Thursday, 10 October 2013

Nine days of pvp

It's been a highly entertaining October so far for me vis-a-vis Eve pvp.

A corp-mate, Saiyon, has been doing streaming via Twitch TV. His channel is well worth a look - even when I'm not on!

So last week Tuesday he streamed and we went out in frigates looking for kills. We were both in gank Merlins, one of my favourite low sec pvp frigates. The beauty of the Merlin is that it's very easy to fly and involves less microing than active tanking ships. It supports a great tank with Medium Shield Extender while offering over 200 dps which is extremely high by frigate standards.

Here's my fit - they don't always win!

First fight of the night was with some poor soul who had just started. I think it may have been his first pvp fight. He and a friend decided to come in to us, tristan and breacher against 2 merlins and melted superfast.

After a bit we started getting stalked by someone and after following us several systems he jumped in on us as we engaged a Punisher. Fortunately we beat both of them. Almost certainly this was our first occasion that we were stream sniped, someone watching Saiyon's stream and using it to hunt us.

It wasn't going to be the last time.

Shortly after we spotted a Vengeance. A Vengeance is a tough T2 frigate and fair game for us. Even with suspicions that he might have backup it's worth taking a shot because we do enough damage we might kill it before it gets help.

Turned out he was too tough for us, almost certainly getting link bonuses, even before his 3 Vengeance friends warped in.

Then we got stream sniped. By a friendly!

We'd encountered a Falcon a couple of systems back, had a brush with a Wolf from his corp and run away. It turned out he jammed both sides in that fight but I'd thought he'd helped his Wolf against us.

He joined the Vengeance fight firmly on our side and started jamming out Vengeances. With our gank Merlins we burned through 3 of them before the last escaped, utterly powerless. Turned out they were shiny spider repping Vengeances with Corelli A mods, victims of the social randomness of Eve that people just jump into fights. Still fantastic for us - not many people kill 3 deadspace fit Vengeances with a pair of Merlins!

We got to murder a few more people with the utterly unfair advantage of a Falcon. Great ships. The power of being able to decloak and jam a small gang out almost entirely is astonishingly strong in small gang pvp.

After Saiyon went to bed I carried on with another pilot, Caedes, and we got more nice kills. It's very possible and very fun to kill T2 and faction frigates with cheap T1 frigates costing less than 10 million isk - we got a total of 5 assault frigate kills and 2 faction frigate kills over the night, some but not all Falcon-assisted.

After a break of a couple of days we went roaming in Cyclones last Saturday. I got a SFI to aggress me on a station and my colleagues warped in and finished him off while I tanked both station guns and the SFI using dual ASBs, surviving in structure as he died. The frigate pvp we've been doing has been very useful practice for picking up skills - I wouldn't have managed the ASBs as well if I'd not got a lot of practice using a dual ASB Breacher a couple of weeks ago.

It was a nice change to fly battlecruisers after a lot of frigate piloting, they feel so powerful.

Saturday night was the Crossing Zebras FFA organised by Xander Phoena and Mangala Solaris. I freigtered down a bunch of merlins and condors. Speaking cynically the smart thing to do in FFAs is kite and snipe but it's more in the spirit to brawl, I set myself up with both options.

The FFA was staged in Asakai, sadly without random lost titans this time but still a fun place. The local low sec residents are Talons of Blood and they did a great job of vigorously opposing our trespass. Indeed first act was to bust a TALON gatecamp on the nearest highsec exit which Mangala adeptly FCed. My trusty Condor got a point on a Navy Exequror, a very shiny kill to start the night and I traded several condors and merlins for a bunch more kills. I got into a couple of solo frig duels with an Executioner and a Kestrel which I won narrowly and got rather schooled by an amazingly fast Tristan. There was plenty of bigger stuff to help kill including a rather daft Typhoon who was smartbombing 50km off the plex gate. Most of the event was spent inside FW plexes to shut out all of the people who had turned up to escalate the event - there was a random Prophecy gang which seemed to have forgotten to invite any logis and a very professional looking Sacrilege gang that no one wanted to take on plus the constantly reshipping and ferocious Talon gangs.

Plus we shot each other of course! I got to add to my celebrity kill collection by bagging both of my hosts and also - slightly to my embarassment - I discovered afterwards I'd snagged three Twostep kills. Poor Twostep. We shoot you because we love you <3 p="">
Sunday night Saiyon streamed again and we continued our streak of killing faction frigates with Merlins. It really feels like the Blaster is the dominant weapon in this format. If you fly in low sec pvp you either have to be using Blasters or you have to be controlling them with either webs or neuts. There's no weapon that can trade damage with a blaster and with our tactics of entering these plexes and sitting on the beacon at zero we catch most people before they can pull range. Three of us normally means 3 webs which means our primary is going to be at optimal for us. The Merlins and Incursuses are great ships for gangs of 2-4 frigates.

Tuesday we went out and streamed again, with more people from SEDNA getting involved. The stream has been great for encouraging people to come fly with us. We're getting loads of kills and we have a good banter. We also give out kills, we certainly make enough mistakes and take enough foolish risks that people watching our stream and hunting us or people just out hunting anyway are finding us very engageable.

If you want to fly with us we stage from Vullat, normally fly tech 1 frigates with T2 mods and if you hang in SEDNA PUBLIC (in-game channel) and ask to come along we can invite you to the public area of our Teamspeak and you may get to see yourself on the stream!

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