Sunday, May 5, 2013

Fighting monotany

Every once in a while, boredom hits. You can only have the same fights against the same people so many times before you need a change. To shake things up, we war-decced an alliance more than ten times our size and started camping their high-sec home.

High-sec is such a different place to fight. There's no bubbles, plenty of stations to hide from pursurers in, and neutral scouts are everywhere. A lot of the wardec was spent in and near stations. We played station games because we got a laugh out of it, they played station games because it kept us hooked long enough for them to form a blob. If we docked up, it was either to find out where that sole red in local was hiding, or to wait out the blob.

The lack of bubbles helped the other side a lot more than it helped us. We eventually started using remote sensor boosted interceptors, but even that wasn't enough, since almost all of the people we tried to catch had warp stabilizers fitted. The percentage of people on Teamspeak who vocalized a desire for a bubble at least once? 100%. We missed a lot of frigates that simply aligned and warped off before we could get more than a couple points on them.

That said, industrials and mining ships made for great targets. I happened to get incredibly lucky one night, and caught a bunch of them in a row. The first was a Hoarder that I chased through a few gates until he warped to a POCO at zero. Being the nice guy I am, I held him there for five minutes while a couple corpies swung by to get in on the killmail. He managed to warp his pod off, but went straight for the station. Thanks to the docking delay that occurs when your ship pops, I caught up to him and popped the pod before his timer was up.

Industrial number two was a Noctis that blithely undocked from the station I was sitting on. He jumped a couple gates before running into the small camp on the other side that I'd called for when it became obvious where he was heading. He had a full cargo hold too: salvage, loot, random odds and ends. He must have been completely asleep at the helm to miss me chasing him into a bottleneck. The third industrial was actually rather sad. A Bestower warped to the gate I was sitting on, and I followed him through. When he decloaked, I was three thousand metres away. Lock, scram, shoot.

For a scout, I brought down a throw-away character who I'd trained to sit in a Venture and use Mining Laser 1s. Nothing like a little bit of camouflage to help stalk other miners. Even with their warp strength bonus, war target Ventures are an easy kill when you set up a warp-in at zero for a squad of frigates. Procurers, even with their impressive tanks, melt quickly when the same frigate ball lands on them at point-blank range. On the other hand, there were some miners who were impossible to catch napping. The moment a red showed up in system, they were in warp to a station. Some of us tried log-in traps to catch only particularily slippery Retriever, but the pilot had the good sense to never go back to the same belt.

The only time our war target ever gave us trouble was when we tried to upship to battlecruiser size or larger. Such was the price we paid for warring with someone so much larger than us. The largest fleet we managed all war was twelve, and it took fifteen minutes for things to end rather poorly. In the EVE variant of rock/paper/scissors, eight Vexors and four tackle frigates don't beat a thirty-some battlecruiser gang.

Since anything cruiser size or larger attracted a blob, I spent the wardec flying Rifters and Slashers. With my scout to provide warp-ins, I spent a lot of my time as the point man, both figuratively and literally. Add a number of cruiser and battlecruiser kills to my solo hunting, and April turned out to be my most violent month yet. Twenty-one kills more than doubled my total, and I managed it while only losing four Rifters and one Slasher.

Sadly, this means I'm no longer close to the worst PVPer in my corp. Now when I lose something expensive, people are actually going to make fun of me for it. *Sigh* Such is the price of success.

Yeah right. Like they didn't already do that.

- Sam

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