Tuesday, 19 May 2015

Jump Freighting

So, this past week has been quite stressful for me. This is quite a long read, but I wanted to document my ordeal and hopefully you'll find it interesting and/or entertaining.

I left Black Legion and re-joined Test Alliance a couple of months ago, and unfortunately, since Phoebe, this meant that two carriers worth of ships and modules were left behind in Venal. The carriers, were literally full to the brim - both the Ship Maintenance Bay and the cargo hold (with the use of cargo containers).

I had been pondering what the best way to retrieve this stuff was, as the sum total of everything worked out at around 7-8 billion ISK. I had resigned myself to the fact that my only option was a C5 or C6 wormhole, leading from somewhere in Venal to somewhere in Low Sec - or more hopefully to somewhere in Wicked Creek (where Test is now living).

This plan was sound, except for the fact that we didn't live in Venal, so finding such a wormhole was not going to be easy.

Last week, I was on a plane for RL stuff, and the thought suddenly occurred to me that I could use a JF to move. Jump Freighters were not subject to the massive fatigue and jump range nerfs of Phoebe, so it would actually be relatively straight forward. I could move out all the items, repackage all the ships (the rig loss was actually not as bad as I thought it was going to be) and jump everything out. The actual carrier hulls could be sold in Venal, as if it's hard for me to move out, it's just as hard for someone to move in.

Once I got back home, I started planning.

My first problem was that I didn't own a jump freighter. I did, however, own a JF pilot. I didn't really want to buy a JF, as I have no real regular use for them and I also didn't want to lose money and time buying one, then selling it again once I'd finished with it. 

My solution was to ask around in Test. We have a sub-forum dedicated to market stuff, and buying/selling capitals, so I threw a post up explaining my predicament and asking whether I could borrow one. I was prepared to put down full collateral, in case I lost it and to protect against me stealing it.

I was lucky, someone offered me an Anshar with no limit on how long I could use it for and asking no ISK for the opportunity.

So I started planning my route. The JF was in Nonni, a HS system with a LS connection about 6 jump away from Jita.

My route was this: http://evemaps.dotlan.net/jump/Anshar,553/Nonni:5ZXX-K:K3JR-J:5ZXX-K:Otsasai

I started moving my alts around straight away, and was quite fortunate with jump clones.

I also contracted everything to the Venal cyno character, who repackaged all the items, repaired what was damaged and got everything else in order. It was then contracted to the JF pilot so that when he docked, it was a case of dragging everything from the station into the ship and jumping back out.

The final cyno in Otsasai (also close to Jita, and a pretty quiet system) was also quite easy. I have an incursion running character, who unlike my other characters (barring the JF one) is not under the constant war dec peril that those in Test are subject to.

It was the mid cyno that really caused my problems. Getting there from Venal was fairly trouble free, and I got myself situated, sorted myself a cyno spot (not easy on these NPC models) and was getting ready to jump.

Then disaster happened. I undocked my noobship cyno, and a Svipul landed. He locked me up and alpha-ed me. Instead of clicking the dock or warp button, I somehow managed to hit the "View in Planet Mode" button, and thus my pod was also killed. This was my first mistake. My second mistake was that I had not set the mid station as my "home" station, and thus I ended up back in Wicked Creek, some 60 jumps on the other side of the universe. 

https://zkillboard.com/kill/46625435/

Shit happens, so I jumped in a travel fit interceptor and started the long burn.

I got through NS and all the way through HS with minimal trouble, even though I am negative sec and at war with seemingly most people in HS.

I slipped through the Torrinos>EC- perma gate camp with ease and thought all was easy sailing.

Second disaster. Apparently, travel fit interceptors and not completely immune to everything. 

https://zkillboard.com/kill/46626046/

Another bastard Svipul (actualyl two of them), being remote sensor boosted by a Griffin caught me and my pod, and sent me ALL the way back to U-H again. 

This time, I was a little bit cross and may even have sworn a little bit.

I changed my home station to the Dreddit corporate "home" system in HS, podded there and then logged off for the evening.

The next day, I logged back on and flew back to Torrinos, that last system HS system before NS. Here, I set my home station for that station, and in a noob ship, jumped into EC-. 

Bubbles. Bubbles everywhere. And also bad guys. Quite a lot of bad guys.

I died, as can be expected. I died 4 or 5 times, as once podded, I'd get back in my free rookie ship and jump right back through. I was hoping that the law of averages and gate mechanics would put me in the one weak spot of the bubbles, where I MIGHT be able to get out with at least my pod.

Inexplicably, after the fourth of fifth time jumping through, I saw that all the bad guys were warping off. Result for me. I slow boated out of the bubbles and bounced to a planet near the outgate, anticipating some kind of cruel trick.

I was in luck, they all jumped out. I waited about 15 minutes, and then proceeded on my way. I made it about 3 jumps when I jumped into a small gang. Luckily they didn't have any bubblers, and whilst they managed to get my rookie ship, I got my pod out alive.

https://zkillboard.com/kill/46686910/

From there, it really was plain sailing to 5ZXX. The problems only started when I got there. I jumped in, and local was quite high, at about 80 people or so. I warped to a planet close to the station and hit my d-scan. Bubbles. Bubbles everywhere. Not just bubbles. Fighters. Lot and lots of fighters. And carriers. Lots and lots of carriers. 

Overnight, Goons had decided to hell camp the station I needed. I looked at the killboard and sure enough, they'd been here since about an hour after I was podded out, and they showed no signs of going away.

The character I was using is my main character, so there was no chance of just waiting it out, and I sure wasn't very safe floating around in a capsule.

I looked at the map, and realised that there are not one but two NPC pockets in Pure Blind. 

The one I wanted to use is owned my the NPC corp Mordus Angels, and there's a group that live there called MoA, who are actually fairly good at the game (which is why they were being hell-camped/evicted presumably). The other NPC pocket is owned by Sister's of Eve, and whilst no big group lives there, it's still fairly busy. I took a look at Dotlan and headed over there (uneventfully). X-7, the main system was busy - 40+ people and whilst it has three stations to choose from, the system next door J-C only had two or three people in it.

Finally some luck. I docked up, set my home station and flew back to X-7 to grab an overpriced cyno and some very overprice Liquid Ozone. I also realised that I had two Talwars and a bunch of loot and spare modules in the staiton, so I grabbed those as well and flew them all to J-C, packaged them all up and contracted them to the JF pilot.

This station model isn't the easiest to cyno onto, but I found a spot I thought was decent enough and tabbed back to the JF screen. I was undocked and ready to light the cyno when the mid system spiked by 30 people. 

I obviously didn't jump, but I used the time to check my route one final time, and it's a good job I did, as I realised that this new mid wasn't in range of the final exit cyno. I logged in the HS character and flew him across to Nonni.

The time had finally come. Everything was looking good. All the systems were as clear, quiet and empty as I thought they were going to get so I did it.

I undocked the JF and lit the first cyno. 


Jump.

No bounce.

Dock.

Refuel.

Undock.

Light second cyno.

Jump.

No bounce.

Dock.

Fist pump.

I'd made it one way safely. I may have done a little dance in addition to the fist pump and I think I scared the neighbours.

I threw all the items into the JF and undocked. In hindsight, I probably should have looked at the cyno still up in this system to make sure the coast was clear. k3J isn't a pure kickout, but it comes damn close and it would have been mighty easy to tackle my JF and bump it out of the docking radius. I got lucky again, and it was all quiet. I jumped back to the mid. I picked up all the stuff from there and undocked once more. Jump. No bounce. Dock.

I'd made it. I was in LS. I had no more bubbles to be scared of, no more bounces to avoid.

The warp to the HS system gate was one of the most satisfying (if not longest) warp I've ever done. My hands were shaking, my heart was pounding and I was slightly out of breathe.

Those ten minutes probably took five years off my life.

The carriers are on contract in Venal, and everything else was freighted (in five trips) to Jita and is either on sale, sold or waiting to be sold. I'm several billion ISK richer, for the cost of quite a few grey hairs.





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