Empty Wallets

I’ve been on the front for weeks now. It’s time to take a small break and head back to safer regions and resupply. My industrial infrastructure is still in tatters from the move out here and I’m really hurting to get that income source back up and running. I grab my blockade runner and head back to hi-sec.

It’s easy to find a space to setup shop. Only 2 jumps from my lo-sec entrance, with plenty of industry facilities around. Not to mention a plethora of active miners that don’t mind striking up a conversation in local. It’s always a nice way to pass the time. I’ve been dabbling with the idea of making some higher tech drones, considering how much I seem to rely on them day to day. The lower tech version are incredibly easy to make, and if I take the time to setup some planetary harvesting teams I should be able to make what I need without busting the bank. Maybe I can even turn a profit if I haul them out to lo-sec hubs for sale.

But first, I need some mineral stockpiles. I dust off the ole mining Hulk. I’m always amazed I can fly one of these considering how much of my time is spent training weapon skills. I warp to a few belts looking for some promising looking rocks and setup shop. I’ll never get over how strangely soothing this sight gets…


On the Prowl Again

Lo-sec is fun.

Things in our new headquarters are going well, if maybe a bit slowly. We’ve been spoiled by the income rate of living in a C3 wormhole, but things are starting to get back on track. The moon mining is going smoothly and Snow predicts that we should bring in around half a billion isk in profit every month. That’s not a lot for a corp in Eve in the grand scheme of things, but when you realize the absurdly low amount of effort needed to maintain that system, it is actually working out very well.

I personally, really have nothing to do with it which leaves me time to find trouble. My nights in the lo-sec chain usually start the same way. I log in alone in our HQ system, grab my sniper Oracle and proceed to annihilate every rat in the system from 100km out. It’s a silly ritual really, but the slow gain in security status is welcomed and it keeps me entertained for a half hour or so. Once I’ve “done my time” on the security status grind I switch over to my Pilgrim, my precious precious Pilgrim, and head out to find something more interesting to blow up.

It starts off as any other roam. A few empty systems until I get to the bigger pvp hubs of the chain. Then I switch over to evasion mode, the goal of which is just not to get trapped by a blob anywhere. After that I’m into my most fertile of hunting grounds. It’s a small section of our local lo-sec chain that connects to some hi-sec regions. This area always seems to have the perfect mix in it. Just a few pilots, usually some younger players ratting. Enough traffic to keep me from getting bored, but not so much to scare me off a kill.

This evening I pass through the first system quickly after seeing a retribution and tengu on my scanner being piloted by members of the same corp. No thank you! I move on to the next system where another pilot of the same corp is ratting in a few belts. He’s in a Navy Slicer, which would be a fun trophy to hang on the kill board. I chuckle to myself when I read the name on his ship, Dart of Fury. Ok that’s clever, points for being funny, but you’re still going to die. I scan him down just as he warps out of one belt and on to the next one. I follow and end up 18km from him as he orbits a rat. It’s a great setup. With the new speed fit I can web him from here and disrupt his warp engines, all while staying well out of range of his scrambler, assuming he didn’t fit a disruptor. I punch F1 to decloak and get some funny error message about not being able to cloak while within 2,000 meters of an asteroid.

But I’m trying to turn off the cloak…oh. Bumping into an asteroid upon warp in saves me the trouble of turning off the module and I start locking the frigate down. Just one or two seconds to go, all my systems are hot and the fleet of light drones are spilling from my drone bay. But right before the lock is solid he manages to get away. That split second where the asteroid decloaked me before I noticed gave the pilot enough notice to bug out. So close! I recall the drones and get out of the belt quickly, knowing he has a few friends in the next system over, and they’re names show up on the local comm channel just as I recloak 100km from the sun.

With that excitement over I start to hunt again in the next system up the chain but it doesn’t look like anyone is around. I start moving back towards the HQ system, where another area is usually productive. I find an Imicus around a belt, but as I warp in I find him 220km away. Well that’s no fun. My presence in the system seems to startle him though and he warps to a safespot between planets 4 and 5. I decide to grab my scanning boat and see if I can grab him in the safespot before he moves again. It’s four jumps to get the scanner but he’s still there when I return. I get the probes up to a 22% lock on his position before he moves and starts taunting me in local about only using 5 probes. Interestingly enough it starts off a conversation that ends with us on very good terms. I offer to hunt around with him if he’s around in the future, citing the fact that most of my corpmates are offline around this time of the evening and I’m usually flying solo. It will be interesting to see if anything comes of it.

I bid him safe travels and head back to the HQ to mine for a while as I take care of some things on the interwebs. It’s getting late, so I pack in the Hulk and grab the ore from my can to call it a night. I still need to setup my planetary markets in the area, but can’t be bothered with doing it right now. It’s well past my bedtime and listening to the methodical drone of the mining lasers has made me very sleepy. Time to dock up and call it a night.

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.

My Other Car is a Pilgrim

Today was torture. I’m working from home again and log onto Eve with my laptop while working on my desktop. Oz and Azx are online and just finishing up scanning down the neighboring wormhole sites. I check in with my planetary interface crews and then settle in to some more report writing.

The comms pick up almost instantly. Apparently there is a group of miners in the neighboring C2 system, and Oz and Azx are moving in for a raid. Writing becomes a little more difficult as reports of the raid come streaming in. A Coveter is destroyed, then a Hulk. The mining group is annihilated by our raiding forces and I can do nothing but sit and listen to the cheers as the ships explode.

So unfair.

The day continues with further skirmishes between the C2 inhabitants. Oz takes another frigate down before things start to quiet down. Looks like I’m going to miss out on all the action yet again. I put my PI on 1 hour turnovers to squeeze a few extra thousand units of resources out of them while I work on my real life obligations.

It’s 21:16 and I finally finish with report writing and settle down for a little Eve time. I’m the only one online, but the bulletin reports that a few of the C2 junkies have stolen a few of our anomalies. That’s all well and good but they’re nowhere to be seen now and I’m itching for a fight. I jump into my Pilgrim after killing a few sleepers in one of our ladar sites and hit the connecting lo-sec systems.

The system I jump into is empty. So is the one adjacent to it, and the one adjacent to that. Looks like it’s going to be another slow night. I decide to engage a few rats in Menri while I wait for someone to pass through. Not more than a few minutes pass before a Manticore shows up on my d-scanner. I like the looks of those odds. His frigate probably won’t last more than 10 seconds against my drones. I start d-scanning for him, I even see a wreck show up on the scanner’s screen which suggests he’s in a belt, but he leaves the system before I am able to track him down.

I decide to tail him, but never am able to make the connection. He’s not dumb enough to hunker down in a system when he knows someone is following him. I really hate the local channel, what’s the fun in being cloaked if they know I’m here?! Azx logs back in and we try to coordinate a search for prey but it’s already late and I have other obligations to attend to this evening. I make my way back to our home system again without a kill. Hopefully tomorrow will bring some new and more promising opportunities.