Goldilocks and the Class Five: Part Two

For numbers and other junk, please check out the first part of this series: “Goldilocks and the Class Five: Part One“.

After she’d eaten the three bears’ breakfasts she decided she was feeling a little tired.  So, she walked into the living room where she saw three chairs.  Goldilocks sat in the first chair to rest her feet.

“This chair is too big!” she exclaimed.

The news crackled over the Alliance channel. “We’ve found a Class 5 with a Class 5 static connection. It looks to be unoccupied. Is someone willing to park an alt there and scout for a new Class 5?”

I had performed some fairly casual C5 prospecting for the alliance a few weeks earlier. I found it unfruitful. The hit to my income from stagnant Planetary Interaction (~20M ISK/day) convinced me it wasn’t worth sitting in a system just to scan it once a day, chase the chains, and return to my staging system with a 95% chance of being empty-handed.  The potential payoff would be large, but the work in between here and there was boring and unlikely to be successful.  Additionally, the residents of the C5 I was using as my “home base” for scanning also apparently didn’t appreciate me opening their front and back doors every day.

See, if nobody warps to a wormhole, it doesn’t open or change location, apparently indefinitely.  This is a very useful behavior for farming corporations interested in repeated capital escalations: if you don’t open your doors, and you quickly close any inbound wormholes anyone opens to your system, you can effectively keep your system closed off from the rest of the wormhole constellation.  It requires staff to watch for new signatures pretty much round-the-clock, so few do it.

Apparently, the system I’d been scouting was one such. They scared me off with fleets guarding the holes I’d just scanned down, harassing me in local, and the first C3 chain I jumped through to chase chains, they rolled the hole behind me with an almost palpable “And STAY out!” echoing in my ears.

Have I mentioned how welcoming we wormhole types are when you stroll into our homes? Truly. Wormholes are a veritable cornucopia of friendly people ready, willing, and able to give you free transportation out of W-space and back to K-space.  Remarkable.

So she tried the last and smallest chair.

“Ahhh, this chair is just right,” she sighed.  But just as she settled down into the chair to rest, it broke into pieces!

I coordinated thirty-seven jumps, fit a new scanning frigate (a cheap one, as if the locals wanted me out there was a good chance they could forcibly remove me), and eventually synced up with our C4 fleet who’d stumbled on the proposed C5 staging point system.  All in all, it took a couple of hours for me to get to the right location. Bookmarking wormholes all the way, two anoikis deep, there was the C5. My guide asked if I wanted the system bookmarks, to which I replied, “Naw. Just leave me in there. If I can’t scan my way out, I’m not worth my salt.”

My guide thanked me for babysitting the chain, informed me they intended to roll the connecting hole now that I was in-system, and dropped me from fleet.  I bookmarked the hole I came in through, warped to a few celestials, created safe spots, warped to one of them, cloaked up, and thought about my next move.  The first action, I thought, would be to out-date the chain I just came in through.

I highlighted the bookmarks. I right-clicked and selected “Remove Location”. Then “Yes” on the “Are you sure you want to remove location?” prompt.

Then I smacked my forehead and said, “Doh!”  I had meant to DRAG the bookmarks to my “Outdated Bookmarks” folder. Just in case I needed them. So there I was in the new C5. Just safe spots. No other bookmarks. And over thirty signatures in the system to scan down.  Fun!

I’m a computer nerd for a living. I run the storage for a major cloud operation for a very major corporation. I’m normally very, very cautious about dialog boxes.  At this exact moment, I knew just how the poor schmuck surfing porn feels when he clicks “yes” to the “allow this program to make changes to your computer?” prompt. Embarrassed and alone. And probably virus-infected.

An hour or so later, as I finally found the exit wormhole I’d come in through, I hear from my alliance-mate Compayn. Turns out he wants to come join me in the C5 so we can hunt down multiple chains, and he’s bringing some containers to store our bookmarks in.  The only problem: I’d destroyed all the bookmarks to the interconnecting system!

Among many other reasons, this kind of situation is why everybody who spends much time in wormholes must have decent scanning skills.  Twenty or more signatures later — what were these people doing with so many sigs in their systems, anyway? — I found an outbound wormhole that looked promising.  Hopped in, gave Compayn the signature number.  He found a wormhole in the system which I’d used as our bastion, hopped in.

Crap. Wrong wormhole!

Comp hopped back out again, and resumed scanning. What do you know: there were TWO C2 wormholes into this same system? He found the right one, warped to me, and we followed the chain back to the C5.

Finally! All synced up and ready to go. He dropped a small secure container — we named the system “Joe”, and that’s the container’s name — for bookmarks and logged off.

So there I was again. Alone in the staging system. Now with a full set of bookmarks for an exit chain that would soon be obliterated, and a full container of bookmarks. I logged off for a few hours, then came back — the inbound wormhole was now closed — and checked out my bookmarks.  There were two wormholes: one to nullsec, and one promising to lead me to “deadly unknown parts of space”.

Wait a second. “Deadly?” That doesn’t sound right.  Can’t be.

Double-checked the signature type on Eve-Uni’s list of sigs.

Damn.

Double damn.

Hopped through. Sure enough. C6. Black hole, no less. After enjoying microwarpdriving around at obscene speeds for a few minutes and trying to trace out an exit — unsuccessfully, it led to a C5 EOL hole — I sat back and thought about my predicament some more.

The alliance had led me not to a C5 with a C5 static connection, but to a C5 with a static C6 connection. Useless for our needs.  I was lost in the woods, and my only routes out were through deep null-sec — a dangerous and lengthy return trip! — or trying to chase down the C6 chain. The odds were not in my favor.

The easy way out: abandon my cheap scanning frigate and self-destruct to my clone. With only 45 million ISK on the line, that would be pretty trivial and represent only a day or two’s Planetary Interaction or running a couple of sites worth of work to replace. However, there was more than that, to me. There was pride in being a wormholer, and pride that I would be able to find my own way out. Given enough time.

Goldilocks was very tired by this time, so she went upstairs to the bedroom.  She lay down in the first bed, but it was too hard.  Then she lay in the second bed, but it was too soft.  Then she lay down in the third bed and it was just right.  Goldilocks fell asleep.

I double-checked my signatures and logged out for the night. Try again tomorrow.

The next day I logged in. Updated signatures. New sigs. Inbound deep nullsec. Outbound C6. Logged out.

The next day I logged in. Clicked reload on my Core Probe launcher. Empty. No reload option. Checked the cargo hold.

Crap. How the heck did I lose probes? The new system was supposed to prevent that!

Submitted a “stuck” support ticket.

“If I understood correctly, the new patch was supposed to resolve core probe “lost” issues, and prevent them from disappearing. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be the case; now I’m stuck in a Class 5 wormhole without the ability to scan my way out again! My hold is empty of probes, and the ones in space are no longer there.

“Any chance you can toss some core probes in the cargo hold of this poor sucker? Or do I need to take the pod express back to hisec?”

Had a brief discussion with a corp-mate about the topic. Our conversation will be enough detail, I think, to provide a reasonable end to this chapter!

Eyeoh Errah > Core probes disappeared on me. No spares. Filed support ticket. Let’s see how short their queues are today…
Dirael Papier > Disappeared like, from space?
Dirael Papier > Because they should auto-return to cargo now I thought. :O
Eyeoh Errah > Yep.
Eyeoh Errah > That’s exactly right.
Eyeoh Errah > Apparently, changing zones? They come back to you. Logging out? Not always.
Dirael Papier > Weird.
Dirael Papier > And you can’t reconnect?
Eyeoh Errah > Yep. Weird. That’s why I submitted a support ticket before podding myself 🙂
Eyeoh Errah > Nope. They don’t exist.
Eyeoh Errah > There’s been a downtime in between, I think.
Eyeoh Errah > Good idea, though.
Dirael Papier > Hopefully CCP fixes that quickly then.
Eyeoh Errah > Yeah!
Eyeoh Errah > Sweet. Core probes just magically appeared in my cargo hold! It’s a miracle! Praise Bob!

Dirael Papier > Huzzah!

Next time I do this, I’m going to bring spare core probe scanners and probes to stick in that small cargo container.  Lost core scanner probes may currently be a bug, but it’s a bug I can work around.

More tomorrow. The daring tale of how I returned to my home wormhole, and how this whole — or is it “hole”? — experience was kind of pointless anyway.

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5 responses to “Goldilocks and the Class Five: Part Two

  1. Great story Txg!

    Just a few thoughts…

    “…quickly close any inbound wormholes anyone opens to your system, you can effectively keep your system closed off from the rest of the wormhole constellation. It requires staff to watch for new signatures pretty much round-the-clock, so few do it.”

    Yes, and not ‘xactly… Skywatch does have to be up and active after closing your static and last K162 and before you pop your new static. But it is not hard, just boring… So:

    -probes out, ignore all sigs, begin spamming the ‘scan’ buhtan;
    -you will get a blank return until a new K162 pops which, if you are on your toes (and you better be) you should see right after it spawned and while the guy on the other side who scanned it down is still warping to it;
    -call out “New Sig!”, immediately resolve to 100% and warp to as fast as you can while;
    -the Op goes on hold and everyone spams the crap outta Dscan…

    ANY cloaky that jumps in MUST break jump cloak before he can cloak up and will be visible for a few seconds at least, with everyone spamming Dscan there is a very good chance you will at least get ship types & numbers…

    As re, “…few do it.” We do it every time we run sites, every single time.

    This level of Skywatch ONLY has to take place ‘during’ Sites Ops and it can effectively be done by one guy, but he HAS to be disciplined, dedicated and understand his role and its importance to the Op. I know where of I speak as I have flown Skywatch…

    Oh, and the poor schmuck sittin bored starin’ at a radar screen… he also gets a full share of Op payout for his efforts. Pretty nice to pick up tween approx 100 to 200mISK for spamming a ‘scan’ buhtan for an hour or so… =]

    And as re Lost Probes…

    You said, “The next day I logged in. Clicked reload on my Core Probe launcher. Empty. No reload option. Checked the cargo hold. Crap. How the heck did I lose probes? The new system was supposed to prevent that!”

    Then..

    Dirael Papier > Hopefully CCP fixes that quickly then.
    Eyeoh Errah > Yeah!
    Eyeoh Errah > Sweet. Core probes just magically appeared in my cargo hold! It’s a miracle! Praise Bob!

    OK, (1) losing probes, having them die in space USED to be an accepted ‘risk’ of life in Anoikis… and it still should be. Period. As for ” Next time I do this, I’m going to bring spare… …probes…” I still carry 20 probes in ALL my scan ships… always have, always will JIC CCP wakes up and realizes the gods awful mistake they made… and then I do hope they will “Fix It”.

    By The Gods I hate the Magic Probe Nerf… EvE isn’t supposed to have MAGIC… that’s WoW crap. =\

  2. Great comment, thanks!
    Getting educated is one of the reasons I write. Not only do I clarify my own thinking on a subject, but get useful feedback. I’m think I’m probably one of the lowest-skill guys you’ll ever see in a wormhole. Skills all over the place, no specific plan until I joined up. Now I have a better view, but still screw up with unsurprising regularity.

    As far as the “spare probes” thing, yep, I always used to carry spares. Until the patch. Learned my lesson, as apparently there are still ways to lose probes. Not sure exactly how, but I *think* a clean log-out with probes out, then the probes timing out, will do it.

    Thanks for your thoughts!

  3. I for one am happy that the new feature babysits explorers. This new patch has them out there in droves, and I can’t imagine how many probers would be lost out there and rage into a flurry of petitions. It could always get changed back, and I do hope it does, as the explorer should always be prepared for his journeys. I don’t expect this anytime soon, though. Perhaps when a few thousand more Gnosis are lost by people that still pronounce the G, then maybe such safety precautions can be scaled back. Great read. Fire back with a good one, Epi!

    • Fire back with a good one, Epi!

      An unintended side-effect of having TXG Sync write on these humble pages is that the quality of the posts has reached new heights. Whereas in the past I could just drop any old crap and rant into this blog, now I need to actually worry about adhering to a standard. I love it!

      With respect follow up posts, I literally have not logged in since Sunday (and that was a short one). Been on the road for business and at night when I crawl back into my hotel room, I am in no mood for spaceships. This will go on until Monday when normality (whatever that is) returns.

      But with TXG Sync covering our exciting alliance projects, I am very keen to go back to my fan fiction. I thoroughly dug my protagonists into their 2 respective holes and while I know how the story will end, I do not yet know how I will get them there. Ideas?

      • Epi,

        While I haven’t read your fan fiction — though I mean to! — yet, you’ll have ample opportunity to fill in the cracks on BWMT shenanigans shortly. I’ll be on vacation for two weeks in July, and unlikely to play or post. Unless I get a down day here and there or something!

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