Last week I talked about options for Kirith while I waited for my lifestyle with the twins to catch up and decided to try some 0.0 ratting for a while. It would be fairly easy to jump in and out of, help raise my security status, and even make some easy ISK.
The first question was where? I looked at NPC 0.0 space:
- Great Wildlands was close but only a couple NPC stations to hide in when locals came knocking and I really wanted to be able to dock sometimes.
- Curse was also close and lots of stations, but I wasn't overly familiar with it and the rats were Angels... I hate Angels, I much prefer Serpentis.
- Fountain is where a friend is ratting a couple billion ISK. Good low true security systems, some NPC stations... but its a popular destination as sovereignty can be claimed and its a little out of the way from high sec.
- Syndicate is familiar space, lots of NPC stations, close to high sec, and has easy to kill Serpentis rats. Downside is low quality ratting space but I'm not in it for the money.
We have a winner! Once again, I return to Syndicate, my first 0.0 experience.
Next the question is what ship to use? This is a harder question.
In friendly 0.0 space a solid battleship or battlecruiser would be the obvious answer; lots of DPS, and solid tank. But in hostile space a big bulky ship that takes some time to align and warp when enemy ships are bearing down on you is not a good idea. Plus I needed to smuggle this ship into 0.0, a little mobility goes a long way.
So I looked at smaller options, an Assault Ship or a Heavy Assault Ship. The Harpy has some attractive qualities in that its fast, small, relatively agile, can mount a mean tank, and with blasters have decent DPS. My only concern was that it wouldn't have a lot of DPS and ratting might become a slog rather than a breeze. On the other hand, an Eagle can produce more DPS and have a solid tank as well but I didn't have one in my Hanger.
I did have a Cerberus. Outfitted with 5 Heavy Assault Missile Launcher IIs, a cloaking device, afterburner, three hardeners, a large shield extender, and 3 ballistic control units I had a ship that could shoot and tank like a battlecruiser but with better range and agility of a cruiser. Expensive though.
So last night I found myself in Placid preparing to head into the lion's den. I got Derranna in her Cheetah Covert Ops to scout for me and made my way into low sec and then into 0.0. Just after I got into the first 0.0 system I was forced to safe spot while some neutrals passed through, and the next system I docked up while Derranna scouted for me, but soon I was in the target system with no one else in local and I still had 15 minutes left in which to start ratting.
First handful of belts were empty or populated with battlecruiser and cruisers which the HAMs tore through with incredible ease. I didn't even bother with turning the hardeners on. I was getting into a rhythm and was pleased when I warped into a belt and saw two fat battleship icons and one cruiser icon.
"Oh good," I thought, "Serpentis Barons." Only 500K ISK but still some sport. I set to orbit and was about to press F1 when I did a doubletake. The cruiser's name started with the words "Shadow Serpentis". Faction spawn!
I immediately changed targets and lit into the cruiser whose bounty was 825K isk, a reflection of its importance. I nervously watched local for fear of now being the time someone would stroll in and force me to choose between my own ship and the juicy faction rat. My HAMs tore into the enemy and he was no match for the firepower. Ignoring the battleships I checked the wreck and was delirious to find a BPC along with other loot which I quickly scooped into my hold. Since local was still clear, I destroyed the two battleships and then docked with my prize to inspect it more closely.
That's right, a 1 run Shadow Medium tower BPC. Not Serpentis, but Shadow. SWEET! There are contracts for this item around 300 million right now although I don't know if they are actually moving at that price, but the fact remains its an amazing find. Assuming I can get it back to High Sec safely, it alone pays for the entire trip. JACKPOT.
Somedays it is good to be me.