I decided to mix things up and go exploring. So I undocked and orbited the station at Arnon, and scanned.
And scanned, and scanned… and after about 10 minutes of finding nothing at all, I moved into the adjacent system, Aere.
Once there I also scanned 3 or 4 times and finally found a Cosmic Anomaly. I was hoping for a Radar or Magnetometric site, but after about 20 minutes of scanning I wanted to do something. So I warped out to the anomaly site, receiving a notice about rogue drones.
Initially, the cosmic anomaly was 2 drones and 2 drone heavy missile batteries. I warped in 30 km away, but the missile batteries already started firing on me. Nice range, I wish I had that! I was flying my Imicus, and I had 4 Hogoblin drones on board, so I deployed them. I got a little closer, in order to target an enemy, and ordered the drones to attack.
Due to damage from the heavy missiles, I warped away, recalling my drones first. Safely out of range, I self-repaired by waiting around for my capacitor to charge enough to run the small shield repair unit and the armor repair unit. That’s cheaper than going to a station, but takes longer.
I went back and did the similar attack and run. Kinda seems familiar to me now from the Security II missions.
I eventually killed two drones, and another wave appeared. Argh! The missile batteries were still there, pelting my ship. I ran and escaped another time or two, but eventually… you guessed it… I did’t get away fast enough and lost the Imicus.
So I warped back to Arnon in my pod (sigh…) and got in my Catalyst which can fight better. I cleared out the missile batteries, and still had 4 more drones to deal with.
I warped in 50 km away, and was able to approach the wreck of my Imicus and open the cargo, saving some of the modules I had fitted. I am disappointed that the Codebreaker and Analyzer seemingly vanished (destroyed in the explosion I suppose), but I did at least retrieve the Salvager, Small Shield Booster, and Small Armor Repairer.
I fought those 4 drones, and another 5 showed up.
I decided to run and consider my option while repairing armor/shields in space. I wanted to go retrieve the hobgoblin drones which needed to be “scooped up”. That apparently means getting close to them, but that in turn meant dealing with 5 more drones and however many more appear after that. I also wanted to salvage the wrecks of the drones I killed. But, this took a lot longer than I planned and I also wanted to get to sleep.
I went back in with the goal of taking out the new wave of 5 drones, and if more appeared, I would just abandon the anomaly altogether. Fortunately, no more drones appeared, and I was able to spend the time in my Catalyst scooping drones and salvaging wrecks. That alone took nearly 20 minutes of flying around to get within range of all the wrecks, and then waiting for the salvage process.
I know several things so far.
- I think I’m not totally incompetent, but EVE got noticeably harder once the tutorial missions and intro storyline arc finished.
- I can’t realistically fight enemies that can hit me from 30+ km away when my weapons (small hybrid turret) have an optimal range of 10 km and a falloff range of 18 km. Especially 4 or 5 on 1, which is about the ratio I’m seeing out there. If I want to keep doing combat missions, I probably need to train up missiles instead. Then I can be the pilot lobbing from 30 km away. Or figure out how to get longer range on turrets.
- EVE is tough for me to schedule. The time I set aside might not allow me enough to recover from a bad mission. That is true in other games as well, however in EVE, losing stuff costs in-game currency to replace. That fact that I’m not exactly swimming in ISK means missions are extra risky. This simple Exploration attempt took nearly 2.5 hours total, including the time spent scanning and finding something, the fight/repair cycle, and the lengthy salvage process.
- I’d like to try more Exploration, but combat is problematic, especially in my scout ship (the Imicus). I can’t fight in that thing at all, it can’t fit much and is pretty fragile. If Radar or Magnetometric sites entail combat, I’ll have to do them in a destroyer.
It was so late by the time I finished, and I was so tired, I’m not sure I looted everything I could. There was a spaceship wreck in the middle of the anomaly cloud, but I couldn’t salvage it. I didn’t think about trying to open it as cargo, or doing that to much else for that matter, until I had already logged off.
Next up to try out is Planetary Interaction. I hope it goes better!