Tag Archives: Dominix

Drone Assist Slaughter at BW-WJ2

I have been shirking my responsibilities in EVE Online of late.  With the return to Azeroth and the sudden burst of enthusiasm from the instance group I have been allocating most of my gaming time to World of Warcraft.

And, honestly, it is easy enough to do that.  WoW, being the PvE solo-friendly world that it is, is always ready with something to do… so long as you are up for that sort of thing.  Interstellar space wars in EVE Online on the other hand do not necessarily work with your schedule.  Just because you have a block of time doesn’t mean that anything will be going on, and I hate to clone jump back to Deklein to rat or mine because that will lock me out of action in Curse for a 20 hour stretch.  So the last few weeks have been mostly about skill training and reading about battles I missed.

Finally on Sunday, with a chunk of free time, I decided I would drop into whatever fleet was announced, so long as I could get into an appropriate ship.  I was rewarded with a directorbot announcement almost immediately.

so I literally just woke up to find 500 people on mumble and shit happening, idk what shit but i wanna kill it. DOMIS on Reagalan – Op 1 – STRATOP – get in fleet let’s goooooooooooooo

Dominix fleet.  I had an appropriately fit Domi at our staging station in G-0Q86 (as well as an incorrectly fit one, which I have to fix at some point), so was able to join the fleet right away.  The situation, as described, sounded similar to the last fleet I actually flew out with, back at E-YJ8G nearly a month ago.  There were Slowcats on grid, things were bubbled, supers were arriving, and we were going to go add our weight to the fight.  Sounded like another node crash in progress to me, but what the hell.  Every fleet is its own story in New Eden.  We stacked up our potato fleet on the titan and waited for the bridge.

Dominix - The opposite of sleek

Dominix – Makes the Erebus look sleek

I am not sure where the actual capital fight went down.  We bridged out, and started to move in that direction until we made it to BW-WJ2.  At that point we held up as there was a report of a Nulli Secunda fleet laying in wait for us.  We sat for a while at the XVV-21 gate in BW-, aligned towards the S4-9DN gate waiting for the word as to whether we would go forward or retire.  Eventually the decision was made to turn around and head back as the route was going to be too hot.  Reagalan warped the fleet to a point in space not too far out so we could all turn around and warp directly to the XV gate.

However, some people missed the fleet warp and warped directly to the S4 gate instead.  The S4 gate had hostiles on both sides of it and it seemed sure that those we went there would be lost.  Some who warped there jumped through the gate into S4 in one of those “there is no situation so bad that you cannot make it worse” moves.  Reagalan, in a moment of compassion, decided to warp to the S4 gate to try and rescue those who had at least remained in system.  This was a 49 AU warp in 10% time dilation, in battleships, which is one of those “everybody is clear for a bio” times, as that takes a while.

As the gate came into view those landing first reported that the hostiles had apparently come through the gate and there was essentially a sizable cruiser fleet sitting, freshly arrived and embarrassingly far from the gate, just waiting for us to slaughter.  Rather than a rescue mission, Reagalan called for bubbles to trap the cruisers, for us to drop drones and assign them to him, and for everybody to start neuting any logistics so that reps would be unavailable to the hostiles.

The last 4K kilometers to the gate had to be the longest I have ever experienced.  When you are there, you see the bubbles up, you have instructions to follow, and targets are waiting to be destroyed, waiting for your ship to finish up its warp so you can start is like watching the kettle, waiting for it to boil.  The mere act of staring at it makes the whole experience seem to stretch out beyond all reason.

Eventually the universe relented.  I dropped out of warp, launched drones, assigned them, and then locked onto that one Onerios in the hostile fleet to apply my neuts in order to drain the energy from his capacitor.  Me and most everybody else in the fleet chose the same target.  I am sure his capacitor went dry pretty quickly… or as quickly as it could in 10% tidi.  The reddish beams in the picture below are energy neutralizers working on him.

He's still repping...

He’s still repping… or being repped

Slowly but surely Reagalan moved from target to target, popping one after another while our own logistics kept us all alive.  Ships that jumped through into S4 were able to come back and join the fleet in its slaughter.  The enemy fleet quickly decided that they needed to leave and began either heading towards the edge of the bubbles or towards the gate to jump out.  It became something of a scamble to hold and pop as many as we could.  Our one-sided battle began to wrap up as hostiles disappeared, either escaping or being destroyed.  A spike on the system graphs at DOTLAN marks our time there.

Our time in BW-WJ2

Our time in BW-WJ2

The EVE-Kill listing for the clash shows that we blew up quite a few ships.  37 cruisers and a smattering of other ships gone, along with a couple of golden pods.

We did not have much time to celebrate our victory though.  The word at that point was that a Nulli Secunda bomber fleet was headed our way to take us out.  We were told to pull in drones and align towards the XVV-21 gate.

During the fight I had managed to wander off my sentry drones, which are immobile when dropped, so went to move back towards them as we got set.  When moving the camera around for screen shots, clicking in space will sometimes set your ship in motion.  I did not realize that my drones were positioned in such a way that I would end up heading the opposite direction as everybody else in the fleet, which made me the idiot of the moment as people got mad at me for bumping them.  My camera was zoomed out far enough that I didn’t even notice my ship moving that way until people began complaining.  Still, I managed to scoop my drones and get aligned myself before Reagalan fleet warped us to the XV gate, so nobody was harmed by my transgression.

From there it was a race, with a pack of fat happy battleships running away from a fleet of stealth bombers looking to get in some hits of their own.  There were a couple of points where the hostiles were appearing through a jump gate as we were warping off to the next one.  That isn’t really a viable position for a stealth bomber, unless they want to chance taking their own bomb in the teeth.  We kept moving back through Catch to Derelik to Curse, where we were able to catch a bridge from an allied titan back to our starting point in G-0Q86.

The fleet stood down at that point, which was good as my chunk of free time was coming to an end.  Further fleets went out later, though so far as I heard there was no node crash because of too many drones in play.  And I did managed to get in a fleet and on the kill board for the month.  So mission accomplished there and I can tell my CEO I did something in December.

More snapshots of our trip to BW-WJ2 after the cut.

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Sentry Drones are Boring

On my last post about a mission in the Sushi Boat, the ever popular Gallente battleship the Dominix, my drone armed AFK mission runner, Tony suggested that I give sentry drones a try.

I didn’t know anything about sentry drones, but I am always keen to commit myself to another round of EVE Online skill training.  I bought Sentry Drone Interfacing and trained the skill up to level 4.

Of course, EVE offered up its usual detailed and verbose explanation on the subject.

SentryInfo
A fine lot of help that was.

So the only thing for it was to buy some sentry drones and see what they did.  I bought 10 Garde I sentry drones, pulled the Ogre I drones out of the bay, then tossed in the Gardes along with a few small and medium drones as backups.  I pulled another level 3 mission for the check ride, The Slaves must be Returned, and headed out.

The mission is a quickie.  I popped in and the red ships went aggro.  I started towards them, turning on my modules and deploying five of the sentry drones.

I figured out rather quickly that their listed speed of zero meters per second was not a typo as they slowly moved away from the Sushi Boat, floating placidly in its wake.

I quickly pulled them back in before I got out of range and thought for a second on what to do.

I didn’t want to have to go back and fish them out of space later.  So I pulled the Domi to a halt and threw the drones overboard again.  The I targeted one of the cruisers and set the drones to work.

I put the camera on one of them, just to see them in action close up.  The drone rotated towards the target, then nothing happened.  I checked to make sure the target was in range.  It looked good.

I noticed that the target was taking damage.  That seemed to be a good sign.  But the drones themselves just didn’t… you know… go PEW PEW or anything.

They sit.  They turn.  The target takes damage.  But I didn’t get any light show.

They might be shooting... maybe...

They might be shooting... maybe...

So much for dramatic screenshot potential.

The sentry drones also had trouble with the frigates, which closed to about 8km and then pelted us with rocks and garbage.  After watching a lot of nothing going on… nothing but the Sushi Boat taking tiny hits… I pulled in two of the sentry drones and sent out a pair of scout drones to clean up the frigates.

So my sentry drone test was mostly successful.  I will have to figure out how to effectively deploy these guys.  I am sure there are some surprises you can pull off with a drone that stays put.

But I want some fireworks out of them when they shoot.  Are they all like that or did I just get some lemons?

First Run in the Sushi Boat

My mining alt finally skilled up to the point where he could fly the Dominix battleship I have equipped as an AFK level 4 mission runner and dubbed “Sushi Boat” due to the fact that the Domi looks… well… somewhat fishy.

I had all the modules together, detailed in my previous post about the Domi, plus a stack of Ogre heavy drones in the drone bay to provide the offensive firepower.

Now I just had to try it out.

I decided for a first run that perhaps I should go with a level 3 mission, just to see how things played out.  I went to the local level 3 agent for Amarr Navy and drew Gone Berserk, a straightforward “go blow up some hostile ships” mission.

I flew out to the mission location and set to work.  I used the 425mm rail gun I had fitted to get the attention of the bad guys.

Reach out and touch someone...

Reach out and touch someone...

Then, when the room was lit up and hostile to me, I turned on the modules and let loose the drones.

Ogre on the way!

Ogre on the way!

Then I sat back and watched how things developed.  I wanted to make sure that all the waves of bad guys went after my Dominix and not the drones and that the drones would take care of business.

It was a bit difficult to watch.  I fly Caldari ships and have been, in the past, all about shield tanking.  Now I had to sit still and watch the shields fade.

Where I usually panic

Where I usually panic

The armor repair units kept up even when all the waves were on me, never letting damage get beyond where you see it in the picture above.  I should hope that would be the case for a level 3 mission, but theory is different than seeing it actually happen.

I had loaded up a couple of tractor beams and a salvager in the high slots along with the gun, so I was able to loot while the drones did the work.

The true test came when the neighbor knocked on our door and I truly had to go AFK during the mission.

I returned to find the Dominix alone amongst the wrecks of the enemy ships, with all of the drones orbiting and still intact.

Then it was just a matter of post-mission clean up.

Reeling in the salvage

Reeling in the salvage

The trial mission was a success.

Now I have to pull a level 4 mission and see how it works out.  I still need to get a couple more levels of Gallente battleship, which boosts drone hit points and damage, as well as a couple levels of heavy drone operations before I think I am really ready.

Dominix Designs

While I have not been actively playing much EVE Online, I still play the training “what if” game now and again.  Frankly, it is easier at times to achieve longer term training goals when you are not playing actively because you stop thinking about the short-term tactical goals and focus on more distant achievements.

So I started looking at my alt.

He is already heavy with drone related skills and has capacitor related skills to envy.

Meanwhile Gaff had been talking about people in his corp with AFK level 4 mission running ships based on the Dominix, one of the Gallente battleships, and I was intrigued.  Like my late Cerberus, you fit the ship so your capacitor can keep your active tank constantly refreshed and you are on to something.  And then you just launch your drones and let them do all the work.

It sounded like a worthy experiment, something new to try.

My alt had no Gallente ship skills, so I started him down that path, frigates, cruisers, then battleships while I considered the options.

Looking through the load-outs on BattleClinic, I saw that I could potentially go with a shield tank on the Domi.  However, that seemed out of character for the ship, so I decided to bite the bullet, put in another week or so of training, and go with the active armor tank.

My planned fit so far:

High Slots

  • Drone Link Augmenter

Mid Slots

  • Cap Recharger II x4
  • Drone Navigation Computer I

Low Slots

  • Capacitor Power Relay II
  • Damage Control II
  • Large Armor Repairer II x2
  • Energized Adaptive Nano Membrane II
  • Armor Kinetic Hardener II
  • Armor Thermic Hardener II

Rigs

  • Auxiliary Nano Pump I
  • Capacitor Control Circuit I x2

That give me a stable capacitor at about 60% and leaves five high slots to fill.  The alt could just fill them with salvagers and tractor beams and clean up as he goes.  He is a bit light on gunnery skills.  For now I suppose he could carry some light rails to swat frigates if it came down to it.

And then there are the drones.  He is ready for Tech II medium drones, Hammerheads and the like, but it will be a while before he can fly Tech II heavy drones.

But he is cleared to fly the Domi as of Sunday.  So he bought the ship.  It costs almost half that of a Raven, and less than half of a Rokh.  Here it is.  I named it Sushi Boat.

Does this ship make me look fat?

Does this ship make me look fat?

I tried to take a picture of it from a flattering angle rather than the usual bulbous front end shot.

And after all this training he can also fly a Myrmidon and just needs Gallente Cruisers V to fly an Ishtar.

So many choices.