Wormhole Lesson – The Right Tool for the Job

As both regular readers of this blog surely know by now, our little Academy (Broken Wheel Mercantile and Trading, BWMT) makes its humble living inside a C2 Wormhole where the PvE is meager but the opportunity for pewpew is a-plenty. Unlike our distant cousins in their C6 fortresses who seemingly have coalitions with half of their neighbors and gentlemen’s agreements with the other half, we don’t have Blue standing for anyone.  If we see it in space, we either kill it or we run away.

So, the other night, our team is sniffing around in our C2 neighbor, the locals seem to be doing “something”.  We are not quite sure what is going on but like sharks drawn to a drop of blood, our guys accumulate in and around the wormhole leading to them.  I happen to be in my cloaky Tengu which I only pull from its crate when I know my team is with me.  C2 life does not allow ISK generation to make this my primary boat.

Our neighbors seem to not know that we are there and a lonely Venture sets out to suck gas.  These things are frighteningly efficient and I don’t have much time to set up the probes, so I hurry up with my probes, 100% in second pass but he was no dummy and when I arrive I can just about make out its tail-lights as he warps back to the safety of his blue bubble.

Now the game is up, he knows we are here and as it is standard practice, some Core Scanner Probes appear, clearly looking for our hole.  Looks like they are trying to work out where we came from.  Grade “F” for situational awareness.

By sitting close to our hole and reducing the range of our D-scanner, its easy to find out when they have a positive lock but to our confusion, we have not figured out what type of ship is doing the scanning.  After the Venture warped away, a brief shuffle of ships / pods followed indicating that there are 2 active characters in this hole, one of them in a hauler, the other, we are not quite sure.

It takes forever for the probes to come close, to a point where my cloaked up friends demand to be allowed to speak in local channel and give scanning tips – we are an academy after all.  But we are all disciplined and eager to see what kind of ship the opposing team flies.  Is it a Heron?  A Tengu?  A Helios?  Maybe a Bomber?  Something shiny?

A Mammoth?

Yes, a Mammoth hauler warps straight from their POS to the Wormhole we are idly (and cloaked) circling at 100km range.  Then cloaks up.  I would give the pilot a “C” for good effort, putting “eyes” onto an identified Wormhole is in principle a good idea.  But a Mammoth is clearly the wrong ship for the job.  It can’t fly cloaked, its darn big and anything that runs over it will decloak it and lastly, it has no chance of escaping.

So, what’s next?  My team is eager to do something, roll the hole, anything but I feel we owe it to the gods of WH space to try to separate Pod from Mammoth and – if at all possible – assist the Pilot with a much needed trip to his cloning vat.  We bring everyone in and start a casual stroll in uncloaked ships between the wormhole into the direction of their POS.

Well, “casual” – Skip is going 2400 m/s in his interceptor and is making me dizzy with his buzzing sound.  Me, I prefer a gentle and methodical race-track pattern, to and -fro the 100km mark into the direction of their POS.

We idly muse that the poor pilot surely by now has filled his pants but we may just miss him.  Space is big, yes, its a slow hauler but my recollection of his last position may just be 15km out – to decloak him, I need to be within 2.5km.  Its quite possible that we will never find him – I have evaded similar situations before in an Iteron so I am under no illusion that we may have to go home empty-handed.

A Road Bump in space

A Road Bump in space

And then my little Tengu slows down as it hits a bump in the road – I literally ran over the Hauler which decloaks and frantically tries to fire up something.  Not gonna happen.  I lock the Mammoth and put my point on him and hug him close in brotherly love.

Well, we now try to call in the team so everyone shares the inevitable killmail.

Skip, I think, lets a missile fly from his interceptor – it scratches its tank but Skip – like all good cats playing with a mouse – stops short of actually doing real damage.  A little blood is fine but a dead rodent ain’t no fun.

After about 30 seconds, the Mammoth pilot ejects and warps clear to his POS. We sit there with his ship locked and are rather dumbstruck.  We did not see this coming and wonder what will happen next.  Was this all a big trap?  Will the universe collapse. Nah.

Well, now what.  We have a perfectly intact (no thanks to Skip!) Mammoth floating with possible tasty cargo (or maybe nothing).  Problem is, none of us can fly this thing.  Wild schemes are plotted – convo the owner, ransom it back to him etc.  But its late, I am tired and I want to go home and sleep.  So missiles it is and we make short work out of this ship looting the cargo and getting back.

This week’s Wormhole Lesson – Use the right ship for the job, haulers make lousy scanner platforms…

Hole watching gone wrong

Hole watching gone wrong

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22 responses to “Wormhole Lesson – The Right Tool for the Job

  1. That is hilarious… LOL I have seen a lot of dumb shit in holes and I have a cloak on ALL my houlers, JIC… and I have used them slow boating to save my ass and cargo more n once… but never, NEVER have I seen a heavy hauler used as a scout. That one takes the cake… glad you got lucky and got the ship too, he deserved that in spades.

    To remark on another topic though, we lived inna C2 for over a year and while I didn’t make the same level of ISK I am making now in our C6 Fortess of “Wayy To Damn Crowded” (you know the opposite of the guy in the cape’s one of “Solitude”…), in the C2 I was still able, even with our small corp, to make T3’s my main go to ship.

    I spent my nights inna CovOps ’cause I too believe in ‘right ship for the job’ and CovOps is THE scan boat of choice, and because the very first thing you do on ‘waking up’… ok the very second thing you do cause the first is making sure you are cloaked up and spam DScan a few times, but THEN you probe down the days holes… and you KEEP tabs on em or mass close em but you keep CONTROL of them…

    But unless something specific was happening or planned requiring a specific ship type I jumped in my Cloaky Loki. Yea, ISKwise it takes a bit more work, running not just your sites but raiding your neighbor’s sites, but I loved that I could solo C2 sites in my Duck… granted the Drake didn’t have stellar DPS even back them, but she still tanked like a tritanium clad brick so I was able to afford the T3 lifestyle, just couldn’t afford to lose ‘many’ was all…

    I will say it is nice now though… I have 4 Loki’s… 2 PvP fit in Empire and 2 in the hole, 1 PvE and 1 PvP… =]

    • Thanks! Glad that was amusing even the old WH hands. We are having luck at the moment with pilots who seem to have not experienced the WH Darwin just yet. I think part of it is that WH corps all develop their own “mutations” of operating procedures in isolation. Mutations are nice and good but only get tested under environmental pressures. Actually, I am smelling a blog post on that 🙂

      With respect to income – sure we have people who pull several bn ISK out of our surrounding C2s every month. Its not hard, roll the WH, run the sites, do PI. Easy. But you need to work several hours / day to do this. My RL is now at a point where I get 2h every other day max (and thats a lot). Some of the time is spent doing recruitment interviews, API checks and so on. Not complaining but real PvE (for ISK), I may not do a site for several weeks. And the C2s dont pay out very well – we had 5 people run 4 sites last night, per person ISK is <10mil / each. With this income, I can't afford to lose to many T3s. In fairness, I have more fun in bombers / Arazu / Falcon than in my T3 anyway…

      C6 life must be weird – would be great to see how its done one day. Maybe you can set me blue for a weekend and I come fly with you? I promise to behave myself. After that, happy to "reset" WH space does not like the color "blue" 😉

      • Hmmm… as L&S (Lewtz & Slavage) is, aside from PI, the only ISK made in holes may I ask… whoever salvages MUST be an L5 salvager, run Salver IIs, fit Tackle Rigs AND I Highly recommend if you have an alt or a corpmate who is interested in being the main salvager that he seriously consider the salvaging implants. If you have all that covered then I am not sure why you aren’t pulling better ISK…

        I was the dedicated salver for HBHI and we saw a bit more than that for 4 sites… course that was an Expansion or two ago… =]

        Nowadays I run a Painting/Dual Web Loki as subcap killer and Dread support in the C6… I haven’t run a Noctis in Bastion but once and was rusty at it then…

        Totally get the RL>EVE and “Time is ISK” thing… nothing any of us can do about that stuff. Hope things improve for ya.

        And yea, I will talk to Das Führership and see if I can get approval for a guest… I’m not sure we have ‘let’ anyone not in the Alliance into the homehole, as you well know, security is taken very seriously in holes so we’ll see… =]

        • I am pretty sure that salvaging skills, mods and gear increase the speed by which the wreck is salvaged by reducing the chance that the salvage cycle fails and possibly (need to check) by speeding up the cycle itself. But they do not – as far as I know – increase the amount or the type of salvage that drops.

          I would be very, very surprised if this was in the game design.

          Also, the price of nanoribbons has dropped from 8mil (2 years ago) to about 5.5 now. This really has reduced the earnings potential from PvE in a C2. The Mag sites / cans are pretty much worthless as well.

          Come fly with us for a few days and see how the slumlords live compared to you Kings. And I have no problem for you to join us for a bit. Just dont bring friends unannounced 🙂

      • Re Salvaging: (http://wiki.eveuniversity.org/Salvaging_101)

        All wrecks have a base access percentage – the likelihood that you will successfully salvage the wreck.
        Small basic wrecks (Frigates and Destroyers) have a base access of 30%
        Medium basic wrecks (Cruisers and Battlecruisers) have a base access of 20%
        Large basic wrecks (Battleships) have a base access of 10%
        Small advanced wrecks (Wormhole NPCs, Faction or officer NPCs, or T2 player ships) have a base access of 0%
        A Sleeper Large Advanced Wreck has an Access Difficulty Base of -20

        Base access can be modified by salvaging skill level, and using rigs, implants and tech II salvaging modules.
        Each salvaging skill level with a Salvager I module raises base access by 5% per level. Note that a higher salvaging skill does not give you better salvage. It just makes it more likely for you to succeed.
        Salvaging V unlocks the Salvager II module, which raises base access by 7% per level, and also extends salvaging range to 6,000 meters.
        Salvage Tackle I rigs raise base access by 10% each. Salvage Tackle II rigs raise base access by 15% each, but they are hideously expensive and usually not worth the additional investment unless you plan to do a LOT of salvaging.
        The Poteque ‘Prospector’ Salvaging SV-905 implant raises base access by 5% – it fits into slot 9. The Poteque ‘Prospector’ Environmental Analysis EY-1005 implant reduces cycle time of salvage, hacking and archaeology modules by 5% – it fits into slot 10.

        Essentially an L5 skilled Salvager using T2 salvers & T2 rigs (the only thing I don’t fit, wayyyy too expensive for the 10% boost for 2) and with both implants can have a game max of a 130% chance for successfully salvaging, IE you will get everything possible.

        Anything under 100% and you will not. we proved this in our C2 when I was the only L5 salvager able to run T2 salvers and w/ implants and I consistently pulled ‘more’ salvage per site than my corpmates keeping in mind the total available salvage per wreak is also a variable.

        So not you do not get better salvage, you just ensure you get ALL available salvage, which is actually in effect, ‘better’… because 4 MNRs even at today’s prices is ‘better’ than 3… =]

      • Correction: L5 skills (opens Salver IIs) and bumps you to L5 @ 7% = 35%
        x3 T1 Rigs, x3 @ 10% = 30%
        SV-905 implant = 5%
        total = 70%…

        add x3 T2 rigs, x3 @ 15% = 45%
        and you would get the actual game max 85% personal base chance to pull all available salvage so…

        Small basic wrecks base 30% + (me) 70% = 100%; best 85 =115%
        Medium basic wrecks base 20% + (me) 70% = 90%; best 85 = 105%
        Large basic wrecks base 10% + (me) 70% = 80%; best 85 = 95%

        Small advanced faction wrecks base 0% + (me) 70% = 70%; best 85%
        Large Sleeper Wreck base -20 + (me) 70% = 50%; best 65%

        So it seems that I am not even salvaging ‘perfectly’… crap.

        I read that 130% figure somewhere a long time ago… but I just did the math myself and discovered I was wrong. However… it still stands that I did pull ‘more’ salvage than my lower skilled corpmates at my 70% level… Maybe I need to invest in those damned expensive T2 rigs… huh.

        In EvE, as in RL, you live and learn… and then you do the math… =]

        • @ Tur = that calculation is very interesting and I think, wrong.

          As far as I understand the mechanic, it is binary. You either get salvage / cycle or you do not. The salvage content is identical. What changes is the cycle time to get it. The base percentages reduce the cycle time but have no impact on the value of the salvage generated.

          EVE Uni (thanks for the link) puts it very succinctly:

          “All wrecks have a base access percentage – the likelihood that you will successfully salvage the wreck”
          &
          “Each salvaging skill level with a Salvager I module raises base access by 5% per level. Note that a higher salvaging skill does not give you better salvage. It just makes it more likely for you to succeed.”

          In other words, you spend less time salvaging for the exact same stuff.

          If I am wrong on this one (and I really hope I am because that means we have an actionable way to increase revenue), then the mechanics is very different from what I understood it to be.

          How do we solve this now? Shall we do a comparative salvage run? 10 anoms of the same time type, my Catalyst (all T1) against your pimped out Noctis?

          Epi

      • @Epi, I d think you may (hopefully) be wrong as there were times in my early salvaging career where I completed salvaging and there was “nothing” to recover… as I moved up the skill tree and started using T2 salvers this ceased to happen… and, as I said, we saw a definite increase in salvage recovered when I salvaged as compared to someone of lower skills/no implants… plus the number and info I used in the above maths, came from the same site obviously.

        so In My Humble Experience, “chance to salvage” means just that, chance to actually recover all available salvage. How else can we explain the difference between my salvage totals and lower total from others with lower skills in the same sites in the same hole for almost 2 years? =]

  2. This week’s Wormhole Lesson: Learn to fly every subcap t1 ship. 🙂
    Training time for a Mammoth? Hmm, like 1 day or 2 at most? The Itty V is the worst in this regard, I’d skip that if not my primary hauler race.

    Once we encountered a non-cloaky Heron outside the big-blue-ball-called-safety without any onlined POS guns with Sister’s Launcher equiped… Isn’t that dumb too?

    • Yeah – even take a shuttle or a newb ship to scout ahead – you are safer in that than in a Mammoth. And if you can fly a hauler with probes and cloak, you can fly a T1 scanning frig. We would have never caught him if he had been in one of those…

      • There are ships I don’t _want_ to be able to fly. Logi for example. A fleet forms and I can honestly say, “nosir, I don’t fly Logistics….”

      • A logi is T2, so it’s not on the matter. 🙂
        And I too have ships I don’t want to fly… Namely any and all missile ships. But you see, if I can’t fly one, I’m left out half of the fun.

        • You cant be in a SciFi game in space and not fly missile or laser ships. I have missiles and hybrids done now (and torps, of course, kinda different to missiles), so next step is lasers…

      • As re flying ships you dunt wanna…
        AS we are now in SYJ [HAHA] Alliance, and as SYJ has an Armor doctrine (which I do not disagree with) but as Amarr ships are best at armor tanking… I TurAmarth a proud Matarii, have broken an oath I took years ago… I have skilled up into Amarrian ships, now own several… meh.

        Until I joined SYJ I had not ONE EFFIN SP in Amarr ANYTHING… and was proud of it… oh well. =\

  3. @ Tur. Ok, so we have reached the end of the road, we differ opinions and only one of us can be right.

    We have therefore 3 options:

    1. We stop here and believe that the other is wrong.
    2. We file (each) a petition to a GM and get clarification
    3. We do the experiment.

    Choice 1 is not satisfying. I _want_ to be wrong after all, I’d love to be able to increase revenue by adding skills.

    Choice 2 is easy and I think we should just do it. If each of us files, chances are that we get 2 GMs responding independently. I have had cases where a GM gives me information that was “questionable”, so doubling up may get a better answer.

    Choice 3 is fun. Lets meet somewhere in WH space, run a few anoms (or have my guys run it). You take one of our Noctis’ (need to get your fits first, don’t think we have a blinged out one like yours), I take some catalyst. We run 10 anoms, each salavages 5 of them. I bet that there is no significant different between us, you bet against it.

    What say you?

    Epi

    • This experiment still won’t mean a thing with only 5+5 sites. I salvaged a lot of sites in my WH lifetime (same training, same implants, the exact same ship) and I got a lot with from 0 useable salvage to 7-8 ribbons per site. If you hit a bad/good luck streak, you can heavily push the answer to one side or the other. For a proper experiment, we would need at least 50+50 sites and that could take up a week or more.
      (I am willing to offer up a lv5 salvager char w/o implant (or maybe with them, depending on the price) and a t1 rigged destroyed instead of Tur if he doesn’t want to leave his home or as a 3rd person as an additional reference)
      In the end, I would suggest both option 2 and 3 with bigger sample.

    • I say… meh.

      LOL… Actually as I said before I always wanted to run an experiment and document all salvage as pulled by hole class/site/wreck… but you know what? The guys running the sites won’t stand for it… Noctis’n takes too long as it is they say… yer wasting our TIME Tur they say…. GET ON with it already!! they cry… the next site is READY they yell… LOL!

      While I really would love to do a truly good statistical analysis… the simple truth is I am wayyy too busy killing carriers and dreads to worry overmuch about the minutia of ISK making… Right now in Tur’s life times are good, the ISK is flowing and the GFs are often and wayy too damn much fun to take time off for experiments!!!

      Plus… have you checked Mabrik’s blog recently? Mabrick, the undisputed dyed-in-the-wool-carebear… has 2 Cap kills on his record!

      W-space BEST Space!!!

      • @ Tur – I agree with WH space is the best space although I have not experienced nullsec and C5/6 which looks pretty much the same as nullsec to me – but that could just be my impression. At the moment, I am happy where I am – we have about 1 recruit / day coming into the hole and we are busy just herding cats. Our alliance just accepted another corp and we are itching to go out with them and mix New Eden up a bit.

        It would be fun to run into you guys one day but I assume without 25 pilots in a fleet and several caps on standby you stay in your bubble? 🙂

      • @Stabs, I spent 2, 3 months in null… thought I had died, no, wait… wished I had died. And you are right, if that’s what you think C6 life is like, then no, you have never experienced it is right. It is NOTHING like null.

        We do solo shit in Empire, small, med and large gang fleets depending on who’s on and in the hole etc. We have Leroyed in with just three of us and I ‘think’ the largest fleet I have been in in a fight was maybe 20 guys tops something like that usually in the teens.

        We don’t have set fleet comps and we do a lot of kitchen sink’ish throw together fleets… but we all have a good idea of what roles we best fit in based on ships and fits etc. so we try and buy and fit to the tactics we have evolved.

        For instance, I am trying to prove myself as a scout, tackle and EWar pilot. So I buy n fly Cloaky Tackle Lokis, HICs & Hero Dictors and I am skilling into the ships preferred for EWar fits that work best with our main fleet tactics, but none of us are denied from flying what we want, just fly a crap fit and die and you will get the trolling you deserve is all.

        Our Caps are primarily for site running and home defense, though the odd chance to bring one in a fresh hole and use it in Capitol ganks is nice and can be a lot of fun… out Moros pilot on the last Archon kill got the POD. We have it inna bubble, multi webbed and scrammed and he was actually able to lock it, the POD was at ‘0’… so he fired and got a POD Kill with a Moros… =]

        As for staying n the bubble? LOL Nope!!! This is the most active Alliance we have ever been in. We are always mining gravs and running sites in home, running gas and site raids and always, but I mean ALWAYS Rolling and scouting for PvP!!! And you wanna come in and say hi? You have never seen guys ship up and warp out so fast to hunt you down or fleet up at the hole and go toe to toe with whoever wants to bring it…

        No my good friend, this is NOT Null!!

  4. All “official” sources I have ever seen only ever mention that skills change the access difficulty. Any mention of the skills changing the value has always been from personal experience like what is described here. While an experiment with full analysis and everything interests me greatly I’m inclined to go with the official line that skills don’t change the salvage value.

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