Excited yet?

It’s been a busy couple of weeks IRL and while I’ve managed to snag an hour here and there for EVE I haven’t had the pleasure of a long, uninterrupted play session. Knowing this, I’ve taken the approach of staying close to home in Ishomilken, perhaps going a few jumps away. This keeps my travel time to a minimum.

I also decided that, since time was a premium, I was going to stop being overly aggressive and wasting the time needed to schlep my pod home and re-fit a ship. I used to refer to this over-aggressiveness as “getting kill horny” when I played shooters. Whenever I was the caller and things were slow in the match I would remind the guys to be patient and wait for the other team to get horny enough to come around the corner.

So, being “un-horny” means checking a target’s killboard, having an escape plan, and being willing to let the fight come to me. With the last two kills I’ve managed to execute this approach.

A few nights ago I had gone a few jumps away from home, found nothing, and was backtracking through the pipe. As I jumped into Isho I pinged a Moa and Retribution on scan. As I warped to a safe I was able to confirm they were in (or at) the medium complex. I checked the corporations of the pilots in system and didn’t see any similarities. Drones were showing up on the scan, making me think this might be a legitimate fight and I warped to the beacon at 30.

As I landed I saw my suspicion confirmed – these two were having a go at it. The Retribution locked me up immediately and I returned the favor, launching my drones at him. MWD on, I was content to merrily kite them both, manually piloting to stay out of tackle and range of the Moas’ blasters. The Retribution’s tank started breaking and I swooped in to point him as he went into structure. He popped and I quickly turned to the Moa. I made a piloting error here. He began sending his drones after mine and noticing this, I tried to bring one back and launch another. My MWD was still on and quickly shot me out of point range. He was in armor by this point and quickly warped off. I honestly believe I had him dead to rights if not for losing point.

C’est la vie.

Last night I logged in, took a quick tour around the home systems and saw nothing happening. I needed some ISK so I switched over to my alt who is off in null sec doing some exploration. I managed to find a wormhole to high sec so it was off to market to unload the cargo hold. Finishing that, I hopped back into null and ran a data site that had one nice data center. I safed up and logged, figuring I would make another Citadel Neighborhood Watch™ round.

I tried a couple systems and found it was still dead. As I jumped into Manjonakko I picked up a Merlin on scan. Perfect! I warped to the novice plex and activated the gate but he was nowhere to be found. He was still on 1AU scan so I bounced back to the gate. Nothing. I decided to just orbit the gate and see what would happen. Some traffic pops in and out of the system, I got distracted, and before I knew it a Fed Comet was landing on grid. Time to go. I aligned out and warped.

As I was warping to a safe, I decided to check this pilot’s KB. He had the look of a newer player that has fallen victim to Youtube solo videos and the idea that spending ISK will make you better at PvP. Lots and lots of faction frigates have ejected his pod. I looked at his last Comet fit – blasters. I now begin thinking that I may have a chance at snagging a really nice solo kill. He was still in the novice plex so I warped to the gate at range. Remember that part about getting kill horny? I decided the LAST thing I’m going to do is activate that gate and land on top of him, which is what he wants me to do. Instead, I decided to be patient, wait on the gate and fight him on my terms.

Sure enough, he disappeared from my 1 AU scan and re-appeared a few seconds later.

I launched drones.

As I’ve done the last few fights in my Tristan, I kited him like a boss, never drifting within scram/web range. He tried to alternatively approach and then align to me, never getting anywhere. At one point he tried to take out my drones but it’s all for naught. I felt kind of bad for the guy – I gave him a ‘gf’ and he raged hard in local and I could understand why. Sympathy aside, I loved that fight because I did things right, especially setting up the fight to my benefit instead of being impatient and letting him dictate it.

Oh, and in case you’re wondering, according to Eveovermind, I had a 14% chance of winning that fight.

I love beating the odds.

Posted in Frig PVP, Solo Action, Stay Frosty, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Luck of the Irish

I celebrated St. Patrick’s day with a good dose of Boulevard Irish Ale, my traditional viewing of Darby O’Gill and the Little People and a wee bit of EVE. The first two guaranteed that out-of-game was great, but the EVE portion also turned out to be a good night. I say that not so much due to results (more on that later) but because it met some basic criteria for having “a good night” in EVE. These criteria are best explained in some questions I try and answer as I’m logging for the night:

Did I learn something?

To help answer this question I’ve begun using FRAPS to record my fights. I’ve started looking for what I’m doing wrong but also to see if my assumptions about my opponent were correct, both prior to the fight and also as it plays out. Beyond the actual PVP, did I learn something about the systems I prowl, who is living there, how big the systems are, etc.  Maybe I learned something about a fitting or an out-of-game tool or website. Learning is good, but sometimes it can still leave a bad taste in my mouth especially if the lesson(s) involved losing ships.

Did I try something new?

I’ve started looking for opportunities to push my comfort level. I’m also still experimenting with fits and ships to find one that really sings to me. Maybe I tried roaming somewhere new. Regardless, if I’m going to enjoy my time I can’t be stagnant. If there’s no content around, I’m trying to go find it.

Did I set the stage for my next play session?

Maybe it was just a lousy night. If I can focus on “what I’m going to try next” it will take the sting away. Again, having FRAPS available can really be an asset here as I’m quickly finding things that work and things that don’t.

On St. Patties day, the answer to all three questions was “yes”, making for a very productive evening. I have found that I really like having a MWD, even in lowsec. I’m learning that controlling range is really critical to getting frigates to perform optimally. My latest experiment is a MWD, shield buffer Tristan fit. It does good damage and provided I can stay out of scram and web range, I can control range. Jumping into Uuna I noticed that local was climbing. Seemed to be about a six-person gang. I scanned some nasty stuff around but also a couple potential targets including a Stiletto.  Checking the novice plex I saw several ships – either a fight happening or one about to. I decided to see if I could bait a fight and be slippery enough to peel off some tackle and kill it.

I warped to 50.

There’s a Fed Navy Comet on the gate that landed at almost the same time as I did. I start aligning to the sun, MWD off and I wait. Sure enough, a minute later here comes the Stiletto. I watch his speed – he is burning for me. I light my MWD and launch drones (Acolyte II’s). Cruor also lands @ gate and starts burning. We’re about 80 off the plex gate so I start to swoop back for the Stiletto for long point. I make a mistake here and hit ‘orbit’ which actually swings me back toward the Cruor.  He lands web and scram on me as the Stiletto is now burning away. I switch drones to the Cruor but I’m not doing much good. I re-align to the sun and it turns out my suspicion was right and I am fast enough to get out of his point range. I heat my MWD (as the Stiletto now has me long-pointed) and just as I burn out my MWD I’m able to warp off.  I didn’t kill anything but I successfully fought outnumbered, and almost dropped that Stiletto. If I had Warrior II’s they may have been able to keep up with the Stiletto. That’s a lesson learned.

I’m not sure why but I decide to try a MWD Kestrel. Trying the same technique I find a Slicer that I want to bait into a fight. I warp to a novice plex that I see has a Navy Maulus in it, thinking I can hit the plex gate, light my MWD to pull range from the Maulus and get a three-way fight going. Sure enough, Slicer lands on the gate with me, I hit the gate and land in the plex. Before I can even align or pulse my MWD the Maulus pilot has me pointed. While not certain, I’m pretty sure he was running links, especially as his W:L stats seem to bear. Anyway, splash one Kestrel.

Disgusted by what was not a good fight (or even a very fair one), I logged off and piddled around with some other things. Of course the itch didn’t go away and I thought I would give the Tristan one more try. I logged back on and found that a Thrasher was desecrating a small complex in my home system. Several thoughts go through my mind here, the first being that I have no business attacking a Thrasher in a Tristan. There is another thought competing with that one. It keeps saying “you’ll never get an awesome kill if you don’t stretch yourself a little.”

I go for it.

As I land I’m getting ready to pulse my MWD with the goal of controlling range. I’m thinking that if I can just stay outside Barrage range and inside long point range I might have a chance. Hit the gate, land on beacon and pull range. I get him pointed and fumble a bit launching my drones. Rather than orbit, I work on manual piloting around him. He is also MWD but is either trying to hit ‘orbit’ or ‘approach’ which is doing him no good. I actually noticed that he starts aligning out as he is going into structure and I start burning toward him to not lose point.

He pops.

He barely scratched my shields.

I dock up and spend the next 15-20 minutes chatting in corp and alliance chat because I am so wound up from the kill that I am unwilling to log for the night. As it turns out, he wasn’t fit all that great and his missed shots were probably due to the lack of tracking on the arties. All the same, if I hadn’t manually piloted and he had managed to get a couple lucky hits I would have been a goner.

I think I like this Tristan fit. I shall name him Darby.


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One month in…

So, it has been about a month since making the move to A Band Apart and Stay Frosty and trying to get back to my roots as a small-gang / solo PvP’er.  Here’s a few lessons I’ve learned:

  1. I have GOT to stop going back out for “one more gud fite” after I’ve had too much to drink.
  2. Even without the beer goggles, I need to figure out a good UI layout that gives me the information I need at-a-glance. Still playing around with this.
  3. I really like the Merlin but I’m trying to find a good fit. I like it because it will invariably get me a fight but it’s a hard ship to win in. Hmmm… probably why I have no trouble finding a fight…
  4. I’ve played EVE a long time but it is still an adrenaline rush to be down to a sliver of structure hoping for that one last volley to punch through your opponent’s last sliver of structure.

Overall stats for the month are not bad, but not great either. (Really, really have to remember lesson #1 above). 21 kills with 769 million ISK destroyed and 16 losses worth 340 million ISK, for about 70% efficiency. The most memorable fights happened the other night when I solo’d a Stiletto in a Merlin before his fleet landed on me, and then later our gang took out a Confessor that derped into scram/web range. I guess I technically have tonight left to see if I can coax a few more percentage points of efficiency so we’ll see how that goes. Either way, it’s been a fun ride so far.


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I feel old…

So Tai recently had a birthday that almost coincided with my (latest) return to “active” status in EVE. Tai is now seven years old, which is “getting up there” for characters. If I had maintained an active subscription for all that time I imagine the skill point total would be quite impressive.  So, I’m feeling my age in game.

I’m also feeling my age trying to play the game. Way, way back when there was this thing called “CAL” (Cyber Amateur League) I was actually a competitive gamer, competing on the “Main” level of the league in one first-person shooter (CS:S) and playing in a non-competitive capacity in another shooter title  (ET:QW). After about a year solid, I realized that my days of “practice” and “stratting” for hours on end had to go – both a result of my reflexes degrading, but also as I kept adding to the number of kids in the house.

Fast-forward to present and my time for gaming is swinging back the opposite direction. My oldest son is now 14 and he and I play some online titles together. Since I’ve become more active again (see my previous homage to 80’s hair metal) it is painful to see that my reflexes have only gotten worse and now I struggle somewhat with information overload. In the past week alone I have lost a pod because I couldn’t switch to my warp-out tab, missed at least two tackles by simply not coordinating CTRL+click, and lost a Confessor without firing a shot because I mis-clicked in space and was basically sitting still. I’m hoping that this is just an adjustment period to the quick-and-brutal nature of low sec PVP and not further evidence that my skills are eroding to the point of non-existence. I guess time will tell.

I’m seriously thinking of grabbing something fast, maybe svipul or confessor, and going out to null and getting a refresher on kiting. That, or I need to figure out how to coax fights in low sec that aren’t “land at 0 on beacon and DIAF”. Wish me luck and if you feel sympathetic to the old man, donations of Quafe or Drop are welcome.

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Didn’t Whitesnake write a song with this title?

True confession: I love 80’s glam metal. Given what’s been happening lately, this seems quite fitting:

Yes, here I go again indeed.


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Harder than I remember

Well, I have jumped back into PvP with both feet and the results have been, shall we say, mixed…  I find it hard to believe that I’ve actually lost two pods now in low sec.  At first I thought it was my client lagging out at the session change, but now I’m pretty sure it’s just slow reactions.  Gotta work on switching to my warpout tab quicker.

I have managed to bag a couple solo kills, although my efficiency is in the toilet at the moment.  Had a really good fight Incursus versus Punisher and then lost the same Incursus to an Atron.  I could not close range and ended up losing that fight.  Lost my pod as well.

On a humorous note, for the first time in my EVE career I actually have a bounty placed on me.  I was trying to engage a Kestrel and Rifter in Isoma (the same system where I lost to the Atron) and rather than fight me, they warped away twice and I had a bounty put on me.  I found it rather amusing.

After all this time in EVE I’ve never had a bounty on my head… I feel like I’m suddenly in the cool kid crowd.

On a somewhat related note, I am trying to get back into the habit of recording my fights – once I have a handle on the whole process once more, I’ll start uploading them.

See you in low sec!

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More musings

As I mentioned in my last post (from earlier today) I am looking forward to getting back into EVE for a while at least.  While I’m not exactly sure what it was that led me back the new features have certainly played into it.  I’ve already fallen in love with the jump effects and the latest UI changes (specifically bookmarks) are freakin’ sweet.  So last month I decided to ante up and re-activate my main and alt accounts.

One problem…

Both characters were located in what had become Goon space.

A quick Google search showed that I could load up one ship and request a move to high sec.  Great!  Only problem with that approach is I had about 25 ships and assorted modules scattered over about 10 stations in Null.  I spent the first three nights setting up contracts (all with the description of ‘Fire Sale’) and picking the one ship I would move to highsec in.  That accomplished I was in a position to get familiar with EVE again.  I reached out to a couple old contacts but a lot had changed in two years.  After kicking around some options I posted a ‘Looking for Corp’ thread on the official forums.  Some nice alternatives opened up and I joined a corp that was in the process of assimilating into Black Legion.  Moved a few ships and then my beloved Kansas City Royals made it to the Wild Card, then to the ALDS, then won the pennant.  By the time we got MadBum’d in game seven, two weeks had gone by and BL left low sec for Null and started shooting structures.  Thanks, but no thanks.

Which brings me to the point of this post.  After being gone for two years, I know a few things I don’t want to do:

  1. Shoot structures or mess with 0.0 Sov.  I hate it.  Blob mechanics at it’s worst plus you are beholden to the corp timer.  I’m over forty years old and it kind of bugs me to have a 20-something ‘CEO’ tell me when and where he wants me to be.  That eliminates pretty much all sov-holding 0.0 alliances.
  2. Grind for ISK.  There are way too many demands on my time and when I log on I want to PVP, not grind for ISK to fund my PVP.  If that means I buy and sell PLEX, so be it.  I’m done shooting red crosses or trying to wrap my brain around industry or trading in this game.
  3. Be social.  I know, I know; it’s an MMO and I should be a social creature.  Problem is, I just want to indiscriminately shoot things on my own schedule.  If I have only an hour to play, so be it.  I log on, I pew and log off.

Given items 1 through 3 I’ve pretty much painted myself into the unfamiliar territory of being a low sec denizen.  I am slowly coming to terms with the fact that I am embracing a destiny that will lead to, as Kane Rizzel used to sub-title his blog, “having red on me”.  So be it.  I’m still a decent enough fellow – my boys think I’m pretty awesome after all – but I will be looking for willing (or unwilling) combatants in FW plexes.

So, if you see me in local, say ‘Hi’ and welcome me back.  Then overload everything because I’m planning to add you to my killboard.

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Like an old pair of slippers…

Well, after a really, really, really long time away I decided to come back to EVE about a month ago. I was reluctant to re-fire Tai One On mainly because I wasn’t sure if it was going to last. I had a false-start in the intervening time that lasted not long at all. Now that I’ve been back and had a month to re-evaluate what it is I want to do in EVE, I think re-energizing the blog is part of it. I’ll be posting more, maybe even this afternoon, about my plans for the short and long-term and my plans for the blog.

I guess the best thing I can say is – stay tuned – there is more to come.

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Why, hello there Delve…

Along with the rest of the CFC, I have deployed to Delve to assist in evicting -A- from the region.  This happened, as to be expected, right when I had to leave town for a mini-vacation and the Independence Day holiday.  Over the weekend I finally had time to get my feet under me and join some ops.  In addition, I’m also taking initiative to lead some fleets, taking the tactics I learned in previous employment and putting them to good use.

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The Escape Act

Just a quick post today relating a roam that ended horribly for some fellow alliance mates.  We took an assortment of Assault Frigs (I was in a Malediction) into a dead-end pocket in Tribute, looking for trouble.  On our way home we found it.  Jumping into GIH-ZG we notice local has added about 10 neutrals.  Scans of the out gate show some nastiness including a couple Vagabonds, Cynabal and a Broadsword.  We figure we can crash the gate and make a hasty retreat through S8-NSQ.  The first part of our assumption was correct; the second part…. not so much.

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