When Worlds Collide successfully

23rd June 2008 – 8.07 am

When Worlds Collide, the mission that lost me three ships, came up again from an agent. The same agent, in fact. I imagine the survivors in the Heron wreck were getting a bit peckish by now. Even though my last attempt had been unsuccessful I accepted the mission. I wouldn't say I was assured in my ability to complete it this time, but I was certainly more confident.

I have a better idea of what my ships are capable of, what weapons to use and when, and how to pick my targets. I've been making use of the tactical overlay radar. This overlay seemed a little pointless when I first switched it on, as it doesn't seem to show an awful lot that you couldn't work out for yourself anyway. But I realised that when it is combined with a much zoomed out viewpoint of your own ship it gives a far better representation of the relative positions of the other objects in space around you. You don't get a good view of your own shiny spaceship, it being reduced to a single pixel in the display, but the tactical overlay provides just what its name suggests, a tactical view of the local area. It's like the 3D radar from Elite but used as the main display.

On top of my increased flight experienece, I had two more advantages this time. I was prepared for what the mission involved from the beginning. The rats wouldn't have a chance to close in on the acceleration gates before I got there, which is a problem if you warp in, get blown up, and warp back in with a different ship like I did the previous time. The other advantage was that the stranded ship wasn't in the Jita system this time, which has suffered from bad lag every time I've entered it. Instead, the deadspace was in Perimeter, a far more responsive system.

With the mission accepted I climbed out of my Kestrel and boarded my Condor, Winter's Breath. As well as some weapons and a shield I got it fitted with an afterburner, giving it a flight speed over 700 m/s, and headed out. The rats fighting around the first acceleration gate were easily ignored at my much increased flight speed, and I was soon back in warp heading for the Cartel Base. The Cartel fighters at the second gate weren't as easily ignored, and they got a few hits on my shields before the gate accelerated me back to warp, but without the afterburner I probably would have been down to my armour, if not hull.

With two prompt jumps from the acceleration gates I quickly found myself near the stranded Heron. The speed of the Condor boosted by an afterburner was vital to reach this stage without significant damage to my ship. Using the tactical overlay I moved myself away from the rats that were in the area, locking on to the two closest and easiest targets as I did, reminding myself to train in the targeting skill later. I kept my range and used missiles to take down the handful of rats near the Heron effectively. I made sure I picked up the stranded passengers in the Heron before looting the rat wrecks, just in case I had to warp out in a hurry, but I wasn't threatened again on the mission.

Knowing is half the battle. In this mission speed is vital, more so than heavy firepower, as the initial skirmishes are not meant to be fought, and the final battle is not too involved to need a heavily equipped ship. Because of this it is almost vital to be successful on the first attempt, and that's what I managed this time. I was quite pleased with my performance, even if I'm left wondering what other missions will catch me out in the future.

Other snippets from EVE Online for this weekend include finding out that the neat ECM burst emission upgrade I made was potentially illegal to use in the systems in which I was hoping to use it, so I decided not to turn it on after all leading it to be a waste of ship fitting room. I would have thought the 'information' section for the equipment might hint at the legality of items, but apparently not. At least the ship's computer keeps up-to-date with the law and displays a warning before I bring the police warping to my location. Or maybe the coppers wouldn't have found out I had used it in deadspace, I wasn't about to risk it just yet.

I had been running missions one at a time up until the weekend, happy to only have one to concentrate on at a time. When I was heading out to a different system to pick up some items I bought on the market I checked one of the two agents at my current station for work, in case it was on the way, and found he had some work for me to do in the waypoint system, linking my current and destination systems, so I agreed to help him out. In a burst of optimism I asked the second agent if there was any more work for me, and she also had a mission in the same system. They both were fairly straightforward and probably wouldn't drain my resources enough to require docking in-between, so I accepted the second mission too. I stocked my cargo hold with a few replacement missiles just in case I'd need them, as I have been doing as a matter of course, and headed out. Two warps in to deadspace later and I had two missions to report as completed. I picked up my bought items, and headed home to two happy agents.

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