Thursday, September 26, 2013

A Busy Night in New Eden

Long post today, so here's the tl;dr --
I returned to an activity that I keep hoping will cough up huge rewards for very little effort and found that it's not as easy as the youtube videos make it look: Salvage. Specifically, I wanted to loot and/or salvage elite wrecks, which contain T2 components. Then I tried to find level 3/4 mission runners, without success. I also gave exploration another try, without much success. At the end of the night I rejoined my corp for some plexing and made more LP/ISK in ten minutes than I did in ninety minutes of salvage efforts.

Salvagers at work on USS Oklahoma, 1942
From flickr user Kernon01

Salvage / Exploration

First step was to add a cloak to my Imicus. I spent some time running around buying and moving components. I should add another small salvage tackle to this.

[Imicus, Imicus Scan AND Salvage]
Nanofiber Internal Structure I
Co-Processor I
Co-Processor I

1MN Microwarpdrive I
Data Analyzer I
Cargo Scanner I
Relic Analyzer I

Prototype Cloaking Device I
Salvager I
Expanded Probe Launcher I, Combat Scanner Probe I

Small Salvage Tackle I
Small Salvage Tackle I
[empty rig slot]

Hobgoblin I x4
Salvage Drone I x4

I added the cloak so that I could go into low-sec or null-sec, make a safe spot and sit there, cloaked, while I scan the system.  I'm using the very CPU hungry (220!) Expanded Probe Launcher because I want to able to scan for ships and drones as well as cosmic anomalies.

On the theory that data/relic sites would be more plentiful and untouched in low-traffic system I went to two nearby high-sec systems (I chickened out on the low-sec route) and ran three sites. They yielded mostly crap, but I got two decryptors and the total take was about 2 million ISK. I missed out on a 3M ISK drop by, I think, focusing on the wrong kind of canister. I'm going to keep trying it, especially in low-traffic low-sec systems, but only after I learn the cloak/MWD trick for getting past gate camps.

Plex Wrex

There's a salvaging guide that got me fired up a few weeks back and the system of Heydelies is a perfect place to try the techniques it describes. Focus on Elite Wrecks, which are destroyed ships that had T2 components on board. Most Faction Warfare fighters don't bother salvaging -- some don't even bother looting, and I dream of finding a field of yummy wrecks that I can pick through and get Space Rich.
So I flew to a safe spot in Heyd and d-scanned the three existing plexes. One was occupied, but no wrecks, one was empty, and the third....2 elite wrecks, 3 regular wrecks! And 4 occupants. Damn, I'll have to wait them out. 
While waiting I contemplate my options. Ideally, I would be left alone in a plex with wrecks (Dr Seuss on line 2), but of course you can't expect that. What I think will work best is to nip into a plex, bookmark a wreck, then come back in 15/20 minutes, when the plex is gone. The wrecks it contained will now be floating in deep space and you're almost guaranteed to not be discovered. This is something I'll try later. Remember to write down the identifier of the plex so you don't confused it for a new plex of the same type when you come back later.
So, I keep watching the crew of scumbags that are sitting on my wrecks...Tristan...Kestrel...Atron...Navitas. Hmm, this looks familiar. A new ship shows up. Name of "High Drag Podcast!" It's Kyle! Hah! They're my corp!
I get on comms and ask if it's ok if I salvage the wrecks, get the all-clear and give it a try. The result wasn't as lucrative as I thought and took a MUCH longer time than would be safe in hostile space. I think this was a medium plex and one of the wrecks must have been a larger/more complex class. It took about 5 minutes on that using only one salvager and four salvage drones.
Here's the kicker though: I looted two Caldari Navy ships, the two NPCs that defended the plex, and each dropped a 2.6M Navy dogtag. I made more from those tags than all the salvaging, and it took mere seconds.  Add to that the approximately 10000 loyalty points I picked up for the three plexes we completed, and salvaging looks like a mug's game.
The bottom line is that salvaging is a gamble and I'm doing it for fun, to scratch an itch that MAY one day lead me to a field of juicy T2 wrecks that only I can locate. That's going to be a fun time!

Back To Shooting

I dropped my salvage/loot back at base and re-shipped into an Atron. The fighting in Heyd was slim tonight so we went to Old Man Star, where we found a doozy of a fight. By this time our fleet was eight strong so we scared off quite a few potential fights. But for our final fight a Stabber (cruiser) arrived and sat on the gate for a while. He jumped in and we attacked. He was quickly joined by at least three more cruisers and we lost three thrashers. I wasn't attacked or pointed, probably because I was not the juiciest target in the room and was able to warp out cleanly when the order came.
It was a busy couple of hours, made some ISK, scratched my exploring itch (including a couple of ideas that didn't pan out) and had a good time chatting with my corpmates, one of whom sent me a nice gift afterwards -- thanks!