Toldain Talks

Because reading me sure beats working!


Toldain started as an Everquest character. I've played him in EQ2, WoW, Vanguard, LOTRO, and Zork Online. And then EVE Online, where I'm 3 million years old, rather than my usual 3000. Currently I'm mostly playing DDO. But I still have fabulous red hair. In RL, I am a software developer who has worked on networked games, but not MMORPGS.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Another Lesson Learned

"I'm going to have to stop giving you these lessons for free."
-Crash Davis, Bull Durham

Did you want to hear the story of how I lost my first Brutix? You do? We could call it a lesson in lowsec security procedures, provided free of charge by your local lowsec ganker.

Well, I was killing Blood Raiders at an ungated site in Alai, a lowsec system in Genesis. I'll talk more later about why I was doing that. In any case, local had shown only me in system.

Somewhere during the second wave I noticed that there was now another person in the system. Uhoh, I thought, and aligned to an object for a fast getaway. It wasn't enough, though it might have saved a podkill.

My first hint that someone was there with me was a red flag flying across my view. There was no lock alarm. I presume he used a passive targeting system, but probably I just mistook it for one of the Blood Raiders. I was scrambled, and there were drones all about me. (I had a moment of thinking, "what are those funny X's?"). For some reason I thought that the drones were scrambling me, but I'm not sure why. One of my drones (Warrior I) was already dead by the time I locked him and sent them at him.

Once he was locked and weapons pointed at him, I checked his info. An Ishkur, an assault ship. I had no idea at the time what that was, but it's a souped-up frigate, which can carry lots of drones. I knew I was probably overmatched, on the theory of "If I don't know what that ship is, it must be badder than me", but maybe I can hurt him.

I shot at him, but it was ineffectual since I had railguns equipped, and he was orbiting me at very close range. My brand new Tech 2 armor repairer was not going to keep up, and my brand new afterburner wasn't going to get me away.

As soon as he got into hull, I self-destructed and warped away in my pod immediately. There was no saving it.

The key to escaping this encounter was ECM. I didn't have any. It's hard to fit one with my current skills. I have 3 Capacitor Recharger II's fitted to those slots, and I am not quite capacitor stable with everything going. I have decided that I'm going to train up to ECM drones immediately, and start carrying a few whenever I might see combat. If I'd thrown ECM jammer drones at him, I think the lock would probably break pretty fast, and I'd be gone. That's the first lesson.

The second lesson is that I should have left the site when I first noticed him in system. Don't just align, warp out. Maybe leave the system, see what develops. Running a site, you will have tunnel vision on.

The guy who blew up my ship is Sethony, member of a corp named Assault Armaments. In his player info, he describes himself as a professional scientist and inventor. The random ganking part isn't mentioned.

Actually, I find this odd. Players who are random gankers generally brag about it. They like to impress you with how badass they are, but not so Sethony. So what's up with him? I have a sort of guess, but I'm going to first tell you why I was in Alai last night after midnight.

If you look at the dotlan stats for Alai, you will notice that there was pretty much nothing going on in Alai, and hadn't been for several hours.

I want to be an explorer. I've trained up my scanning skills, and I got the ability to use Codebreakers and Analyzers just last Thursday or so. So I want to make use of them. However, everything that was working for me in my three months of play so far pretty much stopped working, roughly last Thursday.

My sales have fallen off the table. Hordes of sellers have come out of the woodwork and are dumping large volumes. It took them a while to catch up with my scanner probe business, but it's now flooded, too.

Since the time I scanned the wormhole that Tipa described mining in, I've found basically no useful signatures whatsoever. Perhaps the introduction of tutorials on scanning has had an influence. It's certainly killed my core scanner probe business, since players get one for free, and usually send it down the buy hole afterwards.

Last week, I was beaten to the punch twice at these sites. At one, I found a salvaging site, salvaged the first can when a frigate came in and grabbed all the rest right from under my nose. At another, I warped in to a radar site to find someone was already there and had killed most of the rats. I was too far away to try to steal the cans, and that's not really my style anyway. That may be changing, though.

Anyway, I can find anomalies, but in highsec, these are (ahem, were) a pitiful undermatch for Sundiver, my Brutix. Seriously, I scanned probably two dozen systems with very little to show for it. The best wormhole I found was a class 2 with a carrier inside. Not actually suitable for me to see if I can tank sleepers yet.

So, it's now late at night on the West Coast on a weeknight. And I'm feeling pretty frustrated with my career choice. I figure I will slip into a lowsec system with low traffic and look for something a bit more interesting. I'd really like to find a hacking or analyzing site, but I settle for a Blood Raider site that has lots of cruisers, and maybe a battlecruiser to finish.

This of course, is where Sethony enters the picture.

So what was he doing there? Here's my guess. He and his buddies have "claimed" that lowsec constellation (it's called Mih, and includes the system Assez) as their harvesting grounds and kill anyone they find lingering there with scanning equipment. I am told that respawn of sites stays within a constellation. There are four lowsec systems and four highsec in Mih. It's next door to the notorious Vecamia, but that system is in a different constellation.

Or maybe he just likes killing people, I don't know.

Every time I get exploded lately, it's been by someone who is grossly overmatched. Kind of like having sand kicked in your face by the proverbial bully. And there's no Charles Atlas available to turn me into Mr. Universe overnight with dynamic tension.

I could learn to fly an Ishkur relatively easily. Mostly, I'd have to train Gallente Frigates V, which I also need to fly covert ops. I'd also need Engineering V and Mechanic V, but I want those for invention anyway. But would it be useful for anything other than as a hunter? Could I handle sites with it? I don't really know.

Time to look at battleclinic, I guess. Because there's no more sleep for me tonight.



Anonymous Tipa said...

- D'oh!
- I'll put another Brute on the cooker tonight. Well, I'll place BUY orders for the minerals I'll need. I might as well make two and sell one for ISK.
- We explorer n00bs actually get *10* core probes.
- and yeah, the tutorial leaves you with everything you need to probe every system you enter. So expect competition.
- I STILL think it could be a win to lurk on the far side of wormholes in highsec systems and kill newbie probers.
- If you're in a lowsec system, everyone else in it is hunting you. That's kind of a law of survival. You need a partner to help with security -- it's a pain to have to wait for other people, that Ishkur would have been toast if someone with you had a PvP equipped ship.

8:52 AM  
Anonymous Tipa said...

Actually, btw, ECM drones aren't that uber. Each one has a 20% chance per cycle of breaking a lock, which is a 67% base chance with five drones of breaking targeting per cycle, further modified by the scanning strength of the target, your signature radius and so on. Given that you had at least five drones on you and the ship, ECM drones would have been ineffectual. And drones CAN web you.

ECM Burst might be better for you. It has a chance to break target lock of every ship or drone within 6k, subject again to the scanning strength, sig radius et al as above. But you would have a better chance of breaking free with a burst if someone was flying really close.

9:00 AM  
Blogger Toldain said...

Correct me if I'm wrong, but if the ship's lock breaks, don't the drones stop doing anything? Maybe not, but not all of them were scramming me, I just needed to break scram to get out.

The problem with ECM Burst is that I can't afford to not have a Cap Recharger II in that slot. Or else I have to give up the AB.

10:39 AM  
Anonymous Tipa said...

Nah, drones will go do stuff without your lock. They do it all the time. Each drone has its own lock and they are lightweight, an ECM burst should do well vs them.

AB does you no good if you're webbed. If you're going to do solo ops in lowsec, you'll have to sacrifice in order to make sure you can get away. ECM Burst is something that you use only when you need to get away. ECM burst, warp to a safe point, cloak and give yourself some time to catch your breath.

That's the whole plan with the Viator, as I understand it. Working on High Speed Maneuvering 4, has some rigging after that, the entire ship is designed to Get Away. ECM Burst is a central part to that strat, along with a MWD, intertial stabilizers, and of course the cloak.

11:14 AM  
Anonymous Tipa said...

Smart bombs will cook drones and force frigs a little further away if you're looking for a high slot solution.

11:43 AM  

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