EVE Interceptor 1: Crusader - by roBurky

Posted in EVE Interceptor, _blackbox by Administrator on the September 10th, 2005

I lived, but only just. My crippled, flaming interceptor hobbled into the station and into the repairshop. These ships were not going to be easy to fly. The line between invulnerability and death was going to be a fine one, with many factors able to push me to the wrong side. Should be exciting, but I was going to need to be careful. And I was going to need more skills. I realised I had completely neglected all training related to the capacitor in my pursuit of shiny ships. On further searching, there was a large collection of modules I could buy and skills I could train, in order to improve my abilities as the pilot of a ‘ceptor. I had work to do.

This is Eve. It is a game I first installed almost a year ago. It’s online, it has spaceships, and is a game of very large scale.

This is an Impairor. It’s the crappy rookie ship I was given when I began, those many months ago. It was destroyed within a few hours of my starting, prey to a lowly bunch of training drones.

This is an Executioner. It is a low-level frigate, and was the first ship I bought, the Amarr Empire’s speed specialist. It was fast, it was elegant, and it smashed those smug training drones to little pieces. I pushed its speed specialty to the limits, and wowed my fellow newbie friends with my accomplishments.

I later moved on to bigger and tougher things, but I kept coming back to the Executioner. I found the simple lines and simple purpose so attractive, and getting back into the cockpit always reminded me of those early days, when everything seemed so big and so far away.

But whenever I flew an Executioner, I was secretly wishing I was in another kind of ship. And that ship was this:

This is a Crusader. It’s an Executioner with buckets of expensive stuff poured on top of it. It has a higher base speed, better agility, better sensors, more guns. It is harder to lock, harder to hit, and harder to escape from. It’s known as an interceptor.

I had heard about these even before I joined Eve. They could go faster than missiles could chase them, faster than turrets could turn and track them, they could swoop down and warp scramble a ship before it could turn to escape.

Everybody flies battleships nowadays, I had learned. But still not everybody flew these, and I saw them as an opporunity to specialise and find a role for myself. They required some heavy skills, and it would take a while to train for them, I knew. So I took it steady. I took frequent breaks to train other, cheaper things to keep me going in the meantime.I did a lot of mining, a lot of trading, a little bit of manufacturing. I flew cruisers and destroyers and industrial ships. But five months after I joined Eve, the day came when I climbed into my first interceptor.

That day was joyous and confusing. As I flew it into the hangar of my home station, I realised how long it had been since I had learned to fly a new kind of ship. I remembered how much head-scratching it had taken to find a setup for my first cruiser, with all those empty slots to fill.

I searched through our corporation’s communal store of ship equipment, known affectionately as the Hangar of Plenty. I picked out some short ranged lasers, a warp scrambler, and some modules to toughen and repair my armour. I then brought a micro warp drive online. Afterburners could make you go fast, but these things made you go very, very fast. I couldn’t wait to see what I could achieve with one on this ship.

Undocking again with all my equipment plugged in, I immediately tested my speed, and I was pleased. But what use was going the fastest I’d ever gone before if I didn’t know how to use it? I asked some corpmates to help me test it out. A friend in a big, ugly cruiser appeared and invited me to attack. Hitting the micro warp drive and setting an orbit to match my guns’ optimal range, I gladly obliged. But my slim little ship overshot by quite a few kilometres. I was going so fast that my maneuvring thrusters couldn’t keep up, and my orbit was dragged out beyond the range of my guns.

Oh well, small problem, sort it out later. Now try shooting at me. A heavy missile arced around towards me. Just one of these would have demolished my Executioner in a single blow. But this one fell behind to follow me. And again, I said. A second joined it, forming a trail flying in my wake. It worked! I was immune to those horrible missiles! Now let’s get these guns working and…

Micro warp drives have a number of balancing penalties along with their enormous speed increase. They multiply your signature radius, making you easier to lock and easier to hit, which about offsets the effect the speed has in making you harder to hit. They also reduce the maximum size of your capacitor, and will drain the rest of it pretty quickly when active. Run out of capacitor and any module that uses it will turn off. With an empty capacitor you can’t shoot, you can’t repair, you can’t use shield boosters, electronic warfare, propulsion jamming, or armour hardeners. You can’t warp away, and you definitely can’t use a microwarpdrive. You are, effectively, dead.

My speed cruelly began to fall to a fifth of its former glory. I had barely the time to realise what had happened before the growing trail of missiles slammed into my new, expensive, uninsured ship.

I lived, but only just. My crippled, flaming interceptor hobbled into the station and into the repairshop. These ships were not going to be easy to fly. The line between invulnerability and death was going to be a fine one, with many factors able to push me to the wrong side. Should be exciting, but I was going to need to be careful. And I was going to need more skills. I realised I had completely neglected all training related to the capacitor in my pursuit of shiny ships. On further searching, there was a large collection of modules I could buy and skills I could train, in order to improve my abilities as the pilot of a ‘ceptor. I had work to do.

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