First blood for the Ghost

10th March 2014 – 5.18 pm

It's time to break-in Ghost of the Bounty, my new Loki strategic cruiser. Of course, it's pretty much identical to my previous Loki, except for the obvious difference of not being a wreck, but I think that difference will give significant performance increases. Scanning the couple of new signatures in the home system gives me a soft start to the evening, a little light activity to get all the rust shaken off—well, not all of it, I want to have my ship intact—and resolving them to both be gas sites has my entering warp to our static wormhole.

Updating my directional scanner from the K162 in our neighbouring class 3 w-space system sees nothing interesting. Checking my notes shows that my previous visit was a mere ten days earlier, so the three towers present then are probably still here now. It is also the system where I missed catching a Probe frigate in a relic site, so perhaps the locals are active at about this time. I launch probes, perform a blanket scan of the system, and warp towards the towers.

My probes reveal twelve anomalies, twelve signatures, and three ships. The first tower is bare, the second holds a piloted Orca industrial command ship—as d-scan shows the other two ships are Retrievers, is that a hint of other ships mining? Quick quick, warp to the third tower. Also bare. That puts the pair of mining barges almost certainly in an ore site. I open the system map, point d-scan in a tight beam at the sites, and find the one where the Retrievers are.

Two retrievers in a class 3 w-space ore site

Warping to the site sees the barges still there, still chomping away at rocks, hopefully oblivious to the new signature in the system and my entrance. But for how much longer? I warp in to get a closer look and prepare my ambush, and my first impression is that the two ships are too far apart to be encapsulated by an Onyx heavy interdictor's warp bubble. But, then, I feel I'm being uncomfortably rushed by the pointless threat of the stupid, stupid discovery scanner shouting out that I'm here.

Getting closer to the pair of mining barges

Bagging one of the mining barges could be enough to sate my bloodlust, particularly when coming across such a sight is becoming so much rarer in w-space. I pick one of the Retrievers, approach, and decloak. I lock on to the barge, disrupt its warp drive, and start shooting. With any luck the two pilots are really absent whilst their holds fill with ore, but switching my attention to the second shows that they are not. The other Retriever is accelerating away from his rock. I could maybe try to stop him, but best to definitely catch one than let two escape. I keep my focus.

Second Retriever accelerates out of the site as I shoot the first

The first Retriever isn't going anywhere, and I'm tearing through his armour nicely. Pop goes the mining barge, and although I aim for the pod it's already gone. I go to loot the wreck of what I can carry, but just shoot it to destroy the scordite that I can't, seeing little point in trying to come back to claim it in a bigger ship. I reload my guns, cloak, and warp back to the tower to lurk.

Retriever mining barge explodes to my autocannon fire

I'm almost kicking myself now. Ambushing the one Retriever and looking at the other showed that they were both easily in range of the Onyx's bubble, which almost certainly could have popped both ships and podded both pilots before the sluggish barges could have manoeuvred away. But warping to the wormhole, jumping, warping to our tower, swapping ships, coming back, getting in to the site, and positioning myself would have taken time that I really don't think the stupid, stupid discovery scanner allows any more.

Yes, I got a kill, but I didn't get the hunt that I appreciate more. And what little satisfaction I got from the kill is negated by the double-guessing of what I should have done and what could have been, all caused not by circumstances of the environment but an artificial and arbitrary time limit. It's first blood for Ghost of the Bounty, but were the discovery scanner sensibly not active in w-space I could have taken home two more trophies.

  1. 10 Responses to “First blood for the Ghost”

  2. I think you are slightly overestimating the power of the discovery scanner. I have significant observations that it does not push new sigs. Of course, it's nearly trivial to force it to update. But forcing an update does require an action on the part of a user. It won't happen automatically.

    By Von Keigai on Mar 10, 2014

  3. Perhaps not, but the whole uncertainty of whether the discovery scanner pushes new signatures, how soon, if the locals are trying to force an update, and how soon that works all add up.

    By pjharvey on Mar 10, 2014

  4. I'd say look at this on the bright side. With this one kill, you were able to break in your new loki, whereas if you had gone back to grab your onyx, your newest toy would still be kill-less.

    By Morell Tacvi on Mar 10, 2014

  5. Definitely, Morell. One kill is better than none, and I got 50% of the targets. That's a fair result.

    By pjharvey on Mar 10, 2014

  6. Hi Penny
    Nice kill. At least the Loki is broken in now.
    I've found the discovery pushes new sites and that just me sitting in a system watching the list of sites it will just pop up by it self. Through it doesn't seem to be consistent.
    Also if you simply sort the sites it will refresh the list.

    I know from you posts you don't like the discovery scanner. Your going to love what they are doing with the ESS

    By Rom on Mar 11, 2014

  7. Thanks, Rom. Yep, my Loki's broken in now. I can't help but feel it will also be broken before too long.

    That's my experience with the discovery scanner as well.

    They fixed the ESS bug fairly promptly after its discovery, thankfully. Rampant use and abuse would have neutered w-space quite badly.

    By pjharvey on Mar 11, 2014

  8. You still on about the scanner-changes? It have not changed things much imho. The ones that failed to have a probe out for new sigs before, now fail to watch the scanner. It's gotten simpler to do something, that's all. W-space have become a tad more accessible.

    Same complacency, same mechanics.

    By Ashimat on Mar 12, 2014

  9. That's a healthy way to view it. Maybe I can eventually adopt a similar attitude.

    By pjharvey on Mar 12, 2014

  10. Hey Penny,

    It's quite some time I don't poke my nose in here. Your writing skills are getting even better, if at all possible. Congrats for the first blood on Ghost of the Bounty !

    By Max on Mar 13, 2014

  11. Thanks, Max!

    By pjharvey on Mar 13, 2014

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