Thursday, December 8, 2016

Rummaging Through The Wreckage

One of the interesting things of playing a new alpha clone is encountering problems that a 150 million skill point character can easily sweep away. I encountered one of those situations while attempting to complete a level 1 COSMOS mission this week. The agent, Tzumi Pokkolen with the Poksu Mineral Group, wanted 2 Sleeper Foundation Blocks. I had an autocannon-fit Thrasher. Easy, right?

Tzumi sent me to the neighboring system of Inder and its Contested Minmatar Military Depot Complex. I needed to enter the Ancient Wreckage dungeon and hack containers with a Relic Analyzer until I found the two items required. Oh, and the NPCs respawn fairly quickly. But an autocannon Thrasher can put out a lot of damage, so no problem. Or so I thought.

The plan almost worked to perfection. I rushed in, blapping the ships rather quickly. Even the cruisers. Did I mention the cruisers? Anyway, I managed to clear an area and hack a can. Then I started on another, and the alarms started going off. My tank started to break and I warped off with only one block in my cargo hold. I made three additional attempts, but each time the NPCs forced me to warp off.

Okay, so the NPCs had the range advantage on me, and I didn't have a strong enough tank. Time to change strategy. Instead of brawling, I would snipe away from a distance. I didn't have enough skills to shoehorn artillery into the Thrasher, so I loaded up my skill queue with missile skills and bought a Talwar.

The missile destroyer worked almost as advertised. With an armor tank featuring a reactive armor hardener and a tech 2 armor repairer, I just needed to plink away at range and then rush in to hack the cans. I think the plan would have worked if I could fit a microwarpdrive instead of an afterburner. As it was, the NPCs couldn't make me warp off, but they would make me back off right before I could begin the hack.

I played that game for 30-40 minutes before a Rupture warped in, asking if I needed a hand. Yes I did! He pretty much drew aggro expect for a group of four frigates that respawned between me and him. Four frigates I could handle, and I found the block in the first can I hacked. I thanked the Rupture pilot in local and warped off.

If I played on one of my main characters, I would fly into the room in something like a Stratios, drop a flight of drones, and hack to my heart's content. But on a new character, I don't have the luxury of overpowering the content. On an alpha character, I don't even have the option of changing to another faction's ships. Perhaps one day my alpha character will own a ship capable of holding up under the pressure and able to hack all the cans. But until then, I need to find a more productive activity. The COSMOS missions are tough.

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