Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Ze Death Race!

Rewind to Sunday, 1745 eve time, me logging in, hoping the start of the race isn't too far away.  You see I had guessed wrong, thinking Misaba would be the start of the race, when it turned out it's not-so close brother Assah was indeed the start.  I left my station in a hurry, forgetting to swap from my ever-present Vagabond to my dual prop, speed fit Stiletto with points.  I only realized it one jump out but time being what it was and being 11 jumps from Assah left me to jump jump jump with no time to turn around and change ships.  Besides it seemed that everyone else was going to be flying frigates, not at all a bad opponent for my vagabond, if I had just managed to catch up.

To your cars Mentelgen!
Fleet chat was quite funny, blood pumping, people quoting music, hoping for the start of the race.  Mike's Party boat and the disco phoon for sure drawing the attention of many.  Time ticked down slowly as I sped through space, hoping to make it in time.  1800 ticked over and I was a single jump out, but already I knew I was too late.  First way point was T-R.  Sticking with my mantra of "you pay your money and you takez your chances!"  I plunged through the G-5 gate, expecting to see some combat on the other side.  Instead I found empty space with the trail of gang mates in the race leaving the system before I even jumped in.  The second jump, 9-F, had a cane, with the support of the thrasher and Sabre on the gate, bubble up, hoping to catch some unwary pilots.  They were the first on my plate.  I uncloaked and headed for the outgate, locking the Sabre, and unleashing rounds into his shield, my Barrage M doing a decent job of hitting the fast moving Destroyer.  He missed his scram tackle and fell behind.  I warped out as my D-scanner picked up a few more fast tackle, I, not wanting to risk it, headed to the next gate.

Damn Traps!
I emerged on the far side of the gate, 4B-N local sitting at around 25 pilots, almost all Agony.  I entered warp, nosing towards the planet closest to my outgate, or so I thought.  Turns out I warped to the gate, not the planet (skillful I know).  I ended up trapped in a well place Agony push bubble, somewhere close to 70km from the gate.  Not thinking I moved towards the gate, MWD on, locking my guns first on a nearby Ishkur and then on a further Sabre, engaging my 220mm guns as I tried to make for the gate, breaking one of my own Vagabond rules as I did.  I should have pushed for range, swinging around later to make it to the gate there would have been a good chance I would have survived, hell even killed the pesky small tackle that wished to scram my Vagabond.  Instead, my death course was already set, the Vagabond Death Knell was quickly scrambled by the skillful Agony gang, reducing my momentum to a slow crawl.  I luckily pushed out the side of the bubble, allowing just enough of my Vaga to be outside of the bubble that when my pod dropped from the shattered HAC I was able to warp out to a nearby Moon before being crushed.  Other racers were meeting similar fates and I headed back to Assah to re-ship and try again.  I made my way carefully, the previous Sabre and cane camp had left to join their compatriots in 4B-N.  My pod made it all the way back to Assah, only to hear through the gang that Persephone Astrid had already crossed the finish line.  Yeah so what if I gave up at that point!

I shook my head and headed back to pickup my now useless Stiletto, taking it back over to Rens.  Shoulders slumped in defeat, I later found out that the Sabre I had been shooting at was eventually killed by a well placed bomb. 

In any case it was all great fun, I just wish I had been able to make it to the start line sooner, would have been a blast to give Persephone a run for her money, or at least attempt to kill her.  Alternatively I wish I had stationed a smartbombing BS in R3- to catch those pesky, no guns fit, speed setups and teach em what the death race is all about.  Maybe next time.

Looking forward to it Rixx, great work, and I can only imagine it was a lot of work!  I'll be around for the next one.

Look to the below links e for a list of winners and the first 14 Participants, I even netted a cool 20m for first kill!  I rock like that!

Results link
Top 14

Keep watching the Death Race blog for the next event!

And of course the amazing EVEOGANDA Blog

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The short list of Shiny!

Along with Shota Cypher, Eve SOB, and Rixx,

I too will follow the mighty example of Astral and talk about what two ships I would love to have dropped into my hangar!

Well my list is a little hard to come up with because I can already fly all of them, it would just be a matter of buying them and outfitting!  So I will focus on ones I don't currently own!  That eliminates quite a few, making my choice much easier.

 The Daredevil, just something about that sexy 90% web and nice damage gets me going with this ship.  I've been leaning towards flying smaller, faster ships recently so this fits right in!

Since I have both the frig V skills for this little meany I would like to see how it handles.  Other than some tourney time practices with it, I have no idea what it could do.  Ahh the days of the 90% webs, how I miss you so.  ANYWAYS, on to the number one on this list of wants!

Simply put, I guess my dreams must be pretty screwed up if you look at the two models of these two very similar ships.  While being a very FOTM ship, the Dramiel still holds a lot of intrigue for me.  I have yet to fly one since the faction frigate changes, but man do they ever look sleek and deadly!

Notching up impressive speed, a strong amount of EHP and the ability to keep out of range when needed the Dram is a easier choice to fly than the Daredevil.  Feared across the cluster by now it still impresses me with how fast it can lock, speed AND ability to lay down some good DPS with just two guns.

In other news I have recently picked up my 21st public follower, so I guess I can say someone reads my blogs, so welcome to the newcomers, great to have you, cookies are issued in Saranen right now, come on down, over, or up!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

The Rapier who thought he had a Vaga.

Rote has taken a vacation from Syndicate for a bit, and moved up close to Pure Blind, operating out of Saranen.  Recently our activity has been way down, but that is very usual for our alliance as a whole since it is after all summer.

In any case RK has declared war on a few entities down there, currently we are at war with Mostly Harmless.  Up until yesterday I hadn't had enough time or much luck finding any war targets in or around the lowsec area and I was never around for any of our recent gangs, so I headed out to highsec to see what I could find.

One of our members was being "camped" into the top torrinos station by a Rapier, since I was already in Nonni I started heading up that way post-haste, even though I thought for sure the Rapier would be gone by the time my Vagabond made the 6 or 8 jumps out there.

10 minutes later I appeared in Torrinos Local to find the Rapier was still sitting outside the top station and my corp mate, was actually in a travel fit Condor (not much help).  Oh, and there were 7 WT's in local not just the Rapier, a fact that was omitted prior.

I warped to the top station at zero, expecting to have to dock quickly because the rapier was bound to have friends nearby.  As with all Caldari Stations, the dock radius is absolutely MASSIVE, like bump proof, you can't kill me massive.  I decided to stick close to the station while assessing the situation.

Moments after I landed and laid eyes on the Rapier, at a cool 76km from my Rapier a second WT warped back into the station, in a Ishtar.  Now let's just say I have had a few bad piloting experiences ending in near death of my Vagabond regarding Ishtars and leave it at that.  I'm not a fan when someone else is flying them, although as targets go they are far from as deadly as say a properly fit Curse is.  In fact, now I think I could likely take one in a 1 v 1 fight, but with the Rapier there, usually webs + points + sentry drones is going to equal me leaving if I can dock OR a dead Vagabond.

I paced the station wearily, dodging around to the side of the station, putting the Ishtar at a place where it would have to fly around a portion of the station before having a clear shot at me, and placing undocking ships also unable to run right at me.  Using the Station as a blocker can be very useful.

In any case, some of you must be wondering, or not but I am going to tell you anyways, why in a Vagabond, IE a nano boat, I am not afraid of a Rapier.  It's simple, I know two things, 1.  Solo there is no way a Rapier can tackle and kill me unless I just don't fire on him.  2.  I haven't agressed, this is high-sec and we are at a station, he gets me in a sticky spot with backup, and I just undock, and warp away, as I said undock was on the other side of the station.

It must have been right around then that two WT Dominix undock from the station.  My heart rate jumped up a little and then a little more as the range on the Rapier steadily dropped as he approached me.  I returned his lock once he was in range (damn you terrible lock range on the Vaga).  I also decided to open fire, so I aligned out towards another planet, minimizing my transversal to him, while keeping it high between myself and the two Domi.

My barrage M was making short work of his shields and just then he webbed me, at 50km!  Well he must have at least one Faction Web then, crap!  Oh well I guess I was already in this, just as the Domi's both stop moving and drop... Curators.

Why Curators?  Well if I was not a Vaga and just some random shield based ship, yes Curators at their range (around 75-85km) would have been a good call, but against a Vagabond?  Base shield resist of 70% em?  Outside of the curators optimal range...  The Rapier closed in, But I was the one smelling blood.

My point went active at 28km, and he was already in armor.  I thought for sure he would try to burn away, try to disengage, but he just approached closer, shooting past me, 1km/s at less than 500m from my ship.  Carelessly he must have thought getting closer would hamper the tracking of my 220mm guns.  No such luck, his flyby setup his loot perfectly in front of me. When he popped, I looted as I passed and warped off, coming back seconds later for all I had missed.  I guess he had missed the memo that the trap was being sprung on him.  Sadly neither of his faction webs dropped... but at least I got another chunk of nanite paste!

His mates in the domi's scooped drones and warped off and then back to the station, and I was left, briefly, alone.

Shortly thereafter another Vaga, belonging to the Rapier's CEO arrived and started toying with me, revealing to be a HML version, while I was flying the Medium Neut version.  His Fury Scorge missiles hurt at times, but mostly we just played a mutual game of cat and mouse.  Him, unwilling to leave the protective envelope around the two domi's that had once again undocked, Me unwilling to go into the envelope of dominess!

Here are a few sweet tips kids.  You can warp to sentry guns around high and low-sec stations, at varying ranges.  Same goes for cans in space, anchored or not.  Just have to be outside the 150km range of the gun or can you want to warp to.  Using this and a bit of math you can give people hell but not give them time to properly respond before you are already gone.  Torrinos top station has a few cans strewn about it, and a veritable cloud of sentry guns around it.  Using these guns as a reference and the cans as warp out points, never landing at zero mind you, let you get caught for being stupid, I stayed alive, although dipping into low shields numerous times, forcing me to remove myself from the field, still in one piece.

It turned slowly into a fun, but ultimately futile standoff as the Vaga and Domi tried to trick me into range or tackle me to kill me, but were rather unable to do either.  I'll blame pilot skill for that one ;)

I've made sure to save time to go see them again sometime soon.

Now can anyone tell me why that's a terribly fit Rapier? I look forward to it!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

A bittervet pill to swallow

Man, I don't blog for a week and look what happens.  Apparently Eve's on the Verge of falling apart! (again)

Yeah, that recent patch, you know the big one, the one that changes a bunch of things... yeah like last week.  What do you mean there hasn't been one?  Look, with this level of bitching there has to have been one.  Haven't seen tears like this since... well, the Nano Nerf!

Look, I'm not kidding.  It's not like CCP suddenly and drastically changed eve by any stretch of the imagination.  Problems that people are on about today are the same problems they were on about when I first started playing.  Swallow this pill carefully.

Sure, there's Lag, it's a problem that just won't be solved for so many reasons I can't and won't even take the time to point them all out here.

Sure there are blobs, no encouragement to do small gangs, no tactics > bringing more people (for the most part).  Lowsec is a mess.  Seriously!

Seriously NOW all this crap is suddenly game breaking?  It's not mattered up until right damn now.  Right when CCP's working on two other major projects people were CRYING about...  Boohooo why can't we get Incarna now, we've been promised that for YEARS.

I blame blogging for the band-wagon negativity, I blame the CSM for trying and succeeding to publicize them not getting their way; and honestly I blame the poor souls who spend their time bitching about it.  It's those who add to this fire.  More power to them, they are expressing their views, but are they going to make me all EMO and mad at a game that's still fun?  ummmm, nope!

I'm a skeptic about change in general, and always have been, did I think that the NanoNerf was going to suck, yes!  Did it end eve for me?  No.  Eve's a simulation of real life, learn to adapt and overcome.  It's like all the fun's gone from eve, it's not, damn it's still there, just like it was last week and the week before.  Did lag stop those delicious tears of Hulkageddon 3 Helicity?  Is lowsec suddenly that much worse because they aren't patching it tomorrow?

Oh wait, more ships killed than ever you say?  That can't be!  HG3 a smashing success, piracy on the rise?  FW bringing people into lowsec even if it is for lame blobs?  People loving PI and writing constant (and irritating since I don't PI) blogs about them?  More blogs every week, video's released for eve action?

Right now activity in eve seems low, but hey!  It is summer.  Every summer I have played eve things get slow, real slow, down from 50 man gangs to 3 man gangs slow.  This summer it's even worse than usual!  Thanks 2:

SC2 just releasing, there are a variety of other good games out there right now pulling from the eve player base, like Red Dead Redemption, NCAA 2011, soon Madden, plus older games that are still good, like Dawn of War 2 : Chaos Rising.  Those are just the games I can think of from the US.

If you are going to leave and you are an alliance leader, the guys who support EFT, or any other out of game mod, Corp CEO's etc.  Then I am sorry to see you go, but it is your choice.  If it's not fun, go find something fun.  Don't leave eve because some noteables say it's terrible, leave when you stop having fun.

It is almost as if some people think that Eve was a desolate wasteland before THEY got there, so when they leave it's gonna return to it's ugly state.  Eve's no more broken than it was 6-9 months ago.  No less, but by god you would think it was the worst game ever the way some are going on about it!  To further burst that bubble, when you leave I'm sure no less than 5 people will want your job, begrudgingly maybe, but they are there too.

This all reminds me of when I had the most fun in eve...  When there was 14k concurrent users.  Why?  Because you could still solo and find more soloers, you could engage in fights and be sure not to see a 60 man blob land to kill your 5 man gang, sure 10 or 30 might show up and do the same, but not 60+.  Otherwise everything was the same, we still had lag, we still had bad mechanics, we still had all the problems we have now.  I lived with them then, I'm sure as hell gonna live with them now.  Maybe as drop in subscribers returns us to that era, I for one can only hope.  In short; my Eve is still fun.  When the 30 factors needed combine for a good fight, or a good roam, it's the same game to me it was 2 weeks ago or even 3 years ago.

Here's to seeing a wasteland! Yes that is CCP HQ

Sorry to see you go, leave your keys on the way out so someone else can pickup where you left off if they like.  I'll still be here.

For other great posts on the HTFU subject check out

Letrage's EvE Blog