Sunday, October 23, 2011

Video Day!

This video is of a fight on a high sec wormhole against a Brotherhood of Starbridge, remote repair Tengu fleet. This was the first actual fight of the "World War W".

The second video is of our overnight squad bumping dreads out of the Brotherhood of Starbridge POS. You can read about it in depth here.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Eve's a small world after all...

I am sure that everyone here has chat channels they hang out in, places they frequent where they have people they either fly with occasionally, or maybe were in a corp with from a while ago.  You probably chat back and forth talking about fights and other things you've done.    It's a friendly relationship on perhaps a personal level, or a corporate level, but not necessarily throughout your alliance.

What if you're in a gank fleet, sitting in a wormhole, waiting for scouts in low sec, who come across your friends faction warfare fleet on its way to gank some carriers?

The chances of this in the whole wide universe of Eve, are pretty slim.  Yet, it happened to me today.

I wasn't the FC for this op, and I joined in as they were getting ready to pounce.  Apparently, there had been a gate camp in one of the low sec systems that our wormhole chain opened into.  Some folks put together a fleet,  and decided to go bust the camp.  They moved through the chain and set up on the low sec wormhole, and sent some scouts out, only to find the camp had dispersed.   So, they decided to try to find some kills.

From what I am told, there wasn't much traffic, just a few ships passing through, though at one point a large pirate gang jumped through the system.  It's pretty hard to catch someone warping gate to gate if you're not on the gate waiting for them, so not much going on.   I am chatting it up with my friend, talking about the out of fuel Russian POS we had just pillaged on a smash and grab op.   Scouts report a battleship fleet incoming, and FC calls jump, we all jump out into the low sec, and fleet warp to the gate.

[ 2011.10.19 18:39:26 ] Cipreh > about to countergank some pirates in lowsec at an undisclosed location
[ 2011.10.19 18:40:00 ] xxxx > lol
[ 2011.10.19 18:40:09 ] xxxx > Better not be my fleet :)
[ 2011.10.19 18:41:17 ] xxxx > BS fleet is us
[ 2011.10.19 18:41:40 ] Cipreh > we are hiding in a wormhole,
[ 2011.10.19 18:42:09 ] Cipreh > these pirates are skittish though
[ 2011.10.19 18:45:08 ] Cipreh > I think we are about to engage your fleet
[ 2011.10.19 18:45:19 ] Cipreh > bunch of phoons, fleet phoons, and domis?
[ 2011.10.19 18:45:58 ] xxxx > Ohhhhhh
[ 2011.10.19 18:46:05 ] xxxx > Some of them.
[ 2011.10.19 18:47:13 ] xxxx > We don't want a fight with you.
[ 2011.10.19 18:47:26 ] xxxx > Please do not engage us.
[ 2011.10.19 18:47:38 ] Cipreh > I am not FC
[ 2011.10.19 18:47:45 ] xxxx > Well I see you in local.
[ 2011.10.19 18:47:50 ] Cipreh > run
[ 2011.10.19 18:47:58 ] xxxx > I really don't want to kill you.
[ 2011.10.19 18:48:02 ] Cipreh > you won't
[ 2011.10.19 18:49:03 ] Cipreh > sorry
[ 2011.10.19 18:49:24 ] xxxx > Sorry bro....... I really am.
[ 2011.10.19 18:49:40 ] Cipreh > lol good luck, have fun
[ 2011.10.19 18:51:11 ] Cipreh > ^^ everybody gets some pew

We land on the gate as the bulk of the battleship fleet warps off, and someone calls point on a lone Armageddon who was a bit slow on the warp.  He melts rather quickly.

At this point the FW battleship fleet lands on us at the gate, and both sides engage, our FC called a Typhoon primary, but he was able to jump before he popped, we switched target to the next battleship, when someone calls "Cyno up!" over voice comms, and in jump two hostile Archons.  FC calls for everyone to warp out, but a few people were unable to escape.  We lost a Deimos, Guardian, and Legion.

Well that was the end of the low sec roam.  I felt a bit conflicted, because I didn't want to fire on my friends who had come to the defense of our corps wormhole in the past, but my personal feelings cannot get in the way when someone else is in command, and I made sure I didn't give up vital intel to the targets.  I could have tried to tell the FC not to engage, but it's very rude to question someone like that in front of the fleet, so I just went along with it.

I apologized to my friend afterwards, and other then being a bit annoyed, he was pretty cool about the whole thing.  Turns out his fleet was on its way to gank some carriers, and was in a hurry, otherwise they wouldn't have hot dropped us.  It was a pretty fun day all around.

Have any of you ever had something like this happen?  How do you handle having to fight against your friends that might not always be on the same side as you?

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Smash and Grab

We had a pretty interesting day today, started out with one of our scouts finding an out of fuel Russian POS in a connected wormhole.  This one had obviously just run out of fuel, because all the hangars and arrays were still up on it.    They quickly gathered a fleet, and headed over there for a smash and grab op.  The fleet made short work of the Ship Maintenance Arrays, the first of which was empty.  The second however contained a Maelstrom, and an Iteron III.

Then they destroyed the Corporate Hangar Array,

which dropped a jumble of blueprints, datacores, POS mods, and fittings worth quite a bit.  As we were getting the spoils hauled out, in warps an Iteron III, which was promptly popped.

To our delight, it was their fuel delivery!  He was just a little too late.  They scooped the rest of the loot, and took off.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The difference between good fights, and Great Fights!

There are good fights, where it's a somewhat even fight, both sides engage, maybe you both lose some ships but there is a clear victor, kill or loss mails to be posted, and everyone is pretty satisfied.  Then, there are the truly great fights, where everything goes right, you fly at the very peak of your ability, and nobody dies. 

Those stories are often overlooked in the thirst for juicy kill mails, but in my experience, those are some of the most heart pounding, edge of your seat, enjoyable fights, and not very common at all.  Their rarity is part of what makes them so special.

I had one of those great fights, a couple months ago.  I had just won a Cynabal from Somer BLINK, and I had been itching to try it out in an actual fight.  It wasn't long before I got my chance.  

I had just logged in, and no one else was around.  I grabbed the bookmarks, and decided to go try to flip a few cans with my Cynabal.  So, I warped to the high sec wormhole, and landed in the middle of three Hurricanes, on our side,  immediately jumped out.  While waiting out the session change timer, I began to formulate a plan.  

There wasn't anyone else online at the time, and these guys were camping our wormhole, I was on the high sec side with my Cynabal.  I knew I could outrun them, unless one of them had a warp scrambler fit.   After my timer expired, I jumped back in, and overheated my MWD towards a celestial, they locked me up and pointed me, but, no scram!  

I warped to the celestial and bounced back at 100km of the wormhole, and suprisingly they are still sitting there, so I dropped a bookmark, and bounced off a different celestial to the bookmark at 100km again, so I was over 200km away from the wormhole, and they were still sitting there oblivious.  After bookmarking my second spot, I burned in towards them, hoping to pull them off the wormhole, once I hit about 50km out, I start taking potshots at the closest Hurricane with Barrage ammo, he was shield fit, and gets into armor rather quickly, at which point he jumps out.

I was trying to be very careful to stay out of overheated point range of these guys, because if I screwed up, I would have died, and my new ship would be gone in a puff of smoke.  I have a faction point fit so I can hold them down out quite a bit further then they can reach me, and with the falloff bonuses on the ship, I was actually landing hits from this extreme range.   The remaining two of them started burning towards me at once, so I immediately spun my ship around, and burn out of range.  This time, one of the Hurricanes warped off towards the center of the system, the other continued approaching me.   

Interesting tactics these guys have... 

I continued peppering the approaching Hurricane with my guns, he was apparently nano fit, and approaching pretty quickly.  So I begun kiting him away from the wormhole, and bust through his shields, at which point his buddy who warped off landed about 30km away from me.  He must have warped back to the wormhole at range and tried to estimate where I was, and in his defense, he did a pretty good job of it, but my ship was just too fast and agile, and I burned away from them both to give myself a little breathing room.  

At this point we were about 100km away from the wormhole, basically fighting in open space.  The two hostiles are burning towards me, and I was kiting them out towards warp range of the wormhole.  As we passed 150km away, I initiated a warp to the wormhole at 30km. 

A lot of people don't realize it, but you can actually warp a distance shorter then the minimum 150km, if you make a bookmark just  outside minimum warp range to an object, and warp to the object at a range between 10 and 100, you can actually warp a varying distance, between 50 and 140km around the grid.  It is a great strategy, if you have time to drop the bookmarks needed.

This entire time, I have just been poking away at them from extreme range, so I was not really doing too much damage, but I have yet to take anything but a stray shot or two from the hostiles, and now I am between them and the exit.   I was expecting their friend to be back from repairing at any moment, so I immediately burnt in the opposite direction away from the wormhole, as one of them land on it at zero. 

I engaged the closest Hurricane, this time melting through his shields far more quickly.  His partner warped to zero on us, and pointed me, I started burning away as the first hostile's shields broke, he jumped out with about half armor.   Then, it was just me and the final Hurricane, I burned out of his point range, and started trading fire with him.  I was at about half shields when he started taking armor damage, and fled back to high sec. 

I couldn't believe it!  I had actually won!  I engaged three versus one and managed to force them all off!  I was buzzing for a couple of days from that fight, with no kill mails to show for it, but I didn't care.  My Cynabal had proven it was a force to be reckoned with in PvP, and I didn't die for once!  It was a great fight.

Some of the best stories in EVE happen like this, and that's why I still play this game.  Yeah, it would have been cool to kill one or all of them, but the real fun from this game isn't the kill mails, loot drops, or fancy ships, it's the thrill of a fight like none other, where for just a few seconds, it's really like your life is on the line.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Situational Awareness

One of the things we preach constantly to people who are new to w-space, is situational awareness.  It's very easy to be lulled into a false sense of security out here.  No one talking in local, nothing on d-scan for hours on end, it's so quiet at times that it is eerie.

It's during these calm periods, that even those who have been in wormholes a while, are at their most vulnerable, as they begin to relax their guard.  They aren't refreshing their d-scan quite as often, or have decided to get up and stretch their legs, or grab a drink.

That is when the smart hunters strike.

Patience is an absolute necessity in wormhole space, whether it's waiting for enough folks to get together to run a sleeper op, or waiting for a hostile fleet to relax their guard enough for you to strike.   It's what will make or break an engagement, and is often the difference between life and death out here.

No matter how quiet it has been, or how long you have been spamming your d-scan button, you can never allow yourself to think you're safe, unless you are inside your POS, or logged off.  I cannot tell you how many times, I have been scanning in an "empty" system, and when I warp back to the wormhole itself, and run into a hostile covert ops, decloaking us both.  Most of the time, we stare at each other for a brief moment, cloak, and go our separate ways.

It's a stark reminder that no matter how empty or quiet it seems, you're never alone in w-space.