Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Loss #1: Rifter-class 'Rust One'

My reflexes must have been dulled by too much time spent hauling my gear from system to system. At least, telling myself that makes it hurt just a bit less. My confidence had been riding too high after my initial 3-0 record since I began trying to make a living hunting prey..

I was in the Rust One, winding my way back towards the constellations I had found success in before, when I noticed another pilot moving through the same systems I was. More curious than wary, I stopped on my way at a planet in the Evaulon system and tried to scan him down. The signal was hazy, but I knew what it was - another Rifter. Hungry for another fight like my last scrap with a Rifter, I began the process of getting closer and teasing out his position.

I should have realized that this wasn't going to be an easy fight when I found him, only a few klicks away from the warp-in point to another planet in the system. He had me locked and was jamming my propulsion systems almost as soon as I arrived, and my shields were gone in an instant. The rest of the Rust One didn't take much longer. He caught my capsule as well - turns out he was faster on the draw than I was. Next thing I knew, I was on the floor of a cloning bay, gasping for breath.

I suppose I should get used to that.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Kill #3: I hate killing the fat man...

After just two kills, CONCORD has already made some notes on my record. I'm still allowed in 1.0-security space, but not for much longer at this rate. Given that I've got a number of ships and other assets stored in high-security space, I've been making the long, slow trek back to Domain to start moving my things to more accessible stations.

Almost every system in Gallente Federation space was buzzing with pilots as I made the journey, though. Strange for this time of night. Most of them were moving too quickly to pinpoint their locations on the scanner. I managed to track down a Rupture-class cruiser, but he was 20km away when I warped in, and he knew enough to warp away. In the system of Ouelletta, however, I ran across a young pilot bounty-hunting Serpentis ships in the asteroid belts. He was piloting a Tristan-class frigate, which is the favorite of a good Gallente hauler friend of mine. I have to say, I agree with him.. and I was a bit sad when this particular Tristan went down without much of a fight. My Rifter spent some time orbiting the other frigate, its autocannons slowly whittling away at the Tristan's strong armor. In return, I only received a handful of missiles against my shields.

The pilot contacted me later, asking for some advice. I was happy to oblige. Hopefully I'll be making my way through Ouelletta again soon, only to be attacked by a much more fearsome Tristan.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Kill #2: Half-fit in Low-sec

After taking my time in Mercomesier to make sure the local authorities wouldn't be on my tail from my last kill, I continued roaming in Placid. It was getting late by the time I made my way to Aubenall, but it turned out Local was bustling with pilots there. There were even members of some of the more infamous pirate groups there, including pilots from the Black Rabbits and MOD. There were some younger, unaffiliated pilots around, though.

Previously, I would have been wary of hunting in such a bustling system. With so many pilots around, any potential target is much more likely to have friends waiting in the wings. But with my confidence up after my recent kill, I began meandering among moons and planets, just to see. I scanned down a lone Catalyst-class destroyer, and I decided to tempt fate. I tend to think that destroyers get a bad name - everyone says they're terrible in real combat. But pouncing on a well-outfitted Catalyst was bound to send me to my capsule from a hail of blaster fire. Lucky for me, this was no such Catalyst.

I dropped in on the destroyer, who was already tangling with a local Serpentis ship. I warped in 20 klicks off of his position, and I only had an afterburner. I threw my rifter into top speed, and held off on targeting him until I was in under 10km, hoping he was too focused on the Serpentis ship to notice my arrival. My gamble worked. By the time he had targeted my ship, I was through what was left of his shields, and his armor was taking a beating. He must not have equipped any defensive modules, because he exploded within a few seconds. He did almost no damage to me, which was curious. I jammed his capsule's warp drive while I dispatched the Serpentis ship, but as I did so, I stretched my range too far and he escaped. No matter, he was young enough that I wasn't going to try ransoming him anyways.

There was one question still plaguing me as I arrived at the wreck of his Catalyst, and therein lied the answer: it had been fit with nothing but two tech-2 mining lasers, and afterburner, and a single gatling pulse laser. Now I know why destroyers get such a bad name...

Kill #1: A game of cat and ... cat.

I’ve been roaming around the Placid region lately, far from my home in Domain. On this particular night, I passed through the Mercomesier system several times, only to find two other pilots in local, both idle in a station. On my third pass through the system, as I was leaving, someone else showed up in Local. I quickly warped back towards the core of the system and began hopping through the planets, trying to scan out the new arrival. I imagined that I’d catch a glimpse of him just before he jumped out to another system; all my possible targets had ended up that way for the last few days.

This time was different. I caught a Rifter-class frigate on my scanner and thought I might be in for a fight. I had just insured my ship, and was itching for some action despite my lack of experience, so I threw my own Rifter into warp towards the planet where he was located.

Dropping out of warp I found.. nothing. He was gone. I picked him up on my scanner again and narrowed him down to a different planet. I warped in, again coming up empty handed. I realized he was doing the same thing I was doing – scanning me out and trying to get to me. After another minute of cat-and-mouse, (or maybe cat-and-cat?) I dropped in on him around planet five, and immediately started to orbit and warp-scramble him. He was ready, though, and was already firing back as my guns spun up. My shields and armor melted pretty quickly – faster than his did. I was doomed for sure, and as my structure was shredded down to the last bits, I began hammering the command to warp out so that my capsule would at least get away. As my warp engines kicked on, I saw that I left him behind in his own capsule – had we both been destroyed? I looked around, and to my amazement, I was still inside my Rifter. It was flaming out of every compartment, but it was still in one piece. I had made my first kill on the road to piracy.

Heading back to the scene of the crime, I found his wreck and rummaged through the remains. He had been using Faction-level ammo and rockets, and a tech-2 overdrive injector. No real other tank to speak of. The expensive ammo (and a weapon stabilizer) explained his improved damage output, but my own armor repairer must have made the difference in the last seconds of the fight.

All in all, an excellent fight, and I look forward to more like that one.

Monday, September 22, 2008


This blog is about my character in EVE Online, a sci-fi MMORPG from CCP. In it, I'll attempt to chronicle the path of a former mission runner as he tries to make his way into piracy, and deals with the changes that it requires. Hopefully I can save some other pilots from making the mistakes I'm bound to make along the way. Many thanks to the other EVE blogs on the sidebar - veteran pirates who make it look easy!

I'll be trying out a marginally different format from other EVE pirates' blogs here. Instead of chronicling just my interesting adventures, I'm going to try to keep a running count of every kill or loss I get, and a blurb about what happened. I hope to interject other posts too, but hopefully I'll be able to look back at some point and see progress in my abilities...

My story begins - or at least, the interesting part - just a few klicks off of a stargate in low security space somewhere between the Amarr Empire and the Gallente Federation. I'm sitting in a newly-purchased Rifter-class frigate, a departure from my usual favorite, the Punisher-class frigate. Having just jumped into the system, I'm still contemplating my next move under the protection of the gate-induced cloaking field when something catches my eye. A Coercer-class destroyer is nearby, moving slowly. I begin to wonder what he's up to.

The cloaking field wears off before I realize it, and the Coercer has me targeted in no time. I know its eight pulse lasers will tear through a ship like mine.. but I know something he hasn't realized. The first pulses from his guns hit my ship.

You have foolishly engaged in criminal activity within sight of sentry guns and must suffer the consequences.

The broadcast came over the high-priority channel as the gate guns spun up. They tore through the destroyer before its guns could even fire another volley at me. I turned to my data console and looked into the pilot's employment history. A new recruit, only a few days out of flight school. I chuckled and collected what I could from the wreckage, and followed the destroyer pilot's capsule to the only station in the system.

In the station, I dumped the salvage I had retrieved into the other pilot's hangar and offered a few words of advice and an offer for a real fight outside the range of gate guns someday. He was surprised at my reaction to his attack, and asked if I was a pirate...

"Not yet."