This year’s Guardians Gala was the first seasonal event I got a real drive to actually get involved in and grind all the points to get that black Machariel SKIN. Obviously getting a nice one for the best ship (Rifter) along the way was certainly a plus!
As exploration has always been my main activity besides PvP, it was clear I’d hunt for the data sites. And as luck would have it the first day of the event aligned with my weekly stream slot on Thursday. So the perfect opportunity to do a few hours of scanning and hacking in my trusty Astero…and maybe take advantage of the 90% PvP loot drop in Wormholes. It would be over three hours all together in one go actually. At one point I really wanted to take a break, but the “one more site” bug had got to me. I liken it to the “just one more turn” in Civilization.
I started off scanning in lowsec near EVE University’s highsec campus to find a site and hopefully a wormhole entry. No luck on the sites, but there was a bit of traffic and obviously everyone was looking for the sites, so I wasn’t really expecting to find one there. Took me a while to find a wormhole, but once I did I jumped right in and worked my way through J-space.
On the way I finally used the wonderful out of game tool pathfinder to plot my way and track the signatures. This was a great learning opportunity, particularly because our campuses – notably our wormhole campus – use pathfinder as well and I wasn’t really comfortable messing around with it before. It certainly helped me feel way more comfortable, safer and more effective. It also gave me a better sense of the space around me. Overall I really recommend trying it out. The UI design is great as well!
After scanning signatures in a few wormholes and doing regular data and relic sites I had yet to find any event site. This started to rub me a bit, the wormholes I went through hadn’t seen any other activity, so I was really expecting to find at least a couple sites. But oh well, I wasn’t lucky otherwise anyway: though I had done quite a few sites and was running up to two hours I hadn’t even got to 100 million in loot. But that’s how it is with Exploration, sometimes you get lucky, sometimes not so much. I generally enjoy the erratic nature of it quite a lot. But I had set my eyes on finding event sites, so I had to go on.
I was focused on it…until a Heron popped up on my dscan. Hm, maybe an opportunity to earn another killmark for my beautifully skinned Astero. I previously had scanned a few sites, and saw a couple of probe sets out. So I pulled mine and tried pinpointing the other explorer. Warping around I at first didn’t see any other ships, but as there were a few probe sets there must have been another covops around. Maybe a newbie explorer that was taken on a scenic route by a more experienced buddy. After a bit of dscanning I found him at…a Planet? Warped there and sure enough he sat some ways off the customs office…weird, but ok let’s slowboat over and see if we can catch him before he scans down a site, and maybe even then I could have gotten him on one of the sites I had scanned previously. Very much looked like a beginner explorer, he should have been dscanning around the system before starting to probe, then he would have seen my probe set as I had just pulled it. While slowboating over sure enough a covops showed up for a bit on dscan. And then I saw a third set of probes. As I continued slowly over to the Heron I half jokingly said: maybe this is bait and there is a T3C or Stratios sitting here ready to pounce on me. But maybe they hadn’t noticed my probes before, as there obviously were a few people around in here. Then an Astero pops up on dscan for a bit – I notice it has the same naming scheme -, but I was still thinking maybe I could get my prey and get away before his friends could help. But he warps off after all. Alright, let’s check around the system and see if he’s at a site I have scanned. Well not the Heron but I find the Astero at a relic site, warp in at range and start making my way towards it. Ok this is gonna take a while, hopefully he’s not finishing the site too fast. I finally check the zkillboard of the corp: woooops they are a dedicated wormhole corp. Alright so there is a Stratios somewhere. There is a second Astero on Dscan at least. Ok let’s finally get out of here, I am obviously in over my head…and there is the Stratios sitting on their hole. Gotta find another chain.
Getting back to lowsec and finding another entry I land quite fast in dangerous J-space. Ok, not great for finding sites, but maybe I can find a nice wormhole through the C5 highway…woops that’s a Leshak/Nestor farm fleet what the hell, let’s nope right out of there!
Back into shallower waters I find a nice C2 with loads of signatures after a while…and there it is, after over three hours finally one event site and even a VIP site! This is gonna be good! Ok nice Astrahus, and beautiful fireworks. A few cans around, let’s get hacking! All cans are max difficulty, but atleast I get lucky with the hacks. Ok, some diverse and cool loot. But after tallying it all up it seems I haven’t even gotten ten mill out of it…phew that’s a downer. Tired, exhausted and a bit vexxed I decide to log off in the hole for the night.
The next day I get the chance to hop on for a bit, log back in and check the new signatures. Again, pathfinder is super helpful here. And bam! There is another VIP site! This time with a bit more loot. Cool, let’s stay logged off again in here. Logging back in the next day and sure enough I find another site. In between I found out through tweetfleet that the sites actually allow you to complete a whole bunch of the missions, just warp in, do one can, warp back out, and rinse and repeat. Cool, so now I actually only need one more site. But damn this loot is kinda bulky. Luckily the wormhole has a lowsec static and I can sell the overseer effects. On my second trip to k-space I land in a backpocket and decide to scan around. And what do I find? A standard sleeper cash! Wow, haven’t seen one in so many years! This is awesome, and there are more level four data sites around, am I really that lucky? No, just normal data sites. Well let’s quickly do these. While doing them I remember how awful the loot is in lowsec hacking sites. And I am getting competition: another Astero…dammit I gotta get to that sleeper cash, but I have to read up on it first – obviously on the uni wiki – and there he is on Dscan at the sleeper cash…well, maybe I can pounce on him!
RL gets a smashing hit in: our baby wakes up and I gotta get back to family stuff. I periodically check in again and see him staying there for a while. Seems he successfully completed it in the end. Well RL comes first^^
Later I get the chance to sell the overseer effects and on my way find a standard event site. Hacks are super easy and loot is not even worth warping to it…but I can complete the point grind and got myself some awesome skins!
So this was my little experience with this event. How was your journey during the Guardians Gala?