Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Moving up, by Going Down…

or ~ Will NULL really be “safer” than Wormholes?

The Indy Fleet ready to pack up and move out
(Going down to NULL that is… yea, I heard those smirking lols…)
KK… looks like we’re gonna bite the apple and learn the cold hard truth about life, the ‘verse and nullsec. For them as follows my mental meanderings here you may remember that back ‘bout a month ago there was some talk about us, our Alliance, going to 0.0, but only one of our Alliance corps ended up takin the plunge, the rest of us stayed in Hi/Lo/WH or wherever we was (if you want, you can find my blatherings about that here).

We needa UP our game:
So… we reformed the Alliance and one of our corps went to null while the rest of us either had no interest or were doin the ‘wait-n-see’… and now we have ‘waited-an-seen’ and it looks like they have settled in ok. One of our Directors took leave of his sens… I mean, took a leave of absence and joined the corp in null and is having a ball and making good ISK. Additionally, during the waitin-n-seein period our corp decided to finally make the effort to move to a C3. We have reached the point in the C2 where we are stagnating and need to shake things up and find some new challenges...

We have reached the point where, no matter how good the ISK is, running C2 Sleepers is getting to be moar like missioning than anything fun. However, we did run sites inna raid C3 some weeks ago and THAT was FUN! We had our usual fleet up, some guys from our corp and some guys from the Allies in our homehole, and we all actually had to warp out at one point to rep and recap due to the damage we were takin! Now that is moar like it! And, as expected, the Lewts and Slavage were substantially better… Now we’re talkin! So I have been sorta pushin for us to find either a C2/Lo/C3 (a C2 WH w/ a static Lowsec hole & a static C3 hole) or a C3/Lo/C<4 (a C3 WH w/ a static Lowsec hole & a static C[anything less than a 4] hole).

The last Sleeper Op for the Nidhogger Class Carrier “HDF Lusankya” under HBHI Command
Why a C<4? Cause people who live in W-space have to be (1) skilled up for the space they live in… which usually goes hand in hand with being skilled higher, or at least usually moar experienced, in pew pew also. If (when) we move up to a C3, the corp we share the C2 with will not be coming with us… so we will lose a POS and a whole corp of support… we will be alone in our new hole and dependant on just us, so we dunt need to have a daily connection to holes what has people in them what ‘have’ to be better skilled and moar experienced than us. What I want is a C2/Lo/C3… live in a C2, have a static Lowsec to Empire with a static C3 to raid... but we gotta find it first… and finding a very specific needle inna large haystack of identical needles would be far, far easier...

But, we have decided to make the move and we have The Three Part Plan:
-Part the First: take down Serenity Station and move ervything to storage in our Empire offices;
-Part the Second: spend some time in nullsec with the corp what moved there… for the change of pace and the experience;
-Part the Third: while in nullsec, grind up some corp ISK in new ways and continue the search for a new homehole;

So yer may be thinking “#1 and #2 I get OK… but how are you going to search for WHs if yer runnin sites in null?” Well, one of the things we do is “sell” WHs we find & raid that are (a) empty and have (2) decent PI for POS fuels… there are forums where one can offer said W-space Ether Estate for sale and conversely, look for hole to buy. And, like most Capsuleer Captains in New Eden we each take on one or two Apprentice Lieutenants (often referred to as our A’Lts), these are Capsuleer Pilots in Training. They are very, very carefully screened and selected pilots in whom we can trust implicitly with corp and personal business. Some will remain in Empire and we will direct their efforts to find a suitable Wormhole for the corp.

Phase One:
So we started taking down “Serenity Station” our Large Minmatar Planetary Orbital Station… Ugh. You see our Serenity, well she was a real Deth Star…
Full set of Shield Hardeners, x2 Photon, x3 Thermal x4 Explosive & x4 Kinetic and 39 fully loaded Guns, x18 Med Arty, x18 Med ACs, x2 Sm Arty, x1 Sm AC… and 36 EWar mods, x4 of each type…

One of the 18 Defense Weapon/EWar Emplacements
This meant that:
(A) we had up a helluva lot moar defense mods than we could ever online all at once (this being the point of course, if you bash us and incap any particular mod, I have MANY moar I can just online to continue bashing you back with…) and
(2) it also meant a helluva lotta unloadin and offlinin and unachorin needed to be done… ugh.
And I put most of this all up before Crusibble and the Great Anchoring Nerf, THAT was Epic Ugh.

We get all but the minimum onlined Defenses down and stored, we get the Assy Arrays, Refineries and the Lab broke down and crated up... all the internal structures but one Ship Maint Bay and “Haven” the Lrg Ship Assy Array packed up and ready to go. Now we need fair weather (a good hole, Hisec or a 1 hop low) and all of us together. Well, “the best laid plans…” as they say, aren’t ours. One of our Directors gets his ships out… and heads for null. The other has ‘things he has to do’ some place he refers to cryptically only as “Floridah” in “RL”, (secretive bastard)… and so he is not around much.

So I start flying my ships out to Jigga, I buy a buncha shuttles in Jigga and do 3, 40+ hop round trips, bringin in 3 of my BCs in only to find out Jigga is simply where the Freighter is docked that we are going to use for the move, not the staging system we are supposed to bring our ships to. The owner is going to bring it to the nearest Empire hole to the C2 in a few days and pick up everthang… the actual staging system, the one where our Jump Freighter pilot can come and get our stuff to take back to the 0.0 system we are going to be staying in, is… 30+ hops… the other way… OH EFF ME.

Needless to say I am a little put out by the news and as the trolling and LOLing begins I am able to pull up the Neocom logs and prove I was told that was where one of our corpmates was taking his ships ‘for the move’… hence I had every reason to believe, and no one advised me otherwise, that that was where I had to take my ships… gratefully the trolling stopped and was followed up by, “Well look, we can fix that this way…” While I was, and am, very grateful to our JF pilot for his offer of several very inconvenient for him possible solutions, I left those ships where they were and just contracted em to the Freighter pilot, I trust him and he had to come out this way anyway right? As for the rest of the ships I am taking to null, as you can imagine I spent a truly amazing amount of time moving them all over EvE the past several days.   =]

Tur’s Fleet

Anyhoo, I get almost all of my ships out, and in the process realize I own wayyy too many ships so I put a few unrigged Rifters up for sale and a buncha rigged Rifters and rigged Thrashers and a Procurer up on contract. I move the ones Ima keep in Empire to our Hisec Offices and the one I want to bring with me to the last 0.5 sys from the lowsec staging system. So far so good, the losec holes we have been having are decent, and we had a hisec or two in the stat C2. I haven’t lost any ships (yet, repeatedly impact knuckles on xylem of dried cellulose) and I am ready to make some Indy runs. I make several with my Mastodon transport and get the bulk of the mods and assets in the Ship Assy arrays out of the hole staged in the closest station and then from there into storage at the HQ... so far, so good.

We go campin:
The next day we get back to workin on all of this and I am scanning the days holes when what do I find... the newest D382, our static C2, is unoccupado… there’s just an offline Gallente tower with 10 incapped guns and their public Corp records read like that happened moar than a month ago, hmm… I do a quick DScan…OH Damn! 30 combat sites! WooHoo! Oh yea, we gotta rape this hole before we go nulla. OK, so while we have a connecting hole I real quick throw up a Small Minnie Spike, a Ship Maint Bay and the Sm Ship Assy for storage. Bring in and online the minimum needed hardeners and a few guns so she can at least go down fighting…

Serenity Base Defenses
Yea I said ‘go down fighting”. You see small towers are really nothing moar than targets in W-space… I actually refer to it as “the ‘tent’ in the raid hole.” If anyone gets at all serious about taking it down, it won’t last long. But… for what we want to do it is an acceptable option. It gives us a minimum amount of protection and somewhere to store multiple ships, which you cannot do otherwise as your one lone clone can’t logoff in multiple ships.

By the end of the day  I have the ‘tent’ all setup, many SS BMs (Safe Spot Book Marks) are made and I log off content we are on schedule in Phase One AND we have a nice chunk ‘o ISK to make to boot. Finding an empty hole with a high site count was sorta like a G’bye present from W-space… =]

Serenity Base… our tent in the raid C2
Then we get camped:
The next day my CEO and I are hopin to complete the move out AND our Friendly but Not-so Neighborhoodly Freighter pilot is bringing his Freighter, for free, to pick up ships etc. The for free is cause he was working with us on mining in our home hole and he has a LOT of stuff and a number of his own ships in our POS, so he would have been coming to get them anyway instead of moving them one by one. Well, to say it did not turn out as planned is a wee bit off the mark…

I had scanned down the A239, the stat lo and is was a suc hole… and Vik (Your Friendly Freighter pilot) had come out and run my ships to the staging system. He said he was gonna head on back to his home sys if we weren’t ready and the holes were not good, I said Okay but that I had not yet scanned the D382, which was listed as having a stat hi, and so he decided to wait… well, he shouldn’t have. Turns out his corp had a War Dec going live that very day. Anyhoo, I was still scanning when he said they had a dec coming on and I said well get the hell outta here man!

Well, he thought he could make it… you guessed it, he dint. Obelisk Freighter w/ 3 Hulks in the hold asploded inna horrible fire, Damn. And if that wasn’t bad enough… 2 days later, he does the shuttle fast-fast thing to get to our new stat lo so he can get his ships out and… we are camped by the Tuskers. My CEO is killed and podded, with the loss of an Itty V, thankfully carrying nothing irreplaceable or outstandingly expensive, and podding happens, it’s EVE.

So we do the waiting game thing and after almost 3 hours, we put a CovOps on both sides of the hole and wait some moar… all seems clear. Local looked OK, seemed the gang who attacked AI were no longer in system, course they could have just jumped a gate and were waiting for a cloaky scout to give em the signal to warp in… but it all “looks” clear and it has been 3 hours so we all decide to try for it and we give Vik the greenlight to make the run from the POS and out… and he gets jumped as soon as he warps thru the hole.

He is able to warp back thru but they are right on his heels. On landing inside they pop up a ‘dictor bubble and that’s that… They blow his Apoc and request a ransom for his pod. Little do they know, or care, that his recent losses have drained his wallet and he cannot afford any reasonable ransom… so they pod him. Crap… its EVE and its Wormholes… right?

Vik ends up back in null from when he was incorp down there, I cover the cost of upgrading his clone and the guys there help him bloodjump (slang: The act of purposefully jumping to the location of a medical clone by deliberately being podded) back to hisec. Them damn Tuskers… gotta give em the respect though. We had made a buncha runs in my Mastodon and AI’s Itty V before they jumped AI on an outbound leg. Then they did it right… they played the waiting game, and won another kill for their patience.

Needless to say that was that for the night. AI went and picked up his Hyp from wherever he had docked it and made his way to the raid C2 we had setup the ‘tent’ in and logged for the night… We heard from Strigon and he has the Duck I got as a prize from the C4 raid he is gonna use in the raid C2 and he is on his way back. I stayed up a bit writing up reports, this one among em.

POS Gun Fun:
On a side note, I finally got to use the POS guns… I had a really stoopid number of shuttles in the POS. Some from batches I had brought in for the usual reasons, shuttle are just damned handy and a lot from all the moving ships out part of the last week. You can’t repackage mods and ships in a POS and you can’t put unpackaged ships in a Transport or a Freighter… you can store/scoop them into a Capital like an Orca or a Carrier… but we sold our carrier earlier this week and lost our Orca some time ago in the hole.

We badly need another Orca, but “need in one hand and shite in the other and see which fills faster” as they say. So how did I solve this dilemma? Would you believe I risked multiple losec runs to save an effin fleet of 10K ISK each shuttles??  Uh UH!!  I flew about half of em out to my 200Km from the POS Relay Point, ejected, podded back into the POS, took control of a Med Arty Battery and had me some fun.

After I popped all the shuttles that I had dropped at the Relay Point, I changed the POS aggression settings, flew another shuttle out, ejected, gave my pod a burst of thrusters and watched the POS herself turn the shuttle into a wreck inna cloud of smoke… Cool, rinse and repeat until there were no moar shuttles left… sigh. Later AI had come back to the POS and he played with the guns blasting the wrecks to clean up the sky as they were clutterin up his dscan… right, I heard him smilin as he said it.  =]

So, we still have the last few mods, the spike and a ship or two left to move out, and now something like 35 or moar sites in the raid C2 still to run… I got out of our old C2 tonight made the 4 lows out to hisec and am now doing some last minute ship moving and finishing this report before I head to the tent in raid C2 for the night…
Man, I am looking forward to our null adventures,
But I am surely gonna miss living...   on the other side of the sky.

Fly safe and see you in the Sky. =/|)=

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