Friday, 20 December 2013

Deiknymi - Rifter: Final Thoughts

Kidrith Kodachi put it best when he discussed the Rifter:

"So to summarize, we have a ship that doesn't do the most damage or have the most tank, but is superior in damage type selection and tracking at short range or alpha strike at long range. In other words, a Frigate experience in hard mode."
 - Kidrith Kodachi

He's absolutely correct. The Rifter is renowned, partly because it is the first frigate many pilots engaged in capsuleer combat in. It was my first frigate, in what seemed like eons ago. I still remember hunting pirates in the belts of Metropolis, back when it was considered a legitimate career. I had a lot of fun in that frigate, and I think it's still in a hangar somewhere, gathering dust.

However, it is no longer the easy to fit and new pilot friendly hull it once was. The other frigates, with clearly defined roles and specialties, are now much more accessible. That's a good thing, and under no circumstances should a vessel claim the monopoly on new players as the Rifter once did.

The Rifter in it's current incarnation requires far too much piloting skill and knowledge to be as effective as other craft, at least for newer pilots.

To be a effective Rifter pilot you must have knowledge of:

  • Other crafts likely lowest resistance.
  • Other crafts likely operational range (tracking and falloff )
  • Damage reduction through range control 
  • Damage reduction through tracking advantage
  • Charge management (of about 6-18 charges)
  • Damage absorption through repair
  • Damage absorption through buffer

To put that in context, here is the list for the Kontos, kiting Executioner:

  • Capacitor management
  • Damage reduction through range control
  • Other crafts likely operational range
With relatively low firepower to damage absorption ratio, the Rifter's advantages are eclipsed by the skill required to take full use of them... and again, the Slasher outperforms it in all roles due to it's higher speed, and better fitting options.

Should it be fixed?

I think so. The argument that it's still viable is a non-argument. Yes, you can still achieve victory in it, but it will be a much harder won victory than if you simply used a different hull.

To that end, I recommend either the double-bonused version, or simply adding a fourth turret. The increased damage will make it more forgiving to pilots learning how to fly, and can be put to devastating effect by more experienced ones.

The usual counters are still there: range control, tracking disruption, and other e-war.

Gosh that was fun!

This thought experiment has inspired me to go out and see, armed with the knowledge I now have, if the Rifter is actually as viable as people claim. And I've spent enough time just thinking about them. I'm itching to get behind the pilots yoke, and load those autocanons.

So, as I love to be prepared, I'll start looking at resistances, and appropriate ammunition types to use. I'll post that in the coming weeks. For now... I have a wedding to attend.

My wedding, in fact!

Thursday, 19 December 2013

Deikynmi: Rifter - Proposals (3rd Round): 4 Turret Rifter

In the final round of proposals, we will consider the Rifter with an additional turret.

This is not without precedent. The Kestrel, common favorite of the Caldari frigates, fields four launcher hard points, to make up for that particular weapon systems lack of punch. Projectiles have a similar, if not as pronounced, weakness.

It can be argued that Matari ships are known for their utility high slots, and that the Rifter should reflect this. Well, looking at the Amarr frigate line  up, we see utility highs, which are missing in the cruiser line up. In the Caldari frigate set we see the Condor with the utility high. Gallente frigates have access to two frigates with utility highs. What I mean by pointing this out, is that nearly all races can claim propensity to utility high slots, and we don't need to shackle ourselves to such a non-tradition.

Four turrets also neatly fixes a minor problem with the current Rifter: charge management. Flying an ancilliary repair, rocket launcher fit Rifter, requires you to carry around 6 different types of charges (EMP/Phased Plasma/Fusion/Barrage/nanite paste/rockets), to make full use of the projectiles damage type selection. That can extend to 18 if you want to maximize the use of the rocket launcher as well. Compare that to an Incursus: a maximum of 5, for a cap boosted ancillary repair unit fit... which is a little unlikely to see.

Fitting does not have to be changed. Please feel free to check my maths, but Powergrid and CPU should already be sufficient to fit that extra turret. Many pilots already treat it as a missile launcher spot, and using 150mm ACs actually makes the fitting more generous.

It also becomes an excellent ship for rookie pilots. They only have to train one weapon system to become proficient in Rifter piloting, giving them more time to develop the navigation skills, vital to the Rifter's style of play.

The Wolf already supports the Rifter fitting 4 turrets, so no work would have to be done to manipulate ship models.

Speaking of Assault Frigates, now we have a good lineage leading into both Wold and Jaguar. The Wolf leads on from the Rifter to be a simple brute force weapon, with the Jaguar following from the Slasher, as a more elegant, cunning ship.

The Republic has the Slasher for unorthodox tactics, and the Breacher for reliable payloads.The Rifter sits in the middle,as the quintessential Minmatar ship, at first barbaric and gaudy sporting so many weapons, but with the skill and finesse to put lie to claims of savagery.

Thematically, I think this suits the Rifter's character. It should be the hull of the Brutor, all guns and tough armour, blended with low animal cunning, snarling and confounding enemies of the Republic through agility. Aggressive, yet balanced.

But let's put aside the poetry in favour of numbers.

Proposal 4: Damage application bonus only

Tracking 7.5%
Fall off 7.5%

No. Turrets = 4

New DPS: 130
New range: 0.7km + 7.6km (Rep EMP)
                  0.7km + 11.9km (Barrage)

Slight buff to damage, but a significant buff to damage application. See the previous post for a more accurate look at the fall-off benefits.

It's still outgunned by blaster boats, and still out-ranged by pulse laser boats. However, it retains the Rifter's advantage of maneuverability, and flexible engagement options.

It's able to more effectively kite blasters using either Barrage or Faction close range ammunition. It will retain it's point blank advantage against pulses, provided the pilot can maintain transversal.

Compared to the Breacher, it has similar firepower and range, but with the Breacher putting out more reliable missile damage, but without the Drone management. It provides more buffer tank, but less active repair.

Compared to the Slasher, it offers a lot less flexibility in fitting options, but it can be argued that the Rifter lost that particular advantage a long time ago. It gains in firepower application and brute force, as opposed to the Slashers evasion and dirty E-War tricks.

Finally, it opens up another interesting fit for high Alpha artillery wolf packs. It would not be so good for solo, as the fitting mods needed to fit 4 artillery turrets would lose too much tank.

However, whilst damage projection may make me, who prefers kiting, quite happy, it's not compelling enough to newer pilots.

Instead, lets look at keeping the same bonus from the current Rifter, but with 4 turrets:

Proposal 5: Damage bonus, 4 guns

Damage 5% / level
Tracking 7.5% / level

Old DPS: 124
New DPS: 164

Slightly better damage than the double bonused proposal in the first round, better damage application on tight orbits. It's more limited in high slot variation, but again, the Slasher is better able to use such tactics.

To me this is the perfect Rifter. It has enough firepower to place it as a damage oriented combat vessel. It has a distinct role of shock trooper. It follows the Thrasher tradition of crashing into combat, and unloading storms of metal into space, but on a more flexible craft.

This makes it an excellent terrorist/freedom fighter vessel. It can attack with the conviction of the pilots belief in his cause, and withstand a

The only problem with this is the large alpha from artillery Rifters. That said, I think that also suits the Rifter's image, and the Matari guerrilla style of combat. Warp in, fire a salvo, disengage.

We don't need to discuss the double bonused 4-turret Rifter. For the firepower of that, only look at the Wolf.

Next time, we'll look at my concluding thoughts.

In the mean time, please, discuss the possibilities above. Do you think they go too far, or not far enough? Are there any glaring problems I missed? Have your own suggestions? Let me know.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Deiknymi: Rifter Proposals (2nd Round) Fall-off bonus

Fall off is a difficult topic to think about, and the maths of it quite beyond my feeble arithmetic skills.

However, in this modern age of information sharing, I can use the work of others to support my own investigations. Thanks to Eve University for a most informative page!

Proposal 3: Fall-off bonus

Damage:  5%/level
Fall off:    7.5%/level

Old range: 0.7+5.5km (Rep EMP)
                 0.7+8.3km (Barrage)

New range: 0.7km + 7.6km (Rep EMP)
                  0.7km + 11.9km (Barrage)

For a better understanding of how this effects damage projection, we will look at some arbitrary ranges, and see the projected DPS for each. Bear in mind, my maths is quite bad, and this are only rough estimates. If you'd like to do the calculations yourself, please do, and I'll update this page! This is only for auto canons.

The four ranges will be about half warp scrambler range, then about scrambler range, overheated web range,  a close kiter range (about the Kontos operating range) and then warp disruptor range.

One more thing: these calculations will also apply to both the Slasher and Firetail.

Forgive my wobbly lines. My maths is far from perfect.

As a little aside, it does neatly show what ammunition you should be using at each range. About 5km is the turning point. I'll make another graph later on to show a comparison to blasters and pulses. Then I can more thoroughly explain Rifter tactics.

On with the bonus.

There is much greater damage application, but with the tracking problems mentioned before. Good firepower. It certainly has the edge over blaster fit frigates, but slightly less of an edge over laser boats. It would certainly give scram range kiters a shock!

It even has the option of using close range ammunition against scram kiters. Interestingly enough, the bonused close range ammo almost mirrors the DPS curve of unbonused Barrage.

Artillery Rifters would be even a huge amount of kiting ability, giving fairly high firepower into ranges only matched by specialist range ships. They will comfortably operate outside of scrambler range, and above dirsputor ranges.

I like this idea, but since the Slasher is faster, it could make much better use of the kiting range increase. It's a great bonus, but on the wrong hull. There also isn't a significant cost to using artillery on the Rifter. The fitting is a little too comfortable. The Slasher would have to make a lot more concessions in fitting modifications, meaning a lot more balance.

I'm also concerned that the loss of tracking would pretty much negate the benefit of the increased range.

There are variations on this bonus, but then we're just playing with numbers. It doesn't really capture the spirit of what the Rifter should be, or what pilots should be encouraged to do whilst flying one. The spirit of the Rifter is not in delicate kiting. The Rifter should be more of a rough and tumble fighter.

The biggest problem with this, however, is the Breacher. It's faster, and able to put it's theoretical dps out to better ranges (about 15km with Javelin rockets). Taking the Rifter out of competition with the Slasher, only to put it in competition with the Breacher should not be the result of any changes made.

I'd like to consider a slightly more radical proposal: The four gun Rifter. We'll look at that next time.

In the meantime, please post your thoughts about the above. Agree? Disagree? Think I should go back to the Academy to re-take mathematics? Let me know.

Friday, 13 December 2013

Deiknymi: Rifter - Proposals (1st Round) Damage bonus

Last time we looked at  what was not so good about the Rifter. Now let us look at giving the Rifter a new identity.

In the first round of proposals, and analysis, we will consider the ship as it is, and concern ourselves only with the improvements offered by the manufacturers. These are the so-called bonuses, called that because they are something unique ascribed to the hull.

The simplest of fixes would be to give the Rifter a slightly different bonus to it's guns. In essence, we'd be making the Rifter all about it's firepower.

Proposal 1: Rate of fire

Rate of fire increase 5%/level
Tracking 7.5%

Old DPS:     122
New DPS:   129
Range: 0.7+5.5km

Not spectacular. To compare it to an Incursus, it's Gallente rival, conservatively fit with rail guns for much greater damage projection, armour repair, and even speed:

Incursus DPS: 143
Range: 6.8+6.3m

Out-ranged and outgunned, the Rifter would lose horribly, it's only advantage being the energy vampire... unless fit with a rocket launcher for 141 dps. Hardly helpful. The Rifter does perform better in close-range tracking, but the Rifter isn't fast enough to make use of it. The drop in alpha also harms artillery fitted Rifters.

For the second option, we take inspiration from the double bonused Rupture.

Proposal 2: Double bonus

Rate of Fire 5% /level
Damage 5%/level

Old DPS:   122
New DPS: 163

Now that's a huge difference!

At least on paper. Actual damage application is lowered due to a massive hit to tracking. It no longer enjoys the excellent tracking versus Amarr lasers it had before. It is still better (by about 0.1 radians) but that's a far cry from the 0.3 radians it enjoyed before.

Alpha is kept roughly the same, meaning that artillery Rifters are also able to enjoy the damage boost, and fittings for all types stay the same. Shield Rifters would enjoy an even greater damage potential, but at the cost of any range control (choosing either a point or a web).

Whilst this is indeed a good buff to the Rifter, I still think in practice it would lose out to the more versatile Minmatar frigates: the Slasher and Breacher. Both these ships (in practice) are usually faster, and will be able to apply damage better than the Rifter. The Slasher still maintains the fitting advantages over the Rifter.

There's also the potential for over-powering the weapon systems... remember, we can add a rocket launcher for upwards of 175DPS. That's comparable to a blaster fit Incursus, but with much greater damage projection.

That said, I do like this version of the Rifter. It has the hallmarks of a great ambush/guerilla fighter, unloading a torrent of bullets before the enemy can counter. This gives the Rifter a shock trooper role, a perfect compliment to the more steady Breacher, and wily Slasher.


Commonly asked for is a fall-off bonus, instead of a tracking bonus, to differentiate the Rifter from the Slasher.

Initially I thought this was a simple thing to put the numbers down for, but after a quick review of Fall-off mechanics (which I must admit I was largely ignorant of before), it gets more problematic than that.

So lets look at that next time.

In the meantime, discuss how you feel about the above. Too over-powered? Under-powered? Bad maths? Let me know.

Thursday, 12 December 2013

Deiknymi: Rifter - The Flaws

Last time we did a brief overview of the Rifter. We discussed it's strengths, and a little history. But now the bad news.

It is now obsolete.

When ship designers set about updating their blueprints, the Rifter was the baseline. The Incursus is designed to out brawl an armour Rifter at close range. The Merlin is designed to out damage a shield Rifter. Even the humble Executioner is designed to mimic the Rifter's scram range kiting ability, but with better damage projection (with the added bonus of the Kontos variant).

The Rifter sits in the middle of all the combat vessels, it's once vaunted flexibility now a curse. Now that the relative combat potential of frigates is equal, it simply cannot compete in any one area.

It can b argued that's it's primary strength is speed, but it is not competitive in this area, even compared to some other armour frigates.

Much worse, it's little brother, the Slasher, out performs it in a projectile-based flexible brawler/scram range kiter role, and most fits simply work better on the more nimble attack frigate. That ship even has more fitting options that the Rifter, often utilizing it's 4 mid slots for Electronic warfare.

The role of flexible craft is adopted by another vessel. The Tristan with it's drones can field a far greater variety of fits than the Rifter can, and thanks to it's more sturdy Hull, can withstand similar damage with less given to tank. The Rifter, once loved and adored for it's fitting and flight flexibility, is now without an identity.

Many pilots of New Eden have said the Rifter is now useless to fly, and by and large, I agree with them. I never worry about fights with this particular vessel. I have lost to many different ships, proving I am a terrible pilot. However, I have never lost against a Rifter.

Many pilots believe it is time to send the Rifter back to the shipyards, to be re-fitted for another role. But what role should that be? What it the identity of the Rifter in the modern world?

Most would argue that the Rifter is now a simple brute brawler. When placed aside the Slasher, it would appear so. When placed alongside other brawlers, it is simply under-powered. It has advantages, but these advantages are much too small to make a difference.

In summary:

  • No longer the most flexible
  • Not fast enough to make use of it's firepower application advantages
  • Over-shadowed by the Slasher
  • Relatively low firepower

The list is actually quite small, and there are pilots out there earning kills with the Rifter. It is, however, objectively less appealing than other frigates.

Next time, let us look at what to do about this.

Deiknymi: The Rifter - Introduction

I love theory. Deiknymi is the name used by ancient theory crafters to describe their thought experiments about science and philosophy. I'd like to do the same here with a ship. I do not have the full combat experience to provide a thorough discourse on what I wish to discuss, but many agree there is a problem with this vessel, and I'd like to theorize on fixes.

Let us discuss the Rifter...

What can be written about the Rifter that has already not been written?

This is perhaps the most well known frigate of New Eden. Back in the days when shipyards concentrated all of their efforts into perfecting one particular hull, with others given only niche roles, the Rifter stood out from among the others. It, quite literally, set the standard for combat frigates, and the state of modern frigate combat is a direct result of it's success.

The virtues of it's speed, flexibility and relative durability and firepower, have been discussed ad nauseam. I'll list it's merits here for the uninitiated, but I'd rather discuss the spirit of the ship.

  • Speed - The Rifter is the fastest combat frigate (Before fitting. Most Breachers are faster in practice)
  • Flexibility - A 4-3-3 slot layout lends itself equally to shield or armour tanking. It can fit the standard propulsion/web/warp disabler trifecta. A trifecta born from it's use on this particular hull. It's utility high can be used for extra damage via a rocket launcher, or energy warfare.
  • Weaponry - Projectiles have a generous fall off range, giving some degree of range flexibility, and also select-able damage types. You can always hit the enemy in his weakest spot.

There are literally thousands of documents on Rifter flying, and dozens of capsuleer corporations who identify themselves as Rifter pilots above all else. It was THAT popular, and it shaped the combat arenas we have today.

I'll post the most common fit on here, simply because it's so common many people forget to note it in the usual places.

[Rifter, standard]
Damage Control II
Small Ancillary Armor Repairer, Nanite Repair Paste
200mm Reinforced Steel Plates II

1MN Afterburner II
J5b Phased Prototype Warp Scrambler I
X5 Prototype Engine Enervator

150mm Light AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
150mm Light AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
150mm Light AutoCannon II, Republic Fleet EMP S
Small 'Knave' Energy Drain

Small Projectile Burst Aerator I
Small Projectile Collision Accelerator I
[empty rig slot]

These days, the NOS in the high slot is often replaced with a rocket launcher... the virtues of energy warfare and more stable capacitor management have fallen aside due to the rest of the frigate line-ups impressive firepower increase.

Next time, we'll look at the problems faced by a Rifter pilot.

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

War Record: Pulling the trigger

A few days ago, I was cruising through Metropolis low security systems in a Stabber, looking for organised non-capusleer pirates to kill (an activity knwn as belt ratting, or more accurately in this case, tag ratting).

I've written why, and will post soon, but the result is this: I landed in a belt with a Venture mining frigate.

I locked, and with a moments pause, pulled the trigger. His shields dropped in a instant, and his drones started to tickle my shields.

I hammered off the guns, and for a few tense seconds, just orbited locked in indecision.

It was a civilian.

It was an unprovoked attack.

It was a non-combatant.

The loss of ship wouldn't gain me any profit. I'd be lucky to get some ore.

It was not a fighting vessel.

The Venture just sat there, as confused as me.

Why couldn't I finish it off?

Eventually it remembered it had overpowered warp coils, and flew off to the relative safety of Hi-security space. I tried to open communications, but after a quick inquiry, asking if it was his first time in low sec, I received the brief reply of 'nope'. And then he cut communication.

He had only been a capsuleer for a week or two, and made the brave decision to mine in low security space.

I began to write him a message, complimenting him on leaving the shelter of CONCORD space, and was about to write some advice, but... I couldn't.

I still can't believe what I have done.

I wish I had the excuse that I didn't know it was a rookie capsuleer. But I did. He still had his ships name set to default, i.e. the pilot's name. I tracked him down using my superior knowledge of the Directional scanner. It wasn't even that hard. There was no challenge or value in the combat, and I sought it anyway.

I remember back in the early days of my career... almost like another life. I took a Stabber to low sec to hunt the belt pirates there. I lost that Stabber to a capsuleer pilot. It was even in the Metropolis region.

Before, I wrote about things coming full circle. I didn't realize how wide a circle that was.

I'm not sure I'm cut out for this kind of life...

No kill mail or official review. Now is a time for reflection.

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Trade Log: Planetary Interaction Part 2: The Factory Planet

So, when I took over management of the planets I decommissioned two of his Hek based colonies. They were a flawed idea, but one of them is salvageable.

The reason I chose this planet, is simply because of the tax offered by the owning corporation. Really, if you have a planet in a hub system, keep the tax low. People will flock to your planet for factory purposes, and your profit will be huge: factory planets can host many capsuleers, since they don't compete for extraction.

It's a pretty much standard factory planet. P2 materials go in, P3 comes out. Have  look below. I've annotated the factories so it's easy to see how it's set up. Not that it's complicated...

Looks pretty right? It's current set up is wildly optimistic though.

It requires 120 Mechanical Parts, and 120 Consumer Electronics per hour to run full time. From this it can produce Robotics at a rate of 36 units/hour.

At conservative market values off 55,000 ISK, that would net about 1,980,000 ISK per hour in sales. This leads to 47 million/day, and  total of 1,425,600,000 ISK/month.

Not bad, huh?

Of course that's not the reality of the situation. Import and export taxes cut heavily into this, and if you're buying raw materials from the market, you'll be working with market forces... which usually are as fickle as the sea. Or so I've heard. The sea's the big open air water tank on planets right?

So you're probably wondering, why are we starting with the final product? Surely it'd be easier just to work out what we can harvest and produce from that right?

Well, if you're a miner, then yeah, you can do that. Life is simple. Go out, get rocks, sell rocks, and money is as good as the number of rocks you get.

Planetary interaction is a bit trickier than that. You could follow that plan with raw materials, buuut, you'll be better off hunting the low grade hoodlums in Hi-sec. Hek, you'd be better of mining.

Factories are the limiting factor in P.I. You can extract all the raw material in the world, but you'll only end up with warehouses full of junk whilst your factories chew through the material. Hence, we start with the final product, and work our way back.

In this case, the final product is Robotics. Why Robotics? Because everybody uses them, from POS fuel manufacturers to those dedicated Tech 2 production guys. Markets good, volume traded is high, and high volume usually means steady price... exactly what you need when you don't want to spend to much time messing with your mud ball.

We'll start by filling up this factory planet. Is that possible? Well, I don't know yet. We need to hit the spreadsheets.

Next time we'll look at the spreadsheet I created to wrap my head around the production line, and explain the step I went through. Then you can copy it and compete with me.

Why am I doing this again?

Sunday, 8 December 2013

Trade Log: Planetary Interaction Part 1: Past experience


Damn the things. Sometimes too hot, sometimes too cold. Dust and mud everywhere. Water leaking from the sky, that can carry acid. Earthquakes knocking down buildings. Bugs.

We work so hard to make ourselves capsuleers to get away from those dirty, insect infested balls of rock, and here's my Master telling me to start 'interacting' with them.

Two things before I continue:

  • The experiment went 'okay'. I managed to get a decent return on my investment, but once volume went up on an item, competition swooped in. As much as I'd like to trade this way, I don't have time to keep tabs on the price fluctuations.

If you're a full time trader, I do recommend it. If you have a boss demanding you waste time with environmentally unregulated balls, it might not be for you. Personally, I'll do it in a limited sense, but only on one or two items. As long as I make enough for 10 assault frigates a month, I'll be happy.

  • I'm still a slave. 

Behnid threatened me with freedom, but he was completely unaware of the tax benefits for being a slave in the Republic and Empire. I won't bore you with the details, but lets just say slaves aren't considered taxable in the Empire, and the Republic literally throws subsidies at you to get you to revolt. Good times.

Still, it can't be long before he's officially branded a traitor to the Empire. I may find myself in the hands of another owner, or even worse, in the heavily taxed bosom of Freedom. Don't worry, I have a plan.

Back to the mud balls though.

Before, my master engaged in Hi-sec Dirt-ball Interaction (P.I.). The profit wasn't amazing, but it was steady, and really, really, really easy money. Set up the planets, wait a week, empty what his colonial slaves had dug out of the ground, put it on market, and money happens.

The money was pretty low, and he eventually abandoned it in favour of... well, not doing it. Honestly there's not much point in maintaining harvesting planets once they're set up. They might not be the most efficient producers, but it takes about 30 mins/week to maintain, and one lazy afternoon of hauling.

He did this in Molden Heath, "modernising" production on planets there. Later, he created some factory planets in Hek, turning other peoples P.I. products into higher tier commodities. Doing this in the trade hub itself meant that finding materials was easy, and travel time between planets was very low.

On the downside, he was at the mercy of market forces, in the end, lost money on his investment. The factories went silent after a month, unused.

Well, until now...

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

On reputation

I am a terrible capsuleer combat pilot.

Really, go look at my November kill board. 7 losses to only 3 kills, and one of those was a completely unfit Executioner.

However, since I started flying the Stay Frosty banner, I have seen something unexpected. Pilots, in the militias and other pirates, are running away from me.

I'm now wearing the reputation of others, from incredible pilots such as Rixx Javix, and the superb skills of Joffy Aulx-Gao. This reputation precedes me, and some pilots look at my colours, and simply flee.

There is a lesson in this.

Do not be afraid of corporations or alliances.

The value of a badge is the paint used to put it on your hull. It is not a shield, nor armour. It is not a damage multiplier, nor a range extender. You may have heard of other pilots talking about how they went up against a specific corporation, as though that is an excuse for their defeat, or somehow makes their victory more poignant. It is simple bravado, and unwillingness to see the real reasons for a loss.

Simply being in Stay Frosty doesn't make me a better pilot. Simply being a part of Goonswarm does not make you an expert on the intricacies of 0.0 sovereignty. It is tempting to apply reputations to people wearing labels before they are earned, but resist that temptation, and deal only with what you see in front of you.

Never assume that some people are naturally better.

They might have been more lucky, or more studious when it comes to their particular trade. However, that same luck will come to you eventually, and knowledge is free to all who look for it. Training your reactions to situations takes time, and the speed at which you learn is only limited by your investment in learning.

Assume perfect conditions, but act on probability

Today, I earned myself a Coercer destroyer kill. Coercers are very highly damaging ships, able to vaporize a frigate from the field, sometimes even before the frigate pilot can lock up a target. However, I took the chance to attack, balancing the odds of a perfectly set up destroyer, against the shock of a surprise attack.

As luck would have it, the pilot was new to Faction Warfare, and I was able to slip under his turrets into a tight orbit, setting myself up for victory. 

As a quick aside, the new pilot, sreimm, then acted in a manner true to the spirit of the thinking warrior. He asked for help. He did not wail at the loss of his vessel, but sought to discover the reasons behind its loss. If you are reading, this attitude will serve you well in the future, and I fully expect you to surrounding yourself in flaming wrecks in the future!

The fight would not have happened if I did not take the chance.

Do not be afraid of space

In the past two weeks, I have flown industrial vessels throughout low sec, setting up planetary industry to supplement my traders income. As you can see, I have not lost a single industrial.

I went through gate camps, and sat in space assessing planets and customs offices. No one came after me, or even had a chance to get a lock on me.

The myth of dangerous space is just that: a myth. Fly intelligently, and low security space is as safe as high security. 

More to come on my Planetary Industry efforts...