Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Reaping Tractors

Wspace has been rather quiet since Hyperion.  I can get to more of it; my chains are almost always more than I can scan.  But I am rarely finding people I can gank.  All I caught recently was a couple of Ventures.  At least in C4, I think there has been a substantial decline in site-running.  Our new anoms have slowed to a trickle.

So I am excited when, entering a new C4 system, there is a site-runner on scan.  A bunch of sleeper wrecks, two tractor units, and a Vindicator.  There are enough anoms in this system that it will be painful to bookmark them all.  And I am only seeing a handful of wrecks; the site must be still going.  So I think I have some time.  I'll search for the anom using narrow-angled dscan.

After a bit of searching, I can see the wrecks and a tractor, but not the Vindicator.  That's disappointing; he must have seen my new connection via the discovery scanner and GTFO.  It's the right move.  Still, he did not get his tractor, so maybe I can still kill something.  I find the tractor unit in a Frontier Barracks, and warp in at 100km to have a look.

Sure enough, there are the wrecks clustered around a tractor unit.  There is a sleeper wave way off from the tractor, looking like it just spawned.

Now let's find that Vindicator.  A quick planet survey with the dscan shows which planet it's at; I warp over and find the right moon.  Then I warp in.

To my surprise, the Vindicator is unmanned.  Hmm.  OK, I guess it was not site-running all by itself.  But the presence of the wrecks does indicate someone was, and fairly recently.

As I ponder this, I am dscanning just to keep an eye on the system.  And then I notice something: the wrecks are gone.  The site is still in range; apparently the wrecks just timed out.  Wrecks last two hours, so now I know that little or nothing has happened in this system recently.  Apparently someone was running sites, and either got jumped or just interrupted.

I don't know why he did not go back for his tractor units.  But I certainly will.  I look around using dscan for the second tractor unit.  It is not in any anom.  So I will have to combat scan for it.

Combat scan?  I can do that.  I log in my alt Otto, who jumps into his scanning Cheetah.  Then he jumps into C4b, and fires probes.  After a bit of scanning, I have the site.  I fleet both characters, and have Otto warp Von to the right place.

Von lands on grid, then commences to uncloak and shoot the tractor unit.  I don't expect interference, but you never know in wspace.  So I hammer away at the dscanner, looking for that uncloaking whatever seeking to ruin my day.  I use up my meager supply of vanilla scourge torps and have to reload with Caldari Navy ones.  Then I kill the remaining structure, and the tractor unit dies.  I scoop some nice loot, then move off and cloak.

The tractor unit was not empty; that's important.  It means the other one is also likely to have something in it.  I'd try to kill it anyway, but with loot goading me on, I mean it.  I warp back to the first tractor to have a look at the sleepers again.

I have a tractor unit guarded by sleepers.  They are not close, so there are a few things I could do.  I check on the site at eve-survival: the sleeper wave I am looking at must be the final wave, except that its frigates are gone.  They warp disrupt; these remaining guys don't do anything except damage and nos.  I need a tank... how much tank?  Eve-survival says 912 DPS; minus frigs call it 900.  OK, what do I have that can take that?

I think my small-site Tengu would work.  It's a Tengu set up to kill sleeper frigs and cruisers; about 600 DPS tank, but I can adjust that some.  I get up EFT, and sure enough.  With a damage control instead of a ballistic control, and a second shield boost amp instead of its target painter, it should tank 859.  The remaining tank will come from distance, signature and speed; most of the sleeper damage comes from their nasty missiles.

Otto sits and watches the tower.  Von goes home to get the Tengu.  Then I refit it -- fortunately we have the parts.  I warp back, cross into C4b, then warp straight to the first tractor unit.  I orbit it at 5000m, then lock it up and start shooting.

The sleepers notice me and start shooting.  Their damage is not a challenge.  I have to run the shield booster about half the time.  Mostly I am keeping my eye on dscan.  But again, there is no interference.  When the tractor unit is about to blow, I move in close.  It blows up, I grab the loot, and GTFO.  Home and safe.  Whew.

EVE is not just me even when I cannot find anyone.  The effects of other people are ever present.  Even when I can't directly interact with them, there's a chance of interesting indirect interaction.  Drones are left out.  POSes run out of fuel.  And site runners are scared off and yet neither they nor the scarers kill their tractor units.  It's not as satisfying as PVP, but I'll take it.


  1. I'm saddened by the current state of WH activity. The affect personally hasn't helped much. My already small corp recently took the Hyperion hit when the majority of my active members left WH space to go fly Incursions due to the changes, struggles to stay zipped (I never had 6+ WHs entering my system before - never mind the losses taken attempting to close to large roaming corps). I myself and the few remaining members finally gave-in, packed up and headed out. We may move to a lower class, who knows. All I know is it was saddening leaving our hole and being forced to commit insurance fraud on the caps we worked hard to build. I think we all left a part of our EVE enthusiasm in that WH when we exited for the last time.

    Also to note - the listings on wormholesales.com seem to be at an all-time high. Seems Corbexx's predictions in his blog may be correct :(

  2. Sad to hear you are out, George. And I know how hard it is to leave a home, even though both times I have done that in wspace I was moving deeper. OTOH for a while when TNC burned us down I was thinking about leaving wspace. Didn't.

    I seem to recall that you were in a C4... what statics did you get?

    Although we had super-high connectivity in the first couple days of Hyperion, CCP dialed it back and now it is not that bad. It still sucks that we have wormholes with mismatched lifetimes. If I could magically move I'd be in the market for a C4/C3+C4. Then at least I could sync up my wormholes and get some peace and quiet once in a while.

    I wonder if you could get back into wspace in some other wspace system... something like a C3. C3s are zippable, have decent income for a few guys, and they occasionally get highsec connections.

  3. Originally had a C3 static. Hyperion added a C1 (yay =/), so not much added there. Was hoping for the setup you were looking for.

    Our connections did finally die down a little. I think about two weeks after Hyperion dropped or so. Not certain why, but we had a slew of incoming C5s during that time frame.

    I meant to say before that I"m contemplating moving into a lower class, but I think I may have lost the interest of the majority of my members, so if I couldn't kick it on my own (or wouldn't want to), I wouldn't want to put a large investment back out there.

    For the moment I'm slowly collecting by belongings that got scattered from the mass WH-exodus and contemplating my next move. Definitely not jumping head-first into anything without having my team behind me anymore. I do have to say, seeing local again every day is...strange.