Thursday, 16 December 2010

Wormhole Work-Up No.3

This will be the final post about my move into Wormhole Space.

I'm not sure what it is, but I seem to be playing EvE a lot less than when I was living out of the Wormhole. I think this is a combination of things. Firstly, work and life seems to have stepped up a gear with the build-up for Christmas. The other reason is 'things to do' in the Wormhole. Or lack of, as it were. I knew before I started that there would be periods where our 'Hole or the adjacent C2 would not offer us any sites (whether through no spawns or an uncomfortably active neighbouring C2). And when an uninhabited C2 rich in sleepers sites does spawn, sods-law always steps in and finds a reason for me not to be able get on-line.

I often find myself trying to collapse C2's with my Orca in the hope to find a better system. But more than often the 'Hole's mass allowance is over-the-odds and remains active in a critical condition. No way am I taking any ship through for another jump. My Corp mates are 5-7hrs behind me and with no other players about times can get pretty lonely. In times like these there's nothing else to do but solo mine. Which sucks (not as much as High-Sec mining though, as nearly all types of Ore dwell out here!).

So I have two options; move out of the Wormhole and back into Empire space (I can't wait to get back into my SNI!). Or leave my Corp and join/form a time-zone friendly one in another 'Hole.

Well, I'm not going to do either of these. I like my Corp, as I often mention. Clearing five Sleeper-sites brought me 110mil and my CEO managed to cash in over 600mil just in three days of solo-running the 'Hole. Plus my CEO has started making reactions from the abundance of gas and ore that thrive in these systems. So the rewards (when they happen) make it addictive. But even the most basic Sleeper-sites bring in the big ISK - especially the Battleship salvage:

Living in a POS is also a little more of a pain than an NPC station. Things can't be repackaged and you don't really have your 'own space' like normal stations offer. When ships are launched their shields and caps take a hit, so there's a delay in warping off (depending what it is you're doing!) while you wait for everything to recharge.

But my closing topic for this wishy-washy trio of Wormhole posts will be the ships. I now have a nice collection:

PvE Sites: Drake, Noctis, Covetor, Caracal (Gas-Harvester)
Defence: Drake (PvP), Drake (Cap-Drainer), Crow, Merlin (Back-up Tackler), Manticore and Flycatcher
Logistics: Buzzard, Heron x2 (Back-ups), Orca, Crane (Covert-Ops), Badger II (Rigged), Badger II (spares), Osprey x2 (Shield Reppers) and Shuttles

I can never have every situation covered, but I think I have managed to put together a collection that can deal with a broad spectrum of modest situations in a C2. I'm thinking of bringing in a Heavy Interdictor and a Command ship, too. But on the PvP front I haven't come across a threat (so far!) that warrants such ships. Our Wormhole has two statics; the C2 which I mentioned as well as a Low-Sec. So traffic really is minimal. In fact, to date, we have only been bothered by the C2 - the Low-Sec gives us almost no traffic.

In my first post I commented about using a Spider-Tank set-up for Drakes. This really is not necessary in a C2. I also mentioned about using a Drake for shield repping. I quickly learned this was also pointless, as my shields have never dropped below 50% on solo runs. My main reason for having Logistical ships was to boost the Tower's shields during set-up and if it ever came under attack. To rep a tower, you need to be outside of the Force-Field (about 18km). Fitted to a Drake, the repping range is about 8km, which is no good. The range-bonuses of the logistical ships (Osprey, in my case) are needed to rep a POS.

Bringing in a Noctis was interesting to say the last, considering our Empire static is Low-Sec. I was determined to have one, so I scanned down our Low-Sec exit and got to work. I scouted the 4 jumps from the Low-Sec exit to Hi-Sec a fair few times to monitor activity. The quietest system was the one with our Wormhole exit, the other two held very light traffic while the final was quite heavy but everyone seemed to be dwelling in stations. So I kitted out the Noctis with fast-align rigs and Inert-Stabs and made a run for it. It was smooth up until I made the jump into the system harbouring my Wormhole entrance. A couple of pilots had decided to camp with two Battlecruisers.

Now, during my moving into the Wormhole, I managed to lose two rigged Drakes to a (very impressive!) gate camp. Even though my ships were fitted with cloaks, they were still able to locate my position, de-cloak and pop me. With this in mind I was apprehensive to move the Noctis off the gate and activate cloak. Inevitably, I had no choice but to do this anyway. I doubt I would have managed to warp away before a lock. I checked the info of both pilots and they were only months old. So I hoped for the best when I moved off and cloaked. Well, they didn't budge. Either they didn't see me or were after a juicier target. To be honest, I expected them to run down a Noctis because it probably would have been one of the first ever 'Garbage-Truck' kills. But I made it to the Wormhole safe, and the Noctis almost makes salvaging a pleasure!

Although it has been hard work and costly, the move has been (for my Corp mates, anyway) very profitable already. I shall start to knuckle down and really kick the ISK out of the 'Hole over the coming weeks.

But, if there is one piece of advice I can give about living in Wormholes, it's this - a Buzzard with Sisters Probes and Launcher coupled with good scanning skills is priceless.

I will continue to post as normal from now.