Runnin Sleepers, Class 5 Sleepers, inna Hurricane… flown by a 3 month old Newbie. =]
Yup, a Hurricane inna C5… and the 3 month old player flying it is our newbro, Vlad. And he is a true noobie… shiny new, mums milk on his lips new, just a nubbins and EVERYTHING is like OMG to him new. Vlad joined us just last week. He is a 07/26/14 char and a REAL New Player in EVE, not some older player’s alt.
We brought him into our C3 and started teaching him the Tao of Holes, scanning, how to live by the cloak and how to run C3 Sleepers and how to raid C4’s sites in Fleet w/ logi. But last night, Sov decided we were ready and took us into a C5… and Vlad was in his top ship, a T1 Hurricane. And he lived to tell the tale and to wonder at the ISK in his wallet. Just a week or so ago he was thrilled to make like 1 or 2 mil ISK… and now, in an hour give or take, he had made several hundred million ISK… and DAMN near lost his ship. Welcome to EVE. =]
Flying with Vlad really takes me back to my noobhood. I had a really good new player experience in EVE, I have told of it afore. But I realized something last night… EVE is, for many, an orphanage. It wasn’t for me, and now, not for Vlad… but for many, CCP Rise’s 50/40% who leave after subbing for 1 month… EVE is an Orphanage and a damn rough one, Fagin and the Artful Dodger would be right at home here.
By this I mean that so many who come to EVE do so without people already ingame. One of the strengths of the Goons et al is that they are not orphans… they come to the game already en famille as twere… already part of a group. I too came to the game not as an orphan, but with actual family ingame, my sons had been playing almost a year and even when I was out there all on my own, I knew I really wasn’t. I knew they were there for me if needed. And this colors my perceptions and experiences. While my noobhood was a wonderful time for me, maybe it would not have been quite so if I hadn’t had them there in the background… I just don’t know.
Vlad met Sov out one day just boofing about learning the game. He was trying out scanning down :stuff: and Sov was scanning as usual and Sov, and well, Sov was Sov… Patient, interested, casually easy to talk to, extremely knowledgeable about a vast array of game mechanics and gameplay, and always ready to help and teach without making a new bro feel looked down on at all.
So I had logged on and was facedown in PI screens as usual (you have to tend to your PI daily or it just goes to straight to hell) when Sov said, “Sounds like you need some.... c5 sites” my reply was “LOL sure I do... last night was fun...” “Wait... C5??” He didn’t respond so I settled back down and finished up PI thinking it was just a troll. We live inna C3, and we feel quite confident in running anything C1 to C4… but we are not a big group and C5 and 6 sites are the next step up and are significantly harder than C1 thru 4 sites. Then Sov brings up running some sites again and we fleet up and head out and it’s then that I find out he was serious. We transit the lowsec and jump into a C5 wormhole Sov has found. Oh… shit.
Please understand, we (my sons, Mabrick, Mikey and I in our home corp, HBHI) used to live inna C6 when we were in SYJ Alliance (at the time a 500 man wormhole Alliance) with all the Dreads, Caps and faction fit T3’s one could possibly need to not only run the C6 sites but to force and run the Escalations (scroll down to Sleeper Site Escalations and Sleeper Capitol Escalations) with some impunity.
EVE Survival has this to say ‘bout Escalations, which I feel sums it up quite nicely…
“Alice warps her Thanatos into an anomaly, which causes 6 Sleeper Guardian battleships to spawn. Bob then warps his Thanatos into the same anomaly, which causes another 8 Sleeper Guardian battleships to spawn. Alice then starts yelling at Bob as the 14 Sleeper Guardians and the rest of the anomaly NPCs reduce their capitals to wrecks over the next two minutes.”
Sooo… let’s see that’s 9 Frigs, 7 Cruisers & 4 BSes in just the FIRST wave PLUS the escalations for a total of 18 Sleeper Battleships… Eighteen… This is the Anoikis version of CONCORDOKKEN… SLEEPERDOKKEN.
Hell, even the standard un-escalated C5 and 6 sites are still a blue balled bich… for example, in the C6 Core Citadel site the initial group is 9 Frigs, 7 Cruisers & 4 BSes, second wave is 8 Frigs, 5 BSes, third wave is 6 Frigs & 6 BSes… add to this if you warp in Capitols, Carriers ect., the Sleepers respond with reinforcements and you get… Escalation 1, 6 BSes dealing out 4164 DPS and … Escalation 2, 8 BSes at 5552 DPS… yup, five THOUSAND five hundred and fifty two DPS… ouch.
Now C5s are not C6s… but they are still a damn unhealthy step up from the C3 sites in our home hole and the C4 sites we often raid. For instance… in the C5 Core Garrison site, initial group is 3 sentries, 5 Frigs & 5 Cruisers for 802 DPS, second wave is 6 Frigs & 3 BSes putting out 1542 DPS and wave three is 8 Cruisers & 3 BSes at a painful 1920 DPS and the last reinforcement wave is 3 Frigs, 2 Cruisers & 2 BSes at 1402 DPS… This is without forcing the escalations as we have no Capitols.
So our fleet is, 1 Nighthawk running links, a Gila, 2 Ishtars, and a Hurricane for DPS and myself and Endy in 2 Basilisks as Logi. Now I’m not nearly as good with the ‘numbers’, EHP, Resists, Active shield HP, etc., etc. as Sov is… but I can tell you that running Logi inna C5 for a 7 man fleet, even in two cap chained T2 Basilisks with L5 Logi pilots, is really pushing the safety margin a bit especially with a T1 BC on the field.
The Gila and Nighthawk were very capable of tanking standard agro levels, but on getting focus fire before we can burn down a BS or 2 from a new spawned wave, well, even they would occasionally call for cap or even shield reps… the Ishtars were basically OK as long both Endy and I kept at least one repper always on them. We also kept one repper on each other, (Logi is VITAL bro… if everyone else dies… we at least must live to warp away and tell the tale!!!) and we both kept a repper (often 2) on Vlad… and more than once we both had to put all 4 (from both ships) on him to keep him alive… and he still went deep into armor once. But I carry 2 Med Armor Droans so while it took some time, I was able to buff him back up to 100% across the board between sites. I carry the Armor Droans to fix burnt up attack droans… =]
So we ran the sites and never once saw a sign of anything in the sky… and never saw a POS or a Force Field either… an uninhabited C5 full of that good old red gold… I know there are them out there who feel Anoikis should have a greater population density… that more people living in holes is better for us all… I say nope. Anoikis is the Wild West… and I like just that way.
I like it when we find C3s and 4s and 5’s that are echoey empty holes with only the burned out remains of the settlers who came before, and didn’t make it… The sites spawn and spawn and spawn until the sky is bleeding full of ISK just waiting to be harvested. You see, the more people living full time IN holes, the more people you face who are holesmart… who have POSes up, who know how to defend and how to fight Anoikis style…
No, I prefer chains of ISK rich emptiness… the more daytrippers and new (to holes) players we get poking around looking for quick easy riches (cause they heard we all moved out), the more kills we have opportunities for, instead of the std;
Scout jumps in and…
“Loki, Loki, Retriever, Retriever, Astero… OH HELLS YES Orca! on scan!!” … then …
“Oh, never mind the Indys all warped to a POS.”
“The ‘stero and Loki’s popped Combat and Core probes and cloaked up…”
“The Indy pilots are reshipping to DPS ships.”
“Sorry boys, jumpin’ back out, no joy here.”
“crap… mumble mumble crap…”
“Oh by the way, can someone drop a bubble or two on this hole, or are we gonna try and roll it?” =\
No thanx… give me a nice fat gang of PvE fit Hiseccers who (1) don’t have a POS to warp to and who (b) THINK they know how to PvP in holes… ohhh yea!
One other small thing we all noticed that was pretty cool… it seems the Sleepers now actually remote rep. They are “supposed” to have been doing that all along, but CCP Fozzie fessed up and said that NPC repping has never really worked so they recently fixed it. So now you can actually SEE the remote reps landing and which rats are getting the love… schweet! Except NOT!!! Like they weren’t hard enough to kill afore dammnit! LOL!
PS - Sov informed me tonight that I had missed only one salient point... He did run into Vlad one night when Vlad was learning about scanning... but what I dint know was Vlad scanned our static down and jumped in and Sov kilt him.
THEN Sov convo'ed Vlad and the Gunboat Recruitment Program went into full swing... =]