Quietly making ISK

7th December 2010 – 5.53 pm

Ever closer to having my safety net, I assemble and fit two Buzzard covert operations boats. Constance can't use the cloaking device yet, but I can fit it and leave the boat in the hangar for her to pick up. The cloak will go off-line if she boards it now, but once her training completes, in only a couple of days now, Constance can bring it back on-line and be a fully fledged scanning pilot. If I get podded, or a wormhole collapses behind me, there will remain the ability to scan a route out to empire space for my return. But until that fateful day I can still take my own Buzzard out to scan our local systems.

The home w-space system has changed a little, the anomalies moved around and a new ladar and gravimetric site each appearing. I resolve the new static connection to a class 3 system and jump through to see what's occurring. There is a tower and a couple of ships visible on the directional scanner, which I find easily enough. I was here five months ago and the tower hasn't moved from when I made my notes. The two ships are unpiloted and the system seems inactive. I warp to a distant planet in order to launch scanning probes, only to find a second tower lurking in the outer system. The tower holds a piloted Cheetah cov-ops boat, although I see no probes on d-scan to indicate he is awake.

I warp back to the inner system to launch my probes and begin scanning, returning to the second tower to monitor the Cheetah. Scanning finds little overall in the system, but there are three wormholes present. One is a K162 coming from a class 5 w-space system, the connection reaching the end of its natural lifetime and so not one I want to jump through. There is also a K162 coming in from high-sec empire space. The C3's static is, monotonously, an exit to low-sec space. The only other signatures in the system belong to a lone anomaly, a radar site, and a ladar gas mining site. I bookmark them all for possible ambush opportunities later, then check the destinations of the connections to empire space.

Jumping through the wormholes to empire space is a habit I am trying to maintain, particularly now that I am more self-reliant. The crucial information gained from exiting w-space is not the destination system, but rather the bookmarked location of the other side of the wormhole. It is, of course, possible to scan empire space for the wormhole if the system it sits in is known, but it is much easier just to warp to that point. I may get podded and wake up in a clone in empire space, and although I have Constance to get me home if needed it is far better not to need external help if possible. Exiting w-space and bookmarking the wormhole gives me a full route home.

Today's exits are far from anywhere, low-sec and high-sec both. But the low-sec system is a dead end, and close to a second dead-end system, and the high-sec system is also close to a dead-end system. I always like to gain new dots of exploration on my star map, particularly as w-space can throw me out on different sides of the galaxy, and take a few minutes to explore a few of the less conveniently situated star systems. I visit five systems in low-sec and three in high-sec—hardly a dent in the thousands that are known of, but covering the corners is still important—before returning to w-space and getting back to the tower to take a break.

I bring out the stealth bomber a bit later, taking my Manticore in to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system in the hopes that the bookmarks I made earlier will let me shoot an unsuspecting pilot. But the C3 is quiet, unchanged from earlier. The pilot at the second tower even remains sitting motionless in his Cheetah, despite the passage of time. It is almost too quiet. I'd better make some explosions. The single anomaly is still present in the system, which my Tengu strategic cruiser should be able to chew through. But today I change its fitting from heavy assault missiles to standard heavy missiles. I must compromise a little on the damage for the sake of range, as I don't want to be embarrassed by Sleepers again.

The anomaly in the C3 is the same type where, some months back, two Sleeper cruisers taunt me mercilessly. They web my Tengu to a crawl and keep their distance at thirty kilometres, outside the effective range of my HAMs, without my being able to get any closer. With a second ship running interference it is possible to get closer as the cruisers switch the targets of their webs, but on my own I need the greater range of heavy missiles. And changing the fitting causes me no problems, and I chomp on the Sleepers without worrying about getting close. Only the one anomaly means I am soon changing ships again, swapping to my salvaging destroyer, the Cormorant quick to sweep up the valuable remnants of the wrecks in to my its hold. My combat and salvaging goes undisturbed, letting me bring home sixty million ISK in loot. It's been a quiet day, but productive enough.

  1. 7 Responses to “Quietly making ISK”

  2. Since salvaging in w-space is a wee bit more dangerous than high-sec, have you thought of getting the new Noctis to speed things up?

    For my carebearing, high-sec romping, it's just not cost effective for me.

    By Merchantus on Dec 7, 2010

  3. Considered and collected, but that is a story for another day. :)

    By Kename Fin on Dec 8, 2010

  4. I am a peacock, you gotta let me fly!

    By Constance on Dec 8, 2010

  5. You raise an interesting point, Merchy, one that is niggling at me as I consider salvaging with a Noctis. W-space is dangerous space and speed of salvaging seems important, but perhaps not in the way you imply.

    I often find myself sitting in my stealth bomber near some wrecks waiting for a salvager to arrive, having already scanned the anomaly and bookmarked a reference point. Conversely, rarely do I find myself using combat probes when trying to find a capsuleer already salvaging. Partly that is because trying to resolve a destroyer is fiddly, but mostly because the process is already slow enough when considering the need to rely on d-scan or risk probes being visible for a minute or so, which means even a destroyer salvages quickly enough to evade being scanned.

    The Noctis, however, is quite a bit larger, making it an easier target for scanning probes. Its bonuses to tractor beam range also encourages salvagers to sit in one position and pull the wrecks to the ship, rather than having the necessity of zipping around in a more agile ship to close the range between salvager and wrecks. This could make the Noctis a nice, fat target to aim for, as well as one that will be hit harder by a bomb, has no opportunity to fit weapons, and will take longer to enter warp to escape. Maybe the low slots can be fitted with warp core stabilisers to break simple points, with the associated increase of target lock time negligible against wrecks.

    My point is that it may still be better to use a less expensive destroyer that can survive a single bomb and has a chance of evading a point than a larger ship whose actions will be be more predictable by its lack of movement. After all, if the ambusher is already in the site waiting for you, salvaging may not be able to be made quick enough to avoid attack. It could be prudent to have a faster ship, not one that salvages faster.

    On top of that, I am little suspicious of a chap with 'merchant' prominently in his name wondering if I want to buy a new ship. Do you have a special offer in mind?

    By pjharvey on Dec 9, 2010

  6. Okay, princess peacock, you've got your ship, now stop making people think I'm writing comments to myself.

    By pjharvey on Dec 9, 2010

  7. No, I'm not looking to sell anything (at this point).

    When I started to play Eve, I intended to do primarily production and trade... However, once I learned how Eve works (as much as I do now, which means I still have a long ways to go) I learned that I have to be able to fight, too, especially since I only have this one account/character.

    I should have chosen a better name. Oh well.

    By Merchantus on Dec 15, 2010

  8. I'm just teasing. I was tickled that a merchant was asking if I wanted to buy a ship.

    By pjharvey on Dec 15, 2010

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