Wednesday 24 November 2010

Back to Lowsec - Faction makes everything better

After killing the Brutix and the Rupture and the locals being suitably annoyed, I decided to leave on a high point and make my way back to Hevrice. The journey was uneventful and in no time at all I was safely docked in Hevrice VI station.

After a short rest, I headed towards Adirain, still in my Shield Harbinger. Aeschee itself was clear, whilst in Adirian there were signs of activity, with ships moving between the IV station and the V station. Warping to the V station, I decided to wait and see what the Roughnecks would bring out.

I would not be disappointed, as a Drake and a Hurricane promptly undocked and began firing on me. Judging by the incoming DPS, it was clear that the Hurricane was armor tanked and the Drake had no Ballistic Control units fitted, but instead a passive shield setup in his low slots.

Pulling away from their slow Battlecruisers through a single cycle of my MWD, I warped to top belt and awaited their arrival as I did not wish to fight on their home station, where reinforcements could suddenly arrive from.

After positioning myself far enough away from the center of the belt that I would initially be out of range of the Hurricane whilst still being able to point them, the pair arrived. I immediately pointed and began firing on the Hurricane, as he was significantly faster then his comrade whilst also packing more firepower. His armor buffer slowly dropped as I manually piloted in such a way that I could stay within 24km of him whilst steering clear of the Drake.

Suddenly, a neutral Megathron arrived in the belt.

The Megathron, Battleship class ship hull
Glancing through the new arrival's employment history it was clear that he was unaffiliated with the Roughnecks and indeed, the Roughneck Drake warped off. However, as I was busy checking through the employment history, I lost point on the Hurricane and he warped off in low armor. Unsure of what the Megathron pilot's intentions were, I decided to lay the first blow by both firing and pointing him from a safe distance. As his armor buffer went down surprisingly quickly, I noticed that my capacitor was running dangerously low and a quick look at my ship revealed the cause: the Megathron had a heavy energy neutralizer fitted and was directing it at me!

With the Megathron at 30% armor and seemingly content with just neutralizing my capacitor, I decided to hang around and see if I could finish him off. At this point however, the Megathron's reinforcements arrived: another Megathron, a Hurricane and a pair of Guardians, fearsome Logistics Cruisers capable of repairing damaged ships in mere seconds. With my eyes, I could see the damage I had inflicted on the Megathron being repaired and I was forced to warp off.

A pair of Guardians transferring capacitor as well as remote armor reps between them

Calling out on Ventrilo for reinforcements, several pilots included Tusker CEO Ka Jolo reported they were close by and willing to lend a hand. Requesting Battleship support with Heavy Neutralizers in order to drain the Guardians dry and prevent them from lending their aid, my corpmates quickly reshipped and in a matter of minutes, were sitting on the Adirain gate in Aeschee, with my main on the other side of the stargate with my alt nearby ready to provide warpins.

Ordering the fleet to jump in and hold cloak, I fleet warped us to one of the Guardians. As we landed, there was only that Guardian and a Megathron in the belt. Once we acquired targetting locks and had both ships pointed, we focused all our DPS as well as our Ewar on the Guardian who promptly exploded as the other Guardian and Megathron arrived back in the belt. The new Guardian wisely warped in at range so he would not share the same fate as his ally, but this provided to be only delay the inevital as he was soon tackled and vaporised.

At this point, we ripped straight through their Battleships, as without their Logistics support they fell quickly and cleanly, with no losses on our side. After the expected "gf"s in local, we started looting the wrecks. The casual conversation on Ventrilo was broken with someone exclaiming that the Guardian wreck he was looted contained Faction loot. Curious, I asked him to link the items in Fleet Chat. When he did, silence descended on Ventrilo as he had linked an fairly ordinary C-Type Armor Hardener but also a Officer Armor Hardener, which often sell for 1B ISK each.

At the same time, another pilot in the fleet spoke up and said that the Guardian wreck he was looting also contained a Faction Armor Hardener as well as a Officer Hardener. After a quick glance at the overview to make sure both members of the fleet were not talking about the same wreck, I asked him to confirm this by linking the items in Fleet, which only took him a few seconds.
Heading back to Hevrice was quiet and we docked up once we arrived, itching to get out of the terribly slow Battleships we had brought with us.

However, in a curious twist of fate it turned out the Drake that had warped off the belt in the beginning had actually warped to a stargate and had opened fire on the other Megathron, who had promptly dispatched him.

Within an hour we had returned to Adirain and finding the original Roughneck Hurricane that had fought me in in a safe spot, I probed him and annihilated him, keeping him alive long enough to see if backup would show which they didn't. Before turning in for the night, I returned to Adirain once more and killed another Roughneck Drake, this one piloted by the same pilot as before, also in top belt.