Sunday, February 20, 2011

Week 1 In Review

Hi all,
As I've mentioned before I'm very new to EVE Online and this is my first real game blog.  I want to have a similar format week-to-week and post-to-post so from now on you'll see something close to what's below.  Each week/post I'll do an "in review" section that summarizes the action I've seen since the last post, a funny moments of the week section, a rookie moment of the week, and finally a section on what I learned during the week.  That being said - I still want to hear from you!  What would you like to read about?  I'm always open for suggestions and I'll answer any questions posed to me in the next post.  Also, I'm looking for any one-on-one training so if there are any veterans out there looking to kill a little time I'd love to meet up!  Hopefully this will help fellow rookies but also open an opportunity for veterans to help me with "areas for improvement."  Hope you enjoy!

Friday - Tonight I realized that there isn't always action - especially when I'm the only member of my gang online at the time.  Three to four hours were lost watching ships I'd have no chance taking down sail right past me.  I'm currently training for a specific gang-ship but as soon as that's finished I'm going to knock out the skills I need to give me a chance in my Incursus so I can fly solo when noone else is online.  I doubt I'd have much success but even taking down one ship solo at this point in my career would make my month.  Plus we nailed a Nemesis carrying blueprints Thursday night so the payday from that will fund the dozen or so Incursus ships I'll probably lose in a week or less.

Three of my gang members finally logged in but there still wasn't much action.  We did, however, get very lucky.  The gang I run with are very good at what they do but their one weakness are ships that "hot drop."  Luckily for us one of our members use to fly a lot with a pilot coming through the system.  We wanted to pop him really bad but just didn't get the chance.  A minute later the enemy pilot sent a private message to our pilot - after a short discussion we came to find out the pilot was sailing around with a 65-man fleet waiting to drop down on an unsuspecting gang.  We called it a night shortly after that.  It was already late and we all figured it we'd already cashed out our luck for the night.

Saturday - Saturday started off with and ended with a bang.  Only one gang member was online at the time but he's more than capable of taking down any ship that comes through in his Sabre.  We racked up 3-5 kills pretty quickly but I can't say I did more than aid slightly in the demise of the unsuspecting pilots.  A few were dead before I even came out of warp.

Traffic came to a complete stop for almost two hours after that.  No pilots were coming through and those that were were using alliance jump gates.  We each took a five minute break to consider whether we wanted to head back and pick up missions to kill some time before the rest of our gang logged in.  Right as we both got back our other two gang members logged in and all of a sudden our system was a hot zone.  I lost count of our kills in the short period of time we played but it was probably close to eight.  In a 10-15 minute window we probably killed five of those.  We were barely getting one killed when we'd have another jump on top of us.  Two of our members desparately needed to go to bed as it was getting pretty late but we couldn't catch a long enough break in action.  It became obvious that certain alliances were starting to bring in reinforcements, however.  A Drake, Griffin, and Falcon (more alliance in system too) pilot tried everything they could to bait us but to no avail.  Actually, the Drake and Falcon flew away too fast at one point and we made short work of the Griffin.  It was the second time we'd killed that pilot but the first time we only had two pilots so maybe he was expecting the same attack.  We all enjoyed still going one-up on the crew that was trying to bait us.  With the system still active we finally had to call it a night.  What a blast of a night it was though.

Well when I came up with this idea I imagined it'd be something me or my gang would do that I considered funny.  This week, however, that was not the case.  I thought I'd expand on the story preceding this section.  A Griffin pilot named Caldranna entered our system and burned off the gate to around 90km and growing.  The only other gang member on at the time, Iceman, burned after him and quickly took him out.  This isn't what we expected to happen as the Griffin could've easily gotten away well before Iceman got to him.

Later that evening Caldranna came back with a couple of allies and did everything he could to get us to jump the bait but unfortunately for Caldranna everything seemed a little too good to be true so we held back.  This went on and on for 15-20 minutes.  We'll never know exactly what happened next but Caldranna's two allies jumped systems with Caldranna still sitting on our gate.  He didn't stand a chance in his Griffin.

This was one of the more interesting encounters we had for the weekend and in the end we all had the last laugh.

Now I need your help!  What would you have done in this situation to try and draw out a gang?  Feel free to email me or comment.

All of my rookie moments up to this point are usually caught by or impact our gang member Kraft.  It's not intentional - it just seems to work out that way.

That's why it comes as no surprise that my rookie moment over the weekend impacted him.

Things were pretty calm at the time on Saturday night and Kraft was trying to show me tactical locations to bookmark.  A slight misunderstanding led me to believe I was supposed to warp to him at zero.  The timing of this just so coincided with an enemy pilot jumping on the gate as I'm landing on Kraft and decloaking him at the same time.  To be honest I lost track of what happened next since my instict was to burn away from Kraft as he started targetting me.  I'm pretty sure the pilot warped back to the direction he came before he could enter our trap.  Kraft and I go way back so I couldn't be 100% sure he really wasn't going to destroy me.


I learned a ton this week.  So much so it makes it hard to list in the narrow confines of this post.

For one, I find myself starting to run situations through in my head as they're happening or before they happen.  As I'm landing on the action I'm running through the checklist in my head: sensor booster, damage control, web target, release drones, turrets, drones engage target, etc...  The closest I can come to explaining this is the way professional athletes repeat something over and over and over and over again until it becomes second nature.  It's called muscle memory.  When it comes time to perform they've already made this move so many times in practice that it just becomes second nature to their bodies and they don't have to even think about it.  I'm sure my gang that I run with enter a similar "zone."  They fly ships that are way more complicated than mine but still make me look silly.  It's because they've done this so many times that it's almost second nature to them.  They know going into a fight almost exactly how it's going to play out.  This has really helped my development as I'm sure it would any rookie.

My advice to a fellow rookie?  Find a corp or a random gang and dive into the action.  I've learned more in a week than I did in a month of reading articles.

Thanks again for taking the time to read my post!  Comments and emails are appreciated and even encouraged.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Rookie Moment #17

Mystical: "-1"
Kraft: "-1 where?"
Mystical: "What do you mean where?  Where am I?"
Kraft: "That's the Nemesis we just killed.  AND YOU'RE EYES?  WHO BROUGHT THIS GUY?!  He's been dead for 5 minutes."

My First Kill & Killmail!

My very first kill and killmail - Citrute - 10:30pm CST - 02/17/2011
The fact that I did probably less than 100 damage and it was an unfitted Drake is irrelevant

My Very First Night Out - February 16, 2011

So I've been playing Eve Online for about a month now with several real-life friends and a couple of their in-game friends and they finally gave me permission to go out pirating with them.  My only other adventure into low-sec and nullsec resulted in me losing my very first Thorax before I ever fired a shot.  I would love to say I at least attempted to run or fight but I'd be lying.  I froze.  When I say I froze I mean I DID NOT M-O-V-E.  I didn't even click a button.  After hours of reading online articles/forums I've learned this is not how you react in a combat situation.  Lesson learned.

So here I am - and this time I made it all the way to nullsec where we were to gate camp.  All visions of glory quickly faded as I realized I'd been designated as "eyes."  Under no circumstances was I to uncloak and attempt to join the fray.  Most of the fighting occurred on the other side of the gate so I didn't even get to see the fighting for the first half of the evening.

In the second half, however, things got a little more interesting.  My first sign of action occured when my gang took down a Prowler as I was warping in.  I got to the watch the ship pop which still was enough to get my blood pumping. 

The next person to jump through was my first real taste of action.  "A Tengu!" everyone shouted in comms.  I had no idea until much later why they were so excited.  I've never seen a Tech 3 ship and I'm still very far from learning all of the ships.  A huge warp bubble flashed from the gate as Kraft tried to give the enemy pilot only one means of escape.  "Mystical get to the gate!" screamed Godfather and then all hell broke loose (mind you this is my first real battle so this is what "all hell breaking loose" is).  As soon as I hit the gate I had the Tengu webbed and my Tech I Hammerheads were all over him.  Our other three pilots jammed the Tengu pilot and slowly drained his shields.  "He's going to make it!"  "No he's not!!"  "BUMP HIM BUMP HIM!"  Not knowing what "bumping" means I continuously microwarpdrive'd (?) my Thorax into him over and over from under 500m.  Finally Balec screamed, "Mystical you're bumping wrong!"  He tried to explain how to properly bump someone while the battle raged on but adrenaline blocked out his instructions.  I zoomed past the gate and then zoomed back again right past the Tengu.  I imagine he was getting a good laugh in about the rookie pilot in the Thorax as it zig-zagged every direction but into him.

"It's too late!  He made it"  BOOM!  Balec slammed into the Tengu sending him soaring away from the gate.  "EVERYONE OVERLOAD!  EVERYONE OVERLOAD!" I pretended to overload every thing on my ship but to no avail.  I hadn't managed to squeeze the required skill into my 1.6m total skill points.  Again I zoomed right past the Tengu.  "ALIGN TO HIM AND THEN APPROACH!"  It sounds much easier than it really is.

Suddenly armor began peeling away from the Tengu and I can only imagine the desparation he felt as he inched closer and closer to the stargate.  "EVERYONE OVERLOAD!" again screamed Godfather......

..... and then a silence came over the group like a big thunderstorm finally passing over and turning into a light drizzle ....

"He made it..." was muttered by a few frustrated pilots.  "We were so close."

Had I known what a Tengu was at the time I imagine I would've been just as much or more frustrated than the rest of the gang but I couldn't help but enjoy the surge in adrenaline.  That's how my night ended.  I was now 1 for 2 in low-sec/nullsec voyages and my shiny Thorax was to live to fight another day.

So in summary - here's what I learned:

As "eyes" it is not always necessary to call out everything:
Mystical: "Four rats just jumped to gate."
Godfather: "What are there names?"  I didn't pick up the hint of sarcasm
Mystical: "Annihilator and ...."
Godfather: "Boy or girl?"
Mystical: "Boy or... what... ?"
Godfather: "BOY OR GIRL!?!" followed by bursts of laughter from the rest of our gang

But there are some things that you HAVE to call out:
Godfather: "Did someone just jump to me?"
Mystical: "Oh ya... oops.... he just jumped."

And timing is very important when you're "eyes":
Balec: "New in local - Raven"
*fifteen seconds later as I tab back to screen*
Mystical: "New in local"
Kraft: "Who the f--- brought this guy out here?"

The proper way to "bump":
1) Approach gate
2) Align to target
3) Approach target at 100m/sec and keep mashing
4) DO NOT zip past target - still a work in progress