Monday, January 18, 2016

Success Despite Being Sloppy

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.

Monday, January 11, 2016

Back on Duty

Reposting this and editing lightly. Oddities from using the Blogger app shoved it to January 4th for some unknown reason.

Well, Evil isn't going to smite itself, so I have fired up the armada again, jumping back into the front lines against the Gurista, Sansha, and Angel menace.

Actually, I have been trying to get anomic agents to spawn as I haven't checked some of my fits in ages.  Considering the number of missions I got through this week, anomics were quite stingy. I did get World's Collide approximately 27,457 times, but very few burners. (And some of the ones that did get offered repeated.)

I will need to update my fit posts eventually, and ideally work out a more user friendly format.  I don't crave blog hits, but I see from my stats that many of you find this blog via google searching for burner strategies.  So even if I did update my fits and develop a better format, there's some significant web momentum behind the current set of blog posts.

Anyway, I digress.  I did determine that Blood Raider Cruor is still doable in my Jaguar and an off grid linker.  Guristas Worm is still fun in my Daredevil.  The Worm still holds its place as my favorite burner.  But the Team Enyo is no longer soloable in the kite fut Garmur. For that one I grab an alt in a mwd Kestrel to lend some dps.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Playing a Game You Don't Actually Enjoy

It's the end of a game session and as you're shutting down, you think: why am I doing this to myself?

And no, I don't mean EVE.  I mean Hearthstone.

I resisted the game while we were under our data cap; I didn't need another game to patch up and consume data quota. Late last summer we got a different provider and I caved. 

I played horribly but enjoyed it. Single play was fun. And the matchmaker was able to find players as horrible as me.

But now, things have progressed. I'm apparently in a no-mans land of mediocrity. I am no longer horrible but not an expert. The matchmaker doesn't quite know what to do with me. I have very few "good" games. Sometimes I am stomping faces and my opponent concedes very early. Sometimes I'm getting stomped and deciding whether I ride it in or concede. And maybe 1 in 10 or even 1 in 20, I get the nail biter that goes 20+ turns with no clear dominance until a clever move or combo breaks. My point is that most games are decided by turn 3 or 4 and so very few games result in any sort of satisfaction, even the wins.

Last night I played a game where I was at 3 health looking at game-over the next turn. After a long game trading pretty evenly, opponent had 9 health and a small army itching to smash me. I had a few guys out but not nearly enough to win that turn. In a clutch draw I was able to send my guys across for 7 and then play a leper gnome. I then cleverly killed my own leper gnome to yield 2 dmg from his deathrattle. Stolen victory maybe, but it was a good game, made sweeter by my win. I requeued thinking it would be another many games before I got a match that close.

And so, I am here lamenting during my lunch hour, thinking "why bother?".

It's time to back off from the silly virtual card game and maybe check back in 6 months after Blizz has maybe figured out an elegant fix.

More time for EVE.

Saturday, January 2, 2016

For Science!

Happy New Year everyone.

While at EVE Vegas, we had a short chat with a nice Ph.D. candidate collecting data for his project on the psychology of MMO players.  He sent an update email today to say that he's close to having enough submissions to analyze the data, but needs a few more participants.

I'm posting the link to his survey with permission.  Please go help out if you have the inclination - I've done it, it doesn't take very long, and may give scientific proof as to why Jita is such a horrible place on local.*

*Probably not. Some things are best left unknown. :)  Seriously though, I'm not affiliated in any way with the research, just passing along the link to those who may be interested in helping out.

Alpha State

"Everything that has a beginning has an end."  That's one of my favorite quotes from the Matrix 2.  It has to do with the ...