Two stabs at bagging some plunder

28th August 2014 – 5.00 pm

That's a lot of signatures. Sure, it's the same number as yesterday, but still. It's a lot of signatures. There's even a new anomaly, my favourite type in the home system, and I think I'll clear it of Sleepers to rake in some ISK. I scan and resolve today's static wormhole for reference, pointlessly ignore all other signatures, and warp to our tower to swap to the Golem marauder, the forced session change refreshing the silly discovery scanner.

I check that no new signatures have appeared in the last few seconds, ignore them all again, and ensure I have enough ammunition in the Golem for the one site. Probably. I have only a sketchy idea of how much I actually use to start with. I activate my hardeners and damage control unit, and warp to the anomaly, hiding in a fog bank to better surprise the Sleepers. They still find me.

Engaging Sleepers in the middle of whiteness

The opening monologue in Oblivion is a bit out of place. I can only imagine that test audiences asked for more information early on, which would be disappointing, as explaining the world in such detail spoils much of what we're about to be shown anyway, as well as breaking the show-don't-tell ethos of storytelling. The monologue feels even more out of place when Jack repeats much of it, almost word-for-word, to his rescued wife—oops, spoilers—half-way through the film.

There's the proper place for our exposition, people. It doesn't belong at the start of the film, but at a point where it makes more sense, filling in any gaps that are left. I doubt Oblivion will ever reach cult status like Blade Runner, but I can imagine the film getting off to a more powerful start if the monologue were to be cut and we were instead introduced to the world through Jack's eyes and actions. Also disappointing is the lack of good salvage from the site, just the blue loot picked up by the silly mobile tractor unit. I should have left this anomaly to be cleared by stinking pirates.

Time to explore. I hop back in to my Proteus strategic cruiser, warp to our static wormhole, and jump to the neighbouring class 3 system. The silly discovery scanner sweeping around looks like a disco ball. With so many anomalies and signatures popping up with no effort required, it makes me doubt anyone calls this system home. I update my directional scanner anyway and get a surprise. No tower is in range, but three Tengu strategic cruisers are, flanked by a whole load of fighters.

Messy and annoying discovery scanner in class 3 w-space

I can't see a carrier to go with the Tengus, but there are more silly mobile tractor units, a pair of them, and switching filters sees the Sleeper wrecks. I immediately start bookmarking the anomalies, in case the active one is cleared and the signature disappears, which takes a while. There are quite a few. I fully expect the discovery scanner to be pinging our K162 to the pilots by now anyway, and although I feel the faux pressure to be frustratingly quick in an environment that doesn't otherwise require it, I'm not convinced it will matter. Once done, though, the ships remain in space.

Swapping to the system map, I start sweeping d-scan around the anomalies on a narrow beam. I find one Tengu by itself in an anomaly, which feels kind of baitish, but, even better, I spy a bookmark without a green signature on top of it. That's a despawned anomaly, one I managed to catch and bookmark. As I've only been in the system a minute or so, that is a definite sign of activity. I drop d-scan down to a five-degree beam, point it at the naked bookmark, and see a beautiful sight. I see a Noctis salvager and MTU.

The salvager alone looks too good to be true, but I can at least take a closer look. I head towards the anomaly, aiming to drop only just short of the cosmic signature itself. I'm reasoning that the presence of the MTU almost certainly means the ships warped to the site's cosmic signature, dropped the MTU, and now the Noctis is salvaging away next to a cluster of wrecks. Sure enough, I decelerate out of warp to just that sight, and as I exit warp I am in warp scrambling range of the salvager.

Noctis finishes salvaging Sleeper wrecks

The Noctis is nearly finished. I don't think he's moving, but even if he is this isn't the time to procrastinate. One wreck left, I decloak and approach the salvager. That wreck disappears, salvaging complete, and it is perhaps with a bit of luck that my targeting systems recalibrate after decloaking in time for me to gain a positive lock on the Noctis. I start blasting away at my target, overheating my guns because of the threat of other ships, and reduce d-scan down to a range of 1 AU. Only the Noctis and MTU are that close, and if any ships appear on d-scan now they are surely coming for me. I hope that will act as an early warning system.

Ambushing the Noctis in w-space

Shoot and d-scan, d-scan and shoot. The Noctis is going down. This is excellent! The salvager explodes beautifully, and I aim for the pod. It takes a while, and maybe the pilot is sleepy, surprised, or wondering why his warp core stabilisers, if any were fitted, weren't working. I have no idea, but whatever the reason I manage to snare the pod too. A couple more blasts and it is cracked open to release the inner corpse.

Watching the Noctis explode to my Proteus

I scoop the corpse and, well, shit. I really dislike mobile tractor units, partly because they have made actual salvaging an activity of the past, and partly because they steal. As I catch the pod, the MTU springs in to life, sensing a new wreck and pulling what's left of the Noctis in to range, extracting all my rightful plunder to return it to the owner corporation. I shouldn't have to make a snap decision between grabbing loot or aiming for a pod. I never used to. MTUs really are a bad idea.

D-scan remains clear. I wasn't slow in ripping the Noctis apart, but I wasn't outrageously fast either, so I am sensing I won't see a response. Good, because I'm going to blow the crap out of the silly MTU, despite its ridiculous structural integrity. I reckon I've got time, and I definitely have the motivation. I get my guns working again, keep d-scan updated, and, after too much effort for a crappy box, crack the unit open.

Having to crack open a silly MTU to get my earned plunder

I grab what's left of the loot, a paltry twenty-five million ISK, give-or-take, and finish by shooting the wrecks of the MTU and Noctis, warping clear to cloak and repair the heat damage to my guns and modules. Checking the kill report shows that the Noctis was worth about 110 million ISK, and the pod a decent 190 million ISK. That's got to sting. It's a shame I'm not able to earn more from the plunder, but I get the ship kill, and the podding, and a good dose of excitement.

  1. 2 Responses to “Two stabs at bagging some plunder”

  2. Well hunted. And a nice set of kills.

    By Von Keigai on Aug 28, 2014

  3. Thanks VK.

    By pjharvey on Aug 31, 2014

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