There are a total of fifteen signatures in Greater Mars today.

Ten of them are gravimetric.

The other five? Wormholes. All five of them.

This is the most wormholes I’ve yet seen in any one system.

Only one is to high sec space. There is also one to low sec, and then one each to “unknown”, “dangerous unknown”, and “deadly unknown” space.

Outside the wormhole to “deadly unknown”, I found a cargo can with a salvager, a high-meta web, and some scan probes.

So I was chillin’ in Greater Mars this morning when I noticed a new ship on scan at the about-to-vanish high-sec wormhole. A Probe. Presumably, probing.

We can’t have this. Didn’t this person see the No Trespassing sign?

Warped to the wormhole in my Buzzard just to have a look. Arrived in time to see the Probe warp away to a planet.

Nudged my scan probes, got a new warp in. Warped in, approached closely, bookmarked.

Went home and got my Caracal. Returned. Probe is gone.

We could play this sort of cat-and-mouse game all day. I really need to get a combat prober with enough firepower to catch and eat helpless astrometric frigates.

No worries. Probe (rather than covert ops) suggests relative lack of experience; maybe they’ll get engrossed in their scanning interface somewhere? I’ll keep looking.

Aha! They are back at the wormhole. This isn’t good, because if they are hugging the hole, they can just jump out when I show up. Oh well. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. I get back in the Caracal. (Yeah, I really need to bring a better selection of PvP ships in here. My Worm would be sweet for this.)

Warp the Caracal to zero on the wormhole, sensor boosters hot. There she is! Start locking, warm up the guns and the warp disruptor, surely this isn’t going to work?

[ 2009.03.31 20:44:18 ] (combat) Your group of Scourge Heavy Missile hits Wysi (Probe), doing 420.3 damage.
[ 2009.03.31 20:44:25 ] (combat) Your group of Scourge Heavy Missile hits Wysi (Probe), doing 315.6 damage.

Wow. Usually frigates are moving when I shoot at them. This one? Wasn’t. Two volleys.

2009.03.31 20:44:00

Destroyed: Probe
System: J235321
Security: 0.0
Damage Taken: 315

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.2
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Faction: NONE
Ship: Caracal
Weapon: Scourge Heavy Missile
Damage Done: 315

Destroyed items:

Core Probe Launcher I
Small Converse I Deflection Catalyzer
Nanofiber Internal Structure II

Dropped items:

Core Scanner Probe I, Qty: 2
1MN Afterburner I
Prototype Cloaking Device I
Core Scanner Probe I, Qty: 14 (Cargo)
Nanofiber Internal Structure II

Lock the pod, lock the pod! Surely this won’t work, but one must try.

Dur… it worked!

2009.03.31 20:45:00

Victim: Wysi
Corp: Caldari Provisions
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Capsule
System: J235321
Security: 0.0
Damage Taken: 137

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.2
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Faction: NONE
Ship: Caracal
Weapon: Scourge Heavy Missile
Damage Done: 137

Wow. Corpse is 8,000 meters from the wormhole. Who sits stationary, near a wormhole but not actually close enough to jump through? I musta shot me a newbie. Hope I didn’t just convince someone on their first wormhole peeping expedition that wormholes are deadly and never to be visited again!

No, wait, let’s look up Wysi. Caldari Provisions, check. Age… wait, really? January of 2006? She’s been playing for three months longer than me, and still got podded by a T1 cruiser?

Never, boys and girls, underestimate the power of surprise.

It turns out, “she” is kind of cute, too:

Wysi used to be cute

Or maybe I should say was. She’s not looking so good now:

Wysi isn\'t so cute any more

I thought I should update this post about w-space loot. I made no effort to sell any of the sleeper salvage, but everything else has sold now, for quite nice prices I think.

It took four days, but the Wrecked Hull Section sold for 300 million ISK.

7x Datacore: Electronic Subsystems Engineering sold for 18 million ISK each, 136 million ISK total.
8x Datacore: Defensive Subsystems Engineering sold for 13 million ISK each, 104 million ISK total
8x Datacore: Engineering Subsystems Engineering sold for 8 million ISK each, 64 million ISK total
5x Datacore: Offensive Subsystems Engineering sold for 12.5 million ISK each, 62.5 million ISK total
4x datacore: Propulsion Subsystems Engineering sold for 8 million ISK each, 32 million ISK total

~3000x Fullerite-C50 gas sold for an average of 13,000 ISK each, total about 39 million ISK
~1500x Fullerite-C60 gas sold for an average of 16,800 ISK each, total about 25.5 million ISK
~1500x Fullerite-C70 gas sold for an average of 11,000 ISK each, total about 16.5 million ISK
227x Fullerite-C84 gas sold for just over 15,000 ISK ea, total about 3.5 million ISK

Grand total: Seven hundred and fifty one million ISK. As cool a three-quarter-billion as anybody could hope for.

It’s true what the forum whiners say. There’s not enough profit to be had in w-space. Everybody should go back to running those level 4 missions, w-space is full of fail, T3 will never catch on. We should all rage-quit.

Now, if you’ll pardon me, I think I’ll go see if another radar site spawned while I was sleeping…

Today’s find in the next-door w-space system de jour was a free Rifter and shuttle belonging to The Interstellar Foundry alliance . The Rifter, belonging to Alcatraz Inc. [ALTZ], was amusingly named “On A Mercy Mission”; the shuttle belonged to Captain Chip of Metalworks [MTW].

Nothing exciting in loot or fittings. But Jim Bridger will enjoy the Rifter.

It had to happen sometime. Perhaps it was inevitable, then, that it should happen on the day that I was burbling happily about the profits to be had in w-space.

During the day, today, I spent quite a lot of time probing down all the signatures in Greater Mars. In the process, I discovered that all the fresh grav sites had small Sleeper spawns waiting to be harvested; and I also determined that there were a number of new Cosmic Anomalies to stomp flat. So, I dug out the Drake and started with the easy stuff, stomping Sleeper frigates and the odd cruiser, while the Empress of Greater Mars cleaned up the loot and salvage in a tiny frigate of her own.

I think we’d killed five, maybe six, sets of Sleeper frigates and cruisers when it happened. I was clicking the directional scanner frequently; she was (supposedly) probing to watch for new ships in the system. Apparently, mistakes were made. Somebody got careless.

Surprise was total.

She saw it first — a Broadsword heavy interdictor skidding out of warp right on our heads. Bad news. She attempted to boogie.

My Drake, on the other hand, wasn’t going anywhere. There was a bubbly thing. I’m very vague on the technology used by heavy interdictors, but I’m pretty aware that once they grab you, you stay grabbed. On the third hand, by reputation they have fearsome tank but limited ganking power. My Drake, on the fourth hand, has a bit more gank than your average Drake; so I figured my only (weak) hope was to stay and slug it out. Maybe the pilot is underskilled, maybe by some miracle he’s flying alone, maybe I’ll get lucky. So I turned on my warp disruptor, launched my drones (Yay! I remembered my drone bay for once!) and attempted (without much optimism) to punch my way out of trouble.

The Empress, meanwhile, did not succeed in her first warp attempt, but she was making a klick a second in velocity; her second warp attempt worked, so she zoomed home to her fortress of solitude. With, she estimates, 6-8 million in Sleeper loot in her cargo hold. So, at least the ratting effort was not lost.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, it wasn’t going very well for Our Hero. The big problem was, it wasn’t very likely that somebody would be roaming alone in w-space in a Broadsword. As soon as I got fully engaged with the Broadsword, an Ishtar heavy assault cruiser showed up and popped a full load of Guarde II sentry drones. My tank, which had been doing fine up until that point, was suddenly and painfully evaporating.

I decided to shift my full attentions to the Ishtar, and managed to chew a respectable hole through its armor; it all happened very fast, but I’d say I got into the bottom third. It was no good though; I was surrounded, pinned down, outnumbered, and outgunned:

2009.03.28 04:34:00

Victim: Marlenus
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Drake
System: J235321
Security: 0.0
Damage Taken: 37868

Involved parties:

Name: Haffrage (laid the final blow)
Security: 3.1
Corp: Sharks With Frickin’ Laser Beams
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Ship: Ishtar
Weapon: Garde II
Damage Done: 17798

Name: Oneiric Missile / Unknown
Damage Done: 15059

Name: Troubadour
Security: -0.4
Corp: Sharks With Frickin’ Laser Beams
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Ship: Broadsword
Weapon: Broadsword
Damage Done: 5011

Destroyed items:

Caldari Navy Scourge Heavy Missile, Qty: 21 (Cargo)
Ballistic Control System II, Qty: 3
Damage Control II
Scourge Precision Heavy Missile, Qty: 500 (Cargo)
Anti-Thermal Screen Reinforcer I
Sensor Booster II
Targeting Range (Cargo)
Heavy Missile Launcher II, Qty: 4
Scourge Heavy Missile, Qty: 20

Dropped items:

V-M15 Braced Multispectral Shield Matrix
Scourge Fury Heavy Missile, Qty: 500 (Cargo)
Scourge Heavy Missile, Qty: 313 (Cargo)
Viscoelastic EM Ward Salubrity I
Scan Resolution, Qty: 2 (Cargo)
J5 Prototype Warp Disruptor I
Targeting Range (Cargo)
Heavy Missile Launcher II, Qty: 3
Large C5-L Emergency Shield Overload I
Scourge Heavy Missile, Qty: 50
Large F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction

Worse yet, once my Drake popped, the heavy interdictor voodoo continued to work its magic, and my pod experienced some difficulties leaving the scene. There was a brief lull, which eventually (I’m slow) suggested to me that they might be offering to take a ransom; but by the time I figured out what comms channel they were using (local, as it happened, which is not something I tend to monitor in w-space) I just had time to type a “LOLno” before they blew me back to my clone vat in a hail of autocannon rounds.

2009.03.28 04:36:00

Victim: Marlenus
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Capsule
System: J235321
Security: 0.0
Damage Taken: 390

Involved parties:

Name: Troubadour (laid the final blow)
Security: -0.4
Corp: Sharks With Frickin’ Laser Beams
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Ship: Broadsword
Weapon: 220mm Vulcan AutoCannon II
Damage Done: 253

Name: Haffrage
Security: 3.1
Corp: Sharks With Frickin’ Laser Beams
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Ship: Ishtar
Weapon: Ishtar
Damage Done: 137

The ransom offer, in any case, was too high; they wanted 100 million, which is two or three times what the cheap metal in my head was worth. Nor would I have paid in any case; I resolved early in my EVE career never to pay a pirate, and I’ve not yet been tempted to abandon that principle.

And so I was podded, for the first time in more than nine months, and possibly (I say because I might have forgotten one or two that predate the corporate loss history screen) for only the third time in my EVE career. I seem to have the good luck (or bad) of being caught mostly by skilled professionals. Nine months ago, in Faction Warfare, it was Friedrick Psitalon of the Dead Parrot Shop [FOOM] who did the dirty deed; this time, it was Troubadour and Haffrage (with eight and a half years of combined EVE experience between them) of that notorious pirate crew with the coolest corporation name in the game, Sharks With Frickin’ Laser Beams.

If I’ve got to lose — and paranoid though I am, everybody has to lose sometime — I’m always delighted when it’s to somebody older, richer, and more famous (or infamous, that works too). The Sharks will do.

One fun final note. Remember the Empress of Greater Mars, cowering beneath the protection of her POS bubble with my loot? She tells me that a few short minutes later, Troubadour in the Broadsword dropped out of warp and just about collided with one of her POS guns. He wasted NO time in warping away again — but the guns fired once, so at least we can hope he got his teeth rattled and his paint job chipped, compliments of the Empress’s lovingly hand-polished Illudium Pew-36 Explosive Space Modulators.

I found, and knocked over, my third w-space Radar site last night. It was a slow and painful process in my solo Drake, but well worth it — in addition to Sleeper datacores in six out of eight hacking cans, there was a Talocan Frigate wreck (spawn container) from which I salvaged a Wrecked Hull Section. (I’ll tell you what it was worth after it sells, but from the incomplete market info, it looks like it’s worth at least a couple of hundred million.)

I decided that meant it was time to remove a small hauler-load of goodies from w-space and cash them in:

loot

First thing that sold was about 37 million ISK worth of the Sleeper “pay me” drops.

I’ll update this post with sales information on other stuff as I get it sold, because I’m not taking the market offer prices on very much at all, and a bunch of the salvage I probably won’t sell at this time. My gut is telling me that the current low prices on Sleeper salvage may rise as T3 production ramps up; the novelty factor of w-space will be wearing off, and getting in (and especially out) of w-space is a bit slower/harder since the deep space probes got reduced in scan strength. Plus there’s the fact that T3 overall will presumably increase in attractiveness as the rest of the subsystems get added — although this expectation may already be factored into the market.

P.S. It is ironic, but typical of where I am in relationship to the novelty curve in online games, that my first load of parts for T3 production comes out of W-Space on the same day that one of the first of the T3 ships is being killed. Quick to market, I am not.

Market update, Saturday 01:30 game time: The hull section has not yet found a buyer, but the Jita prices today ranged up to a quarter of a billion ISK. I’m in no hurry; I can wait for a sale like that. Meanwhile, I’ve sold 17 of 33 datacores for about 200 million ISK, and 22 million ISK worth of my fullerene gasses. The only thing that I’ve sold out of are the R.A.M.- Hybrid Technology items; I must have underpriced them, because they sold out fast, netting close to 28 million for the 14 of them that I had. I’d say this dispels any lingering doubts about whether it’s possible to make money in w-space. And, although I’ve been lucky enough not to lose a ship in there yet, it’s worth noting that I haven’t been flying anything more expensive than a Drake, mostly using bog-standard T1 Scourge missiles. For all the expensive fits you see in w-space, it can be done on the cheap!

I find this hilarious. This thread starts with a typical butt-hurt mission runner fulminating against salvagers. Nothing we haven’t see before:

make salvage thieving an act of aggression, salvage is commonly over half the income of any one doing an encounter mission and honestly i don’t see how anyone can justify allowing these annoying little **** heads to take there salvage w/o permission. and the the rules stated about wrecks not belonging to anyone is bull, it’s my kill = it,s my loot = it,s my salvage touche it and ill end you.

-FIX IT-

So far, so boring. But then CCP Mitnal steps in:

Locked.

Salvaging is a viable mini-profession in EVE, something that has been repeatedly been confirmed.

There is no new idea or feature to discuss so the thread is locked.

Mitnal
Community Representative

Awesome!

Thanks to Kahega for linking to this on the TEARS forums.

Today saw more explodey good fun in Greater Mars. It went down like this.

First of all, there was an odd crew that showed up in a small fleet, consisting of a Heron, an Incursus, and an Iskur I think (I’m talking about that assault frigate with the nasty drones). They sat on their entrance wormhole, where I found them; and the wormhole was new to me, leading directly into Gallente space only a few jumps from Dodixie, where Suddenly Ninjas and much of the rest of my TEARS alliance works out of. I traded some shots with these guys, but they were reinforced with a battlecruiser, so I decided to leave them alone after making several terror runs to pummel them with heavy missiles from range. Shortly thereafter, they left.

Meanwhile, Kahega Amielden, a Ninja and one of our more aggressive “usual suspects” who has been leading TEARS on some quite successful wormhole hunting trips lately, asked if he could come visit Greater Mars (since it was right handy) and maybe stage a few ships in for later use. I encouraged him, and he showed up in a Wolf, which I gather is a Minmatar assault frigate. He then jumped back out to grab a hauler load of assorted gear, but when he got back to the wormhole, he saw it close in front of him, just after a Myrmidon jumped into Greater Mars.

So, he cursed and swore, and then I told him about the other high-sec wormhole then open, which was fourteen jumps away and threatening to expire. He started jumping. I was messing about in the POS, minding my own business, until it was time to go meet him outside the wormhole.

Finally he’s in the wormhole, his gear is stowed, and he’s back in his Wolf, all hot to find that Myrmidon. Go go go, I told him — and he started probing.

Well, he didn’t have his fully pimped-out probing Cheetah handy, so he found the guy but was having trouble getting a fast warp-point. So we decided to get tricky. I probed the Mrym in my buzzard, initiated a fleet warp to send his little Wolf flanging into harm’s way, canceled my own warp, hopped into my Caracal, then warped to Kahega when he started shouting that he had the guy locked down.

(I kinda got the idea that he had a bit of a tiger-by-the-tail feeling going on. “Sure, I caught it; but I sure hope you’re planning to show up fairly soon to help me kill it…” That’s not what he said, but his “warp to me” had that certain expressive urgency about it.)

When I dropped out of warp, he had the Mrym pointed and was shooting at the guy’s drones. I locked the Mrym, added another point, and began pounding on his shields, which were substantial.

Then Kahega started complaining that he’d been jammed with ECM. Really? On a Mrymidon? But it was true; a little while later, I got jammed myself.

None of which did the Myrm pilot any good. We were light on DPS in our Wolf and Caracal, but we had two points, and he only had one jammer. The Wolf was busy schooling the drones, and I just kept launching heavy missiles, and it was slow, but we were clearly gaining.

Kahega, who’s got more pirate in his blood than me and I think perhaps a not-quite-so-fat wallet, asks me if we want to ransom. I say “Not me, but you feel free to try.” He has me stop shooting, and initiates a convo.

I’m not privy to all that was said — I’ve got a request in for the log, to share it here — but fairly quickly Kahega tells me to start shooting again, and he goes back to dancing with drones. Apparently the Myrm pilot laughed at him, scoffed (at least implicitly) at our DPS, and said he had friends on the way (which struck me as unlikely).

So, after shooting him a little bit longer we finally got through his impressive shield tank, after which he melted like warm butter and popped easily. Unfortunately, we were not fast enough to get a lock on his pod, so he got away. However, I now wonder how much good it did him. At that moment, the wormhole he came in via was closed, and there were two more available. Did he already have them bookmarked? One of them went to hi sec and salvation; the other one, into more “unknown” space. The next time I probed — a few minutes later — he was gone from the system, that’s all I know.

The Mrymidon salvaged nicely — we got five Armor Plates — and here’s the killmail:

2009.03.25 03:22:00

Victim: Drahcir Sirrap
Corp: Lost Drone Squadron
Alliance: NONE
Faction: NONE
Destroyed: Myrmidon
System: J235321
Security: 0.0
Damage Taken: 48934

Involved parties:

Name: Marlenus (laid the final blow)
Security: 1.2
Corp: Ironfleet Towing And Salvage
Alliance: Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Faction: NONE
Ship: Caracal
Weapon: Caldari Navy Scourge Heavy Missile
Damage Done: 36753

Name: Kahega Amielden
Security: 0.5
Corp: Suddenly Ninjas
Alliance: Tear Extraction And Reclamation Service
Faction: NONE
Ship: Wolf
Weapon: Wolf
Damage Done: 12181

Destroyed items:

Core Probe Launcher I
Viscoelastic EM Ward Salubrity I
Antimatter Charge M, Qty: 4
Shield Power Relay II, Qty: 4
250mm Prototype I Gauss Gun, Qty: 3
Core Scanner Probe I, Qty: 11 (Cargo)
Antimatter Charge M, Qty: 9703 (Cargo)

Dropped items:

Additional Thermal Barrier Emitter I
ECM – Multispectral Jammer II
Large Azeotropic Ward Salubrity I, Qty: 2
Antimatter Charge M
Core Scanner Probe I, Qty: 8
Shield Power Relay II, Qty: 2
250mm Prototype I Gauss Gun
Prototype Cloaking Device I
Lead Charge M, Qty: 5000 (Cargo)
Core Scanner Probe I, Qty: 77 (Cargo)

Note he was carrying 96 core probes. It wouldn’t do to run out!

All in all, it was quite fun to get a kill that I wouldn’t and couldn’t have gotten solo. And for all that I’m an anti-social sort who plays EVE solo most of the time and is just fine with that, it’s always more fun to have a successful hunt with alliance mates.

Addendum: Doh! Completely forgot that my Caracal has a drone bay. Launching those might have been handy! Sigh, next time.

Yesterday at about 22:00 gametime, I was done playing in Greater Mars for the day and I had, again, scanned down and identified every signature, and killed any guards at the gravimetric sites. There were eight gravimetric sites, one ladar site, and two wormholes in system, for eleven total signatures.

Today, about 18:00 gametime, there are twelve total signatures, and one of yesterday’s wormholes is gone. I visited all nine gravimetric and ladar sites that were present yesterday, found them all still present, with zero Sleeper respawns. I would expect to find at least one new wormhole when I begin to probe. The “new” sig may be a third wormhole or (more probably) a new gravimetric site — although, of course, I’m hoping for one of the rare Radar sites or a Magnetometric site (which I have yet to see one of).

I decided to hop through the wormhole to 0.0, just to have a look around and see what the salvage pickings looked like.

What I found was as barren a bit of 0.0 as a person could wish for. I was in a region I’ve never heard of (Impass) in a system with nobody in local, under the sovereignty of an alliance I’ve never heard of (AAA Citizens). There were no ships on scan, and two POS in system with nobody home.

I even had a look at the asteroid belts — five of them — in case there was a hauler spawn or an officer or something. Nope. Angel cruisers and frigates, except for the belt that didn’t have a spawn at all.

One of the POS didn’t even have guns, it was just a moon mining op. I wonder if they’d have scrambled a reaction force, if I’d shot once at the force field and then vanished back into w-space? No profit in it, so I didn’t try it.