Friday 7 February 2014

Negative Reinforcement: The little Viator that couldn't

EVE is a pretty harsh game. In the past 6 months I've learned a lot. I'd say the majority of that learning has been through making mistakes and getting punished for it. EVE doesn't pull any punches when you make a mistake, so you have to either learn quickly from them or die. I've lost plenty of ships in PvP now. Every time I lose a ship I look back at what caused the loss and try and learn from it. Every time you fail, there is usually something you could have done different to have altered the outcome, even if it isn't instantly apparent. So far none of my losses have really been that traumatizing. I went in expecting to fail. I went in expecting to learn.

This is a story about how I lost my first Viator... to a suicide gank.

Poor Viator, how I loved you so.
Above was the fit. I lost it in a 0.6 system. I lost it to 2 destroyers. I was a target of opportunity and I had made a bunch of mistakes. I had just completed an alliance courier contract and had made my way safely out of low sec. Being a little restless I decided to turn on auto pilot and go grab a beer. That was mistake number 2. Why was auto piloting mistake number 2? Well, mistake number 1 was forgetting to refit for travel after completing the contract. Usually I adjust my cargo for the contract in question using cargo expanders then swap out my lows when I'm done. This may have saved me, but I'll get to that later. Upon my return to the computer I cracked open my can of beer and started pouring it into a glass whilst watching my ship land and begin slow boating to the gate. This was mistake number 3. My desire for beer was stronger than my desire for the structural integrity of my trusty Viator. Mid pour, about 1/3 of the way into the pint, I started taking fire. I was about 10 km from the gate I was approaching. I quickly put down the glass, continuing to pour, but freeing up a hand I grabbed my mouse, turned on my hardeners then microwarp drive and tried to rush to the gate. Willing my Viator onward I eventually got popped ~3-5k from the gate. These were mistakes number 4, 5 and 5 and a half. Mistake number 4 was the hardeners, I had no shield left by the time I turned them on making them useless, I needed to get them on during the warp before pouring my beer. Mistake number 5 was trying to rush the gate, I might have been able to warp out, since the align time on a Viator is relatively low. Mistake 5 and a half was continuing to pour my beer.

Not my actual beer but pretty close resemblance.
Mistake number 1 comes back in here. By forgetting to refit for travel, I had also gimped my defence due to the 3 expanded cargo holds which reduced my ships maximum velocity and hull ehp. With 10 km to go to the gate I had drastically reduced my chances of reaching the gate for a jump. Also, if I had the nanofibers fit I would have had a significantly reduced align time which may have allowed me to warp out instead.

The morale of this story. Don't autopilot, even in highsec. All of the mistakes mentioned would have been avoided if I had been manually piloting. Even an empty cargo hold will not make you safe. Something I forgot was that blockade runners, like the Viator, cannot be cargo scanned. They also have relatively low effective HP, allowing a small group of cheap destroyers to pop them. So my attackers had no idea that my cargo hold was empty aside from my 3 travel fit modules. To them I was a tasty loot pinata and relatively low risk as they could pop me for such a low investment. Unfortunately, the story doesn't quite end there. In the mild shock at losing my Viator I forgot that a green egg was about to pop out. I forgot that the clone wasn't clean. A few seconds later, I realized that I had just lost a lot of ISK.

+5s and a token christmas present.
EVE is brutal. I fucking love it.

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