Umm yes, with the beginning of a new era in New Eden, dubbed as 'quantum rise' by some; 'crap' by others. We noticed some changes in our environment. Certainly, the star gates are now much improved: they have been under construction for such a long time that most people had simply ignored the building sites next to the existing gates. Other changes included enhancements to the pod GUI and other bits. There were also rumours of subtle changes in the underlying code used to control capsules that slowed down our responses. All need to be evaluated over the next week or so.
I noticed on our kill boards that there was a sudden increase in the use of assault frigate class ships. Certainly, I love this ship class, especially the Minnie ones (wolf and jaguar) based on the solid rifter hull. From all accounts, our pilots were testing and re-testing this ship class across all four racial ship types and I was asked to join yet another roving gang made up of only these fleet-footed killers.
"Time to roll: five minutes." Informed Kulmid, our FC for the night. I quickly scanned down my list of ships and settled on my wolf-class assault ship. I made some changes to it and had the ammunition locked and loaded. Was in space at the right time and updated my watch lists.
The fleet was nine-strong and I was greeted by a frigate-sized swarm made up mainly of other wolf-classes; two jaguar class, one harpy and one ishkur. Shae was in her taranis, named 'Unfinished Symphony'.
So off we went, with Kulmid barking out orders to us.
"Our destination is a 'bum rush' into null sec and the EOA-ZC gate."
Off we went, roaring into the inky vacuum with constant banter and chatter on the communication net.
Kills came quickly enough with a manticore and hawk going down very quickly. An unfortunate noob was also caught by us and ransomed for all his money, all 1800 isk. This was done by Kulmid, who gracefully let the bemused pilot go to much giggles and laughs. I actually felt bad and well, karma and all that and fate soon served us an appropriate dessert.
We stayed in EOA-ZC for too long, there was a myrmidon and harbinger buzzing us, tanking just long enough each time to jump back into low-sec. In AFs we could not possible kill a tanked ship under sentry fire but we should really have moved on. Instead, we hung about, circling the gate like vultures when a Rokh appeared on scan and then it warped close to the gate.
There were hoots and hollers and the assault fleet formed up, locking the shotgun-shaped ship quickly. For some reason I was 48km from the rokh and didn't get close enough when the surprise was sprung: smart bombs.
Oh, the deadly explosive pulse of these area effect weapons was devastating to the thin-skinned assault frigates, who relied on speed and their small signature radius to protect them. With smart bombs being lit off, there was no escape. We lost three ship instantly with one podding as well.
Fair play to the pilot (TheDisease?) who came in and pwned.
Now, why is the smart bomb thus called? It's not really a bomb and it's not smart either. It's more like an EMP Pulse generator. Whatever, it's pretty damn effective against frigates and drones and the like. Much humbled we ran back to get more ships; I was lucky and kept my ship and docked up to get some sleep while the rest of the crew came back out again; this time in battle cruisers and battle ships. However, it appeared that we came up empty handed.
Applications We have welcomed some more applicants into the family and more applications continue to appear. Myself and Ard are doing our best to pile through another load of applications but we're on top of them. Many applicants do not read the instructions on the forum post. We need names on the subject line of the email you send us; otherwise we have trouble tracking all the emails.