Coming back for a Mammoth

20th September 2012 – 5.21 pm

Aii needs gas, badly. And we may have some to placate my colleague's lust. There is a bookmark to a magnetometric site in the home w-space system, but four signatures means there must be more to see. As luck would have it, we get something for everyone. Aii has his gas, with a new ladar site cropping up, and I get to explore through a K162 wormhole that accompanies the regular static wormhole, both connections linking to class 3 w-space. I head backwards to what I shall dub C3b.

A tower and no ships waits for me on my directional scanner, which given the relatively early hour doesn't surprise me. I launch probes and blanket the system anyway, even if I'm most likely to find only an exit to k-space, and bookmark four anomalies and start sifting through the eight signatures. Rocks, gas, a magnetometric and radar site, and three wormholes gives me a bit of everything, including another w-space system to explore. The static exit to low-sec empire space is expected, the K162 from null-sec k-space is interesting but not exciting, and the K162 from class 2 w-space is where I'm going next.

I don't expect to see capital ships in C2s, but there is a Phoenix dreadnought and Chimera carrier in this one, according to d-scan. There are also two towers, a Hulk exhumer, Orca industrial command ship, and a Probe and Imicus frigate each, but with no scanning probes, no wrecks, and no jet-cans suggestive of mining I doubt anything is happening. I locate the towers easily enough, as there is only one planet in range, to see that all of the ships are empty, and exploring finds two more towers but no more ships.

Scanning reveals nine anomalies and eight signatures, which is a surprising number given the capital ships present, and I resolve the usual rocks, gas, and combat sites, along with the second static wormhole that exits to high-sec. Another wormhole is a neat find, and even better that the K162 leads back to even more class 2 w-space. Let's see what awaits me there. Nothing, it seems. A tower with no ships appears on d-scan, and as I appear in the system eight kilometres from the wormhole I don't bother wasting time exploring.

I jump back to C2a and poke through the high-sec exit, which puts me in a system in the Tash-Murkon region and single-digit hops from Amarr. That may come in handy, I suppose, but not for me, not now. I'm heading back. I return to w-space and cross C2a to return to C3b, where I prepare to head home and through our static wormhole, when, hello, a Prorator transport ship and Mammoth hauler have woken up. D-scan puts the two ships at the tower, so I warp there in the hopes that I have caught them before they've completed whatever planet gooing they intend to do.

Unlike the Mammoth pilot, I'm in luck. There is movement from both ships, but it is the hauler that leaves the tower first, warping to what is probably a customs office. I follow behind, already aligned to the office as I watch the Mammoth's engines spool up, and arrive almost before the hauler does. Indeed, by the time the recalibration delay has ended after I decloak I still can't lock on to the hauler, as it is still dropping out of warp. That's okay, I can wait. And once the Mammoth is vulnerable I am locking on, and burning towards the hauler to give it a bump.

My guns rip the Mammoth apart and, when it explodes, I even manage to catch the pod. One volley later and I have a corpse to loot, and a wreck to loot and shoot. That was quick and clinical. I reload my guns, turn my cloaky Loki strategic cruiser around, and return to monitor the tower, where the Prorator has been swapped to a Bestower hauler. This pilot's not a complete buffoon, though, and doesn't take the chance that I'm not watching him, staying instead safely nestled in the tower's force field.

The second pilot swaps to an Anathema covert operations boat and launches probes to scan. There may be plenty to see, depending on who opened the wormholes here, and I suppose the number of connections makes determining my entrance more difficult. As far as I can tell, the Anathema only scans his own system, not leaving to scout others, so I can't tell if he's just confirming a lack of new connections or finding the ones that are here for the first time. That makes it difficult to know if the podded pilot will come back through their static exit to low-sec or the high-sec connection in C2a.

I loiter by C3b's exit for a while anyway, not wanting to show my face in the low-sec system, but return to watch the tower when the Anathema is swapped for a stealth bomber. I am hoping the Purifier will act as escort for his colleague's return, as I should be able to withstand a bomb and can melt stealth bombers pretty quickly. But rather than see the Purifier warp to a wormhole, he just sits there. I wait and watch, watch and wait, but when I take a short break to feed my cats and return to see still no change I think it's probably time to move on.

  1. 2 Responses to “Coming back for a Mammoth”

  2. What is the significance of appearing a certain distance from the wormhole that makes a system unworthy of exploration?

    By ZorkFox on Sep 24, 2012

  3. Copy pasta!

    In the old days, Spudzeebee, when a system hadn’t been loaded after the daily downtime and you tried to enter it through a wormhole you’d fail to jump and get a message that the wormhole was stabilising. You then dismissed the dialogue and tried a second time, at which point the system would be initialised and loaded and you would jump successfully. Invariably, you would then appear in the system sitting almost on top of the cosmic signature some 6-8 km from the wormhole.

    The reason for the system not being loaded was because no one had logged in or visited the system since DT. A patch has seen been introduced so that your ship simply pauses in space as the node loads the system, and repeated attempts to change systems are made automatically until the system is ready, with no failure or warning message given to the pilot. The only hint that the system hasn’t loaded and thus not been visited since DT is this pause, which is easy to miss. But there still seems to be a correlation between appearing further away than normal from the wormhole and on the cosmic signature and the inactive status of the w-space system.

    This is mostly supposition, though, and without checking each system rigorously I can’t really claim it as fact.

    By pjharvey on Sep 24, 2012

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