Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Ghostbusting Bust

Rubicon day 2.  Last night, I noticed the market spikes in PI goods that Rubicon has caused.  Since we make some of them, and had a big load ready to export, the corp pitched in and did a supply run and return.  We made a nice windfall, too.  But I did not have time to really play with Rubicon much.  (The log in screen is spiffy.)

Tonight, I am eager to go out and find a ghost site.  I have my fit all dreamed up, but not yet created.  So the first thing to do is find my way out of wspace.  I spend a while scanning.  C3a has a highsec; very handy.  But the highsec is quite a few jumps to Jita.  I keep looking.  There is a second C4 linked to C3a, which I go into so I can activate all the things.  Just doing my part.  And there is also a C2 link.  I go to scan down C2a; it also has a highsec.  But there are some live pilots, so I go and get my Manticore to watch a while.  They don't do anything foolish, though, so eventually I give up and scan the system down.  There are four sigs, and three of them are wormholes.  There's the C3 connection I came in, but also the expected highsec static, and a nullsec.  Oooh, nullsec is nice.  This is just what I was hoping for: an easy way out to null for some ghostbusting.  The highsec is just four jumps to Jita.  That is also quite handy.  Clearly, Bob wants me to go ghostbusting out in null tonight.

I go back home to get Artemis, my cloaky Tengu.  She's fallen on hard times; I don't use her much any more.  I keep getting killed in her and not getting kills.  She's going to be converted to my ghostbusting fit.  (Artemis will return as a Loki, real soon now.)  I exit without running into anything nasty in C2a, and head to Jita.  Buy this, buy that.  My trade alt is sitting idle in The Forge, so I bring him back to trade a few items I know I have.  Gradually the fit takes shape.  I also get parts for a similar exploration fit, and a spiffy new mobile depot (1.8m and dropping.)  Now I am ready to go.

I fly back through highsec to the highsec entrance to C2a, and go in.  Nobody around, so I warp to the nullsec wormhole, and transit.  And I am... where?  Out in Stain somewhere.  JS-E8E.  Nobody in system, so that is nice.  But no ghost site.  Don't forget to bookmark the wormhole on this side!

OK, time for dotlan maps.  I have a Firefox window dedicated; I raise it and type in JS-E8E and... nothing.  Try again.  Nope, dotlan is down.  Argh!

Um.... help?  I realize with a small shock how hopelessly reliant I am on dotlan.  I am dropping out into lowsec and nullsec in new locations every day.  (I try to get dotlan again; still nothing.)  I am never going to memorize where I roam; I have to use maps.  I certainly cannot navigate using the in-game map -- that's too painful.  But I recall there is another map I have seen out there on the Internet.  So I do a search and call it up -- Ombey's.  It is a static map -- nowhere near as useful as dotlan.  But still, I can use it.  I find the Stain map and determine my direction: from JS-E8E to G-ME2K.  Let's go.
Where I was, and Ghosts were not.

I warp to the first system, TG-Z23.  Two in local, no ghost site.  Oh well.  Off to a side branch.  Nobody and nothing.  Back to the main path.  Hop.  Nothing.  Hop.  Nothing.

WHOOOSH!  OK, the engine noise is annoyingly loud.  I am zoomed in all the way.  Were they always this loud?  I don't think so, but then I never zoom in this much.  I zoom out.  Jump.  Warp to next gate.  WHOOOSH!  Wait -- I am zoomed in again!  Back off again.  And the next gate: zoomed in again.  WHOOSH!!  Ugh, a bug.  I hope they fix it.

On the plus side, this is the first time I have been in nullsec with interdiction nullification.  And I must say, it is wonderful to have.  I don't spend a minute thinking about bubbles.  I just warp, gate to gate, as if it was lowsec.  It's mindless movement.

I explore all the side branches as I go.  No ghosts anywhere.  Stain is not haunted in this direction.  Systems are mostly unoccupied; out of the 21 I go through in this direction, three of them have two players other than me, another four have one, and the remaining 14 have zero.  So I feel like I am in the right place.  There's a decent chance that I will get a ghost site -- if it is here.

I make it to the end of the line, and head back.  11 hops, all of them retracing my steps.  So perhaps a small chance of a ghost site popping up.  No ghost sites.  I am back to JS-E8E.  I check, and dotlan is back up.  Hurrah!  Now I can get a decent map showing number of jumps.  I decide to head south, towards a cul-de-sac with almost zero traffic in the last hour.  Set course for 9O-ZTS.  16 jumps.

Hop.  Warp and WHOOSH.  Hop.  Warp and WHOOSH.  Initially a few systems with people, but then even fewer people than the other way.  But also no ghosts.  I explore a few side-systems on the way.  Then I get to the end, and explore the rest of the cul-de-sac.  No ghosts.

It's getting late, so reluctantly I head back.  Again I am retracing my steps, but I check for sites and there are none.

Total tally for the evening: 43 systems hit, 27 of them twice.  Of those, perhaps 12 had anyone in them other than me.  No ghost sites.  Skunked.

In wspace, I check out all four systems in our constellation tonight: no ghost sites there, either.

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