Sunday, October 30, 2011

Incursions, HO!

     Incursions are intimidating.  Incursions are funky, custom anomalies that spawn in random locations around the Eve space.  Incursions are hard.  Incursions are harder not only because the actual systems that are "enjoying" the incursions, usually have major debuffs associated with the event, but also because the rats themselves are tough bastards.  And they're smart bastards, like sleepers.  Smarter and tougher than epic and COSMOS rats - not sure if they are as smart as wormhole rats though.  Because of the rats' increased difficulty level, and their non-standard "rat AI", you need a specially fitted boat.  Just like PVE and PVP fits are unique, so are Incursion fits.  This is my l'il fella, a Navy Armageddon.  I call him Bill.  Not because of "Bill" as in "William", but rather, "Bill" as in how much its ass cost me.  When I get a faction pyr8t3 boat, it's name will likely be BILL!

Incursion flavour Navy Geddon

     Actually, his name is " N Geddon LFSF VG".  I know, LAME, right?  But, as is often the case during specialty endeavors in games, Incursions have a small chunk of language and terms unique to themselves, the ship name is easy to identify when dragged and dropped into the Incursion channel.  I could wax poetically and repeatedly about the gears and coils of incursions, but there are already excellent sites that do this.  I read through Jester's site, as well as this one, multiple times, to make sure I had the basics down and wouldn't be the cause of other players getting their shiny and mostly expensive boats all shot in the face, and stuff.  So, no, this is just about my first incursion excursion, and intimidation.

Incursion site
     With a lot of reading, I found my main toon had the chops to come very close to making a battleship as outlined on the various Incursion help sites.  So I made one, with the end state being grabbing one of the pirate battleships once skills and my wallet are suitably elevated.  I read up on the nomenclature of Incursions, the types of sites, the roles, the techniques, the hot chicks cheering from the custom's offices, the spider fleets and the tagging system.  I was pretty confident I could do my job as DPS and not screw things up too badly.  Other MMOs have much more complicated missions, raids and quests than the Incursions, at least as far as the event mechanics go.  So, when the alliance mailed an Incursion event, dude, sign me up!

'Sploding faces in my first Vanguard, EVAR! :)
     I went and grabbed the NGeddon, warped to the rally system, and grouped up at planet 1, which, seems to be where most Incursion groups rally.  It was a great opportunity to see large (for high sec) numbers of rather elite shiny ships.  Overview was trimmed down to only show warp gates and rats, tags were enabled - let's rock!  One of the fleet was zipping around doing room recces to make sure no one else was running the Incursion room.  Our fleet wasn't very heavy on the DPS, but we had at least three logi ships who did an awesome job of keeping everyone alive.  When a site was clear of other players, the anchor would warp in, and once in warp, the fleet jumped next.  As per standard operating procedures, I had the anchor, my cap transfer buddy, and the drone controller in my watch list.  On landing, I popped my Hob 2s, right clicked on the drone buddy, to assist.  He controls all the drone action.  I kept control clicking my cap Xfer buddy (in a Raven) until he landed in the pocket too.  I would also alternate those efforts with right clicking the anchor player, in my watch list, and selecting a close orbit - in my case, it was either 2500 or 5000.  Everyone orbits the anchor, so that every one stays in range for repping and transfers.  Transfers are a good thing because my Geddon has a bit of a fat ass and sucks juice like it's dying of thirst.  After that, it's just call for cap or shields as needed from the fleet control panel, listen to instructions from the FC about target selection and aligns, and melt gaping holes in the tagged rats.  Rinse and repeat for 10 million iskies a pop.

Getting primaried.
     We were trying to speed run the sites as best we could, but as the fleet was designed to get alliance members experienced with incursions, plus, helping null sec players to earn some more isk, a number showed up in BCs so DPs was a little on the low side.  No matter though, as mentioned, the logis never let a single player drop.  I was getting my fair share of attention from the rats and their missiles, and it was a little disconcerting to see the shields getting pounded like that, but after seeing how well the logis could rep, I just called for shields when I was red-boxed, and concentrated on doing my job.  It's very low stress when the rats are shooting at someone else though :)  One funny incident, one of the players had targeted and accidentally shot one of the fleet members in one of the initial stages of one room.  Concord was good enough to show up and 'splain to him what a big mistake that was, by popping his boat.  I think it was only a BC.  So, he ended up warping off to reship - not sure if he called it a day after that though.  It was interesting that Concord and the Sanshas didn't get into it.  That would have been cool to see.  I can understand the inactivity though.  It would be a very easy exploit to warp in with the fleet in a cheap boat, immediately target and shoot at someone to bring Concord, and then let Concord help speed run the incursion room.  The logis stopped repping the dude too, or they would have been popped as well.  As much of a pain in the ass as it is, that's why I have never turned off the Concord warning screens.
Contesting the Vanguard
     In one of the rooms, when our scout warped in, there was another boat in there, but only one.  We all warped in anyway, and cleared the site.  A couple sites later though, we warp into a room, and then along comes a whole HERD of shinies, right on top of us, and proceeds to contest the room.  We had a head start on them in clearing rats, but they had Machariels, some Nightmares and Vindicators.  WAY more horsepower than us, and in short order, the room was sorted out, and they walked away with the bonus.  Someone mentioned we could try and bump them to get them away from their reppers and links, but they were slaughtering the rats so fast, there really was no point.  Some very impressive firepower.  They were very pretty boats too.  I'm looking forward to getting some :)

     So, we managed to get about 10 or 12 sites under our belts as a group, as some people had to leave and others replaced them.  In less than 2 hours, I made 100 million iskies, and raised my sec status .24, which was nice.  Obviously, that wasn't the bigger Incursion sites, but it was great fun, a great learning experience and some pretty sweet isk.  If the alliance runs them more often, I'd be in like Flynn.  I'd be fine running them every day.  Lots to do and lots to earn before it'd ever get to be a grind, at least for me.  Getting into a PUG fleet is often problematic because so many people are showing up with very nice boats already, but, with some perseverance, and a decent boat, you should get in eventually.

Shiney Deltole Nightmare.  Niiice . . .  :)
The Point?  Incursions are harder, and the ship requirements are/can be fairly high and fairly expensive both in cash and skill points, but they aren't as hard as I thought they were going to be.  With competent logis and paying attention to your own screen, they're actually fairly routine, at the Vanguard level ;)

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