Saturday, December 29, 2012

Killing a Vargur

Sometimes you log into Eve and good things just come your way. That is not usually the case and it certainly wasn't a good night for the guys in this story.

I am minding my own business scanning down our C4 static when I get a tell from a friend asking if we want in on some pew. The answer to that is sure, so we check and find that the entry system is 26 jumps from our high sec connection. We grab some battleships, collapse the wormhole and scan down the next connection to find it is still 22 jumps away. /shrug

We are going up against 3 remote rep tengus in a cataclysmic variable wormhole so we grab a neuting legion, a dps legion, a proteus and a webbing loki. My friend has a drake, a bubble ship and a Oneiros to round out the fleet.

We burn across high sec and arrive in the entry system, sort out the bookmarks and decide on a strategy. While we are sorting things out, one of the tengus leaves and the other 2 head to the next site. We wait on what we believe will be a Noctic returning only to be surprised when a Vargur shows up instead. Followed a couple of minutes later by the expected Noctis.

Our strategy is simple, we have stealth bomber who is going to uncloak and attack the Noctis. While the rest of the fleet is going to warp to their C4 static. The bomber moves into position and we jump into the system. Coinciding with his attack on the Noctis, I fleet warp everyone else to their connection.

As soon as we land, the bubble is put up and the Vargur lands moments later and immediately jumps into their home. We follow and start attacking. The Vargur pilot immediately asks for a ransom but after a short discussion (none of us had ever killed a Vargur) we decide to ignore this request. He jumps back and we follow which polarizes all of us.

When we jump back into the C4, the Tengus (2) are now on the wormhole as well. We nuet one of the Tengus while pounding on the other. It doesn't take long and the first Tengu pilot bails. Shortly after that, the second Tengu pilot bails as well. The Noctis pilot has now logged off in a safe.

We continue burning the Vargur and ignore the second request for a ransom. The pilot bails shortly before the Vargur explodes. We immediately lock and pop Sivalasan and scoop his corpse. I can only surmise that he ripped some implants out before going down. Surely you must be joking that he was in a 4.5B ISK ship with only 18k in implants.

We scoop the loot, which was considerable, collapse their wormhole and head home smiling. This was the biggest non-capital kill any of us had been involved in to date.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Wormhole Class

Attention class! Let the lessons begin. If you spend time in wormholes, you are going to die. It is not a question of if, only when. New players, who have saved all their pennies to buy a shiny new ship, should not be flying said ships into wormholes.

Example #1: Tornado -

I am almost at a loss on where to start with this one. First, the pilot does not have enough skill points to even consider flying this ship. Second, it is a poor ship choice for wormhole sleeper sites. It would also be a poor choice for wormhole grav sites. It would also be a poor choice for wormhole scanning. That almost takes care of the issues with the top rack. Except for the glaring issue of the medium guns. This ship should be fit with large guns!

Next, choose a tank. Never, let me repeat, NEVER fit two different types of tank. Pick one and fit it properly. A ship fit for close range should also have a prop module so that you can close quickly on your targets.

Finally, do not fly any ship without the appropriate rigs. Tech 1 rigs are fairly inexpensive and greatly enhance the capabilities of the ship.

The character flying this ship is less than 3 weeks old. My best advice to new players is stick to smaller ships. Bigger does not always equal better. The lessons are not as painful when you are in cheaper ships.

Example #2: Drake -

This character was twice the age of the first one at the time of the kill. However, he also made several critical mistakes. I had a scout sitting cloaked on the high sec connection of this C2. He jumped in, warped to the planets which were out of dscan range and when he didn't see any ships, he jumped into an anomoly and started killing sleepers.

There is no way to know if you are alone in a wormhole. This is one of the biggest appeals for the people who live there and it is also the biggest threat. I fly a variety of ships, most of them having cloaking capabilities. The first notice you will have that I am there will often be when I uncloack 2km off your ship.

This pilot was aligned to the wormhole, when the tackler landed, he warped back to the wormhole to find it bubbled and camped. He died 4 km from safety. The site he chose was out of d-scan range of the towers in system which made him feel safe, but allowed us to put a trap on his only exit without him seeing us. Whether we killed him at the site, or at the wormhole didn't make any difference to us.

This pilot's fit is much better than the first but could still be improved. First, if you need 3 fitting modules to make a fit work, you should rethink the fit and ask for advice. The reactor control, the cpu module and the ancillary current router indicate that you do not have the necessary skills to pilot the ship.

The drake has a large hole in the EM shield resists. Exchanging one of the shield extenders for an EM resistance module or hardener would make a better fit and would help alleviate some of the fitting issues.

The biggest mistake that both pilots made was flying alone. For new pilots who are interested in wormhole space, I highly recommend that you read up on wormholes and make friends with someone who lives there before venturing into them. There are corporations who are new player friendly that will show you the ropes, once you have sufficient skills.

Tips for new players who must explore wormholes anyway:
1. Get in a cheap T1 scanning frigate and explore
2. Make sure the ship is insured, you are going to lose it at some point
3. Do not fly into wormholes with expensive implants at this phase of your career
4. Move into a wormhole and live there for a week (fit a prototype cloak for this)
 a. observe the connections, types and durations
 b. watch player activity in the wormhole
 c. figure out which moons the towers are on (without warping to them)
5. Forget running sites in wormholes until you can properly fit a T2 tank on a battlecruiser

Ninja mining might be fairly workable for new players, especially with the new mining frigate coming with Retribution. Keep in mind though that if you spend enough time in wormholes, you are going to lose a ship.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Stealing an Orca

A scout reports significant pilot activity just one jump from my own scout. I jump into the next wormhole and get eyes on their tower. Ships are coming and going and there is a retriever which is nearby but not at the tower. A little dscan magic shows that he is 100M klicks directly below us.

Shortly after getting the range on the retriever, 2 orcas land at the tower along with an iteron mark v. All of them coming from the same direction. Too bad we didn't have a trap on their static connection. One of them reships into a Buzzard and flys off to deploy probes. They scan for a bit and pin the K162 we arrived through. At this point we are hoping they will investigate the wormhole and warp an Orca out to close it before they start mining. After all, they have 2 retrievers, a hulk and 2 orcas now piloted in the tower.

Time passes and they continue moving around. The missing retriever shows up back at the tower, a couple of pilots reship to an Abadon and a Tengu. They warp to the apparent grav site and shortly some wrecks show up. The combat ships come back to the tower and the retriever and a noctis return to the grav site. After a while the noctis returns to the tower and reships to a retriever and returns to the grav site.

Too much time and inactivity for our fleet has passed. People are getting antsy so we decide to deploy probes and see how they respond. I warp my scout back to the wormhole and deploy probes within dscan range of their tower.

I arrange the probes around the grav site and lock it on the first scan. Without pulling my probes, I warp to the site to find one retriever warping off but the other is still mining a kernite rock. I bookmark the kernite while making my way toward the ship and pull my probes. Before I make it to the miner, he also warps off.

Now we wait to see what they do next. It doesn't take long. I am shocked and amazed to see a Hulk and an Orca land 40km from my position in the grav site. Really! I start moving toward the Orca just in time to see him disappear. Oh boy! Oh boy! I hit accelerate and keep burning toward him, keeping track of distance in my head. I tell the fleet to jump into the target system and hold cloak.

I move between the two ships and once I am 10 km from the Hulk and approximately 20km from the Orca, I call in the fleet. As they land, I decloak and start burning toward the Orca's approximate position. He decloaks 16km from me and starts aligning back to their tower. Not going to happen! I overheat the scram on my ship and lock him up. The phobos puts up the bubble to make sure we also get the pods.

At this point, both pilots eject from their ships. Huh? We lock and shoot the Orca pilot. The Hulk and it's pilot are next. Why they ejected from ships while in a warp bubble is a mystery to all of us. Not that it matters at this point. I unlock the Orca and jump in it, scooping my ship to the SMA. We thank those left in local for the Orca and head home, happy with our spoils.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

260M Drake, say what?

Every once in a while, something happens that makes you look twice. You just have a hard time accepting what your eyes are telling you on the first look.

One of our scouts reports some activity in a C4 with a static C2 farther down our chain. Two drakes warp away from a tower and disappear into empty space. Since we know ships need a cloak to disappear and that most drakes would not have a cloak fitted, we theorize that their is a wormhole in that vicinity and that they have went to run sites.

Since we want to catch them as they return, I jump in a heavy interdictor and the fleet gets in a variety of dps ships plus an oneiros. Kitchen sink armor fleet as there is no one around to tell us to fly something specific.

Once we are in position on the C4s > C4a wormhole, the scout deploys probes and quickly locates the wormhole right where the ships disappeared. Once he lands, we move the cloaky ships and the phobos forward and have the scout jump through the wormhole.

Sure enough, the drakes are on dscan along with several wrecks. A check of anomolies shows them in a site and our scout warps in but there is no easy way to get close to them. There is a planet out of dscan range though, so I have the scout warp to the outer planet and drop combat probes. Instead of us going to them, we are going to make them come to us.

The scout drops probes and warps back to the wormhole. He arranges the probes and scans. Since he knew exactly where they were, the 100% result on the first scan was expected. However, the drakes are not reacting as expected. The probes do not seem to scare them. Maybe we will have to go to them.

I have two of the proteus pilots jump, the scout rescans and then warps the proteus pilots to the drakes. Assignments are made about who tackles who so that we get both of them. The proteus pilots land, but there are no drakes. The drakes have finally reacted and run back to the wormhole. They jump on contact appearing in the middle of my bubble.

Both pilots immediately jump back to the C2 polaring themselves. Fantastic! I jump the phobos and immediately put the bubble up on the other side. By the time, the pilots we used for the flush are back at the wormhole. Points and webs are put on both ships. I call Dr Hart as the primary and we dispatch both his ship and capsule. Next up is Narayan Yamaradj. We take down his Drake and capsule, loot the field and head home.

Once we are back, I pull the kills and see that Narayan's capsule was worth 270M and his drake was worth 260M. Say what? How? Why? After looking twice, I realize that he has 3 tech 2 shield rigs, each of them worth more than the hull he is flying. ^-^