Thursday, February 14, 2008

Ten days

Ten days. That's how long I pillaged and killed in my first blaster-fit Taranis (henceforth, blasteranis) before being brought down by a much more experienced pilot flying a Crow-class interceptor.

Not too thrilled with the Taranis' I had lost fit out as interceptors--I didn't like having to choose between DPS or survival each encounter--I decided to fit out one of the Taranis hulls still in my ship locker as a blastaranis. I devised a fitout that would maximize my DPS potential, while still having certain advanced features such as speed. Compared to traditional interceptors, a blasteranis takes large risks--it intentionally flies within web range and puts itself at the mercy of whatever guns, missiles, or drones are brought to bear. Many consider the blasteranis in these terms, and avoid it. But compared to my trusty Incursus, the blasteranis has more DPS, more speed, a smaller signature radius, and more HP; it just outperforms the Incursus across the board--with the exception of cargo capacity and price. And let's be clear about that DPS: my blasteranis is capable of delivering well over 200 DPS, which puts it up there with some battleships. (See the specs I was guided by at BattleClinic.com.)

Then, over the course of ten full days, I had my longest run ever in a single ship. By the time my streak was over, I'd killed 16 ships, and podded most of their pilots. Those ships were valued by BattleClinic at 98,622,309 ISK; the same outfit valued my blasteranis at 11,133,911 ISK. I killed 4 frigates, 2 destroyers, 8 cruisers, and 2 mining barges; all solo, except for two--a frigate and a cruiser--while in a small gang. On top of that, I engaged in an extended one-on-one combat with a Blackbird; eventually I decided I was never going to get a target lock on him, and I managed to escape after he destroyed my drones.

My tactic is identical to the one used when flying an Incursus. First, I close range--only now I do it faster, and can scram my target's warp drives from farther away. Second, I orbit real close while pouring out the hurtin'. Third, I loot and scoot. Unlike the Incursus, if I need to bail out of a fight in my Taranis, I can flip on the MWD and have a chance of powering out of web range to make good my escape.

I've just finished preparing another blasteranis, wondering if I'll make it ten days again. I don't think so. It's clear to me I need to push the limits a little more, try to take a bite out of some bigger prey. We'll see.

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