Wednesday, September 11, 2013

One Change I Don't Like

I really, really don't like that the new probing system is really getting to the point of "launch probes, press button, find shit".

Now don't get me wrong.  I love the new scanning system compared the one some of remember where you had to set BM's in system, the "Comb" probe took like 15 minutes each cycle (back when Acquisition skill 10% was significant) and were not guaranteed to be successful. That system sucked ass.

But now, you open the Probe Screen, launch 8 probes in a decent configuration, everything stays centered unless you mess up the controls, and every signature has a giant Red sphere on the screen before you even scan.  So much for the need to scan 5-6 planets in a big system for the 1-2 sigs.  Now you know the planets right away.

I don't know, maybe this is all just "when i was a kid, we use to walk uphill in the snow to school both ways", but I liked scanning when it took some RL skills and was not just a rinse repeat mini game for rewards.  Really now there is almost no challenge to or RL skill in finding sites.  It is just a repeat of steps over and over that has removed some of the "prestege" of being a really good scanner that was valued in W-Space.

Oh well, at least I don't need a T1 Industrial to carry around 40 different types of 4 different probes and spend an hour in every single system.  But I do think CCP has now made it too easy.

Fly Safe,

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

One Change I Like

There have been a lot of changes to W-Space since I have left and most are "no big deal", but there are two that stick out as either awesome, or pretty crappy to me.

First, the awesome one.  Ore belts are now considered Cosmic Anomalies and don't require probes to scan down. This is so sweet.  I mean so so so so sweet.

It makes jumping into systems and seeing mining ships on scan damn near giddy.  Three times now I have warped into a K162 Wormhole and seen multiple Retrievers on scan, opened the probe scanner and seen the ore field already for warp in.  No probes, no worries about spooking them, and no having to try to figure out where they are and where a safe spot to launch the probes might be.

Simply warp to the Ore field at range, look at the target, pick an asteroid for a warp in and go get the stealth bomber.

The first time was early on in the move in and the only PvP ship I had was my covert, interdiction nullified, scanning Legion.  There was also a couple of manned T3's in the POS, So I decided that the risk was not worth the reward.

The second time however I was more prepared and immediately went back for my Hound.

So after getting the Hound, I warped to the bookmarked Asteroid at 50km to make sure I didn't land on the wrong side of the target and to line up the initial target and uncloak to make sure I was not going to end up out of position to warp out if needed.

I landed about 40km away from the target and proceeded to work my way in closer.  I did not have all the asteroid on my overview and about 28km off the target I decloaked unintentionally. Fortunately for me the pilot was pretty much asleep at the wheel and I turned on the prop mod and burned into the 24km range for the point.  I started my orbit at 20km and proceeded to dispatch the target in short order.

I missed the pod and started to warp back the WH in case he had friends on the way in to exact any sort of revenge.  Good thing for me he did not, as I got hung up on not one, not two, but three asteroids trying to get the hell out of dodge.  Nothing line a 3 minute escape warp for leaving the scene of the crime quickly.

Safely back at the WH, I paused and D-Scanned looking for a response.  Seeing none, I warped to the POS and kept an eye on the Capsule as it sat in the POS till the combat timer finished and promptly logged off.

With their system clear, I went back to scanning for a K-Space exit.

I had forgotten how much fun it is to stalk people in W-Space that probably have no idea you are there.

Fast forward to last night and we had a K162 connecting to us from another C5.  You would think someone living in a C5 would be better at making sure they are alone before running a mining op.  There were only 3 Sigs in the system and the K162 to our space was their Static.  I would think that they would have placed a scout on the WH to listen for activations.  But they didnt't and that was good for me.

I like hunting in K162's a lot for the reason that there is no "New Sig" to alert them to a potential danger, though with most of these people it probably doesn't matter.

Anyway, I enter the C5, and I see 3 Venture and 2 Retrievers on scan.  There is one Ore field and so off i warp to it.  Sure enough, there is one of the retrievers chewing through a Hed rock.  I bookmark the rock and warp back to the hole to get my Hound.  I get to the SMA and for the life of me I cannot find my Hound, so I jump in a corpmate's hound and thankfully it has a point on it.

After changing ships, I warp back to the static WH, jump through and warp off to Planet 1 quickly to get off the WH asap.  I then remember that the target is in the K162 and not the static.  Worse, I have not been through the static yet so it has not been scanned, and there is no bookmark for the way back.  Ugh

Well no fear, I log in another alt, get him in a drake, and fly to the static WH to rescue myself from myself.

Five minutes later, I am warping the Hound to the correct wormhole.

Finally back in the system with the targets, I warp to planet 4, since I saw that had the clearest path to the target (who says an old dog can't learn new tricks) and would reduce the chance of repeating my mistakes of the previous encounter.

As I land 40km off the target I notice there is one huge Veldspar rock kinda sorta in the way of a clean approach.  So I start to burn up to get a better approach.  As I am climbing a second Retriever lands almost right on top of the first.  Looks like I get to attempt a twofer.  Not 30 seconds latter a Helios lands and my first reaction is to think that he would have been of a lot more use sitting on the WH than putzing around the Ore Site, but then I fear he may have a point and be able to hold me down till the Caracal and Proteus at the POS can get on field.

It took what seemed like an eternity (real life TiDi?) for the Helios to finally get tired of goofing off and warp off.  With him off the field I continued my approach and trying to get both targets within 24km.  The plan was to target both Retrievers, point the second and DPS the first and hope that the first was asleep enough to die before he warped off.  I slinked in closer and closer till I had both targets in range.  Time to let the torps fly.

I aligned to the WH Back, uncloaked, locked up both targets, pointed number 2 and started unleashing the fury on number 1.  Sure enough, he was 90% asleep and the 15 minutes it seemed to take for him to die were not enough for him to wake up and realize he was being killed.(again RL TiDi it seems).

Onto Target 2. I enter a 20km orbit around target 2 and got 2 volleys off before the friendly Proteus landed on the field.  Time to exit stage right (this time cleanly) and made my way back to the WH.  I jumped through and took up orbit at 20km around the WH.

While all this was going on, I also managed to roll our static WH in preparation for running some sites.  This is important to the story.

About 5 minutes pass and I am starting to get itchy to jump through again and see what is going on.  But my sense of time is horrible in these situations and I didn't want to get to the WH and then find I still had 2 minutes till I could jump.  So I waited and waited.  About this time I noticed that someone else had logged in and loaded or corp comms.

Well the night before one of my dogs had tried to kill me, but that is a story for another time.  One of the things he did though during this assassination attempt was to get onto the computer desk, get my headset and chew the crap out of it.  Thus I was playing around with the new headset and trying to make sure it was all working correctly.  Well in the middle of all this testing there was the ever so distinctive sound of a wormhole activation.

Eagerly I wait for the decloak, and much to my surprise it is a Inty Mark V.  WTF?  First thought is bait. Second thought is WTF, third thought is get within range and kill it.  Then against all figuring, it warps off. Now I am really confused.  After about 15 seconds it hits me, THE STATIC.

I mash the warp button for the old static BM and curse that it took so long to think about that.  I land after an million years in warp (damn that TiDi again) and I land just in time to see him warp off back the WH.  The good thing for me is I learned all about Interjections from School House Rocks. RATS!!!

As I turned and warped back to the K162, I yell on comms for our other pilot to warp the K162 in any combat ship he has.  I then landed at about the same time as the Inty V.  I jump with him and I am greeted on the other side by an Ares and a Hawk.  Reluctantly I just burn back to the WH, sit on it and take a few pot shots at the Inty V before the other two lock me up and start to DPS me.  I jump back through and take up station again 20km off the WH.

Over the next 90 minutes we play some WH cat and mouse games while I help trouble shoot our new comms and discuss the finer points of not poking the neighbors before a scheduled combat site operation.

Oh well, guess next time I will make sure the hole is ready to roll before I poke the natives.

In the end I am very happy with the change of Ore sites to Anoms, and not needing probes.  It looks like it will provide some more PvP opportunities in W-Space.

Fly Safe,