Wanted Dead or Alive; But Mostly Dead

Another milestone has been reached in my Eve career. Today my friends, Vultirnus had the first bounty placed on his head. That’s right, old Vult is now a wanted criminal. All because he blew up a Heron, can you believe it!? The bounty is probably more than the cost of the ship. Seems like I picked on someone who’s a little touchy about getting their frigates blown up.

It was an interesting day to say the least. I logged in and scanned down our home system. Nothing too much new to worry about. We had a null-sec connection that was still critical from my collapsing efforts yesterday. Our static, and a new connection to a class 1 wormhole. That deserves some attention. I warp into the C1 and start poking around. There are a few derelict towers and one active tower, but no ships or pilots to be seen. That’s fine with me as I also find a ladar and grav site as well as four anomalies. I decide to scan the system down since I’m alone and would like as much free intel as I can get.

The C1 has its hi-sec static connection and a connection to a C2. I scope out the C2 just to make sure that no hostile pilots are buzzing around before I start pillaging the C1 for it’s isk. As everything is quiet I grab my new sleeper slapping Zealot and head into the C1 to “relieve” the C1 inhabitants of their anomalies. I pull in about 120 million isk in about 45 minutes. Not a bad operation for a lone pilot in a hostile system.

That’s when things start getting weird. Industrial ships start popping up on my directional scanner. Only for a second or so at a time. I have all the signatures in the system bookmarked. I have no idea where these ships are coming from or where they’re going. Just then Azx logs in. We get into some cloaky ships and head into the C2 to see if we can shed some light on what is going on. The industrial ghosts continue to haunt us for a while, long enough for me to log off to attend to some real life obligations. Azx continues to monitor the situation and determines the ships are now dismantling a tower in the C2.

sniper spotI get back online as soon as I can. Ok I could have gotten on earlier, but Wolverine was on tv and well, I like Wolverine. Anyway I get on in time to join up with Snow and Azx and try to ambush these industrial ships moving cargo from the POS to a hi-sec wormhole. After much observing we get a good handle on their operation and get ready to take down the next ship we see. Sadly at this point a Bestower, Vexor, and Orca have made it through the wormhole and the hole has gone critical for mass. But a pilot continues to come back in just a pod to move more ships out of the system. Eventually I attempt to grab a Buzzard as it runs to the wormhole but was not able to lock it down fast enough to manage a kill.

So as it stands our ambush was unsuccessful. We didn’t manage to catch any enemy ships and we’ve now given away our intentions. Then some other ships start popping up on the scanner and then disappearing. We have no idea what is going on. Pilots are all over this system, but apparently just alts of the other pilot we saw. Finally I have an idea. All of the ships still in system appear to be frigates which are a pain in the ass to catch. Unless you have two sensor boosters with scan resolution scripts. Something my sniper Oracle just happens to have fitted. As I fly back to our home system to grab the Oracle the Buzzard shows up on the hi-sec wormhole along with a Heron.

philippe frenchI’m flying as fast as I can to get back to the C2. The Buzzard jumps through but the Heron remains on the hole. Snow is parked cloaked by the hole watching and Azx is in a Tengu out of scan range aligned to the hole ready to jump in if I need the help. Finally I arrive at the C2 and warp to 70km off the hole. The Heron is locked in less than a second and vaporizes as eight large tachyon lasers melt through the ship’s structure. The pilot probably didn’t even realize I was on grid before he died. The pod ejects and I’m able to lock that and destroy it as well.

We didn’t manage to make a big isk kill, but at least we got a corpse out of it. Then to my amazement, a notification pops up on my screen. Wouldn’t you know it, the Heron pilot put a 20 million isk bounty on my head! A badge of honor as I see it. The corp enjoys a good laugh over it, and I decide to initiate a new practice in my Eve playing. I open up my mailbox, and type out the following to my latest victim:

new mail

Hey every blog needs it’s visits. Seems like a good way to keep things light hearted; and maybe rub it in a little.

Oz Will Never Let Me Live This One Down

Eve time has been sporadic. Was out of town for most of the weekend and limited time between starcraft matches before that. I did manage to touch base with Snow for a bit before going away. She informed me that the corp needed more enriched uranium for POS needs and such. My planetary interaction has been focused on producing nano-factories for a while, but the profits aren’t very good and the turn around on them is very slow. I’m more than happy to reorganize some thing to help the corp out.

Enter my PI notebook. Scribbling commences as I note which planet types we have in our system and what resources are most abundant on each of them. It looks like the uranium won’t be a problem, but it’s going to eat up two of my command center slots. That’s fine, I’m thinking I’ll make something less labor intensive this time around. I opt for polytextiles since our system is rich in carbon compounds and autotrophs. Setup takes me a little under two hours but they start humming away nicely. When I logged back in a few days later I was already measuring uranium by the thousands and the polytextiles weren’t far behind.

I had just gotten back from my trip away, slightly sunburned and ready to catch up on the planets’ outputs. I take the Bestower out and warp to planet one to grab the first load. Just as I’m aligning to the next planet I see an Anathema pop up on my overview. He doesn’t have time to lock me up before I enter warp, but I also know I’m not going to have enough time to align to another target before he gets a second chance. Sure enough he drops out of warp next to me before I can even get the ship turned around. I drop all of my cargo into our customs station at planet two. At least I can prevent them from stealing my stuff even if I can’t keep them for blowing up my hauler.

It takes what seems a lifetime. The Anathema is not made for combat. Even though my ship is completely defenseless, it is taking quite some time for him to blast his way through my armor. A Manticore showed up at some point but I was too busy giving my support to the covert op gank to pay him much attention. My ship pops, we have a chuckle in local and I ask what they were able to salvage from my ship.

“Just the tractor beam.”

Profitable excursion. They probably spent more on ammo than they got back in loot. Hell I got more back on my insurance than they made in killing me. Thanks guys! Either way it was a fun little encounter. I ask if either wants to test that fit against one of my Punishers but no one pipes up. I decide I probably shouldn’t head back out to finish my hauling. Besides, Snow has a fresh batch of Arbitrators in the hangar ready for me to fit! That news makes my evening and I rocket my pod over to the hangar to grab one. Only problem is someone put the hangar offline, and I can’t get anything out of it! Nothing seems to be going my way tonight. That’s alright, I only had about an hour to play anyway and even though I lost a ship in the process, it was entertaining, although I don’t think Oz will let me forget I was ganked by an Anathema piloted by a Mr. Moontitties anytime soon.

Most Efficient Use of My Time Ever

I log into Eve to find a very quiet HQ system. The corpmates are all asleep and I have the whole place to myself apparently. Better get to work! I hop into my Anathema and scan the system for any new signatures that may have popped up in the last four hours or so. Mel scanned around then and turned up a grav site and a static to the Omam system. It doesn’t look like we have any anomalies. Too bad, they are a fun quick way to make some serious isk.

I do manage to turn up a third signature though, and it turns out to be another wormhole. This one is a K162 and leads to hi-sec?! That’s weird, two hi-sec connections in as many days. What are the chances. This one dumps me out in Amarr space. Thank God. I’m so tired of dealing with the Gallente and Minmatar navies. I pull up my market hub bookmarks and to my surprise find I’m only two jumps away from Amarr itself!

I don’t need much more of an excuse than that. I head back to our tower and grab my Bestower. We have a good amount of loot in the hangar that needs selling and this is a perfect time to do so. I pile all of the sleeper tech and salvage I can find into the industrial hull and head off. We have a pile of gas harvested from ladar sites in the hangar as well, but I don’t have the cargo space to move it. Or I can’t be bothered with it right now.

As I jump into the hi-sec connection I check my cargo hold. The new value estimator at the bottom of the inventory screen is really cool. I’m cruising with about 600,000,000 isk worth of cargo, and after only two jumps it is all sold. Good ole Amarr, they always have good prices. With the corp coffers replenished I head back to the HQ and jump into the Pilgrim. I’ve done my productive stuff, it’s time to hunt.

Unfortunately lo-sec is not as thrilling a place as it could have been. I cruised through about a dozen systems and only saw one pilot. I’m not exaggerating. One. She was an alt of someone’s, created in 2009 and never having left her newbie corporation. I always find it amazing how lo-sec experiences can vary from day to day. I had a bit of nostalgia flying through this particular chain though. We were near Mod and Zinoo. A chain my first real corp used to call home. I think my first POS bash was even somewhere around here.

The fond memories are no substitute for action though. I kill as many blood covenant battleships as I can find and call it a night. At least I am able to help my security status out a little bit. Hopefully tomorrow’s static will be more interesting!

Feelin’ Industrious

A day in the field at work means I’m free to go home early. I think we all know that means the laundry still won’t get done, but I’ll have a few extra hours in New Eden. I reach out to the corpmates while on the train home to find that Mel and Snow will likely be on for a bit. Great! I get home and turn on the ole’ rig to let her warm up while I hit the shower. I log in to see Mel just about to log off, but it looks like Snow should be around for a bit. She’s actually logged into her alt waiting for the servers to officially switch her over to our corporation.

And she happens to be waiting in a Hulk? Well better hit those rocks while we’re killing time! I re-scan the home system to find that most of our connecting wormholes have collapsed. We are currently sitting in system with two grav sites, a hi-sec wormhole and our static. I scan down the static but decide not to open it yet to hopefully keep Snow from getting too many unwelcome visitors. Our hi-sec connection happens to be a mere five jumps from Jita, so I decide to do something I don’t think I’ve ever done in my Eve career. I go and buy POS fuel. A lot of POS fuel. I spend the next hour or so running it all back to our tower. I’ve always liked the Bestower. It’s a simple ship that reminds me of the zeppelins of World War I the way the crew area hangs under the cargo area.

With Snow’s alt officially one of us, and her 2 cans full of ore, she decides to call it a night. I finish hauling in the fuel, a lot of mining crystals, and a  few very special modules that I’ve been drooling over for some time now. I jump into my old favorite, the Pilgrim. My low slots are full of armor plating and energized adaptive structures. I decide to drop an 800mm rolled tungsten plate to make room for a new drone damage amplifier II module. This loses a bit of my passive tank, but it increases the ship’s already impressive drone damage output by 19%. That is a big uplift and I’m excited to put it to the test. Interestingly losing the armor plates also opens up quite a bit of powergrid. I’ve always had trouble filling the last high slot on this ship. I never had enough powergrid for a third energy neutralizer before, but that has changed. I also realize that I’m still one skill away from using the tier 2 energy neutralizers. How can that be?! I immediately start planning on how to get that trained up and fast.

But for now it’s time to see what this new module can really do. I jump through our static wormhole and start hunting in Amarr lo-sec space. It’s a small chain that borders null-sec so I’m not expecting too much action but I’ll see what I can find regardless. I manage to come across a Wolf who is ratting some of the local asteroid belts. I scan him down to a 5 degree band on my directional scanner and warp to the aligning belt. Too slow, he is jumping quick and there are only four belts in the system. I hope he is moving towards the inner system and warp to the first belt on my overview’s list. I’m happy to find two cruiser rats in the belt with me, and I haven’t lost my cloak yet so he still won’t know what ship I’m in. It looks promising, right until the pilot leaves the local communications channel, signaling that he has left the system.

Drat. Oh well, might as well pick off some rats and see if I can get a security boost. The new drone damage module is awesome! My medium drones annihilate the rats in short order, making me consider re-working my entire fit. Up until now the game plan has been a very sturdy amount of armor tank to withstand the punishment of combat long enough for the drones to do their work. Now the equation has changed a bit, with two of those rigs the drones would be absolutely lethal to anything in the cruiser class.

I decide to return to the home system and work on a new fit in Eve HQ for a while. I think the end result is what I’m using now. Keep the rest of my armor, I know I’ll need it. One damage upgrade for the drones should be enough, and with the additional energy draining I can now fit I think I have a good balance of damage output as well as armor. Hopefully the next few days we’ll see just how well it works, but for now it’s time for a quick snack and bed.