The Undiscovered Country

Who would fardels bear,
To grunt and sweat under a weary life,
But that the dread of something after death,
The undiscovered country from whose bourn
No traveller returns

Bloody hell, if the devs can put quotes in their intros, then so can I.

Before I say anything else I want to point out that I was about to strew laurels over CCP for Apocrypha. Lots of candy, lots of goodies, lots of really sweet stuff in that expansion. Really. But then the skill queue began bugging. And then some other shite began bugging. So now I’m withholding that praise until they get stuff fixed. Which shouldn’t take so long. It’s the usual annoyances.

Anyway, I can say though that the new exploration system rules. It’s the best thing since warp to zero. The old system consisted mainly of waiting, waiting, waiting, and was an utter pain to use. Now, it actually feels like you’re doing something. On the other hand, some people got perhaps shafted a bit with the new system when it comes to their skills and modules; their advantage is now not as great as it once was. Also, this will probably make exploration a bit more mainstream, which in turn means it won’t be as profitable. Oh woe.

Now, to the gist of it.

It came to pass that my CEO was the first one in the corp to track down a Wormhole. I was already out and about, probing some neighbouring systems, so I quickly recalled my probes (hell yeah!) and x’ed up.

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here

Abandon all hope, ye who enter here

That’s my Anathema right there. Isn’t it pretty by the way?

We didn’t deliberate too much before we ventured to the other side. CEO got the honor of being the first one, to claim the vastness beyond for the glory and advancement of our corporation. The virgin lands beyond were a wonder to see. A binary system, with what seemed to be a gravity well or black hole consuming the solar dusts.

Of course my screenshot of the skybox contains none of the phenomena I describe in the text. Typical.

Of course my screenshot of the skybox contains none of the phenomena I describe in the text. Typical.

The Sleepers have risen. Great.

The Sleepers have risen. Great.

Now we were here. Nervous and wary we were unsure what our next step ought to be. On a whim I dropped a probe and did a quick scan. A plethora of signatures were there for our taking, if only we could track them down. Also, a number of Cosmic Anomalies presented themselves. Their names hinted of constructs, possible some sort of space stations, sure to be manned and defended. I activated my Cloak and warped to oneof them, placing myself at a, hopefully, safe distance, to take a look. A pop-up box alerted me about what I was about to do, presenting to me a nice little novella to read as dread rose in my throat. Would the cloak hold? Surely I did not warp to zero kilometres range? What would happen if they targeted me? My ship was without both offensive and defensive capabilities.

Behold! The enemy.

Behold! The enemy.

There they were. The fabled Sleepers. A few of them lazily rolled around their, what, base, supply depot, startgate? I could not identify the construct hovering in space before me, although their architecture had a hauntingly familiar look.

As camera drones are neigh undetectable I sent one of them in to give me a closer look of these alien creatures.

I wonder if it will be my friend?

I wonder if it will be my friend?

I and my CEO gazed at these creatures for a while, but then we turned our minds towards more materialistic venues. How were we to capitalize on this hitertho undiscovered country? None of us were sure about the might and power of these Sleepers, so it came naturally to us both to start searching out one of the many signatures inherent in this system.

My skills in exploration aren’t the best, but I did manage to narrow down a gravimetric site, curious about what kind of asteroid belts were to be find in W-space. However, I’m unsure wheter I’m not doing it right or what, but I ended up having to literally spam the site with multiple probes before I managed to secure a 100% strength hit.

Why won't it be found?!?

Why won't it be found?!?

Uncommon Core Deposit

Uncommon Core Deposit

Later, I seem to have noticed that if you simply move the probes closer to the target, their strength increases. But then again I read on the forums that you’re supposed to have the site at the edge of the probes’ range. I don’t know.

Anyway, the grav site was found, and contained, to our delight, Spodumain, Dark Ochre, Gneiss, Hedbergite, Hemorphite, Omber, Jaspet, Plagioclase, Kernite, Pyroxeres and, most importantly, Veldspar. All asteroids contained a multiple of thousand units, and there were no +5% or +10% types represented.

Surely, we could have tracked down more sites. But once we had this first grav site in our sights, there was only one thing to do. Outfit an expendable Covetor, christen it Deep Throat and take it on a walk on the wild side.

The mighty Hu... ah, no, just a Covetor

The mighty Hu... ah, no, just a Covetor

By this time we had some protection as well. The belt did spawn some rats, but only once, and that was when we arrived with the Covetor. Apparently this W-system was also one of the easy ones, according to the guy flying CAP for us. Even so, I’m not sure if we could have taken on the Sleepers. My pew-pew skills are definitely on this side of The Suck.

Profit.

Profit.

It was an experience, and a fun one at that. Also, we got our hands on some ore that we otherwise are unable to get to, being confined in hi sec as we are. The most important lesson of the day, however, is that Wormhole sites fall under the group “Unknown”. That is worthy of note, especially for me who otherwise gladly retracts my probes once I see that I’m chasing an “Unknown”-type site. We live and we learn.

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~ by Shaun Livingstone on March 14, 2009.

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