Still trying to get the fleet home

24th February 2010 – 5.41 pm

Another day, another attempt to get the scattered fleet back in to w-space. It's not only a matter of bringing back ships and capsuleers, the tower is running low on fuel and needs to be restocked. Finding a good route to New Eden is a primary concern. I start my scanning by noticing a rather silly oversight. My attempts to find a most likely percentage (ML%) scan strength indicative of an undiscovered wormhole have been unintentionally skewed.

I have been assuming the default probe range in our home system is 16 AU, whereas our system is smaller than I thought and only requires probes of range 8 AU for complete coverage. This change in ranges affects relative scan strengths, and now that I know it maybe my searches in larger systems will become more effective. Instead of looking for percentage scan strengths in systems covered by 16 AU probe ranges similar to those in our home system I can compensate for the increased range and reduced strength of the probes, compensating further for even larger systems that require probe ranges of 32 AU for coverage. I'll see if it makes a difference, and jump through to the neighbouring system.

A Typhoon shows up on an initial survey using the directional scanner, soon joined by a Dominix. I can see no tower, though, so I am unsure as to the motives of the battleship pilots. I disregard them for now and warp to a safe place to start scanning. This w-space system can be covered by 8 AU range probes, and my ML% guess nabs me a wormhole on the second signature I resolve, out of around two dozen signatures in total. I am cautious warping to the wormhole to investigate it, as I could be flying towards two battleships guarding their system. But the wormhole is clear and leads in to another class 4 w-space system. Before I move on, I'll first check to see if there is a wormhole leading to a lower-class system here.

More probes than merely my own appear on d-scan after a short while, showing I am not the only one scanning in the system. A capsuleer called Kanycmka pops in to the local channel to say hello, and I greet him back. It's perhaps unwise to reveal yourself for no reason, but being friendly has occasionally proved useful. A colleague then turns up and, once given the signature of the wormhole in our system, comes to help scanning for an exit. It will be too time-consuming to tell him the forty or so signatures I've currently ignored, which includes a bunch of anomalies, so I instead guide him to the wormhole leading to the class 4 system and he starts scanning there. It turns out that the class 4 system only has three signatures to resolve and may well lead to an exit quicker than I imagined. However, jumping in to a new system resets the list of ignored signatures, which would have been frustrating had the class 4 system led to a dead-end and I needed to come back to scan my current system from scratch.

I finish scanning the system I am in and find no more wormholes. The two battleships are presumed to be mining gas or similar, no doubt coming from the adjacent class 4 system and taking advantage of the wealth of opportunities in this unoccupied one. I warp to the wormhole leading outwards, and then to the wormhole my colleague finds leading to a class 3 system, and begin to help him complete scanning the class 3 system. I warp off to a random location to start scanning, and land in one of two bubbles actively protecting a corporation's tower. It's quite a lucky find, more so because I am cloaked and not in any immediate danger. There are two Orca industrial command ships, an Impairor frigate, and a shuttle all in the tower's shields. But there is no sign of the Drake or Helios that have been seen on d-scan. Then a second and third Drake turn up in the system, so something is going on.

Two wormholes are discovered in this system. As my colleague is piloting a Probe and cannot warp cloaked I investigate both of the wormholes in my Buzzard which can. The first leads to low-sec New Eden and is clear of ships. The second leads to dangerous parts of unknown space and has ships loitering on it. The presence of a Tengu and Loki strategic cruiser, two Drake battlecruisers that soon increases to eight, and a Catalyst destroyer makes me glad I am not reckless enough to warp to zero on the wormhole, and that I am cloaked. There is a voyeuristic allure to being this close to a hostile fleet without being detected, and I creep around as if I am observing dangerous wildlife. The sight and sound of explosions panics me! I'm not being hit myself and calming down it looks like the Tengu is only testing the shields of one of the Drakes, or telling him to stop planting ferrets in research laboratories.

The hostile fleet warps off, perhaps to engage some Sleepers because they don't head in the direction of the wormhole leading back to our tower. I don't think I'll pursue scanning an exit in the system they came from, as bumping in to them would be awkward. I head back home. It looks like the low-sec exit to New Eden is our best chance to return both fuel and capsuleers to the tower.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed.