Sunday, April 26, 2015

Ninja Salvaging Series 2 - first blood

Start of season 2

"Pursue your dreams" - that's what people usually say. You should do things that you enjoy. While it may not always apply in real life, video games are different story. I decided to quit my low-sec corp and do what I love: ninja salvaging and wormhole stalking. Since I've done some stalking last time, I decided to engage in some high-sec play, therefore I officially launch a season 2 of ninja salvaging series.

Introducing new players to EVE since 2010

Burning 20 jumps to pickup some ships and then 20 more to my beloved system - Agrallarier I couldn't wait to start scanning mission runners. Once docked, I'm please to see my trusty arsenal of weapons. I blow the dust off Enyo. It feels good. All my alts are ready too. Scan frigate, gank links, logi - all there all the same as I left them. I undock and start scanning.

Perhaps time is not the best as there are hardly any people in local. Taking away some miners, there are just a couple of ships in space. It felt underwhelming at first. I was hoping system will be alive with missioners, waiting with open arms for me to steal their loot. As I continue scanning, looks there are no battleships present. Only cruisers and some battlecruisers. I end up resolving 2 thoraxes and pay them a visit.

Hobgoblins and Acolytes t1 are flying around. I check the pilots and they seem to be very new. This is interesting. Let's see how react when I go suspect. I loot the can and they both lock me and shoot before I can eve finish to salvage my first wreck.

I keep one scrammed and start giving away ammo. I am not sure how to get both kills with only 1 scram. I could try toggling between them, however 2nd thorax is keeping 15km range. Probably his optimal with railguns. Once drones are gone, my Enyo cuts Thorax like butter. Once in sturcture, his friend probably sees there is only one way our encounter will end and warps off. My first kill is a thorax, piloted by a 2 month old pilot. Not exactly a spectacular explosion, but ninjas do not discriminate pilots by age nor ships by their worth. Everyone gets same treatment.

Walking thin line between life and death

Once I'm done with my class, teaching new players that there is more to EVE than missions, I continue scanning. System this time feels much more lively. I am pleased to see several battleships in the area. This time, I end up visiting a Machariel.

A big change from last encounter. I go through a couple of acceleration gates and I find Machariel in a room with no wrecks. There have been previous rooms full of wrecks. Looks like I am too late, or at least bad with timing to be in a pocket with only sentry guns.

Then suddenly he warps off. Oh well, not that unusual situation. I go back to station to look for new targets, only to realize that my scanner probes hit Machariel again at the same spot. At this point I am not sure if I missed acceleration gate animation or if the guy came back to collect his mtu with loot. I go back to check it out.

Sure enough, in next room I meet pilot once again. This time there are wrecks and an mtu that I start shooting without hesitation. Suddenly Machariel yellowboxes me.

And to my surprise - opens fire. I quickly tackle him and get under his guns while proceeding killing his drones, while at the same time I warp my logi for assistance. His drones are dying fast and all goes well. I am not in a very big rush to repair myself. My plan is to let him think he can win the fight, but bring my logi to "save me" so he would shoot it to drive away. I might not break his tank easily with just Enyo, so I put my hopes he would aggro logi pilot. While I was busy multiboxing and bringing Augoror through the gate, I hear armor alarm go off. Shit. I am almost in structure. I quickly start repair cycle and quickly lock with my logi to have remote reps on me. Looks like I messed up and was not paying attention. My Enyo is in structure and next volley pops it. I couldn't believe what was happening. How could I make such rookie mistake?

Take notice of nanite repair paste count. Max is 8 in module and I died with 7, meaning I only managed to run one cycle before dying. Now a lot of pilots probably would call it a fight/day, cut their losses, be upset for awhile and continue. However, I tried to keep my head cool and saw an opportunity.

Before my Enyo was killed, my logi pilot managed to go suspect from landing a repair cycle. It also has a scram. And while Machariel is 30km off, I try to keep him entertained, while Zosius is reshipping. Augoror is taking a lot of punishment and I am afraid my 2nd logi pilot won't be there in time. Machariel is keeping his distance and I can't get under his guns. Looks like it's over. I align to station and try to wait until last moment before warping out. 

I'm almost at my structure and initiate warp. I was short just some seconds. Soon my 2nd logi lands to the site. It is not suspect and it has no engagement rights with Machariel. I desperately try to warp back with Zosius in hope to still find him at the site, but deep down I am starting to accept that I wasted a beautiful kill opportunity by being too careless.

Machariel pilot. on the other hand, was on fire. He scored an assault frigate kill and he almost got a cruiser. He was feeling lucky. He locked my 2nd logi and opened fire. Wait, what? I couldn't believe my eyes. I launch my drones out to quickly whore on a killmail before CONCORD comes to create order. Several seconds later I see nothing else but a pod warping out and a blue wreck of what once was a faction battleship.

What were the odds? Looks like I had some good karma saved up. Don't know if it was Bobs blessing working on me in high-sec for all the sacrifices I made in his name in w-space, or if it was Vladimir who did not have such luck on his side. All I know I am grateful for this 2nd chance and will definitely remember that it's always better to be safe than sorry.

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