Die, discovery scanner, die

3rd January 2014 – 5.33 pm

Aww, man. It's just me at home. Who am I going to play with? I'll see if the neighbours are available. Some ships are visible on my directional scanner in the class 3 system through our static wormhole, so maybe the neighbours are available. But changing my overview settings sees no wrecks, and two towers are in range, so nothing is certain yet. Notes made a year ago point me towards one tower, with at least the other one being new. Obviously.

The previous tower remains where it was, the new one being around the same planet, and I soon see that of the Viator transport, Scorpion battleship, Probe frigate, Blackbird recon ship, and Armageddon battleship, only the Viator is piloted, and that ship is so idle it thinks its part of the tower. So be it. I ignore the six ships under my combat probes, and begin to scan the eighteen anomalies and six signatures.

Uh, six ships? There were only five on d-scan when I entered the system, and only five at this tower. What's the other one? A new contact in a Cormorant is now visible on d-scan. What's he up to, and where? It looks like the destroyer is around an outer planet, and actually at the planet itself. That should make him easy to find, but I'll have to go over there for myself to see what he's doing.

I warp across and don't see the Cormorant at the planet, but d-scan locates him at a moon. And it is only when I enter warp to that moon that I realise my overview tab is still switched from my standard view, as I was checking for ships only, so that all the warp bubbles surrounding the towers wouldn't clutter my d-scan results. I switch back as I warp and, lo and behold, there's a third tower out here. A third tower whose force field I could find my Loki slamming in to shortly.

Thankfully, my strategic cruiser drops out of warp a healthy distance from decloaking on the tower's force field, the Cormorant I see nestled safely inside, unpiloted. The mystery of the Cormorant solved, I return to watch the Viator and start scanning. The Viator goes off-line, I resolve one wormhole. At least, it was one wormhole, but the really dumb discovery scanner pings two more signatures on to my scanning interface just as I finish.

Seeing a Cheetah appear through a new wormhole

How's this for ruining the mystery of w-space? I resolve one of the signatures and warp to what turns out to be a K162 from a class 2 system in time to see a Cheetah covert operations boat decloak and move away from the wormhole. This is ridiculous, and entirely against the nature of the unknown that founded w-space. But apparently my feelings count for nothing, so I work with what I've got. I watch the Cheetah disappear, resolve the second wormhole, and warp across to another C2 K162, this one without an accompanying scout.

I have a choice. I think I'll go back to the first K162 and see what the Cheetah's left behind it. Three towers and core scanning probes, apparently. Now more, and a Claw. Now less, and without the Claw. C2a seems to have some activity happening, so I'll join the fun and scan, what little there is to scan. Six anomalies and three signatures won't take long to sift through, and it makes me wonder if the Cheetah left a buddy scanning two other signatures or if the scouts are unallied.

The Claw interceptor isn't in the system any more. He was just passing through. Two unknown signatures resolve to be two wormholes, a static exit to high-sec Sinq Laison joined by a K162 from class 5 w-space. I suppose the C5a inhabitants like the high-sec connection. Maybe I can check to see which way the Claw went, either high-sec or dangerous w-space, and jump to C5a. Hullo, there's no Claw to be seen, but a Hurricane is sitting on the wormhole.

Hurricane greets me on a wormhole in class 5 w-space

Do I engage the battlecruiser? I'm on the back foot, as I'm covertly configured and a jump to escape would make me polarised, but at least I have an escape route. Updating d-scan to give me an idea of what backup the Hurricane could call upon has me wavering, seeing seven dreadnoughts, six strategic cruisers, a handful of miscellaneous combat ships, and a bunch of industrial ships. I think I'll go with not engaging, my decision helped along nicely by the Hurricane warping away a second later.

Dominix starts to kill a wormhole

The movement of the battlecruiser at least lets me jump back to C2a safely. I loiter, though, curious to see what the locals will do next. The wormhole crackles, and through it comes a Dominix battleship, jumping straight back to destabilise the wormhole to its half-mass state. I think that gives a good indication of their intentions. I watch a couple more ship movements just to make sure, then leave them to it, taking myself back to C3a. The Viator is back, along with a new contact in an Anathema cov-ops and probes spewed everywhere. I should probably check C2b before someone else beats me to it.

D-scan shows me a Mammoth hauler, Talos battlecruiser, and Hawk assault frigate in C2b, as well as, dammit, nine towers. The towers thankfully aren't too spread out, the system not having an abundance of moons, and I can bounce around to see the Talos and Hawk piloted, the Mammoth empty. A Tengu strategic cruiser is on scan somewhere, which turns in to a Buzzard cov-ops and disappears. Probably a ship swap. Out of curiosity I check the outer planets, finding one tower at one, two at the other, and core probes launched.

It seems I have three cov-ops scouting and one transport idling. Fie on tonight's supposed activity, I say. I'm not feeling motivated tonight, not after seeing how the discovery scanner can so simply dismiss the skill involved in scouting unknown space. I'm going home, an early night for Penny. But, just to irritate me, the idiot scanner shows me a new signature at home. I ought to resolve it, I suppose, although ignoring it would be suitable too.

When I start to resolve the new signature I see my probes cluster around a bookmark. An oddly labelled bookmark, at that, where 'home' points out of the system. That makes no sense initially, but then I realise what's happened, and tell our colleagues to at least try to recognise their sister system when they connect to us. At least this wormhole is probably benign. Still, mild panic over, it's time to go off-line.

  1. 4 Responses to “Die, discovery scanner, die”

  2. Yep kinda ridiculous that you can beat the scout to the k162 he opened.
    I miss being responsible for my own safety in W Space. Alas I don't think the Discovery Scanner will get changed to something better for W Space.
    I'm starting to think that maybe I'm going to have to camp out in a random WH for a week or something to get kills. I wonder if you can swap subs off those mobile depot thinggies? Might be able to take a full replacement set of mods for a T3 into a random system and farm the locals for a bit. I'd always been tempted to try that off an Orca alt Suddenly Ninja's style but didn't really want to train up an orca alt...

    By BayneNothos on Jan 4, 2014

  3. I imagine it is possible to swap subsystems with a mobile depot. The problem may be having enough cargo space to haul everything around.

    And you're right that the best opportunities now are probably gained from camping in a system for a while, hoping to get lucky. It's notable that the best chances I've had recently are from coming on-line in a safe spot in the home system and having a fleet come to me, and not from me scanning through the unknown.

    Everything changes.

    By pjharvey on Jan 4, 2014

  4. Confirming you can use the MD to swap subs. They are a target, however.

    I keep finding the bloody things, knocking them into their ridiculously long two day reinforce cycle and then can't be arsed to stick around. So if you find one, out of RINF, it's probably one of my lob jobs.

    Send me 10% of whatever drops and I'll be eternally grateful.

    By Mortlake on Jan 4, 2014

  5. Yeah had a play with them on Sisi, you don't even have to drop the mods into it, can swap straight from cargohold while next to it. Kinda cool.
    Alas even the super expensive one is scannable, although pretty hard to get, my day to day Prot could only get up to ~60% on it.

    To do it i figured you'd need an alt with a cloaky hauler to park itself at a safespot and just drop and scoop the depot when needed as well as carry things like cap charges and ammo, alt mods etc. Of course at that point I start thinking, might as well run links via the alt while I'm there and carry alt ships and I end up back with an Orca, SN style.
    There's also the fun of finding a system that's active enough to be worth the time, big enough to hide in at off scan safe spots and yet not too awesome/big so you can actually get the chance to kill something without getting blobbed.

    Been an interesting thought experiment, definitely on the "Will do one day" list.

    By BayneNothos on Jan 5, 2014

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