Monday, October 12, 2009

A night's adventure

After asking on my blog the other day about where I should go next in 0.0, I discovered that you can use the maps at http://evemaps.dotlan.net/ to find out how many belts the systems have throughout a region, as well as NPC kills and ship/pod kills . Using these functions - and more - you can browse through maps of various regions and see how busy they are.

So I did that, and found that one of the least busiest 0.0 regions in the entire galaxy was Cobalt Edge. I couldn't find much on the interwebs about it, so I decided to go visit it and find out why.

60 jumps through 0.0 space.

I decided to use a cloaked frigate, an Inquisitor, to be exact. Why? Because I liked the look of it. I fit 3 x warp core stabilisers on it, and an Improved Cloaking Device. It was my makeshift 'covert ops' ship. Very cheap.

It was quiet most of the way, with very few people in the systems I passed through. However, I jumped through a gate at one point and there was a Rapier on the other side. Waiting for... well, anyone really, but for him it was now my turn.

So I aligned for the next belt and immediately activated the cloak. The Rapier was about 20km away but quickly closed the distance, releasing some drones along the way. As I moved away from the location at an awesome 90 m/s, I was biting my fingernails. Was this my turn to die?

He moved past me at 2,600 metres, trailing drones as he went. I was, as you would expect, crapping my pants, worried that the drones would decloak me, but they stayed in a line behind him as he continued traveling, passing me by at just more than 2,000 metres... He got to about 20km away again and then moved back to an orbit of the gate, giving up. I breathed a sigh of relief.

When he was about 40km from me, I decloaked and took off for the gate. He immediately set off after me!

As I arrived at the gate and jumped through, I saw him arrive at the gate too. As soon as I appeared on the other side, I set off for the next gate, warping away just as he appeared and started realigning to follow me. This continued through 8 systems, always with that half a second of timing between us.

I was on voice comms with someone and told them about what was happening. They mentioned that if I get the Rapier to attack me at a gate and THEN jump through, their aggro will prevent them from being able to jump for a few seconds, allowing me precious time to get away properly.

So I stopped at the next gate and waited, hoping that my little frigate would be able to take a 'first strike' from the Rapier and survive, allowing me to jump through but leave him behind.

He arrived at the gate… and jumped through!

I sat there and blinked. And blinked again. And then started laughing while quickly turning the frigate around and heading for a planet where I cloaked, giving myself a bit of a breather.

After about 10 minutes of remaining alone in the system (the Rapier didn't jump back through), I approached the gate to continue on my journey, expecting him to be on the other side, still waiting for me.

He wasn't there. He was in the system, but not at the gate. I quickly aligned for the next gate and took off. He didn't chase me, and I never saw him again. Phew!

The rest of my journey to Cobalt Edge was without incident, but when I got there all I found was empty space and a lot of 'Rogue Drones'. Battleship-sized drones, but none of them with any bounties on them. At the same time as I discovered this, my friend on voice comms told me the region was good for nothing because the drones only dropped minerals.

Great. 60 jumps, and for what?

Well, I got some excitement, that's what.

So I continued to search via the maps for another region to investigate. The lucky region was Great Wildlands. Right next door to Molden Heath, which was my old hunting grounds.

Another 60 jumps through 0.0, this time around the outer edge of the galaxy. I set off on the great star trek, with plenty of stars to… well, to trek through...

It was mainly uneventful, although I did encounter two warp bubbles along the way…

The first bubble was via a Heavy Interdictor (HIC) camping a gate, and he activated his bubble as I jumped in. Once again I aligned for the next gate and activated my cloak once the gate's cloak dropped. He tried to approach and decloak me but failed, so he went back to the gate and waited for someone else to jump through.

As I continued slowboating to the edge of the warp bubble, the gate fired and someone else appeared. They immediately tried to make their way to the edge of the bubble, but the HIC smashed him in just a few seconds. And then podded him.

Poor fella… but that's 0.0 for you.

I eventually made it past the edge of the bubble, and the HIC was about 50km from me. I decloaked and streaked to the next gate. The HIC pilot wished me well, which I thought was nice of him….

I arrived in Great Wildlands, and encountered another warp bubble with about 20-something ships.

Ouch.

So I sat there for a few seconds and tried to work out which direction to start moving in so that I can cloak and slowboat past them. Then one of them started talking in local, advising me that they were anti-pirates and I was free to go. I checked the info of the pilot - they were all in the Paxton Federation. Nice! I knew of them. They were very efficient at fighting pirates.

So with a wave, I decloaked and warped off, thankful that they were the good guys!

It was at this point, after having jumped about 120 jumps through 0.0 space in about 3 hours, that I started talking to someone who wanted to invite me to join them in 0.0. They told me where they were and I made my way to it. It was an uneventful 20 jumps.

We chatted some more and then I returned to Providence - another 20 jumps without incident.

After docking my trusty little cloaked T1 frigate back in 'home base', I sat back and reviewed my adventure. In just 4 hours I had travelled 160-something jumps through 0.0 space. I had avoided a Rapier chasing me and a Heavy Interdictor's warp bubble, and came back home without a single scratch on the paintwork. It was far more than I was expecting, as I had transferred my clone to various stations along the way (where I could, that is), expecting to die numerous times.

I kissed my frigate, and gave the cloaking device a hug. They had served me well. Exceptionally well.

A good night indeed, I thought, as I transferred my clone back home.

The future is going to be interesting. From the communications with the CEO who invited me to join his corp, and the subsequent discussions with my corp mates, there are going to be changes ahead. I can't say what they are right now, but they're going to be very, very interesting…

And lots of fun.

2 comments:

  1. Got to love 0.0

    The drone regions are indeed odd, but never let it be said there isn't isk to made. It's just not via the normal method, i.e. bounties and named loot.

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