Tackling Sleepers after miners

6th April 2010 – 5.16 pm

I'm late. My corporation colleagues have been shooting miners without me. A Hulk exhumer and Retriever mining barge are both destroyed, throwing their capsuleers' pods out in to the harshness of the vacuum, although the pods escape, as does an Orca industrial command ship. I may have missed the action, but it makes me tingle to think that ruthless brutality is carried out under the banner of the Wormhole Engineers even in my absence. And it may not quite be over.

An Iteron hauler is used to recover the ore the miners ripped from the asteroids, taking its merry time crawling around the rocks, trying hard to act as bait without looking like bait. I jump in to my Onyx heavy interdictor to join the Lachesis combat recon ship sitting on the other side of the wormhole to our baiteron. The HIC may have been originally designed to tackle capital and super-capital ships, with its infinite-strength warp scramble and hefty buffer tank, and I was a little concerned about its utility out in w-space, but it has found a vital use out here, that of preventing pods escaping.

A capsuleer's pod is tiny compared to any ship. Its size and agility makes it warp away from conflict almost instantly, all but ensuring the capsuleer's survival. Locking on to the pod and pointing it, i.e. preventing it from engaging its warp engine, takes immense reflexes and a ship with highly boosted sensors. A HIC, however, doesn't need to lock a target to prevent it from warping, the warp disruption field generator—its 'bubble'—creating a sphere of damped space. If a pilot is caught in the HIC's bubble when his ship explodes around him he still cannot warp away, making his pod a much bigger target than normal.

Without my HIC I wouldn't have any pod kills, making it some of the most valuable skill training I have completed for w-space PvP. And, as I have mentioned before, pod killing is perhaps more necessary in w-space than destroying the ships. With few capsuleers straying far from their home system, because of the fragility of the wormhole network and the near-impossibility of finding your way back home without being guided from inside, allowing a pod to escape only increases the chances of quick and heavier reinforcements. It is perhaps more likely that capsuleers will lose the one ship and not come back, but I don't want to take the risk of someone returning with battleships or strategic cruisers. Podding is a harsh reality of life in w-space.

The miners unsurprisingly don't return, leaving us to return to our home system with an Iteron full of ore. But we also have a fleet, letting us head to our neighbouring system to clear some anomalies. We change in to our PvE ships and jump through the wormhole to begin making profit from the destruction of an unknown alien race. 'Oh, I forgot', says our squad leader, 'there are no anomalies here'.

'So we've finished early?', I ask.

'Good job everyone', continues Fin, satisfied with our increased efficiency in clearing the system. We may have accidentally run out of anomalies, but we don't make much profit doing so. Determined to boost our wallets, we head back home to clear a couple of anomalies there instead. Everything runs smoothly enough, apart from the Abaddon suffering a power interruption by relying on batteries to recharge its hungry capacitor, and our Scorpion pilot complaining that his drones fail to obey any of his commands. It sounds like they are gaining a level of self-awareness and intelligence to me. Despite the drones' attitude, a couple of anomalies are cleared without fuss, and we sweep up the profit from the wrecks in to our hulls to finish the evening.

  1. 2 Responses to “Tackling Sleepers after miners”

  2. Oh how the soft high sec pilots have fallen.

    By Kename Fin on Apr 7, 2010

  3. Yarr, it be a glorious day!

    By pjharvey on Apr 7, 2010

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