Tuesday, March 15, 2016

New doctrine and watch-list changes

In my last encounter I attacked a Paladin, that I couldn't break with my three Dominix fleet. I could just shrug it off and continue with my hunt elsewhere, but where is fun in that? I went theory crafting, trying to find an alternative to my setup that wouldn't require an extra account, wouldn't break my bank, carry similar punch and have similar survivability. One necessary requirement  was extra neuting power since I struggle breaking well tanked ships or even spider tanking duo. I couldn't come up with many choices. Most tempting option was to train a character on unused trader account for a neuting Armageddon and use 5 accounts for my ganking, but upping the character count kinda rubs me the wrong way. I got my 4 pvp accounts not because I planned to kick ass "solo", but because I wanted to try many different things: PVP, scanning and exploration, be able to jump freight my stuff to low-sec and do production. And so my accounts were trained with that purpose in mind.

After having trained dedicated scanning, freighter and manufacturing pilots I needed a new roadmap. Reality was that exploration was still my main income and running DED sites took time. I had all these accounts sitting so why not train some support? And so I set skill plans to support my main in running DED sites. I went for three Dominixes as they had remote repair possibility and drone assist, meaning I wouldn't need to switch between clients to lock NPC. And it worked wonders. After finding a DED site, I would reship to a Megathron and three Dominixes, all fit with cloak and mwd for safe navigation in low-sec. Running sites was a breeze. Assisting three sets of sentry drones to the Megathron and shooting NPC was actually becoming an enjoying pve experience, something never heard of in EVE. I would do the routine scans in my area with deep space probes at the time, map 5/10s and 6/10s which I would finish very fast and later join my buddies for some pvp action.

While doing one of my favorite activities - gate camping (yea yea I know), we often would have targets escape us. Instant locking legions could only point, meaning a lot of speedy ships would gatecrash or burn out of range before Proteus could get a tackle on. Gosh, if only Proteus could lock any faster... ding, dong. I would refit my three Dominixes with remote sensor boosters, providing survivability for my shiny brick tanked strategic cruiser (back in the day gate guns shot you for the whole 15 minutes criminal timer). They would also be some sort of suicide repair squad if we got dropped. And thus I started using 4 accounts for pvp.

Time was passing by and it soon became natural. Me bringing extra accounts suddenly would give a fighting chance in small fleet engagements. Initial tackle Proteus with remote repair Dominixes worked very well in many situations. I could initiate tackle without big fear that my ship will be lost if nobody had a logi (everybody likes to pew pew instead of giving repairs).

And here we are. Many years later I am still using the same setup. Well, until now. I present you my latest meta:

Meet the Nestors. As some people suggested, I came to same conclusion that these battleships would be an upgrade I've been looking for. I have considered them before, but 1 billion price tag was too steep. Now they go for 700 mil in Jita and for three ships I save 900 mil.

They are quite similar to the Navy Dominixes I've been using, with few extra perks. The biggest is 7 high slots which lets me fit 2 heavy neutralizers instead of one. With now combined power of 6 heavy neuts, I'm ready to fuck shit up. But perks to do not end there. I also get an extra 50% remote repair bonus with 100% optimal range. That's quite nice which gives some moving room for my Proteus. Another big advantage is that I can refit without a mobile depot. That means I am able to swap for a third neut, which would make 9 in total or swap for an extra drone damage amplifier. Of course active refitting will be gone with upcoming changes, but that does not mean I can't swap out my cloaking device before I engage the target.

One downside is one less low-slot. I fit 2 instead of 3 drone damage amplifiers to maintain a decent tank. Another, and probably the biggest, downside is the prop mod handling. Using MWD increases the mass which makes ship very unresponsive. It basically gets the penalty of an over-sized prop mod, but none of the advantages. Since my engagements mostly happen at point blank range it should not be too big of a deal and MWD + cloak still works.

Buddy list

I really had hoped I would introduce my new fleet setup in a gank story, but things have been slow and here is why. Once I moved out of the previous system and setup the Nestor fleet, I needed a new place to stay at. Sometimes, when I encounter two interesting systems with potential targets, I bring my scout to one of them for "later". And so I logged one of my alts that wasn't on for months, scanned out the static high-sec and brought in the Nestors. Wormhole was active, with no anomalies present and potential targets at the tower.

The waiting game began. In time I have mapped a lot of pilots from the corp and became suspicious. System was always clean, but they would not do any anomalies while I'm on. I would log in evenings and log out before midnight and yet, nothing would happen. Furthermore, even when having a lot of pilots on-line, only few of them would be present at the time. Occasionally I would spot covert ops ship jumping to high-sec or some other wormhole, but never appear at the tower. I started thinking they keep scouts on exits for majority of time and might know I'm here. Even though I have been discrete and did not scout any connections I still think my presence was felt. System was large and I would have my ships at safe spots, out of d-scan range from any celestials and I would do safe log off every time. Yet, no opportunity would present itself for several days.

Then a patch hit which removed ability to see on-line status of any pilot, unless you both add each other to the Buddy List. And guess what.

I am being watch-listed! That was a quite awkward and funny feeling. As I feared, I have been spotted coming in by their scout and never seen leaving. Could be that my Nestor was spotted by chance on another day when failing to safe log out. Many theories, but one thing was clear - they know I'm around. There was nothing left for me, but to move out. I don't know if they spotted me jumping out to high-sec, but I left the contacts in the Buddy List for another few days. There's nothing like a little of healthy paranoia to keep my nemesis on their toes.


  1. Gist C-Type 100MN Afterburner :)
    source: https://eve-central.com/home/quicklook.html?typeid=18662

    Regards, a Freelancer

  2. It's interesting that you have been watching them, while I have done the same for last few weeks. ;)

  3. Can you share the Nestor setup? Is there an easy way to know how much each ship can tank when receiving reps?

    1. Exactly same as Navy Dominix. -1 DDA +1 NEUT

  4. Saw you on the way in. - Al

  5. Ah! You did go for Nestors :o
    Can't wait to read up on how it goes now :D

  6. Now you can stalk C1 wormholes, too :)

    I'm still surprised of how many people have lots of blingy stuff, including capital ships, in C1s.