We got the word recently that it was farewell time for Harpy fleet. There has been a big revamp of fleet doctrines and one of them to fall by the wayside was Harpy fleet.
Which is a shame, because of all the doctrines we’ve had of late, I would say that Harpies were pretty high on the fun factor. I’ve gone on a lot of good runs with Harpies, where we drop on people at range and snipe away. I haven’t even lost very many. It has been a very popular and forgiving doctrine, one that they used to let any new FC take out, because even if you wipe, you just lost some Harpies.
In addition to missing the doctrine, I am also left with nearly a dozen Harpies scattered about Deklein, Tribute, and Pure Blind. It was always easier to just buy a fresh one off of contract than try to jump clone or travel to grab one I already had. They aren’t that expensive. But that means I did tend to collect them over time, bringing them back from one deployment after another to park in YA0-XJ.
As it happened, I had a Harpy in our deployment station in D2-HOS. I also had a double clone problem, where I had a jump clone in the station with an implant, so I would have to monkey around with things before I could jump if I didn’t want to destroy that clone, losing the implant along the way. (It was a cheap implant, and one given to me for that pipe bombing op a while back, but I still hate to squander it just for a clone jump.)
So I decided to fly the Harpy back to YA0-XJ. Another ship moving adventure and all that. And once there, I would have to figure out what to do with it and its siblings. Repackage them and have them shipped back to Jita was high on the list, something I just did with all my Tengus, so at least I could get some ISK out of them.
I peeked in early Sunday evening, but New Eden was still active and MOA was playing games with our undock, trading ships with a small defense fleet, so I decided to come back later. Once some time had passed and all the Euros went to bed, I logged back on to find quiet in our staging system. I set the route for Deklein, undocked, and warped off to the first gate. I’d be there in a little while or back in the staging system, where my death clone was set. Either option was fine. The ship was insured, if nothing else.
Literally a jump out I warped through MQ-NPY, which had one neutral in local. I saw him in a Caracal as I landed on the RZC-16 gate, but just jumped through. He jumped through with me and I saw him decloak as I was aligning for the next gate. I knew I was safe. I was already entering warp, so he couldn’t point me, and I was faster in warp than him, so I would be to the next gate and gone before he even landed there. Trouble avoided. And then he said something in local:
Bomb isthebomb > fight me :(
My history with EVE Online has trained me to always avoid trouble. My track record indicates a 100% certainty of death whenever I activate a weapons system in a one on one situations. For me, getting away is the win, because fighting means getting blown up. Fight me indeed!
But hell, here I was in this Harpy, flying 15 jumps back to Deklein just to dump it there. What did I have to lose? Plus I figured an assault frigate like the Harpy might have a shot against a standard cruiser like a Caracal, even allowing for the fact that he was probably fit for PvP while I was in a fleet doctrine fit. Fleet doctrine fits assume you’ll have other ships with you, so are generally shite for any sort of solo work. But what the hell, right? So I wrote back in local:
Wilhelm Arcturus > Sure, come to the FWA gate
Wilhelm Arcturus > I’m stupid and this ship is no longer doctrine
I got back:
Bomb isthebomb > omw
Bomb isthebomb > sweet
Bomb isthebomb > I know that feeling, lol
So there we were. I landed on the gate and started motoring away, afterburner lit to give me some distance while I tried to figure out what I might do best. I had a range script in the sensor booster and long range Spike ammo loaded in the guns, which is the sniping load out for our Harpy doctrine. I just wasn’t sure if I could get far enough away for that to give me any advantage. I certainly wasn’t that far away when he landed.
I locked him up and he returned the favor. I fired a few salvos before I decided just to get in close, switching the to only other ammo I had, Caldari Navy antimatter. He had already put a point on me, which was a nice thought, but unnecessary. I had already decided to fight to the death.
I put myself in orbit around him, turned my hardeners on, and started blazing away at him, hoping that my high damage resists and small signature would be enough to let me overcome his overall hit point advantage.
He obliged by loosing missiles back my way.
Things went on like this, slowly, for a minute or so. I was whittling down his shields pretty well, nearly eating through his main tank while I has only a quarter of the way down and was just starting to thing about overheating my invlun, when suddenly my damage output seemed to get quite the boost. I was tearing through his armor and into structure and boom.
But as his ship went up, I saw this in local:
Bomb isthebomb > aww man
Kesper North > welcome to the north~
Bomb isthebomb > don’t be like that
Kesper North > thanks for soaking all the aggro harpy :v:
Kesper North… which is actually one of those “names I know” in The Imperium… he was CEO of Gentleman’s Agreement back in the day, if I recall right… had jumped through the gate into our little fight in a Svipul and lit up the Caracal, adding his firepower to my own. This had caused the spike in damage and yielded the dialog above.
I guess we should have fought at the sun rather on the gate on the pipe through that part of Pure Blind. See, if you PvP for real, I bet you know these things already instead of having to figure them out after the fact.
I moaned a bit in local that Kesper might have just robbed me of my first ever, completely legit, 1v1 PvP victory in EVE Online. Ah well, when you see a non-blue in our space, you shoot it. Kesper was apologetic, though he had no reason to be so.
Kesper North > sorry, i don’t log in much these days
Kesper North > i got a little excited
I did point out that at least I had gotten the final blow, and thus the kill mail, which entitled me to something new; a kill mark. It is there on my Harpy hull in the screen shot at the top of the post, but I’ll zoom in and highlight it.
That’s it. That little mark means that I have gotten a kill mail with this ship. And the mark stays with the hull. It doesn’t follow me around to other ships. If I want to keep it, I can’t scrap the ship.
There was a bit more chat in local and then we all went on our various ways. I didn’t even loot the Caracal wreck. I never think about looting unless I am killing rats because the opportunity almost never comes up.
Anyway, now I have to figure out what to do with my Harpy. I don’t want to ditch it now, so perhaps I should go looking for a better fit. Of course, that is hubris talking. The moment I try to fit it for solo PvP I’ll get ganked on a gate and lose it. We’ll see.