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I focus almost exclusively on PvP, whether solo, small gang, or large bloc warfare. In the past, I've been a miner, mission runner, and faction warfare jockey. I'm particularly interested in helping high-sec players get into 0.0 combat.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Lessons: A Beautiful Death

There’s nothing quite as liberating as taking a ship, setting off in a random direction, and flying until you lose it.  Sometimes, you’re in for an early night.  Sometimes, you finally shut off the computer, lost in some distant corner of Eve having found no one willing to give you a beautiful death. 

When Repercussus moved to Goonswarm, I had to guess what ships I’d used in each staging system.  I joined a few GSF squads, we had our staging system, our new home, a ratting system, and RP’s low-sec home, all of which I needed to stock with ratting, scanning, solo roaming, and small-gang ships.  Fortunately, no one supplies staging systems quite like Goonswarm, so I knew I could buy any doctrine ships on-site.

Suffice to say, I got some wrong, and had to fly back and forth manually flying the expensive ones to their new homes.  I was left with 7 Tristans and a Vexor that simply weren’t worth the time it’d take to reposition them.

So, of course, I had to lose them spectacularly.

The Tristans went pretty quickly, traded pretty much one-for-one with solo kills.  Most of those deaths were pretty unremarkable… two solo fights I lost because I couldn’t pull range in time, a trio of blobbing scenarios, and one intentional suiciding of my ship by aggressing a neutral hauler on a gate.

That left one Tristan that I could not, for the life of me, lose.  I ended up flying all over Jove’s creation, with jump after jump seeing.  For two days, I flew around looking for a fight.  FW farmers fled from me as I landed in their plexes.  Miners warped off as I landed in their belts.  Anoms and sigs were clear as I entered system.  I even jumped into Nennamalia and Sujarento, only to find the residents off elsewhere.  That Tristan actually survived to make it to Jita, where I sold it to return in a Proteus.

A Vexor in YA0 was my last displaced ship, so I quickly scanned down the sigs in system, finding two wormholes.  The first was woefully empty with an offline POS (no modules, nothing to scoop), but the second led to Sagain in Tash-Murkon… and a half-dozen people in local.

Sagain is one of three low-sec systems tucked in the upper left corner of the region (as per Dotlan).  It’s a low-sec island surrounded by high-sec, and it’s the home of a mercenary corporation.  I say that because I found no one else in local except a few NPC corp pilots (likely alts).  Finding a Coercer sitting on a gate, I three-volleyed it with my drones as I aligned out, and warped off as another pilot entered system.

And so my 3,000th kill was a partially-fit afk Coercer worth 1 million isk.  But at least it was solo.

But after that, I made my way to the third and final system in that pocket, only to find an Onyx sitting on the gate.

Now, in a Vexor, I doubted there was much of a chance of me escaping if the Onyx decided to aggress me.  So naturally I decided to attack.  I burned back to gate and, the moment the warp disruptor hit me, I unleashed my drones and overloaded guns on him.

Now, while I knew it was a very dumb decision at the time, I did hold out hope that he might surprise me and be sporting polycarbons and sensor boosters to catch me, which might give me a chance.  But when my hybrid guns rammed right into his brick tank and were only doing 26 damage per volley, it was pretty clear he had fitted a thermal/kinetic-specific tank.

After the next two volleys proved that damage wasn’t a mistake, I shut off all my modules, recalled my drones, and hugged the gate, hoping to survive through my aggression timer.  And I very nearly did, too.  In fact, if the Onyx would have been alone, I’d have made it.

But, a Proteus I had seen early floating about uncloaked.  Then a Tengu jumped through.  Then another Proteus landed.  I started orbiting a little more to try to dodge some damage as I overloaded my ancillary armor repairer (note: always set the auto-reload to “off” on ancillaries… better to cap out than die because you can’t repair yourself).  Adrenaline pumping, I watched as my aggro timer dropped to 4 seconds and my repper cycle completed…

…only to explode before the server tick could catch up and apply my reps.  So close!

But what a way to go!  Had that armor cycle completed, there’s a chance I could have made it out by the skin of my teeth if I got a favorable hit on my “jump” command and the cycle time of the Tengu’s and Onyx’s Mjolnir missiles.  But it was definitely a great time and a thrilling end to a throw-away ship.

So many moments of Eve are about avoiding adverse situations that sometimes we forget that pleasure in putting ourselves in a hole to see if we can dig ourselves out.  We’ve got to enjoy the moments of stress too… without them, the satisfaction just isn’t as sweet.

But in addition to all the satisfaction, engaging in unfavorable fights is how you learn and improve.  The first time I was in that situation, I stubbornly kept shooting away, eliminating any chance of escape.  This time, I died two seconds before my aggression wore off.  The next time, it might only take one shot for me to realize that Onyx isn’t going down, in which case I manage to survive the timer.  Only by trying do we develop the instincts that help us succeed the next time.

Let that be a lesson for you the next time you think about just selling that little ship instead of flying it off to glorious death!  What does selling it get you?  Nothing! 

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