In something of an impulse move, I put my main alt character into Black Sheep Down.
I had been thinking about bringing him out to null for quite some time, but never really got around to it. Part of the block was that I needed to go make sure he was jump clone capable, having apparently forgotten that I took care of that something like four years ago.
Seriously, I logged him in the other night and checked his faction standings. He was sitting at 8.4 with Amarr Navy, so could create a high sec jump clone with them. I looked at his skills and realized that he already had Informorph Psychology trained up to level 4, so he was covered there. Then I started looking for an Amarr Navy station that had medical facilities so I could create a jump clone. That was the hardest part of the evening, as EVE Online is always reluctant to give up information to the player. It was easier to just go out of game and Google the question. I found a forum post with the answer, which I will share. Amarr Navy stations at the following locations have medical facilities for clone management:
- Bapraya XI – Moon 4
- Beke VI – Moon 4
- Bhizheba IX – Moon 1
- Ghekon V – Moon 11
- Kamih V
- Nakri VI – Moon 1
- Sahtogas IV – Moon 2
- Youl VII – Moon 10
Bhizheba happened to be the closest system to Amarr, where I was hanging out to buy and fit a ship. So I jumped over, docked in the station, and attempted to create a jump clone there.
More after the cut. Too many words and one pretty neat screen shot.
So I tried to create that jump clone.
And I could not.
I could not because I had ALREADY done that at some previous date. As it turned out I had already seeded high sec with a couple of convenient jump clones, one near Amarr, one in Jita, and then have completely forgotten about it.
I am not quite to the point where I can read a mystery novel twice and be surprised by the ending both times, but that time is clearly coming. Soon I will be able to own just one good book and can enjoy rereading it as a voyage of discovery over and over.
Having wasted some time, I applied to join Black Sheep Down. While I was fitting my ship, Gaff showed a clear lapse of judgement and let my alt into the corp. I had originally offered up my alt because TNT requires a minimum number of pilots in a corp to be part of the alliance. However we passed that mark handily.
Meanwhile I finished fitting out a Buzzard for moon scanning. The ongoing Jabber broadcasts from Blawrf McTaggart for the great “Scan ALL the moons!” operation were clearly starting to influence me. GSF is actually paying people to scan, though I am not sure I am eligible, as TNT also has a moon scanning scheme going where they don’t actually pay people, they just award prizes occasionally. Either way though, I was going to have a ship fit to do moon scanning.
And then, on a whim, I figured I would just fly myself right out to null sec.
No big deal you might say, but I have never actually flown from high sec empire space to null sec on my own and survived. I inadvertently attempted that early on in my EVE career. But when I put Wilhelm into null sec, I simply moved my medical clone to a TNT station in Deklein and then self-destructed my pod. From that point forward, my travels between high and null have been almost completely jump clone based.
I did fly through high sec on a fleet op with Dabigredboat once, and I managed to strand my fleet fit Drake in Jita at one point, but I have never really flown myself into null. Time for a new experience.
I decided, since I was in Amarr, that I would not fly the most direct route to Deklein, which would put me through EC-P8R, a system with enough activity to warrant its own intel channel. Instead I thought I would head towards Fountain and then take the path through null sec into Deklein. I have been that route enough times to have it memorized. So I pointed myself in the direction of 4-EP12 and headed out in my Buzzard.
I actually wish I had taken note of the route at this point. I Just looked at the map and set my destination for the nearest low sec system. That happened to put me into a factional warfare region and I had to slip by a gate camp staffed by some FW players. I managed to do the break cloak, MWD, turn on cloak, align, and warp routine successfully. They said hello in local after I made it past and I returned the compliment.
It was about at that point I realized that not only had I forgotten to insure the ship… a normal blunder for me… but that I also happened to be in my implant clone. I have forsworn implants in null sec since I lose pods rather regularly, and now I seem doomed to lose another set.
On I went.
I decided that it was time to pull out the web tool that Razor has available to CFC pilots. That showed I was pretty much headed in the right direction, though I did not need to go as far as 4-EP before I hit the CFC jump bridge system, I could pick it up easily from B-DBYQ.
As I got close I started getting very paranoid. Every system seemed to have several neutrals, so I spent time bouncing off planets to avoid taking direct routes between gates. When I hit B-D I thought I was really in trouble, as there was a huge gang of neutrals in system.
And then I recognized the name of one of the neutrals. I thought he was in the CFC. So I did a “get info” on him and, sure enough, he was. The EVE client just hadn’t gotten around to marking allies as blue yet in Local or my overview. I had probably been busy dodging allies.
Of course, at that point, I wondered if they saw me as neutral as well. That would be just as bad as actually being neutral. I pulled up the intel channel for the region to see if my presence was being broadcast, but I did not seem to be getting any notice. And I was able to use the jump bridge network. So I continued on my way, arriving at our home system in Deklein without any further self-inflicted issues.
Which lead me to the big question: What should I do with my alt in null sec?
He ought to be useful, having nearly 75 million skill points. But like my main, a lot of that was dictated by his earlier choice of professions. So he is heavily invested in shield tanking, missiles, Caldari ships, mining, hauling, production, and trade. All of that has been useful by turns, but now he is out in null.
I suppose I could pick up mining again and have my main burn rocks while my alt hauls it off. But as far as alliance and coalition fleet doctrines, I am not sure he can fly a single ship. He is currently training up for stealth bombers because I figured Siege Fleet was something I could dual box.
I could use him and the ship he came out in and actually do some moon scanning.
Or maybe a career as an AFK cloaker would suit him better.
Anyway, something else to think on.
Meanwhile, actually getting into null sec was no big deal… this time around.