I came within a hear's breadth of losing my well worn Daredevil yesterday to the Single Guristas Worm.
The Worm is my very favorite burner mission. I love the mwd-fueled dash under the barrage of the oncoming fire. I love using blasters to melt his gurista face off. I love the race of dps - dealing enough damage before my Cap Boosters run empty. It's a unique fight in the burner world, and I always look forward to it.
I normally run a link ship, which makes the fight much more straightforward and reduces some of the overheat dance for lows and mids required if attempting fully solo. Over the past many months, I've gotten pretty good at the mechanics of it, and measure myself by how many Cap Boosters that I return to the dock with. (Normally that's 5, sometimes 6 of the 11 that I take with me).
Last night was a different matter. The mistakes were mine, and they were many.
It was late in the day, and I am fighting off a case of the plague. My head wasn't in the fight. I should have deferred. That was mistake #1.
Mistake #2 was my approach. I left the mwd run too long and I ended up bumping my target. This put me out of optimal range, and required two more squirts of mwd to make the correction. The repeated mwd use consumed additional cap.
Mistake #3 was not minding my armor rep. With links running, the repper can get ahead of the inbound damage. Depending on how the damage and rep cycles happen to sync up, I can turn the repper off several times a fight, thus saving capacitor. Instead, I got distracted by the mwd tomfoolery and let the repper run despite being at 100% armor, pissing more capacitor into the wind.
Mistake #4 was turning off overheat on my highs too soon. I've been bitten more than once while running burners by letting my guns burn out. I normally turn my launchers off at about 60% burnt, as the heat grows much faster than blasters. Blasters I let run to 70-80%. As the gravity of the other mistakes began to register, I got too eager and unheated at 54%. Maybe that would have been fine, but with the trouble of getting situated at the start of the fight, most of the overheated dps didn't actually land very well and the target was still at 40%+ shields.
By the time all of this happened, I'd run through my normal allotment of Cap Boosters. Target is at 40% shields and I had maybe 4 reload cycles remaining on the cap before I'd fold up and explode.
Even this was surmountable, but as the target entered armor, a misclick (perhaps I was trying to spin the camera? not sure) turned off my guns with 4 rounds left. Mistake #5. I realized it too late, the target had begun to repair shields. Instead of reloading, I turned guns back on (Mistake #5 1/2), ran the 4 antimatter out, and then waited for a reload. Meanwhile the Capacitor clock was ticking and I'd let the target get back to 40% shields or so.
Weighing options, I overheated highs again and began to squint at the screen in preparation for the insurance payout. Heat climbed higher, 70%, 80%. I intended to unheat at 90% but now the target was well into armor. I was loading my last Cap charge and was floating at 50% armor. The UI's alarm bells were sounding every few seconds. I made the only good decision of the entire fight and didn't unheat. Target exploded with my highs at 95% burnt, one Cap Booster loaded but none in cargo.
A win is a win, but sheesh, that's no way to fly a ship as good as the Daredevil.
I type this out not to brag about the win, but as an example of how these encounters can sometimes trip you up through a cascade failure. I consider myself a veteran of the burner mission, this one in particular, but I almost bit it last night. Most of what happened was due in part to the very sloppy approach. Dealing with that one error distracted me from other things going on, which cost me time and resources I didn't really have. Had the approach been better, most of the other things wouldn't have happened or wouldn't have mattered.
Fly better next time, Abavus. Fly better.