November 30, 2022

Report: First Fleet Experience

 Apparently I spoke too soon. Despite thinking that I had left my mercenary ways behind, I've been sucked back in - as they say. I knew that I wanted to get into faction warfare this time around, that's what I had been sold on by my former Noir. friend Greif Haken after all. So when I received an invitation to Noir. from Alekseyev Karrde who told me they were neck-deep in faction warfare, I decided the best move was to just come home.

Noir. had just finished a contract for the Gallente faction and, after seeing how much fun faction warfare was, decided to stick around. I wish I could do a Contract Recap post for that contract. I came back too late for that, but I wanted to write a little about my first experience back. It was really fun, and it reminded me what I truly enjoy about EVE. 

Alek formed a fleet on a Monday night. After we all gathered, he laid out a plan (which I won't divulge most of). Part of the plan was just doing some testing on Propaganda Broadcast Structures and Listening Outposts. I'm assuming these are new items in the game. I'm pretty sure they are, anyway. Or maybe the mechanics of them had just changed, I don't know. But regardless, we wanted to test some interactions with them.

So we headed to a backline Caldari system, out of the way of traffic. We were mainly flying frigates. I was in a Tormentor, we had a few logi frigates. Maybe one cruiser, I forget. 

Give me some time to get back into the swing of things and I'll be able to remember the smaller details better! I'm struggling to recall ships by name at the moment. In space, I'm focusing on finding the right UI element and not dying. When I see a ship, I have to wrack my brain to recall what it does and place it in my Mental Threat Matrix. It's not second nature anymore, not by a long shot.

We discovered a few things in our testing which will be really valuable. For one, afterburners have a hard time keeping up with the NPC ships that come in after dropping these items. It's also not a great idea to drop two unless you can drop them simultaneously. When alternating the deployments of the structures, even by as little as 30 seconds, you create a situation where the NPCs are warping in almost constantly, which stops the timer. We may have been able to kill them quick enough in larger ships, but I think it's still probably better just to drop them either at the exact same time, or just do one at a time.

The Loyalty Point payout on dropping one of these is pretty good, too. 10,000 LP once the 10 minute timer is over. Once that timer expires, you get your LP, and you get either a bonus to your own faction's advantage or you reduce the enemy faction's advantage. 

During our tests with the new structures, we had a few people reship to see if it were better to focus on frigates or something larger when deploying these structures. So now we had a couple of Harbingers and Augorors. I had had reshipped to an Augoror Navy Issue.

I'm not sure how we discovered it, but we took our new fleet composition to a Battlefield. In all, I think we had eight people. A Caldari fleet larger than us, with some fast frigates and cruisers (I believe a Scimitar was there), a few Omens, and a Tempest landed about 140km away. 

We deployed our fleet where I was in the center of the battlefield, keeping the timer going and killing the rats. We had two logi ships, they each stayed behind me keeping me in between the enemy fleet. A few Gallente allies were scattered on the field, but at this point they weren't really consequential. 

Then we had our DPS move towards the enemy fleet so they could hit them with their beam lasers, primarily from the Harbinger. I think they were surprised when we sniped one of their Imperial Navy Slicers off the field. We sparred for a few minutes, they would go under us and try to get to our logi, who would reposition on the other side of me as our DPS came back towards the battlefield outpost to apply damage again.

Eventually, more of our Gallente allies arrived and they left. Somehow, after the Caldari force left, a Tempest we had hit died. Not sure if we count that one!

Overall, it was a really great first fleet. And I mentioned that I was reminded what I truly enjoy about EVE; it's having a plan which effects the game, and then going to implement it. I especially like when it rests entirely upon ourselves to do it - we're not supported by a huge bloc alliance and their logistics. I've written before about "mattering" in EVE Online and, for me, what we're going to try and accomplish matters. That's always made me a little starry eyed when I consider EVE.