Friday, May 3, 2013

A Venture Goes South

(A post inspired by the adventures of Penny at  I learned how to scan by myself, a year ago.  I was inspired to hunt in wormholes by the Confessions of a Wormhole Killer.  But learned a few tricks from Penny!)

Artist's rendition of prey
Having run my circuit around Poinen, I am ready to hunt.  I jump in my cloaky PVP Tengu and set off to delve into several wormholes I have previously noted.  After several dry holes, I enter a wormhole I'd found earlier in Nomaa.  Dscan... and, bingo.  No towers on scan.  One Venture on scan.  I figure I have myself a gas miner.

I 'm at about 2000m from the wormhole, so I burn out beyond 2500, cloak, and warp off to an outer planet to launch probes.  There's a tower.  Is he from here?  Who knows.  Look for a better place.  One more warp to a second outer planet and: no tower, no ships.  All good.  Five probes away, and sent up above the system, copying Penny's method of blanket scanning a system.  (This bit I learned from reading tigerears.)  Now I move my probes up above the inner system, where the Venture is.  32au scan.  I've got a weak signal, 2%, on a ship.  Good.  I warp in to an inner planet and begin trying to use dscan to narrow down the Venture's location.

Woops.  He's no longer on dscan.  Is he in the system at all?  I consult my probes and the answer is no.  Either I somehow spooked him, or maybe he filled his hold.  The good news is at least he is not local -- if he was he'd be at the tower.  I will wait.  Meanwhile, I fly over to sit 15km off the wormhole out, to listen and watch for him (or anyone else) coming in.  And I start trying to probe down his ladar site.  I know very roughly where it is, so I hope I can scan it down before he gets back -- if he comes back.

I probe down to 8 au or so, and have two ladars starting to resolve in the area I think the Venture was in.  I am about to go for a 100% on one of the ladars, when....  pooooorgh!  Wormhole sound!  Is this the Venture coming back?  Yes, it's a Venture... it warps off.  Crap -- my probes are out!  I hastily recall them.  Did he see?

I guess he did not see.  Once again, I warp to the outer system to launch probes.  Probes out, and again placed above the system to blanket scan.  Sure enough, a 2% ship in the inner system.

I warp to a planet in the inner system, and start using dscan to find the Venture's rough location.  I get a reading toward the sun, about 8 au.  So I warp over to the sun.  Now I look around a bit.  I'm not that good at this process, and it takes me a while.  I do a full 360 facing the ecliptic with a 90 degree scan, and no ship in sight.  Probes say he is still there, though.  (And it stands to reason I have plenty of time, since he should be empty.)  Finally I think about looking straight up with 180 degrees.  Bingo.  OK, 90?  There.  30?  There.  15?  There.  5?  Not there.  Well -- 15 degrees is pretty good.  Now I determine range, which I have more experience with, and quickly determine he's about 1 au from me.  1 au, almost straight up.  I narrow the probes to 1au range, hoping this is enough to resolve a Venture to 100%.  Then I bring them down and place them right above me.  And... breathe! I scan.  Pshew... pshew... bingo!  Got a 100% on a Venture!  I recall the probes and warp at the signal.   Did he see?

I land on grid, and there is he is.  I uncloak and try locking, but fail in this for a few seconds.  (Either I was still in warp, or perhaps I uncloaked too late and had to wait.  Not sure.)  Eventually I get the lock started, and I overheat my assault launchers.  I don't bother with the warp disruptor because it has but one point of warp disruption, and I know my prey has two built-in.  If I am to get this kill, it is because he is too AFK and/or stunned to react quickly enough.  He starts to move, uh oh.  I web him.

I get just into armor, and he warps.  Immediately I warp to the wormhole, figuring that's where he must have gone.  I am right -- there he is.  I start to lock... and he's gone.  Oh well.  Kudos to you, young Venture pilot!  Well played!

Out of curiousity, I want to check out the site he was at to see what gas he was sucking.  Wait... what?  I don't have a ladar resolved at 100%.  Just some rocks.  I fly there -- yes, he was mining asteroids.  This is pretty funny -- probably the newb had no idea that mining rocks in wspace is piss-poor pay compared to sucking gas.

I wonder if he might be back.  I launch probes and scan a few sites down, but after about five minutes I realize this is a waste of time.  Time for bed, instead.

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