Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Interceptor Mastery class

I recently gave a class and ran a tournament around mastering interceptors.

There's a bit of a backstory.

I took out an interceptor roam and we caught a tengu on a gate. He was baiting us - showing off his ability to tank us. I doggedly kept us on him for a long time battering away at him then sneakily brought in heavier ships while he was aggressed. He frantically tried to deaggress and jump out but we just managed to blow him up in the nick of time. He even posted a youtube video showing that from his side he deaggressed in time but the gate wouldn't let him jump. Some desynch or lag. I've no idea whether he successfully petitioned his loss but in any event no one has asked us to hand the loot back and it got given to the FC.

Now I'm not really used to people giving the FC loot. I suppose I could just quietly sell it off but I thought I'd rather give it back to the alliance in some way.

Next night me and Myara were out hunting Mordus blueprints and fights in low sec. We picked up a Garmur bpc before dying in glory to some local denizens.

A Garmur was worth a little under 200 million isk.

Well that's a coincidence.



I bought Myara out of his share and built the Garmur. I fitted it up then shipped it out to nullsec a few weeks later, real life being hectic. And I wanted to run some kind of tournament.

Now I'd noticed that some idiot died in a Garmur to an afterburner tech 1 frigate so I wanted the tournament to teach the prizewinner how not to lose his ship so easily.

I ran a class on Interceptors slightly delayed while we chased some random trespassers, killing a VNI http://eve-kill.net/...kll_id=24436586

Class covered practicals in
- manual orbiting
- slingshotting
- range management
- evasion
- jousting

We then held the tourney. If players broke a rule they got eliminated. The rules were slowly introduced one at a time making it more complicated

Rule 1: Keep 100km of the marker
Rule 2: Maintain a point at all times on the designated Catcher (some failed this because of cap issues or range management.)
Rule 3: Don't get scrammed by The Catcher (pro Catcher caught a few of them, yarr!)
Rule 4: Participants can foul other participants using their scrams (Substantia got a really dirty scram in on Senshi to eliminate him in 3rd place).

Winner: Thomasina
2nd: Substantia
3rd Senshi

Thomasina won a t2 fit Garmur

The video is here. In the video notes are links to sections of the class so if you want to see just that section click the link. The video starts with me stationary in my Crow and the pilots trying to orbit me at 20km without using the orbit button - they have to double click space to fly their ship and watch the range.

The tournament was great fun to run and the class and tourney really put people through their paces!

Well that looks familiar...

A few days ago I posted a summary of a battle I was in on Reddit.

Yesterday a rewritten version appeared uncredited on TMC.

A snarky comment, that I appear to have written my first TMC article, was censored.

Ho hum.

Sunday, 20 July 2014

RIP PuppyUK

Eve player PuppyUK of Macabre Volum in the Northern Coalition. alliance was killed recently in a motorbike accident.

Our thoughts are with his family and friends.

Here is PuppyUK on top form entertaining his fleet a few years ago (NSFW, so NSFW):


Friday, 18 July 2014

The Battle of 9P4O-F, 16th July 2014

Nice video on youtube of this fight from the same perspective I had in my tengu.


The fight begins with Bastion/EG jumping it to an Ishtar fleet of XDeath and friends. We had tengus they were in ishtars and some other drone boats like VNI. The tengus began killing ishtars and VNIs, XDeath began killing our logi. The tengus moved in closer and early on in the video you'll see the pilot ammo switch to Antimatter.

Razor brought in a bunch of proteuses repped by carriers but had some problems positioning, somewhat to the displeasure of our FC. He felt they should have lit a cyno in the fight instead of trying to warp carriers around on what had become a very heavily bubbled grid.

Nulli added ishtars to the already impressive wall of russian ishtars. Not sure why people are giving them grief, seems a basically sound way to support a temporary ally.

I guess the key to the fight was that the ishtars were shooting scimis and recons at long range while we went in close and used antimatter. So high damage ammo with rails v moderate damage long range drones (I want to say Bouncers but not 100% sure). I have to say our logi did a stand up job of tanking the fight out.

EG/Bastion paid 14 scimis and some recons which was pretty light compared to the damage we dealt out. From our perspective in the tengus it was an absolute turkey shoot, firing non stop pretty much for what must have been close to 50 minute (my first kill died 48 mins before my last). We didn't always manage to break reps but their logi found it difficult to apply reps in time so 3 out of 4 targets died before they caught enough reps. Our FC did a great job of moving on to new targets.

After winning the subcap battle we brought Dreads in to reff the ihub so hopefully we'll get a rematch soon.

Eventually we cynoed in Scimi reships and Xdeath and Nulli had to flee the field. An enterprising attempt from a member of CO2 to hoover our loot failed sadly when someone blew up his mobile tractor unit.

It was fun as hell to fight in and I added a page and a half of kills to my personal killboard. I burned my guns to 90% damaged, repaired them and burned them to 50% again before we finished. (Slightly twitching at the lack of overheating in the video but it doesn't seem to be such a thing in nullsec as it is elsewhere).

Props to XDeath and Nulli, good fight.

http://eve-kill.net/?a=kill_related&kll_id=24413074

I didn't take any screenshots but here's a picture of a tengufleet from a few days earlier.


Sunday, 29 June 2014

BB57: Survival of the fittest

Drackarn pointed this killmail to me recently and proposed the following for a blog banter:
Obviously that is a not just a bad fit, its horrific. But the guy might not know any better. We get these all the time circulating social media and corp/alliance chat. How do we educate players on fitting? This guy has been playing four months and can fly a BC, but has no idea how to fit one. What could be done to help bro's like this?
Furthermore, what (if any) responsibility do veterans players have in finding these players and instructing them on the finer arts of ship fitting? If it exists, does it extend beyond them into teaching PvP skills, ISK making skills, market skills, social skills, life skills...

And another question you can think about is this: do purposely wrong fits, aka comedy fits or experimental fits or off-meta fits, offend you or your corp? Would you, like Rixx Javix when he was in Tuskers, face expulsion for fitting your ships differently than the accepted standard?

"Its the difference between streaking and getting caught with your pants down." - Kirith Kodachi

So not long after I wrote about hull tanking Kirith calls a Blog Banter on fitting. I guess it's already obvious where I stand on the issue.

So let's start by exploring the alternatives - a simple fitting system. You have 10 points. You can spend some on speed, some on tank and some on firepower. So for instance a kiting caracal might be 4 mobility 2 tank 4 firepower, a brawler maller might be 5 firepower 5 tank.

Does anyone want this?


Does anyone want to scrap our marvellous and complex rich spaceship engineering for some dumbed down version?

I love fitting ships. It's a great minigame. "EFT Warrior" or whatever you want to call it. I think people get frustrated because in a group game not everyone can be the fittings person. It's hard to get your special clever doctrine idea adopted in a corporation or alliance setting. What's more "kitchen sink" fleets where everyone flies their own individual choice of ship and fit are terrible and get taken to the cleaners by doctrine fleets.

So fitting is great, fitting drama or fitting constraints are what people chafe at. The Rixx incident in Tuskers was a case of a strong willed individual not being willing to fit the required doctrine. That's not really a fault of Eve's fitting system, it's an issue about people. It even resolved well imo - the individualist went on to become his own boss, forming Stay Frosty. Now that's very like what happens in people's professional lives. Someone works for a boss, hates it, goes to start their own business, becomes a success. I'd call that working as intended.

Now the thing with Eve's fitting that's so great is that there's a cycle of innovation. Dull hidebound doctrines lose to clever imaginative new ideas. Those new ideas become doctrine and individuality and divergence becomes frowned upon. This leads to stagnation which opens the door to innovation.

Now it is hard to be at that apex of alliance power where you're the person coming up with the new fits. It's going to tend to be the most experienced FCs who get to play with new doctrines, and the larger the organisation the harder it is to be one of the people who gets to say what everyone else flies.

Saturday, 21 June 2014

Real men hull tank

For a long time in Eve hull tanking has been a joke. There are modules but they were pretty terrible, especially hull reppers which repair about a tenth of what an armour repper or shield repairer would do.


Forget everything you know about Eve tanking and just consider this:

APPLE style tanking:

mod that boosts apple resists by 30% costing 32 cap per 10 seconds.
rig that boosts apple hit points by 15%

PEAR style tanking:
mod that boosts pear resists by 20%, cap free
rig that boosts pear tank hit points by 15%

BANANA style tanking:
mod that boosts banana resists by 60%, small boosts to the resists of the other tanks, 1 cap per 30 seconds.
rig that boosts banana tank by 20%

Holy crap banana tanks look good.

Now let's look at it with the Eve info:

Shield style tanking:

mod that boosts shield resists by 30% costing 32 cap per 10 seconds.
rig that shield hit points by 15%

Armour style tanking:
mod that boosts armour resists by 20%, cap free
rig that boosts armour tank hit points by 15%

Hull style tanking:
mod that boosts hull resists by 60%, small boosts to the resists of the other tanks, 1 cap per 30 seconds.
rig that boosts hull tank by 20%


Now let's review hull tanking:
- unbelievably good resist all mods
- outstanding rigs
- mediocre +hit point option (Reinforced Bulkheads)
- shockingly bad active tank mods (Hull reppers)
- poor rep drones (hull rep drones rep half as much as the other rep drones).

If we just take the really good modules we get a skeleton Eve fit as follows:

Damage Control II

Transverse Bulkhead I
Transverse Bulkhead I
Transverse Bulkhead I

This fit leaves almost all your main module slots free while giving you a hull tank with 60% resists and 173% of base hull hit points for the ship type.

Now here's a thing I didn't know and you may not: Gallente ships have lots of hull hit points. It's a racial thing.

So now we're looking at Gallente ships which can make good use of the other slots. In general this approach is best suited to ships which need a bit more tank but can really use all of the slots. This probably means ships that are on the small size, it's less useful on a large ship with many slots like a Dominix.

Here's a fast aggressive Taranis tackler:

[Taranis, hull]

Damage Control II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Overdrive Injector System II

Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
Warp Scrambler II

Light Neutron Blaster II, Void S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Void S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Void S
[Empty High slot]

Small Transverse Bulkhead I
Small Transverse Bulkhead I

2 Hornet EC-300s

It uses the extra slots freed up to get more speed and damage while packing the mids with mwd and tackle. It has 4.5k ehp which is fairly high for an inty, it has 236 dps which is exceptionally high for an inty and it moves over 4km/s. It can web scram and ecm jam.

If you armour tanked this you'd lose damage and speed modules, plus a plate would slow you down, if you shield tanked it you'd lose a web and need an auxiliary power module to give you enough grid, costing you either your overdrive or your mag stab.

Here's another particularly evil fit: a cap stable triple neut tristan with 122 dps and 5.1k ehp. It will neut out a half cap tristan in 8 seconds!

[Tristan, hull]

Damage Control II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Overdrive Injector System II

Small Capacitor Booster II, Navy Cap Booster 400
Warp Disruptor II
1MN Afterburner II

Small Unstable Power Fluctuator I
Small Unstable Power Fluctuator I
Small Unstable Power Fluctuator I

Small Transverse Bulkhead I
Small Transverse Bulkhead I
Small Transverse Bulkhead I


Hobgoblin II x5


Last but not least I present a beast of a Vexor: 882 dps, 2 web, scram, 1663 m/s, 17.3k effective hit points.

[Vexor, hull]

Damage Control II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Drone Damage Amplifier II
Drone Damage Amplifier II

Experimental 10MN Microwarpdrive I
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I

Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Void M
Heavy Neutron Blaster II, Void M

Medium Transverse Bulkhead I
Medium Transverse Bulkhead I
Medium Transverse Bulkhead I


Ogre II x2
Hobgoblin II x1
Hammerhead II x2

Spare drones 10 Warrior IIs

(Image borrowed from Tiger Ears)

Saturday, 14 June 2014

Nullsec: The Cold War heats up

A very large battle was fought yesterday in Delve in QY6-RK, at the southern end of the CFC Empire.



The N3 coalition responded to The Mittani's recent claim that there would be no summer war by reinforcing a LAWN CSAA - a large POS module capable of building titans or supercarriers. The CFC responded in force - I was part of a massive armada that included over 200 Megathron battleships. At one point on the POS grid there were 1290 ships - here's a D scan of ships on grid during the fight. According to the final battle report there were over 1000 from the CFC against just over 600 from N3 and HERO. Local peaked at just under 2000. Tidi was 10% for most of the battle.

These charts show the isk loss over time. At first N3 was winning the isk war but the battle turned and they took heavy losses disengaging.

Now politically it was a good time to test the CFC. CFC alliances Gents (in which I had found myself) and Li3 had recently collapsed with a new alliance, The Bastion, formed from the ashes. A reddit troll that FA had collapsed was widely believed. Two key corps left Razor Alliance. From the outside it may have looked like much of the CFC was close to failcascade.

However the reality lies in a term Gevlon coined: fleetbears. Most of the CFC happily rat or mine most of the time, making us look like easy prey to people who pvp all the time but we do get into our big ships and field strong numbers for key operations. "Carebears" who fleet up for, say, CSAA saves. A typical CFCer is ratting his way into a titan or super, occasionally pausing to join a strat op if it gets heavily pinged on jabber. This is quite simply a playstyle that works for many of us and to some extent the specific corp or alliance ticker doesn't matter so much as being able to rat in nullsec for the most part in peace and getting SRP-assisted defence when the Coalition is threatened. As The Mittani said when The Bastion was formed "For years we have noticed that corporations move around within the CFC, but almost never leave it."

The Bastion has proved to be a good home for most of the alliances it took in. We have active fleets and a core of aggressive pvpers and experienced players. And of course we do lots of ratting.

And the familiar issues that I found difficult to bear while I was on the side that opposes the CFC struck in full force. Pandemic Legion has spent the last month blowing up the ships that their allies need for the war, with a "friendly reset" of Nulli, much like the friendly reset of Test last year which led so rapidly into Test going broke in the Fountain War. There's a lack of coordination - while everyone in the CFC came to the op yesterday no one from Test was on the report and only 8 people from PL. Spaceship Samurai didn't come. Brave brought no more than Fatal Ascension and in much cheaper ships. Black Legion, MOA and Pasta brought low numbers and seemed equally happy to shoot either side.

This is why I left that team - it's frustrating if you want to win to see half your side not trying or even working against you.

The battle itself was a heavy defeat for N3 with over 43 billion isk lost and many T3 strategic cruisers killed. causing pilots to also lose skill points. It was also a great day for the salvagers and tractor units - at least those who weren't blown up by jealous friendlies.

Personally I added to my tally of celebrity kills by bagging both of Nulli's main FCs and picking up the leader of INK. I also bagged 14 T3 Cruisers.

The CFC got to the field first and set up around the pos. It was quickly repaired by carriers leading to a strategic win before the battle began. Our FC was very concerned about bombers so we formed by orbiting the pos shields in our battleships making it difficult for a single bombing run to kill a large clump of battleships.



N3 countered our apoc/megathron fleet by using protei and legions. They were armour tanked and were using their mid slots for tracking disruption, hoping that the low sig radii of the strategic cruisers would make them too difficult for the battleships to do effective damage to.

I think they basically got the maths wrong. First of all it's difficult to effectively ewar if you have lower numbers. No one tracking disrupted my Mega for the entire fight - there just weren't enough of them to cover us all. Next they're not bonused for tracking disruption - it would have been better to get Brave to come in Arbitrators and Crucifiers if they had wanted this tactic to work. Next Megathrons and Apocs both have ship bonuses to tracking - we're the battleships this tactic works least well on. Finally we simply weren't having trouble hitting. The primaries were double webbed and painted - hugely lowering their ability to sig tank us.

I do really admire the ballsiness of the N3 who gave this a really good shot but fighting out-numbered may work 3 v 5 it doesn't usually work in large battles.

Fired by the win the CFC's new Sky Marshall, Blawrf McTaggart has announced an aggressive campaign over the weekend. Expect more fights today.

(Hatip to reddit user /u/korniax for the beautiful screenshots).