Archive for November, 2010

Jump. Pray. Lag.

Posted in IT Alliance, User Interface on November 27, 2010 by Easley Thames

I did not post about it at the time, mostly because it was not fun for me personally, but the 68FT battle was one of the least playable fights since Max 2.

The scene was set for a lag-fest hours ahead when all the parties involved formed up in their staging points.

We had moved a large “Shield Fleet” via consecutive titan bridges across several regions. For those unfamiliar with our Shield Fleets, in IT we use maelstroms + apocs + drakes, instead of pure drake fleets. Our opponents in 68FT were almost entirely a pure drake fleet.

We eventually made our way to the 68FT gate where a bomber gang pushed us to jump through. We would have jumped anyway but they added some urgency. As soon as we entered… black screen… for quite a while.

When we did load, modules (even with split stacks and manual cycling on) were not responding. When they did fire you would have 10+ minutes to wait before you could shoot again. I got 3 shots off total the entire time I was alive.

Both fleets were soon bubbled and attempting to kill things. I would say 1 ship – at most – died every 5 minutes at this stage of the fight.

Eventually I was primaried, and could not warp. I wasn’t in any bubbles or pointed, I was tackled by lag.

After my drake died, somehow the lag broke and I was able to get my pod out of the fight with no issues. I logged next-door and the next day we formed up a “rescue” fleet where I got a few kills on the way home (this time in a new drake I had purchased nearby for the break-out attempt).

This was the first large-scale operation where I flew a drake. Having recently picked up decent missile skills, I finally cross-trained to pilot this (rather overpowered) battle-cruiser.

The drake is certainly an ideal battle-boat for the current state of the game, but I’ll probably stick with hurricanes for roaming, and I’ll fly a (high alpha) artillery-fit battleship in the next big OP that calls for Shield Fleet setups. Why? If I only get to shoot once or twice per fight I might as well make those shots count.


Spec Ops / Black Ops

Posted in Camping, Fleet Tactics, Piracy, Roaming on November 7, 2010 by Easley Thames

Every corp seems to have the idea from time to time that they need a “black ops” group. Typically this amounts to one of your FCs taking a few bombers out and looking for targets of opportunity.

Few groups do the “black ops” thing well. Notably, the Goon blackops who have now mostly broke off and formed Elitist Ops (now in PL) were a huge thorn in the side of Atlas when they locked down Omist for a short time.

-MVN- has had a EU TZ and US TZ blackops group off-and-on throughout our history. Currently we’re pretty active in this regard and the last couple weeks have really shown how effective they can be. For example, behind NC lines we’re popping pimped ratters / plex runners with great regularity:

There are many different ways to form and run a “black ops” gang, most of which do not rely upon the “black ops” ship category (e.g. – Sins or Widows) at all.

We’re currently running a mix of 2-3 styles of black-ops / covert gangs across EU and U.S. timezones with great success. When there is no official “deployment” or war to fight, there is plenty of time to experiment, and I think we may be seeing even greater success as more of our pilots get comfortable flying in this fashion.

Of course, some of it is just the fact that we have really strong pilots operating in the north currently. We’ve been smacked and told we only pop so many t3 / faction BS because we’re “cloaking fags.” The truth is, we have been getting the same good kills without flying in purely blackops gang ships in the same time-frame.