A Crane fit for me

2nd September 2009 – 5.51 pm

The Crane transport ship is gorgeous. Sleek and manoeuvrable, it powers through the void at 9 AU/second, aligning and and entering warp in the blink of an eye. Even though its base speed is slower than a shuttle the higher warp speed, far superior cargo hold, and ability to fit modules makes it ideal for zooming across regions. One of the modules I can fit is a cruiser-sized micro-warp drive (MWD) which with my skills can boost the Crane to almost four times the sub-warp speed of a shuttle.

With the MWD fitted it is almost preferable to fly most distances in high-sec space on autopilot (AP). Although the AP only flies a ship to within 15 km of a stargate, rather than manual navigation dropping the ship out of warp within jumping distance, the MWD-boosted Crane gets to the gate before it has a chance to accelerate to top speed, it is that quick. With the AP taking control of activating stargates to jump, selecting the next stargate and activating warp engines, the overhead of waiting for the new system to load, finding the highlighted stargate, warping to it and jumping is reduced to zero. All I need to do is occasionally tap the MWD button.

Not only does it feel quicker to fly on AP in a Crane, because of the lack of lag from manual selections, but there is something invigorating about hurtling to the stargate from 15 km out, particularly when others on AP are dawdling towards the same gate. All manner of ships are left in my wake of aether, wondering what that red-tinged shadow was that just passed them. I once not so much bounce but ricochet off a Charon, fully expecting a 'kapwing' sound to ring off its hull. What is even more impressive is occasionally seeing ships drop out of warp ahead of me, within jump distance of the gate, but I still reach the gate and jump before them. Truly, the Crane is awe-inspiring to pilot.

I zoom about New Eden picking up datacores from agents located so far apart that it's almost worth scanning down wormholes to see if the journey can be shortened by heading through w-space, but the distance doesn't really matter when flying a ship powered by awesome. Zoom zoom zoom. So injected by speed am I that I manage to babble when chatting to one of the agents, apparently requesting a mission instead of asking to buy datacores. Oh well, it matters not, it's likely to be a simple courier mission and I'll get another datacore's worth of research points by completing it.

Sure enough, I have to pick up a container from system A and deliver it to my agent, a two minute job. I select the pick-up system as my destination to feed in to the AP and check the star map. Wait, what are all these system names spilling down my display? Twenty two jumps to my destination?! This doesn't seem like a two-minute courier job, something is awry. I dig out my EVE Online Strategic Maps atlas to see what is going on and it is as I suspect. The agent's system is on the border of a low-sec 'island', three low-sec systems connecting to another section of high-sec in the region. To get to my destination whilst avoiding low-sec systems takes me all around the houses, but it is just a few hops through more dangerous territory.

Another module I can fit to the transport ship is a cloaking device. Even though my skills only allow for the basic model of cloaking device it still lets me evade electronic detection, and with high agility and warp speed I can be fairly safe flying through hostile regions, which is why the transport ships are known as blockade runners. I take the precaution of swapping out the nanofibre internal structure modules for inertia stabilisers, sacrificing a bit of speed for even more agility, and undock.

In the low-sec systems I perform the manoeuvre I've been practicing a bit in high-sec, where I align to my destination and simultaneously activate the MWD, then the cloak a moment later. This gets the ship pointing in the right direction, after which I can cancel the cloak and enter warp as efficiently as possible to evade any hostile action. It turns out that I have little to worry about, as most people apparently are wary of entering low-sec. There is no one in the first low-sec system, one in another, and four in the third system, only one of whom is sitting on a gate.

I blast through the systems, barely registering my presence, and complete the courier mission before picking up the datacores I came for. Damn, I love this ship.

  1. 4 Responses to “A Crane fit for me”

  2. ...and something seems missing.

    By Kename Fin on Sep 3, 2009

  3. The continuing saga of my stupidity?

    It's coming.

    By pjharvey on Sep 4, 2009

  4. Congrats on getting into your Crane!

    By Tony "EVE's Weekend Warrior" on Sep 5, 2009

  5. Thanks!

    Let's hope nothing stupid happens to it.

    By pjharvey on Sep 6, 2009

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