Excerpt from Advice to Screaming Hayabusa pilots. Flight training and mental conditioning.After clone death. Keep walking straight ahead and follow the signs to the clone vats. The red door on your left is the door into Elysium. A permanent warm glow emanates from its edges, brilliantly white and almost blinding. You can not enter here. Keep walking. You must not be drawn to this door, the door is always locked. Elysium awaits you, one day, but not yet. Only when you have achieved purity from many battles and lived by the highest level of Bushido may you earn the right to open the red door. Inside there are many dead Hayabusa and the warriors fly here in isolation, enjoying the afterlife in luxury and permanent warmth…-Miura Bull
Here’s a little video featuring the Atron. The fits used in the video include blaster brawlers, blaster scram kiters and rail point kiters fitted with an AB and a long point.
In the beginning, New Eden felt close to infinite. I enjoyed the sense of freedom that long roams into the unknown would give me. But as time passed, lowsec started to feel a bit too cramped. I saw familiar faces wherever I went and everything felt too much of the same. I missed the exploring and discovering new places.
So not toom long ago I decided to leave lowsec, my home, and head out into the unknown. 0.0 space, more commonly known as Nullsec, was something I knew close to nothing about. I knew of the absence of gate and station guns, and the complete lack of CONCORD. So far it sounded like paradise. I had also heard of warp disruptor bubbles and seen quite a few videos of nullsec samurais splitting up gangs on gates. But I knew I was heading out into unknown territory and had no idea what to expect.
The plan was to do my first roam into nullsec in a Wolf. But I lacked the skills so figured I would wait with the roam until I had aquired them all. But patience isn’t one of my main characteristics. And a few beers later I had decided to take an Atron out instead. I needed to get away from faction warfare and lowsec and now was the time, Wolf or no Wolf. I jumped in to a clean clone and set up one of my favorite mwd fits and put a tech 2 afterburner in the trunk in case I came across something where I needed to be able to dictate range. Missing the genos in the clean clone I had to do some alterations to the fit, but I was happy with the end result.
Before undocking I had checked the ingame map for a good entry point leading in to Syndicate, a part of nullsec renowned for it’s pvp rich enviroment. Not long thereafter I was sitting on the gate that led to my entry system in nullsec, MHC-R3.
The first thing that struck me was the quiet of 0.0 space. In lowsec, and especially in the faction warfare areas, there is always something going on. People talk smack in local, ships come and go and people fight or bravely run away from the plexes that are spread out in the solar systems. But in the first few systems I entered in nullsec, quiet ruled and no one said a word in local.
A few jumps further in to null I entered UO9-YG. An Imicus showed up on scan and I soon realized that he was at a missioning site somewhere and since I couldn’t probe him out, he was out of my reach. I decided to use the dark art of Jedi mind tricks and sent him a silent fleet invite. About five seconds later he joined me in fleet chat and sent me a friendly question.
I liked this place! I hoped everybody was this friendly and filled with goodies. I happily scooped up the loot and went to the nearest NPC station and dropped it off. The rest of the roam that night was uneventful in terms of fights, but exploring something new and unknown was more than enough to keep the trip interesting. I took a route down to the Outer Rings and found a station. A break and a cold beer was welcome.
The station denied me the right to dock up. I had left the NPC controlled part of null and was now on my own. I decided to head back to Syndicate and dock up for the night and continue in the morning.
The next morning I found a Taranis on scan in a system called 6-C249. I quickly switched out the mwd for an afterburner to be able to dictate range and make use of the Atron’s falloff bonus against the Taranis. Shortly after I found him by a gate and the fight was on. The Taranis engaged but once scrammed could do nothing but succumb to the onslaught of the Atron’s blasters. Even so the fight was a close one.
After the fight I took my battered Atron in to station for some repair work.
The next fight took place in EZA-FM a couple of hours later against an Unista in a double repped Incursus. I hate fighting those things and wonder how they manage to kill much at all to be honest. They just take a very long time to take down. Seeing he had no web and couldn’t match the Atron’s falloff, all he could do was to drag out the fight for as long as possible. It took about eight minutes before he finally ran out of cap boosters and exploded outside the station.
Later that evening I suffered my first loss. I found a quite young pilot in a Corax that seemed inexperienced enough in space battal for me to have a chance. I charged him like a raging bull and died shortly thereafter.
Later that same day I found a Malediction close to a gate and decided to take the risk of an incoming gang to take him out. As soon as I engaged I saw the spike in local and knew that my fate was most probably sealed. As the gang landed and started applying damage I approached the Malediction to lay as much DPS I possibly could before exploding. In the end his ship exploded seconds before my own did. A fair trade and a good fight.
Those few days spent in Null were great and a welcome break from the sometimes frustrating and noisy life in lowsec. It showed me that there is so much more to New Eden than the little place I’ve made my home.
Made a video including some frig fights from the last week I flew solely Rifters. Any coments on general derpage are welcome 🙂
Not long ago I had a fight with a quite experienced pilot. After the fight I said ‘gf’ in local as is customary but got no reply. Not something unusual but for some reason I started wondering why he didn’t return the ‘gf’. In the end I wrote him a message where I suggested he contact me if he was interested in discussing the fight that he had just lost. I soon got a reply.
Not sure what there is to discuss. You have either snakes or links and thus your plated rifter was faster than me. Couldn’t pull range so you won. Pretty straghtforward really.
Now, I didn’t use Snakes nor did I use links. As usual I was in a rusty Rifter with implants worth a total of about 60 million in my head. But the message got me thinking about a question that has interested me quite a lot since I started playing Eve. As I see it, the answer to the question of wether to use pirate implants, links and drugs is an arbitrary one. These enhancements are all part of the game and as such I see nothing inherently wrong in using them. But wether we use them or not will have an effect on our game and how other players interact with us. When I first started PvP’ing I remember how more experienced players used to warn me about certain pilots that used links or certain pirate implants. In a way telling me to be wary of fighting them. At the same time some of the pilots that were warning me about players who used links and expensive implants, used drugs themselves to enhance their combat performance.
As I got more experienced I also started using drugs in combat but never considered using links and expensive implants. But I still had a hard time pinpointing the reason as to why one enhancement was considered more valid than others by some, me included. I already knew that the answer was an arbitrary one and changed depending on who you would ask. Some considered links to be the work of the devil and as close to cheating as one could come withing the confinements of the actual game mechanics, others thought they were valid when fighting against staggering odds while some thought they were as valid a tactic as anything else.
In the end I managed to formulate an idea about combat enhancements that I felt explained why I take the stance I do today. As of now I don’t use any drugs in frig vs frig combat, nor do I use any expensive implants or links. Not because I think there’s anything wrong in using them, but because I know that just as I avoided fighting with certain pilots due to them being linked for instance, other pilots might avoid fighting me if they knew I was using similar enhancements. So to summon it all up, I wont use anything that has the potential to decrease the number of fights I can get. It is for the same reason I always honored 1v1’s when I still did them, and it’s one of the main reasons I don’t like being part of a blob.
One downside with beating the odds at times is that you’ll be accused of using all kinds of enhancements. But the fact that you know yourself that you didn’t, that you managed to take down a really good pilot with expensive implants in a shiny ship while you sit in a cockpit held together by bubble gum and duct tape alone, is all worth it as you loot that burning wreck and head on back to the trailer park you call home.
Avenod is a place I tend to avoid due to the heavy precense of Shadow Cartel in the system. It is not uncommon to see Lokis and Tengus on scan as one enters, and it goes without saying that that’s not a good sign for the lone solo pilot looking for good fights. Usually I just pass through the system, not even bothering looking for targets. But this day the other systems in Metropolis had very little to offer in terms of fights so I decided to try my luck.
The scan showed a deserted system as I opened up a couple of plexes close to the sun and waited outside one of them. It did however not take long for a Condor to show up on scan and I aligned out to the other plex, creating some distance to the acceleration gate in hope that he would give me a clue of how he was fitted as he landed. He soon showed up on short scan and shortly after he landed he started burning towards me. It turned out he was fitted with a MWD and light missile launchers so I warped off to the nearby plex and waited for the Condor to come after me to see at what distance he warped in at. He landed 30 k off me so I quickly activated the gate and went inside the plex. I didn’t expect him to come after me, but I stayed close to the beacon just in case. The primary plan was to warp back to the original plex at 30 k in the hopes that he would land right on top of me as he followed, where my brawler fitted Rifter would be able to grind him down fast.
To my surprise he did however enter the plex. I hit approach with my overheated afterburner activated and slammed a lock on him as fast as I could. He managed to pull range quickly and was close to 10 k away from me before the overheated scram worked its magic and his ship was destroyed in short order.
I looted the wreck and headed out to the plex after repping up. An Incursus showed up on scan that turned out to be Garviel Tarrant. I saw that he was fitted with rails and knew that I would have a good chance against him in the brawler fit so warped off to another acceleration gate with the intention of catching him outside the plex. He landed close to 0 and I quickly got a lock and a tight orbit. The fight was going well and after three cycles of the SAAR had finished I had managed to get a tight enough orbit to turn it off since the incoming damage at that point was low. That’s when the Eve client froze. I could do nothing but wait. It took maybe 20-30 seconds before it unfroze and my pod was then scrammed while Garviel seemed to be counting down the seconds to my inevitable death. Good fights were exchanged and with my ship and pod destroyed I decided to call it a night.
The next morning I decided to head out to Avenod again to try to return Shadow Cartel’s favour back in kind. Not long after entering system I was being chased by a Kestrel. With everything overheated I managed to take it down and the shiny pod as well. The score had been settled and I decided to spend the rest of the morning in system. It turned out to be a good one with a win against both a Merlin and a Slicer.
The first frigate I ever flew was a Tristan. It was the natural choice for a Gallente born. I remember liking the ship quite a lot. But not long after my first few stumbling steps in New Eden, I came across writings about the Rifter. It was described as the king of frigates and I loved its rugged and mean look. I started reading Wensley’s Rifter Guide andMiura Bull’s and Jack Dancer’s blogs from beginning to end. And through their writings I found a purpose and a mission in New Eden. I was going to be pirate and become a member of the famous Black Rebel Rifter Club. And I wanted to do it all in a Rifter.
The time in Black Dragon Fighting Society and shortly thereafter in the Black Rebel Rifter Club was a great enviroment for a newbie pilot trying to learn the ropes. Thanks to the great pilots in those corps and their willingness to share of their knowledge, it didn’t take long until I got my first kill and then some. As with a lot of people starting out playing Eve, what impressed me the most at first was pilots in T1 frigates who managed to take down larger boats. So apart from getting in to scraps with frigate pilots as young as myself, I hunted larger prey as well. My first Hurricane kill is still one of my most fondest memories in Eve. This hunt for taking down larger boats in a Rifter reached its climax not too long ago, when I managed to pin down an Abbadon that was missioning at a site.
After the Abbadon kill I did some thinking. I wanted to become a better pilot and I had realised some time ago that hunting larger boats wasn’t the way. Taking down a battleship doesn’t have a lot to do with good piloting. It’s rather doing your homework before engaging. Who’s the pilot? How old is he? How much battle experience does he have? How does he fit his ships? Does he use neuts? What kind of drones does he use? These are the types of questions that are of importance when you engage a larger boat. If you get satifying answers to most of them, cross your fingers, say a prair and engage full throttle. And if you’re lucky you’ll be the only one with your target in the system.
So I wanted a new challenge. And I found it on the R1DER forums. There I read a post about the Rifter and the difficulty in taking down Merlins with double mag stabs. Some members of R1FTA had even staged sparring matches to see if the AC Rifter could somehow win the fight. It turned out that the Rifter was not up to the challenge. During the same period I found an interesting and unorthodox fit by Cerain on the forums. It was a long-range autocannon fit that operated in overheated web range. Problem was that it used a tracking enhancer and the nerf was due in a couple of weeks. What this meant was that I wouldn’t be able to use faction ammunition after the nerf, but had to go with Barrage instead. I figured it was worth a try though and decided to give it a try after a few minor changes to the fit. The reason why I didn’t go for an arty fit was that I needed to be able to take a peak at the Merlin before the engagement to make sure he wasn’t rail fit. This also meant that my opponent would have time to check out my own weaponry, and if he would see artillery turrets from afar, I didn’t think it was likely that he would want to engage if in a afterburner blaster fit.
So I wanted to find an experienced pilot in a blaster fit Merlin with two mag stabs. Not the easiest thing to do. My first fight against an experienced pilot in a blaster Merlin took place in Ahrner. After the fight the pilot said he would quit Eve since he had lost against a Rifter. It was a good fight but it hadn’t been a double mag stab. Shortly thereafter the corp headed out to Molden Heath for a summer campain. Frig fights were scarce to say the least during the coming month but I tried to make the best of it. At the end of the campain i finally had a good fight against a Merlin that fitted the bill though, and against one of the pilots that I had looked up to since starting to play Eve. I can still remember looking at my hands after the fight. They were shaking like never before.
After Molden Heath I hit the wall. I was burnt out and was considering quitting Eve for a while. I tried taking a break, but couldn’t stop myself from hitting the undock button in search for more explosions. I was urged again and again to try another ship. I had been flying only the Rifter for quite some time but I wasn’t tired of it. On the contrary all the talk of the Rifter being underpowered, nerfed to bits and a shadow of its former self fueled my resolve in trying to make it work. I realised that my liking for a pixelated ship that was now considered one of the worst ships for solo pvp was highly irrational. But my mind was made up. I was going to make the best of it, at least until I had capped the skills and felt I was out of ideas.
I was still trying to come up with something new to do in Eve. Something to make it more fun again. In the end I decided to leave R1FTA and search for something smaller. After a short stint in my own little corporation that I shared with my lazy and incompetent alts, I joined Screaming Hayabusa. At this point in time I had also realised what the next step in becoming a better pilot would have to be. I wanted to fight some of the best frig pilots I knew. Most of the ones I knew of lived within the space of four systems: Hevrice, Jovainnon, Aschee and Adirain. The homes of the Tuskers, The Black Rebels and Stay Frosty. I set up base in Jovainnon and that would be the start of one of the best learning experiences I had ever had in New Eden.
I tried to get into as many fights as possible with pilots I looked up to. I was experimenting with different fits, different tactics and different approaches to different targets. I was losing quite a few ships, but I also managed to win a lot of fights I never thought were possible for me to win in a Rifter. And most importantly, I was learning a great deal.
I had tried for quite some time to figure out how to tackle good pilots in both blaster and rail boats since those seemed the most common. After some months of tinkering I was lucky to found ways to use speed and range to the Rifters advantage: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. I found ways to utilize the Rifter’s superior tracking and relative speed advantage: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. And most importantly, I found a way to hunt down those annoying LML Condors who happily kite unwelcome capsuleers to death inside plexes by the slowest means possible: 1, 2, 3. I also had some really good fights along the way that I should have lost horribly, this one being the the craziest fight I’ve ever had in a Rifter. I think I brought back that ship to life two or three times while spamming the armor repairer as my cap went dry.
I think I have reached some sort of end at this point. I’m done experimenting. Now I want to see if I can actually make all these ideas work in practice without losing too many ships during a month. Not because I care about my win/lose ratio, but because I can’t afford losing as many ships as I have up until now.
I’ve been wondering lately what some of the really good pilots could achieve in this hull if they tried. I still consider myself an utter noob and not a very good pilot at that, and I still make many mistakes. Some of the fits I experimented with have been, to say the least, embarrising. But all and all, it’s been fun. And I’m still having a lot of fun flying Rifters and will probably continue to do so until I max out the skills for it. Should only be about 4-5 months left. Phew!
I would also like to thank everyone who has fought me and who has taught me how to become a little less of a sucky pilot.
I guess I just needed to get this out of my system. Hope you enjoyed the wall of text.