Think Different

18Nov08

After a long weekend of celebrations (thanks to everyone for their comments) I was glad to be able to step back into my pod and feel the kick of my Rifter’s engines. Recent changes to the navigation consoles of my pod meant that I had to get a feel for some slightly different combat mechanics so I was back in my favourite little ship. The Rifter is a familiar beast and I got my first ever taste of combat in one.

The navigation changes have had very little effect on the way I fly my Rifter. There has been very little effect on the way she handles but the fact that I can disable other people’s microwarp drives using my trusty warp scrambler and the fact that stasis webifiers no longer stop me dead means I can possibly broaden my horizons when picking fights. I’ve also decided to throw caution to the wind a bit more after the responses to my comments about picking my battles.

My first roam took me deep into Minmatar space and back to my old hunting grounds. Somewhere near Amamake I engaged a Rupture that I found in a belt but it was fitted with multiple warp core stabiliser and escaped my wrath. Undetermined I continued my journey and, after a long game of cat and mouse, found and killed an Incursus in Eifer. This was shortly followed by a Punisher in a faction warfare complex in Orfold. During the Punisher fight I got a bit keen on overheating and accidentally burnt out my guns so I had to head back to station to repair them before heading back to finish him off. Both were nice fights against well fit opponents that I won comfortably so I was happy.

It was in Ezzara that the unexpected happened. Unable to find any targets I’d decided to collect the bounty that the Amarrians were offering for killing Sansha’s minions. As the spikey battlecruiser I’d engaged exploded a Stabber appeared on grid. Because I was at the gate I settled into an orbit to see what would happen. He targeted me and engaged. Game on! I settled into a close orbit and engaged my afterburner, warp scrambler, and stasis webifier. It all looked too easy. At this range his cruiser’s guns wouldn’t be able to track me and without a webifier of his own, which was highly unlikely on a Stabber, he wouldn’t be able to minimise the transversal. It was just a case of whittling through his shields, then armour, then hull. Or so I thought. I was in for a couple of surprises, though. First of all my capacitor instantaneous emptied. All of a sudden I could no longer run my afterburner or tackle modules. The Stabber could dictate the terms of the engagement. Damn. But something else was happening. Despite being free to move out and pick me off from range the Stabber stayed up close and personal. What in New Eden was he up to? I looked at the damage reports coming from my computer systems; Light Electron Blasters?! On a Stabber? Was the man insane? Obviously not because my Rifter was slowly dying. I cancelled my orbit and ran back to the gate hoping to be able to jump to safety before I lost my ship but there wasn’t time. My combat aggression kept the gate closed and my frigate exploded as my pod warped to safety.

I was so surprised by the fit of the Stabber that I looked up its pilot on the Battleclinic network. It seems that he likes to fit his Stabbers with medium energy neutralisers and small blasters. Not a traditional fit at all but I can now vouch for the fact that it works admirably against close range and, I assume, midrange ships. In fact I’m so impressed that I might give a variation of this fit a try of my own to see how it performs.

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9 Responses to “Think Different”

  1. Darn man one system over and you would have had all the action you could handle. We had a fleet in Arzad for a good chunk of the night. I spend a lonely half hour in Sifilar running down 2 minor plexes in my dessy. It only got exciting for a bit when a badly fit Catalyst came calling.

  2. Well, there’s thinking differently and then there is completely ignoring the damage bonii offered by a particular ship. I guess skill-related bonii could outweigh inherent ship bonii, but I’d be inclined to want to optimize damage for a particular ship and save the creative fitting for tank or other “surprises” in the mids. Yeah, he won the fight with this setup but it was fairly unevenly matched to begin with. I’m not sure it was his fit that really made the difference.

  3. 3 Leumas

    It seems like the element of surprise on a creatively fit ship gives an advantage all it’s own. By having something so unorthodox fit on the ship, the pilot baited you in to a battle you assumed you could win.
    It goes back to the “picking your battles” thing.

  4. He’s Gallente so he might simply not have the skills for T2 projectiles… even so, the neuts alone are unorthodox for a Stabber loadout. I’d considered fitting them and downgrading to small projectiles once, but decided not to because not only would I be gambling with capacitor, but I’d be ignoring the inherent damage bonus which I’ve always been taught is a serious no-no.

    That was before the speed nerf and Scrams de-activating MWD’s, though… very interesting stuff, there, and when I return to New Eden I might just blow a few hundred million on experiments involving Fleet Stabber, Vagabond and Huginn loadouts that I once would never have attempted. Quantum Rise looks to be a strange, new world… πŸ™‚

  5. That it is, Havo….and the question of “Do I fit this or this?” has never held such consequences!

  6. So how’s it working with AB and scram in general? Many targets getting away? Also, for how long are you able to run AB and tackling gear?

  7. I’m kind of with Hav on this. I know that several Tuskers ignore the medium hybrids bonus on their Thoraxes and prefer to fit smalls so that they can fit an over-sized plate in the lows and make the thing a bit tankier. With the drones doing most of the damage this seems to work well and makes it possible to really hurt frigates.

    From my experiences in the past, if I’m in web range of a Stabber its basically dead. Even more so now I can shut down its microwarp drive and orbit it at close range using my afterburner. Cruiser guns just can’t hit me. The neuts completely broke that model for me. With my cap gone I couldn’t do anything at all so he had total control of the fight. His frigate-sized blasters completely tore me apart. I’m not saying I’d go for this fit, especially because I have no blaster skills, but he tricked me into engaging him and got a nice load of T2 loot for his efforts. Against something like a buffer tanked Rupture this wouldn’t stand a hope in hell but it murders frigates. At the end of the day its all about knowing the capabilities of your ship before you engage.

    As far as the afterburner goes, I’ve lost a couple of targets but it has meant that I can dominate the fights that I get and I’ve despatched a pair of T2 fit frigates without any trouble at all. I can easily perma-run the tackle gear and afterburner and even have more capacitor charge left to run my armour repair systems because of the lack of 25% capacitor penalty. All in all I think Quantum Rise has been a good buff for the Rifter.

  8. Thanks for another tactics update, Wensley!

  9. 9 Lyta Reimalken

    The question is however, if you are flying a Thorax that isnt fitted to gank, with the biggest blasters you can find, why arent you flying a 1600plate Vexor with small neutrons, and doing a better job of it than the equivalent rax fit πŸ™‚


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