W-space isn't friendly

1st January 2012 – 3.57 pm

Fin's collapsing the wormhole as I turn up. On hearing that we have an 'empty C3 leading to Goonswarm null' it sounds quite reasonable to sever that connection and look for a better class 3 w-space system to have as a neighbour. My glorious leader is on her last jump to collapse the wormhole, leaving me nothing to do but scan the home system in preparation for resolving the new static wormhole. All goes smoothly, which Fin accidentally describes as 'txt book'. A new wormhole pops up in the system, I resolve it, and we both warp to see what lies on the other side.

Only one planet is in range of my directional scanner from the K162 in the C3, with nothing but its moons to be detected. I have time to launch scanning probes and throw them out of the system as I consult my notes, which look positive today. Seven months ago this C3 was occupied by allied pilots, and as it has a static exit to high-sec empire space it could be a useful system indeed to link to, as long as nothing has changed. I warp across to one of the two towers in my notes to find none there, and although there remain two towers in the system neither of them belong to allies any more. That's unfortunate, and although it doesn't preclude our travelling through the system the presence of a wreck and pod might.

Locating the new towers finds both the wreck and pod, one at each of the two towers. The wreck is of a Gallente industrial ship, probably destroyed by a tower's automatic defences, the pod is sitting in the second tower. No, he's not. The pod is actually outside of the tower. Thoughts of sweeping a Crane transport ship past the wreck to loot it are dropped when we see the pod drifting freely. I'm already warping homewards when Fin asks if we should pop the pod, swapping the relatively bulky and slow Tengu strategic cruiser for my faster-locking Manticore stealth bomber. As I change ships Fin gets herself in to position so I can warp to her to get close to the pod.

I return to the C3 and bounce off a reference point before warping to Fin's position, her Tengu warping off as I approach so that we don't decloak each other. The pod doesn't look like it's moving, but it is, just slowly. By the time I land where Fin once was the pod is out of range of my warp disruption module and edging towards the tower's force field. Thankfully, it is approaching the tower obliquely, giving me some time to get him back in to range. Once I get close enough I decloak and activate all my ship's electronics, along with my siege launchers. The pod is caught and ripped apart by my torpedoes, a corpse ejected in to space as my aligned Manticore warps out before the tower's defences can react.

It is another smooth execution. I warp back to the tower to scoop the corpse for my collection, and Fin launches probes to scan now that there is no one in the system to be concerned about. Of course, it doesn't really occur to me that the pod isn't local to this C3 and that he may be the owner of the popped industrial ship outside the other tower, not until I get a frustrated mail from the new clone asking why I killed him. I ponder the question for a little while, trying to think of a suitably diplomatic answer, before replying with a simple truth. 'I don't do ransoms.'

Fin suggests trying to recruit the fellow and after pointing him in the right direction he joins our public channel. He's not there to be recruited, though, but to question our actions again. That's fair enough, and we're not rude or mean, but we are a little curious as to what people think w-space is. I don't know if low-sec gets the same kind of incredulity from pilots losing their ships, but there seems to be a minority opinion that w-space should be friendlier. Or, I suppose, not as cut-throat. But as Fin says, there is no Concord, there are no gate guns, there is no penalty to shooting other capsuleers. This is frontier space, there are no rules.

Maybe the confusion arises because of the way wormholes can be scanned from high-sec that lead directly to this lawless space. A simple jump not even through a stargate can send you from Concord-protected safety to constellations where pilots will sooner pod you than say hello. But that's not to say we aren't friendly, just wary. Those pilots who ask questions first will either get shot first or lose their opportunity to gain whatever resources they were after. That's just the way it is out here. Either way, it's rarely personal. You are just another target.

We do our best to calm our podded pal, or at least try not to rile him further, and get back to scanning. Fin resolves the exit to high-sec, which is stable and leads out to a system only six jumps from Rens, and continues to resolve wormhole after wormhole, making the convenient exit look less useful in such a congested constellation. I explore beyond a K162 in to unoccupied and inactive class 5 w-space, where I resolve a K162 to class 4 w-space. It is in the C4 where I find a tower belonging to a couple of scouts we've seen on d-scan flitting around the C3, but their having a Loki strategic cruiser as an escort thwart our hopes of catching one of them.

Fin explores through two more wormholes from C3a, both in to more class 3 w-space, and almost has some targets in one of them until they go off-line almost as quickly as they appear. The other systems all look quiet and uninteresting and we decide to halt exploration to take some advantage of the exit to high-sec. I stuff my Crane with Sleeper loot and salvage, as well as the Minmatar control tower I stole and all the loot from my recent low-sec radar site pillaging, and head out to make us some iskies. Fin takes her pod out and buys a new heavy interdictor, so that we don't need to refit our Onyx between combat and wormhole-collapsing configurations.

We both also pick up some skill books whilst we are in empire space, some of them even being ones we haven't already bought, injected, or trained. It's a shame that so many wormholes connect in to our neighbouring C3. We could have stuffed an Orca industrial command ship or two with tower fuel if there wasn't the possibility that scouts or combat ships could cross our path at any moment. Even so, we stock up on what we can carry to keep us happy in w-space for a while, making subsequent trips to empire space less crucial. We'll need fuel at some point, and should buy a replacement Drake for the battlecruiser we had to abandon, but for now we are living well.

  1. 8 Responses to “W-space isn't friendly”

  2. what was in the industrial wreck?

    By Planetary Genocide on Jan 1, 2012

  3. You get those newer players in lowsec. If they are really new, I offer to let them go for a funny joke. If it's a decent joke and they are good sports, I send them a few mil to buy a new ship. However, if they start raging and get abusive they get a free trip back to the clone vat.

    By Naoru Kozan on Jan 2, 2012

  4. What strange story. Even as a total noob did I realize that WHs are likely the most dangerous place to be in EVE. Null sec mechanics without /local. I don't think anyone who finds and walks through (with the CCP warning message!) a WH can be ignorant of what lies behind it.

    Whether or not one shoots defenseless pods floating in the breeze is a personal decision. I probably wouldn't have done it but that's because I am too afraid of POS guns. I had some bad experiences...

    Nice of you to invite him into the channel and calm him down...

    By Splatus on Jan 2, 2012

  5. Fin's a proponent of trying to recruit anyone we shoot. Or anyone who shoots us. Pretty much anyone we encounter in space, but only after the shooting stops.

    What with the red mist coming down to pod the poor pilot and then having a chat with a translation engine as a middle-man, we both completely forgot about the wreck at the other tower, PG, so we never looted it. I think we suspected not much would be in it once we found out who the pilot was, but we got rather sidetracked.

    Splatus, modern computing has conditioned us to ignore all pop-up warnings. I do it myself, telling the computer that I already know everything it thinks it can tell me, right before I am taught a new lesson that was probably spelt out in the dismissed warning. Then again, I always find I learn the lesson quicker when experienced, rather than told.

    I like your style, Naoru. Keep up the diplomacy.

    By pjharvey on Jan 2, 2012

  6. I am a proponent of podding people in WHs if they are the inhabitants. I see no reason to let them get back to their POS and get a bigger ship than mine (and perhaps some friends), track me down and pod me. I consider it anticipatory retaliation.

    By JamesT on Jan 4, 2012

  7. I agree with you entirely, JamesT. Preventing quick reinforcements is a very good reason for podding pilots in w-space, one that I have used to justify my actions in the past.

    I'm not sure there is quite the same circumstance in k-space as in w-space, where engagements nearly always involve pilots situated locally enough for them to bring back second ships, and ships that can be better suited to counter known hostiles. Stopping that from happening can mean the difference between winning and losing, so forcing a pilot back to a clone vat is a valid and important tactic that shouldn't be overlooked.

    By pjharvey on Jan 4, 2012

  8. "A simple jump not even through a stargate can send you from Concord-protected safety to constellations where pilots will sooner pod you than say hello."

    I do hope you know this is untrue. There are a number of null sec systems that can be accessed directly from highsec. Such as EC-P8R trough Torrinos, Y-MPWL through Kari, and KBP7-G through Dital are just a few, there is another in Khanid and a few in Minmatar space I think.

    By M. R. Moore on Jan 5, 2012

  9. Thanks for listing some dangerous routes, though I was more commenting on how wormholes in high-sec can lead to w-space, regardless of where they appear, and not really making a statement that the same isn't possible through stargates.

    By pjharvey on Jan 5, 2012

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