Thursday, November 24, 2016

Zappity's Adventures: Entosis Rapier of Magnificence

Things were quiet and I was bored, sitting in a plex while writing up the story of the epic Slicer fight. Suddenly, I noticed I was no longer alone in my plex. A wild Comet had appeared and very rudely scrammed me. Didn’t he know I was busy? I hastily locked him up and set my drones on him. Alas, it was a mirrored fight and I had simply begun too late. So here you go, a Comet loss just for you:


A couple of hours later I was sitting in a borrowed Rapier on an entosis node somewhere in Tribute. The theory behind using Rapiers for entosis is great: they have long webs and can use an Entosis Link II well beyond 200 km. You are meant to sit there, orbiting the node at this sort of range and entose away. If a flight of angry interceptors appears to defend their space, you are meant to use your cunning and webs to evade them until the entosis link cycles down and you are able to warp away. Such is the theory.

I was halfway through the entosis cycle when they appeared, at least a dozen interceptors landing on the node at zero. They did not look very pleased to see me to be honest. They began burning toward me at a most alarming pace. I gently aligned away to a random corp bookmark that was somewhat close to the direction I was already heading in order to avoid losing too much speed. I then swapped my sensor booster script to scan resolution, wanting the ability to lock them quickly.

The ships covered the distance quickly, and before long the leader was within 50 km. I slapped an overheated web on him and he rapidly fell away! Well that worked really well. If only he was the only one. Because the second interceptor was now also under 50 km away, requiring a web of his own. At this point, I recognised the limitations of a fit with only two webs. A third interceptor was in range, so I quickly switched targets and webbed him back, too. One of them landed an overheated point on me! I webbed him, too, just as my entosis link cycled down. I warped!

I didn’t accomplish anything but it was a hell of a rush.

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Zappity's Adventures: Just a sigh about ECM

Oh look, a Griffin Navy Issue on d-scan along with half a dozen flashy yellow and red types in local. Now, I hate ECM as much as the next person but what can I say? I was curious! I hadn’t fought one of these things before. And anyway, I was in my magnificent Comet, slayer of all.

I waited for him with my drones set to aggressive, ready for the offensive even if I was jammed. He landed in the plex and immediately - IMMEDIATELY - jammed me. I was pretty much helpless for the twenty seconds. I waited patiently for the cycle to end, only to be immediately jammed again. Of course, by this time a bunch of Tristans and Slicers and all sorts had appeared on short-scan.

My Comet was not taking any damage from the Griffin so the situation was obvious: he was tackle and they were about to land and kill me to death. I had no range control because I could not lock him to apply a web. My drones, I assumed, were chipping away at him but I realised that any tackle worthy of the name would have a decent buffer fit.

Finally, the second cycle ended and the next jams failed! A couple of seconds later he was counter-tackled and I was able to rapidly pull range. I warped to the safe I was aligned to before I could be caught again.

I would just like to leave an important message here. I hate jams. I don’t care if they are balanced. I don’t care if they are OP. I just hate the way ECM feels as a mechanic and CCP should feel bad.

I hunted on until I found a Slicer who was willing to do battle. I fumbled the fight badly. Things started out fine because I remembered to set my drones on him. I was so proud of this that I forgot to activate my guns. I was then concentrating so hard on slingshotting him that, when I did finally activate them, I didn’t notice that they weren’t hitting him properly at range. When I did see this, I deactivated the guns and tried to reload Spike during the cooldown cycle. Which obviously didn’t work.

By this time I was in structure and he still had a good chunk of armour left. He was too good to catch with a slingshot (although I must confess to not getting my afterburner cycle management quite right) and I resigned myself to a well-deserved explosion. When the explosion finally came I cursed the client for lagging because my modules were still on screen. And then I realised that it was he who had exploded! My worthy opponent had neglected his reps and was popped by a wrecking shot! Ha!


Thursday, November 3, 2016

Zappity's Adventures: Lowsec, good old lowsec

After four months away I was finally home and de-jet-lagged. Time to PvP. I decided that an Incursus was the right ship for me. I needed to reconnect and get rid of the shakes.

I safely exited Jita and made my way toward the Cal/Gal warzone near my old stomping ground of Ishomilken. A couple of jumps out saw me in a system with two players with suspiciously similar names. They were piloting a Vexor and a Kestrel according to d-scan. I taunted them but they declined to fight. Actually, they just ignored me! Rude.

In the next system I found a Worm flitting between plexes, evidently looking for people to kill. I don’t like Worms. I remember that they were hideously overpowered the last time I did this sort of thing. But I wanted a fight.

I warped to his plex and sat on the acceleration gate until I thought he would have spotted me on d-scan. I then warped to the adjacent plex at 10 km. I wanted to catch him before he had the chance to kite-scrub me. Sure enough, he was soon on short scan. I overheated all the things and tackled him before he had a chance to run away.

I activated my repper a little too early and wasted the first cycle. Then all my armour disappeared and I was glad I didn’t have to wait long for the next cycle! The Worm hit REALLY hard. But his shield was disappearing pretty quickly, too. I guessed he was buffer fit and, sure enough, his armour disappeared in huge chunks. I was still repping hard when he entered structure and exploded. Ha!


I said ‘gf’ in local but he did not respond. Rude.

I went next door to Ishomilken and repaired my modules in the station. I undocked just in time to see an Epithal warp to a planet! Oh joy unbounded! I chased him and we landed at about the same time. Now, I am wary about Epithals, always suspicious that they are fitted with nasty warp core stabs. So I bumped him good with my afterburner while killing him slowly. He popped! Unfortunately, he had not yet gathered his planetary whatsits so the killmail was cheap. But he did indeed have stabs fit, so it was a moral victory.


Thursday, October 13, 2016

Zappity's Adventures: History of the zkillboard variety

Sigh. The dodgy hotel internet connection had dropped out again just before I was about to jump to the cyno and the login was taking ages. I was halfway through transporting P4 materials that I had harvested over the last few weeks (from market buy orders, obviously) out to nullsec in my jump freighter. Booooring. “Maybe I should do this in a couple of days when I have a better connection”, I thought.

The new industry structures were a good opportunity to make some ISK and I had prepared well with a researched set of component blueprints and what I guessed would be the required P4 materials. I already had more than enough minerals and was pretty much spot on about the components.

Logged back in! Finally! My cyno alt in the next system was already undocked and waiting for the jump freighter pilot. I lit the cyno and jumped the ship. I hit to dock button but was not greeted with Aura’s sultry “Docking permission accepted” message. Surely I had not disconnected again!

No, the connection was fine. The problem was that my cyno was 20 km from the Citadel. I had neglected to stop my cyno ship when the freighter had disconnected and he had been leisurely traversing the void in the interim. Of course, I hadn't paid any attention to this.

An even bigger problem was the nasty little lowsec Cormorant who had begun to take an inordinate interest in the proceedings. I was tackled before the fatigue timer would allow me to jump to safety.

The next few minutes were a race against time. Even under these circumstances the lone Cormorant was not disastrous. I was slowly creeping back towards the safety of the docking ring despite his bumps. However, more and more ships kept arriving on grid.

I reached 6.5km - almost there! - when a Machariel landed on grid. He knew what he was doing and I was soon heading away from the Citadel at an alarming rate.

The rest, as they say, is history of the zkillboard variety:

Oh well. These things happen. At least they were kind enough to return my goods for a reasonable sum. I need that stuff!

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Zappity's Adventures: The Pyerite Problem

I was considering what should be done with the immense stockpile of minerals I had accrued from the buyback program when I found over 300 Capital Cargo Bays in a station deep in the mining constellation in Fade. I hadn't noticed them before. Unfortunately, these are far too large to efficiently transport by jump freighter so I decided to use them up instead by building capital industrial ships.

People had been complaining that there were no Orcas for sale in the region so I built a few of them first. Naturally, they didn't sell. Then, mostly out of sheer bloody mindedness I put a bunch of Rorquals into the oven. The dire prognostications from the mining community regarding the rebalance (‘wtf fozzie ima not gonna go on grid who do you think you are’) was not comforting but I had confidence that the long-awaited changes would be enticing enough to soak up a mere ten additional hulls.

The other problem was pyerite. I had accumulated an enormous quantity of this hateful mineral as a result of the enormous popularity of bistot, an ore which is unfortunately rich in this substance. So I fired up my production queue again, this time with the purpose of making as much big stuff as possible. This soon led to a tritanium shortage (I had much more pyerite than tritanium) but this was overcome by purchasing compressed ore from Jita. A couple of dozen capital hulls later I had started to get on top of the pyerite problem, retaining a nice balance of minerals with which to respond to the upcoming industrial arrays.

And as for the Rorquals? They idled in station for a few days before the dev blog appeared. Then they all sold within 24 hours. People seem pretty happy with the changes!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Zappity’s Adventures: All good buybacks come to an end

Alas, all good buyback programs come to an end. It was just too much work on top of some RL changes. The announcement on the industrial thread on the Pandemic Horde forum was met with much weeping and gnashing of teeth but was also met with several cautious requests for information on the inner workings of the program. I provided my scripts to all and sundry (whoever he is) and, before long, a rash of new programs popped up. Admittedly, none of them were quite as magnificent as the original but they each excelled in their own specific area. And so I was left with no obligations for the first time in many months. I took advantage of this by not logging in for a while.

Eventually, the lure of EVE told and I began to pay attention again. Pandemic Horde management had decided that a bunch of moons in lowsec rightfully belonged to them. This meant lots of dreadnought activity, specifically the type where a short notice ping went out to the cap channel followed by a cyno being lit on the tower grid. We would then pour the very expensive ammunition into the tower’s shields for one (or perhaps two) siege cycles and then buggered off before anyone bigger and nastier could drop on us. Like the people who owned the tower and were no doubt not particularly impressed about the development.

These sorts of fleets are quite exciting, mostly because of the risk involved in fielding such assets. It is a very different experience to the main fleet. I, like everybody, dislike structure bashes when in subcaps. So the subcap fleet is generally pleased to see the arrival of dreads which immensely shorten the time it takes to break the shield down. One bad thing about this activity is that it doesn’t generate a killmail for me to look at. But you can’t have everything, can you?

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Zappity's Adventures: Reprocess all the things

I built a capital ship! Actually, I built five of them and counting. Capital production is Usually done with great planning and careful preparation. This time, however, it what done Zappity-style, and did what it Means done pretty much by accident.

I had a problem with tritanium and Pyerite. It was a large trouble. Enormous, in fact. I had accumulated so much of the stuff did I could not Possibly use it all. The buyback program had developed spectacularly well and what now turning over between 50 and 60B per week. A proportion of this, of course, what mining products. Ore can be compressed 100-fold Which, as far as I am Concerned, is its only redeeming quality. I had become quite proficient at Compressing and refining with Innocent Scout having wearily plodded through the reprocessing skills.

The magnitude of the problem-what magnified once I discovered module reprocessing. I had become far more familiar with ratting loot than I had ever Intended, with most of my previous trading focusing on more valuable faction and T2 items. I had been perfectly content to ignore the lower end of the market. Now that I was selling huge quantities of thesis things, HOWEVER, I began to notice things.

First, HIC points and stasis grapplers sold tremendously well in Their dog reds. They barely hit the market before theywere snaffled up. I was puzzled Because the kill boards surely did not contain Sufficient destruction of these items to account for the volumes. I pondered Whether it was simply a case of traders moving stacks between Themselves in to endless cycle. But the truth wurde apparent When I checked what reprocessing examined items would yield in terms of minerals. Reprocessing them was worth considerably more than selling them! And They Said gun-mining what dead!

I soon had a script did Calculated the value of minerals from reprocessing vs Both buy and sell price of each item I possessed at Jita. For a few days I painstakingly separated my meta items into two stacks (reprocess and sell) but then I did Realised It took far too much work and ended up just reprocessing almost all T1 modules. Here is the result of a typical reprocessing run:

Reprocess all the things: 

Of course, this resulted in simply gigantic quantities of minerals. I Rapidly saturated the local market with locally-produced destroyers, cruisers and battlecruisers and had soon so dominated the battleship market. It was nowhere near enough lies! So I Looked at the next logical step: capital ships.

Unfortunately, capitals can not simply be built with minerals. You first need to build capital components. So I started buying and BPC, occasionally, BPOs When I spotted a cheap one. I therefore began buying carrier and dreadnought blueprints.

And so here we are. I currently have a Thanatos, Revelation and Moros in build and have enough components to build the next few. Of course, I also have enough minerals to build about another dozen of the wretched things and am now thinking about building Fortizars!