A Life In Turmoil

I’m sick. Sick from the sweet words in local from carebear to noob, sick of the mission runners whining about the cost of missiles, sick of being stuck in hauler traffic, sick of the pompous politics and sick of being tagged with a measly security rating of -2.45. This must change or I'll go crazy(er).

The Emperor knows I’ve attempted relative peace but I can’t condone it any longer. Currently I’m collating possessions into one single system for easy access by Miss NEXUS, whom has been recalled from her tour of duty in the Minmatar Militia to once again serve my cause in the lawlessness of null sec providing supplies and intel. I’ve done this once before approximately two years ago, but since I returned to Empire I have felt uneasy with my place in New Eden. Once upon a tale my security rating was a wonderful -9.98 and being bad felt good, but I’m beginning to feel like I’m missing the best part of my life by poncing around Empire and the low sec borders.

B13’s presence has been requested and I await his response to my invitation to join me in my endeavour. The w-pos is to be deployed on schedule in ten days time and will serve as a staging point for our occupation in null sec. Whatever path B13 chooses will surely involve piracy, whether to the lengths I plan or not is irrelevant. My enrolment in I-A must unfortunately come to an abrupt end to avoid anticipated reprisals from my enemies.

It’s a new dawn for me and my crew. My mission is indulgence as an outlaw on the fringes of low sec. Over the past few years I have had the privilege of serving in the Amarr Militia, I have acted as sentry to massive alliance mining operations, I have been involved in the deployment of an Empire POS, hunted bounties across the galaxy, stolen many lives and possessions and earned the respect of my colleagues.

My reports will not suffer from the prolonged occupation of this realm, indeed I may have more interesting tales to tell. As I bid farewell to Empire I may smart-bomb Jita just for my own amusement. The plan is in motion and I am beside myself with anticipation. I guess it was innevitable when I kidded myself I would be content within the Empire. So back to the darkness where I belong, back where I was forged and where I'm at my best.

Happy(er) hunting…

Shield Manipulation Level 5

Being Amarr I have little use for shields. My on-board shield is rudimentary and acts as a buffer against unwanted collisions with space junk or frozen corpses, but for the main part I find that my armour is as robust as my needs necessitate.

A colleague of mine, LPn is Caldari. Now I would never normally give a Caldari the time of day but as a member of the I-A I am obliged to converse in civility with any member of the Corporation. During such conversing I recently learned an interesting fact regarding active shields. LPn has maximum skills in shield harmonics meaning that he can brush off over 1k DPS without a sweat in many of his vessels. He told me that with Shield manipulation level 5, during combat any foe must first delete his shield before he takes any damage on his rudimentary armour.

This may sound obvious but a ships armour will begin to take damage when the shield falls below one quarter strength, even though there are points left on the shield. With Shield Manipulation trained to level 5 armour damage is not taken until the shield is completely deleted. If you were to actively shield tank, your ability to absorb damage is very robust and effective as the Shield Repair cycle must be deleted before any armour damage is taken.

As Amarr I find this information slightly dull but I am aware that some may find it useful.

Goon Gank Squad

New Eden is a dangerous place. Even the deceptive safety of Empire is subject to suicide gank squads. There are reports that members of Goonswarm are currently attacking pilots undergoing agent missions within Empire. This is an action which I completely condone and occasionally undertake myself, but it carries huge risks and should only be attempted by the most accomplished and disciplined pilots.

It’s a costly and dangerous profession and one that the local Concord forces do not take kindly to, penalising aggression with deliberate destruction and subsequent security hit of the offending party. The composition of the Goonswarm gank squad and the methods they employ are a carefully guarded secret but I can reveal that some serious firepower is needed as the target vessel will more than likely be able to sustain serious amounts of damage before succumbing to the void.

A target is only worth the loss of your crew if it has factional items aboard either in cargo or fitted. For this reason a scan of the ship is absolutely necessary before any engagement is committed and should only be undertaken if the estimated loot from the target comfortably exceeds the investment of the gank squad. This can be done using a passive targeter to avoid suspicion and a ship and cargo scanner. For this reason is it wise not to utilise expensive riggings and modules. It is wise however, to use battleships as they have enough bulk to withstand the onslaught that is sure to come from both the target and Concord when the fighting begins. The gank squad needs to survive long enough to destroy the target, but another passive vessel will be needed to collect the loot.

The target must be scanned with a recon probe within their respective complex during a mission. A good indication of a mission runner is to scan for drones. This is by no means certain and many savvy mission runners will refrain from using drones to minimise this means of detection. If the target is a faction ship then it shouldn’t be too hard to differentiate from the many signals. It also helps to observe the target entering warp as this will give a good indication of the vector in the system where the mission is undertaken.

Upon locating the target the fleet should stand by for 5 seconds while an interceptor or similar rapid targeting vessel warps ahead and points the ship immediately upon arrival on the grid, with the gank squad following. It may be the case that the target is located in a complex which has gates. If this is the case then the delayed warp order should be followed each and every time. With luck the interceptor will be overlooked long enough to trap the target and then the gank squad can engage with maximum deliverance.

The target may attempt to retaliate and can pose a significant threat. This is more pronounced the later into the mission the target may be as there will be fewer distractions on the battlefield. ECM drones are a good idea but ECM modules are quicker to execute to suppress any retaliation. Once the target has been destroyed enter the passive hauler and scoop up the bounty. It is worth noting not to assist the hauler in any way fearing criminal flagging by Concord.

An operation such as this is hugely dependant on the squad operating efficiently and with precision. The timing of the engagement is crucial to success and every ship in the squad should be engineered to fulfil it’s role as effectively and as cost efficiently as possible. A manoeuvre such as suicide ganking is expensive but can reap huge rewards if the correct target is selected and taken down. Groups of mission runners are not advised unless your squad is confident enough to engage multiple targets swiftly and surely but it is always much easier to neutralise a single vessel ahead of Concords arrival.

This guide is by no means definitive and there are many ways of executing mission runners in Empire. Above all remember that the timing is crucial and the mission is only a success if the target is destroyed.

Happy hunting…

Related Links
Goonswarm (EvE Wiki)