Life as a Solo PvP pilot

Some of you, my loyal readers, may remember that I moved to Stay Frosty because I wanted to learn how to fly solo, and because I thought Stay Frosty would be a cool place to do so.
Turns out I was right. Now that the initial adjustment period has passed – I’m not on voice comms every night, but that’s perfectly fine, as our chat channels are plenty active – I am having a blast.

Here’s what my time in Eve looks like, most nights. I spend five minutes updating orders and setting up contracts for my trader alts (need to keep the ISK flowing in!), then I log Lynx in. Have a look around local, fleet, corp and alliance chat, and choose a ship from my hangar in Ishomilken. When I say choose, I mean a pick one of three types, assemble it, fit it with one push of the button, insure and undock all within the first five minutes after logging in.
How do I get to undock┬áso quickly? Well, when I moved here, I bought myself 10-packs of some standard PvP fits I got from Kelon Darklight, Eve Uni’s in-house solo expert. That means I bought 10 hulls, and all the fittings and ammo to go with them. I then had them shipped to Isho, and as a result, I now have the choice between a Tormentor fit, an Executioner fit (have not really used this yet), and two Tristan fits. Getting these 10-packs was such a good move, because it means I get better and better at flying these specific fits, because I learn more about the strengths and weaknesses of the fitting and the hull as I lose them. Right now I have a few Tormentors and Tristans left, but I have yet to fly the Executioners. I can’t really remember why I bought them, I guess…

So. I undock. D-Scan. Fire up Pirate’s Little Helper – did I mention Yashidza, the maker of that little gem is now in our corp? Because he is, how cool is that? – and check for potential blobs. Then I have a quick look to see if I can match up the D-Scan with the intel from PLH. If there’s a match, and the ship I see on D-Scan matches my engagement profile, I dive in and head for glorious death or an unexpected victory. Pre-OH mods, make sure to have the tactical overlay on, and focus on range control, and hope for the best…

Of course, in reality sometimes you need to spend quite a bit of time looking for that fight. But around Black Rise-Placid FW area, I have always found at least one good fight so far, even though it hasn’t always resulted in kills. Sometimes people get away, and as I become better at slingshotting and manual piloting, I can get away if I don’t like how the fight is going as well.
I had a lot of fun recently in kiting Stabbers as well. They’re cheap and pretty simple to fly – just look innocent and weak, wait until someone burns at you, then fly away and watch them realize that the puny Stabber actually applies its somewhat low 350dps pretty well in this scenario.

So. I’m getting better at this solo stuff, and enjoying the game more than I have in a while, because I’ve seen more direct action. I’ve also been on one small gang roam since I joined Stay Frosty, which was fun as well. Pretty similar to how we used to roam from the LSC in E-Uni, to be honest, if a little less strictly organized.
Next up: trying out the newly buffed battlecruisers now that I’ve trained T2 medium drones!

Which battlecruiser one would be most suited for solo/small gang play in Black Rise? Let me know!

Still Frosty? Hell yes!

I joined Frosty two weeks ago, and I don’t seem to have posted anything since, so you’re overdue an update on my experiences so far.

Overall, I think my first two weeks have met up to my expectations (which were pretty high):

  • I moved to Stay Frosty’s home system of Ishomilken, which is conveniently located 10 jumps out from Jita, and only a few jumps out of the hotbeds of faction warfare in Black Rise. There’s always someone around to pew in this area, and so I’ve managed to see some explosions even though I have not been online that much.
  • The downside of this is of course that many people who live here are experts a solo or small gang PvP. It’s almost a surprise to see someone out and about with under a thousand kills on their board, and if given that I am still under 150, that is a little bit offputting. However, fights must be had so I swore a solemn oath to myself not to shy away from fights simply because I know the other party is a bona fide elite PvPer. I do try and stay out of fights where I know the other side is running links or is likely to blob me, but even then, as my bedtime draws nearer, I often yolo into situations that I know will not end well.
  • Needless to say, Pirate’s Little Helper is my friend when roaming Black Rise. Intel is life and everything. Or in my case, it’s not life so much as choosing how you die… So when I saw a player like Nuke Cave come at me in his Rifter, I knew I was gonna pop, just not that it was going to be over so quickly!
  • The people in Stay Frosty and A Band Apart in general have been very welcoming. Tips were given, reading material provided, ships were freightered in for free – I could not have been received any better. There’s an active Slack community that gets me through the day, there is usually a standing fleet in game for intel and impromptu roams, and various other chat channels. All the little things that make you feel part of an active community.
  • That said, I did have to adjust a bit coming from the large and very organized corporation that is Eve University. Solo roamers seem not go onto comms, at least not in my EU timezone, so Teamspeak for Stay Frosty is pretty dead on regular nights. I did not realize how much I’d become used to the friendly banter on E-Uni’s Mumble server. Relying on chat channels only takes some getting used to, I can tell you that. It could also just be that Stay Frosty is more active in the US timezone, I’m not sure yet.

Overall, I’m pretty pleased with my move. I feel I have definitely improved my solo game already, by just going out and getting tips and support. I try to focus on manual piloting right now, and on keeping my situational awareness up to par. That’s what usually goes when the action starts – I tend to get a strange kind of tunnel vision where I only see the overview, my modules, and the target on the HUD, and I completely lose track of where ships are in space, I just don’t look at space any more. So that’s what I am working on, because my best fights so far were had when I did manage to look at my opponents maneuvers and responded appropriately. And when I miss an opportunity to get a kill, it’s usually because I rely too much on the HUD… I must have let a dozen ships get away these last two weeks because I slingshotted myself out of point range!

I think being a pirate suits me quite well in Eve. I may also join in ABA’s null endeavour when the time comes around for another try at capturing and holding sov, just to fly some bigger stuff and to experience nullsec a bit more. And then ABA also has a very active wormhole corp as well, NJED… Yes, I think I’ll be around for while yet, Frostians.