The White Whale

I have never successfully killed a Caldari Navy Raven in Eve.

I’ve even come maddeningly close, including one evening having one pointed and then losing power to my block. But, despite some truly spectacular killmails (if I do say so myself), I’ve yet to hang one on my trophy wall.

This is particularly strange because this isn’t exactly a rare ship; every other LP-grinding furball in Eve has one and they die to ninjas ALL THE TIME. But somehow, they’ve eluded me time and time again.

The CNR is my white whale; color me Ahab.

I’m telling you this so you can appreciate my level of excitement last night when I actually had one decide to shoot at me in his mission. This was my moment, and my vengeance would be terrible!

I leapt into action in my salvage frigate, pointing the CNR and starting in on his drones as I started warping my Orca in to swap for some bigger harpoons. Mitigating all damage with a high-velocity orbit, I quickly dispatched the CNR’s two flights of hobgoblin IIs before sticking my web on the ship itself, who was smart enough to start aligning himself with a gate.

As my Orca came into the room, I realized my first fail. I’d recently done some retooling of my Orca fit to make it faster, however that had been with a different alt; different alt, same Orca I should say. Woops. So when I realized that my bigger guns were now 114km away with a top speed of 40 meters a second, I opted to dock up and refit a bit for my less-than-capable current Orca pilot.

Returning to the scene, I started powering (“powering” = 110m/s…) towards the mission runner, who was now between my Orca and a gate, aligned towards gate and away from the Orca. Webbed, he was doing 50m/s to my 110, but this was going to be a LONG 120km drive. I opened a fresh beer and started googling Moby Dick quotes to use in this post.

As the Orca was still about 80km away though, magic happened; the CNR pilot logged off. Still pinned, this meant his active tank was now null and void, and so I began laying into him with my frigate. I soon found the right damage type and started pumping my fist in the air as I realized I was totally shredding his shields. Forget the bigger harpoons! I was going to take down my whale with a clam-shucking knife and revenge would be all the more sweet for it.

Of course, this being Eve, that plan soon fell through. As I got him down to 10% shields, the CNR pilot logged BACK in and began repping his shields up. Curses.

By the time my Orca got near though, I had a new plan. Ship-swapping while having a guy pinned is tricky; if you don’t time it right, or if he’s fast enough, or if anything goes wrong at all, he’ll get away before you can put the new point on him. Seeing as I didn’t have a good bumper handy, I decided to see what I could do with my frigate first. Using the Orca’s fitting window, I re-fitted my little frigate for max damage on the fly. I’d been taking minuscule scratches of damage so far, so I dropped all defensive mods in favor of more guns and as many gyro’s as I could cram on. So far, his repping was just beating out my damage output, so the plan was to increase that as much as possible to overcome his repping abilities. And amazingly enough, it actually started to work.

Albeit slowly, I began to chip away at his shields faster than he could rep it back up. The grin returned to my face as I eyed my whale; he would be mine.

But again, back to that “this being Eve” thing. Having no defenses whatsoever proved to be harder than anticipated, as he started to get a couple good hits in on me. I wasn’t going to die anytime soon, but he was whittling me down faster than I him. I begrudgingly realized I was going to have to swap to bigger pew here. I started humping him with my Orca to throw off his alignment, timed everything perfectly, and swapped to my Sleipnir.

And then, I cried a little at the dreaded offline bug; all my mods were offline. I scrambled to online my point as I targeted him, only to watch in dismay as this crafty bear managed to warp away probably a 1/4 second before I locked him. Cursing my luck, I onlined everything else on my ship and chased after him towards the gate, knowing that we’d both have to sit there for a second or two due to aggression. Sure enough he was there, both of us staring each other down. Him not shooting so he could jump to safety, me not shooting so I could jump to make sure he never made it there.

We jumped at the same time, and I quickly re-approached the gate and primed my disruptor. I waited; my whale was trying to wait out his session cloak, but foolishly didn’t align as the cloak dropped. I locked, pointed, muttered a “fuck yeah” or two, and started in on him, hard. My inner Ahab grimly nodded in approval.

Actual screenshot from fight

He shot probably one volley at me, before realizing he needed to be able to now jump BACK through the gate, and ceased aggression. His timer now at 14 min. with 1 min til he could jump to safety, I overheated and started burning him down. 425mm autocannons spewing whale-killing harpoons of death, I melted his shield, his armor, and took him into structure. As I hit 10 seconds to go on his timer, the “this is Eve” bug came back to bite me in the ass, and my guns burned completely out. I screamed at my drones to work harder as I started to chew through his last 15% of structure, dipping slowly. And then, predictably, his timer was up and he jumped.

Curse you whale, curse you.

Here  I was stuck on the other side of the gate with aggression and no guns and he was probably burning his way across 10 systems. I grudgingly finished my beer and was about to call it a night, when I got one more chance for payback. The guy was back at his mission, as shown on my Orca’s dscan. Incredible! I had a smaller, but still nasty pew ship with still working guns in my Orca, so if I could pin him down again, I could either finish him off with my drones or try another swap.

What never ceases to amuse me about Eve, from both sides of the coin I might add, is its magical, almost supernatural way of subtly fucking you over sometimes. As I warped back to the mission, the CNR of course disappeared from dscan. Of course. I had now given this whale 2 chances to get away, and he’d finally taken me up on them. As I met back up with my Orca and started whipping him with a chain for failing at his navigation studies, I noticed something else though: the CNR pilot was STILL in local (local being a system with no station). I had one more chance.

At this point, I’d sunk something like and hour and a half into this guy, and damnit, I was going to get paid. I swapped out for my CovOps and stated searching the system for his scan ID. There he was, idling at what had to be a safe. Bleary and delirious with exhaustion, I fit a point to my CovOps ship and warped towards the doom of my whale. I landed cloaked 45km away from him, and started to slowly creep up into point range. I held my breath; closer and closer, closer and closer…

ONE km from my warfare link-boosted, overheated, 36km faction point range, the CNR decided to warp to gate, go through, and dock up.

Me, I poured myself a stiff nightcap and paced my kitchen grumbling.

Touché Eve, and well played Mr. CNR. Until next time whale… ’til next time.



~ by Aiden Mourn on May 3, 2011.

11 Responses to “The White Whale”

  1. Come on, you have to tell us the name of the whale.

  2. If it didn’t mean it’d be a shallow victory, I’d throw one on your direction to complete the set…

  3. From Hell’s heart you grapple with him…for hate’s sake, you spit your last breath at him.

  4. Great story. Thanks for sharing these encounters, they speed my slow work day.

  5. Is it strange to hear that the CNR is my white whale too?
    It’s just maddening, I’ve NEVER killed one (and had 2 go red)
    One managed to warp off before I got a point, the other one self-destructed at 40% hull 😦

  6. Well, what can I say? You have a knack for putting an entertaining spin on what would otherwise be a tragic tale.

    My first ninja kill was a CNR valued at over 1 billion, and it happened within minutes of my first attempt at ninja baiting. I would be Ahab’s little nephew who, full of admiration for his uncle, decides one day that he too wants to try catching a fish…. and his first nibble is a whale the size of a bus.

  7. Good read sir.

  8. […] seems to kill. Everyone but you that is. Even the great, such as Aiden Mourn who blogged about his shenanigans, has […]

  9. […] I didn’t have one of these on my board yet so it’s nice to check off what has become a white whale to even the most notorious ninjas with this […]

  10. Best story ever.

  11. […] now to combine these two seemingly random blog bits. Remember that White Whale I mentioned a while back? Well, it turns out that the guy who NEVER gets shot at by CNRs finally […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: