Gate Scanning in Hostile Space
This was a topic discussed within the Signal Cartel a while back so I thought this would be an ideal addition to 'The Explorer's Toolkit' section as many explorers, by their very nature, wish to leave the relative safety of High Sec and venture into the unknown ie. Low, Null and Wormhole space.
Whilst most explorers like to live a fairly solitary life it doesn't stop you running into the locals and knowing how to evade those who may wish to do you harm is a vital skill for the would-be-explorer.
The most obvious place you'll encounter less friendly inhabitants is at Stargates and Wormholes and in the form of a Gate Camp. This post and the soon to follow follow-up post seek to provide some guidance on spotting these and what you can do should you find yourself in the middle of one.
How to Spot a Camp
For the careful explorer there should not be a reason that you should land in the midst of a gate camp and the obligatory bubble. Before warping to any Gate/WH, the use of D-Scan can help prevent any inconvenient loss of ship/pod.
The D-Scan has a range of 14.3au and, as long as you have it set up correctly, allows you to spot any ship or bubble that may be present before you even think about initiating a warp to a gate. Simply find yourself a spot within 14.3au that is off-grid from the target gate/WH, narrow the scan angle and point the scan in the direction of the gate - you'll soon be able to see if there are any ships/bubbles present.
So what happens if your destination gate is more than 14.3au from any vantage points? Well there is a method you can employ to get yourself within D-Scan range.
- Warp to a celestial that is at the furthest point away from the gate you want to check out.
- Make a safe spot near that area while warping there (ctrl-b is the shortcut to make a bookmark).
- Fly in the opposite direction of the gate that you want to scout.
- Select the gate you wish to warp to in the overview and press the warp to button.
- Immediately press stop (ctrl-space).
- This will use up a chunk of your cap.
- Now simply repeat steps 3-5 until you see the message 'you have insufficient cap to warp to the gate'. You are now free to actually enter warp.
- Whilst in warp press stop to prevent yourself from re-entering warp after you come out of warp.
- Again repeat steps 3-8 until as many times as necessary until you get to within 14.3au of the gate in question.
- D-scan the gate for any bubbles/hostiles.
Of course this only works for spotting gate camps in the system you are currently in. What about on the other side of the gate? Short of having a friendly scout ahead of you then your next best friend is the in-game map. There is a wealth of information available to you including ships destroyed in the last hour, number of pilots docked or jumps in the last hour - all good indicators of whether there is activity in the system you are about to jump into.
I think the next post in 'The Explorer's Toolkit' series will be on what to do if you should find yourself in a bubble camp on the other side of a gate, so stay tuned for that 🙂