Sunday, February 17, 2013

Curbing aggressive tendencies

Gate-camps are a special kind of hell for me.

There's nothing quite like the sight of a Sabre and some Tornados waiting for you to de-cloak. You stop thinking about saving your ship, and starting thinking about how to save your pod. My survival rate against camps with a Sabre was, until yesterday, a flat zero. I must be learning, as I'm now 1 for whatever (probably ~7) when stuck in a 'dictor bubble.

I've learned the hard way that aggressing on the camper(s) won't much help unless A) You're obviously able to kill them or B) You brought enough gum ECM for everyone. I can manage neither. Having forsaken many other skills for the ability to fly logistics ships, I've got neither firepower nor ECM to rely on.

The very first gate-camp I ever ran into was a pair who managed to do surprisingly little DPS. My reaction was probably that of many other new players. It started with "FIRE ALL ZE GUNS" and ended with "What do you mean I can't jump through the gate?" I still had 20 seconds left on my aggression timer when I finally went pop.

Since then, I've never aggressed on a camp. I know I don't have any chance of killing them before they get me, so I point my ship at the gate and spam Jump. A PVE-fit Scimitar did what none of my other ships have done: Got back to the gate and got away safely.

Scimis are tough ships to begin with, T2 resists and 5 mid slots give you the option to set up some fierce shields. Minimum resist in the 80s and a small sig radius means it takes a lot less than full damage, and you can skip adding large amounts of buffer. Being PVE fit meant an afterburner instead of a micro warp drive, so there was no ballooning sig radius, and the warp scrambler on me didn't prevent me from getting up to my top speed.

I couldn't warp away of course, not with the Sabre pilot trying to stick his ship in the exact same piece of space as mine, but I got moving toward to the gate before the other Sabre pilot could try to bump me away. From there, it was just a bit of button mashing, and I was safely back on the other side of the gate.

It certainly wasn't pilot skill that saved my ship, but a combination of factors that worked out just right. I had an afterburner, they had warp scramblers. I was near top speed before the second Sabre woke up and tried to bump me away. I was fit with a high-resist omni tank, they had seconds to try and break it.

Still, that's 130 million that's not making my killboard look even worse. This whole 'not aggressing' thing seems to be one of my first bright ideas to actually pay off. Time for a new one don't you think? I've got decent drone skills... Maybe an armor tanked Vexor with point/web/web? I'd like to try that against a Sabre some time. Given how often I see them, I'll be able to test it sooner or later.

- Sam.

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