My life in low sec

So in the last month, my curiosity got the better of me, and I have returned to EvE. After 6 months of playing, then 7 months off, how hard was it going to be to get back into it? This is my (probably not) regular blog of my renewed solo low-sec life in EvE.

July-August
Well, that was a fun and interesting month. I had some leftover isk from last year so plexed up to Omega, mostly to get my skill queue going - muggins here had forgotten to put alpha skills at the top of his skill queue, so from December to July, there had been no new skills trained as it was all blocked by the omega skill I had left in-training. But oh well, it’s started up again now, even if I can’t remember the reasons I had half the skills in the queue.

In starting up again I had forgotten what I had forgotten, quickly re-remembered it, and then found out lots of new and wonderful stuff I didn’t know. I lost 4 Praxises; one to clumsiness (butterfingers here muffed the clock-mwd trick through a gate camp by mis-hitting the f2 key), two to stupidity (pro tip: don’t go into an almost-rolled wormhole without a probe launcher attached) and one to a gf (mostly because I wanted to find out how my fit would perform in a fight. Well enough that I replaced it with the same fit). And the newly minted Astero? Well, I lost that to a fight I shouldn’t have picked. After that, it was herons all the way for me for the rest of the month (in which time I found out that I had also forgotten that attacking someone outside an NPC station will cause the sentry guns to melt a heron).

I remembered how to scan; pulling 200mil isk from one wormhole on one day, taking almost an hour to find an unpicked data or relic site on another and only having a couple of million isk to show for it; almost being caught by a loki, an astero, a drekavac; chasing off other explorers with combat probes so I could pick at my leisure; ambushing other explorers on already scanned down sites - either laying in wait with a cloaked cormorant or taking out a battle heron to ‘sneak’ up in plain sight. I had mixed success with this - far more got away than I took down, but the thrill of the hunt and the indirect PvP engagement of planning the hunt are a veritable drug (as is, truth be told, the thrill of the successful escape from someone else’s hunt - Praxis #5 survived several close encounters on escalations down in Placid and missions in Lonetrek). I was even able to find some Caracal-on-Caracal action, but unfortunately I still haven’t been able to jump anyone jumpable with a Vexor - they keep hiding when I come in-system and on-grid.

The indirect PvP of competition of resources was another common (and enjoyable) theme of my first month back - it can be hard to compete against teams of Tengus or cloaky Jackdaws & Asteros to get to the Chemical Labs and Hallucinogen Supply Waypoints when you have a single, slow-as Praxis, but it was always fun to try and get in first, to try and distract or harass the opposition, or just to know when to move on and then find in the next system an unpillaged site, clearing it out just as they showed up in local. I had enough success with combat sites, chemical labs and exploration to pay for all my losses, try a few new things (L4 missions, making some profitable items from looted BPCs, and PI), plex my account and save enough to buy my own shiny Tengu (which I haven’t yet - I might wait just a bit longer until I feel a real need for it, rather than just a ‘want’).

The icing on the month’s cake though, was a drone rescue mission From Tama to Fliet, Heydieles and Old-Man Star in my Sunesis. I rescued about 40 million isk worth of drones, and looted about the same from wrecks left behind. No Geckos, but I’m not going to have to buy my own replacement light and medium drones for some weeks and the ones I have on sell orders in Lonetrek are slowly being depleted. I was (almost) scanned down, (almost) caught, and felt very virtuous dipping in and out around various fights, rescuing poor neglected, abandoned and battered drones from their erstwhile abusers then zipping away before their wrath descended on me (although most drones were long abandoned, their former owners nowhere in sight). I had so much fun doing this, I think it will have to be a regular thing to do in the coming months.

The goals for this month were to see if I could still play, to enjoy myself and see if it was worth continuing to keep the software on my laptop; which I met, met, and answered in the affirmative. Next month’s main goal I think is going to be to try and kill more ships than I lose (which given my propensity to do stupid things is easier said than done), with sub goals of making money from the LP store, explore a bit into null-sec, delve a bit deeper into trading and continue to have fun.

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Enjoyed reading, especially using combats to chase off other explorers (never thought of that).

Thank you.

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August Part 1

Well, that was a rapid, activity-filled two weeks. I’m on track for my main goal so far: 2 kills and only one loss to-date. Kill #1 also brought my first in-chat abuse, where - amongst other, less printable things - the wish that my family would all catch cancer and die was enunciated. The sad thing was, I came in with the intention of ratting the belt, landed over 50km away then had to burn towards him to get in range, took 3 cycles of my guns to finish him off, and didn’t even get close enough to put tackle on him. If you’re AFK in low-sec, what do you expect to happen? If he’d put as much effort into paying attention as he did into invective I wouldn’t have got the kill.

The other first is that I bought my first Tech II ship - a Buzzard! Then promptly lost it 2 days later in a wormhole to a cloaky Loki. Still, no biggy, Buzzard #1 pulled in almost 8 times its cost in loot in that time, and its replacement took 2 relic sites and 15 minutes to go into profit. The plan though, is to use it to find and bookmark ratting/mining ships in my local systems undetected, then drop in on them with a bigger, nastier ship in the hopes that success and glory (and loot) will follow. Not that I’ve had a chance to do so yet, but the month is young and the year is still long enough for it to happen eventually. I did spend a bit of time cloaked watching someone gatecamp to see how they did it, but got bored and left before anyone else came through. Maybe it’s not an activity for me as I seem to lack the patience required.

Speaking of gatecamps, I think I got lucky the other day as I returned back to my home system past a player (me in a Praxis, them in a frigate), and 10 minutes later I go back the same way in my Buzzard, to find them camped with a HAC on the same gate. But within a minute or so of going past him again, he left for good; I can only think he assumed I was doing a mission and was waiting for me to go back in-system in the same ship I had before. I’ll need to remember him, and maybe make use of that technique myself in future.

Last week was the big haul to market - I amassed a bit over a billion isk of loot over the first 10 days from ratting, exploration and chemical labs, but having the loot is not the same as having the isk. I had been trying to work out how to get it to market without running the gauntlet of the Aununen gatecamps, when I scanned down a high-sec wormhole only 4 jumps away from Jita. Only problem was it was about to collapse, but with the attitude that I could always bring back what I meant to keep, I chucked all my loot into a ship (Sunesis from memory), sold the lot (or placed on sell orders) and then shuttled a couple of other ships I wanted out in low-sec back to home before it collapsed behind me. Then, because of playing with my Praxis fit so it could now do all anomalies in C3 holes (instead of just the FFS), I was able to sell off another half billion’s worth of blue loot, which ¾ takes care of next month’s plexing.

On the whole, my home system has been fairly quiet, although I did get almost combat-scanned down in my PvE Praxis by a Hecate, but got out before they locked on to me. And, they hung around still scanning while I re-shipped into my PvP Praxis, went back to the same spot and waited for them to re-scan me…which they did. My goodness, the heart-thumping anticipation as they appeared on D-Scan at 0.5 AU, then on-grid. Being fairly new to this, I had no exact idea what a Hecate was capable of, just that they were a fast in-your-face brawler, and since he had brought the fight to me, I assumed he thought I was fair game. Fortunately for me he did get close, close enough for my stasis grappler and warp scrambler to stop him cold, and then with the aid of a target painter and precision guidance script I just whacked him with mjolnir heavy missiles and drones until he died (leaving behind almost 40mil isk, which wasn’t a bad return on the encounter). I didn’t even go into armor, so my beautiful armor rep setup didn’t even get a look-in. It was (literally and metaphorically) an absolute blast, and took a few minutes for my heart to settle down again. I am so glad I had switched ships; without the grappler and painter, I don’t think I would have been able to apply enough damage to overcome his tank, and I was sweating bullets that his mates would come into system the whole time we were going at it (they didn’t thank goodness).

My only other direct PvP activities involved failed stalks and failed ambushes of gas huffing ventures and relic-hunting Buzzards and Herons. After two failed (the second only just, mind you) attempts on the one Venture at a gas site, they contacted me and politely asked if there was any way I could stop hunting them. Well, politeness works on me, so I reshipped into my own gas huffer and spent a nice quiet hour alongside them gathering gas (which seems to me slower than when I started on it mid-last year? Maybe the mining changes have affected my huffing rate, as I’m sure I used to fill my tank quicker than this).

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I don’t know your ship / piloting methodology.

My preference is a cloaky Astero, using perch bookmarks, and having sites pre-scanned down. The wise explorers in low sec will scurry out of their sites even if you use non-combat scan probes. It is possible to catch them but involves being very quick at using D-scan plus scan probes, making a bounce/perch bookmark first go, and bouncing to land on their can ASAP.

Faction point can sometimes be worth it, but there are cheaper Astero fits that can field a Scram+Disruptor to prevent stab warping off.

Hope this helps.