Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Eve Online: being beaten is a steep learning curve

What I called "the inevitable" here happened today: I lost my drake battlecruiser. Here's how.

Earlier this evening, while I was doing some light ratting, one of our scouts reported an incoming fleet from Darkside. alliance, about 30 pilots strong. Now for a casual roaming gang, that's a bit too big.. They briefly touched on our gate, one pilot even jumped in, but the rest went on their merry way, apparently to C3N where IT has recently had their hands full. Our FC decided we should pursue, after all if these 30 men get into C3N, IT will be on hand to squash them! So the ten of us pursued.

At the C3N gate, we actually overtook one of the Darkside. guys, and before the FC's command to leave him alone and jump into C3N got through to me, I had already fired a missile at him. At that moment my fleet jumped, and a Darkside. fleet landed on the gate.. Suddenly I was surrounded by lots of ill tempered Russian neutrals! Because I had just fired a missile at a neutral, the gate wouldn't let me jump (aggro rules you must learn, young padawan) and I had to warp away as quick as I could - to any point but here, really - to survive. I was fast enough, and got out! My alliance mates however were not so lucky. At the other side of the gate, the enemy made short work of them.. IT alliance hadn't been aware soon enough of the skirmish that was about to begin, and IT's reinforcements were too late to prevent defeat. So, most of our first wave of responders made their way to our home system automatically, waking up in a fresh clone and an insurance note in their inbox after being podded in C3N! I briefly jumped back to the gate to assist a fleet mate, but warped out again when he told me he was lost anyway. Again I survived, just because I was fast enough.

A little while later, I traveled home, alone and unharmed, when the enemy overtook me and jumped into our home system. I waited for instructions from my FC, and finally made my way back in, warping straight to the battlefield, which was centered around one of our carriers - which should of course have been docked up a long time ago, given that the enemy was already in system.. From this point on, things went downhill fast. The Darkside. fleet had better logistiscs, repping their own pilots faster as we could, and we were unable to hold the field, much less defeat them. Slowly we continued to bleed ships (including my Drake), until after a while an IT alliance fleet came in to assist. Upon their arrival, Darkside. disengaged, left our home system and we were left to contemplate what had just happened.

For the first time, it seems we were a specific target for a well known pvp outfit. Helping IT alliance out does make you known here and there, apparently :) Personally, I think the whole initial manoeuver was a trap; we were lured out into the pursuit, and the enemy made sure the first responders were out of system and neutralized before entering our home system. At the same time, the lonely Darkside. pilot who went in our home system remained there, scouting out a juicy target - the Carrier - for his buddies to land on when they arrived. A sound strategy, executed with a balanced fleet - enough logistics - and good discipline. Did we learn a lesson tonight? You bet we have :-)

By the way - at least of the pilots involved in the Darkside. fleet appears in this Alliance Tournament movie: Darkside. vs RAZOR, so we were indeed confronted with some very experienced pvp pilots here..

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