TLDR: A bunch of kill reports since blackout that started with my corp getting together and deciding we wanted to do stuff. Some yielded huge success, some yielded welps. None of these were any more than 1-1.5 hours of prep work from various times. Be the change you want… Prior to blackout we only got sweet kills like this maybe once every few months. Thanks CCP.
Blackout – A Corp Plan to Stop Boredom
This is a story about how a few guys devoted to PvP have made the best of blackout. The story of what happens when you and your corp put in about an ounce of effort. My corp is a mix between PvP and indy guys that have always prided themselves on activity (maybe we are shit, but we are active). Our US TZ guys don’t get some of the quality fights that EU TZ has, so we have had to search a bit harder for fleets. No one wants to grind a structure to draw out a fight, so we have roamed around learning how to become experts of D-scan and found what we were looking for.
Initially we were just looking for targets for a dread cache that had been sitting around for almost two years; we just never found the target worth pulling the trigger on. More recently we have been utilizing bombers and small gang engagements to draw out larger fights and sometimes escalating with dreads scattered all about. It seems to be a common problem in the Imperium in particular that FC’s can’t be bothered to lead fleets if they don’t get huge numbers. This then ends up a chain reaction where players get bored because nothing is going on, so why stay logged in, then FC’s won’t run a fleet because they aren’t happy (drama queens…all of them). It’s a vicious cycle, and just ends in boredom for everyone.
We however, have been trying to encourage our corp FCs to take out even 5-10 man gangs, get small doses of content, and slowly build up to get more interest potentially from those wary of no SRP or paplink. After a few small gang fights, we tried using just a few capitals. After a few times using capitals and not ‘welping’ more people showed interest, and eventually we grew it to potentially pulling 20-30 characters on a corp op. Those players could, in turn, specialize for the FC doing things like interdictors for tackle, cyno inhibs not shittily placed, cynos to support the fleet, or even dreads to exponentially increase fleet DPS and kill capability. Basically filling roles that you couldn’t rely on the ‘common Goon’ to do successfully. We were far from elite PvP, but we had developed the ability to work together to not be complete trash at simple tasks.
The Beginnings – Hunting a Monument
Late in July after the completion of the ‘war’ (if you could call it that) up north, all of our capital pilots patience finally paid off. On a roam the previous day, a corp Kikimora fleet of approximately 10-12 people had tackled a Nidhoggur. Unfortunately, as in most 0.0 PvP attempts he lit a cyno and brought in friends. We were unable to defang enough carriers to take any down. It did however, breed the idea that we could use some of our dreads to wipe out the local defense force. With the promise of capital kills we assembled some dreads with another Goon corp and set up our hit squad while pinging for a main fleet that would have a max capacity in order to still draw out a fight. No local chat allowed us to easily midpoint on a self destructing cyno ship and lay in wait.
Sure enough, after killing a few miners, a lone Archon decided he wanted to play with us on the B-R5RB monument. His active tank showed enough that we had to bring in one bait dread to take him down and get a real response. Just as we thought nothing more would come of it, luck would have it that some hero would get the bright idea to ‘whore’ on our Revelations killmail. A Nyx and two faxes jumped in. We decided sure, why not…lets drop dreads to kill a Nyx despite the enemy Caracal gang on grid. While we got setup though, more poor capital piloting would come into play as a Leviathan jumped in. As we came out of warp dreads jumped, and the few piddly faxes the locals brought in were no match for our dreads. Shortly after his death a Test capital fleet jumped in and annihilated our dreads. Who cares though as we got the prized kill, and then some. We ended up roughly 42b lost to 109b killed, and suddenly everyone had a thirst for more of what blackout had to offer. Killboard.
Success Comes From the Ashes of Failure
Unfortunately, all good things must come to an end and our next few excursions were met with cruel endings. With no local list, we got smashed roaming in Providence. Either bad timing with them already formed, or someone really wanted to kill Kikimoras. It was only one billion in losses, but it hurts the pride. Killboard.
A small roam towards Brave space yielded no fight until we were going home. With logi on our side this ended up more a slaughter. People were hungry for fights, not one-sided affairs. BR.
It seemed even Brave was stepping up their game when they managed to defend some tackled Rorquals. HAW dreads ruined our big kills, but still yielded a decent fight. BR.
An attempt on xXdeathXx really hurt when we assumed they might think twice if we dropped dreads. Turns out, their response fleet was very quick to form. Our dreads melted and another cache was gone. Just a few days later others would feed on xXdeathXx, but it didn’t matter since we weren’t the ones to get them. Killboard.
Finally a Positive Streak
A drop on Rorquals that got a shit response fleet to try to help them initially helped turn our luck around. Eventually enough carriers jumped in that it wasn’t worth it to remain on grid any longer. It was a small win but enough to spike interest again. Killboard.
The wormhole gods proved kind shortly after and we found stupid Nyx pilots up in Cobalt Edge. Our initial drop was unable to fight off three Nyx and a fax, but it turned out Snuff was hunting them at the same time. We teamed up and went back in. Two jumped out sadly before our dictors got back in place, but fun was had. Killboard.
Even a rare drop in Malpais didn’t result in a massive Nyx fleet being dropped on us (standard Panfam response). Things were going well and most people now had realized blackout was pretty great. Killboard.
Esoteria still proved a hard nut to crack with a stupid amount of supers and HAW dreads waiting to drop on anything. Fleet members, though, were starting to get the hang of focused void bombs and the first few FAX coming in were in decent danger. Killboard.
Renter alliances on occasion pulled out some expensive ships and have proven to be the better fights, honestly, since blackout hit. Their local response fleets and lack of super blobs at least let it play out a bit more. Hopefully cyno changes make this more common. Killboard.
All it took was people going out, helping find targets, helping scan wormholes…and the universe was our oyster. The cancer of the super/titan blob is spread far and wide, but it is possible to bait them around and still get kills. Killboard.
Cyno Changes – Recons Only?
Immediately after CCP announced a potential change to only Force Recons and Blackops battleships lighting regular cynos, we got some intel of a potential fight and moved up. Turns out Force Recons can do alright, and dumb titan pilots will eat shit. Killboard.
Do I agree with only two hull types lighting cynos? Not really. It would be nice if they just tripled or quadrupled the fitting requirements of a cyno generator while disallowing it to be fit to capitals and capital industrials, allowing the players to figure it out. It will be okay though.
Does this solve the problem of low effort, high results that a lot of people seem to complain about (looking at you bitter vets who want to be able to afk rat/mine for an hour or two without having to devote any resources to watching gates/defending yourselves/talking to friends about intel….)? Absolutely not. For that player with maybe one hour of playtime I still say you are better off in highsec and making excursions to lowsec/0.0. I pay for game time with a credit card because screw getting a second job having to grind ISK to Plex….that’s a choice you make if that is why you are mad about blackout.
However, if you and a group of friends go out looking ~~content~~ is out there. People will fight, there are things to kill, and fun to be had.