Thursday, 16 July 2015

Venturing into Mobile Warp Disruption

I have managed to find some time to play my main after things have settled down a bit at work and on my travels along the winding ways of wormhole space I stumbled into a C1 and started scanning down all of the signatures.  I had two signatures to go when a local logs in at the tower I'm perched at.  I quickly pull my probes and find the locals have put out something that piques my interest.


Very interesting.  A quick check on the local corporation shows it's only 4 man strong and with a short history of losing mining ships on Zkillboard - it appears the corp has only been established in June of this year.  I decide this may be the perfect spot to set up camp, so I watchlist all of the corp members and settle in to see what they do.

The Covetor logs and in it's place a Stratios under a different character logs in.  It becomes apparent that these two characters must be on the same account, as one logs off, the other logs in - they are never online at the same time.


The Stratios warps over to a gas site and starts clearing the sleepers that are present.  I make a perch but I'm not hopeful of getting any action, as a Stratios doing sites usually carries salvaging drones, and this proves to be the case here.  However, the pilot leaves a couple of cargo containers it the site and warps off to their tower before the notification chimes that the Stratios is no longer online.  A second notification chimes - the Covetor pilot is back on line.  I perch up on the tower and watch the Covetor swapped for a Venture.




Thankfully there is an outside planet well off Dscan range that I can refit to my Venture killing fit with dual scrams so I warp off to get myself equipped.  Once tooled up, I warp back to the tower and try to re-acquire this Venture.  After a bit of swinging Dscan around I finally narrow the Venture down to one of the outer planets that is around 20AU from the tower, but here's the rub - I hadn't been able to scan the two signatures around this planet before the locals logged in.  Ok, I drop probes off Dscan range and do my best to narrow down the signature via Dscan before activating the probes.  Once they have finished scanning I pull them immediately, but it appears my use of Dsan isn't up to scratch, as I don't get a hit.  I move back out of range and drop probes again, this time getting a weak hit on the site.  But it appears that the Venture pilot was paying attention as I see them warping back the tower.  The Venture logs, the Stratios logs in and disappears, throwing core probes into the ether.

Around 15 minutes later the characters swap again and the Venture heads back to the same gas site.  I try again with the core probes, but it takes two efforts to get a warp in and again my probes were spotted.  The Venture warps back to their tower and probably getting the feeling that there is someone close by with not the best of intentions they log for the night.

Well that's pretty frustrating, but it does give me time to reflect on my process.  So I know where this Venture returns to, and from what direction - I've been going about this all arse-backwards.  How about instead of trying to find the grid the Venture is on, why don't I let the Venture come to me?  With that in mind I finish scanning the signatures and work my way 450 kilometres behind the POS and roughly in line with the two gas signatures at the outer planet.  I drop a bookmark before logging out for the night.

Next morning I log my trading alt in and add Min Juni as a watchlist contact.  I leave the client running all day and check in on it now and then.  Early evening a notification chimes - Min Juni is back online.  I swap accounts and scope out whats going on and sure enough the Venture is back at the same gas site.  I get in position and prepare my trap.


I had already dropped probes when I logged in, so it's a simple matter of moving them on top of the gas site and waiting.  Attentive as always, it's not long before I see the Venture on Dscan.  It's at this point that things go a bit awry.

The Venture lands on the very edge of the bubble and as you can see above I've been orbiting the mobile disruptor at 7500 metres - unfortunately my orbit has taken me outside of scram range.  I get a lock and send a volley of torpedoes at the Venture, hoping beyond hope that I can MWD close enough to land point but alas the Venture spools up their warp drive and blinks back to the tower.  Well that's frustrating, but a great learning experience.  Next time I'll remember that frigates don't usually go too far into the bubble when they are caught, so I'll be waiting at the front edge of the bubble in future.  I've also handily found the shortcut keys to overheat the mid slot rack so my process is now to overheat my mids whenever I jump into a system.  Next time I'll do better.





Tuesday, 14 July 2015

Eve by the Numbers

So I've been pretty busy in real life over the last week or so that has really restricted my play time on my main.  However, I have been able to address something that was nagging me for a while since I came back to playing - what would I do when I ran out of ISK?

I returned to Eve with the princely sum of 400 million ISK that I cleaned out of my alt corporation, but I'm losing stealth bombers at a rate of 2 a month.  At 45 million or so a pop, it's pretty easy to see that those maths would soon equal a negative balance and I would have to do something to bankroll my current lifestyle.  Originally my plan revolved around the other alt on my main account.  He was trained up to be a spotter/warpin for some highsec ganking I did in a previous life.  Not much use by himself, but he does have a mostly fitted Astero with the obligatory covert ops cloak.  The plan was to contract the Astero over to my main and go and do some exploration to get a pool of ISK together so I could fund myself for another X months before doing it all again.

The downsides to this is that I would be doing data and relic sites again and while I don't really have a problem doing that it's nowhere near as exciting as hunting.  It would also present a pretty high risk in terms of me flying my very last ship - the absolute worst case scenario would be jumping into the Astero and getting killed without getting any loot back to the market.  The idea of exploration in a tech 1 exploration frigate really doesn't appeal.

 The ideal situation would be to just hunt on my main and have a mostly passive income on the alt.  With that I mind, I got to thinking about starting market trading again.  I had previously done regional trading with limited success and I thought why not?  I can move my trade goods in the Astero in relative safety with the covert ops cloak, time wise it's not an issue as I can do the runs in the background while doing other things, same thing with updating my orders, that wouldn't be too much of a time sink.  The pros are that I can make ISK without terribly affecting my playtime on the main, it's ongoing income and it can be one of the easiest ways to make ISK in the game.

So I did it - I invested 120 million ISK from my main to my (now) trading alt and splashed out to activate a second training queue so I could get some trade skills up to reduce the broker fees & sales tax all without compromising my mains level 5 skill training queues. I'm not going to bother trying to grind faction standings, as even though reduced fees would be great, I'm just not interested in grinding level 1 mission, etc.  And so I hit the pavement, doing the loop between Rens->Jita->Amarr, mainly focusing on T3 subsystems at this point for high margins and relatively low volume items.  If I ever find myself trying to carry more than can fit in the Astero's hold (haven't yet) I'll use a courier service - that way I'm limiting my potential losses on the off chance I do get ganked.

And so far it's going well.  From my initial investment of 120 million ISK I'm on track to reach 1 Billion ISK in cash and sell orders hopefully sometime next week:


Hopefully work & real life will settle down a bit over the next week or so and I can get back to my normal adventures.  But it's nice knowing that I can go out and lose a ship without needing to change my play style.  I might even be able to plex my account, which would be nice.  The other intriguing option for further down the track might be to switch from a bomber to something with a bit larger engagement profile, like say a neut Stratios - but the fit I'm thinking of would probably be in the order of 700 million ISK, so having a money making alt would enable that as well.

I'm planning to do a monthly update on my trading along with some spreadsheets.  I like spreadsheets, a lot.  I'll tinker with sheets for hours on end coming up with cool stuff.  Maybe that's why I like spreadsheets in space so much.

Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Am I a bully???

A shoutout to Judu Hekki for a comment on one of my other posts for the idea behind this post.  Essentially Judu and his corp killed a Prospect in their hole that they managed to catch mining and subsequently the ganked pilot accused him and his corp of being bullies.  The gankee linked Ganking is Bullying as a kind of rational for that accusation.  Judu was wondering on my take on this, as what I do would fall under the category of  'bullying' according to the gankee in question.  So am I a bully that just kills poor, defenceless ships?

First of all, Ganking in Bullying defines ganking and bullying as essentially the same thing:
Bullying:
Repeated aggressive activity by one person or group of people against another specific person or group or class of people over a period of time, 
With the intention of causing them physical, mental, and/or emotional harm, and
Involving a real or perceived imbalance of power between aggressor and aggressed, in favor of the former.

Ganking:
Repeated aggressive activity by one person or group of people (e.g. gankers) against a specific person or group or class of people (e.g. miners) over a period of time, 
With the intention of causing harm (e.g. loss of in-game assets), and
Involving a real or perceived imbalance of power between aggressor and aggressed, in favor of the former.

And further clarifies that Ganking in their view is not an acceptable form of PvP:
Ganking is PvP in the sense that all active spaceships are valid hostile targets to each other, but it is not PvP in the sense of consensual combat between two willing players. It is the latter sense that is morally relevant to the concept of bullying.

So, it appears that the author over at Ganking is Bullying has an issue with pilots shooting at pilots that don't really want to be shot at.  Furthermore, where there is a real or perceived imbalance of power in favour of the aggressor, this constitutes bullying.  Ok, for a practical example let's take a look at Rooks and Kings engaging in the despicable bullying of a Brave fleet at 2m 15sec in the video below.


That Brave fleet certainly didn't consent to being pipe bombed, and Rooks and Kings had a definite power advantage in the form of a cloaked cyno HIC and smartbombing battleships that wiped the Brave fleet in no time flat.  Totally unacceptable form of PvP that, must be bullying, seems pretty clear cut.

But no, the video is a promotional video (and one of the best made by CCP so far I must say) released by CCP to advertise the game - fleet combat is a cornerstone of how CCP markets the game to the wider public, and to not call that an acceptable form of PvP is a bit of a stretch.  I also take particular issue with the use of 'consensual combat' as a delineation between what is considered to be an 'acceptable' form of PvP.  A definition such as this defines every PvP encounter I've had thus far on this blog as 'unacceptable' because I am usually cloaked and my targets that don't know that I'm there.  I can choose what I engage and usually the engagement proceeds on my terms and therefore there is a real power imbalance in my favour.  But that is just utilising the strengths of the ship I'm flying - covert ops cloak, nil sensor recalibration and high DPS vs larger targets.  Should I not utilise my strengths?  Maybe I should convo the next Noctis I get on grid with and ask permission to engage them, I wonder what response I'll get?

I'm willing to bet that the rationale for Ganking is Bullying is driven by Highsec miner ganking.  But here's the thing -  the moment you undock your ship is the moment you become fair game to each and every other player out there.  A lot people operate on the false assumption that Highsec should be 100% safe.  That's just simply not true, anyone can and should be able to attack anyone at any time, it's just that in highsec Concord will come and kill the aggressor after a set amount of time dependent on the security status of the system.  This mechanic allows for suicide ganking and the associated danger that brings to Highsec - all working as intended.  But CODE is bad, suicide ganking defenceless mining ships, something should be done to stop/limit/counter gankers etc.

And this highlights the issue I have with most opinions that ganking is bad - the lack of responsibility they assume for the victim.  'My yield fit Retriever got ganked by CODE.  Bad CODE.!!!'  Maybe if you actually put a shred of tank on your mining barge and weren't AFK you would have noticed the warp in ship they moved within 2000m of you, and maybe if you had pinged dscan few times you would have seen the Catalyst inbound and been able to warp out in time.  "You killed my Prospect at an Ore site in wormhole space - you shouldn't have done that and you're a bully because you did".  Ah, I'm sorry, missed that dev blog where wormhole space was now a no fire zone.  Perhaps if you had properly scouted out the system you might have realised that the people living there were online and decided that it may not be the best idea to engage in one of the most dangerous activities you can do in wormhole space.  "Havlac is a bully because he ganked my poor defenseless Mammoth in his stealth bomber".

I'd like to take a moment to relate the story of my latest kill that I believe ties nicely into this discussion.  I had found a likely C1 to stalk out as the locals appeared to be relatively active in my time zone, but things were quiet so I went for a bit of a wander down the chain.  I happened upon a C3 and dscan showed some promise with wrecks on scan, but also combat probes.


I couldn't locate an anomaly that the wrecks were located at so I assumed that the site had despawned. While looking around a Legion decloaked not far from the wormhole I was sitting at and dropped combats.


Ok, looks like I was spotted coming into the system.  Thats alright, I'll fully reconnoiter the hole and do some research on the locals.  It turns out it's only a 4 man corp and there are 2 of them currently online.  While I'm doing this the Legion logs off.  I'm beginning to suspect that the online player has eyes on the wormhole I came through, so I'll try going back through the wormhole and jumping back through when I'm not polarised to see if I can't catch something.  The moment I jump out the legion logs back in.  Right, if they want to play silly buggers with me I'll hang around and see if I can't catch them with their pants down.  I jump back into the hole and logoff at a safe for the night.

Next morning I scan the hole out when the locals aren't online.  I get stuck into my play time later that afternoon and poke a C5 frigate hole where I find a Prospect at a gas site.  While I'm trying to get in position to try for the Prospect, a notification chimes - the pilot I suspect was sitting on the hole last night has logged in.  I get a point on the Prospect but he warps off, probably stabbed but I may not have managed range properly.  Oh well, back to the C3.  I warp to the local tower in time to see a Buzzard swapped for a Mammoth.




A quick check of Zkillboard shows this pilot has previously been killed in losec in an untanked Mammoth.  I think I know where she is going, as the single static for this hole is a U210 losec connection.  But then Kottavai throws me a curve ball when she warps off to nothing I have a bookmark for.  Maybe bouncing from a safe to the hole?  I warp to the U210 at 20km and start pinging dscan.  Nothing, nothing - Mammoth.  Reduce to 10AU, she's still coming, 5AU still there, 1AU, she'll be here shortly.  The industrial lands 10km from the hole.  I was going wait for her on the return trip back to the tower but as she's at least 5km from the wormhole activation range this will do. It's a rush job with the screenshot, but I think it looks pretty dramatic.




The Mammoth pops after one volley.  I'm such a bully for killing such a poor defenceless ship, right?

Well no.  As you can see from the fit above, there isn't a single defensive mod or rig on the ship.  It's maxed out for cargo capacity.  I had a quick play with Pyfa and came up with a reasonable setup that would have evaded me due to fitted stabs, has 11K EHP and still has a 13,300m2 cargo capacity.


The Mammoth I killed wasn't defenceless, the pilot flying it made the choice to make it defenceless. Everything from the ship type, fittings and the decision where she flew the ship ultimately contributed to it being killed.  If she had the above setup or something similar, it wouldn't have been ganked.

Not to let the cat out of the bag, but if you reasonably tank your Noctis (ala Judu's 22700 EHP Noctis ) and put out 5 Warrior 1's (yes, a Noctis has a 25 m2 drone bay, which will fit 5 Warrior Is.  I had to look that up because I have never seen a Noctis launch drones), you will kill me in my stealth bomber before I kill you.  If you fit half a rack of autocannons to a salvaging destroyer instead of 8 salvagers and I don't know, maybe fit some kind of tank to your ship, you will kill me before I kill you - that's the funny thing about Destroyers, they're designed to kill frigates.  Prospects need to be locked before they cloak (pay attention and no one will be able to catch you), Ventures need 4 points of warp disruption to be reliably caught and both ORE frigates can sport a couple of drones that can cause a stealth bomber problems plus a reasonable tank vs torpedos.  Explorers can and often do fit stabs & most of the typical exploration frigates can sport drones.  But I'm a bully because I kill players who don't do any of the above.  Yeah, right.

Part of the appeal to me about Eve is that it is a harsh, cruel world.  It doesn't hold your hand and doesn't holds back any punches.  I have once (a long time ago) lost literally everything I owned in game down to my last ISK to a gate camp.  Did I hold a grudge against the campers? Did I whinge about how it wasn't fair?  No, I got pissed off at myself for doing something as stupid as flying a T1 industrial down a pipe to a dead end system without scouting it out first.  My loss, my responsibility.

I play Eve in the style I current do because it's fun.  I enjoy stalking through the winding ways of wormhole space, finding players, targets, watching, thinking, anticipating, acting.  I try to kill other players because it is a challenge, trying to anticipate what the other guy is doing and getting into a position to execute a gank.  Decloaking is exciting, never really knowing if something nasty is going to decloak next to you.  Do I feel bad after a kill?  Rarely - this is a game after all.  I do remember a particular instance where I killed the same explorer in the same relic site half an hour apart.  I convoed him and had a chat about what happened and pointed him in the direction of my old stomping grounds back when I started exploring (a little quieter than the FW system we were in), as well as reimbursing him the cost of his Cheetah.  That's probably the only time I felt bad making a kill.  But overall I have never felt remorse for shooting a ship, because at the end of the day PvP is what Eve is all about - the moment you undock your ship you consent to the risk of non consensual PvP.  What you do and the choices you make determines whether you will survive.

Friday, 3 July 2015

Right place, right time

It's funny that I fly around in a stealth bomber, but I never have a bomb launcher equipped.  Bombs are too situational, take up too much fitting space and in the space I tend to operate in they can't probe down a wormhole exit.  For me it's much more effective to have 3 torpedo launchers, cloak and core probe launcher, but that doesn't mean I'm not willing to try things out and to that end when I last exploded my ship I swapped the standard mobile warp disruptor for a bomb launcher and a concussion bomb.  Bombs are quite large, coming in at 75m2 so I didn't have a lot of room left in my cargo bay, but it was there should the situation arose that a large dumb fire, area of effect weapon was required.

I had wandered around a little looking for some action and happened to jump into a new system with a bunch of ships on dscan but no wrecks and no force field at the moon I narrowed them down to.  I had stumbled into a structure bash with 4 Oracles and a Jackdaw huffing and puffing away trying to pull down the dead defences.  Very interesting, I'll be setting up a perch and watching what happens here.


I did some research while I waited and found out that these same guys had all been killed in the same ships the day before, presumably bashing the same POS.  This could get really interesting, especially when combat and core probes appear on dscan.


I move closer to allow myself to be in range when the expected Sabre drops in, but after a while of nothing happening I conclude that either the prober is really, really, bad at probing or the probes belong to friends of the POS bashers, presumably to act as a deterrent to anyone in system or provide a quasi early warning system that something was on it's way.  That's a shame, but gets me thinking about how I could maximise my damage should these guys receive some unwanted attention, and decide that a bomb into the middle of a fight would be spectacularly fun to do and might get some kills.  Better to be prepared than be caught without the wrong tool, so I move back over a system to get to a safe and refit to the bomb launcher.  It's a bitch to fit, I basically have to offline most of my mid slots to get the thing online, which really sucks.  But whatever, this will be a one shot jaunt anyways.  As I jump back through I check the damage on the bomb launcher - this system is a Red Giant with the associated bonus damage to bombs, so my damage jumps to an impressive looking number.


I might be in with a shot at causing some real damage here.  I should really waiting for if and when these guys get jumped, but the nearly 16 and a half K damage compared with the around 7500 damage these Oracles took when they were killed last night makes me think I might be a chance to kill a couple of them by myself.  Stuff it, I get aligned up, choosing an Oracle that's has another 2 Oracles within the 15km blast radius.  Deep breath, de-cloak.

Tally Ho!!!
I warp off as I release the bomb and land still on grid but a couple of hundred klicks away just as a satisfying explosive shockwave reaches my ears after traversing the emptiness of space in cool defiance of real world mechanics.


In hindsight I probably shouldn't have warped off given the damage I did with the first hit.  If I'd had my target painter online instead of the MWD, stayed on the grid & locked up my target Oracle, the target painter would have increased the damage from the bomb by a bit and one or two volleys of my torpedoes hopefully would have done the trick.  The Jackdaw was probably my biggest threat and he was over 60km away, plus I was already aligned so it wouldn't have taken long to get out of dodge.  Note to self, analyse this stuff before you engage, you might get a better result.

In the end these guys aren't too worried by a lone bomber and all I managed to get from them in terms of a response is they are no longer sitting still.  It turns out I only helped them at their task, getting in on a sensor dampening battery  and a medium pulse laser battery killmail.

I move on, refitting back to the normal setup and trying to find some more targets.  I end up in a C5 and I know there is a bubble at a particular tower, but there isn't any cargo containers, so I warp over and land in amongst all the POS guns.  And then I die to a tower again.  Bloody towers.  I have resolved to ignore towers with bubbles in future, and I'm aiming to make July a "Losing ships to towers free month".  Bloody towers.

The next week or so is a bit of hard work, lots of scanning without much reward.  I eventually find a Vexor Navy doing a data site after working my way 5 holes deep down a particular chain, which is probably the deepest I've scanned out a chain while looking for players to interact with.  The problem is that I haven't scanned this hole out, so I'll need to use dscan to narrow down where this Vexor is and then drop probes hopefully on top of it.  I decide that for something different  I'll use combat probes, so I drop a depot outside of dscan range, refit and position the probes.  I'll be using a tip that Zosius has graciously imparted ,  where I pull the probes as soon as the scan cycle has completed to avoid having the probes visible for too long - if I need to rescan I can warp back out of dscan range of the target, redrop the probes and reposition them as needed, rinse and repeat.  It appears I'm not the best at this as it takes 5 goes to finally get a warpin on the Vexor, but they appear oblivious to my attempts at finding them.


I settle in to wait.  It takes a while, but the site is finally cleared and the Vexor warps home, hopefully for something like a Noctis given they haven't dropped a MTU.  They don't appear to be local, as they are gone for a while before warping back to the site in a.......


WTF?  I can only reason that they were going to try and hack the site, but it despawned while Geniva swapped ships.  The Helios buzzes around looting the field but not salvaging the wrecks.  In frustration I try and nab it on the last wreck, but it's already aligning out & warps out before I can lock it. Very frustrating, Maybe I'm just trying too hard, trying to force things.

For something different one afternoon after work I have a few minutes while the wife heads out to pick one of the kids up from daycare.  I'll login and see what's happening in the system I logged off in last night.  Wrecks on scan along with a Rattlesnake.  Curious, but not really hopeful of getting a kill due to the time frames I have available,  I resolve the anomaly they are at and warp over to have a look.



This shows promise.  He doesn't have a MTU out at this point so I'm liking the chances that there will be a salvager along at some point.  However, he is taking a really, really long time to clear the site.  It's a C4 anomaly & he only halfway through the first wave, with several battleships in waves 2 and 3 - it's going to be a while before he's finished, much longer than I have available.  However, I might be able to make this work.

I leave Eve running and start folding washing.  I'm about halfway through the basket when the wife gets home, and I say hello to the family before putting the clothes away, surreptitiously checking on the Rattler to see how he's progressing.  I also wash the dishes up.  All very good house husbandly things to do.  Eventually I ask the wife, can I pretty please play Eve for 5 minutes?  I remember telling her" You see this guy here, once he's finished killing these red things I'm going to have a chance at killing him".  Eve explained in 25 words or less, very informative and inspirational.  Needless to say, the wife isn't terribly impressed, but says she won't stop me, as long as it's only 5 minutes.  Hooray!!!

As a tradeoff I also let the wife use the computer so she can enrol in her next semester Uni courses.  As she's finishing up with that I check Eve and the Rattler only has a couple of Sleeper cruisers left.  Show time, start the clock.  While I haven't been watching a MTU has been deployed so the wrecks are nicely compressed into a ball.  I warp in at 30km and watch the Rattler warp off to the local tower.  What will he bring back I wonder.


I like Noct... Noctises? Noctii?


It's a little ironic that when I'm not really trying to kill something a Noctis drops in my lap, with a little bit of help from a caring, understanding wife.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

I may not get you, but I will get your Alt

I've found a new C2 to hang out in, the reasons for my stay are threefold.  1.  It appears that the locals are reasonably active in my timezone 2. I couldn't be arsed logging off in another system and have to rescan everything and 3.  There is a particular ship buzzing around the system that I hope to have a chance at landing on grid with and hopefully squashing:


I don't have any luck with the Epithal for a couple of days, and the locals don't appear to be doing much else that I can interfere with.  This changes when I have a half hour after work where the rest of the family is out of the house.  I login to have a look around and see if anything new is happening.


Interesting.  I become even more interested when the Procurer warps to an ore anomaly.  I follow and land on grid and set about creating a tactical perch that I can GTFO to if needed.  It takes a little while to work out how I can get close to the Procurer without getting decloaked, but I finally work out if I warp to this particular rock at 30km I should remain cloaked. Done, I'm around 40km to the target with nothing of concern either on dscan or in terms of my approach path to the ship.  However, there is a potential problem.


I don't see any mining lasers active, so we have a miner just warping to an anomaly and just going AFK, or a potential bait ship.  I haven't done any scanning this afternoon so the chances I was spotting when I logged in are pretty slim.  But I'm a bit concerned given a Procurer can sport a pretty heavy tank for a mining barge, so if it is bait I most likely won't be able to kill it before the cloaky(ies) waiting nearby will kill me.  But what the hell, I'll decloak aligned to my perch and if there is a Proteus lurking nearby I'll (hopefully) warp off before they can lock me.  I start moving into position, but my plans are dashed when the family arrives home.  Farewell, potential bait Procurer, I will never know your true nature.

Later that night I have some play time and fully scan out the chain, there isn't a lot doing until I jump back into the hole one system away from my "Home" C2 and notice a Cheetah on scan.  It's probably just dumping probes or transiting a wormhole, it'll soon cloak up.  Or will it?


It's not cloaking up.  Swinging dscan around I quickly determine it's over at the Losec static in this system and warp over to see if it's still hanging around.  I land on grid to find the Cheetah about 115km away from me.  At this point I want to point out how much I love the sensor overlay with the bookmarks showing in space.  It makes aligning things such as bubbles a hell of a lot easier to do and it's a tremendous aid in situations such as I have here, as there is a bookmark hanging in space for the C2 static roughly inline with this Cheetah.  I'll warp to the C2 hole and warp back to the Losec hole at 100km, it will be a thousand times quicker than trying to slowboat towards it and I should land pretty close.  A bit under 10km in fact.



I orbit at 15km, preselect the torps, painters and disruptor, decloak and get everything that needs to be heated.  Pretty straightforward, except there are no Torpedoes streaking to my target.  Speaking of which I don't have a target - I haven't locked him up when I decloaked.  *Sigh*.  I try locking the Cheetah but my delay has given Xrebelion enough time to react, and the ship disappears in a cloud of shimmering hexagons.  I half heartedly light my microwarp drive and steer in the general direction of where the Cheetah was in a vain attempt to decloak him, but he's gone.  The game is up, the locals know I'm here and what I'm flying, it might be time to move on.  I jump back to "Home" (I'm going to call my main stalking site "Kimbo" from now on) and just manage to get cloaked up before Xrebelion and another pilot I didn't get the name of land on the hole in a pair of T3 destroyers.  I can see that my presence is not welcome here, and rapidly warp off to find greener pastures.

I'll poke a highsec connection first, with the aim of finding another wormhole to jump into.  A quick scan reveals the connection I came through is the only wormhole in system.  I'll go poke another known space connection, as I'm not feeling inclined to jump gates and I might find something in the chain as I go from K space connection to K space connection.  Before I leave though, something catches my eye on Dscan and with my interest piqued I get on grid.


So many graves.

I had in fact read up on the Eve Cemetery only earlier that day while looking up trading in corpses (I have a project I'm working on that will require a few frozen corpses, but given my lack of podding lately I'm all out.  And no, I'm not in any way related to those pesky drifters, certainly involved with nothing illegal, but it could be construed as of slightly questionable taste.  I will reveal all at a later date).  The Eve Cemetery is basically a place where you can drop of the corpse of your vanquished foes or your previous clone if you so wish and the owners of the POS will organise a burial & internment in a secure cargo container so the "grave" is on display.  As you can see from the screenshots above there's certainly a lot of graves there.  Feeling slightly humbled, I decide to head back to Kimbo as it's nearly time for bed and I couldn't be bothered getting set up in another hole.

Nothing doing on the way back to Kimbo, but when I do arrive I see a new Confessor with a ship name that I haven't seen before on dscan.  I warp over to one of the local's towers and find my friend Xrebelion the Cheetah pilot now sitting in the Confessor along with a buddy in a Svipul.  As I watch the Svipul is swapped for a Catalyst - these guys sure like their destroyers.  It dawns on me that I should be saying this guy and not the plural given the similarity of the names.


The Confessor warps off to a D382 and I follow, confident that this turn of events might mean I get a chance to redeem my inability to target earlier tonight.  I give it a couple of minutes before I follow the Confessor into the C2 where Dscan confirms I may get my chance.



I set a tactical perch, bookmark the MTU and then get in position inside point range of the MTU in preparation for a salvager.  I can confirm that the Confessor is a boss at C2 anomalies, Xrebelion powers through the site in next to no time, which makes me wince painfully thinking of the half hour it used to take me to do the same site in a Drake.  However, there is what I assume is a Confessor wreck here from the same corporation and with the same tag on the ship name, suggesting that he's had a bit of trouble with this site previously.  No such problems this time though, and a kind of grim certainty settles over me - this Confessor is going to warp off when the site is done taking the MTU and the loot drop with him, Xrebelion's alt in the Catalyst will warp in and salvage most of the wrecks, at which point I will kill it.  I almost feel bad for the guy, but then the Catalyst lands on grid.


The Confessor lingers but for a moment before warping off back to Kimbo.  A final check that this Catalyst isn't packing blasters - Check.


Ok lets get this right this time.

See what happens when you actually target someone you want to shoot at?


I have only the one scare when the Catalyst targets me right back after I lock him up, so I align out and get ready to hit the MWD, but it appears that he may have had auto target back set to yes.  The only way he was going to hurt me with the above setup was if I was flying a Minmatar ship.  Once again the pod gets away - I'm considering swapping a painter for a sebo to try and address that.  While I would have preferred to have nabbed the Cheetah first time round, I'll take killing someone's alt any day.