If you had asked me a few short months ago about my weapons training, I would have told you I had max skills in all BS and below weapons except one - beam lasers. I never bothered to train them beyond low levels because, frankly, it was common knowledge they sucked. Oh sure, like anything, they had their uses - but none of those uses really applied to me in Low Sec. It was one weapon system I would eventually get around to finishing "someday".
With recent changes and the introduction of the Confessor, "Someday" came and I recently went ahead and trained the final few levels on Beam Lasers. A day that I never thought would come, had arrived.
Now that beams have finally been given some love by CCP they open up some interesting options when it comes to fitting, and not just for the Confessor. In fact the elevation of beams to actual utility opens up a wide range of ship options. And I'm only beginning to appreciate that. Mostly because I didn't actually have any of them in my hangar, or the ammo needed to fire them!
So yesterday I thought, why not try beams on one of my favorite ships? So I grabbed a new Slicer from the hangar and started to fit it around beams. The choice of beams was easy since I only had one kind in my hangar (yes, I need to go shopping) Dual Light Beams. And some crystals, after looking it up again to remind myself which ones they use. I freely admit to having limited knowledge of the ways of the beam.
So I fitted the Slicer pretty much exactly like usual - weapons, disr, mwd, dc2, heat, targeting, adaptive nano, small ancillary, aux, locus, burst rigs.
Long, mid and short crystals loaded. With long range I can hit well past my targeting range, which is always funny. It is always interesting undocking in a new fit, the unknown quality and experience missing from a new trial. And so I went out, joined the Stay Frosty gang that was up and running, and started hunting.
What I didn't know then was just how good a day I was going to have. Despite the typical Sunday interruptions from real life, I managed to get some good quality time behind the wheel of the new Slicer. I had to keep telling myself that this version was a true kiter, unlike my other Slicer fits. So I just needed to be extra careful about the situations I got myself into.
It wasn't long before Laguna and I caught an Ishkur. Laguna was also sporting a beam Slicer. Poor guy couldn't do much at all about that.
Or this Corax. Or this Blood Raider Coercer (granted he was victim to the SF Swarm), or this Firetail, or this blaster Comet, or this Rail Comet.
I learned that I probably need a different set of guns on my ship, so I'll have to go shopping and pick up some different varieties to test out. I'm not convinced the Dual Lights are the proper choice. But damage application seems decent, although most of the fights yesterday I was simply working as tackle mostly. None of those encounters was especially challenging, so I'll have to wait and see how it does in a more difficult scenario. I was happy enough to have undocked in a ship and returned in the same ship. Although that always feels a bit weird frankly. It is so rare. It almost feels like an incomplete day.
One funny story. Former SF pilot SniperBros convo'd me and asked if I could come down to Hirri and help him catch and kill an Eos. Of course I said yes, even though I was only in a Slicer. I tried to help scout and managed to find the Eos a few times and keep eyes on him, but he wasn't negative and kept warping directly to gates. Finally Sniper's gang of friends got him pinned down on a gate and he started flashing. I burned in and got point.
It would also have been good if I had remembered to turn on my guns. I can only attest this to the fact that I was not in fleet with the attackers, and so the gate was a mess of neuts and yellows and reds. That and the fact that I was only in a Slicer, focused on keeping point and scouting, that I totally derped on my guns until the very last second.
Either way, the Eos went down. No thanks to me.
Beam lasers only work if you use them. File that one away for later.