Thursday, March 13, 2014

The Random PVP of a Compulsive Completionist (or, How to Find Fights Anywhere)

Sven finished cybernetics V last week, opening up the possibility of pirate implants and +5 attribute implants. Not wanting to spend a few more days training for more jump clones just yet, I decided to clear out a clone. I picked my cheapest one, and decided to lose it gloriously—or not—in null. This was right at the end of the CFC “Hellcamp” of 0-W778, so I set my destination for that system. Ideally, I would break even in terms of isk, so I needed to kill roughly 130m.

This led me to my first experience solo PVPing in Null. After almost two and a half years, my experience in null sec remains, well, null. When I first started EVE, I heard about the “NRDS” corporations in Providence, so I attempted to make my home out there. First jump into null and I died in a gate camp, wide-eyed and terrified. In RVB I attended a few of the Ganked roams into null, but (barely) just followed primaries and took fleet warps before dying in a fire. And that's it.

So, I fit up a Taranis—my first time flying in an interceptor (that's how slow I am to get on band-wagons)—and headed to Null with the sole purpose of getting podded in order to free up a clone. Very sensible.

The trip went better than I expected. I never made it to 0-W778, but I killed 4 interceptors before dying in a close 2v1.
The last fight in particular was exciting. A gang of interceptors split up between systems, so I chased a Malediction off gate with his buddy in an Ares an awkward 100km away from us. The Malediction was able to kite me for a bit, using up a few of my AAR charges, but I overheated my MWD and slingshotted into scram range. At that point, he melted, but the Ares now had me tackled and I was low on cap. I turned to the Ares, running the AAR without charges when I could, and we both went into low structure at the same time. I popped first.

I made my way back to low sec, thinking briefly that I might just get my pod out alive and that training a few days for an extra jump clone might not be so bad after all—but, naturally, I then immediately died in a gate camp, my main reason for going to null in the first place. Pod included, I lost around 130m, but destroyed just over 140. So, I slightly surpassed my ideal goal, got a clean clone, had some great fights, and gained some much needed null sec experience.

Fast forward a few days, and I am using that clone for attribute implants when I am not going to be playing for a few days. I occasionally get 15-20 minutes free, so, the compulsive completionist that I am, I decided to start going through the list and visiting every high sec system (the in game map—which needs a serious overhaul otherwise—has a nifty feature that shows you all of the systems you have visited).

I poke around the system, checking out who lives there and what people do. Sort of like Rixx Javix has an obsession with killing ventures, I have this problem of compulsively destroying mobile tractors wherever I find them. It isn't about the killmails—though I like seeing how many I've destroyed—but just the sheer fact that they exist, sort of like space pinatas floating about.

That seems to make some players very angry. Rather than scoop it up, some attack me—in mining barges no less.
Some of these players were new-ish, so I struck up a conversation with them, had some nice chats, and sent them some isk. Some were not so new—one vet in a Mackinaw attacked me, but I was unable to tank the drones in my venture.

Some players come back in more serious ships. This Tranis killed my lowly venture, this Taranis was not so lucky.

That's not the best of it, though. At one point, roaming around in that venture, I find a mobile tractor in a belt and go to work. I also notice that the miner who owns it is jet-can mining, and has at least 100m of ore spread about. His assets threatened (I'm quickly searching the local market for a hauler for the ore!), he leaves and comes back in a Maller. I destroy his three drones, then engage him. He has an active tank and I don't have any void with me. As a result, I can only break the armor tank while overheating, otherwise I seem to do exactly the amount of damage he can rep. The heat damage on my guns get into the high 90s, and I've only gotten him into low armor. He seems cap stable, so it is unlikely I will break the tank. Worse yet, I have to leave. I found myself in such a situation before...and once again, it results in a ransom! The player offers a 150m isk ransom--so either his Maller has some nice mods, or it is implicit that the ransom includes leaving his ore alone. Just to make it explicit, I promise to leave the ore. I get the payment and warp away ~honorably~ but 150m isk richer. 

Just to cap it off, I am on my way to some new systems when a Myrmidon requests a duel. Why not, I think, I don't have much to lose in my Atron. 
I have a theory that somewhere in EVE there is a button which says "Fit Random," and it simply fits your ship with a random assortment of modules in your hangar. Unfortunately, the gambit did not work for this Myrmidon. I have a nice chat with him and send him some of my ransom earnings.

With some patience, persistence, and looking like (or just being) an easy target, you can find fights anywhere in EVE where there are other players. Next up, some PVP in the new ship skins...

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