Wednesday, 8 June 2011
Malediction v Stabber
My fight with Valgore against the Drake had been a great deal of fun, but I had yet to really test the Malediction's solo engagement envelope. Clearly, with only three missile points the Malediction was not going to be soloing any decently fit battle cruisers, but what about their smaller brethren?
As luck would have it, I spotted a Stabber jumping around Atlar, and I decided to cautiously give chase. I say cautiously because local was fairly full, and many of them were from a local pirate gang; I did not want to end up jumping into another trap.
So when I managed to get a fix on the Stabber the first time I jumped in at 100km to get a fix on the pilot. Hitting "get info", I immediately jumped out again so as not to cause him alarm.
Taking a look at his vitals while in warp, he was not obviously affiliated with any of the local gangs, and he seemed legit, rather than some one's out of corp alt. Time to try and find the fight.
The Stabber kept on the move. I was not sure exactly what he was doing; sometimes he was at belts, sometimes at planets. Only as I continued to track him did I learn why; I was not the only hunter.
Wherever the Stabber went, there was an assault ship not too far away. Sometimes, when I tried to jump in on the Stabber, I would find myself landing shortly before the assault ship. At first I thought that I might need to defend myself, but the other pilot did not seem to interested in me. I imagine he (probably correctly) assumed that he could not keep me in a fight I did not want, and I (probably correctly) assumed that my half-baked missile skills were not up to taking down a well flown assault ship.
Eventually, though, my higher warp speed and align time began to work to my advantage, the assault ship fell further and further behind, while I kept getting closer and closer to the Stabber.
As I gave chase, I began to notice that there were certain places that the Stabber kept returning to, so when I next saw a scan result in that general direction I took a chance; rather than narrow down the scan, I simply jumped to the recurring destination.
Fortune, as they say, favours the bold; I landed right on top of him.
Immediately pointing and webbing him, I opened fire and waited for the drones. These, however, never materialised, and I soon found myself evading the Stabber's return fire completely.
Still, breaking his tank was going to be a slow process, and somewhere behind me was an assault ship. I opened up a ransom channel.
Now, I had given ransoms a great deal of thought since my last ransom attempt, and I had decided that I did not like the "traditional" ransom structure. Basically, it seemed like a whole lot of work.
On vent, I'd been able to listen to other Tuskers ask advice on ransoms, and hear the responses. People often have formulas based on age, hull cost, etc. Everyone tries to strike a stressful balance between getting a ransom at all (not too high) and getting ripped off (not too low).
This model of ransoming seems like fantastic way to kill all the fun in pvp, so I had decided to do things my own way. I would tell my victim that they could make me one, and only one, offer for their ship/pod, and that I would either accept or reject that offer. This would shift the stress of working out the ransom to them; all I had to do was decide whether I preferred the money or the killmail! It seemed pretty perfect.
So when this chap responds to my convo, I quickly lay down the rules; one offer and one offer only. He suggests 6 million for his ship, and I prefer the killmail. Easy.
He tells me to make a counter offer, but rules are rules. He had had his shot; now I wanted my killmail. It did not take as long as I thought it would.
Victim: Damien Miles
Corp: Mercenarius Mercded
Damage Taken: 21467
Name: Taurean Eltanin (laid the final blow)
Corp: The Tuskers
Weapon: Caldari Navy Foxfire Rocket
Damage Done: 5426
Name: Gistii Impaler / Angel Cartel
Damage Done: 16041
Sabretooth Light Missile, Qty: 120
Titanium Sabot M, Qty: 160
Stasis Webifier I
220mm Vulcan AutoCannon I, Qty: 4
Assault Missile Launcher I, Qty: 2
Damage Control I
Sabretooth Light Missile, Qty: 630 (Cargo)
Y-S8 Hydrocarbon I Afterburners
Medium Armor Repairer I
Medium Shield Booster II
Titanium Sabot M, Qty: 480
50mm Reinforced Rolled Tungsten Plates I
Titanium Sabot M, Qty: 4380 (Cargo)
Hornet I (Drone Bay)
Thanks to the fantastic lock speeds on interceptors, and FNG's sage advice, I was able to snag his pod. Again, I told him that he had one, and only one, opportunity to purchase his implants from me. This time he decided that he could find 90 million ISK, and I decided that I was willing to forgo the killmail.
With the ransom paid, I let his pod go, thankful that we had not been interrupted by the assault ship.
Looking at the killmail, I began to have some regrets - I'm a bit of a softy that way. As ecstatic as I was over the size of the ransom, which would effectively pay for all the ships I had lost so far on the T2 Tour, I remembered, not too long ago, when I had sunk the majority of my assets into my +4's, and I wondered if I shouldn't have accepted less from such a young player.
I decided that I wanted to help him out - he had been polite throughout - so I convo'd him again. I wanted to give him some advice about surviving low sec and give him some of the ransom back. Unfortunately for him, he left the ransom channel before I completed my first block of text.
I convo'd him again, and he said "what do I have to do to get rid of you?" and left the channel. My patience was wearing thin - I had been polite throughout too - so I thought I would send him an in-game mail. That way he could see that I had good intentions.
That's when I found out he had blocked me.
I suspect there is a serious lesson in here for me somewhere. I have been helped hugely by the Eve community, and by my reader's in particular. I have been given advice, support, ships, modules and even ISK. This generosity has made me very keen to give something back to the community, and hence my attempt to return some part of the ransom to a new player.
However, just as my attempted generosity towards the miner I fought during the Punisher Plan did not go as intended, neither did my effort to return some of the ransom. Instead, I just ended up feeling stupid for even trying. I'm not sure what to take away from all this, but perhaps I need to change my approach.
All that aside, I was very happy with how the Malediction performed against an above class vessel. While I was disappointed by the lack of drones - I really wanted to test my rockets out against them - I certainly can't complain about the outcome.
Interestingly, the Tusker reputation apparently reaches even new players. At one point he had second thoughts, fearing that I would take the money and kill him any way. When I pointed out that I was a Tusker, he paid up.