Friday, March 13, 2009

ISK in the Void

An old mercenary buddy of mine, Severice, and I decided to embark on an mapping expedition into an unknown system. He picks up a Myrmidon-class battlecruiser and I select my Deimos-class Heavy Assault Cruiser, and go on our way.

One of my friends from the Hellcats, Venom Orchid, had a probing pilot in the system that had found an Archeology site. The other team out in the system with us didn't have the equipment for archeology, but we did. The two of us braved the new, dreaded Sleepers without much trouble. I provided the damage, he the repairs. I analyzed the wrecks in space and picked up a couple (hopefully valuable) artifacts that needed reverse-engineering.

After that, we kicked around the system for a while longer until we both decided to try one of the easier Cosmic Anomalies in the system. This went fairly well for both us... until a battleship spawned and I ended up too far away from Severice and my Deimos popped. That pretty much ended the trip there... especially since I had lost both artifacts in the explosion.

We moved ourselves back to a trade hub and I purchased a shiny new Harbinger-class battlecruiser, the Voidhunter, and refit it. After that point, I decided to poke around that system for a bit... finding another wormhole to unknown space in it.

I called Severice over and we both attempted to jump through... only to have it wink out as a Hurricane-class battlecruiser jump out. What had happened is that the two of us had cross-jumped and the Hurricane (or myself) had destabilized the wormhole and caused its collapse.

Thus I was in unknown space without Severice to support me. Luckily, Voidhunter had a probe launcher fitted, so I was set to escape myself. Then my sensors picked up some communications signals in space. Investigating, I saw that three or four rookie pilots were stranded in system and waiting for their probe ship to find another way out. I saw an opportunity, and immediately warped from planet to planet until I found the ship performing the scans, an Imicus-class frigate. Locking the fragile hull, I destroyed it with a single volley.

I then struck a deal with the (now completely stranded) pilots: I would find them an exit, in exchange for ISK. They wisely accepted and paid, while I got to work. After a short while, I picked up another wormhole, leading to low security-space, which I then led the two hapless ships out of... which placed me some 20 jumps away from home. I cruised home in good humor, having made a bit of ISK from seeming misfortune.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Performance Tradeoffs

Word got in about some new tech that was coming out soon--upgraded probe launchers. It seems that the boffins at Yulai had changed some of the pertinent regulations regarding scanner probes; the probes seemed to be leaking some sort of background radiation that was harmful to something. I don't know, and I honestly don't care why. What does matter is that the retooled probes are a lot different than they had been. I was curious, so I looked through the difference in specifications myself.

First, the probes' single-point quad-angulation system was scrapped in favor of a much simpler mechanism that simply reports distance from a target to the probe itself. The system had always been a bit dodgy anyway (which turned looking for something in space to be more of a matter of luck than actual skill), so this new adjustment seemed like a good tradeoff. Of course, I'd need to throw more probes out into space at specific points in order to figure out what is what. This leads me to the next major change: the designers had enough room to fit a warp drive and sophisticated control circuitry to the probes in question, which takes care of the placement problem.

I was able to run some simulations with the setup, and while it took some learning, I believe it to be a superior setup to the old hardware.