Sunday, 21 July 2013

Exploring Null, Pt3

"Life in a Wormhole" is a collection of blog posts documenting my adventures in EVE Online. Together with a small group of real life friends we will attempt to survive in the harshest of space EVE has to offer.

This is part 3, you can read part 2 here.

It had been a few days since I was able to return to my ship, damn real life getting in the way. I'm pleased to be starting up in null sec. It always feels more like home than high sec. I think it's because it's more exclusive. Not everyone has been to this system, not everyone knows how to survive in this system. Not like the 1,000's of pilots who pass through my mission hub every day.

There's another gate camp on the exit: a different corporation this time. But that's Okay, I've got a few hours and I'd like to put this second bubble to use. I head a few systems deep and set up the bubble. It's much quicker this time with my bookmarks already setup.

"Local open."
"PvP Overview."
"D-Scan set to max range 360 degrees."

Time to wait....

"Plus One."
A pilot appears in local, a Buzzard on my D-Scan. He's not from this gate and neither of the other gates are in D-Scan range. He's just logged in. Could be a scout alt. 6 Sister Probes replace the Buzzard on scan. He's cloaked & scanning. I warp down to my bubble. I don't want him scanning down my safe, but I'm happy for him to find me & engage in that Buzzard.
"Minus One."
A shame, it would've made an easy first kill.

A friend logs into corp, the young pilot. He offers to come help me out. I do want him here eventually, but not before I've gone over safes, bookmarks and opponent identification - at the very least. Plus with that gate camp here... he isn't getting through.

"Plus One."
Nothing on D-Scan. The pilot is at least 4 years old. Nowadays that doesn't mean much. I make a mental note of their corp & alliance, in case more follow. Out of nowhere, a Purifier appears on grid. She's landed in my bubble, her cloak turning itself off for getting too close to the anchor. Target. Scram. Web.

"Gotcha."
It takes a bit of manual piloting, toggling my propulsion to keep up with it without overshooting. She gets out of scram range momentarily but I manage to re-scram without her warping away. My inexperience is showing.  I can't even remember if it's a stealth bomber or an interceptor. In the end it wouldn't matter, she wasn't expecting a fight and I quickly take her down. My first PvP kill since my return! Happy.

We exchange good fights, she tells me she was doomed the second she hit warp. My inexperience from absence isn't noticed. I don't mention it, no sense rubbing salt in the wound.

"Plus One."
Shit. Ok. I wasn't expecting another one so quickly. It's a Manticore, at my gate. Cloaked up and probably flying away somewhere. A Manticore would have a damn good chance at taking me down if he could launch bombs properly. Logic tells me to leave the bubble, back to a safe until he leaves the system. But I want to see if I'm quicker than him. If I can lock & scram him faster than he can launch and warp.

"Don't MWD when he bombs."

Bits of information come seeping back to me and I'm grateful for them.

"Bubble!"
I'm talking to myself again. The Manticore has landed it my bubble. I can only assume inexperience or fuck up, he can't have meant to engage me. He saw me just 2 minutes ago. Target. Scram. Web.

"Gotcha."
This is a cleaner kill. A flawless attempt from me.

Now I am aware that in a regular scenario, a Harpy should be beating a Manticore 100% of the time... I don't claim PvP dominance for these kills, but as my first trip out I'm thrilled to be taking people down. Remember that my initial 'best case' was to take out a pod - instead I've got two solo Tech 2's under my belt.

It's coming close to downtime as a battleship enters my system. I watch him curiously, as he sits at the gate pointed towards me. 12 seconds later (heh heh heh) I have my first encounter with a Micro Jump Drive. A frightening experience of watching a battleship go from gate to "shit he's on top of me" in a flash.

I had ample time to warp away, watching him destroy my bubble in frustration. This time, it didn't matter. I was out of bubbles, my cargo was full, it was time to head home. I safe'd up in the exit system, watching local. With 2 minutes til downtime, the final ship logged out. I nipped out into high sec, making it two systems deep before the server forced me out.

I was safe, I was practically home, I had made profit. I'm already itching to get back in, but perhaps next time I'll bring a friend. Next task: a micro training session for the corp mates.


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