Saturday, 24 January 2009

Retrospective pt.3

Now we move on to more recent events. I continued practicing solo piracy with the maller for some time all the while searching for a corp. Eventually i got better and better in the use of it, and recognised its potential. Normally a lone maller in a belt would be considered bait, but somehow some people hadn't picked up on this train of though and eagerly warped to me. This was great, all i had to was sit tight and wait for people to come to me. Although of course i kept an eye on my scanner and sat at about 50km from the warp in point just incase something came along that i couldn't handle. I caught the occasional cruiser, or cocky frigate who thought my guns wouldn't be able to track (those who went on to bitch and call me everything under the sun for fitting small guns on a cruiser hull). Now my general rule of thumb for my ship setups is: If you cant fit a full rack of Heavy pulses on your ship, drop down to medium pulse lasers (small). That is unless your ship has a bonus to medium size weapons.

Soon enough my reputation as the noob who flies mallers, turned to the guy who flies mallers. This was a big step up for me as you can imagine. Usually I kept away from certain other cruisers, rupture and arbitrator when flown by skilled pilots mostly, then something changed in my mind set. It was no longer what ships I could take, but rather how to go about killing ships i shouldn't be able to take. This largely revolved around dictating range, but still remaining within web range. Usually this would seem silly, but through experience I've learned that my 2 webs trump my opponents single web, shocking I know. So when fighting ships such as the thorax, I'd load my scorches and keep him at 8/9km. With luck hes only carrying the close range ammo and cant hit me, but even if he had more forethought he would still lose a sizable chunk of dps. When you need to chew through 12k base armour and 70+ resists you need all the damage you can get. When I fight missile ships or ships that have range as good as mine I go for conflags or amarr multifrequencies, whatever is available in that area. This gives me an extra 50 dps or so, which brings me to my top dps of around 200, which is not too shabby for a ship with small guns.

The other method of killing ships that i shouldn't be able to is object usage. Now this means using stations and gates, asteroids, and even other ships to break the orbit arc of fast ships. If you do it right it can result in two things. Firstly, the target bounces away from you, resulting in the deactivation of a scrambler (range too high). Secondly he bounces towards you and your meaty paws. I have caught several crows and other kiting ships with this method. The best method at stations I've found is to sit under the stations centre. This way, unless the target has managed to come at you parallel to the stations underside, he cannot orbit you.

I've come to realise the proficiency the maller of doom stakes out small, and by small I mean frigate sized, ships. Small close range ships do not have a chance of taking me on solo, the only ship that could possibly do it is an ishkur with a good active tank, but even then that's pushing it. The first time i realised this was on one of my many solo roams. Sitting at a planet i began to scan 3 groups of asteroid belts looking for a target. Minutes later i spotted a taranis and a celestis. I managed to get the celestis to a belt, but the taranis appeared to be at a safespot. Hitting the warp button i patiently waited as my ship ponderously aligned (10-12 second align pre QR). When i finally had arrived at the belt the taranis was there less than a single km away from me, and the celestis about 30km away. Evidently the taranis had tried to catch it also. Both me and the taranis locked each other as we both made better targets. He got the lock first, and I, having never fought a taranis before, was surprised at the damage he was doing. None the the less it wasn't enough, as when i finally got my lock i began to do heavy damage to his shield. A new icon appeared on my overview made me lose faith. I thought 'I've had it hes brought a gang along'. Yet to my surprise no more icons appeared, just a lone vengeance who promptly began to aggress me. The celestis with the arrival of the vengeance thought it would be a good idea to stick around and help them kill me. I wasn't entirely worried about the celestis as it only occasionally sent a light missile my way (although rather stupidly it decided to come within disruptor range in order to launch that occasional missile. By this point I was at 70% armour, and the taranis was in structure. A few seconds later the taranis popped and i switched my modules onto the vengeance. Now that the chief damage dealer was a smoldering wreck I felt confident. The vengeance did very little damage but had a fairly good tank, him lasting many times longer than his friend. But as his tank cracked the pair acknowledged their defeat with a gf in local. The vengeance popped, and i moved into collect my loot. A missile collision alerted me to the fact that the celestis had still not bolted, so I gleefully tackled him and dispatched him, not surprised to see the usual lolfit of a new pilot. But i was happy, I got some t2 modules, enough to cover my ship repair costs (forgot to mention the extortionate repair costs i dish out after challenging fights, and my laziness not to sit outside with a repper instead.)

Those sort of engagements no longer surprise me as they once did, as i still dispatch frigate gangs regularly. Other examples include:

Maller vs ares + jaguar + enyo - where i killed the two AF's and survived.

Maller vs FW gang ( 3 kestrels, caracal, merlin, rifter) - where i killed 2 kestrels the merlin and rifter before managing to warp off.

Maller vs 2 taranis + kitsune + jaguar - killed all but a taranis (i did have help from Grohal who acted as a decoy for the kitsune)

So now that i rarely get the same kick from these fights I often plunge myself into stupid situations, sometimes winning sometimes losing, but having fun no matter the outcome. Although I'd like to think it was all skill on my part, sometimes my opponents are just not thinking straight or having a bad day. This was proven by my first ever hac kill while piloting my maller, where a nanozealot pilot aggressed me as i came through a gate despite being well within web range. Despite the fact i really didn't want to fight i had little choice as he had me pointed. I applied my webs and approached him slowly while firing my guns. He was getting away from me but at the rate of about 5 m/s. He soon popped, allowing me to get my hands on some juicy loot. Now I have to give props to the fellow, because instead of whining or ignoring my gf in local, he congratulated me on a good kill and was really nice. Though I think I would have enjoyed the kill more if he was a smacktard, those are always the best.

Now normally if someone else got a kill like that they would think of it as a one off to treasure forever. Not me. It only fueled my ego, and i began to throw myself into even stupider situations. Most of the time it didn't pay off and my wallet suffered from it. Though over time my arrogance faded, as i realised i wasn't as good as i though I was. I got schooled once in a blue moon, including losing a zealot to an enyo. Now I wasn't particularly ashamed by that loss, granted it was my fault for forgetting FW gates are warp to 0 despite abusing that fact in the past, but all the credit his to go to the enyo pilot for not bolting at the sight of me. Now all this talk of arrogance fading and being schooled may make you think I'm quite the hesitant now, but let me assure you that that is not the case. I am still very brave, or stupid, and my fellow Tuskers can attest to my recklessness. Ronan still talks of me warping in on a gang consisting of a brutix, myrm, and ishtar and dying but with an ishtar kill to show for it.

I warned you in part 1 there was going to be some e-peen waving didn't I? Those fights would have made a great video, too bad i keep forgetting to bloody raps my fights! To resolve this i have sellotaped an A4 sheet of paper to my desk reminding me to do it.

Well I think that's enough for part 3. In part 4 ill talk about more recent events including my time as a member of Brothers Grim, of the Tuskers, and my experience and opinion about high sec wars.


  1. When repairing the Maller in a station, does removing the plates, repairing, and then adding them again reduce cost?

    I'm not certain, somehow I think it may work.

    Let me know?