Scanning and crashing

15th March 2012 – 5.46 pm

I need to update my skill queue, that's the only reason I'm here. But seeing as I am here, it would be churlish not to take a look around w-space. Sure, my ship will probably suffer a systems failure and crash, requiring a reboot that will almost certainly be at the most inopportune moment, and maybe I said I wasn't coming back before a patch had been released that supposedly fixes this problem, but the lure of space is strong. And I can't really get in to too much trouble scanning, although I look forward to that being tattooed on my new clone's arse when the words come back to bite me.

I probably won't do anything stupid in the home system today, as there are no incoming wormholes to taunt me in to engaging innocent scouts. The Sleepers are returning, though, with a new radar and ladar site to be found, giving us three sites in total. The clean system was nice whilst it lasted. Even so, it is hardly a chore to pick the static wormhole out of four signatures. I resolve the wormhole, warping to it and jumping through to see what wonders I will find in our neighbouring class 3 system. Drones. Ooh, be still my beating heart.

Six drones are visible on my directional scanner, and nothing more. It's an odd number and an odd mix, three combat drones and three shield bots, making me almost vaguely curious as to what happened here. Not that curious, though, d-scan lacking any ships or wrecks, and I simply turn to my notes to warp to where I expect a tower to be. My last visit here was five months ago and in the intervening time the locals have moved out. There is no trace of the tower where I last saw it, nor is there any other tower in the system, making it empty and inactive. I'm a little more curious as to how the drones got here now.

I launch probes and start scanning. There's not much to find, only nine anomalies and eight signatures. A fat-signatured wormhole on the edge of the system clearly isn't the static exit to null-sec k-space I'm expecting to find, but the weaker signature almost directly below has the stink of null-sec surrounding it. Another signature in the inner system, far below the ecliptic plane, becomes another obvious wormhole. That leaves two magnetometric sites and two ladar sites. Checking the wormholes has one die before I can reach it, and legitimately too. I have to make sure I'm not experiencing a systems failure and am almost pleased to see that the wormhole has indeed died and not my ship, but it still means one less wormhole to explore through.

Ignoring the static exit for now, the other wormhole is a K162 from class 4 w-space, and stable. I jump in to take a look around, finding a tower but no ships in the C4. I scan to see if there's a second K162 leading further back in the constellation to activity, but it's possible the locals scouted C3a with its connection to null-sec and then gave up, not knowing how to collapse their wormhole. But that's not being particularly generous. For all I know, they wreaked havoc through two-dozen anomalies in the C3 earlier, and I'm just too late to see it. Anyway, there are no obvious K162s amongst the fourteen signatures in this C4 and I'm not about to waste my time looking for random outbound wormholes. I jump back to C3a and head out to null-sec to see what's happening there.

I exit w-space to appear in the Pure Blind region, which happens to give me a pretty view of the cloud ring in the background. There are times when I wish I could zoom out so that I can appreciate the nebulae from a grander perspective, but I suppose the trouble with looking at phenomena parsecs away is that zooming out your view another couple of hundred kilometres doesn't really accomplish much. Still, not being able to arbitrarily change your field-of-view doesn't stop space from looking beautiful. Other capsuleers in the system do that.

So many anomalies are picked up on my scanning probes, but only the one signature for the K162 I'm sitting on. If only there weren't null-seccers absently sitting the system somewhere I could get some ratting done. Then again, the overpopulated local communications channel drops from two other pilots to one, and although I still wouldn't feel safe entering the anomalies I could bounce between asteroid fields looking for a rat battleship to pop for a gain in security status. And I find one. Two, rather, but popping one will be enough. I decloak, start shooting, and keep an eye on d-scan in case the local isn't actually asleep in a station.

This Gurista battleship has some hefty shields. Or I'm shooting it with the wrong type of ammunition. Either way, it's taking a long time to wear down its defences. But I'm getting there. At least, I was getting there, now I'm making no progress, which is perhaps explained by my launchers cycling but not depleting their loads. Yeah, great, a systems failure at the most inopportune moment of the evening. I reboot my exploration Tengu and, when the strategic cruiser is back on-line and returned to the asteroid field, get back to shooting the rat battleship. Or not. The systems failure has seen the rat's shields recover to 80% or so, and I'm not going to whittle that down again with no guarantee of no more crashes.

I should listen to myself sometimes. I don't even learn from tonight, as my stubborn nature wants that rat to pop. I head home, grab a bunch of different missiles, and head back to null-sec to finish the job hopefully a bit quicker this time, only to find that there are new pilots in the system. New and alert. One of them engages me in a conversation, which I'm happy to reciprocate as it doesn't happen that often, but even with his reassurances that he's only checking on planet goo whilst sitting in a station, and his security status potentially reflecting his carebear nature, I'm not about to make myself a victim.

Talk is just that, and pilots don't suffer drops in security status for ruthless ambushes in null-sec, just as in w-space, so I can't trust passive information about this capsuleer. I merely remain courteous before deciding I'm not going to accomplish anything this evening, jumping back to w-space and returning to, um, to... suffer another crash before I can jump home. This is a pain. I can't sit myself in the C3 and still have a way home the next time I come on-line, so I need to reboot my Tengu just so that I can jump through a wormhole I'm sitting eight kilometres from. Stupid buggy crap. I'm waiting for that patch.

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