April 10, 2010

Roaming in High Sec is Strange

Last night I logged on later in the evening (late worknight) and surprise surprise, there was another attempted USTZ op that didn't work too well. Why? Well lets look at how this war has gone. NC is predominantly USTZ. Sure, there are many elements that are Euro based but more are USTZ. -MVN- is the only USTZ based corporation in IT Alliance. That being said, we are around 300 members strong. Some are alts, some are Euro, but the majority are USTZ. Alliance has had some issues with USTZ numbers and some of the grief has been laid at the door of The Mavericks. I had a discussion in command channels last night about the realism of the situation and I believe some heads were nodding when I was finished.

I explained that on a good Euro op we get around 500 in fleet. This is out of approximately 5000 Euro members in IT (10%). -MVN- should, therefore, get about 30 in fleet during a standard USTZ op on the best of nights. We ran into this issue when in Atlas, where the perception was that we should be fronting 200 man fleets every night. Unrealistic, and frustrating that certain individuals would require 75% participation from our corp when they can barely get 10% from their own corporations. My out of corp alt in Delve sees more than its fair share of Alliance members missioning/mining in Delve during conflicts/operations. Our system/constellation is empty, usually 2-3 industrial Mav alts in 5-C (our home system). So as politely as I could, I explained the rocks in a glass house principal. Bottom line, when you are outnumbered 2-1 the fleet snipe bs framework doesn't work too well, and as a result NC got another relative victory last night. This victory consisted of our bs fleet logging off in the target system facing immenent destruction, and the FC going emo as a result. After my brief lecture on unrealistic expectations and the stupidity of going toe to toe in a weak tz, my pleas of unconventional tactics finally found merit (similar to the War of Independence, where the British outnumbered the colonials and unconventional tactics for the time period were implemented). I also explained that the USTZ elements of the Euro corps needed to shape up. Plenty of pilots in that situation have gotten used to doing nothing in their prime time as most of their corpmates sleep at that time. Poor participation in Maverick Navy organized and commanded alliance gangs during USTZ has always been an issue. Unconventional warfare, however, is our specialty. We are no strangers to being the outnumbered and outgunned TZ. Adapt or die.

Whew. That being said....

Easley and I threw together and RR BS gang. We got 10 corp members in fleet, most in the RR BS form. Although fleet was in Alliance and advertised for 30 minutes in various channels... we got no alliance participation. Irony is such sweet poison, is it not? Our decision was to high sec roam. This was extremely strange for me and most of the gang members, as we are a 0.0 based corporation and the nuances of high sec warfare are very important. Concord is unforgiving. Several times during our festivites I had to reference online resources on my laptop for confirmation of what we could and could not do.

Our first stop was Jita. I was sent in with my Geddon, and sat on the station undock. For those that are not in the fighting, IT was wardec'd by Privateers... again. For the lone idiot trying to make it through high sec in a large and/or slow ship this is a problem. For a well organized/trained RRBS gang this is an opportunity. The Jita undock had a Rook, Legion, Raven, Drake, Cynabal and Vengeance. So I undocked, took a look around, started getting pelted by the Cynabal and docked. I refit for ECCM and dropped the cap injector for a web. The majority of the campers were on top of the station (for those familiar with Jita, the undock is on the side of the station). I undocked again, primaried the Rook in an attempt to piss of their gang. The Raven docked, the Drake docked, the Cynabal aggressed the Vengeance yellow boxed the Legion puttered around and the Rook... well he just sat there. Indeed, he sat there with no movement as my first volley of mega pulse ripped way his shield and bit into his armor. He continued to sit there as my second volley turned his T2 fit Rook into a pile of scrap metal. I am still not sure whether his multi specs/skills were failing or if he went afk. I didn't see any yellow box though. Next I turned my attention to the Cynabal. He burned out of range and I turned to the Legion. It didn't take long for me to see that he was getting reps from a neutral logistics. At this point I hit armor and Easley jumped into system in his Dominix. I switched to the Vengeance as Easley landed, and together we dropped him into structure before he docked. The Cynabal burned off after Easley hit him with neuts, and the Legion, well he didn't do much at all.

There are some good pilots in Privateers. Some. But they are used to hitting large alliances engaged in war (for fun and for isk) and some small corps that give them kills. Its similar to camping low sec pipes, where you kill large numbers of idiots. The amount of skill required for this kind of warfare is.... limited. As seen in this engagement they aren't in it for the good fights, where there is a chance of losing.

We moved towards Amarr and entered Niarja. Several privateers in local, one docked in a station. I headed to the station and docked. We moved the now depleted RR BS gang (several members went to bed and no had joined the gang from alliance since we left) position. I undocked and low and behold, the Privateer undocks behind me, in a Zealot. I lock him up and start unloading. His resists and tank were exceptional and despite scram, 24km point and web hes tanking quite well. Then the Cynabal from earlier appears... along with a Drake and a Pilgrim! I continue hitting the Zealot, who has now de agressed. The Cynabal keeps hitting me while the Drake and Pilgrim just sit their. Argh, 5-1 and they still refuse to engage. Still railing on the Zealot I call the gang in. What do you think happened? Everyone but the Cynabal docked.

Some things to get used to in high sec. There is no way to set war targets only on overview. You can remove neutrals, but in the cases where you are war deced by someone who is a neutral standing (like Privateers) they dissapear from overview. Also, local is crowded. In 0.0 you can view local without scrolling in most systems (with the exception of large engagements where you have hundreds upon hundreds in local). Its real quick to see reds/neuts and know they are hostile (NBSI). In high sec, all those neutrals are off limits. Those juicy freighters are untouchable. Just the few blinky blinky wartargets are shootable. And in large systems you have to scroll through lots of people to find that one or two blinky blinkys. Its frusterating at times to have to keep scrolling through 100-200 random people to keep up to date. Lets also not forget the early warning system 0.0 alliances have. Intel channels will often give you 10-20 minutes warning before an enemy gang arrives in your constellation. Or if there is a hostile camp or black ops gang operating in a certain area, you know about it. You can get numbers and composition and form up to kill them. In high sec, there is no intel channel (at least for 0.0 alliances) apart from the occasional random "wartargets camping bla bla bla system". And any intel on the hostiles can be negated, as they can dock up and switch shiptypes in a heartbeat. No one cares to post intel on high sec because you shouldn't be up there unless in an organized gang. So engaging that one wartarget on the gate could be a bad idea, as there may be 20 wartargets in the surrounding systems that you don't know about. Then there is my personal favorite. The neutral logistics. Privateers are pro with this tactic. Basically they get you aggressed, grab you and have their alt in a neutral alliance start giving them reps. All of a sudden your DPS isn't enough to break their tank, and then they kill you. Or they have those buddies you didn't know about next door help kill you.

Sick of the idiotic high sec games we headed back to Torrinos, where a 9 man gate camp had set up in Ec-.

Arriving we picked up some members of Black Star Alliance and a few more Mavs. Back to 0.0 and the good fights!

Everyone got in an off gate position in Torrinos. For those that wonder why this is so important, Torrinos is large. To warp from the station, or the sun, is around a 1 minute warp. When the fight goes down, its important to be quick to the scene. This should be something to consider when baiting/scouting/setting up a trap, etc for any FC. If you are in my gangs you will very often hear me ask the scout "whats the AU warp from point A to point B?".


We get everyone in this off gate position fully aligned, and I jump into system. Holding cloak, I observe the field before me. 80km below the huge regional gate were two medium anchored bubbles. Campign these bubbles were Caracal, Cerberus, Rook, Jaguar, Drake and maybe one or two others I can't remember. No one had reported the off gate position in intel.


So after my cloak broke and I sat there like a noob for a couple seconds uncloaked I clicked approach on the gate.The triple trimarked triple plated Geddon is not a fast ship. I topped out at about 100 m/s, and puttered along. Combined with the regional gate spawn size I had a long ways to go. Perfect, I thought.

The Rook immediately locked me up, and started towards me. Immediately his yellow boxed turned to red... and nothing. Due to crappy skills and/or crappy fit his jams were not working. His missiles also streaked towards me and.... yup he was out of range. I watched with amusement as this continued for a minute or so, and then finally when he had closed to about 50km he got a jam cycle on me. I wanted to applaud. His Scourge Fury missiles chipped the paint on my Geddon but no one else was aggressing or closing. The reports had included stealth bombers, so I could only assume they were slowboating it from the camp below. Sure enough, a Purifier decloaked and started spitting torps. Initially at 40km the Purifier continued closing on my position, although I'm not sure why. I am a firm believer in staying at range with the bomber and just spewing torps until I am forced off the field or the target is dead. Apparently he didn't think the same way. The Rook was failing at jam cycles (really, like badly failing) so I locked up the Purifer and blew him up in 3 volleys (really it was two, the second volley was a complete miss) as soon as he was in point range. Hahahaha. At this point a Manticore decloaked as well as another stealth bomber. Frusterating, as the rest of their gang was still sitting in the bubbles 80km away. I called the gang in at this point as I wasat 40% armor and it was clear the enemy gang was disinterested in engaging. I contemplated warping to an off gate and down to the bubbles, but the response time of reps would be slow and I ran the risk of dying fruitlessly. So in they jumped, and off the enemy gang went.

Oh well. We owned the gate and the alliance forces that wanted/needed to move ships down to X-7 for the upcoming op were now free to do so. BLAST forces were harassing the ever present cloaky gang in O-N, so the route was open for business.

Did our fun end there? Oh no.

We moved down to O-N to try and break the cloaky camp. Fruitless, they hid while we were there. They only appear for easy kills but we had to try. Moving back to Ec- I jumped into system and warped to a point way above the gate while our fleet sat in EWOK (next door). Looking down, our friendly campers had returned. For those that don't know this, bubbles are warpable objects. So down I went. The Cerberus was too far away and too quick to get. *Sad Face*. The only thing I managed to grab was a Caracal. Point and web and down the Caracal went. Nothing epic, but a kills is a kill. The gang was less than pleased that he died before they got there. Sometimes being bait has its advantages :)

Immediately after securing the gate I switched for a Harbinger. Jumping into Ec- I burned down towards the anchored bubbles and watched as the two bombers from before tried to hit me and our Drake pilot, Agro Cathuldus. I chuckled a bit more, as trying meant watching their bombs fly above and past the intended targets and detonate harmlessly in space. This chuckle escalated into laughter as the Manticore was pointed and died. Thank heavens he got his pod out or I might have cried from laughing.

Now, think with me here for this next bit. If I am a pilot and my space is being invaded there are a few things I would do before trying to make a break for high sec. First, if the system I jump into has hostiles into it, I warp to a station or planet or any celestial first. I then scan gate or ask in intel. Two, I would have (long ago) made an off gate so I can warp there and see the bubbles and camp of the hostiles. I would then laugh at them and warp directly to the gate, bypassing the drag bubbles. Last, I would consult and have been consulting intel during the entire situation. The failure to do any one of these things led to yet another LOL moment. An Onyx from LAWN (NC Pet) warped right into one of the bubbles the other NC pets had kindly left for us, was immediately tackled and burned straight up at quite a decent speed. Unfortunately for him, our interceptor was more than capable of keeping him pointed. Our battleruisers also had no problem keeping him in range of weapons and he died. The Onyx was not a horrible fit at all. It was the tactics and stupid solo traveling without simple tactics that got him killed. 200 million... poof. A few minutes later two pods warped into that same bubble. The Onyx pilot who was so quick in warping his pod out after losing his Hictor was one of them. How he managed that is beyond me. I smiled and gave him the -MVN- complimentary pod express.

We popped another shuttle before re shipping for the 09:00 op and bringing the fleet down to X-7. I hope to camp Privateer Alliance into Jita again soon. The irony is just too much to resist.

That is all.


rantuket said...

I also tried the empire fighting, it all ended up without any kills. Looking to the CSM here I really hope that they get the change pushed through about modifying the way people can dock when engaged.

Xalorous said...

You *can* remove neutrals and leave war targets on overview. You have to re-order the items in an overview settings so that it goes something like this:

war targets
faction warfare targets

don't show:
your fleet
your corp
your alliance

The key is the order. Modify with move up/move down buttons.


That link shows the mechanics of the settings. If you search around you'll find a recommended settings.

Key thing is that you can and should keep different setups for high sec, 0.0, low sec, pos bashing, fleet sniping, etc., etc., ad nauseum.

Some alliances even have settings packages for the members to download and save.

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