Lots of ships, little opportunity

21st August 2011 – 3.16 pm

I'm home alone, but happy that home is once again w-space. I launch probes and scan, just looking for a little reconnaissance of today's constellation, finding two wormholes in our home system. The addition to our static connection to class 3 w-space is a K162 coming from a class 5 system. The extra wormhole is reaching the end of its natural lifetime, which suits me, as it makes it unlikely that intruders will swarm through now. Unlikely, but not impossible. For now I ignore it and jump through to explore our neighbouring C3.

Mining drones on my directional scanner tease me in the class 3 system, as I see no ships, and there's a tower in range of d-scan too. Having been here with glorious leader Fin only one month earlier, to catch and pop a Noctis salvager, I have the location of the tower in my notes, which even if empty is in the same place. Scanning reveals eleven anomalies and eight signatures, and resolving the position of the drones finds no coincident gravimetric site. Maybe the occupants of the C5 came this way and interrupted a mining operation, the drones abandoned as panicked miners fled, or left behind as inconsequential spoils. I bookmark the position of the drones, in case a local is incautious enough to want to collect them later, and start sifting the signatures.

Gas, wormhole, rocks, rocks, gas, gas, wormhole, wormhole. That should give me plenty to explore, although I doubt the other sites will provide hunting grounds given the stray drones here. The wormholes are a static exit to low-sec empire space, a K162 from low-sec, and a K162 from class 2 w-space. The connection to the second C2 looks good to me, and I jump in. I quickly have two towers to find, both appearing on d-scan along with a couple of haulers, and I am hoping they are piloted and getting ready to collect planet goo. But warping around only finds more towers and more ships, and a simple task becomes a little more involved.

The Badger and Bestower haulers are piloted in one tower; the second tower is empty; the third holds a Crow interceptor, Buzzard covert operations boat, Heron frigate, and Phoenix dreadnought, none of them piloted; a fourth tower holds no ships; and a fifth on the outskirts of the system has another piloted Badger. By the time I have found all the towers and made appropriate bookmarks a Mammoth has appeared somewhere. I track the hauler down to one of the towers and decide to watch this new arrival, on the assumption that he is more likely to become active. And I suppose he does, but only to swap from ship to ship, and it looks like he's simply checking configurations. I decide not to waste my time watching him further, nor to flit between towers hoping to catch one of three haulers making a move.

I jump back to the C3 to explore the low-sec connections here. The static wormhole takes me out to old friend Aridia, where I know I am nowhere near civilisation. The K162 in the C3 comes from the Genesis region but looks equally inconvenient for getting anywhere, which is no surprise when I find myself on the border of the region, one hop from Aridia and only two hops from the other exit. This looks to me like a sign to take a break.

I return to roam the C3 and, as it predictably remains empty, scan low-sec for more wormholes. I ignore the bristling but not bustling C2 for now as unlikely to hold any targets I can shoot. Low-sec itself almost looks like a hunting ground, with a lone Hurricane in an easily found anomaly, but he bugs out when I appear in the system, thankfully not making me wonder if my covert Tengu strategic cruiser would win an engagement with the battlecruiser. I scan the system to resolve only a gravimetric site and dumb drones. Rather than use stargates I jump through two wormholes to appear two systems away, where I scan again.

Two wormholes from three signatures in the Genesis system is a decent result, particularly as one of them is an outbound connection to class 5 w-space. Jumping in has some big and bad ships visible on d-scan, although I suppose carriers and strategic cruisers are only to be expected in an occupied C5. I find a Damnation command ship, Machariel battleship, Proteus strategic cruiser, and Helios covert operations boat piloted at one tower, the second holding more piloted strategic cruisers, with a Legion, Proteus, and Tengu, as well as a pair of piloted dreadnoughts in a Moros and Revelation. I'll leave them to their looking mean, as this isn't a party I can crash, and go back to low-sec to explore the other wormhole found there.

This class 3 system looks promising, with industrial and combat ships on scan, but finding the tower sees that the corporation are blue to us and allies. Short of using a stargate, which only caused me confusion yesterday, this leaves just the C2 to roam and explore. Glorious leader Fin has arrived and has headed there herself, it being the only source of activity I've found that won't involve our own dreadnoughts to interrupt. Fin reports pretty much the same ships in the system as I found earlier, making it sound as dull as it was before too. Flitting between the towers sees nothing of interest likely to happen, so we launch probes and scan the system, hoping that maybe the exit will be good for us.

Only two signatures are in the class 2 system, both of them the static wormholes. One we know leads to the C3, the other exits to high-sec. Jumping out plonks us in the Kor-Azor region, which is actually reasonably close to our exported ships. Ten jumps, all through high-sec, will get us to our cache and it looks like a good opportunity to bring some ships home. Fin is already in the C3 and warping homewards as I jump back to the C2, aiming to ditch my Tengu for a disposable frigate, only to see a Hurricane now sitting on the B274 wormhole. The locals are starved of sites to keep them amused but they apparently keep watch of d-scan, noticing our scanning probes and looking to catch whoever is passing through their system.

I evade the Hurricane simply enough, moving my Tengu away from the wormhole and cloaking, but his presence is not encouraging. A Drake battlecruiser joins him and launches drones, perhaps trying to flush me out, and although the Hurricane warps away I am not getting a good feeling about using this system as a thoroughfare. We could potentially get a few ships past this minor threat, but if more hostiles appear we could end up only moving ships from one high-sec system to another. We're not going to get anything more done tonight, so Fin and I settle down at home for an early night.

  1. 3 Responses to “Lots of ships, little opportunity”

  2. I think it was mentioned in some patch notes somewhere that drones don't decloak anymore...

    By Planetary Genocide on Aug 22, 2011

  3. That would be interesting, but I'm not sure how it might work. Uncontrolled drones approached to be scooped still decloak ships, and they ought to.

    What I'd like to see is cosmic signatures not decloaking ships.

    By pjharvey on Aug 22, 2011

  4. @Planetary: nope, drones definitely still decloak. The "drones don't decloak" troll makes its way around EVE meta-space every year or so, and nobody's ever shown me evidence that they haven't always decloaked you.

    If you have proof to the contrary, I'd love to see it.

    By Jester on Aug 24, 2011

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