Sunday, September 30, 2007

I made friends

Today I made contact with an underworld pirate organization, the Sanguine Raiders. After talking for a while with one of their leaders, I was invited to join their nefarious gang, and I was happy to accept. Shortly thereafter three of us went hunting.

Sadly, we found no prey. Once or twice we came across some lone miner, but they always ran away when they saw us coming. Once we came across a member of a rival gang of buccaneers, but he two fled when he couldn't immediately get one of us alone. Several times we ourselves made hasty retreats when we stumbled across well-armed gangs of pirates, grizzlier than us and with plenty of experienced Yarr. We were surprised at one point by a battleship, and though I managed to escape one of my new colleagues was forced to abandon the wreckage of his ship.

During the course of the evening's escapades, I learned a lot from the more experienced gang member leading our crew--scanning techniques and tactics. I look forward to more runs through lowsec space, and am confident that it won't be long before my ion blasters catch their first taste of victory.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

First blood! (Mine...)

I went out on another hunt. This time, I headed for 0.0 space, where giant corporations rule and nary a sentry gun is to be found unless it's by some corporation's moon mineral processing plant. Once again, I took the time to set up 2-3 safe spots in some key systems, stored up for the day when I'm running for my life from an angry wolfpack or battleship.

Unfortunately, I found no targets of my own. Asteroid belts were empty, though there were pilots passing through the systems and others ratting in battleships or battlecruisers. After a couple of hours, I headed for home; just before I left 0.0, however, I came across the wreck of a battleship along with a half-dozen wrecked NPC drones...it was only 15km from the gate, so I decided to check out its cargo. "I can always turn on my micro warp drive and scoot back over to the gate if someone shows up," I reasoned. I figured there was a flaw in my reasoning as soon as I saw the battleship's cargo: a civilian mining laser. This wreck had "bait" written all over it, and I was starting to feel fishy.

Just as I hit my MWD and headed for the gate, a Hyperion appeared on my sensors. Gulp. A Gallente battleship. I started spamming the "jump" command, but soon was locked and under fire. I went into close orbit around the battleship and returned fire; after one or two shots on my approach, the battleship found it hard to hit me, and I began chewing into his shields. I launched my Hobgoblin drone to eke out a little more DPS, but didn't seriously think I was going to make it out of this alive. That's when the Cheetah appeared on my sensors--either he just warped in or he was there along and merely had to drop his cloaks. Cheetahs are Minmatar covert ops ships.

After that, it wasn't long before the pounding I was receiving caused me to lose control of my ship's systems and I found myself in my pod, ejected automatically from the exploding carnage that had been the Jousting Junebug. As the brave pilots from GoonFleet locked my pod and opened fire, I finally managed my escape, just a little bit wiser than I'd been a few minutes before. I attempted to open communications with them to thank them for my first PvP lesson, but both pilots--Rita Repulsa and Kara Repulsa--refused to accept my hails. All that was left for me was to limp back to my home system, my pod damage into hull. Justice prevailed today.

It might take me a day or two to lick my wounds; although I have a couple of replacement frigates standing by, I'm having trouble getting the armor plates and warp prohibitor I'm looking for to fully fit out the Jousting Junebug 2. In the meantime, I'm trying to put together a Catalyst-class destroyer rigged for salvage work.

Wins - 0, Losses - 1.

Still hungry

Yay! Having figured out how to fit that micro warp drive (MWD), I stepped back and admired my yet-untested Incursus. She's a beaut, able to reach speeds of up to 2 km/sec while dishing out 64 points of damage per second. I may still have a long way to go before reaching uber pwnzer status, but I feel like I have a frigate that will give me a fighting chance against the average pilot. I had to take her out for a spin.

I started by heading to a nearby low-security system, where I charted some safe spots to evade ships I'll need to wait for another day to fight. I kept my eye on the local transponder readout, and saw nothing but trouble--several cruisers in the system helmed by wanted pilots. I checked out a few asteroid belts, but all I got for my trouble was a few new holes from belt rats. One of those cruisers also seemed to be keeping an eye on me; several times I saw the flashing red icon on my heads-up display (HUD) of a CONCORD-approved target. I charted a course for the next lowsec system, and again programmed some safe spots into my computer while looking for likely targets. I experimented with my ship's directional scanner as I cruised the asteroid belts, but kept bumping into wolves rather than sheep.

For my next stop, I went several systems into highsec space and tried to annoy some miners. If they would just take a shot at me, I could "defend" myself with CONCORD's blessing; but alas, the miners kept their cool and blithely ignored me. Finally, I set my course for home, none the richer except for three sets of safe spots. At least I docked safely!

Perhaps I'll try the frontier systems of 0.0 space next, where there are no CONCORD and no sentry guns...

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Pod pilots: perpetual students

Well, I finally understand energy management enough that I've been able to fit my MAPC. It makes a big difference; now I've got that 200mm of state-of-the-art plate fitted as well, and my ship has plenty of power to spare. I've been able to test out my systems in combat against low-level pirates, and find I can zip around on full afterburners, webbing my foes and firing on them with all guns, without having to worry about power. The other side of the coin is that now, with an MAPC and armor plating, there's no place to fit an armor repairer. I also had to take out the damage control unit I'd been using. On the whole, however, I feel I'm fighting from a much more stable and durable platform.

Before I go out and take on more intelligent opponents, however, I feel I must somehow get more speed out of my Incursus. I'm thinking a micro warp drive to replace my current high-end afterburner would be of great value, but I just don't see how to do it and still have fuel to return to the station. People assure me it can be done, however, so it's time to hit the books again--now to learn high speed maneuvering skills and hone my knowledge of navigation and afterburners.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Energy management?

Gah! I'm never going to get this Incurses fitted the way I want! I was getting pretty shot up in it yesterday--I had to take out a whole gang of frigates, plus a couple of transports. When I first engaged them, I charged right in and managed to take out a couple, but it cost me dearly; by the time I finally was able to warp out, my hull had been breached severely and I was venting gas and scattering debris all over. As I went back and tried again and again, however, things got incrementally easier. For one thing, there were less guns shooting back at me the more ships I popped; for another thing, my tactics kept getting better. Once I learned to dart it, draw aggro, then dart back away from the convoy to deal with the one or two frigates on my tail, I didn't have to warp away anymore.

Anyway, what I really need is 200mm of Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates on my Jousting Junebug. And my poor power core just can't handle that. If I want that armor, I need to fit a Micro Auxillary Power Core. I had no trouble running one down, but back in the hangar I found I had nowhere near the skill needed to fit the MAPC. So all day I've been studying, and while I've reached new levels of energy management, I fear it'll still be a few days before I'm confident enough to give it another try. When I set out to live a pirate's life, I had little idea how much book-learning was involved!

The Dread Incursus Jousting Junebug

Monday, September 17, 2007

Where in the world???

I thought my agent was pretty cool. Grateful for my help in hunting down and killing a group of Gurista pirates and their leader, he kept showering me with implants, skill books, and even presented me with a shiny new Kestrel. Then, abruptly, he thanked me for my help and advised me to find some other agent for future work. Wow.

So, I was faced with a decision: Where in the world to base myself while I acquired the skills needed to competently pilot my Incursus? I heard of a decent agent in Jita, but remember hearing stories of the crowded hustle and bustle of the Jita system, with long approach paths and docking queues slowing down any kind of business at all. Eventually I decided to head over to a region where I my patron does business at a jump-off point for 0.0 space; it's safe enough for me while I'm learning my ropes, has low-sec systems in abundance nearby, and is a border region for some vast tracts of 0.0 space. Before heading over, I acquired some specialized gear for my frigate that I really don't know enough about yet to fit.

By the way, that Kestrel was a sore temptation. A Caldari frigate, I already have the basic skills to fit it and fly it, and it carries a big stick in the form of rocket or missile launchers. But for now it's up on blocks; I determined not to be swayed from my focus on Gallente technology. It probably won't be long before I come back to the Kestrel--I imagine I'll be an easy target for many of the old salts out there in lowsec--but for now, I can dream.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Initial Training Focus

My military experience has taught to not to underestimate any of the EVE powers--the smug Amarr with their heavy armor and searing lasers, their enemies the Minmatar with their swift and functional ships, or the proud Gallente, masters of the stinging drone. So, although my own background is in state-of-the-art Caldari technology and missiles, I've considered the question of how to direct my studies from this point. I have access to just about any hardware or technology available in the EVE systems, and have recently been introduced to a couple of open-minded agents working at the State War Academy who promise to be helpful in my career development.

After giving the matter some thought, I've decided to focus my studies on mastering Gallente starship systems. Their ships are sturdy, reliable, and effective in the situations I can imagine myself getting into. I can build on the gunnery skills I already have, but will need to apply myself to integrate drones into my combat style. I'm hoping to be checked out soon in Incursus-class frigates, a versatile fighter that packs a heavy punch while relying on its speed to evade return fire. I anticipate it will be a week or two before I truly master the Incursus specs, as I have much to learn, particularly in the fields of engineering and electronics. Beyond that, I will need to gain the kind of field experience that only comes when lives are at stake.

I messed around a bit today in an old Ibis I was issued by the State War Academy, and I guess I didn't do too bad for the agents supervising me, as by the end of the day a Caldari frigate--a Condor--was issued to me as well, along with some upgrade fittings. Most useful in the long run, however, were several technical manuals I was able to get my hands on.

Security Status 0.0; PvP record 0-0

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Introduction

My name is Ka Jolo. Like many in my family, my mystical connection with the Cosmos has taught me inventive ways of thinking, making, and doing that seem new to the races of man. My people, the Achura, have until my generation been devoted to the cultivation of our souls, imagining ourselves above the bottom-line-focused affairs of the State; all that changed when our homeworld was desecrated by pirates. Now our gaze is turned outward.

The Caldari State, ruled by a handful of mega corporations, claims me as a subject. They drafted me into their military machine, training me in Special Operations, and even now consider me their tool. But they couldn't--or didn't--stop the freebooters from committing sacrilege in the Saisio system. Now they've all but discarded me, warehousing me in the State War Academy.

This morning I reached a decision. The State has no claim on my soul. They think they've taught me efficiency, precision, planning, and persistence solely for their own profit margins; now I'm taking everything they taught me and vow to use them for my own personal gain. And if some get hurt? If men with power and fortunes don't like my actions? If other States howl at my supposed masters over what I wreak? Then maybe the mighty Caldari corporations will press me under their thumb, squashing the life out of me. Maybe. Or maybe they'll find me too expensive to bother with, just as the thugs who blasphemed my home were deemed to powerful to deflect given their negligible impact on someone's profit-and-loss chart. We'll see.

Today, I begin thinking like a pirate.