Friday, January 15, 2016

Zappity's Adventures: A warm Provi welcome

Provi, as usual, turned out to welcome my humble Stratios. Half a dozen jumps into their territory I came up against a Drake and a Svipul sitting upon a gate. Innocent Scout informed me of a Cormorant and Sabre in the next system, although they were not on the gate.

I warped to the Svipul and Drake, decloaking on the way in. I was hoping to split them by aggression but the Drake took pre-emptive action and jumped through of his own accord. I tackled the Svipul.

He was no doubt frantically calling for his mate's return and had no intention of escaping. Soon, it was too late. I double webbed and neuted him good while my drones went to work. I made a mistake in launching heavy drones instead of mediums but they started to do a good enough job.

I was dismayed to see the Svipul rep back to full shield. And then even more dismayed to see him do it a second time. I kept cool(ish) and kept the neut pressure on. Sure enough, he soon dipped into armour and then hull. The Svipul died just as the Drake reappeared.


I was thinking of tackling him, too, but then the gate flashed and I decided that the wisest course was to bravely run away to the anomaly I was already aligned to.

I gave a gf in local and then petitioned them to look after my Berserkers, especially Fred who had been a faithful old drone. They had a chuckle at that and rewarded me with a small bounty.

I settled in at a safe spot with a mobile depot. I think of this as a temporary camp site where I can lick my wounds (with a temporary armour repper) while mashing d-scan for probes. This time I made a mistake and, instead of pulling off a drone damage amplifier to make space for the repper I pulled off the armour plate. This was a bad idea. The ship's alarms screamed at me - zero armour remaining! I wonder what would have happened if I had been more badly damaged.

The Drake pilot was loitering. He followed me to the next system and loitered some more. I was determined to kill him but very suspicious. Provi had a well-earned reputation for forming defence fleets, and they had certainly had enough time to get organised.

Innocent Scout checked out the next system (empty) so I decloaked and tried to lure him to that gate, wanting to buy a little buffer time in the form of a long warp. He didn't bite. I then warped back to him. Big mistake! Local spiked while I was in warp and suddenly there were 17 pilots sitting on the gate I was travelling to.

To make matters much, much worse, I had been playing around with the Windows 10 game recording feature. Windows decided that this was the best possible moment to inform me of a conflict with my video card, a conflict that locked my screen and forced me to do a hard restart.

My system booted up quickly and I started up the launcher, thinking gloomy thoughts of lost Stratioses and implants all over the place. I was shocked when I saw that, according to the character selection screen, Zappity was still in her ship! She was already in warp when I saw that she was in half armour. Now I was really confused. They had evidently been killing me when I warped away. Untackled?

I was far from safe, though. My warp took me straight back to the disconnect point, right on the gate amidst the nest of angry pilots.

I played it cool, waiting for them to lock me up. All at once they turned red! I jumped! When on the other side I quickly aligned away from the gate and cloaked, narrowly escaping the three pilots who had not aggressed.

17 pilots! I asked for confirmation of my theory while setting up my camp site on the other side of the system. They told me that the pilot responsible for not restraining me had already been shot.

I love Provi.

Saturday, January 9, 2016

Zappity's Adventures: Magus of Magnificence

[Magus, 10mn]

Damage Control II
Micro Auxiliary Power Core II
Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
Small Ancillary Armor Repairer

10MN Y-S8 Compact Afterburner
Micro Jump Field Generator
Warp Scrambler II
Small Electrochemical Capacitor Booster I, Navy Cap Booster 400

Small Infectious Scoped Energy Neutralizer
Small Gremlin Compact Energy Neutralizer
Small Gremlin Compact Energy Neutralizer
125mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
125mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S

Small Ancillary Current Router II
Small Auxiliary Nano Pump II

Infiltrator II x3
Acolyte II x1

This was my Svipul counter. My thinking was as follows. First, and most important, I wanted to fly a Command Destroyer as suggested by a reader. Second, I knew that Svipuls were flexible and it was difficult to predict what exactly you were going to be fighting. MWD vs 10mn variants, active rep vs buffer, auto vs arty and my fit had to be ready for all of it!

The neuts were the key. The active rep Svipul is really overpowered, able to rep through practically anything a Command Destroyer could throw at it. But they are easy to turn off with the appropriate pressure. Hence the choice of the Magus whose main DPS comes in the form of drones rather than valuable high slots.

The 10mn was a protection against webs and scrams while the MJD defeated long point kite scrubbery as well as being able to split up gangs. Theoretically. It is actually harder than it sounds.

I first killed a Thrasher who really should have just warped away but, for some reason, hung around long enough to be popped:


I next came upon a Hecate, Rifter, and Coercer gang. Granted, this was not a Svipul but I wanted practice. The Hecate was the first to land at my plex and I was halfway through his hull when the rest of his gang landed. I was distracted by their arrival and let him slip out of scram range. Damn! He warped away and his corpies soon followed.

I loitered in the plex for a while but although the Hecate returned to short scan a couple of times he did not enter. Eventually, I warped to his medium plex and landed right on top of him. And his d-scan immune buddy in a Curse:


Bother. I congratulated them on their sneakiness and wandered off to Amarr to reship.

Upon returning, I had a very fun time toying with a Thrasher, Coercer, and Cormorant gang. The MJD is really very liberating. At one point, I had almost destroyed the Thrasher when the other two destroyers warped on top of me. Fortunately, they were both fit with long points and I was able to hop away, much to the amusement of my (evidently intoxicated) opponents. That visual effect is really excellent - top marks to the CCP art team.

During all these fights I was more interested in getting to know the ship and play around with the jumpy thing. But the time had come to find my nemesis, the Svipul. I headed off through Eszur. Ah, such memories of my youth. But one thing I did not remember was a laser fit Thrasher:

Thrasher that I don't understand:

Then, finally, a Svipul! He calmly awaited my arrival at his plex, locking me up as soon as I landed. I initially approached him, not wanting him to be able to warp away. This was not very intelligent. It was immediately apparent that he was fit with autocannons, for what respectable arty Svipul would sit at zero upon the beacon? He scrammed me back and went straight into a tight orbit.

That really hurt. So I set my drones upon him and neuted him good. I then set range to 7.5 km and turned on the afterburner. I quickly pulled away and he was powerless to follow, losing DPS as I moved into his falloff. Range control is still king!

It was soon obvious that he was buffer fit, almost certainly some variant of the double MSE fit. This was actually the fit that I wasn't sure about tackling given that I couldn't turn his tank off. But it didn't matter. His damage was soon mitigated to the extent that I was able to turn off the heat on my repper and relax while I chewed through his hefty shield.


Aha! Victory! Admittedly, this didn't quite count as a “swathe” but it was a good start. Unfortunately, the next Svipul I encountered was also buffer fit and this one killed me good:


I don't know. I feel like that fit is a failure and I need to think about it. Maybe I'll go harass Provi for a while.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Zappity's Adventures: Svipuls everywhere and subsequent thoughts

We had just finished fighting Pandemic Horde, including a nice Thanatos kill ( and I was on my way home, pondering the state of fleet engagements. I definitely understand CCP’s desire to change things so that individual pilots are more involved. It is just boring being a line member in a fleet fight. Orbit the FC, target the red guy, press F1 and (occasionally) activate your prop mod. Pfft - hardly challenging. Removing anchoring, Keep at Range and Orbit for people in your fleet would probably help. It would spread the action and responsibility around. Or perhaps an offensive module which could disrupt other players’ orbits would be fun!

Anyway, on the way home I noticed a pair from Providence in a Svipul and Thorax, both loitering malignantly on the gate of our staging system. I swapped my Cerberus (hatefully useless solo ship) for a Svipul of my own and quickly returned.

They disappeared through the gate as I was landing but were still on the gate when I appeared in the next system. What I should have done at this point was look at the Svipul to see what guns he had fitted. But I didn't. Instead, I aligned away from them towards a safe and burned away with a couple of heated MWD cycles. The Provi Svipul rapidly pulled ahead of the Thorax. One of them (I assumed the Thorax) landed a long point which I ignored. At about 60 km from the gate the Svipul stopped and began heading back to the gate. I had overdone it. He wasn't following.

I slowly angled back towards the gate and yellow-boxed them both. That did the trick. The Svipul burned straight towards me again, intent on a juicy kill and emboldened by the presence of his cruiser buddy. When he was about 40 km away I approached with an overheated MWD. He was rapidly within scram range and I found out that it was the Svipul with the long point! He was artillery fit and therefore soon died to my magnificent autocannons once scrammed:


He warped his pod away while I gave a gf in local. I assumed that the action was all over but the Thorax did not warp away. Instead, he continued burning towards me.

I quickly closed range and tackled him, too. His drones were biting into my tank but by the time I had swapped to the ‘hostile drones’ overview and started locking them up he was already into armour. He died shortly afterwards, along with his empty pod.



I gave another gf and told them that I liked Provi. They give good fights in my experience.

I posted my l33t kills in alliance chat. A corpie responded, asking how I managed to kill the Thorax when it had two webs. I answered truthfully, stating that the main reason was that I didn't know it had two webs fitted before I tackled him. Not to mention the fact that his tank was practically non-existent.

I keep seeing Svipuls everywhere. They are a plague upon the galaxy and the time has come to do something about them. I declare them to be the new enemy and the focus of my wrath. I am determined to find a good yet engageable counter and carve a swathe of Svipulish destruction across the cluster!