Monthly Archives: June 2013

Starting out as a FC Q&A 26/06/2013

So I ran another “Starting out as a FC Q&A” for EVE UNI. I was a bit unwell so it was fairly informal and relaxed, but I had some good fun  and it was nice to chat with some old friends in there.

You can find the recording here.

Thanks to Chloe C Connor of EVE University for doing the recording, as well as EVE University itself for having me.

Staying Safe in Space 101

Or at least, doing everything reasonably possible to be aware of your surroundings and achieve your goals without losing your ship unnecessarily. Let’s talk about Concordless space, specifically anywhere not high-sec. Much of what I mention here will also apply to high-sec, but CONCORD does add a nice safety blanket in 0.5+ which I’m not going to take into account here.

Last night I ran a fleet based on some intel we had received of a E-UNI mining Operation. This fleet lead to two great examples of different group not taking appropriate precautions and thusly losing ships unnecessarily. First, the E-UNI miners:

They were out in Syndicate which is very near to where Waffles are deployed, so naturally we went to say hi. Now, the plan was that we had a cloaky Hictor logged off in their mining system, we would warp him in, he’d bubble up and cyno us so we could bridge in off a borrowed Titan, then we could get some bear killmails and have a brawl with the defense fleet. At worst, the miners would be playing intelligently and we’d get a fight out of the defense fleet, which is pretty much all we wanted anyway.

Sadly, the E-UNI defense fleet consisted of a single Thorax, so we kind of just killed everything, including members of two other gangs that were planning to kill them before we dropped in:

This was my first time doing an Op where we were a) shooting non-combat ships and b) bridging in off of a Titan. Watching the recording now makes me realise how chill and clinical the whole thing was, like giving the baby Unistas a ganking vaccine. A little pain now so (hopefully) they learn how to avoid the same thing happening in the future.

Battle Report:

Despite the nefariousness and a fair bit of butthurt that occurred afterwards, all of them could have avoided losing their barges through basic safety tips everyone should know, any one of these could have saved them.

1) Mine aligned

If you are insistent upon gnawing on those tasty Null asteroids, make bookmarks or use celestials at opposite ends of each belt such that you can align down the belt, do a pass of mining, then realign back and continue mining. This way the second anything appears in local or on D-Scan you can immediately warp to a safer spot, and even dock up until  the danger has passed.

2) If there are neutrals in local, don’t mine

If you are in null-sec and there are people in local who are not blue to you they WILL be trying to kill you, or relaying information about you to other people who will do it for them.

3) Watch D-Scan

If you’re mining ~dangerzone~, anything that can bubble you to prevent your prealigned escape will be either warping in decloaked or be cynoed in on top of you. Purely by paying attention  to D-Scan the miners could have noticed an Onyx in space (even noticing it warping in their direction if they had multiple people scanning at different ranges).

4) Choose your location carefully

EZA-FM is a well travelled system in a region (Syndicate) historically known for multiple PvP-based entities living there and in general lots of fights happening, EZA-FM itself is in the middle of a web of systems, it has 4 adjacent systems which themselves have many adjacent systems of their own. If you must mine, do it in a lesser-travelled back-pocket with limited ingress and egress so you can take advantage of picket scouts (throwing an alt into a system on a gate where you can watch local and keep track of travel.

I am ashamed to say that I have Exhumers 5 on my character from my life before I joined EVE University and SniggWaffe, so I can appreciate the sadness, but by not taking any of the above precautions, as well mining in such a well-traveled system I’m afraid I have little sympathy for the UNIbros who lost their vessels.

Just because you’re in PvP ships and have a trap planned does not mean you are prepared appropriately. On our way back home our +1 reported a gatecamp on the ingate in K5-, where there was a SFI and a few other bits and bobs sat in an anchored bubble. The most important part of this was that the system we were in, that any potential targets they would be shooting at would come from, was empty. i.e they had no scouts telling them what was going to jump on top of them.

I warped our whole fleet to the gate and told our Drake to jump through. Yes, the most obvious bait in the world, but bear with me. Probably rather pleased with themselves, they decloaked multiple bombers and started torping our drake, so we just jumped everyone else in and started blapping. Sadly the lock times on BCs aren’t that great and they were all on the edge of the bubble, but thanks to our own bubbles we managed to snag a few kills.

Guys, seriously. Gatecamping 101. Hell, EVE 101: Know what’s on the other side of the gate.

In summary, the way to stay reasonably safe in EVE and not lose your ship unnecessarily is to have a good awareness of your surroundings and be able to asses threats. Both of these things become vastly easier with experience, but they are critical ideas for any pilot or organisation nonetheless. By performing a few basic safety measures you can save yourself a lot of time and ISK.

Apoth ♥

DickCats 102 & Gallente Supremacy

A while ago I posted a fun fleet Doctrine, lovingly named DickCats.

Since then, the support ships have undergone some iteration. The original post is still completely valid, these are just alterations made due to common engagements Waffles get, and thus how each ship has been optimised.

The Celestis

The Celestis remains the epic support ship, for more details on why Celestis are so awesome you can read my previous post which was dedicated to the topic. The fit largely remains the same, but I’ve swapped the smartbombs for rapid light missiles.

Don’t get me wrong, smartbombs are still useful for killing drones, but I velieve that the RLMs are more useful in more situations. In general DickCats can’t project damage, to the point where we pretty much always have Null ammo loaded (which we can do thanks to the tracking bonus on the Thorax hull) and if a frigate decides to stay more than 13k away from us there’s nothing we can really do to them. Sure, damps are amazing vs frigates but by blowing them out of the sky you can apply the EWAR modules to other things. The RLMs mean we can apply DPS to these ships, as well as adding to the overall DPS of the fleet by having them fire upon the primary. The otehr advantage is that the Celestis can sit with the logi, potentially further away from incoming DPS, which makes me happier about going for two EWAR rigs rather than going for all trimarks or one EWAR rig and one trimark, which is a serious consideration on the sbing version.

The ExeqAuguror

The Exequror has undergone something more of a change, in that it’s now an Augoror. In Waffles Augorors are more common, and have the advantage of stiffer tanks and being able to permarun reps more easily, as well not having to worry about running out of cap boosters. The fit I use is pretty standard, which is great because it means we can use them is all our armour fleets. Some people prefer to go for a third trimark than an EM rig, but immediately regret it when they find themselves under fire from the multiple popular laser doctrines of the day.

You’ll also notice that I prefer one ECCM and one sensor booster, rather than the more common double ECCM. Obviously this is a counter to the ever growing in popularity of sensor damps over ECM (again, see this post I wrote recently on the topic), but also by preloading the scan resolution script you can lock up your repping target much more quickly. and thus apply that logi love before your target gets alphaed more easily, which is more of a danger with armour tanking than shield as armour reps land at the end of the module cycle, rather than shield which apply at the start.

Gallente Supremacy

Moving away from DickCats now, I ask you to recall a very old post I made mentioning, amongst other things, a shield Myrmidon fit. Since then CCPs Fozzie and Rise have been through the rebalance of T1 Battlecruisers, and given my standard implant set for lowsec being the fantastic Genolutions, you can now get OVER 1000 DPS from the damn thing, while maintaining a great tank and resist profile.

Like, seriously CCP? I haven’t had the opportunity to fly it yet, but am chomping at the bit to do so once Waffles return to Todifrauan after our impromptu holiday to bomb, torpedo and generally haze everything in the North-West (thanks Mittani!).

Apoth ♥

How do I Celestis?

The Celestis is a wonderful ship, and I firmly believe sensor dampening to be the strongest of the current EWAR and have been lobbying for more use of it in my fleets since November of last year. This is my current favourite Celestis fit for my Dickcat Doctrine, though i’d happily use it in any small-medium armour brawling fleet:

I use the smartbombs for anti-drone, though you can happily replace them with Rapid Light Missile Launchers for a touch more DPS. PL also recently release a Celestis fit for us to use in their AHAC fleets (when we get invited). It focuses a little more on tank, but does largely the same thing.

It’s probably best known for the flavour of the month frigate fits for small and novice FW plexs, such as the gheyness tridamp Hookbill, ran with all the links so your locking range plummets to nothing while you get pounded with missiles. It’s pretty much like having guaranteed ECM in this scenario. L33T PvP indeed.

However, Sensor Dampening is also useful in general fleet engagements, you can damp off all kinds of EWAR sat at the edge (especially opposing ECM, it’s pretty much the hardcounter) and make life very difficult for sniping/long range kiting gangs. Their main use however is preying upon opposing logistics, and I know of three main ways you can get your contingent of Celestis (No, it’s not Celestii) to wreak havoc on the opposing logistics support.

1 – Spread targeting range dampening scripts

In the days of yore when damps were completely ignored, it was popular for the logistics support to any fleet to sit as far away from the fighting as possible to stay out of blapping range. Even today pulling range has its place. If the opposing logi are sufficiently far from the people they are trying to rep, reducing all of their ranges to the point where they can no longer actually apply reps meaning a) no more logi or b) you force them to burn in, potentially into the range at which your fleet can project damage well.

2 – Focus targeting range dampening scripts, swap between targets every few cycles

Before boosts, by applying all four of my Dickcat Celestis damps to a single target its targeting range is going down by 91.55%. That’s insane. That reduces a Guardian from 81.25km locking range to ~6.7km, or an Augoror from 75km to ~6.4km. Not only is this likely to stop the guardian from repping its target, you’re also likely to break the cap chain. Unless the guardians are sitting on what they’re trying to reps faces, you’re spending 20mill on a low-SP pilot to remove a 150mill ship and high-SP pilot from the fight. Any regular logistics pilot will tell you how much it sucks to be following broadcasts as well as having different parts of your cap chain go down every ten seconds and constantly having to readjust or manually pilot back into range. Add neuts to the equation and you’ll end up with them ragequitting the fleet after 2 minutes, let alone sustaining the effort through TiDi induced multi-hour brawls.

3 – Spread resolution dampening scripts

This script is largely ignored, but in the right situation can be incredible. There was once a fight where I was FCing my beloved DickCats (though I’ve lost the battle report) and we JUST couldn’t break their logi. Thankfully the were struggling to break ours as well, but thankfully I had 3 Celestis in fleet, so I told them to load and spread these scripts. By switching between targets rapidly, guaranteeing their next would not be prelocked, I yelled for some overheat and the extra few seconds it took for them to lock was enough to blow up an Augoror. 1 less Augoror was enough for us to start making headway in the same way through the rest of their fleet without overheating.

You’ve probably noticed by now that I haven’t spoken to shield variants of the Celestis, and to be honest I just don’t like them. Generally you’ll see their 5 mids go prop mod, 2 for tank, 2 for damps, which means you’re already half as effective as an armour based one (4 EWAR modules vs 2) from the start. Basically, fit it for agility and locking range, then warp off when something comes near you because you’re not going to have much tank.

So yes, homework this week is lots of lovely Celestis flying, and I’d love to hear if anyone has ever tried soloing in one.

Apoth ♥