How do alpha characters do in wormholes?

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Morgan Strigidae

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Post 2020.02.08 17:12

How do alpha characters do in wormholes?

I'm coming back from a 4-year break and am playing an alpha character for now. I used to explore with a Buzzard, but can't fly tech 2 as an alpha.

I never did much with wormholes, but they look interesting. So, how do alpha characters do with them? Is that really a tech 2 thing, or could I get by with tech 1 ships?
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Anidien Dallacort

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Post 2020.02.08 17:32

Re: How do alpha characters do in wormholes?

A detailed answer of course depends on what you want to do in wormholes. If exploration is your game, then you can use the Tech I exploration frigates - such as the Heron the Buzzard is based on, and still have a good, exploration bonused hull to do activities with. The Tech I exploration frigates can run any of the sites the Tech II cov ops exploration frigates can.

The biggest difference - cloak. As an Alpha, you can’t. Even probing you will have to be uncloaked, so be sure to keep an eye on d-scan, and if you see combat probes on d-scan, get going (don’t forget your own probes!).

But the tech Is are much cheaper too, so losses don’t bite as deep!
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Morgan Strigidae

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Post 2020.02.09 03:12

Re: How do alpha characters do in wormholes?

Thanks, again, Anidien.

Is there any wormhole activity that really requires tech 2 ships?
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Ara Moliko

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Post 2020.02.09 14:02

Re: How do alpha characters do in wormholes?

You can huff gas in a venture (unless gas harvester is omega) and explore in T1 exploration frigates just fine. Just make sure that whenever you are scanning you are sitting at a hole at 0 or MWD'ing off in a random (non-celestial) direction. Make lots of bookmarks, and don't sit still at 0 on the bookmarks. Alphas can probably fit an active Praxis for C3 ratting. C1-2 ratting is generally not worth it, even for alphas.

For higher classes you'd be ninja huffing gas

As an alpha it'd be hard to find a wormhole corp that would accept you, but there's plenty of things you can do as a solo alpha pilot on daytrips - you'll just die a lot :)

As for requiring tech 2 ships, I don't find it ever truly required if you're on your own, but it can make life more liveable. You'll be fine with T1 and faction ships, but T2 modules and cloaking are a must for most/all team endavours.
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Rayni Ptarth

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Post 2020.02.10 07:01

Re: How do alpha characters do in wormholes?

As an Alpha running Data/Relic sites (unless you are in an Astero) you are stuck with a 25 Virus strength. You'll need 1-5 more attacks on most hostile nodes and it means you will fail at least 50% of the cans because of the extra damage you'll end up taking. High Sec exploring is terrible. Low-sec isn't much better. Null & Wormholes are good, but very dangerous. Your survival is based on speed and success comes from using expendable cheap ships. A fully fit T1 Exploring Heron is less than 1M. Consider it a good day if you don't lose a ship a day. Cargo scan when you arrive on grid to find the best cans. Have a value set before you start that will make you warp back to High Sec and drop off your loot. Scanning with Alpha skill is slow, you'll take 2-10 scans per signature, whereas an Omega can do it in 1 or 2.

As a returning player, Relic sites are now much better than Data sites. Average data sites are ~10M whereas Relic are ~25M (with some sites over 100M). Aligning is now based on current velocity and heading and ships accelerate in any direction without turning, so "facing" your warp target doesn't help you align any faster. Probes will now automatically be recalled to your ship, so virtually can't lose them nowadays (unless you afk for a long time with probes out or die).

Perhaps most importantly, seek out other players to actually do stuff with. Exploring with someone(s)lse is at least 10 times more fun than by yourself.
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Morgan Strigidae

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Post 2020.02.10 19:57

Re: How do alpha characters do in wormholes?

Thanks, Ara & Rayni. That's very helpful.

Rayni Ptarth wrote:As an Alpha running Data/Relic sites (unless you are in an Astero) you are stuck with a 25 Virus strength. You'll need 1-5 more attacks on most hostile nodes and it means you will fail at least 50% of the cans because of the extra damage you'll end up taking. High Sec exploring is terrible. Low-sec isn't much better. Null & Wormholes are good, but very dangerous... Consider it a good day if you don't lose a ship a day.


Huh. So, would it be better for an alpha character to play the other side and prey on explorers in wormholes? Flying Pirate Faction ships, maybe?

Rayni Ptarth wrote:... Aligning is now based on current velocity and heading and ships accelerate in any direction without turning, so "facing" your warp target doesn't help you align any faster.


That is a big difference. Does that make it faster to warp, or slower? (I can imagine both: They eliminated the time to get facing the right way, or they made everyone spend the time regardless of facing.)
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Anidien Dallacort

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Post 2020.02.10 22:24

Re: How do alpha characters do in wormholes?

An Omega with a Tech 2 CovOps ship and level 5 skill in the relevant site hacking (Archeology or Hacking) using the T2 hacking module that skill enables, has 40 virus strength. For sure this is a big advantage over the 25 max alpha allows - but not every omega that explores is flying around with those skills either. I wouldn’t say it shuts you out of the business, but they certainly are limiting factors.


As for aligning - you align faster from a stop, because you don’t have to spend time changing direction. If you are moving at a speed in a direction other than where you are going, think of it as part of your “thrust” going to slow down from your current direction.
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Rayni Ptarth

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Post 2020.02.11 00:22

Re: How do alpha characters do in wormholes?

The lack of cloak makes Wormhole space very rough. Especially if you have an expensive ship. The majority explorer kills are going to be super cheap T1 exploration frigates. Running around in a non-cloaky pirate frigate makes you a very juicy target. You can do a similar thing but using T1 combat frigates, which are much, much cheaper.

It boils down to trying to decide who you want to hunt. Ratters, Explo Frigates, Over zealous Asteros, etc.

On aligning, Anidien has the right of it. As an additional mention, you'll hear people suggesting that you orbit can at speed, if you do so, you will be faster to warp to a target that is IN the direction you are moving compared to being stationary, but slower to warp to a non-aligned target than if you were stationary. So effectively, that makes you slow. Now this doesn't address the issue if being stationary compared to orbiting makes it easier to escape by using AB/MWD direction + warp. It does mean that it is faster to align and warp if you aren't orbiting (~92% of the time).
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Morgan Strigidae

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Post 2020.02.11 20:00

Re: How do alpha characters do in wormholes?

It sounds like you can have a lot of fun in wormholes with cheap frigates, as long as you don't mind dying regularly. That's cool.

So, if pirate faction frigates are too flashy to fly to hunt explorers, what would hunt the pirate faction frigate in a wormhole?

I'd never really looked at Asteros before, but I can fly one. My frigate skills for all 4 races are maxed, and I invested a lot in exploration skills back when. I didn't realize they could use a Cov Ops cloak. I thought only tech 2 ships could.

The Astero seems like a good choice for an alpha character who wants to explore in wormholes. What do you think? Is there a big drawback to it?
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Rayni Ptarth

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Post 2020.02.12 01:13

Re: How do alpha characters do in wormholes?

It's not terrible. The catch is that all cloaks require omega. So you'd end up flying around with an uncloakable 90M ship. In general, pirate frigates and other bigger cloaky ships hunt pirate frigates. Which in turn are hunted by even bigger cloaky ships. Which in turn are hunted by small gang fleet comps and so forth.
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Morgan Strigidae

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Post 2020.02.12 14:18

Re: How do alpha characters do in wormholes?

Rayni Ptarth wrote:The catch is that all cloaks require omega.


Ah. Well, Heron's are nice.

Are even the standard prototype & improved cloaking devices reserved to Omegas? So no cloaking for alpha characters at all?
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Anidien Dallacort

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Post 2020.02.12 14:45

Re: How do alpha characters do in wormholes?

Morgan Strigidae wrote:
Rayni Ptarth wrote:The catch is that all cloaks require omega.


Ah. Well, Heron's are nice.

Are even the standard prototype & improved cloaking devices reserved to Omegas? So no cloaking for alpha characters at all?


Correct, Alphas are restricted from all cloaks.
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Morgan Strigidae

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Post 2020.02.12 19:35

Re: How do alpha characters do in wormholes?

Anidien Dallacort wrote:Correct, Alphas are restricted from all cloaks.


Well rats.

Speaking of which, how's ratting in wormholes?
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Morgan Strigidae

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Post 2020.02.13 21:50

Re: How do alpha characters do in wormholes?

Well, the wiki pages for the Wormhole Campus and for Living in Wormholes don't mention ratting, so maybe that's not a thing. Running Sleeper sites sounds interesting, though.
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Rayni Ptarth

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Post 2020.02.14 00:21

Re: How do alpha characters do in wormholes?

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