I’ve not been doing all that much in EVE recently, being partially distracted by Marvel Puzzle Quest which my wife is also playing. The good part is that while I’ve been playing that, I also took the opportunity to do some mining with both characters in Retrievers. Not particularly profitable with each full ore hold of Solid Pyroxeres being worth only something like 3.7 million unprocessed, but I like having a stockpile of minerals around when I want to build stuff, like the Drake I recently baked.
However last night my Iron Man got whooped and had to rest a bit to recover health, so my wife shooed me off to go do other things. Well, guess it’s time to put my wormhole day-tripping plan into action…
My Buzzard, Laserbeak, undocks and starts putzing around looking for a wormhole. In my favourite dead end system, 2 jumps from my base, I find 2 K162s into unknown space. I kinda forgot to try to guess the class of the wormhole from the colors, but decide to grit my teeth and jump into one of them. Here goes nothing!
Ok, I ended up alone, which is always a relief. Opening an in-game browser to wormnav shows that it’s a cataclysmic C1, with some activity in the past few hours so it’s not unoccupied. There’s nothing on dscan so first thing is to bookmark the wormhole (woot! didn’t forget this step!) and then make a safe spot. Once in the safe, I start scanning. My dscan skills are extremely rudimentary, which needs to be corrected soon, but so far I haven’t seen any ships and the system seems quiet. There are 2 combat anomalies and an ore site, and 2 unknowns which turn out to be another wormhole and a data site. Hmm… data site… and Laserbeak has hacking stuff fitted.
Now at this point maybe I should have gone to look at the other K162 to check out the situation, but I’m lazy. Laserbeak is right there to hack the cans, once I clear out the defending Sleepers. The site is called Unsecured Perimeter Information Center and looks to have a fair number of cruiser NPCs, so not quite a cakewalk? Time for Noork to bring the Drake over. I’ve refitted it by dropping a passive thermal shield amplifier and putting on a target painter, so the tank is reduced to about 400 with fleet boosts, but I figure the heavy missiles need some help in hitting frigates.
While Noork starts making his way, I warp the Buzzard over to the entry N110 hole at 100km just to make sure an ambush hasn’t materialised. Shortly after Noork jumps into the system, I see a pod appear on dscan shortly before appearing at the N110. Hmm, so there are people in here… but why a pod? Did he get killed by Sleepers or are there defenders? Still haven’t seen any ships on dscan, although I didn’t exactly make an extensive survey of the system to find out where the towers are etc.
Anyway, I decide to go for it and jump the Drake through. Warping in to the data site, I see a buttload of Sleepers and am immediately neuted by 1 frigate and 3 cruisers. Someone obviously triggered the site already, including the first reinforcement wave.
I was a bit alarmed to see my capacitor vanishing quickly, and pretty soon it’s totally dry which means both adaptive invulnerability fields stop running. Thankfully the tank seems to hold at around 50-60% shields, and the target painter helps a lot in killing stuff. I didn’t launch my Hobgoblin IIs as I figured they would be instantly eaten. After killing all the neuting ships things obviously got easier and I decided to plonk down a mobile depot to refit to salvage drones and see if I could get a first step on salvaging. I was hoping that the Sleepers would not disturb the salvage drones since they don’t attack and cause aggro, but no luck and I had to pull them back pretty quickly.
I wonder what that pretty blue pulsar-looking thing in the background is. After killing everything, I then refit to 4 salvagers and 2 tractor beams and go to work on the wrecks. I didn’t bring a mobile tractor unit due to how much space it took up, but man it’s been a long time since I did manual salvaging with no tractor bonuses and it proves to be a real pain even with the salvage drones helping.
At this point I notice that an Arazu has appeared on dscan. Uh oh. My Drake is aligned to my safe, so I’m keeping an eye out. Of course being a cloaky recon he could suddenly appear next to me but I should be able to warp off before being targeted… I think. A short while later, the Arazu disappers but is replaced by a Pilgrim. I’m getting more nervous here as it’s becoming more evident that someone is awake. My Buzzard, which has been keeping watch on the hole, suddenly sees a Hurricane land on it. Yikes, looks like they’re looking for me.
Feeling alarmed, I pull the drones back and start spamming dscan on the Drake. The Pilgrim disappears and is replaced by a Prophecy battlecruiser and Maelstrom battleship. Uh oh, big guns coming, warp warp warp! In my haste I leave my dear salvage drones behind, poor things. However, upon reaching my safe spot I realise I have another problem, that being my Drake has no cloak. So I can’t just sit at my safe spot since I’ll get probed out. I didn’t even remember to bring a cloak so that I could refit to it, although I was also loathe to drop a mobile depot and wait 45 seconds for it to go online since it’s easily probe-able as well. I warped my Buzzard 100 km off the data site and began bouncing the Drake madly between planets thinking what to do. I had a moment of panic where I forgot what my exit bookmark was called and thought that they had collapsed the exit hole using the Maelstrom. Obviously they couldn’t do that, this being a C1 which doesn’t allow battleships to enter back in, but yeah I don’t think well under stress. After realizing my exit was still there, and watching dscan a bit on the Buzzard, things seemed to calm down a bit.
At this point I made another mistake, and decided to warp back to the site in my Drake to pick up my salvage drones and finish up the last few wrecks. I knew it was a bad idea even while I was doing it, kinda like when I decided to move 3 billion ISK in goods from Jita to Amarr in a Bestower, but yeah… in Keroro Platoon we leave no drone behind! Fortunately I actually managed to pick up all 5 drones and finish salvaging with no incidents, after which I immediately bolted to the exit hole and jumped through. Success!
Meanwhile I had warped the Buzzard to the exit hole to scout first, and while the Drake jumped through I warped the Buzzard back to the data site at 0 to hack the data cans. The Buzzard obviously had a Covert Ops cloak, so I thought I should be safe. I think you can probably guess what happened…
While setting my Drake to jump back to my base, I suddenly heard a target lock sound through my earphones and the sound of weapons fire. After a second of “huh?” I switched back to the Buzzard and saw to my dismay that I was decloaked and there was a Hurricane pointing me. I sat there for another salvo before realizing that he didn’t have a web on me. Aligning to my safe spot and hitting my 1MN AB, I actually managed to make it to 10km away before his drones blew up my Buzzard. Not sure if I would have made it if I had been a bit quicker thinking or had overheated the AB. In any case, at least my pod got out safely.
So that turned out to be 16.5 million ISK in loot, mostly from 3 melted nanoribbons, in exchange for about a 30 million ISK Buzzard. Not particularly productive, but I think I did learn a lot of things from my first wormhole adventure.
1) I need to do a proper recon of the system before doing anything. This includes checking towers, etc. If it’s occupied or has signs of recent activity, forget about it.
2) If I see a ship appear on dscan, I should gtfo. No exceptions, and no doing stupid stuff like “one more wreck” or “just need to pick up my drones”.
3) Might need to revise my Drake fit a bit, or maybe choose a different ship. I got neuted out pretty quickly, so maybe change to fully passive tank instead of 2 invuls. DPS from heavy missiles was decent against frigates, might get more from HAMs but HAMs have pitiful range and the Drake has no prop mods. Salvaging is also still a pain, but I’m not sure how to improve this. Maybe bring a MTU despite the 150 m3 volume, it seems to be worth it. Also BRING A CLOAK, seems more useful than a core probe launcher in that utility slot (the probe can be refit using the mobile depot).
4) I need to make tactical warp ins for any site I’m doing, rather than warp to 0.