Monday, September 15, 2014

Zappity the Mostly Fearless!

“Hello, I am Zappity the Mostly Fearless. I am here to inspect your wrecks for juicy loot and to destroy any who dare oppose me! No ship can stand against the mighty Incursus!”

As you can see I am making a nuisance of myself in highsec. I have been accepted into my new wormhole corp but have only just learned about the fun that can be had with mission runners so I decide to postpone the move for a day or two.

Local is VERY quiet here in highsec, despite there being well over a hundred people in system. It is spooky. So once in a while I drop a comment like this to liven things up a bit. I also warn my potential victims about their impending pod-loss-doom if they do not read The Lecture ( I figure it is a public service.

I am instantly blocked by two or three locals who also feel the need to tell everyone of their action, despite subsequent local communications clearly proving them to be liars. Some others strike up a conversation, asking about lowsec. And a verdict is given on this very thread: “12 PAGES OF FORUM DRIVEL”. A reasonably accurate assessment but he didn’t need to shout it.

[Incursus, Incursus dual rep v3]

Small Armor Repairer II
Small Armor Repairer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Damage Control II

1MN Afterburner II
Small Capacitor Booster II, Navy Cap Booster 150
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I

Light Ion Blaster II, Void S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Void S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Void S

Small Anti-Explosive Pump I
Small Auxiliary Nano Pump I
Small Hybrid Burst Aerator I

Acolyte II x1

This has a bit more DPS in exchange for slightly lower reps than the earlier version which couldn't break through the Gnosis’ shield regen in my last encounter. Now all I need is a victim to test it on. After an hour or so of scanning down ships in sites and warping into them I discovered a few things:

1. Not being able to destroy people's wrecks is intensely annoying. I only want to destroy a few of them, just to get their attention but CONCORD keeps threatening to explode me.
2. You need to find a target with the right balance: not so young that they are terrified of another ship on grid and not so old that they know an Incursus can kill their much bigger ship.
3. Warping in as a flashy yellow will mostly result in the mission runner warping away so you only want to go suspect when you think the target might be willing to have a crack at you.
4. Leave 5 cubic metres of space free in your hold so you can loot something from a wreck. This is obvious but it is annoying when you are overflowing with cap charges and haven't thought it through.

I eventually find a willing participant. I warp into the site to see a year-old Gnosis pilot mopping up after shooting the last of the little red crosses. I casually wander over to a nearby wreck. Hmm, he hasn't warped away yet - that's a good sign.

I move to the next wreck, trying to make it look as though I am searching for tasty loot. I choose a wreck which I judge takes me in his direction without being overtly threatening. I am a mere 15km away from him when he yellow-boxes me. Then I receive a duel request! Aha!

I cannot accept quickly enough and immediately dive into a tight afterburner orbit. He was ready for me, however, and immediately slaps on a web and starts biting into my armour with his drones. His main weapons get a solid hit too.

Hobgoblin I and Hammerhead I. Good. I start working on the Hammerheads first. I am worried that the web - oh, actually plural which isn't good news - will slow me down enough for medium drones to hit solidly despite my mid-grade Halo set. It takes a few minutes of micro-management while I chomp through his drones before I am finally able to switch to his ship.

The increased DPS on this fit is helpful but I am still in a normal T1 frigate trying to chew through a battlecruiser! His shield disappears pretty quickly even though I am using cold guns and before long I chipping away at his armour. He immediately, and I think very rudely, starts repairing.

Six minutes later… Ugh, this is going on forever! I notice that he has linked the system name in local and I guess that he is trying to summon help in another channel and dropped it into local by accident. I overheat my guns in an effort to hasten the procedure, carefully watching to make sure they don't fry.

Hull! Finally! And yet he is still repping away, trying to cheat me of my victory. I guess he doesn't quite see it that way, though. When he eventually explodes I am ready for the pod but unfortunately he warps away.

35k damage from the magnificent Incursus!


Props to Marieeth Cardogno who wanted a rematch in a frigate. I would have been happy to oblige but was already running out of time and had nothing suitable to hand. I certainly wasn’t going to take that abomination of an Incursus fit up against another frigate. I think I will move a small selection of proper frigate fits across for this eventuality.

What could he have done differently? Not engaging a frigate at 15km when fitted with medium beams would be a good start. There was no way he could track me in orbit, even with the double webs. He probably would have done alright with pulse lasers. Also, a couple of times he managed to get a decent hit on me. He could have increased the chance of this by trying to slingshot me into zero transversal ‘catch up’ mode. Hard to do but actually possible since I was double webbed and he wasn’t.

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