20 February 2014

36 Month Review

Today was the three year anniversary. Three years roaming around New Eden with the primary purpose of killing more times than being killed. It was working, Starwalker had killed over a thousand ships with more than six hundred solo. He was very proud of his "Lone Wolf" medal for five hundred solo kills.

What was even better than the Lone Wolf medal was the Torpedo medal for soloing a battleship in a T1 frigate. The reason it was special was because that type of kill was so rare. Starwalker enjoyed the kill and especially the above class kills and those opportunities did come as Starwalker predominately flew frigates.

He also liked the fact that he was a top ranked pilot.

Although Starwalker was a little more wily and made fewer mistakes they still happened frequently such as:
  • This Breacher was destroyed by a Thrasher at the station undock. The mistake was that Starwalker decided to redock and since he was only in low shield he did not repair that damage as he heard "docking request accepted". The next shot smashed through the remaining shield, armour and structure. Starwalker wondered whether the pod would dock automatically - it didn't
  • This Breacher was lost to an Incursus that applied no scramble but did apply a web, probably a double web given that the Breacher could not pull range from point blank. Starwalker had noticed immediately that no scramble was applied but left it loo long to try and warp out. By the time the command was given it was too late given align and warp time delay
Starwalker had over 60 million skill points and he had all of his core skills and was simply filling out gaps, primarily in drones and ship classes such as Interdictors and Heavy Assault Cruisers. He was not training for any particular ship and still had lots of gaps in specialist T2 ships, although he rarely flew anything like that. Training was consequently very relaxed and not especially focused on anything.

Starwalker still had three jump clones and had spread them to stations in Gultratren, Adirain and Ishomilken. Each station had roughly five fitted ships, four Breachers and one Hawk, along with assorted ammunition and consumables (capacitor booster charges and nanite paste). The main base was still in Covryn and that had the main stock of ships, equipment and ammunition. 

Overall Starwalker was enjoying his time in New Eden and he had been with R1FTA for most of that time, which was part of R1DER. He liked the regular small gang roams, although he rarely roamed in a gang outside of those regular roams. Even though he spent most of his time roaming solo he still liked being part of the corporation.

16 February 2014

Firetail in Double Trouble

Starwalker had fit the Republic Fleet Firetail with a gank and tank in mind and consequently had fitted it with a medium shield extender.

The Firetail had chased a Tristan in a complex, which had simply warped away as the Firetail closed in. That had meant that the Firetail was nearly 100km away from the warp in point when two Merlins entered.

The Merlins appeared to be fighting as one scrambled the other but as Starwalker approached to around 70km he could see that they were not firing at each other. Since they were also both hugging the warp-in point there was no chance to separate them. As he stopped and observed them one of the two Merlins warped away.

Decisions, decisions - was there enough time to kill the Merlin before his buddy returned? Starwalker decided to try it wishing that he had gotten a little closer than 70km. He burnt in and engaged the Merlin but the timing was terrible as the other Merlin came in very soon afterwards and with two webs applied he could not escape. The proud Firetail exploded into a million pieces of shrapnel.

A little while later Starwalker was back again in another Firetail and spied a Merlin in a another complex. He decided to go in and found the Merlin at point blank range but it was not alone, a Bantam decloaked around 18km away and then started to repair the Merlin. Starwalker had already engaged the Merlin and should have disengaged to kill the Bantam but instead he fruitlessly hammered at the Merlin and a second Firetail was destroyed.

Having suffered double trouble already in Ouelletta Starwalker ranged a little further in yet another Firetail and promptly lost it to a gate camp that was spread on both sides of the gate, he survived on one side but jumped back into more trouble on the other side and could not escape again. Starwalker returned to base in his pod and decided to relax in his quarters with his exotic dancers instead of returning to the space lanes of New Eden.

9 February 2014

Murphy's Law in New Eden

Murphy's Law was often stated as "Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong". The classic case for any pilot in New Eden was meeting the hard counter to whatever ship was being flown or being in the wrong type of ship for the available targets. Sometimes you just wanted to be in a different ship.

There are plenty of other Murphy effects such as:
  • Starting a module or at least believing that to be true and you notice later the module is not operational
  • Flying into an engagement with the right ammunition loaded for that target and on arrival finding that ship has left and another ship is there, for which the wrong ammunition is now loaded
  • Seeing a pilot in one ship and then realising a short while later that they have changed ships when you engage them. This Slasher died to a Rupture but Starwalker initially thought he was about to start fighting a Thrasher and he only noticed his mistake when the cruiser drones started to attack

Starwalker had his fair share of those experiences and was feeling like he wanted to be in a Slasher when he had met a Republic Fleet Firetail. He was actually chasing a Rifter but so was the Firetail and both hunters had landed together. Whilst it had turned out to be a very close fight his Breacher had been destroyed.

He had thought the same thing about being in a Slasher when taking on the Incursus in a Breacher but given that the Incursus pilot had backup in the form of a Malediction the outcome would have been the same in either case.

Sometimes Murphy was not in sight, it was simple stupidity such as when Starwalker was in a Slasher and had decided to take on a:
  • Hawk that was non-flashy sitting on the gate. The Hawk took the opportunity to take on the flashy Slasher and Starwalker could easily have simply jumped out of the danger zone. The Slasher was not well equipped to take on a Hawk but he just wanted to see what would happen; would the speed of the Slasher mitigate the damage from rockets? It would not; that result was entirely predictable and there had been no need to test it out for real
  • Kestrel that had chased Starwalker into a complex and his Slasher could easily have escaped by warping away immediately or outrunning the Kestrel. However, he wanted to see what would happen against the lower level of damage from the Kestrel, compared to the Hawk. Once it was clear that the speed and armour repairer were insufficient it was too late to run
Starwalker already knew that the Slasher tank was miniscule and that the fit used with the tracking disruptor was not effective against rocket, missile and drone ships. Completely unnecessarily he had also proven that for himself.

1 February 2014

Slasher Surprised by Railguns

The Slasher had been successful against a Thrasher and Retribution but Starwalker had not had it all his own way. He had seen a Republic Fleet Firetail and had mistaken it as artillery fit, worse he had not corrected that mistake as the close range damage came pouring in. The Slasher had very little buffer and was soon a simple space wreck.

It was not long before Starwalker was in another Slasher and not long after that when he saw an Incursus in a complex. The Slasher ammunition was changed to Republic Fleet Fusion, the tracking speed script loaded into the Tracking Disruptor and overheat for the small armour repairer and the auto-cannons. 

Ready, Starwalker entered the complex to find the Incursus waiting. Immediately he selected an orbit of 500m and applied the scramble, web, guns and disruptor. The Slasher tucked into a close orbit and the Incursus started to take damage.

At first the Slasher was orbiting and there was no incoming damage, so Starwalker assumed that he had guessed correctly that it was fitted with railguns. The Incursus entered armour but also repaired the damage. Whilst it had seemed to be going well to start with there was incoming damage and the distance between the frigates increased to just over 2km.

The Slasher was into armour and Starwalker assumed that the Incursus was getting some lucky hits in. He started the armour repairer going but the situation was deteriorating quickly as the armour was suddenly gone and the repairer was not keeping up with the damage. The Incursus was fitted with railguns and he was surprised at this range that those guns were hitting so well.

The problem for the Slasher was that it had virtually no buffer and as it dipped into structure it was soon unrecoverable and the Slasher exploded. Reciprocrat had clearly managed to reduce the transversal velocity. In retrospect Starwalker wondered - if he had overheated his afterburner whether that would have made a difference. He would not know from this encounter as it had already been lost but he would have to find out.