On Tuesday morning, I did something I had never done before. I decided to mine right before downtime.
I didn't plan to. I went to bed a little early on Monday and as a result woke up a little early on Tuesday. I looked at the clock and saw I could get an ore hold and a half of ice before downtime and decided to go for it. The way liquid ozone has sold in Bosena lately, I figured I could pick up an easy 5 million ISK or so.
The first part of the plan went off without a hitch. I logged both Wandering Rose and Rosewalker in, set up Rosewalker in a perch observing the ice field, and warped Wandering Rose in to start mining. Twelve cycles of uninterrupted bliss. Twelve cycles where I was the only one in system. Doesn't happen very often.
While Wandering Rose was in station emptying her ore hold, I started to see traffic. But the ships never showed up in d-scan range and exited local in short order. I figured downtime was in a few minutes and everyone was docking up. So I decided to undock and get another 6 units of ice.
Undocking was probably not the smartest decision I'd ever made. Because about then a pilot who always seems to enter any of the local systems about 15 minutes after Wandering Rose showed up in local. Then another pilot, this one in a one-character corp, appeared in local as well. But I went ahead and started mining anyway.
Now, with downtime so close and with the changes to the Procurer making mining while aligned more difficult, I got a little lazy. So I decided to just point at a celestial and not actually align. Aligning now is such a pain that I decided to risk it. After all, 5 minutes until downtime and no one on grid. Who's going to come visit?
This guy. Looking at the kill board, Mr. Ryan has taken up residence in my little area of low sec and is taking on all comers. Including yours truly. So he warped in 11 km from me and immediately got tackle. Either I've gotten sloppy noting the warp in points, he had a bookmark set up, or his alt was flying a cloaky and provided a nice warp-in point. For his Cynabal. Yikes! But at that point, downtime was in 3 minutes, 11 seconds.
I'll admit, I was a bit alarmed by the situation. But not too much. After all, the Procurer's drone bay was expanded to I could fit two flights of drones in Kronos. So I sent out my flight of EC-300s to jam his ship and warp away. Except my drones died very quickly. I guess that plan didn't work out so well.
So there I was, slowly dying. But not too fast. So I kept on task and continued ice mining. Hey, I needed to pay the repair bill and to replace the drones, right? Okay, I have a stash of 150 EC-300s that I built a few months back, but it's the thought that counts.
With downtime closing, and my first chance to see a Cynabal up close distracting me, I finally realized that I could actually shoot back. Not with the flight of tech 2 drones I still had, but with a stealth bomber! So I warped Rosewalker into range, lit up the Cynabal with a target painter, applied damps, and started firing off torpedoes. I also aligned toward a celestial, but Mr. Ryan had no interest in chasing after a Hound when he had a nice Procurer kill sitting in front of him.
So this was the situation at downtime. Mr. Ryan pouring 220mm Autocannon II and Federation Navy Hobgoblin fire into my Procurer for all he was worth. Rosewalker plinking away at range with torpedoes. And Wandering Rose getting that 18th unit of ice into the ore bay with seconds to spare. OP success!
When the servers came back up, Mr. Ryan logged in and collected his drones. I logged Rosewalker in as a scout to determine when Wandering Rose could log back in safely and ran around the house getting ready for work. Eventually, Mr. Ryan got tired of the game and went away. I waited until I was alone in system and logged Wandering Rose back in. Only down to 96% structure and I didn't have to overheat anything. So after docking up, I paid the 52,000 ISK repair bill, logged off, and went to work.
This little escapade, while eventually harmless, did teach some lessons. First, don't let my guard down. Ever. Next, I need to do a better job of intelligence gathering. Instead of just looking at corp/alliance affiliation and security standings, I need to start keeping a book on the pilots I see in local. Not in minute detail, but Eve Who is a valuable resource. I should at least use it to look at kill boards. If I had, I might have seen Mr. Ryan really likes to shoot things. And that's he's pretty good at target selection, since he hasn't lost a ship in weeks.
On the business front, I really need to pick up three Procurers. I have my eye on three systems with ice sites that are much more convenient than where I mine now. The only advantage of my current location is the security status. I currently mine in 0.1 & 0.2 systems because the ore in the belts is better. The locations I'm looking at are 0.3 & 0.4 systems. Maybe I can make the changes in Kronos work for me and hope that the new ore sites actually spawn in those new systems. I've already got maximum refining in two of the systems. The third only has a Gallente station in it, so last night I started another standings grind. The grind from 2.2 to 6.67 should provide lots of loyalty points, which means I could add to my product line. Or maybe just purchase implants for myself. Depends on how I feel when I reach my goal.
On the sales front, I wonder if I stumbled into a market opportunity. I've hesitated in putting up a mini-mart in my area because I didn't want to attract PvPers. But the PvPers have shown up. So why not? I'm sure some of them might like some nanite repair paste. I bet Mr. Ryan was overheating his weapons trying to kill me. If I was selling nanite repair paste from my factory station, I could have made are real nice profit. The same with ammunition. If I expand the number of systems I have Procurers in from 5 to 8, including finally systems not in Metropolis, then I'd feel better about attracting people to my current area. I'll have to look into the possibility more.
EVE is definitely a funny game. I may alter the way I play the game just because one morning I woke up a little early and someone in a one-character corporation tried to gank me while ice mining in low sec. But the changes not only look like a challenge, they look like fun. A lot of work to set everything up the way I want, but fun at the end of the day. Something tells me I'll unsub Wildstar once I hit max level in that game. EVE just got a lot more interesting to me.