Friday, October 11, 2013

TEST are coming to faction warfare

Approaching Storm by Jason Lacey

When I connected to Eve last night one of our corp directors told us we'd better start collecting as much LP as we can, because Test Alliance are leaving nullsec and joining the Caldari Faction Warfare effort. While the comments in that thread are mostly derisive, writing Test off as a spent force, it's still got 41 corporations and over 4600 members. They'll be based in Tamo, which is 18 jumps from our home base. Still, they'll probably spread out and be active near us, and if our director was worried about it then I am too.

I got in my cloaked Venture and went out to run plexes. I knew I'd have to take out the NPC defender, so I refit it to be as aggressive as I could make with what I had in my hanger. I ended up being able to apply 50 DPS, which it turns out was enough to handle the NPC in both a novice and a small plex. I had found a system with very few people in it and luckily nobody turned up to disturb me, so I got 27500 LP, though it took a while to bring down the NPC defenders.

Replacing/Changing the Cloaky Venture

BUT I realized I don't need to use the Venture for this any more. I had two reasons for using it: firstly I had one lying around and secondly it has +2 warp stability built in. I thought this would help me escape from being pointed. But it turns out that nobody has tried to do this, and the combat drawbacks of the warp-stabbed Venture are too annoying to ignore: it's slow, has short lock range and the capacitor empties quickly. It took one to two minutes to bring down the NPC defenders and I ran out of capacitor a couple of times. I'd have preferred to run a medium plex, but I doubted I could take down an NPC cruiser.

I'd like to have better combat facilities while still being able to cloak. It turns out that watching d-scan and just cloaking is a very effective way to stay and the warp stabilizers were never needed.  So I'll be looking to set up an Incursus for the purpose.   I had some trouble getting an Incursus fit I liked, so I may try just changing the Venture fit instead? I've used afterburner instead of microwarp drive, railguns instead of blasters and added a couple of protection rigs.

[Venture, Cloaked Plexing]
Drone Damage Amplifier I

Medium Shield Extender I
Adaptive Invulnerability Field I
Limited 1MN Afterburner I

150mm Railgun I, Lead Charge S
150mm Railgun I, Lead Charge S
Prototype Cloaking Device I

Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer I
Small Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I
[empty rig slot]

Hobgoblin I x2

That does 43 DPS and fights at a range of 16 km and is cap stable. I might give this a spin.

Scout and Explorer

While running the plexes I listened on comms as one of our most experienced PvPers was taken on his FIRST exploration mission. This is the same player who got surprised by the difficulty of a level 4 mission a few days ago. It struck me that there are people playing this game in a totally different way than I have, going for years in PvP and never running a mission or exploring.  These two players paired up in an interesting way: the explorer would scan down relic/data sites while the PvPer ran plexes. When the sites were identified they would both enter and the PvPer would help catch the scatter cans, then they'd split the loot.  And then both players would re-enter the plexes and cap them, thus splitting the LP. The explorer would also jump ahead of the PvPer into the next system and tell him what targets were available for fighting, and the PvPer was ready to defend the explorer if needed. It was nice to listen to their happiness at discovering how well this worked!

[Update: Since they discussed this in High Drag podcast episode 20 I can reveal it was Kyle (PvP) and Ashterothi that did this.]