Travel, Nullsec, Roaming, and Goons

I hate autopilot.

If there was a module or rig that cut the distance the autopilot comes out of warp to a stargate, I would buy it even if it was a billion isk. Sometimes I just want to get somewhere fast and I’d like to go make myself a coffee or something while I’m flying through high security space. This is my pet peeve with EVE right now and I’ve shared that or something similar with every pay-to-play MMO I’ve ever played. The concept of the time-sink…something to keep you busy so you don’t tear through content. Travelling always seems to be a big part of this…spending large amounts of time getting somewhere.

I hate not having some form of fast travel. Of course, I completely understand it with EVE given the nature of the PVP game but I just wish autopilot didn’t take so much longer than manually jumping from gate to gate to gate.

Rant over. Let me tell you where this stemmed from.

So I have “Stuff” all over and I spend some time consolidating. This involves me flying around in an Iteron Mk III until most everything I own is either in Jita or my preferred home of Dodixie. I spend far too much time clicking on “Warp to 0” and “Jump” when I wish the autopilot would do it for me. Yes, I am lazy. After an exceedingly long time doing this, I finally finish and bring one of my ships from Dodixie to Jita in order to complete a fit and actually do something fun.

“Hey Lei, wanna come fly Rifters with us?”

This question comes from Ambedrake. Ambe is part of the Aperture Reach corporation, and he loves to kill stuff like the rest of the Aperture Reach guys. We’re all good buds, us in Deep Space Logistics and Aperture Reach. We provide industry, they provide muscle. Its a good relationship. Ambe has extended a couple invitations to me over the last week to fly with the AR guys. There is the odd joke that he is trying to steal me away from Deep Space Logistics. I don’t think that would bother me too much. One of the AR guys is named Mando, and he was the one who originally invited me to fleet and got me hooked up with DPSLG in the first place.

I tell Ambe I’d love to, but I can’t fly a Rifter. I’m pretty much a Gallente-only pilot right now and while I could train Minmatar Frigate really fast, I’d be no good with autocannons and I’d lose all my ship bonuses if I fitted it with hybrids. I ask Ambe if I could bring a Tristan instead, he tells me that anything with guns is fine; he just has like 100 spare Rifters right now.

Then Ambe has a better idea; “We should fly Comets!” he says. He offers to give me a Comet and we look up some fits online. Then I get a shopping list; Ambe provides the ships and I have to provide the equipment. Its not a cheap fit but that’s OK, I’m getting a free Comet out of the deal so I don’t mind.

I look up the Navy Comet. Looks pretty cool. Description says its a Tristan with an extra slot, more armor and shields. Even better! I love the Tristan so this should be ideal. I find out where Ambe’s staging point is and of course, its over 20 jumps away again. Its actually not that far from Dodixie which makes me alternately rage and laugh because I had just flown from there and back like three times already. So tired of traveling!

I get all the gear, barely pack it into my frigate and meet up with the other AR guys on the edge of lowsec NW of Gallente space. Ambe says we’re going roaming so I express my desire to not overly damage my security standing. I’m at -0.1 for a fairly recent act of piracy (another story) and I actually like flying around Council space.

“OK.” says Ambe. “Then we’ll go to Null.”

This is new to me. I’m excited. Secretly I hope we’ll stumble across some huge CFC vs TEST fleet action or something. Bombs, missiles and beams flying. Time dilation. Capital ship explosions. Delicious tears. “Gudfights” or so they say. Mostly I just hope we don’t get killed before we even reach nullsec.

We saddle up and head out. This is my first real taste of operating within a fleet fitted for combat. Small fleet, 5-6 of us in a variety of frigates. I look around and laugh as I notice that Ambedrake’s Comet is named “Panty Raider Sr.” I laugh even harder when I notice that my Comet is named “Panty Raider Jr.”

For the majority of the time, roaming involves doing absolutely whatever Ambe tells us to do, quickly. There are multiple noobs on this roam so I try and follow my FC’s directions without getting lost, lagging behind (too much) or accidentally jumping through a gate before our scout has cleared it. I only majorly fuck that up one time which is when I accidentally hit “Jump” instead of “Orbit” on a gate we were holding at. Fortunately I held cloak at the destination with no issues and the fleet joined me seconds later. Oops. My bad, Ambe.

I learn to dscan better. I learn how best to avoid warp bubbles. I learn how to work with a fleet traveling in a ‘rolling safety’. Ambe gives us tips and pointers as we travel on ways to not get killed, and keeps us safe. Hold and orbit at 500 on outbound gate. Jump, jump, jump. Hold cloak. Align on destination. Warp, hold and orbit at 500.

As time passes we move deeper into Null. Our scout, Jieirn, is doing a fine job of keeping us safe and navigating us around warp bubbles, which are also new to me. We look for loners and stragglers, finding a couple that we can never manage to pin down. We find a small fleet of Exequrors at one gate and both fleets initially seem to ignore one another, but they briefly chase us as we high-tail it through systems. We’re faster than them; they quit after a couple of jumps.

Deeper we go. Dscan. Check local.1 extra person in local. 2 extra in local…no wait, they warped out. Everyone watches for gate flash. Mando scouts ahead and tries to get a point with his Warp Disruptor  on a loner, but no dice. This roam is becoming uneventful, and not terribly exciting.

We finally get towards our destination system and then Jieirn stops us cold. He’s jumped ahead and seen a Cyno field. There are hundreds of contacts in local. We jump in, clear the gate to a few hundred km distance and investigate.

A couple hundred ships surround a player owned structure. Jieirn almost accidentally drops right onto it orbiting the second planet of the system and the vets start taking a look to figure out who the heck this all belongs to. It takes but a mere moment.

“Its a CFC structure.”

Well shit, I guess I get my wish. A Goon fleet is forming up here. Jieirn starts listing off ship classes, large and small. Nothing enormous (shame, I wanted to see a really big ship for once) but and impressive collection nonetheless.

Someone laughs in local about Jieirn’s rifter showing up near the station then turning tail and running but there seems to be no concerted effort to run him down. We feel that its likely they aren’t aware we’re here. We decide to see if we can bait anyone to come after us so we can gank them.

We decide to park near the sun and spread out with Mando left as bait, looking all sad and alone by a cargo container CFC have set up as a marker to warp to. There is a republic Firetail prowling around and Mando plays a little cat-and-mouse with him, trying to reel him in. He hangs out around 150 km though and doesn’t bite, sadly for us. Ambe warps out to one of the other planets and suddenly finds a Nemesis, which he promptly smacks down.

We check the affiliation of the Nemesis and its not CFC. Some of the more diplomatic members of the Corp start probing their contacts and get into channels with some reps from this other alliance, trying to gauge intentions. The diplomacy is pretty successful and Ambe feels we may have a chance of working with these guys in the near future since our mutual goals overlap right now (Kill Goons).

I am fascinated by how connected vets in this game seem to be to others. The data and intel at their disposal is immense and folks quickly scan through lists of names and corporate affiliations, looking for people they know, old corp mates, corps they used to be part of. Wheeling, dealing and leveraging relationships to get an edge. It never occured to me before that spending the better part of a decade in this game exposes you to so many people, and that you build so much personal history with them.

Anyway, its getting late and some of us are getting twitchy. We decide that death is far more preferable than just going home and CFC seems to be out looking for us in force now, with ships and probes all over. Jieirn pulls out a Hurricane and re-engages with the Firetail so with glee with all decide to throw caution to the wind and try to bust some heads.

The fleet warps to Jieirn and as the Comet blurs back into normal space there are lasers and autocannon fire streaking past my hull. A cloud of drones envelopes Jieirn’s ship about 80km away and I kick the MWD into gear to give him support.

I pan the camera to the left and the hulking spindle of the CFC station comes into my view for the first time. Brackets of player ships everywhere, ranges closing. Weapon fire streaks past again. Something explodes and my overview is filled with purple, yellow and red. This is what I’m talking about! Ambe orders us to start clearing drones off of Jieirn and I quickly lock a pair of Hobgoblins and start cycling my hybrid turrets. Missiles slam into the side of my Comet and I track back see the long, deadly shape of the Hurricane launching its broadside against me. I don’t care, I lock it and order my drones to engage just for the hell of it. Warning sirens are sounding and my ship is getting ready to pop.

Fleet TS is terse chatter. A couple of us are dead already and I’m almost there. Ambe decided it would be fun to warp into the heart of the fleet and take down the Cyno and with much hilarity he is successful. Of course, Panty Raider Sr dies shortly thereafter – Panty Raider Jr is equally unsuccessful and I’m ejected into my pod in short order. To my utter amazement I’m not podded and make it out to the gate, breathless and giggling to the point where my dog is staring at me like i”m insane.

Those of us who survive make the trek home to the staging area. The trip back is amazingly uneventful and it’s pointed out that we’re back in Highsec before our PVP timers have even expired. Unbelievable. Fleet chatter is happy and tired. This wasn’t exactly what we were planning but welping a bunch of frigates against a Goon fleet was still a lot of fun. Mando is upset that he didn’t get any kills. Nor did I, but that’s OK. Ambe wonders aloud if that Cyno was important. We laugh.

I thank them for a fun time and hope we can do it again sometime. Ambe tells me I have a standing invitation to any Aperture Rift roam, so maybe I’ll do this again soon and this time I might kick some tail instead of vice-versa.

I land at Dodixie, and call it a night.


19 thoughts on “Travel, Nullsec, Roaming, and Goons

  1. Just a quick comment to let you know you don’t need Warp to 0, you just use Jump and it warps to 0 and automatically jumps on arrival. I normally select the gate and press D and that’s it.

    • Thank you for the tip, I didn’t know “Jump” without warping first did that and I should really have tested it.

      Like I said, I’m lazy. And that still doesn’t help me if I’m making coffee sadly.

      I need a lot more coffee since I started playing EVE.

      • Oh, and I forgot to add… HBHI’s Empire offices are in Eglennaert, 2 hops from Dodixie. =]

        HBHI has called Dodi our Empire home for a very long time now… Keep your eyes on local, if yer there much you will eventually see one of moar of us in Dodi’s sky…

  2. For travel in Hisec (and Hisec ONLY) I always fit the biggest MWD I can… then simply set destination, engage AP… then on landing 15km off the gate hit the MWD and depending on ship type you can cut down that 15km crossing significantly.

    A few little things…

    (1) After you set Destination but before you start your trip, open the Star Map, you will see your route and a marker showing your travel along the route. Now open the menus in the Map Control window and dig down till you find ‘Statistics’ (sry can’t remember exact tree), once you find it take a look at “Ship kills last 24 hours” and “Ship kills Last hour”… this can give you a bit of a heads up for system that are ‘hot’ along your route.

    This will show you how many kills are in Perimeter as compared to the systems nearby. You may know this already, but Perimeter is a bottleneck system on a main route into Jita and is always ‘hot’ IE, lots of ganks.

    Knowing what systems are less active and which ones are more active can tell you ‘when’ you can (somewhat moar) safely go get coffee or take that bio break you have been trying to ignore for the last 30 minutes due to all that coffee… =]

    (2) You can fit for travel, fit Nanofiber Internal Structures in the lows and Low Friction Nozzle Joints in your Rigs to to reduce your align time. My Mammoth base align time is 11.7s… with 3 Nano’s in the lows & 3 Nozzle Joints in the rigs it drops to 7.36s, that’s a 4.34s faster bugout time right there. The downside is the trade off for these mods & rigs is lowered EHP… you take yer pick and drink the coolaid.

    (2) There are also a few tricks you can learn…
    The “Web Warp”, IE using a buddy or an alt to ‘web’ your hauler so it goes to warp MUCH faster;
    The “Fast Warp”, IE using a prop mod (MWD) for ONE cycle only to boost your acceleration, when it ends cycle your base ship speed goes back to normal but you are traveling at a higher rate and so go to warp quicker. That one is harder to use and only works best on really really slow ships.

    The Web Warp is one we use very often. You can get a Moros into warp at 25ms which is wayyy below it’s normal 75% base speed by webbing it. You can get a Freighter or a Hvy. Hauler into warp much moar quickly also.

    NOTE: the guy webbing you MUST be in your corp or he gets a suspect flag and takes a Sec hit on webbing you. You can also do this solo with a second account and it makes a Huge difference in trip times with the larger slowboats.

    TL;DR there are ways to make travel go quicker… =]

    • Hey thanks for all the info! This is super useful!

      The most important part of your comment is that -I UNDERSTOOD ALL OF IT-. This is a key thing in my quest to become fluent in EVEspeak!

      • Lei, I am glad to be of service! If I may, the absolute best advice I can give you is… google and read EVERYTHING you can on every aspect of EvE from as many sources as you can find.

        There are some really wonderful player resources out there. Take full advantage of them. The RW famous EvE “Learning Cliff” is a lasting meme for a very good reason…

        EvE is incredibly hard to learn well simply due to it’s depth and complexity… (FYI I have a fairly decent links list on my blog of stuff I have found very useful over the years…)

  3. Lei,

    When I first made my character I made the mistake of starting with Gallente and then sticking with them because I didn’t want all the time I spent training gallente stuff (about a week) to go to waste, so I ended up training gallente for the next 8 months.

    That was a decision I still regret to this day 5 years later! I wasted 8 months of time to save 7 days, and I still ended up training Minmatar and Amarr.

    As a dedicated PVP player since I began playing in 2007 and until now I can tell you the following:

    Gallente might have a nice backstory but they are probably the least useful race to train for almost any reason! drones are a nice idea and they appealed to me, only to find out many months later that enemy ships die before my drones ever reach them, and my hybrid turrets have terrible range that ships die before I get in range! so I started training for Amarr and Minmatar and never looked back since.

    only the small/medium ones are commonly used and only as an auxiliary boost to dps, about 5-10%. In addition, Hybrid weapons are generally the weakest among all guns. you only have to check alliance killboards to see what ships are least used.

    I do not mean to tell you how to play, but only to warn you that Gallente is the least rewarding of races to play, and many new players do not know that when they choose a race.

    Whether you intend to PVP regularly or casually, I recommend you train Minmatar as a first choice, or Amarr as second. the reason being that Amarr weapons require lots of capacitor energy, which needs high skills across all divisions of ship flying, wheras Minmatar guns do not use capacitor at all, their ships are fast, thus offering a better chance of escape.

    I hope you have a great experience whatever you choose.
    Fly Safe (or dangerously if you prefer)

    • I don’t know where you are pulling the ‘Hybrid weapons are the weakest of all guns” from.

      Blasters in range are considered very dangerous and as such, are usually primaries first.

      also, as with all races. There are skills to increase your range and damage with both drones and guns.

      I get that this is your experience and stuff. but saying they are worse than all other races is just wrong.

    • You are wrong on many things. Gallente ships are very powerful if you know how to use them. Their drone boats can kill pretty much everything in every range (neuting domi anyone?). Hybrid brawler fits tend to be the most powerfull and don’t even make me start about Moros and Nyx. Gallente only lack in good long range turrent fits (but the drones make up for it).

      • I am sorry Anonymous but you don’t know what you’re talking about, what you say may be true theory but real PVP situation are very different.
        Yes, Gallente capitals are ok but he’s a very long way from that.

        Lei, a lot of people will give you advice everywhere, everybody thinks they’re right and know it all, most often contradicting what others, so you’ll get a lot of confusing information.

        I may be pointing the obvious, but the best way to learn about something in EVE is to ask the people who SPECIALIZE in that area, and preferably with at least 3 years experience.


      • @Caesar DeSahar below

        Unfortunately, I have to reply above your comment (no reply button on yours). I have flown Gallente ships for years and I know their strengths and weaknesses. Gal subcaps are very powerful after hybrid buf (long ago) and tiercide (recently). Their brawler fits have enormous hitting power, which you can verify by looking at up-to-date fits. Drone boats excel in fleet fights and even solo, when the player is skilled enough. I fly Domi fleets in null now, dropping Gardes and collecting tears from opposing fleets, who don’t know what happened. You can take a cheap Incursus or a Thorax and eat T1 frigs/cruisers solo. Or maybe Navy Brutix with its > 1k DPS with decent tank? Or maybe Oneiros – supreme in logi, along with Guardians? You have kitting Comets, crunching frigs without effort; Enyo being a beast with blasters and Null; excellent Nemesis giving so much butthurt, etc. The point is – if you know how to fly those ships, they can be VERY deadly. As for drones – try flying Slowcats and you’ll understand the power of Gardes.

    • You are talking absolute rubbish. Gallente ships and weapons combined with drones are some of the best ships for pvp, blasters do the most damage of all the close range weapons and gallente ships armour tank really well. The bonuses ships like the myrmidon get to drones make them great for fighting outnumbered, the drones and your guns allow you to chew through targets quickly while you sit and tank them. If your drones are taking a while to get to a target then you maybe should be closer to the target, especially with ogres. I think your experience may have been true say 3 years ago when it was winmatar all the way, but the new tiericide and hybrid buffs have certainly fixed any gallente performance.

  4. Caesar is right on that the gal race is useful for a very limited number of things. Don’t get me wrong you get a moros or the like and you will kill like a boss. For smaller ship types though min is the most all around useful race. I do recommend getting some caldari in there for ECM and some shield tank gangs if need be as well. Lol just realized i could have told you on comms.

  5. Lei,
    I’m sure by now you have learned that nothing in EVE is black and white. I can’t say I agree with the other posters’ comments on Gallente ships. Gal ships are very good in PVP. The Tristan is one of the toughest T1 frigs out there with the right drone skills. The Incursus is a beast and the Atron is awesome. The Enyo is not a ship to overlook and in the cruiser class, the Thorax is a monster of a ship. The Talos is quite popular as well. Blasters actually put out some of the highest DPS you will find and with a Tracking Enhancer or two you can extend their range. Some ships have range bonuses like the Atron. With T2 guns coupled with Null ammunition, the Atron can reach out past 12km.

    A few years ago, Mini ships were the kings of PVP but with ship re-balancing things are… well… balanced. The Rifter struggles with most T1 frigs now and requires a bit of out-of-the-box thinking to win fights.

    Anyway, keep up the good work with the blog man. I am really enjoying your adventures!

    Pirate (Retired)

  6. If I need to move my chars arround and jumpcloning ( isn’t worth it I use a little fit I call CEO-Shuttle. Its an Atron fit for pure speed w/o propmod to save time on the 15km every jump with autopilot.

    [Atron, CEO Shuttle]
    Overdrive Injector System II
    Overdrive Injector System II
    Overdrive Injector System II

    Medium F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction
    EM Ward Amplifier I
    Limited 1MN Microwarpdrive I

    75mm Prototype Gauss Gun, Lead Charge S
    75mm Prototype Gauss Gun, Lead Charge S
    75mm Prototype Gauss Gun, Lead Charge S
    Prototype Cloaking Device I

    Small Polycarbon Engine Housing I
    Small Polycarbon Engine Housing I
    Small Polycarbon Engine Housing I

    This fit moves characters very fast on autopilot and has some additional uses.
    It’s got a Web in cargo for use as webber in the fastwarp trick TurAmarth mentioned. The guns are offline for the chars with minimal skills but you can probably do L1s in it. 3 cargoexpanders in cargo if you have to haul some things fast isn’t a bad idea either BUT do NOT haul anything of value in this while autopiloting!
    Last but not least you could do something similar with an Interceptorhull to have a REALLY fast autopilot ship but it won’t be as cheap and take a lot more SP to use.

  7. Dont worry too much when u read the comments about Gallente ships not good/least useful. I myself started as a Caldari but i cross trained a week after playing (because i like Hybrids esp Blasters). Blasters put up THE highest DPS in game but have the worst range of all guns. Time and experience will teach you how to make it work, mostly you will learn to pick your fights and how to get them right above yr head to apply the dps blasters meant to. Im glad i made that decision since Gallente ship works great with my playstyle, i dont even fly Caldari anymore (except for rokh BS). I fly Gallente at all level of ships now. I do plan on training Minmatar ships later on so i can engage at long range with insanely good alpha ( please note alpha is not DPS) when i need to. And with the recent ship rebalancing, dominix BS is a great ship for drone users BS size. When i first started the game, one of my corpmate told me to fly this and that cause its easy but my handler/teacher said to fly whatever i like. If you like what you are flying, you’ll learn how to make it work rather than just follow what others do with theirs and not developing skills.

  8. I just want you to know, I discovered this blog yesterday, and I have to say, you’ve made me want to play this game

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