Scanning and scouts

24th July 2011 – 3.08 pm

I'm taking an early look around this morning. My initiative may pay off too, as there are two wormholes to be found in the class 5 w-space bivouac. One is the static connection to a class 4 w-space system, the other is a K162 coming from deadly class 6 w-space. Fearing nothing, I jump through the K162 to see what dangers await. I fear nothing because there is nothing to fear. A clear return from my directional scanner may not be the whole picture, though, and I launch probes to perform a blanket scan of the system. I see no ships, nor any structures, making this C6 unoccupied, so I start sifting through the many signatures here looking for another K162.

I find a K162 easily enough, and it comes from more class 6 w-space. This is very cool, as it gives me a new image for my collection of wormhole colours, and after doing my best David Bailey impression I jump through to see what lies on the other side. Towers, lots of towers. I count thirty five active towers on d-scan within range of the wormhole, with only a handful of silos, and warping around finds at least ten more. Sadly, listing them is not straightforward, as there are fifty-five moons in the system and not all are populated, and I am not going to any pains to note the position of each one. I can't even be bothered trying to find the few ships that are in the system, not even to see if they are piloted. But the wreck of an elite mining barge catches my eye, I think I'll find that.

My probes are soon clustered around a gravimetric site in the area of the wreck, making me wonder if I've missed a recent hunt and kill. But warping in sees the wreck unlooted and the jet-can nearby intact, and the presence of a Sleeper battleship is more indicative of the miner caught off-guard and popped by the indigenous species than another capsuleer. This system is probably quiet, at least quiet enough to mine, although shortly before finding the gravimetric site I noticed a Buzzard covert operations boat jumping out to the previous C6. I wonder if he's going to get a new mining barge.

I head back to C6a and onwards to the home C5, where I see combat probes on d-scan. I am guessing this is the Buzzard scanning his way to empire space, and rather than press on myself I simply warp to and sit on the wormhole to our neighbouring class 4 w-space system. Sure enough, within a couple of minutes the Buzzard appears, approaches the wormhole, and jumps. I decloak and follow behind, knowing that in my Tengu strategic cruiser I have little chance of catching him, but give it a go anyway. I get my systems hot on the other side of the wormhole, as the Buzzard sensibly holds his session change cloak, and pounce as the cov-ops pilot moves and cloaks. My Tengu surges towards the tiny ship, but he has entered warp and is gone before I get close enough to bump in to his ship to decloak it.

Loitering at the K162, I keep an eye on d-scan but don't see any probes being launched for the Buzzard's continue scanning. I don't wait for him to return, not wanting to waste time on another futile attempt to catch him, and instead warp around to explore the C4. There is a wonderfully tempting target of an undefended tower, made more alluring in this damage-amplifying magnetar system, and if only my missiles had enough range I'd probably fire a few potshots just for kicks. Scanning the system reveals little of anything, merely four anomalies and the same number of signatures. It is easy to resolve and bookmark the gravimetric and magnetometric sites, and the system's static wormhole to class 5 w-space.

Jumping on in today's exploration, the C5 is all within range from the K162 and nothing interesting appears on d-scan. I launch probes in this empty system and have another easy time with the eight signatures to work through. It's rocks and gas, man. Rocks and gas. There is only one wormhole and, would you believe it, it is sending me back to deadly w-space. Continuing my journey in to C6c doesn't close the circle but I have been here before, about a year ago, which I can tell immediately from d-scan without consulting my notes. I couldn't forget coming across Eyjafjallajokull.

I consult my notes anyway and they help a little, even if I have both a connection to class 5 w-space and null-sec k-space listed as being found. I suppose I couldn't identify the static wormhole from two outbound connections, and surprisingly enough I can't today either. I find another pair of outbound connections the same as I did before, along with a K162 coming from another C5. This C6 being inactive I jump through the K162 to C5c, as I will call it, but find only another empty and inactive system. Rather than scan backwards, for more K162s, I go back to C6c and onwards through the possible static connection here to C5b.

One planet is in range of d-scan, and launching probes finds lots of anomalies and signatures but no ships. I think that's enough scanning for one session, particularly with almost no activity to be found, I'm going home. Or I would be if there weren't now a Magnate visible to d-scan in C5a. I imagine the scanning frigate has appeared through a new K162 and launch probes, resolving it quickly enough and finding it to be a K162 from null-sec, which isn't as interesting as I'd hoped. But the Magnate is flying around and looking for wormholes, I may be able to catch him. But after a few flashes on d-scan and some warping around I am not able to catch up to the elusive pilot, and instead jump out to the null-sec system to see if it provides a convenient route for an isolated colleague to return.

The null-sec system could be close and my colleague starts his journey, which will take him through some different w-space first, and before I jump back to C5a I check the local channel for possible Magnate pilots. There are two other capsuleers in the system with me but I can't tell if they look like they're in a Magnate just from their portraits. What was I thinking? I jump back to w-space and, crap, I move away and cloak from the wormhole just as the Magnate pilot chooses to return home. He passes through the wormhole and my polarised Tengu can do nothing about it. I really am going home now.

  1. 5 Responses to “Scanning and scouts”

  2. I didn't know there was a wspace system that had a lava planet named Eyjafjallajokull. That's shenanigans.

    By Planetary Genocide on Jul 24, 2011

  3. I've heard that, when you lose a T3 ship, some or all of your subsystem skills drop by a level.

    Since I'm about a week away being able to fly one, should I decide to invest the iskies, is it true that skills are lost?

    By Merchantus on Aug 1, 2011

  4. If you lose a T3 you lose a random subsystem skill out of, as I understand it, all the ones trained to the highest level.

    You can eject from your ship if you know it's going to be destroyed in order to avoid the SP loss, but that really is a last-resort measure. I've had both situations happen to me, ejecting to prevent SP loss and also having a T3 explode around me and losing one level of subsystem skill, so I can personally confirm both cases.

    Strategic cruisers are amazingly capable ships to fly, and it's worth doing so if you can afford it. The SP loss can seem harsh, but it's relatively minor in the grand scheme of missing days of training here and there when we forget to fill our queue. I definitely recommend getting one.

    By pjharvey on Aug 1, 2011

  5. For now I am high-sec carebearing it (alliance is off for the summer... grr). However, we intend to get back into low-sec and null-sec action with BCs, SBs, and HACs.

    Would a T3 be useful for such ventures or too risky to use one for those areas?

    By Merchantus on Aug 2, 2011

  6. Plenty of pilots are willing to risk T3s in w-space and, judging by some visitors we get, null-sec. I think the risk/reward has to be assessed by you, whether you are comfortable taking such an expensive ship in to action regularly. It may give you an edge to help you be victorious, or you may be just as well served with a specialised T2 ship that costs significantly less to field.

    By pjharvey on Aug 3, 2011

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