Dynamic Duo

Raven

The Raven was the natural next step up for my alt from her Drake, and a couple of days ago she finally finished skilling up to fly the missile-spewing Caldari Battleship. Prices for Ravens seem to be coming down quite a bit, but according to the latest Quarterly Economic Newsletter this seems to be the trend for all T1 battleships now that there is no longer an insurance floor. A couple of months ago a Raven was going for 80+ million, but I managed to buy one for 64 million ISK.

Not the prettiest ship, but then I’m spoilt by the awesomeness of my Rattlesnake. The Raven has odd… things sticking out all over its asymmetrical body, and it somehow reminds me slightly of a tick. In any case, it’s not entering a beauty pageant… it’s purpose is to spew lots of pew pew, thanks to 6 ‘Arbalest’ cruise missile launchers.

Tactical Shield Manipulation IV will finish training tonight, which will let me use the T2 shield hardeners. I’m still a bit worried about the tank, which isn’t as good as I’d like but then again it’s not supposed to be tanking, that’s what the Rattlesnake is for. I decided against trying to make it cap-stable with the Large Shield Booster II, because that would require putting in 3 CCC rigs. Most recommended fittings have 2 rigor rigs to allow the cruise missiles to do decent damage against cruisers, and I didn’t want to pop in rigs only to replace them in the future. Consider this part of my efforts to get used to actually managing capacitor. Not sure if I could improve much on the fit, short of swapping out my usual afterburner for another shield hardener. Originally had a Drone Link Augmentor on there but switching to T2 hardeners left me short of CPU. A X-large shield booster would dramatically increase the tank, but I would only be able to run it for slightly more than a minute which is… disconcerting.

While the CNR is a clear upgrade over the regular Raven, I decided to hold off on this first until I get the hang of dual-boxing the Rattlesnake and Raven. The CNR doesn’t have a much better tank, and if the shit hits the fan I’d rather lose a normal non-faction fitted Raven than deal with trying to save two expensive faction ships (and risk losing both…). Prices of CNRs have gone up quite a bit recently. I remember when I first looked at them I could easily buy one on contract for 500 million. Now they’re going for more than 580 million, which makes them pricier than my Rattlesnake. Eep.

I’ve only done a single L4 mission so far, which was the first combat mission of the Caldari Epic Arc. I must say it’s a big improvement from when I did it on Noork using the Dominix + Drake (R&R better than D&D? hur hur hur) Target painter + 10 cruise launchers + 5 sentry drones make short work of any battleships. I eat through cruise missiles like candy but that’s what I bought those BPOs for.

Hurricane

I also used my salvaging Hurricane for the first time during that mission. I was originally planning on using a Cyclone but fortunately Jade advised me to switch to a Hurricane. Unfortunately Hurricane prices spiked by 3 million on the day I wanted to buy one, but what the heck. 4 salvagers and 4 tractor beams together with omgzoommwd make salvaging go much faster than slowboating around in a battleship. To be frank, it’s actually the first time I even flew a ship with a MWD and the speed is really astounding. I feel even slower now in my Rattlesnake, even with the afterburners on…

Besides the salvaging fit, I bring along 6 meta 4 mining lasers too for when I just want to do some afk-mining. I almost lost the Minercane the day after buying it because I forgot to deploy drones while mining. After putting the baby to sleep, I came back to find myself with 70% hull left from a lone Gurista Infiltrator that must have been plinking away at me slowly for about an hour. There was a Caracal floating nearby just watching me too, the bastard. Got harassed quite a few times while mining in different belts by silly wannabe griefers. I mean really, I’m going to turn my mining lasers on you because you stole my Uranium S rounds! If they wanted real PVP they should just go to low-sec, but I guess some people are just cowardly juvenile that way. But talk about a waste of time… some guy spent 10 minutes orbiting me in a Navy Slicer after looting one of my wrecks. Must be one easily entertained pilot.

Seems like a bit of a waste to only use the Hurricane for salvaging or mining, so I’ve tried to come up with some usable combat fits for easy stuff, like the following armor tanked ArtyCane.

I have no experience with Hurricanes obviously, so any fitting advice is appreciated. I included a webifier in case frigates get under my guns, which would pose tracking problems for the longer ranged artillery. It’s unrigged because I would like to be able to package it to save space, plus I wouldn’t know what to rig it with other than my usual CCC rigs which seem a bit of a waste.

Contract trading

Despite my earlier reservations about this, it turns out that daytrading in contracts is quite lucrative. I trained up my trader alt with a couple of levels of Contracting and set up a few WTB contracts. So far, I’ve sold quite a few Federation Navy OTLs for 65 million (bought for 45 million), a Domination Target Painter for 147 million (bought for 110 million) and a True Sansha Target Painter for 89 million (bought for 76 million). The contract interface is more like the traditional Auction House in games like WoW, except much worse since I can’t seem to find a way to sort by price or anything like that. This leads to times when my contract is clearly not the most competitively priced, but it gets filled anyway.

In fact, there is one unfortunate soul who seems to be ignored by almost everyone. I had put up buy contracts for the OTLs for 45 million, expecting to sell them for 55 million since that was the going price. However, one day I found that the prices had jumped to 65 million so I quickly set up some contracts to sell the OTLs I had on hand. Shortly after I did so, this guy put up a contract selling one for 54 million. You can’t modify the prices on contracts, so I just sighed and resigned myself to waiting for this guy’s contract to clear. Imagine my surprise the next day when I checked my contracts and found that all my OTLs had sold. Check the market… wait that guy’s contract is still there. WTF? Is his contract a scam or something? No, he’s selling a Federation Navy OTL… So I decided to buy his OTL out and relist it. Immediately after buying it, he invites me to a convo and being curious I accept. He told me he has a lot of Caldari Navy LP and can sell me more OTLs at a discount for repeat customers, and that he’ll undercut anyone on the market. “Mmmmhmmmm great” I tell him while busily setting up the contract to relist his OTL for 64 million. He immediately puts up 2 more OTLs for 54 million… and by the next morning my OTL sold again while his contracts remain untouched 🙂 At this point I don’t know whether to take him up on his offer, although he should have realised by now that I resold his OTL…

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