Monday 15 September 2008

School of Hard Knocks

The trouble with being a god is that you've got no one to pray to.

-- (Terry Pratchett, Small Gods)

There's something therapeutic about being in space, a peace that overcomes the day to day stress of living in a space station. So much junk has accumulated over the past few months, the hangar littered with loot from various acts of Piracy. Keira really needs to move this stuff to Rens, the ISK from sold loot is always welcome. I stub my toe as I stumble out of the corner that is my home, my desk could use a clean too, loads of paperwork that needs sorting from hangar rental to ship repairs.

It never ends... but there is one way to forget this stupidity, oh yes, you know what that is?
Random acts of indiscriminate violence and no better ship than my favourite Rifter.

Class is in session

First stop, Eifer and the start of "Introduction to Lowsec and PvP 101" classes for the day.

A Rifter and Thrasher pilot sufficiently educated left me sitting at a safespot feeling good about myself when I started to track a Rupture, there was a Crow in the general direction piloted by a friend. Well as is my way I tracked him down to a planet and warped in to see the Crow orbiting the Rupture... over 100km away. Well darn, guess I'd just mosey on over and see if I could add some Rifter violence to the mix. I hit my MWD...

Double you tea eff! I still had an afterburner fitted from some plex hunting a few weeks back. Oh well, slow and steady I closed the distance, until I was within range and I added my Barrage rounds to the dance, eventually getting a web down on the Rupture. An interesting fight but the Rupture pilot had taken a lot of damage from the Crow, not being able to repair it's armour because of the buffer setup. The Crow pilot was easy soloing him but I'm Kane Rizzel, I like to shoot stuff.

Introduced another Thrasher to the wonders of lowsec later and then safed up to wait out my GCC, an interesting start to the festivities.

I headed back to Gusandall and docked up as I had planned to meet some people for lunch later and could use a bit of sleep. I slumped down in my bunk, there will be more wanton destruction, oh yes, there will be more.

Everyone is a student

Following a good lunch and enough coffee to really put me on edge it was once again into the black. Didn't have to wait long before getting my first kill in the shape of a Rifter I was tracking.

Whilst tracking the Rifter I had spotted a Vagabond enter Gusandall, I waited out my GCC and docked up to board something a little more suitable... A Rupture.
Not the best match up as I would be at a speed disadvantage and the pilot was experienced from the little data I was able to gather but I wanted some fun and boy did I get it.

I warped to a belt and waited. The belt I chose had a dense array of asteroids which would make navigation a touch difficult for the Vaga pilot. I didn't have to wait long as he warped in at 50km, smart move and one any pilot who flies a ship that needs to dictate range should do. He closed very quickly, over 5km/s and started to engage, I locked and started manoeuvring to intercept, metal straining as my Rupture banked sharply. This was going to be interesting. The Vaga pilot launched tech 2 Warrior drones and they screeched across the space towards me, his 220s spitting out round after round of Barrage, stripping away my shields but I wasn't too concerned as I was getting closer to intercepting, getting closer to getting an overloaded web down. My armour was creeping into the red, he was doing very good damage, all the while my guns unable to track due to his superior speed. My armour had failed, the fat armour plate I had fitted stripped away, my ECM drones not being able to catch him, I cursed myself for not changing them to Warrior IIs but I was in a hurry.

Getting closer now.

Just as my armour totally failed and my structure started taking damage I got my web activated, slowing him down enough to close in and let my guns introduce rounds of Republic Fleet EMP rounds into his hull.

Unfortunately I ran out of structure before I could do significant damage, Oya Loca IV™ exploding violently in the Gusandall sky. I warped my escape pod out in a hurry and exchanged "Good Fight" in local. It was a good fight, especially for me, even though I lost. I like challenges like this, they allow you to judge yourself a lot better and judged I was.

The rookie lesson

A while later Intel was passed down about a Cyclone in a belt, in Eifer. It seemed to be a slow day for most as a whole host of Pirates declared their intent to introduce the pilot to various forms of ordinance. There was talk of some soloing it with cruisers. I of course took it one step further and said I would bring a Reaper.

Yes, you read that right, a Reaper. By the time I had docked and boarded "LOL ROOKIE" the Rupture had been tackled and engaged, the guys said they would wait for me to get there before further violencing the Cyclone.

I warped in, right on top of the Cyclone, locked, tackled, launched my drone and opened up with my two guns. The Cyclone was going down hard, no match for my Reaper, the last of it's structure vanishing in the time it takes to make a cup of tea, it exploded and bits of Cyclone rained upon my Reaper. I started locking the pod but it was vaporised by a smartbomb from a Battleship that joined the party.

I had a good laugh and started looking for other targets I could Reap but alas none were to be found.

About this time of the evening the usual blobs start moving through, so I headed back to Gus and docked up for dinner and a smoke.


A full stomach and a dose of nicotine later I was once again in my Rifter hunting for clients and oh boy did one come by, a Rifter pilot by the name of Rude Guy. I started tracking him through the belts and eventually caught him, a good but short Rifter vs Rifter duel ensued in which I relieved Rude of his precious ship.

I warped to a safespot to wait out my criminal timer when I spotted Rude back in local, in a Thrasher this time. Oh goody, repeat customer. I tracked him once more and soon found him, tackled and opened up, another short fight but a valuable lesson for Rude. I grabbed loot and once more warped to a safe.

Another Rifter pilot had entered Gusandall and was doing the rounds and I casually followed him until I warped in on top of him, lock 'n pop he went, the pod being snagged in an instant. Scanner shows Rude is back yet again in a Rifter so I made the usual adjustments to my scanner as I tracked him. Warped in but was unable to lock him down as he warped out. He did however warp back in range and I started to close the 50 odd km to him.

AAAARGGGHHHH, that stupid afterburner is still fitted. Once again I slowboated towards my mark, he was very quick, close to 3km/s but he got too close and was webbed and scrammed, his Rifter evaporated in the blink of an eye.

Another succesful class and an end to a long day.

Questions for teacher

Some people have asked me why I fly Rifters as often as I do? Why don't I use a battleship to Pirate in?
Surely there's more ISK in hitting bigger targets? Well, yes and no. Yes, the ISK from battleship loot is more, however losing a battleship hits the wallet a lot harder.
Flying smaller ships is a lot more economical and if you want to make money as a Pirate it's all about the bottom line.

The small amounts gathered here and there from small scale solo Piracy add up, like I said at the beginning of tonight's adventure, there's a lot that has accumulated over the recent past.

Small scale combat is also a lot more fun in my not so humble opinion, being able to manoeuvre in an engagement is great, the feeling of piloting is awesome. Flying a battleship always made me feel like I was swimming in molasses on a cold day.

Another reason is that you're also more likely to find targets if you're in something unassuming, they won't run to highsec or dock up if they spot a Rifter or Rupture on scanner, in fact it's more likely they will fancy their chances and all this leads to more fights, more fights equals more fun and that's what being a Pirate is really all about.


Anonymous said...

Wow, mate. You do seem to have an uncanny ability to find targets. All weekend I saw about 2 possible targets and yet you seem to see nothing but noob Rifters!

I definitely agree with you on the simple joys of Rifter piracy. Keep up the great work, you're an inspiration to us all.

Anonymous said...

Very good read. Can I have your stuff (your rl skills as a pilot)?

Anonymous said...

Another great entry and I was in local when Kane was educating the rifters. I sat back and watched the KB get populated....

The rifter is a wonderful ship; cheap, fast and versatile. It hits hard too and while it has some definite weaknesses - in the hands of a skilled pilot; it can take down most ships. A pack of them will give a BS pause for thought.

Keystone said...

I'm new to EvE and I was wondering what are some skills associated with operation of a Rifter?

Kane Rizzel said...

@ keystone

At least Minmatar Frigate 4 to start with, Gunnery and Small Projectile Turret, Use of either a 1mn AB or MWD, a Warp Scrambler and Stasis Web. The the ability to fit armour plates, a small armour repairer and either a damage control or Gyrostabilisers.

That's just the basics, getting gunnery support skills up as well as aiming for tech 2 small autocannons would be a priority IMO. Engineering skills are also important in terms of capacitor energy. If you have any other questions join the Novakane ingame chat channel and I'll try answer them best I can, either that or Independence channel where many other Pirates hang out.

Spectre said...

Flash: Rifters have a weakness? Really? Where? :)

The first month or two I pirated in the Amamake area in an Incursus, I could never beat a decently-fitted and decently-piloted Rifter (and there were LOTS of them in that region). There is pretty much no other frigate that it can't beat (or at least run away from) in a fight. Hell, I think I'd rather fly a Rifter than a Caracal in most situations even.

Carole Pivarnik said...

I personally love flying Rifters...being so tough and easy to replace, they inspire do your posts.

*Mynxee unblushingly admits she is a Kane Rizzel groupie.

Carole Pivarnik said...

A friend just suggested a passive shield tanked Rifter...fitting it in EFT looks kind of interesting...3003 effective hit points for one thing. Got any thoughts on that kind of fit, Kane? Ever tried it?

Kane Rizzel said...

Never tried to shield tank a Rifter tbh, for one thing you'd sacrifice either tackle or AB/MWD.

It could work in a gang of FRifters I imagine where tackle would be shared but as a solo operator I've found my fit works for me.