Wednesday, 11 March 2009


Oh well... Ever since I saw the dev blogs on the new release I knew I might have a problem. The Classic client has served me well over the last year and apart from some weird effects in fleet battles it worked really great. There was certainly never a problem in 1v1's. The new software is a disaster for me though because although I meet the minimum system requirements in practice it's unplayable. I'm not alone obviously and the closest post I've seen to my situation is probably this one although it doesn't mention the weird sound distortions I sometimes get!

Now I guess at this point I could have a good old moan at CCP, particularly as I'm currently paying for two accounts. But the truth is I don't blame them for pushing up the requirements because if you don't you end up with game development being held back by the need to support old systems. The trouble for me is that I don't think it makes sense to try and upgrade my current ageing machine - it would be like putting lipstick on a pig.

So there it is, looks like Brutus is grounded until a new machine appears although when that will be I'm not sure. In the meantime he'll get some training done and think back on some great recent fights while he sits in the station bar. A good example was the one with Arquebie where there was just 17% structure between victory and defeat. It was the second combat in a few days and this time he used EMP... Boy was that fight close. Happy days.

Fly deadly!!

Friday, 6 March 2009

omg R.I.P.

What's in a name? Well sometimes quite a lot. When a rifter is new I'm happy to change it's name and often do - for example to masquerade as some random noob who happens to be in system. But once it gets a few victories under its belt that all changes and the name becomes like a talisman bringing luck and changed at peril. So it was with 'omg'. A random choice a first but it became essential to success for this particular rifter and impossible to change. But in the end all my rifters die a fiery death and 'omg' was to be no exception...

You never quite know what you're going to find when you undock in Amamake but this time the intial scan showed a number of frigate class ships. Warping to a safespot I quickly identify one particular rifter which seems to be moving between belts. Warp drive active...

Scanning as I warp in he's gone before I come out of warp but I quickly narrow him to another belt. Warp drive active... This time I arrive just as he's warping out, Drek Grapper, someone I'd fought before. Again he's gone to another belt. Warp drive active...

I come out of warp, my lock resolves, and the fight is on! He's pretty close and I quickly start to lose my shield - damm EMP. With guns and ab overloaded I stretch out the range as best I can but it's clear it's going to be close and I seem to be making slow progress through his armour while my shields continue to melt away. My cap is dropping too - that damm neut of his. My shields give out and my armour goes quickly while the last remains of his armour are still in place. I start to align to get my pod out but break through to his structure as he reaches mine. And a second or two later he explodes. As close as it gets... 31% structure left and the flames are long and bright. Good discussion afterwards and he even asked if I was rigged...

No gcc so I immediately dock, dump the loot and repair. There's no need to wait out the station guns so I immediately undock only to find an Amarr war target in a rifter about 50 km away. He warps to the Auga gate and even though I'm still carrying shield damage I follow. Warp drive active...

He's on the gate as I arrive and I try to lock but he jumps through. But then another war target rifter arrives. Now this has all the hallmarks of death by blob - multiple ships, almost certainly in a fleet - but the Red Mist has descended and it's time for YARR. Lock, engage. Things go well at first and I'm doing great damage on Glach Duwat but then the first rifter jumps back through the gate and a Tristan and a Punisher also join the party. I'm soon taking serious damage and it's clear my ship is doomed but I'm nearly through the armour of Glach Duwat as I overload everything in the last desperate moments. I get him well into structure but then my beloved rifter explodes... I'm spamming warp to get the pod out but things seem to freeze up for a bit and by the time it comes back the pod is dying and Brutus come's to in a clone vat. First pod I'd lost in ages...

The kill mail was interesting because it shows all the damge from the previous fight as well - even though I'd repaired the hull and armour. I was carrying shield damage though.

And so came to the end the best run I've ever had with a single rifter - 18 ship kills and 9 pods, with some great fights along the way.

omg R.I.P.

Thursday, 5 March 2009

29 million ISK rifter

Even after a day without flying Brutus is getting withdrawl symptoms and he's soon heading out into the black once more.

The first fight of the day is in Amamake with Drek Grapper, and a fine one it is too. Close enough to be interesting but not too close to be uncomfortable... He has an interesting setup on his rifter too combining a 400 plate setup with an energy neut in one of his high's. Good discussion afterwards, obviously a good pilot. The more I come across neut's the more I'd like to use one myself.

A little later I have a fairly easy kill against Barakaa in another rifter but then Amamake goes through one of its 'busy with assault frigs and intys' periods and I head off for a bit of a roam.

After some fruitless searching I find myself in Siseide and spot a rifter on scan in a belt. Warp drive active... I come out of warp and am right on top of him. I lock and engage immediately but soon my shield tank is taking real damage - he's obviously using EMP. I'm webbed too but by overheating the ab manage to keep some decent range and the tide turns quickly in my favour and Asmodean Shepherd's rifter expodes followed by his pod. Phew.

The next day is one of those weird frustrating days you get every now and again and at one point I'm reduced to chasing round after an Imicus from belt to belt in Egghelende. A rare day with no kills. But the next day is much better...

Back in Egghelende I spot a rifter at a belt. Warp drive active... Battle is quickly joined with muraini who is just finishing off a rat as I arrive. But again it develops into a tough fight. I seem to be taking a lot of damage while his armour shows all the signs of being a 400 plate. I try and extend my range and make some progress despite the web and slowly but surely gain the upper hand with my shield about to give out as I get him into structure. The explosion is very welcome... Good discussion afterwards but it's only later when I post the kill that I realise he was heavily rigged. Now I don't know how accurate the ISK figures on battleclinic really are but the figure listed is 28,945,360. Expensive by any standards...

But my fun wasn't over yet. A little later I was just arriving at the Siseide gate when the gate fired. Within seconds a rifter uncloaks about 20K away. Worth a try... so I start to head towards it waiting for a sign of aggression... and it comes. Fight is on! It quickly becomes apparent that I'm dealing with a shield tanker but even so it's proving hard work and it turns into a real game of attrition. I'm not using EMP of course but luckily it's apparent from the rate of damage to my shield that neither is he. Even with everything overloaded it seems to take an age to get through his shield but with the guns nearly cooked I get there and he explodes. There's something funny about two shield tankers battling it out with the wrong ammo... Turns out that he had three T2 Shield Power Relays in the lows - so that explains it. Haven't seen that before on a rifter.

A particularly good day was rounded off by a couple more fights. A fine fight with Azose in Amamake resulted in a decent haul of loot while much later I jumped a couple of rocket fitted Kestrels in Auga. Both Buchatar and Hit Lerooni went down pretty quick.

Happy days.

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Punishing Punisher

My usual haunts were looking a bit quiet so I headed off from Dal into Metropolis to see what I could find. After making my way to Ardar I doubled back to Frerstorn and then saw a Punisher on scan - almost certainly the single Amarr war target in system, but before I can get close he dissapears from scan. Almost immediately though I see a rifter on scan and soon isolate it to a belt. Warp drive active...

With everything primed I come out of warp to find Shockhead a short distance away and I immediately lock and engage. It's over very quickly and the rifter explodes followed shortly after by the pod. I scoop the loot and immediately warp out - I never linger at kills. Scanning again I find that the Punisher has returned and seems to be sitting at a nearby planet. Warp drive active...

I come out of warp to find Cordarouy Pants in his Punisher in disruptor range, my lock resolves and the fight is on. As a result of many fights I've come to respect the Punisher. When flown by a competent pilot it will always give you a tough encounter and it quickly became apparent that this was going to be close. His shields went quickly enough but the armour was really hard work - the repairer seemed to be working overtime. As soon as I made an impact the repairer would work its magic and all the while my precious shield was being ripped away. Meanwhile the damage is building on the overloaded guns, but more than that my cap is draining away - he must be using a neut. Things are looking desperate now and when my shield finally gives way my armour starts to dissapear rapidly. Soon after I finally run out of cap and my disruptor and afterburner shut off. I align to get my pod out but then see he's into structure, my guns still glowing. I'm well into structure myself now and notice the dreaded flames emerging from my rifters wounded hull but then - boom - and the Punisher explodes. He gets his pod out despite my best efforts so I loot the wreck and get the hell out.

Good discussion afterwards with 'gf' sincerely meant.

42% structure left. Fights like that are what it's all about.

Later on that day I get another good fight from Dec Apilatour in his rifter. A good loot drop too, always handy.

Rifter days

Brutus has been pretty busy the last week or so but before we get onto that lets get the last loss out the way. It was a classic death by blob. Occupational hazard in Amamake I guess, take on one ship and end up fighting eight. But was it really necessary to drop TWO falcons on one rifter? Oh well, you've got to laugh. To be honest though it wasn't just bad luck as I know the corp well and should have known better...

Still, one of the reasons I love flying rifters so much is that they're cheap and fun. I've never believed in the 'bigger is better' ideas that drive the rush to battleships. In my experience the amount of fun you have is inversely related to the size of ship you fly and it wasn't long before a new rust coloured ship was heading out into the black.

Since that loss there have been 17 ship kills and 9 pods squished and boy have there been some good fights. It started off low key with Darveris in his Cormorant. I was doing the usual 'cycle through safespots' routine in Amamake when I spotted a group of 3 ships at a belt: a Cormorant, Incursus and a Magnate. I warped in on them and primaried the Cormorant and almost instantly his mates warped out leaving him to his fate. It didn't take long, even firing Barrage, and I also finished off his pod. The other kills that day weren't very interesting - I even killed a Reaper off out of sheer boredom - but the next day was to be different.

The first kill was Thanndor in his rifter. I'd been hunting down an Incursus in Gulmorogod when I scanned both the Incursus and a rifter at a belt. Warp is engaged and as the bubble collapses I find Thanndor under attack by denakita in the Incursus. I primary Thanndor hoping to get on two kills but denakita warps out before the rifter explodes. Bad choice in retrospect as denakita would have been the better kill but you can't get them all right.

Later that day saw me roaming through Egghelende... Now I'd like to be able to claim that the fight with Ghostmana121 came about as a result of great scanning work and decisive action by me - but I'd be lying. I'll spare you the details but what happenned was that I warped to zero on a planet by mistake and there only a few km away was Ghostmana121 in a Caracal. Oh well, lock. Again, no EMP, which could have been a costly error as it seemed to take an age to eat through his shield - even with the guns overloaded - while my own shield tank was starting to melt away. Then he launched his drones. Thankfully though they were of the T1 variety and quickly dispatched although it gave his shields precious breathing space. But with the guns back on the Caracal, slowly but surely, I began to win the war of attrition and once I was through his shield he went down fast. 'gf' was exchanged and we had a good discussion afterwards. He was surprised by the amount of damage my rifter could take but then he'd been using Navy Terror Assult missiles - luckily for me!

The next day saw an even closer fight...

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

The Red Mist

Welcome! This is the first of what I hope will be many posts recounting the adventures of Brutus Severus in New Eden. Now some of you may not be too keen on ol' Brutus as he is after all a dastardly pirate who makes his living by taking what he needs from others. But whatever your views may be of a character with a -10.0 security rating I hope you'll find the blog entertaining.

Now Brutus has come a long way since he emerged from his clone vat just under a year ago and there have been quite a number of twists and turns along the way. But for a while now he's been following a straight and simple path: flying rifters solo in PvP for profit. Now luckily he had some ISK reserves behind him when he set out on this quest because I think it's fair to say that it hasn't always been a smooth ride. The triumphs and tragedies have been many but in one way or another Brutus has made his mark in the dark skies of Eve.

There are plenty of questions that could be asked of Brutus: why hasn't he tried to join a corp? why does he still fight for the militia? why does he only fly rifters? what turned him into a wrongun? was he drunk when he got the tattoo done? but these are best answered as his story unfolds. The truth is that only one thing really matters to him: the adrenaline rush of PvP - the Red Mist of combat. And with that in mind his story begins...