Aiming for the Crane

20th February 2009 – 10.12 am

This is exciting, my material efficiency (ME) research jobs are getting closer to completion, which means two things. First, I get a bunch of researched blueprints delivered to my hangar, a whole lot of new toys all at once! Second, my research slots will be freed for more jobs. I already have some more BPOs lined up for ME research to make use of those slots.

I could simply do what I did before and install the BPOs in a convenient station with research facilities that isn't too expensive and tolerate the month-long delay before the job even starts. But in my previous search there was an oasis in the desert of delays, a beacon of hope for those with low attention spans: a research station with significantly shorter waiting periods! How can so many people be ignoring this station when it even offers much shorter queues and cheaper hourly research rates? Surely my industry skills aren't quite that elite yet to find a resource so many others apparently ignore.

Predictably, my skills turn out not to be quite so über and the station is a Siren, luring unwary industrialists in to low-sec to meet their inevitable doom shipwrecked and podded on a jagged gate-camp. If only there were some way to take advantage of that station my costs and times would be reduced significantly, with the time factor being more important. Lost ISK can be relatively easy to recover, but time is far more valuable a resource in New Eden. I just need to be able to get in to and out of low-sec safely. I have a little experience of moving between high- and low-sec, from my short stint in a PvP corporation, but I am now an industrialist. Sadly, I don't think many pirates respect trade routes, preferring to keep the benefits of low-sec to themselves and happy to sift through wreckage to get system upgrades, so flying unaccompanied in a Badger will only end in the wrong kind of explosions.

The solution could be to use a cloaking device, where the prevailing recommendation is to get a blockade runner instead of a covert ops ship. That sounds like a good idea. Being Caldari that means I am looking to get in to the pod of a Crane transport ship. It should be easy enough, a few days of training to improve my piloting skills and I'll be ready. However, it turns out that I am looking at my first piece of Tech II hardware, which requires a bit more experience than I generally have.

I first need to get my Industry up to level V, part of my overall plan anyway in becoming an industrialist. I also need to get Caldari Industrial ships up to V, because this is a Tech II industrial ship, which isn't much of a deviation as I had already got it up to III recently so that I could get in to a Badger Mark II for the extra cargo capacity. From there I have to train in Transport Ships and although training a skill to its first level is rarely an enduring task being a Tech II skill the book is relatively expensive. The high cost of the skill book wouldn't be an issue if I didn't then have to buy and equip the ship whilst still having enough left over to pay for the ME research and maintain an active production line. As it stands I need to boost my wallet a bit.

Having an excuse to get back in to deadspace pockets converting rats in to ISK bounties with the help of missiles is rarely a problem and I have a collection of salvaged parts that I could sell to make ISK fast. I suspect I won't be turning that pile of junk in to spaceships too soon, but you never know. I have a reasonable amount of time to gain the needed ISK, as both my current ME jobs and my skill training plan need to complete, so I can see how profitable I can make mission running before deciding to sell the salvage.

I suspect that my skill training will take longer to complete than the research jobs but even an extra fortnight of skill training to let me use the low-sec station may well end up saving time, particularly in the long run. The best part of all this is I have a new plan with a short-term goal! There is no better incentive to visit New Eden more regularly than to have a solid short-term goal. Do Caldari say 'huzzah'?

  1. 5 Responses to “Aiming for the Crane”

  2. The Caldari stoically smile and nod approvingly.

    Blockade runners are nice. They are agile like cruisers or smaller, warp fast, and that new Covert Ops cloak thing they can do is very nice. Remember it no longer has the two built in warp core stabs.

    For mine in low sec work, I put two stabs in the lows to avoid any small gate camps. To avoid a large gate camp, pre-scouting your route if its not too many jumps from high sec to your destination might be advisable.

    Also, consider practising the warp-&-cloak. That is where you jump into a system, tell your ship to warp to something (like next gate or station) and hit the cloak as soon as you start to align. The idea is to give any campers no chance to lock you.

    The advanced version of that is the MWD&Cloak&Warp trick. You tell your ship to align to an object, activate MWD, and then activate cloak (which auto deactivates MWD but you still get a considerable speed boost), and then warp almost instantly. This is a popular way to sneak out of bubbles in 0.0 but could also save your butt in low sec if you run into a camp with lots of fast locking scramblers.

    By Kirith Kodachi on Feb 20, 2009

  3. *nods*

    I noticed the lack of in-built stabiliser on the Crane and had planned to put the low slots to use to remedy that.

    It was part of my plan to warp and cloak around high-sec for a bit as well, rather than head in to low-sec and think I know what I was doing, but I didn't know about the little warp'n'cloak tricks. That sounds brilliant and I'll definitely be practicing that, thanks!

    By pjharvey on Feb 20, 2009

  4. I never put warp stabilizers on my blockade runner, mostly because I cloak her within less than a second of issuing the warp command. A sufficiently large and spread-out gate camp could complicate matters, if they have a ship close enough to keep you from cloaking. The MWD trick also helps, of course.

    And for research in particular, if you only move blueprints, a covops ship will do nicely as cargo space doesn't really matter.

    By Casiella Truza on Feb 20, 2009

  5. "And for research in particular, if you only move blueprints, a covops ship will do nicely as cargo space doesn’t really matter."

    Until you run into the smart bombing battleship on the gate you warp to. *boom* Blockade runners have better defenses and are almost as fast. :)

    By Kirith Kodachi on Feb 20, 2009

  6. Agreed on the SB battleships. They make short work of CovOps. The other thing to watch out for are hoards of drones zipping around screwing with your cloak as Casiella alludes to as well.

    As a fellow Crane pilot, not only is it a great ship to fly in and out of low-sec, it's also become one of my favorites for when I have to fly 'anywhere'. It aligns fast, accelerates quickly and warps at 9.0 AU/s. Speedy.

    I spent a few hours practicing my jump, warp, cloak prowess while picking up corporate deliveries. Eventually all that were left were a few several jumps into low-sec systems that I was itching to go get. The largest was several hundred thousand components that would take several trips. I went in and out several times and managed to start a lively discussion in local about how over-powered the blockade runners were now and how much they needed to be seriously dialed down. Got to love being over-powered in an T2 industrial when you have little or no other combat skills.

    By Kename Fin on Feb 20, 2009

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