Monday, December 28, 2009

How To Lose a Helios

So this past week, I've discovered the key to losing a Helios completely decked out with all the latest in warpy-cloaky technology.  Apparently, despite my sense of supreme safety and arrogance, it is possible to be chased and killed even while cloaked.

I was minding my own business, flying from station to station, cleaning out my assets list because I was tired of having useless crap strewn throughout the universe.  Those few things that I deemed not useless were in my cargohold as you can see from the kill mail above.  Whilst en route to yet another station, I had noticed that a Taranis was following me for a few systems, but in my self-perceived safety I ignored him and continued on my merry way.

About 5 systems after I first noticed the Taranis, I was mid-warp to another stargate when I got snagged on a bubble.  Not a big deal--I get snagged by bubbles all the time, so I turn for the edge and start moving away still cloaked.  A moment later, that Taranis lands on top of me in the same bubble, forcing me out of my protective invisibility.  I immediately switch on my microwarp drive trying to gain some distance from him, as I have no weapons and my cloak was on cool-down.

Thanks to the MWD, he was able to lock me faster thus removing my ability to cloak altogether.  At this point, I just kept the MWD on and tried to keep away from the Taranis.  He had me pointed, but failed to web me so I still sped along at 2464m/s and I actually seemed to be gaining distance on him.  Volley after volley slammed into me, obliterating my shields and spinning chunks of my armor into the cosmos.  Just as he started to miss most of his volleys on me and my armor was all but gone, I began to hope that I might actually escape.

Sadly, this was not to be the case, as he managed to slam another volley into my structure, obliterating me in that final hit.  I tried to warp out my pod but he pointed me once more, drawing several curses from my lips.  He gibbered something in a strange language in local chat, but I understood what he wanted.  I understood 10 billion ISK and pod.  He had already stolen 40m+ from me, and I had no implants so I welcomed the ion particles from his friend, who had shown up just as my Helios exploded.  As my pod was decimated around me, all went dark.

I awoke on a table somewhere in Aridia, slightly disoriented but remembering everything.  I thanked the technician and donned a robe.  Shaking my head at such a loss, I decided to call it a night and reflect on how to survive that situation next time.

The moral of the story:  Even when cloaked, danger is everywhere.  I think from now on, I will be following the old "warp to a nearby celestial before warping to a gate" even while cloaked.  It's still not perfect, and it still carries risks, but warping gate to gate is too dangerous even cloaked in null sec.


  1. I just built my first mission running Dominix. Most expensive ship I've put together yet. On my first mission, I got the Kruul save the wench mission.

    So I go to warp to mission, and it doesn't give me a range selection ... so i end up warping at 0 ... in the middle of like 20 battleships firing at me.

    Even dumber was i forgot to get insurance on the Domi before I left on it's maiden voyage.

    The thing you learn about Eve though, is once you experience some big hits - you begin to take the losses in stride ... as it's part of the game. But it's still a bit of a shocker.

  2. It's not solely a question of taking losses in stride. You also need to learn from each loss so that you never make the same mistake twice.

    In this case, among other lessons, don't warp gate to gate in nullsec. Even in a cloaky ship. Some bubbles are set up specifically to decloak ships. Make safe spots, gate checking spots (or at least warp to a nearby celestial), et cetera. And fly evasively...