A while ago, I wrote a post called Piloting Savviness, which explained methods for succeeding in PvP by maximizing pilot skill. In this post, Piloting Foolishness, I will go over my latest losses and attempt to show what not to do.
Bait Drake is Bait
A corp mate and I were camping our station in Old Man Star when a nonblinky Drake warped in and aggressed us. Despite it being obvious bait (what Drake pilot in their right mind engages a Drake and Sleipnir solo?), we shot back. Nearly instantly, something lit a covert cyno and 15 black ops battleships and stealth bombers jumped in. Poof went my Drake. Poof went our Sleipnir.
The lesson learned from this one is pretty simple: it’s called a bait Drake for a reason.
Our 11-man HAC and Recon gang fought a 14-man battleship, battlecruiser, and HAC gang in an asteroid belt. Though we held the field, we lost three ships in the process. After the fight, our remaining ships began to loot wrecks. Then I made what would appear to be an innocuous mistake – I warped to some wrecks that were at zero in the belt without first checking my directional scanner. To my horror, a hostile Drake landed in the belt at the same time that I did. Before I could gain range, I was scrambled and webbed. My poor 2-day old Rapier died before my fleet mates got close enough to help me.
Moral of story? Never let down your guard. A fight isn’t over until after you have docked up or are safe. Situational awareness is even more important after a battle, when your fleet has lost ships and is disorganized, than during the battle.
Ooh, Pretty Axplosions
Having just gotten an arty Thrasher, I took it out for a spin in my home system. Following my Piloting Savviness advice, I was testing its orbit, tracking, and damage on some belt rats. Although that would normally be a good thing, my brain was not functioning and I was barely paying attention to what was going on (it should be fairly obvious that something bad will happen now). A few minutes later, an Ishkur and Harpy landed on me, turning my ship into space rubble like the NPCs I had just been shooting. I was so loopy at the time that I barely even tried to fight back; all I was thinking was, “Why am I in structure? Uh oh. I think I’m in trouble. Oooh. That was a pretty axplosion.” The Thrasher was only 1 hour old.
Lesson learned? Pretty axplosions are pretty. Or something like that.
Can’t Catch Me, I’m the Gingerbread Man
I was flying around in a Slicer looking for a fight when I ran into an 8-man Gurlistas frigate/destroyer gang. I attempted to kill their bait Merlin but had to disengage when the rest of them landed. I burned away and to my surprise, many of their fleet did not appear to have any propulsion mod fitted. Only one of their ships, a Thrasher, had a microwarpdrive, so I pulled it away from the rest of the group and set about trying to kill it. I figured that if his nearest fleet mate got close, I could just run away, having nearly twice the Thrasher’s speed. It was a beautiful plan…except I overestimated how long my Slicer’s 2,000 EHP would last against an arty Thrasher (I would have orbited closer, but was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to get away in time when his gang mates got closer). Upon hitting low armor, I aligned for a celestial and clicked warp. Nothing happened, even though my overview said I was not scrammed. Confused, I spammed the warp button more. Then the Thrasher’s artillery cycled and my Slicer vaporized.
As I warped away in my pod, I was quite humiliated. I had lost my first Slicer to a Thrasher. Perhaps it was the exhilarating speed. Or perhaps the long kill streak I had in it. Either way, I was overconfident in the Slicer’s abilities. As you may expect, overconfidence is one of the leading causes of PvP losses for many skilled pilots (or semi-skilled in my case).
Ping Isn’t Just for FPSes
Over the past few months, I have been having increasing trouble with my router and internet connection. No matter what I do to reset the router and check the connection, I have consistently high ping (200-800 ms) and unusually high packet loss (5-40%). I do not know why the situation is worsening, only that it is making playing Eve difficult. Here are some recent examples.
A week ago I was on a gate in a Stiletto when a Hurricane jumped through to me. I pressed the jump button as soon as I saw him, but ended up on the other side in a pod. A few days ago, I was manually piloting a Slicer around a hostile Rupture and Hurricane when I suddenly stopped getting notifications for shooting and being shot at. By the time my client updated about 15 seconds later, I was in structure. And just yesterday, I was on a gate in a Hound and clicked jump when a Hookbill aggressed me, but apparently my connection failed me because I got popped and podded for the first time since early 2009. My unstable internet connection is extremely aggravating, and I am becoming increasingly unwilling to undock because I am losing ships pointlessly (and my wallet and PvP pride can’t handle so many stupid losses).
Here is a picture of a speed test I did with just Eve running, no Ventrilo or anything else:
It gets worse when I am using Vent and have other tabs in the browser open, and when others are also using the internet. I’m not sure what I can learn from this, aside from the fact that good internet connections are essential.
Thankfully, not all piloting mistakes result in losses; the losses I’ve talked about above are just a few of the notable mistakes I have made. Although piloting foolishness is painful to learn from at times, the more you lose, the better you become.