EVE Online

Popping my Spectre Fleet cherry

Today I figured I’d give a Spectre Fleet a go. You might remember they were the NPSI outfit who did the roam with CCP a couple of months ago where hundreds of frigates went around blapping dreads.

Getting on with one of these fleets is really easy. Type “eve npsi” into your search engine of choice and you’ll find their websites with links to calendars and discord channels. There you’ll find info on their in-game channels which you’ll need to join to x-up in for any fleets you want to join. You’ll also need to jump on comms, talking is not mandatory but receiving fleet commands is.

Today’s fleet was a “Ganked – Lazer Party” – the doctrine was assault frigs and t3 dessies with frickin’ lazerbeams coming out of their heads (Retributions and Confessors). Fits are a bit blingy but worth it to to get a decent buffer and make logi easier. Command destroyers would be on hand for booshing targets to safer skies. I jumped into a retribution and headed out to the form up in Nourvukaiken.

En route to staging, a vargur was spotted warping with a blob to an open complex in Tama. After a quick call for bhaalgorn pilots and some reshipping we warped in, sadly, just as the vargur warped off followed quickly by everyone else who was there. Was it something we said?

I didn’t know what to expect but our hyper-aggressive chase of the vargur said it all. The fleet’s sole purpose was to kill, like a host of army ants we now owned all space before us and those in that space were presented with two choices: dock up or die. At least anyone choosing the latter got to see a cool lazer light show in their final moments.

Heading back to station to form-up properly and put the baggies back, a brutix ni made the fatal error of jumping into system. We bounced off the station and the brutix evaporated under the combined microwaving power of our lazer beams. There were about 50 of us in fleet at this point. The retribution fit we were using puts out about 375dps cold, the confessors around 450. With a combined 20k dps at our disposal, nothing was safe. A lesson quickly taught to a rattlesnake pilot who thought the confusion of the brutix kill would be enough cover to get back to the open plex.

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The fleet hadn’t actually formed up yet and had already scored 1.4B in kills. This set the tone for the next two hours of my eve career.

Now properly formed, roles assigned and watch lists set up, we continued to terrorise Black Rise, bouncing from system to system and annihilating anything we could land on.

A ratting domi chose the wrong moment to pass through Sujarento as did a plexing talwar fleet. After bumping an afk falcon off tether (why would you not just dock up – particularly when you’re rocking a 2B pod?!?) we chased down a machariel, which had also made a critical timing error. I felt for the mach pilot, holding gate cloak for as long as possible, delaying the inevitable. I’ve been there too, it’s a sucky feeling but props for providing content – take your place in the great circle of life and comfort in the fact that it didn’t take long once it started.

After killing the freshly reshipped talwar fleet again (sorry guys) we got into a fight with a harbinger and a prophecy with catalysts in support before probing down a safed-up gila (dock up or die remember). It was around this point that I wished I’d come in a confessor. Once the fleets were engaged the biggest challenge was keeping up with how quickly things were dying, anything outside of the retribution’s 19km range would disappear before I had time to close the gap. It’s a good problem to have but I was missing out on sweet kills!

We were now taking major salt from the locals which was ironic as anyone who’s ever done faction warfare near Tama will know just about everyone is a pirate ready to blob you. I was loving the salt but our FC got tired of the easy kills and decided it was time for a challenge. Zkill tipped us off to a nearby Darkside gang scoring gate camp kills with a vargur. Having already been given the slip by one of these beasts, killing one would settle a score so we trekked across New Eden to lay a trap for it.

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A bait praxis was sent ahead and proved to be too good a target to pass up. Two jumps over our fleet was waiting but we were spotted, the intel was passed along and the vargur quickly disengaged, warping back to a citadel. We now had 60 seconds and they weren’t wasted. As we streamed into system the vargur was scrammed and held right up to the point it was booshed off the station and set upon by our angry swarm. It was surprising how quickly even a marauder dies to that many lazers. Surprising and satisfying. The kill itself may have been easy but it took some major-league FCing to set it up. Massive props to the excellent Virion Stoneshard for pulling it off.

Our objective achieved, we headed back for Black Rise. What I really liked about this fleet was that it wasn’t just about the blob, we spotted a wolf fleet with logi support bossing an open plex and warped in to offer up a genuine fight. The offer wasn’t taken but it really spoke to what we were there for. Seeing how the locals weren’t going to give us a fleet engagement we headed off to join one already in progress. Looked like Darkside were fighting Horde in The Forge, surely we could go find some action and get on a few tasty kills?

Things had just wrapped up when we got there but we did find a solo phoenix camping a gate. We’d been going for a few hours by this point and our numbers were dwindling. We didn’t have the firepower to kill a dread but we pointed it anyway to see what would happen. It’s a uniquely exhilarating experience to stare down a dreadnought in a frigate. I don’t often get the pvp shakes anymore but aside from the calm instructions from our FC, all I could hear was my own heartbeat, much faster than usual, filling my headphones.

The gate fire lit up as the friends of the phoenix came to help out, lots of them. Over comms I hear “Let’s take this fight, we’re going to die but we might get some good kills and it’ll be fun.”

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THIS IS THE WAY!

Of course that was before the fax dropped cloak. I can’t blame them for bringing it, if my pal was next door with a fax I’d want them on grid but it was instant buzz kill. We took the gate. We were happy to fight and die but not without any chance of killing anything in return. Luckily there just happened to be a crow waiting for us next door as a consolation kill.

At this point, now three hours and 20 kills into the fleet (+ many more I wasn't fast enough to get on), I had to go do RL. Wishing my fleetmates continued good hunting I dropped fleet and went about my day. I still haven’t stopped smiling.

Huge thanks to Virion and the Spectre Fleet team and GFs to all involved. This was some of the best content I’ve ever had. To anyone who hasn’t tried a NPSI fleet, go give it a go. The NPSI community has introduced me to a side of EVE I would have never found on my own and they’ve made it really fun.

Rattlesnake | cocusaijack | Killmail | zKillboard

Machariel | Kurcic Zanbour | Killmail | zKillboard

Capsule | Keith Havoke | Killmail | zKillboard

Vargur | Wi Hita | Killmail | zKillboard

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