Thursday, August 28, 2014

Hunting a nullbear that wasn't

I was determined to find more Firetail fights. Absolutely determined. Until the aptly-named Innocent Scout found a wormhole leading to nullsec. Surely it wouldn’t hurt to poke my head in there?

I have been getting a little bored with my routine lately. It is so easy to get solo small ship fights in lowsec that I have lost my hunting edge. I rarely need to go more than a few quick jumps to find a fight. Sure, I manipulate fights around plexes but those are with (at least somewhat) willing participants.

Actually, come to think of it I'm not sure I ever had a hunting edge to start with. I used to be adept at probing sites down but never really used those skills to hunt people. And the last time I found myself behind some combat probes it took FAR too long to get a result.

Innocent Scout hopped through the hole and found herself surrounded by drone sites in Outer Passage (a most unfortunate name). Brothers of Tangra - aren't they renters? Whatever. Zappity followed shortly after in her Stratios.

Oops! Once away from the colourful overview bustle of Ishomilken I noticed that Zappity was flashing a most conspicuous yellow icon in local. Hmm. I guess they wouldn’t be very used to that around here. And sure enough, the couple of Caracals I had spotted on dscan had already tucked their tails between their legs and run back to their station. I decided to cloak in their system until the timer had worn off.

I used the time to check Dotlan for a nice ratting system. The region looked pretty rubbish to my admittedly uneducated eye but at least there was a system a couple of jumps away with a few hundred recent NPC kills.

With Innocent Cheetah scouting the route Zappity's slower cruiser evaded most of the nasty bubbles. The destination system was fully bubbled on entry with half a dozen pilots in local. Maybe I should put Innocent in an inty to help with this sort of thing. Or perhaps put Zappity in a nullified Proteus.

Anyway, I slowboated both ships out of the bubble under cloak and took my time checking out the system. Of course I forgot to do all the sensible things like check for wrecks and suitable sites. Instead, I watched a mining fleet on dscan warp away from their site.

Oh well. I wandered to the other side of the system. Where I saw a Gila. Surely he would be safe at a moon. But I needed the practice so I warped the Cheetah out of dscan range, dropped some probes, and scanned him down. I got him on the second scan and the Cheetah, already aligned in the general direction, soon landed at 20km range.

Oh. Not at a moon and a 2008 character. I closed to 5km range and launched Zappity. The Cheetah was safely at a safe long before Zappity landed. I deactivated cloak a few seconds before landing to shed the lock delay. An overheated scram snared the Gila before he could scarper.

Now I will admit to not being too sure about my chance of success. I have checked the Gila out in PYFA and it is a nice ship. But what is the point of having a Stratios if you aren't going to explode it in some stupid way!

The Geckos started hammering him pretty hard. But his Hammerheads weren't doing too badly at all and my shield disappeared almost immediately. I was surprised to see that I wasn’t very effectively controlling range and wondered about his fit. I finally broke through his shield when I was already bleeding through into hull. Not a moment too soon!


Ha! And as you can see, that is a PvP fit, not a ratting fit. I'll be honest now and say that I probably wouldn't have taken him on if I had realised that. Is his fit bad? I am going to go ahead and say that it must be. This is because I read that the Stratios is bad and anyone who flies one is bad and should feel bad about being bad especially because of the cloak which is useless for PvP. But apparently the Gila is OP. So I'm confused because he died and I didn't.

Anyway, I was quite proud of that kill until I remembered all the things that I should have done differently. What damage do people usually apply to those drone rats? What do people fighting them tank against? And where was my mobile depot for repping up after the fight? Why was I in my mid-grade snake clone? It should have been clean, or at least the slave set for an extra 10k EHP! Oh dear, what a noob.

Still, all's well that ends well. So back to Ishomilken for some well deserved TLC on the old armour. And hull. I am glad that I kept the double webs on my Stratios fit. The drone tracking whatsit only improved the Gecko damage by about 5% on SiSi so I chose to keep them plus a cap booster.


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