Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Monster

Late evening.  I am exploring wspace in my trusty Manticore.  Usually I hunt for a couple hours a night, which involves mostly scanning.  I scan out as many systems as I can in the time I have.  If I can find someone to kill, great, I try to kill them.  Then before bed I'll run back around to all the systems, hoping to see something.  The chance that a system that was idle before has become active is very.low, but it's so much faster to check systems that are already scanned, that it's well worthwhile.

Our neighboring C4 has statics to C1 and C2.   Both statics were EOL earlier.  When I return for a second look, they are both gone.  There are six sigs total, but four of them I scanned earlier.  I ignore them; a bit of scanning will give me two fresh systems.  Is there time for that?  There's time.  I fire probes and scan.

The new C2a has dual statics to highsec and C4.  The highsec would be interesting early in the evening, when I might need it to get back in after being killed.  But now it's too late for that.  The C4 would be interesting except that it is hidden among 16 sigs.  Too many.  I'll just look for targets and leave.

A quick warp to two planets out of dscan range shows that nobody is home.  I leave; total time in the system: two minutes.  I am polarized jumping back out, but I nobody is around in C4b.  And even if they were, catching a stealth bomber in the era of Hyperion is really quite difficult.

Nobody is there to greet me.  I warp straight to the C1 static, then jump into C1a.  I dscan, and there is an Imicus on scan, and probes, and a tower.  He's probably sitting at the tower scanning.  But he might be out somewhere I can catch.  Time for some dscanning.

I quickly discover the Imicus is not at the tower.  So where is he?  Maybe somewhere really stupid like a celestial.  I point at the sun: not there.  I point at each planet in range: not there.  OK, he must be at a safespot, or at a sig.  How many sigs?  Just three.  Good.  If he's at a safespot, I won't be able to find him, but I might be able to ambush him at a wormhole.  So I need to get those sigs.  One of them is a highsec wormhole, which may be where he is from or where he is.  The others may also be wormholes, although that's relatively unlikely.

There's an outer planet.  I can't tell if it is out of range of the Imicus or not, but I'd prefer to be out of dscan range to fire probes.  I warp out there, and it is indeed out of range.  OK, good for me.  I uncloak, fire probes, then re-cloak and warp back into the inner system.  The Imicus is still there on dscan.

I am cognizant that, with my having just entered through a new wormhole, the clock is ticking.  The Imicus just needs to strobe his dscan to see the new signature.  If he is at a place I can get to, he'll certainly leave if he sees a new signature.  Even if he's not, a new sig may make him more cautious.  So time is of the essence.

I find his general angle and range (4.5AU) from where I am.  Now I bring in my probes, and carefully put them where he is.  I set the probes to 1AU and scan.

The scan completes: nothing.  No dot, not even a circle or sphere.  I totally missed.  Impossible!  (That word does not mean what I think it means.)

OK, well, I'll scan at 4AU.  This may take two tries, but I can hope he is too distracted by scanning.  His scanning is another reason for me to hurry.  There are only three sigs, and I've already wasted minutes!  I'd be long-done with three sigs in that time.  And yet his probes are still on scan.

My 4AU scan gets a dot, but it is nowhere near where I think he is.  This is confusing.  I search it down.  In fact I'll scan down all three sigs.  At this point, my cover is probably blown.  Quickly I scan them, then recall probes.  (His probes are still out.)  I check dscan on all three sigs, and he is not there.

It occurs to me that maybe he is in an anom.  This would be dumb, but I've seen dumb before plenty of times.  Most of the people I kill did something dumb.  So I toggle anoms back on, and start narrow-beam d-scanning them.  On the third anom, an ore site, I find him.  Woops.
I know where you are now.

Boy did I waste a lot of time scanning!  But there's no time to kick myself about that.  I still have a chance.

I warp to the ore anom at 10km, expecting to see him gone.  Or 200km away straight up, and moving away fast.  But there he is, 10km from me, right at the warp-in point.  Unmoving.  Glory be!

Soon to be an ex-ship.

I head right at him, set my orbit to 2500m, then uncloak, sebo, and lock.  Locked.  Two rounds of torps, and he blows up.
Torps hitting pod.

The pod's out.  I have my sebo on.  Locking... and locked.  Podded.

Now I scoop the loot, and... uh... Small Armor Repairer I?  Archaeology skillbook?  Must be kind of young.  A few months.  How old is this character?  Let me check... oh boy.  He was created... today!

I just killed a guy in wspace on his very first day!

Ooops.  Well, not really oops.  I meant to kill him, and I meant to pod him, and I did.  There's no time to ponder individuals when you are hunting, especially hunting on a timer.  Still, I dislike killing rank newbs.  In retrospect, it's easy to see that killing him was no challenge at all.  All the challenge was in my own mind.  The ticking timer was not ticking.  Finding him was trivial.  He probably never knew I was there.

I want soften the blow a bit, and also to help him do better.  So I open up a conversation with him.  He seems to have taken it well:
Gottfried Ellecon > hello
Von Keigai > So I see after the fact that you are really new.
Von Keigai > Sorry about that.  But you know, dangerous space.  Some of us love the killing.
Gottfried Ellecon > quite so, fortunately that means theres nothing terribly important in the effects I left behind
Von Keigai > I like your moxie in beiing in wormhole space at your age.
Von Keigai > What are you trying to do up here?
Gottfried Ellecon > just exploring, trying to get a fix on some anomolies, more interesting in that part of space
Gottfried Ellecon > also more dangerous
Von Keigai > Yes.
Von Keigai > So, here's two tips on how to scan safely.
Von Keigai > (1) have a cloak.  You can hide about anywhere and be pretty safe.
Von Keigai > (2) if no cloak ... well, train it... but if no cloak, don't scan in an anomaly like that ore site.
Von Keigai > Killer like me can see that.  FLy right to it.
Von Keigai > One more question: did you see my probes?
Gottfried Ellecon > no
Von Keigai > Ah.  OK, well it is hard to remember to dscan when you are scanning.
Von Keigai > But if you are in wspace, and not cloaked... you should be dscanning.  A lot.
Gottfried Ellecon > roger
Von Keigai > At least once per time which you hit the "scan now" button.
Von Keigai > If you see probes... especially combat probes... GTFO.
Von Keigai > But even seeing normal probes... that's a sign someone is around.
Gottfried Ellecon > right
Von Keigai > Do you have the cloaking skill trained yet?
Gottfried Ellecon > nope
Von Keigai > OK, well, get it in at some point.
Gottfried Ellecon > I really had no business being there, lol
Von Keigai > True. but also false.  Wspace is great.
Gottfried Ellecon > So i've been told
Von Keigai > As I said, I like it that you were here at all.  I never entered wspace until I was months old.
Gottfried Ellecon > there's a certain eerieness to it that's rather appealing
Von Keigai > The lack of local... it makes for challenging tactical situations.  And yeah, it is scary once you experience it a while.
Gottfried Ellecon > Thank you for the advice, happy hunting,
Von Keigai > Well, I guess I have had my say.  You got any newb questions burning your mind that I might answer?
Gottfried Ellecon > not really, but I appreciate the offer
Von Keigai > OK.  Shoot me a mail if you want help.
Gottfried Ellecon > will do
Von Keigai > o/

Have I become a monster?  Yes.  Yes, I think I have.  "Without me dangerous space wouldn't be dangerous."  Achievement unlocked.

3 comments:

  1. I tried doing this the other day without any success, I found a WH, went in a venture was on dscan but I never actually found him even though he was on dscan once I finished scanning he was still there but I never found him. When you go into these WH, where is generally the best places to scan out the other ships, will you not need combat scanning probes?

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  2. http://www.tigerears.org/2012/04/17/how-to-hunt-in-w-space-using-d-scan/

    Check Penny's guide out.

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  3. steev: in general, a Venture will be either at a tower (and therefore invulnerable), or in a gas site sucking gas. In the latter case, you can't find ship itself, but you can search for the gas site.

    From what you wrote, it appears there was a Venture in a weird place. (Did you see probes? Ventures should safe up when probing.) In this case, there is simply no way to find them using normal probes; you must have combat probes to scan him down, as Hiljah suggests.

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