Sunday, 19 July 2015

I am in your space, mining your asteroids

During a recent exploration flight I discovered a wormhole into a class 3 wormhole. Bookmarked it, completed the arc sweep of systems, and with space time decided to venture into flying a covert op frigate. All of the other holes were K162 which means made by someone entered into the constellation. (the scope of space I commonly roam). The thought process is, if someone else made it, then they can be still around inside the WH.

My first immediate error was not making a bookmark at the entrance back into high-sec.

Always bookmark.

Whilst holding jump cloak, I am D-Scanning.

Align to the sun, launch probes, warp (to 70km) and cloak.

Not too many signatures to scan down. I theorise later that the occupying corp has cleared this system of most things, then called it a day. There are two relic sites, I careful crack open 3 cans in a Sansha site. One of the cans nets me intact armour plates which I can use for tech2 armour rigs. (I have some bpc for the tech2 Remote Repair Mediums which I have invented). But these cans are scattered over a large distance, I do not have a prop mod; so I abandon the site.

In the relic site I am setting a keep at 5000 range to approach each of the cans. Using tech2 analysers gives me a 6000m reach. Should anything suddenly appear in D-Scan and ensuring a clearance of 2000m, gives the chance of cloak and hope. I only need to close to under 2500 to claim the can contents.

The WH I entered is now BM, the second WH is an entrance to low-sec - which I do not bother with this. (there was a prior occasion whereby this combination yielded a low-sec next door high-sec - which I used for some logistics).

The final signature is another relic site, but this one is Sleeper.

Two ore sites are also available. I visit the Perimeter site - which has one each of the high end ores.

With still no activity on d-scan the entire time, I decide to bookmark the arkonor.

So, I race back into high-sec. Now do I want the Prospect for this job or the Venture? Both are available. Someone might be asking why don't I use a mining barge. Mostly its aversion - my previous loss when mining arkonor was in a procurer. The extra tank means it will just take longer to die when you are alone. The Prospect has the covert-ops option, and larger ore hold. It also has a secondary Ore yield bonus for the Expedition Frigate skill, which at 5 for me is another 25%.

Let me sidestep for a moment. I have alt that flies a Deimos. A deimos is a thorax Plus. Better tank, DPS and bonus for MWD. A deimos is a clear progression, building upon a solid ship. I can look at the barges into exhumers; and again the progressive philosophy is at work to show, tech1 ship and tech2 is ship+. I have mined everywhere in Eve. In chess terms, the Prospect is "ship?!" (a dubious move). Not that I can exactly say what it is, but I rarely fly my Prospect. It is not like miners do Covert Ops. I have seen a video where a Prospect is tanking several Sleepers while mining - using a armour tank. And certainly with four lows, why not. Still, I would really like something else out of the Expedition skill - it is difficult to justify something which only does one thing. Maybe a tech2 navitas which utilises Expedition?

So the venture. Because I occasionally do L4 mining missions - some of these are gas harvesting, for 425 units which nicely fits to the 5000m3. This time, being in the uncharted.

Ninja Venture
2 Modulated Mining Lasers with tech2 Arkonor crystals
A probe launcher loaded with 8 Sisters Core probes

A compact MWD, a thermal and kinetic amplifiers

one halcyon core stabiliser

(rigs are empty)

Return through the bookmarks and activate the lasers.

After three minutes, I obtain this. (plus I have a MX-1005 implant)

The handy thing is that it takes 100units to refine a result. So this is synchronous. But at each three minute cycle the capacitor is drained almost completely. There might be some of you who have wondered about the Harvester Capacitor Efficiency which reduces cap-cost. It is because the high-end mining crystals have a penalty for capacitor consumption. (my cap skills are maxed). I can just as easily recommend the Miner II for this sort of thing. (not that I actually endorse high risk mining)

Nine Minutes later and umpteen mash to D-Scan whilst on a tight orbit of arkonor.

It would be dis-ingenious of me to point out that 1.6mil is certainly more than the ship is worth. Also need the factor in the time pre-scanning in the covert-ops and BM setup.

With my skills, this refines into 682 units megacyte, 5.3k mex and 46.8k trit.

Mostly I did it, because it was fun.

Tuesday, 7 July 2015


Definition; A tugboat (tug) is a boat that maneuvers vessels by pushing or towing them. 

The post is about using smaller ships to assist Freighters into warp. It is not immunity nor is it safe. If you are not doing this with an alt or someone you have long established trust - then seriously consider a courier contract. 

The core of the process is, when a freighter has jumped through a gate and is aligning to the next gate, applying two webs will cause the freighter to near instant warp. To best of my knowledge - which is my no  means all encompassing - it only works then. 

This is the ideal. You can use a Condor or Slasher similarly fitted. (they both have four mid slots). The bonuses to web ranges are what we are seeking. But with 30km ranged (non-faction) webs, you are quicker off the mark to web the freighter. There are other ships with the range bonus (such as the minmatar recons). But the Hyena is faster, more manoeuvrable and quicker to train into. 

Might be better if I just list out the process, then the fit might make more sense.

I can and have done this with a two ship fleet, squad command does not matter to either ship.

Fleet up and all pilots check that they have same route listed. Then check through the map stats for kills with the hour. If there is a large red along the route - then consider deferring the operation.

The tug will need an overview set only for fleet members. 

The tug undocks and uses the MWD to create a distance over 150km. For a busy trade hub like Jita or Amarr, consider unto 1000km or more. If you have a third person for a scout then use them. The freighter then undocks and warps to tug. Should happen quickly. When the freighter reaches the tug, you need to initiate a duel. Which makes it work regardless of being in the same corporation or having friendly fire allowed within corp. Using webs on another ship is a hostile act which will evoke a Concord response. 

You will see a green skull icon, indicating a Limited Engagement. A smaller version will appear in chat blink. Tug and freighter warps to the first gate in the route. (no webbing here - it does not work yet). Because the tug is so much faster in warp, you will out-race the freighter.

Tug jumps through, and burns back to orbit the gate. Activating the Sensor Booster with resolution script. When the freighter jumps through, it immediately commences warp to the next game. For the tug pilot, the moment that the freighter jump-cloak drops, you are locking and doubling webbing the freighter. It should instant warp the next gate of the route you have planned. The key point to note is that the freighter will appear at any random spot about 15km off the gate. Which is why I recommend a reach of 30km. (provided you have trained Electronic Attack Frigate to 5). If you using the tech1 hulls, you need to close the gap to within the web range. Which tech1/2 webs is only 10km. Which is danger time. Any bump most likely will lead to a lost freighter. (Federation Webs have a range of 14km, NEVER use these for this purpose).

Now, a bunch of things have happened to be wary of. The duel timer is reset, just keep an eye on it and renew if it happens to expire. The tug pilot earns a Weapons Timer. The red icon with a sixty second countdown. Whilst this timer is active, you can not jump or dock. And more seriously neither you or the freighter can casually log-off because of combat flag.

Usually with the weapons timer, i align the next gate under MWD. Let the timer run down to 30sec then warp to the next gate. More often than not you will out-race the freighter. Jump through the gate and repeat the process. Whether you are warping to a station, gate or bookmark FROM a gate, it will work.

A Command Ship  or Battlecruiser with Interdiction Manoeuvres link will increase the range of webs, but I feel this over-complicates the process. 

disclaimers: there is no Easy Esky in-game character or corporation. You use this advise your own risk. It is not perfect or a guarantee of success, just "better chance of". Should the tug get popped or connection drop, then the freighter docks.