3 January 2016

Starting YC 118 in Style

Sometimes you just have to kick off the year as you mean to continue. There are lots of corps out there who are dedicated to a single activity, almost to the point of ridiculousness. Industrial corps who ban their members from NPSI roams; Mercenary corps who refuse to let their pilots earn ISK from missions when they are between contracts; PvP corps whose rhetoric demonises running sleeper sites to the point of ridiculousness. These corps punish their members for being seen to enjoy any more than a single, blinkered area of the game. Hypocritically they all privately have their own 'carebear' corps and/or characters which they use to earn ISK - the very activity which is vocally derided as a terrible thing to be doing. In Z3R0 Return Mining Inc. we are also blinkered in on a single activity. In particular we aim to have fun and a laugh on comms regardless of what we find to do in-game or how badly we do it. It may come as a surprise to corps who obey the afore mentioned anti-ISK-earning indoctrinations but it really is possible to do this without being a bad person.

Last night we had one such night. Everything started fairly slowly with me logging on alone. I found our home system was swiss-cheese with K162s and set about scanning everything down. Our C3 static was quiet and had a few teasing Frostline sites. I had been getting bored of those but a few nights ago I got a Vindicator BPC and a 650 Mil ISK officer module of some description (now for sale in Jita). Picking up a billion ISK in a few minutes did wonders for piquing my interest again. Just as I started running the Frostline sites another corpie logged on. Now I had someone on comms to chat with the game was much more fun. We cleared up the Frostline sites without any exciting drops and moved on to exploring the rest of our chains.

Ponder started scouting out the C2 K162 whilst I went to our other static to see what delights that held. I found lots of gas and very little else. Ponder found potental targets flying a Stratios and an Epithal. We decided Ponder's find was much more interesting so I shipped into something invisible and headed to the C2. Sitting just inside our hole home I awaited Ponder's intel as to which POCO the Epithal would invariably warp to. Sadly when he did warp it was in line with two different planets so I had to take a guess and go to the more likely Barren planet. I chose badly and nobody ever landed. We still had eyes on the Stratios so we stuck around for a while longer. He showed no signs of moving and we gave up hunting in favour of ninja-sucking some lucrative C5 gas.

By now we had ex-corpmate Epigene on comms chatting and then a wild Studley entered from the north to join us stealing gas from the C5. The details of 'stealing gas' is fairly simple. From warping in to a gas site you have 15-20 minutes before the sleepers spawn. In that time you get as many pilots as possible to suck as much gas a possible as quickly as possible. At this point we had five pilots in Ventures in the gas site plus a sixth providing boosts to speed up the rate of gas extraction. As is the common case in w-space this was three people with two characters each. By the end of the first gas site we had earned around 50 million ISK each and had a brief intermission in sucking to scout another corpmate back home from hisec.

Back in the C5 we were almost at the end of our time for the second gas site when our boosting Gnosis was pointed and tackled orbiting the hole home. We cut our sucking short and headed back to reship into something more combat capable than a mining frigate. Thankfully the Gnosis got away but we lost sight of the offending Stratios. A little scanning later and we found a new K162 leading into our home. Of course we went in to investigate and in addition to the Stratios I saw a Prophecy on d-scan. With the ships we had we felt confident that was a fight we could take. We left an uncloaked Proteus on our side of the hole and kept our other couple of ships out of sight. Our opponents moved their Prophecy up to just inside their hole and their Stratios engaged our Proteus. At this point the rest of us decloaked and warped in to fight. This was our first mistake as the Stratios immediately jumped through and both it and the Prophecy ran away. Bugger! Really we should have gotten him to jump through before decloaking the rest of our fleet so we could have something tackled on the other side and unable to run.

A little bit of baiting from us and sniping from them followed but it was clear they wouldn't engage us in a brawl. I decided we should try and provoke some action with combat hole rollers. At this point we realised the second mistake we made of hanging around for too long. Unfortunately the baiting would appear to have given them time to get friends in who landed on their hole at the same time as Studley and I started rolling it. We had their Astarte into half armour when their logi landed. They also had jams from a Falcon, neuts from a Curse plus a load more DPS from a Hurricane, Vigilant and Deimos. It was clear we were toast and even after that I seem to recall they had more ships landing after I got my pod off the field. Good fights were exchanged in local and we decided to call it a night as it was nearly 1 am locally for most of us.

As far as the night went we had scanning, shooting red crosses, gas sucking, being hunted, doing the hunting ourselves, and finally getting whelped by a superior force. It's pretty hard to get a wider range of activities crammed into a single evening in New Eden. Your blinkered mono-activity corps might be better at the single thing they do in this game we love but I like to think in my corp we get to play a lot more of the game than they do and have a lot more fun in doing so. Welcome to YC 118.

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