At EVE Vegas one of the presentations was from CCP Rise. Ostensibly it was about the new clone states, but it was really about his own experiment in-game playing a clone with only the skill set that an Alpha clone will be allowed come the Ascension expansion. It was a great presentation in an goofy sort of way and I enjoyed it immensely. You can watch it here if you like.
CCP Rise’s basic plan was to create an Alpha clone skilled character and see what he could do with it in real fights on Tranquility. And so the character Vegas Alpha was born. You can see his combat record over at zKillboard. He set out to kill a Svipul and managed to do that and more.
In watching the presentation, I was particularly interested in his fit for the Gallente Thorax cruiser. It is hull tanked, which seems like an interestingly deceptive choice. When somebody is shooting you and the blow through your shields and armor, they are unlikely to suddenly spook and run away when they hit structure. But that is where the bulk of the hit points are on this fit. So I stored that fit away to play with another day. Here it is in EFT format if you like.
[Thorax, Vegas Alpha] Damage Control II Reinforced Bulkheads II Reinforced Bulkheads II Magnetic Field Stabilizer II Magnetic Field Stabilizer II 50MN Quad LiF Restrained Microwarpdrive Fleeting Compact Stasis Webifier Fleeting Compact Stasis Webifier Initiated Compact Warp Scrambler Modal Ion Particle Accelerator I, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge M Modal Ion Particle Accelerator I, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge M Modal Ion Particle Accelerator I, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge M Modal Ion Particle Accelerator I, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge M Modal Ion Particle Accelerator I, Federation Navy Antimatter Charge M Medium Transverse Bulkhead I Medium Transverse Bulkhead I Medium Transverse Bulkhead I Acolyte I x5
That is maybe the third ship fitting I have posted in ten years. The drones are different, but you can change that out if you like.
On Saturday night I was sitting around. My wife was watching hockey, my daughter playing online with her friends, so I had some free time but no plan. I wasn’t feeling like WoW, I’d already played enough Stellaris for the week, and there were not any fleets going in EVE Online, so I was just sitting there wondering what to do. I decided to go fit up a few Thoraxes.
As I mentioned previously, I have a Gallente character that I have been training up to have all of the Alpha clone skills available to him. Enter Reynaldo Fabulous again. As of Saturday night he was still a couple of skills shy of a full Alpha loadout, but he was close. Close enough that I sent him some ISK from my main so he could get out of his implant clone, fit five Thoraxes, and go on an adventure. I undocked, set a course for Saranen, the only low sec system that sprang to mind, and headed that way.
The goal here was to find a fight and lose or, should I win, find another fight and so on until the ship got blown up. The ship was insured, wasn’t that expensive, and what the hell, right?
This was, of course, pretty much opposite day for me, a bizarro world reversal of my usual intent when traveling alone in New Eden. It is always work to not get into a fight, so actually getting into one ought to be easy, right?
Oh, the other side of the coin.
When I travel and don’t get caught I just think I’ve been lucky. But here I was out in low sec on a Saturday night trying to find somebody, anybody to shoot at and not having any luck. I was there to take the fight, any fight, it just wasn’t happening. Sitting on gates, sitting on station undocks, going to anomalies, all came up dry. Granted, I might have been less than patient, but trouble seems to find me when I am flying an industrial.
I wandered around from system to system, heading towards Okagaiken, another name I seem to remember, which got me into Black Rise and factional warfare. I played with factional warfare for about two hours when it came out back in… wow, was that 2008… and haven’t really thought about it since. But there were more people in these systems, so I thought I would see if I could catch somebody.
I first found a Kestrel sitting still in a site about 100km off from where I landed. This being the best opportunity I had run across so far, I lit the MWD and headed towards him. He didn’t seem to notice, though when I got about half way to him I saw that he was in LAWN, an Imperium alliance and started to wonder if I should shoot him or not. Technically Reynaldo is in a non-Imperium corp, but the info page about that corp shows Wilhelm Arcturus as its founder, and shooting blues is frowned upon. However, he woke up long before I got into range and warp off. Decision averted.
So I started hitting other sites, looking for targets. I actually got in range of a couple, like this guy.
Yeah, he was in a frigate and I was in a cruiser, but I was long past being picky. That was actually my second go at him. I warped into his site, he warped off, so I warped off, then I warped back to the site almost immediately and found him right back there again. Cocky! And I was almost on top of him so I was able to lock him up and throw all the goodies on him… and he shook off my tackle and warped away again.
I got some opportunity rewards for that, but no kill.
Oh, to feel the pain of being Rixx Javix, a hunter in a land of warp core stabilizers.
I had a couple more encounters like that before I got bored of the failed tackle routine. I figured I was close to null sec at that point, I would take a gate there. For sure somebody would shoot me in null sec.
I wandered through Cloud Ring, warping straight between gates, getting caught in unattended drag bubbles, motoring my way to gates, only once did I see another ship… an industrial who probably was cursing their ill luck but who got away safely before I could close. Luck favored him rather than me in the end.
At this point I was past the two hour mark and was looking to resolve this in a fight sooner rather than later, so I set my course for DO6H-Q, that intersection between Fade, Deklein, and Pure Blind that is also, if I recall right, the capital system for Brave Newbies. Somebody would be home there!
Traveling there was uneventful. More unattended drag bubbles and empty systems. I landed in DO6H-Q, but nobody was at the gate to greet me. I warped around to a couple of locations only to come up empty, so I decided to go kick the hornet’s nest and warp to 100km off their station.
That got me some attention. A small group landed on me, pretty much ensuring my doom, so I tried to pull range on them in the hope that I might be able to turn on one of my pursuers and finish them before they all piled on. However, their tackle got on me pretty quick. I closed with them and got him down to structure before I got hit with EWar and lost lock. My drones were out and carried on the fight, but it wasn’t enough. The ship exploded, followed shortly by my pod and I was quickly back in Jita where I started. They got a little something for their evening, while I got an insurance payout and another opportunity bonus.
And that was that for my first Thorax run. I have a few more handy, though I think the next time I give this a try I will go out earlier in the evening. It was already late-ish USTZ when I started (PCU was ~20k), so maybe if I dial it back to late-ish EUTZ I won’t have to wander so far before I find somebody willing to blow me up.
Anyway, that was my Vegas Alpha inspired adventure, a clone that has since been biomassed. Maybe someday Reynaldo will get a Svipul too.