Monday, 29 October 2012

Day 136 : Saturday Night's Alright For Fighting

The Tuskers, notorious yet honourable low sec pirates one and all, decided to host a frigate based free for all event in their home system. I found out about it from The Altruist and EVEOGANDA. It was an opportunity not to be missed. My plan was to fit seven ships, each with a different strategy in mind, go along, and attempt to learn some PVP skills in an environment that might be a little lighter than the brutal roads of low sec. The plan lasted all of thirty seconds. Probably just as well I started drinking three hours before it started really.

 My seven suicide ships, all named after songs by The Libertines, comprised six Incursus and one Atron hull.

1. Death on the Stairs : a classic double repairer Incursus build.
2. Can't Stand Me Now : a speedy DPS brawler with a tiny bit of buffer tank as an afterthought.
3. The Good Old Days : an all rounder, single rep, decent speed, not bad DPS.
4. The Ha Ha Wall : a large buffer tank and, I think, a resistance mod marked this hull.
5. Time For Heroes : a rail fit Incursus with a long point.
6. I Get Along : a 125mm rail fit Atron.
7. What Katie Did : the end of night freak experiment, it had railguns, an MWD and importantly the double warp stabilizers. Almost impossible to target and fly at the same time without manually fine tuning your speed.

I'd love to tell you how each ship did individually but I can't. I started well, and then it descended into chaos. Two of the hulls above fell to sentry guns after over eager, drunken, pilot error. Sentry guns were doing a brisk trade all night.

 As I got set up for my first run into the staging system I joined the Mumble chat. There was quite the party going on in there. Mangala and some of the RvB crew had turned up and were vocal yet easy going. They honoured the nature of the event and didn't gang up on everyone else, well at least until the last two hours when they started chasing t2 frigates around using their t1's. Fair enough really, so I joined in when I could. Everyone was friendly and it felt easy to be in there despite being a four month old noob. I heartily recommend that crowds company.

Once in system I warped to the top belt, following the crowd. As soon as I arrived all my plans collapsed. The place looked like a miniature version of Burn Jita and got steadily worse over the course of the evening. By the end of the evening the entire belt was hidden by the cloud of wrecks.

I'd foolishly warped straight into the middle of the action so I fired up the burner and headed out to the nearest vaguely clear spot I could see. The overview had turned in to a kaleidoscope of craziness and it was hard to make sense of anything happening at all. As I stared in disbelief a name jumped out at me, edging its way to the top as my burn took me closer. It was Rixx Javix of EVEOGANDA. What better EVE mark of respect for an excellent blogger and pilot than to shoot him in the back? I altered course wondering if I'd get there in time, one of his oppenents exploding even as my range dropped towards something with a potential for damage. I locked and opened up the guns. My reward was not only an explosion but a ton of guilt as I realised I'd grabbed the killing blow with my paltry first two salvos. Apologies to the two Merlins I robbed. Javix I salute you, as far as I can tell you were highly amused by internet fame resulting in being frigate enemy number 1 for so many of us. I have that kill to treasure and yet I'll be back hunting Tusker space as soon as I can to return the favour.

The rest of the night turned into a whirl of warping between belts, planets, moons, and the sun. There were battles everywhere, most following the Tuskers themed mini events with expensive loot. Along with the other scraps I got into several duels with Tgl3, duels that he generally but not exclusively won even if it didn't end with a kill. In the final encounter I turned up in an experimental warp stab fit that was almost impossible to fly and target with but caused indignant exclamations when I escaped his web and scram lockdown. I treasure the memory of the yell in Mumble more than I would a kill.

While most people followed the Tuskers guidelines and didn't pod or team up there were always going to be a few pilots that took the malign road of the killjoy. In particular a team of pilots from one corporation who were all flying Merlins. Not only did the Tuskers set out to foil them by policing the event (while getting shot at by trigger happy frigate pilots presumably) but the Merlin's became a bit of a joke in Mumble. "Oh no the Merlins are here! Quick, run away" and similar became a comedy staple of the Mumble chat even after they shipped up to Enyos and the like. The Merlin pilots in question probably did well out of the loot but I prefer my rewards of almost no loot and mild stomach ache from laughing so hard.

To cap off their nights events the Tuskers set a Typhoon en route to the sun. It's smart bomb was anathema to any frigate caught within it. Typically the drunken noob had to attempt to dive down and blast it anyway. I tried timing the smartbomb activation with my run. I got a little cooked, as Mr Skywalker would say, on the road out but I survived and got on the kill. Fweddit finally turned up around this point, jumping in on the action. I had thought they would turn up earlier. I think some of us hoped they would turn up earlier, endless swarms of frigates would do a lot of damage. I'd like to think Fweddit avoided an early arrival in order to let the event run for a while. I really would like to think that but actually they got a bit distracted by miner ganking along the way.

I have to say a massive thanks to the Tuskers. Organising it, running it, policing it and even managing to join in with it must have been a massive effort. I don't think I've had as much fun in EVE before. It was one of the best evenings I've ever had playing any game. Massive thanks to I Legionnaire whose farewell gesture to EVE made this all possible. Good luck in RL, fly safe.

Once I got back to my home system the next morning I took a screen shot of the map in the mode where it indicates kills. You can see Jovainnon to the west of my home system, right in the cloud of red that indicates thousands of ship kills. I think the butchers bill was well over nine billion even on just the RvB killboard.

Tgl3 did a fantastic write up of the event having managed to turn up from wormhole space, speedily completing the  epic mission called "getting the bus home from work". There is even a screenshot in his post of him beating the crap out of me. I escaped in that particular case but it was a close, a very close, call. Next time dude!

RvB graciously supplied the killboard for the event, and I was just glad to be on it in any way I could. A zero kill record would have been just as amusing if less gratifying. During the event I learned about posting kill mails manually, I'd never done this or really had cause to before. Fellow noobs : you can right click and copy the Kills and Losses from your Character Sheet combat log, and then paste them into the box provided on the Post Kill  submission page on kill boards. Another handy lesson for a noob. I was learning stuff all night.

Not a hugely impressive killboard presence for me but compared to the rest of my EVE career so far it looks amazing. More work will be put into this at some point. Fast Frigate Fun is great. "God Hates Frigates" says Poetic Stanziel. God who? Maybe it's the Sentry Gun god. Look at the board stats on those kill whores. You should have left your crew of miner gankers, jumped in a frigate and come and joined us PS. You'd have enjoyed yourself more!

Quick noob lesson summary off the top of my head :

1. Warp stabs - just say no.
2. Railguns will always need overheating to stand any chance of breaking a tank.
2a. Alteration to the above. Fuck it. Overheat everything.
3. Remember to launch the drone!
4. Manual maneuvering counts.
5. Defensive fits might leave you stuck in a web/scram hole and yet they are good to learn under since you have more time to observe and react. You have to interact more with the ship. Be prepared for the death of a thousand cuts however.

A final note : to whoever tried to convo me and got blanked - massive apologies, I was in a bit of trouble at the time and got rid of the dialog then forgot the name. Sorry!


  1. To be a honest, a lot of us within the Amarr/Caldari militia would have liked to join in, but frig events are always located in either Minmatar or Gallente owned space, meaning station lockout. Oh well, maybe next time.

    1. Ah! I never thought of that. To be honest I staged out of hi sec two jumps down and even that was a hassle. I can well understand not doing it if you are looking at more than that.

      Is there any such thing as a neutral faction in Empire where everyone can dock?