Bumbling a bombing

17th March 2012 – 3.18 pm

'Reset to factory defaults?' I'd rather not, no, but I'd also quite like to fly in space without suffering blackouts either when stalking or actually in combat, thanks. I'm not looking forwards to adjusting every single information panel, communications channel, and other associated windows again, but it looks like it has to be done. At least I have my overview exported to a file, as I know that is the most painful configuration to recreate from scratch. But I also know that some windows can't be configured until their specific circumstances crop up, like salvaging a wreck, for example. Having to adjust the window to be in a sensible position and not in the middle of my display—where my ship is, and so obscuring it, quite stupidly—is not an action I want to take when trying to loot a Noctis with its colleagues warping in to kill me. But I suppose I have to suck it up and do it.

I boot in to the least usable interface ever designed by man and finally manage to remember the names of the comms channels I used to be party to when I see that Fin is half-way through a conversation with me. My glorious leader noticed I had come on-line but not that I wasn't in the channel. After all, why wouldn't I be? And this is the perfect time for her to be shadowing a Noctis salvager flying behind a fleet of two Drake battlecruisers and a Tengu strategic cruiser clearing anomalies in a class 3 w-space system two jumps from home. I would like to join her and blow the living crap out of the salvager, but instead I have two dozen windows to move and resize, plus others that will pop up in the wrong place to surprise me at inopportune moments. Sod it, I'm reverting to a back-up.

My systems reboot to familiar settings, albeit with the threat of unscheduled down-time hanging in the vacuum of space. I know what is where, though. I warp to our tower and swap in to a Manticore stealth bomber, which I gauge to be the best choice in salvager destruction, and head towards Fin. I mapped the constellation earlier, my bookmarks leading Fin to the second C3 in our small chain of w-space that holds the fleet she's following. It's simple to retrace my steps and get to the wormhole leading in to C3b. I ask if it's safe to jump in, and am told that the wormhole is in range of the fleet's directional scanner, but to jump in anyway. Sure thing, boss.

I move away from the wormhole and cloak, hoping that I wasn't spotted, and then coordinate with Fin to get in to the right site at the right distance. The right distance for me is far away from the combat, so that I can monitor progress without fear of bumping in to capsuleer or Sleeper ships, as well as allowing me to warp directly to any of the wrecks. Without knowing where the Noctis will arrive I prefer to hedge my bets and wait for the salvager to warp in before committing my own ship. It is not long before the site is clear of Sleepers, my turning up in the system as the last wave is started, and Fin and I wait for the Noctis to appear. Hmm, and so do the Drakes and the Tengu. 'This is normal', says Fin. 'The Tengu will leave but the Drakes stay.' That's okay, that's little defence for a Noctis against the two of us.

The Drakes don't leave, as predicted, but neither does the Tengu. I suppose one more combat ship that is probably not fitted with a warp disruptor is not that much of a threat, particularly against two bombers. Except I didn't realise Fin was in a bomber too, I thought she was in a covert Tengu. Okay, I'd better get in to bombing range now. I was holding back as I didn't think Fin would want to risk a half-billion ISK strategic cruiser to pop a guarded Noctis. Two of our bombs will probably destroy the Noctis outright, though, and Fin's already in position.

I warp closer in to the site, some thirty kilometres from the wreck I bookmarked where the Noctis warped in initially. The Noctis has moved since then, putting me over forty kilometres away. That's fine for a bomb but puts me out of warp disruption range. Even so, Fin's ready and waiting, and I don't want to spoil this chance of the kill. I close the range and say I'm ready, hoping that the Noctis won't react quickly enough to our appearance, and Fin counts us down. We both decloak, launch bombs, and align out of the site. Unfortunately, the Noctis warps out before either of us. The Drakes and Tengu start locking on to us just as quickly as the Noctis fled too. I warp out before a volley of missiles gets close to me, and although Fin takes damage her ship survives to clear the pocket.

It looks like the fleet spotted us. Probably me, when entering the system. Even so, we could have got the kill. I was badly positioned when Fin was ready and had no good way to get in to an ideal position quickly enough to ensure the Noctis couldn't escape. Had I known Fin was in a second stealth bomber sooner I would have been better prepared, closing the distance to get a positive lock on the Noctis and attempting to get a point of disruption on it at least until the bombs detonated. And finding out the information late is not Fin's fault.

The repeated crashes I've been experiencing forced me to reset all my settings, which meant I missed out on the first part of Fin's conversation. In effect, despite not actually crashing, the crashes have cost us this kill too. I'm past being officially fed up about this. I am going to have to ignore being productive or having fun and spend however tediously long it takes to rebuild my interface after a complete reset, regardless of what's going on around me. I simply can't operate otherwise. And that had better fix the problem.

As for this evening, the Noctis returns to the site cleared of Sleepers and Wormhole Engineers and finishes salvaging whatever wrecks weren't destroyed by our bombs, and the fleet disappears. Unsurprisingly, the fleet isn't local, but we're not sure where they are from. A bit of poking around C3b and C3a sees some battleships appear in C3a, and not at the local tower. We see Ravens and a Megathron blip on and off d-scan, but they don't seem overtly threatening. I imagine the fleet is collapsing their static wormhole connecting to our constellation. I get my scanning Tengu back in to C3a and launch probes when I think there's no one looking, but the best I can achieve is to see the new signature that must be their wormhole on one scan only to have it disappear on the second. I think that's our excitement over for the night.

We collapse our static wormhole to look for more excitement, but end up in an occupied and inactive class 3 system stuffed with anomalies and signatures. Sorting through the mess resolves a static exit to low-sec empire space but nothing else of interest, and the exit only leads to Aridia. I do, however, get some pleasure from having corporate bookmarks again, as I realise that they mean newbs like me don't have to scan our own K162 after forgetting to bookmark it. I can instead simply warp to the one Fin remembered to make, getting me safely home. I'd better sleep well tonight, as tomorrow will be a day of frustration, I'm sure.

Sorry, comments for this entry are closed.