Saturday, June 29, 2013

A Failure to Scout Properly

The current home system is empty. Well, it is almost empty. The sleeper sites do not count as far as I am concerned. They aren't bothering me, so I see no reason to stir them up. According to the helpful notes of a corp mate, the static from last night should be dead.

I check the location for the static and sure enough there is no wormhole. Time to start scanning. I drop probes and locate the new static connection. I bookmark the new connection and jump in to see if any targets show up.

The initial d-scan reveals a tower with a force field and little else. I warp to the outer planet and find another tower. With no apparent pilots in the system, I drop probes and start scanning. While I am scanning, I periodically check d-scan and am surprised to find 2 Dominix in system. I warp to the observation post on their tower and sure enough, the pilots are sitting behind the shields.

While I finish scanning the system, a couple of corpmates show up. I notify them of situation and we continue watching. Since the Domis are just sitting behind the shields, I jump the connections to map out routes and see what is around us. After jumping back in from high sec, I find probes in system and return to the observation post. By this time we have a Devoter, Armageddon, Sleipnir, Drake and an Ishkur sitting on the wormhole.

Shortly after arriving back on station, the Dominix pilots start moving. Sure enough, the Dominix pilots align to our C5 and warp off. I instruct the Devoter pilot to cross jump the Domis and everyone else engage and then follow. The wormhole flares and our Devoter pilot jumps. The Domi pilots apparently want nothing to do with our welcoming committee and immediately jump back home to find our trap.

We follow and engage the polarized pilots. Volcano Vapors is called as primary simply because he is the closest to my Sleipnir. The pilots put up a fight but they are outnumbered and even with the strong tank, the first Dominix goes down. Our Ishkur pilot is forced to jump back through the wormhole to avoid losing a ship, while we move on to Cleopatrra in the second Dominix. Both ships were well tanked and took quite a beating before falling to our fleet. We announce good fight in local and then provide a free ticket back to the cloning vat for both Volcano Vapors and Cleopatrra.

Pro Tip: You should always scout the opposite side of a wormhole before attempting to close it.

Saturday, June 22, 2013


The new patch has arrived and we have several people curious about the new hacking mechanics and a convenient low sec connection in our home system. The curious hackers jump to low sec and spread out to find the new data and relic sites.

The first pilot finds a site in the initial low sec and warps in to try the new mechanics. While he is there, a neutral pilot warps into the same site in a Helios and starts hacking as well. That is unacceptable and the call goes out for a DPS pilot to come take care of the neutral pilot.

One of our corpmates borrows my sniping Naga and heads to the low sec wormhole. The corp mate in the site has him wait until the nuetral pilot starts hacking the next can and then calls him into the site. The sniper warps in at 70km and starts locking the Helios with weapons hot. The first indication he has that the Helios is gone is the notification of a sec status hit.

At this point, I am laughingly imagining the confusion on the part of the Helios pilot as he gets a notification that the can is no longer accessible due to the correct module being unavailable. Our sniper decides not to shoot the pod and take the large sec status penalty.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

The dangers of low sec

The night gets off to a slow start. The static c2 wormhole is EOL and there are no other interesting sigs in the home system. I collapse the c2 and then scan down the new static. The new wormhole has nothing of interest so I scan down the connecting low-sec and c2 and then jump the low-sec.

There are 2 pilots in local and my interest perks considerably when I notice a ton of wrecks on d-scan along with a Vargur and a Ferox(?). Really! The pilots appear to be sitting in empty space so our scout warps to the outer plan and drops probes.

We scan them down without being particularly quick about it and warp to the entry gate of the complex. At this point, we send a tackler through the entry gate and he lands on top of the Ferox. We warp the rest of the fleet into the site and destroy the Ferox in short order.

We loot the field and start to head back when we notice the guy has reshipped to a Navy Megathron. He warps around a bit and we finally locate him on the entry gate to the site. This looks like bait but there are only 2 ships in system and one of them is a Thanatos. We decide to jump him and see what happens. We do not really believe he will warp the Thanatos into the site.

We line up and jump the Navy Mega and have him about 50% through armor when to our surprise, the Thanatos lands on field and starts repping the Navy Mega and neuting the hell out of us. In the end, we lose a Proteus and a Loki to this guy.

It is cool to see someone willing to engage a small fleet with a capital ship. Even though we lost badly, this was a fun engagement. I wish more people were willing to give you a fight instead of hiding when hostile pilots show up.

Saturday, June 8, 2013

New Data and Relic Sites

This post is a departure from my normal tales of carnage. The Odyssey expansion has been released and I decided to go try out the new hacking mini-game. Since I did not have analyzer modules in the wormhole, the first step was a trip to the market. Once I had a brand new data and relic analyzer, I headed across high sec looking for an appropriate site.

The first three systems contained 3 wormholes apiece. Really? Why can't I be that lucky when I am looking for wormholes. Of course, none of these systems had a data or relic site. However, persistence usually pays off and the fourth system contained a relic site.

I warp into the site and find 5 containers. I start with the initial container and activate the relic analyzer which pops up the interface for the hacking game. With no idea how the game works, I simply figure out where I am on the map and start clicking things. I find a wrench, which turns out to be a beneficial utility. I find several defensive nodes which lock me out of all the surrounding nodes and then I find a data cache which turns out to be another beneficial program.

At this point, I cannot go anywhere else on the map so I decide to attack one of the defensive nodes. A couple of turns later, I have defeated the defensive node and unlocked the blocked route which leads me to the data core. Successfully attacking the data core closes the interface after telling me I succeeded in my hacking attempts and spews 10-12 containers into space.

I chase down as many of the containers as possible by double clicking them and discover that I have a grand total of 41K ISK in loot. Awesome! That is decidedly underwhelming considering the time it took me to find the site and hack the damn thing. I repeat the process for the next 4 containers and the total value of my loot climbs to 600K. At least I did better on some of the later containers but the loot haul is pretty still skimpy.

The second site goes exactly like the first site with even less impressive yields. Before I attempt a 3rd site, I decide to go back to the market and get a cargo scanner. I am curious if I can figure out what is in the container before I go to the trouble of hacking it.

Once the cargo container is equipped, I head back out and find a 3rd site. Once I land in the 3rd site, I lock the 4 available containers and scan them with my cargo scanner. All 4 contain nothing but salvage material which I could acquire by killing rats in ore belts and salvaging their wrecks. I decide it isn't worth my time to hack these containers and head back home with my curiosity satisfied.

The mini-game itself has some potential. I would really like to see CCP add the ability to play it in a multi-player mode to increase the challenge and the rewards. However, the loot spew mechanism is terrible.  It should be prioritized above bug fixes for removal from the game at the next patch. In my opinion, the mechanic adds absolutely no value to the gaming experience of Eve.

At some point, I will try the sites in low sec and null sec to get a sense for how much value they have compared to the high sec sites I was running today. However, I am done with hacking sites in high sec. It ain't worth all that. :P

Losing a Hauler

Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. We have experienced both sides of this equation and while I often write of our wins, sometimes the story of a loss can be just as entertaining.

When I log in for the evening, there are a couple of other pilots already online. The route through our chain had been scouted earlier in the day. We have an incoming low sec which I head out to investigate while one of the other pilots decides to run some PI stuff to high sec.

He loads up and jumps into the C2 to find a Stilletto sitting on the wormhole. I jump back into the C2 and reship to a Moa. In the meantime, the other pilot in system warps to the C2 in his stealth bomber just to give him something else to shoot at while the hauler attempts to escape.

Part 1 of the plan works. The Stilletto engages our Nemesis allowing the hauler to escape and warp to the high sec. Unfortunately, the Stilleto pilot also manages to get Wolwen's pod just as I land on the wormhole. I lock the Stilletto and disable his warp engines along with his MWD but he jumps before I can kill him and is out of range on the other side of the wormhole very quickly.

In the meantime, the Badger pilot discovered an anchored bubble on the high sec and was killed within sight of safety be a Drake sitting on the high sec. He manages to get his pod back home and we both reship into cloaky T3 ships and move back into the C2.

The Stilletto pilot reships to a Cyclone and warps to the C2. We engage him while the Drake pilot burns out of the high sec bubble and comes to join the fight. Meanwhile, one of our other pilots jumps into a Exequror and warps at range on the C2. The Cyclone is ASB fit but we are burning him down. However, they are making a pretty good dent in our Legion as well.

We jump home and get reps on the Legion expecting them to follow us. However, they never jump the wormhole after us. Overall, this was a fun engagement where they ended up with the better end of the deal. Good fight!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Incoming Null with Hostiles

I log in and find a null sec already bookmarked in our system. Someone has been on earlier and marked a new signature in the home system. I decide to go check it out and discover that the null sec is in Impass. Nothing much to see and no one in local so I head back into our home system and jump into the C2. Some scouting around in here find nothing of any signficance.

I jump back into our home and go AFK to take care of some chores around the house. When I return, a couple more pilots have logged in. We are discussing what we want to do when we see a Helios on d-scan. Since I am sitting cloaked at the current null-sec and another pilot was at the C2, we assume there must be a new sig. I throw out probes and sure enough, we have a new K162. I lock it up and warp to it to find we have a second null sec now in our system.

I jump my scout into null sec and find that we are still in Impasse, only 6 jumps from the other null sec. This time, there are three pilots in system not including the scout which we know to be in our wormhole.

It takes a few minutes but eventually more pilots show up and they warp a Loki, Legion, Tengu, Hyperion to the wormhole and jump into our system. The Loki burns away from the wormhole and cloaks while the rest just sit on the wormhole.

Is this a bait fleet? Looks like one, smells like one. They are wanting a response and we are the fighting carebears so we decide to give them a fight. We field a Drake, Sleipnir, Rattlesnake and (wait for it ....) an Archon. Yep! A shield repping Archon. We reship and align to the wormhole assuming they have eyes on us. There is no spike in local so we warp to zero on the wormhole.

We engage and I call the Hyperion as primary while they focus on our Rattlesnake. The Hyperion explodes very fast and the rest of their fleet jumps back to null sec. There has been no spike in local, only a late arriving Omen Navy so we follow them into null sec. The Loki and the Omen escape while I lock the Legion and call him as primary and the Legion pilot locks the Tengu. The Legion is going down slowly but he has burned well out of range of my reps leaving me vulnerable if they counter. I ultimately decide to let him go.

I swap primary to the Tengu and we scoop our spoils and jump back into our wormhole which leaves the connection crit. I jump into a hole rolling heavy interdictor and finish off the wormhole for good measure.