Home Sweet Home

Well, I’m happy to say I’m again flying in familiar space. No longer am I trapped within the confines of endless Wormholes having no way out. I’d like to say I found my own way out, that I scanned down an exit and flew home in victory, alas I cannot. Things ended about as quickly as they began. Thanks to fellow blogger Iambeastx I was sent packing to the clone vats in Jita. Here is his recount of my demise.

The day began just like the previous 4. I was in a Class 5 Wormhole with a single, static connection to another Class 5. I’ve been searching for days to find a connection close to home so that I could escape my prison of W-space. I found the newly spawned C5 connection and warped on through. I spent about 30 minutes scanning down sites in this new WH, finding two connections to Null space and another to a C5. I jumped into the C5 as I wanted to avoid Null space at all cost, plus both exits where 55+ jumps away from Jita. Upon landing in this new C5 I quickly found a new Class 6 connection and proceeded to jump.

As Iambeastx will attest, I am still pretty green to W-space as I failed to pick up his fleets’ Combat Probes. When this journey first began I would watch my Directional Scanner religiously, but as time wore on I began to lax more and more. I was now only checking it every 5 – 10 minutes, which is a big, big mistake. I was abruptly awakened by a familiar sound, though one I hadn’t heard in days. It was the sound of being targeted, I knew right away there was no way out. My Overview  immediately showed a fleet of pilots and I was quickly locked, jammed and obliterated.  I’m not sure I could have escaped even if I did detect my stalkers in time, but at least this should be another good lesson.

They say “That which doesn’t kill you, only makes you stronger”, and also “Ignorance is Bliss”. Well EVE Online prescribes pretty heavily to the School of Hard Knocks and each lesson you learn in New Eden is usually a painful and costly one.

I’ve known all along that if I met a gruesome fate inside these wormholes that it would be a costly one. This didn’t really sink in until I was sitting in the Clone Bays in Jita. Now, I am a pretty meager Capsuleer, so my bank account is pretty small. I’ve also only ever been killed once before and never have I had my pod exploded. Here comes EVE’s ‘Tough Love’, I now remembered that when you’re pod goes pop, so do all your implants and skill points if you don’t have an adequate clone. Luckily for me my clone was properly up to date, however I barely had enough ISK to replace my trusty Drake and refit it with reasonable modules. They always say “Only fly what you can afford to replace” and I was able to, however I was not able to replace my implants. Luckily I had a few laying around from my earlier missions, but they are pretty basic. Granted the implants I did have were nothing special, but every little bit of attribute augmentation helps.

So there you have it. My Space Odyssey didn’t quite end as I had hoped, but it was still an invaluable experience that taught me plenty about how to survive in W-space. Now that I am back in Empire I will start the slow process of rebuilding my bank account and replacing my implants and picking up a few new skills. It looks like I will have to resort to mission running, but that’s okay, I’m just happy to finally be home!

And Beast, the bill’s in the mail!

Fly Safe!

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Space Odyssey

One of the dangers of Wormholes is getting caught on the wrong side when it collapses. When this happens you pretty much have two options: A) You can explore your surroundings and go wherever your sails, or warp drives, take you. Or B) Self Destruct…fairly self explanatory. If you happen to be in a ship that does not have a Core Probe Launcher to search for an exit, then you’re left with nothing but Option B, unless you happen to find someone in the depths of space to help you. If you decide to pursue Option A that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be a quick endeavor either. It could take hours, days or potentially weeks to find a subtable exit. Wormholes can connect to any type of space, Hi-Sec, Low-Sec, Null-Sec and even another Wormhole system, thus even when you find a new WH it could possibly dump you in the far reaches of the known Galaxy. In those instances it’s probably best to stay in your current system and look for another WH. Another danger in jumping from wormhole to wormhole is that some systems are inhabited and those living there typically don’t take kindly to strangers. So all in all, unless you’re looking for adventure, it’s typically not a good idea to get lost in space.

The other day I began my own Space Odyssey. I was in a neighboring, uninhabited Class 4 WH when the exit to our home WH was very near decay. I was in the midst of cleaning up a Radar site, one in which you use a Codebreaking device to crack cans for loot. I knew the exit was near collapse, but I pressed on. A little part of me was looking for a bit of adventure, the other part of me, the “Idoit Alarm” as I like to call it, was going off like crazy. As fate would have it, I came to my senses too late. I approached the exit to find that it had collapsed no less than 5 minutes earlier. Oh boy.

Luckily for me I had my trusty Core Probe Launcher equipped, so I knew I could attempt to find my way out. The bad part is that my scanning skills aren’t the best. So there I was, stuck in a Wormhole. The silver lining, if there is any, is that our Alliance is currently searching for a Class 5 WH to move into. I figured “Hey!” this is a way for me to contribute to the cause. I’m a fairly green Capsuleer still, but this is something I can do. So off I went.

The first few hours weren’t so bad. I was able to scan down a number of other Wormholes that led to various classed systems. I went from the C4 in which I started to 2 other C4’s, a C1, a C2, another C4 and eventually a C5. The trouble with getting into the more complex systems is that the number of sites you have to scan down increases dramatically. So where you could scan all sites in a  C1 or C2 system in roughly a few minutes, can take potentially an hour or more in a C4 or C5 system.

The C5 system that I landed in was indeed uninhabited. It was a fairly small system with only one solar system. That didn’t mean it was lacking in sites, as my first scan showed upwards of 50! The problem with this location turned out that it had 3 other WH connections, excluding the one which I came through. Two of those connections were to Null-Sec, one of which exited into Wicked Creek, one of the most volatile locations in New Eden. If we are to take up residence in one of these systems, we want to make sure that we don’t have a back door to some of the toughest parts of space.

The process of identifying a good Wormhole is to find what types of other Wormhole connections it contains. These can be either static or temporary. A static connection is one where as soon as the connection collapses another connection immediately spawns. These connections are always to the same class of systems. A temporary connection is just as it sounds, it can spawn randomly and when it disappears another connection will not take its place. These connections do not always connect to the same class of systems, they are random. All Wormholes are guaranteed to contain at least one Wormhole connection at any given time. The hard part of determining whether or not the connection is static or temporary is that you must wait out it’s collapse time, which is typically 24 hours. As soon as it disappears you must quickly scan down the system looking for a new WH that spawned in it’s place. Patience is a virtue.

Getting back to the C5 system I landed in earlier, being that it had so many WH connections my Alliance Leader suggested I call it ‘Grand Central Station’, or GCS for short. I’ve spent the past 3 days in GCS, exploring any and all connections hoping to determine their type and status. So far I’ve been able to determine that there is always a connection to a C5 system, with the possibility of another C5 connection. The two Null-Sec connections appear to have been temporary, since when they collapsed other similar connections did not replace them. Yesterday there were 3 connections in GCS, two to C5’s and one to a C6! One of the C5’s was inhabited, but both the other C5 and the C6 were not. So I spent all of last night scanning those systems down. I found many sites and lots of other Wormholes. I jumped probably 3-4 systems away from GCS, one time almost losing my way back. Before I logged off yesterday I went back to GCS and warped to a safe spot. Today I will attempt to determine the status of the other 2 WH connections to see if they are static or temporary. If those don’t work out, then I guess I will try and find another neighboring, uninhabited system to stay while I continue to search for a way out.

When this all started I was indeed looking for adventure, and boy did I find it! There were several times that I was in a hostile system frantically trying to scan my way out. I’ve met both friendly and not-so-friendly people on my star trek. In the end I’m glad I did it as I’ve truly learned alot about Wormhole space because of it. Just as the best way to learn a new language is to immerse yourself in a country that speaks it, forcing you to sink or swim, this Space Odyssey is one I’ll surely never forget! And hey, if things get rough there’s always Option B.