Yesterday’s post found me hunting a wormhole, It also found me thinking better of trying to grief 100 Russians out of their particular Class 3, mainly on the grounds of effort.
Older and more jaded individuals may be wondering why I am even interested in putting all this effort into a C3 wormhole. After all, I suspect that it will be about as profitable as running L4s in empire with no Concord and constant wardecs while having to maintain a tower which can only be fuelled on two days out of every week. Meanwhile, Kazanir, head of EJB, is merrily running a C5 largely by himself using an array of capitals.
Part of this is the eternal Eve suspicion that that new thing will be it: the One True Fun Form of PvE. This hunt for a palatable way to pay for a supercarrier or a titan (Goonswarm directors don’t get to embezzle the alliance money) is a result of the sheer number of options that Eve offers. And of almost all of them being unbearable variations of “Wait. See red ‘X’. Press button. Wait again.”
Another part of this project’s attraction for me is that I have always had a secret, guilty pleasure in a well-planned logistics operation. When I took a bunch of guys and took T-PAR in the first rush of the Delve invasion, I got ten large deathstars, five per night, smuggled in, onlined, fuelled and stronted without a single hitch, despite the attentions of Executive Outcomes. I then ran them solo for six weeks. The one cock-up was not spotting that one BoB tower we had killed and replaced was sitting on a valuable R64 that could have paid for the whole thing. Oh well.
But of course it all comes down to how and why you play MMOs. I intend to blog about the Bartle test later, but I have a strong Explorer element to my gameplay, whether that be exploring game mechanics or exploring virtual worlds. Indeed, given that I enjoy strapping on a rucksack and heading into the hills alone to camp for a few days, this is clearly not limited to MMOs. Fortunately, the Scottish highlands contain less gankers with 720mm projectile weapons.
Anyway, I probed and I probed my way across a bunch of Gallente systems, finding plenty of wormholes, some of them empty. But C3s seemed to be extremely popular. I found plenty of empty Class 4s and a few occupied Class 5s: I suspect that the less organised corporations whose members want to be able to solo outside of occasional ops jump at the C3s with statics to group content. I also suspect that the organised groups who prefer to run raid-style content in groups grap the more profitable Class 5s and 6s. This may leave Class Fours as the less desirable cousins. I say “may” because two or three nights’ of scanning by one neonate is hardly a representative sample.
Anyway, three wormholes deep on Sunday evening I found, at last, an empty Class 3. It was pretty far from ideal. It was a Black Hole system, the bonuses for which seem at best unhelpful unless one is speed tanking. The static is to nullsec, which I suspect means that I will at best go through a lot of strontium as it repeatedly opens up wormholes to Russian space. But I was getting bored and the weekend was almost over, so I grabbed my freighter in empire and started moving my pre-prepared setup towards the jump-off system in highsec.
My plan was to deploy a base first, in the form of a medium tower that I could online quickly, then to use the CHA there to assemble everything I needed before deploying a large tower. A freighter can’t ever get into a C3, so when I got the freighter to the jump-off system in empire, next door to the highsec entrance point (which had no station), I assembled an Iteron V and a bestower – the lows a cautious mixture of expanders and stabilisers – and started packing the basics into them: the tower; fuel; a couple of hardeners; a few hours of stront to get going with. The stront and enough fuel to get the tower online for a few hours in one ship and the rest of the fuel in the other: no need for stront if I don’t have a tower after all!
I started the tower onlining and left the Iteron V sitting on-grid, cloaked, 200km from it with fuel and stront. I’ve had to fuel and online a tower with 70 people shooting it before now, and I had no illusions about what would happen to my hauler in such a situation, but I also know what the effect is on hostiles if that easy killmail just developed a timer until the shields go up.
I wish I could make this bit more exciting and add some dramatic, timer-based pizazz, but I can’t. To be quite honest , the tower onlined successfully without further incident. Sorry.