Flieger, grüß' mir die Sonne, grüß' mir die Sterne und grüß' mir den Mond. Dein Leben, das ist ein Schweben, durch die Ferne, die keiner bewohnt! - Hans Albers, F.P.1 antwortet nicht (Adaptation in the 80s: Extrabreit)

Friday, 22 August 2014

Stumbling around

Well, well, there are game sessions and there are game sessions. The plan was to try different weapon setups for PvP and then dominate Freeport a bit. How it evolved was much less than what I would call a fun evening.

I jumped repeatedly between I Bootis, Asellus Prime and Aulin in order to get the weapon I want: C3 and C5 gimballed pulse lasers, which should replace my C6 burst lasers as well as the turrets. The C3 versions appeared pretty quickly, but not so the C5 version. Taking always cargo along makes my cash in the end go back to 4,4 m Credits. Unidentified signals (US) on the route were mostly boring. If there was a "wanted" target, I used it for target practice with the plasma launcher. After my game session was almost done, I finally "found" the C5-g-pulse laser. I hate this kind of waste of time, even if it filled my cash along the way. Almost whole game session just in order to find one specific weapon setup! I am very annoyed, this is not fun. One of the major turn-off factors in EVE Online was that you always hat to fly around for hours just to get the equipment you want (or take a trip across the cluster to Jita). 

Shortly before ending the game session, I was finally ready to test the setup. One C6 burst laser for ranged combat, C8 plasma for good alpha strike, 2 C2 missiles for "oh crap" moments on the bottom side. On the top side, two C5 gimballed pulse lasers and two C3 gimballed pulse lasers for the mid- to close range combat. Finally, I jumped back to LP 98-132 and did some US, which netted me some gold and one larger fight with 5 red ships; one Lakon Type 9, an Eagle and several Sidewinders. They were spread apart and didnot gang up on me so I could pick my order. The plasma launcher did quick work with the Lakon this time, and I can confirm my theory. One shot with the plasma launcher uses up capacitor from every weapon on your ship, and it cannot shoot if all capacitors do not have at least 1/3 energy.

Another US lead me to an Anaconda, which decided to attack me. Good. What was not so good that I had forgotten that I cannot circle with an Anaconda like I could with my Viper. I took quite some hits and in the end had 85% hull. My plasma launcher hit about two or three times, then the capacitors were empty and the Anaconda was around 80% hull still. I had to use my gimballed lasers to finish it, which was hardly possible with an empty capacitor. Before it could regenerate, the Anaconda had turned and jumped away. Underwhelming. Perhaps I still need more training in ice cold aiming and weapon management while under heavy fire. It already annoyed and distracted me that I was apparently not able to properly dodge the enemy fire.

At the end of this night, I had a brief, bumbling and moreless embarassing PvP encounter with CMDR Barros. Will upload video and check some details later this day. [EDIT: Done! And I have to realize that my memory of this session was particularily bad! I have to rewrite my story a bit as follows....; what can I say, I was obviously too tired already!]

CMDR Barros was waiting in a Cobra in front of the docking area. He was just sitting there, a sitting duck, and I attacked because I needed at least something to happen in this game session. I floated close, as if passing by, switched FAoff and turned my ship towards him, FAon for proper aiming, and fired my plasma launcher. His shields were down to one slim line. Another hit gets him down to 83%. He realized what is going on and boosted and jumped away, my Anaconda had no chance to follow.

After some minutes, he came back. It was easy to recognize because he showed already as a red blip on my radar. I was on the other side of Freeport and made way towards him. I do not know what he planned, if he hadn´t seen me or if he wanted to wait for me in a favourable position. He positioned himself above the docking entrance; this is what the usual griefer would do. But he hadn´t counted that I had a long-range weapon ready for him, my trusty beam laser. This forced the Cobra to abandon its lofty perch and slither towards me. I was happily crisping it soft until the Cobra came into mid/close range. [By hindsight: The video does not show any hit and I now suspect that the beam laser may be bugged]. I shifted my weapon group to my shiny new gimballed pulse lasers and gave him hell. I had him down to 82% when he passed me and my Anaconda needed some moments to swing around. But suddenly, he lost more hull, and I was not even firing. When I had turned around, I could clearly see that Mr. Freeport had interjected and bludgeoned heavily on him. He got destroyed the moment he jumped, at least it looked like this. Not sure wheter from my or the Mr. Freeport´s weapons.

I was so "lucky" to spot him again as he launched from Freeport. I had been flying astutely patrol and looked out for more CMDR opponents until then. I waited for him to clear the entrance. He was continuing rather lazily, like totally oblivious that I was still there. I showed him such. Poor sod, it was a painful death. I squeezed off one plasma shot, but did not hit him. He turned and approached me, firing railguns and lasers. Annoyed about my bad aim I switched again to the g-pulse lasers. The result was very much underwhelming because all of my capacitors were empty (of what is left after a shot of plasma), and he still had about 80% hull. Even more annoyed I launched two missiles, but in the meanwhile he was on a collision course and we crashed into each other, my missiles exploding right between us. My shield was down by then, too, and for a brief moment, I felt deja vu as his multicannons started splattering me and I could not swing around and get him into target.

However, the collision made the CMDR spin around and he still kept firing. A moment of confusion, sparks fly and smoke filled my cockpit (fantastic effects, Frontier! Even though I have to remark it might be a bit overdone since my hull was barely scratched at this point...). As the CMDRs Cobra tumbled off sidewards, it exploded. WTF... It was not me, of that I am sure. I was still struggling to swing along his close-by-tumbling trajectory. Then it dawned on me. Again Mr. Freeport, I assume! What must have happened is that, as he continued to fire his railguns while reeling from the ramming-impact, he must have hit the station and it opened fire on him, with me being briefly an obstacle in the firing line.

To summarize, all in all, one not so satisfying PvP event, it seemed more like my opponend had rather done a cop-suicide; I won because of heavy interference from a pissed-off Freeport station. 

Other than that, this game session I managed to test just one single freaking weapon setup. At least I know now better how the plasma gun works and had some target practice. Considering that this weapon can one shot a NPC Sidewinder (which I did in an US), the results on the CMDR Cobra were very much underwhelming. Two hits, and still at 83% in the first encounters, and no hits at all in the second one. I would guess that two C6 Cannons would make for a much harder and more accurate impact. (Still much more weapon testing to do...)

And it is hellish difficult to hit small targets. Sometimes the muzzle pointer would not show up and it is usually positioned far under the ship, out of your line of sight. The plasma gun failed to hit even when I was very much sure that the gun´s muzzle was right on target. A similar effect happened when I tested my weapons on cargo; they just would miss, even when the muzzle should have been right on. My conclusion, the C8 launcher tempts me to use it as "alpha strike", but it sucks my capacitors so much dry that in the end I probably would have had better results by using different weapons.

With some things to ponder about, I end this game session. All in all, the play experience was kind of underwhelming this time, mostly due to a very long ramp up phase which impeded me to come to a point of what I really wanted to do, namely go into PvP with blazing guns of a new and deadly weapon setup!

I shudder to think of having to hunt for the next weapon setups in a similar long winded fashion. Here is what I had in mind:

- Version A: All gimballed-multicannons plus plasma gun, because the capactior leech effect of the plasma gun would be harmless then. Disadvantage: Highest multicannon is C3, I would waste the potential of the three C6 mounts. No long range fixed gun (fixed multicannons need too much lead to be really effective at distance I believe).

- Version B: Underbelly all turret; once the upper guns have depleted cap, I just roll and let the turrets on my underbelly continue the barrage while the upper weapon cap recharge. Should result in overall more sustained damage. Disadvantage: No more missiles, no long range gun, turrets might have a too crappy aim to pull off the intended effect.

I am not sure how this theorycraft will turn out and I wonder if it is worth the effort, given that Frontier will still change a lot concerning the weapon mechanics.

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