Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Gas Mining the Easy Way

Scanning is key to enjoying wormholes. If you are not able to scan, you are often quite literally stranded. But if you can scan, a door of opportunity opens. It so happens that your door of opportunity becomes somebody else's door of misfortune.

This was the case today.

I had just entered a class 6 wormhole in my trusty Helios covert ops ship. My initial d-scan showed a Moa, a Caldari cruiser, with a single cargo container that was named with a timestamp. It doesn't take a genius to realise that any container with a timestamp means somebody must be mining. Moas are also fairly commonly used as gas mining ships in wormholes. This was a prime PvP target!

When these opportunities arise, the preparation required to get the kill is easily 90% of the work. PvP scanning in wormholes is both technical and time-consuming.

The first step is to launch combat probes without giving the target the opportunity to notice. This means launching the probes while out of d-scan range, which is around 14AU. In most wormhole systems it is possible to use the planets and moons to get the required distance from the target. When the probes have been launched they should be sent immediately to scan a point that is out of d-scan range of anywhere in the system, this ensures that the target has no chance of noticing them.

Once combat probes are out, then comes the tricky business of narrowing down the target to a rough position. This requires intelligent use of both the angle and range filter on your d-scanner. Finding the angle is a fairly simple business, but to approximate the range you will need to use a km to AU conversion chart.

When a rough position of the target has been found all that remains is to place probes in this location and hope for the best. Sometimes it will take repositioning and multiple scans to locate your target. In my case, with the Moa it took two scans, which must've given the Moa around twenty seconds to see my probes on d-scan. In practice this is a very short time, especially when someone is semi-afk gas mining. With my 100% signal I warped into the Moa at 100km away. The reason for this was that the Ladar gas clouds have a sneaky habit of decloaking covert ops ships.

Even though I was 100km away from the Moa it was the work of a moment to bookmark his jet can, which was only, at most, 2500m away from him. Perfect! I love jet cans!

At this point I warped back to a neighbouring wormhole in order to guide my PvP support group who had been patiently waiting. I gave them the can bookmark and jumped back into the hole, only to see on d-scan that the Moa had GONE!

Questions run through your mind. Did he see my probes? Had he just finished? Was all that work just for nothing? Wormholes can often be like this, PvP targets will evade you, hours of scanning won't find you exits. Things might just not go your way...

But suddenly a Badger MkII appeared on scan! Fantastic! The Badger is a Caldari industrial ship and obviously the miner was coming back to transport his gas.

I called the fleet to warp to the site and we tackled the Badger. Once tackled he gave us the slip by quickly ejecting and warping his pod away; a smart more if your head is full of implants. We quickly stopped firing since a Badger full of gas is worth more than a killmail (in terms of isk that is). One of my corpmates piloted the rigged and T2 fitted Badger back to our POS while we celebrated our victory!

Our winnings:

1 Rigged and T2 fitted Badger MkII
1000 c32
1500 c70

That is gas mining the easy way!

1 comment:

  1. nice scanning guide, I'm always screwing up the combats, luckily I can scan them out fast. Currently I use an Arazu to take care of the pesky afk miners in W-space.