A couple of nights ago, I logged on for a quick round of exploration since I didn’t have much time. There were 3 signatures in my base system, which got resolved into a combat site, a data site and a relic site. On a side note, man that relic site was hard to scan down. I had to go down to 0.25 AU probe radius and still had to fiddle around with placement a bit before getting a warpable hit. Nothing besides a few decryptors and another Target Spectrum Breaker BPC, but the combat site turned out to be one called Blood Vigil which I had never done before.
Warped the Ishtar in and BLAM all shields stripped in the first volley. Was pretty scary but it’s ok, the Ishtar is armor tanked. After pulling a bit of range and dropping Garde II’s it was over quickly. But what’s this?
“Among the information your scanners pick out of the badly damaged station manager ship are logs containing a conversation indicating that the manager himself had an RRhideout not far away where he spent his free time doing whatever perverted things Blood raider hotshots do when they are on a vacation.”
Ooo another escalation! And it’s not a Rogue Drone one, so it might be decent. After a whole lot of jumping around doing 3 high-sec escalation stages, I end up with the last stage being 12 jumps away, 3 jumps into low-sec. But this time I will brave the perils of low-sec in my dogged pursuit of Blood Raiders! And phat lewt of course.
A quick refit of my Ishtar is in order, so I pop in a Improved cloaking device, a medium remote armor repairer, switch out the AB for a MWD and popped in a medium CCC into my spare rig slot. I was planning to take out my faction OTLs and deadspace armor hardener, but forgot to in the end so my Ishtar was pretty pimped out for a low-sec adventure. Meanwhile I also jump my alt over and boarded her Manticore to act as a scout. Didn’t bother putting anything in the highs except for the Cov Ops cloak, but did put on 2 sensor dampeners and a target painter with the vague idea that she might be able to help a bit in the site.
After the tedium of jumping 9 gates, I finally reach the first low-sec system. The Manticore jumps in first with bated breath… to find nothing. No, wait something just appeared. Is it a camp? Er… Anshar… isn’t that a jump freighter? While I contemplate decloaking the Manticore to give the Anshar pilot a scare, it disappears. I guess it jumped to a cyno. There are about 6 people in local but the gate seems clear, so I warp the Ishtar to the gate while the Manticore makes a corp safe spot bookmark. I then jump the Ishtar through and to the safe spot while the Manticore makes a perch bookmark 150+ km from the next gate.
In the next system there’s no one else in local, so I decide to pop open the discovery scanner to see if there’s anything interesting. HOLY MOLY that’s a lot of Sansha anoms. On a whim I decide to try one out and warp the Ishtar to it while the Manticore hangs around at a safe spot. The anomaly is called Sansha Port, and it turned out to be markedly different from hi-sec anoms. For one thing, the NPCs take much longer to die. I’m getting the hang of the Ishtar kiting style now, and basically MWD out to about 60 km right at the start before farting out a cloud of Garde II’s. Initially I was afraid to go too far from the sentries as I thought that the NPCs would quickly switch targets to them since my Ishtar isn’t doing anything at all, but somehow they remained content just plinking away at the Ishtar while the drones happily continued blapping unmolested. And it took a lot of blapping, because there were even battleship spawns. It seems that even with 664 dps with 64 km optimal, it takes a while for a lone Ishtar to finish these anoms.
After finishing it (and filling my cargo hold with loot from the BS wrecks) I decide against trying to do the rest of the anoms since it takes too much time and my main goal is to finish the escalation. Repeating the whole bookmarking routine eventually gets me to the target system, which thankfully again has no one in local besides myself. Seems like this is a quiet part of space, although it’s not a dead-end low-sec pocket or anything like that.
The site itself was relatively uneventful. I warped my Manticore to the site as well and sat there cloaked, but ended up giving myself a scare when the Blood Raider ships happened to pass within 2000 metres and decloaked it. Fortunately nothing targeted it and I was able to scoot away and recloak. The final Blood Messiah battleship was eventually dispatched and he dropped a Centii A-Type EM Plating worth about 6 million. A bit of a letdown, but I guess I can’t expect great loot drops all the time. I think I ended up with about 33 million in loot from the whole escalation chain plus random anoms, including a low-grade Talisman Alpha implant.
This represents the first time I’ve been in low-sec with a combat ship, and the first time I’ve actually done anything in low-sec besides just warping around. Definitely more quiet than I expected, but even so I’m not sure whether there’s a point to doing the plethora of low-sec anoms I found. Maybe if I bring a Stratios in as well I would be able to do them faster while still being able to scout, but the rewards don’t seem commensurate to the risk. I could just run level 4s much faster and with practically zero risk. Another interesting possibility would be to make use of my alt’s Caldari Cruiser V skills to train Recon Ships and bring in everyone’s favourite cloaky, the Falcon. Since I have zero intentions to PVP and just want to GTFO, having a cloaky Falcon hanging around to jam off anyone who managed to point the Ishtar could be very handy. Wouldn’t let me do the sites any faster though… hmm.