EVE: Losing the battle, ‘winning’ the war

My ‘war’ preview linked to my kill mail, and left people guessing at what happened. Pretty interesting to see people try to piece things together. Here is what actually happened.

The war-dec was pulled back shortly after it was declared, but this being EVE it was not clear to me what that really meant. Did the war never start? Was it over? The Corp war list showed the war as still active, yet the times for the war indicated it was done. Wtf…

And of course, this being EVE, I’m pretty sure the war pullback was part of our enemies plan, to get us thinking the war was over when they still had another night to engage. Fool me once and all that. First lesson learned.

Five of us from DiS were running lvl 4 missions that night, and the location of our last mission happened to be a dead-end system. I was in my Rattlesnake, Rebecca was in her Sleipnir, we had Kobea (new pilot) in his cruiser, Dex in a Noctis (salvaging/looting ship), and Weshaviopi in her Drake.

Wes was the first to leave the system after the mission, and got caught on the other side of the gate, scrammed, and killed. She was also podded. Kobea also jumped the gate, but he was able to get to a station and dock. This left myself, Rebecca, and Dex in the deadend system.

Rebecca had just joined us, but has PvP experience, so she went into FC mode and started planning for the fight. We got Kobea to quickly put together a tackling ship, and we jumped the gate and stayed cloaked for a few seconds. We then timed us coming out of cloak with him flying in and tackling the enemy Armageddon battleship. The plan was to get our drones on the enemy Rifter frigate and dps the Hurricane battlecruiser. The idea was to chase off the Rifter and Cane, and then blow up the tackled Geddon. Sounded like a good plan to me.

As it turned out, the Cane was pure DPS fitted, and the Geddon was providing remote repping. This made killing the Cane far more difficult than we had anticipated, and Rebecca was not able to tank all of the DPS coming at her. Once she went boom, I was tackled and they popped me as well. We both made it out with our pods. “Gf” went up in local, and we left down around 2 billion ISK.

In retrospect a lot of mistakes were made, the biggest of which was getting into the fight in the first place. We were flying pretty expensive ships, not PvP fitted, and the risk/reward ratio was simply not there. Blowing up that Geddon would not have been THAT worthwhile. That aside, I believe that if we had focused the Geddon first, it would have popped faster than the Cane, and that would have won us the battle. Sending drones on the Rifter was also likely a mistake; that DPS would have been better on either the Cane or the Geddon. In the fight that did happen, the Cane was a volley or two away from structure when Rebecca popped, and the Rifter had already fled, so it was very close. I also made the mistake of sending out my medium drones rather than my heavies. The heavies would have been better vs the Cane/Geddon, and as the fight was in close proximity, their slower speed would not have factored in. Finally I could have warped out when it became clear that the Cane was not going to pop and Rebecca was going down, as I was not scrammed at that point. And I’m sure veteran EVE reader will point out a whole lot more (please do).

I’ll say this though; the moments before we engaged, sitting in a safe spot planning, then at the gate cloaked, and finally the battle itself, that was pretty intense. The kind of high you only get in an MMO, and the kind of experience that, to me, makes it all worthwhile. Screw a steady drip of average; I’ll take my daily ‘grind’ for spikes of pure adrenaline any day of the week. And even in defeat, down a ton of ISK, with that “did that just happen?” feeling in my stomach, well, it’s why I play.

Plus that encounter gives me a ton of ‘content’ going forward. I want to get the ISK together for another Rattlesnake, as it was a lot of fun to use in missions. I certainly want to get better at PvP and get into more fights. And the whole experience was a memorable event for DiS, and something that I think motivated all of us to make this work and improve. ‘Negative sum’ PvP indeed.

18 Responses to EVE: Losing the battle, ‘winning’ the war

  1. Kobeathris says:

    Yeah, I’ll add on to this too. I totally agree with the excitement factor. When everything was going down, we were probably talking and staging for what? 15-30 minutes, and the actual fight took about 2 minutes maybe, but the entire time from when Wesh and I jumped through the gate and saw red in the overview to the end was freaking awesome.

  2. Raelyf says:

    Well props for giving it a shot. Shame about the losses, that hurts… glad to see you don’t seem deterred.

    My bits of advice:
    When you’ve got some prep time like this, search Battleclinic for the pilot’s recent losses to get a good estimate on what they’re likely to be fitting. Also, check to see how many people are typically involved in their kills. A pilot without a solo kill in his career probably isn’t sitting in that belt looking for a fair fight – he’s bait.

    You made the right calls as far as it goes. The hurricane would have went down much faster, even under reps, than any reasonably fit ‘geddon – and they do similar damage. Plus, the hurricane is fast enough to hold you down and probably had webs. I doubt the geddon could really do either.

    Looks like he recently lost that ‘geddon, in fact, so you run it through EFT along with a standard armor hurricane fit and compare. I strongly recommend you do, if only so you know what to expect.

    As for the rifter, killing it to get rid of webs and the extra point could have been a very worthwhile move. Light drones and autos from the Sleipnir could have dropped him easy – medium drones are next to useless against frigates.

    Also, don’t let anyone tell you PVP is zero sum. It’s only zero sum if you’re not good at it. And I expect you’ll be good at it. All you need is a good understanding of risk vs reward, some experience, and the willpower to refrain from eating paste as you play (which most people seem to do, judging by how bad they are) and your PVP will pay for itself. EVE is much like any competitive game or sport: most people just aren’t very good.

    I just resubbed EVE this afternoon and logged in for a lap around the station on my lunch break. So excited to get back to playing!

  3. Werit says:

    ” I’ll take my daily ‘grind’ for spikes of pure adrenaline any day of the week.”

    That’s just something I don’t like to do. I’ve always found EvE wars to be a lot of time, for a little action. These days, I’d rather have more action with less of a spike.

  4. Dril says:

    I agree wholeheartedly; I’ve had similar stuff happen in FoM.

    I just wish EVE’s combat didn’t bore me to tears. Oh, how I dream of a well populated, player run skill based true sandbox.

  5. Rebecca says:

    Feeling like adding to the story too:

    http://eve.battleclinic.com/killboard/killmail.php?id=14634386

    Apparently this Geddon/Cane combo is relatively popular these days, and unfortunately relatively new. That 2nd part is because I had just come back from a 4 month EVE hiatus recovering from burnout from 5 day a week wormhole ops.

    Thankfully, all those wormhole ops left my wallet pretty full, so replacing the command ship wasn’t a big deal, and I tossed Syn a nice little “oops, sorry” gift as well.

    Having come back from 4 months of not playing, I was a little overanxious for the fight, and that’s what caused me to make the call to engage in what felt like a fair fight, even though a fair fight wasn’t worth the 2 bil we were throwing at it.

    The real regret on my part is that we had a solid opportunity to book it past their camp and missed it. They had jumped into the dead end system, presumably thinking we were still missioning or somehow unaware of their presence. At the time, we were at a safe aligned to to the outgate. If we had warped the instant they had come in, we could have jumped and gotten out before the end of their 30 second gate timer. The end result though would have been the same: station games and nothing else getting accomplished for the night until we logged off. Logging off without trying anything fancy would have been the best decision in this case, and this rusty old fc is the one who screwed it up.

    • Rebecca says:

      Oh yeah, the other part I was going to mention. The other rusty mistake was not checking their battleclinic profiles. I did however scrutinize the lossmail on the Drake. My original assumption was that the geddon was neut fit. If that had been the case, the call to not engage would have been made immediately.

      All that being said, replacing that Sleipnir was one of the easiest decisions I ever made in EVE. I had just finished Minnie Cruiser 5 earlier that week, and mainly wanted a new toy to add to the rest of my other races command ships. The Sleip is by far my favorite of them, and worth every penny if you can afford to lose it.

  6. Hong WeiLoh says:

    Well…. honestly my first impression was “Wow, you’re missioning in a shiny-shiny while under a wardec…you couldn’t fail more if you tried. Hard.”
    The story does redeem you guys quite a bit though.

    As for Rebecca–don’t be so hard on yourself. Rusty FC > no FC or pvp experience on-hand at all. Personally I think engaging in shinies is just foolery period, any way you cut it, BUT I also don’t have anything near a billion, even, so T1 cruisers, BCs, and T2 frigates it is for me. ;-) In my business, we constantly weigh “risk vs reward”, and you quickly become an expert at sizing up situations and making a quick go/no-go decision… for me, that pretty much would’ve been a no-go from the start. Even if you win, you put way too much on the line for that “win”.

    Truthfully I cannot abide station games and the general “faggotry” of hisec wargames, hence my move to lolsex and roaming nosex. Griefdeccers don’t venture to low or null — it’s too scary for them (real PvPers lurk here ;-) ). Sadly, while griefdeccers are by and large terribad at “real” PvP, they excel at what they do in hisec: station games, neut RR, using game mechanics to their fullest advantage — and believe me, wardec mechanics completely favor the aggressor, as you’ve no doubt found out firsthand.

    The other sad thing is that by withdrawing the war and getting kills like that, they will probably renew it ASAP — after all, you guys coughed up a cool couple bil for their killboard, prob put their efficiency through the ROOF. Why wouldn’t they want to whack the pinata some more and see what else falls out? :-/

    • Rebecca says:

      Yeah, not hard on myself any more than the normal ‘lost a battle’ feeling. The rule I learned from the corp I started with and have tried to pass on ever since is that it’s only a real loss if you didn’t learn anything from it.

      If they do renew it, you can expect to see me doing my pve cloaked off the rest of the corp’s bow in a falcon fit for amarr and mini jams :)

      • Hong WeiLoh says:

        That, or just drag the corp to lolsex! Seriously, it sounds like you’ve “been there, done that”, and with some experienced guidance there’s a lot of great fun to be had in low and NPC null. :-D

        Too bad I’m somewhat persona non grata in Amarr space or I’d show up and offer some neut RRs for you guys. ;-)

  7. Peter Newman says:

    I always enjoy hearing combat stories – and this one is small enough and familiar enough I can actually understand what happened, too. There’s nothing like the feeling of knowing it’s “all on the line”, so to speak. I’m usually a highsec market trader, but I’ve deliberately chosen a market and strategy that has me jumping in and out of lowsec with valuable cargoes, just to keep it interesting.

  8. Random Idiot says:

    You missed a corker in L-6BE1 last night, 2 hours of sheer mayhem :))

  9. n0th says:

    just a few pointers –

    1. You did recognize it yourself somewhat – you dont PvP in your bearing ship, period. You guys didnt even fit tackle. Anyone with even the very basic experience would just prealign and warp off if you would come anywhere near popping him.

    2. Others pointed it out already – Highsec PvP is more about gathering intel/spying and using non-obvious mechanics than actually combating. The actual combat amounts to ganks 99.5% of the time (stuff like RvB excluded obviously).
    Out-of-corp cloaky scouts and neutral logistics are pretty much standard.

  10. n0th says:

    In smallscale engagements like this you always have tackle on every ship.

    Lets say you have the upper hand – the Geddon can just deagress (wait out the 60sec agression timer) and jump through the gate, and you’d need one of your guys to deagro with him and tackle him on the other side.

    Also when you opponents see that things may not go as planned they pretty sure will think about GTFOing. Which in this case means neuting/jamming (ecm drones are OP atm)/killing your lone tackler and warping off.

    etc. etc.

  11. enlightened0ne says:

    Excellent way of showing why EVE is so fun! I’m glad you take the mature attitude to losses and not the typical rage-quit.

    If you want fun PVP on tap while still being able to mission relatively freely, try joining Red vs Blue (join Blue; we’re better). We have limited combat systems so that you can mission outside them without the worry of being caught by some Reds, and, because everyone is in the corp with a view to PVP, you get a lot of it. The rush needn’t be so infrequent… :)

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