Back in the Damnation

25th February 2010 – 5.54 pm

The fleet's back, but an ISP-enforced break prevents me from collecting my Crane or Guardian from New Eden. So I'm scanning again. This time, I have Fin with me to help, which increases our competency levels by an order of magnitude. I catch up to Fin in a neighbouring system, where she asks me to jump ahead and start scanning in a class 5 w-space system she's found. It sounds like a good idea, but I refuse to go through a wormhole quite so wobbly, indicating its brief remaining existence. There doesn't seem much point finding a way out if it can't be used to get back. Instead, I come back to check a different system.

I bookmark the wormhole leading home and pick a signature to start scanning. As well as remembering to bookmark both sides of the wormholes I pass through, I really need to remember which signature I pick to resolve. It doesn't help to pick one, punch the 'scan' button, then get a dozen refined results and not know which one I was looking at, particularly if I am trying to use my most likely percentage (ML%) method to determine wormhole signatures early. The ML% method isn't working too well at the moment, returning mostly gravimetric or ladar mining sites, probably because I am still adjusting to my new ship. I scale the strength of the ML% downwards, my scan strength being a little weaker than in the unrigged ship, and the second next hit is a wormhole. My confidence in my method grows.

The next system is big and occupied, which has the positive side-effect of having few signatures to resolve. Feeling confident about the ML% giving wormholes I put it to use. But for some reason doubt creeps in to my mind and I go against my instincts, finding a ladar site as a result. My instincts don't turn out to be much more reliable, as I resolve a radar site next, it being the last site I resolve that is the wormhole. At least it was only the last of three signatures, not two dozen. Although the wormhole leads to high-sec space, I'm plopped out in to Pator, many jumps away from both the Crane and Guardian, which also happen to be in different directions to each other. I'll have to leave them for another day. At least with the fleet back, and Fin's spare Guardian, we can pop some Sleepers.

Having more Guardian pilots not only means that we can fly as a fleet without having to rely on specific capsuleers being present, it also allows me to take a break from flying the logistics ship. The obvious choice of ship to fly instead is the Damnation field command ship. Ah, it's been too long, Bad Batz Maru is such a beautiful companion. The Damnation may not add much to the DPS of the fleet, but the warfare links it can field should boost the effectiveness of both Guardians. And indeed it does, the reduction in capacitor need for armour repair modules is a boon for the four remote reppers on the Guardians. With one of the warfare links running, the logistic ships can now run two reppers cap stable, and only need one transfer array running to remain cap stable whilst running all four reppers. On top of that, the increased armour resistances the other warfare link offers to all ships in the fleet means we take less damage. It's good to be back in the Damnation.

After so long flying a Guardian in to Sleeper combat it feels really dislocating to pilot the Damnation. In the Guardian I need to be active, monitoring incoming damage both in direction and magnitude and react to any changes, aniticipate damage spikes when new waves of Sleepers warp in, as well as help feed energy to capacitor-hungry battleships. In the Damnation, I switch all my systems on, lock the called target, and fire missiles on auto-repeat. I know I am contributing to the fleet, but it's more indirect. I do some damage, my drones help strike at the frigates, and the warfare links ease some burden of the Guardians, but I don't feel as involved or connected. It's a minor quibble when I am able to fly the Damnation in anger and put my fleet skills to good use. And when I am inevitably asked 'how goes screenshots?' I find I have plenty of time to take them now, with almost no consequences should I not be paying attention.

'It's not as exciting as when I'm repping.' But it is still exciting. We rip through the magnetometric site, Sleepers only grazing my hull once. One of the Guardian pilots wonders if he's actually repping me, agog at my mighty amount of armour. At the end, we are even left with a deserted Talocan cruiser, and although I am rather eager in returning with the salvaging Catalyst a colleague has beaten me at recovering the hull. It is exciting just to see one, and it has been a good day.

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