Monday, 10 December 2012

Retribution: First impressions

Crime & Bounty Hunting: 

What I've seen of Retribution so far, I really like. The new targeting reticules are really slick, and the new criminal/suspect markers are very intuitive. A huge thumbs up to CCP there.

However, I wish CCP would have programmed some memory into the security selection button. I know this is designed to keep carebears and new players safe, but I just know that I'm at some point I'm going to forget to take myself off safe mode after logging in (or more likely, a disconnect) and the inability to shoot first will get me killed.

The new Arbitrator:

This is a really interesting one. What do I do with another 25 CPU and an extra low slot? I initially thought about adding another EANM II for extra tank, but the truth is that my fleet Arbitrator rarely takes fire as it is (and when I do take fire, I'm never pointed, so I can warp out), so the extra tank seems like a waste.

I then considered a damage mod for more drone dps, but Sule came up with a much better idea: a Signal Amplifier.

Now, the weakness of the fleet Arbitrator (besides it's low speed) has always been it's low lock range. In fact, some of my fits have dropped the an Ewar rig for a targeting range rig to allow me to actually make use of the range on my TDs in fast moving fleet fights. A Signal Amplifier would give me an even bigger boost, allowing me to drop said rig if I chose. And as a bonus, my targeting speed goes up, allowing me get those TDs into the fight that little bit faster. If that were not enough, the extra targeting slots are useful if I want to throw ewar drones on an additional target or two.

As a final change, I took out one set of ewar drones (now that ewar has been nerfed a little) for some salvaging drones - no more orbiting a warpable wreck while trying to salvage!

I took this new fit on a corp roam yesterday. A poor connection forced me to bail before we hit any serious action (I was taking about 60 seconds to load grid, and we were playing gate games with a couple of gangs around OMS), but in the skirmishes we did have, I was very happy with the new fit. I look forward to flying it more often.

The new destroyers:

I've not had a chance to fly the new destroyers, but I certainly bought a Dragoon and a Corax. I'm not sure how exactly I'll fit them up (I'll play around with them once I get my EFT updated), but I'm looking for them to do things that my frigates can't. This probably means something with high dps. Watch this space.

Other news:

This will probably be my last post for December, as I'm going to be on a long holiday this month, and I'll be spending all that time with family. However, when I get back, I should have Recon V trained, and I'm selling off some excess hulls to pay for a Curse/Pilgrim.

I'm also looking at changing the kinds of hull I fly. In the past, the only real way for me to combine armor and missiles was expensive Khanid ships (oh, how I long for a T1 Khanid ship - Oh, CCP, if you love me at all, please bring me a bright, shiny, Khanid T1 hull*). However, with drone skills I'm also able to fly a number of T1 Amarr ships, and my (slowly) improving shield tanking skills are also letting me fly T1 Caldari. This being the case, I'm now flying fewer expensive ships solo (reserving T2 for gangs and the like), which has prompted me to  clear out my back-stock of assault ships, bombers and interceptors, keeping back only one or two of each type.

As noted above, this will allow me to pick up one or two "toys" for more elite gang work on Tusker roams, which will hopefully make for some interesting posts.

*If you recognize the poem that inspired this line, you win the interwebz (one day only).

Monday, 3 December 2012

Why we fly, and why we don't.

Back when I was putting myself through university, I spent a lot of time playing World of Warcraft, especially around exam times. WoW wasn't exactly rocket science, so I could just log on and zone out, focusing just on grinding whatever battleground I happened to feel like (hint: it was always Alterac Valley, until they ruined it). I got my Unstoppable Force that way.

EvE, however, is just not like that. While there are any number of positive adjectives to describe EvE (such as "fun", "awesome", and "beautiful"), "relaxing" is not one of them. At least, not the way I fly.

Perhaps things would be different if I were a carebear. I imagine that high sec mining or mission running is generally pretty grindy and relaxing (unless a suicide fleet finds you, of course), but hunting other players requires a lot of focus. Focus is not relaxing.

So, although I've been able to log into EvE for the last few days, I haven't. Real life stresses have made me want to veg out in the evenings, so I've actually been playing LotRO (it's free to play, so I can just play it for a few days and then leave it if I want). I'd have logged in for a corp roam, but I'm guessing other people have been busy too, because our usual Thursday and Friday roams were not running. However, there does seem to be a roam this evening, which I'm really looking forward to.

Why are corp roams different? I'm not sure, but I suspect it has something to do with being among friends. More cynically, I could also suggest that the responsibilities of being alert to danger and finding the fight are divided among more people, making the whole thing less stressful.

Of course, EvE doesn't actually help either. Not only do I need to stay focused when I play (which is actually one of the game's real strengths), but I need to jump out of my training clone. So, subtly, I'm encouraged not to play when I'm feeling lukewarm anyway - not only may I not enjoy myself, but I put myself behind in training as well!

All of this is just a way of saying I've not forgotten the blog, but that I have no new fights to post at this time. Hopefully, that changes soon, because, like many people, I'm away for the second half of December. I need some new killmails!