Thursday, October 27, 2011

COSMOS is a launch: 4 agents in . . .

      Whilst waiting for the 4 research skills to finish training up to level 3 for the R&D agents, I thought I'd scoot over and check out the first COSMOS agent.  I have a number of sites listing the COSMOS agents, but the Amarr COSMOS links at Eveonline's wiki is about the clearest, to me.

      Once I got to the first agent with my main, I realized I only needed a faction standing of about 2 to talk to the agent, so I brought the other 2 research toons over too.  One in a Hoarder, and one in a Catalyst rigged up for cargo and salvage.  The first agent was all fedex runs to a max capacity of 500 m3, so the Catalyst had no problem with that.  I ran the three toons at the same time doing the cargo runs.

     The next COSMOS agent had a couple low level combat missions, so I took my main back and picked up my Navy Omen to speed things along.  I started warping back the few jumps to the agent's system and checked the mission descriptions out on the way.  As more and more agents would be giving combat missions and the distribution runs were small loads, I figured I'd get one of the other research toons into a Vexor cruiser, and the other toon in a Noctis for long range salvage duties.  The salvage totals might not be a lot, but it's free cash and loot.  I ran the Aphi combat missions with the two cruisers, and used the Catalyst to salvage when the gate wouldn't allow the Noctis in.  No real problems on the second agent.  While doing ship and ammo runs, I had one toon jumping through the belts killing the rats to pick up a few special items for the missions - Dynasty Ring, Encoding Matrix Component, and Enigma Cypher Book.
      I jumped over to Zimse for the hacking agent.  I looked at some of the other agents and figured I needed to train up a couple of the combat skills on the other two toons a bit to be able to tackle the L3 combat missions.  The COSMOS missions are obviously tougher than normal missions of the same level and noob toons in a T1 cruiser weren't going to cut it.  My main can scan and hack, so he opened the "right of passage" jetcan, and just passed the items to the other two toons, who were slowly levelling up pew pew skills, and had the hacking and astrogeology skills in que.  A quick and easy way to complete the solo missions with the agent.  One of the container items was a key to allow use of the jump gate.  The jump gate dumped you off in a room with a TON of rats, of all shapes and sizes, and a shitload of cans.  My scanning Harby only has 4 guns and some Hob 2s, along with all the RR, hacking, decoding, tractor and salvage mods, so it wasn't really equipped to hang out in there and slug it out with fast spawning deadspace rats.  The room was FULL of wrecks, yellow and blue, as well as a Gila, and Abaddon and a Geddon, and lots and lots of cans.  I imagine the cans are for some other mission from some other agent.  I managed to tractor and salvage a couple cans, and pop a couple rat cruisers who thought I was juicier than the other players' ships, but with the gimped DPS of my scanner boat, I wasn't hanging around in there.  I can always use the gate key items another time and go in with some more firepower and a Noctis.  See what kind of goodies drop.

     I moved a few systems over to Munory to do the two agents there as they were L2 combat missions, interspersed with a couple fedex runs.  I went into the first room of the deadspace leading with the NOmen, then followed up with one of the Vexors.  The Catalyst was waiting outside the gate (the Noctis was too big for the gate . . ) until the aggro was on the cruisers, and more had been popped.  Managing the two cruisers was easy enough, but the Vexor DPS was definitely on the weak side with rails and anti/iron/lead ammo (for range options), but the Hob 1s and a huge drone bay on the Vexor helps.  The NOmen was tearing through the frigate rats easy enough with the help of Hob 2s, so I brought in the Catalyst to salvage as I moved the cruisers toward the back of the room, clearing as I went, to access the 2nd room's jump gate.  There was a special drop from the wrecks, so I was scooping them up to save for later for all the toons - Bug Ridden Corpses, I think it was.

     As I got all the wrecks cleared, and got to the gate, I was waiting on the Catalyst to finish up salvaging as it slowly flew the ~20km to the 2nd gate.  The room started to re spawn.  Being first time in the room, I didn't realize it re spawned so fast.  No problem, says I.  The rats were spawning in 4s, and I was able to keep on top of them with the 2 cruisers and their drones, so I continued on with the slow boating destroyer, salvaging as I went.  I was keeping up with things very nicely until 4 new rats, frigates, spawned pretty much right on top of the destroyer.  I had 2 salvage rigs, and a cargo hold rig in the destroyer, cargo expanders in the lows, and a T2 shield booster in the mids along with an AB2.  I started laying into the rats with the cruisers and hit the SB on the destroyer.  I clicked the overview to start the warpout, and the destroyer was still in good shape.  As the cruisers popped two of the rats, 2 more frigates and 2 more cruisers spawned.  They also decided that the destroyer was a tasty morsel, and with the shield repper on and the AB cycled once for an insta warp (and hopefully a little range) the Catalyst almost made it out before turning into sparklies.  Meh.  well, at least it was insured.  I killed off the rats and tractored over and salvaged the destroyer wreckage, and picked up the mods and special loot items, and left the rest.  I sent the pod off to grab a shuttle and then head a handful of jumps over to Amarr to buy a Vexor and shield fit it with 3 slavagers and 2 tractors.  As I needed to get into the 2nd room and grab a mission item, I figured I'd take the 2 cruisers and belt rat to grab some more of the special loot items I'd need while I grabbed another vexor and jumped back.

     Picked up some more belt rat items, and got the shield tank Vexor back to system with a full compliment of drones and some extra ammo and Hob 2s.  Back to the 1st room, lots of blue wrecks, no one around.  NP.  Motor straight to the back of the room, towards the 2nd jump gate, and and motor the salvage Vector to the gate, salvaging as I go, while I set up security picket at the gate with the other two cruisers.  A few rats start to re spawn, but the pew pew cruisers sort them out in short order.  A couple frigates of the next 4 that spawn, target the salvage cruiser, but the drones are out, shield repper is going, and they aren't even scratching the salvager this time.  Cool.  The three boats get to the gate, the NOmen jumps as scout, and the other two hang back.  2nd room is clear and I need a can at the end of it.  A Drake has made a ton of blue wrecks, and just jumps through the gate at the end of the room.  Drones out, recall the drones on the Vexors, and they jump in, just as 4 more rats spawn in the 1st room.

     All the toons are in the 2nd room.  Drones out, NOmen is heading towards the back gate with the Vexors in tow at 500m.  The NOmen and combat Vexor have nothing on the overview except rats, stations/gates, and large collidables.  The salvager has a similar overview tab, but it's set for wrecks and cans, which it is scooping up.  4 frigates spawn.  The two cruisers auto target, lock and engage, and take care of the frigates with some auto-help from the salvager's drones.  Never being in this room before, with an adult at the controls, one would have waited for complete re spawn to maybe check out what the room was like.  unfortunately, I was at the helm, not an adult.  I also didn't know how the Drake had taken out the spawn, nor how fast, but apparently it was pretty damn fast, because . . .  Just as I'm popping the last 2 frigates, 4 more spawn.  We're about 10 clicks from the gate.  The cruisers are on the frigates like white on rice, and all reppers are running, just in case.  2 more frigates show up, and think the salvage Vexor looks like an easy mark.  No prob . . . mostly, but then 2 more frigates and 2 more cruisers show up.  They think the salvager is dead sexy too, as it turns out, mostly the "dead" part.  I'm monitoring how fast the cruisers are taking out the rats, but there's like still 8 rats on the field now, and while the 2 pew pew cruisers can take the pounding, even though the salvager has a much better shield tank than the other Vexor, it pretty much doesn't mean shit with 6 boats pounding on it.  Still too far from the gate to panic jump into possibly another hornet's nest of rats, I hit the overview and stabbed the warp key.  Once the shields finally went, the armor came down pretty fast, and the hull faster still.  It almost made it to warp . . . almost.  In the time the salvager was trying to exit, stage left, the other two cruisers were down to 4 rats left, and took them out before more rats re spawned.  While the NOmen went for the mission item, the other Vexor tractored the other, OTHER Vexor wreck over, picked up the shinies and the special items, and warped out.  The salvage toon warped to station to pick up his pew pew Vexor, which was fit the same as the other pew pew toon's Vexor, with one salvager and a tractor.  At least the other cruiser was insured and I got all three salvagers and both tractors back.  Huzzah.  :)

     All three went to the agent, completed and picked up quests, and while my main had to go into the third room now, the other two were after the item in the 2nd room.  Warp-in and room clearing was pretty fast now that I had done the room twice already, and had three shooters and 15 drones out, 5 of which were Hob 2s.  Looted and salvaged a couple wrecks along the way, just for shits 'n grins, and hit the gate to the 2nd room.  Jumped the NOmen in, popped drones, and started engaging wile the Vexors pulled drones and jumped.  They landed in the room with guns hot, cleared the close rats, and sniped the rats at the back with standard crystals and iron ammo.  Much easier process this time, and amazingly, no one was dying but rats.  The 2nd toon got the mission item, and the NOmen jumped into the 3rd room to take out a tower.  1st time in the room, lots of blue wrecks, but all the rats were at range.  Too easy - started into them and jumped the other 2 Vexors in.  Popped drones, locked targets, and started slowly motoring to the tower, while tractoring in some of the larger named wrecks that I could see.  Popped the tower, grabbed the goodies, and road trip back to the agent.

     I wasn't sure on the re spawn timer for the structures otherwise I would have bulk accepted the missions and ran the rooms concurrently for all three toons.  As it was though, I went through the rooms three times, and was getting pretty good at it :)  Speed and violence, grabbed a little loot, scooped the mission items, popped cruiser rats, destroyed structures, and made babies cry.  It was all good.  Warped back, turned the missions in, grabbed the combat and fedex missions from the next agent and used my fancy triple boxing mission skills to whisk through the 5 mission set and scoop some more blueprints and goodies.  As I warped from mission to mission, I'd activate all the modules and weapons so when auto target locked the rats, I was already weapons-hot, and two or three rats would automagically be in peril.  It gave me plenty of time to launch drones and top up the targetting que.

     After all the mission goodness, I headed back closer to the miners to run a few more Carthum missions and be close to starting R&D with the one L3 agent.  So, one toon is doing R&D, and the next two will be doing the same in a couple days.  Before heading back to do more COSMOS though, I'll do a little mining to boost up the currency reserves a little, and see about getting the combat skills up on the other two newer toons.  I'm thinking they're going to need to be in at least BCs or the L3 COSMOS missions are going to eat them alive.  My main has a well fit Apoc that will handle the missions, so I just need to get at least BC level and some more weapon skills for the other two alts.  That might take a few days . . .  No matter though, it's all good missioning time and mining time.  In the interim, I might even be able to finagle my way into a Incursion or two and pull the shipping plugs out of the lazars on my Navy Geddon.

     Using the three toons, I also want to try some spider tanking in missions, but that, once again, will require some more skillz, yo.  Maybe I'll do a little practising on those COSMOS rooms with the cruisers.  The spawns are CRAZY, at least for me  :)

The Point?  COSMOS missions are a cool little diversion from other Eve activities, even normal missions.  BUT, need to have your shit wired moderately tightly before jumping into their guts, because their rats definitely aren't :easymode:.

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