Sunday, 30 August 2020

The Amarr Epic Arc Experiment - Part 2

Apologies this next part took longer than expected, I've recently moved into NullSec with a new corp on two of my characters. I'll talk about this more in a later post though!

So when we last left off, I had been sent to speak to a local informant/contact, Aralin Jik, who could dodge the red tape that would foul the investigation of my current agent. I flew over to Nishah and gave him a call. He informed me a local Holder (basically a Lord) was the target of Sansha attacks and we needed to warn his head of security, a guy called Riff Hebian, before it was too late.

Happily for me, the security guy was monitoring a site in system, all I had to do was go there and contact him.

He seemed to not believe me that his master was the target of a Sansha plot, but luckily...

An ambush! The Sansha really do have a great flair for timing, I'll give them that.

I immediately retaliated with Conflag fueled laser beams, wiping out two battleships and a battlecruiser within a minute, but then more spawns started popping in so I decided that range was my friend. A short MJD hop later and a crystal switch to Scorch had my lasers punching through Sansha hulls at 100km like a boot through a paper bag. There were quite a few waves to get through, so during a lull in the third wave I jumped back in to the spawn at zero, dropped my MTU, waited out the MJD cooldown in Bastion and jumped back out to 100km again. This way, the wrecks would be in a nice little ball for me to salvage once the pirates were dead.

MTU, more like MVP

I kept up the fire as more Sansha poured in to try and take me down, but the combination of hilarious Paladin tank and 100km range meant I was barely being tickled, while my tracking computer boosted Scorch lasers were going to town melting fools. After a few minutes of shooting fish in a barrel, the pirate raiders were dead, and Riff contacted me. Seeing how many Sansha had shown up to destroy his master's depot had changed his mind, and he agreed to help me in the investigation. I reported back to Aralin Jik I had been successful, and he directed me to investigate the first of the Holder's enemies, Lady Temari Jariza.

Total ISK - Background Check
Pay + Bonus: 2.9mil
Bounties: 11.1mil
Total for this mission: 14mil

Loot/Salvage was estimated at 10.9mil

The next mission looked interesting. According to EVE Survival, I would have to survive a large pocket of enemies while hacking a comms array. Despite the fact the mission report assured me I wouldn't have to fight anyone I've already committed to full clearing and salvaging every room, which meant these poor men had to die for SCIENCE. 

I hopped next door into Amdonen and warped into the site. Upon arriving I saw a big mass of red crosses and also, my target, a huge comm relay.

I wondered if they'd aggro me and sat for a while, checking out the sick paintwork on their ships.

Space tumbleweed went by. 
Nobody so much as looked in my direction. 
How boring.

I swiftly changed that with a few volleys of Scorch into the orbiting fighters. Seemingly totally surprised that the marauder sat on their doorstep locking them up for the last few minutes was actually a threat, they all made the incredibly stupid mistake of flying straight at me, letting me volley them off the field in two shots each (NPC AI is the real MvP). Fighters cleared, I switched to frigates who all were one shot or two shot with little fanfare before they could get within 60km.

Goddam I love this ship.

By this point the battlecruisers and battleships were in Conflag/Multifreq range and I was a little concerned about my tank when I saw some big hits smack into my armour and take out 10% chunks at a time. Then I realised I hadn't turned bastion on and laughed as my repper easily dealt with their damage and my increased resists made their big hits drop to small punches. I chucked out my MTU and salvage drones to start working on the wrecks while I mopped up the remaining defenders. The battlecruisers got literally instakilled by tracking assisted Conflag at 30km and the battleships, despite having energy neuts, couldn't do much to stop me as superheated laser beams breached their hulls one by one.

After clearing the enemies off the field, I warped to a nearby station and reshipped into my Probe. I also pulled my salvagers off the Paladin so I could clear the last few wrecks and grab the MTU/loot and save myself a trip.

Warping back into the pocket I salvaged the last few wrecks, grabbed the loot out of the MTU (some 30mil in tags, nice) and proceeded to hack the comms relay. I have maxed scanning/hacking skills due to spending some time in Wormhole space and it was extreme overkill for the simple hack in this mission. Within a minute I had unlocked the Comms Relay's secrets and taken the communication logs.

I dropped back into the local station to reship into my Paladin and move the cargo over. Flying back to Nishah, I dropped by Aralin Jick to give him the logs. The logs showed nothing suspicious, and Lady Jariza was off the hook, despite the fact she'd need to hire new security. Honest mistake.

Total ISK - Longing Leman
Pay + Bonus: 2.6mil
Bounties: None, all in tags
Total for this mission: 2.6mil

Loot/Salvage was estimated at 32.1mil

While I was there another agent by the name of Tesh Amyermun was so impressed with my work he offered me a storyline mission, "Record Cleaning" I accepted his offer, but first I had to eavesdrop on a meeting between a "Lord Manik" and a mercenary contact, the potential cause of the Sansha attacks.

EVE Survival pointed out this was a very easy mission, just needed to fly in and sit in a cloud for a minute or two. I jumped in my Probe and headed out. No need to be conspicuous. Luckily the meeting site was in the system already, so that made things easy.

I arrived at the site before anyone else and headed to hide behind a convenient asteroid. Aralin Jick informed me I was in position and for epic RP I actually had a cloak on my Probe so I turned it on and waited.

Sure enough, they arrived soon after.

After some spinning around, they both warped off and Aralin Jick managed to get a track on the Merc. I returned to the station and was ordered to attack the Merc base to prevent them becoming involved in the local area.

Total ISK - Languishing Lord
Pay + Bonus: 1.5mil
Bounties: None
Total for this mission: 1.5mil

Nil Loot/Salvage 

I took a moment to quickly run the storyline mission, but I won't include the rewards from it in my final total. Here's the EVE Survival page. It was very easy

Haha lasers go brrrrr

For those interested, Record Cleaning amounted to around 22mil loot/salvage, 3.4mil from the agent, and 4.4mil in bounties.

Back to the Epic Arc... 

So, wiping out a merc base. Doesn't sound too hard. I had a quick scan of EVE Survival again, lot of battleship spawns, didn't seem too bad though (or so I thought).

I warped over to the site in Nishah and got a message from the mercs as I arrived.

Sounds like they were overconfident. I warped in and opened fire immediately. The first pocket fell with ease. The next pocket went the same way. Lock up, cycle lasers, drones killing small targets, MTU hoovering up the dank loot, absolute PVE precision.

It's safe to say at this point I was the overconfident one, and it nearly bit me in the ass. I warped into the last pocket and started firing at everything I felt like, starting with the battleships because they were in my Conflag optimal. Big mistake.

From EVE Survival - Razing the Outpost
Pocket 3
Initial Group: (9-81km)
2x Frigate (Mordus Bounty Hunter) Web/Scram
4x Cruiser (Mordus Bobcat)
2x Battleship (Mordus Gigamar) Last destroyed is Trigger (Wave 1)
3x Caldari Heavy Missile Battery (Thermal) Inferno Missiles
3x Caldari Cruise Missile Battery (Kinetic) Scourge Missiles

All of a sudden, I had another four battleships and assorted other crap on field. "Fucking hell" I thought, "this is a pain, I've not finished the first spawn yet". I decided to primary the battleships again because they did a lot of Kinetic damage and my two slot tank was beginning to struggle with most of the initial spawn, plus the next wave on field all at once.

Mistake number two.

From EVE Survival - Razing the Outpost
Pocket 3
Wave 1
2x Frigate (Mordus Bounty Hunter) Web/Scram
4x Cruiser (Mordus Leopard)
4x Battleship (Mordus Gigamar, Mordus Mammoth) Last destroyed is Trigger (Wave 2)

I was very surprised after killing four battleships with my armour at 50%, and really struggling to hold reps, to see another six battleships spawn on field with a gaggle of cruisers and frigates.


"That's it" I think "I'm jumping out with MJD and giving these idiots a taste of Scorch". I red cycle bastion. Only 15 seconds left but I was getting battered by these fresh battleships and the remains of the first few waves.  Last bastion rep hits, and I cycle out at around 70% armour and 40% cap. I align off in a random direction and hit MJD. If I'd have been fighting real players I would have put something witty in Local chat like "Bye Felicia".

Then I realised my third mistake.

Oh turbo fuck nuggets

That is NOT a micro jump drive.

I'm panic spamming my MWD to end cycle and start grabbing at my overview to align the fuck out before something scrams me and I lose a very expensive marauder hull for the small price of being too lazy to read spawn triggers. The battleships, still very much alive, are smashing through my armour now I don't have the benefit of bastion and I'm dropping to around 40%, with my ship alarming constantly as I dip below 20% capacitor This is not looking good.

My Paladin, slowed significantly by my MWD, sluggishly aligns off to a nearby beacon. I can see elite frigates making a beeline towards me at only 40km out and I manage to volley one off the field but the others are still coming and I can't lock them before they'll be under my guns. I start spamming warp hoping I'm aligned enough and luckily for my stupid ass, the MWD cycle ends, putting me over the 75% velocity needed to warp and pushing me straight into the beautiful embrace of a warp tunnel. 

I breathe a huge sigh of relief. That was WAY too close for comfort. I licked my wounds at the beacon I landed on and metaphorically slap myself around the face for being so dumb.

I warped back into the site and very carefully murdered the rest. After looting the field, I returned to my agent, feeling extremely dumb, and lucky to still be flying my marauder. He directed me next to fake a kidnapping of a local Lord's daughter Mina, who had valuable information on the Sansha commander we were chasing.

Total ISK - Razing the Outpost
Pay + Bonus: 2.8mil
Bounties: 16.7mil
Total for this mission: 19.5mil

Loot/Salvage estimated at 26.8mil

The next mission was purported to be very difficult in the EVE Survival reports, and after my close shave earlier I decided to fly carefully. My agent directed me to a nearby system where Mina was kept under armed guard by her father. The mission was a single pocket with several waves alternating between battleships, cruisers, and frigates. I headed over and prepared for the worst.
 Luckily for me, the veteran guards were all at around 70+km when I came in, and Scorch tore them apart before they got within their optimal of around 50km, where EVE Survival warned the DPS would be very high. The next few waves of cruisers and battleships were easily dispatched, and I decided to wait the 30mins for the large "reinforcement wave" of battleships and elite cruisers that the guide warned may require logi. 

It didn't because :lol bastion:

After wiping out every last one, looting Mina from a cargo container that popped out of a nearby accommodation tower and clearing the field of salvage, I was left a little disappointed by the final haul. Because the ships didn't give bounties, I was relying on the loot being decent, and it definitely wasn't. There was good news on the Epic Arc front though, after handing over Mina to my agent, she told him all about the Sansha commander, and where to find him. I already knew what my next mission would be...

Total ISK - Ascending Nobles
Pay + Bonus: 2.4mil
Bounties: Nil
Total for this mission: 2.4mil

Loot/Salvage estimated at 6.8mil (It's really not worth killing that final wave)

So it turned out Mina's dad was a naughty man who had been colluding with criminals, one of which turned out to be the Sansha Commander we'd been chasing, and now we had both a name, Rhasa, and a location of his base, the system of Masanuh. I was directed to destroy his fleet and capture him...

...Which we'll discuss next time, as this post is getting insanely long.

Thanks for sticking with me this far, and I may try turning the next post into a mix of both writing and video to make it more interesting/digestable.

Fly safe guys o/

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