Monday, June 16, 2014

How the mother of drones taught me a few things

Story Time

So I was scanning in lowsec, getting some practice and trying to possibly find something for my exploration corpmate and I to do. He was praying to the Eve gods for a 5/10 and I was itching for some isk,  after learning the group that pushed us out of the 6/10 had gotten a corpum A type EANM and some other loot totaling 1.1 billion. Eve being the Eve we all know and love provided a 5/10 in a sick and twisted way.

First was the multiple levels of paranoia.
  1. Ran across a gate camp in lowsec, corpmate said "never seen that before(in that area)"
  2. Getting to the complex with combat ships, opting to take two Proteus and leaving the Sin behind
  3. Running the complex thinking "Someone is going to come at any seconds and take the complex and get the great faction loot"
Second was six rooms of 50km gates, this would prove to be more annoying as we ran the site.
Third was the site layout, Empty rooms, easy enemies and OK Xth Tier Overseer Personal Effects drops getting me excited for the final boss and the 'possible' faction drone mod loot!

Finally got to the boss room, with a large group of webbing NPCs, some battleships and some cruisers. Overall not a big deal with two of us, if something gets under our tracking we can shoot the npcs like monkeys picking off parasites from each others backs. Then, he disconnects... I am thinking that the whole room will agro and I will have to warp out and go all the way back through all the gates. He reconnects apologizes on coms and he comes right back into the last pocket with me, great news! Then, he disconnects again this time for longer. He logs back in and is back at the beginning. Here I am with 2 webbing drones that I cannot shake. I do not want to take the whole pocket on when I am being webbed, so I warp off and start over from the beginning. I had a MWD fitted and he had an AB, so we both got to the end and started to run the site.

Once we were both in the last room it was textbook stuff. One group agro, pop the frigs, trash the cruisers, melt faces on battleships. I was thinking that there were only two battleships left, he points out that the boss is the giant tower I had not noticed. I was 55 KM away from the 50 KM locking ranged webbing missile lobbing tower. I backed off, we killed the last battleship. He starts in trying to get to his optimal and gets webbed and missiles are firing, his tank holds. I get in my optimal and start blasting away with short range ammo, through shields, half way through armor and then shields are back full, armor is back full. Both of us short range ammo, combined DPS of 700 cannot break the tank. We back off and assess the situation. Apparently this thing has huge amounts of structure and reps back crazy amounts of shield and armor, oh fun.

This is where the 50 KM gates across six rooms becomes really annoying. Blackops battleship was not fit with a prop mod other than MJD slow-boating through the acceleration gates. It was cloaking when it could for extra speed when not occluded by large really cool looking, but now annoying large collide-able objects. I have five Ogre II's some curators and miscellaneous medium and small drones. The curators are 42 + 15 within range of the tower so I decide to try and use the Ogres, send them in, this time we are doing enough damage to start chipping away at structure! This is replaced by the fact that it started shooting the drones, then one Ogre went down, so I sent out a hammerhead to replace it. This turned out to do something interesting that is added to my mental list. The tower focused on the hammerhead II and it was speed tanking it! This allowed us to basically sit at 0 and pummel the thing without worry of getting shot at. Another 15 minutes later and it explodes, here comes the faction drone loot! Except there wasn't any, some drone alloys and a 15th tier overseers effects. A whole lot of work and risk for 50 million isk in loot.

Hindsight and things I learned:

On this particular site I would have fit blasters on my sin and a salvager and a mobile tractor unit in the cargo. While the two proteus were clearing  the rooms ahead the sin would have sat salvaging. This would have done a few things for us as I see it, the roaming band of +10 to local -10 to local would have not seen wrecks on Dscan if they happen to be scanning. It would have upped the isk gain from the site and finally it would have put the extra DPS we needed a lot closer.

Google, which after the fact said 'stay 50k away and it wont rep like mad' something to try next time. Alternatively send a single hammerhead after it to pull agro and punch it in the face with more DPS. For this particular site fit MWD for sanity and leave the towers if at all possible. This way they stop fast tackle from blitzing the gates, and everything else is going to take FOREVER to get to you in the later rooms. I would feel safer in the 5th / 6th room than I do out in a safe spot now that I realize how it works.

Times like this make me glad I manufacture / research / react for my primary isk and this is just for fun.

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