Wednesday, January 14, 2009

OOC: Seven Things

I’ve been tagged by one of my favorite bloggers, Ka Jolo, for the “seven things” meme that’s been going around. Normally I’m not one for memes, but I’ve really enjoyed finding out more about the people behind the in-game faces that I always read about, so here goes. The rules are as follows:

  • Link to the original tagger(s), and list these rules on your blog.
  • Share 7 facts about myself in the post - some random, some weird.
  • Tag 7 people at the end of your post by leaving their names and the links to their blogs.
  • Let them know they’ve been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs and/or Twitter.

I’m going to skip the last two, since it seems almost every EVE blog had already been tagged before I even noticed the meme going around. [Edited: And then I sat on the post forever after I was off on holiday vacation… so now I’m really late to the party.] So without further excuses:

  1. I’ve been a software engineer for 10 years, but I never completed my university degree. (Hey, it was the dot-com era! Who needed a degree?)
  2. My day job also kinda involves piracy, so there are pirate flags all over my office. It makes for lots of yarrr-age.
  3. I once helped run a MUSH named “Star Wars: Galaxies” years before the coincidentally similarly-named MMO began.
  4. I have a dog, a cat, and pet rats. (Well, currently only one rat left. We’ve chosen some new playmates for him that will be joining us as soon as they’re old enough.)
  5. I have an irrational hatred of ants, after a traumatic experience when I was 14.
  6. Master of Orion 2 was my favorite video game of all time. I once stayed up for about 30-something hours straight playing it.
  7. I love riding motorcycles, and own two. No, I don’t really need two. No, I don’t really have the space for two.

There. Now, finally, back to the combat logs!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Loss #12: The Cunning Moa

Ouelletta was unusually quiet when I came up with the best target I'd seen in days on the scanner: a Moa-class cruiser had gone into an asteroid belt. Moas aren't weaklings, but I knew its cruiser-sized blasters just wouldn't be able to catch my Rifter. I warped in, cheering as I caught the cruiser with my warp scrambler - I had already won, I just needed to wait out its shields.

As my autocannons wore down its heavy shields, a swarm of drones poured from its drone bay. "Ah good. It will be a fight, then," I thought. I turned my attention to the drones and managed to keep up with the damage they dealt to my armor as I destroyed them each in turn. I finally turned my attention back to the Moa, and worked my way through the rest of his shields.. when a proximity alarm suddenly flashed red on my HUD.

The combat had started quite far from any of the asteroids in this belt, but the Moa's pilot had inched us closer and closer while I had been focusing on taking down his shields. The structure of my Rifter groaned as the computer compensated, breaking and banking hard to avoid collision with an asteroid; vectoring me directly away from the Moa. I was a sitting duck as the Moa's blasters finally were able to align and pounded my ship with round after round of hot plasma. I escaped with my pod as I congratulated the Moa's pilot for his excellent job of using the terrain to his advantage. And I cursed to myself for losing such an excellent target.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Kill #8: The Distant Merlin

In Old Man Star, I found a Merlin-class frigate on scan. I was quickly able to track it down to a planetary orbit, but when I arrived it was 250 klicks off, sitting motionless. Was it powered down? Did the pilot think that sitting so far off from the standard orbit would keep him safe? Or was it a trap?

I aligned the Rust III towards another planet in his direction and warped out, returning moments later by warping in 100km off the mark - this put me at about 150 klicks from the Merlin. I set my navigation for flat-out approach and burned hard towards the target. I realize at about 80km that I've accidentally had my crews fit a Warp Disruptor II module instead of a Warp Scrambler - normally not what I'd want on a Rifter, but at least this time it would let me lock down the target as soon as he was within targeting range.

At 24km, my targeting systems acquired a lock, and the disruptor kicked on. The first of the Merlin's missiles was already in flight, and impacted against my shields a split second later. I was still 20 klicks out from effective range, and only gaining slowly as the other ship fled. I was taking a barrage of missiles and railgun fire. My shields melted and my armor took enough damage that I kicked on my repairer.. but then finally I was within 10km and caught the Merlin in my stasis web. From there, it was all over. I was too close and fast for his missiles or his railguns, and the battle was almost one-sided.

I had almost forgotten how much I enjoy piloting Rifters.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Kill #7: Ratting Fat Man

Back in Old Man Star, I was sitting at a safespot avoiding the large fleet of Battleships and Assault Cruisers that had been called in by some local militia pilots to scare off their enemies. Scanning everywhere but the gate they were gathered at, I did manage to find a Tristan in an asteroid belt, hunting bounties against the local Serpentis.

Militia pilots, and pilots used to high-sec, often erroneously consider systems with large numbers of friendly militia as ‘safe.’ I wondered if that was why he was so leisurely fighting in that asteroid belt.

Despite the easy catch, the Tristan put up a good fight. He managed to destroy 70% of my armor before exploding.

Loss #11: Rust vs Gold

It's been good to be flying a Rifter again. The feeling of freedom that comes with flying a cheap ship is excellent - you can take on targets you know you won't win against because you don't mind losing. The loss of the Rust II was just that kind of loss.

I was on another roam, and happened into Hevrice again. I warped to a station to sit within the protection of the sentry guns while I checked my map. At least, that was my intention. When I came out of warp, there was a Maller-class cruiser flashing red in my overview.. and he was a member of The Tuskers. The Maller isn't a drone-carrying cruiser, so I knew my fast little Rifter could survive at least a little while against it. What better way to practice your combat skills than actually using them against well-respected pilots?

I was able to do about 20% damage to the Maller's armor, but his strong Amarrian armor and repair module easily held me from doing any more. The combination of my own repair module and my Rifter's speed meant that I actually survived for quite some time against the Maller's cruiser-sized lasers. It wasn't until the Maller's energy vampire had sapped my of my capacitor that I began the slow decent into destruction.

I thanked the pilot for the fight as I escaped with my pod. I certainly learned a few things I'd do to better take on a cruiser like that next time...

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Loss #10: The Heritage Three

dé-jà vu –noun

1. Psychology. the illusion of having previously experienced something actually being encountered for the first time.

2. disagreeable familiarity or sameness: The new television season had a sense of déjà vu about it—the same old plots and characters with new names.

After defeating a Tusker pilot in his own home system, I was feeling a bit on the brash side again. My confidence bolstered, I resumed my route through low-sec space and ended up in Old Man Star. The system is a constant war zone - militias are constantly battling it out for control of this system on the border of Federation high-sec space, and pirates take advantage of the increased activity in the system to find their targets.

I just so happened to be scanning down a Rifter, and attempted to pounce on him in an asteroid belt. Only, it turned out I had miscalculated - the ship wasn't in this belt. I realized this as I came out of warp, and commanded the Heritage III to come about and warp to a nearby safespot, but it was too late. A Thorax cruiser came out of warp almost immediately after I did, and snagged my ship with his warp disruptor before my warp drive finished powering up. Whether he had been scanning me down, or had been tailing the same Rifter as I had, I'm unsure. But as was expected for a Thorax, I was still pounding on his armor when I lost the Heritage III.

I exchanged compliments with the pilot as my pod warped to safety. Another Vengeance lost; it was time to start flying cheaper ships.

Kill #6: A Tusker

After cleaning myself up and getting checked out for any long-term damage that being adrift for so long might have done to me, I headed to the hangar level of the station to procure myself another ship. Some kind benefactor had left my accounts 30 million ISK richer while I had been gone.. this time, it hadn't been Guillome. I used the money to outfit another Vengeance, the Heritage III. It was time to get back in the saddle. I fitted the Heritage III with high-tech pulse lasers instead of rockets, as the rockets from my usual supplier had changed their payload, and seemed much less effective now.*

I began roaming my old hunting grounds, and decided to stray a little outside my usual path. This took me to the system of Hevrice, home system of The Tuskers, a group of pirates I quite respect. There wasn't much on the scanner, so I took my time exploring the system, until an Incursus-class frigate showed up on the scanner, hiding behind the first planet of the system.

I practically collided with the Incursus as I dropped from warp, and began my orbit. Then I noticed his ID tag on my HUD. The pilot was Two50, a member of The Tuskers. I knew I was in for a fight. And that it was; Incursus held its own quite well, and actually managed to be doing damage to my armor in between cycles of my repair module. I was also having a harder than normal time hitting it with my own turrets...

Damn. I hadn't enabled my stasis web. I slapped myself for falling out of practice. I willed it to activate, and the Incursus slowed noticeably, suddenly allowing my turrets to pound away the last of its armor. His pod didn't attempt to escape, but I decided I didn't need the security hit on my record just yet. I told the pilot so, and he transmitted back a brief complement on the fight as I warped off.

I had some business to get to in high sec...

* OOC: <whining> Damned missile nerf. It was already dumb of me to fit rockets instead of pulses pre-patch, but they needed an additional damage nerf?? C'mon guys, change the Vengeance to get a laser bonus instead, or fix rockets. </whining>

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Loss #9: Finally, the Heritage Two

The warning lights flashed in the darkness; my eyes could have been open, but my view was still blank save for a single red warning. I must be in my pod, as I couldn’t see or feel my body.

Warning: Auxiliary life support will fail within four hours.

My pod’s computer was trying one last attempt to wake its unconscious pilot, and it seemed to have worked. I mentally queried the situation, and the computer responded. The camera drone was offline, likely lost. My location was about 100 AU out from Intaki and drifting. My aux life support was down to four hours left.

Strange. A pod’s life support system should last weeks..

I checked the date and the pieces rushed back together. I had been tracking another target in the Intaki system, when I had been caught off guard by a Thorax-class cruiser. I had gotten lazy under the impenetrable (or so I thought) Khanid armor of the Vengeance I had been so successful with, the Heritage Two. My pod hadn’t been properly secured, causing my ejection from the exploding ship to fail and send me rocketing off-course, unconscious. I must have been floating out here for weeks.

I commanded the pod to find the closest station beacon and set a course for docking. Hopefully, flying blind without a camera drone wouldn’t be a liability with the automated docking procedure, but I braced myself anyway…

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Kill #5: Frigate miner

Still adrenaline-charged from my last kill, I resumed my roaming and came to Costolle. I scanned down an Imicus-class frigate in an asteroid belt, and made quick work of him.

Looking over the CONCORD report of the incident, I noticed that he was a very young pilot, and had fit nothing but mining tools. Feeling a twang of guilt, I opened a channel to him and told him I'd leave him his wreckage. I even transferred him the minimal cost of a new Imicus. Hopefully he'll avoid low-sec until he's better prepared in the future...

Kill #4: The first interceptor

I’ve been re-evaluating some of my habits lately. I no longer stay away from drone ships. And just recently, I decided to break my fear of Interceptors. I was jumping through Agoze when I noticed a Taranis-class interceptor, the Uncredible Hulk, on my scanner. My instinct was to move on and look for other targets.. so I did. I jumped into Intaki. Running through my usual spots for scanning the system, I noticed the Uncredible Hulk on scan once more. I warp into a planetary orbit that’s closer to where he is, to try to further scan down his location.. and he’s in the same planetary orbit, 140km from me.

Starting out a fight with an interceptor from 140km gives me a bad feeling. The Taranis is known for being a short-range interceptor, but I’m betting the ship tops out somewhere in the 5-6 km/s range. Even with an advanced microwarp drive attached, the Heritage Two barely pushes 2-3 km/s. Impressive against larger ships, but nothing to an interceptor. Before the Taranis decides his own course of action, I re-align to another planet and warp out.

The instant I drop out of warp, I swing my ship around for a return trip. This time I’ve set the warp destination to land on top of the Taranis. A few seconds of spatial distortion and… nothing. The Taranis was gone, but I had a hunch. I powered on my warp scrambling batteries and my rocket bays, and waited.

It wasn’t long before the Taranis returned, warping in only 4 klicks from my position. My powered-on systems spun up instantly after my targeting computer gained a lock-on, and my stasis web cut his speed shortly after. I found myself committed to a situation I wasn’t sure I wanted to be in – his high-tech blasters were the most devastating frigate weapon systems, and his two high-tech Hobgoblin II drones were chewing away at me. But my advantage is my Khanid armor. The interceptor is fragile, and every salvo of Phalanx Rockets I fire makes a noticeable difference.

The Taranis is into structure, and my armor is holding when I hear the report from the ship’s computer - “The capacitor is empty.” My armor repairer gives out, and the Taranis’ blasters begin cutting into my structure. I freeze as I watch the warning lights report my imminent destruction, when my view lights up with the interceptor’s explosion. My structure was at 30% integrity and flames were pouring out of my hull. I quickly moved to scoop up the loot from my opponent, and warped off to find a safe location while my crew worked on temporary repairs.

I exchanged adrenaline-filled comments with the Taranis’ pilot over the local comms, saluting each other’s fighting ability. The Taranis is considered the most deadly of the close-range interceptors, and I had taken one down. I’m really beginning to like the Heritage Two.