A quiet night scanning and salvaging

17th July 2010 – 3.28 pm

I launch scanning probes to see what lies beyond the safety of the tower's shields today. It comes as no surprise to find the ever-present static wormhole and I jump my Buzzard covert operations boat through to begin my exploration proper. I find myself in a system I've visted twice before, the previous time only two weeks ago, a system that remains unoccupied and holds only a few signatures. I am able to resolve the static connection quickly and jump through to a class 5 w-space system.

This C5 is vast. I have to travel 135 AU across the system to confirm that it is unoccupied, but luckily I am able to resolve a static wormhole after only a couple of scanning attempts. Jumping through to the class 1 system brings me to another unoccupied system and a thorough scanning reveals only the one wormhole, leading to low-sec empire space. Today's route is particularly uninspiring and jumping to the low-sec destination system finds me alone there too.

I return to w-space and our home system, where a couple of colleagues have turned up and suggest collapsing the dullhole. That sounds like a good idea to me. I leave them to the operation and take a break to make a sammich.

On my return we have another particularly uninspiring set of connections scanned. Our home system connects to a class 4 system, as usual, which leads to a class 3 system with an exit to null-sec space. The C3 also has a 'blue' corporation occupying it. However, two colleagues are in the C4 in Tech III strategic cruisers popping Sleeper ships, which sounds like fun. I volunteer to salvage behind them, knowing that I have no ship that can reastically contribute to the combat and withstand the Sleeper fire, and because I simply enjoy salvaging.

I launch my salvaging destroyer, a Cormorant named Marxian Principles, but before I get to salvage any loot I am asked to guide in a colleague from the null-sec system. He has made over thirty jumps so he can rejoin us in w-space and I get to visit QPOK-B in the Geminate region as I give him a beacon to reach the wormhole. It is only a quick couple of jumps to get him safely back to our tower, then I return to our neighbouring C4 to start sweeping up Sleeper wrecks.

I settle in for some relaxing fun. I survey the spread and density of wrecks and plot an optimal course between them. Green tendrils lash out from my ship in all directions to tractor the wrecks close enough to loot and salvage. Salvager II modules activate early enough not to waste much time but late enough to ensure that the wrecks are tractored within range for me to loot them before the ten second cycle time finishes. The timing is more important now that I rarely get a failure when salvaging, as leaving loot in a wreck has it jettisoned in to a can when the wreck is salvaged. Having to dedicate a tractor beam to loot the can separately is rather less efficient than focussing on wrecks. But it is perhaps not quite as troublesome as not being able to see where I am going.

The blinding bloom of poor design principles hinders my salvaging a little. The harsh white background makes it difficult to see the wrecks, the tactical overlay almost disappears, and the activation indicator on modules is lost in the brightness. I appreciate that space can be rather bland but some level of contrast would be preferable to the encompassing white cloud present in these common anomalies. Never the less, I finish salvaging the first site and move on to the second, only just vacated by my colleagues in their strategic cruisers.

A third site is cleared of Sleepers by the cruisers and wrecks by my destroyer, and we head home to tot up our profit. It has only been a short evening but each of our wallets gets ninety million ISK fatter. Maybe there is some tangible benefit to owning a strategic cruiser after all, particularly in these quieter times when we struggle to get even a minimal fleet.

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