Monday, 15 June 2015

When it rains it pours

I'm not the biggest fan of C5s.  Once you get caught in one it becomes a rolling highway of C5's with very few connections to lower class space.  This would be ok if those C5's weren't empty and lacking in content, but the majority that I come across don't have much happening.  So my adventure tonight begins with the uneventful login to a deserted C5. I throw probes at the new signatures that are present, hoping to find a C4 or something.  Aha - a EOL frigate hole to null sec - that will do.

I emerge from session change and do the normal things, bookmark the hole, dscan, recloak back up, but no hurry, local is empty but for myself.  A quick look at the system designation has me doing a double take and a quick search to make sure - yes it is the same system.

B-R, where a little over a year and a half ago over 7,000 capsuleers participated in the destruction of over $300,000 USD worth of Internet Spaceships in a battle lasting over 21 hours, all over an unpaid sov bill.  It's just a smidge quieter now, but the presence of the Titan graveyard is awesome and indicative of just how special New Eden is - there is no other game out there that I know of that player actions can have a lasting effect on the game environment in such a way as you can in Eve.

I've discovered that having local makes you lazy.  I mosey about getting my selfie screenshot of the Titan graveyard, refit to my dual painter setup and lazily dump probes to scan down the other signatures, all safe in the knowledge that there isn't anyone sneaking up to gank me.  As luck would have it we have another wormhole so I grab the mobile depot and head over to more dangerous space.  Ok, back to business, I find myself a C3 and a lonesome MTU.  Littering in W space, tsk tsk.  I quickly ensure that the natural order of things is restored.

Feeling slightly less soiled I push on, hoping to find some real content to keep me entertained.  Onwards to another C3 where I find a Gila and Cyanbal sitting in their POS.  I watch for a while before getting probes out and scanning everything down.  I take my time a bit bookmarking all the sites after scanning and the lack of activity after my probes are recalled seems to assure the locals that I'm gone - dscan shows wrecks on scan.  I quickly determine which combat anomaly the residents are running and warp in at 100km to have a look.

What a wonderful sight.

They appear to be having trouble with the two webbing battleships at the end of the anomaly as they keep warping off, but I don't mind all that much as it gives me time to make a nice tactical perch.  The fact they keep coming back reassures me they will also finish the site, and when they do something will be sure to come along for the salvaging and that's when I'll get my shot.  They eventually finish killing sleepers and the Gila warps off to their tower.  The Cynabal stays in the site.  Hmmmnnn, this could mess things up for me.  If he stays in the site I can pretty much guarantee I'll be in a pod if I have a crack at the Thrasher that warps back into the site.  I warp down from my perch 30km out and start moving into position to execute the gank while making sure that the Thrasher is in fact equipped with salvagers and not something nasty like autocannons all the while keeping a close eye on the Cynabal.

My potential headache removes itself when the Cyanbal warps back to it's POS just as the Thrasher starts salvaging.  I orbit the Minnie destroyer and wait until he's on the last wreck before decloaking and letting fly.  He doesn't last long but unfortunately the pod gets clear.

Not bad.  I'll take it.  But the night is still young.  Not really, it is way past my bedtime, but I'll keep going.  There is a Highsec hole in this system, I'll jump to K space to sell my ill gotten loot from the MTU I popped earlier and maybe see if there is another wormhole I can quickly dive into, as the C3 chain I'm in has hit a dead end.  I sell my loot and make a few jumps over before I find another wormhole.  It's a C2 and dscan again lights up my night.

This time we have a Legion and an Eagle running the site, and due to it being a C2 they are completing it with ease.  I don't have much time so I go about setting up my perch while keeping an eye on these guys at work.  I haven't had a chance to scope out the rest of the system as I warped straight to this anomaly so there is a bit of fog of war about what else might be at the outer planets, but I don't really want to move off until I have my perch set.  However, sweeping dscan around while I wait does shows me something intriguing:

Surely they won't will they?  I don't understand why people would use a Noctis when a MTU and cheap dessie will do the job just fine and for a fraction of the co....  ahhh... I retract the previous statement, everyone in wormhole space should ditch their MTU's and just use a Noctis.  They are way more efficient, look much cooler and are definitely NOT a target I would try to gank at every opportunity.

Noctis on grid!!!

Wow, this night just got really exciting.  I move myself into position while the Legion and Eagle warp off to their POS.  I'm setting up for a drive by, starting 20km from the Noctis just inside point range with my bomber aligned to my perch so my trajectory will take me within a couple of kilometers from the Noctis, but keeping me aligned for when he friends come to save him.  By starting at the edge of point range I also give maximum time for the gank to be completed, as my ship will need to cover 40km before my target is back out of point range on the other side.  I wait until the Noctis starts on the final set of wrecks, align to the perch, declock, lock, overload everything and then keep an eye on dscan.

Starting Well
Still no cavalry, nearly there...

So close - just as the cavalry arrives.
The Noctis is deep into structure when the Legion and Eagle finally land on grid and time seems to stretch out while I'm waiting for my next volley of torps to fly.  It seems to take an eternity for the reload cycle to complete, all the while I'm keeping a close eye out for impending doom of my ship via the flashing yellow targeting box.  Yellow boxes on the overview - discretion takes the better part of valour and I warp to my perch.  So, so so close.  I quickly warp back down to my warp in point hoping to decloak, get 1 or 2 volleys off again but the Noctis is aligning out and warps before I can get in position.

The Noctis pilot, Judu Hekki, confirms that it was a tight run thing, with his ship being at 27% structure - that's 864 structure HP.  One more volley probably would have done it, but I was pretty close to being targeted with all the associated squashiness that a targeted bomber experiences.  *Sigh*.  All in all I'm pretty happy with my night's work though, it's been one of the most productive nights so far.  I got a couple of kills, was a lot better in terms of my situational awareness compared with my last tangle with a Noctis even though I still managed to burn out a target painter and my warp disruptor near the end of the fight.  It's at this point though I have to hang my head in shame - I'm a stealth bomber pilot using torpedoes and I have Torpedoes and Warhead Upgrades only at level 4 - training those to 5 would have given me an additional 5% and 2% damage respectively.  I'm pretty sure 7% extra damage over the course of 8 volleys would have given me that extra 864 damage.


  1. Hey, I'm famous! :D Great blog article and very interesting to read from the other point of view. And those screenshots are just gorgeous!

    I'm the Noctis pilot and while it was indeed very tight, I may have survived another volley, but probably not two. The Noctis has 3.200 HP before fits. This one has Reinforced Bulkheads II, giving it 6.000 HP raw structure. A damage control II was running, making it 15.000 Effective HP in structure. That means that at the end 1.620RHP/4.050EHP were left. Sure enough, that's of 22.700 EHP in total, so you chipped away most of what the ship had. Depending on your volley dps and assuming you hit for full damage, you can calculate how many volleys that would have been.

    Also I'd like to comment on the question why I use the Noctis rather than a cheap alternative. I still have it around from my HighSec days and figured that the EHP should be enough to hold against a single attacker until my corp buddies arrive to rescue me. Like this, I can salvage while they are still doing their sites and don't need a constant escort. Especially since we normally have WH control with limited exits.

    Last night, we got very sloppy though. 5 WHs and no escort while salvaging the last site - that shouldn't happen. You taught us our errors and I'm out right now, fitting a salvage dessie! ;-)

    We'll be reading your blog regularly now. See you around!

    Fly safe! o7

  2. Glad you enjoyed the story and thanks for the positive feedback :)

    My Torps do 4206 per volley in terms of damage and I had a play around trying to work out if I would have applied full damage. I think that having at least one target painter still running would have tipped the scales in my favour for 1 more volley. To double check I had a look at the combat logs on my side and it appears that the last 2 volleys that were purely against your structure HP were doing 1708 per volley, so I think that I would have had around 100 points of damage over and above what was needed to finish the job. It also looks like one of the cavalry did in fact manage to lock me and get one shot off before I warped out, though thankfully for me it missed. Tight call for both of us :)

    Re using the Noctis I figure there would be a few people who have one lying around and use it because they can, but you are right in that it does have a significant number of EHP to chew through that may take a single ship such as myself too long to do before the cavalry arrives. It's really dependent on who interrupts your salvaging though - if you were using a salvaging destroyer when I came along you'd have been another linked killmail, if a small gang rolls in you'd have a dead Noctis. In the end there's no right or wrong way to do it, it's what you're comfortable with. I for one like it when I see a Noctis on Dscan :)

    Just so you know, I also considered jumping you on the highsec hole when you came back from repairing your Noctis, but couldn't due to my warp disruptor being burnt out :D

    Your complimentary security audit has been completed with no serious incidents for either party, I look forward to visiting you again sometime in the (hopefully) near future.

    Fly dangerous o7

  3. Then it was definitely as tight as can be. Geat job!

    Also, we had hoped for you giving the Noctis another try. We discussed the probability on comms and we just decided to go for it. That was the reason why I hopped out to HS and back so quickly after just a moment. There were three cloaked ships on that WH and another one aligned. Alas, it didn't work. Now we know why. :)

    1. Lol, I totally would have fallen for it too. The hunter becomes the hunted. Lesson learned :)

  4. I am glad you are not as lazy as me with screenshots, good job!