Sunday, April 6, 2014

Where are the hoobs?

No, that should not be "noobs", I'm referring to wormhole noobs - hoobs. And, more interestingly, where are the organizations and individuals that take care of them? Where are the RvB's, Eve Uni's and Brave newbie's of the w-space world? To whom do I turn if I'm new to the whole w-space and don't have so much skill-points? And who introduces Eve to total newbies from a w-space perspective?

Now, the general idea among us wormhole folks is that you need a certain level of experience and a minimal level of skill-points to even consider stepping into the great unknown. Most corporations that recruit, do so with a minimum bar of 10-25M skill-points. But what about the really, really new ones? Is w-space really meant to be off limits for newbies with just a few million skill-points?

I don't think so.

I think that just as "if you can fit a point and fly a frig you can pvp" is true, I think "if you can launch probes and have enough friends you can explore w-space" is just as true. I think the whole idea of what w-space is all about have been kidnapped by an elitist few, contorted into some only-the-best-is-good-enough bullshit that only focus on the high-end content. When was the last time the w-space "community" discussed C1's and C2's from a newbie perspective?

So where do a three million SP newbie that are really interested in w-space turn for professional guidance? Is there some old w-space vets out there that give some of their time and wisdom to such a corporation? If there is, I don't know about them. If you know about such a group, one that take on newbies with the intent to make the best out of w-space for them, with their limited SP, let me know! I really looking for somebody that a) got deep experience and knowledge in w-space and b) don't tell people to "train for a Drake and then we will talk".

The thing is, I really have the feeling that there's a bunch of content out there that goes almost totally unexploited as it is now. When CCP designed the C1's and C2s, I'm sure they were trying to create something that, for a low skilled player, would be a challenge but not impossible to manage.

So where are the Brave Hoobies?

Sunday, March 30, 2014

Noobie-tip of the day: The 100MN AB

There's a ton of little knowledge nuggets that are very known to anyone that have lived in w-space for even the shortest amount of time, but might not be used by pilots new to the great unknown. Small things, that if utilized, can make a huge impact on the effectiveness of your operations. Or simply increase the quality of living in a w-system.

Back when I lived in a C2/HS/C4 we did a lot of WH rolling, and it often was holes that we did not know just how much mass that had been through. Which meant that we often had to take it a bit easy when getting close to critical. Often was the times when we did not want to put another battleship through. This is when you need a closing cruiser! A cruisers mass is around a tenth of a battleship, that's a lot of jumps to close that last, say 80kt on a WH. However, a running 100MN afterburner always adds 50kt, no matter the size of the ship. This means a 100MN AB fitted cruiser becomes a ship that can weigh 10kt one way (if you jump through critical wormholes you obviously want to be as light as possible), but reduce an impressive 60kt if jumping "heavy", that is, with the AB running. Pretty useful, eh?

Now, 10kt might still close the WH (I've seen holes collapse from a pod). Would it not be nice if we somehow could decrease the mass on that cruiser like we increase it with the use of an over sized afterburner? Turns out that there's actually a way you can do this, and it's very effective. It comes with a small 'but' tho, the cruiser needs to be a HIC, a Heavy Interdiction Cruiser.

Why? Because the magic is in the effect a Warp Disruption Field Generator have on the mass of the ship that have fitted it. And you can only fit that module to HICs. This thing reduces mass by a whooping 80%. And you can fit more then one! Which means that with two bubbles up your mass is getting close to that of a pod. That is, your cruiser is lighter than a shuttle.

The result is a ship that can jump through a critical wormhole one way, hardly reducing it by anything, but with its afterburner running it weigh in at more than half of a battleship (about 60kt). That's the perfect closer for wormholes that reached critical mass.

Friday, March 28, 2014

Disastrous Orca

I had moved out of the friendly C4 with the spiring new w-space alliance and was on my way to a new new system. This time it was a C4/C4 and it had plenty of sites, but the idea was to do the plexing in the static instead of the comfortable familiarity of your own system.

Now I needed to get my Orca with ships and POS in.

C4s that do not have a static C2 or C3 are notoriously hard to find good routes to. At least if you wish to not jump your Orca through Tama and Old Mans Star to get there. C4 logistics makes for a ton of scanning. This is particularly true if you are solo and can't share the burdens with a few corp-mates.

It was getting late, and I really wanted to get situated in this new system. The route that I had found was not pretty, nor simple, but it had to do.

When running a ship that do not have any offensive capabilities at all (well, normally) and can't hide or run away you really need to scout ahead. A single scout can really ruin your day - you want empty systems.

Two systems from my target C4 was this C5 that had been as empty as they normally are. But while C4s can lay untouched and stay clear of incoming wormholes for days, C5s sees much more traffic, and traffic that's of a much more dangerous quality. C5s gets rolled all the time. All the larger w-space entities scan and roam long chains of C5/C6 systems. The chance of one of their forward scouts being the beginning to your end is substantial.

It all comes down to intel. Knowing whats lurks out there. One of the best ways to be sure it's reasonably safe is to spend time in a system. The longer time that have passed without anything on scan, or any new sigs appearing, the better. But spending time was not something I had done this time. I had a forward scout just checking out the system as I jumped the Orca one system at a time.

When i warped the scout through one of the C5 systems I saw a Tengu on scan for a moment. That don't need to mean anything, but it could be worrying. Especially since I found a covert ops from Ash alliance on the WH I was just landing at zero at. What was even worse was that my Orca was already inbound to that very wormhole, and it was going to land any second. To warp the Orca before you had carefully scouted the next hole is obviously not recommended, and not something I normally do, but I was dead tired and was totally off the little game I normally have.

I quickly jump my scout in the hope the scout would follow and not notice the hulk of a ship that was inbound. It jumped, and I got my scout away clean on the other side. The Orca now had to do a 180 at the hole and warp to a celestial to cloak up. From a standstill, my Orca warps in 10 seconds, but boy are those seconds endless when you have hostiles on the other side of the WH! Incredible, I managed to get the Orca away from the WH and safely cloaked up.

This is the time when I broke the second of the holy rules of w-space - patience!

With known activity from a major w-space alliance in the system, and them knowing about me, and possibly the Orca, it was no time to take any risks. Just cloak up, put your head down and wait it out.

For some reason that I really can't explain, I did the opposite. I took gamble on me knowing what they had and that I could outsmart and outrun them. The result was of course disastrous. An fully loaded Orca lost for no good reason.

Here's what happened.

I was cloaked, perfectly safe, in the Orca a few AUs away from the WH which where I previously almost had got the Orca tackled. From here I saw them try and scan me down with combats, and for a second a Cheeta Covert Ops appeared on the Orcas d-scan, just to disappear again. At the same time my scout on the other side saw a WH activation, the Cheeta taking a quick peek and then quickly jump back through the WH (and thus polarizing itself). They where clearly looking for the Orca.

I figured I should seize the opportunity and quickly warp the Orca to the WH, jump through and get away on the other side. I knew the Cheeta was polarized and could not follow, even if I would meet it on the WH with the Orca. Well, the assumption was that the Cheeta was alone, and since I already had seen a Tengu on scan I should have known it was not.

I landed the Orca, all kind of ships materialized and it was all over.

Lessons learnt (again!): don't play when you really want to sleep, and don't force a move when you do not have to, live to fight another day. Patience is golden!

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

On CCP Fozzie's "delayed signatures" idea

I've been reading some of the comments on Fozzie's post about delaying signatures when spawning a new WH. Many have strong opinions one way or the other, few try to think through what the suggested change actually would implicate.

One reasonable opinion is that this is only going to favour the ones that can, and regularly do, field fleets of 20 T3s - hence, if you can you also are pro change, if you can't you are against it. I think that might have some truth to it, but it's missing the point.

What would happen? That's the important question to ask. And after that; Would we like the effect the change to the mechanics would have? Here is my view on the whole thing.

First off; there's no question this would make rolling holes for targets much, much easier and rewarding. The chance of finding someone to gank will increase massively by implementing them. Depending on the size of the delay, you could argue that it would basically mean that "in w-space anyone can de-cloak and attack you at any time, and they will usually have friends in warp when they do" Hence, the risk/reward ratio is pushed up significantly. People will start losing their PVE ships, and to do PVE content in w-space will mean to take this into account. One must remember that since the effectiveness of the combat-rolling of WH's gets a huge buff, these operations will be massively more common.

Higher risk/reward means harder to get to loot/salvage, which means higher price on sleeper-salvage. This will offset the effect to some degree, at least in lower class systems. A 50% increase in price of nano ribbons is a huge thing for the Drake in the C2, but hardly noticeable for the guys doing cap-escalations in a C5.

When the risk/reward ratio is changed, people will adapt by doing things differently, but more importantly flying different ships. Today, you can find marauders and T3s plexing C3s and C4s. Why? Because they are just a little bit more effective than your vanilla Drake. That is, as long as you don't take their price into account. With the proposed change, that equation is totally re-written. In C3s, you would only see Drakes and maybe battleships, all other ships is just too expensive to lose compared to the income.

In C4s today, top income from running plexes probably comes from dual-boxing battleships; Domis and Rattlers are popular, but also Marauders and even Nestors. This will most likely change. Depending on how quick PVP groups will take up rolling static C4s, the risk/reward is going to favour cheaper ships even in C4s. I can afford to lose my two Rattlers more than twice as often as my two Paladins. If I can afford to use them at all is going to be dependant on the amount of C4 rolling that's going on, ie. how often I get rolled while plexing.

Now, another way to change the risk/reward is to try and make your PVE ships harder to kill, maybe even a bit dangerous to attack in the first place. Having more people and bigger fleets is obviously better. Taking out a single guy/girl plexing alone in a Drake hardly takes a fleet at all, just the right ship. Attacking three of them in a system full of PVP ships that might, or might not, be on standby would be a slightly different matter.

The suggested change is such a game changer, we will certainly see new tactics and behaviour. Who knows, if the rolling gets common enough, folks might actually start plexing as bait. It might be easier to wait for somebody to find you and then counter-drop on them than to roll for plexers yourself? To tackle two Paladins is one thing, to tackle two Paladins, three cloaked Protei, a neuting Legion and three Guardians hidden in a neighbouring system is, again, a whole different matter.

Here is where the big difference between C5/C6 and lower class w-space becomes interesting. The risk/reward rule apply to C5/C6 as well, but since the escalations are so efficient, and can be run by so few people, it have become the only game in town for how to make ISK. If you live in a C5, you farm your sleepers this way, period. Any other way simply can't get close to the ISK/time/person ratio of quad escalations. The extreme might be three guys running 6-8 ships, doing 4 sites per hour. This would translate roughly to 1B/h per person. More common however, is solo-farmers using three accounts taking longer to do the sites, but still using the escalation mechanics to reach very high ISK/time numbers.

With the suggested change, both these extremes will also become extremely risky. There's no problem for any of the larger C5 groups to design, and field a fleet that will fit through a 3B wormhole and that would slaughter any small escalation-fleet in safety. The key word there, however, is "small". While there's a hard limit to the amount of capitals you can take with you, the inhabitants could possibly field as many caps as they have pilots for at any given time. Therefore the change would hurt small scale (few people, small groups) much more than larger groups, that just could trade ISK/time efficiency for security by simply involving more people in the plexing. Just the fact that you belong to a larger group and have a lot of afk'ers hanging at towers will increase the risk for the attackers. Hence, if you would like to solo-escalate with your four accounts you better do that as a member of a dragon, and not in your own, private little C5.

With the drastically increased risk of losing a cap-fleet, the risk/reward might just become skewed so far that the only ones you will see running escalations are the large ones. For smaller gangs, the equation might look better just running Marauders. If you start losing your cap fleet ever so often, the 300M/h you typically get from doing non-escalated C5's with marauder(s) will sound like a bargain. Or somebody will come up with a totally new way of killing sleepers that's a result of the suggested change, and takes the increased risk into account.

Personally, I'm not taking a stance at all. If the change becomes reality, w-space will change at it's core. Is it a good thing? Don't know. Adapt or die, I guess. The only thing I think might be an issue is if this will favour large corporations unreasonably more than small ones. Forcing the solo-farmers out of business I would not mind, but it would be a pity if the net effect would be even larger, or fewer, dragons.

Friday, March 21, 2014

Nomadic behaviour

I was done in my Red Giant, the sites all gone and the Vargur fit tested successfully. I was ready to move on. When I got a decent empire-connection I pulled down my small POS and moved my ships back to Amarr.

When I one day later stumbled upon a C4/C3 and over 20 combat sites, I decided to move in. The system was inhabited, but they did not seem to be very active or dangerous. They certainly did not want to run their sites! I saw no reason why I could not just move in and run the sites while they where busy elsewhere, or simply not present.

After I spent some time in the new system watching the locals (which more or less only was one guy trying to run the sites in a Tengu) I decided to play nice and actually announce my intentions of moving in, at the same time offering some help with the plexing, boosts and whatnot. The answer was positive but a little bit tentative. Not strange, all things considered.

I moved in, setup my small POS and got settled in. I might have surprised the system inhabitants just a little bit with the quick movement, but I had no reason to hang around. The static C3 made for plenty of potential low sec routes. Occasionally you even get a C3 with a high sec static (statistically that's about 1/5 of the time I think).

After speaking some with the locals, I understood that several corporations were involved. There was an old one nobody seen in ages but that owned the POCO as well as two other corps that had presence in the system in the form of one POS each. Now they might form an alliance together. A third corp that had operations in null sec where potentially also moving in, so in short - the system was a small brewing pot with a high chance of producing a new w-space alliance given some time. Remember, you heard it here first!

As it happened, I never got around to flying much with all this nice people because after one day in the system almost all the sites de-spawned and I only got around to running five or so. What a pity.

I moved out after a few days in the C4/C3, but made a few friends in the process.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Just like Penny

Today I felt like Penny. I log in, scan out our static with my cloaky Tengu (I know it's not a Loki, but a cloaky T3 is close enough) and take a peak inside in the hope of finding someone doing something out in the open, but no luck.

I then drop probes and scan down the four signatures that's in here; the two statics, a HS to Minmatar, a C1, one EOL C3 and the system I came from. I opt to check the C1 first. It's static is a nullsec, and is relative empty, but I spot a scanner-probe on d-scan. That's always a good sign of activity. The only POS with a forcefield up is a medium one, belonging to a 12 man corporation. It's totally without defences. I guess you don't need much living in a C1/Null, eh? :)

When I see on d-scan that the probes disappear and a Buzzard appear, I note that the ship do not land in the POS. I sort of assume that it's someone from nullsec and not the inhabitants of this system. Nullsecc'ers often like to use w-space as easy routes to empire. I jump back to the C2 and there I find the probes again. Ok, now the scout will find the HS, jump out to check exactly where it is (thanks to Tiger Ears, most educated people can now place a WH reasonably well, just from the colour) and then, with a little luck (s)he will jump strait back, getting polarized. And with even more luck (s)he will end up within non cloaking range from the wormhole. I would then possibly have time to lock it up and kill it. That is, if I was uncloaked, ready, and with my sensor booster running. Maybe. Just maybe.

It's worth a shoot at least, so I warp to the high-sec hole and waited for the scout to find it and do as I predicted. Which (s)he did, but then he (s)he did not jump back in. Bah... When I checked the info on the guy I realized it was actually not a null inhabitant at all, but instead he was coming from the POS in the C1. Well, that changes little, because if you live in such a system you don't get high-sec connections everyday, so there's a good chance this is a scout for some hauler, like you see from null so often.

I hardly had time to think that thought through, before a Tayra (or a Badger Mk II as us oldtimers like to think of it) pops up on scan. And then promptly lands on the highsec and jumps out. Right before my cloaked eyes. Well, are they going out they most likely are going to come back in. I just switch my target-focus from an unlucky (he had to be really unlucky for me to catch it) Buzzard to a Badg... Tayra. I simply change the position of the planed gank to their system. Now that I know where they are going there's no need to try and kill something on a hopeless HS hole.

I warp the Tengu back to their C1 system and jump through. Nothing on scan. The two pilots I've seen so far are probably the only ones active, but you never know. In any case, I have no reason to think they have eyes on this hole. I re-cloak and starts to wait for the scout and the Tayra. To catch and tackle your prey just when it jumped through a hole is advantageous because once tackled, their only option is to jump back and get polarized. Me on the other hand can not only follow, but also, if something bad would happen, jump a second time.

However, while staring at the hole I begin to think I might made a tactical error. Do I de-cloak directly on wormhole fire? What if the scout jumped first? But not de-cloaking until you see the hauler have it's dangers also since there's a delay after de-cloak during you can't get a lock. I have a sensor-booster, which mean the lock time itself will not be long, but that cloak delay... I would hate to see such a simple target as a hauler get away just because I did not de-cloak in time.

They also take their time getting back. What if they are getting something else in? That POS looked quite new, maybe they ware going to bring in some more ships? Forgetting I'm in a C1, my bet is a Raven. Ravens always seems to appear at wormholes in low class w-space when you least expect it. Could I take on a battleship? Sure, but it would take time and they might get reinforcements.

This is where I'm starting to stray from the Penny mindset. She always hunt alone, and when she does get help, it's from a real friend, not an alt. She's a true w-space soloist, that's one thing that make her adventures so interesting.

I brought Tashi. He had just discovered the joys of large lasers and burned for the chance to test his Oracles pulses on something other than the Angels in our nullsec connection. Since the Oracle is not very cloaky, I had to hide him somewhere, and why not in plain view? The idea was to simply get him into highsec and off grid with the wormhole. With the help of local and a narrow scan towards the hole, he would be a great early warning system to both the fact they where incoming and what they were flying.

Unfortunately I had been to slow in my thought process, because when he lands on the highsec he just have time to see the backside of the Tayra (new name, same ugly behind) warping to their C1. Oh man... Well, no rest for the wicked. Tashi does an U-turn on the hole and warps right after the hauler. He lands on the C1 but no sight of the Tayra. Quick, quick! Jumpy, jumpy. On the other side he make contact, lock the ship up and with just two or three salvos he recycle the Caldari vessel into space dust. No point even needed. Well, that did not make the enthusiasm for lasers any less.

Tashi now have a new proverb; If you need a point, you don't have enough dps.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Architecture of a small gank

Who said you could not mess up as a carebear? Even with the new system scanner, and even if you do everything right. Even if you do things by the book, and have securing systems for plexing down to an art, there's still room for messing up. I just lost 2 billion in Rattlesnakes because I forgot to look at the scanner for new sigs. Possibly it was slightly bugged and did not display fully automatically. In any case, my point is; idiots still die.

I was on my last day in Gamma (or so I thought). I had tested the Vargur enough and now I wanted to go do something else. I still had 12 sites in my system and the idea was to quickly bring in my old trusty rattlesnake workhorses and kill those before I pulled down the POS. So I was 5 Frontier Barracks in, going on the last wave in the first Information Sanctum when all of a sudden a Legion appears on grid with me.

I was honestly quite shocked to see anyone manage to sneak up on me because the system was totally mine, all the sigs was known and the static was closed before I started plexing. I also watched the scanner for new sigs indicating a possible new K162. Something in all this had obviously failed, but I had no time to investigate further because now I was not fighting sleepers anymore!

As more ships appeared on grid with me, my first action was a futile attempt trying to run. One of my Rattlers was already scrammed by the sleepers and the Legion pointed the other one (lucky!). So I was screwed. Well, at least I could give them as good fight as possible before I went down.

I started to lock up the ones that had arrived. Legion, Proteus, Devoter and a Helios that probably was the bastard that found me. I had Gardes out and the covops was not moving enough, so I quickly popped it. Because the pod did not warp away (most likely because of dualboxing) I could lock it up and kill it. Next on the list was the Legion. He was already in armor from the sleepers when I got the Gardes working on it. When it popped, the sleepers and my two rattlers had brotherly divided the damage equally.

After that it got harder. I now had another Legion and Proteus to deal with, and since they were so close my Gardes could not hit them very well, even with tracking scripts loaded in all three links. My only other choice in drones was Bouncers, Warriors and Hammerheads. None of them was any good. I switched to Hammers in a desperate attempt to at least scratch the paint of the remaining T3s. Would I have had a set of Ogres they would have applied full 2K damage, and that would definitely have been a factor. With the new scripted omni-links you can get awesome tracking out of Ogres, they now kill sleeper-frigs as well as Warriors even if they still travel like stuck in syrup.

While this was going on, the group seemed to have problems breaking my tank. I had to overload my mids and forgot (naturally) to turn it off in time, so I burned out one of the invulnerable fields. Their response was neuts. But even if I would have had some Ogres to fight back with, I was not going anywhere and it was all over when they brought two Guardians. These guys probably found me while rolling their static, and were not quite ready for a gank, hence the late arrival of some of the ships. Had it been made in a proper way they would of course have had the Guardians on grid from the start and no one would have lost a ship. More then me that is :)

Sunday, March 16, 2014

Upgrading the old C4 Rattler

I feel that I have tried the plexing Vargur as much as I want to.

In fact, I have quite a lot of them, and the system is now clean and nice. I have my trusty Orca and closing Scorpion in here and could easily secure the system. I was on my way moving out since I already got a bit bored - 20 minutes per site is a bit to slow, even if salvaging as you go gives you a little bit more to do while the guns dispatch of the sleepers.

I decide that before I pull down the POS and leave for something else, I should at least clean the remaining sites. After all, it should be worth closer to two billion, even with the nanoribbon prices of today. I won't go through the pain of grinding them in the Vargur thou, instead I will just upgrade my Rattler-fit to be able to cope with Information Sanctums. One night of plexing should do it.

Since I used a pair of Rattlers for C4's last time, a few things have changed;
  • The resist bonus is now 4% instead of 5% (per level). 
  • The Omni tracking links now run scripts 
  • I'm now going for Information Sanctums which is a little bit harder than Frontier Barracks I used to prefer.
I need to buff the tank a bit and maybe compensate lost range/tracking (have not checked exactly what the new Omni tracking links do to the original fit) with warpin-points for each site so I don't have to fight at 100km.

This is what I came up with;

Rattlesnake, upgraded C4 plexer

High power
2x Large Remote Capacitor Transmitter II
2x Large Remote Shield Booster II
True Sansha Large EMP Smartbomb
1x Drone Link Augmentor II

Medium power
2x Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
1x Dread Guristas Adaptive Invulnerability Field
1x Gistum C-Type EM Ward Amplifier
3x Federation Navy Omnidirectional Tracking Link + scripts

Low power
1x Damage Controller II
1x Co-Processor II
4x Drone Damage Amplifier II

Rig Slot
1x Large Egress Port Maximizer II
1x Large Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer II
1x Large Drone Control Range Augmentor I

1x Targeting Range Script

5x Warrior II
5x Hammerhead II
5x Garde II
5x Light Armor Maintenance Bot I
5x Bouncer II

The faction invulnerability field and two tech 2 shield transports instead of one should hopefully be enough to compensate for the lost tank. I really don't like to have to fit CPU-mods in the lows, but in this case I think it's worth it.

I have also replaced one of the Drone Links with one of those nifty smartbombs I had so much fun with on the Vargur (remember: Red Giant effects!). Yes, yes, I know, it is totally incompatible with using sentries, I guess I just have to either pull drones or range when using them. This is really just for clearing the 12 sites I have left.

Little did I know that I only would get halfway through those sites before my failure to be vigilant would punish me in the worst way possible.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Optimizing the C4 Vargur

Today I tested some new stuff while plexing my Red Giant C4 with the Vargur.

I tested what I would benefit from most when it came to drones; a flight of Hammerheads to help with dps or an mix of target-painting and webbing-drones to make my guns hit better. With the excellent tracking the Vargur have it looks like my biggest problem is range, so while I could not see any difference (I timed one site)  while using the e-war drones, the hammerheads shaved a minute or two off my normal time of 23 minutes. So hammerheads it is!

Also since I had two highslots over I decided to try out some salvaging while killing. Even if the Marauders still have their bonuses to tractor beams I wanted to try out the new Mobile Tractor Unit that will do the tractoring and looting for you. Sounds very nice. But would it keep up and would the sleepers attack it?

I discovered that not only did the sleepers show no interest whatsoever in the tractoring unit after I dropped it, it could keep up just fine. And with two tech 2 salvage on the Vargur, so could I. The result was that I could do the sites and salvage, with one pilot, and without the need for time consuming salvaging in that slow Noctis after/during.

As a bonus, I did not have to loose any loot if I had to abort prematurely due to unwanted company. Also, this meant I only needed to warp to each site two times (bookmark + Vargur) instead of three (+salvage) further simplifying things. Simple is good. That's what I'm all about now.

This might actually be a bigger deal than what it at first appears to be. I never liked the Noctis. Don't get me wrong, its a great ship and with skills it does a fantastic job of munching wrecks into salvage, but that's the only thing it does. It is also huge, and for me that's a big deal because I need to fit it into that Orca. Fact is, the function of savage takes up more than half of the ship hangar, and stops me from bringing other ships that would be more useful.

But this new way of doing things makes the Noctis unneeded, and could potentially unlock a lot of other possibilities for my little setup.

WH-Intel: The contact labels

When you lurk around in w-space intelligence is king.

You often stumble upon scouts that jump through wormholes, PI-alt's that jump into Epithals, and nasty cloaked Proteis that jump... well, you if they can. As soon as I encounter something, I have the habit of not only getting "info" on the pilot, but also add him to my contacts and watchlist. This enables me to compare him/her and his corp to any POS'es I have found, or might find, thereby placing him/her in a known system in the chain. This might be useless info, but it might also be crucial. You simply don't know.

I used to also set their standing accordingly. This was an attempt to separate different groups from each other, more than to represent a real "threat level". Known, larger w-space alliances I have set red, just to quickly identify their scouts and their pilots in local, on those rare occasions when I'm actually in Empire. Temporary targets (neighbors and folks I'm currently in contact with) I usually set to orange. If you add them to watch list, you immediately get a handle on if they are online, if they just logged on or off, etc...

However, this way, one tend to collect a number of contacts that needs categorizing. One also need to occasionally remove old ones. This could be a real hassle if you don't have a system of some kind - enter the labels!

Since a Rubicon 1.3 you can add labels to your contacts when you add them, which makes it much easier to keep a system working. If you have not started to use contacts and labels in this way, you really should! At least if you want to be a provider of information for your corp and not just a consumer. Create your own system that suits your needs. Remember that one contact can be labeled with many different labels, so a system with mutual exclusive labels is not optimal.

I have currently two different types of labels going; to where pilots belong, and what they typically been seen flying. Something like this;
  • Target - the current enemy, or the ones I'm targeting 
  • Targets friend - the same alliance or somebody living in the same WH
  • C2 Inhabitants, etc..  - a way to keep track of different groups in a chain

I also set a few labels when the pilot obviously have a focused skill-set; 
  • Carebear - been seen flying only mining barges or industrials
  • Scout  - your typical cloaky dude, easy to forget that he might be around 
  • Fighter -  someone that been seen flying any kind of pvp ship. 

This way, I can easily get a good feeling for who is on and not, and what kind of threat the ones that are on might be. 

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Marauder in jepardy

While getting tired of the Frontier Command Posts, I decided I would try a Frontier Barrack. The max damage one have to tank in those is a bit more than in the easy mode Command Posts, but I figured I was so overtanked I would hardly notice any difference. Well, you still have to avoid messing up yourself, there's no fit for bad judgement.

I had done dozens and dozens of Barracks before, but never in a Vargur, and never solo. It's a pretty bad site for the Vargur since most of the battleships are either spawning 100km out, or tend to orbit at 60km. With barrage and one Tracking computer running range scripts, my falloff was 100km. At 60km, the killing-speed started to get painfully slow.

Anyhow, when the second wave spawned, I made the mistake of not going for the neuting battleships (there's three of them) at once. After downing the second cruiser I noticed to my horror that my tank was actually breaking! And not only that, I was getting real close to peak recharge on my cap too... With no capacitor my tank would definitely fail, so quick thinking was required. After I had checked that everything was still running and boosts still was up I had to wait out the bastion (1 min cycle and no moving or warping while it's active) and warp back to my POS to regroup. Keep in mind that the bastion is the thing that make you able to tank in the first place, so if you cant tank with it running, you wont have much time when it shuts of.

Off with the Tracking computer (this was before my finalized fit and I ran with a single Invulnerable field and two TCs instead of the other way around) and instead fit a second Invulnerable field. There! That would hopefully give me the time to kill one of the neuting battleships to lighten the pressure on my capacitor enough to be able to stay on field. Which it did, I finished up the site, salvaged the wrecks the Mobile Tractor Unit had pulled in and limped back home to base.

In a C4, I would probably be better of running a cruise Golem, no range-problems there... Only problem is I'm liking the Vargur a bit to much to give it up just yet.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

No plexing for Dominixes

Wait! Were there not eight sigs before? Now there are nine here in Gamma, my new C4 home. Well, I better get the old sisters out to find out what's new...

It turns out it's a incoming C4 with two towers and a bunch of Russian (I think) piloted battleships, mostly Dominixes. Now they are hanging there, but I have the distinct feeling they are gearing up for something. Could they have plexing in mind?

It turns out they are. But not their own system. When they all start to align, to my surprise they do so towards my C4! The hole is relatively old, and I just got back home, so chances are they have not seen anything of me yet. That is, more than my small, poorly defended 4-man corporation POS with a single floating Scorpion, and that is not scaring anyone.

But, but, those sites are mine! They are my training-ground for messing around with a Vargur! We can't have this. Must, must stop Dominixes!

Since my entire "pvp-fleet" consists of two ships, with hardly 400dps between them, I'm somewhat limited in my response. But if I know carebears, they will be easily spooked. No shoots needs to be exchanged. I doubt they will have the nerve to plex an active system. Just for me to show some pretend muscle and they will probably change their mind.

When all 4 of their Dominixes land on my WH in their system I'm jumping after them with the Astro I'm flying. On the other side I decloak, orbits and throws an point on a random Domi. They must have been pretty surprised to see me there.

They hanged at the WH for a bit, setting up their cap-chain. I could almost hear them reasoning about what to do. They eventually decided to withdraw and jumped back.

Now I was left with a decision to just log for the night or mess up their hole, making sure they where not to come back later to steal my sleepers when I was not looking. Putting an Orca heavy back and forth through the hole would do it. Since I figure these guys was not that experienced, I betted I could surprise them and get away with a sneak Orca-attack against the hole. If they had a scout that was on the ball, they could potentially tackle me long enough for the Domis to come back and give me trouble.

I had Ashi in her Tengu on their side of the WH as I let Tashi throw the Orca at the WH. On return, a Anathema decloaked. I don't know if he tried to tackle me or if he just got scared about mass and wanted to get back home, but in any case the Orca got clear.  A few domis did land on their side of the WH when it did thou, so they where really trying to get it. "A" for effort, but my Orca live to see another day. 

After that they disappeared and I finished the night by closing the WH for them with my Scorpion.

Monday, March 10, 2014

First plexing with Vargur

Now I have done a fair bit of sites in my Vargur, and I must say, I really like it. I can't help but to compare it against my previous experiences with "solo" plexing C4s using two Rattlesnakes. Those chewed up any C4 site in between 10 and 15 minutes, whereas the Vargur needs at least 20 min for a Frontier Barracks. But that includes booth salvage and looting.

I discovered that the preferred site for the Vargur was actually the Frontier Command Post and not the Frontier Barracks. This was due to less battleships spawning out at 80km. Normally one would shy away from the Frontier Command Posts due to the first wave that is pretty much useless (frigs and sentry-guns). But with the short range, smartbombing Vargur it does not add many minutes to the total running time. However, for that I need a BM for the centre of the site, which brings me to the fits lack of Micro Jump Drive.

Marauders have a nice bonus to the reactivation delay of micro jumps The ability to warp to a non-bookmarked Frontier Barracks, aim the ships at he first two battleships 90km away, and just a few seconds later be able to hit them from 10km with high dps Hail would have been really nice. But without a much more expensive fit or boosts, I did not want to be without the second Invulnerable Field.

The Vargur costs more than both Rattlers together and is slower, but for me, the ease of piloting a single ship instead of two, not having to setup cap-bouncing and keep track of remote-reps makes up for it. It's simply a more relaxing experience for an old man with lousy multiboxing-skills like me.

It also unlocks one account for a scout, which is very important. With the marauders three utility-highs, the ability to kill frigs with a push of a button (I'm seriously in love with that smartbomb!) and two salvager to take care of the wrecks the Personal Tractor Unit (which really is more of a looting-robot) have dragged in range the whole endeavour is much simpler than all the hoops I had to jump trough to get the Rattlers setup and working.

Since a lot of the time is spent scanning, scouting and closing WH's the actual time spent shooting sleepers is actually quite low. At least for me. Final call is that 20 min/site incl. salvage using one pilot is better than 10 min for two - where you either need to go back for the salvage afterwards or have a third account just for the salvage.

I must say that the combination Red Giant and a True Sansha smartbomb rocks. All your frig problems are just a memory, they die like the pesky flies they are. With the effect of the C4 it gets a range of 12km, more than enough. I could even have used a normal tech 1 and it would probably have done the job. For the latest in overkill - use it on a Vargur in a C4 to kill the sleepers in the gas- and ore-sites. Even if you are not interested in the gas or ore, killing and salvaging the sleepers might be worth your time, I got 80M out of my 12 sites in Gamma.

Since my non-marauder pilot happens to be both my Orca-pilot and a fully skilled siege/armour booster, I simply had him refit the trusty old Orca to a booster. Not that you absolutely need it, not even for the Information Sanctums, but the margins goes from need-to-be-on-the-ball-and-not-make-too-much-misstakes- to can-leave-vargur-tanking-worst-spawn-while-on-the-phone -level.

I started with some Frontier Command Posts since I think those are the easiest ones. My Vargur turned out to be a bit overtanked for C4s (as expected) so I really got no need for boosts. I was planing on using the Orca as booster since Tashi, my Orca-pilot, got pretty good skills for that. Just a quick refit and some 22% bonus to resists, boosting and cap efficiency - not bad considering I get it "for free" with just a quick refit of a ship I need anyway.

At some point I even left the Orca cloaked at a WH to have ears on it and to be able to de-cloak and boost if I totally messed something up. But usually I just had it boosting from the POS.

A C4 Vargur

Ever since I came back to eve after the Rubicon patch, I have been wanting to try the new marauders. With the "mini-sige" mode the bastion module offers, they're now a totally new ship. Perfectly targeted for mission-runners, or maybe even more so for anybody that want to kill some sleepers efficiently.

Back in my mission-running days (yes, I actually did that for a brief time) I used to run a torp Golem, and since then i have skilled both Minmatar and Amarr battleship 5. Skill-wise I was therefore quite well setup to try them all out. Well, except the Kronos then, but with the engagement range of the sleepers in C4s, I don't see how that would work. Rails? Nah.. never liked them much.

ISK wise it looked dire. When I came back to game I had 5B in my wallet, but now I had almost blown half of it on different stupid ships, implants and stuff… I could fit one marauder and try, but I would not have ISK for a good C4-fit for a Vargur, Paladin and Golem. I decided to start with a Vargur, find a good C4 and simply run the sites, making the ISK for the next ship. After all, the whole point of the marauders was to make ISK, right?

I guess there's plenty of different schools when it comes to how to fit, but what I did was just take the fit from Lord Planck and his C5 Vargur, and scale that down to work in a C4. I wanted an enjoyable experience, calm and relaxing, with as little micromanagement as possible. I wanted a fit where I could perms-run a 1.5K tank and that would reach out to 80km with as much dps (obviously!) as possible.

This is what I came up with;

C4 Solo Vargur
High power
4x 800mm Repeating Cannon II
1x True Sansha Large EMP Smartbomb
1x Bastion Module I
2x Salvager II

Medium power
1x Gistum C-Type Adaptive Invulnerability Field
1x Adaptive Invulnerability Field II
1x Gist B-Type Large Shield Booster
1x Shield Boost Amplifier II
1x Cap Recharger II
1x Tracking Computer II

Low power
3x Republic Fleet Gyrostabilizer
1x Damage Control II
1x Tracking Enhancer II

Rig Slot
2x Large Capacitor Control Circuit II

I will not go into details about the fit, it's not that interesting or unique in any way. The variations I tried was small, and mostly focused on the three high-slots. A nos for the cap-conscious plexer, or two smartbombs instead of one for more effective killing of frigs? In the end the faction large smartbomb both had enough range and dps to clean the frigs just fine. It was possibly one of the better investments I have done for this ship.

Since the introduction of the Personal Tractor Unit, the life of the solo-plexer have drastically gotten better. Even if a Noctis still is more effective, there are something really nice about salvaging as you go. You don't have to dual-box, and having to visit each site just once is nice too. Especially if you are "ninja-plexing" under the nose of somebody else (with smart scouting of course) you really appreciate that you can just pick up and bail whenever, not leaving your hard earned wrecks behind.

What I said about just visiting each site once showed to be not quite accurate. Unlike lasers or missiles, the nature of projectile guns means that they will work almost totally in falloff. Unless the sleepers are so close they block the light from the sun, you will not do full damage - hence; the closer the better. To achieve this you really need a bookmark for the sites so you can warp to the center, not ending up 90km from the first wave.

I found a C4 system with a lot of sites to try my new toy in, and set up a small tower, and got to plexing. I like the small POS'es because of the short ancho/un-anchor times, if I want I can pick it up and move it to another system in under one hour.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Change of plans

Sometimes the circumstances just talk to you. Point you in a specific direction. Telling you; this is what you should do, what are you waiting for? Or at least so it feels.

I could not decide exactly what to do with the C4 system I found. I wanted to move stuff in there, but did not know what. Just log an Orca and a Vargur in there? Scan out the system and when it was empty and silent, log them on, quickly setup a small, temporary POS for changing ships and do some plexing? It was tempting to try and do some ninja PVE, but at the same time I had never tried a Vargur for soloing C4s. Without a permanent POS I could not take more ships with me than I could fit into a Orca and/or log off with. It was a cool idea, but maybe I was trying to bite over more then I could chew? For instance, unless I wanted to do hole-closing with a 2B ISK Vargur I had to find another solution for that.

I still like the idea of not having more ships than you could just pack together and log off with if anything happened. You can take more risks and you are much more mobile if you can move all your stuff in one go. When I was living in a C4/C4 doing plexing with two rattlers, I did not have pilots for both the rattlers and the Orca (one rattler-pilot also had to fly the Orca), therefore I had to anchor a SMA if I did not want to leave ships floating.

Anyway, today I changed my plans. I was scanning out the static C2, as usual. My hosts where hanging afk in their POS, as usual. In the static C2 I found another C4, which turned out to be as full of combat-sites as it was empty of inhabitants. It also had a static C2 (easy access to HS) and it was a Red Giant which gives a good boost to smartbombs. Normally you don't care about that effect, but my Vargur happens to be equipped with a smart-bomb to take care of frigs so I could actually get some use out of it.

Now, the whole idea of living extremely light is to be able to move quickly and capitalize on opportunities like this, is it not? Should I therefore just move into this new system instead? Would that be a better place to try out my Vargur? It would take getting my ships out of Beta and getting a replacement long term scout since I was not ready to leave Beta just yet. I also had to fire up the old Orca I had in Amarr and get that into the new system (Gamma?) to setup a POS and that could take some time depending on how far away from Amarr I currently was.

When I checked out the HS in the C2 I ended up in Sarum Prime, that's one single jump from where I had my scout and the Orca! It could not be a better chance, all the planets sort of aligned up for me to just jump over into the new, red giant C4.

Friday, February 7, 2014

The kings of afk POS-spinning

I have found them! The ones that essentially manages to not do anything, but still be online most of the time. I'm talking about the guys in Beta, the C4 I'm decided to covertly "move into" and try to use as it's my own.

I have now stayed in their system for a few days (long enough for my cleaning up crappy sigs is starting to show, now there's just four sigs to scan down instead of 20) and I have not seen this guys do anything of the normal stuff people do. I saw them haul something in/out once, but that's it. The ubiquitous Tengu they have piloted and floating at the POS normally do not move an inch. He log in and out of the same position.

They don't plex, they don't mine or suck gas (at least I have not seen any of that). It's also clear that they don't do PI. They don't even own the POCOs. This is a 100% industrial endeavour, it might be just one dude. Makes me wonder how many pilots they have in here. I have only seen three so far.

I wonder what they/he would do if I started to run the sites while they/he was on? My original plan was to just run them during their off-time, but since they hardly have any such time, I might need to reconsider...

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Mega vs. Proteus + friends

After putting together my first Astero and heading into a C2 just a few jumps from Jita I got a fight with a Proteus. Well not in the Astero and not really like I had thought, but it was still a fun fight.

In this C2 there were some dudes active, I was just seconds away from getting one of their Mastodons at a POCO (I did not decloak tho) and there were two or three afk/active in ships at the POS. I scanned down the system while waiting for something to happen. Their high-sec static was EOL and half mass and they had a incoming lowsec and a C3. There was a Domi hanging piloted, but inactive at the POS. Some other dude was jumping into different ships at a SMA. Eager to test out my little cloaky gank-frig, I was waiting for something that was light or industrial enough for me to attack it to leave the safety of the POS.

When something at last did leave the POS, it was not something light neither industrial, it was a Phobos, a heavy interdictor. He warped to the high-sec and bubbled up. Hmm.. they (he?) had probably seen me and my probes on scan and wanted to try and catch me on my way out. Maybe they thought some of their neighbours were using the exit to haul stuff out. It was close to Jita after all.

Now, I could not do much about the Phobos from the inside, but I could get my alt there in something bigger to play with it. With just half mass I was unlikely to close the WH, but I could at least force him to jump out. Not like I had something better to do. But while Tashi was doing the 10 jumps or so in a pretty heavy tanked Mega, I watched the Phobos get tired, and warp back to the POS. Darn it.

Eventually the Phobos got changed into a Proteus and when I jumped the Mega in the Proteus had just jumped out. Not the best timing. After contemplating what to do with the Mega in their system for a bit I jumped back out to high-sec. And there was the Proteus. By now, the hole was critical and when the Proteus disappeared (I did not see if he jumped back in, or if he cloaked) I took a chance and jumped the Mega heavy back in. That closed the WH and I had now either trapped the Proteus on the outside or he had jumped in before me and I could get a fight. It was the latter, the Proteus de-cloaked and we went at it.

We traded armour for a good while and it looked like I was going to come out on top. The Mega was tripple-plated and the Protues was scrammed and webbed so I did good damage. Obviously this guy might have a lot of friends in here, but I had only seen two other toons active, a covops and the Dominix. I was waiting for the Domi to come and save the Proteus, and I got quite surprised when a Vagabond warped in. Apparently the Vaga was not the only one that got the call for help, because when the Proteus was getting dangerously close to structure, the Domi and two guardians joined in. A Proteus, Vaga, Dominix and two guardians might be a bit too much to take on, and the very definition of a lost cause for my poor Megathron. I had to watch it pop and use a C3 - LS exit to get my pod out.

Even if I did not get to try my Astro out, at least I got a fight. There was just to few of me to win it :)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

The parasite is moving in

The system I'm checking out for potential my idea of leechy living looks good enough. The inhabitants are very inactive, I have hardly seen them doing anything when they are on, I still need a few days to get to know them proper. I called the first of my solo-systems for Alpha, so this will be named Beta.

It's a C4 (I wanted carebears), with a static C2 (good for solo shenanigans), it had a bunch of gas- and ore-sites (the inhabitants clearly don't care so much keeping it clean - which is a sign they are not that into scanning) as well as a bunch of combat sites (obviously they don't do sleepers either) and only one indy-tower setup (makes it much easier to keep track of what's going on).

So this might be a pretty nice system to "move into", and start basing out of, as if I actually lived there. Well, I will be living there but I obviously can't setup a permanent POS of my own as that might spook them into some kind of defence behaviour. The idea is to see just how much things I can do out of this system, without getting to much attention from my host. I'm going to be a well-behaved discreet leach, at least for starters.

Wherever I log my Orca, that's my home.

So what's on the todo-list?
  • Get a backup/primary scout in there so I don't lose the system. Also this will enable me to use non-scanning ships more freely. 
  • Learn about my hosts. Get them on watch-lists, learn what they fly and how they do their business. Intel is king!
  • Clean up the signature-mess! Even if they don't care, I do! It's going to be a lot of scanning, and I want to optimize it not having to go through a bunch of worthless gas and ore each time I look for the new static. Therefore, I should initiate all sites I want to get rid of. 
  • Do a few strategic bookmarks.

Lets go to it!

Monday, February 3, 2014

Parasitic living?

This new idea have taken root in my deranged brain. When looking for new ways to explore the unknown while being solo, I have started to think about how to base out of an inhabited system. Could you just move in, and use the system as your own?

Way back when wormholes was first discovered, and C2 systems started to get inhabited, some people grabbed a stealth bomber, selected a active system and started to mess with their operations, making it risky for the inhabitants in their own home. What good is closing your static HS if you already got the vermin snuggled up together with you?

A C2 with a static HS is an easy system to do this with, and since you only have one, or a few, ships that you need to do both scanning, sneaking and killing in, your targets are somewhat limited. But what if you, as a solo-player, tried to push this idea a bit further? Could you find a system, "move in" and use it as a base for simple, low-scale pvp? For pve? Could you even make enough ISK from it to cover any losses? When the inhabitants where not there, you could do their sleepers. When they where there but inactive, you could just ignore them and when they did something you could harass them as best you could. A pure win-win? or.. rather.. well.. you get the point.

It would really be a different approach, to say the least. No POS (at least no permanent one) means   that you need to log in what you flew. And what you did not fly you needed to stuff into an Orca and use that as a true mobile home. 

I might have found a system. It's a C4 with a static C2, one tower, quite big system, lot of sites, lots of gas/ore sites. Small corp. Looks industrial. Lots of crap on scan, a truly dirty system. Maybe they want some help doing the sites? :)

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Back! (what's new for the solo w-explorer)

I'm back after half a year away from Eve. While I was away, Rubicon hit the Eve universe, which means I have a lot of interesting new stuff to learn, a lot of it is highly interesting for an old wormhole rat like myself.

So, what are your plans, you old w-space eremite? I hear you ask. Well, there's so much new stuff (new for me at least) and I want to explore as much of it as possible in a w-space setting. After thinking a bit about leaving w-space and doing something totally different (RnK recruiting?), I decided to meddle a bit more in the unknown.

What new stuff is there that could potentially be interesting for wormholes then? Here's my short and very personal list;
  • The SOE ships (at least the Astro and Stratos) - looks interesting for solo cloaky hunting of all kind of industrial and PI ships. Just how many times have you not missed that pesky PI-hauler at a POCO just because your cruiser did not warp quick enough? 
  • The Mobile Depot - could potentially be a small revolution, in w-space it's set to be a game changer, I'm sure. Definitely for the ones that want to optimize the versatility of ships, and not just the performance.    
  • Marauders/Bastion - is this the time to dust of that old Golem? And I have always wanted to give the Vargur a serious chance for PVE in C4s, will they dethrone the Rattlesnake?
  • Ishtar! - I have always loved that ship, now it looks like it's going through a revival. If you combine it with the mobile depot it just have to be EVEs most versatile ship. 
  • Eos - long forgotten, but with the changes to command-ships and boosting, is this the time of the newborn Gallente fleet command-ship?   
My last adventure focused on me bearing it up in a C4 using a set of Rattlesnakes, minding my own system with three accounts. Trying out different fits for the Rattlers was fun. Developing and refining ways to be safe was interesting. Doing it all solo was also fun. All the tedious stuff with rolling WHs, setting up POSes, and hauling a lot of different ships in and out - not so much.

Could there be a way of downsizing what I did in Alpha (my first C4 solo) while testing all the new candy out? Could you even live in a system without a permanent POS? Why one would like to do that is beside the point. By now you should know that I'm clearly deranged and decide on my own goals and projects with little room for rationality in the equations.

Could you? Base out of a system without putting down a flag of "ownership" in the form of a POS? Do both diving and plexing from that system, maybe even if it was occupied? As a spice. How much fun and ISK could you get out of a system that you did not claim to be yours?

  • With the Mobile Depot, all ships could be designed with multiple use in mind. With light living in hostile territory, versatility is the name of the game. 
  • My biggest problem with the Orca have always been to unlock this versatility. Short of bringing another Orca to refit on, changing from one role to another have involved putting up a SMA, and for that you need a POS. Did I say game-changer?
  • Two Rattlers might be efficient ISK-making in shallow w-space, but it is a bit cumbersome to setup. And fly. Could you solo sites with just one ship, it would be great. Enter the bastion Marauder. 
  • If frigs can effectively hunt and kill light targets like scouts, miners and PI-folks (Astero) and interceptors now make for great travelling through bubbled and highly hostile territory - that packs a lot of functionality in very little meters cube. For anyone whose primary concern might be "can it fit into my Orca?" this might be a big deal.       

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Leaving Alpha

Note: This was meant to be the last post to end my little story on solo carebearing in a C4. It was written before me temporarily leaving Eve for half a year, and never published. A lot of things have happen in Eve since then. Alliances have fallen and risen, Rubicon have been released, etc... Today I revisited this blog and found it, unpublished. I post it as it was written. It makes for a nice ending for my C4 adventures.

Day Z

Today I did something I never done before. I scouted a route from a C4 to Empire (C4-C4-C5-C3-LS) without bookmarking the WH. I had no intention to ever use them again. I was leaving Alpha with my last two scouts, and I was probably not to see the system in a long time.

I had to scout my scouts out because I forgot them when I moved all my stuff out yesterday.

I have been thinking of moving out for some time now, I feel I have explored what I can with this particular setup. I'm no longer jumping for joy when I find a empty system with ten Frontier Barracks to plex - it have lost it's allure. I knew it would, but still. A few days back I spent a lot of time playing games with a fully stabbed out Raven that desperately wanted to close my incoming C4. That's not proper carebear behaviour, not much ISK made from that.

When the last salvage & loot is sold the corporate wallet will show just under 6B, and that's including the expense of the replacement Rattler for the one I lost. That's enough as budget for whatever next thing I'm throwing this little one man shop at. I have been thinking about what to do after this. Maybe I should apply to join my old alliance Transmission Lost and start doing big boys stuff in C5/C6 space again? Wonder if they will have me? Wonder if it will feel like coming home?

Sometimes I feel Bob gives me obvious clues to what to do. When I was thinking about joining Transmission Lost, I found a C6 from a C5 (one of few I have come across during my stay) and cheerfully announced that last fight had been between Polarized and... you guessed it, Transmission Lost. Looked like it had been fun, even if TL came out short. If I know them right they doesn't care. Yesterday when I tried to make up my mind about if I should move out of Alpha, my static had a C3 and the C3 had a high sec (also unusual) three jumps from Amarr where I keep my ships. A sign? Well, in any case I decided there and then. A little more then one hour later I had shipped both Rattlers and two Orca loads of POS and defences out.

I was out of Alpha (well, except from the poor scouts I always seem to forget).