Scouting empty w-space

16th October 2012 – 5.48 pm

An early look for an easy mark in w-space has me resolving our static wormhole and jumping to the neighbouring class 3 w-space system. And already I may have been busted. My directional scanner shows me a single core scanning probe, which could have detected the K162 popping in to existence, or maybe it went unnoticed by the scout. I'll assume that I haven't been spotted for now and continue as normal. A Buzzard covert operations boat appears on d-scan, but he doesn't warp to the wormhole I'm sitting on, and I can't pin him at a planet or the star before he disappears again, so I launch my own probes and blanket the system.

My probes reveal seven anomalies, nine signatures, and a lack of ships, and exploring finds a tower around the far planet. The Buzzard is probably still scanning and focussed away from d-scan, and I trust that to give me time to scan without being noticed. I cluster my probes around where I saw the cov-ops when he was visible and, sure enough, resolve a wormhole. I warp there to see a disappointing K162 from low-sec empire space, and at the end of its life too. I sift through the rest of the signatures, giving me rocks, the static exit to low-sec, a radar site, more rocks, some more rocks, even more rocks, and, what a surprise, rocks. I don't think the locals are keen miners.

I've finished scanning. Now what? The other probes are still bouncing around the system, so I plant my covert Loki strategic cruiser on our K162 for the moment, even if I have little chance of catching a cov-ops. I have less chance of catching it if it doesn't come this way, and when the probes disappear, presumably recalled, the Buzzard blips on d-scan at the EOL K162 from low-sec. I warp to the wormhole and poke through, appearing in a system in The Forge, where I think I spot the Buzzard pilot seconds before she leaves the system. Time to move on.

I jump back to C3a, cross the system, and exit through its static connection. Alone in a system in Derelik, I launch probes and warp to a rock field to rat and scan. Five anomalies and three signatures give me two more wormholes before I can find a rat bigger than a frigate, so I ignore ratting and investigate the connections. A K162 from class 3 w-space is interesting, as is the X702 outbound connection to class 3 w-space. I choose the X702 first, jumping to C3c to a clear d-scan result. I launch probes, perform a blanket scan, and explore.

My probes show me eight anomalies, sixteen signatures, and one ship. My notes from a week ago have a tower listed, and predictably enough the ship sits inside the tower's force field. The Chimera carrier is unpiloted and so doesn't hold my interest, and rather than sift through the signatures I recall my probes to instead look through the K162 in low-sec. But jumping to C3b spits me seven kilometres from the wormhole in w-space, which doesn't get my hopes up. My last visit had Fin and I pop a cocky Drake battlecruiser, which I remember quite well, but my notes are out of date, as the tower has moved in the intervening eleven months.

Locating the new tower has nothing to see, and a blanket scan reveals no anomalies and thirteen signatures. A quick look for K162s finds an N968 first, K162 second. The outbound connection to class 3 w-space is more interesting than the incoming wormhole from low-sec, so I press onwards to C3d to see if I will finally find a pilot or two. The tower and lack of ships on d-scan suggests no, I won't, and even when I refuse to do my usual half-arsed job of scouting and actually locate a second tower around a distant plant I still don't find any ships or pilots.

Scanning C3d resolves rocks, gas, and a static exit to low-sec, and nothing else of interest. The exit leads to a faction warfare system in the Black Rise region, which looks immediately dull. It's time to head home. I return through C3d, C3b, and out to low-sec, where a second poke in to C3c sees no change. Back to low-sec, in to C3a and, hullo, a combat probe is visible on d-scan now. There are still no pilots at the local tower, or anywhere else, leaving just some combat probes inexpertly blanketing the system. There's not much I can do about that, and as I'm feeling peckish I simply jump home, hide in a corner, and leave a set of bookmarks for my colleagues. Maybe they will have better luck than me in finding targets in class 3 w-space.

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