Making the most of exploration

18th January 2012 – 5.28 pm

Glorious leader Fin has scanned our static wormhole but left it unvisited, in case we want to reap the profits of the anomalies once more accumulating in our home system. That sounds like a plan, count me in! I make a cursory check of the system myself, noting the disappearance of one group of rocks and a gas cloud, and that there is a lack of new signatures that look like bringing in unwanted pilots who would like to see our fresh corpses float frozen in space. We have the green light for Sleeper combat. We both board our Sleeper Tengu strategic cruisers, I get data on the anomalies present, and we warp off to the first to start raking in the iskies.

My heart's not really in it tonight. I find I only have enough spirit to clear a mere two anomalies before the routine becomes too routine. We salvage the anomalies, sweeping up one each, with Fin bringing back the bacon again. Combined, we recover about a hundred and eighty million ISK in loot and salvage, which is not a bad result but a significant amount less than we got from three class 3 anomalies yesterday. It all feels a bit quiet, isolated, alone. I should be used to this in w-space, I suppose, but the feeling is amplified tonight. I can't even bring myself to go out exploring, although I'm not sure what I would do otherwise. After a few awkward minutes Fin suggests we see what's down the rabbit hole, and I half-heartedly follow her to the static wormhole.

I let Fin jump ahead, happy for her to take point and report back any excitement. A tower and no ships is not exciting, really, but hearing the system is empty encourages me to jump in and take a look around too anyway. The system number looks lucky to me, although it's my first visit here. I look to warp away to launch scanning probes covertly but determine that there is nowhere to hide from the tower, so just do it near the wormhole. A blanket scan returns a healthy nine anomalies and, damn, thirty-six signatures. These are some untidy w-spacers.

'It makes me tired to think about it', says Fin, not enjoying the prospect of sifting through three-dozen signatures. Curiously enough, I've perked up now. I think I'm in my element. I've already established that the system is relatively small, and my first intuition is that we'll be able to discount handfuls of signatures at a time, as they'll all be clustered together. Sure enough, I move from planet to planet, ignoring rocks and gas within a scan or two and determining a lack of interesting wormholes from what remains. And hitting the inner system with my probes has almost thirty of them all within a standard spread of my probes. Whittling them down doesn't take as long as the number would suggest.

The static exit to low-sec pops out of the results, but the connection is wobbly and soon to collapse of old age. A second wormhole is healthier, a K162 from class 5 w-space looking somewhat inviting for my explorer self. As it looks like there are just the two wormholes I recall my probes and jump in to the C5 to take a look around. I punch d-scan, see a corporate hangar array and ship maintenance array, adjust d-scan's settings and look again for wrecks or anything else interesting, and, well hello! 'Fin, come.' I'm too excited to communicate much else for the moment. We find lots of systems that contain towers without active force fields for the circumstance not to be particularly interesting any more, but almost none that are potentially stocked of ships and other lovely goodies by still having an intact CHA and SMA. It's such a beautiful sight. We should shoot it.

I explain to Fin what I've found and ask her to hold on the wormhole for a moment, as I reposition myself to drop on top of the off-line but unplundered tower. Fin arrives and we hammer away at the ship array, wondering what riches will burst forth when it explodes. Not a great deal, it turns out, but a Hurricane and Ferox battlecruiser, Scorpion battleship, Bestower hauler, and Noctis salvager are all worth recovering. I'm sure we can squeeze a few of the frigates in to an Orca too. Before we think about collecting them we turn our attention to the corporate hangar, popping that too to get a wealth of Tech II and faction laser crystals, a couple of interesting skill books, and some fuel that maybe should have been in the tower.

We return home and stow our Tengus. I head back to the C5 in my pod to claim the Scorpion, Fin in an Orca to carry all she can. I slide myself in to the battleship to see a rather familiar fit. The Scorpion predictably has plenty of ECM but is also fit with armour plates and has all of its weapons systems replaced with remote armour repair modules. It's pretty much what our corporation used when flying battleship fleets against Sleepers. And now we have another one. I hold at the tower for Fin's industrial command ship to turn up and—chomp, chomp, chomp—take in the ships and modules. Having ECM on our side in case someone turns up is handy.

We head home again, and it is only now that I realise we are returning through the C5's static wormhole. Someone must have opened the wormhole from the C5. Maybe the scout passed through much earlier with bad timing and the tower wasn't off-line then, or he scanned without finding the tower or inspecting d-scan. Either way, it's their loss and our gain. A second trip back to the tower brings me and Fin home in the Ferox and Hurricane, both fit for gas harvesting. I was expecting that of the Ferox, but the Hurricane? These people are sick. I make one last trip to recover the Bestower, now that I can pilot one instead of shooting the Amarr hauler in frustration.

My lesson for the night is to always listen to Fin. Her subtle suggestion to explore our neighbouring system was clearly a knowing wink, somehow realising what we had to find out in w-space today. Thanks to my glorious leader, my low mood has been turned right around and I am invigorated again. Oh, maybe it didn't work out for everyone, but we aren't animals. We left a single Ibis frigate behind. Maybe it will come in useful for the corporation whose w-space life we've just potentially ruined.

  1. 4 Responses to “Making the most of exploration”

  2. How fortunate for you guys! I've often day dreamed about finding an offline tower with the SMA and CHA still intact.

    By Domin Ique on Jan 18, 2012

  3. It's a cathartic experience. I heartily recommend it.

    By pjharvey on Jan 18, 2012

  4. That's awesome, I have fond a few offlined towers with cma still there but they were empty except for moon goo.

    Great find


    By Zandramus on Jan 18, 2012

  5. Score, great find.

    When I came back from my hiatus and started exploring WH space again, the first system I entered I was lucky enough to find an offline tower packed with hangars, then I realised I hadn't configured my overview correctly, and I was sad.

    This post gives me hope that one day I'll find one.

    By Mdih Lihu on Jan 18, 2012

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