quinta-feira, 18 de maio de 2017

Engagement Report 12 – Dual Hull Brutix

As stated many times in my previous engagements, I try to rejoin both my toons once one of them dies. Travels are usually smooth, but sometimes an opportunity arises for a good Solo Hull Brutix engagement.

Pleniers had died previously, and while traveling to rejoin Rtb in his Tank Hull Brutix, a Pandemic Legion Phantasm landed with him, at 0km on Litom gate.

Now before screaming “CYNO BAIT!!!!” let me share my initial assessment and the experience we, in A4D, have with Pandemic Legion, considering they were living 3 jumps away from us at the time.
1 – PL small gangs (2 to 10 guys) in subcaps are rare…. Very rare! They might happen in at corporation level, but we’ll find those like once per month or so;
2 – PL solo roamers are quite usual. Those guys probably get seriously bored, so pretty much every day there’s some poor fella that decides to go out alone in a solo loot piñata;
3 – PL kiting loot piñatas don’t have Cynos;
4 – PL brawling loot piñatas probably have a Cyno, but even then we’ll be just fine with a Falcon on standby to allow us bail out. Anyway, they don’t tend to hotdrop the locals… Can’t even remember last time they tried hotdropping us.

So, taking in account those guidelines, I expected that Phantasm pilot to be roaming solo, to not have a cyno, to not have any sort of backup and to be somewhat inexperienced at solo. As for the fitting, I expected the Phantasm to not have a Capacitor Booster and to have a long point and web.

Phantasms have a huge bonus to Afterburning, meaning that pinning down one in blaster range with only 1 Brutix (fitted with 1 Scram and 1 Web) is hard, especially if the Phantasm would web me back! From the start I knew that my only chance would be to win the “Capacitor Warfare”! My greatest asset, and the key to victory, would not be my scram and blasters, but my Medium Energy Neutralizer.

We both jump, decloak and I rush towards him MWD overloaded. Catching him was fairly easy, so I apply my Blasters, damage drones and Energy Neutralizer, and as expected he has a Long Point and a Web.

Surely enough, he steadily makes range on me, and I need to stop overloading my MWD… As he leaves scram range, I switch ammo to Null, so that I could apply some damage up to 18km range or so. Important to say this fight took place after Energy Neutralizers rebalancing, so even at more than 10km, I was still managing to Neut something out of him, even though completely unsure by how much. There is a good chance I’d be Neuting myself more than him, but having a BC does has the advantage of a somewhat bigger capacitor than a cruiser.

He somewhat managed to maintain a 10-20km range away from me, while I’m spitting Null, trying to Neut him and having my own MWD on. This is a really ridiculous position for me… I hate aggressing people that are not in my Scram range, and usually I just deaggress and burn back to gate in those cases, but in this peculiar fight I was still making some faith in my Neutralizer, as he’d get close enough for some brief moments.

As I’m reaching 20% capacitor and entering 75% structure, the Phantasm’s Afterburner deactivates. I need to grab this chance and get on top of him again within my optimal blaster range! Phantasm never again regains speed, and explodes.

Pretty much about the same time a random PL Svipul lands on a ping on our gate, they talk about teaming up in local and the Svipul comes at me. Well… 1 lone Svipul is really not a match to my Brutix and ends up dying.

After the engagement ended the 3 of us chatted a bit, and I was able to understand better how I caught the Phantasm and Svipul. Reason was a quite simple, one that I often forget about it. They both came in close to me in order to make sure I would not run away, assuring they could deliver that final blow as I was getting deeper into structure, only realising too late that I’m Hull Tanked and therefore “bait”. It the end, it was the “Hull deception” and not so much my Energy Neutralizer (even though it was very important to keep the Phantasm capped out and pinned down in the end) that allowed me to score 2 kills in a row.

A few days later, in pretty much around the same location, a PL Vengeance and a Magus aggress my Tank Brutix near a gate, so I engage them confident to be able to kill them quickly. Expecting them to have a few more guys with them I bring my backup Brutix, but  the only backup they seemed to have was a Confessor that bailed.

At this point the pilots stated in local they will ship up a bit higher into cruisers, willing to give my 2 Brutix a “fair fight”. I don’t believe in “fair fights” in EVE and I HATE arranged fights, so I pretty much disregarded what they said at this point. I did needed to repair so I kept my ass around for a bit. Not long after, they return…

Well… I don’t like the fact they know I have 2 Brutix instead of just one, but since they’re here, might as well take a look on what they got. I warp around a bit and nothing on D-Scan… Ok… I’m starting to like this cat and mouse game… Still, with no intel I won’t engage, so I devise a plan.

1 jump out from Litom is Jamunda system, a pipe with only 2 gates. Litom is ingate, 1P- is outgate. I cloaked up Rtb in the DPS Brutix at the ingate and warped Pleniers to the outgate. Let them chase me and show themselves at the gate as they jump in.

1st guy to jump in is a Pilgrim… Nasty as it focus onto one of my biggest vulnerabilities… Lack of cap injection.

2nd guy is a Huggin. It’s actually a ship I don’t worry too much about. Sure it can slow me down, but usually also means his gang will try to rely on Long Points, therefore I can probably just MJD away from harm, as long as I have enough cap.

3rd guy is not jumping in just yet… Still, he’s not too much of a problem right now, because it means he’ll be a bit far away. That suits me fine too!

I jump into 1P- with my Tank Brutix and hold cloak. Pilgrim and Huggin follow. In order for me to succeed I MUST primary the Pilgrim with BOTH my Brutix, there is no alternative. This means I must time everything just right! As I hold cloak, I warp my DPS Brutix from Litom gate to 1P- gate. I only decloak when DPS Brutix is about to land the 1P- gate.

I take the cautious approach. Let them engage me and take it from there. Pilgrim aggresses me with long point 2 Energy Neutralizers and 1 Nosferatu. My backup is landing on gate and Pilgrim is close enough so I go for him! After applying some damage into the Pilgrim he starts repairing up. That’s good news for me, because those self-repair armor mods are going to be a huge strain on his capacitor, and he’ll be quite fragile.

Pretty much at same time the 3rd guy comes to join the engagement and I managed to see he’s on a Proteus. Auch! A PVP Proteus is more than enough to take on both my Brutix at same time, not to mention that I’m already taking a huge hit in my Tank Brutix’s capacitor. I decide to escape and get both my toons safe.

I talk to the fellas in local “Sorry guys, Proteus is just too much for me”, as to what they reply something like “yeah, but was the only thing I had, so sorry about that. Thanks for trying to engage anyway, it was a nice fight we had with the frigates a while ago. Fly safe! \o”

OH, COME ON!!! STOP BEING SO DAMN NICE AND CUDDLY TO ME IN LOCAL!!!!! You’re supposed to be pissed that I ran away to keep my sorry ass safe, in order for me to be happy because I managed to piss off some nerds across the planet due to something that did not happened with virtual pixels!!!!! Wonderful… Now I feel bad about myself…

Ok… I don’t want to suicide at their leisure, but maybe, just maybe, I can pull this out. It’s getting late anyway and I’m not going to find any more targets easily so I warp back to their location. I can’t believe I’m doing this…

As always, I need a plan. Kill the Pilgrim, jamm the Proteus with ECM drones, MJD away from the Huggin. If possible, split them on a gate. Simple, easy and pretty doable I’d say.

Proteus aggresses me at 0km on gate. He as a Scram with more than 15km and…. 250mm Railguns… That is awesome news!!! I suppose I should have checked his guns before really, because a railgun Proteus probably has no cap injection (I might be able to shut him down with my own Neuts), won’t have the DPS that blasters would and I might even avoid some damage orbiting him at 500m, depending on how many webs they have…

I stick to the plan and jump out, Pilgrim chases and I do manage to get both my Brutix on his tail, killing him. Proteus comes in after the 1 minute aggression timer and charges at me. Good because I need him away from the gate, in case he pretends to deaggress and jump out.

The Huggin didn’t showed up this time and with no backup, the Proteus is going down nice and steady. He quickly realizes to be in trouble and tries to get back to the gate, as expected. I need to bump him away from the gate, so I decide to do it with the Brutix with more capacitor left. After all, the Pilgrim had almost neuted completely one of my Brutix and he was not yet fully recovered.

Don’t ask me how I did it, but instead of bumping him out, I was able to bump him a whole 15km back INTO the gate, holding softly his hand as he jumps out into safety…  How come I always find a way to mess up a perfectly easy situation?

We chatted and bit more and went our separate ways.

sexta-feira, 14 de abril de 2017

Engagement Report 11 – Dual Hull Brutix

I log in Immensea with both my toon from a previous roam and set my destination to some local carebear pockets.

As I approach my destination I see the usual 1-2 toons/system, unsure if those were active and reporting intel in their coalition channels or if they were just AFK. This is a factor I cannot control so no need to get paranoid over it, even though I do prefer a good surprise ace in my sleeve.
I eventually reach a system with 10 in local and from my ingate, within D-Scan range, I see a Sabre and Stork towards my outgate. 

Before I move on with the engagement, let me tell you why the new Command Destroyers and their teleport ability are so annoying… My success as an alone PVPer relies on my capacity to assess properly the situation. I might get a lot of info from D-Scan, but having a look “on grid” with my overview is usually indispensable too. If I see some ships on a gate I need the answer to a crapload of questions before I decide what to do. Are they at 0km or at range on the gate?  Are all these ships in same fleet or fighting among them? Can I guess their general fit looking at theirs guns? Will they aggress me on sight or take a cautious stance on my presence? Etc Etc. 

In order to get those indispensable answers I need 5-10 relaxed and pondered seconds. With a freaking Command Destroyer on my tail, its precious time I might not have, so these new ships really hurt my capacity to properly assess and plan my next course of action! I’ll have to jump aboard the Night Train or make rushed decisions, both are bad options.

Back to the engagement I was undecided on what to do. Sure that Sabre and Stork would have backup in the other side, but what?

Option A – Warp gate at range, see if they come at me and try to warp off to some other gate, hoping for their whole fleet to poke its head out and chase me “Benny Hill” style.

Option B – Warp gate at 0km, jump, see what’s in there, burn back to gate, Jump out, split them with aggression, kill some juicy target and bail.

Decisions, decisions… Option A is usually better when my foes are already properly formed up and with bloodlust already kicking in their part. If I try this tactic without “teasing” them and getting on their nerves first, odds are they will take the typical clueless carebear approach of just sitting and waiting for stuff to land on their lap.

Considering I had just arrived, only saw 2 tackle ships (meaning they’d have a yet small gang), and that time was playing against me as more foes are likely to join them for an “easy Brutix kill”, I went for Option B. More risky but more effective to get things in motion.

As I jump into next system I see an Ishtar, Phantasm and another DPS cruiser (can’t recall exactly what sorry). It would be too much to face head on, especially due to the Ishtar presence, so I really need to jump back out and split them.

I try burn back to gate, overload MWD, hit it one cycle and immediately cloak. This lame trick allows me to get my foes a bit off guard… No one expects for a Brutix to cloak. Why do it? Because this way I win precious distance on the gate, avoiding being scrammed/webbed too far away. This trick allows me to approach from 15km to 10km away from the gate. At this point people will try to decloak me and usually they manage to do it easily. In this particular case I was indeed decloaked, so I overloaded MWD and burned those last 10km back to gate. Cloaking up a Brutix also has a psychological impact in my foes. They think I’m running away in fear and that I’m probably very poorly fitted, so more prone to make mistakes in their part… I mean… I BC with a  cloak?! Please... The Ishtar aggressed me as I jump out.

Sabre, Stork, Phantasm and the DPS-cruiser-I-don’t-recall-what-was chase me. Sabre bubbles up. I warp in my backup Brutix and primary the Stork, but he jumps out. I secondary the Sabre, but he also jumps out. As my backup Brutix lands, I focus both Brutix into the Phantasm catching him easily and killing him. Ishtar re-joins the fray shortly after, as so do the Sabre and Stork. The Sabre scrams Pleniers, so he becomes the new primary and dies. Reaching 50% structure on Pleniers I decide to take the win, so I MJD and warp off.

All went pretty much smoothly… Due to lack of nearby targets I decided to stick around and see what they’d do. I need to repair Pleniers if another engagement is to be had, so I deploy his Mobile Depot, refit for full Hull Repair mods in the mids, and bounce a few safe spots while repairs are ongoing and as the locals try to probe me out. As for Rtb, I just comfortably cloak him up. 

The locals post in local think I’m “running away” or “waiting for 15 minutes aggression to pass and log off”, while in reality I’m just preparing for round 2. Repairing my Hull Brutix takes around 10 minutes so it’s a perfect opportunity to chat with the locals a bit and try understand what they going to bring for me. During this period they literally beg me for a “fight” with my 2 Brutix meaning one thing… My window of opportunity expired and they are pretty much ready for me… My repairs took just about too long. Local has risen up by 10 and I notice lots of stuff, from frigates to carriers. Once repaired I refit back to PVP mode, cloak up, and wait it out.

Suddenly, local drops by 10 at once. This pretty much means that all active people have left local and are rounding up nearby while pretending to have “gone away”… In my experience and in order for people to truly “go away” different signs are presented. People camping you will eventually get bored and go away 1 or 2 people at a time, over a period of 15-20 minutes. Therefore, when people go truly away, local will drop softly over some time, not all at once.

I take my chances and start heading out, confident I’d be able to take or dodge some lonely forward scout/tackler. As expected I see a Celestis 2 jumps ahead of their main fleet, and I decide to try ninja it before main gang arrives.

This is when my own “knowledge” overcomplicates my decisions… I noticed only too late that the Celestis was not a random line member, but a director and FC. Somehow the idea he’d have a cyno entered my head and could not shake it off, mostly because these guys had already tried to drop Carriers on me before. I resorted to my ECM drones to try to bail and decided to not bring my backup Brutix to maintain him safe.

I had ample time to change my mind as his main fleet was somewhat far. My Tank Brutix engaging the Celestis with ECM drones has less than 400dps (fairly low) so the Celestis manages to tank me, while ECM drones fail to kick in. Eventually his backup arrives and kills me. Un-ironically they did bring a Carrier, but at this point I didn’t even notice who brought it, or even if it came through gates.

So… what happened to me? I overcomplicated it. Plain and simple. I knew they had backup, I expected the advanced tackler, but when I noticed it to be a known director/FC from my previous fights, I got cold feet, got my head wrapped up in a Cyno misconceived idea and put my faith in 5 ECM drones to survive. Bad call! I should have just brought my backup Brutix, apply full DPS and even if it were a Cyno, I’d probably be able to kill the Celestis (he survived 50% structure) and maybe even bail. 

Hell, I had the opportunity to pull in a little great ninja kill, pretty much like I projected, and I messed it up due to my own psychosis…

domingo, 5 de fevereiro de 2017

Trade Report – Last Trading Report


It’s been a long time since I did I full overview over my activities. Reason is simple: I become a daddy once again!! \o/

Along with this new endeavor in my life, EVE time became more limited and I took a break from making isk. Every time I had available, I spent it trying to blow people off the sky. Considering I have around 130 bil in assets, I won’t run out ships to waste in any recent future. Hell, I just spent 15 bil buying 100 more Hull Brutix (can’t have enough of those).

This being said, and having kept track on my market activities for 3 years, it’s to let it go. I already know how much profit I can make resorting to market and resorting to BPO research and how many expenses I have. Unless I change my methodology drastically, I’ll have a decent idea on how my operations are going, without the psychotic excel crunching (that I enjoy nevertheless), but bigger priorities arise, and in EVE, the hunt always takes precedence.

With Alpha Clones incoming, I hereby leave my general operation guidelines to make ISK, mostly AFK, resorting to market and BPO research, hoping it might be useful to someone:

1-      I do Regional Trade. I buy in Jita Sell Orders and sell in Hek Sell Orders at an NPC Station. I prefer to sell a low amount of items with large profit margins.
2-      I use a Google Spreadsheet with Steve Ronuken script, in order to pull prices for my “Trade Items List” from EVE Central site;
3-      My “Trade Items List” consists in:
a.       Capital Mods and Rigs
b.      Implants
c.       T3 Subsystems
d.      POS Structures
e.      STANDUP Structures
f.        Faction Mods
g.       T2 Medium and Large Rigs
4-      My “Trade Items List” has around 600 items (it grew over time) and is only updated if new profitable mods appear.
5-      I heavily adjusted my Google Spreadsheet to sort by most potential profitable Items and to define the quantity I need to buy from each item. This way I can copy/paste the items I want to buy, and respective quantities, using the “Multibuy” feature in EVE Market and buy up to 100 different items in less than 30 seconds;
6-      I resupply the Hek Market once per week, usually before the weekend;
7-      All hauling from Jita to Hek is done by Public contracts with 25 million reward and 2 billion collateral. All get fulfilled in less than 24 hours;
8-      I update my Sell Orders in Hek once every 2-3 days. I don’t have any buy orders in Jita or Hek
9-      I use the program “Evernus” to update orders very quicky. Long story short, using this program one only needs to use a keyboard shortcut to copy/paste prices into EVE.
10-   In order to track my market profits I use the site “Eve-Mogul”.
11-   I have 2 market toons in Hek, with a total of around 450 Sell Orders waiting to be fulfilled.

I trade PLEX, Skill Injectors or Skill Extractors in a really casual basis, and are an exception to my normal Market Operations.
1-      I buy PLEX, Skill Injectors and Skill Extractors using Buy Orders in a private Citadel in Hek and sell them at the same private Citadel.

1-      I have 4 toons with 10 research slots each (total of 40 slots) researching BPOs or copying BPCs, permanently (or as much as “permanently” possible).
2-      All research is done in one hi-sec small POS, in range from my toons positions.
3-      I research a list of around 400 BPOs, mostly low tier T1 mods (High, Medium and Low ship slots) and low tier Capital BPOs.
4-      I prefer to research a large spectrum of BPOs and hardly buy more than couple repeated BPOs. Diversity over quantity.
5-      All hauling is done by public contracts.
6-      All BPOs are sold at Jita, using Corporation Contracts from the Corp Assets Deliveries hangar.

Once Citadels came out, I bought an Astrahaus Citadel BPO and a bunch of Citadel Mods (known as STANDUP Mods) for a total of 13 billion.
1-      Astrahaus Citadel is still being researched at NPC Null Station in Curse Region, and between research jobs, BPCs are generated to provide some extra isk.
2-      Citadel Mods have all been researched to level 7/14 and are stored in a Station in Hi-Sec. When needed BPCs are generated and hauled to Jita by public contracts.
The whole Citadel Blueprint Operation is a long term experiment to see how long I’ll take to make a profit over the 13 billion investment. For this experiment I’m only considering “profit” the revenues from BPC sales and not the innate valorization of a researched BPO.

If you haven’t kept track of my previous blog posts, I can make between 7-10 bil profit per month, after considering all sort of expenses, while spending an average of 15 minutes per day. It’s a pretty good feeling to wake up in morning, check your wallet and see you’ve grown space richer during your well-deserved sleep… considering one of your kids didn’t woke up several times that is.

I’ll continue posting some PVP adventures when possible, but as far as trading goes, I really have nothing new to offer, so I’m pulling the plug. Hope you enjoyed reading that aspect of my EVE career and thanks for all the support I received from other folks interested in the market aspect!
See ya, and get off my trade hub! :D