Lost in Space

I’m sorry I haven’t written much lately. It seemed I had my grand plan all mapped out and was just slowing moving along, happily mining the belts I could and not much else. Well, over the past week things have taken a slight, alright a major, detour.

But let’s back up a little first. So I began the week as usual, just mining away raising my mining and refining skills so that I could better sell my High Sec Veldspar in Jita. I knew that my faction standing affected how much ore I was able to take away from each refining process. Since I haven’t run missions in awhile and not much of them anyways I was sitting at nearly the max 5% tax rate. So I decided I’d try out my new Caracal mission running ship and see how she fared.

I have (had) been trying to joing a very solid corporation and to show my commitment I packed up all my spacely belongings and made the 20+ jumps into Gallente space to be closer to their base of High Sec operations. Now being originally Caldari my Gallente standing was in the negative, even with all my Social skills that I had trained early on. So I only had a single level II, low quality agent to use, and yet no matter how many missions I ran, my Gallente standing didn’t move at all…it even went down! Ugh. So I did a little research and uncovered the COSMOS agents that were released a few years back. These are story-line agents with chained missions and great rewards in both items, blueprints and standing. So I ventured even deeper into Gallente space to seek out these elusive COSMOS individuals. Sure enough, after running through a few chains of level I missions my Gallente standing raised….0.0325%…great. Needless to say this wasn’t quite going as planned.

My Caracal Crusier was suited for level II missions and I wasn’t about to crawl up the Gallente standing ladder gaining a fraction of a percentage for 4 or more missions. Couple that with the fact that my application didn’t quite work out, I am after all a little to green for most established corps, and I was back on the move. I backup up all my junk…again, and headed the 20+ jumps back to more familiar territory.

When I ended up back in ‘The Forge’ I was still itching to try out some level II mission running. My mining had already been on the back burner and I could now actually run some decent missions. It didn’t help the fact that all my queued skills require nearly two weeks to complete, and they are all mining related. Again, I do love mining, but it can certainly be a lonely undertaking. Mission running is much more exciting with its instant gratification and the majority of the blogs I follow offer wonderful accounts of combat, fleet battles and gang warfare…much more ‘Hollywood’ than my poor Retriever Mining Barge could ever offer. So I decided to make a change.

I started training some none-mining, none-week long training time skills, to make my more combat ready. I’ve been ready a great blog about a new player, similar to myself, starting out on a stealth bomber career. He’s documenting his account from the very beginning and he’s doing a bang up job of it too. You can check out his stealth project here. This definitely piqued my interest and I found that I was only about few weeks away from flying a stealth bomber myself. So I queued up several of the requisite skills and off I went.

As I progressed even further down this dark, combat hole I got side-tracked yet again. Being that I was fresh off running some Gallente COSMOS missions, I figured I’d check out the Caldari version of them. They had fairly decent story-lines and it was definitely something new that had far greater standing gains than just normal mission running.

Once I located the system the agent resided in, again using Ombeve’s amazing 2D maps, I started in on the level I offerings. I made it through the majority of them in short order and was onto level II’s. When I got to the second part of a mission chain I was required to use a warp gate that was only suitable for smaller ships, my Cruiser was not allowed. Given my previous success with destroyers on a level II missions I wasn’t feeling that enthusiastic about the whole situation, but I thought hey this time might be different. Ugh.

I promptly returned to the gate in my trusty Cormorant Destroyer the ‘Black Rabbit V’ (The V being how many of that ship type I’ve been through in the past). I hadn’t lost a ship in nearly a month, so I wasn’t quite as sharp as I should have been. As soon as I warped in I lit the cans after aligning to a local space port. I almost made it away…almost. Needless to say I didn’t take my shiny new ‘Black Rabbit VI’ back there to retrieve my stuff.

After sulking around a little bit I ended up in a deadspace room on a different mission path that was the hub for big collection of other mission types, thus it was pretty crowded in there, both in pirates and other players. Somehow I ended up aggro’ing the whole place (I’m still scratching my head on that one) but I was lucky enough to warp out of there with a wee bit of structure left, otherwise I would have been onto number VII after barely getting her off the lot.

When I returned I noticed that the majority of other players were either destroyed or long gone…save one. There was this one capsuleer that had the entirety of the room locked onto him blasting away…and he was just motoring on by like it was a Sunday afternoon drive. Eventually the pirates were dispatched and I was able to pick my jaw up off the floor. The very polite and helpful pilot, sadiest I believe, started a conversation with me to see how I was doing. I told him how amazed I was with his tank clinic he was putting on. He said he was flying his Passive Tanking Drake. He gave me some pointers on what was all involved and even helped me finish up my mission. I thanked him profusely for his help as he was moving on and started my flow simmer on what it would take to fly one of these tanking behemoths myself.

Now, I’d read about the Drake before, but never actually seen it in action. I was immensely impressed and had to see how far off I was from flying one myself. Amazingly I had trained up enough already to be able to fly one, but just as quickly as I was elated I was let down realizing that my shield skills were sorely lacking. Regardless, I was only about 4 days away from flying a fairly decently equipped passive tanking Drake, this says nothing about affording one however. I’m just over half way there now and have started the process of saving up to afford one.

I know you’re only supposed to fly something you can afford to lose, and unfortunately if I purchased my Drake today with all its equipment I’d be dead broke. I’ve looked into a number of ways to remedy this. I’ve found some decently cheap blueprints of certain items and rigs that I could save a bundle with, so I may go that route. But again if I lose this baby I’d pretty much be up  crick without a paddle. So I’m back to mining full time now.

It seems I’ve gotten myself stuck in one of my ramblings again so I better quit while I’m ahead, or at least still awake. My skills have gone from mining specific, to all over the board. I’ve settled on shield skills now (resists, upgrades, etc.) and will hopefully move on to stealth bombers next.

I’ll keep you posted!

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