stabs? Me? Right...

Thorax vs Arbitrator

Lazyness is a wonderful virtue. Because of it, I haven't bothered taking the time to go buy any new cruisers and thus I had been flying around in whatever I could scrounge up in my hangar for the past few days. Finally I got my ass up and flew to the nearest trade hub to pick up a new Thorax and the appropriate fittings and I took myself out to Amamake to see what type of horrific ways I could get myself killed. Amamake was much quieter than usual as it was only busy instead of a total madhouse. A few other cruisers and ships taunted me from the scanner and I pinpointed one of them to a nearby gate. Time to investigate!

I landed and saw my target in an Amarr Arbitrator cruiser. Nothing I couldn't easily handle. I targetted and launched my drones to try and coax him into engaging and it worked! Soon we were locked up in battle and I had my opponent webbed and scrambled and feeling the full brunt of my drones and blasters. It wasn't all clear skies though as my capacitor was being drained by his neuts. Once my capacitor was gone I would not be able to fire my guns, web, scramble or have any speed to escape. I grimaced as my energy was almost completely gone when I noticed a green flashing light out of the corner of my eye. I looked over at my ships console and came to an embarassing realization. I was not being neuted. My microwarpdrive was still on. I had been sitting still with it running for long enough to almost completely cap myself out. I scrambled to toggle it off and recover from my mistake and the distraction made me look away from the battle for just a moment. Just as I fixed the MWD problem, I felt my ship rock under the force of several smaller explosions. My blasters were frying and going offline because I had overheated them too far. Could I possibly screw this up any further?

Finally, with my opponent and myself both low in armor, I saw several new bogies arrive on scene and I decided to cut my losses and flee the battle with my ship on the verge of exploding. An easy kill, completely borked by my lack of attentiveness. What a damn newb I am.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Victory!

Victory Is Mine!

Stupid! Stupid! Stupid! Why was I going to do this? Every time I decided to take on another Taranis in a one-versus-one battle I always got myself killed but here I was yet again, about to throw my precious little interceptor in harms way against a pilot older than myself. I slowly set a course for my opponents ship and launched my drones, watching as he quickly and aggressively closed distance on me. Within moments we were within range and I rushed to get a lock, engage my drones, my web, my guns and to try my very damnedest not to pee my pants. As soon as my blasters began to hit true I overloaded them to their maximum effectiveness. I closed my eyes and put my head between my legs, waiting for my ship to explode.

The sounds of battle echoed outside of my cockpit and I felt my ship shudder as it absorbed drone and blaster fire. In only moments I would probably be dead and against my best efforts I had just soiled myself. This is why I wear adult diapers while pirating these days. Suddenly, everything was silent and my ship began to slow and stopped completely. I lifted my head and looked outside. Had my attacker decided to have mercy? Had he fled?

My eyes lit up as I realized the debris outside was the wreck of the other Taranis. I had won? I had won! Finally, I had come out on top while dueling interceptors and my ship had barely even been scratched! Victory was mine!

Victory Is Ours!

Last night I got to fleet up with my good blogging buddy Mynxee. We were joined by several other friends and corp-mates to make up a motley gang including a Brutix (me), Stabber (Mynxee), Falcon (Andrea Skye), Helios (Golden Helmet), Kestrel (No'Wai AmaGawD) and Catalyst (Xasz). We warmed up in some backwater system by hunting down and killing a Rifter. It was an intense fight full of danger and some very close calls. Somehow we survived without any losses.

We sat about and waited out our global criminal countdowns when a call came in over the comms: Golden Helmet had found a Raven and Drake ratting... in Amamake? "Ratting in Amamake" is probably the single most dangerous phrase in all of Eve. Just saying it can sometimes be enough to kill a man. We had to get there and we had to get there fast or someone else would get those ratters first.

After a trip that seemed to take forever, we assembled our gang on the Amamake gate and sent our suicide tackling Catalyst pilot in to test our opponents. Were they really ratting? Were they just bait? Would they warp out when they saw Xasz? All these questions and more, answered in next weeks episode!

But seriously.

We got the message that Xasz had tackled and pointed the raven and we all jumped in and made a beeline for the fight. I called the Raven primary thinking that if we only managed to kill one of these two targets, it had to be the battleship. We all landed and the engagement truly began. Xasz had gone down, sacrificing himself so that we would could prosper and prosper we did. The Raven pilot tanked us well for a short period of time but eventually went down under the sustained pressure of my ghetto fit Brutix. Next up was the Drake who's tank was considerably less impressive and he melted like hot butter squeezed between my ass cheeks. Our Helios managed to nab both pods before they fled and on top of the kills and loot we obtained a 10 million ISK ransom. Victory was ours!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Killing Stuff Is Fun

It has not been a good few days. Four cruisers down in a period of 48 hours. The only thing that could possibly cheer me up would be some good old carebear tears:

[15:19:44] Wah Wah Magee > you're a real tough guy
[15:19:51] Wah Wah Magee > you killed a gunless, modless, afk ship
[15:19:52] Spectre3353 > i know i am
[15:19:53] Spectre3353 > anyhiow
[15:19:57] Spectre3353 > 5 million and your pod can go
[15:19:58] Spectre3353 > you have 30 seconds
[15:20:15] Wah Wah Magee > you can go f*ck yourself sideways, i dareyou to pod me
[15:20:16] Spectre3353 > 20 seconds
[15:20:24] Wah Wah Magee > f*ck yourself
[15:20:29] Spectre3353 > eh actually after your threat i think im going to let you go
[15:20:36] Wah Wah Magee > haha
[15:20:37] Wah Wah Magee > pusy
[15:20:37] Spectre3353 > youve made me very fearful of retribution from you and your corporation
[15:20:40] Wah Wah Magee > pod my pussy
[15:20:47] Wah Wah Magee > pos me pussy
[15:20:52] Wah Wah Magee > pod me
[15:20:53] Spectre3353 > no i am going to let you go because i am so very scared
[15:20:54] Wah Wah Magee > i dare you
[15:20:56] Spectre3353 > i dont want to cause any trouble
[15:21:00] Spectre3353 > i am a peaceful friendly loving person
[15:21:03] Wah Wah Magee > haha your a pussy
[15:21:06] Spectre3353 > i enjoy long walks on the beach
[15:21:07] Wah Wah Magee > pod me
[15:21:09] Wah Wah Magee > i dare you
[15:21:12] Spectre3353 > scrapbooking
[15:21:21] Wah Wah Magee > hahahahaha
[15:21:24] Spectre3353 > and wine & cheese tastings
[15:21:25] Wah Wah Magee > afraid of the sec hit huh
[15:21:33] Spectre3353 > yes i dont want to lower my -9.97 anymore
[15:21:36] Spectre3353 > it would be the end of me!
[15:21:44] Wah Wah Magee > pod me i dare you
[15:21:46] Spectre3353 > let me be honest
[15:21:49] Spectre3353 > killing stuff is fun
[15:21:51] Wah Wah Magee > quicker way back to that station
[15:21:52] Spectre3353 > but the tears from people like you
[15:21:55] Spectre3353 > is what makes this game fun
[15:21:59] Spectre3353 > thank you for making my day
[15:21:59] Wah Wah Magee > lol
[15:22:02] Wah Wah Magee > you see any tears?
[15:22:10] Wah Wah Magee > i have over 500 million
[15:22:14] Wah Wah Magee > i dont care about the ship
[15:22:18] Spectre3353 > wowzers! thats a lot of money!!!!!
[15:22:18] Wah Wah Magee > i dont care about the clone
[15:22:20] Wah Wah Magee > thank you
[15:22:35] Wah Wah Magee > i agree

For anyone worried, he did get podded in the end.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Moving Out

Goodbye Aurohunen

I tend to be a bit emotional for a someone whose profession insists that they be tough, cold-hearted and ruthless. I was very sad when my pony died (R.I.P. Mrs Pilkins). I was a bit torn up when I tried to leave the pirate life. I was heartbroken when I dumped my poor Taranis. So when Golden Helmet decided that it was time for us to leave our current system and move on to a new region of space, I felt my usual sad emotions begin to well up. I know that pirates are a nomadic bunch, but I can't help but feel nostalgic about leaving what has been my home for many months now. When I first arrived in Aurohunen and the surrounding area, I was a newb. I flew an Incursus and a Vexor (poorly) and had only a few a dozen kills under my belt. Fast forward to now and we have racked up at least 1500 kills in Aurohunen and the surrounding area and I have gone from being a complete newb to being the most accomplished and fearsome pirate in the history of Eve (slight exageration maybe).

So I packed up all my ships, all my modules and let free all the exotic dancers that have been trapped in my hangar for months. I threw on my disguise, complete with a fake mustache and climbed into my industrial Iteron for the trip down to our new home. I waved goodbye to Jeff, my favorite hangar tech and he just gave me a dumb blank look while his ham & cheese sandwich hung halfway out of his fat mouth. Ah Jeff, how I'll miss your hilarious lunchmeat antics. My industrial slowly drifted into space and I breathed in the fresh Aurohunen air (at least I pretended to). The end of a great chapter in the life of Spectre the pirate but hopefully also the beginning to a great new one.

Like Riding A Bike

I was all moved in and ready to roam. I picked out a freshly fit new Vexor, full of tech 2 goodies and got ready for some fun. Our gang assembled and we flew off to visit the famed system of Amamake to look for a bit of trouble. We arrived and the scanner overflowed with potential targets. I salivated over the possibilities and began to scan and warp around. After a few moments, a new-ish pilot in a Hurricane was at a gate! I followed him to the gate just in time to see him warp to another one. I wasn't going to let this ripe fellow get away. I arrived at the next gate just in time to see him jump through and I followed quickly to make sure I would see where he warped to next.

As my jump completed, a high priority message flashed on my ships overview. Criminals will not be tolerated? What??? I did a system check on where I had just jumped to...

Location: Osoggur
Security Status: 0.5

High security space. I had followed my target to certain death. I banged my head on my ships console several times. It would be the last time I ever did anything with it as it was torn asunder by the Minmatar faction police moments later. Why can't they create a simple warning mechanism on ships or gates to prevent such mishaps? I will never understand.

Misc

My last post got a lot of hits and a lot of responses so I figured people might be interested in some updates related to it:

- There was a thread on the Eve-Online.com forums about the events that transpired with Mostly Harmless and their titan. One fellow who read and posted was so impressed that he gave us 5 free T2 frigates. My hangar and it's new stock of Taranis's thanks you Phoenix Pride!

- After I had docked up with my battle-Navitas to go to the station's spa, the rest of my corp decided to get together and destroy the unguarded and offline POS that Mostly Harmless left behind (at least I think this was theirs... I wasn't there).

- Soon after my blog post about seeing the Titan, I got a private message from a party interested in the location where I saw it, the name of the ship as well as the name of the pilot. I let him know that for a certain price, I might be willing to share. 20 million ISK and a few minutes later, we both had exactly what we wanted. Now I kind of wish I had asked for more...

Lastly, I saw a post today by Pegleg Punk that was really amusing. It isn't every day that someone gets told "You are the evil incarnate here." Why doesn't anyone ever say that to me?

Monday, October 6, 2008

Going Commando

Python Cartel and myself have been involved in some pretty epic fights in our day. We have battled everything from the lowly Bantam all the way up to mighty fleets made up of battleships and capitals. None of these engagements even begin to compare to the operation that we partook in today against a massive enemy force made up of ships of every shape and size, even a mighty Titan.

It all began with the signal that a Cynosural Field had been established in Aurohunen. This is a common occurrence and it is one of our favorite past times to immediately warp to the small cyno ships creating the field for their capital ship friends and gank them. I aligned my Thorax to warp to the cyno and gank but quickly stopped the warp when I realized something was wrong. This cyno field wasn't at a station... it was at a moon and our system had just been flooded with FOURTY new pilots! What in the world was going on? I switched into my Ares and flew close to the moon to scan. This was not the sort of group we normally saw arriving in Aurohunen but Mostly Harmless had arrived with many pilots and a number of expensive capital ships including a Nyx mothership, Aeon mothership and an Erebus titan. I rubbed my eyes and glared at the scanner again. A Titan! I had heard of the beasts but never expected to see one in person. I made sure to welcome our new guests to Aurohunen:

[21:45:57] Spectre3353 > welcome to our humble abode!
[21:46:04] Spectre3353 > the toilet runs, please jiggle the handle after going potty
[21:46:10] Spectre3353 > towels are in the hall closet

[21:54:01] Spectre3353 > we appreciate your donation of a titan to our humble little corp
[21:54:11] Spectre3353 > please leave it next to the star for us and we will deal with it from there. thanks!

I wanted to get close and see the titan in person but I would no doubt be destroyed by one of the enemy ships. Golden Helmet, also curious, boarded a his covert ops ship and flew in to acquire me some pictures of the titan and it's fleet so that my curiosity would be satiated. "Why should he have all the fun" I grumbled sadly. Then pondered. Yes... why should he? We needed to muster a fleet and take on these fools who think they can just land in our system without paying us a toll! I gave the call out to my corporation and we assembled a most incredible fleet made up of a Helios, Rifter, Vengeance, Incursus and my very own battle-Navitas. We waited for Golden Helmet to get us a good warp-in spot near a Stiletto pilot that was outside the forcefield of the POS and we charged in screaming our fierce battlecries:

[22:09:53] Spectre3353 > YARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
[22:09:55] Nemain Darru > EEEEEEEEEEEEEEYAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
[22:09:55] Andrea Skye > YARRRRRRRRRRRRRRR
[22:09:59] Spectre3353 > FOR GLORYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY
[22:10:01] Crazdale > YAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRR!!!!!!!!!!!
[22:10:08] Nemain Darru > THIS. IS. AURO!
[22:10:08] Golden Helmet > WE DO WHAT WE MUST BECAUSE WE CAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAN
[22:11:06] Mr Morimoto > BANZAIII!!

We landed upon our target, the Stiletto interceptor and quickly massacred his fragile ship. We proceeded to pod the pilot and then fled the scene, unharmed and victorious! There was much rejoicing:

[22:11:12] Spectre3353 > VICCTTOORRRYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY IS OURRRRRRRS
[22:11:14] Golden Helmet > WE LOL AT YOUR TITAN
[22:11:52] Nemain Darru > YOU MIGHTY TRITANIUM PEEN IS IMPOTENT

Arriving at a safe spot in space, far from the commotion I checked my ship systems. Everything was intact, I had taken no damage, but something felt wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong, wrong. Where was my drone! I had left him behind! No!

[22:15:52] Spectre3353 > NOOO DRONEY I MUST RESCUE YOU! I AM COMING MY FRIEND!
[22:16:18] Mr Morimoto > GODSPEED SPEC o7
[22:16:25] Golden Helmet > LEAVE NO DRONE BEHIND

I had to save my friend! He was stranded in enemy territory and I was not going to let him down. I warped back in and faced the mighty Titan and his fleet...


...but I was not scared! I faced them confidently with my Navitas and it must have had a huge effect as they just sat still and let me do as I pleased! I rescued Droney the Warrior I, looted our kill and slowly left right in the face of our opponents.

Today, a victory of monsterous proportions took place. With the help of superior ships such as my battle-Navitas and smart guerilla tactics, we were able to defeat the enemy fleet and scare them out of system. I am extremely proud of my fellow Python Cartel members for their courage and determination under intense pressure.

The Wild West

The Good

- Getting a new battleship and using it to keep Aurohunen clear of those silly non-pirate scumbag carebears. Don't let the lopsided killmails fool you... they had several other ships including battleships, recons and a carrier as backup.

- Having the corp score over one billion ISK worth of damage in a single day. Sure we took quite a bit of damage in return but that isn't the damn point.

The Bad

- Having a very large and notorious pirate corporation move into your area and camp the gates with 20 ships. It has made roaming outside of our home system a bit difficult.

The Ugly

- Spending an hour aligned in a gang full of battleships waiting for a juicy freighter target to enter low security space only to watch him log off with no success. Why can't these people just be stupider and more careless with their expensive goods? Selfish jerks.

The Screenshots

Dominix and Gang - Warping!


Dominix and Gang - Camping! (AKA Boring)


Megathron Warping

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Oh How Far We Have Come

It feels like only yesterday I was tooling around in an Incursus, trying my best just to find other frigates that I could take on without perishing myself. The memories of barely being able to afford and fit modules on a cruiser feel fresh and recent. If you asked me a back then if I thought I would be flying a Megathron into large scale pirate battles, tearing through a few opponents and then perishing to the combined power of battleships and multiple capital ships, I probably would have laughed and taken it as a joke. Oh, how far we have come since those months ago.

It all started with some intel that one of the neighboring pirate corps was on their way to Aurohunen with a gang made up of an Armageddon, Dominix, Hyperion, Cerebrus and Sleipnir. They are very familiar with us and we are very familiar with them. They knew that we would potentially have a carrier or two as well as ECM ships and we knew the potential of them bringing their own Falcon and being able to drop their own capital ships when needed. We scrounged together our own gang to prepare for the potential engagement as they were all very experienced pilots who fit their ships well and we are newbs who fit our ships... well... very cheaply.

They arrived in system and we braced ourselves for combat. We had several lookouts scouting for their group but it appeared they had split up and moved into safe spots out in deep space. After a bit of watching and waiting, one of our pilots located and scanned out their Armageddon, alone and at a safe spot. I gave the order to warp and engage the lone battleship with our much larger than normal fleet. We arrived, locked down our target and whittled him down to nothing. Soon his gang began to arrive as well and we moved on to destroy the Hyperion and Sleipnir... without taking any losses! This was going well... too well.

As though reading my mind, I caught a new item on my overview. A Cynosural Field had been opened at this very spot. I gave the orders for my gang to disperse as a Wyvern mothership and Thanatos carrier appeared on the field of battle. I was happy to see that all of my comrades were able to flee unharmed but unfortunately I had been too distracted with giving orders and with staring in awe and the massive ships that had just arrived. I became a casualty and my first battleship ever was melted to a crisp by the combined power of two capital ships and a Dominix.

In my pod, back at the station, I sat quietly inside. The hangar techs just outside my pod window were peering in, probably wondering why I wasn't exiting, angry and raging at the loss of my biggest ship. But I wasn't angry. I was content with the way I had gone down and way more than satisfied with how my first Megathron had performed over the past few weeks. Calm and done soaking in the events of the past few minutes, I hopped out of my pod, gave a grin to the tech closest to me and wandered off to do some planning. I had some serious decisions to make about my future. What battleship to buy next?

Friday, October 3, 2008

Touche Salesman

Aurohunen was quiet. Too quiet. I sat in an observatory spot, watching the scanner and drinking a beer. I went down the latest scanner results list. Friendly Armageddon. Friendly Raven. Friendly Rifter. Vexor... whos Vexor is that? I hopped up and warped my ship into the particular belt where the cruiser sat and landed just in time to see him warp towards a nearby gate. I aligned and followed his path, hoping for one of those rare and intense cruiser one-versus-one battles. He was there waiting for me and the fight was on. I was hopelessly addicted to the adreneline rush of combat and finally here was a big fat fix. Locked up with each other, webbed, scrambled, blasters flashing and drones whirring around. I was never really in that much danger as I overloaded my guns, ran my armor repairer and destroyed my opponent without ever hitting structure.

I gathered a good gob of loot from my victims wreck and went back to my safe spot. I sighed contentedly, sat back in my seat and opened another beer. The scanner continued to spew out results and I continued to doze and drink. I cracked my eyes to check the latest results again. 'Geddon. Raven. Rifter.... Vexor? My victim was back! He must want another round of woop-ass. I promised him over the comms that our engagement would be free of any outside assistance from my corporation and we locked into battle once again, this time in an asteroid belt. It started out much the same until we both began taking damage to our armor and I realized that my capictor was empty. My opponent had fit his new ship with neutrailizers. I couldn't fire my guns. I couldn't fire my microwarpdrive. I couldn't repair the damage I was taking. I was done for.

He had fit a new ship specifically to counter the one I had just killed him with and then extracted his revenge thanks to my stupid overconfidence. Touche.