Wolfpacks in Delve: It’s Dice 2009 all over again

I have been pretty constantly immersed in the Eve meta-game for the past four years or so: my first and only prolonged period of complete burn-out coming last year after the launch of themittani.com and the death of my friend and co-conspirator Vile Rat.

That said, my actual interest in logging into the game of Eve Online itself is a touch cyclical. Since the last Bat Country deployment to Delve alongside guitar legend Suas and his merry band of neo-SpecOps pilots, I have logged into Eve only to build up the cash to buy a replacement supercarrier, should that be necessary (a problem made less likely when my supercap holding character was booted from the alliance in a rather over-zealous purge). That’s three months of changing skills and ignoring jabber broadcasts about small gang roams.

However, after a couple of ill-fated attempts to join fleets with Goonswarm’s elite Sword and Shield – European Goonion – in their return to Delve (CCP would crash the servers whenever I logged in with the same dreary predictability as that normally associated with an Ev0ke cheetah jumping into our fleet) I succeeded last night in getting into a Mister Vee roam with Wolfs. The servers stayed up, Delve was busy, Test were out already and NCdot were forming a few jumps away.

I enjoy flying with EG for the same reason as I do with Bat Country: gang members will be good at Eve, and in many cases far better than me. So I bought an allegedly EG-fit Wolf from alliance contract in 1DH and joined fleet and Mumble. Trusting NED-Clan’s contracts was my first mistake, opening me up to ridicule since it had a sensor damp fit instead of a sensor booster: lawl Endie more like Scrubbie am I right guys?

After some derping around near 1DH, with Mister Vee complaining increasingly bitterly about the unwillingness of the Test fleet to engage us, we headed for 1-SMEB intending to engage NCdot. Northern Coalitiondot are excellent PvPers and the fact that they were in pulse laser Zealots – superb ships when it comes to tracking frigates – meant that we went into this with a degree of trepidation. In our favour, however, we had 96% armour resists to EM (Electromagnetic) damage, which was a major component of what NCdot’s ships could throw at us (I suspect that they had gone to chase off the Test Naga fleet from what was to be a major strategic target that night).

Despite the attentions of a couple of stealth bombers the fight went well for us – http://eve-kill.net/?a=kill_related&kll_id=18073976 – although NCdot were brave to engage an assault frigate fleet, FCed by Mister Vee, outnumbered, so kudos to them for courage. NCdot saw which way things were going pretty quickly and disengaged with the exchange of good-natured thanks for the fight from both sides.

Obviously, ignore the handful of Test pilots on that report: they were from a Test Naga fleet that ran away moments previously. The other notable point from that battle is that Baltec1, hero of the swarm, failed to bring his flagship megathron for once and died a coward’s death as a result. We salute you, crew of the Federation Comet “Baltec 1”: you died as you lived, screaming and vomiting due to orbiting a moving ship at a kilometre per second.

Next it was over to NOL again, where we fought against Test. For some reason our logi frigates had largely scarpered after the 1-SMEB fight

A newish Test FC bounced around for a while in NOL but declined to engage: Mister Vee is a formidable opponent and, while Test claim to hold their ships’ lives in disdain, most FCs across Eve are a little more risk averse than their fleet members. However, a second FC was persuaded to undock again in a cruiser fleet comprising mainly Omens with Mallers for support. Test had a large numbers advantage and had made a decent choice of ships, and Vee chided a fleet member who was trolling them in local, saying that “we’ll look pretty stupid since we’re probably going to die in a fire”. They smartly refused to engage on our terms, and so we simply brawled on a gate at zero (after they got caught in one of their own anchored drag bubbles at the start of the fight and had to approach us from 50km or so).

The fight was a blur of trying to keep up with primaries, but this kill report sums it up pretty well – http://zkillboard.com/related/30004712/201306042100/ The Volta ships were nothing to do with us but that’s a tiny part of the killboard report. Essentially we warped in, spend a few seconds popping webbing ships at will, then started to focus on broadcasted primaries. Those of us brave, if unpopular, heroes who possessed damps applied lock time scripted dampening to the Test Mallers in order to stop them locking targets so quickly. This made a huge difference and virtually nothing survived primarying after mik73’s Legion initially escaped in lowish armour.

We lost a tiny number of Wolfs (although, thankfully, the special snowflakes like an FCon Hawk in an armourwolf fleet got culled), and a second Baltec1 was sacrificed to the Gods of War as propitiation for his not bringing a Megathron yet again. Eventually, Test warped out for the loss of forty-five-or-so cruisers and twenty frigates, plus miscellaneous hangers-on, and we were once more instructed by our sporting and good-natured FC to declare gratitude in local.

I was rusty and got only fifty or so kills, but still ended up in the top ten or so by damage, purely thanks to my character being considerably more skilled than I am in subcaps, with fives in pretty much everything.