Saturday, May 17, 2014

A Minor Massacre

It's the weekend, and you know what that means.  It means I can interact with Russians and maybe even Australians, if only I log on early.  Well, let's see if we can't get some international flavor in the killin' today.

I log on, warping into my safespot that is out in the middle of nowhere in my system.  Dscan shows nothing, which is no surprise, because there is nothing within 15AU.  The probe scanner shows two sigs.  One of those is going to be our static wormhole, which might be EOL by now but should still there from last night.  The other one... well, what is it?

I fire probes, then recloak.  Now I look at our bookmarks.  Ah, there's a C4c marked, and in the right place.  It appears someone has already been on, and scanned.  That's nice; saves me having to do it.  (Thanks, Jeedmo.)  I recall my probes, then warp to our static at 20km.  I want to see if it is still there before considering the new wormhole.

It's still there.  But I do a dscan almost out of habit, and it shows something quite unexpected.  A Retriever, a Venture, and ten sleeper wrecks.  Eh wot?  I know we have, or least had yesterday, two mining anoms.  So I guess someone is mining in my system!

Let me just interject to point out how weird this is.  Nobody mines rocks in wspace, at least not in midlevel wspace. And nobody but nobody mines rocks in someone else's system.  Well, apparently that's wrong.  At least one corp does.  EVE is strange.  OK, forward.

I point at various sites with a narrow-band dscan.  Eventually I find a site with the Venture in it, but not the Retriever.  I warp to the site at 10km; time to get on grid.  The Retriever is not in the other ore site either.  That's odd.  Let's try a scan with full 360.  Ah, the Retriever is gone.

It is possible it just left.  But most likely, the Retriever just filled up and will be back.  I can wait.

I drop onto grid with a bunch of rocks, the wrecks of five sleeper frigs that guarded them, and the Venture.  The Venture is moving towards the wrecks.  It might be a salvager, or it might just want the blue loot that's on one of them.  As I watch this, the Retriever warps back on grid about 110km from me.  I can't see what it is doing; is it mining?  I cannot see the laser.  Well, it's not a Procurer at least.  Unlikely to be bait.  It deploys three drones.  (Three?  More weirdness.)  That's bad news for me; even a few hobgoblins can kill a stealth bomber.  I will need a different ship.

I look for ways to warp close to either enemy.  I can certainly get to the wrecks, but they are not particularly close to the enemy.  Well, they are close to the Venture right now.  But it loots a wreck, then warps off.  OK, what about the Retriever?  There are a few large asteroids sort of close to it, but nothing obvious.  The Venture warps back into the site, near the Retriever.  With careful spin and zoom, I get a closer look without being close:
Now I know what they are doing.
Now I can see what they are doing: there is a teeny weeny Arkonor asteroid that they are mining.  I could not see it before.

Two miners, in striking range, without anything more than a few drones for defense.  I can reship and be here in a minute.  Everything is clear to me.  WWPD?  I know, and I will do it.

I bookmark the Ark asteroid, then warp home.  They may have eyes on my tower, but it's not in dscan range from the miners, at least.  I will swap ships fast as I can.  I land on grid, inside the force field.  This of course uncloaks me.  The clock is ticking now -- maybe.  In any case, I reship into my Onyx, Brick.  400 DPS, a huge tank, and 16km of warp bubble.  Immediately, I warp to the Arkonor bookmark.

As I cross the system, I turn on my massive tank.  If they do not warp very, very soon, they are dead.  Did they have eyes on my tower?  Will they see me on dscan?  Is it a trap?  I'll find out real soon.

I land on grid, and both the Retriever and Venture are still there.  Oh yeah.  ASAP upon leaving warp, I pop up the warp bubble.  The bubble inflates, and they are still there.  Both of them are trapped.

I start locking them.  The Retriever finishes first but I wait; the Venture completes, and I open up on it.
A few volleys and boom.  It never moved; moving would have helped.  The pod is ejected, but it is trapped by my bubble.
Venture killed.
So I turn to the Retriever.  As I aggress, its drones attack me.  But they cannot even scratch my tank.  The kill takes more than a few volleys, but the Retriever is going nowhere fast.  Dead.

Back to highsec.
Finally, there are the pods.  I lock them up.  PopPop.  Ah!  What a monster I am!  Mwahahaha!  It is a dream come true

Now I scoop the drones, and scoop both wrecks -- the Arkonor is too large -- and turn off my bubble.  Bubbles go for quite a while, so I have to wait for it to drop.  Finally it ends, and I warp back home.

Grabbing Arkonor.
As I do this, I am logging on my alt Otto.  He's already in the ship I want, a cloaky scout.  I warp him to the assumed enemy wormhole, the one to C4c.  Once Otto is set up, I feel safe enough to reship into a Miasmos.  This can handle the Arkonor loot, and it also might serve to cheaply reveal if they have cloakies on the site.

I warp over, and grab the Ark.  Nobody kills me.  I warp back to the tower.  Now I feel a bit more confident, so I get our Coercer salvager.  I want those ten sleeper wrecks.  And also I want the two wrecks I just made.
Domis on scan.

I warp to the Arkonor first, to get the two ship wrecks.  On the way, I see something quite unexpected: three Dominixes on scan.  Was I wrong about where these guys are from?  I guess so.  It seems they are from C4b, even though it is EOL.

Anyway, I land on grid and lock up the two miner wrecks, and start salvaging.  But I also set my dscan to half range, and the Dominixes do not show up.   OK, that is good.  I can get good enough early warning.  Two frozen corpses are there on my scan, and I realize I forgot to scoop them earlier.  I scoop them now. Now I start dscanning like a maniac.  Nothing.  Nothing.  Nothing.  Etc.

The two wrecks are salvaged, so I am off to salvage the sleepers.  I microwarp over, dscanning all the way.  Then I salvage, which seems to take forever.  It takes forever because I am dscanning every 10 seconds religiously, and also I have to tractor in all the wrecks.  Nothing shows up.

Finally I finish.  I want to do the second site too, but I think I should dscan at full range to see if they are still lurking out there.  They are not.  They are gone.

A glance at Otto's screen shows they are not gone.  Rather they are sitting on the wormhole to C4c, in a spider configuration, with Garde IIs out.  

I won't attack this by myself.
I revise my guess again: C4c must be where they are from.  Were they hiding in my system?  They did not enter, at least not since Otto started watching and listening.  Were they in the system my static connects to for some reason?  That's possible, I suppose, but what would they be doing there?  Running sites?  But we have a few barracks; why not run those?  It's a mystery.  It does not make sense.  But this is EVE; real people often do surprising things.  I am just happy that they cannot see either ore site.  

I warp to the second ore site, and microwarp to its sleeper wrecks, and salvage them.  All the time I watch the Dominixes on my other screen, and I dscan just in case.  But nobody uncloaks, and I zoom off with a bit of loot.

One of the Domis leaves.  It's just two now, and I am still not attacking them.

My curiousity is piqued.  I have to know if those guys were doing anything in C4b.  So I get my Manticore and warp over, and jump.  It might be a trap... but it is not.  Nobody at the wormhole.  There are no wrecks on scan in C4b.  I warp around to the planets.  No wrecks.  I have no idea what, if anything, they were doing in there. 

Later on, they attack my tower.  Revenge, perhaps.  But that's another story.


  1. The two miner pilots were 3 and 4 weeks old. They were a worthy challenge! Did they give you a GF in local as the Code demands them?

    1. True. Arguable. The Code does not demand "gf" except for the case of suicide gank, which this was not. Also, the Code only applies in highsec. And also, you know full well that the Code is inapplicable.

      Got anything serious to say here, Gevlon? Sarcasm is not argument. I think you can do better.

    2. I want to say that you wrote a 8000 character blogpost about killing a pair of totally lost newbies who probably didn't know what Dscan is.

    3. Well, I was happy. I am pretty sure this is the first time I've ever killed more than one character solo. And certainly the first time I got two kills and two pods. So, it's an accomplishment for me, and I wanted to share that with my readers (translation: brag about it). And I got nice screenies. Maybe I am getting better at this.

      Do you feel you wasted your time reading it?

    4. Feck off Gevlon

    5. Newbies, or industrial alts of veteran pilots who know the risks of w-space and all the relevant game mechanics? How can you tell the difference?

      Even if they were newbies, what do you suggest we do in this situation? Open a dialogue and warn them that we could shoot them? Okay, we can do that. But, then, at what age do we get a chance to shoot them? Is there a clear cut-off point where they go from do-not-shoot to shoot? Do new pilots automatically get to do what they want without risk, regardless of what they do and where they go?

      They were in w-space, which you don't get to accidentally, where you don't enter without being warned of the consequences. There are no criminal flags associated with the attack, nor any Concord repercussions. They were valid targets, and VK took the shot. Good for him.

  2. I personally found the last line quite intriguing! :-)

  3. Great story and congratulations! You'll soon be a JP! ("Junior Penny")

    Can't wait for the next installment after that final sentence...

  4. Woo, a nice pair of kills! Good job on dropping the HIC on top of them.

    1. Your story of the doing same thing (but with more carnage, hence my punny title) inspired me, and continues to inspire me.