Interceptor test flight

6th May 2010 – 7.36 pm

A K162 leading to a class 4 w-space system is an invitation to plunder. It is even more inviting when the wormhole starts its EOL cycle just as we pass through it, which should discourage our neighbours from following us home if they happen to take offense at our stealing their Sleeper loot. We send a Rook, salvaging Ishtar, Abaddon, and two Guardians jump through the wormhole where our neighbours still sleep, and warp in to engage the Sleepers. Our Abaddon pilot tanks with his cockpit but we repair through the damage comfortably enough, clearing three anomalies in the system before getting concerned about getting home through the decaying wormhole. We finish our Sleeper combat with one more anomaly in our home system.

The fleet disbands, which gives me an opportunity to go roaming in my Manticore stealth bomber. The connecting wormholes through our static wormhole are still present and stable, I just need to find a target to shoot. The unoccupied systems are quiet, no one venturing in from elsewhere that I can see, and the occupied system apparently has a scanner active. There are probes visible on the directional scanner, at least. Checking the tower and finding an Imicus, it's possible that the scanner has launched his probes and returned inside the shields to scan in safety. I warp to the high-sec exit, which is now EOL, and loiter with intent for a while, seeing no travellers. Another quick look at the tower sees the Imicus disappear and a Heron warp in to the shields. I suppose it was the Heron scanning and the Imicus pilot was asleep and drooling in his pod. It's awfully quiet, so I head home.

With a bit of spare time I take my new interceptor out for a spin, now given the name Sad Panda. I don't really have any particular place to go, but the Malediction is awfully fast and it is fun just to zoom around at silly speeds. Besides, our neighbouring C4 system holds a black hole, which increases a ship's speed, and I am keen to see what my interceptor can achieve when so boosted. Jumping through the wormhole, and checking to see d-scan is clear, I fire up my micro-warp drive and circle the wormhole. I am still new to the interceptor class of ship and find it difficult to maintain a good orbit, but I can certainly fly fast. Instead of testing my ship's agility, reduced by the black hole, I point Sad Panda in a straight line and let it loose. I feel a certain rush when I hit 7·5 km/s.

Seeing the wormhole fade in to the distance so quickly I then wonder what the granularity of the grid is, and continue to push away. The wormhole blinks out of existence at 485 km, putting me in the adjacent grid and off the overview. I think that's pretty neat. I turn around and head back the way I came, seeing the wormhole reappear soon enough. I could simply warp back, but it's almost as quick to burn at sub-warp speeds in the Malediction. Some of the feeling of speed is lost in the vast emptiness of space, even with the swift ticking down of the distance to the wormhole, but every metre per second is felt when I overshoot the wormhole by kilometres and the interceptor spins to correct. My speed settles down and I jump back home.

Fin is mining gas. I take Sad Panda in to the ladar site to buzz her cruiser, only to find that instead she is engaging the Sleepers she woke up. I point my fragile Tech II frigate away from the action, showing my impressive speed at running away, when the penultimate cruiser is destroyed. With only one Sleeper remaining it seems most opportune to test my Malediction's capabilities and I head back, targeting the cruiser and getting myself in to an orbit around it. I manage to get the Sleeper's attention somehow and it starts shooting me, and apart from one lucky hit my 'speed tanking' is working a treat. The Sleeper's guns cannot track me quickly enough and my small signature radius and high speed make the missile explosions ineffective to the point where I can shield tank the damage.

My little interceptor may be capable of avoiding this Sleeper cruiser's damage, but apart from stopping it warping away I am hardly a credible threat. Just as the Sleeper cannot damage me, I cannot damage it. The Malediction is straining against its speed trying to maintain a specific orbit without quite managing it and my rockets use all their fuel before they reach the target, meaning I am shooting ineffectively. Now is not the time to point out that missiles won't suddenly fall out of the air in a zero-g and fluid-free enviroment, so instead I need a way to improve my range. I either need to orbit closer, which looks difficult, or make my rockets fly further, which I can do.

Sad Panda is unrigged at the moment. Fitting one rig to boost the flight time and another rig to boost the maximum velocity should give me a decent increase to the range of my rockets. The next time a decent high-sec exit presents itself I shall go shopping. But, for now, with Fin destroying the Sleeper cruiser, I store Sad Panda back in the ship array, use my Crane to collect the mined gas, and then park in the tower's shields for the night.

  1. 5 Responses to “Interceptor test flight”

  2. I love my crusader.

    Once I hopped around in lowsec, running gate camps and what not with just an overheated AB (t2), and I really love speed tanking, fun to watch the armor zig zag.

    My fav rigs are one that makes your t2 guns fire faster, but you BURN through cap. They pulse fast as hell, making you put out a decent DPS.

    I am a junky for what flies fast, even if in eve it is still cumbersome at best.

    There are guides out there dealing in effective inty combat, showing if you are coming up to a target that snipes at range, how to avoid being easily tracked at distance.

    Usually missles are the enemy (light or precision heavies), but I still usually decently tank most things.

    May you spill about the blood of your enemy


    By Zane on May 7, 2010

  3. I really ought to train guns at some point, if only to open up more options for ship fittings as well as for the ships themselves.

    There really is something about flying fast, even if the sensation isn't always present. I will need to research how to pilot interceptors along with getting actual experience, and I imagine it will be a while before Sad Panda destroys her first ship. I am sure the new class of ship will become useful at some point, though.

    By pjharvey on May 7, 2010

  4. It depends on what you want to do in your inty, but if you're going for tackle, probably better to fit agility rigs. This lets you orbit tighter and faster.

    Inties really are a blast to fly, the speed can be intoxicating!

    By Btek on May 24, 2010

  5. That's a good idea. This is why I pay you the big iskies.

    By pjharvey on May 24, 2010

  6. Hah!

    My advice is always worth exactly what you pay for it...

    By Btek on May 25, 2010

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