February 5, 2014

Landing Reps on Rifterlings

I realized that I never posted that I had joined Rifterlings, so there's that.  As I mentioned in other posts I've been looking for small gang PVP, but I didn't want the faction standings consequences that come with Faction Warfare.  Rifterlings has already been great for that, even though I've had pretty limited time.  I've roamed about solo, joined an impromptu frigate fleet and ended up being the heavy hitter (me?!), and even starting learning a bit about frigate-level logistics.  More on that Logi bit in a moment.

Why Rifterlings?

I wanted lowsec but not faction warfare because of the faction standings bit.  I wanted fleets but I wanted them small so I could contribute and learn more.  Winning some PLEX recently freed up one of my earlier concerns about funding myself that had previously been making me think wormhole.  And a couple weeks spent focusing on exploring wormholes and talking to WH and ex-WH pilots convinced me I didn't want to live there.

And then there was the people.  Fintarue, who I learned about through the High Drag podcast and his own twitch stream (KFIN 0.4 FM).  I felt like I learned more from listening to him talk through a topic on the podcast than I had in weeks of teaching myself solo.  HippoWhisperer was one of my first (if not my first) real PVP after I joined RVB long time ago.  He kicked my butt and then gave me good advice.

So when I was solo roaming in an Omen and ran into HippoWhisperer as a Rifterling he killed me again, and Fintarue and a small gang landed right after.  I opened a convo with Hippo and found him just as friendly and helpful as the first time I met him.  That pretty much sealed it for me - and reinforces my view that in most cases if you chat with the people you fight you find they are decent people, despite Eve's reputation.

Frigate Roam Logi

So the idea of Logi has appealed to me for a while.  With a Navitas fit recommended for noob logi on the Point Blank Alliance forums I joined up with a frigate fleet led by Fintarue.  Milton Middleson grabbed a Navitas as well, so I followed him as much as possible and asked a lot of questions.  Our fleet was pretty kitchen sink, so don't be surprised at what you're going to read here in a minute.

Logi has a more overwhelming information stream than fighting.  In a gang as dps I figure I lock up the primary, get to my optimal, and mostly listen on comms and pay attention to what's happening to me.  As Logi you put everyone in fleet on your watchlist, try to lock up a number of important people in the fleet (fellow logi, FC, key/vulnerable ships), and decide where those reps need to go.  Somewhere in all that you probably should fly your ship too, though as a noob I cheated on that by just anchoring on Milton.

So we get into a fight on a gate against some heavier ships - but the plan is that if we can break their only logi (Oneiros) it'll work.  I see one of our Thrashers is taking damage and their shield is about gone, but I already have them locked up so I apply all my reps right away.  That fails to hold him as you might guess on a shield-tanked destroyer and the Thrasher goes down. My cap is empty and I fire the booster.  I spread reps on a couple frigates that are showing shield damage, figuring if one starts to drop I'll move the others to them.  More enemies are landing on grid and I see Milton's Navitas start to get hit, so I move all reps over to him.  He dips into structure and I overheat all the reps.  For a brief shining moment I'm holding him.  My cap cycles and the booster does into reload and somewhere about there I lose him.  A moment later I'm primary and it's time to a quick trip to the pod.  What do you mean a kitchen sink frigate gang can't take 4 T3s and 3 Command Cruisers?

I rejoin the fleet for a bit in a Slicer and get a killmail for my trouble shortly followed by an escape in said Slicer in 4% structure.  That was a thrill too, let's hear it for fast ships in MWD.  We reship as a group and Milton throws me a Burst so I can try out the shield logi side.  Things get a bit quieter then, so I don't recall anything thrilling in the Burst, but I'm sure I'll get it blown up soon enough.

Much to learn as a Logi - I definitely need a new overview, since I was using one that got cluttered with enemy drones and such.  Keeping a cool head and focusing on who needs priority help seems to be the key.  A big thanks to Milton for his advice through the fights.

So another thing off the checklist, and much more fun to be had in the Rifterlings!

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