I logged into Eve to find the corp comms channel empty. Our bookmarks and message of the day didn’t offer much excitement either. Two grav sites, our static to lo-sec, and a lot of empty space. Well at least I can get my PI responsibilities taken care of without worrying about someone killing me. I notice the scanning report is dated a good five hours ago so I decide to jump into my Anathema before running planetary supplies around to make sure nothing new has popped up.
My scanning reveals two additional wormholes in our HQ system. The first leads to a C4, the second a C5 Magnetar. I scout each system, gathering intel on towers and ships I see around the system. The C4 only has a few signatures in it and one anomaly, so I decide to scan the system down for future use since it appears HQ is this systems static connection for now. I find two grav sites and three wormholes. Geez, no end to the exploration tonight I guess. One wormhole here is going to collapse soon, so I ignore it and explore the neighboring C2 and C4b. I’ve been scanning for almost an hour and a half at this point and I just don’t have the strength left in me to continue. I decide to head back to HQ and move my PI around since neither of the nearby systems seem to be active to any degree.
When I arrive back in the HQ system though I’m greeting with a fleet of scanning probes on my d-scanner. I’m pretty confident I didn’t leave them out, but you never know. No I’m positive, all probes accounted for on my ship and I’m pretty sure I would have noticed a ship moving through the C4. That leads me to believe that this is a visitor from the C5. I move off the wormhole and cloak while spamming the scan button. I’d like to find out what ship I’m dealing with before I decide to log for the night or provoke a fight. The probes mean he probably isn’t monitoring d-scan too closely and my Anathema is likely to be undetected so far.
Finally a Manticore appears on scanner as the probes disappear. It’s about what I’m expecting. A cloaking scout from the C5 (now confirmed because of the prefix in front of his ship’s name which matches the towers in the C5). I warp back to our tower and decide I will try the sniping Oracle fit. I built this ship to take out pesky scout ships on wormholes, this is a great chance to see if it works. His probes are out again and I’m hoping he hasn’t noticed my switch of ships while I rocket towards the C5 connection. I know I’ll never catch him before he goes through the wormhole on our side, so I jump through to the C5 and position myself 70km from the wormhole.
I’ve done a quick recon of the C5 again to make sure no additional pilots or ships have logged on. This is no guarantee mind you, but it gives me enough confidence to at least put the blockade up and give it a shot. My biggest fear at this point is having the Manticore come through the wormhole, see me 70km off the signature, and calling in backup before shedding his session cloak. I don’t think he has any friends online, and he can’t hold his session timer long enough to get an alt on and to my position. Either way I’m aligned to a celestial and ready to warp out of here in a second if things start to smell fishy.
I am nervous. This is a pretty expensive ship to be chasing scouts with, but I want to see how the fit preforms and send a message to our nosy neighbors that we’re not to be taken lightly. The waiting continues and my nerves are starting to fray. My eyes are glued to the directional scanner which fails to report anything new during the five minute long blockade. I’m on the verge of giving up and getting my ship back to the safety of the tower when the wormhole flares signalling the return of the Manticore. I hope.
My sensor boosters have been on the whole time. I charge up my beam lasers and hover my mouse over my overview, waiting for the session cloak to drop so I can pounce on my prey. The directional scanner is still clean, everything is perfect. I couldn’t ask for a better ambush. The session cloak drops and the Manticore immediately begins aligning towards one of his towers. My poor mouse button gets a beating as I spam click the Manticore’s overview icon trying to get a lock, but something’s wrong! The lock won’t hold! I’m not getting dampened or jammed. What is going on?! After about five or six seconds, the Manticore warps away unscathed, much to my disappointment. He had landed very close to the signature of the wormhole preventing him from cloaking as soon as he moved. Everything had gone exactly as I wanted to, but my ship just seemed to forget it’s targeting range!
I warp to my aligned celestial and immediately back to the wormhole at 0km. This is where I’m the most vulnerable. The Oracle has no tank and the time spent near wormholes or stargates are when trouble is a real possibility. I make it back through the wormhole and to my tower without any trouble. But what the heck happened? I check to log and see that it was telling me I wasn’t within targeting range. I can normally lock out to 99km and I was sure the Manticore was only 71km away! I had even checked the Magnetar adjustments before putting the ambush in place. I should have a 0.66 bonus to my…
Oh. That’s not a bonus at all. In fact that math explains exactly why I couldn’t lock the Manticore. I had misread the data table, expecting to see a minus sign in front of anything that would reduce my targeting range. Instead the “bonus” as published by ccp is actually more of a modifier. You’re targeting range is now only 66% of what it normally is. You are not receiving a 66% bonus to your range. That sucks. What an annoying reason for losing a kill. I grumble to myself for being so illiterate, and log off for the night. Hopefully all my scanning will pay off in the long run and someone in the corp will be able to get something productive done. Bob* knows I didn’t.
*For those of you that don’t know, Bob is the god of wormholes. At least that’s what our corp believes. All we do is in Bob’s glory. Actually we have a crazy story about setting up a POS where Bob’s intervention was the only explanation for the tower not being destroyed, but that’s a story for another time.