Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Medium term goal: Cynabal

What a sexy ship. 

The Cynabal is an NPC pirate faction cruiser, and like all pirate boats, requires two racial skills to pilot. In particular, capsuleers need both Minmatar and Gallente training.
  • Special Ability: 25% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret rate of fire
  • Minmatar Cruiser Skill Bonus: 10% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret damage per level
  • Gallente Cruiser Skill Bonus: 10% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret falloff per level
With the falloff bonus and its incredible speed, the Cynabal is a kiting ship. It has the mid slots to fit "dual propulsion" (both Afterburner and Microwarp Drive), enabling the cruiser to be a real nuisance to missile boats and gun boats alike. Depending on how much pilots want to splurge on a Warp Disruptor, the cruiser can comfortably orbit at over 24 km, well out of range of most other medium guns. Being Gallente-influenced, it also has a large drone bay--both offensive and defensive drones can be equipped.

It has a utility high slot for either an energy neutralizer (nightmare for Frigates) or a cloaking device (solo roaming in null-sec).

It doesn't have the best tank (but it's not terrible). Its downfalls are its cross-training requirements and its price tag (hull itself is 200 mil ISK). It's a slightly more versatile and expensive Vagabond.

I could have a lot of fun in this ship!

So if I'm going to be flying this, I want to do it right. I want to max out my Cruiser skills and work on my Drone skills. All the relevant Gunnery skills are at 4; getting them to 5 will no doubt make me deadlier, but the margins are such that I could work on them while playing with my Cynabal.

I am about two months away from where I want to be before Cynabal Season. I might make a small deviation to train Heavy Assault Cruisers and to play with a Vagabond to get used to the fighting style. Or grab an even cheaper Stabber Fleet Issue.


Monday, December 26, 2011

A Moment Alone with a Rokh

I had docked in a high-sec station last night since I needed to pick up some rockets. Today I decided to make my way back to our home system of Gare in order to claim my holiday gift. I had chosen the Thrasher pack with all the small projectile ammo, and I could use some more Rep Fleet Phased Plasma.

The first jump into low-sec is into a gate camp. A single Rokh Battleship piloted by an outlaw is orbiting the gate. I know of Rokhs that bomb the piss out of frigates, and I'm pretty worried at this point.

I'm holding gate cloak, thinking about what to do. The Rokh is orbiting toward me, and he's a mere 10 km away. Some people pack quite a few bombs, so I could be vaporized in a blink of an eye. I figure my best bet would be to warp out.

I set my destination to a tactical bookmark near my out-gate, and I begin accelerating, revealing myself. My ship enters warp and sails into the void. Perhaps I was worried over nothing.

The gate is clear, so I warp to 0 and issue a jump. I catch sight of the Rokh appearing on my overview right as I disappear. He's chasing me.

I immediately thrust onto my next gate, and tell the corporation that potentially there is a Rokh on my tail. I dock up in Gare, and provide details of the outlaw's location. I'm asked to grab a Hurricane battlecruiser in order to try blowing up my pursuer. Unfortunately I haven't taken the time to move my larger hulls to Gare yet, and I only have my Wolf. We forget about the Rokh.

Time to get more firepower.

Friday, December 23, 2011

So a Wolf and Armageddon walk into an asteroid belt

I'm out solo roaming in a Wolf Assault Frigate, when I spot an Armageddon Battleship bouncing around some asteroid belts. There are wrecks at a few of them, so I assume he is ratting (killing NPC pirate mobs) but it pays to be cautious in EVE. He could be bait, but we are the only two in the system. This Wolf can dish out quite the DPS, yet I am concerned about breaking his tank.

I resolve to warp in at 100 km just to see what he's doing. He's engaged with a few rats, and I decide to fly toward him. I'm within my optimal range, so I get a lock on the ship and start filling him with bullets.

Shields drop pretty quick on Amarr vessels, and I start chipping away at his armor. Perhaps the pirates are helping, but his health is dropping faster than I was expecting. He finally targets me and launches some Ogre II drones, which I dispatch with ease.

I see a third pilot enter the local system. My directional scanner shows him commanding a Hurricane Battlecruiser and closing in on our position. I align and warp off as soon as the 'Cane lands on grid.

We have some friendly banter:
[02:51:08] Hasugo Numani > :)
[02:51:21] GIftedPlacebo > ha
[02:52:02] Hasugo Numani > and here i thought i'd get a free bs kill :P
[02:52:06] GIftedPlacebo > lol
[02:52:09] GIftedPlacebo > not today
[02:52:35] Reaperxvii > :P
After waiting out my criminal timer, I leave the system, wishing them a good night. And they return the salute:
Oh, and I caught it on film :)

That was perhaps the most thrilling and intense moment thus far of my EVE career. Imagine how I'll feel when I actually kill something!

Some things to think about as I review the video:
  • I clearly caught the guy off guard, and I wonder how I would fair if he started blasting me from 30k out.
  • I need to change the angle of d-scan once I land on grid.
  • I need to carry more rockets.
  • I didn't overheat, but I wonder if it could have been enough to get him to structure.
  • The Hurricane landed 100 km away. Once I saw him on dscan, I figured I needed to GTFO (had he been in fleet and landed right on top of us). If he had AutoCannons and not Artillery, could I have killed the BS with overheating before the cane reached us?
  • I wasn't pointed.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Relocating to Placid

As previously mentioned, Rage decided to take their ball and go home only after a week in Curse. The alliance leader apologized and offered to pay for everyone's move back to lowsec. He then scammed people out of their stuff and disbanded the alliance. No one I knew lost anything, but I didn't know many people.

Our corp, Deep Void Industrial Group, was in limbo for awhile since the CEO was busy with his move halfway across the world to China. We stayed in touch via EVE mail, and he's moved the corp down to Gare in the Placid region. This is a fairly quiet lowsec area, most traffic is going to/from Syndicate (NPC nullsec) right next door; most of the time the systems are empty.

The current plan is to grow our numbers while poking around and shooting things. There are belt rats here with 500k bounties, and there are some seemingly active mission systems several jumps away (they are low sec systems, which I hope to prowl >:) ).

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Sojourn in Curse

Our Alliance is part of a larger coalition of pirates that have joined forces for this nullsec venture. The move was very fragmented, with people trickling in slowing over a few days, their supplies in limbo.

For reasons that are not clear to me, our pilots got a good whupping. Perhaps people were too scattered, or they didn't know the area, or they were out-numbered, out-shipped, or simply out-played. Whatever the case is, after only five days, Alliance leadership decides to take our ball and go home.

He apologizes profusely and offers to pay for everyone's ships to be moved back to lowsec. I had been busy and didn't even get a chance to fit a Rifter, so I clone jump back to highsec and figure out what to do with my EVE life.

A few days later I learn that the leader stole everyone's items and disbanded the Alliance. C'est la EVE.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Journey to Null

The nice thing about EVE is that something as trivial as travel can be noteworthy.

My new Alliance and her friends are moving to Curse to (eventually) take a piece of the Russian pie. I had hoped to pod jump there with a medical clone, but the CEO has been away and hasn't set up an office. I decide to make the trek.

I fit a Vigil with some speed mods, a prototype cloaking device, and some salvagers, and I plot the 31-jump route, 11 of which are through null sec.

I am fairly comfortable with low-sec, using the Star Map for activity statistics and celestials for gate observation. As I traverse the systems, I create tactical bookmarks with my speedy Vigil in case I'm ever here again.

A friend of mine in the alliance, Squrriel, wants to come scout for me. I assure him the route is pretty quiet and that I'm in a cheap ship with a fresh clone--no need to risk his Stealth Bomber. He insists, and by the time I've made my last low-sec bookmark on the gate to null, he catches up.

We avoid jumping from gate to gate to evade any drag bubbles. While in an empty system, he warps to the out-gate, and warns me that there are NPCs camping. "No worry," I tell him. "I'm not concerned with rats." I warp to 100 km since I'm making bookmarks at 200, and I'm startled as the NPC cruiser begins to lock me. Impressed with its range, but ultimately dismissive, I turn on my MWD, and do a 180.

In a blink of an eye my shields are gone. Frozen in disbelief, I watch 2 more shots destroy my tiny frigate.

Shocked, my pod lingers as my friend frantically searches for a station. "Forget it. Let's just run it," I demand. He jumps through the gate as I bounce off a planet and back. The path is clear, and within another two jumps, I dock in a station and grab a rookie ship to at least buffer one blow, should the situation arise.

We land in a system with 11 in local, the most we've seen since low-sec. He cloaks his Anathema and warps to the out-gate, 70 AU away. Not wanting to be on the gate when my jump cloak wears, I warp to a planet.

"F*ck, a bubble!" He's pulled out of warp, but we both know he is cloaked. Unfortunately the little spider littered cargo cans all over his web, and Squrriel is bumped out of warp. "I'm dead. Pod and all." He wakes up back in high-sec. After consoling him, I resolve to make the final 6 jumps alone, and I warp off to the gate.

I land in a bubble 90 km from the gate! Surprised that I'm not a horrible ball of fire, I make my way to the edge, noticing that there are two bubble traps in front of this gate. I'm not sure if there were only one guy manning both bubbles, if he took pity on my rookie ship, or if he went AFK after eating a juicy Stealth Bomber, but by some miracle I escape to a planet.

I open the System map to take a look at the layout, and my out-gate is well above the ecliptic plane. The system itself is pretty small, and most celestials are bunched up. The two bubbles are angled well enough to catch not only people coming from the in-gate, but also smarter pilots who bounce to a planet first.

I warp to a moon as far away from the other gate as possible, hoping to squeeze past the trap. I align and enter what is possibly the longest warp I've ever experienced. I land at 0 on the gate with a giant grin, jump through, and exhale.

The remaining six systems are empty, and just as cresting a mountain to gaze upon a bountiful valley, I enter my destination system to see local filled with blues.

There is a bit of confusion as to where the cloning vats are, and it would be hilarious to die while searching for them, but I eventually dock up and install a medical clone.

Now to fit a ship.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Getting to Here

I'm a relatively new EVE player, taking the plunge about four months ago. This hasn't been my first time in New Eden, but it's the first time that I've stayed. I wrote (a naive) post about my foray, and even documented my first PvP encounter.

My first week was spent flying around low sec without much action. The remainder of my first month was spent ninja salvaging about 150 million ISK, enough to buy a set of +3 training implants, cruisers, and battlecruisers.

I stayed with a fledgling UK corp for way too long, and eventually went to RvB for some sporty PvP.

Heavily inspired by Taurean Eltanin at Flight of Dragons, I hoped to incubate in RvB and eventually break out into solo piracy. I participated primarily in fleet fights, which were a lot of fun, but not very educational.

Fleets got larger, and many station games were had. After convincing some friends to join, I started doing more duels to structure. These were learning experiences for both parties.

During these months, I had trained up Assault Frigates and began playing with the Wolf. In the last video I am piloting a Rupture because I was persuaded to join an alliance that was going to invade NPC 0.0. Even though my Cruiser skills are not where I want them, I figured I should practice with the bigger hulls for fleet ops.

I will talk about that venture in my next post.