Popping in to null-sec space

6th November 2009 – 5.54 pm

It's time to hit null-sec. Or, at least, make a hit-and-run in the null-sec system where a wormhole spits us out. The C3 w-space system connecting to our home w-space system is lacking sites for us to run. But the null-sec exit from the C3 system is empty of other capsuleers and has a radar site and anomalies to explore. Null-sec is probably rather more dangerous than w-space, because of the easy transit between systems by the usual stargates instead of needing to scan for transitory wormholes, each one potentially leading to a different system and level of security. There are also large alliances, small roaming squads, and some heavily experienced pilots in null-sec, making us suitably wary during our excursion.

One feature of null-sec space that makes it far safer than w-space is the simple intelligence gained from the local channel. In w-space, no capsuleer appears in local unless they transmit a message, making stealth a far more valuable resource in w-space, forcing continual checks of the directional scanner for foreign ships in order to stay safe. The local channel in null-sec space acts just as it does in high-sec, giving full information of any and all capsuleers in the system. When we exit the wormhole in to the Y-1W01 system to see the local channel populated only by our fleet members we feel relatively safe. Indeed, I feel somewhat safer than in w-space. Simply keeping an eye on the number in the tab of the local channel shows at a glance whether anyone is entering or leaving the system, making it a valuable early-warning system, particularly when we can escape through the unorthodox exit of the wormhole.

The fleet is already clearing the radar site when I enter the null-sec system to join them, and my Damnation drops out of warp to help destroy a few remaining rats. But Sleepers these ain't. Despite initial concerns about the difficulty of some null-sec complexes, the cruisers and battleships pop quickly and easily under concentrated fire, and our drones don't need to be micro-managed to stay in one piece against the more simplistic rats. The greater challenge of Sleeper ships, with their increased damage, armour and threat management, is highlighted effectively. And although missions would become more difficult, I can't help but hope that NPCs rats will learn some Sleeper tactics at some point, at least to put up more of a fight.

All of the rats are destroyed and our codebreaking ship is called in to decrypt the databanks and mainframes in the complex. Getting close to one of the databanks spawns a few more rat frigates, which are quickly despatched. My Damnation, being the fastest combat ship in the fleet, is then called upon to act as bait. I hit the reheat and burn my way to each of the encrypted containers in turn, provoking one more spawn of rats to appear, after which our codebreaker can work in peace. With the radar site complete we turn our attention to an anomaly, which turns out to be just as easy to clear as the radar site.

Our initial motivation for the null-sec excursion is to make good profit from resources otherwise unavailable to us. But the relative lack of difficulty of the null-sec sites compared to w-space is also reflected in the quality of loot recovered and salvaged, not being nearly as profitable as from the challenging Sleepers, causing the fleet to consider it not worth the time to continue. Instead, we head back through the two wormholes to our tower in w-space, where we will wait for a new connecting system to appear, hopefully one rich with unvisited sites.

Even though the hostile ships aren't as threatening and the loot not as valuable, I find it fantastic to be deep in null-sec space! It may ultimately be a superficial experience, but simply that I am out there in the middle of nowhere, somewhere I never expect to find myself, is enough to spark a thrill inside me. It's all part of the wonder of going where the wormholes lead you.

  1. 2 Responses to “Popping in to null-sec space”

  2. I didn't realize that null sec complexes would be worth so much less than Sleeper sites! I think some null sec sites can drop expensive faction mods that can be worth hundreds of millions, but I haven't ever had the chance to check that out...

    By Jaggins on Nov 6, 2009

  3. Complexes in nullsec can be related to what class of wormhole your in...and thus the rewards. This is also referrenced along with what's referred to as the true-sec rating. I'm still fairly new to living in nullsec, and have no problem admitting I don't know enough about it myself, but as I understand it, the lower the true sec rating, the tougher the complexes are. And just as in w-space, the tougher the complex, the better the drops. So you're right Jaggins, there are plexes to be found that can net hundreds of millions.

    By Selina on Nov 6, 2009

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