Helios coda

31st October 2013 – 5.28 pm

I'm pretty sure I'm heading home through unoccupied or otherwise inactive systems. And I pretty much am. I came out this way and the only active ship I saw was an Imicus a hundred kilometres off a K162 in null-sec, right before it warped way and left the system using the conventional stargate method. In to one w-space system, warp across and jump to the next. Return to low-sec, hop a stargate, warp to the wormhole back to w-space. Across our neighbouring system and all I have to do is approach the wormhole, decloak, and jump through to get home. There I go. But, hold on, I'm not piloting a Helios.

Not me in a Helios jumping to our home system

That was a different pilot jumping to our system. I stop myself and consider my options. I can assume the Helios will launch probes on the wormhole and get tangled in them so he can't cloak, giving me a chance to engage. But that is an assumption. He may warp clear to launch probes, he may warp clear just to explore initially, and he may jump right back to this class 3 system. I'd rather catch the cov-ops when it is polarised if I don't have to be, so perhaps it's best if I wait here.

Of course, waiting on the wormhole in C3a for the Helios is an assumption too. I am fairly sure the pilot isn't local to this system, but that's not to say a new wormhole hasn't connected to our system and he's heading home and not coming back. I caught the pilot's name, though, so call it up and interrogate his corporation details. Bah, no description about what they get up to, so he could be from w-space. I'm guessing he's a tourist, though, based on various factors such as hand-waving and that it suits me to do so. I reckon he's returning this way.

Of course, even if he's returning this way it may take him a while. There may not be another wormhole in our home system to take him further back, extending his time in w-space, but I know that we have three rather weak signatures to interrogate with probes, and casual scanners have been known to fiddle with probes an awfully long time on that kind of site.

I may be asking too much for the pilot to be experienced with w-space and know that class 4 systems almost never have wandering wormholes appear, that the wormhole he entered through will be the static connection, and so the only other wormholes of interest will be K162s, which are pretty strong signatures. Hit them first, find nothing, ignore the weak sites as irrelevant, and jump back in to my ambush.

I'm even waiting brazenly for the Helios. I'm decloaked, sensor booster active, just waiting for his return. I was heading home to go off-line, and I saw no changes in the systems I passed through. I'm confident no one will sneak up on me. All I need is the Helios to jump back, let me pretend I have a chance of catching him, and we can go our separate ways and get some rest. Is that too much to ask?

Enough prattling, the wormhole finally crackles. My Loki strategic cruiser is poised, ready to pounce and strike at the cov-ops when it appears. And I almost get lucky. The Helios makes a break from the wormhole only a little over two kilometres from my ship. That could have made it awkward to cloak, and he doesn't immediately, but despite being alert and ready for this moment I am still aiming for an agile cov-ops.

Targeting the Helios coming back from our home system

My targeting systems try to lock on to the Helios, and it looks like I may just get a positive lock when the target drops. He's cloaking, getting clear and activating the module just in time to save his ship. I burn towards the Helios's last known position but it's too late. He's already jinked away, or is even in warp, and all I'm doing is moving further away from the wormhole.

Feeling a little vulnerable now, almost twenty kilometres from the wormhole, I cloak and turn my Loki around. I can't say for sure if it was worth my time to have a crack at a ship that would almost certainly evade me, but after a night of seeing almost no one I suspect it was. It gave me a little sense of excitement, a small thrill, and the opportunity to navigate my way through options and possibilities. And not catching it isn't so bad, as at least I can slowboat to our wormhole, jump home, and go off-line without waiting for a criminal timer to tick down.

  1. 6 Responses to “Helios coda”

  2. I can assume the Helios will launch probes on the wormhole and get tangled in them so he can't cloak, giving me a chance to engage.

    You are aware that as of Odyssey 1.02, probes no longer affect cloaking?

    By Von Keigai on Oct 31, 2013

  3. So someone mentioned a few days back. I can't say I'm a fan of that change either, not really understanding the reasons behind it.

    By pjharvey on Oct 31, 2013

  4. I did not know that probes don't prevent decloaking. That makes no sense. I tend to align to something, decloak, fire the MWD and then throw probes out - that way I don't get entangled in them.

    By Splatus on Nov 1, 2013

  5. It was an intentional nerf, apparently part of a larger nerf to try to prevent people from decloaking others with probes (survey probes in particular were very good at this, as they travel out in a line when you launch them).

    *Sigh* Game 'balance' sometimes...

    By Tarunik on Nov 1, 2013

  6. Phew, then I'm glad they fixed that little piece of emergent gameplay that in no way epitomises the ingenuity that the EVE Online sandbox provides.

    Maybe next CCP will also ensure that drones don't decloak ships, because I've heard that some nefarious players also use them in the same way, even going as far as assigning drones to ships that don't have drone bays solely to help decloak ships. It's not proper.

    By pjharvey on Nov 1, 2013

  7. The whole decloaking business is just wrong in the first place.
    If I'm cloaked I should be totally safe, right?

    By Mick Straih on Nov 1, 2013

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