Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Defiance Fleet - Feisty Ventures

I realized, after I died earlier in the day that I am not used to the number of people in local that comes with being in high sec. My local window needs to be larger which means I have to restructure my screen real estate. There are normally twenty or more people in this system. I have a hard time dealing with all of the ship traffic and I thank CCP for the safety button for it has saved me more than once.

Today, we were actually being watched. One of the younger members normally mines to make his ISK. I asked him to down ship to a Venture and use the opportunity to pay attending to his surroundings. About a load of ore in he was landed on by a war target and warped himself out as soon as he saw him land on him. Plus one for clear, easy to read overviews. Of course, I promptly died to the same person about ten minutes later.

I decided to try out a Venture fleet as soon as we had a few people. They are fast, have inbuilt stabs, and they are quite agile. My idea is that they will increase a chance for someone to warp out. I'm mostly focusing on basic ship skills and awareness. I've received a lot of advice for ewar and adding logistics. I'd like to do those things but we are still on some very early steps.

Rykki is teaching me a lot about cat herding. I expect a new player low sec corporation is in my post-CSM future so I'm drinking in her experience. They flit in and out and buzz around ready to go but only half dressed. We have a lot of skills people are learning. And, I've decided to roll with it. We had someone learning two of their modules along the way. He learned to online his stuff in space. Some may not approve of it but I am more interested in getting them in space and doing things. The skill points are. for the most part. low.

I've received a lot of good advice. The hard part here is that we are starting at the very beginning. Today, we worked some on warping to fleet mates in space. Getting everyone oriented with their various windows is important. One person has picked up dscan like a natural. We had to buy skillbooks on the way and I used that as an opportunity to explain to them about orders on your route being yellow.

We dove into low sec again. I'm more comfortable and so are they. We haven't bumped into gatecamps and tonight, things were dead with many systems empty. Our Venture fleet was greeted in one system. We hung around at a small complex in case someone wanted to take a fleet after us. We met another group of Merlin, Thrasher, Punisher, Tempest on another gate. I kept the fleet away from the Tempest and orbiting to avoid the Thrasher. I explained to them about gateguns and why we were not taking fights on gates (everyone was neutral, where were the pirates?).

I'm using everything as practice. Selection a station to dock at, warping to gates, warping off of our autopilot while making sure they understand about the yellow marked gates of the autopilot. I'm stumbling over system names and trying to find a rhythm with myself with what to say and how I do things. Everyone is relaxing and low sec isn't that scary, instant death that it once seemed.

Rykki is great, she reminds them to turn on damage control units and helps me watch for people not making it to gates. There is a lot of attention for me. Where we are going. What is in system. Announcing, broadcasting, talking, and keeping track. Thinking of tactics almost feels easy. Almost. I'm just working off of instinct right now and trying to explain to them how I want to approach each situation and why.

But our low sec loop was very, very dead. We resurfaced and headed back home. On the last gate our war target was there in a Dramiel. Here was our fight!

When we landed he jumped. I set the fleet to orbiting the gate and told them our game plan. I told them not to chase him, he is going to be too fast. But if we could pounce on him and get him scrammed we would try to mow him down. As I got everyone ready he jumped back in and started locking them up. I told them to lock and attack.

At that point he started to burn away. I chased him down, got him scrammed and we swarmed him. Then we started to die. As I started to go down I called for a scatter. We managed to get one off. One member, who didn't fly with us the previous two days, got podded. He had an empty pod. "Scatter, scatter, scatter. Don't got to a station. Don't go to a gate. You have an aggression timer. I don't want anyone hung up on a station or gate." They did the right thing and got themselves safe and back to the station.

And our war targets response in local to the feisty Venture fleet's "gf" was, "you have to do better than that."

We were all reshipped but the war target logged off. Everyone kinda went afk a bit. Then one undocked his Abaddon to show it off. My advice was to dock it. A bump and he's off in space dying. But, they are tired of frigates and want to touch their bigger toys. At the end of the day it is his choice. Rykki saved the day and suggested they do some duels with each other to practice maneuvers. Good call on her part and that kept people happily occupied and working on their PvP skills.

"Are we going to fly something bigger?" I've been asked that a few times. Each time the answer is, "Not while I am FCing." I know that frigates are fragile and the fights are fast. We still have a lot of basic Eve values to learn before I am willing to up the dial a bit. I'm also not going to feed a war target cruisers. I'm happy to feed him frigates and use him as our training dummy. I will say that they have moved past the initial fear stages of the war dec and dying. I think that even if they lose something nicer it won't be that shocked confusion that causes people to leave. The possibility to lose people to rage quits and 'but I can't play anymore' situations has past.

I think my attempts to get some guest FCs in will flesh out. I appreciate the offers to take on this PvP newbie blob. This will help keep things rolling through the weekend. I have to work and I've been fretting a bit about keeping things rolling. The war is over on Monday and I may take a very, very long nap. The hour and a half of fleet tonight wore me out. I really, really wish I could keep more going but I think we're doing okay so far.


  1. I think we're learning quite a bit off each other. Your insight as to why we engage certain targets or where to engage is stuff I have no clue about... herding cats, not that I know a little about. :-)

  2. "Upship" to destroyers. Barely cost more. Barely slower. Much higher DPS.

    1. Gevlon, many destroyers are much, much slower. They also are fat, juicy targets to be blapped by skilled pilots. Destroyers are anti frigate platforms and they shine in that.

      However, when we are still working on remembering how to warp to our fleetmates and select the proper items off of our overviews, I'm sticking to simple tactics that will get people familiar with fleet flying.

    2. Gevlon, there's more to flying spaceships than what the stats in EFT say, and what the market price is. If you'd spent some time actually flying in space, you'd realise that destroyers is the last thing they want to do at the moment.

  3. It's hard to get across to new people, that in lowsec unlike 0.0 big ships have very niche roles (basically; structure bashing).

    Even corporations made up from veterans rarely fly anything larger then cruisers (albeit T2 & T3 ones). Basically you can't deploy a significant amount of battleships without triage in the current meta (and even if you do everybody will assume triage backup anyway) and if you have (or are suspected to have) triage you become an instant target for anybody else with caps in the regions.

    So more often then not in lowsec battleships are hangar and undock radius ornaments and not all that useful.

  4. Sugar,

    Reading about your kittens is great fun. Sadly, if I read correctly, we have no glorious murders yet. This will not do.

    Would it help if us non participants tossed in a little motivation? Say 50 million ISK for their first documented murder (preferably a war target but not necessary). More specifically, 25 to the final blow and 25 to the highest damage. (I'm presuming the kittens are really young and 25 is enough. If not let me know.)

    1. No, Dire. I am sorry that we have not killed anything of yet. I cannot emphasis enough that we are still at a very basic start with organizing and becoming a functional fleet. There is a lot of learning going on with both sides. I wish that I could give you the story that you desire but I will have to give you the one that we are having.

    2. Don't get me wrong. I'm not disappointed, I'm enthused. I've never even met the kittens and already I like'm.

      If I understand the story to date, your herd of unprepared felines are standing up to an unwelcome war dec which is already a story I desire. Given the disparity of the belligerents, your kittens don’t have to “win” the war. They merely have to survive, morale intact. It’s that morale I want to support.

      Importantly, though I'm willing to meddle from afar, this isn't my show so feel free to boot me out of your narrative at will.

    3. If you want to feed people ISK do it after the dec is done. I want people focused on why they are out in space with me right now and that is to learn how to fly and why they may die.