A Week of Good Fights

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In my line of Pirate Lord work the good fights come and go like the tides of the solar winds, some days you get the bear, somedays the bear gets you, and some days there just ain't any bears. This Summer, as you may have heard from some of the more negative corners of the community, has been rather sparse at times. For those of us who have been playing for more than ten minutes, this is not unusual. Summer is brutal. Darn people and their vacations, outdoor activities, family time, and whatnots! Sports!?

Instead of panicking and spouting off about how Eve is Dying© again, us veteran players hunker down in anticipation of the return of September, school, college, and cold northern weather to force more people indoors in front of their toasty warm overheating graphics cards and more Eve Online! The hunting has been good this week. The bears have returned.

Here are some highlights from this week.

2v1 Comets versus my Wolf
I bumped into one of these Comets on a Gate and we mutually yellow-boxed each other. I can't shoot first because of Gate guns, so I waited for him to make the first move. He didn't. Which means one of several things, 1) He doesn't want to fight, 2) He does want to fight but doesn't know how, 3) He does want to fight but is waiting for back-up to arrive, or 4) He forgot to turn off auto-lock. More than likely it is option 3, so I warped slowly off to a Small Plex and waited for him to make up his mind.

Luckily for me he came early before his back-up buddy had a chance to slide into the Plex with him. I couldn't have asked for better timing on their part, if they had landed exactly together I would have had a much harder time of it. But they were staggered slightly which gave me a slight, very slight, advantage. These hull tanked Comets don't die quickly, but the first one exploded just as my Assault Damage Control spun down. I had timed that perfectly to absorb the maximum damage from both targets, I hadn't even had to use my Ancillary yet. So that gave me a full set of Nanites to deal with his buddy, who exploded even faster than his friend. I'm guessing that remote armor rep in his utility high didn't help much.

Imperial Navy Slicer versus my Atron
Ask any solo PvPer how to get good at solo PvP and you'll get a wide spectrum of answers. But somewhere in there will be two things that are critical, 1) Know your spaceships inside and out, and 2) Learn how to manually fly (Also key commands!!) Manually flying in a fight like the Wolf versus Comet fight above is not as critical (My Wolf is MWD fit so most of that fight I spent scrammed anyway.) as it is in a fight like this one. In fact, it is the only reason I won the fight. It also helps to know every spaceship you are likely to face inside and out. The critical piece of knowledge in this instance is that Slicers don't have a lot of cap. They get tired pretty fast.

I have 400 kills in a Slicer, so I know the ship very well. The key here is to stay calm and let him kite you comfortably. Meanwhile you act like a target that is going to be an easy kill. All while waiting for the perfect moment to slingshot into him for that all important scram. If you don't get scram you die, or he runs off safely. People tend to get very focused when fighting and often forget that they can just leave at anytime. That's what you are counting on. This fight went as textbook as they can. I was so dead. And then suddenly his cap started running out. And slingshot, manual piloting, and boom he was caught by my scram and it was all over from there.

That was an insanely good fight. Kudos to him for sticking to it. Well done.

Hecate versus Crows
I'll mention one more that wasn't the same kind of solo fight that the other two were. Some Stay Frosty pilots have been exploiting the lack of Local in Null this Summer to great effect. So yesterday I finally had a chance to go down and join in the fun. I lost one Crow hero tackling a Kikimora which we managed to bring down. But it was this Hecate fight that really got the blood going.

One thing I quickly learned roaming around Null is how much Citadels have truly changed the fundamental environment there, much more than they have in Low. Citadels are everywhere, just as in Low, but in Null they provide a much safer protected perch in local. We don't use them that way in Low Sec very much. But watching them clustered around gates in Null Sec and how ships perch tethered waiting made me realize how important this lack of local really is. Citadels have truly made a lack of local in Null critical in my opinion.

So between a Gate and a Citadel the enemy has a relatively safe zone from which to perch in safety and swoop in to assist in kills. If that Citadel is manned, even more so. Add bubbles and it becomes even more challenging. So we'd been working on this Hecate for awhile, trying to figure out where he was and when we might be able to grab him. The locals also had a few other ships around sitting on the Citadel. An Arazu and a few others. We finally managed to get the Hecate off the Citadel a few hundred clicks and grabbed point, while the Arazu and a couple Gnosis warped in on us. Luckily for us we managed to pull off the perfect "under their noses" operation and killed the hecate before they could grab us.

Whew. That was a close one.

These are the reasons I continue to play Eve Online.