Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Day 264: The Deadly Lure of Choice

I'm now dedicated to practising a few scraps a week. I didn't have much time tonight and I was feeling a little sketchy from being out late on the date last night. Nerves plus lager plus empty stomach is the arithmetic of feeling like crap come the afternoon.

I head out. I'm about to learn three things.

1. Stick with your instincts.
2. Fighting Tristans is like kicking a wasps nest.
3. Stay Calm.

I roll through a couple of low sec systems, arcing over the northern Essence chain as usual. There doesn't seem to be anyone around and some of my safes are so safe that not only would no one ever find me, I'd never see another ship again. I take a couple of risks and zip down to some FW plexes to scan the inside. Not much is going on but three jumps later I locate a Tristan. Ah ha!

I've always wanted to try a Tristan out in PVP but the fitting constraints end up annoying me every time I try it. I figure I can learn some stuff by trying to kick one in the knackers. Yeah. It's that learning by burning thing again.

I warp into the plex and drop right on the Tristan. A single K and I'm good for my T2 ions. Flick on the afterburner and head in, there's no point worrying about the approach at this range. Well until the Tristan turns out to be way more agile than I thought. He's beginning to pull range and with blasters that means I'm in the shit. Here's my first mistake. I figure I'd take out the drones instead. I flick to my overview tab that has drones on it and CTRL click like a crazy man. I turn off the guns, reselect a drone and turn them back on again, cursing the delay. I hit nothing. NOTHING. I figured Ions would track fast enough. I've kicked a wasps nest and I'm trying to pick single wasps out of the crowd. Suddenly I think I'm Mr Miyagi and my Ions are chopsticks. They are not. It's like swatting with a cricket bat. Oh, I think, I'll switch back to the Tristan. That's right. In frigate 1v1 I switched targets and dithered like an elderly grandmother choosing which fruit scone she'd like. Round about the same level of combat effectiveness as that too as it happens.

The Tristan has a decent range on me now and I don't think I'm going to get back in there. By some miracle of screen clickage I get back there and overheat the guns. It's a death race now and I'll be dead before they burn out. Webbed and scrammed I'm not leaving here until one of us is atomised. Webbed...... webbbed...... DEAR HOLY CHRIST I haven't webbed him. THE WEB IS NOT ON. I didn't even web the drones. Honestly, I should just fly with empty mid slots and enjoy the breeze that blows through them as I speed through the black.

Of course I was toast. It was too late. The fight had us both down in structure. A real tussle that ended in me making a nice little explosive sound. Close but no cigar.

So what did I do wrong?

  • I changed my mind. I should have stuck with the Tristan and tanked the drones.
  • I kicked a Tristan. It's a five drone hive these days people. Take note. I'll be fitting one however annoying it gets. The kill mail says all Rail damage. Not sure what to make of that.
  • I didn't stay calm. With the web running I'd of had him, why the hell wasn't the web on? When range got a little dubious I should have considered switching to Null ammo as a bit of a surprise but it should never have come to that.

What did I do right?

  • I overheated the repairer a little early but around the right time. I could have tanked the drones with it and left the laughed in the face of the Tristans rails. An overheated Incursus repper is a thing to behold. Then again, it did give me enough time to make several very bad decisions indeed.
  • I overheated the guns at the right time. They were still viable, just, at the end of the fight. They had a killing blow in them and I didn't cripple myself early on.
  • I got my pod out. Some post fight awareness remained. I've made the jump to understanding you can die TWICE in an EVE fight.
  • For all my mistakes I had time to make tactical decisions through the haze of adrenaline. Completely incorrect tactical decisions to be sure, but at least I had the awareness to make them this time. All my previous fights have been seen through a veil of Red Mist that nullified conscious thought.

I exchanged 'gfs' with the pilot in question. It was close and a damn fine victory for him whatever my mistakes since I was flying a T2 bullet. I hope he enjoyed my loots, and the thrill. He earned them. I learned more in thirty seconds than I have in a while, and did enough right that the victory truly belongs to my opponent.

Thanks to the pilot in question, and thank to Gedos who shouted me just to say hi afterwards. O7 guys. Onwards and upwards! Here is the link

EVE Track of the Day

Try Not to Breathe - REM


  1. You didn't fly your drone, either. It's a little DPS, but when you need a little, you really need it. :)

    Swing by Adirain sometime.

    1. Damn it! You are right. I always forget that. I'm getting there slowly. What a waste of a T2 warrior!

  2. LOL I have no idea how many fights I have been in where I remembered the drones... after. You are so not alone in that or the, so well put, Red Mist of Nullification affects us all... actually, I do believe it is that mental Red Mist that is why PvP in EVE is such a string draw... no other PvP in any game has anywhere near the same pure gut reaction, or gives such a strong adrenaline rush... as have said so many I have spoken to on this.

    I am still searching for my inner Capt. Kirk... that ice cold command over myself that is the hallmark of the truly deadly gamer. Not a lack of reaction or emotion, but to control that rush and channel it so I can make the right choices...

    Like whether to kite or brawl... to remember 'Scram THEN Web!'... to not target one opponent and orbit another... to look down and furrow my brow because my guns are not firing and out of ammo and I CAN'T RELOAD (because the cargo bay is a dusty empty echo chamber with a couple of scared Marines and one very tired Hooker in a corner)... (yup, I've had that happen...) but... I am getting better... (I ALWAYS check ammo now... and I got the Hooker a Little Helper) =]

    1. Interesting Kirk analogy. I feel it's time for the Noob version of a Kobayashi Maru scenario!

  3. Great story! Grandma with scones!

    FWIW, I always overheat everything right at the start on my frigate and turn off the heat on the afterburner very early (it really gets hot) and also the web and scrambler. That's usually as soon as I've established an orbit around my victim (or more likely, around the ship that will soon destroy mine...).

    I leave the heat going on the weapons and armor repper for all of the fight (if it goes longer than a couple minutes I try to remember to turn off the heat on the guns - but the armor repper never seems to burn out).

    I also never change targets to drones in frigate fights (I might if against a cruiser). And I never change ammo (mostly because I don't have much of a clue about ammo - but also because the 10 seconds of reload time might mean the difference in winning and losing).

    Fun story and for all of your mistakes, you still finished a close second!

    1. I need to boost my Thermodynamics skill, the repper was gone by the end, though the guns were fine. Overheating the AB would have given me even more tracking problems I'm sure. I really am praying for April when my support skills have all finished ticking over!

  4. Great write-up! While reading I couldn't help but facepalm and say "no!!" when you realized you didn't turn on your web.

    I personally go into fights with my web/scram pre-heated as well as the repper, then take off the mid-slot heat once tackle is established. Unless going out far or at an obvious speed disadvantage (such as in an AF or plated Incursus), I typically don't heat the AB since that's one module I for sure do not want to have burn out.

    Then the high slots get heated at different times, depending on what I'm up against. Like at ~33% shields against a shield tanking ship, for example. And if it's going to be a DPS race :)

    I hang around Essence a lot, even though play time has dropped staggeringly in the last week. If you see me in local and want a 1v1 just let me know! And good luck with your next fight!

  5. "Honestly, I should just fly with empty mid slots and enjoy the breeze that blows through them as I speed through the black."
    : D

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  7. Just a thing you might consider, it's something I did early in my Eve career and still occasionally break out: The checklist.

    When I started, I had a pre-flight checklist and a post-flight checklist. After using those for awhile I realized the usefulness of a an "In-fight" checklist.

    Pre-heat (fire up) guns and mids. Activate prop mod. Approach/Orbit/Pull Range/Manual Pilot Launch Drones. Attack with drones. Overheat the things(as needed). Maneuver (if needed). Warp Out Pod/Scoop Loot. GF in Local.

    It doesn't have to be fancy. I used a sticky note pasted to the corner of my monitor.

    Use it enough and you won't need it. You'll still make mistakes. You'll make mistakes even if you *have* it, but you'll be training your muscle memory to act even though you're adrenalized.

    Fly fast and dangerous!

  8. Don't feel bad about about forgetting to release your hero drone. I am new to PVP, and in my second engagement I forgot to release mine, too. But I was in a drone boat. >.< Your phrase, "learn by burning," is descriptive of the outcome.