A Black Hole Anomaly

A Black Hole Anomaly

Friday, February 26, 2010

Blog Maintenance

Today I am cleaning up the blog, I could not figure out where these erroneous spaces between the lines of text were coming from until I looked into the HTML, wow what a mess. Being a new blogger I was trying out different texts and sizes and each change I made created additional spaces in my blog. I am slowly sifting through the code now and fixing the errors.

Expect a cleaner blog shortly.

EDIT: Appears to be the same if I remove all the HTML completely.. odd, this post itself has NO HTML in the editing feature... Would someone please let me know if any of my posts do not show correctly in your browser/reader? Whichever ones do not, I will adjust them to fit the same style as the ones that do show correctly for you.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Give a little, take a little

Our little piece of W-space has been extremely busy lately. Escorting in new pilots, making fuel runs, mining gravity sites and fending off intruders. The latter has kept us especially busy in the last 24 hours.

An old corp-mate of mine from my last corporation was around so I invited him into the corp and the WH operation, he arrives at the last empire jump-gate, to my surprise, in a Dom. This pleased me greatly since we could always use another BattleShip (BS) for closing of wormholes and for fighting when necessary. We're usually very up on our sleeper sites so npc contact is pretty limited right now. We scout him into the WH without issue, although we had a close call with a Covetor and a Dramiel.

The new dweller fits his Dom to help with the mining and proceeds to make tea for himself, unfortunately for him, this is exactly when things begin to heat up around our lowsec connection.

Myself and a pilot close to me are returning from a quick jaunt to empire with a much needed logistics cruiser and a few skill books. As we approach our W-space's entrance my overview lights up, turns out our present entrance is directly between two of IT Alliance's territories, and a few of them fancy some cat and mouse with what few players we have online.

I call out that we've got company, and everyone who's not AFK immediately jumps to safety. The two of us returning take our time to cloak up, align, and get to safety at the POS. Then our newest arrival says what we all dread to see, "Oh shit, I'm dead.." I, hoping he's just saying that in panic, ask him if he's really dead, podded, or still trying to warp out.. Turns out they set onto him like a pack of wild dogs and devoured his Dom whole. Frustrated as anyone would be after arriving to the system and being blown up from self-error, he logs for the night and we kick up the alert level.

D-scan is completely bare, not sure if they were employing Project Poseidon or not, but one thing is for sure, there were a lot of cov-ops in system. The ships that we happened to notice consisted of Enyos Manticores, Hounds, at least one Nemesis and an Oneiros.

Scouts reported enemy ships leaving through the WH so after several minutes we tentatively restart operations. We swap the Covetor for a Retriever, I keep an eye on the WH, and one of our aspiring PvP pilots gets into a Rifter and fits for combat especially for the Hound, which seems to be the invader that most enjoys toying with us, flying in and out, warping in not cloaked even though he had a cov-ops fit.

The operation recommences with our Rifter pilot flying in and out of the Grav site, systematically flying around the system and checking Dscan. The Rifter pilot returns and orbits around the ships and asteroids, my guess is hoping to catch a cloak unawares when suddenly the Hound shows up again and starts to tear the retriever apart.

The Rifter jumps on the Hound but not in time to save the barge. The barge goes up in splashes of molten metal, but now the Rifter has the Hound in his clutches. The Hound zigs and zags trying to shake the Rifter loose, at one point it looked like he almost succeeded but the Rifter pilot adjusts from orbit to approach and the two look not unlike a snake writhing in a fire. After only a minute or so of battle, at least 4 other enemy ships show up on grid to find the Hound burst into flames, the Rifter, already damaged, succumbs to the force of the reinforcements.

We lost a barge, and a frigate, but return to the station with our pride intact, and congratulate our corp member on his first killmail, a very good start to a career that I will watch very closely. He admits that he did mess up towards the end of the fight and thinks if he had his wits about him he could have possibly escaped ship-intact, but the thrill of the hunt and the surge of adrenaline of his first intentional PvP fight fuzzed his thoughts. Now that he's had a taste, I believe he'll show improvement and clearer thinking, despite the yea-haws I heard and expect to hear more of, over the voice chat.

I looked into the killmail too, the Hound pilot was a 2003 player, our Rifter pilot started playing in Dec. 2009, a feat worth mention. We've ordered him new parts for a Rifter and the leader of the alliance is thrilled over the situation, even considering the loses.

Despite the thrills and the pride we find in our pilots, I do hope we don't need to see this much action in the future. A few combat pilots are being flown in from the war though, just as an extra precaution.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Rocky Beginnings

Wormhole operation, Day 1:

After onlining most of our defenses, sans warp scramblers, I had to log for several hours and the state of affairs upon my return was a kill-joy for everyone within my party. The lowsec exit we had used to move in through, had also allowed a band of explorers to enter in behind us. After having a few of the exploring craft visit our POS only to warp away(Under fire by of our defenses), I decided now was the best time to anchor and online the warp scramblers to deter any more unwanted close encounters.

The invading party, unfortunately for us, severely out-numbered, and out-gunned us. We had to resort to laying low since upon inspecting a few of them, we discovered that they were part of a very active, very capable corp, who's base of operations appeared to be in the system we were connected to at the time. We voted "don't tick off the giant".

Most of our 15+ Sleeper sites didn't make it past the invasion, however, they did not seem to come with probes, rather, they probed down the entrance, and used bookmarks and ship scanners for anomalies only for the duration of their stay. Today we did the radar and mag sites, along with several newly spawned sleeper sites. The corpmates were extremely interested in checking out a gravity site, but knew little of the actual capacity for these sites. I managed to convince them not to start with the biggest until they knew what they were facing, the next day I believe they have been thoroughly introduced to the sheer enormity that is WH gravity signatures. We're still trying to get what we can from the site before we lose it, and there's a lot of action happening on the sides. Our first two days have met with two wanderers scanning down a highsec exit for us from empire space, thank you very much to the poor myrmidon that we chased out of our system, and to whoever it was that opened the way again the next day to another empire system.

I'm dropping tired right now, after having spent a few near sleepless nights getting the POS up, details wrote, discussion amongst the corp and alliance, and planning for expansion and the acquirement of several more pilots for our team. Myself and the other non-mining-barge pilots are adjusting our training to change that. This time next week I should be in a retriever at least, along with a few more corpmates, and able to take on grav sites with much better efficiency.

Had a conversation with a member of the invading party after I detected his corpse on dscan, reasons for the podding are unclear since his first response is that he got "too close" to the action which resulted in him, dead. Minutes later he claimed he did it himself as it was the cheap way for him to leave the system quickly.

I'll be packing more heat soon so that I can begin offering other pilots a ride home.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Sudden Movement

Last night and today have been some of my busiest times in EVE yet. I came home last night after catching a movie and logged on, turns out the entire operation has been given the green light, I scan the exit and lo and behold, our static lowsec-exit has just one gate between me and highsec. This is the best situation we could have hoped for!

We get on the horn, gather the 5 of us who are already committed to the operation and get to work. Buying modules and the tower all around New Eden and meeting up in the last high-sec system for final deployment.

A few complications that were a little outside of my own influence were a small set-back, and it was my first time setting up a POS so it was definitely a learning experience. 7:30AM when the servers went down, we had the POS up, and some our guns and Ewar online. I could barely sleep, slept for maybe 5 hours and back on it.

More excitement, someone scanned down our W-space from highsec, giving us a highsec connection on our very first day of operations. After scaring away the unwanted visitor we are currently at work making last minute deliveries and modules for the POS.

I'm blogging while flying my indy to a system where I have stockpiled a lot of gear. Hopefully we all make it back to base without too many troubles and get to farming this system out. 15 sleeper sites, 5 gravs, 5 ladars, 2 radar and a mag.

We're pumped and racing around like mad with the move, but this is the beginning we've been looking for, you can expect to hear more from me soon.


Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A System is picked.

Following my previous fruitless adventure, I manage to meet up with my CEO in a wormhole of yet-unknown characteristics. We put the coffee on, dock with each others ships, and begin the long wait to determine where the system might consistently lead to.

A few days later we're content with our findings and he leaves to report to the alliance and begin preparations. We'll need to draft pilots and miners from the Imperium, that won't be a problem, there's many a willing clone to risk in making some ISK. My mind goes to work on my own plans to execute, and a list of things I'll need in the coming months. A few favours to call in perhaps, but it'll be more than worth it once we're settled.


And now, a break from the story telling. Hello, I'm the author, obviously, and everything I write in this blog will be accurate of mine and my teams encounters in W-space unless it's in response to another blogger, a contest response etc. Sometimes I will come on as just me, the guy behind the screen eating pizza and trying to finish his first degree in university.

My goal for this blog is somewhat like the Truman Show idea. Uncensored, what happens happens, and if I make mistakes I will try to be objective and say it like it is. Like in my previous post, yeah, I was feeling awful smug at evading those pirates on first entering the dead-end system, and they did not respond whatsoever in local, and they spoke french not english according to their bio's and corporation info.

I really did have to sneak around and warp to find a good vantage point to determine my situation and my odds of escape, I've invested all of my ISK into the project we're about to begin and I'm speed training with a full set of +4's on my head. That's dumb for me to be putting myself in danger of losing what I can't afford but I'm a relatively new player and I am playing some serious catch-up in terms of skills compared to these older/higher-SP players. I'll admit I'm risking more than I would advise of anyone else, but that's what's going on, and that's how I'll say it hehe.

I was thrilled to make it out alive, I did feel pretty dumb once I found out the system was a dead-end, and I look forward to having a station set up to call home.

We've found our system now, so between my travelling and returning after the weekend, I expect the POS set up and operations running within the week. I hope to have much more to tell you when I next write about it.

Why does it seem like every corporation I run into in W-Space is french?

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Adventure Begins

StarDate: 2010.02.16, 01:09
Ship: *unnamed vessel* Imicus
Location: Find the edge of the galaxy, and fall off.

Today began like any other day, wake-up, and yell at the Imicus' A.I. that I'm alive. I seriously need to replace the mics in this rig. The A.I. promptly sets a course for an in-system warp, it had dutifully sent the ship out of hostile scanners' range as I was shutting down systems, and myself, for a good nights rest.

"Summers! Pick up your com!", my corporation's CEO somehow always knows when I'm awake. He informs me that he's found a wormhole leading to unexplored space, perhaps a system for our own base of operations. I collect as much information as I can and begin scanning for an exit from the system I've been keeping an eye on, it was a lost cause anyway and I knew it. The locals are a strange sort of drone, but more powerful and aggressive than I have ever encountered before in my travels, hopefully this other, unexplored system, will have less-formidable opponents.

I quickly scan down two wormholes using my remote probes, one leads to the system of Babirmoult, the other leads to an unknown system, which I have logged as J111629. I decide to try my luck in the emptiness of uncharted space rather than risk the pirates that surely await me in the land of the outlaws.

That proved an almost fatal mistake. Just as I approach the WH, a Navy issued Dominix de-cloaks and beings targeting me. Without enough time to re-align and warp out my best bet is to tuck and roll, I deactivate the external inertial dampeners (EIDs) and allow the WH to consume my ship.

Shooting out the other side of the WH I realize I am once again, not alone. A Hurricane, Thorax, and a vessel unknown to me, are all warming their guns waiting for the visual distortion around my craft to dissipate. My A.I. cooly points out that it is a strategic cruiser called a Tengu, well that's awesome, a ship so new I didn't recognize it, is waiting to kill me. My first thoughts are to get as far away as fast as possible but training, luckily, kicks in. I shut down all systems that are not absolutely necessary for movement or survival and activate my second generation improved cloaking device.

As the device activates, the residual visual distortion left from when my EIDs reactivated, disperses and is quickly replaced by my own ship-maintained stealth. Careful to move slowly, so as not to produce a noticeable ripple in the space I pass through, I aim my ship for the widest space between hostile craft and ease the throttle forward. The Thorax must have spotted my ship for the brief moment I was exposed because it immediately burns through the space I had only seconds ago occupied. The Dominix appears, seemingly out of nowhere, to my port side and I adjust my course accordingly. Heart pounding, I set the A.I. in charge of maneuvers while I rush to my capsule, just in case the worst happens I want to make it out with my own mind intact damn-it.

Usually on short flights, I don't leave my capsule (or POD), but on overnight stays in the deep recesses of the space between spaces, I like to walk about my cabin, study my books and check that all my systems are running smoothly for moments just like the one I find myself in now. Besides, my skin does not take well to the wrinkles of excessive-moisturization.

I see a spark, no I sense it, this spark explodes into a 3 dimensional awareness of everything within and around my ship as my mind interfaces with the ships sensors. I take back control from the A.I. just as the number of hostile contacts doubles and triples in seconds. My ship's sensors, now my own, pick up 9 very small, but very deadly combat drones. These drones begin crossing the space between the 4 hostile ships who are trying to expose my position, they were quite literally "sweeping" the space around the wormhole for any traces of my ship's cloaking distortion field.

This game of cat and mouse continues for what seems like hours (my A.I. interrupts my thoughts with a timer reading mere minutes, I do hate how my A.I. now senses any thoughts not related specifically to controlling the ship). I eventually put a distance of 100km between myself and the hostile search party, they've obviously underestimated the amount I paid for this cloaking unit, and thus underestimated how quickly I could travel whilst cloaked. I smile smugly to myself and warp away to scan down an exit, sending an open transmission, containing my smug thoughts of their failure to contain me, into open space in the form of subspace waves... Their resolve appears unbroken and I begin referencing their ships markings from my last data-sync in empire, checking for pilot information and security statuses. I realize, with little surprise, that the pilots very likely did not understand a word I was saying anyways. I am surprised however, that each of them has much better relations with Empire security forces than myself, the injustice of which I may consider another time.

I fire off my probes and do a system wide scan... .. . Unbelievable, a situation I have never before encountered. The system I find myself in has only a single cosmic signature, that must be the WH through which I entered! Now I understand why these... Pirates, are so content to wait me out without commenting or wavering in their search of me, they know I must leave this system somehow, and display the patience necessary to wait for me to choose my only option.

After much warping around and placing markers in the system I find myself 200km away from the WH and observing the hunting party under protection of my cloak. The Thorax warps away into the system to it's farthest planet. The Tengu, for reasons I can't fathom, puts 30km between himself and the WH. The hurricane is nowhere to be seen and I have only the bulk of a Domonix to deal with in getting through to the WH. I deactivate my cloak and fire up the warp-drive, bridging the gap between my ship and the WH in seconds and cease the EIDs function. On the other side I don't wait for the hunting party to recover their senses, I warp away to the first planet my sensors encounter and set my course for low security space... later on I find myself breathing relief in the safety of Empire-ruled territory, and tell my A.I. to make it's way home. Leaving a message for my CEO, "Rough trip, will check the space tomorrow, keep an eye on it until I get there" I let my body relax.

I think my ship has earned a name, I let this thought roll over my mind and replace the tension and paranoia of flying on the defensive for so long.