Space Jaunting: Part 1 – Day 8 – Can Flip, Will Flip
If there’s one thing that I’ve learnt this week it’s to not log into Eve Online before writing this blog, because then this blog does not get written, I just play Eve Online instead. That’s been the case the last 2 nights so tonight I’ve forced myself to ignore it and get straight on here to update you all on Maxi Foyle’s week so far.
It’s been a week of distractions for Maxi too. You’ll remember he was getting all excited about his new Vexor he’d been given and couldn’t wait for the skills necessary to fly it to complete. Well they completed last night but he still hasn’t flown the thing because of all the lovely distractions his corporation keep throwing at him:
Distraction number 1 – Mining Ops – Maxi went on another mining operation on Tuesday, it was even busier this time, and Maxi was able to use his new Retriever, the Feisty Pigeon, to mine loads more ore than last time, and get a long way to filling a can of scordite before he and his can got can flipped.
Now, for those of you unfamiliar with the game and the term, ‘can flipping’ is the colloquial, deep space term for having your stuff stolen. Specifically stuff you have put in a can whilst mining. How could Maxi Foyle, Space Industrialist, be so lax as to let someone pickpocket 3 million ISK worth of ore from right under his nose without him noticing? Well, he wouldn’t, he just let them pickpocket him even though he did notice them coming.
The issue is a very big bad pirate stole Maxi’s stuff and, after much convincing by his more experienced mining fleet members, he refused to retaliate because apparently the pirate would have then blown Maxi, and all his fleet friends, into little bits (because if Maxi attacked first, the pirate is free retaliate and the authorities would not intervene). And then when Maxi’s clone stepped out of storage and undocked in a new ship the pirate would have blown him up too. And the next clone. And the next clone. Etc. That pirates name? I’m not so childish as to give it out in public, but to give you a clue it begins with G.
And ends in: enghisKhan.
Just putting that out there in case any more experienced players reading this want to earn the 400 million ISK bounty I noticed was on his head…
Anyway, Maxi trudged on regardless and managed to produce about half a can of ore for the corporation’s cause. Considering the previous op had earned him 5 million ISK for one can, it’s not a completely wasted night.
I don’t know if you’ve noticed but over the few weeks Maxi has been trying to make some ISK and a name for himself in deep space, he’s been getting more cautious, less ambitious, and generally softer as the weeks have gone on. Don’t worry, I’d noticed this too. Despite Maxi’s grand plans to make a life in null-sec space, he’s never visited once. Nor has he done any Player vs Player combat, or challenged any combat missions above level 1. This was playing on my mind this week and I’ve been contemplating forcing him to go to null-sec just to say we’d been when the perfect opportunity to prove he’s still got some space balls appeared:
Distraction number 2 – Daredevilry – Last night Maxi went on a Level 4 mission and blew up 2 Cruisers in his little frigate the Jousting Mongoose. And it was so easy he even had time to lean out the window and take this photo whilst doing it (the cruiser’s that explodey thing in the top right hand corner):
And I could leave it at that and sound very brave indeed, but I think I ought to explain how this came about before you start accusing me of making it up:
Last night Maxi signed on just to sort out his training queue and out of curiosity asked a fellow corp member if there were any local level 1 mission agents Maxi could go on, just for something to do instead of bloody mining. The corp member explained how to view local agents and their mission level ratings, but then came back with a slightly better offer. The conversation, with a player I’m going to call JL for anonymity’s sake, went pretty much like this:
JL: “Are you near Ohide?”
JL: “Have you got high dps on your ship?”
MF: “Um, what’s dps?”
JL: “Damage per Second!”
MF: “Err…not sure, I have 3x 125mm railguns”
JL: “Can you link me your fit?”
MF: “Umm, how do I do that?”
JL: Sigh <inaudible, obviously, but I know he was sighing by this point> “You drag your ship from the fitting window to the chat window”
MF: “Oh! Here you go.”
JL: “Looks good enough to me. Wanna help me with these bs’s?”
MF: “What are bs’s? Bullshitters?”
MF: “Battleships!” <at this point Maxi was thinking up a polite way of declining when I reached over and typed> “No problem. Invite me to a fleet.”
And so Maxi’s daring foray into a level 4 mission began. Just to put ‘level 4’ into context for the uninitiated, missions (as with much in the game) are categorised from levels 1 -5, 1 being easiest, 5 being hardest. Maxi has so far only ever done level 1 missions and has lost a few frigates doing them too. Level 2 and 3 missions are advisedly tackled in cruisers and battlecruisers (which is why Maxi was so keen to get his Vexor). And Level 4 and 5 in the largest ships in the game, the battleships and giant capital ships.
This should also give you an idea of the ridiculous odds Maxi was therefore going to have to face warping in to a fight with Battleships, in a level 4 mission, to join a fleet of 1 other pilot.
The fight itself went a little something like this:
Maxi warped in to see a vast radar array bristling with missile sentries, orbited by Cruisers and Battleships. Initially no one seemed to notice he was there, so Maxi took a moment to get his bearings. The array and enemies were 30km ahead, whilst 200km away to his left his fleetmate’s Battlecruiser was very slowly making its way towards the hive of buzzing red hostiles. A wing of JL’s drones had been deployed and were zipping around making a nuisance of themselves around the Battleships whilst they were trying to blast holes in JL’s Battlecruiser shield.
JL acknowledged Maxi on the fleet chat window and confirmed he was well tanked, and was fine soaking up all the enemy’s firepower, it was just taking a long time to get within a range at which he could use his railguns, could Maxi help out by dealing out some damage to them?
“Not a problem”, Maxi replied, still a bit baffled by the 30 or so hostile targets littering his overview. He wasn’t quite sure what the plan of action was. Best start on the small targets Maxi thought, and so targeted one of the missile batteries standing guard at the radar array.
(A small note on targeting enemies: If, say, an enemy targets you your ship’s computer identifies this threat and automatically targets them back, making you aware of the threat and giving you the opportunity to counter-attack.) Now Maxi had seen this in action before and made a curious mental note about the phenomenon, but in the excitement and commotion of the scene that greeted him he forgot all about it.
Needless to say, by the time Maxi had locked the target and fired one useless volley of railgun fire, that missed due to firing from such a long-range, the missile battery in question had targeted him back and launched a missile. Not only this but it appeared to have notified its missile battery friends of Maxi’s presence in the fight and they too locked and launched a volley, no, torrent of missiles straight for him. And missiles do work at long-range, in fact it is their most famously useful feature that they work very well at long-range. After the first wave of missiles reduced Maxi’s shield to nothing and armour to half he luckily realised there was only one course of action, and before his fleetmate could type “WARP OUT!” Maxi had hit warp and made a second perfect escape, getting out of there with only a quarter of his hull left.
Not a lot of use, you’ll agree, but Maxi’s amazingly patient corp-mate JL told Maxi to repair and get ready to warp back once he’d taken out the missile batteries. And sure enough when Maxi warped back in 10 minutes later to join the fight with the missile batteries gone and the Cruisers and Battleships focusing all their fire on JL, Maxi was able to get to work dealing some damage to the large ships. Soon enough the enemy was crushed and we moved in on the mission’s target, a space chapel, that exploded a little bit like this:
Despite the relative lack of help Maxi actually provided JL was happy to share the mission reward with him, making the whole experience very worthwhile for our plucky, heroic space mission helper. Not that Maxi stuck around to join the next mission. “Err, I think my tea’s ready, sorry. Thanks, though. Bye!”
So ends another galactic adventure for Maxi Foyle, Space Missile Attractor. Perhaps I can hold off the null-sec visit for a bit longer if Maxi keeps up these dare-devil ways.
Thanks for reading. Until next time, fly safe. o7