Monday, 21 July 2014

Drugs are bad, m'kay?

Let me start with a statement that will be on your lips by the end of this blog post: "You're not very good at this game."

You're right, I'm not. I'm better than some, but I completely suck at solo PVP, mostly suck at small gang PVP, suck hard at large fleet PVP and I'm only passable in PVE.

Last night was a prime example of me being sucky.

There's a chat channel for wormhole people called "bobisgreat". It's where all the cool cats from wormhole life hang out and trash talk each other. It's kind of like The Mittani's Smoking Room (or whatever that jabber channel was called...) - but for wormholes.

Every now and again, they run a big PVP fleet with some kind of theme. These fleets pull together a decent number of pilots from most of the big WH groups, and go out and about with a decent fleet that generally isn't the WH norm of shiny Strategic Cruisers.

Last nights fleet was a Gila/Rattlesnake/Recon fleet comp. About fifty Gilas, half a dozen Rattlesnakes and about twenty Recon ships (Huginn and Lachesis).

The subcap fleet was supported by a pair of triage Chimeras who were staged within jump range of our target regions, Providence and Catch.

A kind benefactor (I'm actually not sure who) donated a metric fuck ton of these Faction hulls and gave them out like candy. I got a free Gila hull and it cost me about 100m to fit it. As I was fitting and filling the cargo with spare drones, a mobile depot, nanite repair paste and other related neccessities, I decided I'd buy some drugs. I have very little experience with boosters in Eve (other than a very complicated spreadsheet) so I asked in corp chat which drug I should buy. My CEO advised some X-Instinct and told me I should grab him one as well while I was there. 

The roam had a staging point for it's start and, as is typical for any kind of inter corp/alliance, we didn't leave that staging point (Amarr) until about forty minutes after the advertised time. It was then a twenty minute burn through dozens of High Sec systems to Keberz, the NS/HS border system into Catch.

We landed on the gate and waited another ten minutes for the slow warping Rattlesnakes to arrive and then our scout jumped through to see what was up.

"Not good" came back the reports. About 60 Ishtars were setup at range around the bubbled gate, with Bouncers deployed. For the uneducated, jumping into 60 Ishtars, at range, with drones deployed at their optimal range is basically suicide for any fleet, let alone a Gila fleet with no subcap logisitcs.

It was decided that we'd burn another twenty jumps thorugh High Sec to another Null Sec entrance.

It's at this point, some thoughts started circulating in my head:

  • This is a group of people who live in wormholes...

  • They primarily travel around Eve via wormholes...

  • Why has nobody found a good wormhole exit/entrance so that we don't have to spend ninety minutes moving through High Sec gates?

In addition to the laborious High Sec travelling, I was being hit with a warning message, followed by a question (to which there was only one correct answer) at, what felt like, every other gates

You see, standard boosters are "contraband" in High Sec, and at certain points, you are asked by the local "Customs" whether you'd like these drugs to be confiscated or not. If you choose "Yes", you're drugs are taken and you've wasted your money. If you choose "No" you get to keep your drugs but get a standings hit and a small fine (about 50,000 ISK per unit). Your choice in this dialogue is not remembered for each subsequent gate.

We finally got to the system we were heading for, Y-MPWL; which is another HS/NS entrance, but this time into Providence.

We sat and waited on the gate for our Rattlesnakes (again). With us, were a couple of neutral ships (unengageable because High Sec). On the otherside of the gate, it was reported that there was a small camp consisting of a couple of frigates and cruisers. We jumped through and inexplicably, they hadn't already seen the 70 man gang about to jump into them and fucked off, but instead a few of them got caught and exploded rather quickly.

Providence is Sovereign Null Sec, meaning that the locals (if they choose to) can put up Cyno Jammers, which is obviously not good if your fleet is relying on triage carriers for its survival. In order to check whether the system is jamme dor not, normal practice is to take your cyno ship, make sure your Liquid Ozone fuel for cynos) is split into stacks not big enough for the cyno to actually use and then try and light a cyno. You get an error message telling you the system is jammed before you get a message telling you that you don't have enough fuel for the cyno (because they are in split stacks). This does not work well if you are in a Recon ship and forget that Recon ships get a bonus to how much fuel is consumed for a cyno, and the stack you thought was split into small enough piles, is actually enough for a cyno. This is why we sat in this system on a gate doing nothing for five minutes.

We eventually left and moved four systems deeper, to 9UY4-H.

We jumped through into that system and someone decided it would be a good idea to setup a Mobile Warp Disruptor (Medium) on the gate. Within a few minutes, a hostile fleet arrived to see us off (perhaps spurred on by the reports of us not having any Logistics). They arrived in Prophecies and Myrmidons and other assorted things not really suited to brawl Gilas. The Triage carriers were dropped and our fleet suffered minmal losses and the hostile fleet, making liberal usage of the new Medium Micro Jump Drive, fled. We stayed on the gate while the carriers came out of Triage, during which time we killed a couple of people who were stupid enough to warp to the bubbled gate or unlucky enough to jump into us.

After a few minutes, and after seeing some combat probes on grid and a couple of Stealth Bombers coming into system, I realised that we were probably about to be bombed. In normal circumstances, afterburning, heavily tanked, low signature cruiser hulls are not an easy bomb target. In this circumstance, those cruiser hulls were slowboating rather close to the two carriers, with no prop mods on. I decided that anchoring on the FC might not be healthy for the survival of my ship and started orbiting at 10km (prop mod on). I advised the rest of my corp to do the same as well as mentioning it casually in the fleet chat.

Literally thirty seconds later, we were bombed. In NS bombing terms, it was a rather tame effort. A single squad with a mix of void and damage bombs. It capped a lot of people out, but didn't have enough damage to kill anything. The FC decided that we should all move to a safe spot, which we duly did, until I pointed out that being in a safe didn't mean that the bombers couldn't bomb us. We went back to the gate.

During this time, we were waiting on a response from the hostile locals and waiting to see what they'd bring to fight us. After about fifteen minutes of the various FC (there were multiple) trying to decide on a course of action, and us being bombed twice more (but this time by a double vector squad who actually killed some  things), local spiked by about 100 and scouts reported a Battleship fleet incoming. The call was made to jump through the gate and for the carriers to jump out to their LS staging.

"Cyno up."
"Jump to cyno."
"Why can't we jump?"
"I don't see the cyno."
"Is the cyno in fleet?"
"The cyno isn't in fleet"
"Why isn't the cyno in fleet?"
"Hold on, joining fleet. "
"In Fleet."
"Still can't see the cyno."
"Rebroadcast the cyno."
"Where's that option?"
"*garbled explanation*"
"Do you see it now?"
"Carriers tackled."

The subcaps burnt back to the gate and jumped through and shit went South.

The battleship fleet was much bigger than ours. They had their own subcap logi (and lots of it). They had their own bubblers. They had dreadnaughts.

I was actually a little late to respond to the order to jump back through, by about 10 seconds or so. As I loaded grid, one of our Triage carriers exploded. I had the time to launch a flight of drones and command them to attack a Guardian before the extraction order was given. Most people tried (and mostly failed) to burn out of the bubbles and warp off, some people went down fighting. Personally, I just burnt back to the gate and waited out by aggression timer before jumping out. That is one of the biggest perks of having a name that starts smack bang in the middle of the alphabet - you often get the chance to run away.

I didn't even have chance to consume by drugs.

Some other people had the same idea, so I waited about 30 seconds before I warped, knowing that they'd be the ones to be caught in any kind of camp in the four jumps back to the High Sec system.

Uneventfully, I made it to the High Sec and a quick look at our mapping tool showed that it was about 38 jumps of High Sec back to the nearest entrance into our wormhole chain. I hit Autopilot, smugged a bit that I now had a free Gila and tabbed out to launch my League of Legends client. Once logged in, I tabbed back to Eve to be greeted with a warning message in the middle of the screen. Glancing down to the module UI, I saw that I was warped, jammed, and taking damage.

Back up to the message and skim reading. Something about drugs. Oh, this message again. I just clicked "No" as I had a dozen times on the way here. It was at this point I realised that I had been on Autopilot and was 15km from the gate. Shit.


I piped up on comms.

"Guys, I'm tackled at a gate..."

"What gate? I thought you got out to HS..."

"It's a HS gate."


"I have drugs and I was on autopilot..."


Various attempts were made to get out of this sticky situation. To the soundtrack of my corp laughing at me, I first attempted to consume the drugs to get rid of all the evidence. Apparently CCP doesn't want anyone to overdose and it's only possible to consume one drug of the same type at a time, which was annoying because I only had two units.

To the soundtrack of my corp laughing at me, I attemped to jettison the cargo. This resulted in another message popping up. I didn't really read it and just clicked OK. I wish I'd read it because it might have given me some clue on how to pacify the Customs NPCs who now had my Gila into about half shields.

To the soundtrack of my corp laughing at me, I even tried ejecting. I should have known that it wouldn't work, and when I got back in, the ship was down into half armor. As I was entering structure, I noticed that only the icon showing that I was jammed was still present for some reason, and I tried to initiate warp. Nope.


Goodbye free Gila. May you rest in pieces.

At least it's not on the killboards...

*I'd like to point out that this isn't a jab at the guys who organised and ran the fleet last night. You did an excellent job considering that you guys don't FC big fleets very often, don't have experiance in dealing with bombers (or avoiding them altogether), don't normally drop caps other than in wormholes and other contributory factors.

1 comment:

  1. still made you corp dork of the day, dork


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