Most of the people in TEARS are also in Suddenly Ninjas. And they are a good buncha boys. Even this guy I’m about to distance myself from, usually.

But.

TEARS is all about salvaging in other people’s missions. We are — for better or worse — strongly affected by the new probing system.

Me, I’m a huge enthusiast of the new system. It’s harder, but better. I have more control. I can find things that previously were not worth the trouble. And it’s nineteen times less boring and more fun. (Yes, nineteen. I measured.)

Unfortunately, some people don’t like change. And, when you force change upon them, they become disgruntled. And they whine.

But still. TEARS. Tears Extraction And Relocation Service. We are supposed to thrive upon the tears of our victims, not contribute tears to the pool. Crying is beneath us.

Which is why this post by Dotard of Suddenly Ninjas makes me (and it’s a new feeling I don’t like very much) feel ashamed to be in the same alliance:

Title: new probing system
OP:

Sucks monkeyballs. Whoever came up with this idea needs to be shot, quartered, deficated upon and shot again.

(ingame)

That is all.

Yuck. Eww. Icky. Lame.

Unworthy of a Ninja. Unworthy of a TEARS member.

Doesn’t help that he can’t spell defecated. (Son, don’t write dirty words on walls, if you can’t spell.)

But worse — much worse — is that cowardly forum meme of wishing real-world harm on someone and then (in the lamest of lame attempts to pretend otherwise to avoid a warning or ban for breaking forum rules) adding the “ingame” qualifier.

Unworthy. Dotard, you can do better. You should do better.

It’s patch day, and although some are in the game and playing, there are a lot of people with patching problems. I’m one of those; and with limited bandwidth at my house, working through them is proving to be very slow. I’ll get there, but at best it’s still going to be three or four more hours.

So, I thought I’d start a post to compile whines from W-Space. The idea is to quote people who jumped through a wormhole, suffered some indignity or other, and immediately started whining about it. This post may be updated with more examples as the day proceeds. But, if I get a working patch, you can consider this diversion abandoned. ;-)

The first one I saw (source):

My other char went into a wormhole with an ally and had no probes on him and wen he jumpoed b4 me the wormhole collapsed.

Sorry but I have to ask have you thought this thro u expect me to pay to be stuk in a dead area of space ?

In this next thread, the Original Poster is stuck but being a good sport; it’s one of the responders who is butt-hurt:

Im so sorry to hear this mate! hope u find way out.. my fleet is also stuck… stupid CCP rule.. some cruel joke just for their satisfaction.. but it wont be funny for them when they get petitioned 10000000 times and when people start to quit EVE due to frustration

Aha! And here’s why — Butthurt-guy’s own thread, entitled “HELP – we are stuck in wormhole – 5 ships, full implant cha, no probes”:

We entered in fleet with our covert ops guy who probed the WH.. he left temporarily to go back to normal space and the WH collapsed soon afterwards trapping the rest of the fleet inside and with no probes nor anyway out!

We need an exit pls.. we dont want to delf destruct our main characters and best ships :(

Eve producers are gona get 100000 petitions …are they mad not providing a one way exit to normal space again!!!!

And one more, from a thread called The Horror W-Hole:

Next I head back to the wormhole I entered through to find it had closed. I thought it was going to be a problem. When I put together my Buzzard I had fitted it with the Core Probe Launcher and its corresponding Core Probes, they worked fantastic. I started to scan the system for wormholes, could find any. I ended up finding over 20 plexes…

So I started this at 3pm, I found the wormhole out of the system at 11pm. Not cool. So I finally feel a sense of relief, only to find out the new wormhole takes me to another unknown system. Not cool. So I continued to probe while being bored out of my mind to no avail. Finally at 12:30am (yes 9 1/2 hours later), I ejected from my beautiful ship and podded myself. That was a long 2 minutes…

I never want to see that scanning system again, its like a horrid mini-game that yields nothing but misery after 9 hours of constant use.

Hey, everybody. Sorry for the long silence; I’ve mostly been messing about on the test server (Singularity aka Sisi) trying out the new scanning/probing system and looking at the incoming content.

Until today, I was mostly flying a covert ops ship for the scanning bonuses, so I stayed well away from the actual sites inside the wormhole systems where the new Sleepers spawn. The stories coming back from more intrepid explorers have been rather daunting, with rumors of entire fleets getting wiped.

Of course, given all the free ships on Sisi, the Game Development Forum threads have also been alive with “oh, it’s not hard to solo the easier sites, I went in in my rigged Nightmare and it was cake, especially with my full implant set” reports. Well, bully for you; but when this goes live, I personally don’t have much interest in taking expensive T2 hulls into a gankable 0.0-style hell-death, with no local chat to even tell me if there are enemies in my system. Nope, if I can’t do this in cheap ships, it’s not going to get done by me.

Now, mind you, I’m not against flying with friends; that’s gonna be necessary for most of the new content no matter what you’re flying. But the other feature of W-space (the unreliable and ever-shifting wormhole access) means that no matter who you go in with, you’re likely to wind up alone in the dark. At that point, are you just doomed to wander in a wasteland of pointlessness? Or, will there still be some business a solo pilot in a cheap ship can conduct?

That’s what I set out to discover today, and since nobody else on Sisi seems interested in testing that, I figured I’d just have to do it myself.

So, first, I grabbed a covert ops ship and scanned me down a wormhole. It wasn’t hard; there were no cosmic signatures in my home system, so I jumped one jump over (to another .7 system) and found one. Probing it out took about ten minutes with the new scanning system, which is getting very easy to use while still providing a mental challenge.

After finding the wormhole, I checked its description. It promised to take me to “unknown space”, as opposed to the more dangerous “dangerous unknown” or “deadly unknown” space that are the other two options. Cool! I bookmarked it and went to see what was in my hangar for cheap.

What I found was a gank Caracal, left over from my faction warfare days. 5 T2 heavy missile launchers high, a large shield extender and a medium shield booster middle, and ballistic control units (T2) low. Plus a warp disruptor and some signal boosters. Nothing fancy, nothing special, nothing ridiculously expensive.

Jumped in, went back to the wormhole, jumped through. Used my on-board scanner to find a few cosmic anomalies, did the cancel-warp trick to make their names pop up on the system map. Then warped to them, in succession, at 100km to have a look.

The easiest looking one was a “Frontier Camp” with six sleeper frigates and two sentry guns. I got to work.

The sentry guns hit me hard but variously, in amounts from 200 to 1200 hitpoints each. Their rate of fire, however, was very slow. I was able to pop a frigate before I had to warp out to save my armor — no way to repair my armor in here!

I was using Caldari Navy Scourge missiles, but I only had the ones in my launchers — after that, it was a choice of precision lights (which proved to do less damage) or regular Scourges — which seemed to work just fine and almost as well as the Navy ones.

So I warped out, repaired my shields, let my cap recharge, and warped back in. The site was between two planets, so I came in from a different side each time, giving me a chance to use range against the rapidly-closing frigates. This second time in, the sentry guns were closer and hurt worse; by the time I popped a frigate and warped out, I’d suffered a substantial armor dent. Must be more careful.

Third trip in, I popped two frigates and dented one sentry gun, but there was a new spawn — six more frigs and a cruiser. At this point, I decided to take out the sentry guns, which were a far bigger danger than the ships seemed to be.

That took maybe six more passes before they went down. But after that, it was cake — the frigs dropped easily and the cruiser, easily enough. Then the final wave — three cruisers and a few more frigs — popped.

I had to warp away after popping the frigs and one cruiser, then come back and finish the other two. Interestingly, at no time did any of the Sleeps use any kind of ECM on me; I was never webbed or scrambled. Sleepers DOuse this tech, by all reports, so I either I got lucky, or there are modest and minor sites where they aren’t programmed to do it.

All told, it may have taken me a couple hours to finish playing patty-cake with these sleeper boys, but in the end, the site was done. The wreckage was promising — probably not enough, depending on the final price of T3 parts, to justify the time, but not worthless by any means either. Total loot and salvage (I had to go for a salvage boat) was about 120 cubic meters, breaking down as follows:

22x Reinforced Metal Scraps (refined to 51k trit)

28x Neural Network Salvagers (50k ISK apiece to NPC buy orders on SISI)
8x Sleeper Data Library (200k ISK ea to NPC buy orders)

55x Electromechanical Hull Sheeting (ancient salvage)
2x Emergent Combat Analzyer (ancient salvage)*
1x Heuristic Selfassemblers (ancient salvage)*
27x Modified Fluid Router (ancient salvage)
10x Neurovisual Input Matrix (ancient salvage)
6x Powdered C-540 (ancient salvage)
2x Resonance Calibration Matrix (ancient salvage)*

The three ancient salvage items marked with asterisks have the color of icon we currently associate with the unbroken salvage for making Tech II rigs.

So, what did I learn?

Remember the question I set out to answer: is there Sleeper content that a solo player can beat in a cheap boat? I’d say the answer is, conclusively, yes, even if there’s probably far more content that’s too tough to do this way.

What’s really fun about my answer, though, is that what one cheap boat can do, more cheap boats can do better. Missiles seem to work well against sleepers, but some remote repping would really have sped things up. A couple of T1 logistics cruisers (dirt cheap) and anything else crunchy enough to bring some DPS while buffertanking the worst of the Sleeper DPS should work a treat.

It’s important to remember that all the time I was doing this, I was NOT worrying a whit about who might be sneaking up on me to player-gank me. On Sisi, it’s against the rules, and it doesn’t matter anyway. On Tranquility, it would have been suicide to do what I did — or at least, it would have required a lot more care and attention to my directional scanner. With a gang, you’ll probably have a cloaking prober who stands aside from the combat and keeps an eye out for enemies. In fact, I’m thinking one of my cloaking Prowler blockade runners would be great for this duty — keep a probe launcher in the second high slot, carry reloads for the troops and haul all the loot home, with primary responsibility during combat of maintaining continuous scans for enemy player ships. (A Badger II would work just as well, to be honest, as long as the pilot was willing to stay in continuous motion.)

All in all, I came away enthusiastic for the possibilities. Now it only remains to find out whether the ISK value of the w-space resources makes it worth the trouble.

I’ve been spending some time on the Singularity test server, checking out the new probing system coming with the March 10 Apocrypha expansion. It’s still horribly buggy, but looks promising; more player skill to use, less randomness, less endless waiting. It looks like it will be easier to find specific ships (especially in deadspaces) than at present, to the dismay of low sec mission runners; but on the converse, the “salvager buffet” in busy mission running systems is going away. Instead of getting many warpable hits in single scan, all nicely identified by ship type, possible mission runners will need to be checked out one-by-one, with probe repositioning between efforts. All in all, I’m quite happy about the proposed changes, but mission salvage will be very different in a few weeks.

So, I decided to have one more taste of it, and dropped some probes. Found, fairly quickly, a bunch of small and medium Blood wrecks at an acceleration gate. The directional scanner indicated large wrecks through the gate, so through the gate I went.

It was a small wreck field, with only about five large wrecks and perhaps twenty mediums and smalls; so I decided to cherry pick the larges in my covert ops ship, rather than going back for a dedicated salvager. Good thing I did, too; because about the time I finished salvaging the large wrecks, three mission runner types showed up and began hoovering their wrecks at a great rate of speed. I had ten armor plates and thirty burned logic circuits, so I was happy; I salvaged another half-dozen mediums while they worked, and we were done.

Note I said I was happy. Them? Not so much.

Shortly after they arrived, I got a convo invite. Jarmada, apparently as much a stranger to punctuation as he is to courtesy and spelling, got right to the point:

Jarmada > fuck off
Jarmada > is this you mission
Marlenus > Would you like a petition for bad language?
Jarmada > do iyt
Jarmada > this is not your missiopn
Marlenus > Never said it was
Jarmada > so get out
Marlenus > Why?

Apparently he was stymied by the rhetorical force of my inquiry, because he ended the conversation.

Perhaps unhappy with the outcome, he sent me a somewhat incoherent EVEmail:

to piss poor to do your own missions : so u steal from other pple : your a scum bag of the lowest form

At this point, I looked up his info. He’s the CEO and founder of a two-member corp confusingly called The Australian Alliance. Don’t they speak English in Australia? Or have some form of literacy education in primary school?

I replied with a cheerful version of the Ironfleet form letter:

Just a salvager, actually; salvaging wrecks is what I do for a living. It’s not theft — salvage is not owned.

Have a look at the Ironfleet Towing And Salvage blog (ironfleet.com) if you’re curious about the profession. While you are there, check out the “GMs On Salvage” article, to learn why it’s not theft as you seem to think.

Cheerio —

Marlenus, CEO
Ironfleet Towing and Salvage

This earned me a more coherent, if still unusually punctuated as well as unreceptive, response, urging me to play the game his way instead of mine:

salvage is theft : this is my mission : i did the kills : i dont use probes to find other pples salvage : go to a belt and salvage the wrecks there if ya want the salvage that bad

Pish, tush, my good man! If I did that, I wouldn’t have gotten all these lovely Armor Plates!

Somewhere in all this, he decided to do some Ironfleet advertising in local, which is always appreciated:

Jarmada > watch your missions guys : thers a prick in here mission jumping and salvaging your loot : name is “Marlenus” :
Ianmizu > just salvaging, or looting too?
Jarmada > just salvaging : so u cant shoot the asswipe
Ianmizu > ah :(
Jarmada > i not going to help the prick : not doin missions in this system
Jarmada > cya’s
Ianmizu > o/
Marlenus > Just another one of the many spaceways cleaning services Ironfleet Towing And Salvage is happy to provide!

Remember back when Torpedo Ted caught a Badger II with his rocket Kestral during Ironfleet’s war against INDY? Well, this story (sadly, Ironfleet has nothing to do with it) is like that, only vastly more epic.

Very short version: a roaming gang of seven [edit: nine, I can’t count] frigates caught an unsupported Rorqual, which remained unsupported for the seven or so minutes it took them to blow it up. They then guarded the wreck long enough for one of them to buy an Iteron V two jumps away and come back for the loot — two trips worth! And then they bought a destroyer and came back to salvage the wreck.

Back when I was in Faction Warfare, I used to get annoyed at the folks who would discourage the newbies from fleeting up in frigates. I’ve always felt there’s no such thing as a useless hull in EVE; every ship has the potential to be dangerous to something. Now, obviously z0de and Mynxee and their merry band of cutthroats aren’t newbies, but I still think this is proof of the principle.

Awesome kill, good salvage.

Last night, late, the starmap showed a vast quiet all the way up the very long Querious pipe I traveled to get to Delve. So, I decided to head for Empire. Like my previous trip to 0.0, this one was interesting and exciting and mostly profitless; the compromises needed for solo safety are fairly solidly designed, I’d say, to prevent much chance of enrichment.

The trip home was almost uneventful, though I did meet two gentlemen in Vagabonds camping my exit gate in a system I was passing through. They chased me through the gate but did not catch me on the other side, then raced ahead to try again at the next gate. I decided to take a little break and catch up on my personal hygiene. They were long gone by the time I came back to my keyboard.

I must admit, though, that I’m intrigued by the wealth that’s sitting unmolested in empty 0.0 systems, one after the other, as far as a wandering salvager can see. I’ve read about people ratting in cloakable ships, who merely sit patiently under cloak when enemies are in the system. The idea has some merit, but to do it all in one ship (ratting, looting, salvaging, getting the loot home in decent quantities) sounds very difficult. And it would also be difficult (not impossible, just difficult, maybe taking multiple tries) to get an unescorted battleship into position.

I find myself musing, however, about how much fun it would be if one could magically arrive in 0.0 in an Orca. Imagine if one had an alt (no great imaginative leap) who had an Orca stuffed to the gills with useful ships (a Cerberus, say, or even some Caracals fitted to kill rats from extreme range with heavy missiles; a basilisk fitted as a buffer-tanked salvage cruiser with tractors and salvagers; maybe a Prowler full of missiles in the ship maintenance bay; a covert ops frigate or six; that kind of stuff.) If you in whatever ship and your alt in said Orca were transported by some miraculous means (imagine if a wormhole opened in the fabric of spacetime and sucked you through) to a quiet 0.0 system, you could rat in peace for weeks at a time. The Orca would cloak when logged in, but be logged out most of the time for safety; you could rat (hiding patiently when visitors arrived) and salvage and work out of a constellation of anchored giant secure cans, logging in the Orca infrequently to service the cans, collect the loot, and replenish any ammo or lost ships.

The only flaw I see is that eventually you’d want to get the Orca home again. But — and this is key — at current market prices, you can *insure* the bloody thing for a hundred and twenty million ISK, and get back a hefty fraction of its purchase price on ship loss. So it’s not inconceivable that you could eventually lose the Orca (perhaps while following more rifts in the fabric of spacetime hoping for another miracle) and still profit, especially if you first sent your loots home by normal routes in the cargo hold of a careful Prowler pilot.

When I logged out last night, I was in a system with Kudzu (Kinzoku?) sov. This morning? No sov.

I also got a chance to test scooping under POS guns this morning. There was a giant secure can drifting outside a force field, and the gun batteries were not intimidatingly large. So I did a cloaked sneak in on the can, aligned to an exit, uncloaked, scooped, and got the hell out.

I assume the guns were set to fire on everybody, but in the few seconds I was visible on grid, I saw no signs that they were even targeting me.

The can, sadly, was empty — but in Delve, if I want to put it on the market in a Blood Raider station, it’s worth about two million ISK.

The roid belts here, by the way, are so huge and fat that they routinely decloak me when I warp in at 100 km. Please send hulks.

One fun thing I found in one of the belts was an Officer wreck — the empty wreck of Raysere Giant. Do you get Tech II salvage from an officer wreck? I dunno, this is the first one I’ve ever seen. But, reasoning by analogy from the Dread Guristas who sometimes spawn in high sec space, you ought to, right?

It seemed like a subject worth some research.

The problem being, a full spawn of Blood Raider rats. Which means, after about three cycles of my salvager, I have to warp away to lose the agro. Rinse, lather, repeat.

I believe it was my seventh visit to the wreck that finally gave me a salvaging success. And what a success! Salvage yielded:

14x Nanite Compound
10x Power Conduit

Woot! That’s about five million ISK worth of salvage at Jita prices, not that I ever sell TII salvage. At least now I won’t be going home empty-handed.

Still in Delve. Traveled, with care, beyond the Blood Raider territory into what used to be BoB and is now Kudzu (or whatever) territory.

There was what looked to be a huge furball about six jumps away, but the approaches were camped to a fare-thee-well.

Updates as events warrant. If I don’t find a load of salvage by tomorrow night, I’m heading home.

In Delve. Actually docked at a Blood Raiders NPC station for the first time in my EVE career. Wished fervently that I’d filled my cargo hold with drones and ammo before setting out. Sadly, I didn’t have a lot of confidence in my ability to get this far.

I’ve done a little more salvage, but haven’t found anything spectacular yet. There are a lot of hostiles floating around down here, and even in my blockade runner, it would be easy to get caught.

Updates to be provided as events warrant.

Market question: When I look at the region-wide market in Delve, I see orders in NPC stations and in player-owned outposts. It’s my understanding that those outposts usually forbid docking rights to strangers. Does that mean, if I place a region-wide buy order, that there’s a risk the order will be filled in a place where it’s impossible for me to to pick up the goods?

I’m moving slowly through 0.0, because I can’t resist checking every POS for valuable stuff that’s not nailed down.

Found some, too.

Found, in fact, a large standard (!) container, drifting outside the force field, labeled “fuel for jump bridge.”

Only, there’s one small problem.

Which would be the battery of faction warp scramblers and warp disruptors and guns of every kind, all online and ready to make sawdust out of Core Complexion’s finest hull.

Sigh, moving on.