Low-sec drones

19th April 2013 – 5.48 pm

I'm back and looking to cause more mischief, after the Noctis explosion of improbable opportunity. The wormhole to deadly (for them) class 6 w-space was collapsed shortly after I returned through it, but what else is in the constellation? Maybe my glorious leader knows. Hi Fin, is anything happening? 'No.' Okay then.

The static exit to low-sec empire space in our neighbouring class 3 w-space system was at the end of its life earlier, preventing our using it for anything. That wormhole died of natural causes some time ago, and a new exit has spawned. Fin has scanned for and resolved the new location of the wormhole, and is already in low-sec looking for more connections. She's not having much luck.

Fin's resolved a couple of magnetometric sites so far, with a couple more signatures left to scan. I get as far as checking the tower in C3a—where there's no change—before turning back to the home system instead of heading to low-sec. If there are magnetometric sites in the low-sec system, and no other pilots, maybe I can grab some loot from them whilst Fin completes her mapping.

I drop off my cloaky Loki strategic cruiser at our tower and hop in to a Drake battlecruiser, fitted with an analyser module. I make sure I have a salvager fitted too, because empire space is weird and sometimes magnetometric sites requiring salvaging and not analysing. No, I don't know why. And, suitably equipped, I head back to C3a, this time continuing in to low-sec through the static wormhole.

Low-sec rats are rather unchallenging in standard sites. At least, relatively so. I pop the ones around me, analyse my way in to containers or salvage what's there, and bag a couple of uninteresting Tech II blueprint copies for my efforts. Fin's scanning finds two more sites, no wormholes, so she gets her own Drake to join in the fun. It doesn't get much better, though.

A few pilots come and go through the low-sec system as we pop rats and open cans. We have the local comms channel to help us identify the pilots, and our directional scanners let us consider threats. Capsuleers with positive security status and piloting shuttles can be ignored. Pirates in other ships, well, they need to scan the sites before they can cause trouble, and we mostly ignore the occasional loner too.

That was, at best, a distraction. Maybe a reminder not to do this again. But the final site, drone-occupied, is rated 5/10 by DED, which intrigues us. Maybe there is some decent loot to be recovered. We may need more than Drakes, though, so swap them back at our tower for our Sleeper Tengus, which will probably be overkill, and most certainly over-tanked.

Drones, drones, and more drones. Deadspace pocket follows deadspace pocket, with little of interest in any, although the overseer loot is worth some pocket iskies. The penultimate pocket of deadspace holds an interesting drone structure, although when I point it out to Fin she tests its integrity and finds it wanting, the whole base exploding with one volley of missiles. 'Not much work went in to it.'

Drone structure in low-sec

The final deadspace pocket has a more impressive structure, which Fin ignores to shoot the myriad drones around us. But I spot something special, the Lesser Strain Mother. It's beautiful, in an Alienesque way. We're still going to kill it, though. Well, if it lets us. We can knock down its shields and armour easily enough, but only for the armour to be repaired in one fell swoop, almost as soon as it is depleted. That's awesome.

Lesser Strain Mother drone in low-sec

Thankfully, our missiles chip away at the structure of the Lesser Strain Mother each time we stress its armour. It's slow, though, much like a tower bash. But we persevere, ignoring the other drones around us because we can. 'At this point, I'm just hoping the reward will pay for our ammunition used', says Fin. How could it not? 'They're drones. It could be holding a copy of Pax Amarria.' But eventually we are rewarded with, actually, a pretty decent explosion, and the 15th tier overseer's personal effects.

Lesser Strain Mother gives way under the greater strain of our firepower

The loot isn't great, and we probably could have made twice as much, if not more, from w-space anomalies in the same time. But the threat was much reduced, and the paranoia non-existent. Still, we're finished here. Let's split. We go back to w-space, entering C3a and updating d-scan to see, well, crap, a Mammoth hauler now at the local tower. I make a break for our wormhole, swap back to my Loki, and return to watch the hauler. As I do, my spider-sense is tingling. Something tells me the pilot may be bait.

But I've been wrong before

Bait or not, it seems that we are too late. Whilst we were shooting drones, the Mammoth pilot collected all his goo. Or maybe he came on-line, idled at the tower, and now has gone off-line without having done anything. And I don't know what would have been more worthwhile: shooting drones in low-sec, or watching a hauler do nothing.

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