Turning the tables

Firstly, I’d like to say I am a bad person. I indicated in my previous post not 4 days ago that I had decided to stop writing this blog, citing waning enthusiasm for playing EVE and even less enthusiasm for writing about it. That post was the first in a month, in a series of multi-week breaks. It seemed like putting the blog into stasis was the thing to do. An official confirmation of what was already happening on this website.

However, there are two events on which I have the desperate need to write about. One is Ganked 100 in just over a week’s time (for which I hope to have a full blown battle report). The other occurred yesterday night. So I apologise for writing this post, but the itch had to be scratched. May as well make it readable by others.

Let’s set the scene.

Imagine, if you will, a w-space system. This particular wormhole system is a Class 5. The residents are my own corp. Imagine that this corp does many things and one of them includes escalating anomalies using capital ships.

Essentially, the presence of capital ships in a Sleeper Site in a wormhole will cause a wave of 6-8 Sleeper battleships to spawn. A wave spawns per capital, up to 2 Carriers and 2 Dreadnaughts. The new arrivals provide a tonne of ISK from salvage and loot, but are the hardest hitting NPCs around. Heavy neuts, tough tanks and massive DPS will strain some of the best ships out there. One of the more popular solutions is to pair up a Carrier, Dreadnaught and a armour tanked web-loki to slow the targets down for the Dreadnaught’s massive guns. A second carrier and dreadnaught can warp in later to spawn the remaining escalation waves. Easy.

These sites are usually done efficiently and with as low risk as possible. To avoid dying, the ships involved are usually expensively fit. This is wormhole space after all. As such, the involved ships are also extremely vulnerable to being ganked. A Triage’d carrier and Siege’d dread are easy pickings for a large hostile gang, so most corps running these sites will close any connecting wormholes and watch both probe results and directional scan for advance warning of hostiles to attempt an escape.

So imagine one day that this isn’t done.

Onto the fun last night.

Ganked 100 testing is in progress on the Singularity Test server, of which I am a participant. However I also log in my Tranquility main character to keep an eye on things. I log in, cloak up, and watch as my directional scan lights up with many Sleeper wrecks alongside a Moros, Archon and Loki. My corpmates are running sites, with 5 of us online in total.

Alt-tab into Singularity. Bubble titan. Broadcast for reps. Bubble titan. Routine stuff on the test server.

Alt tab into Tranquility. The following exchange is taking place.

[ 2014.01.08 21:48:55 ] tgl3 > site running?
[ 2014.01.08 21:49:12 ] silent terror > ye
[ 2014.01.08 21:50:01 ] silent terror > phobos
[ 2014.01.08 21:50:10 ] silent terror > mick
[ 2014.01.08 21:50:16 ] Mick Straih > what
[ 2014.01.08 21:50:21 ] Mick Straih > shit

Hit “Scan” on d-scan. Shit indeed. My scan list just doubled in size. 6 Guardians, 5 Proteus, 2 Lokis, 7 Legions, a Phobos and a Tengu are all new. They’re also all on top of our Moros and Archon, the Loki bailing quickly as we’d want it to.

Where’d they come from? No idea. perhaps the C2 inbound wormhole or the C6 inbound which were left open. Shit shit shit. There’s over 7 billion ISK worth of Capitals sat in that site, hopelessly outnumbered. The Moros is tanking the hostile fleet but the Legions are fit with energy-neutralizers. It won’t hold for long.

Close Singularity. Mumble is launched. Launch second client. Open Jabber and send a ping to all.

Log in everything. Carriers ambushed in site.

I send tgl3 to a safespot and stay cloaked. He’s no good for what I’m about to do. My alt, Shmoo, is my weapon of choice for this. Time to drop the Capitals in. The Chimera is boarded, fuel stocks are checked and warp is initiated. My corp is not far behind me. The 5 online has just spiked to over 18. Mumble has filled up and we’re going in hot. An early subcap reinforcement in the form of our Stratios is vapourised before the Archon can even lock him, due to the pilot being rather distracted on his other loading EVE clients.

A bump off our POS tower delays my Chimera, but others have gone forward. An Archon, Moros and a Naglfar have just started warping in for us. Our Moros on the field is still holding. It’s been less than 4 minutes since our ping went out.

We identify the hostile fleet’s origin – they came via the Class 6 wormhole. As my Chimera goes into warp, our second Naglfar warps there with an Orca and promptly closes it by  over-extending it’s mass limit, cutting off the hostile fleet’s immediate escape.

As the C6 is reported as shut, I finally land on field.

2014.01.08.22.01.39

Not to be outdone, our newer recruits show up in sub-capital support alongside a couple of our alts. Two Webbing Lokis land alongside a pair of Brutixes, a Typhoon, a Legion and a Tengu. Together we try to pin the Phobos down, but we’ve hit a snag. We can’t break 6 Guardians with subcaps and the Dreadnaughts aren’t hitting. Why? Because the ECM Tengu is jamming the two Lokis, preventing them from slowing our targets down. Well fuck that.

Our second Naglfar has arrived and announces it’s arrival by annihilating the Tengu for us. In the same instant one of our Brutixes comes under heavy fire and explodes before any of the (now non-triaged) carriers can lock him. My remote shield rep doesn’t help him much. He’s quickly followed by our other Brutix. Dammit, guys. How does that even happen?

“Balls to this” says our Dreadnaughts and promptly wipe out the Phobos. A Proteus is also getting on our nerves, so a Naglfar volleys it off field. Next up, the Legion. Which Legion? That Legion. Wrong one? Fine, that one. Still not the right one? Learn to aim guys, shoot that one.

The enemy fleet then decide that perhaps they should leave now. Before they do they take out one final act of revenge for their failed gank. They shoot and loot our Mobile Tractor unit which had been pulling in all of our Sleeper loot up until now. The bastards.

The enemy managed to figure out their C6 was closed during the fight, when one of their Capsules warped to it to find it “not there”. They flee to the C2. We give chase, but a Loki, Dread and Carrier are pinned in the site by the remaining Sleepers. We also cannot follow into a C2 with capitals, so we grab 3 Guardians and a mix of remaining subcaps and chase into the C2. It goes very wrong. Sat at 0 with 6 Guardians, nothing we can do will break the enemy fleet. The remaining 3 neuting legions also wipe out the Capacitor on our own Guardians so we retreat home, but not before getting one our our Absolutions caught off the wormhole and killed. Oh well. One of our Guardians then misclicks and jumps back into the hostile fleet, unable to come home due to polarisation. He also dies. Whoops.

We jump the survivors home and pick the battlefield clean of valuable remains. Overall we lost about 100mil after salvage/loot. Not too bad for getting jumped whilst site running. Capitals saved. Op success. Pilots reimbursed. Job done.

Battle Report. Good fight to Cerberus Unleashed. Maybe next time, gents.

As an afterthought, we had a think about “what went wrong”. Quite a few things could have been improved, as always.

The good

  • Login response was fantastic. Our numbers quadrupled. We only recently introduced Jabber to the corp. It seems to work.
  • The capitals tanked well against the enemy fleet. The fits we have are solid.
  • The loki/dread coordination won us the fight. 10/10
  • The Capitals didn’t bloody die. Aww yes.

The bad

  • Poor warpins to the fight with regards to subcaps. The Stratios died before the main WHEN fleet was in play. More organisation is needed. This can be attributed to the sheer desperation of the incident.
  • The Brutixes died because of the inability of the Carrier pilots to respond in time. The two Archons were dualboxing whilst my Chimera was unable to repair armour at the range I landed at due to the bubble.
  • Whilst it was at no point a concern mid-fight, the Mobile Tractor Unit could have been pre-locked by our Carriers for defensive purposes.
  • Our subcap showing on the second engagement in the C2 was poor. Not much to suggest. We were simply outnumbered in there, against 6 Guardians.

The ugly

  • Why we were site running with an open wormhole? I’ll never know. Sure this time it worked out well for us, but wspace is a shifting landscape. Next time we may not be so lucky.

So ends the largest burst of EVE excitement I’ve had in weeks. That, as they say, is that.

Closing the blog.

EDIT – Just to clear up misconceptions, I am not quitting EVE itself. Yet. Just the blogging is being stopped.

The blog’s been pretty quiet for a few months now. I’ve essentially lost all enthusiasm for writing about EVE and pretty much for EVE as a whole. I’m putting the blog into indefinite stasis for now. It’s almost been as such for a couple months, but consider this the official word. The blog will stay up and renewed (since I still get a few hits to my wormhole guide) but don’t expect any more posts for a long time. Likely permanently.

With regards to EVE, I intend to keep both accounts active despite my waning enthusiasm. This may well change in the future.

The reasoning for my drop in willingness to write & play is twofold;

  1. RL work is becoming more demanding and I am struggling to find the playtime
  2. CCP continues to leave me uninterested with expansion after expansion

Point 1 is self-explanatory. Point 2 requires some explaining. I live in wspace. Want to know what CCP have done for wspace in the past few expansions?

  • Taken out 90% of the mystery via the discovery scanner
  • Made probing laughably easy
    • Flat out broke probing several times (which took days/weeks to fix at a time)
  • Broke SMA drops for over a year
  • Broke wormholes themselves. Twice. Both cases took a couple of weeks to fix.
  • Made Relics/Datas even more worthless. The new hacking system is completely shite in wspace.
  • Constantly delayed T3 subsystem swapping (this is finally in the game, an expansion or two late)
  • Backtracked the much anticipated modular POS revamp with the reasoning that “noone uses POSs lol”.

That’s just wormholes. CCP have also not introduced anything elsewhere that even starts to gain my interest. Ship balancing is something I consider to be routine and not expansion worthy in itself. The “exploration” from Odyssey and Rubicon is crap. The new hacking system is entirely luck based in both the hacking and the “loot spew”. Ghost sites are far too random, far between and luck based to be worth it. Bounties are as pointless as ever. DUST remains irrelevant. Rubicon did nothing. Nothing. Some mobile structures (3) and warp speed changes.

I’m still playing but rather intermittently. Unless CCP introduces something good and not a fix or balance update in the summer, I’ll likely not last through 2014.

As an extra note, I am attending neither the Veto London meets nor Fanfest 2014. Half due to monetary costs, half because I can’t be arsed.

EDIT – If you’re looking for replacement blogs, I recommend (as always) Tiger Ears. Another favourite lately? Interstellar Privateer. Check them out.

Killing those who “won’t fight”

Lock and load, there’s stuff to shoot. By “stuff” I of course refer to the lone Cheetah that we’ve just sighted off our wormhole in our Class 4 static of the day. He’s decloaked, not moving and dead, though the pod responds in time to evade the Nemesis.

The wormhole system chain itself is rather short for a change. The C4 static leads to a C1 static, which leads to only a Nullsec wormhole. The Cheetah had paid us a visit from a second C4 connected to the first one. A scout runs in there and confirms no further wormholes, so we get just the 3 wormholes to play around in for now.

In terms of actual “things to shoot”, a Helios is dancing around on scan sharing a similar ship name to the Cheetah so we presume it’s the same Corporation as the exploded ship. As we continue probing, Mick sites a Sabre on top of the C4a -> C4z wormhole, on the hostile side, to try and catch the Helios. In short order, a Proteus and Absolution warp in and engage our Sabre heroically, resulting in him bailing. They do not follow him home.

So what next? We know they have our wormhole and likely are watching it. We know they are willing to engage in some fashion. Sleipnir it is. Mick boards one as we sit ready with a pair of Astartes in our home, 2 jumps away. Our bait jumps in and sits there, completely not suspicious. He soon receives a convo request from one of the 4z pilots. They tell him they will not engage because they do not know what else we have. This therefore completely nullifies their existence, since you cannot do anything in w-space with perfect intel, but that’s another rant for another time. It also did not stop them engaging the poor Sabre earlier, but I digress. Despite being told to go away, our Sleipnir rather likes the wormhole he’s sat on and continues to not move.

Evidently this aggravates the 4z pilots. That’s their special spot. An Absolution and two Proteus soon land on the wormhole and engage. Our fleet jumps in and warps over to their wormhole. The Sleipnir is breaking fast, but the enemy make a foolish error. They see our reinforcements with a scout and bail, leaving a Proteus hopelessly tackled and unable to continue killing the Sleipnir solo. Our fleet jumps in and ensures secondary tackles.

To save the Proteus they warp an Oracle in at 1o0km and open fire. A tactical error is made in that they warped from their POS, where we had a cloaked Tengu. The Tengu warps to 100 off the wormhole as well and snares the Oracle easily.

Holding tackle for the Devoter to bubble up

Holding tackle for the Devoter to bubble up

The two ships are quickly dispatched along with their pods. That’ll do for the night, I think.

Rolled into our death & beaten to the prize

Hi. I’ve been really busy lately, so take two short battle reports to keep you going. Both involve me dying, so you’ll probably enjoy it.

Rolled into death

There’s trap in motion. Two Tengus, all alone in a Class 4 site. There’s a scout watching them. A fleet is ready to jump in and snare the helpless Tengus resulting in easy kills. Awesome! Except this time we’re not the fleet nor the scout. We’re the Tengus. We’re also waiting with our own fleet for them to drop in, on account of wanting to say “Hi”.

The good news is they have come to say hi. A Loki has landed some 40km away from the Tengus and is burning towards them. A Stratios is right behind him, landing and starting to burn towards the Tengus. The Tengus themselves are scrambled by 3 sleeper frigates but dispatch those with haste now the trap has been sprung. The Stratios comes under Sleeper fire and is dispatched by the Tengus as the Loki gets a warp disrupter on one of them. Hostile Devoter, Guardian, Pilgrim and Proteus all land, this time a bit closer. Trap sprung, we jump and warp our own ships in nailing the Loki. The rest are outside bubble range and bail so we follow as quick as we can, catching the Devoter on one wormhole.

We end up in their wormhole with a small fleet, sat on the return wormhole which is under half mass, where they try bombing us and sniping us with Tier 3 BCs and a Nightmare. We refuse to budge, wanting a fight of some sort. Eventually they  drop a fleet on us and jump a Typhoon Fleet Issue through after our Tempest, rolling the wormhole.

Shit. Our escape route is now gone

A Pilgrim helps kill our Tempest on the other side, but not much we can do there. The 4 remaining Battleships should be easy pickings for us.

Should be easy!

Should be easy!

It is. We’re breaking them easily and holding against their DPS. This works right until a hostile Thanatos carrier lands and enters Triage, repairing the Tempest with ease. Not much we can do from here, so we enact the “run the fuck away” protocol, losing my Guardian our Broadsword and our  Myrmidon but get the Abso, Proteus and second Guardian out to a highsec wormhole. Phew.

Getting beaten to the prize (then pulverised right after)

A new day, a new chain. This one brings a Class 3 with  a Thanatos on scan. He’s outside his Tower forcefield by a few hundred meters. Nothing we can do to kill that but there’s only one reason a Carrier would be doing that. He’s delegating fighters somewhere.

As it happens, he’s doing it to a mining op. Elsewhere in the system there’s three Procurers and a Venture mining at an Ore site, with fighters “protecting” them. An easy set of kills, so we gather a small gank fleet in our C4 static next door and prepare to drop on them.

A minute passes as I try to get a good warp in spot for our Interdictor. Timing and positioning is key with trying to nab all 4 ships.

What the hell?

What the hell?

A Sabre has dropped out of warp on top of them and launched a bubble. It’s not us, nor is it the defending corp. Someone has beaten us to it.

In short order, a Loki and Proteus appear, securing tackle on the ships. Not long after, 2 more Lokis, a second Proteus and 2 Guardians show up to, uh, make sure they don’t die to miners.

A close fight.

A close fight.

A fight! That’s a pretty tough little fleet so we grab 2 Guardians of our own, a Scorpion and 4 T1 BCs. We sit on the C3 wormhole as their scout comes through. Not long later, our scout reports the same fleet on scan and they jump through to us.

We start on the Loki and jam out a Guardian. It’ll be close, but we might be able to kill one or two before they bail.

The wormhole flares.

Again.

Again.

Two ECM Tengus break cloaks and jam both our Guardians out. A third Guardian appears and gets the Loki repaired back up. A dozen T3s appear. It’s game over. We jump what we can through and warp away, saving 75% of the fleet. We lose 2 Bcs and my Guardian (again) in return for 0 kills. Damn. A good gank on their part and poor scouting by us. What can you do?

Battle Report

Unlikely Allies

The pings are frantic. Pvp. Now. Armour doctrine and warp to inbound C5z. No time for wondering about the nature of wormhole space and the meaning of anomalies. The inbound has spewed a couple of ships onto an Archon of ours that was trying to bait their carrier into us. Our ship jumps prior to this fight means a hostile carrier coming in  will roll the wormhole, trapping the hostiles with us. That’s the plan.

Of course, a plan relies on things going according to it. Which this is not doing. The wormhole just rolled, as planned, but they didn’t field the carrier that was on the other side. They fielded everything else.

2013.11.14.20.28.16

It’s a fracking ambush

4 enemy Guardians, a Bhaalgorn, a Vindicator and an assortment of other ships are engaging us with full force. Realising we’re in serious trouble here, we start warping in reinforcements including a second Archon. The enemy have other ideas, however, and start burning away. Their reps hold as well as our own, but they can move their logi whereas we’re a bit more limited. They’re making a very good attempt to escape, the ships we send to pin them down are either neuted out, jammed out by 4 flights of ECM drones or webbed to 10m/s by the webbing Loki. We lose some ships as the fight extends beyond our carrier rep ranges.

The Scorp jams land, allowing us o apply the DPS we craved

The fight continues

Sadly for us, their coordination beats our own and they pull away to some 70km, before jamming and neuting our battlecruisers and warping away.

We bounce to our C4 static, their exit route, where I get a message from another pilot. It’s another wormhole corp offering us assistance! We take it. Our remaining ships jump into 4a where a trio of now-friendly BCs await our reinforcements. As the enemy fleet come in, we engage with our half-dozen ships but we still lack Logi without our Archon and are forced back through to our home wormhole, friendlies and all.

Enough of this. Dual Scorpion ECM battleships are acquired and our newfound allies have reinforcements en route. Time to punch the enemy in the face. They have retreated further down the chain to a C3 wormhole, where they obviously flee for their lives. Our jump is hasty, lacking scouts and assuming we can catch them running. The enemy had better ideas and await our arrival with glee, crushing a friendly battleship. Whoops. As our Scorps jump back (one in 5% structure) we acquire our two Guardians at last and re-engage for the last time.

Finally, our dual fleets combine to finish what was started 35 minutes ago.

"Jams applied across the board, FC" "Wipe them"

“Jams applied across the board” “Wipe them”

The Bhaalgorn explodes under our fire first. Next up is the only Guardian who stayed close, followed by the Devoter. The enemy then decide that they’re actually up against a threat now and promptly bail out to an unknown wormhole, which we had yet to scan. Damn.

All in all, a good fight. Good fleet and tackle denial by Footwork and many thanks to our unexpected allies in Quebec United Legion.

In some other news, I managed to launch my Chimera into two fights last week. Neither got us kills, but neither lost the Chimera (despite two Moros shooting it in one of the fights). I also hunted down and shot at CCP during the live Rubicon stream, but they switched the view just before I landed. If you watch at 1:10:25, CCP paradox subtly notices and activates his DEV H4X to stop my damage. Bah.

The second Chimera fight. Pulsar wormhole. The two Moros landed shortly after. No kills or losses.

The second Chimera fight. Pulsar wormhole. The two Moros landed shortly after. No kills or losses.

Devhacks.

Devhacks.