Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Days since last trapped out the Orca – 0

Battle story:

TLDR; I derp closing our static exit and trap out the Orca. Jumped by 4 bombers and get away. 

“The Orca was developed as a joint venture between Outer Ring Excavations and Deep Core Mining Inc as a vessel to help meet the demands of New Eden's industry and provide a flexible platform from which mining operations can be more easily managed.

The Orca uses much of the technology developed by ORE for the Rorqual and integrated with the latest advancements from Deep Core Mining research division has developed a vessel which offers a diverse role to all sizes of operations and needs.”

All mining aside, Orca are not typically used in wormholes for anything other than for hauling or mass.
Quick wormhole lesson, I should read this more than you, because I obviously forget it more than most.

For mass collapse:

  • "Has not yet had its stability significantly disrupted" - This indicates the wormhole is still quite stable, and has over 50% of its total allowable mass left.
  • "Has had its stability reduced, but not to a critical degree yet" - This means the wormhole has seen a decent amount of travel, and has less than 50% of its total allowable mass left.
  • "This wormhole has had its stability critically disrupted by the mass of numerous ships passing through and is on the verge of collapse." - This means exactly what it says. The wormhole has had most of its total allowable mass used up, and has less than 10% left. Collapse is imminent

When a wormhole collapses, a new one appears taking to a new far off land. Closing a hole and understanding how to do it, is as essential to wormhole life as proper ball cupping technique is to Sasha Grey.

Here is how you do it.

An example. 1 billion wormhole connection needs to be closed. You can assume a frig/cruiser or two has already passed through it, bringing that number down to 999,000,000 or whatever.. An aveage frig is like 7k. Cruiser, close to maybe 16,000.. Almost nothing.

With battle cruisers the mass starts going up. Battleships, it’s about 100,000,000 mass. An Orca, 250,000,000. So if you push an Orca through a hole one way, you have damaged a 1 billion hole by about 25% in one direction. Return trip through a hole and you have hit the hole for 500,000,000. Half! Send an Orca through again and the hole will close behind you. 500,000,000 = 1st pass – 500,000,000 = 2nd pass. Add a few cruisers or frigs to that, and the hole has exceeded the mass limits and the hole closes. WIN! Right?

My corp fails in closing wormholes more than most, so we put up a counter in the MOTD. “Days Since Last Trapping out the Orca - ##”  We have never hit a 3 digit number.

We were connected to a C2 and its residents were proving to be not fun. We had fought with a connecting c3 and decided to look for greener pastures. I knew there was a hostile scout watching the static connection to the C2, so I asked for an escort to assist in closing the hole.

8 Pilots showed up on the dot to sit on the ‘reduced hole’ to ensure we had some kind of defense for the fateful Orca pass.

Problem – Since we threw down with the C3 gang, to the tune of a few battle cruisers, cruisers, frigs… both directions on the hole, we damaged the math a little. Better way of describing it, we reduced the hole to stage 2. “Stability Reduced”

This could mean the hole was between  49.999% and 10.0000001 %  --- Basic math time. 11.% of 1 bill?  110,000,000. Mass of an Orca ? 250,000,000. Yea. I had no way of knowing if the hole was 49% or 11% but I went in anyway, because I was too lazy to get a smaller ship.

There I was with my 8 other combat pilots escorting me on the C5 side of the C2 hole. Orca jumped. Hole closed, Orca trapped out, 8 pilots that wanted to cover me far far away.

No biggy right? There is a high sec connected to this c2 with nobody in it… I hit warp to High sec.

Uncloak, 1 stealth bomber right next to me. Uncloak another, and another and finally a 4th… Yea that just happened.

Bombers typically carry torpedoes as their primary weapon. They specialize in damaging large ships above their ‘weight class’. Here my Orca was ponderously aligning to the high sec exit.

Warp disruptor activates on my Orca, then another…. All bombers start firing on me.

Now I’m no stranger to pvp, I’m not very good at it but I think of myself more of a war tactician vs pew pew grunt. I design fights, ganks, roams, fits… everything other than actually second to second implantation of combat. I knew that if my Orca would ever get ‘tackled’ I would need to remove that tackle and warp to safety.

My standard Orca fit is,


1 Damage Control 2,
1  Inertial Stabilizers


2 Invun fields
1 Shield Expander
1 100mn After Burner – (not for speed, more of a mass increasing thing adds 50,000,000 to your mass)


1 Cloak (critical for waiting out people if I did need to try and get away0
1 Probe Launcher (for finding my dumb trapped ass out if I needed it)
1 MED Nuet.

Drones – 5 light scout drones, 10 ECM light drones.


The first bomber comes in with a scram at less than 10k. This applied 2 warp disruption points, had my lows been filled with Warp Stabs I may have gotten away. The second bomber points me at 20k, adding another warp disruption point. 1 more point, than if I had warp stabs. Screwed.

The other bombers either didn’t have points, or didn’t bother with them.

First thing I do, out of instinct is drop scout drones. Then begin the laborious task of actually targeting the attackers. I overheat my invulns. BTW going on record, invulns are fucking useless on Orca.  I have since changed my fit. I was half into armor before my first targeting was completed. Targeting frig size anything in an orca is a task to be sure, but doing it with a cloak loaded, UGGGGG.. took forever.

My drones on the other hand, had already decided to go and shoot something. The attackers saw this and started shooting my drones. I don’t know why, but I do know they were damaged.. /shrug.

The scram pilot was my primary focus for my medium nuet. A medium neut can deal with any fig sized ship without a cap booster. My med nuet has about 11k in range. Just enough to deal with a scram pilot. 

The 20k orbit guy was proving to be harder to deal with. Once I had the closer ship nueted I began to pull in what was left of my scouts drones. I dropped ECM 300 and set them on the 20k distance ship.

At this time I was in structure. Which,  I would like to point out, isn’t really a big deal in an orca The Damage control 2 makes hull tanking an actual thing. 

With 4 bombers each with a full rack of torpedoes, pounding away on me (with a target painter I will add… Like that mattered) my hull was dropping about 5% a volley. Orca hull tank FTW!

My issue was getting that orbiting 20k pilot to drop point. He was way out of my neut range. 

I aligned myself to the high sec, for the split second both of them would lose point on me. The 20k bomber kept orbiting and orbiting, and my ECM drones couldn’t keep up with him, so I retraced them over and over one by one, hoping that the ECM drone would cut him off at the pass and not trail uselessly behind him.  

I did this 3 times… Finally, at 20% structure… The disruption icon drops. I right click on the book mark, already aligned.. and WARP!

I happily left my hero ECM drones on the field. Good bye you glorious little bastards!!

I shout in local. (I’m not proud of what I said, but it was a fairly amazing escape IMO).



--- "WTS ORCA at HIGH SEC hole!”

I was about to land, when I thought to myself, how funny would it be if they already closed the high sec hole and I land in empty space. Lucky for me, that didn’t happen. 

I lingered on the inside of the c2 hole for seconds, when I see 2 bombers land next to me. I see them yellow boxed me as I was jumping out.

Moments after I jump, I instantly feel terrible for talking shit to those guys after I got away. I open up a convo with one of the pilots and apologize for my outburst, I was just caught in the moment.

He was pretty cool about it, he said and I’m quoting – “that was an amazing escape, a little trash talk was warranted”

Nice guy. Would almost lose an orca to him again 10/10.


  1. Side note:

    Spear giggled like a little girl for close to 20 min after this happened.

    Either that or his daughter was on comms telling the story for him. It's hard to tell sometimes ;-)

  2. I think it's important to point out that when you say 'my corp is worse that others at collapsing', you really just mean yourself :P

  3. Nice story (just listened to it on your podcast). I had a similar thing happening to me - a fleetmate tackled an Orca on their side of the hole. I jumped my bomber through and started throwing torpedoes at the Orca when my fleet mate reported to be neuted dry and lost tackle. Instead of warping away, the Orca staid put and send his Warrior II after me - landed me in deep armor in 2 volleys before I could warp off. Since then, I have a _lot_ of respect for Orcas when they are well flown :)

  4. So was the laughter better or worse than when Corpse had the bomber chasing his brutix?