Wasting time with rejected relics

4th September 2013 – 5.44 pm

It's been a few days, but I'm back in space and excited to be here. Old sites have died, and my blank slate of a start coalesces in to a fairly standard beginning of resolving a gas site and our static wormhole, jumping to the neighbouring class 3 w-space system having done so. Now I can see bubbles, but only on my directional scanner, and only bubbles. A mere three anomalies suggests occupation, but my notes from three months ago say otherwise. I launch probes to blanket the system, and warp off to explore to see whether intuition or notes win this round.

Fifteen signatures, no ships, no occupation. My notes win again. I'm okay with that, as it lets me ease myself in to the evening with some light scanning. But, no, it's ruined immediately when the first signature resolves to be a wormhole. Do I have to perk up so soon? No, I must go on, warm up my scanning chops, and, as it happens, warping to a K162 from class 2 w-space that's at the end of its life helps me along with that.

Relics, gas, gas, wormhole—the static exit to low-sec. More gas, more wormholes—K162s from class 5 w-space and null-sec this time. Data, and, to finish, two more wormholes. The outbound connection to class 4 w-space is also sadly EOL, as is the K162 from low-sec. The constellation is already a bit stale, it seems. But there is some freshness, so I head to the C5 K162 to see what and who lurks beyond.

Two towers are in the system, as is a single Drake, but I doubt the battlecruiser will be up to much, and certainly won't be in one of the twenty-four anomalies. Indeed not. The Drake is piloted, as I find out after warping clear to launch probes, but he looks decidedly inactive inside the force field of one of the towers. Of the three signatures my probes pick up, only one looks to be chubby enough to be a K162 and that turns out to be a gas site, so the system is almost certainly a dead end. I'll treat it that way and head back to C3a.

Popping a drone rat in null-sec

The null-sec system is probably my next best choice of directions to head. Exiting to a system in The Kalevala Expanse lets me rat whilst I scan the one extra signature, but it's just a combat site. Without using stargates, that leaves me the low-sec system to continue my exploration, where I ruin Solitude for the one other pilot in C3a's exit system. Four extra signatures look promising, though, right up until I resolve them. Relics, gas, relics, and a combat site. Stupid low-sec space.

It's all a bit dull tonight, but there are relic sites to waste time in. Rather than refit my Loki strategic cruiser I head home to swap to one of our Buzzard covert operations boats. It will be cheaper to lose if I'm jumped. The only problem is that these Buzzards haven't really been used for years, not since we realised the multi-purpose power of strategic cruisers in being able to scan, tackle, and engage.

The cov-ops boats are configured to scan but not analyse, and we have no cargo scanners in our hangar. Why would we, it's not like we need to be discriminate when popping haulers in w-space. But I'm informed the scanners are useful when checking what the cans in the sites hold, and not needing to strip all the mid slots in my Loki is pretty much why I want to make use of the Buzzard. But if I can't make use of those mid slots, there's little point having them empty. I'll make a shopping list of modules for the Buzzard and, for now, stick with my strategic cruiser.

Back out to low-sec and a new contact is in the system, a ratting Drake. I think I can ignore that. And by 'ignore' I mean 'cloak and hold until the Drake moves on'. There's no point adding unnecessary risk. And staying hidden almost pays off, as another new contact enters the system, this one in an Anathema cov-ops. Is he configured to analyse, will he come in to this site? Yes, he does, and starts coming towards the first can. Now what to do?

Anathema approaches a relic in low-sec

I could try to engage him immediately, but he'll be mostly alert. What I would prefer is for him to do the analysing, steal his loot, and then maybe shoot him at the same time, when he's distracted. Of course, this would work better if the Anathema didn't sensibly have a cargo scanner fit. The pilot checks each can quickly before he gets anywhere near them, decides there's nothing worth getting, and rapidly leaves the system. That's just dandy.

Sod it. I'm here, I'm clearing the site. Clickity click, crack the cans, grab the crap that gets spewed everywhere. Yeah, there's nothing good, not here and not in the second site. I make maybe a few million ISK in profit, but that's not worth the time I spent. Never mind, I'll know for the next time, when I will have my own cargo scanner, with blackjack and hookers. For now, I just head home, dump my 'loot', and go off-line in another quiet w-space constellation.

  1. 3 Responses to “Wasting time with rejected relics”

  2. When I explore, and I am in lowsec where there are people milling about looking for fights, and there are people other than me in the system, I often just move on. However, if I plan to come back that way, sometimes I scan down exploration sites and bookmark them. Then I leave and come back later on. The hope is that other people have moved on. Of course, sometimes the sites will be gone when you return, but my experience so far is that explorers are pretty rare.

    Along the same lines, I think it possible that 1Nikolai1 was never going to open any can with two non-hims in local, regardless of what his scan showed. Scanning cans takes little time, and can be done in fair safety from, well, people like you. So it might be a reasonable extension of what I do.

    If I did scan cans, I might be tempted to risk opening one with other people around. But only if it was something really nice, like a faction tower BPC, and only if I had some idea of where those others were and what they were in. Finding really big treasure is rare. I have looted hundreds of cans in relic and data sites since Odyssey, and never seen anything more valuable than a stack of tech II salvage. (That does not count the skillbook I found in a hybrid combat/looting gas site.)

    By Von Keigai on Sep 4, 2013

  3. "The Drake is piloted, as I find out after warping clear to launch probes, but he looks decidedly inactive inside the force field of one of the towers."
    A shortcut to vaguely see if someone is AFK is to look at where their ship is pointing. If it's pointing the same direction as the SMA does, then it's been inactive for an hour (I think) as ships after a period of inactivity will align their gfx model to that direction.
    You can easily see this by looking at empty ships after Downtime, they all point in the same direction.
    Scared me first time it happened to myself, was worried I was being fleet warped somewhere.

    By BayneNothos on Sep 5, 2013

  4. Bookmarking the sites for later digging is probably a common tactic, VK. I do it occasionally. I also wouldn't be surprised if some people check d-scan for probes and, if there aren't any, consider themselves relatively safe in a site that needs to be scanned to be found.

    But my primary reason for suspecting the Anathema scanned the cans and moved on was seeing it uncloaked. There was no reason to shed its cloak for warping in to the site, and not really much point visiting the site if he had no plan to clear it. Of course, I can't be sure.

    Bayne, that's an excellent titbit that I was unaware of. I'm pretty sure I've seen the transition happen a few times too, where the ship is floating for a while and then spins on its axis with no other apparent movement. Not that I spend too much time watching ships idling in towers, you understand.

    By pjharvey on Sep 5, 2013

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