Saturday, May 1, 2010

No frills, some thrills, and one day, hopefully some kills

The last 8 months I have been travelling through South-America/Central-America. The closest I have been to nullsec the last year was wandering around in certain parts of Lima, La Paz, Quito and Managua, and certain regions of Colombia. Although the feeling might be quite similar - at any moment someone can show up to take your stuff or shoot at you - the required skillset to deal with the day to day situations is different.

So, I can not deny it. My character has dwelled in stations for too long. In those 8 months he had plenty of time to get to know all the different women in the station he was located at - single รกnd married. Somewhere halfway those 8 months he was moved to another station. Officially he went out to buy some skillbooks and dedicate his life to study, but I heard rumours that he ran from some lady in Auvergne that has a dungeon like Martin Law from Dead Terrorists. Although station life was good fun, unfortunately, he did not gather any combat experience.

When I came back to Eve after my travels, my avatar seemed glad to be taken into space again. New rumours spoke of another dungeon he was trying to escape, but I like to believe he just wanted to float around in space again and - what would be new - live as a gun.
I was kicked from my old corporation by now due to inactivity. I thought about joining them again since I had been with them from pretty much day 1. I hope for them they win Eve one day, they are good online friends. But the trade of pvp I would not learn there.
So I started looking for something else. I thought about joining a huge alliance. I was in if I wanted but decided it would be nothing for me. In the meantime I flew around in high sec, and later low sec, null sec and wormhole space in my covert ops, learning how to probe. I scared some people: i decloaked my covert ops near some low sec mission runners just for thrills, and the 3 guys there warped out right away before realizing it was just a silly covert ops appearing on their grid. Haha. And some people scared me: I ran into some drag bubbles and gatecamps but luckily never into 1800mm scan resolution guys. By then, I had the option of joining a good pure empire warring corp, but felt like that would leave me out from a lot of pvp content in the game.

Then I applied for Dead Terrorists. I guess the funny alliance description, the latest alliance tournament, the obvious and completely pvpcentric approach and the fact that they are taking their first steps in alliance sovereignity were the things that made me do that. I was let in, but on a grace period of two weeks. The condition on joining would be to show good form, get on 20 killmails in these two weeks and keep battlecoms on ops.

The first step was getting my ships and items to da home base in deep nullsec. Im used to being in nullsec 3 jumps from empire, but really being out in nullsec without empire close by to shop is new for me. I am still waiting for my ships to arrive in 4C by private courier contract and until then i need to be creative.

I didnt feel like flying bricklike ships 20 jumps into nullsec, so I came to 4C in a covops with all necessary fittings for a mega, both short and long range, even including the rigs, and bought a mega there. A bit later I was setup for the op for the night and all happy I left keyboard in pursuit of doing real life things. When I returned to the keyboard some minutes before the start of the op, the required ship type had changed from bs to hac/logistic. I didnt have such a ship there. There was an ishtar for sale in system so I bought it and quickly fitted it with what was available. Not quick enough though. By the time I was ready, the fleet had moved out.

I managed to catch up. By that time the fleet had killed a Machariel and was in good shape. 50+ hacs/logistics. I must admit that I had trouble following the fleet. Partially due to my 8 month absence - wheeeeere is that fleet button again? -, and partially due to the different way of fcing. In my former alliance, fcs usually called next system, asked for immediate align and then fleet warped. Well, maybe I remember that wrong, and it was only like that for rr bs gangs. Anyway, in this op the fleet moved at best speed/burned but I did not realise that at first. I didnt understand the english word dash(-) too - I interpreted it as a sequence of letters - and stuff like that. I mean.. I was drinking but at that time, I wasnt drunk. Was I? Not sure what happened there but I fell behind. I forgot to rename the Ishtar too. When one of our scouts picked me up on his scanner he was like "Hale Sunblade - you might want to rename your ship." and my avatar blushed in his capsule. When I fell behind 8 jumps and home was 7 jumps away, I started flying back, convinced my Ishtar would end up as a silly ship loss with which I would lose my little credibility of being at least a promising noob. Later I figured out the entire region is quite empty and it seems daily business to burn through it on your own, keeping your eye on intel channel and ears on vent. It is, is it?

Speaking of which, I was still on vent. The fleet had found a huge capital fleet - including an Avatar and an Erebus - of Razor Alliance and co, which was finishing up a pos attack in KLY-C0. Our fleet, mainly our fc, was so eager to attack they were going to take on the entire capital fleet. "Point the Avatar!" "Yeah!" I think it was at this moment I realised that I had chosen the right corp. I wasnt with people who would only engage when they outnumbered the enemy 3 to 1, but on the contrary. They wanted to try things not done before. Or even better, just have fun. I thought "To hell with my noob credibility" and started burning to the system they were in. By then I was 11 jumps out though. I figured it would be way too far. Meanwhile, the enemy cap fleet jumped out in KLY, leaving only a Moros in system which our scout was about to tackle, while our fleet was burning towards it. By that time, the enemy conventional fleet started to jump into KLY (again?). Our fleet was quickly engaged with some conventional ships, and when I heard the scout say local was spiking to 300, I knew the fight was not going to end in our favor. I think everyone knew. Also, its not like we had a bad fc, lacking eve experience or communication skills or something. We had an fc going crazy, seeing targets on his overview for the first time in a month due to work, as he said himself later. He probably should have decided to retreat, but Im sure everyone there experienced a near-Chuck Norris moment. Anyway, I was too late. When I was only a few systems out, our first pods were passing me at the gate in the opposite direction. Before I could jump into the system, the comments on vent made clear the fight was over. I started burning home to 4C, feeling a bit bad that I had not died and had not become a proper dead terrorist.

Back in station I was thinking about my former CEO, Red Caliente, and my conversation with him about not rejoining the old corp but going to look for a pvp corp. He was friendly at the time, but I think he must have been quite annoyed with me. I guess his main argument was that I could learn a lot of pvp on their alliance CTAs with the Exodus Project and I didnt need to look for another corp. I wanted to do roams though, go on the offensive and all, not just pvp when i have to and rat or do anomalies most of the time. There were some other issues as well, like the German on vent. But his point being "You are not experienced." struck me now. I hadnt even been able to follow my own fleet!
I overthought what went wrong. I found different ways to locate my fleet members, using the map or the fleet menu. Not difficult at all. Moreover, as it would turn out, I would need nor the map nor the fleet menu on the next ops. I just started to keep up, and did not fall behind again.
While I was pondering, there was a new fleet forming. Shield tanked bcs. My ships really needed to get to 4C! For now, I had to skip this one.

Later that night, some people were going to break a gate camp. It was free form more or less, but nothing too big, and I joined in with the Ishtar. Again, I had to change fittings quickly, from long range to gatecamp. This op was fun. We killed some ships too. Like 6 ships total. I had no problems following fleet this time but made some other mistakes. When a drake jumped in, I released ogre iis instead of hammer iis, and the drake was dead before the drones reached the battlecruiser, so now I am on the killmail - my only killmail with dt so far - as a tackler with my ishtar. Please do not tell my recruitment officer. When an enemy Cormorant appeared on gate 85 kms away and I locked him, I put my hammer iis on him, instead of just dropping the wardens and damaging him right away. Stuff like that. At least I am learning.

The next day, I was idling in station doing other stuff on the pc. There was some POV guy playing station games in 4C. Three characters. One a cloaker, the other an armageddon and a thanatos. He aggroed and killed a dead terrorist, and some people undocked on the spot since he wouldnt be able to dock right away. On the "UNDOCK" command in channel I undocked my Ishtar - my mega wasnt fitted at the time - and I put my ogre iis on the battleship. I realised that I just did something the alliance forum advised against. I could pop fast when the battleship and the carrier would focus fire on me. I could not redock straight away though since I had aggroed. The 50k ehp should have given me at least some time to react, so I moved out of warp disruptor range and aligned to a belt. The griever wasnt aggroing though. 5 dead terrorists including myself were firing at the bs, but the carrier was repping it, and we would not be able to kill the carrier either in time. He got his kill and he was just sitting the timer out until he could dock again, which he did. Next time I have to make sure I am at least in a battleship for this shit. And make sure there is an alliance op first on vent.

Later, at the beginning of the evening, I joined another "break the gate camp" op, this time aimed at a 15 man enemy russian fleet. I had to assemble a cheap ship in few minutes, but this time I managed to be ready in time. A dps harbinger. It had to be a cheap fit since the fc, stonerbeattie, was pretty drunk. We didnt get any kills. The thing most mentionable is probably that I felt comfortable during the entire op. I was ready to be primaried with my harbinger as most of the other bcs were drakes, and I think I had a good idea of what was expected of me - get in range and fire! Or maybe the dynamics between stonerbeattie and Freyr were the most mentionable. Still, they worked together quite well, so kudos to them both.

Unfortunately I could not join the empire op in the evening due to real life constraints, so I did not even appear on the kills involved there.

I honestly doubt I will get 20 kills in time if it keeps going like this. I will just sit those 2 weeks out and see what happens. Fingers crossed on my ships arriving in 4C before my grace period expires!
But to summarize, these little adventures have been fun so far.

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