Tuesday, 31 May 2011
Crusader v Rifter
I was working my way around the Istodard cul de sac when I spotted a Rifter ratting in a belt. It was a 2009 character, though, so despite his T1 hull I expected that he would be a tough pilot to beat, and if he had a web I would simply have to hope I could burn through his tank before he burned through mine.
Of course, if he had no web then I might be able to avoid most of his damage by flying in his falloff. As he was ratting, the odds of him having no web were fairly decent.
I warped into the belt, landing about 30km away from him. Seeing this, I assumed that he would just warp out, but I burned towards him anyway, hoping that my cunning ship name - Asteroid (Veldspar) - would allow me to avoid notice for a short time. It all depended on how he set up his overview.
Increadibly, I managed to reach him and land my point! I set my orbit to 7km, and opened fire, burning through his shields. As his armor began to melt, it became clear that he could not tank my damage for long, and he had not even switched his fire from the rats to me yet.
Unfortunately, while I had know that my own speed would throw my 7km orbit out wide, I had neglected to consider just how fast a Rifter can move when it wants to. Whether by accident or design, the pilot accellerated away in the opposite direction of my own movement, and our relative speed moved him out of point range. I moved to correct, but it was too late; the Rifter warped out.
Post battle review:
The pilot convo'd me after the fight and we started talking. It seems that although the character was 2009, he had been inactive for most of that time; the pilot was essentially new to Eve. We chatted, and I gave him some pointers about surviving in low sec, starting with ratting in more lucrative belts and properly setting up his overview - it turns out he had not seen me until I opened fire.
Friendly chat aside, the loss was entirely down to my piloting. I'm not used to a) trying to kite, or b) flying at those relative speeds. My natural inclinations, backed up by my time in the Punisher, is to get as close as I can and latch on like some kind of demented bulldog, trading blows at blank point range, and basically refusing to die.
None of that means that I should not try to improve my kiting/high speed skills, but it's clearly not something that comes naturally to me.
Lessons for the future:
It upsets me more to let the enemy get away than it does getting blown up. This suggests that I should commit more heavily to my fights.