Naomi’s Corner: The True PvPer
Considering that this is primarily a place for Reginald’s eccentricities, it should also be a place where I can write about Naomi’s exploits. Naomi Sakakibara is my first true alt for EVE, created roughly one month after Reginald had generated enough ISK to PLEX two characters. Naomi was always intended to fly as the true PvP character, whereas Reginald has, by necessity, been my trade character though he has decent Amarr skills. We will see what the future holds.
Naomi, despite her youth, is a pretty amazing character thus far. Her ISK efficiency is fairly impressive, having defeated a Gnosis in a duel utilizing only a Corax. However, that was months ago and was really just a fluke (as she had just finished Thermodynamics) and is not a story worth recounting due to how old it is… trust me though, it was a great fight.
Having been supplanted as the highest-class ship kill in the corporation by Asken Drayt’s amazing solo performance with an Ishkur against an Abaddon, Naomi is currently working towards a Manticore. With Caldari Frigate V out of the way, along with decent ECM skills, I believe that I will also have Naomi train into a Kitsune.
Anyway, long story short, Naomi is the true PvPer in the family. As such, without any further introduction, I present the first installment of Naomi’s Corner.
It had been a rather boring day for Naomi, kind of stuck in a station that I had jump cloned her to, counting down the hours until she could get into a real clone with implants again. The irony of it all, was that after I had picked up the real clone, I brought her to Uitra to see if anyone was willing to duel. For those who do not know, dueling is an agreement between two players in high security space that allows them to fight each other for a limited period without inference from CONCORD, the NPC police organization that blasts you out of the sky should you commit a criminal act (this includes attacking another player outside of the aforementioned conditions).
Despite challenging a two-month old Gnosis pilot (who may have seen the Gnosis kill in my bio), along with various frigates and an Astero, it seemed that Uitra offered little to no willingness for PvP. Fed up with the limited nature of dueling in general, I decided to make my first major solo trek into Faction Warfare space.
A little background on Faction Warfare. In EVE online, there are four major factions grouped into two main alliances: The Amarr Empire and Caldari State on the one hand, and the Gallente Federation and Minmatar Republic on the other. These major empires have contested space between them, but because of CONCORD treaties (which, according to the in-game lore is sort of like the United Nations), they cannot really fight each other directly. Faction Warfare is where they hammer out territorial disputes in proxy wars through players. The benefits of being good at Faction Warfare are tremendous: tons of loyalty points that you can trade in for faction ships and ammunition, and from there, trade for ISK–the in-game currency.
But without getting bogged down deeper into the details, the bottom line is that Faction Warfare can make a player rich. To do so, players join up with one of the four empires’ militias and then go to special Faction Warfare sites in space characterized as “low security” (where CONCORD will not come to the rescue) and interact with those sites on behalf of their sponsor faction. Naturally, this means that there are players who will go to this space to make money… and where there are players trying to make money, there will be players to hunt them.
I found myself in this latter group this evening, zooming through The Citadel region in Caldari Space in a Caldari Navy Hookbill, eager to take on another frigate pilot in one of the smaller faction warfare sites. Indeed, I was so eager, I did not even bother to travel fit (a big no-no for lowsec roams), banking on the quick align time of the Hookbill.
The Fit: Lancer
3x “Arbalest” Rocket Launchers, Caldari Navy Mjolnir
2x “Langour” Drive Disruptor I
1x J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler
1x Medium F-S9 “Regolith” Shield Induction
1x Experimental 1MN Afterburner
1x F85 Peripheral Damage System
1x Ballistic Control System II
1x Small Ancillary Current Router I
1x Small Anti-EM Screen Reinforcer
1x Small Core Defense Field Extender
I set this fit up expecting a fast frigate target armed with turrets rather than missiles. This particular fit, borrowed from EVE University’s page on the Caldari Navy Hookbill, is a very tight fit that requires very good fitting skills. Fortunately, the first things I trained on Naomi were Powergrid Management V and CPU Management V. Even with those skills, this fit leaves 0.1 powergrid.
The idea of the fit should be pretty clear. The double webs provide the best range dictation on a frigate-sized hull in the game, allowing the Hookbill to be one of the few ships that can actually catch a Dramiel. I suppose that it’s a playstyle that carries over from Regi–I like to feel in control when I duel, and severely limiting my opponent’s speed is a decent substitute for destroying their capacitor.
In any case, fit in tow, I set course straight for a faction warfare system: Deven.
I passed through a number of gates, taking into account the number of individuals in local. I saw a good number of blinking suspects along with various types of cruisers on d-scan, so I continued my quest to Deven. For some reason or another, Deven was pretty quiet–one other pilot was there while I set up my safe, and only for the time it took for them to pass through.
And when I say “set up safe,” I mean it in the noobiest way possible. In fact, if you’re in my corporation and you see my Deven safes, use the one designated “SS-F” because the others are pretty terrible. You’ll probably die.
Anyway, with that out of the way, there I was sitting around thinking about making a better safe, when a pilot suddenly entered local. I took a look at his employment history to see if he was someone I could conceivably take on in Naomi. Fortunately, instead of being 7 years old like the last guy passing through local, this character had started playing in October 2013, three days older than Naomi.
Overjoyed, I started d-scanning, found nothing, then warped off to the only faction warfare site outside of d-scan range. He wouldn’t just jump to a faction warfare zone, would he?
To my surprise, he did. Yet, even though I had found my quarry, it was pretty clear I’d be outgunned at face value–he was flying a Talwar. The Talwar is a Minmatar destroyer adept at using missiles. In fact, for PvP engagements, according to EVE University, it is favored over its Caldari counterpart, the Corax–the very ship that Naomi had used to defeat a Gnosis.
For a split second, I considered returning to my safe, then came to the conclusion that I came here to PvP. With that, I turned my safeties off and activated the acceleration gate.
He was sitting above 20km off of the spawn location, engaging a Caldari NPC Cruiser. I started locking him and began setting up a direct run (there’s no point going with a transversal against missiles because absolute speed is the damage modifier). That’s when I realized he wasn’t using missiles at all, but rockets. The distinctive feature of rockets is their weird flight pattern, and since it was a destroyer, I figured the deck was stacked against me. He had already began yellow-boxing me as I burned towards him. Undaunted, I got into web and scram range and began engaging with–what I thought were–overheated rocket launchers.
The double webs worked perfectly as far as holding my opponent down was concerned. Around that time, I realized that my opponent was Minmatar, so I had no idea what kind of tank he was fielding. I must have assumed shield because I was equipped with Caldari Navy Mjolnirs despite the CN Novas in my hold.
Now here comes a strange anomaly. I thought I had overheated my rocket launchers because they were flashing green, but when I right-clicked on them after my shields reached 30%, I still had the option to overheat. Oh well, better late than never, I supposed. Additionally, my orbit was set to 500 meters.
The battle was a battle of hairlines, but eventually I broke through his shield, armor, and structure. Although battered, I could boast more than 80% structure. Yet, because my opponent was a Faction Warfare pilot and not a PvE’er part-time duelist, he warped off immediately before I could lock down his pod. I typed in a “gf,” looted his wreck, went to a station, repaired, then put his warp core stabilizers onto my low slots for the journey back to highsec.
And good thing I looted those too, because a roam had just entered Deven, either because my opponent sent out a distress signal or random chance. Either way, I chose not to hang around.
There are a number of things that went well for me in this fight and most of them have to do with skills. Fitting skills, combat skills, Thermodynamics, access to faction ammo, and the months of practicing d-scan in group lowsec operations really paid off. What did not pay off was my lack of solo pvp experience.
At an orbit of 500 meters per second, my ship was not going at maximum speed. It may be a holdover from Reginald, but the Caldari Navy Hookbill fit from above is cap stable–I can run everything and I still have something like 37% capacitor. As such, I could have easily established an orbital closer to the outside range of the scram module at 7k or 7.5k. This would have allowed me a faster absolute speed with which to decrease his rocket damage while mine remained easily applied due to the double webs. In other words, I should have reset my default 500m orbit useful against turret ships to a better missile/rocket orbit.
In the end, intel worked in my favor and my gambles paid off, but I’d rather not leave these things to chance. I have to be more careful with overheating. As it was, we were the only ones in local at the time he popped, so it seems like EVE cut me some slack. Indeed, my opponent was travel fit while in a Faction Warfare complex. However, I suppose the combination of surprise and adrenaline made him forget that he could have warped off at any time… unless a scram overcomes both warp core stabilizers?
Kill: serega Jakuard (Talwar)
Total Damage Taken: 4,149
Top Damage: Naomi Sakakibara, 77.2%, Caldari Navy Mjolnir Rockets
Final Blow: Naomi Sakakibara, 77.2%, Caldari Navy Mjolnir Rockets
*Special Thanks to Caldari State Cruiser NPC
6x “Arbalest” Rocket Launcher I
1x Prototype Cloaking Device
1x Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I
1x Faint Warp Disruptor I
1x Small Clarity Ward Booster
1x Damage Control II
2x Warp Core Stabilizer
1x Small Anti-Explosive Pump
1x Small Warhead Calefaction Catalyst
1x Small Semiconductor Memory Cell
Hold: 2552x Caldari Navy Nova Rockets
*I do find his choice of weaponry interesting. The major benefit of missiles is being able to switch damage types, yet he opted for pure explosive rounds. I think that, yet again, an oversight on my opponent’s part contributed just enough to my victory. Had my opponent used EM rounds and overheated his launchers, I think he would be the one writing a blog post about killing a Caldari Navy Hookbill.
In any case, a travel fit Talwar is not such a great kill, especially since it was valued at only around 12 million isk. All the same, it was a surprisingly successful first run into FW space.
Good fight to my opponent, and thank you for the warp core stabilizers.