Salvaging a wreck

20th October 2010 – 5.28 pm

The Sleepers have knocked us down but we get right back up again. A standard anomaly in our neighbouring class 4 w-space system tempts us to launch strategic cruisers, to enact some revenge against the Sleepers as well as make back some ISK lost from the destruction of the five battleships and two logistic ships. But I don't think we should go back in to the radar site, we just need to admit defeat and recover what we can. Of course, it's difficult to loot and salvage whilst five Sleeper battleships remain, but it's not impossible to simply loot.

As a small fleet of strategic cruisers viciously strikes against a lesser Sleeper threat I request a colleague boards one of the Zephyr prototype ships we have available and return to the radar site. Sleepers fail to register the Zephyr as a threat, perhaps because its lack of any weapons systems. But unlike a capsuleer's pod, which Sleepers also refuse to attack, the Zephyr has a minimal cargo hold, which is big enough to collect the loot that remains in Sleeper wrecks. It may take a while to move between them, but use of the Zephyr will allow us to collect the millions of ISK in profit—okay, maybe not 'profit' at this point—that sits in the decaying wrecks.

The anomaly doesn't take long to clear of Sleepers and a salvager boat sweeps us swiftly behind us, as the Zephyr looting operation continues. And there is more we can do. The Zephyr cannot hope to recover modules dropped from the wrecks of our own ships, the ten cubic metre cargo hold too small for many individual weapon or repair systems, but there are other ways. A cloaked ship won't register on any systems, Sleeper systems no exception, and it is possible to navigate to a wreck, loot it, and warp away before a positive target lock can be acquired. I've done it quite a few times myself, although mostly in a stealth bomber or scanning boat where the small hulls take longer to lock on to. To recover our modules will need a stealthy ship with a more capacious hold.

My Crane transport ship seems ideal for the recovery operation. The Crane can fit a covert operations cloak, has a big enough hold to carry multiple ships' fittings with ease, and is agile enough to enter warp quickly. Its bigger hull and relatively flimsy frame makes this a risky endeavour, one where I am positively tempting fate in a radar site that has already claimed seven of our combat ships, but I am willing to stake my piloting skills on being successful. I board my Crane—Tigress III, as a reminder that the first two are already lost—and warp to the radar site as a preparatory exercise for the first live run.

In the radar site I can bookmark the wrecks of our battleships and note the relative positions of the planets. Unfortunately, the radar site is outside the orbits of all planets, which means I cannot warp in from one to drop short of a wreck and then warp out again in the same direction. I will need to change directions in the site, which adds time and difficulty. But I should be okay, I just need to line up my approach more carefully.

I pick my first wreck and warp in at twenty kilometres, careful not to get too close to any object—or Sleeper battleship—which would drop my cloak prematurely. I manoeuvre so that the wreck is somewhat between my ship and a planet and start my approach. I need some deft manipulation of my controls now. The wreck needs to be selected so that I can open it when in range, which is shortly before my cloak is forcefully dropped by proximity, then I need to transfer all the loot from the wreck to my hold as I also attempt to flee the site as quickly as possible by selecting the appropriate planet and entering warp. It's a bit fiddly but the first wreck is emptied of modules and my Crane warps away and cloaks again without a Sleeper shot fired.

A colleague has the same idea as me and chooses a frigate to help with the effort, affording him a bit more time to recover modules and perhaps quicker alignment times. We seem to be salvaging the disaster until the fiddly process befuddles me and I loiter for too long on a wreck. My approach is good, I get to the wreck, and I prepare to warp, but I prepare to warp before opening the wreck and am disconcerted to find that I cannot loot a planet. Trying to switch back to the wreck is more fiddly when wrecks and planets are on separate overviews, and my heart jumps when I hear the familiar sound of my systems returning a positive lock from an external threat. I slam my fist on the warp button and send my Crane hurtling out of the site as incoming fire from five battleships evaporates my shields and pounds in to my armour, but thankfully my Crane exits the site without adding to our losses.

Our operation is over as the wrecks finally disintegrate in space, two hours after they were converted from battleships, but we have recovered most of the surviving modules. Although we lost a good number of ships the site didn't end up being the complete disaster it looked to be. The evening even ends on a positive note. Our static wormhole is collapsed smoothly and the new adjoining C4 is unoccupied—as it was eight months ago, probably because its static wormhole connects to a class 6 system—and is rife with anomalies to plunder. We don't look for the static connection to the C6, keeping it closed, and instead take our strategic cruisers out again for more Sleeper culling.

The combat is more enjoyable by virtue of making it a race, the two pilots unable to fly Tech III ships salvaging behind us trying to clear the wrecks faster than the four strategic cruisers can make them. It's close and both groups run at similar rates, sweeping through eight anomalies in good time before I head home to sleep, handing over command to a second officer to finish the remaining four. I make a hundred million ISK from those eight cleared sites, those staying for longer no doubt making more, and ending the day in profit from an enjoyable sortie is a good boost to everyone's morale.

  1. 2 Responses to “Salvaging a wreck”

  2. A bit curious to know wondering how you can tell that the connecting C4 had a static connection to a C6 yet having scanned or open the connection to tell. Though you did say you visited the system before months ago I'm curious wondering if you knew that from your previous visit notes maybe having made notes that the static from this particular C4 was a C6.

    I guess do you also document that in your notes of each system what their static connects to so your aware the next time if ever you happen to revisit?

    This also has never really occured to me while ever in WH Space but since you can't really see WH systems on the star map what actually shows up in WH Space when you actually do pull up the star map of the galaxy?

    By Ardent Defender on Oct 22, 2010

  3. When opened in w-space, the star map of New Eden shows the star map of New Eden but without an arrow saying 'you are here'. You are off the map, effectively.

    And, yes, I have taken to noting the static connections in each w-space system, so that I know what I am looking for and if it's worth continuing. A high-sec exit can be worth looking for, a static C5 is a really weak signature in a C4, and heading in to C6 space is perhaps not worth taking time to find at the end of a chain of w-space.

    Otherwise, can help.

    By pjharvey on Oct 22, 2010

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