Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Well, the new update went ahead and pulled our beloved 2/10 complexes from losec. I have no idea why CCP did that, but meh, we'll survive, I guess. 1 more thing to make it difficult to find a fight.

Back in the Militia, and as I am about to be on winter break from school (Permanently, I graduate, woo!) I will be able to tend to both the blog and all those people who have been patiently waiting on me for art that I promised them months ago. I am sorry about the wait!

Expect good things. Ive been busy.


Saturday, November 3, 2012

The Rifter, revisited

Hello hello!

September and October were both very, very quiet for me; September i got a couple kills, and October I only went out once, and that was to test my Wolf against the Rail Ishkur of Sard Caid a couple times. Good fights, close, but, the Wolf was outdone. Bah!

However, a pilot from one of my favorite organizations, Black Rebel Rifter Club, asked me for a 1v1 in local. Evidently, he had hoped to fight me for some time. I said ok, and that I would go get a T1 frigate, as he was in a Rifter, and Wolf vs a Rifter, frankly, isnt much of a fight. He was generous enough to give me a Rifter to fight him in, which I took, fitted to my liking, and had a fun, old fasioned Rifter brawl! Good fights were shared, I scooped the loot, docked, repaired, and left pod... and kept thinking back to the Rifter.

Everyone had been saying the Rifter was past its prime. I believed them... but kept thinking on it. So, today I decided to go out for a little roam in that same Rifter. I flew to Bosena, picked it up, and had a fight against a Slasher within just a few minutes. Now, the Slasher has come a long way, with 4 mids, as much turret damage as the Rifter, and much higher speed. I expected a TD, and for him to kite me at the edge of scram range. What i found, however, was an ASB fitted Slasher that died after cycling his ASB only twice, driving the point home that I do not believe ASBs are viable at the frigate level. They just do not rep enough per cycle, at least not with T1 resists. Good fights were shared, I docked, hopped back in my Wolf, and poked around Heild for a while.

Sard Caid was in local, fighting with Black Rebel Rifter Club, and I took the opportunity to just watch him fight; my 2-mid wolf left me feeling less than optomistic about fighting the 4 or 5 r1fta in local at once, and they were careful to not seperate. After a bit, I decided to go get my Rifter, figuring maybe the lesser T1 frigate would encourage them to take a few more risks.

I never made it back to Heild.

In Oddelulf, I found an Atron, Slasher, and Incursus poking about. The Incursus pilot, a member of another of my favorite groups, the Tuskers, fought the Atron and Slasher, then agreed to fight my Rifter. I had heard about how nasty the Incursus was, and have even flown it myself a couple times, but I formulated a plan...

I load barrage and keep at range, shooting from about 7k. I had heated my web at the start of the fight, to slow him down on the way in... I guess... no idea why i did it. Anyway, I did. Slowly, so slowly, the Incursus begins to enter armor, and slowly, so slowly, I am chewing it down... when suddenly, I am taking heavy damage. In my stupidity,I had burned the web out! As I enter low armor, the Incursus enters structure... bang, bang, into structure I go... he is low structure... rep cycle... low structure... and boom! Good fights are shared, I scoop my loot, and dock to repair my burned up mods, my hull damage, and my crispy guns. One of the best frigate fights I have had in a long, long time!

I fight him again, a bit later, in a shield fitted rifter, which also goes down, but who does quite well; he forced me to stay at range to evade his neut, and he did quite solid damage, me being in low armor when he went down. Not bad for a 125mm fit Rifter vs mine, with 200s!

Long story short, the Rifter is still here. Rifter vs Incursus is a good, close fight, as it should be, and a variety of fits still seem quite viable for it. T1 frigates have been boosted and are now very varied, and a lot of fun. I will be rolling around in this Rifter for the forseeable future; its cheap, its fun, and it still seems to be working just fine to me. Destroyers will be far more difficult, but meh, its a Rifter. It has SOME limits, right?

Hope to find a rail fit Merlin, maybe a Tormentor, and a proper kiting Slasher to give this a proper go. Until then;

Fly it like you stole it!


Monday, October 8, 2012

My recent inactivity

Hello all. Gonna be a strictly OOC post here, to explain why the blog (And me) have been so quiet lately.

The crux is simply that I am in my last semester of college, with quite a heavy workload and all of the strains (such as getting ready for graduation and trying to find a job) That come with it. In addition, I do work full time at the moment, and this, coupled with a RL relationship, family, and other commitments, just have left me no time for the blog or for EVE. Hopefully after the midterm hump (this week and next) things will begin to quiet enough to permit me to violence some people's pixels.

Fly it like you stole it,


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

How to find a fight in EVE.

In my own experiences, as well as from talking to a few other people, one of the questions I am asked most often is "How do I find people to fight?"

Well... the answer to this depends on what sort of fight you want. If you're in a fleet, well, follow your FC. He or she will know where to take you to find action. However, as this whole thing is directed at solo roamers, whether FW combatants, nullsec roamers, lowsec pirates, or people who may be a little bit of all of the above, lets examine a few tricks. ((Note: Due to the content, ie, finding pvp in a video game, from here on, I am just writing from an OOC perspective, to make things easier)) This focuses on the perspective of a roamer, so I dont cover camping a gate, which is a dangerous PITA for a solo frig or AF anyways (But, at times, I have done it, and with success).

Step 1. The MAP. Yes, the map you can access by pressing F10? You can find people with that. In fact, I started using it more than I have before, thanks to an outstanding tutorial video made by solo pvper Kil2. The tutorial video can be found here and it is a straightforward, easy to understand introduction to the use of the map for this purpose. One caveat I would like to mention; just because the map shows 4 people active in system over the last 30 minutes does not mean 4 will be there when you jump in. It means, over the past 30 minutes, there have been an average of 4 people there. They may all be gone, or you might find a roaming gang of 30. But it is a definate point in the right direction, and using it as Kil2 describes to find pockets of activity is an outstanding way to get some shooting done. Also, if you havent, he has a series of fun pvp videos and even runs a live stream several times a week. Check it out.

Step 2. Know the area. I know from a long period of living in Minmatar losec that if I want fights, the places to go are the region from Amamake down to Hadozeko in Metropolis/Heimatar, the Creo-Corp plexes in Heimatar and Molden Heath, and Molden Heath in the Bosena/Heild area. Knowing your territory is exceedingly important. You can learn who to expect to bring good fights, who to bring blobs and falcons, and who simply not to waste time with. Finding a fight is not the whole story; being able to find a winnable fight is. Border systems (( Such as Amamake )) are often good places, though they can be extremely risky due to the large number of people in them. This, plus the map as outlined in 1, is often as far as you need to go, but here are a few more tricks...

Step 3. Make yourself easy to find. Sit in a belt (not at 0, of course). Sit at a DED plex. If you jump through a gate, or undock from station, and you see someone you wish to fight, warp to an obvious celestial. In null, you may attack them immediately, of course... if you know what lies in the station or on the other side of the gate. If they seem reluctant to engage, they will either 1) jump/dock as soon as you engage them, or 2) will not follow you when you warp to said obvious celestial. If they do things like point you immediately, but DONT follow you off gate or station, you can bet your last dollar they have help coming. Make them come to you, so you have a bit of time with them alone, or dont take the fight.

Step 4. Nullsec entry systems. Often, the entry systems into nullsec will be camped. Sometimes by a few people, sometimes by a huge gang, ocassionally by soloers. I will sometimes roam around and peek into every nullsec entry, and even go 1 system in (Null entries are always huge regional gates; campers much prefer the smaller, standard stargates that are generally 1 system in from the low/null boundary gate) to find some pew. This can be risky, as gangs of recons and/or sniper Tier 3 BCs are common, but you can almost always burn back to the gate or warp off if it is something you dont want to try.

And Step 5. When all else fails, just ask! I will often yell in local if i see another AF or 2 if they want a fight. Sometimes they say yes. If they dont respond, but keep looking for you, it can mean 1) They have no idea what language you're speaking or 2) Theyre tackling/baiting for a gang. Proceed with caution, though this will often save the day, and get a fight when nothing else will.

Learn to use that D-scanner, which will be something I will go over in my next post. Until then, fly it like you stole it! Good luck, and if anyone else has any tips that I havent covered... let me know, I'll add them.

Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Jaguar

Greetings all! I hope that the Fates have been kind to you, as they have been to me. Before I start on my new examinations of the Jaguar, I wanted to say thanks to all of you who follow the blog, comment, help me out with advice and gifts, and who in general enable me to do this stuff. I mean it, thanks. Every piece of advice on a fit, every isk, every ship, is something I use, something which hopefully will help me improve. I really appreciate it.

And without further delay, lets take a look at the ship which will always hold a special attachment for me, the Jaguar. Back when I was a new pilot, I yearned for the day that I could fly it, and I spent much of my first year in this ship, running agent missions and making timid forays into lowsec for a bit of exploration. When I decided to take up frigate combat versus other capsuleers, it was the Jaguar, not the Wolf, which I first moved on to after the Rifter, and I had some very encouraging early successes with it.

And, even then, before the current incarnation of AFs, a few pretty discouraging failures, due to limitations of the ship itself.

The plus side of the Jaguar is its speed and slot layout; it is the fastest AF in the skies, and it has a rather delightful 4/4/4 slot layout, with plenty of CPU to make use of it, unlike the Wolf, who's CPU makes me scream. Seriously, does Boundless Creation put a pocket calculator processor in those things? The Jaguar has a nice tracking speed bonus and like its sister ship, the Wolf, two damage bonuses. Its Optimal Range bonus, however, is fairly useless with standard autocannon fits, as their optimals are so short to begin with, adding 10% per level to nothing, is still nothing.

So... why fit them with autocannons?

Lets first look at what the Jaguar does WELL. It is, bar none, an outstanding heavy tackler for a gang. Working in tandem with an Interceptor, you can take over holding something down (and often with a scram, where an inty may have only a point) and be very difficult to scrape off. The problem arises in the current environment of Tier 3 Battlecruisers, who may kill our Jaguar in a single volley, so it, much like Interceptors, must be watchful for this. I enjoy dual prop fits with an MSE and scram when I am in a gang, scouting and tackling, as it gives me the best balance of survivability and speed. I wont share a fit here, theyre pretty easy to work up, you guys can figure it out!

However, if we want to go out solo roaming in our Jaguar... things are not as clear-cut. The old standard for many years was 150s, a neut, MSE/AB/scram/web, and DCU/gyro/TE, with rigs to personal taste. It had a hard time vs. Hawks, but theyve always been nasty, other than that, was on par with, or better than, most other AFs and frigates out there. Now, however, this fit dies, often, to just about every other AF? What has changed?

For starters, the AF updates have REALLY turned the table upside down. Most AF's tanks improved markedly, where the Jaguar's did not, and most also now have expanded fitting and/or slots to control range better, tank better, and apply their DPS better. The jaguar got a tracking bonus (Tracking speed was never an issue for it in the first place) and one sort of "meh" lowslot; this dosent offset the ships who recieved extra mids, tank bonuses, or range/damage bonuses.

Basically, all the other AFs, excepting maybe the Wolf and Ishkur, got markedly better. The Jaguar stayed right where it was, with one extra low slot. It has very, very poor gun range with ACs (in general) and spends much of the fight in this configuration trying to burn into gun range (or away, if fighting an enyo, for example) and not doing anything but taking damage. Every other AF, excepting possibly the Enyo, can apply DPS adequately from the instant it enters scram range, and the Enyo has roughly twice the Jaguar's damage output, offsetting the lack of time it does damage by sheer volume of damage it applies once in range. So, what can we do? We try to find a way to apply meaninful DPS from the instant we enter scram range ourselves, and play to that speed advantage, right? Let's see:

[Jaguar, Shaguar]
Gyrostabilizer II
Tracking Enhancer II
Tracking Enhancer II
Damage Control II

J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
Coreli C-Type 1MN Afterburner
Medium Shield Extender II

150mm Light AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
150mm Light AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
150mm Light AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
5W Infectious Power System Malfunction

Small Core Defense Field Extender I
Small Anti-Explosive Screen Reinforcer I

Numbers? Well... discouraging. 154 dps at 1.3 + 9k is nothing to write home about, and we had to use two TEs both because we lack the CPU for 2 gyros, and because we need that gun range to begin applying said DPS. It is somewhat vulnerable to kiters (yay) and almost all AFs, especially since the introduction of ASB modules, can easily tank its mediocre damage. You can also get a 200 fit with 2 gyros and a nano, which will get us into range faster and does much better damage, but that time we're creeping into gun range, which can take 20-30 seconds against anything which can web us back, is time we're taking damage and they simply arent. I love Autocannons, I truly do... but I think theyre a poor choice on a solo Jaguar in the current environment.

So, lets see what we can do with Artillery guns! Since i lost one today, and people can look it up, no harm in sharing it now:

[Jaguar, Arty]
Internal Force Field Array I
Fourier Transform Tracking Program
Gyrostabilizer II
Micro Auxiliary Power Core I

Coreli C-Type 1MN Afterburner
Medium Ancillary Shield Booster, Cap Booster 50
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
Faint Warp Disruptor I

280mm Howitzer Artillery II, Republic Fleet EMP S
280mm Howitzer Artillery II, Republic Fleet EMP S
280mm Howitzer Artillery II, Republic Fleet EMP S
Salvager I

Small Processor Overclocking Unit I
Small Projectile Collision Accelerator I

Numbers... well, 1119 base speed, same as above, but we have 136 DPS (( Volley damage is what matters for arty fits, in this case, 940 )) applied at a 13+14 range with standard high-damage ammo; basically, if we can point it, we can shoot it. Our tank is meh, as the ASB has only 10 cycles available before its 60 second load, but reps us a huge chunk per cycle. This fit will work with a T2 AB and a Pseudo Damage control if you're budget minded (My loss was, still getting used to it) but a C type will work, and gets 70 more msec; probably not worth the 20m cost for the AB + DCU. Fitting a Gistii B requires a meta MAPC.

How do we fly it? Well... carefully. I managed to derp up and lose mine to a dual ASB hawk by getting too close, and then was unable to burn back out of his range before I went down. I was, however, punching right through his shield into armor on most shots, and he had emptied both ASBs when the fight ended. One more volley (ie, not derping as SOON as I did) would have won the fight. To be fair, it may have been a bit easier in my Wolf, but I have a feeling the Wolf wouldnt be able to break it in time. The idea is to stay at 15-16k range, and heat your web to "keepaway" if they get too close. You have 10 cycles of that booster, and that is IT. If it runs out and youre still taking heavy damage, well... get ready to warp that pod out. Even inside this range, had it been anything other than a dual asb hawk, it would have died, as it simply couldnt have repped the volleys fast enough. A Vengeance perhaps... but we'd have had a much easier time burning back away from it. It has a Succubus that was also dual ASB fit (( CCP, mental note... when EVERYONE is fitting 2 of these,  might be a sign to re-examine them )) a Dramiel (Which was pretty horribly fit) and an Ishkur to its credit so far, and the loss was my fault entirely for being, as I have said before, rather bad at kiting. I cannot get a T2 point on this thing; wish I could, that 4k range makes a HUGE difference.

Hopefully, I get better at it sooner rather than later.


Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Something Wicked This Way Comes

Just a heads up to everyone. We're in a process of rebuilding, we're still in Syndicate, we're waiting for things (( Summer, vacations, RL issues, etc )) to wind down... and I bought a new toy.

I just had to buy it. It matched my top.

A proper post is forthcoming this weekend, fly it like you stole it!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

The Wolf's "5th low" revisited.

Hello hello!

Been some time since i did a good down and dirty examination of various Wolf fits. We know we have no choice but to armor tank it, but we have some serious issues to work with; the capacitor is tiny, the CPU is terrible, and we have 2 armor holes we have to patch, at least partially. A 400 plate is what many people will elect to run, but I simply dislike any fit that dosent have a repairer on it. While there are some 400 plate fits that run a repairer, these almost always have 125s or at best 150s on them, which will require some serious fitting sacrifices and faction/deadspace mods. Wolves have gone up in price, as have my Pilot's License EXtension costs, so I try to keep them below 50-60m now if at all possible. Dont get me wrong, if I felt that a 400 plate fit was "better", id spend the isk. In certain cases, it is! But... its slow, it has poor range, and it either runs an AB, or has no repper. None of these are sacrifices I am equipped to make.

For a baseline, there are a few things I have come to accept as "Standard" on any roaming Wolf I fly. This is written from the perspective of a solo pilot remember, who is very active in both nullsec and low. An AB can work, but... the wolf is ok scrammed, most of the time (NOTE. If you plan to kill cruisers with the thing, an AB is a much, much better choice than an MWD!) due to its gun range and tracking speed bonus. Our baseline fit:

4x 200MM AutoCannon II
1x Small Nosferatu II (Or meta, depends on fit)

1x 1MN Limited MicroWarpDrive I
1x J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I

1x Gyrostabilizer II
1x Small Armor Repairer II
1x Centii C-Type Explosive Plating
1x Pseudoelectron Containment Field I
1x ____________ (That 5th Mid were talking about!)

1x Small Anti-Kinectic Pump I
1x Small Projectile Collision Accelerator II (Can easily be T1 with marginal DPS loss)

The baseline numbers, with no implants and a T2 collision rig.

244 dps at 750 + 9k with Standard RF Ammo, 195 DPS at 1500 + 11.35 with Barrage
7022 raw EHP
45 sec cap life running all (This is a minor drawback generally) or 1m 48s without the MWD
2415 MSEC.
91.3/71.7/54.3/52.8 resists, 1128 armor.

The 3 modules we will look at on this fit (The most common "extra" mods to toss onto a Wolf, after SAR/Gyro/DCU/Patch explosive hole) are; A Tracking Enhancer II, an Adaptive Nano Plating II, and a 200MM Rolled Tungsten Plate. All 3 fit with the following tweaks;

200 MM plate means running a named nos due to PG useage
ANP II permits the fitting of a T2 Damage Control, which gains us some EHP due to better resists in all 3 areas.

First, the TE. It only changes our falloff and tracking speed; it increases our falloff with standard RF ammos to 11.7k, and with barrage to 18k!! That is a lot of gun range, and it does gain us some tracking speed, making our wolf very difficult to outtrack. (I can hit Stilettos in close orbit with barrage with 1 TE while scrammed... though I recommend loading something besides barrage for this! Doh!). Our tank retains the same numbers.

Secondly, adding the ANP II. That gives us 93.1/77.7/62.8/61.6 resists, lowers our gun range, dosent affect our speed. The higher resists also come from the T2 damage control we can fit on this fit. Retains its speed, has good resists and active tank.

And last, we can add a 200mm plate. 1785 Armor now, with our previous resists of 91.3/71.7/54.3/52.8. We lose a good bit of manuverability and speed here, but our overall armor amount has increased by a whopping (1785/1128) 58%! That is a HUGE increase, and we give up only some gun range, our speed drops from 2415 to 2272, and we will now align a bit slower, from 4.2 seconds to 4.7.

Well... the TE's "value" is hard to judge. I often depend on its added range. At 2.5k, our dps numbers are similar; 243 vs 239, for TE vs Plate or ANP. However, it changes fast beyond this; 218 vs 197 at 5k (Still ok!) 181 vs 144 at 7.5k. This is the range that we worry about with hawks and vengeances; it is an applied DPS difference of almost 40 dps. Interestingly, with Barrage at this range,the TE fit does 178 DPS (This is the range to think about switching ammo types at, see?) while the plate or ANP fit still does 144. At 10k, its 157 DPS with the TE, and 90 without. That is pretty significant. Very. Significant.

Some will scream "but dont believe the math! You cant calculate in hit quality with those numbers!" and theyre exactly right. The TE fit will do even better than those numbers suggest due to both tracking speed and hit quality at range... ouch!

So, now that we have looked at the damage numbers, lets look at the raw tank power of all 3 fits. We will calculate raw EHP vs pure kinectic and pure explosive damage, to armor only, as vs EM or therm, any of the 3 is in pretty good shape (though, more buffer will last even longer there) and kin/exp are the 2 we get shot by from sabres, thrashers, other wolves, enyos, harpies...Math here is pretty dependable:

Our formula for calculation is: Armor value / (1 - % resist) = raw EHP vs that type.

Fit 1, our TE II fit, has 2506 EHP vs pure kinectic, and 2400 vs pure explosive.
Fit 2, with an ANP II, has 3048 vs pure kinectic, 2960 vs pure explosive.
Fit 3, with a 200 plate, has 3966 vs pure kinectic, 3797 vs pure explosive.

Well. That 200 plate wins by a large margin here, and we can see that the minimal EHP gain from the ANP will NOT offset the loss in applied DPS at range if we select that over a TE... for now.

But, wont the extra resist make our armor repper work better? Yes, some. Lets check it out. Lets see how many repair cycles (x) will be required before our ANP fit out-EHPs our 200 plate fit: Our formula is:

(EHP fit 1) + X(Armor rep amount per cycle/(1-% resist) > (EHP fit 2) + X(Armor rep amount/(1-%resist)

So. Vs explosive (the 2 are similar enough that this holds true for both, and due to the way damage types and resists work, this is pretty reliable math)

2960 + X(80/.38) > 3797 + X(80/.47) and lets do some algebra. The (80/resist) tells us how much raw EHP vs that damage type we recover per rep cycle, as a SAR II Reps 80 HP per cycle. Yes, a deadspace repper will nudge numbers in favor of... well. Both. So...

2960 + 210X > 3797 + 170X

This means the ANP fit reps 210 "ehp" per cycle, the 200 plate fit 170 "ehp". Solving for X, which is rep cycles, we get:

40x > 837 or, X = 837/40, which works out to 20.9, or TWENTY ONE, repair cycles before the ANP is more beneficial to the fit than the plate. I have had maybe 2 frig fights last long enough to rep that many cycles.

So, the 200 plate fit is the clear winner in the tank department, but the TE is so, so helpful in applying our DPS...

Id say a solution is obvious. Fit both.

Till next time, folks, fly it like you stole it! Gonna see if i can wrangle a TE and a Plate in here somehow, and keep decentish resists!


Sunday, July 1, 2012

To Syndicate, and BEYOND!

Skadi's Call has moved. Yeah, I am surprised by it too.

We have relocated to Syndicate, and are currently with the I-RED, a very good group of people and friends who have long been assisting our humanitarian efforts in the Republic. So far, so good; we are getting settled in, going on fleets, learning our way around the region, and getting to know the locals.

The locals being assorted russians, a few OKish combat corps and alliances... and Rote Kapelle.

I met one of Rote Kapelle on my first day in Syndicate, and we had a proper Wolf vs Wolf fight. My MWD, plateless fit went down to a 2 gyro, 400 plate/C tye SAR, AB fit Wolf flown by Namamai of Rote Kapelle, though she had entered structure when I went down. Not bad for a wolf with less tank, DPS, and range control!

Her fit got me thinking. I like no plate, as frankly, I fly the Wolf more like a heavy interceptor than a "in your face" brawler, and speed is life; the ability to string gangs apart, pull tacklers away, and all means that I have to keep my MWD... most of the time.

Namamai mentioned that her wolf was very, very good for killing Sabres. I like killing Sabres. I have built a new fit that I will report more on after some proper testing, an AB fit; others have done well with ABs in 0.0, in the right sort of fights, so why not? I will give it a go!

Undeterred, I have been part of several gangs and had some hilarious times, including a Scimitar that a pilot donated (By ejecting from it after being tackled, haha!) to me last night, fully fitted! Thank you! I have been wanting to learn to fly logistics, and now I can, and not cost myself a dime. It will be properly resupplied and renamed, and placed in service for SKDI.

Today, I had a fun fight versus a Slicer and Retribution, with a Hawk also in system. I was sort of hoping the Hawk would approach (He was in the corp with the Retri pilot) when the fight began, but he did not. So, 2 up, 2 down, loot scooped (What there is of it... their fits were odd, shown here and here. Kudos to them for taking the fight, and hope to see more of them.

I  think I am gonna like it here... not to mention, the rumors of Ishukone having some connection to the development of insorum...

Ava, out!

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

CCP Strikes Again

Well, the Wolf cant buy a break. Since the AF changes, its been a bit behind the curve compared to the Enyo, Vengeance, and of course, Hawk and Harpy, but it was still the sexiest looking ship ever to take to the skies.... until, CCP.

Yesterday CCP decided to make the sexy, sleek, 10-AC turret armed Wolf and make it into a rusty, dumpy, skinny sad little thing, with much fewer guns modeled on its hull, a horrid paint job.... and the models of the guns are about 1/5 the size they once were. No. Seriously. Its that bad.

Here is my old love;

And the new... thing....

What the hell? The gun models have ALL been relocated and shrunk to ridiculously tiny size, the hull shape has been drastically changed, and the paint job has gone from sexy silver to.... rusty. Bad. Rusty. I guess CCP wasnt happy having it be behind the curve, they decided to make it look like shit too.

A few of my all time favorite shots of my ship. RIP baby. It was awesome while it lasted.

CCP... what was wrong with the old model?


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Destruction (And Sexism) in Heild.

So. This is a first for me, but, here we go.

Somedays, I have off days, as I stated in an earlier post. It happens. I do dumb things, run into people who are simply better than me, or both. I dont claim to be an expert; as a matter of fact, at the beginning of this blog, I explicitly stated that I am learning as I go, and the blog's entries reveal that.

I lost a 1v1. It happens, right? Korvus Falek, a member of Black Rebel Rifter Club, was so proud of it he posted about it on his blog... if you want to read the entry, its here so you can see for yourself. Hey, thats ok, I have a blog and post stuff about my fights too, right? Well... please read the entry. You may notice some differences.

I decided to reply, and dispel a few of the inaccuracies in his post, with regards to my wolf, myself, and what I do in EVE.

First. Lets compare fits....mine. This was my actual lossmail from the fight.

I was heading to null to rat/pew, so I was running an MWD, which is not my normal choice; an AB allows me better range control and permits fitting a T2 DCU. My TE/Gyro combo gives me good range vs those who kite at the edge of scram range and gives me more damage beyond about 6k than 2 gyros. I was also in a 10 million isk clone, running 2 +2s and a 3% small projectile damage implant.

The fight itself? I started off dealing early damage, and let him catch me... you know, like I have stated several other places in this very blog that I always do. I wasnt trying to "Kite", I have a scram. Even if i could do so (Which i have said elsewhere, in this blog, that I am bad at) I likely would have had a long point fit, eh? Yes, the blog he says I he read through, and wouldnt point out all the stuff I write that is "wrong". Must have been a thorough read. When I went down, he was in low armor, repping well... I suspect he used Exile, though it may just be the normal repping rate of an A type SAR.

So. By KITERS, i mean those things, such as Hawks and Vengeances who tend to stay at the edge of scram range, 7-8k, beyond the effective range of a fit without a TE.

Now... his fit.

Sheesh! Thats stout! 330m isk frigate, with im guessing a head full of slaves and possibly, as i mentioned, Exile.
I dont know that this was the exact fit, but similar; web/scram/AB, and definately a faction fit.

I had an MWD, which makes my ability to counter rocket damage, already basically horrid when webbed, even worse. It was a bad matchup, but a fun fight nonetheless. I was in a convo with him (we had fleeted, so he didnt have boosts or anything ) and he mentioned to try an AB. Yeap. I know. Anyway, he says I got "mad" and left when he started "epeen waving"... lets see....

  Channel ID:      (('fleetid', 1122610806817L),)
  Channel Name:    Fleet
  Listener:        Ava Starfire
  Session started: 2012.05.14 14:31:42
[ 2012.05.14 14:31:56 ] Ava Starfire > SS?
[ 2012.05.14 14:31:56 ] Korvus Falek > rdy for warp in when you are
[ 2012.05.14 14:32:02 ] Korvus Falek > roughly
[ 2012.05.14 14:32:03 ] Ava Starfire > Ok, warp to you?
[ 2012.05.14 14:32:22 ] Korvus Falek > yeah
[ 2012.05.14 14:32:25 ] Ava Starfire > ok
[ 2012.05.14 14:32:30 ] Ava Starfire > if is dualrep
[ 2012.05.14 14:32:31 ] Ava Starfire > i will cry!
[ 2012.05.14 14:32:36 ] Korvus Falek > lol
[ 2012.05.14 14:37:09 ] Ava Starfire > =(
[ 2012.05.14 14:37:51 ] Ava Starfire > Well
[ 2012.05.14 14:37:53 ] Korvus Falek > hehe gf
[ 2012.05.14 14:37:58 ] Ava Starfire > Just means I dont fight vengeance anymore
[ 2012.05.14 14:37:59 ] Ava Starfire > meh
[ 2012.05.14 14:38:08 ] Ava Starfire > 2nd wolf i lost today and nothing to show
[ 2012.05.14 14:38:22 ] Ava Starfire > how about fight in something that isnt a veng?
[ 2012.05.14 14:38:33 ] Korvus Falek > only ship i fly tbh =P
[ 2012.05.14 14:38:37 ] Ava Starfire > Well
[ 2012.05.14 14:38:43 ] Ava Starfire > I just wont fight it anymore
[ 2012.05.14 14:38:52 ] Ava Starfire > MWD wolf simply cant beat it
[ 2012.05.14 14:39:05 ] Ava Starfire > dosent help im in a shit 10m isk nullsec clone atm either
[ 2012.05.14 14:39:47 ] Korvus Falek > hehe use something other than mwd =P
[ 2012.05.14 14:39:59 ] Korvus Falek > a wolf can beat a vengeance
[ 2012.05.14 14:40:06 ] Ava Starfire > I was heading to null
[ 2012.05.14 14:40:06 ] Korvus Falek > but not my vengeance =P
[ 2012.05.14 14:40:07 ] Ava Starfire > =P
[ 2012.05.14 14:40:11 ] Ava Starfire > You all distracted me
[ 2012.05.14 14:40:18 ] Ava Starfire > Ok, epeen measuring time i guess
[ 2012.05.14 14:40:20 ] Ava Starfire > bye

Hmm. I said "MWD wolf cant beat vengeance" (which it may or may not be able to) but lets call attention to this line:

[ 2012.05.14 14:39:59 ] Korvus Falek > a wolf can beat a vengeance
[ 2012.05.14 14:40:06 ] Ava Starfire > I was heading to null
[ 2012.05.14 14:40:06 ] Korvus Falek > but not my vengeance =P

That's pretty smug, and is the reason I left the convo. Now, looking back, I admit I was in a mood, and as eve smack/chestbeating goes, this wasnt that bad... however, the blog post he wrote is much, much worse than just about any local smack I have ever seen. I dont smack, denegrate people, or point out anything wrong they do in a negative way, and I certainly dont make any sort of claims that I am some sort of frigate savant. After killing someone, I will usually (if they seem new to pvp and/or eve) offer some tips. Often, I give new pilots isk for frigs. I try to encourage people. I dont see any reason to chestbeat or proclaim awesomeness OOCly in a video game; it's a video game, after all. I suppose not everyone does that. Hey, its ok, its a big game.

I refit (with an AB and plate, a fit i run sometimes) and returned to fight him again, only getting intercepted (And losing, ack! My luck!) to a rail daredevil, only due to my own stupid; the DD had dipped into struct when I died, had i loaded barrage, would have forced him off. Korvus was at the sun during the fight, watching.

I noticed he didnt mention that in his entry?

RL intervened, I didnt have time to come back a third time to try again. I plan to soon.

So, lets recap; I lost a fight. Someone makes a rather condescending, smug, and sexist post about how awesome he is, and how dumb I am, on his blog. I replied. I'll let you readers be the judge; please, read both entries, and just decide for yourselves. Yep. I lost the fight.

Im pretty sure I know which one of us is the loser.


Oh, and Korvus? I excuse you, hun, you're a man. Or male of some sort, anyway.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Nullsec and Me (And impending FW changes)

How time flies!

Having gotten my fill of 1v1s in Angel Creo-Corp Plexes (and other places) the last 2 or so months, I began to get a little bored. Faction War is in a somewhat sad state; unpopular impending changes will make it so that enemy militia cannot dock in space controlled by the opposing force (pretty dumb) that one can earn FW LP for plexing (I am ok with this change) and a few other tweaks, such as upgrading your controlled systems by spending LP... basically, its gonna be sort of like sov null. I think. Anyways, yeah, its unpopular... but militia combat has degenerated into blob vs blob of the worst sort, and it is very, very difficult to solo, at least without a lot of frustrating losses. Ill have to work on this.

Anyways, enough complaining about FW. I decided to begin poking about in nullsec, so I fitted up my trusty wolf and headed off to Great Wildlands, for a bit of good-ol roaming. My standard fit, with an MWD, of course, a fit that I now fly virtually all the time. A wolf with an MWD has a tough time vs scram fit cruisers (Most of them) so I narrow my target selection some, but I gain a lot of kiting ability, the ability to counter kiters much easier, and the ability, most importantly, to pull gangs apart and/or GTFO.

1st trip in, I spot a wolf and thrasher at the 9SNK gate in BVIP. I figure theyre together, camping the small bubble i see on Dscan, when I see GFs in local and the thrasher pilot's pod! Hmm. I debate for a moment, and during that moment the Wolf must have repped up, as he was at almost full SHIELD by the time I landed (I debated for a while... first time in null, haha)

I warp to a safe above the gate, and see the wolf sitting next to the bubble... and right next to the thrasher wreck. I load fusion and warp down to the wreck, scramming him and lighting him up, pulling to 8k range. He was pretty slow responding, and he exploded before I hit armor. I pop the pod for good measure, and scoop up my loot... quite a haul, better than I am used to! I drop my loot in Egbi and roam around, but everyone i meet is either in vagabonds/canes/cynabals or in cloaky haulers or bombers.

Here is a funny part of null. Its very empty. Like, emptier than losec. At least GW is. I guess M-M and the other station systems have more activity, and I will begin poking around there shortly, but 99% of the time, I was alone in each system, leisurely ratting and making safes to evade bubbles. Yes, safes.

Bubbles come in 3 flavors; 1) a Warp Disruption Field generator attached to a heavy interdictor. These mean burn out, or back to the gate, as hictors mean gangs. I have yet to see one.

2) A probe that a Sabre (or other interdictor, though no one flies anything but sabres) launches. These mean burn back to the gate, burn off... or kill the sabre. That last option is almost a certain pod loss if you lose, but we're in null, we should be in cheap clones anyway. No guts, no glory! Load EMP or plasma, heat everything, and see what happens. The standard kite at edge of scram range dosent work vs sabres, so try to get close for max gank. Sig radius, fit, and a bit of luck will decide this fight.

3) Drag bubbles. These are bubbles that people place in line with celestials (like other gates) so that when someone warps to the gate, they are "dragged" 50-60k off the gate, into the bubble. NEVER warp directly to a gate unless 1) youre sure it isnt bubbled 2) no one else is in system or 3) you want to kill whats camping the bubble. Make safes at odd angles near gates; 150k is too close, i preger 250-300. We shall see why in a few minutes. Warp to the safe, THEN down to the gate... or down to the bubble, if you want to kill what is camping it!

Later on, I engage a thrasher in a belt, and what do you know, I lost? I started my repper late AND this person had fit a TE and loaded barrage; methinks he read up on me. Wonder where he could have done that... GFs were shared, and I skulked off home.

A few days later, I see a Claw, Catalyst, and Drake in OPI. Hmm. There are 3 gates in this system... and one was camping each gate. Now, I could have slipped past that Drake easy as pie, but we're not here to slip past anyone, are we? I wanted that Claw and Cattie. I warp to within 30k of the gate the cattie was on, and aligned, MWD off, to the sun. Predictably, the Claw lands, burns toward me, and dies gloriously, getting WAY too close to me on his approach. He popped in 2 shots. The Catalyst, strengthened by the company of his corpmate on field, had also by now burned toward me, and I opened up on him, reducing his ship to slag. Terrible fit, by the way... by now, the drake has landed, and I quietly ignore it as i scoop the loot and bounce, not wanting to chance a drake that wasnt pointing me from 20k in an MWD fit wolf. 2 down, off I go home. Good fight.

This trick with picking gangs apart and isolating tacklers or members with gate aggro/warping at ranges is one I am loving, and the fights are far more fun than old fasioned 1v1s in losec. Can I do it? How long should I stay around? What should I kill first? How do I split them? Do they have something that can web/scram/ecm me? These questions and many more run through my head, but I am loving every second of it. And I am getting a bit more confident....

I am ratting and a Capital Punishment Cyclone keeps following me. For hours. Sigh.

Ok. Pirates. Im going to share a tip. If, in the first 2 hours, someone hasnt commited to fighting you, because your ship is blatantly something they cannot fight (Most cyclones are active tanked with scrams, yuck!) maybe ship down and/or go find someone else. Im glad he didnt... he called a friend!

I jump into UNJ, with the intention of leaving him behind, when I see he has a corpmate in a dramiel on the gate... oh! Hmm... cant fight this close to gate. I pray and warp to my bubble evasion safe, 250k above the gate. I manage to warp off as  the Dramiel begins to target.

And then it merrily burns at me at 4700 msec.

Oh, happy day. I align to the gate and light my MWD. Dram is coming closer... closer... and points me when I am 180k or so off. The cyclone still has not jumped in. At this range, I know he can jump and warp to his corpmate as soon as I redbox (As this dram was in no danger of killing me anytime soon) so I wait until i see her straight behind me... 27k away.


Stop my ship, wait for speed to hit 75%, and immediately reversed direction and burned straight at her. Scram on! I open up with plasma, the cyclone jumps in... she is dualproped, which means her AB is still on... gotta leave my MWD on or she will get away. Her shield evaporates, followed quickly by armor and hull, and a Dramiel Goes to heaven! The cyclone is landing... ack! I align to the sun and burn away, warping off, leaving the bewildered duo behind. Dram killed, Cyclone evaded, though I was unable to get the somewhat meager loot, it was a pulse pounding, if short, fight.

I am loving nullsec, folks. I recommend you hop in a cheap JC, grab your favorite MWD inty or AF, and head out there. Who knows... maybe we'll meet each other, eh?

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Ammo, the Wolf, and the current state of frigate PvP.

Well, how time flies.

Me, Kalaratiri, and Tabor have split from Teraa Matar and formed a new organization, Skadi's Call, to focus more on small gang and solo combat. Teraa Matar are great people, and theyre a great organization... a decision I make with a heavy heart. Ailing health also led to the decision, as TRA was growing large (by my standards, 25 or so members!) and I was having a difficult time managing it. Kikia, my friend, good luck. You'll need it with that batch.

To the matter at hand; the Wolf! The current state of frigate and  AF combat, especially in the warzone, is: kiters. Loads of them. Falloff and Artillery Wolves, Hawks and Hookbills with TDs, Vengeances, even rail Ishkurs and Enyos. This has led me to change my fit once more; I now run one gyro and one TE. This gets me 12k falloff with high damage ammunition, and 18k!! with barrage. Kiting wolf? Go away or die. I have more tank than you.

The question of what ammunition to use is one I face every time i enter a fight, and thankfully, I have developed a good set of guidelines. Of course, ammo selection is infinately more complicated when more than 1 target is involved, but hey, that is part of the fun!

First; anything which kites beyond scram/web range gets barrage fired at it. The only things which will do this often are slicers, certain rifters (who will have a TD) certain firetails and dramiels, who will also have a TD, certain wolves, and Hookbills. Speaking of Hookbills, a new theme is LML hookbills with MWD, long point, and THREE sensor damps. Thankfully, as they dont want to get too close, you can usually slip from point range. If not... well, we cant kill everything, 100% of the time, now can we? I am jealous of those midslot options, but at least outside the warzone, hookbills are not that common.

Barrage is also used on Hookbills or any other T1 frigate which kites inside web range with a TD, as their resist profile isnt as complicated as among T2 ships. Webbing/TDing arty jaguars, while rare, also get beat up with barrage. Anything else, I will use a short range, high DPS ammo; Fusion, EMP, or Phased Plasma, and always RF variants. Rail Enyo? Inside web range? Stick with fusion, same with ishkur. Outside? Get barrage loaded quick.

Versus enyos, ishkurs, jaguar, and wolf, I use fusion, unless one of the above conditions is met. I also use it on that rare occasion where I fight a armor hurricane (never ends well, I try anyway!) or rupture.

Versus harpies, hawks, and sometimes vengeances, I will load EMP. Yes, a hawk or harpy which dual EMP rigs will have a slightly lower overall EHP profile vs Fusion. However, in the off chance they do not, which is common, EMP is a much better choice. I generally use Plasma on vengeances, but EMP is a good choice, as any vengeance (save Dual SAR fits) WILL have plugged the thermal hole. The profile is still very close, however.

Versus retribution, usually vengeance, and all T1 who are not TDing me and are inside scram/web range, ie, Daredevils, Destroyers, Rifters, Comets, etc, I use Plasma. Learning who has what, and when to swap ammo types, when not to, is a trick that comes with time. However, the above is a good guideline; I keep short range ammo loaded when i am on my way in. If i need to swap  to barrage, odds are the incoming DPS is fairly light, and I will have time to do so.

AFs, our usual targets, can be broken into 2 groups; those which kite our 2 midslot wolf, and those which melt our face off, cause we cant web them away. What do we do?

Group 1, kiters, consist of Hawks, Vengeances, and certain Wolves and Enyos. These are things we want to get as close to as possible. Vs the rocket boats, keep your AB on, and use approach, as any speed we can get will help mitigate damage a bit. Try to start if possible at 0; i will warp around and force them to chase until I get them to land on me at 0-10, and then do my all to land solid early damage, depending on falloff and that initial DPS advantage to win me the fight. If it is a kiter who isnt using rockets, ie, a wolf, often I just shut my AB off to conserve cap for my repper. They will often die before they realize how hard I am hitting and wont have time to align out. Kiting wolves tend to not fit DCUs... which is why I dislike them.

Group 2, things which melt our face. This is the Harpies, Enyos, Ishkurs, and most Jaguars. These, I will do my all to start at 20-30k and begin landing damage long before they can respond. As I have said before, it is Kiting, but with intent to be caught; if you do this too long, theyll just bail. Early damage is how I beat enyos and harpies, and I honestly dont think I can kill one if we start at 0 unless I am very, very fortunate. Always heat that repper as soon as they land scram, as the hurt is coming.

Group 3 is other Wolves and Retributions. Most of these wolves will be plated, and will either have 150s and/or a plate, and no TE, so i am faster and have better range. Sit at 7-8k and kill them with impunity. Retribution? If you need me to explain how to kill a Retri in a wolf, you should probably fly something else. A wolf will simply win with better speed, and much better resistance against its damage.

Finally, Hail. yes, Hail! When do you use it? Should you?

With our TE and our newfound tracking bonus, a Wolf with hail has better tracking than it did with EMP before the changes... you know, when I was killing every DD and Dramiel with 200s? Yep.

Hail's range sucks. Its tracking sucks. But, it has a place. When?

Vs anything with low explosive resists and that is also webbing you. What? When its webbing you? Did you hear that right? Why? We're moving slower??!

That is the point. You are moving SLOWER. An unwebbed wolf, say, fighting another wolf or a dual MSE jag, will be outtracking its own guns without very, very careful range management. Even vs a target bigger than you, say, a rupture that for whatever reason dosent have a web, you will do less damage if youre orbiting at 500-1000 with AB on with hail, than you will with fusion.

Weird, eh? Honestly, I use hail for one purpose; ratting. I have tried it in combat vs other frigs, and I dislike it. That being said, Darkstar Pwnyouall from my good friends at Black Rebel Rifter Club, swears by it! He uses it vs Harpies, Enyos, and Jags, as I said, anything with lowish EXP resist and a web, and he has great success with it. I may look into it in further detail sometime, but for me, 4 ammo types is enough to manage.

Notice, I didnt link any kills. That isnt because I dont have any, far from; the past 6 weeks have been epic. I just have decided to focus less on "look what I killed" and more on "This is what I do" for the moment. Others do the storytelling much better than me anyway.

Off to get a cup of tea and figure out what I want to do this afternoon. Fly it like you stole it!


Thursday, March 8, 2012

Relearning my craft

Well. How a couple months changes things.

Recently, Assault Frigate producers have upped their capabilities somewhat, which means that my beloved Wolf needed some changes. The new wolf has a 5th low slot, +10 CPU, a MWD sig bonus of -50%, and a 7.5% tracking speed bonus per level. Outstanding... right?

Well, yes and no. All AFs have enhanced capabilities now, and the one which seems to be rising to the top is the Enyo; it now mounts a stasis web, meaning that kiting it, once my standard tactic vs them, using my falloff range to my advantage, is now impossible. I now must stand and fight, and the things are everywhere. Literally, everyone is flying these things.

I tried my old standard of now 5 lowslot resist/active tank, with ambit and collision rigs (no longer need that metastasis rig, the wolf's tracking is now outstanding).

I lost to every Enyo I fought.

Back to the drawing board. Hmm.

I tried a plate/repper/DCU/kin plating/gyro fit, with collision + exp resist rigs. Still no go. Lost to every Enyo.

Sigh. Back to the drawing board.

Im sparing everyone the details here, as these fights all went the same way; me trying to land early damage, doing some, but simply melting once the enyo was in range. Generally, the Enyo was in low armor or high structure when I went down. There were some pretty frustrating evenings for me, but, I love this ship, and I have gone through this before. There is a good fit to be found; just need to tease it out.

A word on the fit that some are flying, with good success; 280mm artillery, with MWD and 24k point. This fit requires 2 fitting mods, a coprocessor AND a MAPC. It does amazing volley damage, is a good kiter, and works very well for alphaing tacklers and bouncing. I will try this fit, but do not see it becoming my standard fit, as it does have a narrow engagement range (ie, things it can engage and hope to win). Also, im a terrible kiter pilot. There, I said it!

I played with an MWD fit, anticipating problems with the above type of wolf, but 1)  theyre not that common, 2) i can probably drive it away with barrage anyway, and 3) MWD gets me dead faster vs everything else. So, AB fit it will be. I will not give up my 200s, as I require their range and punch, and an active tank is a must for me, due to the number of prolonged, running fights I wind up in.

I also want more DPS and a solid resist tank, and prefer to avoid a plate.

Not asking much, am I? Well... a friend, and rival, Sovai, has been helping me stay motivated by repeatedly blowing me up. This led to me debating if the best defense might simply be an outstanding offense? A wolf with more bite than I am used to?

[Wolf, Ava Wolf]
200mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Fusion S
200mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Fusion S
Small Nosferatu II
200mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Fusion S
200mm AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet Fusion S

J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
1MN Afterburner II

Centii C-Type Small Armor Repairer
Gyrostabilizer II
Gyrostabilizer II
Adaptive Nano Plating II
Pseudoelectron Containment Field I

Small Anti-Explosive Pump I
Small Anti-Kinetic Pump I

The numbers?

Speed: 923 m/sec, which is slow, but armor rigs do not harm my align time. B type fits, and gets me 1008 msec. Not great, but tolerable.

Gank: 273 dps with fusion/pp/emp, 314 heated. An even 9k falloff range, 13.5k with barrage; should be able to drive most kiters off or kill them. Outstanding DPS, solid range.

Tank: 7.5k EHP, with 93/77/62/54 resists. Reps 60 dps, 78 with std exile, 86 with exile + heat. Solid, slightly less exp resist than my old fit, better kin resist, more armor. Good.

Cap Stability: 1m30s running all; not great, but tolerable. AF fights almost NEVER last this long. Nos is a must, and upgrading to a C-type will be something which I likely do once I am sure I will use this fit for a while.

I met and fought Sovai's wolf a few times; she runs a 150mm/400 plate fit, with solid resists. When using fusion, I won handily (we fought to structure, as killing one another was becoming expensive), with hail... well, my next post will be an examination of hail, barrage, and fusion in different scenarios. Lets just say I still prefer fusion. I dueled her Enyo and spanked it handily, and then, a man in local asks me for a 1v1.

With an Enyo.

Sovai wishes me luck and off I go, loading fusion, preheating my repper, AB, and guns. My goal is to land damage from 15k, allow him to approach (if i never do, he will just run!) and hopefully have him too deep in armor once he begins dealing heavy damage to me that he cant recover. Kiting, in a sense... but kiting with intent to be caught.

I never dropped below 80% armor before a series of heavy hits reduced the Enyo to scrap iron!

Good fight, good fight. Still new in the testing phase, and subject to change, but my Wolf certainly isnt done harassing my fellow pilots yet, not by a long shot!

Next to come, as I have said, I will examine the merits and drawbacks of fusion, hail, and barrage, and hopefully decide, once and for all, when to fire which at what!

Fly frosty!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Meh. When it all goes wrong.

So. Ever have one of those bad strings? Yeah?

Wow, am I ever in one. I guess everyone has these days... or I hope they do, anyway. I never hear of people like Wensley, Miura Bull, Alex Medvedov, or Lady S. having em... but I guess they do? I dunno. Been an expensive few days.

Roaming around in my wolf a few days ago, I encounter a member of Black Rebel Rifter Club in Hadozeko, one of my favorite corps to fight, in one of my favorite systems. He asks if  I would like a 1v1... I say sure, and off we go. Him in a Jag, me in a Wolf... and down I go. Arty Jag, 2 webs. God damn, do I hate anything with 2 webs. I did ok... I had fusion in (Jag, what i always choose) and he was in structure, but down i go. Bah.

He nicely offers a rematch, and I manage to win the second one... barrage. Valuable lesson... should have just swapped ammo types. I guess I know now, and a bit of information learned is good news.

He asks to fight again, in a brawling fit Jag this time, and I say ok... and down I go again. B type Jag, and tanky as hell... resist rigs, plus, I suspect, a blue. Had broken his tank about the time I went down, I capped out. Second fight ive lost in the last few days where a C-type nos' extra range would have let me take some range and deal some pain beyond his high-damage area. Ok... another bit of information learned, and now a nagging question. Can my wolf kill a B-type Jaguar? I suppose Ill find out, sooner or later.

Next day, roaming around with some friends in the warzone. We kill some cruisers, a dessie, and got a nice kill on a deadspace fit Omen Navy Issue! We scoop the loot, and then engage a drake...

I have always known MWDs on Wolves in losec get me killed. Lemme tell ya... a HAM drake proved, once again, that MWDs, at least for me, are a very bad idea. Yeah, 3rd wolf lost (and a comet, blech... that dosent count, never flown it before!) in 2 days.

It has to change sometime, yeah?

A friend gave me a Daredevil... oooh, finally, a ship I can fight in Minor FW Complexes with! I fit it out with... well, here is my rather rapid lossmail. I managed to kill a Merlin who i knew had a friend in a coercer, and when the coercer landed, and began to fire Beam Lasers at me, i thought "Cake! Beams. No problem." I burned toward him, scrammed, webbed, orbiting at 1k... and it keeps hitting me. Keep in mind, I was orbiting at almost 1k/sec (my speed was 1429 without heat. Yeah, LG snakes, 1-5) and I am thinking, "Well, sooner or later, he has to start missing". Yeah. Never happened. So I traded a 120m DD for a 10m Merlin. Urgh. Dumb.

I fit out a firetail, head back out, bump into the Merlin pilot who is now in a Hookbill... and promptly lose my new Firetail, to (of course) a fucking 2-web Hookbill. He never went below 1/2 shields. So, what did this loss teach me?

To never try to convince myself the Firetail is an actually useful ship ever again. The thing is a piece. Even if you dual web it, you must plate it to have ANY semblance of tank, and youre still slower than dualweb Hookies, plus, youre even more vulnerable now to Slicers. The things DPS output is a joke (Of course, the hookbill has 3 bonused weapons, all others have 2... plus 5 mids. Balance, CCP? WTF?) and slicers kite it all day long, every dessie kills it, and anything it can engage simply runs from it. Sure, a TD firetail may be ok vs slicers, who will just run, but is less than useless vs hookbills. DD may be the answer, but is 4x the price of actually useful faction frigs like the slicer and hookbill.

So, yeah. I am feeling a little blue just now. To top it all off, CCP just announced their proposed Assault Frigate changes which will do much more harm than good to my favorite class of ships, as well as send me back to the start of the learning curve. As it sits, Hawks, Enyos, and Vengeances will be dominant. Due to the hybrid changes, the Rifter is now back-seat to the Merlin, and the Firetail sucks.

Sad time to be a Minmatar frigate pilot. Sigh.

Hopefully things look up soon.