Flieger, grüß' mir die Sonne, grüß' mir die Sterne und grüß' mir den Mond. Dein Leben, das ist ein Schweben, durch die Ferne, die keiner bewohnt! - Hans Albers, F.P.1 antwortet nicht (Adaptation in the 80s: Extrabreit)

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Action around Yembo

Sinclair Platform, Karetii. It seems I have missed some opportunity. In the ED forum, CMDR Ben Ryder was so friendly to do a summary of the two ongoing community events, which are hinted at via the in-game News. With this, I finally understand how they are supposed to work. Yembo requires and apparently pays well for metals of all kinds. And Tanmark apparently pays well for land enrichment systems. This is on top of the news about the military engagement in BD+03 2338, where you are supposed to meet Matteucci Terminal in Khasiri, or Antonio de Andrade Vista in Banki. Time to scout this out!

After three jumps, I am at Noddodur Terminal, Yembo. Ok, the event seems to be still on. And accoding to the hint from the forum, Virannen Hub at Brani is a cheap source of palladium. Bringing the stuff back to Noddodur, I can confirm, yes its profitable, with 1466 CR / unit! Yeah! Now a return trip? There starts the caveat; as I start to take down the prices, I note that the supply of most items is exhausted. Surely this is a testament to the strain of many CMDRs looking for the same thing as I am now. Which means in the end that profit is halved due to an empty flight. I would need to find a system with a demand on robotics or auto-fabricators, i.e. an industrial world. I nevertheless start already a single-trip profit tour. After I am back and sell the palladium, I realize that I did a mistake; I should have accepted the according community mission on the bulletin board first! Once you accept, it is shown with a little checkmark in the upper right corner. Sigh, ok once more I go fetching palladium.

- Piercy Gateway has a nice scenery, but nothing more for me

I will check for Huilliche, an industrial system along the way if it is suited to be included in a three-point route. Unfortunately, the station there, Piercy Gateway, is 4800 ls out. And the outpost Lee Enterprise a freaking 320,000 ls! Not good for a pit stop. Once I arrive there and took all prices, it also becomes clear that this is not a viable route point. So, onwards to Brani again, load palladium and back to Yembo. It is not good profit but one or three runs for the sake of the community goal should do it.

Yembo, about 10 ls before Naddoddur Terminal, PIRACY! Despite my attempt to really zoom in fast during supercruise, CMDR God Zilla manages to interdict me. At first I attempt to evade the interdiction, but then I remember the "submit & engange immediately" trick. However, this CMDR has done his homework. He sits in an Asp and goes into close range and wails away my shields. I very well engage frameshift immediately, but I am severely mass locked. This surprises me a lot, but in hindsight, it makes sense to pirate in an Asp and use its big mass to actually successfully mass lock freighters effectively, compared to the smallish combat ships.

I am hapless prey. Thank god this CMDR is an "honorable" pirate; he politely asks for my cargo amd knocks friendly on my hull until it is down to 77%. As soon as I see his message "drop 20 cargo", I oblige immediately, still dumbfounded that "the trick" did not work as expected. I tip my hat to you, CMDR! And finally some action, if at a cost.

And, do you believe it!? A second interdiction follows before I am at the safe haven. Oh my gosh, now I am tanking hard. I already consider some whining to let me go, but then I see this particular CMDR is in a Cobra, and he first scans me. I am not severely mass locked and can engage frameshift as planned. Huff. So, this is the difference between a pirate who has done some homework and one who dawdles too long.

 - not a good snapshot of the unsuccessful CMDR Fermion Alpha, but at least I remembered to try one

Let´s see. Profit not high enough, piracy along the route, I lost 7k CR due to repairs. And I dropped only 15 cargo instead of 20, hoping that he would not realize this before I was away in supercruise. So I lost "only" about 180,000 Credits worth of cargo instead of 240,000 Credits. Nevertheless, this corresponds to one full high profit return trip on my best trade route.

The rationale tells me now, get away from here, nothing to be gained. The player tells me, go on, try again, slap some guns on you can probably tackle a CMDR in an Asp, finally some action!!! First action: Upgrade my shield from class C3 to A3. Second action: Get some guns!!! I try gimballed cannons. Not sure if that is the right choice, they probably got made a bit weaker since the beta and are not strong against shields.

Three more tours, where I also try to grab the scrapes which are left in Noddodur Terminal for maximum cash efficiency, and I am interdicted again by a CMDR Phaeton in a Cobra. I am a bit exasperated; I have tried to evade interdictions by approaching the station at different angles and as fast as possible in supercruise. I am pretty sure there was no ship behind me, yet that CMDR just got me somehow. No idea, I think I need to observe more before I can fully analyse this.

CMDR Phaeton asks me of 6 units. This is reasonable and I am tempted to give in. But I bought guns! And a class A3 shield! Let´s see how I fare against a CMDR Cobra...

Bad, as it turns out. The cannons barely dent his shields, and I am pretty sure he activates his shield banks to completely mitigate the damage. Then I try a fancier maneuver with flight assist off - and achieve the opposite, namely coming into the pirate´s firing arc. Not a problem for my shields yet; even though he is firing beam lasers. But unfortunately, the second side effect of this screwed maneuver is that I actually frontally collide. My shields are gone, his are still almost full.

Some more desperate circling, but the situation does not change to the better. By the time CMDR Phaeton gets in his third salvo, my shields are gone and my hull is at 50%. I yield and jettison those 6 cargo units. Well deserved! It is a pity that I am not cool enough yet in such engagements in order to drop some greetings or do an EVE-slangy "GF" at the end. Not even a screenshot for this blog! I just want out of there!

Pirating seems to be frustrating when you are on the receiving end, but I think it is not very easy to catch a CMDR, lest extort something from him. The cash/hour ratio should not be very high, so those guys do it out of passion. As I have enough cash left, I can shoulder the setbacks and enjoy the challenge.

It seems that without shield banks on my own, daring a fight against a combat equipped ship does not make sense. With a slower and tumber freighter, I am bound to come under fire now and again, and if shield banks are in the game only on my opponent´s side, I basically have already lost from the go. Next time, I could try to run, to see if a Cobra can actually mass lock me long enough. I want to add a shield bank myself, but Naddoddur Terminal does not offer one.

Repair  costs are 15.555 CR, and I lost 75k worth of cargo. I won´t go out of this session with a positive impact on my cash, I suspect. I commit to two more runs and then end this session.

Right the next trip back, I get pulled out of supercruise again. I swear there was no ship behind me, yet, from one instant to another, there is a red hollow triangle. I can target it before I throttle down and get pulled out of supercruise and identify an Asp.

This particular CMDR Bangfish wants me to halt for a scan. I try to run this time; with full pips to engine I should get quickly some distance to an Asp which has its power distributed to weapons. Boy, am I wrong with this assumption! I boost three or four times, try some sorry excuse for an evasive barrel roll, and my hull is already down to 50%. Before I can fully realize and decide that yielding is the only way to still save my ship, my hull is at 11%. "Wow, ok you got me" I chat quickly while I throttle down to zero. "Prepare to be scanned", the pirate transmits. I nevertheless hit frameshift activation, ready to use the first moment of distraction to accelerate and jump away. Ship heat builds up...

Then, in a moment of rare fate, the cards change. Hope has appeared in the form of a new blip on the radar. Hope, because it could as well be just another pirate. But my hopes is fulfilled that same instant. "OMG - You are so lucky today", the pirate lets me know while his Asp turns and accelerates quickly away. It turns out that the approaching triangle is hollow and consists of a fully armed Python! I am saved! Rarely did I feel as relieved and gleeful, and both at the same time! But I don´t wait how the encounter turns out and go into supercruise; CMDR Dinkleberg in his Python might as well be another pirate.

- me poor damsel in distress

Back in supercruise, I regret that I cannot contact the helpful CMDR. But then I see a holow blip appearing far behind me from where the interdiction must have taken place, and, flip-targeting it, it is a Python. A thankful text message is sent, and in answering, CMDR Dinkleberg reveils his identity again. After a bit of chat, he mentions that he was looking for that particular CMDR Bangfish already for a long time, not the least because he sports a bounts of over 1 million Credits!

Flushed with excitement about how this piece of drama had played out, even with a happy end, I bid him farewell and good hunting as I draw close to Noddodur Terminal. Maybe I should not try my luck anymore and get out of here, going again for my better profit route, bit away from the jungle of pirate raptors around here. Repairs cost me this time 28,000 Credits. My contribution to the community quest is about 500 tons of metal. I am within the 70% of CMDRs who contributed most. Selling my cartographic data which I had accumulated with my scans during the last and the current session net me 100k CR. With about 2.2 million Credits cash, I did not gain much here, but neither did I loose.

Back in Yakabugai, only four jumps away thanks to the superiour range of my class A frameshift drive, I am interdicted once more, and "traumatised" as I am from the last few misfortunes, I am relieved to see that it is here only a security vessel. At this occasion, I observe that the "throttle-down trick" seems to have been fixed. I am interdicted two more times by security ships and each time I have to wait the normal cool down period, even though I submitted immediately to the interdiction.

Some more quiet time holds reign while I ride some well-trodden paths. Some more time later, my cash is at about 3.4 million Credits and this game session has to end.

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