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 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.