Monday, March 17, 2014

Lessons: A Bad Day

Some days, you undock and you can’t seem to do anything right.  It’s like you’re experiencing a chain reaction of fail.  Or like you bump into a vase, lash your hand out to catch it and bump a glass, which falls and shatters soda all over you, so you jump back and step on the cat, then shuffle to get off the cat and bump into the vase again.  Nothing seems to work right.

I had one of those days last night, and everything had started out so well.  I was deep in high-sec following an Amarr armor roam last night.  We had killed a Marmite Proteus the night before (I have no idea why he aggressed), and I must have still had a little luck left over.  Though I passed a few war targets on the way back to Amarr to sell the ship – I don’t fly Harbingers often enough for me to keep it – no one wanted to fight.  On the positive side, though, I didn’t lose the ship – given how the rest of the night went, that was a highlight.

I figured I’d use up some of the Kestrels I had left in Nourvu to fight FW pilots, so I made my way there.  First, I swung by Kedama, which was surprisingly empty of pilots.  But, I warped to a novice plex to find a Federation Navy Comet sitting there.  Naturally, I plunged on in, thinking it’d be a small matter to kill a blaster Comet.  It did not go as intended.  If you look closely, you’ll see the reason.

Now realizing he was fit with railguns instead of blasters, I went back, realizing the right strategy… get in close and orbit tightly, of course!  Not so fast.  No, that isn’t the wrong link.  Same guy, same result.  I forgot to fit the right kind of rockets to fight an armor ship.

I have to say, though, that Chrifenomic lands on my Wall of Honor.  I was stunned that his guns were able to track me so effectively that I asked him for his fit, and he generously shared.

So, that’s two Kestrels down.  Granted, I was fighting a ship worth probably four to five times the value of my dinky little Kestrel, but it still rankled, since I couldn’t find a solution to killing him.  I really hate when that happens.

But don’t worry, I still had two more Kestrels to lose before moving on to shinier things.  This one was to a Republic Fleet Firetail that – for some reason – I drifted close to.  That one was to an ill-advised fight against an Algos that was likely double-web fit (based on the player’s ship loss history).

That’s right; four Kestrels without anything to show for it.  And those were the night’s easy losses.

By this point, I was annoyed with my Kestrel fit, so I took my last one, loaded it up with loot from prior fights, and headed to Jita to sell it.  I had some invention jobs to put into process, so I sold everything, bought a stealth bomber with some extenders, and loaded up on T2 invention inputs.  Fortunately ,the blueprints were already safely at my station of choice.

I say fortunately because – of course- war targets were in Jita, and they promptly killed my stealth bomber.  I was so far off my game that I forgot to swap to my warp-out tab, instead scrolling up to the station in the overview, then realizing I was under session change and couldn’t dock yet, so I had to scroll back down to try to find a celestial to warp to.  I have no idea why I did that, when I have a tab whose sole use is to provide warp-outs.

At least the data interfaces didn’t drop?

After waking up back home in S-EVIQ, I decided to call it a night.  You might think that’s the end, right?

Yeah… not so much.

The next morning, I plopped myself into a Dramiel to head back to Nourvukaiken, where this clone was supposed to reside for our Friday night fleets.  My route takes me through M-0 and Taisy.  As I entered M-O, I saw a Daredevil about 250 off the gate, but I warped to my tactical on Taisy.

When I landed, I saw something interesting.  The gate had a large bubble anchored on it, with two others in line to the station and E-B gate.  Very close to the E-B bubble was a Tornado, sitting all on his own.  A quick check confirmed that the Daredevil and Tornado were not in the same corp or alliance, so I quickly warped to the bubble.

At this point, I was still feeling pretty good.  The Tornado was about 25 off of my position, which is a little close, but not suspiciously so if you want to do maximum damage to your target.  I closed range, and as I did, he got one shot on my, putting me at about 60% shields.  But after that, I cut my MWD, turned on my AB, and orbited him closely enough that his guns were useless.

It didn’t even faze me when I saw the Daredevil appear 250 off of me.  I figured that he’d have warped on top of the Tornado if they were working together, so I kept firing and moving myself closer.  Then the Daredevil was 20 off of me.  That surprised me, until I realized he had simply warped to the bubble as well.

Even now, I figured he would help me take down the Tornado.  Since I had already been engaged, he’d probably assume I already had some damage to my ship, and a Daredevil could crush a Dramiel 1v1… what would his incentive be to kill me first?

My assessment was… not correct.  I don’t see the Tornado killmail, so I have to assume they were working together.  Though the Tornado did the most damage to me, he could only accomplish that because of the web the Daredevil put in me.  Though, that Tornado was autocannon fit, which was a little surprising (nonetheless, I could have stayed under his guns but for that Daredevil).

By that point, I gave up.  Embarrassment… shame… 450 million or so in losses in a 24-hr period – with no actual ship worth more than 50 million.

Everyone has an off night.  When it happens in a long sequence of solo or very small gang situations, it hurts even more, since there’s no one to blame but yourself and your own stupid, silly decisions.  It’s been a long time since I’ve generated such a colossal mound of fail.  No matter how long you play this game, you can still surprise yourself about how bad you can fly.

Granted, I tend to play fast and loose with isk, preferring to take a sketchy fight and see what happens to playing it safe.  Solo losses to three factions frigs and a Tornado with a Daredevil in system are the expected result, but given the isk differentials, it was worth a go.  But that’s the lesson here: we all play this game to get fights, so we tend to engage more often than we should.  Sometimes, it works out, but sometimes, you end up getting curb-stomped again and again.

If you’re going to fly that way, be okay with taking losses.  Otherwise, you’re going to really hate this game.

The cloning tank is my friend… the cloning tank is my friend… the cloning tank is my friend…

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