As of late I have been doing a lot of studying into the operation of combat drones. I was born, raised and educated in the Gallente Federation so this is hardly surprising. My people have favored drones for combat for ages and as a result many ships of Gallente origin are specially designed around enhancing their effectiveness. One of these ships is the Vexor cruiser, a cheap but extremely useful cruiser that I have been flying a lot recently and may have taken over that spot in my heart that used to be only reserved for my Incursus. It can be fit fairly cheaply, provides significant boosts to the efficiency of combat drones and can be fit with a respectable tank which allows me to outlast my opponent while my drones do their damage. Yesterday, myself and a couple of my Vexor's had a very eventful time:
It had been a pretty uneventful day so far. Myself and a gang mate had been trolling deep into low security space but had not been able to find anyone willing to engage us. We slowly made our way back towards our home sector on the edge of high security CONCORD protected space when we decided to stop in a highly populated (and highly dangerous) system. I arrived, scanned around and found a Gallente Thorax cruiser that appeared to be in an asteroid belt in the system. I warped towards the belt and continued to scan as I was approaching... the Thorax was still appearing on scan! I knew at this point that he definitely was in this belt and I was about to drop on top of him. I could feel my blood starting to pump rapidly and I informed my partner that I had located a potential target and was about to drop in on him.
I landed about 10km away from the Thorax who was in combat with a nearby rat. I toggled my warp disruptor, launched my drones and tried to close distance. The Thorax was faster than me so I toggled my MicroWarpDrive to close distance and get him webbed. Got him! The Thorax was locked down, barely even touching my shields and he was going down fast. My partner landed in his Thorax cruiser and provided the killing blow from his powerful hybrid blasters. I began floating over to the wreck and we locked down the pilots pod to attempt to ransom him but it wasn't going to happen. I looked up to see one, two... then three blinky red names appear on my overview. Three known pirates had warped in and were closing on us fast... we had outstayed our welcome. Both myself and my gang-mate warped away just as the three hostiles piloting a command ship, a large interdictor and a battleship had started to lock us.
Another member of my corporation had just informed me of several potential targets in a nearby low security sector including some cruisers and frigates. I warped into the pirate sector I had gotten a kill in earlier on my way and found a trio of ships camping the gate. The same three pirates that had almost caught us earlier! This would be no big deal I thought... I have always been able to align and warp away fast enough in my Incursus. I come out of warp, start aligning and... nothing. I am warp scrambled and quickly disposed of. My first Vexor loss...
I returned home to my hangar to pick up my other Vexor. I fit it using mostly parts lying around in storage but had to venture out to make a few specialized purchases (they don't sell 1600mm armor plating just anywhere). I was done with low security space for today... I had not lost a ship in over a week and that was all ruined by a few pirates with skills and tools way beyond what I could handle. I decided to make a quick pass around the asteroid belts of my home sector to see who was around. I had noticed a large amount of traffic on the local subspace channels in the past few hours and there was bound to be some hapless miners out that I could toy with. I warped through several belts without finding much and then finally landed in the middle of many wrecks, a few unsecured containers and two miners in a Comorant destroyer and a Moa cruiser. These were ships of Minimatar design and I had never faced them before in combat so I honestly was not sure what I could potentially expect. I checked all the unsecured containers and found a very large amount of Veldspar in both. I flipped the cans and moved all the ore into my own containers. Even if the pilots did not decide to engage me or steal it back, I had just acquired about 300,000 isk worth of ore with 5 minutes worth of work.
The Minmatar destroyer and cruiser pilots were not in the same corporation but they must have discussed their plans before hand, because at the same time they both engaged my Vexor with their ships. I could only smile to myself as I had managed to trick them into doing just what I wanted. I targeted the Moa initially but he was obviously shield tanked because his shields were going down very slowly. I decided to switch over to the Comorant and he quickly began to take damage from my drones. Suddenly I lost my target and he warped away! I had forgotten to warp jam him! Angrily at myself I switched targets back to the Moa. He was into my armor now but that was where my tank truly shines... I toggled on my damage control, armor repairer and kept him webbed, scrambled and drained as my drones finished their job. The Moa exploded and it's pilot warped away in his pod.
I decided to hang around a few more minutes, hoping that the Comorant would think it was safe and return so that I could finish him off. Instead, a few minutes later, the Moa pilot returned, this time in an Osprey type cruiser! I targeted him, turned on the usual propulsion jamming modules and killed him very quickly. Upon looking over the kill report later, I noticed that he had NOTHING equipped on his ship and only two Hammerhead type drones in the drone bay. What in the world was he thinking...?
I looted the Moa and Osprey wrecks and returned to the station. The Moa had equipped a couple expensive modules which were worth well over 2 million isk! Between the wrecks and the stolen Veldspar that I hauled back with my Iteron a few minutes later, I made out of this encounter with over 2,500,000 isk worth of stolen goods. By far the most money I have ever made in a single swoop in any fashion.
The End of Passive Aggressive Income - Yesterday CCP introduced the final of the trio of new Upwell structures that will replace Outposts and Player-Owned Starbases: Refineries. Refineries will...
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