Sunday, December 22, 2013

Lessons: My Little Pony Fleet

I give Eve players a lot of credit when it comes to being willing to fight.  Now, I’ve mentioned before how faction warfare seems to be populated primarily with risk-adverse button-orbiters, and we certainly come across our fair share during our Friday night roams through FW low-sec.  But we do find the occasional FW gang ready to defend their space, and we also come across plenty of other pilots willing to fight us, both on gates and in FW plexes.  Sufficient numbers, as it turns out, to make a routine thing of our Friday night roams.

Our Friday night roam was delayed until Saturday because of some ::serious business:: of a non-logistic nature, but on Saturday, my wife decided that she wanted to play, so she controlled the keyboard and I instructed her, answered her questions, etc.  So, Talvorian didn’t actually fly.

Things went very well.  A couple times, I actually had to run up to take care of one of our daughters, or go to the bathroom, or get another drink, and she only managed to get lost once.  All in all, not bad.  She even got to choose the ship-naming convention of the night.

And, of course, she went with names from My Little Pony.  At first, everyone was aghast, but after seeing all the semi-dirty names in this list here, I bet you can see why they went with it.  My wife’s ship was Pinkie Pie, if you’re curious.

So, our fleet of dangerous ponies went off to terrorize low-sec.  Pinkie Pie, Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash, Fluttershy (see what they did there?) … yes, very terrifying.

And this was the experience we had.

Suffice to say, I was not impressed, nor was my wife.  When the fleet took a quick break, she went to bed, and I stayed on.  Unfortunately, that’s when things started to get interesting, and my wife missed all of it.

First, we came across a gang that consisted of a Talos, Oracle, and Oneiros sitting on a gate.  The Oracle and Oneiros had pirate sec status, and we were surprised when the Oracle actually engaged our scout, with the Oneiros repping him from the gate gun fire.

We briefly debated whether to take that fight… a Talos with even a little bit of range could eat us up, and we’d have to take that Oneiros down first before we could see any meaningful damage on the other two.  But we decided, “What the hell?” and warped in.

Now, this happened late in the night, so many of us were quite inebriated.  I stepped up as target caller and primaried the Oneiros once I realized he was sitting directly on the gate and was repping the Oracle who had attacked our scout.  It took us a good minute and a half to drop him, so he could have easily saved himself simply by stopping the reps on the Oracle.

Worth noting, he had a local shield repper.  Yeah, I’m not sure why either.  For all you keeping score at home, DON’T DO THIS.  Oneiroses should the armor fit, not shield.  Don’t fit reppers contrary to your resistance profile.  If he would have fit a local armor repper, he might had been able to survive de-aggression.

But, once he went down, the Oracle succumbed quickly.  The Talos?  He simply sat there, watching his friends die.  He wasn’t pirate yet, so if (when) we attacked him, we’d attract gate gun fire.  He had all the time in the world, then could simply jump through to safety.

In fact, he probably stayed because he was debilitated from laughing at his fleet mates on comms.  Why?  Aggression mechanics changed a long time ago, meaning the Oneiros should have known that repping a fleet mate with an aggression timer caused him to inherit that same aggression timer.  The only explanation for him sitting right on the gate was that he expected to rep the Oracle, then jump through if things got hot.  Otherwise, he should have been about 40-50 km off the gate, aligned and ready to warp off if he got in trouble.

I have to give credit to the Talos for just sitting there, cool as ice, hoping someone aggressed him.  Once the Oracle and Oneiros went down, that’s exactly what we did, but by then, he had no real chance of killing us before he died, so he simply jumped through the gate as we scurried off to the sun to escape the gate guns.  Final toll was an Oneiros and Oracle for no losses.

After that, we jumped around a bit, chasing after more crying children running from our little ponies, until I caught sight of a Sabre on dscan heading towards the small FW plex I was sitting on.  I know, right?  A Sabre in low-sec?  This guy obviously didn’t get the memo that a Thrasher outperforms a Sabre in all battle categories, for a fraction of the price.

He landed about 8,000 off me and began to pull range; I was bumping into the acceleration gate, so I had to burn in from around 15 km.  Suffice to say, this was ample time for him to bite into my shields quite a bit.  Once I had my web and scram on him, I called for the cavalry to warp to me, as I tried to get into a nice tight orbit.  With the MWD sling (going too fast for my own good), I ended up about 6500 off him, so I was in some real trouble by the time my fleet started to land.  They waved me off, but I knew it was already too late to align and escape, so I tried one more time to slip under his guns, but he ended up popping me.

I was able to hold him long enough for my fleet to gain secondary points and kill him, though.  The really painful part is that if I was flying my usual TD-fit Jaguar, only the missile launcher he had fit would have done any damage once I got to within 3000 or so.

So ended my roam for the night, as it was getting pretty late and the girls were likely to wake up a few times during the night.  My wife is now convinced that she’s bad luck, and as much as I try to tell her about time zones and how things start to heat up on weekend-nights late in the USTZ, she felt she missed out.

But save for two players making questionable choices (the Sabre in low-sec and Oneiros repping directly on the gate), it would have been a fairly unremarkable fleet. Sometimes, that’s how it goes.  If you can’t be good, sometimes you need to settle for being lucky.

P.S. A big thanks to my youngest daughter, whose heretofore unknown bitter fear of My Little Pony made that video possible.

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