2013/09/26

A field experiment in solo wormhole hunting

After a fantastic summer I am slowly getting back into Eve. I don't really know how much time I will actually spend playing, but ... well, that is a topic for another day.

Before I took my summer vacation I had already decided that wormholes would be the next frontier that I would like to explore. Investing some time into lowsec/nullsec ratting I have just managed to get Vhalasedai's security rating above -2 again - a necessary evil to be able to follow wormholes whereever they lead.

Dusting off my trusted stealth bomber I quickly checked its fitting before heading off into the unknown. While there are quite a few possible improvements - a Gistii AB and a medium anc shield booster come to mind - this one here is cheap and will do just fine for the forseeable future.


Finding the first wormhole leading into w-space didn't took quite as long as I had thought, and after ten minutes I had left k-space behind to find myself in an (almost) entirely new environment.


Using d-scan and the information gained from Staticmapper, I started to map out the system - dubbed C2a for now - and to see if any other wormholes would be here to explore. The highsec exit I had just used to come here proved to be the B274 static, and after a few minutes two other wormholes were scanned down and bookmarked - a K162 exit from C2b and the Z647 static of C2a itself.

Diving into those resulted in even more connections to other systems in w-space as well as additional links to highsec and lowsec. The chain now consisted of four wormhole systems in total.


C2a, C2b and C1a were all void of activity. A few active and inactive POSes, even a few empty ships here and there protected by POS shields and weapons. C2c however had two players in their ships sitting at their POS, either busy doing POS logistics or dealing with some other issue more or less afk.


While two sleeper sites had a couple of wrecks in them, the two pilots did not show any inclination to start salvaging. I did however notice two important bits of information:

- both players belonged to a russian corporation, telling me that they could potentially be active later in the day
- the Armaggedon Navy Issue pilot was less than three months old, more than likely to have sub-par skills and a fitting that would make the battleship susceptible to my little stealth bomber. Checking recent killboard stats confirmed that - that guy had lost his share of expensive ships during the last days, and I was hoping to add one more to the collection.

But there was nothing to be done while they sat under their shields. I warped to a deep space bookmark and logged. About two hours later after downtime I returned, hoping that something would have changed. 

And indeed it had. Now three pilots were sitting at their POS, and almost immediatly after I had landed at my observation spot, the ANI warped to a nearby sleeper anomaly, shortly afterwards followed by a capsule.


Observing them for a little while it quickly became obvious that it took the ANI pilot a long time to deal with even the first sleeper wave. The second wave brought even more ships to the table, and while I could only guess as to the state of his tank, I assumed that a T1 tank would be hard pressed to deal with sleeper damage in a C2 hole. The sleepers might randomly lock me up and fire on me, but hopefully my small signature would permit me to stay long enough.

Directing my ship into a 20km orbit, I took a deep breath and deactivated my cloak. Faction torpedos were primed, and after my targeting systems had resolved their lock sequence my warp disruptor made any escape attempt impossible. The first volley of torpedos was launched, and even at a first glance his tank status promised a quick end to my very first wormhole ambush.


Local remained silent, and while my torpedos slammed into him I frantically hit the scan button over and over again. Nothing. Going into structure, still nothing. One more .... and he is gone.


My heart is pounding, and the rush of adrenalin is almost comparable to my very first solo pvp fight all those months ago. Can't think coherently. Have to. Stay alert. Check. Local. Get. Loot. Warp. Away.

Almost at his wreck a Tengu suddenly appears on grid. Have I missed it on d-scan? Or did he just decloak? Don't know, don't care. Align to safe spot, hit cloak and warp off.

While in warp, I actually realize what just happened. Everything what I expected wormhole roaming to be had become true. The thrill of the hunt, the excitement while observing potential targets, the feel of being watched, the ever-present danger of running into a trap ... I still find it difficult to separate all the different emotions, even a few hours later.

Long story short: solo wormhole hunting rocks. Hard.

Stay tuned, there will be more. Staying with the stealth bomber for the time being, but looking into a Pilgrim and a Proteus fitting as well. Might bring an alt to provide additional dps or neuting. COMPLEXITIES :)

Raw footage of the fight itself can be found here.

Fly dangerously,

V

PS. I almost forgot to give credit where credit is due: check out http://www.tigerears.org/ - that blog is almost entirely responsible for getting me interested in wormholes. Great stuff.


5 comments:

  1. Great work Val.
    Don't get lost, keep us updated :)

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  2. Neat kill, Vhal. You have the patience of a hundred men to pull such neat kills off. :D

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  3. Awesome write-up of an awesome kill. Good to see you back and can't wait for more of these!

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  4. That's a pretty awesome first w-space kill, congratulations!

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  5. Nice first kill there, buddy!
    I chuckled actually about your comment that wormhole roaming rocks hard cause 'tis true. Now imagine you find a ratting capital fleet and you have the means to kill it.
    Anyway, just one advice: If you are firing torps at a target you have to stay on grid until the torps have hit. You can see that in your footage, the pod survived in probably 5% structure.
    Good hunting!

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