Learning through losing

I’ve thought of a new phrase that fits Eve nicely:

“You don’t deserve a ship until you lose it a few times, and you don’t deserve to fly somewhere until you’ve lost a ship there a few times.”. Let me elaborate.

Months and months ago, my alliance owned a small area of nullsec. Being the rookie pilot who had just finished mining ice in a borrowed mawkinaw to pay for his first hulk, I had rapidly become bored of highsec mining. So, being the rookie that I was, I loaded up my Itty V with some lasers, my hulk, and some secure cans and went through 6 red nullsecs without a scout.

What? I was an idiot.

Anyrate, I made it to our nullsec pos, somehow, and fitted up my hulk with a nice tank and got to mining. Eventually, some rats showed up. I activated my shield boosters and hardeners, and watched happily as they failed to put a measurable dent in my shields. Still feeling gleeful, I launched my five hammerheads and slowly tore those cruisers to bits. After 45 minutes of mining lowsec ores, I realized the grill had gone out and stepped out to light it, leaving my tank running in all it’s cap stable glory. After a minute or two of cursing at pieces of newspaper, the grill was lit and I returned to mining to find my pod sitting in an elite mining barge wreck with two battleships and three serpantis cruisers flying around.

One Myrmadon, two Iteron mark Vs, and a Vexor later, I felt that I had learned which boxes to watch for threats and what to do when they came out, in nullsec space.

Three hulks later, in a variety of locations and situations, my hulk “Achnavah V” is flying strong and has survived 3 WH ganks and 4 nullsec runs.

Humans don’t appreciate what they have until they lose it. In the case of Eve, you don’t really appreciate that 100 million ISK ship until you lose it a couple times due to your own stupidity. I fly a domi with a tech I tank for sleeper C5s, and I’ve lost one so far. Give it two or three more, and my fit should be perfected, whereas now it consists of 2 remote reppers, a prototype cloak, a tractor, a salvager, five cap rechargers, and one of every hardener with a damage control and a local rep. Well, it was, until it got destroyed. Still looking for non-buffer fits, and hull upgrades V is 4 days away.

Unfortunately, I haven’t yet been scarred sufficiently by WH space. Last night, I was scanning an exit because we had run out of heavy water, and found myself cloaked 10km off a WH to nullsec with 2 helioses there uncloaked with me. They were russian, and one bout with the online translator told me that he wanted to sleep with the mother of my ship or something. After finishing scanning down the system, I approached the WH to see if it was a good fuel-bringing exit (no luck, nullsec) when, 5km off the WH, something knocked me out of cloaked and I found myself webbed by the helios, who then launched his one drone which began to sloooowly peck at my health. The second helios showed up with a gun and target disruptor and I, being the idiot that I was, tried to employ my afterburner and ECM at the same time, and ran out of cap. Turning off the ecm, I managed to AB to 22km away from the first helios that was scramming and tried to warp to a planet that was ahead of me and to the left. Unfortunatley, he caught me again before I could warp and I wasn’t able to get away from him before I was killed and lost 6 sister probes and a launcher which, thankfully, was destroyed in the explosion. After exchanging various emicons and youtube videos of people mocking the other, I ran back in my capsule to our neighboring WH and got into my backup Buzzard, reverting back to regular scan probes at a 10% reduction in scan strength (and my ship is now called “Lucky Bastard II”, bet that’ll screw with some heads.)

if I had been smart in any sense of the word, I would have immediately entered the WH I was 5km away from, then jumped back through, covops cloaked and flew my merry way off. If that hadn’t worked, I should have run away from them while aligned to a damn celestial. If that hadn’t worked, I should have at least launched my sister probes so the dude couldn’t have gotten them. And if that hadn’t worked, I should have a native russian speaker prepare some insults for if this happens again, but really, I deserved this.

I didn’t notice what knocked me out of cloak, I was watching season one of SG-1 while scanning, I didn’t have even a small shield booster fitted, or a webber, and I froze up in combat.

Yes, I still freeze up in combat. After being caught by several gatecamps and surviving the few by running away, my run away strategy is much better than my fighting skills (9k in gunnery >.<). If I had been calm enough to analyze my environment instead of clicking in a random section of space and mashing the afterburner and melting my poorly managed cap, I’d be 60 mil richer.

So, according to that scenario, I don’t have an accurate grasp of combat itself, WH combat, and expensively fitted scan ships. Once I secure my plex for this month, I’ll grab some more scanning equipment and be a little more careful with WH systems with known hostiles. If history creates trends, then by “Lucky Bastard V”, I should be able to manually fly my Buzzard through decloaking objects 2.5km apart, but it’s gonna take a few more ships to learn the nuances of WH combat. On the other hand, I think I’ve mastered “oh-shit-sisters-fuck-run” WH encounters, after losing… 2 hulks, a retriever, an Itty V and a better-fit Vexor.

Scanning Ship and Skills

My WH partner and I have been making some good profits in the last few days.

Early October Profits

Early October Profits

So you want a piece of the action? Well, you need to be able to find routes back to a trade hub in empire and to do so quickly. A good scanning ship in WH space with proper support skills is invaluable in WH space. Below is my Helios (Gallente Covert Ops) scanning ship and skills.

[Helios, Scanner]
Overdrive Injector System II
Overdrive Injector System II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II

Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II
Cap Recharger II
1MN MicroWarpdrive II
Low Frequency Sensor Suppressor I, Scan Resolution Dampening

Sisters Core Probe Launcher, Sisters Core Scanner Probe I
Covert Ops Cloaking Device II

Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I

This ship is speedy at 3308 m/s with Level V skills. If you ever get caught in a bubble (remember this is 0.0) or warp scrambled, you can hit the MWD and zoom away. If the aggressor is in close, you can use the Sensor Suppressor to reduce their sensor range and targeting speed.

When you need to scan down a link to k-space, you need to do it quickly. Having the additional skills on top of your Covert Ops bonuses will help you pin signatures faster; take the time to train them.

Astrometrics IV
Astrometric Acquisition to III. 10% reduction in scan time for each level.
Astrometric Pinpointing to III. 10% reduction in scan deviation for each level.
Astrometric Rangefinding to III. 10% increase to scan probe strength per level.

With this setup, I am able to scan down a new system in 15-30 minutes and get a lot of the signature types at 2 or 4 AU. Being able to quickly identfy the type, such as Ladar/Gravimetric/Magnetic/Radar, means you can move on to the next signature to find the coveted wormhole links.

When you pin a WH, bookmark it, warp to 100 K, cloak up and use Wormhole Thingie to find out what type of link you have found. Bring up the info on the WH and pay attention to the status. If you have found one that is on the verge of collapsing, disregard it and rescan in a few hours.

My corp uses the terms green, yellow, and red to refer to WH status. Green means that it has just formed and will last a 18/24 more hours. Yellow is used for WHs that are “beginning to collapse” and Red is for WHs that “probably won’t last another hour”.

Happy WH pinning!