Stumbling across yesterday's system

13th February 2012 – 5.51 pm

New sites continue to appear in the home system faster than I can despawn them. This is untenable! Maybe some rocks have gone since yesterday, but in their place is, um, oh, a wormhole. Okay, there are no new sites today and instead there are two wormholes for my exploration pleasure, a static connection to class 3 w-space and a K162 from more class 3 w-space. I jump through the K162 to see what's in the system I'll designate C3b. Nothing is evident on my directional scanner from the wormhole, so I launch probes and perform a blanket scan of the system. My probes show me one ship, seven anomalies, and four signatures. I find the ship as a Probe frigate in a local tower, piloted but inactive, and I scan quickly to resolve all three additional signatures also as wormholes.

The extra wormholes are not as exciting as I first thought, with a static exit to low-sec empire space, a K162 coming from low-sec, and a K162 from class 2 w-space that would be interesting were it not at death's door. I exit through the static connection to find myself in the Khanid region, where a Blood Raider anomaly is picked up by my on-board scanner. With no one else in the system I think I can spare a few minutes to pop some rats, but two interruptions by passing pilots later I'm feeling I've had my fill of low-sec and return to w-space. Or maybe I'll continue with low-sec, as there is the K162 to explore beyond, which takes me to the Kador region. I'm by myself and a mere three hops from high-sec, but there are no anomalies for me to play in.

Rather than scan this system I head homewards, noting the disappearance of the Probe in C3b, where I have a static wormhole to investigate. Our neighbouring class 3 system is a little familiar, this being my fourth visit in total and the last one only a fortnight ago, and I warp to the tower listed in my notes to flump in to a mist of bubbles. I can't say they bother me, nor does the presence of nine ships in the tower, as they are all lacking pilots. I warp out, launch probes, and start to sift through the... hmm, twenty-five signatures is rather a lot for no guaranteed excitement. I think I'll go back to low-sec and scan those systems, as there are generally much fewer signatures, giving me a positive or negative result more quickly. I can return here if I don't find anything.

Scanning finds nothing in the system in the Khanid region, but my probes pick up three additional signatures in the low-sec system in Kador. Even better, despite one site being filled with rocks the other two signatures are both X702 outbound connections to class 3 w-space. I have more to explore, and I didn't have to wade through two dozen signatures to get here. I pick the X702 I'm floating in front of and jump in to C3d, named as such because I bookmarked it second. D-scan shows me an Orca industrial command ship and a tower, and I am thoroughly gobsmacked to see the Orca merely parked unpiloted inside the tower's force field. I note the tower's location and return to low-sec to look in C3c instead.

Another clear d-scan, but opening my system map to get an idea of what's in range and what isn't shows me a bunch of bookmark pins stuck in various places. This shouldn't happen, as I delete my w-space exploration bookmarks daily. Actually, every other collapse of our static wormhole, I suppose, as I don't want to be unprepared in case of coincidences sending me back to the same system. Coincidences like this, as I was only in this C3 yesterday, where Fin scanned it thoroughly as I stumbled in to a pair of Drake battlecruisers clearing Sleepers on the other side of the constellation. Fin's detailed scanning is showing up clearly on the system map, and although I wonder how many of the bookmarks are stale I don't suppose much has changed in a day.

The position of wormholes will likely have changed in this w-space system, as these are in constant flux, but the outbound connection to a deadly class 6 system remains, apparently this type lingering for a day or more. Apart from that nugget of information, this system looks as quiet and boring as it was yesterday. Well, except for the Buzzard covert operations boat just warping in to the tower here. A new contact is always interesting. He does nothing for a minute and then starts crawling out of the shields.

The Buzzard's slow movement out of the shields would be much better were he crawling in my direction, but he's heading for the opposite side of the force field. I bookmark a defence on that side of the tower, bounce off a moon, but return only in time to see probes scattered around and the Buzzard crawling back in to the shields. He was lucky. That kind of behaviour is a little careless and has got other scouts in to trouble before.

I may as well scan whilst the Buzzard scans. I resolve the new static exit to low-sec, and a second wormhole with an Anathema cov-ops sitting on it. I warp in to find a K162 from class 4 w-space, which the Anathema jumps through as I land. I follow and apparently look suitably threatening, even to an agile cov-ops—although I suppose any two ships meeting in w-space is a potential threat—causing the Anathema to jump right back to C3c. I follow and again decloak early to try to get a positive lock on the tiny target, but the cov-ops is agile and cloaky, warping away from my failed attempt to stop him. I follow to the low-sec connection, although you could argue I'm not really following him but warping in the only other direction I've scanned. Either way, I warp to the wormhole the Anathema fled to, only to have another failed attempt at locking the ship and disrupting its warp engines. There's no shame in missing a covert operations frigate.

That's probably my excitement for the evening. I go back to C4a to have a proper look around, curiously enough spotting an Anathema on d-scan. Maybe I chased the wrong one. I launch probes and blanket the system, revealing three ships, all of which I find at a local tower. A couple of frigates are empty but a Badger hauler is piloted. Maybe the Anathema is somewhere out there to find but I've already shown how tricky they are to catch today, and I'll have better luck on a slow and bulky hauler. I would have better luck on a slow and bulky hauler if he were to do anything, which he doesn't, and with my glorious leader here and calling me home I'm not inclined to watch a ship float passively for an extended period.

Heading home has the Buzzard in C3c still scanning, C3b quiet, and our static wormhole killed by Fin. Good job, as C3b holds some good anomalies and no one to get in our way. To end the evening being productive we both board our Sleeper Tengu strategic cruisers and explode our way through four anomalies, returning home through a now-dying wormhole to bring back a Noctis salvager each to sweep up the wrecks and leave the system tidier than we found it. We collect almost a quarter-of-a-billion ISK in loot from the Sleeper wrecks, returning home safely without seeing another soul. There has been plenty to explore, some harmless chasing around, and profiting from Sleepers. It has been a good evening.

  1. 6 Responses to “Stumbling across yesterday's system”

  2. I am impressed at the thoroughness of your mapping, I usually loose interest at about the hour mark of scanning.


    By Zandramus on Feb 13, 2012

  3. I'm pretty much an explorer by heart. I worked this out for sure one evening when I got maudlin about doing anything but perked up after Fin encouraged me to go scanning. On most days I can pretty much keep myself entertained just finding new systems to scan through.

    On the other hand, shooting Sleepers normally makes me nod off pretty quickly. Each to her own.

    By pjharvey on Feb 13, 2012

  4. Did a bit of scanning last night myself, managed to scan down a wh in the home system that was a empty class 3 that led also to lowsec aridia where we engaged a goon gatecamp and almost killed their tempest before they dropped a triage carrier on the grid. We managed to escape except for a lowly drake that somehow got pointed by their devoter.

    So I wanted to thank you for the idea to do some scanning as I had a good time with the results and it made an entertaining evening even if we didn't get a kill from it.


    By Zandramus on Feb 14, 2012

  5. Good job, Zandramus. I'm glad exploration led to fun times in Aridia for you.

    By pjharvey on Feb 14, 2012

  6. Was just wondering what tools you use to generate your maps and track your progress? Very clean looking and easy to read.

    By Matt on Feb 16, 2012

  7. Thanks, Matt. The maps are just simple images created in Paint. I use the previous one as a basis for the current one, just cutting, copying, and pasting the blobs and arrows around.

    I tend to keep track of the systems in my head as I explore, which is generally simple enough, particularly when the constellation is linear. When it looks like there will be enough wormholes to create a map, I then sketch a representation in my notebook, adding to it as more wormholes are uncovered and systems explored.

    When I create the map in Paint I take care to tweak it to keep the interconnections consistent, such that the direction of the wormhole is preserved and the static connection generally comes out horizontally to the right, and to keep it as compact as possible.

    Today's map was particularly tricky to keep tidy and required more vertical levels than any other so far. Note that I needed long arrows to keep C2b and a high-sec system from overlapping, and although I only strictly needed one long arrow to achieve that I used two to create a symmetry. And, oops, I probably should have moved C4a down to be level with C3c, to indicate the static connection, but it seems I either overlooked that or I tried it and the aesthetic looked off.

    By pjharvey on Feb 16, 2012

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