Disco may not be dead, but it kills me

14th March 2012 – 5.01 pm

I'm a glutton for punishment. Having suffered through repeated but unpredictable ship failures, requiring a systems restart each time, and even though there have been no released patches to correct this, I am still hopeful that I can make it through this evening without problem. I should be fine as long as I stick to attacking defenceless industrial ships, which is pretty much all I do anyway, so I'm really only expecting to feel some frustration and make hollow threats of rage-quitting. It's just another day in w-space.

It's not quite just another day in w-space, as there are core probes in our home system. It should only be me here at the moment, so the probes are from an external pilot. Luckily, or foolishly, they are core scanning probes, which lets me warp out to a distant safe spot and launch my combat scanning probes without much risk of being detected by the scout. A blanket scan of the home system picks up four signatures. One of them is presumably a K162 but that still leaves another unidentified. I assume the scout will be concentrating on his scanning and so I bring my probes in to the system to resolve the unknown signatures.

I resolve two wormholes and a ladar gas harvesting site pretty quickly. Certainly more quickly than the other scout does. I warp to both wormholes, identifying our static connection to class 3 w-space and the K162 as being from class 5 w-space, all before the scout's core probes disappear from space. I place myself on our static connection, expecting the scout to continue his exploration away from home, and wait to see what ship passes me by. Of course, it's possible that he'll go home and report our C4 being ripe with anomalies to clear, but that's fine too. I'm okay waiting for a Noctis full of loot to pop.

The scout's continuing to explore. An Anathema covert operations boat decloaks near the wormhole and jumps to the class 3 system beyond. I know I have almost no hope of catching the tiny and agile boat, but I'll give it a go anyway. It feels like it's been a while since I've seen another ship to shoot. I follow behind the Anathema, get my systems hot in the C3, and wait for the cov-ops to reveal itself. He's being cautious, definitely waiting for the session change timer to end before moving, and when he does move it is not with as much grace as I'd associate with the boat. Although I watch as the ship warps away from the wormhole and cloaks, I nearly got a positive lock before it did so. That was closer than I expected.

I'm pretty sure I scared the Anathema, at the very least. In my judgement he won't start scanning the C3, which would actually be one of the safest options for him, but will probably want to run back home. That's fine with me, but I should get a different ship. Spooking pilots may be good for laughs but it doesn't break pods open. I warp back to our tower and stow the Tengu for my Malediction interceptor. I may not have that much luck snaring cov-ops in the Malediction but it is far more suitable for the task than my covert strategic cruiser, and if the Anathema pilot is as clumsy moving away from the wormhole a second time I may well catch him.

I drop my interceptor on to our static wormhole and wait, watching my directional scanner all the while. I check d-scan on my way to the wormhole to see if I miss his return, and whilst I sit on the wormhole to see if he's called for protection. And it looks like he has, as an Ishtar heavy assault cruiser appears after a few minutes of nothing happening. Updating d-scan can feel pretty dull most of the time but it keeps a Penny safe. I warp back to the tower before the Ishtar makes its physical presence known, where I consider my options.

Normally my options are to ignore a fair fight, as I would probably lose. But I wonder about my image sometimes, mostly going for unarmed industrial ships and pods, and this is dangerous thinking. I don't know much about the Ishtar but it is only a heavy assault cruiser. Maybe my Legion strategic cruiser would be more than a match. I don't often fly head first in to danger, as it's too dangerous, but maybe if the other pilots brought an Ishtar to a covert Tengu fight they may not be expecting a more formidable ship. I go against my better judgement and board the Legion.

I keep checking d-scan and still see just the Ishtar, although the Anathema has apparently made it back in to the system. Assuming that he only wanted an escort to get him home safely I warp to the C5 K162 in a bid to intercept the Ishtar, but he's not there. I'm not about to jump blindly in to a system when I am already being reckless, not having scouted the C5 yet, so with the Ishtar still on d-scan I warp back to our static wormhole. Yep, he's still there, or thereabouts. The HAC has scooted fifty kilometres away or so and is anchoring a warp bubble, no doubt to try to catch me should I warp directly from our tower. I inadvertently outsmarted him this time. Now we lock horns.

I move in to engage the Ishtar, and he moves to engage me. Well, he doesn't so much move as launch drones and let them do his dirty work, the stinking Gallente scum. I need to get closer to be in range of my missiles, but as I approach a new contact appears. A Loki strategic cruiser decloaks a short distance behind me, which looks to me like a better target. It's completely in range of all my offensive systems and is higher value, so I switch targets and start pounding against the Loki's shields. Of course, what it should have looked like was that I had stupidly taken the bait and waltzed in to a counter-ambush. It's okay, I don't have long before the penny drops, as when a third ship appears I realise I'm in trouble, and that's before the Anathema reappears to add its own disruptive effects.

My secret weapon is my glorious leader. Fin arrives shortly after the Loki appears. I try to update her quickly and call for some more offensive capability to come my way, corrected ten seconds later by politely but urgently requesting some ECM support. As Fin sorts out a Falcon recon ship from our hangar and gets her bearings I'm burning back to the static wormhole. I can still try to shake the hostile ships the old-fashioned way, although I suspect my rather bulky, armour-plated ship won't be able to pull many fancy evasive manoeuvres. Even so, I jump through the wormhole to C3a and try to warp clear.

The tactic doesn't work. The return of the Anathema was a shrewd move on behalf of the attackers. It may be small and flimsy but it can lock quickly and hold me in place before running clear once the bigger ships have me in their grasp. I'm easily caught on the K162 in C3a, giving me nowhere to go. I was pretty much expecting that, although warping clear would have been a good result too. But what I've done is buy Fin time to get the Falcon from our tower to the wormhole and let her reconnoitre the situation a little. My Legion's nearly on fire as I turn it back around to the wormhole, where I can jump home and hopefully have Fin's ECM let me warp clear. Or I could, if this wasn't the time that I suffer my first ship systems failure of the evening.

I command the Legion to approach the wormhole but still I continue to glide away from it. I repeat my command, not quite believing that my ship's agility is quite so compromised from the single armour plate fitted, but the best I can achieve is to come to almost a full stop some eight kilometres from the wormhole. That's too far for me to jump through, but already I know I've lost my ship. Communications aren't getting through to Fin, d-scan isn't updating. Nothing is working. Of all the times I could lose control, now is the worst.

I force a restart of the ship's systems, knowing that I won't be returning to a ship. My main concern is wondering what will become of my pod. I don't know if it will warp clear as an emergency procedure or if it will be prevented from warping for being in combat. It takes about a minute for the systems to load and interface appear, and although I am pleased to see my pod safe I am bitterly upset concerning the loss of the Legion. I have no qualms about foolishly flying in to a well-executed trap, and that I was likely to lose yet another strategic cruiser by myself—apart from apparently never learning my lesson—but I knew I had a chance to save it. Fin turned up just in time and we could have brought the Legion home. If only some random bug wasn't continuing to cause me problems.

I orientate myself in C3a, ask Fin to check the home side of our static wormhole, and, hearing it to be clear, head back. I jump through the connection and warp to the tower, frankly impressed by the efficiency of the hostile fleet. There is no sign of my Legion or its wreck, no ships loitering in the pocket, and even their anchored warp bubble near the wormhole has been scooped. They deserved the kill. But they deserved a clean kill. The instability of my ships is more than just an irritation now, it is too much. I'm heading off-line to get drunk, and probably won't be back until the problem is fixed.

  1. 11 Responses to “Disco may not be dead, but it kills me”

  2. Sucks man. What is it with you and Legions lol. Bad luck I guess.

    Btw, I have just finished the skills and have bought myself my first T3! A Probie-Cloaky-Loki that I plan on using in the same way that you use your Tengu.

    I would worry about your "rep" of killing indy pilots... 'Tis a glorious role. One that i have been working on reaching for months and cant wait to pop that first "moon goo" hauler/Nocti that crosses my path.


    By FuzzKiller on Mar 14, 2012

  3. *"I wouldnt worry..."

    By FuzzKiller on Mar 14, 2012

  4. Just so you know, an ishtar can be a pretty tough nut to crack open, even for a T3.

    I just noticed that the other guys are part of Adhocracy, pretty well known wormhole corp. They never are alone, remember that !

    By Quantieme on Mar 14, 2012

  5. That's just bad luck...

    Looks like things are about to get interesting for us, will keep you posted, not posting on the blog for now as I do t want to give away any intel.


    By Zandramus on Mar 14, 2012

  6. This is really good writing. I'm going to have to start reading your reports more often. It's been in my Google Reader feed for awhile, but finally got around to reading today at lunch. Was completely wrapped up in what was going to happen. I figured because you were writing about it, that you'd been successful. Did not expect the loss at all.

    Good work.

    By Poetic Stanziel on Mar 15, 2012

  7. I think I need different ships, Fuzzy. I keep throwing Legions at targets because I consider it the most powerful weapon in my arsenal. Maybe if I had more ships with different fittings I would get them destroyed instead. It could even be cheaper! I would need to learn more about what's available, though. And, yeah, there's nothing wrong with hunting and pewing indies and salvagers. There's a skill to that too.

    Thanks for the tips, Quantieme. I haven't engaged too many ships directly so am not always sure what they are capable of. I was hoping to learn with this engagement, but all I really learnt was to beware of cloaked ships.

    I look forward to hearing about your interesting times, Z.

    And thanks, PS. I'll write about anything, however embarrassing. It's good to know we're not alone in making dumb mistakes.

    By pjharvey on Mar 15, 2012

  8. The legion is a very scary ship for sure no doubt about it. Its just a vulnerable target in other situations though due to its lack of GTFO ability... as you so unfortunately found out.

    The Pilgrim comes to mind as a ship you should be in as well. Well rounded w/ neuts/drones and has a good range of targets in WH's. Also its a tad cheaper to replace ;)

    By FuzzKiller on Mar 15, 2012

  9. Taking a fair fight in wh's is usually not a good idea. Very few people in wh's fly solo so you can always expect that if they are looking for a fight they do have backup. A quick check of kb's can get you a fairly good idea of the size of the gang that they are probably going to bring. Adhoc in particular is known for bringing lots of ecm and usually have 10-20 in their gangs.

    For solo work I'd really recommend a tempest, its cheap and eats right through active tanks which is what you usually run into... a little more pricy is a machariel which has the speed to kill bait and run away from the trap. As well, 100mn tengus are awesome for getting away but don't really have the dps to kill anything active tanked. Legion is more of a gang ship, doesn't have the best dps or ehp and armor is always slow especially if you run afterburner fit.

    By kryn on Mar 16, 2012

  10. Battleships would be okay for home defence, but their high scan resolution and other general slowness makes them less than suitable for roaming.

    The Pilgrim would be a good choice for most skirmishes in open space, but I now remember why we settled on the Legion. Sleepers are rather more varied with their target selection than just the first ship they see, so any ambushes in anomalies and other sites have to be performed in ships that can tank damage from the Sleepers as well as that from the target pilots. Strategic cruisers seemed the best choice overall.

    By pjharvey on Mar 21, 2012

  11. Clumsy? Me? Well I never....

    By Sao on Mar 24, 2012

  12. I call them as I see them. I'm bound to be wrong sometimes.

    By pjharvey on Mar 27, 2012

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