Member of the EVE Tweet Fleet

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Hauling & thoughts on patches

Not a lot of time on last night, but I did manage to get the 10 Rifters mentioned yesterday to the forward base. As well as 2 Rupture hulls donated to the corp. As well as more hulls. Turned out to be a hauling evening basically.

I also made sure that I had a long skill in the plan. CCP has gotten much much better over the last year and a half about updates taking longer and causing significant problems. These days they are usually very smooth and without significant incident. The boot.ini problem seems to have seriously shaken up their QA department. In a good way. Also I think that with the level of knowledge needed to run their current network layer they probably have a much more stable update environment than previously. I think this also reflects the fact that their programers know they are on the cutting edge of game development. They know they are trying stuff that no other game company would even contemplate. They get to play with the "cool shit". It brings out their 'A' game.

Let's face it, as much as we all hate the "lag monster", these guys are in unchartered waters most of the time for a game company. And some of their challenges aren't faced by other super computer developers. As much as some people decry the "spreadsheets in space" look of our interface, there's a reason spreadsheets haven't changed very much over the years. Sure the "ship control" interface could use a wee bit o help. But the depth and complexity of the market calls for the look we've got.

I can't be sure, but I think that with the cash flow stability the increase in subscribers has brought, we're seeing the maturing of CCP as a company. I suspect that if you compare their turn over rates with similar development houses, they are much lower and what we're seeing is the maturing of their developer pool into a truly professional development team. You need to remember that most game development companies tend to run "experienced light" teams. This is where you get a few key experienced people and a horde of young programmers/artists (because being young you can pay them less). The churn at most game companies at the footsoldier level is quite high from conversations with most game developers I've had. However, especially on the server side, the technologies they are having to deal with means they needed to get or train true professional developers. So the guys they started with are turning pro and to a certain degree they can cherry pick new members. Remember from a developers point of view they are working on the "cool" stuff. This lends to the polish of the updates and the increases (gradual) in performance we're seeing. Also I think the mad growth of the last few years is finaly stabilizing as the new developers are being integrated.

I suspect that the next year is going to be even more interesting than the last year and a half I've seen.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Running arround

The last evening in Faction Warfare had a lot of running around trying to get the Amarr to engage. When they finally did, I got in on some kill mails but lost my rupture. Nothing really earth shattering to report.

At the end of the evening I headed up to my manufacturing base and I'll have 10 new Rifters to bring to my forward base at some point in the future. I think over the next few days I'll be running mostly the smaller frigates in order to run through them and end up with mainly Rifters for my frigates. Once I get cyno field generation I'll convert some of my probes to cyno boats since cloaking probes don't tend to die very often.

I'll note that frigates are kind of two faced. They tend to be very survivable in the scouting/pre-battle role, but tend to be quite fragile in battle. Especialy since the Amarr seem to be insensed by them and concentrate on the frigates when battle is joined. My frigate loss rate does indicate that I'm charging the enemy, and the isk value of my kill/loss ratio is nice and lopsided. But it's a darn good thing I make these boats in batches of 10.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Saturday at the Pub

Bad weekend for getting on EvE. But I did manage to attend Montreal's pilot pub night that we seem to have going. So instead of pics of pretty ships getting blown up you get pics of scary looking pilots:

First up is Havegun Willtravel.

Then there is Suletsap III.

This is Unzer.

Cozmik R5.

Since Carbon Freezer neglected to take a picture of himself, here's Jamie our waitress. Trust me she's better looking than Carbon anyways...

And of course, myself... Yikes look at all the gray, time sure sneaks up on you when you're having fun...

And here is the typical pub action shots as the various pilots recount various adventures we've had from high sec to 0.0. Discuss if Carbon and Cozmik will get together with another pilot and start jamming. (Coz is a drummer, Carbon a cellist taking up electric guitar and Madcoy who's over in another nearby town is a contra-bassist - sounds like the makings of a small EvE band one day).

Thursday, September 25, 2008

I'm sorry we don't play your game

I log on and I'm up in my manufacturing center. I also have some RL stuff to do so I pop some module jobs in (to get another thrasher fitted out so that my hauler will have a full load). Then I take my Rifter - the Expendable and autopilot way out to the other end of Gallente space to get a new Research agent. I know I know, should have done it in a shuttle - but it was an implant-less clone and an insured Rifter so...

After getting back online for a sec, I find out I've survived my trip (25-30 odd jumps) , get my new agent researching, and set my autopilot destination to my forward base and go off and do more RL stuff.

After I get back I find out I'm 3 jumps out and the ship is fine. So I check coms and find out that stuff is heating up, I indicate to the person trying to form up that I'm on my way and put a burn on for the Amamake system. We've got an open Minmatar plex to defend. After trying to find the concentration point (as various people are flying around with their heads cut off) I eventually end up with at a station and Ignoring smack in local showing the purported FC of the Amarr side making like he's miss-telling local the orders he's supposed to say in fleet to go to the Osoggur gate, I figure it's a ruse so I head to the warp in gate of the plex. Just as I hit warp the FC orders a warp to the Osoggur gate... Wonderful. I now know I won't have backup for a while. Sure enough I land smack on the Amarr fleet and start dumping intel in the fleet voice coms as my Rifter is pretty much insta-gibbed.

After warping my pod out I head for a Rupture I've got in system. This one is named "Office Chair" after the well known saying that flying a Minmatar ship is like going down a flight of stairs in an office chair firing an Uzi. As I try to get back to the fleet I managed to get a momentary tackle on a jag and both fleets warp to that fight, with the Amarr arriving first. This time I manage to get my Rupture out at about 25% armor. Thank matar for the toughness of the Rupture. After some more bouncing around while my rupture repairs itself we end up getting the instructions to dock up. After I dock up I learn over voice coms that a Moros has joined the fun.

What proceeds is a classic example of how not to organize a response fleet (Sorry FC but it's true). Between the enemy fleet shaping up nicely and our fleet not really up-shipping with alacrity. Between our fleet getting possibly infiltrated and the enemy FC smacking about it in local (I must point out the fact that it's entirely possible he was just smacking to psych the FC out). Eventually due to the fact that we a) weren't concentrated properly, b) lack of BS and c) loosing the supporting capitals to being dis-organized and cyno-less. It was smartly decided that trying to fight from Angelonico's play book was stupid and the fleet was dissolved.

Basically I took over and stated that anyone staying had better ship down and we were going plexing because we weren't going to play their game and get our ships killed no good reason. At that point the fleet shrunk massively. But one of the pilots was out in Amarr low sec in a plex (he'd obviously been ahead of the curve). So off the few of us go and get to the plex. It's a min plex in an un-contested system but what the heck, might as well close it do deny it to the enemy. One of my pilots with enormous voice coms and attention problems seems to have lost a rupture trying to get to us. Once again someone is short on attention. I had specifically requested that we down ship to frigates. Why don't they listen? Anyways, a war target in a hauler goes by while we're in the last 16 seconds of the plex and we then spread out trying to see if we get lucky and find out where he's gone. We don't' do that, but in doing so I find an open plex in an un-contested amar system.

So in I go to do my speed tanking thing, and eventually we cap the plex. With no one to disturb us the whole time. As we're finishing this plex we get a call for help from a mission runner that got abandoned by his guys for a militia mission. More speed tanking ensues. Rather tough little mission but that's cool, we loose no ships and he's able to get the mission completed (going to have to go back and get that loot out at some point). Then we hit the jackpot. We're in an un-contested amarr system and a quick scan finds 5 plexes.

What follows is tedious but necessary. A lot of speed tanking later and we've buttoned 5 more plexes, putting this system solidly into contested state.

I'm getting better at this speed tanking thing. thank god for the ability to perma-run my MWD. Just watch out you dont' get too close to any Amarr npc concentrations as they will neut you.

Once we capped the last of those 5 plexes (there were probably more but it was getting late) I thank the guys for the fleet and head off to my forward base and dock up for the night.

One of the points here is that the measure of success in FW is not, at the end of the day, how many big kills you get. It's your isk based damage inflicted vs damage recieved ratio. It's also how frustrated you can get the enemy. The smartest move the FC did last night once it became obvious that the fight wasn't going to be worth doing was to can the fleet. If we had engaged they would simply have gotten more kills for relatively light losses. When that's the case, it's not worth engaging their main fleet. But if most of their best pilots are at location A, that means most other locations are "uncovered" and its a great time to go with a small strike force into the hinterland and either kill stragglers or cap some plexes. Remember - don't play their game, play your game (it's a lot easier on your blood pressure and the enemy smack becomes amusing).

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Things to do BEFORE you join FW

It was a slow night last night. So after an abortive attempt at getting a gang going, and not feeling particularly like forming a frigate gang (need to get some different fits to pass out than my standard interceptor style fit Rifters), I headed off to my industrial hub to do some fabrication. As part of this someone mentioned data cores. Light bulb goes off. Hey, I've got a level 4 agents that's been sitting there for quite a while (since just before the start of my entry into FW). Time to go harvest some cores since I'm not feeling especially pew pew-ey tonight.

So I start trucking out to the guy in my prowler. I get about half way there when I suddenly put on the breaks... Wait a sec... F10... "Oh crap". And yes I actualy miss-typed that in militia chat. My research agent was in Caldari space.

People, before joining faction warfare, check the locations of your research agents. If they are in faction space that will consider you KOS, you may, may I say, want to change agents...

Not wanting to possibly lose a prowler to a gate lag incident, I head back and pick up an insured Rifter. Turns out it was a good thing, had a wierd situation on one of the gates, got hung up in the gate while I couldn't jump because apparently I was too far from the gate, managed to escape the situation with flames comming out my hull and 30% structure, docked up, repaired and continued on without further incident to pick up 34 datacores - Rocket Science, and head on back to Friendly faction space. I now have enough datacores for some good ammo runs when I get my skills up so that it's worth doing some invention. I pulled my research from that agent and will be picking an agent in gallente space to get some ship and engineering datacores off of.

After all that excitement, I proceeded to slap in the modules for 2 Bellicoses. Going to have to fit out a Thrasher as well to ship down to my forward base. I'll do that tomorow.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Another frigate gang

Once again last night was a frigate gang. This time started by another FC. Like Sunday's, this one was headed up to Amarr high sec. Into the Amarr system as a matter of fact. We bounced around in our T1 frigates and got 1 Omen Navy Issue, 1 Coercer and 1 Bestower. We went in about 15 strong and left when we were down to 3 combat worthy frigates. The bestower was empty, the coercer was brilliantly un-fitted. And the Omen Navy Issue didn't have any weapons.


Oh well that Omen "paid" for our little fleet. I will note that we requested T1 ships but certain people had armed these ships with named and T2 weapons. Not that I am against arming frigates with said items, but when the intention is to go in a place where you'll get 80% losses, you don't put T2 or expensive named items in a ship...

You fit vanila T1 modules, you make sure your insurance is paid up, your clone is implantless, you head out with a skeleton crew and said crew's action stations are in their escape pods. Cuz you know it will be over quick when the end comes.

Typical cost of a rifter setup for these types of runs:
~365,000 isk
Net insurance payout
196,000 isk
Cost per ship lost:
169,000 isk
Net cost for 12 of these:
2,028,000 isk
(true value of the fleet was probably a few mil higher since certain pilots did not catch the whole "you're going to loose it so bring cheap" thing).

Value of Omen Navy Issue:
90,000,000 isk
(it was unfit - so probably un-insured)

If it takes us 10 fleets like this to get a single similar kill, we're still wining the isk war. So far my own experience is one out of every 2 frigate fleets gets a high value kill before being wiped. That being the case, these frigate fleets are very cost effective. Sure you won't get the masive kill numbers of a proper full up fleet battle, but the slow and steady bleeding of good ships the amarr are going thru will eventualy wear on them, and you get some good training in for the newbies.

I'm also interested in the difference in tactics these fleets engender. Some, like the one I flew keep the frigates concentrated till the engagement point, others like last nights had us bouncing arround the gates till someone got something then everyone converging.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Skills and stuff

As those who've been reading the blog and following along know, I have quite the mixed bag of skills for an industrialist main. Technically I'm probably more of a Jack of all trades, master of none. Lord knows my skill spread is kind of demented. Nothing another 30mil SP wont' fix but in the meanwhile it's kind of amusing. My training plans are all over the place - some industry related, some combat related. The thing is while I was CEO and alliance leader full time, I always had some skill that needed training NOW. Now that I'm finally in FW I took the time to actually address one of the problems I've had with my training till now. Lack of learning skills (yea yea I know - bad Letrange). This weekend I finally got Learning 5 and all the other learning skills to 4. I still need to get the rank 1 skills to 5 but that can come over the next few months.

As far as the rest of my skills go, I'm currently in a "get everything related to a specific skill set to 4" mode. Most pilots eventually, if they stay in the game long enough, get to this point. They get satisfied with their current mix of ships and decide that they can wait before getting a shiny brand new toy till they have the skills to REALY fly it. This point is different for just about all pilots. But we all eventually get there. The problem with being a generalist is that I now have a MOUNTAIN of skills to get to 4. So it's a question of prioritizing. A while ago, I established a set of skills that needed to get to 4 for my drones. Now I'm not using drones much these days but there's only one skill on that tree left to finish up. So I'm doing it now.

Gunnery support skills are all at 4 already (for minmatar guns). Nav skills are all at 4+, I'll need to check but I think my armor skills are there. Left on the support sill sets to do are Missiles, Shields, E-war and Repair. I'll probably slip some cyno generation in there since it'll come in handy one day. In the meanwhile I'm enjoying the fact that when I fly a frigate most of the skills are 4 or 5 (although as mentioned a bit more on the missile tree would round out that rocket launcher on my Rifters).

Once I finishe getting my support skills to 4 it'll be time for the big push to get my medium weapons to T2 status. I've got the medium drones up to T2 (although getting all the relevant skills to 4 still has to be polished off). So that means it's just Projectiles and Missiles. Once I do that it'll be time to go for the HAS class of ships (and possibly recons and logistics should not be far off due to my skill set).

The weekend

The weekend ended up being a mixed bag of stuff. I've managed to get in on the tail end of a capital fight. Took a Rupture to that party and for once didn't die a quick and horrible death. Not much of an after action report for that one. By the time I had arrived on scene, it was shoot primary, watch primary dock up, shot primary, watch primary dock up, rinse, repeat. At the end I was trying to bump carriers but with little success as I had no experience with the tactic.

Also this weekend saw the completion of my first batch of donated frigates for the new corp. I'm a little worried about the requested fit (once one of them shows up on a kill mail I'll discuss details and pros and cons of Rifter fitting). What I'm worried about is that it may not be low SP friendly. This will limit the number of people who can get them without having "issues". Time will tell.

On Sunday I got in another frigate gang. This time going to high sec in the hopes of finding a war target that wasn't expecting us to show up. No luck, but man do those faction navies show up in large quantities... Also the size of the frigate fleet left a lot to be desired. That fleet ended with us landing on a pair of T1 cruisers, and the primary was the blackbird. I spend most of the fight jammed and we didn't manage to kill it before getting swarmed by more war targets. Another Rifter goes poof. This just re-enforced my suspicions that we were just a little lite on pilots for a good frigate op. Frigate ops do depend on numbers and quick attacks to get thier kills. However the Blackbird was able to jam enough of us, for long enough to realy diminish the effectiveness of the gang, thereby surviving the attack.

I have also coined a new type of op: FCIT ops (Fleet Commander In Training) aka "F*** it" ops. Those will be for when I'm passing out the frigates like party favors. Make sure your clone is implant free and make sure you bring a pod escape tab. I do need to stock up on different rifter builds for ops like that though. More generic fit rifters mixed in with some interceptor fit rifters (like the ones I normaly fly).

I did some math over the weekend a pure T1 fit rifter fleet of 20 ships runs about 7.5 mil all in (at nominal pricing of 10% above manufacture costs). Since the normal target of such a fleet are tech 2 cruisers and frigates of all types, this means that getting a single kill every few ops is doing great. When we run in slasher fleets and get a kill, well that's just laughing all the way to E-Bank. The other great thing about them is that I can easily afford to build mixed fleets of frigates off of mined minerals with very little input from my wallet.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The FC is ... me?

I wasn't on line much last night. Made up for it this afternoon. So, I log in, get a request for some ammo from a corp mate. Pop it in the oven. Then as I finish those administrative trivia, a call goes out for a frigate fleet. With my reserve of frigates, I head out to my forward base and join up. I don't even need to grab one since I had flown out to the production spot with a Rifter.

In the first fight we get to, I'm practically insta-primaried, but we managed to get an Ishtar, so once again the entire op is payed for. We then loose our FC to class and suddenly I'm in charge it looks like. So I order a re-fit for those of us in pods and we re-group, giving out a few of my frigates. I then bungle the next part and land right in a nice Amarr trap. Loosing us a few more ships, but one of the squadron commanders manages to get most of his squad warped off. Not good on my very first fight as an FC. Bye bye vigil.

So those of us in pods re-ship again and I give out a pair of ships that time. This time I make sure that I'll avoid any serious concentration of ships while getting us into a fight. Thru the militia channels we hear of a big fight happeing in and arround plexes in Tararan. We head in that general direction but once we hear it's grown and the ship description matches what we ran into in the 2nd battle, I decide that we're not going to go all the way but look for any stray reserves they may have nearby.

We manage to find a system with a minor plex and some interceptors war targets in it. After thinking about it too long (I have to break myself of that habit - but it's the sign of a new FC), I order us all into the plex. Sure enough we end up wining the plex, while this was going on there was an un-restricted plex in the area. I order us into that plex but no one is to leave the warp in point. Sure enough an interceptor warps in on us, and we get an web and some points on it. We manage to get it down to 40% structure when the crow manages to crawl out to enough range to warp off. While this was happening a Myrm had warped in. I order everyone to warp to a gate, not wanting to get trapped after we loose the crow. But then seeing local was stable we I order us back into the plex to go after the Myrm. This is kind of borderline for us but I figure what the heck, we're in frigates. As we warp in, an Arazu arrives in the plex. I order a quick change in primary and we melt the Arazu and switch back to the Myrmidon. Someone gets the pod of the Arazu pilot as well. We get the Myrm into about 30% armor but he manages to kill enough of us to hold cap stable so we aren't able to break his tank. At that point my Slasher is killed and since we're not breaking his tank I order a scatter to arm and re-fit - the Arazu having "paid" for the entire op.

Once again I hand out ships as we rest and refit, so 2 of my in-country reserves get donated to the cause and I'm in another of my Rifters. At this point the original FC is back in control and we head out again. We manage to get suckered into going for a Rohk solo and get smartbombed into oblivion. Down goes my Rifter and my pod. After deciding to up-ship, I"m in a Thrasher as we head out again. This time we end up in the same area as the Rohk got us but without running into major stuff. Heading back we managed to find the enemy fleet in Kamela, but the enemy only plays station games. Our FC has to go again. Once again I'm in charge, but with the bigger ships I definitely don't feel comfortable FC'ing, we head back to Minmatar space and I get us back without incident at which point a bunch of us head off to various real world pursuits.

All in all a pretty good first FC experience. Got smacked quite good, but came back and got a T2 kill - which was the purpose of the op. Learned I need to hesitate less, but I expected that to be a problem with my first FC gig. Running these "suicide" ops is actually a delicate balance between aggression and caution. You need to be aggressive enough to keep moving since if you stop in one place too long they'll squash you. But you need to be cautious enough not to engage if it looks like you won't get your kill before you loose too many ships. Giving out free frigates is definitely the way to go if your new at FC'ing because it frees you from the consideration of "commanding other peoples ships and not wanting to be responsible for their loss" feeling. Till you have some FC experience under your belt, that one probably leads to many bad ops. I'll be sticking to frigate ops and handing out free frigates till I'm confidant my FC skills don't suck.

Lord knows I have the frigates.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

And a D/C for the loss

A d/c or D/C in MMO speak is when the internet hiccups and kicks you from your game. Usually at the most inopportune time. Like last night. Just as I jump into a fight I end up disconnecting and having to re-log. When I get back I'm practically the only purple/green in a sea of red war targets. In a destroyer... I manage to get a shot off at an interceptor before he jumps and then I die a quick and horrible death.

That was not a great fight. We need to come up with an answer to the latest Amarr tactics. Its either that or wait till the speed nerf comes in. The Amarr seem to have brought in the standard 0.0 nano gang/RR BS reinforcements and that's all we're seeing. It's gratifying in a back handed way that a bunch of mostly frigates and cruisers caused them to go crying to their 0.0 alliances for pilots. As much as some of the senior pilots keep decrying that the speed changes will also affect the Minmatar side, I beg to differ, most of the Minmatar side is flying frigates and t1 cruisers most of the time. Things just aren't going to get as slow relative to our current speeds as it is for the nano gangs, and last time I looked we're not putting up too many nano gangs to be affected.

I'm slowly coming to the conclusion that we need to concentrate our frigate/dessy pilots on plex running while the higher sp pilots deal with the nano/BS gangs. Till the the speed nerf the smaller ships are just not effective against nanos and interceptors untill the speed changes come in.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

The sinews of war

You'll all have noticed by now that I haven't done a lot of mining since I started FW. This is mainly because, although I have one of the highest loss rates in the militia, I'm flying pure mainly T1 fit T1 ships. I did, however, help out a few other FW pilots with some larger hulls at one point (2 cyclones and a bunch of other stuff). This combined with my own production (and the increase in cruiser hulls) means that my mineral bank was bottoming out and I decided it was time for a small mining op.

I ended up melting most of a belt in 4h. Not great, but then again with the picked over high sec belts, about as good as it gets. I ended up with over 4mil trit from that op. This, combined with my existing reserves, represents enough minerals for about 8 Ruptures or 16 Scythes or proportionaly greater smaller ships. Basicaly This works out to 6h mining in high sec = enough lows for a Tier 1 BS. Not bad. Since I'm sticking to the small, disposable and self manufactured, it means I should be able to go about another 3 weeks before I need to mine again.

The corp I joined seems to have a 25% tax mission day. Not an issue except that since I'm still not flying BS I realy can't contribute as much flying missions as my SP would indicate that I should. I'll be donating fully fit T1 frigates for use in frigate fleets instead. The rest of the week and into the weekend I'll be on patrol and in the war zone.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Last night

Last night I was not on much. Just had time to fly to my main manufacturing hub and slap in some production. I've managed to standardize the amounts of ships and modules it's convenient for me to manufacture at a crack. This is based on what my hauler can handle actually. Basically my haulers are 28.2-29.2k m3 (yep rigged mammoths and rigged mastodons). My alt in 2 days will be flying an Iteron V. I'll need to check whether he has the skills yet to rig it out with a single rig or not. I suspect not, but those skills will be the next ones he gets if that's the case.

Basically these volumes mean that I can transport:
  • 10 frigates and their modules/ammo
  • 5 destroyers and their modules/ammo
  • 2 cruisers and 2 frigates and their modules/ammo
  • 2 cruisers and 1 destroyer and their modules/ammo
  • 1 battlecruiser and 2 frigates and their modules/ammo
  • 1 battlecruiser and 1 destroyer and their modules/ammo
In a single trip. So I'm trying to base my hull resupply to my operating base on packets of these sizes. So after messing around with EFT a bit I slap in the manufacture of 2 cruisers and associated modules and ammo that was it for the night.

(this was moved from the previous post as that post works better without this).

EvE and the differences with other MMOs

I was thinking about how useful EvE's skill system is in situations where real life means you can't put int the time on a particular eveninig. My char is progressing even if I'm not. The problem I have with most negative reviews of EvE is the following statement: "Why does EvE reward me for not playing". Skill is not a reward, skill is a requirement to use different ammunition. I realize that coming from a different MMO style that the paradigm change is jarring. It took me a while (and loosing a hauler in low sec at a very young in game time point and almost quitting) before I wrapped my mind around it too. You have to realize that relative to the values of the "shinnies" in this game earning the isk to acquire them is WAY EASY. Heck for the smart and lazy there are totally passive ways of making isk. It has to be this way. Since all those shinnies are eminently destructible.

It is here that EvE departs from the standard MMO concepts and goes off in to left field. In a standard MMO, once you hit a certain level you work your ass off to aquire the appropriate gear. But once you've got it, it's your untill you sell/throw it away or you cancel your account. In EvE the ONLY thing that works like this are the skills in your head (provided you keep your clones up to date). Everything else, everything, is ammunition. Yes, some of it is rather expensive rounds (think bullets made of gold) but all of it is expendable. This is why so many newbies dont' survive the transition to EvE. They come from the other MMOs mind set where "if I get it, it's mine, mine, mine, muahahahahah". They get to EvE they think "ooo it's equipment - it must work like I'm used to in other MMOs". They skill up to fly something nice and shinny, and literaly get it blown to shreds right after un-docking it the first time. At that point they rage quit.

Incidentally this is probably why the average age of the EvE player is higher than the average MMO player. The younger one is the more attached to ones toys one becomes. The more likely that one is to rage quit.


EvE works to a different beat if you think it works anything like another MMO you will come to grief. EvE PvE is very easy, because the point is not PvE, it's just a mechanism to get isk to buy the ammo needed to PvP. EvE has real PvP, but 80% of it happens prior to a shot being fired. Once the fight starts your gang has either gotten the upper hand or screwed the pooch. Most fights results are determined BEFORE the first shot is fired. And as in real life the win usually goes to he who makes the fewest mistakes.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Of destroyers and microwarp drives

Humm, going to have to mix up my fit on the Thrashers now. Now that I've lost a destroyer in combat and it's up on the KB for all to analyze, it's time to go over the fit and discuss the pros and cons of the destroyer fits. Here is the kill and here is the associated loss.

I'm going to go in a bit of detail with this small engagement we had inside a plex last night. As part of a bigger roam, we found a minor installation in Kamela. The FC ordered frigates into the plex to sit on the button while larger ships did other undisclosed thing. In support of said operation, since I was in a T1 destroyer, I volunteered to go in the plex with the two rifters after picking up some stray drones from a previous fight.

I get into the plex and immediatly charge towards the Amar NPC ships. My T2 guns and faction ammo make quick work of the npcs. And we quickly get on the button. This is where I failed in getting a proper tactical setup in the plex. What I should have done is sent the 2 rifters to sit on the warp in point. Not doing so probably cost me my Thrasher as the fight would have gone much better that way. We get a 2nd wave of NPCs and they go down ultra fast since they are well within my optimal and I've got an anti-inty fit Thrasher.

After that we get notified from the ships sitting on the warpgate that we have an incoming Coercer. Sure enough a Coercer shows up at about 60km. Now this is a problem as that's outside of my targeting/attack range. At this point my only thought is that he'll be able to pick off the Rifters quite easily, so there's no choice, I kick the MWD and charge at him hell bent for leather. At this point I'm calling for the rifters to try and get a tackle but they seem to be falling behind me. I also get notified that there's another friendly frigate incoming to help. I'll have to inquire but I suspect at least one of them was afterburner fit instead of MWD. I hit my targeting range and start laying in the fire just as the Coercer opens up as well.

At this point the fight becomes very predictable. Both dessies are T2 fit, but the Amarr is more gank setup than the anti-inty fit I've got going so sure enough he's breaking my tank (if you can call it that) faster than I'm breaking his. But he was in structure as I go down so I was definitly laying down the hurt. I'm spaming warp as my fine destroyer goes down in flames arround me and sure enough I get my pod out. Also probably because the help from the gate had arrived and one of the rifters managed to get on the Coercer so the Coercer pilot had other things to deal with.

Before I get to the place I had warped off to, I get the news that the Coercer got poped as well. We thought we had the pod as well but nope, it got away. All in all a prety good fight for one who's start was as messed up as it was.

The good news is that we managed to get all the loot from both destroyers. They were contracted to me. With the insurance and the salvaged T2 modules this means my total losses were on the order of about 1 mil at the end of the fight since I can sell his T2 modules to replace the T2 modules I had lost. So that although it was a prety even fight on the win/loss column, holding the field and getting the salvage put this solidly in the win column for the Matari side.

The point here is that I'm in FW to learn so time to draw some lessons from this fight. Note for future plex attacks/defenses when in destroyer:
  1. After you take care of the npc's make sure there are tacklers on the warp in point.
  2. Bring long range ammo as well as anti-inty ammo and a range script, not just a tracking script.
In hindsight the fight could have gone better. I could have ordered the frigates to sit on the warp in point and I could have had a better ammo/sensor mix. With a pure T1 fit Thrasher that is range limited anyways, I should have sent a Rifter to the button (preferably an MWD equiped one), put the other on the warp in point and motered to a point between the button and the warp in point to hopefully have both places in range. Live and learn.

On a side note, there is no real reason not to use a MWD on a destroyer inside a plex. The enemy is going to hit you and your natural sig size means it'll be for full damage - might as well take advantage of the tactical mobility the MWD provides. I am loath to change the anti-inty fit too much as it will reliably get hits on inties going 6km/s+ at arround 10km with it's sweet spot being arround 20-30km. But I'm definitly going to add some tremor ammo for those plex situations.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Well that was better

This evening things went much better. Got in a gang, lost some ships got in on some kill mails. Much better. As you all know, I'm doing FW on the cheap pretty much. Sticking to T1 ships for now. To give you guys an idea, I tend to treat T1 Frigates as ammo.

They are ammo, not ships

That should give you an idea of how much ammo I had at the start of the evening. I lost one of the vigils, the Reticle (got most of it's modules back though), and another Rifter. But for this I got in on a Coercer, a Typhoon and a Crusader killmails. All ships were insured although the loss of 4 of the T2 modules on the Thrasher hurt it's still not a lot compaired to the kills since I also got the Coercer's T2 drops (Thanks guys).

At the end of the evening I've decided to join the 17th tactical wing as one of their pilots. They are aware of my long term plans and don't have a problem with it, and this should help me get in some more good gangs on a regular basis.

Socializing in EvE

One of the greatest strengths of EvE as a game is that it is single server based. As others have observed, although the technical hurdles are difficult, the social implications are enormous. Whereas for a WoW event for example everyone tends to segragate by server, in an eve event everyone tends to segragate by alliance. If you meet someone in the street who plays EvE you can meet them (and blow them up) in EvE. This makes for a very different dynamic.

About every 2 weeks a small sub section of us in montreal have been getting together every second Friday night at a pub downtown to shoot the breeze. Due to a change in schedule we've moved it to Saturday night. Last night we managed to get 10 of the montreal pilots together at one place at one time. A fine time was had by all. I'd like to thank Crazy Kinux and all the others who showed up. For those that show up again, see you in 2 weeks.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Of Fleets and FCs

Rant time. I can deal with flying in paper thin ships. I can deal with the lack of survivability. What drives me nuts is FCs who over think an engagement and are not aggressive enough. Currently a lot of our engagements are very lopsided as the Amarr tend to bring Rapiers Zealots an interceptors to most of our fights. But trying to out think a nano squadron when you don't have a nano squadron of your own is just nuts. It's playing their game.

If you're going up against that you need to be anti-nano fit in your gang. Constantly asking for DPS is not a way to get it either. Prove that you're a good FC and we'll bring the DPS (that we have anyways). Prove you're an inteligent FC and make sure there's an anti-nano component of your fleet.

Anyways lost another Vigil. Spent the rest of the evening in a Thrasher till I had had enough and docked at a station in the system we were in and logged.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Stabber go bye bye

At the start of the evening I decided to fly one of my Stabbers. Got in a gang pretty quick and in the first fight I ended up being the first primary... Poof goes I. I must admit that getting removed from the fight that quickly was annoying but not much you can do about it. Unfortunately the guy I had been shooting at managed to get out of dodge.

Wending my way back to my ship reserve I hear cries of "does anyone have a probing ship". So instead of getting another insta-poof ship, I go get one of my trusty Probes. These ships are proving much more survivable than my Rifters and what not. But then again they are scout ships, not combat ships. And indeed when I got back the gang sounded much more organized, less multi-FC'ing that was causing me to re-consider that gang at the start. So I spent the rest of the time as flank screen. We finaly got some action in Lamaa. Many kill mails were to be had but unfortunately I was not in on them since I was flank screen. It was an unusual fight in that the amarr had warped to a plex one of the other ships had un-covered (I had only uncovered a small). And were spoiling for a fight. We initialy suspected that they had re-inforcements in the area (hence the flank security). But this turned out to be in-correct. It was as they say "A good shoot".

I am still focusing too closely on my ship and my imediate target when I warp in on a fur-ball, I need to get more situational awareness. I also need to finish off bookmarking observation spots and making sure that the correct way to use them becomes automatic. At least this time I got away in my pod promptly.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Destroyer down

I start the evening doing the usual, popping modules out of manufacturing slots and hauling them and the hulls over to the main forward base. Some hauling later and I've got 10 more vigils over there. I then x up. That's when things go wrong. I had decided to go in a destroyer. The FC told us to head to the system they were operating in. And bang, not paying attention I jump straight into a gate camp. Pointed webbed and going down. I manage to get some shots off and sure enough I manage to get about half way thru the shields of the Stiletto that's got me, but the end result is never in doubt with 2 Drakes and a Harbinger amongst other ships pounding away on my poor T1 Thrasher.

The amount of damage I was doing to the Stiletto going down though gives me hope that my fit was good and that in more favorable circumstances will prove effective. Unfortunately I didn't concentrate fast enough after going down to get my pod out and they managed to pop me quite handily... Well that sucked. (new medical clone). While piloting back to my forward base to get another ship the gang kind of disintegrates to multple d/c's and I decide that a different tack is called for.

I pull out a cloaky Probe with a recon launcher as primary armament. As the raised eyebrows going up, the PvP amongst you are going "WTF"? Here's the situation: lack of intel meant that a gate camp was left to stay and operatate at the Minmatar high sec door with relative impunity. We're also at that stage where the various corps don't seem to be willing to form gangs tonight so not much oppostion. Going in solo again? Suicide. So that's not an option. Only thing left? Scouting and intel reporting. Prevent other pilots from falling into the same trap.

So I jump in my probe, cloak, align, uncloak and warp away from the gatecamp (Thank you nanofiber structure). Warp back to a random distance from my observation point and imediately cloak and gun. As I start reporting pilots and ships they are flying local chatter lights up with an insensed stiletto pilot that I've come in with a cloaked probe. Sure enough, as I poor intel into the militia channel, it's got to make the amarr pilots nervous since any non-broadcast move against them will be done with full intel on thier dispostion. Sure enough within 5-10 min the gate camp breaks up and they leave the system.

Who'd a thunk that a simple cloaky Probe would be so good at breaking up a gate camp. The lesson? We need more intel flow on enemy movements in the Minmatar channels. We have a preponderance of fast maneuverable frigates in the Militia. There is no reason we don't always know exactly who's where at all time except that it's not organized. It's simple people the more we know about the enemies position and movements, the better any action the FC's will take will be. Also the better the smaller gangs can avoid getting caught. And third of all, knowing that they are being watched and reported on makes the opposition nervous. Nervous enemies make mistakes

I think that I'll be concentrating on scouting for the next little bit. My build up of cheap disposable (and cloaky) ships will prove useful in this endevor. I also need to continue my safespot creation and get more of the most frequented systems better bookmarked.


I start the evening off with 4 Thrashers in my Mastodon's cargo hold and a run of Rifters coming off the production lines. I immediately put the modules back in in order to cook a whole bunch of modules for 10 more Vigils and start hauling stuff to my forward base. An ungodly amount of back and forthing ensues and I am able to do some stuff near the front lines.

With the arrival of a shipment of 10 spanking brand new Rifters, I decide that since no gangs are forming, it's time to work on moving some hulls into the combat area and have re-mounts available much more close to any future action. Also get that insured hull out there back to my main base where I can fly it... As I get arround to doing this, I manage to pick up 4 abandoned drones... Well that's convinient, I had forgotten to build some drones for my Stabbers. Thank you random amarrian pilot.

After getting 4 Rifters placed out in the combat zone, I manage to x up in a small gang. And yep I realize this means I'll probably loose the Rifter I'm in. Good thing it's insured to the hilt. After running arround and deciding that engaging a myrmidon that was backed up by a full gang just one jump over was a bad idea, we continue our patrol and eventually run into an empty system that's got 2 plexes in it (lost an interceptor to the myrm for some unknown reason). The plexes are a Minor and a Major. It's an Amarr system that's under Minmatar occupation. It's contested. I figure it might be worth doing the plexes since we can't find WT. So I immediatley jump into the minor and the rest of the gang (Stabber and Vexor) go for the Major.

Sure enough Elise Randlolf, a known interceptor pilot shows up. As she plays footsy with the two ships in the Major, I manage to finish off the minor and get promoted to Venge Captain. Then I head over to the major and find it empty as Elise had to go repair her Crow. As I get to the button she comes back in system and eventually meets up with us. I proceed to not cover myself with glory by staying a bit too long hoping the NPCs and the other pilots will nail her as she concentrates on me. Unfortunatly it is for naught. I loose the Rifter, they (and the NPCs) almost get her but no go, then Amarrian reinforcements in the form of a Vagabond and other unknowns arrive and it's time to get out of dodge.

Once again I am reminded of the fragility of the frigates in the smaller gangs when flying in war engagnements. On the other hand, without it I would not have been able to get that first plex. So it all balances out. No PvP glory but I did managed to be a thorn in the Amarrian side by pushing the balance towards the minmatar a little bit in that system.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008


As I got on this evening, my objective was to get some systems fully bookmarked. Fully bookmarked means that every gate has a 300km observation spot, that there are scan safes. A scan safe is a spot from which you can scan a gate. And if possible a deep safe. A deep safe is about 15 AU+ from anything. The gate ones are relatively easy: Warp to 100km, head off in a random direction till you're 300km +/- away from the gate, make sure no one is obviously looking and book mark the place. The scan safes are simple make sure there's enough spots that you can scan all the gates in system from at least 1-14 AU. Some gates may be trickier as they are bunched around a single planet or moon or spot in space. A single point will suffice for them. The deep safes are tricky to get but doable.

I also need to get my low sec remount stations exit safe spotted. This involves exiting, and motoring to about 1000km off the station exit in the direction it usually shoots you. These are used for slow ship evacuations under threat.

I managed to get 3 of the systems done and part of Kamela. Unfortunately some interceptors came out to play in Kamela and I was forced to postpone any book marking to a later date.

I then decided it was time to lay in a reserve of destroyers. This time it was to be proper anti-interceptor fits. I.e. lots o'tracking and some faction ammo. A while back I had gone and acquired some faction ammo using my LP, so I started the manufacture of 3 sets of my standard anti-interceptor fit. Just to keep things interesting, I decided to buy some T2 modules and fit out a T2 version. The tracking turned out soo good, I droped one of the tracking enhancers for a gyrostabilizer.

How these will perform in their duty is of course the big question. I suspect that a properly trained up squadron of anti-interceptor dessies (arround 3-6) is necessary to insta pop interceptors since these are not gank versions but "get hits on fast moving object" versions. But at the very least they should give the interceptor pilots reason to be more circumspect when trying to bait newbie frigate pilots.

I also ran off another run of 10 Rifters after the dessies finished up.

Monday, September 8, 2008


In EvE there are two types of logistics. The first is the in game concept of being the "healer" or "repair ship". The second is the concept of "moving stuff from point A to point B". Since my weekend EvE time was limited due to real life travel, I ended up doing a bit of number two. I've closed down my 2nd forward base. It was inconviniently placed for getting to the action. I will be better served by stashing some re-mounts in various low sec systems.

I've decided that since I'm in frigates most of the time, it's time to start bookmarking observation spots in the most active systems. Also I need to start flying my cloaky probes more often once I nail these spots down. Realizing that I'll need to replace these on a regular basis, and I need to get these bookmarked without taking 3 weeks to do it, I'll probably be bopping around in my Slashers quite a bit over the next few days. It's much easier to nail get to far spots in something that can perma mwd. I also need to nail scan points. Scan points differ from observation points in that they are intentionally off grid but withing 14.0 AU of what you want to scan. Part and parcel of learning to PvP is increasing my use of the scanner and associated techniques in order to give good intel to any gangs I'll be flying with.

Speaking of logistics, the reason I wasn't on much over the weekend was that I went down to Maine from Montreal to visit some fellow capsulers. I'd like to thank Teena Wyldfyre and Luna Wyldfyre for their hospitality. It's nice to be able to meet up with fellow pod pilots. Much "oh but all you need to do is this to do that" type of conversations. Much EvE talk was had. Hopefully some time in the future I'll be able to return the favor and invite Teena up here to Montreal and he can meet some more of the pod pilots that are in this city.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Off to visit alliance mates

Not much to say in EvE - Off visiting other pod pilots in Maine.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Note to self (again)

If, after you've lost your ship, you warp away and then warp back to the gate with the fight (cuz that's where you have to go through to get to your next ship), warp away again if you end up outside jump distance for any reason (like bumping into some random Falcon on the way in. Darned medical clone charges...

Started the evening with a small gang. Ended up one of the scouts. Managed to locate the war targets in Kamela, and basically stayed in the system while the gang went around them and go do some plexes since the gang was too big to tackle. Switched to a 2nd gang that entered Kamela as it seemed to be more active. Spent the rest of the evening shadowing this gang.

They almost nailed me at one point but did manage to neut my cap so that when I did manage to warp away I ended up with a great safe spot to scan from (think that was in Auga). Proceded to keep an eye on them for the next hour. The gang disolved withouth this Armada BS fleet killing any of us as the gang did what it came to do and diloved. Tried to see if any other FCs capable of forming a fleet to go after these guys came on, but no luck.

Came back later and ended up in a frigate fleet. We went out and got a kill. It's amusing when the entire fleet value is practicaly nothing and you're just out to kill a single ship. Unfortunately during after getting killed in this fight I had the incident alluded to above. Ah well.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Humm, Coz had some points

After the usual "lets organize things" talk with an FC and missing out on another FC's majorly successful op, it was do some RL stuff before coming back to do a bit of PewPew at the end of the evening.

When I did decide to get back into the fray, I x'ed up and headed to low sec. While I was waiting for any repsonse to my x up, I found an interceptor playing havok with some frigates and what not at the gate just inside low sec. From previous experience, rifter vs inty = dead rifter 99.999% of the time. So after observing the shenanigans for a bit I jumped back to high sec and even though it wasn't optimized for anti-inty work, I got my thrasher. This one is utility fit as opposed to specific task fit. It's useful to run missions and plexes and that's about it (Tech 2 guns and a tractor beam and salvager should tell you what it's used for). So jumped in, motered to the gate and then went all modules hot and waited for the inty to get into targeting range. I slapped on the sensor booster and managed to get a lock at one point. Got about half way thru the shields when I had to warp off with 0 sheilds but full armor.

I definitly have to make a proper anti inty fit one day, tracking computers and tracking enhancers FTW, Even without them and with tremor for the range boost I was getting hits, just not enought to realy scare off the interceptor and protect the idiots who don't know how to deal with them. Look it's simple unless you're trying to present a juicy target and keep them arround while something that can kill them is on the way, warp off. Don't play their game, you'll just loose the ship.

A response to my x up finaly came thru and I switched back to one of my Rifters. I ended up in a small gang. There were 2 Prophecies and various mixed Minmatar small fry. For some reason we kept running into interceptors and nano fit cruisers. During this I learned some valuable lessons: 1) you can tackle vagas in a tackle fit rifter. 2) you instantly become primary when you manage to web him and go poof. Later same sort of idea with a nano fit rupy. 2 Rifters down for no kills. I did web and point a Vagabond for about 10 seconds though. From this I managed to deduce the following:
  • I'm not horrible as a tackler.
  • In a small gang tacklers are primaried by nano fit ships as WE are their most dangerous opponents.
  • In a small gang you need serious ranged support or more tacklers
  • I see why Coz was saying he prefers the Stabber in small gangs.

If I can get a Stabber moving decent speeds it might be worth fitting a few out for smaller gang work where the rifter just evaporates.

Just try to imagine the icons for 2 rifters Zappy and Zappo in the upper corner of this post.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Just a plex and some thought processes

Last night I had a long conversation with an FC about the smaller frigate blobs and preparation for same. I'll be cogitating on mechanics and how to organize that. Standardized design of ships is also a consideration for what needs to happen for that to work.

On a more personal basis, I almost lost my alt's hauler last night. Note to self: Amamake is not Abudban... After moving a whole bunch of hulls to a good location, i shuffled my hauler back to my manufacturing center and hit a local food joint.

When i got on I didn't notice any chatter like there was a good fleet going so I decided a bit of defensive plex running was called for. Even if there was a good fleet going I probably wasn't going to join as the humidity was a killer last night. Being half out of it is not a good way to PvP. So I found a plex in a contested system and proceeded to sit on the button. It was a major plex so 20 min with open warp in was kind of nervous. Eventually a pirate came by and started moving towards me with 3 min to go. I simply warped out and warped back, got on the button and finished off the plex.

I will note that the major fleet engagements are fun and a rush but that the day to day work on the plexes is what will win the war. Individual pilots can do defensive plexes when the enemy is occupied elsewhere. Offensive plexes are probably best addressed by corp operations since you do need multiple people to pull them off and a mix of ship types - BS and what not for the unlimited plexes and T1 frigates and dessies for the smallest ones. So either an organized fleet can't find a fight and defaults to plex running till the scouts find something. Or a smaller squadron dedicates itself to running plexes for the evening, possibly coordinating with other fleets.

The thing is that this indicates that being part of an FW corp is probably the way to at least find some pilots to fly regularely with. However this won't necessarily meet some of the objectives that I've set myself with this stint in FW. Part of my personal objectives here is to make contacts and fly with a whole bunch of different people. I need to work on the diplo side of things. I suspect I'll need to help organize the logistics for the frigate plan, breaking it down into 5 or 20 packs seem to be the best way to go.

Here is the idea: When planing large frigate gangs or frigate reserves one wants to use a standardized loadout. This way you can simply get x, 2x or 3x of each module/ammo loadout and build everything at once. Due to the manufacturing time of frigates and ammo, a good number for a 24h period is 20 (it's actualy conservative but since it'll be going on overnight it works out). This allows your typical industrialist (defined in this case by PE5 with Advanced mass production 4) to put in the hulls/ammo and the modules overnight and have the entire pack ready to go the next day. This allows for a good mix of quantity and variants to be priced out ahead of time.

The 5 pack is also optimal for logistics. 5 frigates = 12500 m3, using a large can for the modules/ammo 1000 m3 = 13500m3, 2 packs = 27000m3. A lot of hauler alts aim for the wonders of jet can hauling. And one of the mile stones in the development of a hauler is when you can haul half a jet can in one go. This should mesh well with any hauler fleet put together to move these around logistical and makes making courier contracts simpler.

As for putting together the infrastructure for this, it's probably best to put together an alt corp under the control of some min FCs alts. It would then simply contract out the hauling by pack either publicly (for non-rush stuff) or to hauler alts (for rush stuff). The corp would simply be used as a framework to receive donations and control distribution and arrange logistics.

More thoughts as I firm these ideas up later.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Ship discussion time

Since my buddy Cozmik is reading this more regularly and you guys can't come to the bar and discuss things with us, I thought I'd cover an interesting discussion we had the other day regarding ships and tackling.

A bit of a background here. Coz is an old quake player so I knew that when he joined EvE (He'd been avoiding it cuz of the addiction factor), he'd be making a beeline for PvP and fast ships. So after a month's familiarization with the game, I gave him a referal to a pure PvP corp/alliance that was operating in 0.0. Sent him on his merry way with some module and hull BPCs to make sure that even if supply lines got cut, he'd be able to self supply some ships/modules/ammo and keep flying. Since then he's been on the "Path of the Minmatar PvP specialist" the entire time. Since then he's been living the life of the typical Curse resident. Active (look at your tipical kills in the last 24h and you'll notice curse is prety much always lit up).

The discussion we were having was about the progression on the road to the Vagabond and the way of the tackler. Having started out in Rifters and progressed to cruisers, battle cruisers destroyers and interceptors, he's got a prety good idea of the pros and cons of tackling in a 0.0 roaming fleet. Our discussion progressed to the pros and cons of the Rifter vs the Stabber in the role of tackler. He noted that when flying an interceptor was contra-indicated, your basic choices resolve down to the Rifter and the Stabber.

What was interesting was which one was prefered based on skill and fleet size conditions. Early on he was saying there wasn't much to choose between them, but as his navigation skills increased, he was more and more inclined to stick with the Rifter in preference to the Stabber. Mainly based on it's maneuverability and ability to react quickly. But that the Stabber was often a better choice as the size of the gang went down and the extra DPS balanced out the slight reduction in maneuverability of the Stabber vs the Rifter. I note that he has T2 gunnery skills in both Small and Medium guns (although the gunnery support skills still need working on as would be obvious for any 7mil SP character). So it's not a case that his rifter would be on par with the stabber due to better frigate gunnery skills. I just found it interesting that he'd end up prefering the smaller ship in larger gang situations. Note we're not talking full blown 60+ fleets here but your more tipical 0.0 roaming gangs.

My own experience so far with larger fights (where lag is becoming an issue) is that I need to have a limitless remount reserve ready for the bigger fleet fights as the survival time in large fleet battles for frigates seems to be quite short. It may be that I've simply run into fleets that organize a dedicated anti-small ship element of their fleet. Or that I haven't had enough experience yet (probably that), but I'd have supposed that the reduced survivability of Rifters vs Stabbers would preclude using them in the larger gangs.

It may also be the difference in fleet engagement styles. He's talking 0.0 roaming gang, I'm experiencing faction warfare. Either way I'd like any readers to chime in with their opinions on this. One restriction: We're talking T1 disposable hulls here, although T2 is better it's much more expensive and sometimes keeping operational tempos going and killing expensive ships in cheap ships is called for (not to mention amusing as hell when the FC goes "well they just lost more than the entire value of our fleet").

Monday, September 1, 2008

Some more action

Once I got up I did some moving of assets. All of the Rifters and the remaining vigil from forward base#2 have been moved to forward base#1. I am considering closing down forward base #2 as I just don't see myself using it much with the action I'm getting from forward base #1. I also took the opportunity to get some hulls to a fellow pilot who was short. So some Thrashers and a pair of Cyclones got delivered.

Later on, while I was finishing off some of the logistics moves involved in all of this I missed out on a frigate gang trip to Amarr. Ah well. I did get in on the subsequent frigate gang. That was in my Slasher "Zip". We managed to kill a Rifter and an Iskur so that was good. I lost my first Slasher of the evening to the Iskur fight. After getting a Remount, I headed out again and this time we went after a freighter. So the Zang was lost to a gate gun (we thought some others managed to get gate agro but nope a bunch of us got nailed. Frigates dont' last long to gate guns.

After this some discussions with involved parties I found out that someone got seriously gipped when they got a whole bunch of slashers for cheap ass frigate runs like this. After some discussion I'll be rounding out the module and ammo supply for that reserve (he only had the hulls and propultion modules for his reserve) I've also displaced the hulls to the forward base he requested.

Overall it's been a good long weekend. I really need to watch out about falling into too much industrial work, but the part of FW is to keep it as cheap as possible and OMG do PvP pilots not know how to stretch an isk. I mean the way these guys get fit thier slashers they probably cost them about 150k a pop if not more, Using current market prices and my skills and bpo collection, and factoring in a 10% profit for the work done I'm coming in at 100k a Slasher (modules and ammo in). That's the difference between having 100 Slashers in reserve and 150 Slashers in reserve. With the same propagation for any other build.

The industrialist in me is offended. The thing one needs to realize though is that the difference is between minmizing cost and minimizing time. They are paying a premium of arround 50% in order to "buy now". The 100k figure is for stuff that will be available in 2 days since it takes that long for the ammo to cook (3 days in this case thanks to someone gumming up my usual manufacturing station). I'm going to have to have a few conversations with some key figures in the militia about planning and logistics. Because a coordinated effort between a few key players means we should be able improve the availability of cheap T1 ships for throw away frigate gangs. The thing about these is you really need to plan these out a bit in advance in order to reap the benefits of the "cheap" part of the plan.

I mean don't get me wrong, I'm firmly of the oppinion that everyone in FW should be able to supply his own ships. Especially frigates and cruisers for disposable OPs. But I've come to the realization that a lot of pilots don't necessarely plan these things out. Yes you should have your "best in class" ships for when a serious OP with FCs you trust is happening (I'm slowly starting to get a few FCs that are approching that category, but I'm still not there yet). Even given that though, you should have a stable of ready disposable remounts for both disposable OPs and for when you run out of "best in class" ships.

If you really want to get snazy you should seed a few re-mounts here and there throughout your operating area or any area that you project operating in. That way you'd never be without a re-mount withing a 1 or 2 jump range of any battle you participate in. I haven't done this since I'm waiting for operating areas and battle zones to show firm themselves up.


Well I don't maintain fancy analytics but I had set myself the objective of meeting CK's challenge of a post a day for the month of August. 36 posts. Not too shabby. I did miss, I think, 2 days. On the other hand It's been a busy month.