Thursday 4 November 2010

Death of a Leviathan

Today, on November 3rd I finally lost my flagship, Rend, class Abaddon Battleship.

The details of how and why it fell in combat shall be told, but first, a glimpse into the past, to see why I thought of it as my flagship.

Rend died before I had the foresight to make a screenshot
 The Beginning - Acquiring Rainbow

Over a year ago, last August, I was a fledging pirate living in Verge Vendor. I was not yet a Tusker, but chose to fly with them in small gangs causing chaos where we passed through, rocking our foes like a Hurricane. One of my favorite activities to do was probe down mission runners in Aeschee and exact a toll on them, a mission tax as I liked to call it.

My preferred method of payment was a simple ISK transfer, but for a few special clients I was willing to accept their ship as a guarantee of their pod safety. At the time, I was training support skills and could only fly up to Amarr Cruisers in PvP, albeit with T1 turrets. So for me, hunting down the Battleships running missions in and around Aeschee satisfied my need to fly larger ships in PvP by destroying or taxing the lumbering beasts.

And so it was in late August that I quickly located a Abaddon class Battleship running a mission in Aeschee itself. Assuming a crack Tusker team, we set upon the vessel and quickly locked it down. Whilst commencing ransom negiotations, the pilot chose to eject from his ship in his capsule and promptly warped off.

Once the shock ran off, we set about finding someone who could actually fly the blasted thing. Glancing at my skillsheet, I was suprised to notice that I already had Amarr Battleship trained to III, the necessary level to fly the Abaddon, due to my dark history of running missions in an Apocalypse before turning to the light of piracy.

Boarding the vessel, my heart was pounding. Finally, I was in control of one of the most advanced spaceships known to man. The fitting however was truly attrocius. Armed with multiple sized lasers, some large and some medium, each with a different crystal loaded. By firing them all, I could create a very pretty rainbow of laser pewpew which dazzled my allies, but could barely scratch the shields off a Drake. Bringing the vessel back to my base took a few minutes, but once I docked it up I set about acquiring the fittings in order to make it shine.

Looking at appropiate turrets for it (Mega Pulse Laser IIs), I was dismayed to see that they were still a long, long distance off, requiring me to train T2 Medium Lasers as well as Large Energy Turret to V. Plugging the skills into my Evemon skill plan, it calculated that I would be able to fly my Abaddon with T2 Large Guns in December, a few days before Christmas.

Opening the Present - Dud

Just before the Tusker Christmas Party, I finally finished my training queue and I was ready to fit Mega Pulse Laser IIs on my prized ship. Once fitted, I asked for a test subject. A Tusker came forward in a Drake and I directed my lasers at him, testing out Imperial Navy Multifrequency L first, followed by Scorch L. I was incredibly impressed at how quickly I could swap ranges whilst still maintaining 90% of my close range DPS once I loaded Scorch.

However, I was less then impressed by its close ranged DPS. A quick discussion with various Tuskers quickly solved the issue, it turned out that my gunnery support skills, whilst adequate for Cruiser sized turrets, were not up to scratch for Battleship sized turrets. Therefore, I would need to do some more training to get as much out of my Abaddon as possible.

Opening the Present Redone - Jackpot!

After spending a few more months training up my support skills, I was ready to step back into the Abaddon.Immediately I could notice the difference, I could lock even faster, lock even further and do even more damage, from both my lasers and my new T2 Heavy Drones.

Finally, I was ready to use it in PvP, but not before christening it with a new name, to strike fear into the hearts of the unbelievers. I settled on Rend, for I would rend the layers of armor from their hulls until naught remained.

Bringing it to the frontline

The area around Hevrice is fairly active, with large FW gangs passing through it several times a day. In addition, Russians also like to frequent the area, taking a break from 0.0 or their mundane tasks in high security space. Therefore, one must be careful about when and where to deploy such a fearsome beast, least it become bogged down or attract too much attention.

Despite that, I still made good use of it, most recently:
  •  An absolutely epic chain of fights in a wormhole. Started off with killing a Damnation with my corpmate in a Stiletto tackling. The Damnation was running Sleeper sites and called in his corpmate in a Drake after stalling for time by asking for a ransom and not settling on the details. Improper use of MWD and my Neutralizer led to me running out of capacitor charges. However, I managed to warp off in half structure by diverting all remaining capacitor to my Neutralizer which temporarily turned off his Warp Disruptor. Returning to K-Space (Known Space), I docked up and repaired my damage (the repair bill was 20M, yikes!) before returning with more capacitor charges. By now more corpmates of the Damnation had logged on, but we had another Tusker arrive in his Stabber. Managed to get them to engage at a planet, killing a Drake and then a Hound before once again running out of cap boosters and suffering heavy damage. After topping up again after footing another 20M repair bill, I returned and finish the job, killing the rest of their gang with impunity, ending with their Legion, which coincedently was my first ever Legion kill and also securing me a kill of every single T3 ship. 
  • Baiting in Old Man Star top belt V - 1 at 0 for a Covert Cyno gang. We killed a prominent Caldari Faction Warfare FC in his Hurricane when he came in to tackle me for his 15 man gang Assault Frigate and got out before they could tackle me, despite not being aligned. However, I chose to warp to a Russian POS which started firing on me. I still however managed to get out in 80% armor. 
  • Baiting Roughnecks a little while later with the same gang behind me. Managed to kill 2 Myrmidons but somehow their Dominix warped off, possible due to stabs.  
  • Busting a SCUM. Alliance gatecamp in Ostingele with some ex-corpmates, before Naxias from PODLA arrived and all parties left the field. More ships were present, but due to not all of them being on Killmails, they are not shown.
  •  Logging on the next day, intending to bring the Abaddon back to Hevrice but instead acting as bait for once again, a Covert Cyno gang. This time however for Spiritus Draconis, some friends/foes who live near us. Managed to ensnare SCUM. Alliance again.
  •  Fun with some neutrals after heading back with the Covert Cyno gang.
  • After taking a brief break, logging back on again I found myself camped into a station by a neutral Megathron, Pilgrim and Thorax. After some careful testing and some luck with the Megathron shooting another neutral and thus incurring the wrath of the Sentry Guns, I managed to deal with the Pilgrim and the Thorax, with the Megathron docking up in half armor. 
  •  Another epic fight, again with Roughnecks. They killed a corpmate in a rather unsportly fight, so we decided to get some revenge. Despite them fielding a much heavier force then we expected, forcing us to retreat,we dove back in and came out with several kills for 0 losses, despite them fielding both Logistics Cruisers as well as a Carrier. Unfortunately, the Battle Report is incorrect due to an earlier Tusker gang passing through the system a few hours ago. The correct list of ships can be found in the Comments section of the Raven Killmail.
  • Helped kill a missioning Thanatos flown by Athiest Syndicate 4 jumps from their home system.
  • Coming back after a night out and taking my Abaddon out to play near Aeschee. Managed to pull some Roughnecks off their stations using my alt as bait in a Hurricane. Killed their Myrmidon, however due to their ECM drones getting two jams off on me, it took longer than I expected as he was able to rep up my damage between cycles. However, with careful use of my own ECM drones as well as some luck, I managed to bail out in 10% armor by jamming both their Drake and their Ferox. After docking up, they camped me into a station until I logged off. 

The fall of a Titan

However, all good things must come to an end. After a fairly uneventful pseudo-roam, with only one fight worth mentioning which consisted of us attempting to tackle two Drakes and a Tengu running a mission and then them bringing in more guys after they warped off. Eventually, they had Logistics on the field and it was time to bail. My Shield Harbinger got out in half structure, which was good, but then warped to a station with GCC and Agression Timer which was bad. It was also bad that one of the Drakes that warped off was also there, but thankfully he was just out of point range as I warped off in 30% structure, thankfully to a belt this time.

After spending some time looking for more targets, fellow Tusker Tsubutai found a small gang of 2 Brutixes, a Hurricane, an Arazu and a Falcon sitting on a wormhole entrance a few jumps from Hevrice. After rounding up a fairly well mixed gang, consisting of my Abaddon as bait, Tsubutai in a Artillery Hurricane with ECCM fitted to kill their Falcon, new Tusker recruit leyo690 in a Shield AC Hurricane, Kishin Hattori in his Dramiel (which he has blogged about here) as well as fellow Tusker Director Robert Mason in his own Falcon, we set off.

After an eventful journey, where we encountered two other gangs in only 4 jumps, we arrived and I warped at 30km to the wormhole they were sitting out, hoping to draw them away from the entrance so they could not keep jumping and out to avoid being killed. However, they were having none of that and all of them promptly jumped in!

After warping out and warping back in, I finally got a response as their Arazu and Falcon decloaked, pointing me and jamming me as their Battlecruisers jumped back. Calling my gang in, I declared the Falcon the primary and he promptly disappeared, his odd choice of tank giving him no real benefit at all. Our Falcon called out that he was surrounded by drones and pointed by the Arazu. Just as we began setting into the Arazu, Robert Mason called out that he was down, despite smartbombing as many drones as possible. Mere seconds later, their Arazu disappeared from this universe.

At this point, we switched attention to their Battlecruisers, which had been pounding relentlessly on me during the entire fight up until this point. As I saw my armor slowly drop, I called a shield Hurricane primary. Unfortunately, he managed to slip away as he entered low shields and warped off. At this point, I was entering 30% armor and had the opportunity to slip away, as I was not pointed. As I contemplated it, I chose instead to stay since it appeared we had the edge. Unfortunately, this proved to be the wrong decision as all the remaining Battlecruisers on the field for the enemy all decided to point me. My death assured, I could only overheat everything at the 2nd Shield Hurricane. He slipped into the void mere seconds before I exploded in a glorious explosion of purest light.

With my death, the fleet no longer had a solid anchor and we were forced to disengage and consolidate, holding the field.

As I warped my pod off the battlefield, I thought to myself not of regret, but of fate. That was a damn good send-off.

The Aftermath

Even as I type this, I am purchasing a new Abaddon hull, along with full fittings. Rend earned its keep, and I can only hope its replacement can step into its boots, which are mighty indeed. 

P.S. I like Lasers

Any suggestions for the name of my new Abaddon? If I ultimately choose your name, I will send you 100M and mention you here.

Sunday 31 October 2010

A Glimpse at Chaos

When playing Eve, I often find myself listening to the same songs, as they seem Below are a few highlights, in no particular order:

Guns N' Roses - Welcome To The Jungle
Devil May Cry 4 Soundtrack - Shall Never Surrender
Emiya - Kenji Kawai ver
Ready Steady Go - L'Arc En Ciel
Lost Prophets - Shinobi vs Dragon Ninja
Muse - Knights of Cydonia
Pendulum - Witchcraft
Rolling Stones - Gimme Shelter
The Script - The Man who can't be Moved
Skankfunk - Sky-2-High
Sum 41 - No Reason
Super Smash Bros Melee - Mute City Theme
TobyMac - Ignition

Of course, the song I am listening to depends on what exactly I am doing. For example, if I am raiding a wormhole, the songs I seem to be drawn towards are Knights of Cydonia as well as The Man who can't be Moved, as wormhole PvP is mostly waiting, building up tension and then a sudden release. Therefore, songs that slowly build up to their climax tend to mesh well, providing a perfect harmony of destruction & music.

Artwork for the single, Knights of Cydonia
In times when I am already involved in brutal PvP against another gang or solo, a louder song is more appropriate, with a much higher tempo. For these situations, I turn to No Reason and Ignition to get into the groove.

Artwork for Chuck, the Album containing No Reason

 So the question is this, what do you listen to when PvPing?