Saturday, 6 March 2010

Field Trip

Aiden Mourn, Director of Salvage Operations is notorious for organizing highly amusing ninja shenanigans where a bunch of pilots in cheap frigates armed with beer and salvagers rush through missions for hours, grabbing salvage, loot, mission items, and most of all local tears which often come along. Usually we harass our home system of Dodixie but this time we wanted to spread the love and went on a trip to Fricoure. Fricoure is not a main mission hub like Dodixie and thus people are not used to getting blobbed by salvagers.

We met at a hidden spot deep in space. Dedicated scanners looked for missionrunners, and using advanced scanning techniques generated bookmarks to battlecruisers, commandships, battleships, and marauders by the minute. A small fleet of support ships (including Herr Wilkus in his Vargur marauder) was standing by to move and store large piles of loot.

Of course salvage and loot is nice on its own, but getting in touch with the locals is where the most fun is.

This guy for example was doing a mission. Turned out he had trouble completing it so he asked for help in local. Sure enough we came and helped:

Scop's alt > o/
Ryuujinn Jakka > wut happened ?
Scop's alt > help is on the way
Ryuujinn Jakka > kewl
Ryuujinn Jakka > oh there you are. sweet
Ryuujinn Jakka > mmmm
Ryuujinn Jakka > why are you hostile against me here ?
Aiden Mourn > Good question
Scop's alt > we're here helping you salvage. no worries, we're professionals
Scop's alt > just kill rats, we deal with the loot
Aiden Mourn > yeah dont you worry your pretty little head
Aiden Mourn > first time service is free

Some missionrunners did not approve and decided to shoot back. Cookietag for example shot my Vigil with a Maelstrom, then warped off, and docked. I changed my salvaging boat for something cloaky, went back into his mission, and waited. And waited. And waited a bit longer. Ninjas have patience. Eventually he came back in a Hurricane so I locked and scrambled him. Unfortunately he had a passive shield buffer on his battlecruiser so my drones were not able to break it. To make it even worse three of his corpmates warped in with a Drake, a Brutix, and an Exequror to remote repair him. With remote armor repairs. Nice idea guys, but next time bring repairs that actually match the tank of those you want to repair.

Scopique > hey Cookie, you cannot hit me and i can't kill you with this shitload of rr. 10mil and i'll bugger off?
Stealnutz > its a good deal

In the meantime the other ninjas swapped their ships as well. Aiden managed to get shot at by Cookie, and with the combined firepower of Aiden's Rupture and my Pilgrim the Hurricane melted within seconds.

Kelewan > what's he flying cookie?
Cookietag > Good fight pirates
Cookietag > Force recon
Cookietag > A rupture
Cookietag > ANd a dramiel
Cookietag > Didn't really care about that hurri:)
Scopique > me neither :P
Cookietag > lol
Cookietag > I'd like a rematch someday
Scopique > yeah, tell me when mate
Scopique > I'll be there
Cookietag > Lol I bet
Don Colesterole > scorpiq are u always weaky like that... I invite u to sydicate where we can shoot at will
Don Colesterole > not some babytalk here
Scopique > hey, it's the old "come to lowsec" \o/
Don Colesterole > lowsec is for girls
Don Colesterole > come to 0.0 where we can use bubbles and do real fight
Don Colesterole > and no hidden friends
Don Colesterole > real man fight
Aiden Mourn > i wasnt too hidden
Scopique > haha, your corpmate brought 3 friends vs. me
Velocity Prime > did someone just get pwnt?
Aiden Mourn > i was the guy sitting in front of your mate shooting him in the face
Aiden Mourn > =)
Don Colesterole > we couldnt shoot
Scopique > yeah, that's the trick
Don Colesterole > so u admit u are coward :)
Scopique > here we use brains instead of brute force. you'll get there eventually
Aiden Mourn > well theres some roundabout logic
Don Colesterole > ah going to dock

A bit later fellow ninja Karma Bad was attacked when salvaging with a Dramiel. A Dramiel without weapons unfortunately. The attackers, a Taranis, another Dramiel, and some other ship (a Tristan?) shot once but for some reason didn't dare fighting Karma's unarmed ship. A few of us came to watch but could not help until the Taranis pilot dropped a jetcan. Aiden quickly picked it up, and the Taranis opened fire. I don't recall what happened exactly, but somehow Aiden managed to tackle the interceptor in his cruiser and almost instantly popped it.

On the other hand we also lost two ships, a salvage Stabber, and a Vigil. Kayden Kelso tried to honor tackle a Raven in it until the rest of us could come to repair him but lacking a tank he went down to the battleship's drones.

In conclusion we had a very good time again. We gathered some good loot including several mission items that sell for 10+ million isk each on contracts. More important than the loot is the fun though. Ninja ops are laid-back, and we had a lot of fun both on voice comms, and with the locals.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Ninja Ships - The Vigil

This is the first installment of postings about ship fittings I intend to write. Some of them are not like the typical pvp fittings but tailored to special needs of pilots teasing other capsuleers in highsec. Since we are ninja salvagers in the first place the first post will be about salvaging ships.

Salvaging is not rocket science. You don't need a special tank, you don't need to worry about range, damage types, and so on. Fit as many salvagers as you want to your ship and you're good to go.
However, there are some things worth mentioning that seperate the professionals from the crowd.

The basic ninja salvaging ship meets three requirements: It's cheap, it's fast, and it has enough mid-slots for some utility modules. This is where the Vigil shines.

The ship without modules costs around 250.000isk. Loot one large gun in a mission and you can almost buy two Vigils. It's the fastest non faction t1 frigate in the game (Minmatar frigate skill bonus: +5% velocity per skill level), has a very well balanced slot layout (3/3/3), and can use one small drone.

So far, so good. This is common knowledge. Let's have a look at the fitting:

[Vigil, Salvager]
Overdrive Injector System I
Nanofiber Internal Structure I
Nanofiber Internal Structure I

1MN Afterburner I
Ship Scanner I
Target Painter I

Salvager I
Salvager I
Small Tractor Beam I

[empty rig slot]
[empty rig slot]
[empty rig slot]

Although you can fit three salvagers in the high-slots I prefer two and a tractor beam. You cannot tractor wrecks and cans that do not belong to you. What you can do though is eject some loot and drag the can like a trailer, extending the Vigil's small cargo bay to 27.500m3. This is useful when you have a large number of battleship modules (a large gun is worth around 500.000 isk) and you have a hauler ready to pick up the loot. Looting everything in addition to salvaging will add several million isk to your profit.
Missionrunners tend to hate it when you drag a can with their stuff in it all over the place, and often shoot or try to loot it. This is your ticket to go and grab a combat ship to teach them a lesson.

You probably noticed there is no tank in the mid-slots. You hardly ever need it, speed is your tank. You usually don't need to bother with mission npc since that's the missionrunner's job. He should be usefull for something after all. The afterburner is obvious. More speed to zip from wreck to wreck and to race against the missionrunner when the last npc dropped the mission item 50km away. Always loot mission items! You might need them later.
Next module to take note of is the ship scanner. By scanning a missionrunner's ship you'll get a lot of usefull information:

-First of all what does his tank look like? If you intend to shoot that guy later you want to know everything about his tank. Is there a resist hole? Is it an active or a shield buffer tank?
-What weapons is he using?
-Does he know how to fit a ship well? Some fittings suggest the pilot is likely to fall for funny tricks. Maybe even two times in a row.

Last but not least a target painter. Target painters on salvage ships are awesome. Whenever you hop into a mission use it on a mission npc with a bounty. The bigger the better. You need to activate the painter just once in order to get credit for the kill. You won't get the bounty but most of the time you will get the security increase awarded by CONCORD for killing the npc as long as the missionrunner kills it (and he will, sooner or later). This is a very easy method of gaining security standing in highsec. Read this handy guide for more information on fast highsec status grinding. You can use this standing for lowsec roams every now and then or to suicide gank miners if you feel like it.

The low-slots are more or less standard. Overdrives provide more speed in exchange for cargo space, nanofibers improve agility but lower your hitpoints. I won't fit armor plates or cargo expanders since they lower your speed.

Usually I don't take a drone with me. A single light combat drone hardly does any damage, and a t2 combat drone is more expensive than the entire ship. Some ninjas tell tales about using a single light ecm drone to jam npc ships so they don't shoot the afk missionrunner but his combat drones, leaving him unable to kill the npc but this will take very long, is highly dependent on luck, and usually isn't worth the trouble.

Of course other frigates also work but in my opinion the Vigil is among the best. Make sure you have at least three high- and mid-slots when you intend to use the modules listed above.

Remember to always keep moving when you're in a mission with angry missionrunners and npc. You do not have a tank. If there are small npc left warp out as soon as they target you and come back immediately. Do not fly directly towards bigger ships that shoot you, always try to move in circles or transversely to their weapons. Make sure you do not bump into structures or asteroids. If you're warping into a mission and you're landing in a green cloud immediately select any celestial in the overview and warp to it. This green gas cloud will destroy your ship within seconds. I learned this the hard way. More than once. If you're in a mission and the missionrunner starts shooting a structure called 'pleasure hub', keep your distance from it. It's going to explode with a big shockwave that will most likely smash your ship. Yes, I learned this the hard way as well.

That's about it. Now go and buy a Vigil, and loot a mission or two.
And always remember to have fun. Internet spaceships are not serious business!

More links to salvage ships:
Aiden Mourn's blog
Velocity Prime's blog