Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Hunter being hunted

There's always someone stronger. It's the law of nature in EVE. You might be at the top of food chain as an entity, but as a pilot you will always be a prey, regardless how good you are. Despite my moderate success of avoiding traps and baits I always tread lightly. I know I can be killed at any time. I am solo player, after all.

On my way to a new c4 system I find a lone Drake doing anomalies.

An old school Drake. Ahhh, Drake. Before I started multiboxing and writing about my stalking adventures in this blog, I used to do solo hunting with Proteus. That sure brings back the memories. Back in the day all I could take on was a random battlecruiser. I was visiting c1-c2 wormholes and most often I encountered Drakes.

I do a quick research of the pilot's killboard. It looks very active and green. His kills are in low-sec. He has a few Drake losses in wormholes and I guess about to have one more. No need for the ceremony. I decloak and tackle him. Drake tackles me back. I'm not too worried. I have expected as much from a pvp pilot to carry a disruptor. Once Domi fleet lands, Drake is no more.

I proceed with my trip to the new c4 home. It has a corp 30 members large, that looks fairly active. System is clean and timezone looks suitable. I settle in.

Next day I do my usual scouting. I have all members added to watch list and I see a couple of them online, but nothing on d-scan at the tower. Whatever, I scan and jump in to the static, cloak up and hear an activation sound a minute later. Loki jumps in and cloaks up. Timing is just too big of coincidence. I am quite sure I have been spotted and they simply had scouts on the exit.

In short time I see more and more pilots start to log in. I have a bad feeling. A really bad feeling. My Domi fleet is on the other side and I just feel it in my gut they are waiting for me. I got no eyes to see what's going on, but I have a very strong sense that the other side is not empty. I do further investigation of killboard and start to realize that they have quite few kills and very few losses. Bloody hell, it's a pvp corp.

Nothing jumps through the wormhole. I could wait and just go afk, but if they suddenly start rolling the connection, my Dominixes will be stuck. They have probe launchers in their cargoholds, but it will be very tricky to leave in one piece. Corp now had around 7 people online vs initial 2 when I started scouting and more are logging in as time passes. I decide to go for it. I will try to go back before all bloody corp logs in and hope for the best, Approach the wormhole, jump.

Fuck. I fucking knew it. I did not need eyes to know I am being trapped. When you live in wormholes for this long, you start to develop extra senses. I set trajectory to approach wormhole by the side. I will try to burn out of bubble, but first seconds are the most dangerous. If I get decloaked I should be within jump range.

I avoid Sabre, but unfortunately I fuck up the alignment and get decloaked by approaching within less than 2km of the wormhole. I jump and instantly warp away. Phew, I am still in one piece. Now they know I know they have a trap. Anyone would normally give up as it's highly unlikely prey will be returning anytime soon. And it's true, I wouldn't go back, but I have Dominixes stuck on the other side. I'm not sure if they know it.

I decide to cool off and wait 15 minutes for my heart rate to drop along with polarization timer. Then decide to give a one more go. Perhaps they are not camping anymore. Here I go.

Jesus Christ. I had ships pass me as close as 3500 meters. My heart rate was going through the roof. I don't remember the last time I was so scared. Somehow I manage to slip by. I chose most remote bookmark in the system to align to, which was a gas site. Once I was in warp I started breathing again. There's no way I am staying in this system. Early next day I moon-walked right back out and did not relax until I was 5 jumps out down the chain. Good lesson for me that small corps are not always easy targets as you might expect them to be.

Monday, December 28, 2015

Three Dominixes that couldn't

I found a target. Neighboring system had an active Rattlesnake pilot that liked doing sites, despite multiple connections open to his system.

He was on d-scan initially, but warped back to tower. There were no wrecks and system was tidy, with only few anomalies left. And since I saw him on d-scan without a tower, that means he left safety of his pos. It did not take long for him to warp to an anomaly again. I waited for him to kill some of the sleepers before tackling. Patience is key and when the time was right, I went in for the kill. Tackle on and Dominix fleet is in warp. It was killing time!

Only I wish that was so easy. Rattlesnake was a formidable opponent. He had a very tough tank and cataclysmic effects of the wormhole did not help. Remote capacitor transfer and remote armor repair was cut by 36%. My Domis were always running out of cap and I had to micro manage spidertank and cap boosters. Bloody insane. Of course, as a rule of thumb, sleepers will shoot and swap aggro to anything, but the actual ship that has been killing them for the past 10 minutes. For "intelligent" AI it sure is fucking stupid.

So I was managing somehow and dropped Rattlesnake to 40% shields, but he was not going lower than that. I kept the pressure, but he must have recovered from shock and started shooting my drones. I carry Federation Navy Ogres for more hp, but even they were dropping like flies. Now I had to manage drones on top of low armor and cap warnings. Unfortunately, my partner was not on at the moment so it was just me. Boy would I have given anything for an extra dps ship. Of course with me scooping drones and reestablishing aggro, Rattlesnake's shields started to go up. It was clear, I bit more than I could chew.

Seeing as I was getting nowhere I aligned all my ships and warped out. After exhausting almost all my cap boosters, barely keeping my ships alive I felt disappointed. A faction battleship passive tanks three faction battleships. Ridiculous.

This was the second Rattlesnake that I could not break in my adventures. The first encounter I considered as an exception. The second one, I consider as a trend. I will not wait for a third Rattlesnake to escape me. I need to adapt.

I went straight to Jita. Restocked on supplies, opened EFT and started theory crafting. Shield setup would be very tempting, but it doesn't mix well with heavy tank tackle. In general, armor works quite well, but it lacks a punch. With current setup I was getting close to 30% shields. Perhaps I don't need to change that much, so I fit two more drone damage amplifiers on each Domi. Now I will have 3 in total and my Dominixes will do almost 700 dps each, which hopefully will be enough. I sacrifice high resists and cut on my tank. I prioritized tank over dps due to multiboxing and wanted to have room for errors, but I can't have random Rattlesnakes tanking my fleet.

Friday, December 25, 2015

Pulling out implants to deny expensive kill

Eve is acting up again. It won't load information about wormhole for me to see if its critical mass or eol. It won't load character or anything else for that matter.

It's been slow for me and Ganky. We haven't had that many opportunities and got quite spoiled with shiny kills coming to us almost daily. Sometimes we just need to look around and look for targets ourselves.

One can get used to easy life, but even afk stalking requires effort and initiative to find kills. We decide to check surrounding systems and see if we can find a nice home. There are c2 and c4 statics. I start with c2 first.

Well I'll be dammed. There's Tengu on scan with wrecks and no tower. I quickly resolve anomaly he is in and warp at 100. It seems I haven't been spotted. I bounce and make 200km bookmark while fleet gets ready to jump in on moments notice.

Three, two, one and the strategic cruiser is tackled.

In an instant Tengu is surrounded by hostile fleet.

Whina Fistouille > are you trolling me :)

Pilot seemed surprised, but not too much panicked. Afterall, it takes hella lot of time for battleships to warp in. Once we got 700mil kill, we started locking and getting points on the pod, thanks to our newly brought interdictor. Something felt off though.

Pod killmail was suspiciously missing implants. We have every reason to believe the guy pulled them out while we were locking pod. Our mistake, I will admit, but I have mixed feelings about this. It doesn't feel right that you can rip off your implants outside the station. It just doesn't feel right.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Linux and EVE struggle

On and off I've been trying to combine EVE and Linux. I try to learn new OS and configure to my needs. It's been quite a challenge for someone coming from windows. It's been a struggle. I need to google to find out how to do simplest things.

I have setup EVE with Wine and I keep my scanner watching the system for targets while I do my thing. I managed to configure most stuff  to my preference, but only issue that is left is something do about EVE. The problem I have as a multiboxer, all instances are shown under Wine icon. I do not have separate clients in unity bar visible and only way I can swap between clients is alt+w shortcut. That is not very convenient as window order always changes. I've read that I could create virtual desktop, assign hotkeys and similar solutions, but being total noob I have been putting it off and focusing on programming my market app with python instead.

Idea was to keep scanner logged and whenever I saw a target I would log in with windows, perform a gank and go back to ubuntu. Not the most elegant solution. Of course I did not account on totally random things. For example getting ambushed on the wormhole or getting raped by sleepers in an anomaly. Which is just what almost happened.

System I have been stalking had some ships on. Suspecting locals might do the only anomaly in the system I decide to take initiative and make a 200km bookmark. As usual, I warp to 100 only to see myself land right on top of the mega structure and in the middle of sleepers. I try to warp back but get scrammed, neuted and webbed. Fuck fuck fuck, shit shit shit and many other similar words came through my mind. The Domi fleet was logged out and I was in Linux, which usually freezes my launcher if I try to launch more than 2 accounts. This is it, will I actually be killed by sleepers?

No, not if I can help it. I try to grab the straw and quickly log in my Dominixes. Thankfully launcher does not freeze. maybe has something to do with me updating to the new Wine version. I create fleet and warp urgently to my Proteus one by one. Strategic cruiser is at half armor and it is dropping fast. Once Dominixes land I put reps and try to setup a cap chain. Window order keeps shuffling and it's a total mess. To setup spider tank in these conditions is something like juggling balls and trying to take a shit at the same time. Possible, but not very convenient. I set my Warriors on guard mode and they soon kill all frigate sleepers that were scrambling my ships. Finally, I was ready to gtfo.

I warped out and went straight to high-sec. I needed to refill drones and I doubt locals would be doing any sites with me half-clearing a site right in front of their noses. It was a good lesson that taught me I am nowhere near ready to pilot multiboxing fleet in Linux environment.

Monday, December 21, 2015

Are you still there?

We chose a class 2 wormhole as the next place to stay. It's quite small level and you don't normally expect very expensive targets, however, it all depends on the residents.

Locals had bunch of shiny ships in their hangers. Nightmare, Bhaalgorn, Scorpion Navy Issue, just to name a few. It's hard to believe he would be doing c2 sites with these ships. Probably some are used for pvp and perhaps some are used to farm sites of c4 static. We settle in and keep a watchful eye.

ArcAngel7 logs in on our suitable times: late EU/early US tz, but he never warps out of tower. For reasons unknown, he boards faction battleship, warps to another tower and gets into flycatcher, where he then proceeds to camp random wormholes. Checking his killboard we see that he, indeed, has quite few scanner kills. I guess that's his play. But fly catcher is not good enough, we want to get the shiny.

We stick around for a few days, but get tired of waiting. We start to suspect that we have been spotted few times scouting neighboring wormholes and added to watch list. Only speculation, but enough is enough so devious plan has been developed.

We noticed that the guy swaps for battleships, warps between two towers that are on opposite ends of the system. I setup some bookmarks and make 300km perches on both towers. It's out of range from any warp disruptors and well out of weapons range to receive any meaningful damage. The plan is to setup a bubble next time he warps between towers and hopefully trap a battleship.

Problem with that plan is that we only get one shot at this and we need to guess. The guy is very unpredictable. He warps around in his flycatcher, swaps battleships, swaps back to interdictor and warps again between towers. We need to take best guess and setup a bubble when he swaps for a battleship, before he enters warp.

We wait for the guy to be out of d-scan and setup a cloaky Onyx. Our target comes back to tower and swaps for a battleship. This is it, we decloak and bubble up the tower on the other end. Only to have the guy swap back to Flycatcher and warp to that bloody tower. Jesus. Of course with his super fast warp speed he lands in a bubble. And, of course, he burns and warps away from slow Onyx.

What a shame. I really would have loved to have him land with Bhaalgorn. But now instead we have a troll on our hands. He warps his faction battleship to high-sec connection and starts smalk talking monologue in local.
ArcAngel7 saken > cause i cant have you bubbling our stations :)
ArcAngel7 saken > you were here yesterday as well? yikes we do have a problem
ArcAngel7 saken > nothing to say?
ArcAngel7 saken > yea look who is useless
ArcAngel7 saken > why is this so funny
ArcAngel7 saken > you brougth the absolute worst ships for this fight]
ArcAngel7 saken > i think i proved my point
ArcAngel7 saken > if you want a fight that badly then wait until the rest of my corp logs on
ArcAngel7 saken > and please dont bring a fucking proteus to fight a bhaalgorn..
ArcAngel7 saken > or a loki
We use Stratios, Loki and Proteus to fool around. Since he knows we are here, we might as well entertain him. We try to bump him, but it's hard when we are capped out. He doesn't seem to know about my Domi trio cloaked up in the system and I really like people who don't do background research. Smalktalk makes us want to stay a bit longer, but we decide it's not worth the effort. He would only need to spot us scouting once and it would be just time wasting game. We move out without saying goodbye. Or do we?

Few days later.

Friday, December 18, 2015

To gank or not to gank

After a great Paladin kill, it was time for me and my partner to find a new home. It did not take long. We already had another c4 lined up. It's great to have someone to stalk wormholes with. It sure is an improvement. We cover more ground and stalking activity by itself is more fun.

Something was up in our new c4. One guy at the tower was taking ships out of the hanger.  Whatever his reasons were, we got intrigued. I then spotted him swapping for a bomber and warping to a site, uncloaked. I, of course, follow. I am very interested how bomber will fare against c4 anomaly sleepers.

He then turns around and warps back. I guess he was making a bookmark or something. One thing is clear though, bomber doesn't warp to anomaly for no reason. We are about to see a potential target. I can feel it.

In just a couple of minutes, I see Rattlesnake warp in. A very popular c4 site clearing ship.

We will be happy to take it. In fact, we wait for him to clear frigates and a couple of cruisers from the field. After all, system is large and ship like Stratios could be in danger before remote rep Domis arrive.

Once there are 3 sleeper cruisers left, we jump in on the battleship. It was very easy to get a good warp in position thanks to mobile tractor unit.

We kill his mtu first and then finish him off. Pilot manages to warp off, which makes us realize that an interdictor would be very handy thing to have in our small multiboxing fleet. Today's farming is over for the Rattlesnake's pilot. He logs and we go on a lookout for a new system.

We pass by low-sec. I spot a Myrmidon doing site. It doesn't take long to find him, but he is in such bad position that there is no good warp in. I will need to do at least 3 bounces for a perch. I ask Ganky if he feels like ganking him as I was not sure it's worth the effort. We decide to go for it.

While I was making a perch, couple more people joined local. It's been too long for random travelers. Something smells fishy. We have our ships ready for the gank, sitting on the wormhole, but I hold it. There is a character with negative status and from an active corp. It's my ex corp, which I know likes to drop black opses. I don't think it's smart to perform the gank. For all I know, he might be watching the same target. Speaking of the devil.

Tengu decloaks, cyno goes up and Window jumps in. No more ships are coming through though. Shit, that looks like a great opportunity to gank the ganker. Should we go for it? Should we not? I need to decide quick as Myrmidon is not going to last long.

As much as I want, I decide not to go for it. Mostly, because Dominixes warp so bloody slowly, that if I tackled Tengu, he would have at least a minute to call reinforcements and I am sure there would be reinforcements as corp's prime time is exactly this time. Nah, the odds are not in our favor. Myrmidon explodes, Widow micro jumps out and cloaks up. Everything took seconds. Sometimes you have to make decision on the spot and I can only hope I made a correct call this time.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

A blingy catch

After ganking Raven Navy Issue it was time to move to another wormhole. We've settled in Unsettled. wormhole.

It was a nice c4 with c4 and c2 statics. System was clean, with only one anomaly present. However, corp is rather big in numbers. Two guys that multibox ships is no match for a normal fleet. We take a closer look at their kills and while there are many, most of them are in another system. We do not know if there is some special ops going or if corp simply has multiple systems, so we move in anyway.

I spent most of the day orbiting a c2 static. There were no jumps whatsoever. System was dead quiet, with same unpiloted ships on dscan and occasionally one random bomber or covert ops.

In evening activity started to pick up the pace and locals started logging in. Me and Ganky have been patiently waiting and keeping a close eye on every connection out. C4 we were staying at, had only one combat anomaly, the same since yesterday. Talk about shitty spawn rates, but one is better than none.

While we stalk and things are quiet, we usually find ways to occupy ourselves.
Doktor Borgia > Target system is still dead silent, No activations on any of the wormholes I've been on.
Doktor Borgia > This message brought to you by someone who is 90% watching How I Met Your Mother on the other screen.
ggnoreTT > roger that
ggnoreTT > message received by someone who is 90% watching anime
To save myself walking to computer, I put extra lazy step and installed remote desktop so I can press d-scan from my phone. On one such checks I spot Paladin.

Oh, what's going on here? System was dead for hours and now there's a marauder on scan? I try to pinpoint the tower he is at only to have Ganky report him jumping through c4 static. Let the hunt begin!

I jump in and locate Paladin farming anomaly. I quickly make a perch and when I was about to engage, bloody marauder just micro jumps out. He is not in alignment to any celestial so I either slowboat for a long time or discretely combat probe him. Well, neither. Problem is, my Domi fleet is already in warp and I am going to land on exit in the middle of their home system. If anyone will check d-scan, they can report hostile fleet on home wormhole and marauder will just warp to safe and cloak up. I go for the third option - decloak and launch combat probes right in front of his face. I am 160km off so I can warp right on top of him, but my money is he will warp back to his home by an instinct.

I am right. Paladin hastily cancels his Bastion mode, warps to c4 and jumps, right to our welcoming, open arms. And boy, did we give him a welcome.

Marauder managed to run few repair cycles before we sucked his cap dry. I think he would have tanked quite well if it was just me, but now, working together with another multiboxer, I could relax a bit and just enjoy the explosion.

A juicy, over 2bil worth of kill. Loot fairy was very generous with almost 800mil in drops. We were a bit too excited and neglected to kill an mtu first, which scooped all the loot. Luckily for us, it dropped almost everything apart from 150mil smartbomb. A small price to pay. We decided that everything will go to Ganky's SPR fund to cover initial losses.

Monday, December 14, 2015

First time is special

Me and my new wormhole stalking partner - Ganky Deska, were off to a rocky start. Our first gank ended in disaster, with him losing all his ships. Then we got separated due to EOL wormhole connection and timezone difference, but it was time for us to reunite.

On his way, Ganky scored a nice Vexor Navy Issue kill. You don't see it on the killmail, but he was farming sleepers with two Geckos, drones that each cost more than his ship. Having in mind that he was in a c2 wormhole, I really question his weapon of choice. Bad for him, good for us. We agreed that all future loot will go towards reimbursement of Ganky's losses.

Midway, Ganky encounters Stratios in low-sec. With local immediately announcing presence of anyone who enters the system, Stratios pilot was totally oblivious of a neutral and he paid the price.

An almost 500mil kill and over 100mil in drops. If this keeps up, we should recoup from our losses in no time.

Finally we have arrived at the system where we will stalk our first target. They say you always remember your first time so it better be special. Our target - Rattlesnake.

System has only one anomaly left and killboard shows previous loss was full of shiny loot. We get optimistic.

Optimistic my ass. Time was passing by and Rattlesnake pilot was swapping ships, but had no intention to leave the forcefield. It's as almost he was teasing us, by waggling that shiny tail of his. It was getting very late for me, but somehow I couldn't just let it go.

A lot of strange things were happening. Guys swapped ships back and forth, then I had Buzzard warp and do data sites. We decided not to waste our surprise attack on a covert ops frigate. Then he warped to another site, Astero following him. Site has despawned, but they still were on dscan.

So many questions, so few answers. Wormhole also had a low-sec exit, several jumps from Jita. Besides Rattlesnake pilot, there was also another guy who warped out in a pod and docked up in Jita. I have been watching undock with my alt, but he just was just sitting there.

I was starting to think, nothing will come out of this. Guys we are stalking have been online since the beginning. They are doing data sites, so it's not like they are scared of neutrals, but that one anomaly, doesn't seem to be of any interest.
ggnoreTT > im going to c3 and log
ggnoreTT > you can try and afk stalk them
ggnoreTT > maybe you get lucky
It was time to call it a day. Only suddenly.
ggnoreTT > RNOI!
ggnoreTT > raven navy
Ganky Deska > Where?!
ggnoreTT > from jita
ggnoreTT > the guy just undocked
Spotting faction battleship on my Jita overview was like seeing a miracle. I couldn't even type properly anymore. We both were waken up from our slumber. We quickly setup Ganky's loki on low-sec side and my Proteus inside the wormhole. Now we wait. The guy still needed to pass one low-sec system without dying to a gate camp. So close to Jita, it might be he won't even make it home. In some minutes we see him in local.
Ganky Deska > RNI on Dscan
Words that made me smile, like a kid about to get a candy. Navy Raven lands and jumps in. I scanned the guy on undock and he did not have any wcs fitted. Even if he had, I think our points have outnumbered his low slots.

Faction battleship went down and I must say, I have enjoyed every second of it. It's no shiny Rattlesnake, but we will take a cool 600mil satisfying ending any day.

Friday, December 11, 2015

Getting cyno baited

I really don't like null-sec. While others have a lot of fun ganking anomaly farmers, I have this fear that every ship has a cyno and that swarm of ships will jump in on me at any given time. That's why when I found, and my guess opened, a direct null connection to one farming system owned by Solar Citizens alliance, I was keeping a tight orbit of 5km.

There were some Ishtars and Tengus doing anomalies, but of course they all warped to the safety of the station. My idea was to stick around and perhaps nail a freighter or other ship. High-sec was 5 jumps out from Jita. A direct connection to a farming system. That happens ever so rarely, so there's bound to be a some sort of opportunity. I also like that with such "high class" connection, you get dropped 7km+ off the wormhole. Enough time to tackle and bump a target.

Wormhole got scanned and I had one guy using the opportunity and evacuating assets. He was mostly coming back in pod, so there was not much I could do about it. Good thing was that wormhole is scanned and word will spread around. Of course there's one neutral hanging in the system for the last 15 minutes. I have been in a Russian alliance when I was flying in low-sec. I know how risk averse they are and how they will use their overwhelming power to crush their opponent. I will have to be on my toes on this one.

After camping for about 30 minutes I was starting to consider if I should move on. Imagine my surprise when I suddenly see a Tengu land out of warp 25km off me.

He was just sitting there for a good minute, then moves, then stands still again. Don't know what's the big idea here. I'm pretty sure that after this time a background research of me has been done and I play EVE long enough to know that random Tengus don't just land on wormholes at range and stand still. You know what this is.

I watch Tengu. A good coincidence is that I happened to be on the same side of the wormhole where Tengu came from, which means I  am between the wormhole and the strategic cruiser. I could point him and still be in range to jump out, but I couldn't keep him in range. By the time I jumped my Domis in and tried to lock him, he would be long gone.

I could just ignore him, but I'm the mood for some gamble. If I play this smart, I should be relatively ok. Tengu starts slowly approaching. Once he is within 14km I will make my move. He will still be 20km off the wormhole and I will have him pointed and webbed. Maybe even scrammed if he gets within 10km. I also can move out of jumping range a little bit. I can always slow-boat back to wormhole with my Domis repping me. Unless there's an overwhelming force of course, but it's a risk I am willing to take.

I decloak a bit prematurely. He was 18km off when I decloaked. I was a bit too impatient and hoped he will be in webifier range before my sensor recalibration timer is over. Tengu's pilot was paying attention. He changed his trajectory off the wormhole and while I had him webbed for a few moments, he was putting distance. Meanwhile, I was jumping in my Domis and set drones after him before he went out of range for that too.

It was tough. I was trying not to go too far off the wormhole and still keep Tengu pointed. Ship was in armor. His defenses were breaking, but now I had an interceptor with me on grid.

This is not good. Once I saw Tengu drop at 40% armor, my instincts were telling me he should explode soon as I am so used to them being shield tanked. In the heat of a battle my mind completely disregarded the fact that his armor was holding far longer than his shields did and so, like an idiot, I burned at full speed at him with my Proteus.

I was 23km off the wormhole. Once I got webbed it was like I just took a cold shower. It all became clear. I set full speed back to wormhole, but once scrambler landed on me I realized: this is what they have been waiting for. It's baiting 101 to let your opponent lose his vigilance by letting him break your defenses. If it was any other armor ship, I might not have fallen for it, but I expected Tengu to pop any minute.

Cyno goes up and ships starts pouring in. And by ships I mean a couple of Archons. All while this was happening, my drones and sentries were working on the strategic cruiser. He was going down. Ares for some reason, was pointing one of my Dominixes, which sat at 0km off the high-sec wormhole. This is when I realized I still have a chance.

The second Tengu exploded, I hit my cloak. I did not have any positive locks on me. My Proteus just cloaks up in the middle of the battle. Sweet baby Bob, I can't believe this worked. I am really slowboating back to wormhole cloaked.

I manage to get back and jump my ships out safely to high-sec. I left my Faction Navy Ogres, but I didn't really feel bad about it. And who would in this situation?

I was heading back to Jita. It was time to relax, let my heart rate drop and buy new drones. Guess who else was on his way to buy a new ship.

Boy, what an encounter. Bob is watching over me even in k-space.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Scanning improvements

After patches sometimes I get very amazed. Amazed on how things actually end up rolled out. After traveling abroad and finally getting back home, I launched EVE. I wanted to log in and do some scanning and maybe score a kill. I got greeted with a new scan interface. It was reinvented. A lot of people complained, including me, about ship scanner (red circle) that blended in with unresolved sigs (red circle). With hard to select probes, it was quite a pain in the ass to use. But today is the patch day. The day when all those nuisances will go away.

You have to be kidding me. Of all the colors they picked one to match probes. I know it's a try to align with EVE environment and all, but seriously. I don't believe designers did more scanning than 10 minutes.  One solution is to put d-scan to 5 degree for it not to get in the way, but that is a flaw if I have to do that.

For the record, Ganky thinks this is an improvement, so I guess it's subject to personal preference. Though I do think probes are now easier to select when moving, but that might be my mind playing tricks on me.

CCP also introduced all new d-scan filtering. Remember that checkbox that was very handy to turn off/on all filters? The one a lot of people asked for? Forget it. Instead, we have a list that is up to date with the current times and that checkbox is so last decade. I am using SaraShawa overview pack, which has a lot of filters.

I can't choose my standard overview with ships and towers. It's somewhere all the way up that I have no way of selecting. Of course I could use old system, but that would feel step backwards. Of course I could redo my own overview, but that is too much work.

And for the grand finale. It so happened that our home system had a high-sec with less than 50% mass. That's right, I'm a scanner and I will scan, no matter how inconvenient it will be. I was orbiting the wormhole while messing around with d-scan when I spot two Megathrons on scan. I find them on a c4 static. It looks like I have missed the rolling as wormhole is critical. I position back on the high-sec exit and do a casual d-scan check before going afk only to see Megahtron with familiar signature appear again. It's the same guy! I find him at the c4, but there is no wormhole anymore! 

To my stupidity I land at 70km. I watch him stand still, probably in shock that he has rolled himself out. He then warps off, which appears to be in the middle of nowhere, but close range. A safe spot? I warp of d-scan and launch combat probes and get back to c4. The battleship warps back and warps out again. Shortly he disappears from d-scan. I do a system sweep, but he is nowhere to be found. Either cloaked up or jumped out through the high-sec. Or, he just logged out. I setup my Proteus close to where c4 was and put him on a secondary screen. Not even two minutes passed when I see him land.

This time I am in point range. I decloak and tackle Megathron, only to have him warp off again. Again to random direction. I quickly scan it out and land right on top. I did not have him watch listed, but I assume he logged out again, this time with a timer. I tackle him and warp my Domi fleet in. The battleship was not moving and quickly met his doom.

So why I put this hunt in a "patch review" post? Well, mainly for this:

That is a screenshot of him exploding. Notice anything unusual? Hint: check his shield, armor and structure. I did not understand what was going on. I thought my drones were not really shooting him as none of hp dropped. He just casually popped and ship vanished with full health. Imagine how demotivating that would be in a pvp fight.

Monday, December 7, 2015

King of the hill

Something strange was going on in a c2 I've been staying at. I have a Minmatar shuttle on d-scan and it doesn't go away. Neither it is on any of celestials or signatures. I scan him out to investigate.

An empty shuttle sitting in the middle of space. It was not here earlier this morning. I also spot Prowler on d-scan for a short time. Suspecting something, I warp to the safe with the tower in range. I notice forcefield is missing. I get a visual and find a lone tower sitting with one unanchored module. Damn it. Tower was with hangers just earlier today. I completely missed the moving out op. Well, maybe not entirely. Prowler has yet to pick up this unanchored module.

In just a couple of minutes transport ship lands and I drop my cloak to properly greet him.

Pilot ejects and warps back, probably scared of interdictor. Good call, I would have done the same. I finish off his ship and cloak up. He never bothered to return for his tower.

Next day was the day I'm supposed to move out. Without any active towers, system is uninhabited and therefore, nothing to gank. A random d-scan reveals something interesting.

Looks like a town gathering. Something is definitely up and I want to be a part of it. I resolve ships at one of the high-sec connections.

I watch them for a bit and try to put up a plan. I don't know what they are doing here or where they came from. All I see are few wrecks on the field. After a couple of minutes, most of the fleet jumps out, leaving Rupture alone. This is it, this is my chance! If I attack now, they will be polarized and I can jump out if shit hits the fan. Wormhole looks healthy - above 50% mass. Of course Rupture can just jump out, but he seems to be out of range. And somehow, I feel the fleet is in a fighting mood.

I decloak and engage the cruiser. I get tackled in return and hear wormhole activation. Slowly more neutrals appear on the overview as my Domi fleet lands and we start the brawl.

It's a clusterfuck to multibox against so many neutrals, but I'm managing, somehow. Biggest pain in the ass is to focus fire on the same enemy and re-lock my fleet mates when I get jammed. For some reason, drone assist does not work when I shoot antimatter while having someone already scrammed. They don't have that much dps either and they seem to continue shooting my most tanked ship - Proteus. It's a slow fight, but I manage to kill their Hurricane Navy Issue and Rupture.

Seeing the fight's not going their way, eventually they all jump out. Wormhole goes below half mass and I'm left the last man standing.

Friday, December 4, 2015

The first pancake is always spoiled

EVE is acting up again. I got a wormhole I can't access to. I get various error messages.

The worst part is that ship gets stuck and becomes unresponsive.

The only way to get "unstuck" is by closing the client and relogging. I had traffic control messages before, but never anything second jump action wouldn't fix. Certainly never got my ship paralyzed not reacting to any movement commands.

Finally I got the wormhole collapsed sign.

But it didn't really collapse as wormhole and signature was there, only to disappear after I warped off grid.

Being in wormhole with high-sec statics, you often get explorers visiting you. I had a chance to observe an inbound gank Astero vs Purifier. Bomber trying to gank frigate.

Unfortunately Astero escapes the bomber and the bomber escapes my Proteus. I hate when pilots do not panic and get their shit together while I wait for sensors to re-calibrate.

While I was fooling around, my new partner - Ganky Deska reports about potential targets. He spots some activity in the system nearby. There now is a mining procurer that we could gank.

I am not very into ganking t1 mining barges, but system was clean of anomalies and it was getting late, so we might as well gank and call it a day (or at least me as it was day time in US). However, upon further inspection, we noticed that procurer often appears on killmails. Ganky was fairly certain he could have been spotted. Circumstances immediately rang warning bells. Today's forecast was showing a high chance of bait.

Corp was Polaris space industries of Illusion of Solitude alliance. A small corp, but well known alliance. We do our research and decide to take the bait. Corp has only 14 members and there's around 3-4 people logged that we know of. I add other pvp pilots to watch list. Most of them appear to be offline.

I get my Domi fleet in position one jump out and I get my Proteus in position together with Ganky's Loki. He tackles the Loki, gets scrammed and shortly we see three ships coming in: Gnosis, Typhoon and Armageddon. I jump in my Domis and order warp.

"This person is either not a member of your fleet or not present in this solar system."

Whoooops. My brain totally failed me and I was still one jump out. I quickly warp to the right connection, while enemy fleet lands on us and starts slowly killing, starting with Loki.

Ganky orders the rest of his alts - two Stratios - to engage in the fight. My Dominixes move like turtles. The fact that we are under fire, doesn't make time go faster. When my backup arrives, enemy fleet is giving finishing touches to Stratios' strucutre. With my Proteus still on field, I cycle my tackle mods with every spare cap I can scrape. Quickly put up secondary tackles with my Dominixes and let Ogres do the dirty work. I manage to keep both hostile battleships in place and finish them off.

We lost the fight. At least it was not one sided, but I felt really bad for making such a crucial mistake. I have had similar mixups in the past. I need to stay focused. Our enemies seemed puzzled. At the time, Ganky was not yet in the corp due to 24 hour role freeze timer.

It would have been very hilarious if I was a third party.