Sunday, June 26, 2011

Are you rage quitting too?

So many people rage quitting over Incarna and the macrotransactions... Me? Well, I just wont be buying the things I don't want, as I always have.

Ok, so you're quitting in protest. I wish you well. Could you please donate all your stuff to OUCH? The nullsec survival and PVP training Corp could really do with your donations, and your stuff would help a great deal of people.

Please contact Black Claw in-game to organize your donations. Thank you.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

Tales from the front line #3

Please enjoy another 'tale from the front line'. This is a recent engagement that our OUCH members were involved in. I want to remind you that these professional soldiers were - only very recently - noobs and carebears. There's no shame in being new, or being a carebear, because OUCH exists to help you grow. Just like it helped the below-mentioned members grow.

It was a normal day in our favored hunting grounds, with the exception of having two bubbles (one for each gate) up due to the size of the gathered fleet. I had chosen to come out in a covert ops scout to expand my growing inventory of tactical bookmarks and provide probing support and additional EWAR to the fleet, which appeared to have sufficient tacklers for the afternoon's festivities.

The traffic that day was enough to keep things interesting, but was also primarily singles and small fleets that are a welcome sight compared to the overwhelming blobs that usually interrupt our activities. Eyes in the adjacent systems kept us well informed about our next potential customer as they approached the system, and several ended up in the bubble as a snack for the wolves gathered around it.
This continued satisfactorily for a while, but then our eyes reported ships setting up a medium bubble next door. The fleet composition was a Myrmidon with ECM support from a cloaky Blackbird. It was noted that they had placed eyes in the system we were camping as well. We coexisted for an hour or so, with occasional report from our scouts.
Then one of our experienced pilots spoke up in fleet, "You know I could fit-up a tanked Vexor real quick for bait."

This simple statement was initially met with resistance by the FC, but the tactical planning and evaluation machine had already been set in motion. Experienced pilots began offering their analysis of the situation and our potential for successfully breaking the neighboring camp. The FC was reassured of our chances and planning began in earnest, while a lone pilot docked to begin crafting the bait.
The only remaining doubt was the possibility that our potential prey might have friends beyond the gate they were camping. This was put to rest by a scouting report that there was no relief available for the unsuspecting targets beyond the gate. "Clear to grid and scan, two neuts, different corp and alliance."
While this was happening, our quartermaster was busy contracting the remaining modules necessary to bring the bait ship online. Then the Vexor undocked and made its way back to the bubble for a final debrief before departing on its perilous mission of deception and mayhem.
The final plan was to ineptly pilot the baitship across our system, falling into our second bubble. This would hopefully be within sight of the cloaked spy stationed there by our targets. Following this the bait would then slow boat to the gate before jumping into the next system and warping into their waiting "trap" and engaging the hopefully eager Myrmidon pilot and his Blackbird partner. Knowing that eyes were watching the gate, the non-cloaked elements of the fleet aligned to their gate tacs and awaited the FC's order to warp to tacs and proceed through the gate to ultimately warp to the baitship, and hopefully victory.

A forward scout had achieved a position off their bubble which would be ideal for our ECM and EWAR pilots to engage the targets with an impressive array of electronics that has tipped many a fight in our favor. Our ECM ships were directed to warp to the scout when they entered the system.
In preparation for the orchestrated chaos that was about to occur, I positioned my cloaked Buzzard at a tac which was a short warp from the gate to the neighboring system, and the targets which lay within. I watched with excitement as the order sent the baitship into our bubble just off the gate and watched as it slowly cleared the bubble and made its journey to the gate and jumped beyond.
Voice comms were eerily silent until the baitship pilot reported "in warp to the bubble... in the bubble... Myrmidon engaged!"
Suddenly comms came alive, "fleet warp to tacs, go to gate, jump on contact." The order was answered by a flurry of reports that pilots were in warp. I initiated my short warp to the waiting gate as the first ships were arriving at tacs just off the gate, and jumped as the tacklers and damage boats were hitting the gate behind me.
Upon entering the neighboring system, I initiated my warp to our scout at 50km, hoping I would be in a good position to employ my sensor dampener and tracking disruptor while engaging my cloaking device in mid warp. I could not have hoped for a better vantage point.
The rest of the fleet swooped on grid and engaged the Myrmidon as the baitship reported that its cap was dry and was rapidly loosing armor due to the Myrmidon's neutralizers. We would learn later that the Myrmidon was fitted with a full rack of neutralizers and not a single gun, relying instead on its drones to put out the damage necessary for its purposes. Being unaware of this, I decloaked, engaged my sensor booster and targeted the Myrmidon, bringing my tracking disruptor and sensor dampener online, while a friendly Blackbird and Falcon set about removing the Blackbird's ability to jam our tacklers, which were swarming the Myrmidon.
To remove any possibility of the Myrmidon escaping, an interdiction sphere was launched. This unfortunately prevented the warp out of our baitship, which was deep into structure and was subsequently lost to the Myrmidon's drones. This was our only loss of the engagement.
Meanwhile, the Blackbird who had been jammed to impotence by our own ECM pilots warped out to our dismay, only to return to the killing grounds a short while later. The Myrmidon was almost through armor at that point, but we were soon to learn that it was hull tanked! Let me say it again, hull tanked!
The Blackbird's return was a grave error on the pilot's part, as I targeted it and cut its targeting range as soon as the ship exited warp. The doomed pilot hovered in space as a Rifter disengaged from the melee below and streaked with laserlike precision to the now aligning Blackbird.

"Scram web" was nonchalantly announced over comms by the Rifter pilot, who could probably tackle a cruiser in his sleep. My vantage point, some 80km from this maneuver, afforded a fantastic view of the purple box settling into what appeared to be a slow and deliberate orbit of the now trapped Blackbird, as the statement "Blackbird is jammed" was calmly passed via comms.

Following this flurry of activity, the Myrmidon slowly melted before our combined firepower as his accomplice watched, awaiting their own turn to go up in flames.

I locked the Myrmidons pod as it was expelled from the wrecked ship and tagged it briefly with my tracking disruptor, before reengaging it on the immobile Blackbird, just for the hell of it. Ultimately, the Blackbird pilot's pod escaped, perhaps due to the time they had to prepare their escape. The real prizes however, lay burning at our feet.
The fleet then set about looting the wrecks and cleaning up, while I engaged my engines and reengaged my cloak, delighting in the excitement of the hunt and the success of the operation. Afterwards, we set a course back to the bubble we had left unattended in our system, while leaving the bubble placed by our prey intact and unmolested. It was a good day.

I hope I have accurately portrayed the events of the engagement in such a way as to give credit to the intentionally unnamed pilots who made it all possible. These pilots are the reason that I came out to null, and are the primary reason why EVE and OUCH are providing the best online gaming experience I have had in twenty years of online gaming. Many thanks.