Stumbling in to a scout in null-sec

7th July 2012 – 3.28 pm

I appear to be late, as Fin has already found Aridia and scanned beyond it. There's nothing out there, though, just inactive class 3 w-space systems and low-sec empire space, so should we collapse the wormhole and start again, or keep going? I said, should we collapse, or keep... Oh, I don't get an answer because my ship has locked up within a couple of minutes of use. Thanks, ship. I return to see Fin also returned, back in the home system and preparing an Orca to collapse our wormhole. 'Worst case' she says, 'there is still nothing'. I board a second industrial command ship and we throw the pair of them through our static connection, halving the connection's mass allowance in one swift action.

Back to the tower, Fin stays in the Orca and I swap to a Widow black ops ship. This pairing should be enough to finish the collapse of the wormhole in one more return trip without overly risking isolating one of us owing to a skinny connection. Or it would, if I didn't suffer another ship failure after jumping. It takes a couple of minutes for me to recover and reappear in the class 3 system, which thankfully remains quiet as Fin's Orca sits near the wormhole waiting for me to jump home first. But I get back, jump home, and Fin follows, dragging the wormhole with her. Now we can resolve the replacement static connection, and maybe blast through a couple of newly spawned anomalies. 'Or kill someone.' Sure, I'm easy.

We ignore the anomalies and head to our new neighbouring C3 immediately, but with no obvious ships appearing on our directional scanners when we get there. All we see is a tower, a lonely drone, and some bubbles. My notes for this system are interesting, as this is where we encountered the nomadic Orca—and I still have the bookmark to its found safe spot—although with occupation now moved in I suppose the Orca has moved on. With no one home, we scan. The inactive C3 holds the usual suspects of signatures, with only the single wormhole to be found—which I know to be an exit to null-sec k-space—leaving us again wondering what to do.

We could collapse our wormhole again, which takes time, or we could shoot Sleepers, which is profitable but far from engaging. Our best option is probably to exit to null-sec and scan for more connections. We can quickly see if there is more w-space to find, and then decide what we want to do from there. Fin agrees, and we temporarily abandon w-space to look for adventure. Appearing in the Immensea region we find ourselves not alone but also not in bustling system, so we can scan and maybe rat, depending on who else hangs around. No one now, as the two pilots drop to one and then none, but a ship is still showing on my combat probes. That is only odd because there aren't any towers in the system.

I don't need to resolve the ship's position, because warping to a far planet finds the Kestrel dumped in orbit. Someone's kindly left me a frigate for target practice, how thoughtful. As I know the system is safe, I decloak, approach the frigate, and decide to eschew my guns and accelerate to ramming speed when I get close. But I may hit it a bit too hard, as the wreck is empty after my Loki strategic cruiser blasts through Kestrel, although the dust and debris suggests I only destroyed a cynosural generator. I imagine this ship was considered already lost when it was bought.

Scanning the null-sec system finds little of interest. A wormhole turns out to be an outbound connection to class 5 w-space wobbling precariously at the end of its life, which Fin dares to enter. She is my glorious leader, after all. But there's nothing to see and Fin returns soon enough to null-sec. Browsing my New Eden atlas shows us to be on the edge of a good ratting constellation, with a bunch of interconnected systems to wander through, which could offer some distraction along with further chances to scan. I hop one system across to see what opportunity awaits, only to appear in a system with nine other capsuleers. That doesn't make me feel comfortable. I try another system, still connected by stargate to the exit system, so I'm not straying far, and end up being surrounded by bubbles.

My Loki laughs at bubbles, particularly those left unmonitored. I'm alone in this system and warp out looking for a rat to pop, finding one in the first rock field. I launch probes as I close with the battleship, and scan as I slowly orbit and chew through his defences. Two signatures resolve to be a radar site and drones, and still no more w-space to explore, so once the rat explodes I head back to the exit system ready to call it a night. Fin returns home and I look for another rat, but stall as a pilot enters the system. I activate my cloak and wait for the pilot to leave, but when I see she's in an Impairor basic frigate I decide she's no threat and start shooting another rat battleship.

The Impairor leaves and returns, apparently warping across the system, but remaining in the frigate. It's possible I could engage her, my Loki probably popping the frigate pretty quickly, but when she next returns to the system the rat battleship still has half its hull left. A couple of shots later and I'm warping to the stargate the Impairor has come through, but I am a few seconds too late, landing to see the frigate enter warp towards another gate. I follow, activating my cloak only so my intentions aren't quite so obvious, as her brother appears in the system, with d-scan telling me he's in a Drake battlecruiser.

Thankfully, I drop short of the Drake when I catch up with the Impairor, so simply sit and watch for now. I am tempted to pop the frigate and evade the Drake, but I have no idea how stargates work in null-sec, when compared to the prissy traffic control systems of empire space, and if there are more ships nearby I could easily lose my second Loki stupidly. The Impairor warps away and back; the Drake warps away, the Impairor joins it. As best as I can tell, the pair are not exactly welcome in this region of space and the Impairor is scouting ahead of the Drake to make sure the route is safe. But they've gone now, so I'll go too. I missed my chance of an easy kill, but it would only have bagged me another disposable ship.

  1. 4 Responses to “Stumbling in to a scout in null-sec”

  2. Hi TE,

    I find your blogs just as useful as your manuals....

    The manuals give clear concise instructions on how to do something, but your blogs are all about the 'why'.......

    Very pleased TGL3 pointed your stuff out.


    By leemonk on Jul 8, 2012

  3. I'm all about the 'why'. The 'how' lets you do things, and certainly needs to be known. But the 'why' lets you improvise and adapt around the 'how' when the situation strays from the straight and true.

    By pjharvey on Jul 8, 2012

  4. Working my way slowly through your blogs.....

    Reading them backwards is .... interesting :)

    When did you move to WH? Was it at the start of this blog?


    By leemonk on Jul 8, 2012

  5. I was a carebear in high-sec for most of my first year in New Eden, although I've been in w-space for over three years now.

    If you'd like an overview, check out my look back over a thousand posts on EVE Online.

    By pjharvey on Jul 8, 2012

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