Weekend with the Thukkers: Day One

Somewhat discouraged by my previous outing to Providence, I was apprehensive about scouting out an obscure corner of The Great Wildands.  But as with all things EVE, without risk there is no reward, other than level four missions of course.  And thus I found myself once again braving the cut throat world of 0.0 in EVE. 

The trip out to the region through Molden Heath(sp) was very uneventful.  Actually the trip into the region on Friday afternoon was very uneventful.  I was pleasantly surprised to find empty systems or just one or two others in local and set about on my task of surveying the area.  Unlike Providence, The Great Wildlands is not an open region with promises of friendly patrols to chase off aggressive forces and griefers. Rather my reading had told me that the area is controlled by aggressive forces and griefers who have all set standings to positive with each other and shoot any neutrals in the area. 

The Great Wildlands is setup like four fingered hand with all of the fingers converging on a little cluster of four systems.  These four systems are where the NPC stations are setup as this region is NPC space held by the Thukker Tribe.  I would have liked to check out these systems and visit some of the other “fingers,” unfortunately these hub systems were always heavily populated with 40-80 players showing as logged in.  I knew better than to try and risk running through a bubbled gate camp and stuck to putting about my little corner on the north west of the region map. 

In each and every system I found something with the scan probes.  My entire survey area was eight systems, which puts the exploration opportunities here hugely ahead of those found in Providence.  I spent about two hours that afternoon flying around and making bookmarks.  Sadly my little cov-ops frigate could not even dream to tank the spawns at the hacking site that I uncovered, and the combat sites that were found were even more out of reach. 

The 8/10 Angel complex certainly looked promising, albeit it was already cleared up to the final room.  Not sure if those were respawns or if someone gave up after being dropped off literally on top of multiple hostiles by the incoming gate warp in point.  There was also a system with a LVL4Q20 agent sitting on a gate in a Rifter.  That was extremely unexpected.  If the area would see more mission runners, this would be an interesting place to setup camp. 

So I put myself in some dead end system in a safe spot and logged out for a couple of hours.  I returned later that evening (9:00 CST) with every intention of running the gauntlet through the hub systems with the NPC stations.  However, I logged back into a local with 18 other players in system.  I couldn’t tell what they were up too as not a single ship was showing up on scan sans a Maelstrom camping the only gate out of town.  Not wanting to attract too much attention I planned to quietly make my escape.  I warped to a nearby celestial and then warped to the gate at 100 km.  There was no bubble and still just the Maelstrom visible. 

I bounced back off the celestial and landed on the gate at 0 while mashing the jump too button.  If everything went right my little ship would barely flash on his overview and he would simply see the gate fire.  Well everything went exactly as I had hoped, except for the fact that he decided to jump after me.  Apparently this guy was feeling very brazen and hoped to tackle a covert ops frigate with his large battle ship.  I was probably no more than a blip on his overview as I jumped to a scanned down safe spot and instantly cloaked.  

The locals were either extremely xenophobic or just itching for some sort of a fight as local spiked to twelve players.  No scan probes were showing up on my directional scanner and within a few minutes they safely retreated back into the dead end system to resume their little operation.  I did take the time to look at their information and see who was in the area.  None of the names stood out to me except for a few members of Cult of War and Gentlemen’s Club Aliances.  Neither group seemed particularly friendly to neutrals from what I remembered, thus I remained in my safe spot and tabbed out of the game for a good ten minutes.  

Returning to the game I found myself in system with just one player, who was not showing up my directional scan.  However, several large wrecks were appearing.  Someone was not cleaning up after themselves while ratting in a belt. Through prodigious use of a directional scanner I soon located the wrecks and landed at 100 km from the belt in question.  The other player was not to be seen.  I bookmarked one of the wrecks and bounced off of a nearby planet and landed on top of two of them and got to work with my salvager.  This trip wouldn’t be a total bust after all! 

I began to feel more than a bit vulnerable without the safety of my cloak.  I salvaged the first wreck and left the loot behind.  I burned towards the next closest one and soon set to work on that one as well.  The third large wreck was just out of salvage range but easily reachable once I was done with the second.  I watched the directional scanner like a hawk for any sign of scan probes out in the area as local remained just myself and the other silent player.  After less than a minute uncloaked, local again shot up from two…six…nine and then finally ten.  Perhaps my location was uncovered by the pilot in system, or perhaps they were just passing through. 

Taking no chances I again blasted towards a safe spot and cloaked up before reaching my destination.  I waited a few minutes and local again was deserted for just myself and the silent watcher.  The wrecks were no longer appearing on my overview.  Perhaps they had simply despawned.  Maybe they were blown up by this silent gang after their aborted attempt at capture.

These were probably questions that were best left unanswered, less I invite them to set a trap for me in a nearby system with a cloaked tackler and a few inviting wreckages.  I can only imagine the facepalm I would give myself for loosing a 20 million Isk frigate for a few hundred thousand in salvage loot.  It was nearly midnight my time and with things settling down I made my way back to low security space through empty 0.0 systems and docked up for the night.


~ by Centuri on September 28, 2009.

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