Wednesday, 13 May 2015

A Prophecy And Another Customs House Takedown

This is a long one so bear with me...

I was down at our new base in the deep lowsec of Khanid. I’d brought my new Anathema which I’ve named ‘Grey Goose’ because hey, it’s grey. I question why a ship built and optimised for Covert Ops activities should have navigation lights which of course completely negates the low-visibility hull coatings.



What concerns me about the Anathema is that it isn’t quite as good as people think it is. Yes, it can travel round all day cloaked up; yes it can fit rocket launchers which is unusual for an Amarr design; but its power grid is woefully inadequate to the point where if you want to do some serious reconnaissance with the power-hungry Expanded Probe Launcher, you have to offline virtually everything else and juggle your modules accordingly.

This is seriously inconvenient.

Most of the ship’s power grid goes into feeding the massively powerful warp drive which can at least guarantee you a quick escape with its 8 AU per-second top speed and quick spool-up. That is of course the key to using the Anathema properly: it’s not designed to hang around. Get in quietly, get the ‘take’, get out without being seen and if you are, get out even faster and don’t even consider sticking around to defend yourself. Operating an Anathema successfully is therefore about cultivating a completely passive operational doctrine, which some capsuleers simply can’t do…

I still question the designers’ philosophy in trying to squeeze the capability into a Magnate’s basic architecture which is, on the evidence, not adequate for this job. Surely it would have been more cost-effective to design from scratch.

Anyway…

I found a wormhole in Goudiyah. I’m starting to recognise the differences in them. It was designated an N944 so that and its brown appearance told me it wasn’t going there, but either lowsec or null. I dived in and emerged in Carrou, in the Gallente Border Zone in Sinq Laison, about 30 light years away. This time I decided to hang around for a bit instead of diving back in like a scared fish on dry land; I went over to the system next door (Faurent) and bought some more rockets for the Anathema. It was really an excuse to look at Gallente station architecture again.





Then an innocuous message appeared from the boss on subspace/NEOCOM. Talos was about to hit another customs station in Chitiamem way back down in Khanid, but technically only three jumps away instead of the 33 jumps that NEOCOM was now telling me it was, based on my current location in Sinq Laison. I had to get in on this, even though I was in a totally unsuitable ship - all my combat-oriented ships were in Danera. I volunteered to do ‘media’ instead, which is why you’re now reading this.

Thanks to the wormhole (these shortcuts - it’s as if you’re the only pilot in the cluster who knows about them and everyone else is a saddo who has to do it the long way) I was back ‘in-theatre’ at Chitiamem VI in less than 10 minutes, where the party had already started:





I couldn’t just sit there and watch, so I joined in even though my rockets were merely a token gesture. This is where I came up against the rules and bureaucracy of CONCORD’s Crimewatch scheme. Technically, according to the rules, even though I was firing on an inanimate object in lowsec space, I was still ‘initiating aggression’, so immediately I acquired a Suspect Flag; then the red warning came up about not being able to use stargates for five minutes or something; then I got a notification that my Security Status had been lowered. So rookies, if you’re bothered about your standings in a region and your ability to conduct business, you have to take this into account.





Now the Sec Status thing is not that big a deal, but if you’re already or still hovering around zero because you’ve, say, only just qualified as a capsuleer and haven’t killed enough pirates or met enough agents to raise your standings, then life could start getting needlessly difficult for you. All I’m saying is just bear it in mind if you want to start throwing your (light)weight around. Belligerency is a game best played slowly at first.

Anyway…

The POCO reinforced itself when we’d hit it enough times to deplete its shield, so we had to clear off and wait a day to come back and finish the job, which you can see below.

Back at our new base I read some news about how some media company or other had celebrated an anniversary of some kind by doing a deal with the Genolution implant manufacturers to release, en-masse, the CA-3 and CA-4 implants to every capsuleer in the whole of New Eden. Now these are seriously expensive implants that were until recently selling for literally billions of ISK each. The recent market price crash of these same implants prior to the release was no doubt a bit of insider trading, but now I had the ability to claim both of them, right here, so I did. Not only that, but I got a seriously cutting-edge Mordu’s Legion replica jacket which looks so stylish on me I can‘t even believe it.



The implants: I thought about using them. Plugging them in. Then I checked their market value. I used the Eve Market Data service which is incredibly useful because you get access to market prices in regions outside the one you’re currently in, which of course you can’t normally do using NEOCOM. It stated that in Amarr the implants were still worth nearly 200 million ISK as a pair (you would expect them to become virtually worthless if everyone in New Eden had them, negating demand), so I shot up there straight away, flogged them, nearly tripled my net worth instantly and then dropped 50 mil on a Prophecy battle cruiser. Why? Because implants are lost when the body that they’re in gets killed, and at my level of experience I’m more likely to get killed over a given duration, and those expensive implants would be wasted. I’m much better off liquidating them and using the large amount of ISK to buy equipment that will more readily increase my experience. It’s a no-brainer.

Anyway…

The next day, I took the vastly more suitable Prophecy over to the POCO station in Chitiamem to help finish the job. It was a spectacular display of fireworks set against an extremely photogenic backdrop.



We had a swarm of drones on the case:



A Gila!


Maryllis's Hyperion, and me getting inadvertently shot at by the boss. But he did a remote repair of my armour damage so that was nice: 


We even brought what appeared to be the Southern Khanid Branch of the Maller Owners' Club:


This takedown took place against the awesomely massive, perspective-reinforcing and humbling backdrop of the gas giant:


This Prophecy that I'd bought way up in the northern Domain region seemed to have a led a hard life. Its armour is covered in scars that the nano-repairers ignore because its a surface thing. By the time you read this I'll have modified the fit too as I realised here it was a tad under-gunned. You can see from the kill report below that with all this capability I still came second-to-last in the damage-inflicted list. That's a bit crap.



Tactical! Rookies: learn to use this like reading a book because it makes a gigantic difference to your ability to fight:


We had a Stratios!. An actual real-live Stratios. I've never been this close:



When the station finally let go and exploded, there was nothing left behind - no wreckage, no bits, no evidence, except a rapidly cooling ball of plasma...





...nothing left but vacuum and the unceasing glare of an indifferent star that's seen it all before. The best part of this operation is that the station's owners, Alliance Mining Operations Command, is part of the Space Warriors alliance that wardecced us a few weeks back. This is the payback. Karma. They should be taking notice right about now.


Here's the kill report. Even inanimate stations have them. Experienced capsuleers won't see anything unusual here but for me this is huge, because it's the first 'fleet kill' I've been involved in, even if it's just a station instead of a ship.


After this we all quickly left the scene and went back to doing our own thing for the rest of the day. I was pumped up and wasn't ready to dock. I found a Blood gang in an asteroid belt and learned to use the Prophecy properly as an area denial weapon which can take on four targets simultaneously with careful use of drones. Rookies: you have to train combat drones. Don't ignore their usefulness. Get drones up to Level V as soon as possible and train all the ancillary skills as well like range multipliers etc. Then of course you've got Salvage Drones with which you can become a mobile pirate recycling platform.


Again, experienced capsuleers will find nothing unusual in any of this report and their jadedness may even cause some private scoffing, but I've only been a fully-qualified capsuleer for three-and-a-half months, and since I joined Outdated Host Productions I've started to contribute to an organisation and a strategy that is tangible and is having a measurable effect on regional politics. 

The ongoing unrest and multiple power vacuums going on in Fountain, Delve, Querious and Providence mean that here in Khanid we are right in the centre of it all and ideally placed to take advantage by going in there and claiming a piece of it for ourselves. Hitting this POCO station in Chitiamem was my first steps in getting involved in that, so for me, this was my best day's capsuleering yet.

If I'd stayed in Hedion U up there in the nice safe highsec of Kor-Azor, I wouldn't be doing any of this; and whatever training I'm getting here in lowsec where everything is intrinsically more difficult, is going to increase my chances against the inevitable Drifter invasion that's coming whether we like it or not. You haven't forgotten about that now, have you...? 



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