Not every Gnosis is bait…

As my remaining two readers may recall, most of my Wormhole posts start with “and then I opened our new connection“.  This post is no different.

The adventure starts when I jump into our newly-spawned C3 neighbor and to my dismay find that it is a “shattered hole”.   For you sad k-space dwellers, Shattered Systems have more variety of anomalies and signatures, ice belts but no moons to anchor a POS on and of course you can’t park a Citadel there either.  CCP went back to the whole concept that WH space was designed for transient occupation at best.  Its also a riskier hunting ground since they – generally – have more connections are are quite big, something can easily hide off-Dscan for example.

Well, since I need an export route, I start scanning and swiftly find not just one but two High Sec exits among a number of gas sites plus a single hacking site.  Of course, I scan everything down to 100% and make bookmarks and exit with one of my two characters to highsec for “pop-up navigation” as SCUBA divers call this practice.  Here, I spot Core Probes 1, a T1 Exploration frigate and a Gnosis Battlecruiser.   While the T1 frigate is the most likely ship to scan down the hole in search for hacking sites however, the Gnosis also has the same scanning and hacking bonus and could in theory be used as a hacking boat, I just have have never seen it used for that it in Wormhole space.  A Gnosis is a little bit of a “master of none” and mostly used as  overtanked bait ship.  But hey, what do I know.  I hold in the C3 and wait what happens next.

Randomly, real life intrudes for 5 minutes and I don’t hear the hole transit; when I return to my computer I see the same Gnosis and his Core Probes 1 inside “my” C3.  Now then!  Status = Happening!

I am a little unsure what I should do next.  Normally, I’d wait until a hacking ship finds the the Relic or Data site and starts on a can, in deep concentration, the screen covered by the puzzle.  But a Gnosis could also run sleeper sites (risky) or scout for a route.  In addition, I know he is a slow scanner and this C3 is big, I don’t know who else is watching the same action and getting twitchy fingers.  I decide to d-scan him down and jump him where he stands.  If he is bait, so be it.  If not, I have enough firepower in my two boats to make him go dead.  If other hunters are around then Bob Willed It.

Unsurprising, I find him at a shattered planet surrounded by his probes.  Experienced scanners make safe spots but I guess he is a little new to the thing.  Good for me, my Proteus approaches and is getting ready to to engage the MWD for proper “ramming speed”.  Approach 1

The subsequent tackle is textbook perfect and I jump my alt back in from High Sec and into the fight.  In the meantime, my target has launched drones and starts shooting at me.  That was expected and not a big deal, my tackling Proteus has plenty of HP and its now a race who can burn the other down quicker, me in 2 cruisers or he in a Battlecruiser.

My alt lands on grid, targets the Gnosis and lets his 5 Hammerheads play.  To conserve capacitor, I choose not to add a second point (the Proteus has faction scram) but engage 2 energy neutralizers.  I am not quite sure what my target is shooting (Gnosis’ have weird a weird bonus, it could be anything) but in general, a target with an empty capacitor is better than one with a full one.  Everything is working to plan when he all of a sudden warps off, leaving his T1 drones behind.  How did he escape?  Did he have 3 (!) stabilizers fitted?

Turns out, while I brought my Stratios alt, I goofed and turned the MWD off on my tackling Proteus.  With his prop mod on, the Gnosis simply moved out of my range. The screenshot below shows it perfectly – he moves at 453m/s while I am at 155.  My Stratios was in range but not adding webs or scram to conserve Cap was simply a mistake.  He is gone.

Gnosis Escapes

 

But wait, not quite.  He is still on Dscan, evidently bouncing around the system, trying to stay a moving target.  All hunters know, wounded prey runs the same way back that it came.  I race my Stratios to the High Entrance and launch a Mobile Warp Disruptor from my cargohold; it takes 120 seconds to anchor, I pray to Bob that my target is too frazzled to realize that he is technically home free.

Turns out, he hadn’t bookmarked the exit and is busy scanning again with his Core Probes 1.  He can’t cloak, we know he doesn’t use safe spots (and I have combat probes just in case) and he isn’t fast.  I follow his movement on D-scan and find him in an Ore site (smart move, tbh, there could be sleepers that he can tank but I may have issues with).  My bubble is coming online and I land at the site where I saw him last. He isn’t there but I hold cloaked.  If my calculation is correct, he bounces around and he’ll be back in short time.

And yes, there he is, fortuitously landing at 10km off my cloaked Proteus.  All I need to do is to repeat my maneuver from earlier but this time not let him out of scram range.  If at first you don’t succeed….

Gnosis Tackled

 

Notice that this time, my MWD stays on, Cap be damned (and yes, I have an injector, so I am good).  Also, my Alt isn’t taking chances, the Gnosis is webbed and he is not going anywhere fast.  His boat explodes, the pod warps off and I chase after it, hoping he gets caught in my bubble after all.  But he warped somewhere else.

In /local, I offer the customary  “gf” which is reciprocated.  On  a whim, I ask if he needs an exit and he confirms.  I invite him to my fleet and advise him to warp to me

Epigene > warp to me
Epigene > youlll be in a bubble but ok
Epigene > taking bubble down
Epigene > just slowboat to hole
Spyder Comyn > have a good night guys
Epigene > you too mate. you good? not newb?
Spyder Comyn > nah, returning from a break
Spyder Comyn > been on and off for 10 years
Epigene > alright 🙂 let me know if you are interested in more WH stuff
Epigene > fly dangerously

Of course, while warping to me, he lands just as my bubble collapses.  He has 30km or so to slowboat toward the hole watched by my two characters.  Killing him here would be trivial but it would involve rescinding on my word.  Not going to happen.

Pod Exit.JPG

 

He jumps to high sec and safety and I remove him from the fleet.  He isn’t new so I don’t feel the urge to pay for his boat (thankfully, it was more expensive than my usual diet of T1 Exploration Frigates).

Overall, a fun night (for me), I made mistakes but managed to correct them when Bob gave me a second chance.  Maybe at some day in the very distant future, I get good at this game.  Not holding my breath, though.

 

CSM 12 – vote for a person, not a character

As inevitable as the tax man, the annual cycle of Council of Interstellar Management is back.   10 EVE Online players will be voted in over the next few weeks, their role is to be “representative” of the rest of us.  As with all elections, there is nepotism, favoritism and every permutation of internet journalism spewing nonsense because “the public has a right to know”.  But beyond the drama, the CSM does have a real and important role, they are our chance to influence the hobby that we all love.

Before both of you loyal, handsome and intelligent readers panic, I won’t “endorse” any candidates in this post and not rant and rave against specific powerblocs and playstyles.  This has been played out in the Main Stream Media.   No, I want to go back to basics and look at the role of the CSM from a player and from a company perspective and see what type of candidate would be most suitable. Continue reading

Elder Scrolls Online and other single player games

Both readers of this blog may recognize that I occasionally drift away from writing about EVE Online and venture into other games and genres. Never for long, no other game so far had the staying power with me but yes, I did write about World of Warcraft, Fallout 4, Planetside 2 and of course my anticipated disaster playing No Man’s Sky.  Likely quite a few others but those are the ones that I remember a little more.  Common to all these games is my lack of attachment, an “aloof” attitude, an unwillingness for me to get serious about the game, nothing compares to you, EVE Online in depth and complexity.  Case study Fallout 4.  I picked it up over the Thanksgiving Holidays and played it a ton. The captivating storyline, the excellent (in my opinion) combat, crafting and interaction system and the detailed post-apocalyptic, believable world drew me in.  Its an awesome game.  Last time I played? January 23rd according to Steam. Its not that I don’t like the game, I just “got it”, i.e. I understood how it works and where it will go eventually.   Sure, there are mods (which I downloaded), new questions, more villages to free etc but overall, I have all the content that I wanted – (discounted) money well spent.  In the future, I will likely go back and replay it in Survival Mode for the additional challenges but currently I see no need to continue.

Still my favorite companion

Still my favorite companion

Continue reading

Duck Season

 

It is no secret to my last remaining pair of readers that our corporation (Z3ro Return Mining) lives in C4 space with an ever-changing C3 neighbor.  Life and wormholes are like boxes of chocolates, you never know what you find when you open one; C3s are quite popular actually since they always have a connection to K-space and hence allow the riches of Wormhole life with the added advantage of easy access to the markets.

Last Monday, Oreamnos Amric and myself find ourselves alone at home, Orea is our CEO, Alliance Boss, Supreme Commander and Dear Leader.  He also manages our corp payouts so I suck up to him.  While Orea is doing accounting things, I open our C3 with my scouting Proteus whilst having my alt in a Stratios on standby in our hole.  D-scan shows me 3 Tengus, a tractor unit and a mess of wrecks.  I quickly move, cloak and with narrow beam find out where these site runners are and within 10s, I have eyes on them from 100km. Continue reading

Planetary Interaction in High Sec – pocket money for casual players

As both my remaining, loyal, handsome and intelligent readers may remember, I have a little alt-corp that lives in a High Sec pocket somewhere behind low / null systems.  I use this team to afk-mine belts Veldspar (because the rocks are so big) in Retrievers or Mackinaws, export the minerals to Gallente space where I do “industry”, i.e. make random stuff for which I have mats when I remember and then I forget to sell it.  In addition, my little group does PI on nearby planets that serve as nearly 100% passive income source. Continue reading

Happy Birthday to me!

7 years in EVE Online today!

 

Epigene is my “main” character, he is the one I associate most with.  He started with the clear goal to be a miner, industrialist and mine his own ships, then blow them up in lowsec.  That plan didn’t last long – mining with a Exequror got pretty old after a few hours.  So he became a mission runner.  Then a wormholer.  And staid a wormholer. Until he became a Faction War guy.  Then a Wormholer.  And yes, a merc.  Now a wormholer.

100mil-sp

 

So here is to another 7 years in New Eden!

 

(and yes, I recycled the screenshot from a previous post, sue me)

 

Impulse buying and other stories

It is an interesting time in EVE Online at the moment, with alpha clones supporting consistently high log-in numbers, citadels and engineering complexes sprouting faster than they can be destroyed and solid wars keeping players and main stream media engaged.  Yes, EVE has never been in a better place; our generation’s lament “EVE is dying” is dead.

It does beg to question what comes next.  The engineering complexes came out late last year and collectively we gave CCP a well-deserved Christmas break, not expecting any serious updates.  Sure, we now anticipate the release of drilling platforms that will serve as the end of the maligned (or loved) POS.  The death of pulsing, blue ball is neigh and while I fully understand the reasons behind the move, I will also be a little sad to see it go.  The whimsical soap bubble of safety, floating by itself in a J-system has always had the appearance of a makeshift hunter or logging camp promising safety and vulnerability at the same time.  Instead we get solid looking structures, mega cities that we can imagine filled with thousands of hopeful humans living at the mercy of us godlike capsuleers.  Especially in J-space, where would the survivors go when an Astrahus finally succumbs to an onslaught of foes?  It is not in human nature not to prepare for these events and I imagine the Sisters of EVE organizing caravans of rescue ships every time one citadel goes into structure.

Alright, enough philosophy.  How about my last weeks?

Well, its been one of those periods where not a single specific event shaped my online time but rather a bunch of little things that are individually amusing and collectively a mirror of what is possible in EVE, maybe even representative of the breadth of the game itself.

Here follows the summary of a few events in no particular order. Continue reading