How to rat wrong

And how to get pilots mad…

Hardee RR finally is above 0.0 security status, sitting at 0.1 right now. It has been a long slog from -4.49, toiling away in the low sec belts. Just as he neared 0.0, though, a local called out to tell him to stop fucking up the rat chains.

Rat chains?

Yeah, evidently Hardee has being doing things the hard way…no pun intended. He never understood what chaining meant. Evidently (and I still could be wrong), rats are spawned randomly as one moves through the belts/gates. Shoot what you see, and it forces another random chance. When a battleship-class shows up, shoot it but don’t shoot the escorts. The rat-spawn logic sees this as a need to re-spawn the battleship, as the entire group-spawn still exists. The re-spawn of the battleship occurs 10-15 minutes from then, most likely in another belt. I don’t know if you can still shoot other spawns once this chain starts (which may be part of what Hardee keeps screwing up).

Hardee’s plan wasn’t necessarily to chain battleships, but to gain security status quickly. His method was to shoot at least a cruiser sized rat, then quickly move to the next belt. If a bigger rat existed (more ISK/battleship), then shoot that, otherwise move on. Once one quick pass is done, move to the next system. Don’t return for 15 minutes. The idea is that CONCORD grants security once every 15 minutes, per largest single rat killed per system. 3 battleships in one system within 15 minutes of each other only count s for a single ship increase (in Hardee’s case, 0.192% for the common 500k ISK variety in 4.0 space).

So, Hardee didn’t care about the smaller spawns. And when he encountered a battleship and the escorts, he shot the escorts first, then settled in a nice orbit around the battleship, wailing away until it goes poof. Loot and haul butt to the next system.

Hardee’s ratting machine is an autocannon fitted Thrasher. Active shield booster , MWD, AB or web, damage control, and gyrostabilizer make the typical rat fit. 7 autocannon with EMP or Plasma for the Blood rats he currently hunts. And a rocket launcher for extra DPS. Zoom in, get close, get out.

So, obviously when he started, he had no tank, therefore getting rid of the escorts was essential. Staying clear of a battleship shooting lasers is easy as long as you keep up some radial speed. MWD, nail the escorts, then cut in and orbit as close as possible. The web help counter tracking disruption, but really it didn’t matter for this setup and tactic. AB is a better utility, IMHO, and Hardee has been using it effectively.

Hardee’s tactics didn’t change, even though his skills improved. What was fine for a gank toon, really wasn’t great for someone with more skills. 5 in gunnery, small projectile, destroyers, etc, means the need to tank for long periods really isn’t necessary. Hardee isn’t flying a stripped down gank wagon anymore as well.

Thus, Hardee needed to try a new tactic: try chaining the rats. A medium sized system was chosen which saw a few missioners, but mainly industrial traffic and cyno ops. Not many ratters to piss off. Hardee followed the plan: shoot unless it is a battleship escort. Once the battleship popped, loot, and then head out to drop off goodies. When aggro timer was near 2 minutes or less, head back. Repeat. 4 battleships in a row were killed this way. It was a helluva lot faster to get security increase, and the loot piled up quick from the smaller wrecks. Not to mention better money.

Damn. No wonder the other pilot was pissed. I’d be, too, if that cash cow was corrupted. I get it, now. I still don’t know if you get to kill other non-escort spawns once the ball gets rolling. I can’t determine that from the world of Google, so a little clarification is in order.

Now, because of this new tactic, going into 0.3 or 0.2 space in his Thrasher setup alone may not be the best. If the spawn was 3 or 4 cruisers, Hardee wouldn’t engage normally. Cruisers eat up destroyers, and the speed advantage with limited gun range just wouldn’t work. I don’t believe an artillery fitted destroyer would work, either. Hardee experimented with a Stabber, but the DPS is just too low. Maybe a Rupture? SO, the chaining option would be off the table. It would just be a search for easy pickings, which would upset someone, I’m sure.

The original intent of Hardee was to be a gank toon, but I didn’t kill him off. Something about his character made me want to keep him around. He will pack a serious punch when Hulkageddon 4 comes February 19th. I am sure he’ll be banished to low sec afterward, but plans are in place to keep him around. Shar Sharin will probably step in if he gets too close to -5. Then again, maybe he’ll prowl the low sec world. I definitely want to keep him.

 Fly like you know what you’re doing