Taking a change of pace in null-sec space

5th June 2012 – 5.58 pm

I've been finding some other capsuleers to play with recently, which has been fun. Actually, I think I mean 'toy with', but, either way, I'd like to find some more. There's just the static wormhole in the home system today, and Fin hasn't arrived yet, so my decision processes collapse neatly to jumping to our neighbouring class 3 w-space system to explore. C3a holds a fairly standard directional scanner result of a tower and no ships, but as it's 18·5 AU to the furthest planet there is is more here to see. And, whilst I'm looking at the system map, it's a shame that this K162 is in range of the tower, as it is 5 AU to the nearest planet and outside its orbit, making it a pretty good safe spot for the system. Then again, bookmarking my way home and warping across the system shows that the tower sees all, so I appeared in perhaps the best possible position. I'll launch probes at the wormhole.

It seems the locals are generally busy, or get generally busy neighbours quite frequently, as there is only a single anomaly to be found and a couple of strong signatures amongst the ten here. The other signatures are all pretty weak, making them time-consuming to resolve, and I wonder if whoever clears the other signatures just can't be bothered to resolve these. I know the feeling, as I'm not champing at the bit to ignore radar, magnetometric, and weak gravimetric sites, but if I want to find the static wormhole that's what I have to do. I suppose I could warp around and activate these sites, but I'm not doing someone else's job for them. I stick to resolving the single wormhole, which will be an exit to null-sec k-space, and recall my probes, just in time for a Cheetah to warp in to the tower. Neat.

The appearance of the covert operations boat is not so neat after all. He lurks at the tower for a minute and goes off-line, probably after a simple update to his skill queue. I loiter a little longer, in case a planet goo pilot follows in his wake, but no one else appears. Okay, I'm going to null-sec. I exit the C3 to appear by myself in a system in the Geminate region, which gives me a fine opportunity to rat and scan. I launch probes and warp to the first rock field as I arrange for the first scan, getting a bit of a surprise when I come across a hauler to pop. A rat hauler, but a hauler all the same. So I pop it. The other rats there are two bulkers, whatever they are, and I pop them too. And it seems that the rats are getting in on the mineral inflation that we've been seeing, as the hauler was carrying 340,000 units of mexallon and the bulkers two million units of tritanium each. That's going to take more than my Tengu strategic cruiser to get home.

I'll scan before recovering the ore, as I may find a more interesting way to pass the time than moving rocks. Scanning in itself is arguably more interesting, but perhaps not in this case. Out of the nine signatures that look initially promising only one turns out to be a wormhole, with the others being sites. Okay, I'll haul the rocks, even before looking at the sole wormhole. We could probably use the ISK. I head home, through a still-quiet C3a, and grab a Bustard transport from our hangar, taking that to null-sec to load up with ore. And I'll need two trips in the voluminous Bustard to bring back so much tritanium. Mining this much ore would have taken me ages, whereas popping the ships who already took the time to do it took seconds. This is my second-favourite way to mine.

Back in my Tengu, and back in null-sec, I poke my nose through the K162 from more class 3 space that I resolved. Three cans are on d-scan, nothing else. My notes from five months ago have a tower in the system, around the only planet out of d-scan range from the wormhole, and warping across confirms it to still be there. A Tengu, Noctis salvager, and Iteron hauler all light up d-scan with the tower before I get visual contact, which excites me until I see them all floating unpiloted inside the tower's force field. Nothing's happening here. I could scan again and hope that a second K162 is waiting to be found with activity behind it, sit and wait at a tower and hope that a pilot will turn up and do something stupid, or make my own entertainment out in null-sec.

The null-sec site called Pith's Penal Complex sounds like a challenge. Rather than assume I can throw a ship in to the site and expect to survive I do a bit of research. I would be foolish to send a Drake battlecruiser in to this 8/10 DED site, but a well-equipped Nighthawk command ship may be able to handle it. Let's see if it can, because we have a Nighthawk at the tower. Well, Fin does, and what's hers is mine, and all that. I just hope I don't get it killed. Dredging up memories that rats aren't like Sleepers, I swap the fitting around a bit, as I know what sort of rats I'll be up against and adjust the resistances of my shields accordingly, and head out to null-sec to see what the site holds. Ships. Lots of ships. It's good they're not Sleepers, or I wouldn't last ten seconds.

I start carefully whittling down the rat ships, making use of their tendency to pick one target and stick to it until death to give my drones a chance to pop some frigates whilst I work on the bigger ships. I often forget I have drones, mostly because I generally don't have them, and in this case maybe I should have forgotten. The great settings reset bites me on the arse again, as the drones pop one frigate and then wander off to shoot another and wake up the whole site of rats to my presence. Maybe that's more realistic than waiting to be shot one wave at a time, but I'm not craving realism in my space combat at the moment, as I quite like breathing. I struggle to remember where the setting is to make my drones only do what I bloody well tell them to do and nothing more, when my glorious leader comes on-line. What great timing!

I update Fin with today's hare-brained scheme of mine, and she agrees to come and help. Coming to null-sec in one of our Sleeper Tengus, Fin brings a bit boost to damage as well as remote repairs for the Nighthawk's shields. And as the rats refuse to target a second ship once they've picked one we simply need to make sure they pick me first. Combat has just become easy. I am the tank and I have a capable healer by my side. This is what I do. The first area is cleared and we warp to the second, which goes more smoothly than the first, until I navigate in to a ten kilometre-wide radar dish and bump around it for a bit, but we're soon clear of the dish and activating the gate to the third area.

Now that's a lot of missiles. All the ships are shooting me, with a few exceptions that are swiftly dealt with, and we are picking off our targets with ruthless efficiency. It's not long before we're left facing just the battleships, which fall under our combined fire with less hassle than we were expecting. So now it's just us and the... pop goes the boss. Done! I burn to the wreck to loot it of the Rattlesnake BPC, but all I get is his personal effects. Ah well, it was a nice change of pace, and we get to salvage all the wrecks for some pocket change too. And we're much safer than in w-space. As Fin says, 'we have local here! It is like cheating'. Yes, yes it is.

One last look at w-space has probes in C3b, on the other side of the null-sec system, prompting me to act as scout as Fin and Aii, who turned up to help salvage, get a Flycatcher interdictor and Crow interceptor on the wormhole in null-sec to wait. An Anathema cov-ops appears in w-space, which I only see perhaps because he crashed in to the cosmic signature by mistake, but he doesn't jump in to our ambush.

The cov-ops is not local, either, so when he disappears again I launch probes and scan this system, quickly finding the K162 he probably used, coming from class 2 w-space. I jump in to reconnoitre and call the ambush over this way, thinking that the Anathema will have to head home at some point, but we abort as a Tengu appears on d-scan in C2a for just long enough to launch probes and cloak. We will lose a ship to the Tengu if he finds us, so it's probably not worth waiting for the Anathema. This is only amusing because Fin and Aii are warping back across C3b as I move away from the C2 K162 and cloak to see the Anathema appear and jump through.

We couldn't have known an extra minute could have caught us a fly. Sometimes you wait for ages to see nothing, and sometimes you stumble in to activity. Then again, maybe the Anathema was cloaked on the wormhole and waited until we were clear before jumping home, and we wouldn't have caught him anyway. We had the right idea, anyway. Now it's time to head home and settle down for the night.

  1. 2 Responses to “Taking a change of pace in null-sec space”

  2. I'm curious: what do you use for note taking? I tried a couple of different solutions, all external to EVE and I am still looking for something that makes notes easy to make and search for.

    By Demarcus on Jun 6, 2012

  3. I use a spreadsheet to keep track of which w-space systems I've visited, where the towers are, and what happened. Otherwise, I use written notes in notepads. These aren't searchable at all, but converting the notes to posts gives me a pretty big database I can rely on for more details.

    I have a post due soon that explains my process in more detail.

    By pjharvey on Jun 6, 2012

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