Wednesday, 10 December 2014

Growing and expanding

Title is more about Bastards alliance than myself although to a certain degree I am also growing and expanding in EVE.

Firstly The Bastards have grown, we have joined forces with old pirate corporation The Black Rabbits. Our numbers almost doubled and we have now bunch of guys able not only fly frigates rather well but also project greater force. Our day to day job still involves mainly hunting frigates and smaller targets.

My personal growth in EVE was of a slightly different nature. I established new manufacturing business in my new home and slowly tricking my products onto new market. Fortunately for me Ishimilken is only 8 jumps from Jita, which means there is always a place where one can liquidate some assets and restock ships and modules quickly.

Couple of weeks ago I have finished Gallente Cruisers 5 and immediately purchased new shiny Ishtar. I fitted it for brawling with medium neuts and sets of medium and light drones. My plan was to purchase set of crystal implants and not to undock it until I have full set - ship, implants and pills. Opportunity came knocking on the door sooner than I expected.

I was spinning my new ship in station when Tanner on comms announced 2 Scythe Fleet Issue jumping into Ishomilken and asked if anyone wants to fight them, I looked at my new purchase and though what the hell... We checked pilots killboards and they didn't look particularly frightening, I undocked Ishtar and chase was on. Tanner was flying fast and tanky Wolf and followed Scythes next door to Nikkishina.

I undocked my Ishtar and warped to the gate, Tanner reported one Scythe in medium plex other one was not on scan. Obvious bait is obvious and we wouldn't be worthy The Bastards tag if we didn't take it, Tanner jumped into plex and I jumped into Nikkishina. While warping to the plex smy scanner was sweeping surrounding and unsurprisingly detected second Scythe, it landed on plex gate second behind me. We both were committed and there was no doubt in anyone mind that there is no way back, we will have explosions and someone will be going back home in pod.

Upon arrival I have found Tanner to be deep in armour but both ships very close to me. I quickly neuted Scythe hoping it will release Tanner from it's scram but I was couple of seconds too late. I remember vividly right clicking Gecko in my drone bay and choosing launch, followed by launching group of Valkyries. Now I had to deal with 2 Scythe Fleet Issue and I needed every drop of DPS I could squeeze from my drones. To my utter disappointment it took alot longer than I expected to finish off first Scythe. He had a massive amount of shield and my drones very slowly nibbled it bit by bit. On top of that both enemies put all their neuts on me and were dishing scary amount of damage.

My overheated shield booster was no match for combined assault of those two ships and I was in armour when finally first Scythe yielded to my drones assault. Even before that I knew I am in trouble, second Scythe was untouched and I was out of cap, and out of shield, something was wrong with this fight. my cap booster was reloading slowly and I had healthy supply of them but I could not afford to neut my opponent and he had autocannons which do not use cap anyways.

DPS race was on, can he break me before my drones strip him off his massive shield or will I be able to hold up. Again to my desperation and disappointment my drones had little impact on his shield, my shield booster was repping like crazy but combined force of his drones and autocannons was chipping away bits of my armour in between shield booster cycles. What kind of shield he has I was thinking why is he taking so little damage and then I noticed it... My Gecko, which I though I launched after landing in plex, was still sitting comfortably in my drone bay!

Suddenly my low damage was completely understandable, I immediately recalled Vespas frantically trying to keep my ship intact but it was too late. Before they even made it back to drone bay my newly purchased Ishtar reached it's final destination. To make this loss even more painful both B-Type shield boosted and Gecko dropped as a loot. GF were exchanged in local and this sore looser went back home.

You learn alot from every fight but probably you learn more from loss than from victory. Few things come to my mind when I think about this fight:

  • My Gecko didn't launch most likely because I tried to launch it before I have exited from warp and I didn't check if it launched afterwards.
  • I bought supply of Blue Pills specifically for this ship and obviously forgot to take them, they were left at the station
  • Finally probably most embarrassing admition - I am pretty certain I was stationary in this fight. What can I say, like a complete newbie I was paralysed with excitement and I forgot to move!
If it wasn't for those 3 issues I am certain we would have won that fight, I really like that Ishtar and despite my clear incompetence it was holding up very well in this fight, I have already purchased 2 more and waiting for next opportunity to put them to better use.

Wednesday, 12 November 2014

New home, same old Bastards

Bastards alliance has eventually permanently relocated to Ishomilken. Our new home is a bit more lively than quiet corner of universe that is Auner. There is a few pirate corps in our neighbourhood and alot more passers by. This move certainly reinvigorated our alliance and we have started branching out and reaching for new challenges ahead. In addition to our usual small gang frigate roams, which we continue >>> open roams every Monday 19:00 game time, join DBastards channel in game  <<< shameless plug right here,  we had a session of training in stealth bombers and few good scraps in larger ships.

We have had few decent fights with a guy calling himself Blood ofGODS. He has a POS in Ishomilken and likes to fly flash ships on multiple alts. He also seems to be keen to escalate fights and is not afraid to pull out an odd capital ship.

Fight kicked off after we have caught Blood alt in Rapier on Large PLEX in Ishomilken. After some cat and mouse play Blood warped in Archon and Moros on the field to defend his Hurricane. Despite advantage of initially having numbers Bastards situation was not that great. We knew Blood called for reinforcements, and his setup of Moros, Archon and webbing Hurricane was deadly for our ships. Our capital pilots werent online so Nash called to Shadow Cartel reinforcements. SC had some Ishtars about 13 jumps from Ishomilken and decided to take it easy and go through gates.

It took us forever to kill his Hurricane, Bastards were bleeding ships and to our despair Blood reinforcement in form of Fearless Empire kitchen sink fleet arrived on the field. At some point it looked like our efforts to keep Moros and Archon tackled were all in vein.

Fortunately for us Blood had his Archon in siege mode and with SC Ishtar fleet 3 jumps away from Ishomilken Bastards made last ditch effort to stop him from warping away to safety. When Ishtars landed both Archon and Moros were still tackled in Large PLEX. Blood support quickly vanished when they saw 20 Ishtars with logi backup landing in the middle of the battle. For a while we kept Moros tackled but due to lack of consistent comunication between us and SC he managed to slip up from our grasp. There was no saving for Archon, left alone on the field made for a small supernova and left pretty wreck.

Despite clearly winning ISK war we have in fact lost more ships including Maelstorm, 2 Hurricanes, my Scythe Fleet Issue and a number of frigates. But on the positive note we had a good fight and looted the field which offset some of the loses.

Wednesday, 8 October 2014

I like scanning

Few days ago I found myself sitting a bit bored and alone in Auner. Most of the Bastards already relocated for long holiday to Ishomilken but being sentimental fool I didn't want to leave our home just yet. Nothing improves morale more than a bit of involuntary PVP so I jumped in my trusty Cheetah and decided to check out what I can scan out in Auner and neighbouring systems.

There were 3 wormholes opened in Auner, all 3 were C3 and inhabited, scary looking large towers with active fore fields ruled out solo action so I digged deeper. After about an hour of scanning all 3, I have found entrance to null sec space, deep in the Immensea region. I have to admit, before that day I didn't even know such region exists in EVE.

In days when I was in wormhole corp, old guns were telling stories about deep null spaces full of incompetent carebears in ill fit Battleships. Since our wormhole had static to 0.0, for many days we were jumping in fast frigates looking for targets with very little to show, closest I have been to one of those legendary creatures was this poor miner.

Now in front of me was an entrance to really deep null sector, I should probably jump in empty clone but being smug and full of myself bastard, I decided to risk it with head full of chips. My frigate of choice for this expedition was to be Jaguar with passive shield tank, MWD, lots of guns and extra ammo.

There are various potential targets that can be found in deep null systems that can be unwilling participants in PVP shenanigans. Obvious ones are miners but there are also plexers, belt ratters etc. Due to changes in NPC aggro patterns attacking someone who is fighting NPC can be tricky but with a bit of luck fast hard hitting frigate can still take down battleship or battlecruiser without much problem, this is what I was hoping for. Doing deep null invasion solo has some pluses and some minuses. Pluses are that you are just one person and there is a chance that potential target won't notice you entering the system, minuses are by the time you check all plexes in large systems, targets are safely docked or wrapped in protective force fields of POS.

With cautious hope I entered the FYI-49 system and began my search. After searching few dead end pockets I was on my way back to FYI-49 and I was just about to jump to EA-HSA when I spotted Hyperion on scan.
He was in pocket with some asteroid belts so instead of jumping through to EA-HSA I warped back to check where he might be. Just as my Jag warp drive lit up I saw a flash and Hyperion landed on the gate. Jag has done swift 180 degree turn on asteroid belt and chase was on. After jump to EA-HSA my ship landed 30km away from him, his engines were on but I noticed he doesn't have intention of leaving and is shooting at NPCs on the gate.

Engaging this Hyperion in this situation seemed a bit desperate for many reasons, he can easily jump back through the gate without agressing me, There were NPC 3 BS and 3 Frigates, combined with his drones they can do some serious damage to my little ship. Always count on stupid as they say so without worrying about those small inconveniences I engaged my MWD and Hyperion was promptly scrammed, webbed and my 200mm auto cannons started plucking his enormous shield. Initially guns were loaded with EMP ammo to chew through his shield I intended to switch to plasma once I get through to his armour.

To my content pilot did not turn around towards the gate, but was going at steady speed of 70ms in unknown direction. He tried to shot me with 1400mm artys, since I was orbiting him in frigate at 500m I knew I have nothing to fear from his guns. I realised this is the creature of legends, clueless pilot in huge ill fitted ship.

My only concern was drones and NPCs. Hyperion had one Gecko and 2 Valkyries out and he recalled his drones, who were sent to kill NPC BS and directed them at me. This worried me a bit since I have lost couple of frigates to Geckos in the past, this time however I was in AF not T1 frig and I could only see one Gecko. This hard hitting tough drone was slowly ground down and removed from the field. As I was finishing Gecko NPCs decided to switch target and 3 BS and 3 Frigates directed their fire at my ship. Valkyries followed Gecko to the space scrapyard and it was time to deal with NPCs, My passive shield was all gone and they were chewing through my flimsy armour. Battleships were not able to hit me so frigates were the only concern. They annoyingly were orbiting me at 12km, Barrage was the only option, guns reloaded and frigates were quickly dispatched.

Combined assault of drones and NPC frigates decimated my shield and armour and I was about to hit structure when last NPC frigate disappeared from my overview, I knew I was on home run then. I reloaded to EMP and watched Hyperion shield slowly shrinking one red sliver at a time. When Hyperion shield disappeated, he sent 5 armor repair drones in hopeless attempt to extend life of his ship. Eventually all that left on the field was 2 ships, one was huge and helpless like beached whale other one was me. Now only thing that could safe him from inevitable doom was help from some third party that never came. Hyperion pilot was sober enough to warp off his pod immediately after his ship exploded.

That was my first successful solo trip to null sec, Admittedly pilot was not prepared for PVP, specially not ready for bloodthirsty pirate in small nimble frigate but hey this is exactly the target I was looking for. I will be back to 0.0 for more of the same for sure.

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Still Flying

Yes, after couple of years of inactivity I decided to get back to blogging. I have some spare time at work so hopefully this won't be just one of entry.

For those who expect more tales about me spanking greedy carebears in their shiny battleships bad news is I not longer pursue ninja career. There is a good news too, I still like to blow up ships, now happily in low sec. My sec status for quite some time is -9.9 and I am quite confident to wear my -10 badge within next couple of weeks.

In other words I am now a bloodthirsty lowsec pirate, a noble one for that matter since nowadays my ransoms are honoured. It was hard to accept that change after long time I spent exploiting naivety of my hisec victims but in the end it really does not matter that much, in my new life ransoms are far and few in between.

So how did I get here. After my shenanigans in high sec I went afk for about a year. I came back in August last year and joined small mercenary outfit living in lowsec security space. It was fun new experience my enemies were shooting back and I was losing ships. In addition I had to balance my sec status above -2 since we were running some high sec ops. I have met some cool people and some very skilled pilots. Lowsec was rough and scary place at first but I learned to like it.

Our small corp fell apart after couple of months, people went on to do different things. I had no intentions to go back to "ninjaing" missions, compared to living in low sec it felt like slaughter of babies. I very briefly joined low sec corp called Easily Excited but after learning that 90% of their "pvp" consists of sitting on the gate with logi and smart bombing BS I was on the lookout for a new home.

I came across pvp wormhole corp living in C2 called "Zabijaki i Pijaki" (transl. Killers and Drunkers). Wormhole was a great yet frustrating experience for me, there were weeks when we went to null sec roams every day, I was mainly flying interceptors and we had some fun fights lost lots of ships and killed even more but there were days when I spent 2 hours scanning and scanning and then logging out. After about 4 months I decided that PI and scanning is getting boring and went back to Hek.

Without a doubt, most fun I had was when I lived in lowsec and I made up my mind, lowsec piracy was my EVE destiny. I was on lookout for fairly relaxed but active corp with skilled players from whom I could learn and improve. Without rushing into things I prowled recruitment forums and channels for couple of weeks and eventually approached "The Bastards".

I still remember when I joined comms for the first time and introduced myself, Johny Twelvebore (CEO) commented that since I have found access to their comms, I must be "not that stupid" and my application to their feeding corp "Meathshield Bastards" was immediately accepted.

6 months and couple of hundred kills later I am now part of this respected and well known outfit. Check out our website here

our recruitment thread on eve forums

and our in-game channel