As happens, every so often Ranger Gama sets up another race event for Reavers. The last one had us flying around in Drakes back at the end of December. This time around the Gnosis, the Society of Conscious Thought battlecruiser, was the hull of choice. We gathered together at 02:00 EVE Online time and Ranger Gama handed us the ships for the race.
The Gnosis is a bit of an odd bird, one of the rare faction battlecruisers… I think it was the sole such example until we got the Triglavian Drekavac recently… along with having very low skill requirements to fly as well as bonuses to which ever weapon system you prefer to mount. Rails, projectiles, beams, missiles, and drones all get a boost on this hull.
Of course, for a Reavers race the fit is always part of the equation, though weapon systems rarely come into play. We got our ships and found the usual odd set of modules.
For those who want the details, here is the EFT block:
[Gnosis, Reavers Race] Damage Control I Reinforced Bulkheads I Nanofiber Internal Structure I Inertial Stabilizers I Overdrive Injector System I Warp Core Stabilizer I Medium Micro Jump Drive 10MN Afterburner I 50MN Microwarpdrive I Cargo Scanner I Ship Scanner I Survey Scanner I Miner I Salvager I Small Tractor Beam I Festival Launcher Cynosural Field Generator I Core Probe Launcher I Medium Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer I Medium Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer I Medium Hyperspatial Velocity Optimizer I Mining Drone I x1 Light Armor Maintenance Bot I x1 Light Shield Maintenance Bot I x1 Salvage Drone I x1 Light Hull Maintenance Bot I x1 Liquid Ozone x249 Core Scanner Probe I x8 Sodium Firework x100 Barium Firework x100 Copper Firework x100 Mobile Medium Warp Disruptor I
There was also an Ironblood SKIN in each so people could spiff up their ship. I already had that SKIN. In fact, I was a bit surprised to find I had four SKINs for the Gnosis already. I am not sure I’ve ever bothered to fly one, other than to undock one back in the day just to see it in space.
Fireworks are the usual fit. A miner, a tractor beam, and a salvager are not unheard of. The cyno was an interesting touch, though in the cargo we found ourselves one unit of Liquid Ozone shy of being able to light it off, so nobody would be coming to our rescue that way. And we had probes. I guess we could wormhole our way home if we survived. The Gnosis gets a bonus to probe strength as well.
There was also a medium warp bubble in the cargo. Those are fun at parties, though I wasn’t sure how one would fit into the race. Theoretically, if you could get far enough ahead, you could drop one to annoy the people behind you. But they take 240 seconds to deploy and if you’re that far ahead you might as well just carry on flying.
Otherwise the ship was at least fit for speed. The hyperspatial rigs meant we would be warping fast for a battlecruiser.
The rules for the event were the usual; only standard star gates allowed. No Ansiblex jumps, no titan bridges, and no wormholes. The payout for the winners was set as:
- 1st Place: 50% of the pool
- 2nd Place: 30% of the pool
- 3rd Place: 15% of the pool
- POD: 5% of the pool
- Harlyq Prize: Something special
The Harlyq prize, named after a Reaver for reasons I’ve no forgotten, required you to stop and mine 500 units of Scordite along the way and have that in your hold at the finish line.
Unfortunately, the timing for the race was not optimal. It was Saturday night before Easter, the second day of Passover, and a Liberty Squad op had just formed up minutes before the race ping… and there is a lot of overlap between Liberty Squad and Reavers, so much so that the two groups pretty much cannot run fleets at the same time… so that turn out for the race was pretty low. There were just five of us.
Still, we were game. We all had our ships in 1DQ1-A in Delve and were ready to go. Ranger Gama had us undock then warped us to a celestial while updating the message of the day with the route. When we landed, we were off and running.
The route was essentially the same as the last one, landing us in HED-GP, a location which usually has somebody camping it.
As tends to happen, with all things being equal, the person with the best connection to the data center starts to pull ahead as they transition through gates faster. As it so happened Zarakik is close to the London data center and, when we all announced our client latency, was showing an easy 10ms advantage over the next person on the list, hitting 6ms to 16ms or more for those of us in the US.
Somebody did a long post at one point about the dynamics of EVE Online and specifically how to be that person who always gets the kill at a gate camp, the summary of which was “be close to the London data center.” Same thing here.
We could see Zarakik gaining a lead with every gate. Our only real hope was for him to go AFK for a bit or to run into a gate camp ahead of us. And the former wasn’t going to help me much. Being on the west coast of the US I was the furthest from the data center and was falling behind everybody ever so slightly, so I would still be in last place if I just did gated and warped with the rest of them.
Destined for last place if nothing got in our way, I decided to stop and mine so at least to get the Harlyq prize. The problem was just finding some Scordite out in null sec. That doesn’t spawn in mining anomalies, or so I observed, so I had to start warping to belts to find some. Eventually I spotted an asteroid in a belt without rats and ran a cycle that got me what I needed.
That accomplished, I was way behind the pack. My main hope was that they would hit a gate camp. They were far enough ahead of me that I would hear about it long before I got there. But I decided to hedge my bet and pick a route to get to HED-GP via another route. So I looked for a waypoint on DOTLAN that would get me around the straight path. It would take me longer, but last race the winner was the person who did not run the shortest path.
So I set 4-07MU as my destination and started taking gates.
After a bit I started to suspect I might have made an error as I noted along the way some of the things the people ahead of me had mentioned. I then realized that I had simply made 4-07MU my destination and that the shortest path there was to go through HED-GP and back around through Querious. Navigational error on my part.
But it did not matter. As it turned out nobody was camping anything along the route. TEST and its allies have a campaign of their own going on in the east and were probably all deployed out there. So the five of us just flew through their space, all arriving in HED-GP unscathed, without much of a scare. I think somebody saw an Onyx along the way, but it didn’t come after us or anything.
The results were:
- 1st Place: Zarakik
- 2nd Place: Ranger Gama
- 3rd Place: Hoff Talvanen
- Harlyq Prize: Wilhelm Arcturus
Then there was the question of what to do when you don’t lose any ships. Ranger Gama did not want them back. I flew mine back to 1DQ1-A through Querious, half hoping to get caught along the way.
The main highlight on that trip was discovering that SpaceMonkeys Alliance was a thing again and part of the Querious Fight Club. I had not heard much about them since they collapsed from exhaustion during the Casino War. (They helped start the whole thing, or so the story goes, and were fighting for months before it became the big conflict it ended up as.)
I arrived back in Delve intact, missing only the mobile war disruptor, which I dropped along the way during the race. I aligned for a gate at one point, triggered my micro jump drive to put me 100km off the gate, and set it to deploy. I figured that would annoy somebody. And somebody did take the time to kill it. Ranger Gama also dropped his and it was popped by a couple of the same people. Zarakik dropped his in TEST space where it got solo’d. EVEBruceL and Hoff Talvanen either didn’t drop theirs or dropped them some place where they simply expired before anybody felt like shooting them.
The final aspect of the race was to find out what the Harlyq prize would be. “Something special” covers a lot of ground. But later that evening a contract popped up from Ranger Gama. I figured out what he did with the spare Gnosis hulls he had.
They were all set up as mining ships, with cargo expanders in the low slots and mining lasers in the high slots.
I doubt I am going to mining in them. I’ll have to find a decent PvP fit and take them out to get blown up… once I’ve insured them.
Of course, we’re back to what to fit. The Gnosis works with so many weapon systems. Maybe lasers. At least those are pretty.