Wednesday, 9 March 2011

Puisher Plan: 2nd Quarter Review

One of the great things about keeping a record of my fights is that I can revisit them and consider them critically with the benefit of hindsight. I am also able to look at fights spread over a period of time, and search for trends and habits. This is what I see so far.

Fits & Fitting:

At the end of the 1st quarter my fits and fitting skills were hopless, and I recognised that. I put some serious work into this area, and I now believe that my fits are rock solid (although I do not rig, yet), and my fitting skills are nearly maxed out (only have Advanced Weapons Upgrades III - don't need more at the moment).

I have two "optimal" fits now - neither of which I have flown exactly, as I am trying to come by the final parts at a decent price - one with DLP and the other with GPL. I prefer the GPL fit (it has better tracking and better tank, at the cost of some range and dps) and once my back stock of DLP II is gone, I shall stick to the GPL fit.

I am toying with switching the neut for a nos, though, as I have been facing more and more drones. My neut is useless against them, and another cycle or two of the repair system has obvious appeal. My cap skills are also lagging behind my other support skills, so using my cap as a weapon against more experienced pilots is not terribly effective.

Combat Record:

I have three kills now, and two of those pilots were pvp pilots (albeit younger pilots, like myself). This is a huge improvement over my zero kill record at the end of the 1st quarter. However, I recognise that I don't have a single kill since coming to Molden Heath.

From a combat record perspective, moving to Molden Heath was a mistake. The pilots here are more agressive, more skilled, and just plain better at this than I am. If I had stayed in Amarr I would probably be on Punisher 7, and I would have several more kills.

On the other hand, I think I would be a less dangerous pilot. I would rather continue to push the envelope, even though it means less short term success, than try and improve my "stats" by limiting my pool of opponents.

I would also be enjoying myself far less.


Nevertheless, I do need to address the fact that I am regularly facing pilots with 20x the number of skill points that I have, in addition to their combat experience. I am never, ever going to catch up.

What I can do, however, is catch up in a specific area. Any given ship has only a certain number of relevant skills, and once those are maxed out, further improvement is not possible. If I focus on maxing out the skills for one particular ship, then over the next 3-6 months (or year, depending on the ship), I should achieve a certain amount of parity with the more experienced pilots around me.

This begs the obvious question "what should I focus on?". That's a huge topic, and my next post will address my options as comprehensively as possible. I'll also include a vote, so that anyone who wishes to do so can easily express a preference.

For right now, though, it is enough that I accept the need to focus.

Low sec:

Two of my last five losses were fights that I did not want to start in the first place, but occured because I am not yet fully settled into Molden Heath, nor totally familiar with the mechanics of low sec. I anticipate more of this, but I need to work on keeping it to a minimum.


The Punisher is a great ship, but it's very reactive. Many of my fights seem to boil down to a straight forward competition between my ability to deal and absorb damage, and my opponent's ability to deal and absorb damage, because I lack any way of controling the fight (I'm slow, limited ewar, etc). At best, I adjust my speed and ammunition to make sure that I have the range and tracking to keep applying damage to the enemy.

In this kind of fight, my skills are largely measured against my enemy's skills and (due to age) found lacking. This, I have realised, is why people so often say that you need great skills to fly Amarr ships (and the Punisher in particular). Years from now, that will work to my advantage. At the moment, it makes life difficult for me.

I am also not sure if that is how I want to fly. I like the idea of having some way to control the fight, although I recognise that I have very little experience of doing so. It may well be something to keep in mind when choosing which ship to focus on, however.

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