Sleepers and a Revelation

6th September 2014 – 3.46 pm

A few days away from space must mean the gas is gone. Seems so. Just about everything has gone, in fact. Still, two good anomalies have popped up, available to be cleared, and a single signature means a single wormhole, our static connection to class 3 w-space. That makes it time to slay some Sleepers.

I swap my scouting boat for the Golem marauder, do a systems check, and head out. The Sleepers are waiting for me, I bring some gunboat diplomacy, and launch a silly mobile tractor unit to make the ISK-making stupidly easy. I wonder if shooting the structure in the site would disable all of the Sleeper drones within range. Surely not, as that would be a serious design limitation. But who knows?

Shooting Sleepers and salvaging wrecks simultaneously in a Golem marauder

The drones in Oblivion don't just act at the speed of plot in the climactic final battle, they are also apparently entirely governed remotely. The first wave of drones is defeated, the surviving humans set in motion their sacrificial plan to destroy the Tet, but to add further tension a second wave of drones is sent towards the base. Oh my, how will they survive this new wave?

The humans survive by destroying the Tet, which immediately incapacitates all the drones everywhere, the ones almost at the base dropping out of the sky like bricks. That's as dumb here as it was in The Phantom Menace. You would think that an advanced drone would have some kind of autonomous behaviour and internal control built in to its circuitry and programming, as a fail-safe mechanism against possible communication glitches and the obvious threat of jamming the control signal disabling the drone.

Golem against the Sleepers

Not only should autonomous control be obvious for an advanced drone, but it clearly exists. Jack goes down that hole in to some library to find a drone, and when ambushed is rescued by a drone's timely arrival. A fairly neat scene in itself. But it is established that Jack, so far down that hole, has lost communication with his base of operations and the Tet. If he's lost communications, then so has the drone when in the same position, surely. Yet the drone is just fine in that scene.

The climactic ending therefore just becomes an exercise in faux-tension building, adding a new threat that is neutralised by a coincidence completely outside the control of those in peril. Maybe I should pretend that the last Sleepers come close to breaking the shields of my Golem, sucking my capacitor almost empty, and it is only through determined self-sacrifice that I prevail. Or I sail through these two anomalies like I do all the others, and bring back an unspectacular 150 Miskies of loot and salvage.

I could go and scout through our wormhole now, but our system remains isolated from the rest of w-space, and there is one activity I'd really like to try out. A ship, in fact. It is, of course, the Revelation dreadnought that we built and fit. We still have that rogue tower from the previous occupants in our home system, partly because I kinda interrupted an external operation to take it down a short time ago. That gives me a fat, stationary, passive target to shoot at, perfect for the Revelation. I just hope no one interrupts me.

Swapping the Golem for the Revelation, I check that everything looks okay, not that I'd know. I make a sanity check, ensuring that no new signatures are in the system, and that I at least kind of know what I'm doing. I think so, and I don't plan to be out of the tower for longer than a test firing will take. That, though, will require starting a siege cycle, which cannot be cancelled, and will keep me quite firmly in one position in space until it ends. That's five minutes, I think. Well, I've just done the same with the Golem and its bastion mode, the dreadnought is just a little more expensive.

Taking the Revelation dreadnought out for a spin

I warp the Revelation out of our tower—its first flight!—and slowly, ever-so slowly, the dreadnought accelerates, enters warp, and crosses the system to the off-line tower. I've checked the range of the weapons, letting me drop out of warp within optimal range. I just want to loose a few rounds, see what this can do, and turn back. I lock on to the tower, start shooting, and am relatively unimpressed. I'm doing a decent amount of damage, and even though I'm only firing three guns instead of six or eight, or whatever, I'm only really matching one of our Oracle battlecruisers. Time to activate the siege module.

The dreadnought sucks down some strontium and enters its siege mode. The target lock on the tower drops immediately, which is a bit annoying, particularly as sensor resolution is severely hampered in siege mode. I gain a new target lock, eventually, and start shooting again. Holy cow, that's more like it. Standard hits are now doing an order of magnitude more damage than before, which is really quite impressive, and good hits are adding on to that. If only it were making a positive dent in the tower, but that's more a function of the tower and our pulsar than a drawback in the dreadnought's capability.

Shooting the w-space equivalent of a barn door

I keep shooting for the entirety of the siege cycle, dropping out of siege mode after the first cycle, and see what I've done to the tower. Shields are at 97%. Okay, so I'm hitting for some serious damage, and the tower would eventually be destroyed, but the process is still far too slow for me to do this alone, particularly as the siege cycle is actively fuelled by strontium, even if the lasers only require capacitor juice. Still, this was just a test firing, a display of what our Revelation can do. I'm impressed. I still don't know what we'll do with it, but it's a nice toy.

  1. 2 Responses to “Sleepers and a Revelation”

  2. I need to confirm but i'm 90% sure structures aren't affected by the wormhole effect.

    Few dread tips I've read up on. Split your stront up in it's bay to how much each siege cycle is so you can clearly see how may cycles of stront you have left.
    Stick a mobile depot with some alts fits in your cargohold for those just in case times. All cap regen fit, all resists, all hull, things like that.

    I think failheap has a teach me how.. thread somewhere on dreads. Would be worth a search around to read up on them.

    By BayneNothos on Sep 8, 2014

  3. That all looks like really good advice. Thanks, Mr Nothos.

    By pjharvey on Sep 8, 2014

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