Home is where I hangar my Tengu

Do you have a home in space?

The closest thing I have to a home is a lowsec station in a fairly busy (or used to be) pipe in Blood Raider’s lowsec where I have my PI planets and a small amount of invention and T2 rig manufacturing.  I started it back when data and relic sites were sort of worth it – now I run jobs maybe twice a month.   I also invent and manufacture my T2 ammo there to support my roams in that area.

But I didn’t actually spend much time there.  I rarely logged out there and when I did, it was usually in space.  I had a back-up Tengu and lots of equipment there so when things went awry, that is where I would go.   (In fact, my Tengu there was named “Back-Up Plan”)

As such, it is fairly easy for me to move on.  I have done all the complexes in Blood Raider space and both of the major escalations.  I haven’t done much in Guristas space so I am going to try that out for a while.  I am undecided on setting up a base there.  Right now, I have my low-skill alt (30 days of training) hanging out there in a Blockade Runner full of missiles.  I will investigate moving my PI, but I kind of like my current setup. (I just need to clone jump back every 2 weeks or so to clear my silos and launch pads).

I am attempting to fill in some of the gaps in my Lowsec Complex Guides page.  Right now it is sadly lacking in Guristas (and Serpentis and Angels) content.  I will see if I can remedy that.

I will still bounce around a bit and occasionally run off to null sec, but I am looking forward to learning the ins and outs of a new area.  In fact, I was already welcomed to the new area by a Cyclone following me into a complex, but that is a story for another day.

In the newly founded sandbox we were promised a fuller life

As I jump from my current location into clones in distant space
And think about who owns this station – they, the previous holders replaced.
And before them others had owned it. I watched them flourish and fall.
Yet the gods of the Jovian sectors silently outlast them all.

We were living on land when they met us. They showed us each in turn
That internet space ships were useful and lasers looked hot when they burned.
They gave us space rocks to harvest they promised us ISK untold
They even gave out a space yacht that was made of solid gold.

But some there were who doubted, were lazy, or out of their mind
So they left the Jovians offer and became a plague on mankind.
They wardecced and killed with abandon and on any unlike them gave chase
And the noobs lot became a sad one, as they devoured tears from their face.

They warred on the miners and salesmen. they killed off friendly and free.
They chased away any from deep space now vacant for any to see.
And the Jovians told us, “don’t worry, build an empire of civil respect”
“A place where the friendly and helpful can build to their hearts content”.

In the newly founded sandbox we were promised a fuller life.
Which started by helping our neighbor and then stealing his boat load of ice.
M0o, Mittani, bob, and Lofty sold us a bill of goods
Claiming scamming and combat would feed us so we all covered our heads up with hoods.

They swore if we took up our weapons, that attacks on us would cease
That those who take our things from us would leave us here in peace.
But the arms and building exposed us, they drew envious attackers like flies
They took everything we constructed, then covered their crime with some lies.

So now I sit in the station, that my former alliance laid down
The current masters are tightwads, and the market will not make a sound
Because tho’ we have plenty of money there is nothing our money can buy
For the scammer controls the near markets and the prices have gone up too high.

We’re all looking for some place to setup, safe undiscovered remote.
A place to call a homeland, for those still daring to hope.
But something inside me is leery, I’m doubting it will be the case
That any find peace in a system this side of Jovian space

As the gods of the Jovian sectors plan new mazes to bring us down low
I think up schemes to take outposts that we owned many years ago.
The peace and prosperity promised may never come to this place
As long as pilots with jumpclones remember who settled this space.

- an adaptation of Rudyard Kipling’s “The Gods of Copybook Headings” by EVE player Barbara Nichole.  This won a bonus prize in the PLEX for Parody poety contest.

“Guts’ll get you so far, then they’ll get you killed”

Follow-up to the previous post.

I picked can#2.  The Tech2 implants were low-grade so I was betting they weren’t worth a ton, and I knew the tractor beam module BPC was pretty new so it had some possibilities.  Normally, I can hack at least 2 cans at a Ghost Site so I was hoping for both.

Then the 3 pilots showed up on local.

One of them, I recognized as passing through the system just a couple of minutes ago and the other 2 pilots were in the same corp.  Did he see the Ghost Site and change ships and/or come back with friends?  The Ghost site is out of d-scan range of both gates so they can’t scan me immediately.  I continue to refresh d-scan constantly while working my way through the minigame.

A Legion and Proteus show up on d-scan.   Time to bail?

I set my orbit to 1000m around the can hoping to slingshot away.  I finish the hack and collect the loot (Wetu BPC, Packrat BPC, Covert Research Tools).

I would really like that other can, but the combination of a Legion and Proteus can take me out pretty easily if they are set up for it.  Still, I think about going for it when suddenly, my engagement flag is activated and I am surrounded by rats.  About 5 seconds later the remaining cans blow up dealing a hefty chunk of explosive damage, and I am warp-disrupted.  Fortunately, I was out of range of the cans when they blew so I am only taking rat damage.

Warp disruption lasts for about 30 seconds after the cans blow up.  During that time, the rats will try to finish you off.  At the end, they all warp away.  (Note: never try to do these sites in a covops ship.  Both the explosion and the rats will kill you.)

I am aligned to a bookmark and speeding away under MWD.  Just in case the Proteus and Legion land, I want to be as far away from the warp-in as possible.

Finally, rats despawn and I warp away safely.

The Proteus and Legion are still in the system and not at either gate.  I don’t know what they are doing (maybe they came in from a wormhole?), but at least they didn’t come straight to me.  I cloak up and leave the system.

As part of my post-op review, I evaluate my decisions and my execution.  In this case, things turned out ok, but I was taking a fair bit of risk for an unknown reward.  The Epilson BPC was worth about 40-50M.  The Gamma BPC was worth about 5-10M.  The can I chose had the Wetu BPC worth about 5-10M and the Packrat BPC.  That one is still too new to have an established price.  The mobile structure isn’t even in eve-central yet.  But I was risking a billion isk ship.

The question was, how big was the risk?  The two Tech-3′s plus whatever the 3rd ship was could have taken me pretty easily.  But they had to act quickly and in conjunction.  I was counting at their hesitation.  Eventually, that is going to get me killed, but since this is only a game – that is half the fun!

“Pop quiz, hotshot. What do you do?”

Familiar lowsec system very close to home.  It is a pipe system and sees a fair bit of traffic.  But right now, you are alone.  You see  a Ghost Site.  You are already fitted to run it.  You warp to it and scan the cans.  Two of them standout:

ghost site can2 ghost site can1

(1) Which one do you choose first?

You arrive at the first can and just as you start hacking it, 3 pilots show up in the system.  They are all in the same corp.  You recognize one of them as having just passed through the system 2 minutes ago.

(2) Do you finish hacking or warp out?

 

 

 

 

(and no, shooting the hostage is not an option…)

 

 

Living the Lowsec Dream

Warning: Rambling Incoherent post ahead.

Where I spend my time: Lowsec 80%, Highsec 10%, Null sec 5%, Wormholes 5%

When I first started playing Eve, lowsec was pretty intimidating. It didn’t help that I got ganked in my first 2 trips to lowsec.

“Pirates live there!”

“There are gatecamps lurking around every corner!”

“People will scan you down in seconds, find you, and blow you up!”

While that is all potentially true, it is infrequent. In fact, most of the people I encounter in lowsec are avoiding combat! It is actually kind of hard to engage someone in combat if they don’t want to be engaged. If you are flying a cloaked ship, you are safe about 95% of the time. If you are flying a combat ship, only a few people will engage you one on one. That is why the whole are of “baiting” was invented – to trick people into fighting.

Now, this isn’t to say that lowsec is safe! I have a 4.0 security rating and I blow up your ship if I get the opportunity (I usually don’t pod, but most do).  There are lots of players that are opportunistic like that. Living in lowsec forces you to be on guard all the time. Everyone one you meet is either prey or a hunter. As a solo player (and a one account solo player at that), I don’t have the option of calling for back-up. Fortunately, most people I encounter don’t know that!

There are also roaming gangs. If they happen to catch you on gate or in-transition they will kill you pretty quickly. But as long as you are not hanging out by gates, you are pretty safe from them.

There are occasional gate camps. The smart-bombing battleship ones are pretty effective at killing covops and frigates (and pods), but not much else. Otherwise, random gate camps are pretty rare. They usually only exist at choke points right by highsec. The transition point from highsec to lowsec is probably the most dangerous part of lowsec. Choose your entrances carefully!

I have been scanned down in the sites that I am running a few times, but since there is an acceleration gate at most of the sites, you get a fair bit of warning before someone shows up (way more than you get in wormhole space!).

Hauling around lowsec can be pretty intimidating.  Pretty much any cruiser hanging on a gate can catch and kill you.  Long hauling routes in anything but a blockade runner are a bad idea.  So lowsec logistics is all about using worhmoles, blockade runners, jump freighters, and the occasional warp stabbed Epithal PI hauler.  You tend to pay close attention to m3 requirements and (in my case) do some of your own manufacturing.

On the positive side, lowsec is awesome for exploration.  The PI is good (though not as good as wormholes).  There are lots of stations and competition for sites/resources is less intense (though more deadly) than in highsec.  Each area of lowsec has its own personality influenced by its proximity to highsec and nullsec as well as the major groups that call it home.  Some are more suited to some activities than others, but all have their perks.

When you first get ready to dip your feet into lowsec, I would recommend flying about a bit in a cloaked ship like a covops or an Astero.  Find a nice quiet entrance, preferable where one highsec system borders multiple lowsec systems.  Check that their hasn’t been a lot of kills in the last hour and that there is no one hanging out on the highsec side of the gate (these are indications of a gate camp).  Warp through several systems in a circuit (either a loop or an up and back) and make bookmarks along the way.  Take note of systems that have a high population and see if they are all in the same corporation (indications of a pirate corp home system).  Initially, it is probably better to avoid dead-end systems.  Several of them have been “claimed” and can be pretty heavily occupied.  If you are looking for a base, it is usually safer to choose a system that has multiple stations.  If you want to do PI, pay attention to good planets like plasma (depending on what you want to do).  If you want to mine, keep an eye on systems with lots of belts.  Just take a few hours over the course of a couple of days (and at least 1 weekend) to get the lay of the land during the hours that you plan on playing.  Make sure it is to your liking.  Several constellations have high-sec islands that may be useful to you.  Often they are very sparsely populated.

If you are getting into lowsec for exploration then pay attention to how many signatures you see.  When you are ready to run sites (either profession or combat) you can go back to your highsec entrance and change out ships if necessary as long as the coast is clear.  I based 2 jumps into highsec for several months just because it was easier for logistics.  But eventually, you will get comfortable enough that returning to highsec each time seems like a waste…

… and then you will be living the lowsec dream.