Sunday, February 13, 2011

Respite from War

Since taking the BLAST pocket a few days ago, things have gone mostly quiet on the warfront. PvP pilots have returned to ratting and plexing, industrialists have returned to whatever industrialists do, and explorers have returned to exploring.

There was a recent reset of standings with former allies I've heard: Fatal Ascension has reset The Godfathers to neutral. Given that Fatal Ascension is largely a PvP alliance (from what I'm told), this was done to keep Fatal Ascension pilots happy, active, and ready for large-scale war when it does come back around. I've seen the two sides making pokes at each from the cockpit of my Hound. Fleets are small, but still powerful. In my opinion however, these small fleets are small-scale replicas of the large-scale ones, meaning that most of the ships are Battleships and the few that aren't are either tacklers or scouts (read Interceptors or CovOps).

I admit however that I am not very interested in joining these small fleet battles for several reasons. 

The first would be that I am poor for a PvP pilot. I have less than 100 million ISK to my name. I COULD remedy this with a plex, but I feel it would be a spiralling descent towards being dependent on it, so I've elected to never buy one unless I am so broke and shipless that I have no other choice. 

The second would be that while I like PvP, smaller scale re-enactments of war doctrine don't particularly imaginative. I understand that you need raw DPS to kill other fleets, but a fleet comprised of 9 battleships, 1 battlecruiser, 1 CovOps, and 1 Interceptor smacks to me of blob warfare, as was typically employed during the war. This sort of PvP is less about combat and more about raping some unlucky pedestrian.

The third reason would be that I like flying small ships, and my role in such a fleet would be limited while the risk would be exponentially higher than those of the battleships in my opinion. For a small fleet, being tackled is likely to mean the end of your ship, so what's the answer? Kill the tackler, and since I'm a tackler, I'd be shot down rather fast without accomplishing much. At least, this is how it plays out in my mind.

Since I am not participating in this PvP, I am occupying myself with other endeavors, namely, making money, because as I mentioned before, I'm quite poor.

The day before yesterday, I found a wormhole linking directly to hi-sec. Given the state of our new market in Fountain (Minotaur constellation), I, Ranger, and two other enterprising souls took it upon ourselves to make some ISK while helping the alliance by seeding our market.

It was rather unfortunate that the high sec system was in Amarr territory. Because of my low status with Amarr, the Imperial Navy tries to destroy me at every turn. While they are usually just an annoyance, if I were to fly any sort of industrial vessel, well, you can imagine how the Imperial Navy would feel about that. So I didn't, and instead watched the wormhole while Ranger and the other alliance-mates carted stuff in. Gyrostabs, Tracking Enhancers, Warp disruptors, Stasis Webifiers, ammunition, missiles, anything you can think of. I estimate somewhere between 0.5 billion ISK and 1 billion ISK was spent seeding the market. I expect the profits, while small (10 to 20 percent), will make those 3 quite rich very quickly. Missiles couldn't come in fast enough, and the Gyrostabs sold out so fast they were gone the next day.

Yesterday I found a class 5 or 6 wormhole and two Serpentis plexes. The first was a Serpentis Ruined Temple, the second a Pristine Serpentis Pod Cluster. while neither site yielded anything exceptional aside from a 2 run copy of a large tech 2 rig, I did make some small ISK and was more or less entertained discovering what was in the wreckage. The wormhole, however, I left unexplored.

Today I found myself puzzling over something I had heard earlier in the war and coming to some realizations about myself as a pod pilot.

I was thinking about how someone was talking about laying bookmarks and making shortwarps. I am quite surprised, and disappointed, that it took this long to realize it, but here is how it is done: Pick a strategic point, and for the sake of this example let's use a stargate. Lay a bookmark about 100-150km behind the stargate, where no celestials are. Now for the scenario: you are sitting 40km in front of the stargate, and it activates. A vessel decloaks 12 km from the gate.

The whole purpose of sitting 40km away from the gate was to avoid any blob jumps. No blobs have come through as evidenced by the one activation and lack of a local spike.

You select the bookmark you laid, some 190-230 km off, and warp to it at maximum range. You transit approximately 50 kilometers and arrive almost on top of the stargate, plenty close enough to place a warp disruptor on the target. From there, you smash the target with your weapons, or disable him, or simply hold him in place while reinforcements arrive.

In the case of the weapons activation, I would call this the Picard Maneuver. In the case of anything else, I'd simply call it a short warp because I lack a cooler description. Either case, it's far better than attempting to burn into range in time to lay a point, as attempting to do so would bring your transversal to zero and the enemy incoming damage to maximum (except for missiles).

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