Archive for the Solo PvP Category

Lots of Action

Posted in Against All Authorities, Killboard Stats, Piracy, Roaming, Solo PvP on July 18, 2011 by Easley Thames

As the Summer continues, I’ve seen lots of action all across the south of New Eden.

Usually Curse and Providence provide us with the most fun. In addition to hostile fleets, we often find pimped ships strolling around in these regions, and I’m never too busy to gank a pimped ratting boat.

To the West, Delve is evolving into quite a war-zone with MM, Brick and Borg looking to start a new empire in Delve. However, this region has not been a particularly fun destination for AAA.

The biggest issue is that, 90% of the time we form up a gang, MM refuses to fly anything but bombers. Those kinds of “fights” are not something that makes us want to show up every day, and our allies in the region can usually handle things on their own, but we do appear occasionally when asked to help out with a timer.

The recent release of the Captain’s Quarters leaves me with the impression that there is a great template in place, but as of yet, nothing about it is really useful to me. I would greatly appreciate the option to use the old docking hangar view, personally.

Moreover, the game is still about spaceships, first and foremost. I hope CCP keeps this in mind. Pictured above is my trusty (and rusty) Tempest, which seems to be a carrier magnet of sorts.

Bumping capitals off-station is always fun, and with lots of Machs & Tempests in-gang, it isn’t particularly hard to push someone out of remote repair range.

Over the last 3 months, I have seen more and more action. I credit the large number of active FCs in MVN, and AAA’s culture, which embraces roaming above almost all else.

Since joining -A-, -MVN- has had increasing momentum. Our corp moved up 200 spots on Battle Clinic, and I’ve personally moved up over 500 spots.

According to Eve-Kill, MVN is currently #7 eve-wide for kills in the last 30 days:

Personally, I’ve gone from around 2100 when we left IT to breaking into the 1600’s. My goal is top-1500 by Summer’s end, which I am currently on track for.

I appear to be advancing around 100 spots per month, which is significant at this rank because everyone above and immediately below you is also very active.

I’ve had some great fights expensive ganks to help me climb the ladder, like the solo Tengu kill pictured above.

However, the best fights are the ones where you take on small gangs alone. Especially this month, I really regret not having Fraps installed.

For example, just this morning I engaged 1 BS and 3 BC in my Maelstrom. To get them to engage, I tried warping at zero to their gate-camp, but they wouldn’t take the fight until I warped-in at range.

In the picture above, you can see the wreck of the first victim – a drake – while the other 3 continue to fire on me. I ended up killing 3 of them while one drake eventually escaped. I – of course – survived.

And of course, I have not only been doing casual PvP, there have been some serious confrontations with RA and their allies over Tenerifis, and we expect that to escalate very soon.

Regardless of how the sov-map looks, we will continue playing the game the way we do right now.

I look forward to the rest of summer. Hopefully there will be more solo kills, more great fights, and more epic super-cap deaths.


Soloing In Curse

Posted in Killboard Stats, Roaming, Solo PvP on May 26, 2011 by Easley Thames

Everyone knows Curse is hot right now. Being my favorite 0.0 region, I couldn’t be happier about the current orgy of violence embroiling AAA’s nearby playground.

People say solo PvP is dead or impossible. For myself at least, that’s definitely not true.

The picture below covers a 6-day span during FINALS, when I had extremely limited time to play. Nearly all of the mails I got in that time were solo kills, as the “involved parties” column indicates.

I had zero eyes/scouts, no gang bonuses, no meta-gaming, no spies, and no blues in the system for these kills. I also didn’t fly anything expensive or pimped-out.

Starting a month ago, I have based out of the Heaven constellation, traveling back to -A- sovereign space only for larger alliance ops or -MVN- roams.

My goals has been to enjoy some casual solo PvP in affordable ships. Fortunately, the locals are usually up for a fight! If not, one only has to travel a couple jumps in any direction to find some trouble.

Despite the risks involved when soloing without any trump cards, I took no losses during the aforementioned 6-day period.

As of today, I still have a total of only 2 ship losses for the past 60 days. There were certainly many close calls though, usually related to escaping a blob after killing one member of their gang.

Here are some more mails from the following week:

There were a few “oh shit” moments over the last two weeks, like when Battlestars un-docked a carrier on me to try and save their Ferox. I consider carriers a bit of a buzz-kill in a small-gang oriented playground.

Repeated cocky displays of capitals by Battlestars in Curse resulted in this hot-drop. I may like to solo, but it doesn’t mean I am without options when people abuse their big toys! The same goes for most senior -MVN- FCs.

Another Battlestars pilot apparently shares his account with a friend. This guy’s ‘friend’ decided to un-dock a Gila that I was able to bump off station and kill in hopes of ratting in system.

I have no idea if this story was just a way for him to save face, or if he really has a friend who rats for him in busy npc 0.0 systems, but when he ‘took over control’ this dialogue commenced:

Going forward, I’ll continue shooting people, taking risks, and trying not to get mowed down by angry blobs.

Most of all, I’ll continue laughing at those who sit docked 23/7 complaining that Eve is only enjoyable as a forum discussion topic.

Recently, there have been lots of emo forum threads bemoaning the nerfs to 0.0 ratting as an income source.

I have always seen making isk as a mere means to an end, and sometimes even a necessary evil, but never something to be pursued as a primary goal in and of itself.

All you really need to have fun in this game is a few cheap ships, decent setups, and the courage to take chances.

That being so, who is really to blame for the fact that people spin ships in stations for hours on end? Is it the people at CCP, the sand-box makers, or the people who never try to make their own fun?

If you ask me, CCP could do a much better job in many areas, but the game is nothing if  not rife with the potential for adventure and conflict.

Sparse Playtime, Sparse Kills

Posted in Against All Authorities, Atlas Alliance, IT Alliance, Roaming, Solo PvP on August 24, 2010 by Easley Thames

I have had only a few hours here and there to play since my last update, but I wanted to record a few brief encounters.

(1) Earlier this evening, after coming home at around 11 PM my time, I caught up with a roam being lead by Perseus. The gang consisted of t2 and faction frigs with a single dictor and falcon being the only other other ships fielded. I decided to bring a rapier for no particularly good reason.

We narrowly missed a Raven who cross-jumped the main-body of our gang, only to be engaged by a lone assault frig who couldn’t get into scram range before the battleship warped and logged. We had no probes, and it would have been too much effort to scream at people to burn over from our home space just to have a shot at catching a lone Raven.

Luckily for us, our scout reported a Tengu landing on our gate. He pressured it into our camp and we waited with anticipation as the pilot waited out his timer. Even with the bubble up, there was a good chance he could escape if he had a interdiction-nullified setup, but that was not the case in this instance.

It took us quite a while, but we eventually wore down a rather expensive Tengu. The loot drop should net everyone in gang a decent pay-out after the A-type booster and CN BCUs are sold in Jita by one of our neutral alts.

I can’t help but think that all this sloppiness in -A- space is due to their serious internal issues. Whenever corps leave a 0.0 alliance, players will take unwise risks to evacuate expensive assets and discipline generally breaks down.

(2) Last Friday, In Curse -MVN- and another IT corp had just begun to move pilots and ships into Curse for a long deployment involving coordinated roaming ops and possibly a future involvement in nearby conflicts if the circumstances were favorable.

The early adventures had netted some good kills, but also a handful losses as many of the FCs with little or no personal experience in the area under-estimated Outbreak on more than one occasion.

I was literally online for the last-half of a fight that ended before I could arrive in-system. Having missed the action, I started looting the field. One wreck in particular was a good distance off, so I re-warped from a nearby planet, only to find a jaguar sitting on the wreck!

I applied close range tackle + neus to maintain range. Without being able to orbit me, I easily crushed the jaguar with my close-rage hurricane. This kill is certainly nothing to brag about, but it was nice to log in and pick up free loot and a solo kill before having to get back offline.

I also shared a falcon kill with an Initiative pilot a couple systems over before we had to leave Curse. This particular kill was somewhat joyless because the falcon pilot – though neutral and someone I’ve fought before – had “warned” me about the Initiative gang next-door when I jumped in, because he knows I fly solo fairly often and didn’t want to see me get raped.

Solo-enthusiasts will occasionally pass intel to each other, even without friendly standings. You shouldn’t overly-trust anyone in Eve, but in my experience these tips tend to be genuine.

3) Last Sat/Sun, IT Alliance Recalled Home – Although we were told to move home to prepare for a new operation, we didn’t have orders yet. So, to pass the time, we killed whatever we could in our own backyard.

I was able to catch a Vagabond ratter who was farming rats in our space without permission. I noticed he was still in the belts, even after my hurricane entered system, so I used a clever warp-in angle to land in range to tackle. He could have escaped at one point, but instead he decided to try and kite me, which did not work. The Vaga dropped some low-value dark blood mods that he had just acquired in the belts.

The next day I had a little more playtime, so I lead a roam of my own. Over a few hours of boring Sunday hunting (traditionally a bad day for kills) we snared a few unremarkable kills without any losses.

The first kill came in Curse, where I was able to tackle a Harbinger in my Rapier and hold him off-gate until my back-up could arrive. We tried to get a fight with Darkside in neighboring systems, but their similar-sized gang did not want to play with us. We were primarily in drakes with scimitar support, Darkside had Machs and Cynabals.

Leaving Curse for Providence, I was able to bait a fight with a dominix and drake on a station in a popular mining system. I let the drake approach me off-station (un-webbed) while focusing on the dominix to create urgency. When I had the drake safely out-of dock range, I called in my battle-cruisers to do the heavy lifting.

The dominix, having neuted me just before I switched my tackle over to the drake, was still aggressed for a few moments after we finished the drake. We primaried him and he docked in VERY low structure. He had to of been below 1000 hull.

Moving forward, I jumped-into a busy system occupied by Flying Dangerously. An Ishkur sat on-gate, orbiting an anchored bubble positioned to catch warp-ins from another gate. Scan showed nothing else in range.

I engaged the Ishkur with 22 in local and a gang hungry for more kills on the other side of the gate. He slowly dropped and..  as I mashed scan to see what his backup would look like… I was disappointed to solo the poor guy with no one coming to his aid.

All was not yet lost. I saw battleships on scan shortly after looting the Ishkur wreck! They were on station with a carrier, so engaging them in this particular system was not going to happen on my watch. Instead, I decided to warp to station and see if I couldn’t get a few tacklers to burn at me beyond the reach of their station-hugging RRBS and carrier(s).

As I landed, the hostiles warped past me to the gate. I let the gang know to be ready. If they jumped into us, I was comfortable engaging with similar numbers. We had far more logistic support, and I felt we had a slight overall advantage in a heads-up brawl.

However, the gang wanted us to jump to them, in the system where they had at least one carrier and several more pilots in station. After a brief standoff, we went home. If we had stayed longer I feared their numbers would swell.

Other thoughts:

-There are some great new videos out by PvP-video-makers I respect. Check out Garmonation 8, Podcat’s Dishonor and Fon Revenant’s “The Rocket Wickedness.” They’re all amazing videos and each is different enough from the others that you won’t be bored watching all 3 in one sitting.

-AAA used to scare me when I was in IAC. They’ve fallen a long way since then. I think the biggest issue is that they only want to do things that are within their local sphere of influence. -A- is probably the Morsus Mihi of the south, grossly rich and lazy, but powerful when attacked locally.

-Atlas has always been too dependent on Bobby. If the supreme leader isn’t playing Eve like a second job, they are simply not a superpower. However, fighting PL (especially when they have others involved to create added chaos) tends to make anyone look bad. They’ve done it to the NC, IT and now Atlas.

-If you need a break from Eve, there are some great movies out. See “Inception,” “The Other Guys,” and “Scott Pilgrim” first. If you have more time, “Dinner for Schmucks” and “The Expendables” were both above-average (although victims of their own over-hyping IMO).

Battle Clinic :: Rankings Error Fixed

Posted in Eve Videos, Killboard Stats, Solo PvP on June 5, 2010 by Easley Thames

In a previous post, I discussed the turmoil caused by Battle Clinic readjusting its ranking system. While the changes were only intended to seriously impact players who engaged in extensive suicide ganking, a database error caused most pilots to drop thousands of ranks over night.

During the period of “bugged” rankings, I dropped from the top 2000 to below 8000! El’Tar, the #1 listed pilot, was down to #150.

Today, a quick visit to BC reveals that I’m back up to #1905 and steadily climbing over the last month. I’m still a ways off from my personal best, but that’s my own fault for playing casually over the last 6+ months, not any kind of rankings error.

El’Tar, known to most as “Garmon” (though that character was sold some time ago), has been returned to his rightful position at #1. For those who want to see why he ranks so high, I recommend searching for his videos on Eve-O.

The latest release from the pilot formerly known as Garmon features a Mimir (the ship given to PL for winning Alliance Tournament 7) flown solo against incredible odds. This is the only Mimir that has seen real combat on a frequent basis, and it would still be rotting in a PL hangar if not for Cippa gifting it to Gobbins before quitting Eve.

Fun In Empire :: I Ain’t Afraid of No Dec’

Posted in Roaming, Solo PvP on June 3, 2010 by Easley Thames

I was moving some assets across high-sec when I noticed a war-target was following me in a Vagabond. The pursuit continued for several jumps, but being in a more agile ship, I had nothing to fear. When I made it to one of my stock-pile systems, I quickly re-shipped to a hurricane and warped to the gate my pursuer would enter from.

Meeting the Vaga on-gate just after he de-cloaked, I landed a web but couldn’t get the scram on him before he burnt out of the over-heated range of my x5 web. He picked away at me from range, forcing me to de-aggress and jump into the next system.

I decided to refit for a dual-web setup and jumped back to into him. He was sitting within over-heated web range, so I quickly de-cloaked and rapidly executed the following steps: I activated my mwd, started locking the target, over-heated my webs and initiated an approach on the hostile ship.

When I landed the dual-web,  a smile crossed my face. I soon applied my scram and with the Vagabond shooting-back at me from well out of jump-range, I knew that his destruction was assured.

The pilot was from the ex-Privateer corp Interstellar Brotherhood of Gravediggers. I remember a few of these guys from when they briefly joined IAC. The 0.0 play-style didn’t fit them and they were supposedly recruited under the understanding that they could focus on war-decs, which was not going to work well when the alliance wasn’t willing to war-dec anyone outside of UNL and AAA.

As it turns out, Perseus had also killed the same pilot, earlier in the day. I have never felt war-decs were an inconvenience, they’re simply an opportunity for more pew pew. Usually, pilots from dec’ corps are highly aggressive and not prepared for a well-piloted, hard-counter setup to jump through a gate on top of them. They expect to gank unsuspecting pilots that haven’t noticed they are at war and those who are not cautious enough to travel safely.

Anyway, after handling personal logistics, I headed down to low-sec. This time I had a small gang in tow and I was looking for a real fight. My ship was another plated hurricane fit with plenty of tackle, and following me were 2 pilots in RR BS and a drake whose scorpion got misplaced somehow.

I first engaged an Ishtar in Ami who had suspiciously warped to 50km off the Fensi gate (while -10). I made it into disruptor range when he took off like a rocket, traveling at 3000 m/s. “What the fuck,” I said on over voice comms, “That speed is close to a t2 overdrive-fit, poly-carb-rigged nano-Ishtar back in the days of mass-reduction and non-stack-penalized speed bonuses.”

It suffices to say that he was able to kite me, but I eventually managed to warp off after focusing my fire on his sentry drones (which were his only dps). I am guessing that he had snakes and a low-rack with 3+ over-drives, but I was still shocked to see that speed on a post-nano-nerf Ishtar. Due to our heavy composition, we were not able to get close-range tackle on the bastard, though we were able to force it off-field without difficulty.

We had another fruitless (although entertaining) engagement in the same system when I aggressed a bait battlecruiser on a station. As the Myrmidon hit 50% armor, a carrier un-docked. I think we could have killed the bC easily if I had my gang aggress him at that point, before the carrier locked him, but I played it safe and burned away while the gang warped.

While we might have gotten a BC kill, the carrier was followed by several other ships and would have likely taken considerable losses ourselves. Sometimes it’s best just to bring your pilots back alive, even if things end up slightly less exciting.

Finally, only intending to roam for a while while, we then turned around and headed back towards our staging system. On the way back I scanned-down and killed a mining Vexor (who popped before I even noticed he had entered armor) and I killed a cyn0-frigate for the lulz.

No losses for the day and 3 solo kills (one of which took actual effort). While not the most epic evening, we really did have a good time, and that’s what counts the most.

Longing for Low-Sec :: 1 Hour of Yarr

Posted in Piracy, Solo PvP on May 23, 2010 by Easley Thames

To handle some personal logistics, I had to make a trip to empire on my main.

I simply couldn’t resist stopping in Yong, the system where my solo piracy was so successful it eventually became the corporation’s blueprint for casual pvp ops (between 0.0 deployments).

I started by undocking in a well-tanked Myrmidon, and I was pleased to see an Iteron V follow behind me. I popped the hauler before it could re-dock, but the loot was a disappointment.

I docked up to wait off GCC before scouting nearby systems. Next door in Gemodi I played a game of chicken with two Stimulus  pilots in drakes. If they had GCC’d my Myrmidon it would have been a thrilling 2v1, but they didn’t want to tank sentry guns apparently. Not being an outlaw still feels strange to me.

I had to travel out of low-sec for a while but I was able to sort my business in short order. Upon my return to the Yong system, I noticed two cruisers on scan, an omen and rupture. Both were named after their pilots (typically a sign of ineptitude) and this allowed me to discern their corporation from local info. After re-shipping out of a travel-friendly shuttle, I narrowed them down to a belt and warped in with a plated hurricane.

Even though both ships were on scan at 5 degrees towards the belt, only the rupture was on-grid when I landed. Coming out of warp only 5km from him, I was able to scramble and web the cruiser before activating my weapons and deploying drones. My target locked me back almost immediately and returned fire. I was also pointed.

When the Omen joined the fight, the rupture was 50% into armor and dieing fast enough that I was certain I would prevail with ease. My concern in situations like this is that other pilots will come to the aid of my targets, not that I will actually lose to the ships I’ve decided to engage.

Knowing there were two targets, I had fit my cane with lots of tackle, I put my disruptor on the Omen while keeping my scram and web on the Rupture.  When the rupture died, I switched my close-range tackle and weapons to the omen, which died shortly after.

After waiting off my GCC, I ran a few other errands in high-sec and logged off. If I had more time, I would have continued the killing spree, but I have some exciting plans tomorrow and I wanted to have at least a fair amount of sleep.

Reflecting on these events: I had a fair bit of fun in only one hour (roughly). In my experience, solo pvp is not as hard to seek out as some make it out to be. The key is visiting regions where people actually live or travel through. Deep 0.0 ratting space full of macro-ravens does not make for great solo hunting (unless your name is Monkeysphere).

With their home taken away, many of the former providence residents are living in low-sec and there were many great targets around.

I actually tackled a BS in a belt, but he was stabbed. After watching him warp off casually – despite being pointed – I got to experience the joy of waiting out my GCC before doing anything else.

I think the one area where CCP could improve low-sec for the outlaws would be to lower our GCCs to 5 or 10 minutes. Your GCC constantly resets as long as you are aggressing someone, so the only real difference with a 15-minute timer is that it makes you bounce safe-spots longer after a fight (even if your target gets away).

I will be cloning up North shortly, but my quick visit to low-sec reminded me just how much I’ve missed solo hunting away from the blob wars. If I can find the time, I will definitely try to visit my favorite low-sec (and NPC 0.0) hunting spots again very soon.

Easley’s Hangar – The Taranis

Posted in Piracy, Roaming, Solo PvP on May 12, 2010 by Easley Thames

I am often asked for fitting advice on the Gallente, Minmatar and Angel hulls that I frequently fly. With the other races, I can offer general suggestions and build something useful in EFT, but there is no substitute for personal experience in my opinion.

The first ship I wanted to discuss is one of my favorites, the Taranis. Though I flew these far more commonly in the past, I still occasionally get into an enjoyable fight with what I consider to be the king of all combat ‘ceptors.

What makes the Taranis a great ship?

1) High structure buffer. When your best resists all come from the 60% granted by a Damage Control II, having a big structure buffer is a no-brainer. I will go so far as to say that ANY Taranis fit without a DC2 is deeply flawed.

2) Drones! Two of them! The ability to deploy two drones is a huge advantage over other interceptors.  I almost always go with T2 warriors but I wouldn’t call anyone out for packing EC-300’s.

3) Blasters? This is a mixed blessing. Blasters DO have the highest dps at optimal, but the range is simply inferior to Autos or Pulses. A blaster ranis has solo options that include cruiser-hulls and occasionally larger ships that other ‘ceptors would struggle to bring down before running out of ammunition or being worn-down themselves.

4) Sufficient slots to achieve the goals of a combat ‘ceptor. While a 2-mid interceptor can tackle and deal damage, the lack of either an afterburner or web will prevent that ship from dictating range against another combat ‘ceptor. The Taranis can fit top-tier light blasters (T2 Neutron) and dual-propulsion with only a T1 MAPC.

Winning By A Hair - Very Typical For A 'Ranis Pilot

Let’s talk about fits now:

Blaster Fit #1 – Blaster Duelist (anti-inty: improved speed & dual-propulsion)

Micro Auxiliary Power Core I
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II
Damage Control II

1MN Afterburner II
Catalyzed Cold-Gas I Arcjet Thrusters
Faint Epsilon Warp Scrambler I

Light Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
[empty high slot]

Small Polycarbon Engine Housing I
Small Auxiliary Thrusters I

Warrior II x2

Blaster Fit #2 – Blaster Soloist (more flexible engagement options)

Small Armor Repairer II
Micro Auxiliary Power Core I
Damage Control II

1MN Afterburner II
Catalyzed Cold-Gas I Arcjet Thrusters
Faint Epsilon Warp Scrambler I

Light Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Neutron Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Light Ion Blaster II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
Small Diminishing Power System Drain I

Small Ancillary Current Router I
Small Ancillary Current Router I

Warrior II x2

Rail Fit #1 – Railgun Duelist (anti-inty: good range + dual-prop)

Micro Auxiliary Power Core I
Damage Control II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II

1MN Afterburner II
1MN MicroWarpdrive II
Faint Epsilon Warp Scrambler I

125mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
125mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
125mm Railgun II, Caldari Navy Antimatter Charge S
[empty high slot]

Small Hybrid Collision Accelerator I
Small Hybrid Collision Accelerator I

Warrior II x2

Rail Fit #2 – Traditional Interceptor Build

Damage Control II
Overdrive Injector System II
Magnetic Field Stabilizer II

Warp Disruptor II
1MN MicroWarpdrive II
Sensor Booster II

125mm Railgun II, Spike S
125mm Railgun II, Spike S
125mm Railgun II, Spike S
[empty high slot]

Small Auxiliary Thrusters I
Small Polycarbon Engine Housing I

Warrior II x2