Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Plexing my static C4

Day six

This is what I came to do. Plexing the sites in my static C4. Doing an estimate on how safe it would be, and how I could make it as safe as possible. Losing Rattlers would take a big bite out of my profits, obviously I want to be involved in as little ganking-the-stupid-carebear-in-his-faction-battleships-action as possible.

My routine have become something like this;

I log on, scanning out my own system. If there's any incoming wormholes that's not interesting (easy indy-kills, good quick route to empire etc..) they gets closed.

Then I turn my attention to the static C4. I jump through, check d-scan, check for statics and inhabitants (it's not right all of the time, but its a good input). I warp to any POS checking ships floating, and if it's empty of active pilots (as in not logged on) and have a decent amount of sites I can do, I elect it for some bearing. If not, I roll my static. Rinse and repeat.

First thing is to 'secure' the system. I scan down all the sigs, ignoring gas, data and relics, but pinning any wormholes I find. The important thing is to know what's in there. In w-space, intel is king. I don't want any open holes while plexing, so I quickly scout those, starting with any K162 if I can (don't want to open the static until last moment). With my faithful alt-brother flying an Orca that I bring into the static, I start closing the wormholes, including the static. Since I have to wait out the polarization timer, the time it takes to do this is actually not dependant on the number of WHs, it takes about the same time to close three holes as it takes to just roll the static.

So first two jumps through each hole goes with Orca + scouting Tengu. I prefer the Tengu over a cov ops because I think it scares any other carebear a bit more. It does not scream "scout" just as much, and it's a potential threat to other non-T3s. I want them to stay away. I just want to close the darn holes. For the last jump I switch the Tengu for a 'closing' Scorpion. I need the mass, and it could potentially save the Orca if somebody managed to get something in position to tackle it.

A digital egg-timer helps a lot.

When all wormholes are closed, I can be pretty sure the only open WH is the one from my system. If somebody rolls into the plexing system I will see it (hopefully) as a new sig on the scanner. No need to have a probe out any more. This is really the key to me being able to do the dual-rattler thing in the first place. Before the changes to the scanning, I occasionally solo'ed C4s using two chars with a Rattler/Basilisk-pair. The very reason for me choosing the Rattler over, for example, an Nightmare was that I had a high-slot over to fit the ubiquitous probe-launcher on the Rattler. No probe - no plexing. With the changes, all the Rattler pilots have to do is to watch for new sigs, which they can do without any probes. That two Rattlers kill sites twice as fast as a Rattler/Basilisk is really just a bonus.

So with a list of sigs scanned down and copied to a corp bulletin as later reference, and all WHs closed or rolled, I can switch the Orcas/Scorp for the Rattlers. When warping into the first site I have taken exactly 2 light Orcas and 2 light BSs through the WH (250 x 2 + 100 x 2 + 100 x 2 = 900M), so I'm just closing in on half-mass (it usually goes half when I jump the Rattlers back). This means I have plenty of mass if I wanted to take a break and park the Rattlers back home in Alpha and then come back.

I make a little fleet of my rattler-pilots and a third account scout that I keep in Alpha on the static C4 WH. Why? Because my rule is to know that there is no incoming WHs, that the static is new and not opened (because I rolled it and I have not seen any probes on scan since) and have scouts on any other incoming there is. And my home is an incoming WH. It's a big mistake to think that that somehow would be safer just because I live there. You never 'own' or 'control' a w-space system just because you have a POS there. In fact, last Orca we (R-NAT) lost, was just because we had failed to make sure to cover our six with a scout in our own system. Wont happen again. 'Home' is not safer than any other system. Failing to realise that will get you killed, sooner or later.

My alt in Alpha is really more ears then eyes. He got the WH zoomed in so I will hear any activation. The reason I keep him in Alpha and not in the plexing system (which would give me time to get info on anyone that just jumped) is that I regularly can check for new sigs (read potential k162) in Alpha, which is almost a perquisite for anyone finding their way into my plexing system. Normally you have your ears on the 'inside' so on the sound of activation you got time to do a info on the jumper before he re-cloaks. Again, info is key.

I tend to focus on the Frontier Barracks because they are so easy to do with just Bouncers. I'm lazy I guess.

One rattler pilot have a sige mindlink so I set that one as booster for some extra HP. I do squad-warps with my 'main', but basically just duplicate any action I do on both rattler-chars. I thought about putting a target-painter on the main, and just assisting the drones on the second rattler, and even if that does work, due to the cycle time of the TP, you end up losing a lot of time.

Land in a site. Lock up the primary, lock up the other Rattler, get drones out, start the double cap-bounce up, put on one of the shield transport, and start putting the hurt on the primary. I'm not a good enough multi-tasker to be able to do something else in the meantime, like reading a book or a blog, so it does not really matter that I have to click around some. I have to do something, could just as well micro-manage a bit.

Like this, each Frontier Barracks goes down in 10 min, and with my salvage-skills it takes pretty exactly 5 min to salvage each site. Usually I get around 100M from a FB and with 15 min/site that would translate to 400M/hour. However, this is excluding the half hour or more it took to find and secure the system in the first place. Not to mention the several days I've spent to get settled. Sometimes I have to discard several systems, and spend a lot of time rolling. It's decent ISK, but it would be much better if I lived in a C2/C4/HS just doing this when I found a good C4, not wasting time actively looking for it. I think this is hoe most C4s are getting plexed. And how many sites you do matters a lot, if you only do one site like this, the ISK/h would be terrible. If you do marathon plexing, killing 10-15 sites in one go, it's quite good. But then again, I play to have fun, not to optimize my income.

Two monitors make the process if not possible, so at least a lot easier.


  1. About watching the scanner for new sigs, they don't show up automatically. It only refreshes the list if a sig/anomaly is completed or you exit out of it/switch to dscan/etc etc.

  2. Nope. I have witnessed a signature 'die' in the scanning interface, as well as seen multiple times new signatures appear without any input from myself, both without probes launched and with probes launched and not actively scanning. The discovery scanner is always active, and dynamically updates.

  3. Some are saying that this feature has buffed the safety of WH carebearing to the point that W-space predation has taken a big hit.

    Quickly killing carebears before they can react to you first rolling into their system is far more difficult now, and long term log-off traps are time consuming, if certainly rewarding.

    will this result in greater supply of W-space materials? Will my markets become lower?