Tuesday, May 29, 2012

New ship and a dead Badger

I finally found some free time to log into EVE again. My real life has been quite busy in the past two weeks. Even the friendly game launcher greets me with a fresh expansion - how lovely! I also got some offers to check out different wormhole corporations and have a chat with them. While I really appreciate the kind offers I am unfortunately going to delay joining a corporation for a few weeks longer (until things at university calm down - still a few exams to go).

I have decided to use my scanning alt along with my main character so that I will have a bit more flexibility (and a scanning alt will be useful when I join a corporation anyway). The new ship in my fleet is a Buzzard covert ops vessel. I wasn't sure what to do with the abundance of middle slots on the ship so I ended up adding a pair of shield extenders and a web with a scrambler just in case.

[Buzzard, Scanner]
Nanofiber Internal Structure II
Nanofiber Internal Structure II

Experimental 1MN Afterburner I
'Langour' Drive Disruptor I
Initiated Harmonic Warp Scrambler I
Small F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction
Small F-S9 Regolith Shield Induction

Sisters Expanded Probe Launcher, Combat Scanner Probe I
Salvager I
Covert Ops Cloaking Device II

Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I
Small Gravity Capacitor Upgrade I

I have spent a total of 90.172.962,88 ISK on the Buzzard (including 16 sister's combat and core probes). I also grabbed some scanning implants. I hope this shiny vessel won't have an unfortunate accident any time soon. After some testing I noticed that scanning with Buzzard is roughly two times faster than with my stealth bomber and I am able to resolve signatures with great accuracy.

My day started in Jita where I bought the covert ops ship, after which I headed out towards a random system in Lonetrek region. When I was some 6 jumps away from the trade hub I began scanning each system on the way. I quickly find a C2 wormhole but it appeared very empty, I was tempted to scan for the probable C3 static connection but didn't want to sift through some 20 signatures. I moved back to high-sec and continued.

I found the next signature in Hogimo system, a C2 wormhole, J111038 with high-sec static. As I warp to within 10km of the entrance I immediately stumble upon a Badger Mark II hauler exiting the wormhole. Luckily my cloak was active so my presence wasn't detected. As the ship warps off towards a station I jump into the wormhole with my stealth bomber and leave my Buzzard observing the entrance. On the inside I detect a pod and a POS tower. I narrow down it's location to a moon orbiting the fourth planet. I jump to the tower to investigate and land some 10km away from a mobile warp disruptor bubble! I nearly got myself decloaked but luckily I managed to escape the field intact, phew! I head out to EVE wiki page to learn more about this dangerous device. I knew it can be deployed and it prevents ships from warping away but I certainly didn't know it acts like a drag bubble. How does one safely approach a bubbled POS tower? I am assuming I should warp from some other planet but I didn't want to test mobile warp disruptor mechanics right there.

Nearly getting myself decloacked (click to enlarge)

I slowboat to a safe distance some 250km away from the force field and observe the inhabitants. On the other side of the wormhole my alt is sitting in high-sec and proving to be an incredible intel asset. It seems that two pilots are active and they are moving stuff out of the wormhole. The Badger pilot continued to warp from the POS tower, out of the wormhole and towards a station. He made the same run every few minutes. The other pilot seemed to be moving ships out of the wormhole and always returning in a pod. I kind of understand the Badger pilot moving goods out but I sure couldn't make sense why his corpmate was moving so many vessels out - first a Drake, then a second Drake, followed by a Manticore and a Buzzard.

Since they were warping directly to a POS tower I knew my only chance would be to engage at the wormhole exit. But I could only attack them on their way from high-sec to their POS tower (because when you enter the wormhole you end up around 10km away from it). Badger seemed the ideal target but I knew I would need some luck on my side. Depending on my DPS the hauler could simply run back to the wormhole exit and escape to back to high-sec. I also knew that the hauler would most likely be empty on it's way back - but I just didn't see any other option to catch him on his way out of the tower.

I warp my stealth bomber within 10km of the the wormhole exit and patiently wait for the Badger pilot to make another predictable run to high-sec. It takes a few minutes and I see him on scan. He jumps to high-sec and I switch my attention to my scanner alt on the other side. When I see the hauler returning I pay close attention to my overview and quickly target the Badger Mark II when he decloaks and aligns to his tower. I activate my disruptor and overload torpedoes. The Badger attempts to burn back to wormhole exit but he is just a bit too slow and his ship explodes before he could reach the safety of high-sec.

Attacking the Badger (click to enlarge)

I target his pod and almost kill him as well. But he managed to jump on the other side while he was in armor. One more volley and he would have woken up in new pod!

Lucky pod - he escaped! (click to enlarge)

I loot the wreck and find two cargohold expanders and a shield extender. I investigate the killmail and as suspected find that the hauler was indeed empty.


  1. Drag bubbles will pretty much work from any direction. But bubbles themselves won't decloak you, so as long as you don't panic you'll be fine. What you need to watch out for are cans or drones in the bubble, which will decloak you. If you get decloaked and can't warp out because of the bubble, the tower defences could have time to lock on to you.

    A simple bubble presents little threat, so move away and make a bookmark you can use to return to. Drag bubbles work when you warp to the generic grid reference, and are thwarted when you warp to a specific point on that grid, which is what the BM accomplishes. A bubble trap could be avoided by warping in from an unpredictable direction. You'll still probably hit the bubble, but hopefully not the litter.

    And I think you could use an update to your overview. Having a separate tab for PvP will help you catch ships and pods more easily, without being in danger of trying to target a planet, or shooting a wreck by accident.

  2. Oh, good job popping the Badger too!

    1. Thanks! A very useful bubble explanation, makes much more sense now.

      You are also absolutely right about my overview. I will definitely have to spend some time on it and improve the tabs. Currently I just have the default tab, a drone tab and a scan tab (which basically shows everything but the moons).

  3. For drag bubbles to work, they need to be inline with wherever you are warping from. Let's say that you are at planet 1 and warp to the tower and get dragged in. That means that the bubble is inline with planet 1 from the tower. If that is the case, you need only to warp to the sun to avoid the bubble in most cases.

    However, sometimes a bubble is placed almost directly on the object you are warping to, like say the warp-in point for a moon. There's no way to avoid being dragged in that case. Your best bet then is, if you are cloaked still, burn 250km away from the tower in a direction not inline with the bubble, then bookmark that spot. That spot is now offgrid in a warp sense from that bubble, and if you warp to it you will not get dragged/stopped. From that point, you can safely warp to the tower or any of the mods without getting bubbled.

    Drag bubbles pull you behind an object. Stop bubbles stop you before you reach the object. For example, you warp from Jita 4-4 station to Perimeter stargate. A drag bubble will be inline with the station, but behind the stargate somewhere from 100-20km. Warping to the gate results in you landing behind the stargate. The stop bubble would need to be place 20km to 100km in front of the stargate towards the station to stop you short of the stargate. Speaking from experience, drag bubbles are easier to setup, as it's easier to see if the stargate is inline with another celestial. Stop bubbles are a bit harder since you have to guess by using the align command.