Sunday, September 26, 2010

Two solar fleet titans, one nyx down in geminate

The story starts a month or so ago, when RAGE, ME, Rebellion Alliance and various others started a campaign to retake geminate. This proceeded quietly until about a week ago when solar fleet, their campaign against atlas more or less over, started fighting back.

Solar have a lot of supercapitals, but apparently not a lot of experience using them. Four of their supercarriers were caught and killed about a week ago. A fifth was killed a few days later.

Today I was out west in Mostly Harmless space, in a fight with ev0ke over some tower, when the TDE station in geminate came out of reinforced and a fight developed between the eastern NC alliances and solar fleet. We got word that solar fleet supercapitals were tackled and every capital pilot in the coalition rushed to get there. I podded myself back to tribute (burning a set of +4s, grumble) and started jumping toward the fight.

Waiting for capacitor recharge is painful in these situations. Our capitals and supercapitals were strung out across about 5 cyno beacons starting somewhere out west and leading to just out of titan jump range from the fight. The first wave of capitals jumped in well before I was in position, and things went bad; we didn't have enough people on the field and titans couldn't get in. We were ordered to stop jumping in and the capitals in TDE went siege red and tried to escape. Everybody jumped to a midpoint within titan range of TDE, one nyx escaping in 15% armor.

Our capitals and supers assembled at the midpoint for a few minutes and we jumped back in.

Primary was an erebus, and it melted. We switched to a leviathan; it went down slowly, but died after a few minutes. I unfortunately crashed while it was in high shield and didn't manage to get a screenshot. We tried to kill a second leviathan, but it was leaking armor when it managed to jump out from inside a bubble. Blame lag, I guess.

Erebus going down

The one that got away

With downtime minutes away our final target was a nyx. Things were very close, but when the server shuts down a highly populated system it doesn't drop everybody at once. I was one of the first to drop, and the last I saw the nyx was in structure. Half a minute later it was reported at 50% structure, then 10%, then "everything red" by the last person to be disconnected. Experienced players said the nyx would be killed by drones or by missiles already in flight, and they were right. The timestamp on the nyx kill is one minute after downtime.

Nyx dying

After downtime the hostiles didn't log in and the fight was over. We lost a total of 18 capitals, which I figure to be a pretty good trade.

EDIT: Removed non-useful killboard link.




Thursday, September 23, 2010

Titan or nyx: The answer

I have now posted a more general comparison of supercarriers and titans.


See you tomorrow!

Okay though, it's like this: Titans are expensive, it would take a long time to get in one and the NC is desparately short on supercarriers should we be attacked by a coalition of the russians and our various longtime enemies. Then I finally found a builder who can deliver a nyx in a reasonable timeframe and for a reasonable price. I had enough isk on hand for the hull and part of the fitting, so I spent a few days carebearing it up to get the rest. Now I'm just waiting on skills and the hull.

A fairly standard fit

Is expensive

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

On supercapital inflation

A post over at wotlankor got me thinking about supercap inflation. It's something everyone has noticed over the last few couple years but not an issue I have a particular position on. For one thing, I want a titan; for another, the NC has the largest capital fleet in the game so it doesn't affect me.

Supercapital inflation refers to the increasing prevalance of supercapitals in our internet spaceship game. Back in the day, major wars were started over the rumor that somebody was building a titan. Today it's not uncommon to see dozens of supercapitals on one grid.

So what caused this? Moon gold production hasn't changed. Mineral and T1 ship prices have been dead stable since the post-apocrypha deflation period. My theory is that while the amount of isk items cost has remained steady the actual value of isk has declined as the money supply increased. Isk floods into the game from rat bounties and mission rewards while it never leaves the economy in meaningful amounts. We can find evidence for this by going back 5 years to the famous GHSC heist, at which time 30 billion isk was valued at $16,500. Today 30 billion is worth almost exactly $1,650 and is chump change to any major alliance. My suspicion is that with the money supply increasing but mineral prices remaining stable, it becomes trivial for high earners - moon gold empires, T2 blueprint owners, savvy traders, manufacturers, even high-rolling carebears like myself - to accrue enough money for supercapitals.

Assuming that we want to fix supercapital inflation, one option would be to stabilize the amount of isk in the game. New, must-have NPC commodities could remove isk from the economy but would be against the eve philosophy of a player-run economy. Removal of rat bounties would stop isk from entering the game, but since most players depend on this for income the economy would collapse overnight.

Another option would be to change the price of supercapitals. A one-time increase in build cost would have the same problems as the current system, but - assuming I'm on the right track - if build cost became a dynamic value based on the current isk supply divided by the isk supply when the first titans were built, supercapital construction could be made permanently challenging even for large alliances.

It's a ridiculous idea of course; most likely supers will just become so common that people stop caring, like happened with capitals. But it would work to stop supercap inflation. It could even be applied to normal capitals, taking us back to a time when a few dozen capitals would be an important strategic resource.

Sunday, September 19, 2010


Low intensity warfare continues in pure blind. The focus seems to be mainly on technetium moons, with no serious threats to sov that I have been made aware of. Tri have apparently been grinding our towers steadily, prompting regular capital ops to clear them out. I always hope they'll get sloppy with their supers and I'll finally get to lock one, but they've been suitably cautious; so have we, bringing overwhelming numbers of capitals when possible and standing down when our numbers are small enough to be taken out by a dozen or so supercarriers. Overall I would describe the PB/CR conflict as boring and tedious, but at least grinding towers gives me killmails.

An annoying development over the past few months is that dreads rarely siege any more. I'm not sure precisely why capital fleets have more damage now, since moms can't hit towers and titans only do as much damage as 2-3 dreads, but these days tower kill ops rarely result in burning any strontium. On reinforce ops sometimes the FC will have us siege though, just so we can kill a few pos mods and get killmails as a reward for coming out.

See what I have to put up with

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Screenshot Thursday: Nyx

Yes, it's my most favorite ship in the game. Yes, there will be more nyx pictures. This one is notable for being the first nyx I ever saw, as well as predating the supercarrier buff to a time when motherships were just big carriers.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Don't be these people

Don't fly shield tanks in an armor fleet. If there had been another pos gunner, or if we had had fewer than 15 guardians, these people would be dead and I would be happy.

Don't fly oneiros. Two in fleet and they're both in structure. This is normal. Train guardian, fly tackle, fly dps, just don't fly oneiros.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Exploration site guides: Guristas Fortress

Guristas fortress is one of the easiest and least valuable 0.0 guristas plex. It contains elite cruisers with significant ECM capabilities, but no particular obstacles or complications.

Running the site:

The first room is accessed through an acceleration gate and contains four groups of rats. The first will aggress on warpin, the rest by proximity.

Group 1:

Three elite frigates
Four battlecruisers

Group 2:

Four elite frigates
Three elite cruisers

Group 3:

5 cruisers and elite cruisers (randomized)
3 battleships

Group 4:

Three battlecruisers
Three battleships

As you kill the rats, three frigates will spawn. Once all the rats are dead, you may use the acceleration gate.

The second room contains two groups of enemies. The first will aggress on warpin, the second by proximity.

Group 1:

3 cruise missile batteries
3 stasis towers

Group 2:

1 cruiser
3 frigates
3 elite frigates, which may warp scramble
2 battlecruisers
3 elite cruisers
4 battleships

Destroying the cruiser may result in a faction spawn appearing. Killing the faction spawn may cause an escalation.

  • NOTE: To the left of the station ruins are 4 cuboid structures named 'guristas bunker'. If there is no faction spawn, KILL THESE and there may still be an escalation.


Times run: 30
Chance of faction spawn: 50%
Chance of escalation: 33.33%
Average isk value of drops: 19 million

Monday, September 6, 2010

Updating the worst tengu fit ever be only slightly less bad.

In terms of carebearing I recently tried the 'guristas provincial HQ' plex a few times . It's one that I've long eschewed because the escalation end guy takes 2500 dps to kill, which I didn't have but can now manage in a pinch. What I found was that because of the siege railgun sentries in the plex, a standard plexing ishtar fit does not work well -- although it has good resists, the tank is paper thin and can break if the sentries don't miss often enough. One option would be using faction reppers and/or having the accompanying battleship use repair drones or RR; another would be to upgrade the tank on my scout/scanner/tank tengu and use that.

A few months ago I posted this tengu fit which I was using as a plexing utility ship, being able to fill the roles of scout, scanner and tank. I modified it to a more focused fit, making it a weaker scout (MWD removed, align time increased) while dramatically increasing the tank against guristas and keeping with my tradition of not using faction or deadspace mods.

There are three plex with special cases that the fit needs to work in:

First, the final room of pith's penal complex. Although the old fit *could* tank this I was forced to travel away from the NPCs to keep damage down, which was annoying. The new fit tanks the final room like the NPCs aren't even there.

What missiles blotting out the sun?

The second is guristas provincial HQ, which gave my ishtar problems as noted above. The new tengu fit has no trouble at all there.

Dual boosters pull back this damage back in seconds

Finally, guristas military complex. The smartbomb in the second room does 6000 EM damage, and the tengu has 4400 shield and 0% base EM resist. I use a shield EM resist rig, which gives 30% EM resist and prevents the ship from taking armor damage when the smartbomb goes off. Note that replacing a kinetic hardener with an invulnerability field would give 30% EM resist without increasing the signature radius, but the change in signature radius from the rig is only about 5%, whereas the difference in kinetic resist from using an invuln (90% instead of 93%) increases incoming kinetic damage by 42%, which is sort of a big deal.

EM smartbomb stings, but it doesn't hit armor

The fit

Also note that I changed HAMs to heavy missiles. The slight reduction in damage is more than made up for by the increased utility granted by the greater range of heavy missiles.

EDIT 2010-12-14: Two medium boosters have the same boost amount and cap requirement as a single large booster, so use that instead. I put an invuln in the spare mid spot, which means that the EM resist rig is no longer necessary.

Now all I need is to find a fit (non-scanner/scout) that can tank the maze without RR support. It's possible to get ridiculous guristas tanks out of the tengu but there's a question as to how much buffer and EM resist it needs.

Saturday, September 4, 2010

General situation update

Cobalt Edge:
The campaign here seems to be over, probably because of distractions in Pure Blind. I haven't seen any fleets for this area recently.

The ME and RAGE campaign continues. No more stations have been taken, but there have been several fights. Apparently the focus is still on non-station systems.

Pure Blind:
Tri has been taking technetium moons in the Pure Blind area, and over the last few days we have reinforced a number of their POS. IT has started a campaign south of there against Tri allies Ev0ke over some moons in lowsec. IT also dropped some SBU in an FCON system, but didn't follow up. There has been speculation they might start a new campaign against the NC, but I'm not aware of any real evidence for this.

Another pos bash

Friday, September 3, 2010

Screenshot Friday: Flying Escort


I spent a few minutes setting this up with a friend right after I got my first dread. It just goes to show that any ship can look good in the right light -- and I'm not talking about the hurricane.

Way back in the day I was deciding which capitals to train for and I went caldari because the chimera looked cool. I wasn't expecting to ever use them in a fight and didn't do enough research. Pretty soon I found I had isk, and rather than going for minmatar or amarr, which would take longer, decided to train phoenix because dreads were needed immediately to fight tri.

When the insurance ran out I sold it rather than reinsure. Why? Because caldari capitals are terrible. It's the largest training mistake I've ever made and I recommend others learn from it.