Monday, November 29, 2010

It's what you learn after you know it all that counts.

~Attributed to Harry S. Truman

I was going to say today, but by now it's been out for about a week, so let's just say recently!

RECENTLY, CCP announced that the much hated, and much revered Learning skills would be getting canned.  I've long been on the fence about this change but I think it's a change worth making.  Giving every attribute a base +12 and eliminating what could be up to four months of a new players start so they have a better chance to learn skills and move forward the rest of their eve career might be playing to the lowest common denominator, but to me makes a lot of sense.

Especially the way that CCP is pulling this off, refunding the skill-points, removing the skills from the market, a really well thought out plan and I for one look forward to figuring out what in the world I will be spending my 4 mil sp I currently have in learning skills on.

So far I have come up with a few options.  I could train Caldari Battleship from 0 (current) to level 5 and then have all races BS5, Cruiser 5, and Frigate 5.  That still leaves me with 2 mil sp in the bank, so to speak, to place into another skill later down the line when I really need it, say just before the tourney or upon realization that I need that probing skill at 5 NOW!  Maybe then I will be forced into going the cap ship route.  Thanks to having level 5 in pretty much everything else!  Or finish up all the t3's for all races to l5.  As always, so many options, so little time!  The great unlearning is upon us, rejoice!

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Last night, she said...

So last night was my wife and my whole hand(5 year) anniversary.  Well since we met each other at least.  We went out and got dinner, had some wine, went out to the bars....

Okay fine, I'll get to the point

Friday night is blob night, here's what we get up to on blob nights! By our leet FC

Lets check that pocket.

It's late, i want us to move quick, but there IS a 19 man bubble on the map pretty close to the route home, so I take us over that way. Sak jumps in, says there is 50 in local, and I tell him to go get eyes. He derps around a bit (THEY ARE ATTACKING AN OFFLINE TOWER AT A PLANET!), but gets us a fleetcomp of: a few carriers, a few dreads in seige, a cyno up, and roughly a 50 man BC heavy mishmash fleet w/ no (non capital) logi.

I get the fleet off gate to a tac, and start publicly debating with myself... Lexa is bugging like champ, and I kinda want to get home rather than derp the fleet, BUT I famously pussied out on Thursday night against a fleet I could have squeezed some kills out of (even if we would have died horribly) and I was pretty emo about that, PLUS, I had specificly loaded us towards BCs or "whatever you could afford to lose" specificly so I could go have a scrap. So: Fuck ya. Balls deep.

I tell Sak to get me a warpin, as the cyno is down... he indicates that the show is @planet six at zero, so I order fleet to jump in, align, and after 10s, warp to planet six at optimals. This meant zero for DPS, 50 for logi, and 30 for me.

We do land right in the middle of fuckoff blob, and I order bubble up and start calling primaries.

I could write a book about primary calling last night. I probably should.

The bottom line is that I had brackets on, which I always use to try to best understand the SHAPE of the engagement on grid. Unfortunately, this time, there was SO MUCH on grid that this plan backfired utterly. I simply could not get an idea of the force disperal. So I quickly went to targets by range.

This meant I started with 3 drakes (I always try to call primary, secondary, tertiary)... some people were hurfing a bit but at this point, I'm just steamrolling with drake calls. The GOOD news is they go down rather quick, which allows me to get my pants on a little more, and I start preferring canes to drakes on calls.

My watchlist is showing me ships getting repped (rather than popped) so I'm happy to keep strolling through primaries eventually getting into the truly tanky ships (abbadon, etc.) There was ONE drake they had enough reps on that I wasn't able to immediately break it and had to switch off of. Meanwhile, I'm keeping a point on one of the carriers, and asking other people to keep points on the others. this started to suck as that carrier was slowboating away from the fight and my ranges were getting mucked up, so I started incorperating any other calls into my call-chain. If someone said "I have XXX tackled", I'd bump XXX to my secondary slot, and just keep steamrolling.

They cyno'ed in more carriers around this time, but I kind of just didn't care, as we continued to have no trouble popping things through their capital reps.

About this time, dreads are insta-cynoing out once their siege finishes, and we don't have bubbles to stop it (our hic died). Atan and Bacc are crying like babies on private channels to cyno in their toys, but we don't have an exit cyno sorted yet. I'm still calling primaries, and try to load another eve client to get a cyno alt loaded in TXW, but my framerates go to shit and I abandon the effort. I finally decide i don't give a shit if they lose them, and if they want to bring them onto the field, who cares.

So, I thumbs up the operation, supers come on, and bacc starts calling carrier primaries. I continue to call subcap primaries as they appear (they were broken at this point, but keep warping in "to help")... eventually this dries up, and all focus is on maintaining capital points and getting fighter-bomber DPS onto carriers.

I order our carriers to start looting as we go, letting the supers concentrate on dps, and move scouts into nearby systems to watch for reinforcements.

That doesn't happen, and we are left with a huge ass field full of loot. Looting took about 15 mins, by which time I was super nervous, so we evacced caps and went home.

I was SURE I was suiciding the fleet, and I wasn't. There are also all kinds of kills on the board that I know I didn't primary, so i'm very interested on hearing xbox's recording of the fight, because I don't remember much- it was really a blur.

At the end of the day, logi kept us up, tackle kept them there, and generally, we couldn't have done much better (maybe 2 carriers left that we shoudl have pointed).

It was easily the best fight of my eve career. Thanks for everyone who convinced me to do the unsmart thing.

Seriously, 66 kills and 6 losses.  That's a night I'm sure nobody will be forgetting soon.  Nice job Rote

And just as importantly, Happy Anniversary wifers!(She doesn't even know of this blog, so lolz)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A good new look

So after much messing about with the ever so painful Blogger tools to update the look of the blog, I have settled on a new look!  I know everyone can tell given that you are reading this via RSS but come on over and check it out.

Thanks to Rixx Javix for the beautiful work done for my Alliance that translated so smoothly into a nice image for this site.  Go check out his blog and other assorted amazing work over at EVEOGANDA.

Coming soon I plan on figuring out another quality post like the Vagabond guide, maybe a different ship, or a different topic, but first I have to figure out what!  Until then I'll just go back to being mostly silent while the holiday season kills my playtime!

Friday, October 29, 2010

EBB #22. Loyalties of an Opportunist

Welcome to the twenty-second installment of the EVE Blog Banter, the monthly EVE Online blogging extravaganza created by CrazyKinux. The EVE Blog Banter involves an enthusiastic group of gaming bloggers, a common topic within the realm of EVE Online, and a week or so to post articles pertaining to the said topic. The resulting articles can either be short or quite extensive, either funny or dead serious, but are always a great fun to read! Any questions about the EVE Blog Banter should be directed to Check for other EVE Blog Banter articles at the bottom of this post!

This month topic is brought to us by L'Dene Bean of Nitpickin's who asks: Why, and how did you pick your corporation? Is your loyalty solid or just until a better placed organization "recruits" you. The shorter version:  Who holds your Unshakable Fealty and why?
So let's just say I have never been the most "loyal" of followers while in eve.  Usually I find myself on the other side of decisions made by those in-charge.  At least until the semi-recent past, pre-STIMULUS.

So what makes STIM so different?  I'm not 100 percent sure to be honest.  I've pirated, been the CEO and co-CEO of two mildly successful merc/pirate corps.  Been in industry corps, robbed them blind, mined for them, produced ships, traded, the whole gamut.  STIM just feels like home.  It's that feeling that has slowly added a bit of loyalty stock the longer I remain in STIM.

STIM capitalizes on PvPers, we are elitist assholes for the most part, willing to do crazy, suicidal things on a regular basis in search of just one more kill.  We enjoy the fight and more often than not find sick satisfaction in dying in a horrible fire to those blobs more than 2-3 times our size.  We operate in mostly lag-free environments, with little to no mandatory ops to go kill xxx TCU or setup xxx SBU.  It's real, pure, fast paced eve-style PvP. Mesh STIM with four or five like minded corps in RK and you get a solid backdrop of not only corp but alliance.

Jay Carr said,
“They were fast-moving opportunists encased in cynicism and proud of it.”

And I have to say we are proud of it.

For the record, I chose to join STIM after reading up on them after my previous corp disbanded again, from day one of my trial I was in more fights, better teams and stronger leaders than most of my previous years in eve.  While I still maintain ties to some of the other pilots, corps and alliances I used to fly with STIM is where my usually fickle loyalties lie.

After all,

“I would rather be an opportunist and float than go to the bottom with my principles around my neck”  - Stanley Baldwin

Other Banterers

Merry Life and a Short One
The Elitist
A Mule in Eve
Mike Azariah

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

FENDing off the last few weeks

So I suppose I have been slacking and not really coming up with anything creative to post here!  Meanwhile in eve Rote Kapelle has been having a great time back in Syndicate.

We'd love to take the credit for pushing Primary. (the recent additions to TXW) into inactivity, but really it seems that World of Tanks and a lack of will to play the game has gutted the attempt to re-form and re inspire the Primary. Alliance.  A bit of a shame as we were looking forward to some good fights in TXW for a change.  Over the last few weeks their activity has really trailed off leaving us searching for more targets, and finding them.

Heh, Rote Kaput.  Good one!
We engaged in a CONCORD sanctioned war against "The Fendahlian collective" and their friends "Sacra Cupola."  The fights were fun, but mostly consisted of station games in either Stacmon or Dastryns, but that fit me just fine as we were able to score some good kills and the FEND gents were good or rather nice enough to continue to fight, bringing out numerous ships and hulls.  Didn't matter to me, got to fly in my Abaddon of sheer tankyness for a while, haven't been in that beast in ages!  Repairing in station costs way to much isk btw!

I am impressed with Ushwi Hobak who was apparently quad boxing against us.  he got on so many kills because he brought out a well tanked Maelstrom, plus scimitar basilisk and usually at least one other DPS ships.  We kept trying to kill him, but no luck, or at least no luck very often as he was able to tank and redock at will.  Such is the fun of station games!  In any case, props to the quad box, pretty impressive.  He wasn't so successful at keeping his fleetmates alive, so we ate them up pretty well.  Including these couple engagements, Stacmon Slaughter.  That Vagabond pilot should read my guide btw, was inside scram range from the undock of the station, paid the price.  While they were at it they provided a few lolzy killmails, like the Rapier without a Web. 

Most memorable moment goes to the pilot "losingsleep."  We had just forced their camp in stacmon to dock and killed his Raven while doing so, he left in a shuttle and returned in a Cyclone.  Johnny Cruz mentioned on vent that he was travel fitting that thing with stabs, I, still fit for station games, had two scramblers on the Abaddon, ready to pin him down.  He warps into the station again, apparently trying to either salvage or tease us with his invincibleness due to over-stabbing.  I'm pretty sure his smile dropped when my four points and Johnny's two points landed on him.  Suddenly forced to stick around landing us with a very funny killmail.

Anyways, war was soooo last week.  This week we have joined the intrepid pilots of Reaper Industries, our long-time friends, into the Rote Kapelle fold, providing a much needed boost to our EU TZ.  It's great to have them around, and RK gangs now tend to roll out of TXW on a near 23/7 basis. 

In other internal news, voting for our alliance Logo has finally been completed.  I have to say that I am sad, my personal favorite, "looking up, no RK" failed to make it into the last rounds. Though I am happy that all the back-and-forth over the logo will hopefully now be over.  I was put in charge of organizing a fair vote and getting a final result and was amazed to have it finished before Christmas 2020. 

To the left here is a sample of the winner, well close enough!  Now that the vote is over my responsibility for dealing with it also ends, horray!

So that mostly covers the last two weeks, until next time, here is looking up, no RK!  Thanks for the work Rixx Javix, very impressive!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

A long journey home

Our week had been building up to this.  Cassius strolled in casually to the meeting room, ahead of me, a smallish but once empty bar up on the capsuleer decks of mid station of Reynire.  Now filled over capacity with pilots from the assembled corporations of Rote Kapelle.

Truth was Rote Kapelle had been absent from it's adopted home in TXW for close to two and a half months now, working to strew seeds of the revolution from Pure Blind to Providence.  Taking our lumps and giving them against the monolithic NC and New Providence in one place or another.  During these months spirits and morale had been up and down in quick succession but nothing compared to the current feeling in the room.

It wasn't tension but anticipation, for blood, for home, for a fight.  We were all quiet as our leaders and assembled FC's broke the news of our plan to the rank and file, in person this time, ensuring no confusion.  I moved to the back of the room, looking back towards our brief.

"As we stand here, your Remote Repair BS are being delivered to your hangars, from station storage and prepped for combat.  Our token force in TXW will attempt to convince the new locals," smiling a bit at the comment, "into combat.  The rest of the fleet, meaning you, will stand by in Vestouve, with light cap support for backup."  There were some involuntary nods around the room, one of those reflexes you gain from years of briefings.  I was one of the nodders.  I scanned the room quickly with slight embarrassment.  Of course there had been no need to nod, this was hardly the first time we or rather I had heard this plan, but it would be the last.  None had noticed, fortunately enough saving me the casual barbs passed around like candy in these meetings.  When the briefing broke up short seconds after that a light murmur of voices filled the room as the pilots of Rote Kapelle moved towards the doors.

Some had already remotely jacked into their hangars, or comms systems, ordering cargo in or out of their holds, prepping their delivered battleships for combat before arriving at them, joining the fleet, chatting on their communicators.  I stumbled slightly, still getting used to this new clone after my recent clone jump, and my foot careened off the floor from my misstep and then down right on the outside foot of Usagi Tuskino.  I tried to recover some, but my tall frame was already overbalanced, somehow I was able to remain upright although nearly falling into her, I started to apologize quickly.  Looking down to meet her eyes, those shocking blue eyes unnerved me instantly, as every time I saw them, making my already awkward apology stutter from my lips.  She waved dismissively, a small smile sliding over her lips as she moved away, her mind obviously on something else.

Once I stepped from the bar, I grew in confidence with each step closer to my hangar I got.  It was like I could feel the power there.  I set my body more or less on autopilot, moving instinctively, quickly towards my pod and waiting tempest-class Battleship.  The sweet feeling of becoming something greater, bigger looming ahead.  I joined the fleet channel, placing quick orders to move some large cap boosters into the waiting injector, my mind meshing with the comms channel, quiet now, assigning me to the second squad of the first wing of the fleet.

I broke the mental connection and refocused as I entered the room housing my pod, already inside my tempest, only marginally aware of how I got there.  My excitement grew, a smile spreading over my face as I disrobed.  I guess some people said you never got used to submerging in pod fluid, giving up control, that was never true for me.  I had always been a dreamer, meant for something greater, to be something amazing, my voluval mark reinforced the popular view that I was below notice, just another man, ugly man, but inside.  No matter the number of times I had been warned that I was the bloated and stupid rock I had never given up hope, even if their world was the mountain, my hope didn't die.  It was one of the few things that had kept me alive as a slave was this hope, carefully guarding it, clinging to it fearfully like a secret that could be taken away at a moment notice.  It had survived that and still it lived on.


Connecting to a pod was like being reborn into that thing I had always wanted to be, something greater.  While Battleships were ponderous and slow the simple feeling of power could overwhelm the untrained senses.  While I could still feel myself in the pod it was a distant and largely unconscious feeling, I simply was the ship.  I twisted the camera drones around my ship, prepping my guns with Barrage L and powering up all systems.  I had barely settled in when the order to undock came from our FC.  I had already cleared for undock, placing me next in line and then suddenly pushed out of the station.

Relying on drilled in precision I set destination for home, my tempest turning towards the first gate with a touch of my will.  The order to warp was not long in coming, and I was once again one of the first into warp, jetting towards the low security gate ahead, TXW a short 6 jumps away.  I kept my ship on course, laughing at myself as if I was some other person looking back at the meeting in the station.  I thought to myself that surely had not happened to me, it was a memory from another life, filing it away I jumped through the gate on command.

Reports were not encouraging as we made our way, only 5-6 of the new inhabitants were nearby, but our friends in the station as well as pilots on scene had seen none of them in space.  Determined not to waste any further time, our commander pushed us ahead, a very unfortunate Vexor meet it's timely end with a small section of our fleet removing it from space, our large ships near invulnerable for a time against the "peacekeeping" gate guns employed in low sec.

The Concord ding to my security was hardly worth noting, even lower than caring about the loss of life and money for our victim.  We waited briefly in Vestouve hoping for a fight in TXW, but none came.  With assured speed we moved back into TXW, orders already circulating for the formation of another, smaller, nimble fleet to assemble in TXW 8-8.  It was set to leave in 1 hour.

Leaving the pod was another matter entirely, I ended up feeling very alone.  On the floor of the same room, my consciousness collapsed into the small shell that was my body, my thoughts battering around inside my head, as if it was suddenly too small for me.  I dry retched, gripping at the floor, tears filling my eyes as I did.  I struggled to my feet, grabbing a simple towel to wipe the goo from my eyes, already headed to my next ship.  I didn't notice if people saw me, naked, awash in the glow of my hangar, approaching the sleek monstrosity of my Scimitar.  Like the Tempest the Scimitar was powerful in it's own way, able to project shields across the vastness of space, all while moving too fast to follow.  In the shadow of the vast cruiser I left the towel, repeating the process of connecting to the cruiser, as always, opting to spend my time inside the hull of the powerful ship, viewing it as a whole rather than as a simple man.


The hour passed quickly, maybe even too quickly as I scanned the fitting of my ship, making last minute changes and bantering in the new fleet for parts, all the while passing sarcastic we have returned comments into the local FTL channel.  I was slower on the undock this time, forcing my cruiser through the mass of ships at the undock point and then getting it pointed out toward the gate took a bit longer than needed but being back out in space, powerful once again was it's own reward.

The cruiser leaped into warp, feeling even faster and reckless as my blood rose to a near audible hum in the pod of my ship.  Our first challenge was to find a fleet willing to face us.  After several attempts and even more half fights and quick kills, we arrived in MHC, seemingly finding a interested party.  In fact the fleet we were able to find was made up of only CPU/Tabula Rasa, scared to fight against the trappings of their imperialistic and wanton needs, they left the field quickly, leaving their mate to die under our hammer.  Behind us they slunk back to the gate, catching a straggler before we could return to save him.

A few jumps later a hostile force that best matched our own was detected.  We were forced to redeploy hastily, blocking their route.  Our scout reported their fleet launching drones and throwing up a bubble, it was time to fight.  I stretched my will across the fleet, mentally marking members of the fleet to follow through the fight, hoping to catch those in need of repairs before their ships buckled.  We jumped, space buckling at the number of ships moving across space.  We found them in place on the other side, the battle was already on.

Usagi and her blue eyes was one of the first to go down in the fight, her Rook removed from the field before I had finished locking her for repairs, she had been foolish to reveal herself so soon into the fight.  From there things seemed to stabilize.  We were still taking a fair amount of damage, Scimitars burning for range while the rest of our light and speedy fleet attempted to lay down fire on the requested ships.  They were dying, but not fast enough.

FALLGUY was one of the next to go down, his Vagabond crumpling under reps, at the same time my lock failed after another lucky jam from EC-300 drones swarmed around me like insects.  I burned hard, trying to maintain range and escape from under the net of EC drones in vain, they would stay on me for much of the fight, until their owner was removed.  We might have lost a Vagabond but they were dying as well, 0458 proved to be a bloody minute, 4 of their ships lost for just two of ours.  My reps were working overtime to keep BlackFalcon01 alive but another lucky jam and distance allowed him to fall to the guns of our opposition.  But he was the last.  Their heavy ships tanked our fire best they could and disengaged the other side of the gate.  The battle was bloody, but ultimately we were victorious, holding the field

Returning to TXW with half our fleet seemed oddly like a loss.  We had come to expect to lose few ships in a battle, but even so we once again proving ourselves strong and our fight was motivation enough to be stronger.  The bloody fight fresh on our minds moved the CPU gang once again out of our way, despite their now similar numbers.  The rest of the flight home was more or less uneventful, never once stressing our gang to the point our fight had.

Our FC moved the fleet into dock, dismissing us as we entered station.  I sat there for a bit in my Scimitar, spinning camera around the outside of the ship for moments before disconnecting.


Sometimes it's worse than others, and you find yourself on the floor minutes later, coughing, unable to form thoughts, wishing vaguely for just one more moment in the pod.  At least that's how I felt right then, weak, out of sorts, unable to think clearly.  Luckily, my body was moving, working off years of completing the same task, I gripped a new towel and pulled it slowly over my body, cleaning it as I left the ship, the previous towel either removed by some unseen employee hired in one of my smarter moments or swept out into space like so much junk.

I walked into the quiet dressing room in TXW, my mind more or less settled now.  I pushed to get myself through the quick routine of a shower, getting dressed and doing short work on my hair.  I stepped out of my section of the Hangar Bays, long strides taking me the shortest route to the local capsuleer pub we all tended to favor after well just about any fight.  Even pilots who had lost ships had made it there before me, but one knowing look was all it took for almost everyone to understand.  I guess not everyone has such a hard time leaving their pod as I do, but at least they understand it.

I was happy to have missed the "AAR" as our FC's called them where pilots mistakes were pointed out and shamed.  I felt I must have made some, possibly costing people their lives, or ships.  Each loss weighed heavily on my mind as I looked up at the simple cork board in the bar that had hard copies of kills and losses listed.  Right now it was more kills than losses but I felt as if it could change at any moment.  Often times it would be updated before the pilots even returned home from a fight.  Nobody was quite sure who did it or why, but there were plenty of comments tacked to the side of kills before they dropped off the bottom of the board.

A pair of unsolicited shots slid down the bar towards me, I looked up to see smiles all around, I took the first shot quickly, the faint buzzing of responsibility, fatigue and loss slowly wiped from my mind as the smile spread to my lips after a few minutes.  I could barely keep up with some in the bar, but I managed to catch up at the very least... I think.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Pewed right in the face!(again)

We like to eat CSAA
Shortly after we all made it into Provi, let's say about a week and a half, give or take, PL decided to come a-knocking.  While USUALLY we can be counted on to fight just about anything, especially the stupider the odds, engaging in TCU/CSAA fights just aren't our bag baby!

When our friends in Asset Liberation called for our help in defending a POS with said CSAA's we had a chance to chow up but mostly it all just ended up in failure.  Call us out of practice, or blame the evil lag monster, the POS wasn't long for this world.  During the crushing of the CSAA located in KPB, we had some rather bad blows against us, as Alpha and passwords lent PL some easy kills.

In any case, with  that part over leadership made the decision to head back to Syndicate and our old system of TXW.... "soon."  For now we just moved everything out of KPB and have started staging for the move back.  In the meantime all our trouble makers are setting out to go find some of their own trouble!  I immediately headed for Ivar where I had been setting up a place to Ninja-kill missioners and otherwise harass people.

I had specially outfit a Navy Issue Omen to be my go-to people killer after they aggressed me because I needed to find SOMETHING to use that bloody ship for!  Not too long into my playstint this sunday I tracked down a Vargur just finishing a deadspace mission.  I popped in to say hello there in my salvage fit vigil.  First I salvaged a large wreck and then stole a little lootzies to see if I could get a bite.  Yellow box.... and bam, into structure!  Holy crap, praying for a fast align I headed back to the station, making it out in 56% structure in one shot, close one!

I jumped into my ONI, heading back to the Vargur hoping they were still there.  Indeed they were but a painful 35km from my warp in point...  I pushed the AB up to full speed and started taking a near-immediate pounding.  Let's just say the ONI wasn't up to the task but at least it made it out alive, no embarrassing ship loss to post on the alliance kill boards.

I endured the laughter of my target in local, wishing I had brought that Abaddon down from Rens already, having it already fit and ready to go, but I had left it behind shipping other ninja essentials instead.  Oh well.

I logged for a bit and by the time I came back there was no more bear activity in my chosen system, leaving me bored and itching for a fight.  I was just three jumps from Rens and a further 3 from Amamake, a piratey plan formed in my head.  Suicide time!

Well, ok, that's what I call flying into the top belt of Amamake.  I fit a Rifter of the 400mm plate version in Rens quick, insuring it and leaving off the rigs.  Flew straight down to Ama, and on the jump in I barely avoided being squished by the resident's gatecamp.

I warped into the top belt expecting some action but found none, not even after minutes of loitering.  Top belt dissapoints again!

10 minutes of warping around looking for targets revealed a xxxxxXXXXXDeathXXXXXXxxxxxx rifter moving between the belts.  I waited for him in the top belt, about 100-150km off the warp in, Close enough for my AB Rifter to close quickly but far enough away that help warping into the other rifter wouldn't be close enough to matter for a bit.

So the Rifter landed shortly after that and pretty much from the start my plan went downhill.  I zoomed in, noting his 2k+ speed and pegged him for a MWD user.  My web and J5b warp scrambler would take care of that.  As soon as I got into range I knew he was bait and my hunch was correct as a Arazu and Cane landed at the warp in, some 70-80 km from me and this other rifter.

Now the smart thing to do would have been to scramble the other rifter, push range on him, and spank the warp out button, before the Razu and cane closed enough distance to kill me, but who said this was a smart fight?  I wanted to kill that Rifter, so I kept to my fight, eating through his shields and armor as the Cane drew inside range, pelting me with 425mm rounds from about 40-50km eating up my shields and parts of my armor with near hits.  The Arazu landed points on me just as the hostile Rifter popped, and despite my attempts to escape, I was shortly dispatched, my pod speeding free of the encounter.

Hey at least I was able to kill a fully t1 fit rifter before I died!  Anyways, back to Rens and a 15 minute timer later I was back into the area with another Rifter.  Now sadly all the fight seemed to be gone from the system and short of two faction warfare blobs declining to engage each other in the nearby system of Auga there was nothing going on.

I parked my Rifter nearby and intend to re-visit shortly.  That is if I can log in at all this week!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Providence is for Pew!

With the conclusion of our Pure Blind bike ride, the gentle fellows at Rote Kapelle have decided to extend our little field trip and make asses of ourselves in Providence, neatly avoiding the IT blobbing of Syndicate, but hopefully not scaring off any new targets there!

Not the provi you are looking for
So, off to Providence!

Wait no, not that Providence!  It being the preferred freighter to kill during out PB road trip.

Instead we find ourselves deep in one of the arms of Provi, meeting up with our long-time friends in Reaper Industries and their Alliance, Asset Liberation Front.

Yep, that's the one.
Our logistics move was done Friday, Rote Flexing it's Logistics/capital backbone hard to get it done in a single day, with the final movements completed on Saturday.  I was lucky enough to have my stuff moved Friday and be able to move my clone into the new habitat for STIMmyness in QBL, Reapers Junkyard.

As a hello to our new Providence neighbors we departed soon after in a joint fleet of RK/Asset nanoHAC swarm intent on finding some kills.

We steamrolled a bit, starting with this poor Vagabond pilot, who buzzed the station right as the fleet was forming and undocking.  Poor timing and good tackle proved his vaga wasn't long for this world.

Following that we moved out to G7 catching a Rapier, part of the Vagabond's fleet, on the gate out of QBL, turning him into dust just as quick as we could uncloak him.  DACO was thought to be camping along FSW to MH9C area, I had just flown a Cov ops through the area but had been able to sneak past.   However we turned and burned for the bottom pipe, looking to catch the rest of the En Garde fleet, managing only to catch them once they had caught up with a blue fleet... who they were also blue to, damn standings.  HAHAHAHA just kidding, we killed a Drake, then put another deep into armor before it jumped out and nearly got a Drake for our trouble.  Suddenly we were joined by a carrier on the gate, the blues were cross repping the Geddon left on the gate, trying to deny us a rightful kill!  Fairly it was a good attempt, but near 200k damage, a few good bumps, the carrier reps were overcome.

This time we headed back up to pay DACO a visit but they had intel on us by then and had moved out of the way.  We plowed on, heading for R3- on the way back to QBL.... well the round about way back.  En Garde wasn't happy thanks to our previous kills and were happy to provide a response fleet once we jumped into their smallish gang in 1-1I.  We claimed first blood, knocking down a Phantasm, Harbinger, and a fleeing Drake, followed by a brief lul as most of the rest of the En Garde gang warped off.  We looted and pulled range, and they warped back in with support on the other side, they were able to catch Cassius, eventually killing him.  We were still able to skirmish, darting down to score 2 more BC's and a cruiser kill before they had all were able to warp out from our split tackle.

While looting we mostly re-approached gate, just in time for their fleet to come back and neatly split us between N8XA and 1-1I.  I was stuck in 1-1I having moved to range as they started to warp in.  Kakizaki made a costly mistake, staying in one position too, outside of 150km from the gate,a cov ops was able to probe him down, and have the rest of the hostile fleet warp on top of him.  The TS chatter made him realize too late, and his Huginn was downed quickly.  Meanwhile, the half gang on the other side killed a Harbinger and Vexor.  Using a moment their gang left the gate, the rest of our gang moved by and we were all able to depart to QBL with no further kills or losses.  End result was 10 kills to 2 losses in a fun, skirmish engagement, quite the warm welcome to Provi!  I look forward to more fights of the same as the rest of the weekend was uneventful for me.

I flew a Scimitar later in the weekend, but was mostly un-needed as our tanks didn't face a significant threat while I was on the field.  (even though we engaged a Ashimmu gang, well before they ran like hell...)

Hell in a cell, eve-style!

EVE SOB comes up with a great idea, check it out.

Basically the rules are as follows,

- 5M to enter with all ISK going to the Last Frigate flying in fleet (minus fleet referee)
- T1 non faction frigates only with any fittings.
- All entrants join a single fleet and fighting begins when they enter the “CAGE” system
- If you leave the “CAGE” system you are removed from the fleet.
- If you dock in anything in the “CAGE” system you are removed from the fleet.

- If you are in your pod you are removed from the fleet.
- Once removed from the fleet you are out of the fight and no ISK for you.
- Gate crashing the system is allowed and expected.

- No restrictions on implants or boosters.
- Faction/T2 frigates or above are not allowed unless a gate crasher. :)

Fittings are unlimited as warping to fleet member will be allowed and should take care of the cloakers and folks who safe up. The “CAGE” system region will be in LowSec and easy to reach from Null or Empire space. The region will be announced to entrants a week before and the CAGE system 1 hour before the bell.
 Although I am a bit dissapointed I will be unable to find and kill him within the rules of the match, but trust I'll find a way into killing him anyways, better keep an eye out Mr Zombie.

More details will be posted as they come, hopefully this will have another impressive turnout, and more kills this time!  Die once, come back as a spoiler later.

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

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

No Blog Banter ~ Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah

Like the wise Kirith, although slightly less adamant than him. I will not be posting on this months Blog banter. Honestly the whole idea of it just doesn't really effect me that much.

I participate in small gang warfare, even after all the "improvements" suggested by the zealous CSMers, or the upcoming CCP backed new content, nothing really fixes or significantly changes my style of game play. If you are really looking for yet more opinions on the CSM to CCP relationship, I recommend taking that interest over to the list of active posters on the Blog Banter.

No Blog Banter ~ Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah

Blog Bantererssss
  1. Growing Pains | CrazyKinux's Musing
  2. CSM: Hoax or Serious Business? « Lost in New Eden
  3. CSM-Power to the people or puppets of CCP « A whole lot of Yarrrr!!!
  4. Gaming the CSM | A Mule in EvE
  5. A Taste Of Democracy | StarFleet Comms
  6. CSM: Player Power or Paper Tiger? | I Am Keith Neilson
  7. Governance Thrash Redux? « The Ralpha Dogs
  8. CCP Doesn’t Care: Blog Banter 19 « OMG! You're a Chick?!
  9. The Cataclysmic Variable: It's Crunch Time!
  10. The 19th EVE Blog Banter is upon us… and about the CSM and CCP | Victoria Aut Mors

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

You too can be Jason Statham or David Carradine!

RJ over at EVEOGANDA has launched a new idea, a change in the concept of internetz spaceship racing as we know it.

Death Race 2010 is pretty simple from the looks of things; but it will be tough to win.  The following is a snippet of the rule set coming from Rixx.

"On Sunday, August 22nd, hundreds of Eve pilots will embark on a dangerous, crazy and highly competitive race from their low-sec launch system, through the murky gate-camped systems of zero space and emerge once more into Empire!"

Looks pretty crazy, I must say, and seemingly a very good idea.  I will be one of those crazy pilots, probably more killing minded than others there, just waiting for the right time to kill some peeps!  I expect small fast ships, bigger fast ships and slower but more powerful bruisers to show up in numbers, it will be interesting to see who even makes it to the starting lines let alone the finish!

So how does it all work?

"To enter just pay your entrance fee indicating the name of the in-game character who will be participating in the race.  The entrance fee is non-refundable and will be used solely for the Race prizes.  If you don't show up on Race day you don't play, simple as that."
"• Entrance fee is 5 million isk per racer
• Enrollment begins on August 1st, 2010
• Shuttles and Cloaky Ships are not allowed
• Ships that can fit a Cyno are also not allowed and using a Cyno is forbidden
• Aggression is permitted after the race starts
• Gangs, Teams and Corps are permitted (But each racer pays the entrance fee)
• Fleet up will occur in a low-sec system to be announced
• The Death Race is Sunday, August 22nd and will start at 18:00 Eve time

> Other details will be announced as race day approaches.  Details regarding entrance fees and enrollment will be posted shortly."
This should be a great event, I look forward to seeing the prizes and more importantly, the carnage.  There should be a Death Race 2010 dedicated Kill Board so people can watch the fights as they progress, and the losses.  I'll make sure to suggest that to Mr. Javix.

As for some clarifications, he hopes fitting swaps, changes to ships in flight will cost the people who do such dastardly things, a bunch of time, the one valuable commodity in a race such as this.  T3's are allowed so it should be interesting seeing who shows up in those gilded ships, ready to avoid the bubbles of nullsec but drawing every greater numbers of gankers and interest with every system they fly through.  Possible ship idea's are flowing now, so good luck to all!

Until then, tune those engines, pay your fee, and I'll see you on the track.

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sexy and Shiny

Feared pilots across New Eden are only enhanced by the ships they fly.  Thanks to a great listing by Kirith, there have been many other bloggers displaying what they think are the top five badass looking Pirate ships or rather, for me, ships in Eve.

Let's start it off with #5!

#5 Has to be the beautiful but ultimately difficult to fit, fly and use Navy Omen.  It's the short range brother of the Zealot, packing quite a punch and a small drone bay to boot, but its look is just one of pure sex appeal.  Hire extra crew to keep all that chrome polished!

#4 the so ugly it's sexy (in my opinion) Vagabond.  While I love this beast, I can say that it is far from the most sexy ship in the game, but for me it's still close to the top despite it's flying Vulture/Chicken look some claim it has.

#3 has to be the sleek black sex appeal of the Curse!   All neuts NOS and drones, speedy and shield tanked.  I miss the extra thruster it used to have in the back, but none the less, still just another sexy variation of the sleek Yarrbitrator hull.

#2 Guns bristling, lazors pewing, there is no substitute for the sex that is the Crusader!  One of a few frigate class hulls to house 4 gun slots, the Crusader shows them off well, hanging them from wing to wing, dripping menace and death.  While it is a difficult ship to fly just right, and a harder one to fit outside the cookie cutter setups usually employed, the Crusader is still damn sexy!

#1 my all time favorite Pirating boat, the Rupture.  While recent graphical changes have limited it's previously even more sexy rear-Castle, the Rupture retains it's 19th century Warship vibe, giving it the broadside needed to finish first in my list.  It also helped that I flew it near constantly for over a year I liked it so much.  I always imagined throwing crazy parties, while waiting for targets to show up or just after they did, all housed in the rear of that fine ship.

Others chattering about the same topic :

Kirith Darkblade
Mail Lite
Kishin Hattori

I will try to keep updated if more people post the same, but I'm not promising anything!

Friday, July 9, 2010

We are Rote Kapelle

Well it's been a while since RK looked collectively at our front page and re-did the wording introducing our alliance.  Through some collaboration and revisions on my part, this is are a few samples of what we came up with.  I like them both so it's going to make the "choosing" process later down the line harder =/

There are those who see the hand of god in turning hounds against their fellow man.  Zealots who proclaim their religion loudly, their "savior" providing their chains.

There are those who yearn for the freedom of their brothers so strongly, that they bind themselves as surely as if they wore a collar.

Some declare themselves free of religion while worshiping their production lines and financial devices.Others build temples of bureaucracy, chaining and sacrificing freedom in the name of securing said freedom.

There is a secret. They are all mad. And they envision themselves your master.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Art of the Vagabond (The Art of Part 2)

1. Overview
2. How to fit your Vagabond/Suggested fits.
3. Implants
4. Target Selection
5. Tactics
6. Boosters
7. Relevant skills
8. Useful links

First let me link the notably worse off Vagabond threads in comparison to the Rifter threads for EVE through the wiki and and eve-o forums.

Vagabond (Guide)

Vagabond (Fitting)

Now you know why we need this post!

Hull: Stabber Class
Role: Heavy Assault Ship

The fastest cruiser invented to date, this vessel is ideal for hit-and-run ops where both speed and firepower are required. Its on-board power core may not be strong enough to handle some of the larger weapons out there, but when it comes to guerrilla work, the Vagabond can't be beat.

Developer: Thukker Mix

Improving on the original Stabber design, Thukker Mix created the Vagabond as a cruiser-sized skirmish vessel equally suited to defending mobile installations and executing lightning strikes at their enemies. Honoring their tradition of building the fastest vessels to ply the space lanes, they count the Vagabond as one of their crowning achievements.

Minmatar Cruiser Skill Bonus: 5% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret rate of fire and 5% bonus to max velocity per level

Heavy Assault Ship Skill Bonus: 10% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret falloff range and 5% bonus to Medium Projectile Turret damage per level


The slot layout of 6 (5 turret, 2 missile) highs, 4 mids and 5 lows would seem to indicate that the Vaga would be a better armor tanker, but looking at resists and the intended use of the ship as a skirmisher makes that idea unfeasible for this hull.  Vagabond's excel with a shield tank, usually two t2 Large Shield Extender(LSE) or 1 T2 LSE and one best named. 

Passive buffer vs Active booster

The Vagabond's cap is one of it's weakpoints, and the buffer given by two Large Shield Extenders(LSE), t2 or otherwise, combines with their lack of cap use fits better with the skirmishing idea of flying the Vagabond.  Traditional fits have two LSE, a 10mn MicroWarp Drive(MWD) and a Warp Disruptor in the mids.

Less "traditional" variations have one LSE dropped in favor of either a warp scrambler or a Stasis webbifier (web).  The less traditional variations tend to be much less sturdy than a dual LSE tanked Vagabond, but can be useful to operate as heavy tackle of fast and elusive targets like other Vagabond's, slowing them down enough to allow the rest of your fleet to catch up.  Be warned that you are giving up half of your buffer tank to give this added utility and usually if not always that is a bad idea.  Specifically it places your Vagabond at a significant disadvantage both in fleet in terms of survivability and solo against other fast ships, leaving you with not enough tank to be able to handle the incoming damage long enough to fetch you kills.

To re-emphasize, Dual LSE Vagabond setups are the golden standard of this ship for PvP.

Propulsion Mods

The decision to make between a Vaga with a MWD and one with a AB is not a very difficult one.  Unless you are fitting specifically to operate in an area where MWD's do not function, IE missions or a complex, always fit a MWD.  Best named is usually your best bet, the Y-T8 module.  Since the speed changes the better MWD, like faction, t2 etc, does not mean an increase in speed just a change in cap use and MWD capacitor penalty.

Pulsing your MWD blooms your sig radius while the MWD is active, leaving you vulnerable to being properly tracked and hit by the DPS you are trying to avoid, and causes increased missile damage.  Only use it to close distance, establish tackle or dodge incoming missiles swarms and drones, or, and most importantly, to maintain range.  Leaving it on will not only drain your cap completely but also increase the incoming DPS beyond what the Vagabond's buffer can sustain.

Missiles vs Energy Neutralizers and Nosferatu

Some Vaga pilots live and die by Heavy missile launchers, Heavy Assault missile launchers, or even standard missile launchers.  Others prefer fitting Medium Neuts, and almost none fit Medium NOS(anymore).

Missiles can be useful for solo work, adding DPS, being able to target and inflict damage at range, while not having to worry about tracking.  Also known as the usual upsides for missiles.  A t2 launcher should be fit if using a Heavy Missile launcher and precision missiles and rage ammo should be kept on hand to boost your DPS when needed or provide extra damage against smaller targets as they will be your primary concern while flying the Vaga.  Otherwise Faction missiles will do well for overall DPS.

Medium Neut's add utility against your primary enemy in a Vaga, that being tackle frigates with Scrams or webs to slow you down or disable the MWD.  Neut's can remove the ability for light tackle to hold on to your Vaga long enough for their gang to finish you off, by draining their cap while staying out of both web range and scram range.  The best named or t2 neuts can reach out to 12km.  A single cycle, properly timed, can disable intys and t1 frigs as they close on you, giving your guns enough time to remove them from the field before they can disable your MWD or disable their points to allow you to regain distance and/or warp out.  Without cap they can't tackle or MWD, giving you a window to get out or kill them if you are aligned or lucky enough.  Overuse can cause problems with the already cap-unstable Vaga, but used in bursts when needed it can be the game changer to break tackle and get out of danger or kill the threat.

Medium Nosferatu modules fit as well, but once inside medium NOS range you are likely about to give up your speed and get inside of tackle range, having full cap will not help against close range DPS.  The NOS module does not provide any useful benefit, and gives up some of both the missiles and neut's utilities.


The Vagabond has a 25m3 drone bay with a corresponding 25m3 drone bandwidth.  5 Light drones fit perfectly but there are a few different idea's on how to fill that space.

Combat drones are very popular.  Warrior's give you extra speedy drones that excel at removing hostile tackle from your overview by either chasing them off or killing them.  They also add a decent amount of DPS to your tally, allowing you to kill faster and more efficiently.  Hobgoblins give the best DPS of all light drones but do thermal damage vs the warrior's explosive damage, many of the tackle frigates out there armor tank limiting the actual DPS increase given by the Hobgoblins.  Hobgoblins also suffer from being slower than the nimble Warrior drones and tend to be outrun easier by fast tackle inties and some t1 frigates, the exact same people that will or should be drawing the attention of your drones most often.  I fly with Warrior II's when using combat drones.

5 Light Hornet EC-300 Drones can be a real life saver, working to jam the lock of a tackler releasing you from his scramblers grasp.  Due to the low cost of EC drones, leaving them behind is a very good trade off vs losing the Vagabond.  Though their jam strength is low and they do not add any DPS, they can break tackle of frigates and sometimes cruisers when you get lucky.  Increasing your survivability vs tackle's weak sensor strengths.

Tracking Enhancers, Gyrostabilizers, Nanos, Damage controls and the fight for your Lowslots

With 5 lows, the Vagabond is a tough balancing act of getting everything you want to fit in the slots provided.

Gyrostabilizers increase DPS and rate of fire, while Tracking Enhancers (TE) give you better falloff and tracking, the various nano modules increase your speed or agility, Damage Control units (DCU/DC) help buffer your fit and shields.  But what to fit?

Damage controls units seem like a good idea, but usually the extra HP they yield is either lost by use of nano modules and rigs, or misused, leaving you thinking you have more time to get out than you really do.  Once shields are down, it is rare to see a vagabond leave the field in one piece unless they are already moving to leave the fight.  The extra armor and hull HP granted by the resists given by the DCU rarely makes a difference at that point, in fact most Vagabonds have around 900-1200 hull HP so doubling that and the extra shield resists doesn't help that much.  For solo operations, it can add enough HP to survive the blob long enough to make an escape or allow you to kill tougher more advanced targets.

Gyro's and TE add much more to the Vagabond than a DCU in almost every case.  The increased tracking and DPS will allow you to down targets at a much faster rate, and the extra falloff granted by TE gives you a much longer engagement distance with auto-cannons, especially with barrage, allowing you to engage easily outside of Heavy Neut range, conventional point range, as well as Web or Scrambler ranges on unbonused ships.  Extra falloff on a Vaga is a great thing.  Even when webbed by a Rapier the extra DPS given by Gyro's and the extra falloff given by the Tracking Enhancers usually allows you, in a 1 v 1 situation, to drive off or kill the Rapier before they can kill you or before their backup arrives, just remember their shields have a kinetic hole just as big as yours!

"Nano" modules come in three forms, Ineria Stabilizers, Nanofiber internal structure or Overdrives.

Inertia Stabilizers (I-stabs) can significantly increase your agility, at the expense of your signature radius.  Part of the Vaga's tank is being too small without the MWD active for larger weapons to hit properly at range, but the extra agility can get you into warp faster at gates and hot on the heels of your target, while the larger sig raidus makes you easier to gain a lock on before warping.

Nanofiber Internal Structures (nanofibers) Increase your agility and your speed at the cost of hull hitpoints.  Like I said in the section regarding Damage Controls, once in hull you are most likely dead anyways, so the drawback is mostly mitigated by the intended flying style of the ship in the first place, making these great additions to the Vaga as well.

Overdrive injector systems (overdrives) Increase your speed while not increasing your agility, at the cost of Cargo space.  While the drawback is trivial for a Vaga pilot who mostly carries ammo and loot in their hold, the speed boost without agility is largely just straight line speed and can actually feel like it's decreasing the overall agility, thanks to the time it takes to slow down and turn even while giving you a boost in overall speed.

Faction Warp Disruptor or Tech 2?

Usually here would be the argument for Scrambler vs Disruptor, but if you are fitting or thinking of fitting a scrambler on your Vaga for anything but specialized work like killing another Vaga and then putting the warp disruptor back on your Vaga then you are doing something very wrong.

Faction Warp Disruptors have smaller fitting requirements and more importantly longer range to place your points out on targets.  With the Domination and Republic Fleet having ranges out to 30km, 28km for True Sansha and Dark Blood, 26 for Shadow Serpentis, and then Khanid, Dread Guristas, and Caldari Navy all match the t2 range of 24km with better overheating stats and fitting.  So what does that faction name get you besides an increased price tab?  Being able to engage outside of heavy neut range of 25.2km, and hold a target down long enough to kill them while being able to turn and run if needed without having to worry about cap warfare.

Tech 2 have a bit less fitting requirements if you are not willing to spend the extra 50-150 million isk on a faction warp disruptor they can work.  Overheated t2 can reach beyond heavy neut range, so can still sustain tackle on things that would otherwise dead-cap and kill you or drive you off.  Much lower price tag is the real difference though and can be worth it when money is tight.

Example Fittings

Stolen shamelessly from BattleClinic, we have the two highest rated fits for the Vagabond.

First and highest rates is the "Mighty Gabe fit."  Notice the dual LSE in the mids as well as the Neut fit in the highs.  Here Gabe went for more tank and lost very little speed over the Polycarb rigged version because of the addition of a single Nanofiber in the lows.  This fit has a good mix of speed, survivability and damage output.  One note is that as shown, you must fly with e PG implant, called the Hardwiring - Inherant Impants 'Squire' PG series, or for short PG2(1% power grid boost), PG4(3% power grid boost) and PG8(5% power grid boost).  That takes implant slot 6, so if you plan on flying with snakes and the Omega or using the CY-/MY- Series of speed implants you will be unable to do so.  However by downgrading one of the LSE to a best named Large F-S9 Regolith Shield inductor you can make it work without the need of a fitting implant.  Though this will, of course, lower your EHP.  Faction LSE use the same Power grid (grid) and CPU as a T2 LSE so no help there.

The so-called Pirate fit is designed to emphasize DPS and speed, while putting less of a premium on EHP.  With the Nanofiber of the above fit replaced with another Gyrostab, this fit pushes roughly 50 DPS more with just the guns than the above.  To fit the Dual t2 LSE's here you will also need the same powergrid impants as above.

These fits can both benefit from the addition of a set of Snakes or speed/agility increasing implants, moving their already impressive speed closer to the 5km/s overheated mark.  At that speed you tend to be fast enough to get out of dodge quickly when things go wrong, giving you the elusive striking power the Vagabond is known for.

A few Non-Traditional Fits for those who care...

The TD-Bond can be useful if you are planning on running in a gang and need to add a little ewar.  Very limited use though as you can only TD one target and if you are engaging a swarm of targets you might miss your second LSE more than wanting that TD.  If you are flying this solo good luck, and when you lose it expect to be laughed at on some level so be prepared to defend your fit.

With a Large cap battery in the place of the second LSE, the perma MWD Vagabond can do just that, run it's MWD without fail forever, however once you activate your Disruptor, your cap stability will be just under 9 minutes before you cap out.  This suffers from very low EHP and requires either the PG4 or PG8 implants to fit, or reduction to a best named shield extender will cost you yet more EHP but allow you to fit the PG2 implant.

3. Implants

The Vagabond gains tons from various implants.  Most notably Snakes and some hardwirings.

Snakes have a velocity modifier, giving you a increase in base speed of roughly 15% with low grade snakes and high grade snakes giving you a boost of roughly 22% in speed, both of these numbers include the Omega implant.  This boost can increase your ability to kite damage without the MWD active as well as increasing your MWDing speed allowing you to avoid tackle and other unsightly ends.  Many great Vagabond pilots owe much of their success to their snake sets and swear by them when flying the speedy Heavy Assault Cruiser.  Pirate implants use slots 1-6 with the Omega taking slot 6 and usually being the most expensive part of the set.  The LG Snake Omega is around 350-450m Isk. HG Snake Omega aka Snake Omega is around 3+ times that last time I looked.

Other pirate implants can be useful, but none so much as the Snakes, look at the full list here to determine your flavor.  (Get Snakes or on the outside Halo implants)

As for Hardwirings, Navigation hardwiring and Medium Projectile Hardwiring are the focus for the Vagabond pilot.


Most of the highly useful Navigation impants are also in slot 6.  The CY-2 gives you a 5% bonus to ship velocity, the MY-2 gives a 5% bonus to MWD and AB speed increase.  Both of these are slot 6 implants, however the cost of them is dramatically less than a low-grade snake Omega.  So if you are looking for a replacement for the LG snake Omega the CY-2 averages around 150m to 200 mil isk and gives you slightly more benifit than the MY-2 that costs between 75m and 125m isk.

The AY series gives a bonus to ship agility, and fits in Slot 7.  The cost for the AY-2 (5% bonus) is around 125m to 175m isk.

Slot 9 holds the last relevant implant, the GY series.  The GY-2 gives a reduction of MWD cap use of 5% at a cost of about 125m isk.


Slot 6 gunnery implants are for small turrets so don't are not used on the Vagabond.  Good news so you can fit the Navigation links you want or the Omega of your choice.

Slot 7 gunnery implants - 'Gunslinger' AX- implants add tracking, 'Deadeye' ZG- implants add falloff.  The 'Lancer' beta series implants reduce cap use of firing weapons so we are thankfully free from that constraint.

Slot 8 gunnery implants - Improve medium turret damages per race.  The 'Gunsliger' MX- Series are for medium projectile damage increase.  Since it does not share a used slot with the above navigation implants it makes a solid choice.

Slot 9 gunnery implants - 'Gunslinger' CX- implants increase turret damage of all types, while the 'Lancer' Delta increases all Turrets rate of fire, and lastly the 'Deadeye' ZGA increases all turrets optimal range and is useless mostly since the Vagabond fights in falloff and not in optimal.

Slot 10 Gunnery Implants most gunnery implants here are for Large turret damage and thus do not fit with the Vagabond, however one 'Gnome' Implant rears it's head here, the 'Gnome' KZA series reduces turret CPU need.  Useful for some fits of the Vagabond.

Note about Implants

No implants are required to fly the Vagabond and there are many more un-implanted vagabond pilots than implanted ones.  The utility you get from putting on even the 3% implants is well worth the isk investment in most cases.  Just remember to remain outside the bubbles so you can get your expensive pod out.  Suicide bumps are costly in bubbles.

4. Target Selection

Vagabond fit selected, check, rigs and MWD online, Check. guns loaded?  t2?  Barrage M loaded?  Check check check.  Now it's time to fight and die in the Vagabond.  Become the nano people hate and the dashing murderer they wish they could be.  But what to shoot first?

Top Targets

The Vagabond is lucky to have the speed of many a Frigate so it's survivability is without question, aka ability to get out when threatened.  However choosing the correct targets can still be a difficult, and dangerous task until you get used to the type of fight you should be engaging in your Vagabond.

You - Solo, Them - Any

With the tracking enhancer changes your engagement envelope is wide open, anywhere from 10 to 35km.  In one on one situations, you have a wide path of targets.  Feel safe engaging nearly any solo battleship without utility Highs(or just stay out of Heavy Neut range to keep your cap and with it your ability to leave when things go south), battle cruisers(mostly depending on pilot age, Drakes and Harbingers can be very tricky), Cruiser(other HAC's included, though Ishtars and Zealots will be tough), or Frigate hulls.

If range is maintained between 19-30km depending on your point, you can be untouchable, or rather unkillable, while being able to push DPS and avoid large turrets while out-ranging most medium ones.  The range buffer should allow you to engage at will.  Tougher targets like Drakes who get a nice damage bonus to kinetic and usually field a tough tank can still be engaged.  In all cases, if you maintain range and you start taking too much damage or look to be about to be pounced by backup, your superior speed should allow you to disengage and escape.  Use this ability often and wisely.

Notable exceptions to this rule are most Recon Ships, who all seem to be designed to kill Vagabonds or at least make life difficult.  Curse's in particular should be avoided!  Neuts from these can disable your MWD, cap you out and make you a sitting duck for their drones to kill.  Focused DPS on them might save you but their bonus to tracking disruption and ability to Neut out to ~37km can leave your cap dry in an instant and guns ineffective, unable to track, or reach the curse.

The main thing to remember ALWAYS is keeping proper skirmish distance from your opponent.  Any ship can carry a warp scrambler and once you lose your MWD/mobility, it's gonna either end in a lost Vagabond or a very close call.

You - in a fleet, Them - Fleet

During a fleet battle the two main uses for the Vagabond are heavy tackle, or mid-DPS.  Ideally piloted, the Vagabond should keep 20+km range, staying around the outside of the fight, helping to kill small, fast targets before they can land tackle on anything, skirmishing in and out of range to mitigate damage taken while providing tackle and secondary DPS after hostile tackle is off the field.

The main thing you should be worried about at that range are most Recons and Battleships.  Falcons and Rooks can be dealt with if you can clear or manage to miss their ECM attention long enough to get a lock and kill them, Arazu's can scramble out to 21-27KM, allowing them to disable your MWD for long enough for something else to tackle you, namely the 20+ Bombers they usually carry around in their back pocket.  Curse should be avoided/primary as well in this situation, as you will be one of their primary neut targets and easy meat for tracking disruption.  Rapiers are special cases as when solo you can usually crumple their shield tanks before they can get through yours, but in a fleet fight, webs will effectively do the same thing as a scram, killing your speed, allowing you to be tackled by others and killed.

Advanced Solo Targets

Harbingers, Drakes, Hurricanes, Cyclones, Myrmidon, Rapier, Huginn, Zealot, Ishtar, Cerberus, HAM Sacrilege or any BS with one free high slot are more advanced targets, especially difficult would be Tempests at range, Dominix and Armageddons.  While still not impossible, extra attention has to be made to watch your shields, capacitor, speed and range from target.  Watch what modules they are or are not using.  In the case of an Armageddon, sometimes they only fit a long range point and no web, allowing you to close inside their tracking and kill them before they can kill you.  Show info on the target, if you know who the pilot is, it can give you enough Intel to identify if the pilot is likely to have the support skills in place or a good fit in place that could pin you.  The Rapier and Huginn are tough targets because they are one of a few craft that can dictate range in the engagement, however your DPS is likely going to be higher than theirs (at pretty much every range) allowing you to usually drive them off in solo situations, sometimes fast enough to let you escape before their friends can get secondary tackle on you.

Ships to avoid

Not this time Mr. Curseypoo!
Curse, Vagabonds, Dramiel, Cynabals, Bhaalgorns, Machariels, Arazu and Lachesis.  For most they are deadly because they can limit your ability to leave when the fight isn't going your way.  Curse are especially deadly (if it seems I can't stress this enough, it's because I can't) thanks to an arsenal of bonused Tracking disruptors, Neut's and a multi-use drone bay.  In addition, avoid any ship that can do what you do, only better.  This means other skirmish ships, like the Dramiel, as they can easily out speed you, tank you long enough to get under your guns, and then proceed to slowly and painfully kill your ship.  A medium neut serves best as do small ECM or warrior drones to help you escape.  Cynabals are just as fast as a Vaga, or faster.  Usually pushing a bit more DPS and once again showing the ability to catch and tackle.  Other Vagabonds can be avoided as well, or kited if you are sure you are faster, unless you are sure that they are solo, in that case enjoy the 1v1!  Faction BS should be left alone in general unless you are sure of their fittings.  Bhaalgorns and Machariels you should be very careful with(read "run away from").  Both can engage and hit at range with the Bhaal having the nasty ability to remove all your cap in one cycle then close in and web you down from 20+km(and that's just the t2/best named numbers).

It's important to remember that leaving the field and returning soon after is easy and recommended in the Vagabond.  Creating and using bookmarks to drop pounce/retreat spots near gates or a fight are always a good idea.  These nearby spots can allow a quick warpout and warp back into the fight, disrupting enemy DPS and locks on your ship.

General Engagements

Often times solo you will only engage targets that you know you can kill easily and avoid those tougher targets.  Since the missile and need for speed changes the Vaga's signature radius has become more of a problem, requiring even more precise and careful movement to avoid return fire.  The Vaga remains one of the premier skirmish ships.

Though the Vagabond is a expensive HAC, if warped in at range and flown properly, one can escape from the fight before being killed.  It's thanks to this reputation that you should not hesitate to go in harms way, just keep your escape plan handy, transversal high, and never stop moving.  Watch your capacitor levels, it's important to understand just how much cap is needed for that one last burst from your MWD.  Keep yourself above that level to provide just one quick burst of speed to get out if possible.

5. Tactics

The Vagabond's role is most basically to get out to range or warp in outside of scram range, orbit at 19-27km depending on your point and throw damage downrange.  You pulse the MWD to keep range on the target and keep and eye out for any fancy tricks to get you close enough to scram, web, or Neut.  Some examples being; your target flying into the rock fields in belts to try to snag you on one of the roids, MWDing away from you to break your point or turn around and catch you pulsing your MWD to catch up, resulting in a dangerously close range and or tackle.


Usually orbit is set to just below your point's maximum range.  With a t2 warp disruptor that means just under 24km, around 20-23 KM from your target.  Usually this leaves you with a get out of dodge buffer if things turn sour.  Faction pointed, the Vagabond stays further out, 24-29 KM from target, to avoid any chance of a tackle that they can't escape, as well as out of Heavy neut range from the target.  Best named heavy Neuts can reach to 25.2 KM, so with a t2 warp disruptor even orbitting at your max range to hold a point is still inside neut range, so always keep an eye on your cap.  If you do not need to place point on the target, if they are in a bubble or already tackled, venturing closer to increase DPS can be useful against high damage targets as can staying outside of neut range in smaller battles or fluctuating situations where you never know what will be next on the field.  Set your default orbit to your best range and then manage orbiting closer with the right click menu on the target and orbit -> options, say at 10km, 15km or 20km.  If trying to keep a good distance, you can also use the same options to set orbit at current range.

Keep At Range/Approach

Both of these tactics can cause a lot of problems for the Vagabond pilot.  Since they both minimize your transversal, they allow your opponents to place effective hits on the shielding of the Vagabond.  Unless supported by a gang and going to try to uncloak a target approach should not be used.  Keep at range can move you back inside of a range of a target but since it can allow you to be hit more effectively, basically limiting your transversal, orbit is a much better option if you are going to use the buttons.

Manual piloting

Once familiar with orbiting at range, most vagabond pilots try to achieve the same kind of orbit using manual piloting.  With a manual piloting you can keep your range where you want it and also react more smoothly to any changes in velocity and direction your target might make.  Orbitting to remain abreast of your target instead of directly behind or in front of them is the best bet for manual piloting.  Keeping in these area's reduces your DPS slightly due to transversal but also prevents your targets from being able to MWD towards you quickly and catch you inside web/Neut or scram range, and also prevents them from easily MWDing away from you to break your point, or spin around and catch you as you try to catch up.

Anti-Drone combat

I'm just going to add a link to the Rifter drone combat section since though the Vaga is vastly more resilient to drone damage thanks to more EHP they can still be a threat and knowing the basics of removing them from the field is important.  So without further ado.... Linkie

6. Boosters

Upon Id's suggestion below,  I will expand a bit on this part of flying a Vaga.  While not required, boosters can help extend your range, tracking and DPS.  Boosters like Sooth Sayer, that modifies Falloff, Drop modifying tracking speed are the best used on the Vagabond.  Both can help increase your effective DPS by preventing misses (better tracking) or allowing more actual DPS on target by extending your falloff a bit more (Sooth Sayer).  Situationally, another good choice could be X-Instinct, to help reduce incoming missile damage by shrinking your sig radius some and making you a harder target given that your MWD is not blooming your sig radius to that of a small moon.  I have added a link for combat boosters from the eve online wiki to the bottom of this post.

7. Relevant Skills

The Vagabond, like most HAC class ships requires a heavy skillpoint investment.  However the Vaga shines through when more than just the base skillpoints are invested into it.  Sadly that leaves a rather long list here that I will break down into two groups.  The first are the requirements to fly the ship, and the second the skills that most directly effect the fitting, flying and abilities of the Vagabond.

Primary Skills

  • Minmatar Cruiser level 5, rank 5 - Needed of course to get in the ship at all.
  • Heavy Assault Ships level 4, rank 6 - See above
  • Assault Ships level 4, rank 4 - a requirement for HAC(Heavy assault ships, aka Heavy assault cruisers)
  • Engineering level 5, rank 1 - a requirement for AF (Assault ships, aka Assault frigs)
  • Mechanic level 5, rank 1 - a requirement for AF (Assault ships, aka Assault frigs)
  • Weapon Upgrades level 5, rank 2 - HAC requirement
  • Gunnery level 4, rank 1 - HAC requirement
  • Small Projectile turret level 5, rank 1 - Needed for t2 medium projectile turrets
  • Small autocannon spec level 4, rank 3 - Needed for t2 medium projectile turrets
  • Motion Prediction level 4, rank 2 - Needed for t2 medium projectile turrets, increases tracking on all guns.
  • Medium Projectile turret level 5, rank 3 - requirement for t2 Projectile turrets
  • Medium Autocannon spec 4, rank 5 - Spec skill for medium autocannon turrets, 2% bonus Rate of fire per level (RoF)
  • Trajectory Analysis level 4, rank 5 - Works in concert with the falloff bonus of the Vagabond, allowing you to extend falloff range a bit longer.
  • Advanced Weapon Upgrades level 4, rank 6 - Going to need all your Powergrid and CPU to fit a Vaga properly, this will help.
  • Shield Upgrades level 4, rank 2 - Frees up a bit more Powergrid from those Large shield extenders, drop to best named if t2's don't fit to free up some more grid.
  • High Speed Maneuvering level 1 rank 5 - This skill allows for the use of t1 and best named Micro Warp Drives (MWD's).  The one skill that will change your eve life forever.
  • Navigation level 3 rank 1 - Required to use MWD's, but it also increases your base speed, speed is life, level 3 is a minimum.
  • Afterburner level 3 rank 1 - Required to use MWD's
  • Acceleration control level 4 rank 4 - increases the speed pushed by your MWD and afterburners at a rate of 5% per level.  Only rank four to level this one up before High Speed Maneuvering for a faster speed gain.
  • Evasive maneuvering level 4 rank 2 - this skill increases ships agility, making you turn faster and get in and out safer.
  • Cybernetics 4 rank 3 - enables use of learning implants up to +4's and also a host of the 3% skill hardwiring implants to make you faster, hit harder and live.
  • Science level 4 rank 1 - Enabling skill to train Thermodynamics!
  • Thermodynamics level 4 rank 3 - Allows you to overheat your modules for a short amount of time, boosting DPS, speed, range of your warp disruptor and neut cycle time.  All this can help you move faster, point at longer ranges and maintain point, get faster kills and neut out tackle quicker keeping your bacon raw.  You can use Nanite repair paste to repair the damaged modules in space.  Always carry some.
  • Nanite interfacing level 3 rank 3- 20% increase in repaired amount on a damaged module per second.
  • Nanite Operation level 3 rank 2 - 5% per level reduction in consumption of nanite repair paste to repair modules.
Secondary or Advanced Skills

Those skills are all well and good, but to get the most out of your vaga you are going to need a whole lot more!  Most of these skills should be trained up to at least 3-4 anyways, pushing them to 5 will give you a strong advantage.

  • Heavy Assault Ship level 5, rank 6 - This gives you the extra edge, adding even more falloff and damage to your hull, it is a long train but worth it in the end.
  • Advanced Weapon Upgrades 5, rank 6 - Another long train but the bonus PG it gives is a lifesaver for any ship fitting, not just for the Vagabond, likely get this before HAC 5.
  • All gunnery support skills to 4 or 5.  They are in the order you should get them : Motion Prediction rank 2, 5% bonus to tracking per level.  Rapid Fire rank 2, 4% rate of fire bonus per level.  Surgical Strike rank 3, 3% damage bonus per level.  Trajectory Analysis rank 5, 5% falloff bonus per level.  Sharpshooter rank 2, 5% optimal bonus per level (doesn't help that much as you fight in falloff).  Controlled Bursts don't effect projectiles since they use no cap!
  • Navigation skills are a MUST for this ship to be at it's best.  Every extra m/s counts in the equation of dead Vaga vs escaping Vagabond.  This means almost every Navigation skill to five, minus Afterburner, Fuel conservation and any and all capital jump skills.
  • Shield upgrades 5 rank 2 - gives you that touch more PG to make everything fit and is required even with a PG implant to make two t2 Large shield extenders fit properly, or you can drop to one t2 and one best named for a slight drop in EHP.
  • Cybernetics 5 rank 3 - if you plan on flying with the best implants in your head, namely HG snakes or any of the 5% speed implants/Omega implant for the snake set.
  • Capacitor skills - Energy Management level 5 rank 3, gives you 5% more cap per level.  Energy systems Operation level 5 rank 1, this will give your cap faster recharge, helping to keep your cap alive for a bit longer to power that MWD!  5% recharge per level.
  • Shield recharge skills - Gotta have those shields up for as long as possible!  Shield Management level 5 rank 3, gives 5% bonus capacity per level while Shield Operation level 5 rank 1, gives 5% per level faster recharge.  Both are very important skills to have.
  • Energy Emission level 4 rank 2, 5% per level reduction in cap use of Neutralizer modules, well okay any energy emission module but the Neut is what is important here!
  • Medium Autocannon spec level 5 rank 5 - it's pushing the ends of the skill plan but the extra damage can't hurt if you have time.
  • Thermodynamics level 5 rank 3 - Like above, but this time level 5 for a bit more time overheated.
  • Nanite Interfacing level 4-5 rank 3- 20% increase in repaired amount on a damaged module per second.
  • Nanite Operation level 4-5 rank 2 - 5% per level reduction in consumption of nanite repair paste to repair modules.  Make repairs much faster with these two skills for less use of the repair paste, especially now that price for the paste is increasing, thanks PI.
  • Biology level 4 rank 1 - for use of boosters
  • Neurotoxin Recovery level 4 rank 5, cost of around 300 mil isk right now since it is not seeded, but reduces the side effects duration of using combat boosters.
  • Nanite Control level 4 rank 2, gives less a chance of the side effects happening, making your boosters that much better to use.

8. Useful links
Art of's Series;