Thursday, January 20, 2011

Stumbling Into Success

Don't you understand that we need to be childish in order to understand? Only a child sees things with perfect clarity, because it hasn't developed all those filters which prevent us from seeing things that we don't expect to see.
--Douglas Adams

I had only just completed bookmarking my new home in Molden Heath and started going out for some solo roaming action in my trusty Punisher.  It only took me two jumps to find it.  Sometimes even the most undeserving of us manage to pull off some kills when we have no right to be doing so.  This is one of those times.

Arriving in system and holding cloak at the gate I found a Rifter and Thrasher on scan.  At the top belt.  Visible from the gate.  The Thrasher named after a player in local.  A player who in an NPC Corp for more than a year.  Now, every cell in my body screamed at me that this was a trap.  It's worth pointing out now that bait is officially my kryptonite.  I don't have an amazing killboard by any means, but looking back at it, the vast majority of my losses are from me engaging a single ship and then dying spectacularly to other ships decloaking/hotdropping/jumping into system.  Most of my wins come while I'm solo.  I guess I can be a little proud of that.  Deciding to find out exactly what was going on in this belt (were they fighting each other, or just waiting for someone like me to come along) I warped in at 30km to take a look.  I landed right on top of the Thrasher.

I quickly tried to lock both ships to see if they were in fact actually fighting each other, but forgot one minor detail.  I'm usually cycling my modules at all times.  For those of you unfamiliar with the concept, you can activate modules and target something like an asteroid belt in order to get your mods into a state of constant pulsing.  The next time you lock someone will cause them all to automatically fire at that target.  It's a great little tool to make your tackles that much faster.  This time, however, it meant that as soon as I resolved a lock on the Thrasher I opened fire.  Sure enough though, the two were fighting each other, and the Thrasher popped almost as soon as I fired on it.  "Well that was a lot easier than I had expected it to be," I had thought, "I wonder what this Rifter pilot's going to do in response...oh wait, now he's shooting me."

Quickly returning the favor, I put all my own guns on the Rifter pilot.  He had actually taken very little damage during his fight with the Thrasher, not even being through the shields yet in what would turn out to be an armor tanked Rifter.  I ended up lucking out though, it seemed he was completely unprepared to fight me.  Although he peeled my shields off in an instant, he had Fleet EMP loaded throughout the fight and wasn't able to make much of a dent in my armor.  It became just a matter of time before he fell under my own guns loaded with Fleet Fusion.  Maybe he just didn't want to abandon the loot of the destroyer wreck.  Either way, I ended up with the loot from both, although I've never been able to track down the Killmail for the destroyer.  Perhaps that was the last jab the pilot was able to throw my way, not posting a killmail I was on.

This fight is probably a good example of why I'm so prone to go for the bait.  Sure, often times a Falcon decloaks soon after I engage and his friends tear me to shreds, but sometimes it really is just a tasty morsel waiting for me to bite.  I'm sure if I had more self-control my killboards would look more impressive, but then again, I wouldn't be having nearly as much fun.



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