"Tell us," said the thin, pale-faced Krikkiter who had stepped forward from the ranks of the others and stood uncertainly in the circle of light handling his as if he were just holding it for someone else who'd just popped off somewhere but would be back in a minute, "do you know anything about something called the balance of nature?"
I've discussed in the past my reasons for not posting Killmails. All those reasons still apply to my thought process, but they recently led to an interesting conversation with an old friend of mine in EVE. For whatever reason, he was looking at my Killboard on Battleclinic and, seeing all my recent kills were against Pirates, he convoed me in game to ask if I'd turned Anti-Pirate.
With a bit of effort, it's easy to see where his conclusion came from. Since I don't post killmails myself, the only kills likely to show up are against players that are sure to post their own losses. Not something a lot of Carebears caught by a Pirate in Lowsec are want to do. Who is likely to do so are the many other dedicated PvPers out there who just so happened to have turned to Piracy.
As of this writing, the last two kills on my BC Killboard are a Black Rebel Rifter Club's Dramiel, and one of The Tusker's Rifters. I happen to have a lot of respect for both of these organizations due largely to the same reason. The founders of both Corporations have been a source of great inspiration to me, both as a Pirate and as a Blogger. The two kills also had another thing in common; the weapons involved.
When I did my post on Small Turrets I drew one conclusion in regards to Blasters. Fit Neutrons, everything else is secondary. In keeping with that realization, I had fit a number of ships progressing through the line of Blaster Frigates. The Incursus, the Taranis, the Comet, the Enyo and finally Daredevil hulls all currently grace my hangar. I enjoy making the progression through the ships, and don't feel nearly as bad when I make my first stupid Blaster-related mistake in an Incursus as I would have in a Daredevil.
The fight against The Tusker's Rifter was one of those early learning experiences in an Incursus. This fight was close, and I mean 4% structure left close. As it ended, I wasn't quite sure who had won, and I'm sure the Rifter pilot was equally dazed. I draw this conclusion from the fact that I was also able to snag his pod, and assume this happened as he wasn't trying to warp away before it concluded. Although I would have loved to attempt a ransom, we were fighting on a gate and it's awfully hard to conduct ransom negotiations when the other party can simply jump out, so I did the only sensible thing and popped his pod.
The fight against a R1FTA Dramiel was far more recent. It also came at the end of an evening of roaming with several good fights when I was only a single jump from home. This is important because an earlier fight had left me sans Drone in my Enyo. Why everyone feels the need to shoot my poor little drones, I'm not sure, but I'll often send it on a Kamikaze mission when I'm still 40km away from my target, and I'm thankful for any amount of distraction it provides. Now, a single Hobgoblin II may not sound like much, but I get 20 DPS out of that little guy, and a Dramiel is no easy ship to take on.
This fight occurred on the infamous Angel Creo-Corp Mining complex in Heild, with me warping to the plex at 100km and shortly after being joined by the Dramiel pilot. Seeing him screech towards me at 5km/s was actually somewhat of a relief. While I was willing to go up against a Dramiel, one with a Web would have indicated a predilection for fighting at the edge of scram range, putting me at a serious disadvantage. As it was, I could be somewhat certain he was in a standard Dual-Prop fit, which he was, and I liked those odds.
At 100km, I pointed myself away from him and set my ship's speed to around 800m/s. Although he had already revealed something of his fit, I wanted to conceal my own ship's MWD until the time was right. If he assumed from my speed that we'd both be fighting with Afterburners without Webs, there was a greater chance he'd forego attempting to pull range on me. At 40km, I reversed course, overheating my MicroWarp Drive and we were now flying at each other at close to 8km/s, in an instant the fight was on. I believe my opponent opted for orbiting close to out-track me, as the fight stabilized around 2km, but, with a Tracking Enhancer in a Low Slot combined with the Enyo's bonus at AF V, it wasn't going to happen.
At 2km, I was just outside of optimal, but not by much. The fight was over quickly, with the Dramiel pilot afforded little time to compensate for any initial errors. This is one of the things I'm enjoying most about Blasters to be honest. Having spoken to some of my opponents after the fight, the recurring theme is, "I was surprised how much damage I was taking and once I realized, it was too late to do anything." When only a handful of shots separate a Dramiel's shields from its destruction, I can understand how that happens.
After the fight was over, I couldn't help but be amused by another thought. The upcoming Winter Expansion will bring with it both a Nerf to the Dramiel, and a Boost to Blasters and the Enyo. Now, I'm not saying that Blasters didn't need some help. I've already expressed dismay at their absolutely abhorrent fitting requirements compared to Autocannons, but it reminded me of a joke I've seen for years bandied about in game design circles and I've seen repeated on the forums of EVE.
"Nerf Rock. Paper is fine.
I for one look forward to my scissors getting a bit sharper this winter.