Monthly Archives: October 2013

Fitting 105: Shopping with Gallente Cruiser V

So I finished Gallente Cruiser V a while ago and wanted to treat myself to a few toys. Here is my toy locker ūüėÄ

The Solo Deimos

(In this image CNA is loaded, tank turned off)

A popular ship for soloing since the HAC rebalance, many people use dual-rep with Ions (for longer engagements so you can reload the AAR), a second EANM rather than a second mag stab, or I’ve seen all kinds of things done with the rigs. This version is (in my opinion) simple and forgiving. a bunch of DPS with as good projection as you’re going to get with blasters, a single repper to worry about Cap for and choice between EWAR drones and Warriors. I’m currently planning on updating the fit to a Khanid/Caldari Navy Warp Scrambler for 9,750km range and upgrading the rigs to T2 since the price drop.

I actually got my first true solo kill with it today, as thus far I’ve been using it on rare occasion for small gang quick response stuff.

Not exactly kill of the year, I think he was trying to be cap stable while perma-MWDing to kite away. One overheat of my MWD caught me up into scram/web range liberal application of DPS to the face resulted in a quick, one-sided fight. He was very polite about the loss, which is nice to see, though after telling me that he could have taken me, his explanation for losing was an ever growing list of weak excuses. Still, on to the next fit!

The Proteus

King of the brick tank, the Proteus is known across new Eden as a fantastic FCing boat, and is also commonly used as a station gaming ship in high sec. My Proteus is relatively cheaply fit compared to what you might see out of it’s use in wormhole alliance, but still lovingly adorned with shiny modules.

(Void loaded, tank on.)

The bonus to point range on this ship has also lead to the Proteus being used in pimped gatecamps as a super heavy-duty point. With a covert subsystem on it, the Proteus becomes an insane cloaky ganker.

The Vigilant

Rarely seen outside of webbing duties in high-level Wormhole Sleeper Ops, the Vigilant is still a fun ship to have on hand for when you seriously need something to stop moving.

(Void loaded, tank on)

Without T2 resists if you fly this in anything larger than a small gang you’re going to be a hot primary, so be very careful as to when you choose to take this thing out.

Living in Low/Null as a PvP entity

The title for this post was a lot harder than the content of the post, originally it was going to be something along the lines of¬†“Being a small PvP corp in Low Sec”, whereupon I realised that the vast majority of what I would be saying applies to Null Sec as well. Also, I’m assuming vast majorities of what I am going to talk about would be true for whole alliances and coalitions. Really, this is some portion of a “how to EVE as a group with a PvP focus” guide, which in itself would be far too grand a term for someone as inexperienced as myself, and I’m not arrogant enough to assume I know anything about true corp/alliance management.

Anyways, I’ve recently been spending a bunch of time with EVE University’s Low Sec Campus, where Unistas who want to live in Low Security Space can go to live with others who want the same thing. More specifically, they have recently undergone massive growth after a large period of inactivity, and thus with the new wave of “campers” are looking to redevelop into the lean, mean PvP machine we had in Maseera back when I was a Unista.

Part I: Intel

Living in Low and/or Null Sec without establishing an efficient system of intelligence gathering is a lot like going mountain climbing while wearing a blindfold. You’re going to miss out on a lot of cool stuff and probably get yourself hurt.

First, let’s talk about doing your homework. It is massively useful to collective maintain a working knowledge of all the other groups operating within your area. I’ll define “your area” as anywhere in your home region, the adjacent regions, anywhere you roam and in case it isn’t automatically included anywhere within 20 jumps of your home station. One of the best ways to do this is have a thread on your forum dedicated to such information, where people can continuously post and update intel as they become more familiar with their neighbours. I’ll use the old Low Sec Campus in Maseera Circa November 2012 as an example (of what I can remember, I was even more of a starry eyed-newbie at the time).

  • Name & Basic info – EVE University, corp of newer players, though this Campus is home to their more focused and experienced PvPers
  • Home system – Maseera, Aridia
  • Any special RoE – They only shoot people with negative standings or those who are flashy. Non-flashy neutrals will only be engaged if they open fire first. They do not shoot structures.
  • Average fleet numbers & activity – Anywhere from 5-30 fleet members with primetime from 18:00-02:00 EVE
  • Known FCs – Darko Fett, Haelur, Apothne, Gallastian Khanid, Nys Cron, Kriegarman, Capricamper Shore
  • Known Fleet comps – Kitchen sink shield brawling BCs, shield kiting BCs, Heavy Armour Battleships (though usually with T1 guns). Most of the time they will brawl you.
  • Use of Capitals – Very rarely, maximum two Archons fielded with their heavy armour fleets¬†Insert names of Capital pilots for watchlisting¬†here, no known super/titan usage.
  • Batphone – None; though given previous notice they can get a large increase in numbers from other EVE University campuses.
  • Contacts/Representitives – Hong Hu, Darko Fett

Now that that’s done, let’s talk about continuous intel. There should be a specific chat channel for the 23/7 monitoring of the local area for anything of interest, i.e something that might mean you can shoot at people. This can vary from monitoring neighbours home systems, each system within a few jumps of your home system and well-traveled routes, such as regional entry/exit points. The intel you are looking for cam be¬†unusual number of people in local, roaming fleets, structure timers people might turn up to. One of the best ways to keep a track of this information (and to make sure people don’t necessarily know that you’re watching them) is to have a picket alt(s) on your non-main account(s) to strategically place (let’s face it, who plays EVE with one account?).

Even better than picket alts with no-SP are noob-corp CovOps Frigates & Recons who can warp around covertly, probe stuff down and generally make you able to engage your targets as soon as you get into system.

Alright, so you’ve got this intel, now you need to report it accurately and efficiently. In general, this involves saying what you can see, where it is, what direction it’s moving in (if any), what their numbers are, what ships they have and who it is (and thus any relevant information you know about them). 3 Examples:

1. In Van at Planet 3 Moon 1 a Pandemic Legion POS has been reinforced by an Against All Authorities fleet of ~50 Oracles and ~10 Guardians.

AAA and PL are two entities with way more numbers, shinier ships and far more experience. Stay THE HELL OUT OF THEIR WAY apart from perhaps picking off reinforcements/the leftovers after any engagement. It may be possible to whore on killmails with a sniping fleet, but again remain overly cautious. Reccomend to leave cloaky eyes on grid to keep an eye on the POS as it comes out of reinforced, if only to watch a cool fight.

2. In Agaullores heading to Shirshocin is a 15-man Sadistica armour BC gang with 4 Guardians and Damnation links.

We had a good relationship with Sadistica, they had a “fite nite” every wednesday which we would happily turn up to provide people to shoot at and shoot back. Keep eyes on their fleet and convo them to ask them if they fancy a brawl.

3. In Kamih heading to Gens is a 20-man DBAM armour BS gang with no visible Logi & two Rooks.

We didn’t get along very well with DBAM, they tended to not care so much about a “gud fite” and just do everything they could until they won the field. That’s not necessarily a bad thing, just that they were more prone to tactics taht some PvPers would find “ungentlemanly”. A good plan would be to see if we could form up our own heavy gang with the tools to take out a small number of capitals, potentially with reinforcements incoming from Aldrat.

The ability to communicate information accurately, quickly and clearly will make you among the top 5% of PvPers in the game, and FCs will love you. By maintaining all of the above information, you can monitor day-to-day goings on and maximise your potential to get involved in cool fights while minimising any unpleasant surprises. One intel-gathering tool I have yet to mention is the art of placing spys in other corps, though I have little personal experience of this so despite it’s amazing effectiveness I’ll just leave it as a footnote.

The only other thing to mention in this section is the usual roundup of the 3rd party tolls such as dotlan, Dingo’s FC Toolbox¬†and null-sec.com. Being familiar with and able to use these rapidly is an invaluable ability, made much easier by using a second monitor/laptop.

Part II: Logistics & Preparation

It’s all well and good having all this lovely intel, but if you ain’t got no ships then you ain’t got no fleet. Equally, if everyone has a bunch of ships but nothing typing them together you will have at best single-tanked brawling fleet comps, which can only get you so far. I will assume that I needn’t explain what a “Doctrine” is or why it is so vastly superior to a “kitchen sink blob”, so suffice to say that any PvP organisation worth their salt will have in addition to whatever their pilots choose to buy and pilot themselves, a few core doctrines which allow them to engage as many different sizes any styles of opposing fleet as possible. This means you will be wanting to be able to fight all kinds of hull sizes at all kinds of ranges, bearing in mind the popular doctrines of the time in general that you are likely to face as well as the specific habits of the PvP groups that live near you.

As far as my experience goes, PvP corps tend to have usually 3-7 doctrines on the go at any one time, ranging from srs bsns tryhard strat OP doctrines to chill roaming “let’s go have some fun shooting at stuff” doctrines. This is not to say that any group has to fly exclusively these ships and fleet concepts, but that if there is a fight to be had the FC can choose an appropriate fleet setup and know that everyone will have the ships to do it. As a line-member you are a sick nerd baller if you have the 2-3 core ships of each doctrine available to you (many of which such as Logi will overlap) as well as always-useful ships such as Intys, Dictors & Recons. Everyone in your group of playters should strive to achieve this golden standard, and do their best to replace any ships that are lost as soon as possible as well as help out fellow corp mates by selling/lending/giving out spares.

The next hurdle to overcome is getting the ships from (typically) Jita to wherever you live and in the hands of your brothers in arms. These systems can range for the very simple to the very complex, run by specific sub-groups or by everyone pitching in and usually take the form of some combination of corp contracts, in-house JF services, seeding local markets and ship replacement programmes.

The other main preparation to do is bookmarks. One of my good friends and the best ‘Ceptor pilot I know, whenever he moves to a new home spends the first 2-3 days making bookmark after bookmark after ¬†bookmark, and for good reason. Especially in modern day EVE with its faster ships that project damage better than ever before, out-maneuvering your opponents and controlling engagements is the key difference between coming out on top and welping horrifically. There is no reason not to give yourself a home field advantage by placing bookmarks around structures that will see fights, your home station and well traveled or popularly camped gates, not to mention having a plethora of “safes”, at least one mid-safe per system that you can warp to when the brown stuff hits the fan.

Part III: Actually shooting at people

It’s taken us a long time to get to the bit we all came here for, but we’ve reached it at last, shooting at people for fun and/or profit. I’m not going to spend overly long on this section despite the fact that it’s (almost) everyone’s favourite part, I more want to cover how this should be approached in the context of this guide of mid/long-term living in low/null sec. There are many other (and far superior) places (including other posts in this blog) which provide resources on how to fly from your very first fleet to crazy Rooks and Kings stuff.

Especially in the smallest of groups, you need people willing to step up and FC, who will switch to ships to even out a composition, who will fly Interceptors and Interdictors. These tend to be the main personalities of corps, those who keep up the morale, drive for improvement and provide content for everyone to enjoy. It is a lot of fun to be this person and these are the kind of people every Coalition/Alliance/Corp are desperate to have. Without these people compositions are lop-sided, it takes ages to react to available PvP (which is never good) and the whole group suffers for it, becoming lethargic and ineffective as an entity.

One of the most important lessons I have learnt and want to impress on anyone reading this is that you should be aware of what reputation you’re building for yourself. This is something that new player corps especially can struggle with, for example E-UNI’s old reputation for ECM blobbing or Brave Newbie’s reputation for Talwars, Talwars, Talwars. If you’re fond of Falcons, unending Talwar fleets and/or dropping hideous numbers of dreads on people, you aren’t going to be liked very much. Now, by all means it’s your choice whether or not this is something you care about, but general people are more happy to take fights that are less in their favour if they like you and know you’ll be equally brave at a later date. By maintaining good relationships with some of your neighbours, you can have pre-arranged fights or even work together against an outside force which on your own you might not be able to deal with.

This also raises the point of how you deal with standings and your opinion/need for blues. More more people you blue, the less people you can shoot at, but equally the less people who are going to shoot at you. My own corp, SniggWaffe, operate on the basis that we like shooting things quite a lot and thus avoid blues like the plague, with exceptions for our own alts and PL (as we are the recruitment & training corp of Sniggerdly). If you have a bunch of structures that more powerful groups than yourself might want to replace with their own, you might want to try to attain a non-structure shooting agreement with them, or become best buddies with another group who might help fend off any aggressors.

Apoth ‚ô•

BlOps 101

The better you are at BlOpsing, the less your screen looks like this:

And more like this:

And this:

And if you’re the sickest of nerd ballers who triple boxes the hunter, bridger AND a bomber, like this:

When I speak of BlOpsing, I am referring to the operation of having a number of Stealth Bombers and/or Black Ops Battleships sat on a Bridging Black Ops Battleship ready to jump on unsuspecting prey.

The MOST IMPORTANT aspect of BlOpsing is having a plentiful supply of hunters, ships that go out into the depths of space equipped with (usually) a cloak, a Covert cyno and a point. Unsuprisingly the best ships for this are Stealth Bombers, Recons and cloaky T3s. The more hunters you have, the more space you can cover, the more liely you are to find and tackle some targets. Having 20 dudes waiting on one hunter to find someone is boring and awful, so if your corp is getting into BlOpsing make EVERYONE train OOC Cyno V alts. Here are two examples for you:

The best place to know where to actually go with your hunters can be found using the amazing dotlan. Find where a bunch of NPCs have died recently and go there. The more time you spend in a region, the better you will get to know the residences ratting habits and you can adjust your searching appropriately. However, the more you BlOps a region, the more people have the opportunity to learn who your alts are and in general deflect and be safe against BlOpsing attempts. That being said, even with zero kills, you can tank the Sov index of several regions purely by making your presence known (as Waffles have been doing in Tribute/Deklein/Pure Blind/Fade for the past few weeks).

Another thing to consider is what targets you are willing to engage. With TP utility mids, Bombers can happily apply DPS to cruiser sized hulls, though you will still want to avoid ships such as Cynabals, instaCanes, and pretty much anything that has a good chance of blapping some/all of your bombers before you can blap it.

So you’ve got your hunters out, what do you do to prepare to drop? Your best bet is to sit cloaked up in a safe on your BlOps, ready to decloak the moment you have a target about to be caught. Additionally, you need to be VERY aware of the bridge range, how many mids you need, whether you need a fuel truck (a cloaky hauler filled with ‘topes), the total mass you are doing per bridge. Getting even one of these wrong can result in a catastrophic failure, which usually at the very best results in the loss of your hunter, and at worst the loss of your whole BlOps fleet, including the bridger. Thankfully, dotlan has a tool to help you calculate jump range, so use it!

Not only do you need to be prepared to get IN to blap your target, you need to be prepared to get back OUT again after you have done what you came to do. Generally after a drop it’s best to warp off to random celestials, cloak up, and reassemble on the BlOps to get back to your staging point again. ALWAYS have spare fuel for planned and unplanned backcynos and assorted targets of opportunity.

Happy hunting!

Apoth ‚ô•

I welped EVE University again

A big thank you to Zorena for capturing what he could before he died.

Anyway, this is in fact the third time I’ve tried to run an EVE Uni TrebleCat fleet (which I totally stole from PL after we used it in Waffles), the first time we didn’t get the numbers to hit critical mass and the second….uh….I overslept. I believe this to be a great Doctrine to train EVE Uni because it checks every box I go through my head when thinking about them:

Is it cheap? – New players don’t have big wallets, and you’re not spending more than 40mill for a T1 cruiser here.

Is it low-SP friendly? – T1 cruisers with T1 guns being of no detriment (you use faction ammo anyway), unlike for example AB Mallers which just don’t work anywhere enar as well without T2 guns for Scorch

Does it provide options? – People like different roles, and here we have 3 races represented as mainstay parts of the fleet: the Caldari Caracal for Deeps, the Minmatar Scythe & Bellicose for Logistics and target painting/anti-tackle respectively and the Gallente Celestis for EWAR

Does it work when you have a ton of dudes? – You NEED a ton of dudes to make this fleet work properly, hitting critical mass at around 30-40 in fleet.

Does it provide opportunities to learn about core game mechanics for both newer and more experienced players? РWhen you have a corporation of lots of people of low SP, a large part of your fights are going to be brawling blobs when you land at zero, shoot the primary and press F1. In this fleet you learn about managing range, different ammo types and fleet basics in the Caracal, logistics basics in the Scythe, interesting EWAR in the Celestis where you have a sufficient drone bay that you have to pay attention to what you should be doing with those, and independent target prioritisation in the Bellicose, while painting the main DD primary. By having backup anchors for DD and Logistics, I can also help train new FCs who want a bit of a stepping stone from F1 monkey to doing everything. Both Interceptors and Interdictors are exceptionally useful in this fleet, and have the potential to make interesting piloting  as the core ships do not have tackling modules.

On to the battle report:

We had taken longer than usual to form up as it was a brand new Doctrine and a brand new way of flying for the UNI, but we set off in reasonably good time where we came upon a medium-sized no-holds-barred armour setup travelling though low sec. None of them were engageable under the UNIs RoE so we followed them for a little while to see if they were going anywhere interesting, but sadly they headed straight for Hi Sec.

Not a lot happened as we looped around back onto my original course, but eventuually we made it to one of my favourite places to find a big fight at the moment, the CVA/AAA border. If we had found nothing there then I would have taken us no fear mode into Curse where pretty much everyone in the game is deployed at the moment, but thankfully CVA obliged us to a fight. We found a few Drakes and a Sabre on our outgate in 4B-NQN, and our scout reported the rest of them on the other side. The odds were not in our favour, especially with all that light tackle to web us down but I took us straight in as CVA sometimes lose their bottle and run if you look like you know what they have but are willing to engage them anyway.

Our Ceptor got their forward Drakes to agress, and we managed to take two of them out before reps started landing, at which point I had to change our focus to the legion of light tackle and EWAR (though it seemed like every ship in their fleet had utility EWAR) as we just weren’t going to break those drakes with the reported 9 Scythes on field. That may not have been actually true now I look at how they were fit, especially this one:

http://killfeed.eveuniversity.org/?a=kill_detail&kll_id=112076

I made the choice I believed was best with the information I have at the time, and started to work through their tackle, despite the fact we would not be applying full damage to them. Had our Logi anchor not gotten webbed to smithereens off the bat, or handed over the role earlier, we may have survived a little longer to continue my plan of remove tackle, alpha Scythes, then move onto Drakes as we danced on the edge of their damage projection capabilities (same weapons, but Caracals have a hull bonus to missile velocity whereas Drakes do not). To be honest, we were going to welp hard even if that didn’t happen, and I knew that going in, but that was one hell of a lot of fun and a great introduction of the fleet concept to my UNIbros.

BR: http://killfeed.eveuniversity.org/?a=kill_related&kll_id=112076

The ISK ration is 1:2 in their favour, but I like to think both sides had an awesome time and would have that fight again without hesitation.

Apoth ‚ô•

An attempt at some more “epic” writing

It was the days after the War over Midas’s Fountain in the eleventh age of New Eden. The Goon Horde and it’s Vassals had defeated the young dinosaur who retreated to the Desert, and then onto the Cursed Plains of the south. The Anarchist clansmen reborn again together with the painted Bullockys had retaken their ancestral halls, and the Sun Warriors of the east, after having suffered what was thought to be a genocide at the hands of the Northern Tribes, found a new home in a strange new land by combining their forces with the great Ebony Raven. Many said that the silver-tongued heralds of the Horde were behind this move thanks to loosening the strings of their embroidered coin-purses, but this was all hearsay.

The Ebony Raven and it’s rider, the Black Knight, flew between it’s high nests throughout new Eden, swooping down upon the war machines of any who did not care to guard them tightly. This was not a new experience for the people of the Land of New Eden, as before the Raven there was an even more feared beast, the Pandemic Dragon, whose many names were whispered among the noblemen and peasants alike, praying that their livestock and villages would not be the next torn asunder. Alas, the Dragon had grown tired and lethargic after feeding deeply on the corpses of its prey, digesting the rotting flesh and growing larger than ever before, yet it slept and atrophied in its vast treasure cavern in the East.

There were two great powers left on the map after the War over the Fountain of Midas, the Horde in the North and West and the squabbling Northern tribes in the South an East. Each owned vast swathes of land, filled with peasants working the rich fields to fill the treasuries of their masters, but the peace between them was not an easy one. Historic grievances and bloodshed between the two made war inevitable, the only question being who would strike first and where. The only thing clear to both sides is that the tranquil Red River would soon churn scarlet, and the face of the land would never be the same again.