16 July 2012

d00med Roam was Doomed

Starwalker was in his Thrasher for the Destroyer themed d00med roam organised by Kaeda Maxwell and had fitted it with 200mm autocannons, medium shield and a MWD. For some reason, Starwalker didn't really like the destroyer class of ship. There was no obvious reason for that as it offered considerable gank for a small sized ship.

Foolishly, Starwalker had volunteered to be the +1 scout for the fleet and for the one fight that happened he was in the next system. By the time he got to the scene of the destruction Kaeda was calling for any ships that had survived to warp away as the local militia had attacked en masse. Given that it was late this was also the ideal opportunity to drop fleet and so Starwalker returned to base.

It was as he returned to Eugales the following day that Starwalker lost his Thrasher, lurking at the sun as usual looking for targets. Indeed, he had seen another Thrasher on scan and as he searched - it was suddenly next to him. The extra few seconds of surprise made all the difference and Starwalker's similarly fit Thrasher exploded.

Starwalker had also been flying around recently in an Incursus as he wanted to try some active armour tanking as well as fly a ship he had not flown before. He had two close calls:
  1. Another Incursus was kiting fit and had Starwalker on the run as he was unable to dictate range in a dual repair fit. After fruitless trying to get into range for some serious damage with his Neutron blasters Starwalker gave up and warped away. It seemed to be easy enough to break away as the fight was on the edge of scram range but generally this engagement emphasised the need for speed against kiters
  2. Yet another Incursus fight also ended in a warp away but this time by the target as Starwalker was too slow to replenish his capacitor in time and his point dropped. The other pilot, Silver Wasp was sufficiently on the ball to to get away during that brief window
The initial Incursus experience was interesting for Starwalker as he realised that he was not watching his capacitor at all and only knew it was gone when Aura announced it. Repairers repaired at the end of the cycle rather than the start and also seemed to be very capacitor intensive, especially compared to the capacitor free ancillary shield booster. The advantage of armour tanking was freeing up mid-slots for other uses beyond shield tanking but generally armour plates slowed a ship down with the extra mass.

Over time Starwalker had noticed that his ship selection and fitting philosophy had evolved towards relative superiority and it was also being refined with consideration of additional features beyond the usual tank and gank. In particular, this included:
  • Damage projection beyond fighting at optimal
  • Establishing range control with speed or piloting
  • Managing Capacitor  
The real problem was that no one ship he had (or had in EFT) was able to do everything he wanted. So beyond the engagement and various factors it was also about what compromises to make or strengths to emphasise. This was leading Starwalker to take much more notice of ship features and capabilitities and in particular bonuses.

Starwalker was also aware that theory and tools like EFT only gave an indication of ship performance and that there were many other factors at play such as situation, tracking, pilot skills and errors. There was nothing quite like practice to really understand a ship and also to improve.

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