Sucking without support

6th August 2014 – 5.07 pm

Back to the current situation, with Devoter, Prowler, and wormholes. What to do? Check the C4 K162, naturally. Aww, naw, let's see what the Devoter heavy interdictor is up to. In to C5d, where the wormhole is clear, d-scan is not. Two towers are visible, as are a Vindicator battleship, Machariel battleship, Eagle heavy assault cruiser, Archon carrier, and enough drones to suggest at least some of the ships are active. Moving from the wormhole, cloaking, and updating d-scan sees even more drones launched. Yep, something's happening, but probably something I daren't interrupt.

Poking the anomalies with d-scan doesn't find the ships, but expanding the objects it detects sees two large Sleeper wrecks. This isn't wormhole combat I'm seeing, although the wormhole I'm on crackles. A Tengu strategic cruiser appears and warps away, to a planet out of d-scan range and, serendipitously, to one of its moons in a wide enough orbit for me to see the Tengu's exact destination from the wormhole. I may as well follow and see who or what is at the obvious extra tower.

Tengu jumps in to the class 5 w-space system

Towers, plural. Three more towers are around this far planet, with only the Tengu at the one I've warped to. A Revelation dreadnought, Astarte command ship, Orca industrial command ship, and Venture mining frigate have also been brought in to d-scan range, and locating the other towers sees the Revelation and Loki strategic cruiser—yeah, I dunno where he came from—are piloted at one, and the Astarte, Orca, Vindicator, Machariel are piloted at the other. Umm.

Clearly the ships are coming and going, or at least coming, with the Archon warping in to the tower as I'm trying to reconcile separate d-scan results from different parts of the system. The only ship that appears to be missing is the Venture. Were the big ships clearing a gas site for the tiny frigate? That would explain the quick comings and goings without many wrecks to show for it. It also shows how prepared the corporation is to send their big ships out, should I try to hunt the Venture. Of course, I'm going to try.

First, I need to verify that the Venture is gassing. Warping back to the inner system sees the Venture still around and not at a tower. That's a positive sign. Second, I need to launch probes in order to be able to scan the Venture's position. This looks awkward, as I can't get out of range of the frigate without putting myself in range of its support fleet. I shall assume that the Venture, vulnerable in space, will be watching d-scan and that the pilots nestled inside a tower's force field are now relaxing. I warp closer to the towers and launch probes, throwing them out of the system and re-activating my cloak without waiting for the launcher to reload. Quick and clean.

Back to the inner system to hunt the Venture. I get a good bearing and range on the frigate with d-scan—five degrees, 3·8 AU—and start arranging my probes. It's looking good, apart from the threat of the fleet. If I get a good scan, maybe I can get in to the gas site, blow the crap out of the Venture, and get out again before the fleet can scramble any support. With that in mind, I align my Proteus roughly towards the Venture's position in space to help it enter warp more quickly.

Poor scan on the gassing Venture

I scan. Dammit, 97·5% on the Venture, much less on the gas site. That's not good enough. Maybe I should have gone for a tighter probe formation, but I won't dwell on that now. I rearrange my probes on top of the slightly fuzzy result and scan again. 100%. Recall probes and warp. Come on, ship, why aren't you warping? Did I align in the wrong direction? Nope, apparently the warp command didn't register. Goody. This time it does, but what will be waiting for me in the site?

Two scans, with my probes fully visible on d-scan. A missed warp command, delaying my entry in to the site. If I land in a gas cloud by myself I would consider myself lucky at this point, almost expecting to see a couple of strategic cruisers waiting for me. It is with some surprise, therefore, that I drop out of warp a couple of kilometres from the Venture. Complacent, bait, or asleep? As I'm already decloaked by the gas cloud, I am about to find out.

Ambushing a gassing Venture

I lock on to the Venture and start shooting, aligning my Proteus back out of the site as a precaution. This causes tracking issues for my blasters, with shots going wide of their mark. Okay, fine, I'll stop my ship, making it easier for me to be caught. At least my blasters are happy with this decision, exploding the Venture easily, and giving me a pod to aim for. Sure, why not? I catch it too, with one more volley of blaster fire needed to crack the pod open.

Venture explodes under fire

Wreck and corpse of the gassing Venture

I scoop, loot, and shoot—and scoot! Straight back to the wormhole with me, because I not only screwed up scanning and warping, but also in making the perch on the way in to the site. It's too close to be warped to. That's fine by me, I should probably be leaving anyway. I enter warp, not stopped by ships big or small, and make it back to the wormhole. I guess the pilot was complacent and asleep, making the assumption that no one would get in to this system unnoticed, given all their activity. I dunno. Either way, two kills and two corpses for me tonight. That's a good result. I should go home whilst my luck holds.

Approaching the wormhole under cloak has an Imicus frigate drop out of warp on top of the connection, jumping to the C5 system on the other side. I don't see much point in trying to catch that, and stop my approach so that I don't give away my position. I use the dead time looking at the kill report. The Venture was pretty standard, but the pod had two hundred million ISK of implants plugged in to it. That's costly. The wormhole in front of me crackles, bringing the Imicus back. I watch it warp clear, then jump out of this system to head home.

  1. 8 Responses to “Sucking without support”

  2. Nice kill. A lot of risk in that. You have guts.

    By Von Keigai on Aug 6, 2014

  3. Your tactics I think are about to change. Have you read the new dev blogs, particularly on the jump range from a wh?

    As a solo player in a cloaked T3, you will likely not have a whole lot of issues, but your targets might.

    From what I am reading, most wh players are NOT happy.

    By Dinsdale Pirannha on Aug 6, 2014

  4. Thanks, VK. I suppose it could have been bait put out there to catch me, but it would have been more elaborate than just sending a T3 fleet with a HIC to the wormhole.

    By pjharvey on Aug 7, 2014

  5. The changes are still causing something of an emotional rather than rational response in me, Dinsdale, so I'm trying not to commit too much of an opinion towards them. There do seem to be some changes for the sake of change, though, which is rarely a good idea.

    I can see why people are upset about the mass/range issue, apparently prompted by nothing that anyone wanted or was calling for. With the change, every jump through a wormhole will be committing that ship to being in the other system, as almost nothing will be able to jump back immediately. I can already see bubbles being strewn around wormholes because of the potential of easily catching anything bigger than a cov-ops, unable to jump back and unable to warp clear.

    The tiny-mass, regenerating wormholes may sound like a good idea, but I'm not convinced. The home side could simply hold the wormhole with bigger ships and force the smaller ships to disengage, leading to stalemates. If people want small-ship fair fights, they join RvB. Bubbles, no return jumps, frigate roams. As Rhavas points out, w-space isn't null-sec.

    Spawning extra wormholes doesn't seem to be in particular need either. I think CCP is trying to force players to engage in PvE with wormholes open rather than closed, because of the onerous logistics that will be involved. Surely that will create more targets, right? Maybe, but perhaps if they hadn't created the discovery scanner, or moved ore sites to anomalies, none of this would have been necessary.

    By pjharvey on Aug 7, 2014

  6. Well, this answer has just shown how refined you are, pj. Lots of food for thought there! As a wh newbie in a very tiny corp, I don't see much hope or joy for similar corps. It really looks like CCP caters to blocks and effortless herding. While this may be a good thing in MMOs, that is not what makes EvE so special. Life in wormholes is the best exactly because it allows the small guy to trace his adventures, pretty much what you do so finely every evening. From now on, most likely you will be facing frig blobs, hole camps, more and more empty space. See you around!

    By Generaloberst Kluntz on Aug 9, 2014

  7. My main concern with the upcoming changes is that CCP continues to fiddle with something that was not broke and they broke. In my personal experience it is usually best to revert when something brakes.

    Another thing that bothers me, and this bothers me A LOT is that CCP is very vague about what they are trying to achieve. *Mixing stuff up* is not a valid mission statement. *Increasing PvP*, *make it safer to mine* is. *Adding more fun* is not.

    Giving feedback on a mechanic change when there is no goal to judge that change by is pretty impossible. It ends up being speculation and poorly realized conjecture based upon the perceptions, interpretations and opinions of the ones giving the feedback. Opinions not based on anything other than how that person believes the changes will affect him.

    A GOOD example how changes should be communicated is when Greyscale first introduced the idea of removing ABS ore from w-space. He backed that idea up with solid data of how much ABC that came from W-space. It was staggeringly much. ABC remained in w-space, but Ore sites being anoms have decreased the supply substantially.

    So yeah, weather the changes are good or bad... I dunno. But I do not approve one bit of CCP's communication skills.

    By Akely on Aug 9, 2014

  8. Good points. CCP are also effecting multiple changes in a single iteration, which will make it difficult to tell which changes are having a beneficial effect, which are neutral, and which are detrimental to w-space life. I can see why they would want to include all the changes in one release, making Hyperion the w-space expansion, but it may have made more sense to trickle the changes in two or three two-month increments and monitor each effect as it is introduced, particularly given CCP's apparent policy not to revert changes.

    And, personally, I don't see the point in adding a second static wormhole to class 4 w-space. Yes, it's bleak and isolated. That's what gives C4 space its character. I also think the rewards from C4 space are fine. It's a step up from C3 space without requiring or being at risk from capital ships.

    Also, how are the second static wormholes going to be decided? What is the distribution of the wormhole class? If C4/C4 systems get a C5 or C6 second static wormhole, I really don't think that's helping anyone. You'll still get long chains, which is what this change is trying to avoid, with a slight chance of an empire connection at some point, but just as likely null-sec, without being able to throw capitals through your wormhole but perhaps having to face them.

    If non-C4/C4 systems get a C4 second static wormhole, you've hardly solved anything, except having a chance that that second C4 will now have a better wormhole in it.

    I dunno. If the people who are complaining about C4 systems will actually go and live in a C4 because of this change, maybe it is good. I doubt it, though. I suspect they actually just want other people to live there, to improve their hunts, and so are pushing change on the players who don't want it.

    By pjharvey on Aug 9, 2014

  9. I totally believe that the reasoning that people want two statics for C4's are the reason you mention. Higher class hunting parties doubling their chance of finding targets.

    Strangely CCP have with the latest changes - and these coming ones - both made it harder and easier on hunters. Some changes makes PvE safer, some unsafer. Some things hamper logistics, some make it easier. I suspect that it's a sign of not having a clear goal that the changes should work towards. So the changes instead become aimless flailing in order to stir things in hope to get lucky.

    By Akely on Aug 10, 2014

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