So yesterday I decided try my hand ad wormhole exploration for the first time. I’ve been doing lowsec for a few weeks and I’m fairly comfortable in my little corner. I fit out my Buzzard like so:
High: Cov Ops Cloak, Core Probe Launcher II
Mid: Afterburner, Scan Acquisition Array I, Scan Pinpointing Array I, Data Analyzer I, Relic Analyzer I
Low: Inertial Stabs x2
After finding a couple relic sites, I went in to do them. I kept my d-scan open and pinged it every 20 sec or so. After about halfway through the first relic site, and with nothing appearing on D-scan (including probes, which I have it set up to see), I suddenly had a Astero uncloak < 5k from me and proceed to point & web me, unload it’s drones, and generally make it a bad day. So a couple questions:
Is this tactic of flying in cloaked to close range typical of WH space or did I just get unlucky?
Is there something I should have done different?
Is replacing one of the scanning arrays with an ECM burst and one of the inertial stabs with a warp core stab a viable counter? The stab takes care of the disruptor if they stay far way, and if they’re close enough to use scams than the ecm burst should break the lock and allow me to re-cloak.
Probably the astero pilot had the site probed before you entered and a bookmark about 200km from the cans. When you were doing the cans he warped to the one you were hacking and got you. It’s a very common set up.
I can only think of checking zkillboard for any activity in that particular system. Edit: You may have an indication that someone is or was there recently.
Stabs, probably not, astero hunters have 2x scrams most of the time. ECM, yes, that would annoy him very much.
ECM burst is great for breaking lock, but you shouldn’t recloak. Instead you should those few seconds to warp off immediately as he’ll be on you in a few seconds (most ambushers will approach you and scram-tackle, so even if you recloak, you’ll probably be decloaked within a second or two). But definitely use the ECM burst. I fit one on my explorer every time. You can overheat it for extra strength.
Your best defence is to pay attention. An astero has a 6 second delay after decloaking before he can lock you, that is plenty of time to see him next to you and run away. The inertial stabs you had fit are exactly right for that and should help.
D-scanning a lot helps as well, when I hunt explorers I’ll typically have several systems completely bookmarked and will patrol through them. Waiting forever in one system for an explorer who may never show up is rather boring. If you d-scan a lot, you should be able to see him enter system just before he cloaks.
ECM is an option, just beware that a buzzard is squishy enough that you’ll probably die before the ECM hits. You may want to fit a shield extender as well, to give you more ECM chances.
Good advise above, the only thing I would add is have nanofibers in the lows instead of inertia stabs as inertia stabs increase your sig which makes you easier to lock. Cloaky if the general way in WH space so Dscan wouldn’t have helped. Make sure you have your overview set up so any ships appear show in a highly contracting colour (I have yellow). still dscan in case something non cloaky is coming for you but if you see yellow warp immediately to something on your overview.
I do exploration quite a lot and from my experience, most encounters in wormhole space in relic/data sites I receive, is from ships which decloak straight beside me. No probes, just a buddy by you (pre bookmarked sites with tactical bookmarks) I am still an EVE noob but best counter I found so far to this is to warp out before they finish locking you. Fit for alignment, ditch everything else. Astero gets easily under 2 sec and is golden, rest under 3, which is still doable. If you have above 3 you are dead in frigate. Due to server tick mechanism you will warp off right at server tick if you meet all requirements. Hence not that much important if you have 1.8 or 1.6 , it matters, but it would be longer explanation. Hitting Dscan every 20 sec is not enough. My rule of thumb is hit 2 hacking nods and then dscan… rinse, repeat, all very, very fast. Spend minimum time by each container, speed hack. Adjust your overwiew that you can warp off to something immediately without additional clicking. If you pay attention you shall get away mostly. Warp stabilizers are ok but more or less against instalockers in null, as far as I experienced in my limited eve life. You can live without them in Jspace. Count that dedicated hunters will have warp scram at least strength 3. Also, once u are locked and neuter from stratios stabilizers will also not save you.
I have d-scan bound to a mouse button (one of the ones on the side of my mouse.) I’ve made it a habit to just continually click this button once a second. My thumb gets a bit twitchy, but I’ll usually spot anything entering my wormhole before it cloaks up.
20 seconds is more then enough time for an experienced prober to find you using combat probes. You want to refresh your dscan a lot faster. If you get hunted by an experienced prober, you have between 5 to 10 seconds to notice the probes
What could really help you in this situation was if you had an amazing awareness while you hack, and notice him in the overview the first second he uncloak. He can’t target you, he has 5 seconds delay or more I think.
You activate your afterburner and start heading in one direction away from any object, activate your cloak and start orbit him at a distance further than 2500 km so you don’t uncloak yourself, after you are safe warp out, simple as that.
Also be aware that even if you are a Dscan ninja and have cat-like reflexes, if you are sitting still on the can when that astero decloaks on you, they will most likely get a good bump off on you. Then your -2 second align time means fk all. 5second sensor recalibration gives u a small window but it doesnt stop the guy whos trying to murder u from one-cycling his MWD and smashing into u. If you are orbiting the can at 500M you have a better chance at gettIng away and are way harder to bump.
Also, nobody fking hits WARP instantly, theres always a few seconds reaction time in between REALIZING whats going on and actually REACTING.
Last comment- hotkeying Dscan to a mouse button is excellent advice.
A sabre that loses his target due to ECM is really not paying attention. You do not need a target lock to launch a bubble, and if you’re burning out of the bubble he should follow and rebubble as needed.
Yeah, but he can only bubble 3 times, I just ECM, then MWD. He follows and rebubbled, I ECM and MWD. Rinse and repeat until he is out of bubbles then ECM one more time and warp off. Easy. Prospects have a fair amount if tank but he did get me almost into hull so a hacker might not fair as well. The point was that Frigs and Dessies have low strength and are jammed fairly reliably by a burst ( I had to burst 4 times and it worked every time)