Being in the right system at the right time

1st December 2010 – 5.28 pm

Just as I think the evening is over I am called out to high-sec to bring in one last ship. Fin made the journey in her freighter back to our base system but couldn't endure a return trip with more ships, instead bringing back just the one. But there are two more ships left by the Charon that wait in high-sec dock just outside the class 3 system connecting to our C4, and I can help by getting the Bustard transport ship home. It's only a couple of jumps there and back, and the C3 has been devoid of activity so far, nothing can go wrong.

Despite the lack of any other ships for the whole evening I still look for them, to be on the safe side. 'Fin! Check d-scan!' I'm warping across the C3 and can't stop, so am asking for confirmation of what I've just seen. But Fin doesn't see it. That isn't surprising, because it's not there. I have a task to complete and jump out of the system to high-sec to collect the Bustard, but d-scan results persist across session changes. As I warp to dock in the station I peruse d-scan again, scrolling slowly over the results. I've been known to overlook the obvious before, and I am occasionally a little shaky with my alphabet, but it really isn't there. The C3 tower's force field is gone.

I know the tower had shields earlier. Looking for the force field is the easiest way to determine how many active towers are in a system, particularly on a list of alphabetically sorted results when there are so many differently named tower types. And now I can no longer see it. Warping the Bustard back through the C3 confirms this, the tower having gone off-line. And as it was an active tower there are corporate hangar and ship maintenance arrays to be plundered. I didn't look for it earlier, but now I care where the tower is located.

Stowing the Bustard at our tower I swap for my Tengu strategic cruiser, still hoping that I am not wrong and about to fly in to some active defences. Fin joins me and we jump in to the C3, splitting our attentions in locating the tower. I note that the third and fourth planets have a dozen moons and suggest we search one each, and before long we are both around the first moon of the fourth planet, looking at the beautiful sight of an off-line tower with all its assets intact. We get in range and start shooting, reducing the ship arrays to rubble before turning our attention to the other modules.

It is unbelievable to think that we stumble across the C3 just as the tower runs out of fuel. The system doesn't even seem abandoned, as there is a labelled jet-can apparently containing bookmarks only a few days old. Of course, this also presents a danger, as the occupants could return at any time, either alerted by the lack of fuel or our attack, and ambush us. But, to be honest, I don't think many pilots log out in w-space in a combat ship, and the two of us are in quite capable Tengu cruisers. We should be safe. And the corporation we're stealing from, Mintek Heavy Exploration, looks to be more focussed on mining and manufacturing than combat.

An Apocalypse battleship spews from the ship array, along with a Covetor mining barge, Osprey cruiser, an Iteron Mark III, several Heron frigates, and a couple of salvaging destroyers. The Reaper rookie ship outside of the hangars is already a wreck, shot as soon as I got here. The corporate hangar has even more goodies for us, launching cans in to space containing many dozens of fittings, including a couple of faction fittings, some faction tower defences, an armoured warfare mindlink implant, and plenty of ore. The mobile laboratory also holds some small treasures, releasing a bunch of ammunition and drone blueprints, all originals, many already researched. Now we just have to get it all home.

At least it is just the one jump back to our system. The Iteron hauler is piloted in, as is the Apocalypse, whilst the recently returned Bustard is fitted with cargo expanders and taken to start grabbing loot. It will take a little while to make all the trips, though, and I apologise for keeping Fin up late. 'It's okay', she says, 'I'm glad you spotted it. I was just looking for other ships'. I admit that I generally am also only using d-scan to see other ships, but that this time something seemed off, and Fin laughs. 'The force field was off', she replies, and I don't quite stifle a groan at her wordplay.

The Bustard can hold over a jet-can's volume in its hold, but we have several full cans to pick up, if we want to get everything. Our static wormhole remains healthy, despite all our trips, so it will survive a return trip by an Orca. The industrial command ship is taken in to the C3 and pulls the frigates, ore, and most of the fittings in to its dedicated bays. Only a couple more trips are needed to collect the remaining ships, and the tower is stripped bare of all modules, ships, and fittings. All that is left are the bare bones of the tower itself and its anchored defences, which we can realistically do nothing with. We are the piranhas of w-space.

Today's lesson is to keep careful watch on the tower's fuel. The force field is all that keeps opportunistic capsuleers from taking anything they can, and only a fuelled tower can maintain a force field and other defences. This is a lesson I hope I never learn the hard way, as Mintek Heavy Exploration probably soon will. In other news, our own sparse fittings tab is now looking rather healthy, full of armour, shield, and propulsion modules that we were lacking. No doubt we will need to buy some specific items still, but looting a tower has certainly been quicker and much cheaper than visiting Jita.

  1. 6 Responses to “Being in the right system at the right time”

  2. Fin went back in to the C3 twelve hours later, when our static wormhole was EOL, and reported the tower we pillaged refuelled and back on-line, albeit without any modules or arrays.

    By pjharvey on Dec 2, 2010

  3. Looks like you got there just in time and had a bounty of a loot fest.

    Think patch notes does say owners now get a mail notice when towers are attacked. Not sure if that includes a warning eve mail for tower out of fuel.

    Must have been quite depressing for the owners too return to the tower and realized they loss all their stuff and tower off line and out of fuel. And then to refuel it. Must be some rich miners.

    Grats on the loot collection. If you got the minerals you can manufacture your own bulk of missiles with the blueprints you just looted and put them to some good use.

    By Ardent Defender on Dec 3, 2010

  4. I always see you mentioning your 'notes' and leaves me wondering what your method is for recording information on signatures, wormholes, towers, etc. Care to share your trade secret with a curious capsuleer?

    By Adrestos on Dec 4, 2010

  5. Whether I get the minerals or not, AD, depends on what other people happen to be mining, and what I can steal. I also probably ought to get a mobile laboratory configured, so that we can become self-sufficient for ammunition.

    I'm not sure what sort of warnings you get about lack of tower fuel. Even then, unless you're actually in the system there may be little you can do. After all, we happened upon the tower going off-line easily within an hour of it occurring. I'll be sure to keep a regular watch on our own fuel levels, that's for sure.

    By pjharvey on Dec 4, 2010

  6. Adrestos, my anatomy of a post details the kind of notes I take to reconstruct my adventures, although it only briefly touches on the kind of notes I take about each w-space system I visit.

    I started to take paper notes about the systems I visited, and minor details concerning them, but it became apparent I wouldn't be able to keep track of repeat visits easily, and it was whether I had visited a system before that was my main interest.

    I moved my notes across to electronic format. I realise that a database would be more suitable but that seemed beyond my ken to set-up, so I settled, as many people do, with stuffing the data in a spreadsheet instead. At least it lets me search the data quickly. Here's a snippet:

    It's not particularly detailed, but it's not meant to be. It's a record of where I've been, to help when returning to a system and to jog my memory of any events that occurred. I find it's useful to know what PvP has occurred, either to be wary of the inhabitants or to spoil for a fight. I hope this helps.

    By pjharvey on Dec 4, 2010

  7. PJ, thank you for responding, and you're right about the medium used for storing data. A database would usually function just the same as your spreadsheet but in the background as you feed it queries so I doubt you're running any less efficient.

    I will though take that screen shot into account and perhaps start my own spreadsheet tailored to my present needs. At the moment I am stuck in Empire space doing exploration while I wait for my corp to find an opening for me to move into. My method is mostly based on using EVE's notepad and I can (and have) easily lose data.

    Anyway, thanks again and I thoroughly enjoy your writing, please keep up the good work!

    By Adrestos on Dec 5, 2010

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