So, what to do my first full session out of the alliance? After the stress and unhappiness of the last few weeks, I figured a little bit of ice mining was called for. Not that the tower or carrier needed a lot of isotopes at this point but it never hurts to have a bit in reserve.
So I picked a system that was out of the way and had the ice I wanted after checking with various and sundry to see whether Hulkaggeddon had kicked off. Apparently it's waiting on Helicity and The Mittani getting their act together (oh goodie a goon sponsored Hulkaggeddon...). That's when I found out my alt's clone with the Mining Foreman implant was just a bit far off (segue into much pod auto-piloting...).
Once myself and my alt were in the target system and were flying the right ships it was just a matter of setting myself up in a nice spot in the belt and proceed to chew away on some ice. Yes I know, I can make more per hour running incursions and buy the ice/ice products after. That wasn't the point - relaxing was the point.
I had barely started when I thought "hummm... weren't there T2 gang links available now???". Sure enough 5 jumps away for 3. something mil... Quick change of ship (Orca ship maintenance bay FTW) and a quick trip and I was able to get the alt to reduce my cycle times down to 212-3 seconds. Soon after that a bot army appeared. I presume they were a bot army due to the names of the ships and their behaviour. They obviously had a POS in this non-station system and a booster at that POS in an Orca. I didn't bother checking but it was obvious from their behaviour and the use of a stopwatch. It's simple I was watching all 17 maks fly into the ice belt one at a time in very close succession. Then after a few ice cycles they would squadron warp off. Since they were not jetcan or Orca mining It was obvious they had been fit for volume and were warping back to a POS to drop things off.
Some use of EVE HQ allowed me to see that if they were using pilots of my and my alt's skill levels in ice mining/boosting and they fit their Maks for cargo space, they could get 12 blocks per Mak (3 cycles exactly) and with a T2 orca booster they should have a cycle time of 253-4 sec. Sure enough they were warping off at just about exactly the right time to get a full 3 cycles at that length in. I suspect that if I had gone to see the POS I'd have found a large ship assembly array (the traditional mineral storage spot of choice).
At any rate, with a full load of ice at the end of the session I trundled off to a 0% tax refinery and proceeded to refine the ice. Isk/h not great but I needed the relaxation and the isotopes. Figuring out how the bots were working was just icing on the cake (all 17 of em - the names where nicely normal so good camouflage and some were in the same corp and others were in npc corps, but the give away was the name of the Maks - each one was named "m xxx" where xxx corresponded to the first 3 letters of the pilot flying it. So either a massive multiboxer - or two multiboxers working together or bots.
At any rate - expect a few days of just chilling in high sec before I make a decision about where to head.
The Coming of Refineries in New Eden
21 hours ago