Boldly going where I haven't gone before

17th June 2009 – 5.37 pm

I can be quite timid at times and I know I am too shy for my own good, despite how it can appear in communication channels, which explains in part my adventures in New Eden being almost exclusively in high-sec and mostly solo. I also know that I really ought to try to get more involved, in spite of my timidity around other people. When I find out that some of the corporation are planning to enter w-space to explore and adventure I quickly offer my services, excited by the opportunity to experience more that EVE Online can offer whilst fighting the urge to shrink away from the unknown.

I am able to contribute a little early on, having only recently researched and manufactured a batch of core and expanded probe launchers, which I donate. It's really not much compared to the POS components and fuel that others are contributing, but I do what I can. Other than that, I feel my nerves rising as I figuratively bury my head in the sand and continue with capsuleer life as normal, unsure whether I'll actually be able to head out to w-space as hoped.

Today I jump in to my pod to find out that a suitable wormhole was found. A subset of the corporation has jumped through and started to set-up the POS as a base for w-space operations. I begin to feel really nervous, knowing that I will have to decide quite soon whether to follow or shy out. The first wormhole used has collapsed, I am told, but another has opened up in the w-space system that leads to a low-sec system. I don't know if I am fortunate or unfortunate that I have just received a communication for a storyline mission with Core Complexion, Inc., but it encourages me to stay secluded in my own part of high-sec for another half-an-hour or so, my mind trying to ignore the obvious opportunity in the hope that inaction will resolve the situation for me in time.

The call comes out asking if I have time to form up and get to the wormhole, and whether low-sec worries me. Strangely enough, after my short time with the PvP corporation last year and having some experience of travelling through low-sec it's not low-sec space that worries me in the slightest, I just assumed I'd have no trouble getting to the wormhole, it's just self-doubt that's crippling me. The best way I have found to overcome this fear is to just get my head down and focus on one step at a time. Realising this moments after my salvaging Cormorant enters warp, heading a couple of jumps away to clean up the mess I made of some Amarrian ships, I agree to head out to the wormhole.

I turn my empty Cormorant away from the stargate and dock at the station, changing to my Drake before heading back out. I am taking the battlecruiser for its possibility to tank sleepers found in w-space, as I believe we are still intending to avoid PvP, which is just as well in a Drake. My autopilot is set to navigate me to the boundary between high-sec and low-sec a couple of jumps away from the wormhole, where I will rendezvous with others. The high-sec travel is as simple as always, jumping from gate to gate, until I reach the high-sec system with the gate to low-sec. At that point I shift my thinking and awareness to the possibility of unprovoked hostile action.

Even in the high-sec system it is not advisable to head straight for the gate to low-sec, because a ship sitting on or close to the gate could be a lookout for ships on the low-sec side, waiting to trap anyone coming through. However, if the gate is clear on one side it is quite likely to be clear on the other, if only because pirates themselves don't want to see a fleet bigger than theirs jump through the gate unannounced. What I need to do first is find out if anyone is lurking on top of the gate to low-sec.

It is now that I am grateful for my limited PvP experience and the knowledge I acquired about staying safe in low-sec with safe spots in a system, along with understanding how to use the on-board scanner to monitor gate activity. I start to warp around the system to make a safe spot within scanning distance of the gate, shortly coming to rest at a distance of about one AU from it. My scans show little activity overall, and the one battleship I notice turns out to be a member of the corporation coming to help form a better escort for us all.

With the hauler turning up, warping to me at my safe spot, and the gate and systems looking clear we warp to the first gate and jump through. Perhaps feeling that speed is of the essence, particularly in the sluggish hauler, a direct route to the next gate is taken, although my sense of caution has different ideas and I try to get to a position where the gate can be scanned first. An Onyx appears in the system and starts to follow us, which is unsettling for a small fleet of capsuleers definitely not looking for a fight, but we only need to jump through the second gate and warp to the wormhole to be relatively safe again.

The Onyx follows us through the second gate and I immediately warp to a corporation colleague located at the wormhole, quite forgetting that the other ships are not as agile as my own. Once arrived I turn back to the gate as soon as I drop out of warp, not having much opportunity to marvel at my first sight of a wormhole. Luckily, I have learnt from reading the mistakes of others and remember to bookmark the location of the wormhole instead of relying on the proximity of colleagues or having to scan it down.

Returning to the stargate shows that the Charon is just about warping away safely, as some provocative chatter—I believe the kids call it 'smack talk'—appears in the local channel from the Onyx pilot. Our Raven warps out just after the hauler, which leaves me alone with the Onyx, but not for long. As I see the Charon leave I am already planning my exit, setting about creating a safe spot in the system to monitor the gate. The Onyx starts to lock on to me as my warp drive engages to get me away safely.

It looks like everyone is safe, although the corporation of the Onyx pilot sends another capsuleer in to stand on the stargate, which I am now monitoring from my safe spot away from the wormhole. In the mean time, my corporation finds out the bad news that the wormhole is not allowing the Charon to jump through it, which presents a problem. Some cargo is transferred between ships but the Charon has to stay behind, the pilot chivalrously telling us all to jump through and get to the POS and she'll brave the short trip back another day, hopefully when it is quiet. I hope she doesn't get ambushed.

With the order given I jump through my first wormhole, finding myself in a system off the charted maps of the known galaxy. Remembering again to bookmark the wormhole's location on this side, even though it is not likely to last beyond the day, I warp to the corporation's w-space POS. This is another first encounter for me, never before having been to a POS. There, inside the shields and amongst friends, I have to say goodnight. My next visit to New Eden, if indeed it can be called New Eden, will start in w-space. My main concern is being in a ship in w-space without scanning capabilities, so I have no idea what I will be able to do beyond floating in space. It is good that I was able and took time to set-up a jump clone last week, although it remains to be seen whether I can make use of it at the POS. One thing is for sure, I am having an adventure.

  1. 3 Responses to “Boldly going where I haven't gone before”

  2. You can use your on board scanner to find easy complexes. Usally found near planets.

    By Kirith Kodachi on Jun 17, 2009

  3. Ah, excellent. Thank you.

    I've had a quick check through the archives of the Inner Sanctum of the Ninveah to find your excellent guides to probing too, just in case.

    By pjharvey on Jun 17, 2009

  4. Oh yay fun!

    Best of luck getting those "hidden" treasures!

    By Tony "EVE's Weekend Warrior" on Jun 17, 2009

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