New Player Training Session: Exploration Fleet!

CCP Gargant offered a newb course today in exploration with the promise to die gloriously in a wormhole.  The event was designed for newbs and I gingerly log my RvB toon in that has a total of 1.5mil SP, can fly a Gallente Frigate well and hit a barn door if it is really close and doesn’t move.  Only just.

Look, the time is about to be perfect for the fleet to form up and I gulp down a lunch sandwich like a snake swallows a rabbit, fill the glass, empty the bladder (TMI?  this stuff is important, newbs need to know all about the Battle Bottle) and tell the wife that I am working on something really important and that she should stay out of my way for a bit.  She kinda believes it since I am doing this on my laptop.  A misnomer.  If I actually had this thing on my lap while playing EVE, I’d been in hospital with 3rd degree burns to my private parts.  It pays to wear fire-proof Depends for more reasons than raiding.

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Of Bubbles and Bookmarks

My game time is reduced this month, RL stuff continues to interfere but while I tried a few other games that work with my changed schedule better (Skyrim, level 15 !) and FarCry 3 (a lot of fun), I keep coming back to EVE. Other games may have as deep and complicated mechanics as EVE, they somehow feel “empty”.  I need MMOs.

So, the other day, I log into our C4 when Studley reports activity in a C5 2 holes over.  Generally, we leave C5s alone, by the sheer nature of wormhole life, C5s are run by larger corporations but that doesn’t mean that they are more active or populated by only hardcore PvP players.  Quite a few of them take in the odd newb, give them a miner and let them farm Ore for ISK in more safety than High Sec – given that C5s have only one static that is easily watched.  Or not watched.

Studley reports a Covetor and an Orca in Ore field, happily pounding on some rocks.  The Covetor is understandable – it has mining lasers, the Orca – not so much.  It serves as a mobile depot and maybe as can-tractor but having an Orca float anywhere in New Eden is asking for trouble.  They are too damn slow to escape anything.

Unfortunately, Studley’s ship doesn’t have a point and I am assuming that the Orca has many.  It doesn’t have to target anything, so its likely that it has warp stabs up the wazoo making it impossible to pin down with my 2 points on the Proteus.  (Note to self, must get faction point).  To boot, Studley’s RL is kicking in and he gives the 10min warning before he encounters, divorce, dismemberment and other capital punishments.  So, we have to do this fast.  An Orca is a tough nut we need dps more than anything – we can’t afford to hang in space and peck on him forever – his team mates will eventually log in and counter blob us. I am swapping into someone’s Onyx (ty, CCP for not introducing personal SMAs!) which has pitiful DPS but at least I won’t have to worry about pointing anything. My alt is about to swap into a Manticore, the idea being that I can hold down the ships and Studely and my alt pound the snot out of them fast.  All this while I still think this is a trap. Orcas don’t float in space like that.

Fortuitously, my jabber ping results in 3 crew mates to log in, Epic, our newest recruit with a stealthbomber, Oreamnos, fearsome leader of our alliance in his signature cloaky Loki supporting Studley in the C5 and Drag, an old pirate hand bringing in an Omen Navy Issue. With this much firepower, my alt stays in his Falcon and nestles up to the C3-C5 hole, he will only see action if something very bad happens.

Studley has to log but leaves bookmarks for each target ship.  Orea takes over scout duty, the decision is that he drops onto the Covetor and I put a bubble onto the Orca.  This should hold everything down for Epic and Drag to pound into dust.

Warp commands are given, timing is near perfect (never realized just how friggin slow a Onyx is) and we land on grid together.  Orea’s warp in was 100% , he lands on top of the Covetor and locks him at 0km range.  Drag and I warped to the Orca bookmark and find it 35 km off where the Orca actually is – not even close to bubble range.  I assume that the BM was perfect but the Orca moved for some reason during the transition between Studley having to log off and Orea taking point as scout.  I have no prop mod on this Onyx, so “burning” is the wrong expression.  I slowly crawl to the Orca, hoping to be able to cross the 17km to catch him with the edge of my bubble. Epic and Drag are already pounding on him, but neither is close enough to pin him either.

The Covetor blows up, his pod is corpsified swiftly, he too was way out of my bubble range but that was expected. I see the Orca aligning and warping off – a sad, sad moment.

So, what could have gone better?  Firstly, never rely on bookmarks. Have the scout tackle the more important ship.  Orea should have been my warp in for the Orca, let Drag drop onto the Covetor and pin him down.  If he manages to warp off, oh well.  In addition, I noticed that my borrowed Onyx had a script in his cargo hold.  When I realized that I will never make it into bubble range, could I have re-scripted and infinity-pointed the Orca at range?  Probably yes, if I had been more experienced.  But instead I focused on executing the plan and wasn’t able to adapt.  That happens but it irks me a little…

The best thing though, fly with friends, stalk and drop on someone get a kill (well, I didn’t but the corp did), then leave the field with all ships intact.  The last one was a bonus and unexpected.

A good night out!

Get the pod, get the pod

+++ Special Announcement: EVE Meetup Northern VA.+++

RL has not been nice to me – busy and stressful.  EVE is pretty much the first thing that goes over board when it comes to prioritizing my life (after personal hygiene, paying mortgage and other really non-essential tasks, of course).  I had not logged in all week until Friday came and with it the realization that the week was over, I am still breathing and my friends are shooting pixelly ships, something I am bad in but I like doing.

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All in the valley of Death

Survivor’s guilt, there is no other word to describe it.

It hurts in the stomach, the shame of living whereas all my friends and fleetmates died in glorious combat. Where was I when it happened?  Fast asleep.

But lets start at the beginning.

Our C5 crew is developing a notoriety for bashful combat and seeking out big fights.  They win, they lose but they never back down which is what EVE is all about.  I flew with them a few times and its always a blast, they know what they are doing.  And when the jabber and forum pings came up yesterday that they needed assistance, I only thought which ship to bring, not whether to go.

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