March 14, 2013

Deathrace 2013

I'm planning on doing Deathrace 2013.  Either that indicates that I'll do any event the Tuskers run (see FrigFest2012) or that I just need to pay more attention for live events run by other organizations that don't have prolific blogs.

At the risk of giving help to my competition... aw, who am I kidding.. let's just put this out there.

The Location

The race is set to start at Dantumi.  Rixx has also noted that it will not cross into highsec.  It doesn't take took much effort to know then that the race will take a particular path for the first 7 jumps or so.  While Rixx has alluded to having some tricks up his sleeve, I somehow doubt that a Titan will be hanging out just to jump bridge off of that path.  It's also possible that the Tuskers will scan down a WH along those 8 systems and decide on the fly to make that part of the race path, but that also seems rather unlikely.  That means that those first 7 jumps are the prime spots for those planning to play the hunters to the racing prey.  So what's a racer to do in facing the blazing love that is likely awaiting them?

The Fit

First off, let’s get the ship class out of the way.  I understand the winner of the last Deathrace was in an Interceptor.  Given the advantage in warp speed I expect the winner this year will be in an Interceptor too.  I don’t have the Inty skill and I wasn’t willing to drop everything in my skill plan to get it so I won’t even be worrying about that.  The downside for Interceptors will probably be having their fragile hulls survive the smartbombs (and perhaps launched bombs) that we’ll see on the gates.  So those of us that can’t fly Intys can take solace in that.  Another advantage the Interceptor has is align time.  The shorter your align the less time the hunters (and your fellow racers) will have to get a lock and keep you from moving on to the next gate.

Secondly, there’s the matter of whether your ship should even bother having guns.  Taking aggression and not being able to jump a gate seems like a pretty big penalty for a race.  Plus there’s the little fact that any delay means a longer time for someone else to test your tank against substantial alpha.  However, Rixx seems to be implying in his latest post that there will be required “tasks” to be done.  This being the Tuskers, it seems reasonable that task could involve blowing something up.  Killing one of your fellow racers seems like an obvious one.  However, the gate on the task is to provide the next destination to the fleet, so as long as you can free-ride on someone else doing the task and then get ahead of them that may be fine.

Lastly there is speed.  If you're in a ship with a reduction to MWD bloom then maybe just MWD is fine.  If you're light on tank and don't have that bonus, you may want dual prop.  Once we hit bubbles you'll want to get through them fast, but making yourself a huge target for locking (and bombs) may not be so hot.  I'm discounting the sig bonus against normal weapons as I expect anyone camping the race will tend to be using weapons that apply well against frigate-sized signatures.  Of course, this is why cruisers and battlecruisers may also have fun hunting the campers.

The Meta

Which brings up all of the fun around the race itself.  I'm not sure how much the news of the race is carrying, but Rixx is a big enough eve celebrity that it probably pushes it pretty well.  We'll see.  The scale of visibility of the Deathrace doesn't just mean more racers - it also means more campers and more people hunting the campers.  As a racer first I'm hoping there are lots of camper-hunters.  If you were not looking to race who would you want to hunt: racers or campers?

Racers won't be fighting back (for the most part) since they'll be built for speed and avoidance.  So the risk level of taking shots at them is pretty low.  The payoff in terms of your killboard probably isn't so great - interceptors and T1 frigates aren't that expensive, though I'm sure we'll see plenty of navy and pirate frigates out there too.  And if someone is going to fit a Dramiel for racing there will probably be at least deadspace modules on it.

Campers will be at least normal PVP fits in the sense of being able to point and fight back.  They will probably be dedicating slots to catching fast-aligning ships (double and triple sensor boosters I'd guess, though I have only theoretical knowledge of such things) and they may have weapons that are meant for frigate-sized targets.  I'm sure we'll see smartbombing battleships on gates.  I don't actually know if lowsec campers tend to fit blingy stuff, but I expect we'll find out soon enough.


Then there are the clueless.  Last night I was bringing my racing ship into the area and making safes.  In the middle of putting down perches on a gate I saw what looked like an Iteron III autopiloting through.  Sadly my racer was ill-equipped to take down an Iteron and getting the ship in position was higher priority than a random freighter.  But it was a reminder to me that some people are just going to be plowing through the racecourse with no clue what is happening.  I don't know if the race will cause TiDi, but if you cross a racing gate at the wrong time there might be a rather spectacular distraction.

So sounds like it could be good fun all 'round.  Am I overthinking things?  Probably, it's kinda what I do, and for me it's part of the fun.

See you at the races!

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