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.
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Friday, September 30, 2011

Kill of the Week: Strategic awareness

This was a pretty tough decision this week, but I think I'm going to go with this Machariel:

This Machariel died thanks to the Screaming Meercats war-dec that happened this week.  For an incursion Machariel, there's nothing particularly special about this fit.  Other than relying far too heavily on buffer mods and that ridiculous Tech1 EM hardener, it's not all that different from a hundred other incursion Machs.

But this Mach didn't die in an incursion.  It was ganked minutes after the first war-dec went live against Screaming Meercats.

I've talked about situational awareness in the context of a single PvP engagement.  Know what you're fighting, and how, and if possible, why.  Maintain awareness of the obstacles you might fly into that will hurt your speed or your transversal, or limit your ability to warp out of the engagement.  Keep an eye on what your enemy is doing and try to counter his or her moves.  All of these are basics for awareness of the tactical situation.

But you have to maintain awareness of the strategic situation, too.  I don't know the full facts of this case.  But I'll bet anything not maintaining strategic awareness was what happened here.  This Mach pilot probably didn't bother to check whether his alliance was at war before he undocked.  As a result of that, he was an easy, predictable target.  I've said again and again that 100% of the fault for ship losses can be traced back to a mistake made by the pilot of the ship.  In this case, the mistake this pilot made was undocking.

In null-sec, you learn to use your intel in a hurry.  Before you undock, you check Local for neuts or war targets.  You check your Corp or Alliance channel MOTD in-game.  You probably check your corp or alliance forums, or ask on TS3 or Vent if anything is going on.  Because if you don't do some or all of these things in null, you're going to lose a ship.  High-sec pilots don't have these habits ingrained into them yet.

And this pilot just learned those lessons at the cost of about a billion ISK.  That's an expensive lesson.

Runner-up for KOTW is this Basilisk, also from the Screaming Meercats war-dec. 

Note to all incursion care-bears: just because incursion fits are kinda like PvP fits doesn't mean they are PvP fits.  PvP fits have propulsion mods, for instance.  ;-)


  1. On top of all the other things you mentioned that could have kept the Mach pilot from losing a very expensive ship, he could have checked his mail- War Decs don't go live for 24 hours after the announcement, and in my corp we make sure everybody in the corp is aware we are about to go to war.

  2. Jester, I have to disagree with you - you cannot trace 100% of ship losses to a mistake made by the pilot. There are cases, that are not affected by precautionary measures - or you lose the ship on purpose, possibly to save fleet members or to bait a large fleet into a trap.

    Most of the time - not all of the time - your statement is valid, though.

    Gunther Krupp

  3. @Gunther: give me a situation where you think a lost ship is not the fault of the pilot of the ship and I'll tell you why that loss is the pilot's fault.

    Certainly, the deliberate act of sacrificing your own ship either as bait or to save one or more other ships qualifies. You made the deliberate choice to lose your own ship. So that case is definitely 100% traceable back to the pilot.

    Sometimes, the cause of a ship loss goes back to something the pilot did minutes or hours or even days before the loss. Maybe the pilot fit his ship wrong, or borrowed a ship that was fit wrong, or followed an FC that didn't have any business running that type of fleet, for instance. But the cause of a loss can always, always be traced to something the pilot did.

  4. @Jester re: Gunther
    I believe the dispute regards the meaning of "fault" because the action has the desired consequence.

    That being said, logging in a station during a wardec is a fail.

  5. My 2 cents,

    What i find interesting in both these losses was that apparently neither of them had their invulns and DC's on. 43k damage taken by the mach, that's a third of his EHP. Could be because he jumped a gate or something, but i honestly doubt it, considering that he was up against interceptors, and at least one of them must have been carrying a web. 1 web, means that mach was moving at about 100m/s. The simplest explanation though is that the mach was simply sitting afk at a gate, or autopilot jumping. ( the numbers make sense, since my mach has about the same ehp when nothing is active)

  6. Killmails don't show EHP. If they're meant to .. they certainly never have.

    My 120kEHP Typhoon has never shown more than 60k damage on a killmail. Yes, I turn on the DCU :)


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