Wednesday, 9 February 2011

Operation: Grow Some Balls

I hate soloing. Partially because I very much enjoy the team work and banter of flying in gangs but mostly because I don't have the balls to go out on my own. Previous attempts have led to shaky hands, heart palpitations and physical paralysis. In short, I am a bit of a sissy.

But I'd like to be comfortable in doing it and after 2+ years flying around low-sec it’s probably time I got started. So I've decided to start "Operation: Grow Some Balls", a new project for my blog in which I will keep a record of my attempts at this solo stuff.

I should warn you now that as I bare my soul there will be plenty of fails, tears and words of self-loathing (and words of wisdom are ofc welcome). But by the end of it I shall emerge as a deadly, confident solo pilot terrorising all of Black Rise.

Failing that I will at least get my kill stats looking a bit more ballsy and less blobby.

Fight 1: Vexor v Sabre

On Thursday I got the rare chance to do some Eve playing during the afternoon. I'd been jumping around Black Rise for about 15 minutes in a heavily armour tanked Vexor when I reached Heydieles. There were the usual resident friendlies in local along with a couple of war-targets and flying around my in-gate was a Caldari militia Sabre flown by Madbuster73.

I sat there for a few seconds, under my jump cloak, thinking OK IDK wtf that is tbh and wondering whether or not I should give this a go. We don't see that many Interdictors in my neck of the woods and I didn't really have a clue on what it was likely to do but from what I could see it was smaller than me and I guessed I might have a job hitting it.

I broke my cloak and ambled slowly back to the gate whilst wondering a) if I should go for it and b) whether or not Madbuster would be up for it. As it turns out he starts orbiting me... then comes the yellow box... red box! PHEW I could safely jump and go home now!

But…must…grow…balls… ah frack it, why not.

The Sabre was, not surprisingly, faster than my Vexor and easily able to dictate the range of the fight. Luckily I wasn’t having too many issues with the distance as I had artillery fit instead of blasters (and God I'm so glad I didn’t go out with blasters, ty Rashmika for suggesting the swap) but Madbuster was still proving hard to hit and I was not able to close enough distance to use my webber.

I pulled out a flight of Warrior IIs and sent them to attack... a few seconds later I realise they are all gone. Pants. We are a short way off the gate by now and I wonder if he’s got a small smartbomb on the go.

Even so I have managed to make a nice dent in the Sabre's shield and it continues to slowly drop. I am now out of Warriors (doh) so I sent off a flight of Hammerheads instead but end up having to fluff about recalling and resending as they also start to take damage.

Once the Sabre reached 95% shields I decided I'd better point him up, you know, just in case he now tries to escape as I might actually break his tank soon! But no big hit on his armour ever materialises. Bleh. It crosses my mind that perhaps I am just not doing very well and he is actually armour tanked after all.

By now my own armour is over half way down and I have 4 injured Hammerhead II's left on the field which would probably contribute more if they sat on the side-lines waving supportive banners. My guns are also about to reload, so I decide this would be a good point to write this one off and GTFO.

I was pointed so de-agressed and burned to the gate before setting a 1000m orbit. I crossed my fingers and hoped that I’d left enough buffer in place to keep me alive before the aggression timer ran down and I could jump. It was getting veeery close. I could almost hear Madbuster willing me to explode... but I made it out, firing off a quick "gf" as I jumped.

I limped home, luckily not running into anyone else, and contemplated my first lesson in growing balls.

Result: DRAW

Notes to self for next time:

- Sabres are indeed hard to hit when you are flying a fat lump of rolled tungsten. Ugh.

- Examining the combat log afterwards I noticed that one of the Warriors in my drone bay was actually t1. I'm so ashamed. I hope no one noticed...

- ffs I forgot to overheat >_<

On a plus I appear to have conquered my shaky hand syndrome. Get in!


  1. Congrats on the attempt. Have you considered soloing in a frigate? You should be able to escape most gate camps you encounter that way, and much of the experience you gain will translate into anything larger you decide to take for a spin. Anyway, food for thought.

  2. \o/
    Nice job! Draw or not, valuable experience and you broke the ice!
    Best of luck on your next one...and your next...and your next...

  3. Thanks Roman!

    @FNG. Yup fully expect to be out in a frigate at some point, it can be tricky with all the Drams around though heh!

  4. Previous attempts have led to shaky hands, heart palpitations and physical paralysis.

    And you never want to lose that feeling, it's the best! Except maybe the paralysis, but that's why you have a lieutenant commander.

  5. A great read Eelis! You did really well!

    There's nothing like a good solo fight in EVE. I love those shakes :D
    Also, vexor OWN. Keep it up!