Lighting the Cynosural Field December 28, 2011Posted by Wilhelm Arcturus in entertainment, EVE Online, Null Sec.
Tags: Long digressions into simple game mechanics, Tengu
It was time to get myself back to Deklein in null sec… you know, before we lose it all… and Gaff set up a way for me to get some more ships out there.
Originally I had set up a courier contract with one of our guys who flies a jump freighter between empire space and null sec. However, I had just missed his last trip out and so my stuff was going to sit until enough stuff accumulated to make the trip again. That could end up being a week or two.
I must digress for a moment to bring up how travel works in EVE Online. Please check the comments for people correcting me on this, as it is extremely likely I am wrong on many points.
Within a solar system, you move short distances with the drives built into your ship and travel at speeds best measured in meters per second. My freighter can go something like 80 m/s, while my Rifter, which is fitted for speed with an afterburner and a booster can easily hit 3,500 m/s (and can run at that speed forever). In addition, there are microwarp drives, which speed you up even more, but which consume a lot of energy, usually more than your ship systems can provide.
To move long distances, like from planet to planet or off to a distant asteroid field, you use the warp drive in your ship. While the previous drive lets you just… well… go… the warp drive needs a target. It is very fast, covering astronomical unit distances in seconds.
Warp drives, and disrupting them, is often the key to small battles. Warp drives allow you to escape battle quite quickly. They do need a bit of time to set up and you have to have a target and you must align to that target before you can jump. In that time somebody who is after you can use a warp disruptor fitted to their ship to basically turn off your warp drive. Then you have to stay and fight, usually at bad odds. That is what happened to me the other day. There are also warp bubbles and interdictors and heavy interdictors (which are completely different) cloaking devices and the like which all make low sec and null sec… interesting.
To move between system you need to use a jump gate. There are at least one, and often two or three, jump gates in any system in EVE Online, from empire to null sec.
This is how EVE explains away traveling interstellar distances. Gates are natural choke points in the game, and the “gate camp,” hanging around a gate waiting for a target of opportunity is probably as old as the game itself. (Who set up the first gate camp in EVE?) All that warp stopping stuff comes into play around gates as when you jump into a gate, you are too far away from it to jump right back out, so you must warp or fight if caught.
And then there are capital ships.
Capital ships cannot use jump gates. Instead, they have built-in jump drives which cover interstellar distances, but which need special fuel and a target to which to jump.
So to get the supercarrier out to pick up my stuff, I had to setup a target. But first I had to get my stuff to another system. A low sec system, so there was danger involved, though I was covered by a corp mate who scouted for me.
Once my stuff was in place, I was given a Kestral and sent out to be the jump target, which meant activating a cynosural field.
Gaff had the foresight to tell me to train that (so I could be target boy for him, but it is all good) so I was able to light it up.
The cyno field lit, the super carrier soon hove into view and docked in the station.
And then I learned something new! Once you fire up the cyno field, it runs for 10 minutes. During that time you are stuck there… and in this case, in a low sec system… sitting outside of a station with a great big flare announcing your presence.
The corp mate who set me up with the Kestral was astute enough to only load it with enough fuel for on 10 minute cycle. If you forget to turn the field generator off and you have enough fuel, you will find yourself waiting out another 10 minute cycle. So I was only hanging out in space for 10 minutes.
After that it was back to the station, where I gave back the Kestral, handed over my stuff, which included a Tengu, a Hulk, and my Crane blockade runner along with some fittings. I had the two ships broken down to be carried one at a time in the Crane, in case I ended up having to sneak them into null sec. (A task for which the Crane was built.)
Then, quicker than I could switch jump clones (because I always forget I have to pause skill training to do so… and why is there no “resume skill training” button?) everything was waiting for me out in null sec.
I can now haul and mine as well as finally doing something with that Tengu. I bought the ship nearly two years ago and it has sat in my hanger ever since. Hopefully, all of that will lead to some more ISK coming my way, as I seem to be spending far more than I am making of late.
And I have a new career ahead of me lighting cynosural fields for jump targets.