Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Orca 1 : Pirates 0

So I have been busy and mostly away from both Eve and therefore by extension haven’t had anything really to write about. In March, I spent a week in the desert speaking at the 3rd annual organic beekeeping conference. Being out in nature and away from all thing internet for a week really changed my perspective a bit, plus spring has arrived and all the outdoor work that is involved in that, including beekeeping stuff, like building beehives and managing the colonies that survived winter, etc. Anyway, so much in Eve for me hasn’t happened except to log on to manage my skill queue and ensure I am still training something useful.

Well I have been spending some time in low sec as you all know, and in fact I hadn’t been back in high sec in several months, except for a few weeks ago I did take a few loads of minerals purchased in lowsec over those months to sell in high sec for some quick cash.

Last week however I decided to bring my industrial gear deeper into lowsec where I planned to operate most of my industry related stuff, so I did a brief scouting of the route in my Helios checking for local activity along the route (not just kills). I returned and hopped in my Orca full of working ships, and headed out along the way. Immediately someone popped into local, and we apparently arrived together at the same gate along my path, and of course my heart skipped a beat before I realized it was a Bestower. Ok no big deal, so we went along on our business following mostly the same path, and nothing else exciting happened.

I hadn’t flown the orca through low sec in a while, so I was being as careful as I could be to hone my gate camp busting skills at each gate even though I didn’t need to use them. It’s a good idea really to do it in low sec anyway. You have no idea how quickly you can get targeted and HIC scrambled compared with how long it takes to align an uncloaked Orca. As I approach the last gate to my final destination, I discovered the blood rush pounding in my ears could get louder than it ever had before, or rather at least as loud and hard as the last time it happened. I flew right into a big cloud of pirates.

For the sake of disclosure, I cannot purely say I have never lost an Orca in low sec, but at least I can say I haven’t lost one due to a lack of skill or negligence or poor piloting. I lost one many months ago when I first skilled up and learned how to fit and make safe an Orca for low sec use. I can legitimately say I lost my ship due to my client locking up. You see I run LINUX on my computer which then in turn requires I use WINE to run windows applications on my LINUX system. This ordinarily works perfectly, however the release of WINE during that encounter had a known bug (which I didn’t know about), that caused a Fatal Exception Error to occur during certain types of graphics glitches (such as shading and texturing of models) which are common but barely noticeable for Eve-on-WINE users. Anyway, as soon as I got shot, the graphic representation of the Orca has or had one of those glitchy graphics and being hit caused my client to crash. I had to work fast to kill all the EVE and WINE related processes running and stuck, so I could restart Eve to hopefully find I had warped to a logoff safe spot. Well, when I finally logged back in, I found myself in my backup clone with about 3.5 billion to spend to replace what I had lost. That was the first time the blood rushing in my ears pounded this loudly. But look, I am not a carebear. It hurt, and it wasn’t my fault and not fair, but it was part of my choice to live life this way and the only thing to do is file a petition, and hope and just move on forward. I don’t recall getting even a response for the petition…I don’t even remember if I filed one…ah well besides the point.

So here I am in space, in an Orca, just flown into a gate camp, and they were 5 or 6 sensor boosted HICs waiting at the gate for my arrival. This isn’t the time to think about what to do, either your training takes over and you just do what you are supposed to, or you die. I am glad I spent months training all my navigation skills to max out my agility and align times and fit all the modules and rigs to bring my ship to bear quickly on my warp out point. I spent weeks perfecting the timing involved, because the operation is slightly different than the Occator which I am as comfortable in as my own skin, but that slight difference in operation is the difference between life and death here and now.

I jump through the gate. There is one pirate on the other side scouting that side of the gate. Again, there is no time to let them to regroup and get ready, I must act instantly. Within the bat or two of an eye, I align to station, hit my MWD and cloak. Pirate ships are jumping in all around. Boy the ship sure does turn quickly when she’s at stop, agility boosted, and with the MWD going, and the cloak running. Yes the cloak helps your turning speed by slowing down forward acceleration. This helps the ship turn faster since a moving ship turns much slower a ship that is stopped. I turn off the MWD and wait for the cycle to reach that critical moment to shut off the cloak and hit warp. More ships jumping into local, four, five then six of them all trying to find me. There, I do it, and I am sitting there waiting for the Orca to lurch forward. It sure seems like I am visible and vulnerable for a long time. Then finally she accelerates to warp speed.

To sum up what followed:

The very next thing I see in local from some girl toon is:

 /me jaw drops to the floor
Next thing I see from someone else is:

 ^#%^W cheater

The girl said something like, “Hey, you’re the guy that does

I said, “Yea, you read my blog then?”

She, “sometimes”

Me, “Well now you know I wasn’t bullshitting”

She, “That was really impressive”

In private convo shortly later with the gang leader who didn’t want his guy to start swearing angry again so made it private told me when I asked that my ship was totally invulnerable to target locking during that episode. I thought that was pretty awesome to have feedback from someone genuinely trying to kill me.

All in all they ended up being a really straight up gang, and I think I made some friends, though I am certain they’ll continue to try and kill me. I’ll update this blog post with their names, but I am writing this at work and don’t have the chat logs with me. I’ll also post the edited for brevity chat logs in another post tomorrow or the next day after I can clean them up a bit.

Anyway, I thought you might like to read about my first TRUE gate camp busting episode with an Orca.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone, so deal with any mispelling, grammatical errors or strangly out of place words caused by mis-autocorrection.

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