Level 4 Mission Frigates

Plus one.

Holidays mean more time off but somehow it’s become less time for me to do things in null sec.  I’ve been in high sec, shopping, setting up buy and sell orders, contracting supplies to null sec and carebearing away.  Seems that the last time I did a L4 mission, I failed to turn in the mission on time and took a terrible hit to my standings.  I spent the first part of my winter vacation doing a few missions in high sec, repairing my standings so that I could install jump clones again.  In the middle of all the holiday excitement, I lost a mission Drake.

Lesson learned:  don’t go AFK while in warp to the deadspace pocket.

At least, don’t do it with your shield booster and hardeners off.  

In our early history, Open University of Celestial Hardship was a null sec survival training corp based in high sec.  We lived in Berta, the last high sec system with a station in Derelik and deployed to Curse for PvP.  We staged some ships in low sec Sendaya, gateway to Curse, took a deep breath and jumped into the wild west that was, and still is, Doril.  We seeded the Heaven constellation with ships for replacement and started to roam about Curse.

You’re going to die… a lot.

And we did, but we really were a high sec corp dipping our feet into the shallow waters of null.  When most of us weren’t doing pvp, we were missioning and mining away in high sec.

Over time, the pilots of OUCH became more PvP centric, moving totally out of high sec, returning only to give training, and spending all of our time in PvP-only channels in TS.  The concept was great for building a null sec based PvP corp, but kind of froze out our students; we lost quite a few to disinterest.  So we started hanging out with them in the public TS channels more and started going back to high sec do some team building activities with students.

Monday Night is Quest Night.

Every Monday night, a bunch of instructors would jump into ships and head back to high sec to mission with the students, hang out in TS while we prepared them for null sec.  We’d grab a few students and blitz through a half dozen or so L4s in a fleet of battle cruisers or battleships, sharing standings with the new guys.  Not a big money making or standing increasing thing, it was more for the social interaction and camaraderie.

Flying a L4 with 10 guys in battleships and BCs, blapping L4 mission rats can be fun, but it is not a challenge.  In retrospect, it’s a play style more in line with large fleet PvP, where alpha strikes on a target remove them from the field.  So as small gang, light ship PvPers, we down shipped into frigates and cruisers.  We’d have students stick with their student fit PvP fits and teach them how to tackle on NPCs while trying to stay alive in a ship made out of paper.  We’d bring some cruiser logi to help keep everyone alive.

Today, we still base our students out of Berta and every month or so, we’ll gather everyone up and do a couple of L4 missions in armor fit frigates.  It’s an opportunity to get practice in broadcasting targets, calling for reps and exercising logistic skills in the awesome little healer, the Navitas.

A half dozen frigates can do Level 4 Dread Pirate Scarlet or Worlds Collide, it just takes a while.

When complacent frigate pilots doing L4s in easy mode wander out of logi range, it’s a race to get back in repair range and save them when they become primary.  When triggers get popped out of order it makes even fights suddenly fighting outnumbered and out gunned.  Choosing the next primary target is important, or you spend too much time traveling between targets and not enough time damaging them.  And if your spreading damage around, well, it’s going to be a long fight.

When logi pilots become primary, it gets interesting.  When mission rats jam logi ships, it gets really interesting.

We take a couple of hours and focuses the corp with two goals: hang out and get to know students who aren’t quite ready to get into null sec, and get our Operations pilots proficient at the things you have to do to stay alive with logi.

It’s not efficient isk making.  It’s not efficient standing building.  It is a nice little training and team building tool that develops skills which cross over into PvP combat.

Because soloing a Level 4 in an over-tanked battleship doesn’t prepare you for PvP.

Minus one.