Monday, June 16, 2014

A Trap Springs

A C28 cloud.
It's the weekend, morning.  I have been doing some AFK mining in highsec with my highsec alt while I do stuff away from the computer.

I get Von on for a while, and scan down my system.  There are two new gas sites, and no wormholes other than my static.  It is very likely closed.  This is a good time for some gas sucking.  I log off Von and get my mining alt to do it.  If he gets killed AFK, it's not a big deal.

I get my mining alt set up sucking and orbiting gas, and a new round of ice mining going.  Then I leave to play games with the Boy.  I return in a half hour, and both holds are full.  Checking the discovery scanner and a dscan in wspace shows no change.  Good.  Back to the local station/POS, and then return, and get both guys set up again.  Then I wander off again.

I come back in about 15 minutes.  The ice is gone, so back to station there.  In wspace, dscan shows... oops.  Combat probes.  I am probably about to be killed.  I warp off to my POS.  Whew -- that was rather too close.

I am not at the tower more than a minute, when I see a ship on overview with me.  Huh?  Why would he... oh, he's in my trap.  He's been decloaked, and he's in amidst my grid of small guns.  He has to get cloaked pretty fast, or else.   He does not manage it.  Pop, he's dead.  The pod lingers for a second, then warps off.


Come in to my parlor.

A decloak trap is the use of a warp bubble to drag someone into something that will decloak him.  Typically in wspace, a trap is situated near a tower.  The hope is that the victim does not notice he's been decloaked in time.  If there is time for the tower's guns and other POS parts to lock him, it applies damage and if he is small, he probably dies.  If he is large, he still cannot cloak once he's locked, and he must warp off before the warp scramblers finish locking.  If a scrambler locks, then it will be followed by two 90% webs, heavy nossing, and jamming.  No lone ship less than a capital will survive.

I had toyed with the idea of setting one up for a while, having seen many other people's decloak traps in wspace, but very few which were done well (in my opinion).  I set mine up shortly after TNC burned down my last tower.  I thought it was a great design, anyway.  The evidence of the last couple months is negative: nobody killed at all.  Apparently few pilots visit my system, or maybe those that do are just pretty canny about traps like mine. 

Anyway, now there's a wreck sitting out there.  I fly out and grab the loot.  Then I log off my mining alt, since he's of no use now that my system is unzipped.  I log Von in, and make the trip out with a salvager to clear the wreck and grab some nice T2 salvage.

I tell Jayne about it later, and he confuses me by saying he got the salvage.  No, I did!  I saw me do it!  It turns out my tower also got a guy yesterday, which created the wreck Jayne got.   Double evil laugh.


  1. :::sigh::: another thing to warn my corp about while we get setup in the wormhole.... yall are evil.... now to set one up for our pos :)

    1. Do warn them: when you are trying to find a tower, narrow-beam dscan it (this is typical anyway to find its planet). If you see a warp bubble of any kind on that scan, go in cautious. If you see a zillion small cans, it is almost certainly a decloak trap; go in extra cautious. Don't have the system map up as you warp on grid, have a medium zoom, and be paying attention and ready to pilot the ship manually. You have a few seconds when you decelerate out of warp where you can look around for nearby objects. Mouse over them for their range.

      If you do land within decloak range of a can or other object, you have to get away from all such items and recloak immediately. Or warp off grid; both are fine. This decision must be made first and almost immediately.

      My advice is: if you find yourself in a grid of objects (as I made; very rare), warp off. If it is just one object that is near you (typical), move away from it. You have 8 seconds or so in a frigate (see my post on POS module lock times), so there is time. Don't panic.

      If you are trying to warp, give the command then pray. Usually there's nothing you can do once the command is given. Any frigate should warp in plenty of time.

      If you are trying to stay on grid and move away, get moving first then fine-tune the direction. You can use your microwarpdrive to accelerate away, but usually this is not necessary. Your focus here should be on hitting cloak and doing so exactly once, when you are just out of range of the object. Doing so twice is a recipe for disaster.

  2. I think you need a PSA blog post explaining why inertial stabilizers are bad.

    1. insane sig radius bloom... how do you PSA something that simple and obvious?

    2. I see it more often than I should given how bad they are.

    3. They aren't bad on an empty freighter... dont have the EHP drawback that a nano does, and you are already the size of a city block.... anything less than a dread will nearly instantly lock you, either way, and anything less than capital guns (missles too) will have no issue applying full damage.... Other than that, and maybe a fleeing titan (im guessing here, dont know well enough for more than a guess) they are useless.

  3. most people in my observation don't warp to towers unless there is a potential target at said tower.... more informed pilots avoid towers that show traps on d-scan, and the most informed, know how to approach w/o fear of such traps, no matter how elaborate.

    So with all that statistical bs above stated, odds of killing someone is slim, but.. it's the !% of the 1% that do warp in, that makes it all worth while : D

  4. now, that trap i like. Very cleaver!