Monday, February 13, 2012

Caught ‘tween a Lotta Losec and a Hostile Hole…

or~  Massclosing Wormholes For Fun and Survival…

Mastodon Lowsec Runner

This is not a pew pew story… it is a story of pewvoidance, something many here in EVE see as dishonorable or cowardly even. But as for me, well, ‘tis sometimes the better part of valor, well, if not valor, mebbe the better part of logistics? …the better part of Risk Management? Not as exciting sounding, but far easier to understand. You see with just two PvE fitted BS’s and a PvW(reck) fitted Noctis and a few CovOps frigs and such, we were NOT in any position to get into any kind of a brawl with anyone except Sleepers… LOL.

It starts with the move out of the C2 we had been living in, I had recon’ed the stat C2 and found a treasure trove of sites in an empty hole, so we had setup a Sm Minnie Tower and a few modest defenses, moved in a just enough ships to run the 30+ sites, then went back and finished up the move out.

Over the next week things did not go as well as I had hoped. Aside from me, the other guys in our little band were either busy, or away or sick or whatever… and running sites solo in W-space can be quite risky… especially the Lootin and Salvagin part. You see you can at least go down fighting in a PvE fit ship… heck, I once drove off a Proteus that jumped me in my Sleeper Phoon… the tank on that thing is impressive and he wasn’t breaking it as fast as I was his… lol, so he bugged out (only time that ever happened!).

But a Noctis now… well, that aint nuthin but a big ol fat assed god-I-hope-its-full-of-nanoribbins defenseless TARGET in W-space. The smart WH raider waits until you have your Noctis at the last site you ran and are almost on the last wreck… maximize the value of the gank you see, a Noccy killmail is sweet… but a Noccy killmail AND some Melted Nanomonies… well, that is soo much sweeter. So I rarely run my Noctis solo, preferring to run my Salv Thrasher or my NinjaVigil when all alone in W-space.

Noctis’isn solo

The Thrasher carries four Sm Tractors Is and four Salver IIs, same as the Noctis though without the tractor range bonus, (Thrasher, 20Km as compared to the Noctis at 55Km). I run a single Sebo II (Sensor Booster = greatly reduced lock time [or increasing range]), an MWD, an Analyzer I (for hacking the Magnetometric archaeology sites in W-space) and an Inertia Stab II to reduce her align time. The Thrasher is smaller and faster than the Noctis and stands a much better chance of escaping an attack, especially if I am aligned to a instawarpable (= something I can click on in the sky as compared to digging into even one onscreen menu and R-clicking) and at speed. [This is different from Instawarping because you are not using a cloak, this is for a ship actively doing something such as salvaging where you cannot cloak.]

On the Vigil I usually fit one tractor and two salvers, or three salvers, but my Vigil is ‘dual’ Sebo fitted so she locks targets in, well I can’t click the stopwatch twice fast enough, it’s well under a second, and like the Thrasher, she has a MWD and an Inertia Stab II but I add a Nanofiber Internal Structure II and she has an align time of just over 4 secs and a top speed of 3500m/s.

Out of sheer curiosity, I timed her acceleration several times for an average of:
Standing start, MWD on, 0 to 1000m/s = 2.0 sec
Standing start, MWD on, 0 to 2000m/s = 3.0 sec
Standing start, MWD on, 0 to 3500m/s = 20.0 sec

A dual Sebo fit cloaky T3 Cruiser, uncloaking in range of me, just might be able get a lock on me, but I doubt he could engage a web or scram before I got out of range. If I am aligned and at std. speed, 450m/s (MWD off), all I would have to do is (1) scream like a gurl and (b) panicmash the MWD “ON”, and I’m outtathere!

HDF =Vigilante=  &  HDF =Salvatorius=

The Thrasher and the Vigil are fitted so I can Lewt and Slavage wrecks under Highly Adverse Conditions AND be able to GTFO, “RUN! Forrest, RUUN!!” if/when things go south saving POD and hard earned L&S. The vigil is my Ninja Salvager, highly successful at L&S’n wrecks with Flashy RED guys on grid with me. And either one is a far, far easier hit on the wallet if lost when things ‘go south’, which they do with nervous-tick developing frequency in the hole.   =]

So, we have this “tent” in this C2 we want to raid, we have ships and we have the need for ISK and we have 30+ sites to run... Oh yea! So with everything that had gone on that day my CEO is crapped out tired and calls it after we nom nom’ed up three sites. The next day, moar of the same… Go back to the old C2, got the last of everything out and took the Spike down and finished moving out, then corpmates AFK, one left for null, busy, sick.. crap. I ran three sites solo. We did great, for just six sites we pulled 27 MNR’s (Melted Nanoribbons for those late to class…). It was during this that I decide to stay in here and rape this hole until I have my Loki. I passed the skills a few weeks ago and now all I need is the ISKies, (for me, a lotta ISKies, ‘bout 600+Mil ISK to be approx… ) and this hole has enough and to spare all tied up in Sleeper droans and ships… all we gotta do is asplode em, lewt and slavage em and get it out to the store.

The next several days we were back to runnin round getting all the POS mods etc. consolidated in our Empire HQ hangars… Ervything had been taken outta via three different holes, and was therefore spread ALL over New Eden… sheesh. But, it hadda be done and nuthin to it but to do it, so we did.

Going to Warp…

Back to the raid hole and… wha? Huh? Oh Dammit! We got raided in the raid hole we were raiding! We went from 35 sites, we had knocked out 6 and now there were only 20 left, sumbody raided up 10 of OUR sites (1 additional site had spawned), oh well, so it goes… And everyone is again gone, sick or semi-permAFK… and I am tired of waitin, so I decide to risk it, fly as defensively as possible, and knock down as many as I can for the so sweet 100% split. So while I am working the sites a good friend gets on and we’re shootin the breeze, I tell him bout my Loki Quest and he replies, “…just so happens I just ran across an abandoned Shadow Serpentis wreck in this belt a few mins ago. It has Low-Grade Snake Epsilon implant and a Shadow Serpentis Warp Scrambler in it and you are welcome to them...”  Hmmmm… See one of my “things” in EVE is I don’t believe in loans, making my way in EVE, on my own, is important to me.

But… a Low-Grade Snake Epsilon implant and a Shadow Serpentis Warp Scrambler, huh? And you already warped away from the belt? Why dint you take em? Oh, you have X.X Bil in your wallet and moar than that in ships and assets… huh… really. So you dint ‘need’ em… Weeeeellll… if yer just gonna leave em… sure, I’ll take em. Why not? I mean, otherwise they just go to waste out there, right?

(Self deception is moar important than sex. If you don’t think so, try and remember a day you went without at least one good self deception… then think on how many days you’ve had without sex.)

Anyway, I talked myself into accepting this blatant charity, this multimillion ISK hand-out, this, this… 215,000,000.00 ISK TY VM gift!   =]   As I put it to Oz, “OK, I’ll take em, but sell em first, then send ISK or let me sell em... dunt want/need a hand out... but will take ‘spensive trash ...  LOL.” Hmmm… now that gets me a wee but closer to a Cloaky Loki. So my CEO joins me and we run five sites for 18 MNRs, meh. But, my cuts plus the ‘gift’ and I have a Loki hull and two subsystems, I call that a good start.

HDF =Lochotic=

I log on the next day…. And we have 5 sites left. Damn! Raided again! 20 moar sites gone into some other corps wallets… crap. My CEO and I hammer through the five combat sites, one moar spawns while we’re working and we do that one too for six… and 20 MNRs. That gets me all but two of the subsystems AND all the mods for the fit I had PYFA’d up. I searched through my Mods back in the HQ, rummaged around in all the Corp mods in the corp hangars… and all I had to buy were the x4 425mm Med ‘Scout’ Autocannons; Expanded Probe Launcher; Experimental 10MN MWD; Large Shield Booster II; x2 Stasis Webifier IIs; x2 Gyro IIs and a DCU II. Everything else was already in the can. 180MISK moar and I’m in my Loki... but we’re now outta Sleeper sites in this hole.

As we have been workin the sites we have also been doing the daily chores of wormhole life... scanning down the daily sigs, keepin an eye on Dscan and the status of the static holes, checking POS fuel status, checking the stores: ammo, droans and consumables for the crews and POS staff. Additionally, those of you who have read my logs know, HBHI is also a WH Reclamation Corp… we sell the holes we find that are (a) empty and (2) have good PI and decent weather… and this hole was sellable Etherestate!

AI had put it up on the forums and we already had serious takers. We needed to wrap up operations and get out if we get a down payment. We know the hole is as we have offered, we just need to have the buyer come in and see we are being honest, then see if he comes through with the balance. So AI gets a down payment and get the prospective buyer inside, he’s inna CovOps and goes off scan ASAP, and I dunt see him again. AI says he is satisfied, and will pay the balance upon seeing our POS is gone. Okay, we move out, we get 350M ISK for a bookmark… and I get a nice 15% finder’s fee right off the top, I LOVE W-space!! We SELL solar systems!!! You can’t do that in Empire...  =]

Get Away From it ALL! Come Live in the Country…
(but bring guns, lotsa guns…)

OK so we find out newest A239, the stat Losec, is a very suc hole… 10 lowsec hops to the nearest Hisec… crap. And then the D382 turns out to be occupado and they have a massively over built True Sansha Deth Star POS w/ a Nighthawk command ship on scan… AND probes immediately appear right after we start our recon.  Oh dubble crap.

Talk about bein trapped tween a rock and a hard place…. We were trapped tween 10 losec hops and a probably very hostile wormhole. This was the first time I had ever really felt trapped in W-space. And I had been lost in space moar’n once in my time in the holes... (I call em, “Adventures in Wormholes”) and I LOLed at the chance of bodyloss… secure in the knowledge that at best ‘they’ might get my Cheetah, and mebbe my current clone… but that was it.

This time however, I really felt the bad guys next door might just jump at the chance to bash a Sm POS into a largish cloud of smoke and debris filled with the scattered burned and flashfrozen corpses of our gallant crews and POS staff… and then delight in cracking the egg of our Maintenance bay and stealing some of our best ISK making ships. And the option of skedaddlin out the A239 was, well, not an option with 10 losec hops to cover in fat, slow, PvE fit ships, one-at-a-time’in it out, then back 10 lows in pods or shuttles… all yer doing then is chumming for sharks with your ships as bloody meat.

Damn damn damn… So, I go out and pop a Med Warp Bubble on the D382, can’t hurt right? And we give massclosing the A239 a go. AI in his Armor fit Hyp and me in my Shield Mael, both MWD fit. We are careful taking turns, watching the status and appearance of the hole with utmost care and attention. Finally we get the critical drop… OK, We are (1) both on the inside when one of my return trips takes it to critical… good, and (b) we “should” be able to close the hole with the Hyp… once out w/ MWD off, and back in 30 seconds later with MWD ON…

AI warps though, and… the holes still there, good good… I wait for the longest thirty seconds of my virtual life… and “Jump Jump” and the Hyp warps back through…     and the hole beautifully closes right behind him. A huge sigh of relief is heard all ‘round the command deck…   =]   OK, warp back to the POS and let’s find that new A239.

Relief on the Bridge

Probes out! One new sig, probing… probing… probing… probing… Got it! Warp to and out and… five lows to Hisec. Damn… again with the fat, slow, PvE fit ships, one-at-a-time’in it out and then back… yer just as dead in five hops as in a hundred… We get on the Neocom and consult with the Directorship. A vote and we are to attempt to massclose this A239 and hope for a better one.

Grim determination, back out and “Jump Jump”! Back and forth, back and forth until, Critcial! Once again, we are both on the inside, good good… once again, AI takes his Hyp out… and we wait down those long long thirty seconds… and “Jump Jump”…  and once again the hole closes right behind him. Reship! Probes out! One new sig, probing… probing… probing… Got it! Warp to and out and… three lows to Hisec. OK, we’ll just have to make it work as we’re getting tired and tired people make mistakes… There is a station in the first losec, let’s get everything in there and deal with getting em outta losec after.

AI starts making Indy runs with his Itty V and I start moving my ships out. I don’t have an Indy in this POS but I have the bulk of ships to move. We get everything out, take down the mods, I get the warp bubble off the D382, and finally, nothing left but the spike. AI grabs his last load and the fuel from the Tower, I offline the spike, then unanchor... 15 mins and counting… finally the Spike unanchors, AI scoops it and we make for the A239, warp out and into station. Safe! Well, as safe as one can be three hops deep in lowsec in New Eden.

Oh, and the buyer? He was a good as his word. The ISK was deposited and I got my cut with the rest going to the corp wallet.   =]   All told we ran 17 sites for approx 665M ISK plus sold the hole for 350M ISK, approx grand total; 1.15Bil ISK in four days of being swamped with other things and just not workin the sites very hard… I wonder how we’d do if we ever got serious about it?  =]

The HDF =Lochotic=   …on sea trials.

Fly Safe and see you in the Sky  =/|)=

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