Saturday, December 27, 2014

Revenge on an Astero

In a recent blog entry Sugar Kyle explained that she often feels the need to defend her non-PvP activities. This made me take stock of what I actually do in EVE. There is, obviously, PvP which mostly occurs in lowsec. This is great, although the thought occurs that I am not really in much of a position to comment on large-scale fights since I have never participated in them. True, I have recently dropped an alt into Brave to see what all the noise it about but I never seem to have the time to get into it. We'll see.

If I feel like a sojourn in wormhole space Zappity has a jump clone in Thera along with some nice Stratios and Proteus hulls. Innocent Scout is still in ABA’s wormhole corp (Supreme Mathematics) so I have an easy entry to more traditional wormhole systems if I so desire. However, being casual, this doesn’t usually occur. I dabble in nullsec exploration (also with Innocent) and Zappity also has a clone plus Ishtar installed in Venal (and which is OP by the way - please nerf) in case I happen to fancy shooting some red crosses.

On the industry front, I dabble with invention occasionally although I find this too much of a second job to really suit me. I also have an industry toon in Thera for hull manufacture and sales, although this has been disappointingly slow.

I have never done mining. I do not feel deprived.

So on that note, having successfully made a fool of myself by having my safety set inexplicably to green whilst trying to kill a Vexor I decided it was time for some relaxing PvE. Honestly, I have no idea why it was green. I have usually had it set yellow lately since Zappity still has enough ill-gotten sec status to fly around highsec without trouble. I tried the usual F2 and F3 on the Vexor for scram and web - nothing - and then manually clicked them - nothing - before seeing that nasty green button. Luckily he wanted the fight and just sat there patiently, waiting to be killed.

I was very worried about the gang in system, having tested them earlier at the Medium plex and quickly getting a rise from them. I doubted very much that I would kill him before they showed up and wiped both of us out but thankfully they must have been busy at the time. I didn’t even give my drones enough time to return before warping away after the fight! We chatted a bit afterward and, although not a noob he certainly was not experienced at PvP. The fit indicated such:



I shared a few of my own fits before heading off to Ishomilken. Anyway, as I was saying, I thought it was time for some PvE. Here follows the riveting tale of Zappity vs the Gurista Provincial HQ!

Just kidding :) I wouldn’t do that to you. Actually, I was distracted by the appearance of one of my nemeses. Sumarx had viciously killed poor Innocent Scout while she was doing a Relic site. Innocent, true to her name, could not bring herself to believe that Venal could possibly be home to such evil and, um, innocently had a chat channel other than local open by mistake. Oops.

But that is beside the point. I was going to teach him a lesson, I decided. To make it look more plausible, I logged Innocent off, logged another alt on and swapped him into a Cheetah. I added a DC2, an armour plate and a couple of armour rigs, not to mention a scram and two webs. Oh yes, I thought, I'll fix him.

Zappity was already in the next system so I warped her to the connecting gate and waited, cloaked in her Ishtar, 3 km from the gate. Never not cloak in nullsec, at least in a PvE ship. The Cheetah sat in the Relic site on the first can. Surprisingly, I didn't see probes on d-scan before the Astero warped in and burned, uncloaked, toward the Cheetah. The villain clearly had the sites pre-bookmarked.

I was already in the process of moving to the next can, wanting to make it look good to a cloaked and suspicious observer, so I decided to just play the part of an oblivious explorer and carry it through. He bit!

He scrammed me so I scrammed him back with webs to boot. Zappity jumped and warped to the Cheetah at 50 km range. The 7 AU trip was interminably long, especially since the Cheetah wasn't exactly built for this sort of punishment. Armour was dropping fast!

Zappity dropped out of warp with the Cheetah already in hull and instantly dropped Gardes sentries, two Omnidirectional Tracking Enhancers already cycling. Oh my goodness, how long can it possibly take to lock a bloody frigate! Stupid cloak penalty! Finally the drones are locked on and ready to whomp him good!

I almost alpha'd him - just a fraction of hull remained on the tasty Astero. The ‘almost’ very nearly cost me the Cheetah who survived with only 103 HP remaining. The Astero died well and truly on the second volley.

The Cheetah scooped the loot while Zappity was busy collecting her drones and aligning out. It wasn't until Sumarx complimented me in local on the scoop that I checked the haul - 145m iskies worth. That is probably not as much as the Gurista Provincial HQ would have paid out but it was infinitely more satisfying!

What is the moral of the story? I believe that a well-rounded set of activities are important for an enduring EVE experience. Especially since I never would have wreaked my revenge had I not been taken by a mad desire to run some Gurista sites!


Video: You can hear Zappity’s audio although this is taken from the Cheetah’s perspective.

Thursday, December 25, 2014


Thera local comment of the day: “Pubie McPuberton > wow there is a retriever on the market, I'm going to do some mining”. Totally not bait.

Ha! Zappity’s first Thera kill! It wasn’t particularly exciting to be honest. I noticed a new exit to Heydiddles pop up on so I jumped into my Stratios and sat 5 km off the hole, waiting for something to kill. I was busy on Innocent Scout’s screen when I was startled to hear myself being locked up. Someone must have decloaked me. Yes - a Nemesis stealth bomber! How rude. He launched a volley which wiped out most of my shield but wasn’t quick enough with his MWD top escape my scram and webs:


My work in Thera done, I decided to take a little holiday in Catch via a convenient wormhole. I had heard there were hordes of pilots swarming around Catch (some of them new, others not so new) and figured it would be a nice playground for my Stratios. It certainly was - after about 30 seconds I had found what was obviously a baiting Slicer sitting 200 off a gate. Zappity knows no fear! Which means she was shortly relieved of her Stratios at the unacceptably low price of the enemy Slicer plus a Sabre:


Stratios, the aptly-named Skir’s Folly:


Sigh. I really need to start thinking about which ships to engage. Oh well, plenty more where that came from. And I DID promise to lose that particular hull stupidly. Mission accomplished.

I woke up in the Cal/Gal zone. The Thorax was next on the to-do list so I hitched up a dual-rep electron (the fit is in the vid link below) and set off for a circuit of the map. In Hevrice, I noticed a Tusker in a Moa. While in warp to the medium plex I isolated him to a belt on d-scan, but before I could warp to him I spotted him on short scan. These guys are good!

Overheat all the things, scram, web, guns, forget to launch drones (it's been a while between drinks so I'm back to my usual tricks), repper on, drones (what a noob). I’m tanking him alright but then my dps suddenly drops. What? Oh, I’ve burnt out my guns. Bugger. I'm out of practice!

Can I escape? I should have a reasonable chance, him being in a fat Moa and me being in a nimble afterburner Thorax.

I align to a plex and rapidly pull away. He is clearly microwarp drive fit because I pull range easily. But when I hit 10km his scram icon only disappears for a second and my warp attempt fails. That sneaky Tusker activated his MWD as soon as I out-ranged my own scram. So I try again, this time getting the site up on my overview and ready to spam the warp hotkey.

Same result! So this time I overheat my scram and web to buy an extra bit of range and finally pull away safely, much to the relief of my ominously red modules. I even saw one of them smoking. Well, almost.

I should have won that. But what a great fight, and that escape was nearly as satisfying as a kill.


Thursday, December 11, 2014

"WTS Office Slot". And ore.

It took a few short hours for all the offices in Thera to be snapped up by corps, some of whom even wanted to use them. The others evidently wished only to profit from the demand. "WTS Office Slot" was being spammed in local. Very enterprising! Unlike all those wormhole miners who, I have decided, are lazy bums because none of my market orders for ore have been filled and it has been AT LEAST twelve hours.

I decided to take the advice of a helpful forumite who mailed me (thank you) with a suggestion about shipping in compressed ore rather than relying on local production. This was useful because I really don't have much clue about this sort of thing. But once on the right track, Zappity is a relentless bloodhound!

Here follows Zappity's noob manufacturing primer. After all, I need something to do while flying my Stratios back to the lowsec Thera entry from Jita. I half knew all of this stuff but the last couple of days have been useful in putting it all together:

1. Ore is what miners get from asteroids with their shovels (or whatever they use). The base ore types (Gneiss, Arkonor, Veldspar etc) also have two enriched variants (Bright Spodumain, Dense Whatsit etc) which have 5% and 10% more minerals in them.

2. Hmm. Rancer is in the route. Oh well - what’s the worst that could happen?

3. Ores can be compressed at a POS with a Compression Array. There are probably other ways to do it as well but this can easily be done a single jump out of Jita. Plenty of moons. I packed a small POS, some Caldari charters and a bit of fuel into a freighter along with a Compression Array and about a million cubic meters of ore. It compressed down to just under 8,000 cubic meters which fit comfortably into a Viator. That means you could fit, um, HEAPS into a DST!

4. Deimos, Hurricane x 2, Hyperion. Bugger. Still gate cloaked, though, and they are about 15km off. Align away, cloak, burn, disappear! Ha! And safely in warp.

5. Ores contain minerals of different types (tritanium, pyrite etc) which are what you actually build things with. The minerals can be refined or reprocessed (or something like that) from the ore.

6. You can improve the amount of minerals you get from  refining (or is it reprocessing?) by getting better standings with the corp that owns the station you are refining at. In this case, it means The Sanctuary missions in Pure Blind.

That’s about it. Except for that Heretic's bubble plus gang on the top station. That would have been troublesome if I'd been foolish enough to warp straight to the station. Really, these guys just aren't trying.

Don't worry everyone. The magnificent Gank Stratios is now firmly installed in the system, which seems somehow fitting given the lore. I promise I'll try to kill something next time. I don't want that Stratios anyway.


Thera. According to the forums I was going to be in for a treat. Apparently the null blocs were going to shut it down instantly and forever more. Or perhaps it was wormhole corps. Regardless, the one thing that was clear is that my attempts to get in and leave some clones scattered about were doomed to fail.

But I am an eternal optimist and, because I am also lazy, I pointed my browser toward eve-scout. There was a nice entry a mere half dozen jumps from Amarr. Surely if any entry was going to be camped it would be this one! Innocent Scout, in a Cheetah, was the first through. A lone Vexor Navy Issue perched on the hole didn't quite live up to the aforementioned prognostications of campfire doom and was easily ignored.

Cloaked at 57 km from the hole, Innocent scouted in Zappity and then her cousin from procurement (not to be confused with her cousin from marketing). A looooooong warp across system then rewarded Innocent Scout with her first ever view of a wormhole station. Brilliant.

Wrecks, corpses and Ishtars (please nerf) were strewn about the undock like wrapping from a present messily torn open. Great stuff!

Not to be fooled into prematurely docking and then needing to run the gauntlet of droney death, Innocent first warped to a celestial roughly in front of the undock before heading back to the station at 100. A boring but safely cloaked slow burn then resulted in the creation of an insta-undock bookmark, followed by the safe arrival of Zappity and the procurement expert at the station.

Why procurement? Well, as mentioned previously I have a cunning plan! And now I also have a few dozen market orders for ore. Will the natives flock to my banner and sell me their rocks? We'll see. Frankly, it hardly matters. After today I'm not overly troubled by the prospect of bringing materials into the system manually. And bringing in quite a few nice, shiny blueprints wasn't challenging either.

I plan on enjoying Thera. I have always liked wormholes but the logistical effort and (especially) lack of jump clones has been prohibitive with my casual play style. This is great.