Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Prepare your anus

After coming back from vacation, me and my partner decide to move out of the c3 we have been staying at. After initial scouting, we find a c4, occupied by a small corp with few interesting losses in the killboard. It also has a c4 and c3 statics, which is nice for chain scouting. In my personal opinion, c4 wormholes are most lucrative as sites can be soloed easily enough with a little pimp.

But theory is one thing and practice is another. The chain looks pretty quiet. I do a routine fly-by, but find only empty towers. We have active c4, c3 statics and a k162 which leads to a pulsar c2. I jump in and as expected: d-scan returns nothing. The wormhole is at the edge of the system so I decide to do a quick warp. Half asleep I click scan button and a Gila with sleeper wrecks appear. What's this now? I actually have a target to shoot?

I quickly log in my fleet and ping the corpmate. Gila is hardly an exciting target, but it's still better than a Drake. While I'm busy fleeting up, now I have a Rattlesnake on scan. I hate Rattlesnakes. I quickly pinpoint his position and find him at the anomaly hugging an mtu. The Gila is still in the system, with wrecks and another mtu, but no anomaly. Speaking of anomalies, there's only one left and I'm in it. This being a c2 wormhole, sleepers pop one after another. We don't have much time. Our fleet warps to the c2, jumps in and holds the cloak until I order warp.

I get a positive tackle. The Gila warps to assist, but at a safe range. However, seeing as he can't do much once the cavalry arrives, he warps out. Meanwhile, the Rattlesnake feels the wrath of the Nestors.

Pulsar or not, the battleship dies before we can even manage to lock it with all the ships. It feels good. With a partner to back me up, we will tear the Rattlesnakes a new one, no matter how tanked they will be.

Friday, August 19, 2016

Elusive Rattlesnake

Summer is a slow period. I have been enjoying vacation that, sadly, is coming to an end. In addition, I've also got myself a Vive virtual headset. The thing is bloody expensive, but let me tell you one thing - it's totally worth it. Putting that helmet on and launching first game was like losing virginity and even that doesn't compare. My god, virtual reality is everything I have dreamed of as a child. I can't wait for 2nd or 3rd generation to come.

Naturally with me being away and spending time with the new toys, there's hardly any time left for EVE. To be honest, being absent for awhile feels like a rehab. EVE is a damn addiction and sometimes I feel quite anxious to even start the client.

After scoring a Vargur kill I move to another c4. Not just any c4, but one with a history. System is J100107, a home of SS Squire. Who the hell is he? Well, he is a guy I've had pleasure to encounter in January earlier this year. I remember him, because I've killed his Golem and the name just stuck in my head. Seems like a perfect time to catch up with old friends. He had plenty of time to farm for a new ship. I am happy to find the tower still online, so I settle in. While no Marauder appears, I do find a random guy in a Rattlesnake. He would fly 5000 km off tower and do weird things at his mobile depot, without moving an inch. I wait for him to do the sites, but nothing happens. After awhile, my patience runs out and I decide to take him on.  After all, at this distance tower won't do shit.

The tackle goes without a hitch. I pre-warp the Nestor fleet and hope the Rattlesnake won't refit to warp core stabilizers in time. Unfortunately, the guy does not panic and warps out just as I finish locking with the first Nestor. I helplessly watch him warp back to the tower. Oh well, screw him and that ship. I hate Rattlesnakes. I stick around in the system and try my luck once again next day. And once again, the Rattlesnake warps out as soon as Nestors land.

The Rattlesnakes are like a curse to me. I stick around for a few days more, but the guy, I was hoping to meet in the first place, was nowhere to be seen. Only a random dude, with access rights to the tower and his Rattlesnake. After numerous encounters, the dude already knew he was not alone in the system. Even my new partner tried to gank him with a dictor, but the guy was vigilant and warped out. We decide there's no point in staying much longer and move on.

I also would like to welcome Trey Udan for joining my one man corp. Trey is a bigger multi-boxer than I am. He brings a dictor and more Nestors into the mix. Watch out Rattlesnakes. I only hope we will manage to kill at least one of you, before dying miserably to some pvp fleet.

Monday, August 1, 2016

A man's choice

It's good to change up things. My decision to move on already was paying off. It started with a pair of Ravens trying to roll their connection. Unfortunately for them, I happened to orbit the very same wormhole.

At first I watched them to jump in, slowboat back and jump out. 5 minutes polarization timer was enough for me to get within 2500m range. Once I heard the jump sound, I warped the Nestors and decloaked the Proteus ready for tackle. Ganking the wormhole rolling battleships was not without surprises - my Proteus got scrammed. Shortly I started hearing multiple activation sounds which gave me even bigger scare. I knew it was impossible that I was spotted or that it was a bait, since I haven't really checked out any connects, just scanned the system. Thankfully, the Nestors soon landed, I setup a spider tank and forced the enemy fleet out. When unexpected fight happens, my priority is survival, so I do not put much attention on focus fire as much as I do on managing reps. I still managed to score a kill which I only noticed when I got a notification.

Good start so far, but these were merely the neighbors rolling the connection. I am stalking the c4 in hopes to see locals doing the sites.

Sometimes things catch me unprepared. Like an Orca all of a sudden landing on a c2.

I have drifted 79km as I am too lazy to make a proper perch and just let the ship drift 150km+. It's so rare for such a spontaneous, potentially high value, kill to appear during this time. I pretended as if it never happened and stick with my old ways. Do not try to gang the Orca. Instead, realize the truth - there is no Orca.

The c4, I was stalking in, just kept giving. I haven't seen a single local pilot, but plenty of tourists. I was excited to see a tourist Tengu.

A Tengu that is clearing a c4 site is much more interesting than the one doing an anomaly in a c3. I let him clear of what I think are the tackle frigates and go in for the kill.

The killing goes quickly and it's no surprise. Once those heavy neutralizers start working their magic, the ship explodes like any other cruiser. I'm a bit disappointed with the fit. Not sure if this Tengu is even capable of running the c4 sites. I do like the deadspace shield booster and the anplifier, but I expected at least a full rack of faction ballistic control units.

But all this was merely a teaser, for Bob had something very special in mind. He sends visitors my way.

Not just any visitors. Finally someone who runs anomalies in style. It's been awhile since I saw a Marauder. I get a little worried about the Rattlesnakes joining the Vargur, but they seem to be doing a different anomaly. This is perfect. Once I tackle with the Proteus, perhaps the Rattlesnakes will come to an aid. I finally will get to test how that extra Armageddon, that I brought, will fit the team. I don't care how much cap that ship has, he is going down.

I do the usual surprise attack, by pre-warping the Nestors and decloaking the Proteus a second later once they show up on d-scan. Fight is over before I can even launch Ogres with the Amarr battleship. The Marauder explodes as if it was made from scrap metal and duct tape.

An almost 3 bil worth of killmail. It's because of these moments I never lose faith in Bob. After ganking so many cheap ships, finally I meet someone who has balls to put something shiny on the line. Kudos Vrajik Malit. Please don't let this encounter discourage you from choosing manly ships in the future.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

A prolonged stay

In my previous encounter with the Rattlesnakes I couldn't break their passive tank. It got me annoyed. I started considering what other setups I could use. Even though I carry extra drone damage amplifiers together with some other modules, waiting 1 minute weapons timer and refitting them mid battle, with spider tank setup while multiboxing 4 ships is next to impossible. Everyone is fast to throw a casual "just refit an extra dda", but that sounds easy to accomplish only in theory. I like my Nestor fleet. I grew fond of the ship. It's agile, has good repair bonuses, good tank and good damage. Well, ok, not good enough to break a well fitted passive Rattlesnake, but the bottom line is: I do not want to change my setup. Sure I could use more DPS focused ships, but my strength is in versatility. I can fight off small fleets, gank targets with sleepers on grid, repair, neut and so on. It works really well.

I use 4 accounts to do pvp, but I have 3 extra accounts from my trading days that have 9 characters in total. 6 of them are dedicated traders. Unfortunately I spend exactly 0 time trading anymore. All I do is use my accumulated 300bil trading capital to subscribe those accounts and train random shit that I don't really need. I've tried to do a passive trading, but usually end up with big losses due to game changes crashing the markets and me can't be arsed to update orders once in 90 days. Besides traders, those accounts also have "scouts". Almost untrained characters that I use to park at some random systems that have potential shiny targets. One of them had barely enough skills to sit in an Armageddon which gave me an idea. I quickly went to Jita and bought a 4th battleship that I will bring into the mix to kill the Rattlesnake. Behold, a pilot, that out of all the modules can only online a cloaking device.

What can go wrong. Fully fitted with meta 4 modules, it should finish minimum requirements within a day or two. I took it not because of it's neuting power, but to have that extra set of heavy drones. Thankfully to my unexplained fetish for the drones, I can already use Ogres. I'm ready for you - Sarah Valdez.

I came back to the wormhole with whole fleet. Of course locals have been watching the entrance.

But I don't care. I'm in for the long haul. I will wait for the opportunity. I'm pretty sure I will die horribly multiboxing 5 ships, but if it's a lone Rattlesnake, perhaps I will be fine.

It's never as you expect it to be

Time was going by and I was enjoying a newly bought xcom 2. Holy crap that game is so much fun. My EVE interaction was limited with me logging in a tackle Proteus,checking d-scan once an hour and logging out for sleep. I was maximum afk stalking. I would very rarely scan the system. It's very difficult to know if any of my targets are online without the watch-list. I know they like to park cloaky ships on the exits, so if I wanted to be stealthy, I just had to stay put.

One week passes, two weeks go by and nothing really happens. Not at least during the time I'm logged in. The most action I would see was my targets occasionally cleaning an ore site and mining in cheap Retrievers. Even when clearing the ore sites, their ships were always aligned back to the pos.

It was tempting to score a Gila kill, but I knew it was a small chance I will tackle it in time. Despite my expectations, locals would never do any serious farming. I was wondering if they still expected me in the system. I did scout the surrounding systems few times when I thought it was empty, but I could have been wrong. You never know. If they did anything more than clearing an ore site it would be too much for me to handle.

I watched the damned Rattlesnake fleet bash some pocos. As I did not have system scanned I couldn't get any reinforcements. That's the life of nomadic play style. You will often encounter great targets, but out of your reach. Finally things were looking up. I found a Tengu doing sites.

It was full of Serpentis ships. What the hell are they doing in my wormhole space? Must be some new patch from CCP. I must admit I haven't been following any patch notes since I started my pilgrimage in 2015. But it does not matter, there is a target in front of me, sitting still. I do the usual perch bookmark at 200km and get ready to warp and grab this Tengu. This is the moment I've been waiting for!

"You cannot warp there, because natural phenomena are disrupting the warp". What the...? What is this shit? Is this site seriously a deadpsace pocket? Oh god damn you, CCP.  I warp to the beacon at 10 and slowboat to the Tengu. It is quite far, but I hope my Proteus will be able to tank until Nestors warp in and get in repair range. Besides, I've been in this wormhole for literally a month with no opportunities. I was starting my third walkthrough in xcom 2 and decided it was time to call it a day (month?). And what better way to part than ganking someone? I was getting closer to the Tengu and things were looking up when all of a sudden the strategic cruiser warps out and I watch all NPC start blinking red. What the hell? Looks like my cloak is suddenly off. I have no idea how this happened. I thought I was careful by checking for all the collidable objects to be out of the way.  The Tengu pilot greets me in local. Ok, I got the message. It was clear Bob had other plans for me than to enact revenge upon the Rattlesnakes. I pack my shit and move out.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Rattlesnakes be damned

Probably everyone has a ship or two that they dislike, whatever the reason may be. Some people call Svipuls a cancer, some people curse when they see a rolling yacht. My most hateful ship? A fucking Rattlesnake.

I have encountered more than a few Rattlesnakes of whom I couldn't break the tank. I used to fly 3 Navy Dominixes. After a couple of failed gank attempts I cut down on tank and put 3 drone damage amplifiers instead of one. Then I have encountered a Paladin that I couldn't break. Unless I wanted the similar situation happen again, I was in need of a change...again. That's how current meta - the Nestor trio was born. It has the very similar capabilities of the 3 Dominixes. They have one extra heavy neut fitted on each, extra repair bonuses, similar tank, but only two drone damage amplifiers. I thought I have found an optimal setup. A powerful spider tank, with good enough neuting capabilities and good enough dps. Me tanking Marauders and Rattlesnakes were the thing of the past. Or so I thought.

It was your usual day. I was watching the tower with two Rattlesnakes in it. System was kept tidy and I knew the locals would not resist running those anomalies.

And so they did. I tackled both Rattlesnakes at the site, warped in my Nestor fleet and sent angry Ogres after them. It was a tough battle.

It's really tough to properly manage spidertank setup while multiboxing 4 ships. Usually hostile ships explode fast and I don't go into extended fight. However these Rattlesnakes were not giving up. I was very close going below 30% shield, but never did. Fight kept prolonging and it was getting very tiresome. In about 15 minutes I saw this was going nowhere so I bailed. One of the pilots decided to chat me up.

As most of my victims, they were quite surprised to see my fleet try take a shot at them. It was a friendly conversation. We exchanged some thoughts and the pilot was kind enough to share the fit.

It was a max passive tanked Rattlesnake. I guess that's what you would expect in a c4 site. I hated it. It brought back bad memories and the fact that 3 Nestors are not enough to break a passive Rattlesnake was very shitty news to have. I do not want to jeopardize the tank as I have trouble staying alive with the current one, but at the same time I do not want to bring yet another ship into the mix. The fact that three faction battleships can't kill one is nonsense. I understand active tank bursts such as Ancillary Shield Boosters, but for a passive tank to be able to withstand 3 ships of the same size with 2 damage mods each? Bullshit. But that's the reality. My opinion may not always be the right one, but it's up to me to do something about it. Turns out, I've found a good fix to the situation. Xcom2 was on steam sale. Fuck the Rattlesnakes. I'm gonna go shoot some aliens.