Monday, 8 December 2014

Planning for Rhea

We're just a couple of days away from the release of Rhea and with it the new Bowhead ship transporter. This is a ORE produced capital class vessel and, as with previous ORE vessels, the BPO has only been seeded in ORE space and cannot be bought from NPC suppliers in Empire space.

I was not in a position to take advantage of this when the Noctis was released but I am now so why not guy a couple of BPO's and get them shipped to Jita, within hours of the release of Rhea, and make a decent profit from selling to those that do not (or cannot) source them from ORE stations in Outer Ring.

All Your Assembled Ships Are Belong To Me
So I had a word with Bex and suggested the idea to him and he's spent the past couple of weeks looking for a way to get in and out with the BPOs whilst avoiding the station campers and/or gate camps on the way to high sec.


On Saturday Bex told me he'd come up with an idea but needed some help getting the ship he wanted to use to the system in Outer Ring. I asked for some more information, OpSec prevents me sharing the full details now, and it was quite ingenious and far better than the plan i thought he'd come up with.

My task was simple, I needed to move a character who could use a cyno to a station in 4C-B7X so he could jump in the needed ships and modules. Quite simple but this was space I was unfamiliar with and would need me to travel through systems that, according to DotLan and zKillboard, were regaularly gate camped.

Into The Breach

A little bit of investigation led me to the high sec system of Orvolle in Placid which I determined as the best starting point for my journey. It had a direct connection to null sec Syndicate  that would lead directly to 4C-B7X.

Checking the ingame map for pilots active in the last 30 minutes showed that there were three systems along the way where i should expect probable gate camps which I confirmed using zKillboard and saw the kills for the past couple of days.

One thing I did before I confirmed my route was to check all NPC stations along the route I was going to take for Medical services. If they had them I would dock up and move my medical clone to this location so I would not have to do the entire route again.

So I jumped in my pod (no need to take a ship as I could buy the fuel and cyno module where I was heading) and immediately wished I had trained interceptors on my cyno alts.

The Journey

I needed to travel through six systems in Syndicate and eight systems Outer Ring to get to my destination. 14 jumps through very hostile space.

Route Taken
I warped to the PF-346 gate and my journey was started. Orvolle gate was clear and I made sure to bounce to a celestial and then to the next gate which, I saw, had a drag bubble on it that would have pulled me off the gate had I warped directly.

One jump, so far so good.

After bouncing in FD-MLJ I landed on gate to see two ships. "My first gate camp" I thought as I jumped through. It took a couple of seconds but the grid in X-M2LR loaded and I saw a Sabre on the gate and before I could do anything an interdiction probe appeared and the dreaded bubble appeared.

My first thought was I was screwed and I'd wake up in my clone in Orvolle and have to start the journey again. But regardless I selected a moon and spammed the warp button and was overjoyed to see the bubble stop short of my pod, quite literally by only a few hundred metres I'd estimate, and I entered warp! Luck was on my side and I had appeared just outside of the diameter of the interdiction probe.

I expected to be chased but after I jumped through my next waypoint I saw I was not and proceeded to the next system that had a station so I could update my medical clone location!

The rest of the trip was uneventful, I stopped three more times to update my clone location. Saw a few people in local in most systems but the gates were clear of drag bubbles and ships. I still made sure to bounce to moons before landing on gates and it added a few seconds to the stay in each system but it would, if there was trouble, save my pod.

Eventually I entered 4C-B7X and warped to the first ORE station I clicked on. My medical clone location was updated and, with the free rookie ship I got on docking, I bought the cyno module and fuel for one use. I waited until the system quieted down and lit the cyno, bought in the needed ships/modules for Bex and then jump cloned my cyno alt back to her home system.

Lessons Learnt

I have taken two lessons away from this trip:
  • Having cyno alts with Cynosural Theory V really saved me, I doubt I would have made it all the way to 4C from high sec in a rookie ship with cargo expanders. 
  • I cannot stress how important learning how to "bounce" between celestials and gates is. I really should have been doing that when I lost this pod earlier this year.

I'm hoping we can get BPO's out of the system pretty fast after Rhea is released but its all dependant on downtime.


  1. Fast (under 2 seconds) aligning interceptors makes travel through null much more enjoyable. I use one for exploration and just warp gate to gate without a care in the world. So far...

    Good luck with the BPOs!

    1. Thanks.

      I use a runabout fit Malediction that allows me to make speed runs through hostile systems. It's functional and I have been caught and taken to 50% shields on one occasion. Unfortunately the cyno character is not able to fly it.

      And I don't think I'd want to make 14 jumps just after release on Tuesday, I think the region would be thick with insta-lock ships on gates.

  2. I think it was a tricky passage from some of the killmails I saw posted on Reddit... Hope your BPOs made it through the guantlet!