Saturday, 19 October 2013

Choosing to be prey

Honestly, the prospect of exploring low sec and wormholes has me nervous. And I've just worked out why.

Before in the crusade, I'd head out to the wildlands to ferret out Minmatar dogs without batting an eye. The security status didn't phase me, and I whilst I wasn't reckless, I didn't avoid combat.

Not so with exploration. Flying in an unarmed, lightly tanked ship as I am, my only saftey lies in speed and stealth. I am no longer a hunter, but the hunted. The worst thing about this is that I put myself in that position.

I have invited predatory capsuleers to strike me and confound my plans. Despite flying a black ship, I'm a highly visible, and easy target.

It puts me in an odd position. Technically I'm doing a safer activity, but it puts me at more risk.

There's not much you can do to avoid this. But I wouldn't be me unless I conjoured up some solutions!

  • Patrol planning
  • Deployment of material

The same as with the Crusade, your best friend is a map. See my post on patrol planning for an in-depth examination. The principles are the same here. Map out your route to encounter the fewest pilots. This is slightly easier than in the Crusade, as relic and hacking sites aren't tied to any specific system... and backwater systems far from traffic are more likely to be unexploited anyway!

The deployment of material is fairly similar too. Only one or two exploration ships are required, and then bring a small stack of combat ready vessels. It'll depend on the sites you're hunting down, and I'm going to have to explore possibilities later. I'm undecided whether the ships should be fit for anti-rat or capsuleer combat. I think it will depend on the operating region.

However, a slight difference would be to include a mining vessel or two in the redeployment. Whilst exploring you will find many brightly coloured and interesting rocks to exploit. It would be a waste to ignore these opportunities!

The deployment then gives us back a rapid re-shipping option, weakening the impact of ship loss. Even if we are destroyed, we can fit out a new ship, and head back out into space in a short window.

I must think more on how to lessen the fear of being prey. 

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