Welcome to Jester's Trek.
I'm your host, Jester. I've been an EVE Online player for about six years. One of my four mains is Ripard Teg, pictured at left. Sadly, I've succumbed to "bittervet" disease, but I'm wandering the New Eden landscape (and from time to time, the MMO landscape) in search of a cure.
You can follow along, if you want...

Friday, January 27, 2012

Kill of the week: Alpha

A couple of weeks ago talking about the casual use of super-caps in New Eden lately, I mentioned that it felt like a new page had been turned in EVE's history.

Welcome to the first page of the new chapter:

First, let's talk about the setup on how this Titan died.  When your alliance gets used to flying smaller ships -- Scorpions and Maelstroms, say, or Rifters -- it takes a while to get used to the fact that some ships are bigger.  The hard-learned rule in a lot of alliances is that you never warp to a Titan at zero.  You warp to a Titan at 10km because if you warp to zero, you're going to land inside the Titan and you're going to bump it.  Another hard-learned rule in a lot of alliances is that if a POS is designated as a super-cap staging POS, non-super-caps aren't allowed inside at all.  Ever.

Goons apparently don't have these rules yet.  This Titan died because a pair of dreadnoughts warped to a POS with the Titan inside, landed on it, and thanks to some help from Newton's Second Law, bumped it outside the shields.  Both offending dreads were also bumped outside the shields by Newton's Third Law.  One managed to jump away.  A minute later, the other paid for his offense with his ship.

Before that even happened, though, the Titan was dead.  Here's the video:

At 20 seconds into the video, the Titan is at 90% shields.  At 29 seconds, 80% shields.  At 34 seconds, the Titan is gone.

Now, don't get me wrong.  I really like alpha ships.  I've spent a good deal of time in a variety of them.  There's something extremely satisfying about watching an enemy ship simply vanish in a few seconds despite being surrounded by Logistics ships.  It takes a good FC to pull it off well, and a lot of discipline and timing on the part of the pilots in the fleet.  But when it's working well, it's a lot of fun.

Still, being on the receiving end of alpha kinda sucks.  ;-)

In this case, a 65 billion ISK ship with an extremely solid tank (for a shield super) was alphaed to death in five seconds by Titan Doomsdays.  There were so many DDs aimed at this Titan that at least four of them didn't hit.  The ship died so fast that there were almost certainly a large number of pilots in the fleet that didn't realize the fleet had just gotten a Titan kill.

Losing a Logi or a battleship or a AHAC to alpha is one thing.  This... this is quite another.

EDIT (28/Jan/2012): And tonight, a PL fleet alphed an Aeon.  That'll do, PL.  That'll do.


  1. Done before. Maybe not with quite the same publicity, but WN. alpha'd a shield Rag down almost a year ago with something like 17 of their own titans

    1. Happen to have the KM? PL also pointed to a Titan they had "alphaed" before, but it turned out there were 100+ pilots on that kill including a lot of carrier pilots, indicating that the target actually lived quite a while.

      This Titan barely had to be bubbled.

    2. The KM is a little messed up, but it is api verified.

      There are a couple of subcaps and moms on for a minor amount of damage, and a lot more ships that are on there for no damage at all indicating that they hit at the same time their damage didn't amount for squat (0) as the titan was already dead.


      Also, grainy video:


    3. Yeah, that's close, but it's not an alpha. There's carrier and super-carrier damage on it.

  2. Sorry if this obvious to older players.
    Could you explain this part to me?

    "You warp to a Titan at 10km because if you warp to zero, you're going to land inside the Titan and you're going to bump it. Another hard-learned rule in a lot of alliances is that if a POS is designated as a super-cap staging POS, non-super-caps aren't allowed inside at all. Ever."

    Thank you

    1. When you warp to a ship at a distance, that distance is measured from the center of your ship to the center of theirs, plus or minus 1000m or so. If you warp to a Titan at 0 or 5000m, or warp to it at 10000m with a larger ship, the sum of the Titan's hull length and yours will be longer than the distance you warp in at. As a result, you'll land in a location where you'll essentially collide with the Titan's hull, bumping both of you.

      If you're in a small ship, all this does is annoy the Titan pilot. (Hint: do not annoy Titan pilots.) But if you're in a big ship, EVE physics comes into play. Two ships that bump will cause them to rebound in opposite directions and in EVE, it doesn't take a big ship to bump even a Titan.

      This is the reason that smaller ships usually aren't allowed in super-cap staging POSs. Even a battleship landing in a POS, if lands on a super-cap just right, is enough to bump the super-cap outside the POS shields and make it vulnerable.

    2. I realize the answer is probably obvious, but how do they get multiple super-caps inside a single POS without bumping? Do they warp to the force field edge then slow-boat in?

    3. There's a number of ways.....

      Most favoured way by my old alliance is by having parking spots, basically first time you slow boat in to the shields, get yourself into a favourable spot with nothing less than 2500m in any direction, and bookmark that position, then warp directly to that in future. This is favoured if people are arriving at different times under their own power (ie non-fleet cyno's)

      That only works if you are going to keep logged in all the time though.

      Another well known way is for everyone to take the same warp to the tower, and then Anchor on the tower asap. The fleet warps do cause bumps, but because you are all travelling in the same direction the bumps tend to be less severe. (I don't personally like this one as bad things can still happen, but it's quickest and usually used in combat situations.)

      Another way, particularly in home system is you have your biggest ship, designated anchor, he slow boats to POS centre, then every other super bounces a different planet (if you have more then planets, pick different moons) then warps into the titan @15km (if more then that, then you can use another outer ring at 25 km) This is the preferred method for fleet manoeuvres as it generally causes less bumps then a fleet warp, but if the system is not secured, then it becomes extremely risky having super's at moons and planets out in the open, also requires plenty of recon, knowing if any moons have hostile towers on it etc.

      There are many in between positions, using an interim pos, then spreading out etc..... If the fleet is big enough, after an op, just all jumping in and slow boating to the shields is sometimes simplest..... especially as for fleets like that Rapiers' tend to be your cyno's and can web anybody flying off the handle.


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.