May 16, 2013

Fun with an Algos

So I bought a pair of Algos as part of stockings things for RVB and finally got around to fitting it and flying it last night.  Unfortunately that matched with low activity around RVB, perhaps because of the coming war.  However, I did get some killin' in.

The Algos
So I checked out BattleClinic and Failheap and then ended up making a fit that wasn't from either one.  I'd say this was an example of how a night of fights isn't a good test of l33t fitting skills.  It's a shield-fit, 75mm railgun Algos, which gives me room to put on a MWD and a neut.  Drones were Hobx3, Hamx2 - I debated packing some ECM but decided not too - this is RVB. (Actually I don't think I've actually used ECM drones yet)

The plan was to use the MWD to get onto targets I want and keep out of engagements with targets I don't want.  If RedFed had gotten a fleet together I should be able to kill things that other people have pointed.  The flaw - since this is scram fit then if I have a target scrammed then they can scram me, which means the MWD goes off.  So once I do decide on the fight I'm probably committed until the bitter end.

I just recreated that in Osmium and with perfect skills (i.e. not me) this has 271 dps from drones and 115 dps from the railguns, but is just shy of 10k ehp.  Moves at over 1600 mps.  Yes, ganky.  With my skills, knock probably 5% off those numbers.

And Yes - I'll take any and all suggestions on how I should fit the other Algos.

The Fights
Since nobody was about I headed towards local lowsec.  Nothing seemed to be going on there either.  Just as I was thinking about either turning in or suicide-roaming into nullsec one of the guys on corp channel said a Hurricane had aggressed him on the HQ undock.  Now there is no way that my Algos here is going to solo a Hurricane, but if there are several of us... I rushed back towards Otela.

I warped to a safe near the HQ and took a D-scan peek in.  No Hurricane.  Bummer.  But I did see some frigates (Merlin, Merlin, Kestrel) - maybe one or more of those are BlueRepublic and thus targets.  I warp in to 20km off station so if they're right on top of the station I'll get a chance to make a decision.

By the time I land, seconds later, I see that the three frigates are RedFed but that they're being engaged by a Stabber.  I start moving in and locking as I see one of the frigates disappear, so I figure it's gone down to the Stabber.  My drones pile in on him, followed by my ship's scram, neut, rails.  The Stabber goes down.  Turns out he's MWD/Disruptor fit, so getting scram-tackled was probably going to be the end for him.  Nice, glad to have a kill, okay I'll go to bed - I dock up.

But the pilot there is a long time RVBer and actually only recently jumped from RedFed to BlueRepublic, so I'm guessing he's just working through his stock of T1-fit ships still in the RedFed HQ.  On chat I hear he's back out again, so I undock.

Now he's in a Rupture, so we give chase again.  This time I get on top of him with drone, rail, scram, neut and he replies by turning his medium neut on me.  My cap starts to disappear fast and if I try to use the MWD to stay within scram on him it's only going to go faster.  But my rails and drones are chewing through shield fast so I don't want to let go.  He's into armor as my cap bottoms out.  I have to hope that someone else in our rag-tag group (we're not even fleeted) has a point on him, so I try to fire my guns whenever I get enough cap and keep relatively close to him.  The arty Rupture goes down.  GFs in local again.  Really great of Dan to keep coming out when outnumbered to see what he can take down and give GFs to his ex-corpmates.

MWD plus Scram ever? I'm still undecided on this because it means that once I'm scrammed there is no getting away.  Now in an Algos (which isn't that fast to begin with) it's not that I'm getting away when AB-fit either, really, so I think it's okay.  Getting away isn't something I've generally been that successful for.  Plus, if I'm working in a fleet then it's going to be more about getting in there and doing my ganky thing.

In my opponent's head.  In the last fight I'm not sure why Dan neuted me but had turned his artillery on the faster, smaller frigates.  Maybe one of them had low transversal and he hoped to pop them fast with a volley or two.  And since the Algos is a drone boat neuting me didn't actually lower my dps on him by that much.  Or maybe he was like me most times where things become a blur.

Neuts target selection.  I'm new to using neut, though I've had a nos as an afterthought on some frigs in the past.  Is neuting a Stabber or Rupture really a good use of my own cap, given that they are using cap-less weapon systems?  I don't know those ships well enough to know if a bit of cap pressure is enough to start impacting Invulns and MWDs.

As a funny aside.  As pointless as killboards can be it is still a bit frustrating that I got top damage by a lot on both of those kills, but not final blow.  Perhaps payback for when I was lucky enough to get final blow on the Cynabal on the last roam even though I did a very small portion of the damage.

May 9, 2013

Eve PVP Videos

Eve PVP Videos are an odd thing.  If you aren't a pretty knowledgeable EVE PVPer then most people's FRAPsed fights won't make much sense at all.  There are standouts like kil2's videos and some of the Rooks and Kings ones.  I thought I'd link some with pros and cons.  And yes, maybe it is unfair to compare a quick self-FRAPs to the polish of the Rooks and Kings.

Anabaric's Shadow Cartel vs. Pandemic Legion

(link to his blog entry)
This is the blog post that got me started on the idea so I'll start it here.  I'm sure it was an exciting fight for them.  There's even a Titan involved.  The usual kind of music track is put into the background as you see ships targeted and then exploded.  I'm not really sure what I should be able to get out of this.  I see this as a "hey, look what I did" in which case great, thumbs up for you buddy, glad you're having fun.

Rooks and Kings - Iron Clad

(link to the You Tube)
Opening screen, beautiful video shots - hey, Eve is damn pretty.  Talks through the uses of Logi in the midst of showing us the fight, including explanation of things like logi cap chains.  The overdub voice helps keep us in touch with that's going on without constantly rambling.  I particularly like the use of their actual comms.  I could only hope to aspire to the calm calling we see hear on the Rooks and Kings videos.  On this particular video I recommend jumping to 04:44 as things go rather wrong.

I would probably links Rooks and Kings videos one after another but here are some more must-see ones:
* Anatomy of a Fight
* Clarion Call 3: The Black Fortress - "one does not simply walk into a wormhole"

Sadly, it looks like the big production value types haven't really been continuing from Rooks and Kings.  Their blog hasn't been updated since March 2012.  I know they're still out there - I've seen them and run from them once.


(Any of his Solo Commentary videos are worth watching)
So Kil2 (now CCP Rise) is a must-follow for those of us who want to get into the solo, small gang types.  It's unfortunate that we won't see more videos from him since he's working for CCP now.  What always amazed me is that he got those fights despite the fact that so many people (should have) known his name.

The great thing is how he explains what he's doing as he does it.  That includes what mistakes he's made.  I've definitely learned from his videos.  Tricks that other PVPers may have learned from corpmates or the like I learned from these.  Tricks that I've found other people haven't learned, to my advantage.

So, what EVE videos do you think are worth watching?

May 7, 2013

RVB and Small Fleet Action

It was a fun weekend with RVB Ganked.  Hunting down CPP Devs.  Shooting at everyone who is around a certain Nyx.  Flying superslowmo through TiDi to get to said Nyx.  At the end of the day breaking the PCU record and getting a Gnosis (which I had an alt redeem).  Perhaps a good time to take a moment to look back on things.  I'm going to start with the lows and work towards the highs here.

RVB = Instant Explosions, mostly mine?

Indeed the frigate 1v1s are easy to come by and a great way to lose a lot of frigates fast.  I'm not sure if I'm learning as much from them other than "damn, that guy is a lot better than me".  Something less obvious is the rock/paper/scissors aspect of frigate 1v1s that any experienced pilots have internalized.

I find myself not wanting to bother to fit up and fly the frigates for which I do not have racial frigate 5.  I feel like I'm behind enough trying to figure out what to do with projectile weapons, for instance, without being worried about that 5% difference between my Minmatar Frigate 4 and his Minmatar Frigate 5.  I'm still casting about for decent Rifter and Slasher fits.

On the plus side, generally (not always) the other guy will share you his fit and talk to you about what all happened.  That's something I'm not expecting to get as much of with random roam fights.  And of course it's easy to reship and try it again.  Best two out of three?

RVB Standing Fleets

RVB generally has a standing fleet you can join up with.  There is apparently a channel for Blue and Red FCs to chat to set up an arranged fight.  They try to match up numbers and ship class then meet up for big explosions.  People who have never FC'd are encouraged to take over these fleets, which mostly appears to mean getting used to target calling and when to tell the fleet to bail.  I should really try that - I want to learn about that and RVB is a very forgiving place to do that.  I've also been FC'd by first time FCs who were very calm and did a great job, so it's not all Leroying.

Learning more nuances about small fleet action (or FC'ing them) is something that I might not be able to learn without being in a tighter-run group though.  Generally we get the order to engage, target is called, everyone does their thing.  No ewar, No Logi, no fancy manuevers, no dedicated tackler roles or the like.  It may also be that you don't see that until you get out into nullsec fleets.

I've also run into a couple times where Blue Republic has either station camped us in, camped the gate, or "accidentally" brought BCs into an already underway arranged frigs/dessies fight.  Yeah, there's one particular Blue FC behind those incidents and it sounds like he has an established reputation for that.  Now for those in more serious low/null corporate warfare I'm sure that learning to deal with (or ignore) such overwhelming force is just part of Eve.  Recently when that was happening our Red fleet decided to head off and roam instead, which ended up with me getting a final blow on a PL Cynabal that aggressed us on a gate.

RVB Ganked

This is pretty much the top of the list in terms of the most fun I've had in RVB.  Big mob of ships looking for a fight and sometimes getting slaughtered, sometimes wiping things out.  Fleet doctrine - yeah, sure, if it counts that we're (almost) all in Ventures!  I'm sorry to see that the next two Ganked nights aren't going to work out due to RL commitments.

Bonus: since I started writing this there was an announcement of Agony Unleashed classes for RVB members.  Sadly it is also blocked by multiple RL commitments, but it is another bit about why RVB is pretty awesome.