Distressing the neighbours

25th September 2012 – 5.58 pm

I jump from C3b to C2d, and warp across the system to return to C2a. W-space has provided me with some thrills already, as Fin and I executed an unorthodox and improvised ambush against an escorted Exequror cruiser. The gasser got away, but other side thought they'd engineered the situation so we wouldn't even get a shot, so we're happy with the result. And now, one jump away from the home system, it seems that there is another gassing capsuleer for us to hunt.

The class 2 w-space system connecting to our home C4 was empty when we passed through it on our way to the class 6 system with the Exequror, but now a Myrmidon is visible on my directional scanner. The battlecruiser isn't in an anomaly, and a jet-can suggests the ship is sucking on a gas cloud. It looks like a new hunt is on. The only sticky circumstance is that our scouting has shown this C2 to be occupied by blues, the owners friendly to our alliance, but it's possible this Myrmidon isn't local, and we can't tell its affiliation without getting a look at it. To do this we need to warp to its location. And to do that we may as well assume we're hunting it.

I warp away from the Myrmidon to launch scanning probes, which puts me in range of the local tower, but as the only pilots who may see me out here are essentially allies there can be no harm in decloaking. The Bestower hauler from earlier remains at the tower, but when it disappears from d-scan I can only assume that it is now piloted. I have no idea whether it has warped out to collect the Myrmidon's harvested gas or its own planet goo, and either situation is possible given that the battlecruiser is not in d-scan range of the tower. I'm going to continue with the hunt until I know for sure I am chasing blues.

Fin is in the system and in her stealth bomber. Shev is in the home system and getting an Onyx heavy interdictor prepared, warping it to the K162 in readiness for the ambush. I return to the inner system and start refining d-scan to estimate the Myrmidon's position. The Bestower has already gone from wherever it went, keeping us in the dark about who is what and where. I narrow down the battlecruiser's location and am ready to scan for him when an Armageddon appears on the other side of the wormhole to Shev, Fin spotting the battleship as it warps in. Is it blue? 'No, it's a yellow skull', Fin says, and she and Shev get ready for an assault.

No, check the pilot's information, I say. I have come close to shooting a blue ship before, and only because the rather peculiar default setting of the overview displays security status above standings. I'm not sure why this is, because it surely would be preferable to know that a pilot is an ally regardless of his criminality, but at least I know of this feature. And, as it turns out, the Armageddon is piloted by a blue, and is probably the capsuleer who was recently in the Bestower. As a check, I call my probes in and scan, resolving the Myrmidon's position good enough to warp to it, and confirm that it is also a blue pilot who is gassing.

My Loki is decloaked by the gas cloud and still manages to spook the Myrmidon, which I suppose isn't too surprising. It's not like I'm going to shoot, although I have to admit I don't know how or if mutual standings work, and if we look blue to them. I open a conversation to the Myrmidon pilot to explain our actions, letting her know that we didn't know she was blue, but I get no reply and the conversation is closed. 'That's just rude. We should shoot her.'

  1. 4 Responses to “Distressing the neighbours”

  2. Penny, you have too many blues, if you come across my class 3 please shoot me or my Alts, I will try to give you a good fight and regardless will definitely not close a convo with a fellow wormholer.

    I shot some guys in one of my sites a few weeks ago, and after talking to them I let them run the rest of the sites in peace from me at least because none of the corp was logging in to help with the sites anyways


    By Zandramus on Sep 25, 2012

  3. screw diplomacy, that IS really rude. I think that deserves a shooting and a lecture in local.

    By tnankie on Sep 25, 2012

  4. You can change the priority of standings by dragging them around in the menu.

    Also, wouldn't it be easier to simply chat up your allies rather than probing the whole dang system?

    By lowrads on Sep 26, 2012

  5. But who do I open a channel to? This is one of the drawbacks with the lack of a populated local channel. Seeing the Myrmidon on d-scan doesn't give me the pilot's name, so I can't identify them. I am not about to pipe up in local to ask if they're blue, because if they aren't then I've lost a chance at a kill. The only way to identify the pilot is to get on-grid with them, and to do that I need to scan their position. And because I don't know who they are I have to treat it like a hunt.

    Bear in mind that a ship in a blue system in no way guarantees it being blue itself. Much resource gathering occurs outside of home systems, and the Myrmidon could easily have been from another system. If there's no one at the tower, there is no one to easily contact.

    In this case, I know it was probable that the Myrmidon was blue, and I really only scanned in order to confirm this. It was unlikely that other blue ship movements would be happening without the locals seeing the Myrmidon on d-scan, but you never know. I've seen some brazen activity before. I never intended to decloak and show myself either. If the pilot was blue, I could just warp away without spooking them. But the gas cloud got me, so I thought it best to apologise and explain our presence, and this was pretty much the earliest point at which I could communicate directly.

    Thanks for the information about dragging the flags around. I learnt about this the first time I was almost caught out by a pilot's security status obscuring his allegiance, which was why I alerted my colleagues on this occasion, and made the change some time last year. But it doesn't explain why the overview is configured to 'diplomatic incident' by default.

    By pjharvey on Sep 26, 2012

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