Thursday, April 28, 2016

Everything happens for a reason

It was a successful hunt lately. As successful as ideas of some dads.

The most exciting thing I've been able to see on d-scan in a week was a t1 frigate and t1 transport ship.

Wormhole space started feeling like a desert. Where the hell is everyone? Perhaps busy fighting Goons? The news and propaganda was all over r/Eve, hard to miss. But earthly empire politics excite me little. While it's fun to read all the drama, I belong to wormholes. My interaction with empire space ends with me checking which system wormhole exit leads to. I'm becoming a hermit of w-space. All I need now is a beard. Oh wait...

I casually orbit an exit when I hear an activation sound. I see a frigate decloak and then jump right back in. I manage to grab the name and proceed checking out the corp. Knowledge is key and I like to know who is poking around. This time it's a pilot from The Enclave Frontiers. A rather active corp that has done way more killing than dying. I resume my activities, when I hear an activation sound once more. This time a Legion appears! Without wasting much time he warps to an anomaly and I follow. He barely manages to create two small sleeper wrecks and I already got my eyes on him.

I get excited. It's only a Legion, but holy crap does it generate sparkles and joy in my eyes. I setup my Nestor fleet and align to the anomaly. Preparations are done. I get a good warp-in on the Legion and decloak. Once target is locked and tackled I bring in the fleet. Everything goes by the book.

I unleash my Faction Navy Ogres and neut the strategic cruiser into oblivion. Of course he is active tanked and after few repair cycles he goes dead quiet and quickly pops soon after. I'm happy for once not to have to kill an MTU on the field. I scoop the faction adaptive membrane and warp out. I salute the pilot with gf in local, but get no response. Coincidence or not, I also have locals awake. I spot a familiar Nemesis on d-scan for a few seconds, no doubt checking out the anomaly with Legion wreck in it. I won't waste my time here anymore and so I pack my things and move to the next wormhole.

Few days later I log-in to find my email notification flash. That's strange. Who would be writing to an old wormhole hermit?

An email from a true believer. There are probably few things in EVE brings people together. One is sharing the ammo and the other is faith in Bob. I now I see that my and nightmarefiend's paths were destined to cross. It's a subtle reminder from Bob that he has plans for each of us.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Catching red handed

Time sure flies. It's been awhile since my last post. Truth to be told there hasn't really been that much to write about. I've been cutting down on my gaming and engaging in some other things, like learning to play golf. That shit is hard, no matter how easy it looks on a TV. In my first attempts I hit a good chunk of ground together with the golf ball and it flew further than the ball. Spring time arrived and here in Sweden we got some really nice days.

While I still log in daily, I haven't been doing any scanning or scouting. Every time I choose a system in which I hope to find some activity, I end up with no targets. Instead of visiting c4's and waiting for that shiny, I tried to stalk a c3 for a few days. Lucky me, I would soon find a Rattlesnake starting his farming activities. I get quite annoyed when I see him anchor a mobile tractor unit together with a mobile depot. Seriously.  I know it's a smart thing to do, but I despise that. I look forward to a soon to come patch, that will at least prevent you refitting if you shot your weapons in the last minute.

Since I don't want this Rattlesnake to warp away  after refitting to warp core stabilizers, I align my Nestor fleet, send them in warp and only decloak once they are on d-scan for a few seconds. I also decloak 10km off and aim for a good bump. My Proteus has 4 warp core strength in tackle. It will buy me some time before he refits his low slots. Everything goes well. Nestors land and soon I have Rattlesnake scrambled with 4 ships. He is not going anywhere now.

I am please to see his shields dropping fast. He quickly pops and pod warps away.

As I expected, he was refitting to warp core stabilizers. He still had one wcs left in his cargo. I'm not sure if he got bumped out of mobile depot range or he just died that fast. Either way, that extra wcs would not have saved him. While it's not an expensive kill, there's something mildly satisfying killing a ship full of warp core stabilizers.

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

He who looks, finds

While being a hunter, more often than not, I feel like a god damn prey. When I think the system is empty, I will have a random fleet out of nowhere land on the wormhole I watch.

Or stalk a nice "quiet" c4 in hopes to catch a ratting ship, only to encounter a fleet that would suck my capacitor dry before I could turn on first repair cycle.

Wormhole is full of dangers. I got two big fears when hunting. One - getting ganked by one of such random fleets while traveling, and two - getting ganked while ganking a ratter. Sitting afk on the wormholes you can see all kinds of things. I would watch fleets traveling and returning back in pods. Some would never come back. I won't lie, it can get stressful. Especially when I put 4 billion on the line, I can't be just replacing my fleet left and right. I decide it's time to take it down a notch.

Class 5 and 6 are where the big boys are playing. I never go to those wormholes as it's a small chance I will encounter anything I can kill. Class 4 is hit or miss. Can be occupied by a pvp corp or by farmers. Class 3 and 2 are just right. It might not have such lucrative targets, but the corps that usually live there are less dangerous. I settle-in in one of c2s. I am very interested in the Tengu sitting at the tower.

If I ever saw a name that deserved to be shot in the face, that would be it. Unfortunately, the Tengu does not do much. No matter, I got time.

While stalking the system for a few days, I did not see any action, despite system being kept tidy. I finally manage to nab a Brutix and was ready to call it quits, but Bob sent me a sign. The very next day I saw a ship that would change everything.

A Golem! In a class 2 wormhole. That is certainly a sight you won't see every day. It's not totally unexpected though. This particular c2 has a c4 static and that's exactly where I see the marauder warp. I warp after him at range. He jumps. I give him a head start. I don't want to try and get him on the wormhole. I prefer the anomaly, less room for error that way. Without waiting too long I jump in. The marauder is nowhere in sight. System is large so I warp around and finally spot him on d-scan.

I spin around my screen, but struggle in getting his position. Naturally, I expect to see him at one of the anomalies, but his position is not even close to any of them. Is he at a signature? Perhaps he is at some random wormhole? Fear start settling in as this might not be as straightforward gank as I'd have hoped for. Finally I start seeing some wrecks on d-scan.

I pinpoint Golem's position and without moving my screen warp out of range, launch combat probes, send them far away and warp back to position. I now see 6 small sleeper wrecks. I get a bad feeling about this. I've seen these guys mine gas as if they were addicts. Could it be that this marauder is actually clearing a gas site and not a data or relic site? No time to waste. I align my Proteus, scan the marauder in one try and warp at 10. Something I rarely do, but as I feared, it was a gas site and I might not have enough time to make a perch. Within seconds I land on grid. The Golem is just sitting there, doing nothing. No more sleepers on the field, but his velocity is a round zero. I make an instant decision and decloak.

I spam that lock, but nothing happens. Seriously, how long can that sensor re-calibration timer last? Suddenly ship disappears. What the...?  Did he warp? No, that's not possible. Did he... did he actually cloak? Thanks to my good habit of approaching my targets, I set max speed to the last direction my Proteus was going and sure enough, the Golem decloaks. It's play time!

I set the Nestor fleet in warp and keep a close eye on that Golem. The marauder goes into bastion mode, but that does not help him much. Reason I swapped out my Dominixes to Nestors was to double the neuting power. Triple, if you count refitting to extra neut instead of cloaking device, which I can do without a mobile depot. The marauder, with his dying breath, does a few shield boost cycles, then goes dead silent and quickly pops.

To be honest I expected more. While I am extremely happy with the Golem kill, I did feel disappointment not to see any faction or deadspace modules. It's a poor man's marauder. I'm not even sure how well he could deal with class 4 wormhole anomalies, but it certainly was overkill for the gas site.