Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Dueling With the Sleepers

This morning before work I logged into the test server intent on trying my luck against the Sleepers in my half-trained Dominix (due to the test server mirror occurring before I had Tech II drones and Gallente Battleship IV).

I figured the easiest encounters would be those Cosmic Anomalies found using the On Board scanner so I warped to planet one and opened that sucker up, hit scan, and patiently waited the 30 seconds until it reported back. In the meantime I hit the map to see what I could see.

See that "Unknown" in the top left far away from the rest of known space? That's my current location. I'm way off the reservation here folks!

Also of minor note, the solar system map now includes the solar system background instead of just blackness. Looks cool, not sure of the usability during probing though.

The results came back with plenty of hits to investigate.

I tried warping to one of the Outpost Frontier Strongholds first. It had a single battleship and three sentry guns, but I didn't stick around to party with them as they were hitting me pretty hard and even with Large Armour Repper II (LAR) going my armour was quickly disappearing.

Next I tried the Fortification Frontier Stronghold and saw two frigs and two cruisers upon warp in. Sounds like a good place to start! Lock and approach, launch drones, activate defenses.

Its true that they will switch target drones but there was no instant popping and once I was on the ball I was able to call them in as need be to protect them. I used my MWD to get in range of the cruisers after the frigs were done and web them so my medium drones and blasters could work away at them. No shields but their resistances are high and they hit pretty hard for cruisers, but I had no difficulties tanking with sporadic activation of the LAR.

After killing the first cruiser, I sicked my drones on him while I salvaged and looted the first cruiser wreck.

No idea what this stuff is worth. But it looks expensive.

Once the second cruiser died a new spawn of four cruisers immediately appeared. I was out of time so I grabbed the drones and warped off to effect repairs before logging.

Summary: Definitely some soloable content here. I'm curious how far I could have gone against the Fortification site before the spawn got too powerful for me alone.

It was very exciting in comparison to normal NPCing with them being damn hard and switching to attacking drones. Balancing the cap, armour, drones, range all was very involved and I approve so far.

As for my ship choice and setup, I want a few more engagements and maybe even try some different vessels like my ratting Cerberus to see if the smaller signature radius helps alleviate damage. For sure on my Exploration Dominix I'm going to see about getting more guns on their to help the drones out, maybe even a small or medium remote armour repairer to give the drones some more survivability.


  1. That salvage makes my fiction gland secrete awesomeness.

  2. Anonymous9:40 am

    Yet another fantastic post on the new expansion, Kirith. It really looks like they've got close to what they were trying to achieve with the Sleeper AI from your account of the encounter.

  3. Just curious as to where you entered w-space from; 0.0 or highsec?

    And yes, it does sound like there is some soloable content. Thanks for giving me some hope.

    The w-space I had entered from lowsec seemed a lot tougher, but I was doing cosmic signatures as opposed to anomalies. Does it make a difference I wonder...

  4. I entered from High Sec. Traditionally in exploration Cosmic Anomalies are much easier to find (i.e can be found using the On Board scanner) and represented much easier content with lower rewards.

    I expect that the same thing holds true in w-space which is why I am starting there.

  5. Anonymous3:21 pm

    Great post and good news indeed!

  6. Great news! I've been nervous about whether there would be soloable content.

  7. Anonymous5:58 pm

    This all looks tremendously exciting. Thanks for taking time to explore and journal the new probing and exploration mechanics.

  8. Damn! A whole BS to take down some frigs and cruisers!

    I am so going to lose a lot of money venturing here :P

    Thanks for posting!