Onffline tower

7th July 2014 – 5.12 pm

There are plenty of anomalies building up in the home system. Those are good for making ISK, particularly when there is just the one signature present, which will be our probably closed static wormhole. It's a shame that shooting Sleepers isn't a particularly engaging activity. If it didn't generate ISK I doubt anyone would do it, but it does and so we do. Not me, though, at least not tonight. I'm going exploring.

I am looking to get our Bustard home, the transport stranded in high-sec dock stuffed with fuel and parts for our dreadnought. I don't think there's any great rush in getting it back, but it would be nice. Its return almost depends on getting a good high-sec connection, or maybe just any old high-sec connection, and it would be good to find one of them before we have to settle on a low-sec route. I resolve our static wormhole and jump to the neighbouring class 3 w-space system to see what we'll find today.

Updating my directional scanner from our K162 sees two towers and an Epithal hauler. What a silly ship. I'm in the wrong boat to catch it, but as I can't even follow it in to warp reliably, with the 'look at' function broken, I don't really see the point in trying. Even so, I have a look to find out where the Epithal is, because you can still occasionally get lucky.

My notes from three months ago aren't helping today. '4+ towers', they say, with no locations for any of them. Still, they list a static exit to high-sec in this C3, which is a positive sign for the night, as long as I don't find myself in Solitude again. Anyway, the Epithal. To find it, I open the system map and point a tight d-scan beam at nearby planets.

Epithal and hangar with no force field

The Epithal isn't at the first tower. The Epithal isn't at the second tower. That's all of the towers in range, isn't it? I think that means the Epithal is out and about, except when I find it on d-scan I also see a mobile depot and ship maintenance array with the hauler. That's weird. There's no force field to go with this d-scan result, which makes it look like there's something to plunder.

Finding the tower without a force field

I warp across to take a look at the situation, seeing the Epithal unpiloted next to an anchored SMA, both around a force field-less tower. I also see scanning probes on d-scan now, which makes popping the SMA open a rather less attractive proposition. They are only core scanning probes, though, not combat scanning probes that can detect ships, so on the poor assumption that the scout is concentrating on his probe results and not d-scan, I move towards the hangar, decloak, and start shooting.

I keep a tentative watch on d-scan as I knock down the hangar's shields. This may take a little while and an off-line tower must surely attract the attention of any half-decent scout. I am in a vulnerable position, being easily found, easily warped-to, and completely open to attack. To prove this, I start getting shot. What? Who is shooting me? My overview shows no aggressors, d-scan remains blank of other ships, but there looked to be gunfire coming my way. That's weird.

There it is again! That was clearly some incoming fire, and my useless shields are taking damage. I pull back and twist my view to see that, oh, the tower's defences are shooting me. There is no force field, but the tower isn't off-line after all. It's on-line, its defences are active, and they are now locked on to me and attacking. I get to witness the firepower of this fully armed and operational battle station!

The shots are coming from the tower!

My shields are plinked down by some minor guns, and a bit of armour damage is sustained. I think I'll be fine, just as long as there are no warp disruption batteries. Yeah, like that one that's just locked on to me and is now preventing me from warping away. I would say that I decide to keep shooting the hangar, but I don't have that much of a choice right now. I may as well stay to the death, whether it be its or mine.

I've been wearing down the SMA whilst working out what the bloody hell is happening to me, and the hangar explodes nicely. Well, the explosion is nice, the lack of loot is rather disappointing. The lack of other ships coming to see what I'm doing is the saving grace of my impetuous attack. My next task is to check the range of the warp disruption battery. I leave the Epithal alone and burn away from the tower, in a vector opposite to the defences.

Exploding hangar throws out no loot

Thankfully, switching my Proteus to have a micro warp drive fit really saves some time, and probably saves my strategic cruiser, pushing the ship to a good speed. I don't have to travel too far to see the warp disruption effect drop, at which point I pick a suitable planet along my vector of travel and warp clear, cloaking as I do. I've cracked open an SMA for no loot, in an active system, without properly scouting it first, getting attacked and pointed by the tower in the process. It's been a bullish start to the evening.

  1. 6 Responses to “Onffline tower”

  2. I guess I am paranoid, but as soon as I saw the first screenie I knew what was coming. (I have read about people using CHAs w/ no force field as bait; CHAs are cheap.)

    Also, any time you see a tractor unit near a tower that is a sign of a trap. There is no reason to do that otherwise, and tractor units go poof unless you touch them daily.

    A properly designed tower would not have allowed you to escape. 2x webs (which are 90%), warp scrambler, 1x neut, some DPS. That's what I have.

    By Von Keigai on Jul 7, 2014

  3. Naw, not paranoid, experienced. I let my cupidity get the better of me again, when I really ought to have shown enough caution to at least scout the system. Silly Penny.

    Thanks for the tips. I'm still learning!

    By pjharvey on Jul 7, 2014

  4. Hi Penny
    So how do you find the proteus now? You been using it for a while now.

    By Anon on Jul 8, 2014

  5. Check kills in this system: https://zkillboard.com/system/31000422/

    Lots of kills performed by the bait tower with similar setup. I found it once and almost fell for the trick. Almost.

    By Zzz on Jul 8, 2014

  6. Hah, what kind of impetuous fools would blindly wander in to such an obvious trap!

    By pjharvey on Jul 8, 2014

  7. Anon, it's a ship. My animosity towards the Gallente scum is pretty much only on aesthetic grounds, and there are enough other ships that I can generally avoid them to sustain the illusion. In the end, though, it's just another option. I started in the Tengu, moved in to a Loki, and, bypassing the Legion for scouting because we have a PvP Legion, swapped to the Proteus for a change as much as anything.

    It's a good enough ship. I haven't really been able to test it in too many situations yet, and it seems as good as the Tengu or Loki for scouting w-space, if a bit less agile. I also still feel somewhat a neophyte when it comes to different weapons and ammunition, pretty sure I'm just winging it most of the time. It's given me the opportunity to examine and fiddle with the fit of a different ship, which helps me learn.

    The Proteus's tank and firepower certainly give me the confidence to engage more and different targets, should I find any, which I think is the crux of the change. If I couldn't give myself fights in the Loki, I needed to change something. I think it's working out so far.

    By pjharvey on Jul 8, 2014

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