Saturday, 12 February 2011

Punisher 1

On Thursday I set off in my first of 20 Punishers. I was looking for some pvp, but I was hoping to find someone as new to pvp as me. Being insta popped by a high SP character was not going to give me the time I need to actually get a feel for player v player combat, so I went back to the noob zone where I started - Pasha.

The fit: 

3 Gatling Pulse Laser 1 (Multifrequency S)
Small Rudimentary Energy Destabilizer 1

MN Afterburner 1
Warp Scrambler 1

Damage Control 1
Small Armour Repairer 1
50mm Reinforced Christalline Carbonide Plates 1
100mm Reinforced Christalline Carbonide Plates 1

Now, I knew fitting this out that the fit was far from ideal. When using energy weapons, the Punisher is typically fit with Dual Light Pulse, 400mm plate and a resist plate. However, I was pretty sure that I was going to blow up with even with a perfect fit, and I had this stuff in the hanger.

To my mind the big question was neut or nos. Neut is meant to be great against frigates, but the nos gives staying power against cruisers. I went with the neut, as more posts seem to recommend it.

The Hunt:

So, out in Pasha I flew around the belts flipping cans and trying to provoke a fight. Nobody seemed to be biting at first, but I come across a Navy Stabber flown by a one month old pilot just sitting by a can (ie, not mining). As he was clearly looking for a fight, I flipped the can and hit orbit.

However, the pilot did not seem to react, so after a few minutes I warped to another belt. He followed, but not to zero, and instantly targeted me, so I suppose he just did not want to start the fight with me already under his guns. Seems reasonable.

But I was not about to let him start at the range of his choice either, so I warped before he opened fire. On a hunch, I then warped back to his can, which I had bookmarked earlier. I came out right on top of him and instantly went to orbit.

This time he decided to target me and open fire anyway, despite the close range. He also launched 3 Warrior drones and activated his point. I returned the favour, orbiting at 1000m.

My shields evaporated immediately, of course, but I was pleased with how my armour was holding up. I activated the repairer, and tried to consider my options.

His shields were not dropping quickly, so I guessed that he was shield tanked (which would explain why I was not webbed). His drones (which as an Arbitrator pilot I had a healthy respect for) were doing the bulk of the damage, so I decided to tighten my orbit to 500m (making his tracking task even more difficult) and concentrate my fire on his drones.

This failed miserably. Sure, he couldn't hit me with his autocannon, but despite the fact that I had opted for the lasers with the highest tracking, I was barely able to hit his drones, while they hit me just fine. Eventually, I ran out of cap trying to rep the damage, which turned off my afterburner. At that point I also started taking damage from his turrets, and I went boom.

I warped out to grab another Punisher, and gave the battle some thought. Although I had clearly screwed up in my targeting priorities, my loss was due to running out of cap. If I targeted the Stabber, and had a nos, I thought there was a fair chance that I could break him before I popped. I quickly fitted a Punisher accordingly, and returned to the scene of our battle.

However, the Stabber pilot was less interested in a rematch than I was. I sat there orbiting him, but he refused to engage. Eventually I wandered off, looking for a fight elsewhere.

Post battle review:

While I am still clumsy with the D-Scanner, I was able to use it to locate cans to flip. I imagine this will get progressively easier with time. I also had the good sense to check out my target before engaging. While his faction cruiser certainly outclassed my T1 frigate, I correctly guessed that he would not have developed the skills to pilot it at full effectiveness. 

Although it did not help me much, I was able to start the battle on my terms; decent (if basic) situational awareness. Equally, I was able to use transversal to neutralise my opponent's turrets. 

I recognized that the drones were the real threat, but I spent far to long trying to hit them when it should have been apparent from the angular velocity column in my overview that I could not track them. And when I did realize that I could not hit them, I did nothing to try and change the situation (such as pulse my afterburners).

Following on from this, I was using the best possible laser turrets to combat drones, and it still didn't work. Granted, my drone cruiser training has left me with most of my gunnery skills at 3, but I am shocked at just how ineffective I was. I wish I had checked the angular velocity on my overview, as it would have given me an idea of just how close (or far off) I was to actually hitting them. 

When I finally died, it was because my cap ran out. I had been perma running my modules, which would have been a contributing factor. He was looking for a fight, so I probably did not need to scram him until I actually started to deal damage to him.

Despite my mistakes, a nos could have changed the result of this matchup. I was able to tank his damage just fine until my cap ran dry.

Lessons for the future:

I need to get better at actually collecting and using information during the fight. I suspect/hope this will come with practice and familiarity.

I also want to try a nos over a neut, but frankly, I just need to get better at dealing with my capacitor generally. I need to figure out what I want to be using in for, and prioritize those functions.

Finally, I need to work out a better way of dealing with drones. This may mean tanking them while I race to pop my opponent, or it may mean learning how to trick them into lowering their transversal.