Archive for October, 2010

Bad Fits – My Top 5 Pet Peeves

Posted in Fittings on October 27, 2010 by Easley Thames

I could spend a month just going over all the bad fits I’ve run across. That doesn’t interest me, and I suspect it wouldn’t interest anyone else either.

What does intrigue me is the sheer number of times I see some very basic fitting rules broken. There are some rules that have exceptions, but for the most part these are guiding principles that should never be deviated from.

The following 5 fittings mistakes are my pet peeves:

1) Never Use Under-Sized Buffer Mods: Whether it’s a 400mm plate on a Battleship or a MSE on a HAC, under-sized buffer mods are extremely common, even among otherwise outstanding pilots.

First off, there is literally no ship that should ever fit the following mods:

-Small shield extenders

-50mm Plates, 100mm Plates

Here is the correct Armor Plating Breakdowns:

200mm Plates – Frigates/destroyers

400mm – Fridates / destroyers (usually requires MAPC)

800mm – Cruisers (usually gank setups that need grid and can’t fit 1600)

1600mm – BC, BS and some cruisers (especially t2 hulls)

And the correct Shield Extender Breakdown:

MSE: Frig /dictor

LSE: Everything from cruiser-size up thru battleship size

2) The Single Armor Rep Tank (for ships above frigate class): As mentioned in the heading, this obviously doesn’t apply to frigates. Active tanked armor frigs can easily get by with a single rep. That said, above the frigate class, only carriers can get away with an active armor tank that relies on only one rep.

A single rep is just  not enough for most 1v1 situations, let alone dealing with focus fire from a small gang. Good options are: Dual-rep, buffer, or buffer + mono rep. Never just a single rep. Learn this and have greater success.

3) Excessive ‘Fittings’ Mods: There are 2 RCU and an ACR on your ship? Cool fitting bro. I’m sure it was worth losing 2 slots and a rig to fit the larger variant of your turrets or an extra plate at the expense of resists or DPS. The absolute limit should be 1 low-slot OR 1 rig (and not both). I firmly believe that any setup that goes beyond a single rig or low-slot could be re-worked for greater results. For example, you can always drop some of your weapons down a tier (as in 425 autos down to 220mm autos, or changing out neutrons for ions).

4) Passive Capacitor Recharge Mods on Non-Logistics, Neuting or Capital Ships: If it’s not a logistic, capital or energy neutralizing ship then this is a very likely sign of inexperience. In the vast majority of cases, success in PvP is about your ability to perform well for minutes at a time, not hours. You don’t need to be fully cap stable running everything, and it often comes at a high cost since you need several mids or lows to get significant results in cap recharge time.Simply use an injector if cap will be an issue.

*In a very small number of cases, a cap battery may make sense, but this fitting style largely disappeared in the nano age (when ships like Nano Ishtars were almost always fit with a battery).

5) Untanked Tacklers: This always bothers me, but never more so than on Dramiel loss mails. Just because a ship is extremely fast doesn’t mean you won’t ever get hit. When you’re faster than every other ship in the game (other than another person in your exact ship) it’s not necessary to hollow out your structure with nanofibers. A shield buffer fits naturally with the light tackler setup and a damage control is, in many cases, the difference between losing or killing another frigate if you get into a 1v1 situation.

Between Farming Sanctums…

Posted in Camping on October 19, 2010 by Easley Thames

-MVN- is back in Delve making preparations for whatever comes next. We left Catch because -A- is gone, and Init now has more space than they can use.

As we departed from Catch, we caught a few -A-  pilots evacuating. I don’t have pics for every kill but this unlucky hauler had some decent goodies inside:

Of course, it doesn’t even compare to this loot pinata stuffed with two full sets of slave implants. Not the low-grades. We’re talking good ones for crazy low-sec pilots with too much isk.

We also took out an annoying -A- Dramiel pilot who kept following us around the region. It was a particularly satisfying kill for PK who lost a Saber to the same guy earlier.

We moved our assets in Catch back to Delve in a couple days, but it isn’t all sanctums and 10/10 plexes while we wait for our new campaign. For one thing, we’ve grown increasingly creative with our bubble-art. Behold:

Another IT corp got a bit irate, and after making a fuss, they got Molle himself to come and demand we take down this fantastic phallus. We had to comply, but while it lasted this was certainly a useful and stylish way to trap hostiles coming into our space from Fountain.

Small -MVN- gangs have been ganking, whenever possible, anyone who comes into our neighborhood. Most of the kills have been cloakers or fast-movers. To catch a recon or agile frigate you usually need bubbles,  scram + web and pilots who are skilled at de-cloaking. Using all of those skills, we’ve nailed quite a few soloists (including e-famous video makers) and small-gang scouts since coming home. Those are just a couple random killmail examples.

Finally, as a note to everyone who has contacted myself or PK and mentioned how much they enjoy our blogs, please feel free to post comments here or mail me with questions you would like to see addressed in a future post.

I try to focus on personal experiences only, so I don’t necessarily record every interesting event that occurs with -MVN- or IT as a whole, but theory-crafting is well within the realm topics I enjoy writing about and I would be happy to discuss fittings and piloting for various ships.

IT Surprise Visit To Providence

Posted in Fleet Tactics, IT Alliance on October 10, 2010 by Easley Thames

Through channels, a CVA FC reached out to contacts in IT Alliance for a potential hot-drop opportunity on some Providence alliance capitals laying siege to a CVA-owned pos in 6-OQJV.

The target  fleet included members of the following alliances:

Legio Astartes Arcanum

Noir. Mercenary Group

On the Rocks

Imperial Order

Flying Dangerous

Against All Authorities

We formed up in capitals with a small conventional fleet at first, but mixed intel on a potential counter drop caused us to tread carefully. We decide to start things off by jumping through a small support fleet to engage approximately 10 hostile caps who were on the tower at that time.

The hostiles were keeping their sub-caps off-field due to excellent POS gunning by CVA.

When our fleet landed, we locked up and killed 2 carriers before the hostile sub-cap fleet showed up. With greatly superior-size, their sub-cap gang forced us to warp off to regroup. Thanks to a lack of hostile tackling and strong logistics support,  we got off the field without serious losses.

It was decided to switch everyone who wasn’t already in the system into sub-caps at this point, and we proceeded to form up a much larger gang of shield BCs and logistics before bridging a second wave into the system.

With similar numbers to the enemy fleet (but lacking any caps) we tore them apart with very few losses. I was surprised by the unfocused nature of their dps. I suspect not all of them were on the same comms. We took no losses from this point on, save for 1 IT BC that was called primary by mistake due to overview issues.

CVA did a great job bubbling the enemy and pos-gunning. I have to extend my gratitude for providing such an excellent engagement for us to enjoy in U.S. prime-time, where we typically do not see much action other than roaming gangs.

-MVN- FCs Perseus and Homegrown did a great job leading this one, with assistance from several other FCs who were coordinating scouts and cynos, as well as providing input on how to proceed.

One unexpected event was the arrival of a small Agony training fleet, which engaged the hostiles while we were regrouping. It was a T1 frigate gang that got quickly dismantled, but I’m sure they had a good time themselves, and it was a useful distraction for our side.

-MVN- Battle Summary

IT Killboard Battle Summary

I myself made it onto a fair number of mails, but only a fraction of the whole —

In Summary: This was a very fun op for everyone involved on our side. The enemy was actually rather chill in local and, despite losing, I suspect they may have had fun as well. Our only real regret was that we had to leave all the capital mods and fighters behind for CVA to loot. That and the fact that several hostile caps self-destructed (mostly dreads).

Joy Killing Mechanic Spotlight :: Global Criminal Countdown

Posted in Piracy on October 9, 2010 by Easley Thames

Whenever I have to go to empire, I make a point of it to kill something in low-sec, since I rarely get the pleasure of piracy these days. This evening, I went on a quick solo roam after cloning to empire for a skill book.

My first kill of the night was an npc corp drake, about 5 minutes into my roam. A garden variety kill to be sure, but not a bad start. The fight was not very long, and I was able to loot the wreck and safe up without any issues, but I spent the next 15 minutes doing nothing.

It took me 5 minutes to find a target, then I spent 15 in a safe-spot. That’s a 3-1 ratio of thumb-twiddling versus active hunting, and an even lower ratio of actual fighting to sitting around. Low-sec has enough difficulties that keep sucking people away into 0.0 or high-sec. Do we really need a lengthy time-out after killing someone?

Next, after waiting my timer out, it took 6 minutes to find my second target, an Omen Navy Issue. Guess what happened next? Yup, 15 more minutes of fucking waiting!! Sometimes I think this game was designed by former employees of the California Department of Motor Vehicles (non-Americans read: a notoriously inefficient bureaucracy with huge lines).

Obviously, there is no reason I couldn’t do other things. I could rat, kill more people or just dock up. I actually did finish the belt-spawn in this case, to balance my security loss out.

The real issue is that a long GCC impairs my ability to roam from system to system. A battleship can shrug off gate-guns enough to travel with them, but even at that hull-class it presents disadvantages when roaming.

If you’re in combat, the GCC continually refreshes as you take aggressive actions against your target (weapons fire, drones, warp disruption all trigger it with each cycle). So then, why do we need GCC to persist so long AFTER you stop your hostile actions? Aggression ends LONG before GCC, so what’s the reason for flagging to last so long?

I think the best way to fix the problem would be substituting in a 5 minute timer. Since it takes me about that long to get into fights, at least if tonight was any indication, I think that’s all it should take to get the hell out of the system without gate-guns burning a hole in my ship’s backside.

To finish the tale of my little roam. With 2 minutes before downtime I popped my third victim, a pvp-fit harbinger whose pesky ecm drones caused me some grief at first. I was soon able to kill the drones (ec-600 are not very hard to hit) but there was a successful jam at one point.

If he had been aligning out and spamming warp, this kill wouldn’t have happened. Luckily for me, he was pvp-fit and looking to fight back. Local spiked +3 as he entered hull. I was able to loot him before warping off and docking  just as downtime hit. The drop included a minor faction item, which is always a plus, and some common T2 mods.

His friends were hugging station in various battleships when I landed. I guess he told them not to bother warping-in since he was a goner.

Back on the topic of this post, 3 solo kills in about an hour isn’t bad, but I wasted 30 minutes total on GCC after my first and second kill. That was almost half the entire roam doing NOTHING.

If I had not been forced offline by downtime, I’d be waiting off my 15 minutes again right now. CCP, if you ever give me one low-sec change, make it a shorter GCC.

IT’s Newest Additions

Posted in IT Alliance on October 3, 2010 by Easley Thames

I haven’t blogged in a while, so I thought I’d write about something simple to start-up again.

IT Alliance added two corporations recently. This post is a brief summary of my perspective on STK Scientific and Beach Boys boarding the clown car.

(1) STK Scientific (9-22-2010)

I am very excited about this addition. This is one of the strongest corps from The Initiative, which has been consistently powerful ever since leaving the North. STK recently proved their ability to work with us in the Syndicate campaign, and I have no doubts they will be highly-valued members.

I am excited about the fact that STK will be able to work with -MVN- and Nex Eternus to provide more of a presence in the U.S. timezone, where IT Alliance is often heavily out-manned by our opponents. They are by no-means only a U.S. corp, but it’s significant from my perspective that I can count on them to help where we need it most.

STK has active FCs and experienced pilots who are already making a an impact, despite not being fully settled-in.

Membership: 260

Corp Website: http://www.stkscientific.com/

(2) Beach Boys (9-24-2010)

This is a former GBC member who was known for small gang roaming and owning a couple titans back when they were much rarer. They had a nice pocket of space in Period Basis, nicer than several larger GBC alliances, and when they were accepted by Atlas they were recognized again as being a significant asset.

I don’t have many friends in Beach Boys, but I’ve never had an issue with them, and I’m glad to see them in IT. They will bring competent pilots who enjoy a balance of small-gang and large fleet warfare, along with a good number of super caps.

It’s also note-worthy that this is a Polish corp, so they will fit into the post-downtime EU-Timezone where the alliance runs most of its major ops.

Corp Link: http://www.bu-fu.org/

Membership: 209

Note: 5 months ago we also had Tormentum merge into a single corp  (Executive Outcomes style) and join the alliance. I didn’t blog about it at the time because I had no idea what to think of them. Five months later, I still don’t.