The quality of any advice anybody has to offer has to be judged against the quality of life they actually lead.
-- Douglas Adams
After an in depth look at the Punisher fit I'm using and how to combat various Rifter tactics in it, here's a fight where none of that mattered that makes me look like I have no idea what I'm talking about. Yeah, like we didn't know that already.
Having seen more of the same old gate camps in the local area, I had decided to take a roam a little far afield. It's always interesting when roaming someplace new, not having bookmarks, not knowing the locals, but it's sometimes nice to stretch your space legs.
Jumping into Vlillirier for the first time, I encountered a Rifter on the gate. He wasn't an outlaw, and not yet being an outlaw myself, I went ahead and locked the pilot and began orbiting him while I checked over his character information. He was quite a bit older than I was, but then again everyone was and I was not one to be dissuaded easily. While I was conducting research, he jettisoned some cargo into space. Clearly he was eager for a fight...maybe a little too eager. After my previous encounter of getting swarmed on a gate, I warped to a nearby planet and invited him over local to follow. I reasoned that if we did get company in local, at least it would take them a moment to arrive.
Seconds later, my new sparring partner was arriving at the planet and we were locking each other. Everything seemed to go according to plan at first. Both our shields dropped, both our armor reppers kicked in, and we began to see who could do more damage faster. Then I stopped doing any damage at all. What the...? It took me a moment to realize what was happening, but once I figured out he was tracking disrupting me I was still no less confused. It seems my new sparring partner had fit a TD in place of the more standard Stasis Web. It was something I had never seen before. It's something I have never seen since. It was crippling me.
After my bewilderment passed, I switched to some manual piloting and lowered the transversal enough to start chipping into his armor again. Unfortunately, I had stopped paying attention to my own modules and heard my least favorite phrase in the English language: The Capacitor is Empty. Sure enough, I had let my armor rep run me dry, and even though I had resumed damaging my opponent, I was soon reduced to smoking wreckage myself.
Although I lost, this is to date one of the more enjoyable fights I've ever had. I had a private convo with the other pilot while I was heading home in my pod and he was waiting on his GCC to clear. He was very nice about the whole thing. Thanked me for the fight, didn't criticize my fitting (this was when I still had T1 Guns) or do any of the mean things the pilots from my last fight did. We talked a bit about fittings, and he linked me a Punisher fit he had previously used. It was a purely active tank fit with high resists and no plate, which I promised myself I'd give a try one of these days.
I also learned a lot from this fight. Hopefully I can share some of that and you can learn it too...without having to lose a ship to do so.
Lesson One: Age isn't as important as you'd think. This fight gave me a lot of confidence in engaging pilots older than I was. Even though I lost, he was down to about a third of his armor when I did, and I made a lot of mistakes during the fight. If I hadn't made those mistakes, I think the fight could have gone the other way.
Lesson Two: Thermodynamics is your friend. I had only just completed the thermodynamics skill earlier in the day, and had not yet tried it in a fight. I had no idea what I was doing when it came to overheating modules and was basically doing it completely wrong. Here are some general pieces of advice when it comes to heat. Overheat your mids at the start of the fight when trying to tackle, the extra speed and extra range will help. You can turn it off after you have your prey tackled and leave it off unless you need to burn away from your opponent to try to get out of scrambler range. Overheat your guns once you start doing damage to your opponent. They should last a minute or two, which in most frigate fights will be the entire fight, but keep an eye on them to make sure they don't burn out. Overheat your armor rep...almost never. If you ever found yourself in a position where you had too much capacitor but couldn't tank the incoming damage you can make it cycle faster, but it's going to chew through more cap to do so. I almost never find a situation where this is helpful.
Lesson Three: Cap is life. I knew there were Capacitor Skills in the game, but didn't really get that there was a skill to using it. You're maximum Cap recharge is around 33%, which means you'll get the most out of it by not using it all up. Learning to "pulse" your modules to make sure you stay around this number will get a lot more out of them than just letting your cap run dry and then turning the module back on for one more cycle. That's pretty much what I did during this fight, and it made my tank a lot less impressive than it should have been. This was the fight that also convinced me I needed a Nos, and since I couldn't fit one with the powergrid I had, led to the aforementioned PG enhancements on my current setup.
Lesson Four: Not everyone is a jerk. This was pretty much the first fight that anyone had bothered to show any level of courtesy towards me afterwards. I really did appreciate it. I was new, I was unsure of myself, I was unsure I could make it in Piracy, and I didn't really need another player telling me that my fit was awful because I already knew that. It was all I had the skills for at the time. I learned that this was the kind of opponent I wanted to be to others.
On a totally unrelated note, I added myself to Eve-Bloggers. Maybe that's what led you here. If so, welcome. I finally decided that the handful of posts I had on the site were enough to keep someone busy for at least a little while and were worth sharing.