Monday, 11 July 2011
Welcome to Hevrice (part 2)
Continued from part 1...
Chapter 4 - Laying some groundwork
Logging back on after downtime, I took advantage of the low population count to create my docking safe. Since they introduced a variance in the undocking vector, some people have found creating docking safes a little tricky. However, if you pull up the range overlay you will see that every station undocks you along one of those axis, or straight down.
If you undock along one of those axis, simply set your course straight down that axis. This will be the centre of the variance range, meaning it gives you the best chance of an instant warp-out you when you undock from the station (at the extreme ends of the variance range there is still a short align time).
If you undock straight down, things are (slightly) trickier. First, stop your ship and target the station. This will cause a white line to appear between you and the station. Then select a point in space that is directly in line with the imagined extentsion of that white line. Done swiftly (ie, before your undocking course has carried you away from the optimal angle of undock), this will again give you an undock at the center of the range of variance.
After dealing with the undock safe (which took less time that typing it out would make it seem), I consulted my OGLE maps, and settled on a roam route that took me sound through Ashee and Old Man Star before coming full circle back to Hevrice.
I was not thrilled with the route; many of the systems were so crowded that I was not sure that I could hunt there comfortably. However, it was a Sunday, so they were likely to be at their busiest. Perhaps I would have more luck on a weekday.
Chapter 5 - Hunting pack
After my fairly uneventful circuit - my goal was as much to become familiar with the area as it was hunting - I decided to try scanning down some of the mission runners that frequent the area. I broke out my trusty Magnate and scanned down several mission runners, but could not actually catch any of them; they tended to be so far from the acceleration gate that my little Vengeance couldn't reach them before they warped off.
Although hunting the mission runners seemed a bit of a bust, it did mean that my scanning ship was all set up and ready to go when I got a call over Vent for a scanning ship; someone had seen a Myrmidon that appeared to be missioning only a few jumps away.
Shortly thereafter I landed in Costolle and started scanning the area the Myrmidon had been seen. As my scan accuracy improved, however, I began to have doubts. The Myrm was very close to a celestial; were people sure it was not at a POS?
Kaal Redrum and zombiedeadhead, who were acting as spotters, were able to confirm that the Myrm was at a POS, but that the POS was in the process of being onlined! We had about ten minutes before the Myrmidon was safe behind a POS shield.
Kaal and I both returned to Hev to up-ship, me to my Vengeance, and him to a Hurricane; zombie was already in a Jag, and we thought we might need more than three frigates to break the Myrm's tank.
Returning to Costolle, it was agreed that I would warp in first because I had managed to get a 100% lock on the Myrm's position. Once tackle was established, the others would follow. I'd then clear the drones while the other's applied dps.
When I landed, though, the Myrm was nowhere to be seen. Only the POS, on it's countdown to onlining, remained. When I explained this to the others, they joined me. All three of us sat there staring at the POS tower, wondering what we should do; none of us knew anything about POS, except that they were generally not worth the effort of destroying.
We were still pondering our options when the Myrm landed. I immediately established point, and then moved into a tight orbit; I wanted to get under those blasters ASAP.
Kaal and zombie opened fire and established secondary points, and the Myrmidon began to fight back, lauching heavy drones at Kaal's Hurricane. Man, those things are tough! I began the work of clearing them, but soon stopped; it was clear that the Myrmidon was not fully tanked, and we were better off just burning it down.
Which we did.
Corp: Les Independants Libres
Damage Taken: 14028
Name: Kaal Redrum (laid the final blow)
Corp: The Tuskers
Weapon: 425mm AutoCannon II
Damage Done: 12714
Name: Taurean Eltanin
Corp: The Tuskers
Weapon: Caldari Navy Foxfire Rocket
Damage Done: 948
Corp: The Tuskers
Damage Done: 366
Salvager I, Qty: 2
Non-Inertial Ballistic Screen Augmentation I
Ballistic Deflection Field I
Centii C-Type Thermic Plating
Dark Blood Reflective Plating
Hobgoblin II (Drone Bay)
Hammerhead II, Qty: 2 (Drone Bay)
Y-T8 Overcharged Hydrocarbon I Microwarpdrive
Photon Scattering Field I
Damage Control I
Warp Core Stabilizer II, Qty: 2
Hobgoblin II, Qty: 4 (Drone Bay)
Hammerhead II, Qty: 3 (Drone Bay)
I managed to snag the pod, so we had a ransom situation on our hands. I left the negotiations to the others, and idly turned my attention to the POS.
Chapter 6 - A race against time
50 seconds to online.
Suddenly something clicked. Presumably, when the POS went online it would activate it's shield. I was not certain, but I guessed that we (without the password) would be pushed to the boundary of the shield while our target (who did have the password) would remain where he was, protected by the shield.
I quickly pointed this out to the others on Vent, and our ransom negotiations became far more urgent. However, the "client" seemed to be playing for time, so Kaal destroyed his pod with about 3 seconds left on the timer.
At which point, nothing happened.
For a moment, I felt really stupid, fearing that I had just caused us to blow a perfectly good ransom. But just before I could say anything, the client's alt landed at the POS, and a shield immediately appeared. As expected, it pushed the three of us to the outside edge of the shield while the alt remained with the sheild's boundary. Apparently, there is a final trigger before the shield activates, and if Kaal had not destroyed the pod when he did, the client would have escaped.
We all had a good laugh, including the client's alt. For those who can afford a POS, a Myrm and a clone is small change. I liked his attitude, though. Low sec is hard on those that can't take a knock or two and come up smiling. I suspect that this one will do well.
Chapter 7 - Take twice daily
Before logging off for the day, I managed to snag another cyno ship. It gave me a bit of a fright, though, because while I was in the process of destroying it a flashy carrier landed. While it probably could not have targeted me before I escaped, I was very glad to hit warp.
It's official, I've now been carrier hot-dropped.
This was a fantastic first day. Five killmails, with a mix of solo and gang work, is a record for me. Hev seems to be a target rich environment, and I hadn't seen a gate camp all day.
Fighting beside an onlining POS added an interesting twist to things, and I had a great conversation with Kaal while we waited out our criminal flags. He's a self confessed "Eve nerd", but I think he's being hard on himself; he simply appreciates technical understanding. We spent some time discussing Vengeance fits, and the tradeoffs between tank and dps.
I'll post more on Vengeance fits later; I'll be reviewing my fit periodically, but Kaal also pointed me to a website that will graph my combat logs, so I can see what my dps actually is, and what my opponent's dps actually is. I can see myself playing with that a fair amount, and Kaal and I agreed that there are a number of things we want to test. Rage rockets against webbed and double webbed frigates, for a start.
And what about stationary targets? Should I be using Rage rockets to bust cyno ships? Would that give the the time I need to get the pod? So many interesting questions.