Monday, September 23, 2013

Plexing in my Cloaked Venture


It was a busy weekend! The most profitable event was taking my Cloaked Venture into a medium plex, solo and capturing it! That bit of sneakin' around got me 25000 loyalty points, which will be worth at least 25 million ISK when I cash it in. That's excellent return on a fit that cost about 2.5 million.

Here's what I did.

1) Find a system with a medium plex in it. You'll want one in which the defender has already been destroyed, so you don't have to kill it yourself. Why? This fit has no weapons! I'm going to try taking 2 hobgoblins on my next attempt, but I don't expect them to be able to take out the defender. [Later update: hobgoblin I drones can kill the NPC defender, but it's difficult. With a short lock range of 8K, you'll keep losing your lock and the drones will go idle.]

2) Warp to a planet that is near the plex, anything within 14 AU, so you can use d-scan to detect when the plex is empty.

3) D-Scan the plex on a 5 degree angle.  When you see the plex is empty, warp in. Remember to warp to 10km, not 0km, and activate the acceleration gate as soon as you can. This is a known way to almost always get into a plex even if there are enemies on the gate and they target you.

4) Once inside the plex, assuming the defender ship is already dead, fly close to the boundary. In a novice plex the boundary is 10km. In a small plex the boundary is 20km and in a medium it is 30 km. Aim for 1 or 2 km inside that. This distance is measure from the beacon, not from the timer.

5) You should also change your d-scan to 360 degrees and about 3 million KM radius. Hit the "Scan" button every five seconds.

6) Your job now is to stay UN-cloaked while there is nobody around, thus counting down the timer. If you see anybody on d-scan, which you're hitting every 5 seconds, immediately cloak up.  You will become invisible and the timer will stop counting down. Continue to d-scan. If they disappear then they were *probably* looking for a fight, saw the empty plex and moved on. Uncloak and continue the countdown. If they come in, just wait; they'll probably leave.

7) If they enter the plex: relax :) You're totally safe UNLESS something passes less than 2km for you. This is very unlikely to happen so just sit still and watch. This weekend I saw interesting fights from my invisible vantage point and when the victors left I nipped down and looted/salvaged the wrecks. I still haven't been able to find a T2 wreck to salvage. Soon though!

8) MAKE SURE you are uncloaked when the timer counts down to 0 and that you are within the distance of the scoring boundary.

Keep in mind that with a Prototype Cloaking Device I you have to wait thirty seconds after de-cloaking to re-cloak. If you screw this up and someone new shows up, warp away! Also keep in mind that you CANNOT cloak if someone is targeting you.

[Update from the future: Nov 1st 2013]

I've used this technique a lot and wanted to add a comment about something you have no control over. What if enemy ships come in and run the plex? In my experience this is very rare! Believe it or not, most people flying into plexes are looking for fights. The most frequent outcome of an intrusion is that they'll wait for a minute, then leave. Or if they DO settle in to run the plex, someone will come along and fight them. There is then a chance that the newcomer will win and then leave.

The bottom line is that almost all the time, you can wait a short while and have the plex back to yourself.