It was widely believed that ‘something was up’ in Maia following observation of the Unidentified Artefact’s pointing behaviour towards the system. So Cmd Nicholas Powell of the Canonn Council organised Operation Scour Part II to quite literally scour the whole system in search of Signal Sources between bodies, around bodies, or huge distances away from bodies within the system. An organised method was introduced, and many Canonn commanders took part. Below is the announcement – in typically short Powell phrasing – enticing people to join in.
“Well, where did you last see it?”
“If I knew that, it wouldn’t be lost, would it?”
And speaking of points… The UAs are still pointing at Merope. Why? WHY?! I don’t know. You don’t know. See that post above, that commander doesn’t know. The post below? Pretty sure they don’t know, either, and the people who know aren’t telling. (And then there are those who claim to know, turn up, cause a kerfuffle and then flit off again about five pages after it should have been obvious nobody was buying their line, but I’ll say no more about them since I’m not aching to have my forum account suspended). Anyway, this all adds up to us having to find out. Which means, hey, good old fashioned legwork SCIENCE!
DATE – SATURDAY 10th OCTOBER
TIME – There is a Peak Time of 1800-2200hrs BST but Saturday lasts all day and in various time-zones, I am reliably informed…
PRIMARY VENUE: MOBIUS (Open and Solo both equally viable)
SYSTEM – MEROPE, oddly enough
We have certain facilities available to us in our ships. Scour has been put together to factor in what is available, apply it to a reasonably thorough and valid method, and all in an incremental way so anybody can help out according to their own schedule. Basically, the intensive surveying of the entire Merope system has been chopped up into little tasks under three chief headings – detailed below – being: The Inner System Corridors, the Outer System Corridors and the Asteroids. Signal Sources are also a focal factor.
The basic Scour catch-all catchphrase: Who knows? Best to try. (The UAs aren’t pointing there by accident, after all.) But, for all the variation and extensions that participating commanders may prefer to pursue and despite the impossible question of “What Are We Looking For, Exactly?” the fact is, Operation: Scour does have focus. It’s just that it’s an unwieldy one – that focus being the entirety of the Merope system. Not a trifling affair. It’s not like being asked to find a set of lost car keys but knowing which room in the house they must be in. It’s not even like it’s the entire street. It’s the entire town, and there’s not even any explicit guarantee that the keys are even there.
But, equally, it’s not like losing a child in a shop – or, at least, that’s the hope. The target won’t be wandering from aisle to aisle in Toys-Ain’t-Cheap or Toys-R-Us or whatever it’s called, working out what to pester you to get for their birthday. The target is assumed to be static, because an as-yet invisible target that randomly wanders around to any great degree or to any great distance within Merope just wouldn’t be cricket.
Yet, good news. As unwieldy a prospect as comprehensively and systematically scouring an entire system might (does!) appear at first glance, second glance and third glance, the overall task has been reined in and made less daunting than simply dropping in and likely being overwhelmed by the enormity of it would otherwise leave many of us.
Few regulars on this thread will have missed that Scour has been burbling about for a while, waiting for its day in the Merope sun. Waiting to be let off the leash as a cooperative multi-commander exercise in surveying the system which our snotty little friends seem so drawn to. And now, it’s here, and it provides a chance for Canonneers and other abundantly welcome parties to do what is reasonably possible to cooperatively (and sociably) determine what it is about Merope that it attracts the UAs from trillions of miles away – insofar as we have the means, without having an entire Faction-sized Navy to deploy.
Suffice it to say in that time of freedom to burble and tweak, the underlying method of Scour has indeed been burbled and tweaked, by myself upon grateful receipt of others’ input – and has benefitted greatly from the Phase One dress rehearsal. It’s been around a month in the making so, defying all expectations of even more excessive Powellian rambling verbosity, I’m going to try to avoid including the minutae of reasoning behind the component tasks which constitute Scour’s method. I’m just going to list them with some accompanying recommended methodology notes.
Should anybody planning on participating have any queries as to why they are what they are, please do feel free to ask but please also know in advance that they haven’t just been drummed up this morning on the fly. To an extent, I’ve been seen littering the Beta-era thread with updates and the like, so most of you are already au fait with the whole shebang anyway. (This may come across as my being defensive about the method but, quite honestly, it’s just to save on the typing/reading as much as it is out of respect for those who’ve helped behind the scenes and, most respectfully, for those whose efforts during Phase One served as an overall proof of process.)
As mentioned above, Scour is broken down into its three chief aspects – Inner Corridors, Outer Corridors and the Asteroids – but is also, in the case of the first two, to employ Signal Hopping to further trawl for any anomalies or even the direct presence of something new. (It also makes for a welcome break for commanders mid-Scour!) Weak Signal Sources. Unknown Signal Sources. Strong Signal Sources. Salvageable Wreckage. Other than an opportunity for a break every now and then by staying longer than it takes to note what is present, who knows what might be lurking in Merope that might otherwise be missed by thinking, “Oh, it’s just a Weak Signal Source? That’ll just be a Black Box or something…”
Further to Signal Hopping is Honking on one’s System Scanners at intervals of a recommended 500LS a honk. Stopping dead and dropping down into an instance of normal space to deploy an Unknown Artefact (with or without other stuff) is also an expected action here and there.
PHASE TWO BREAKDOWN:
There are 21 Inner System Corridors to scour through. Dropping into each and every signal source as flings itself at your ship’s sensors need not mean engaging in pew pew but, hey, whatever floats your boat (so long as your boat’s still floating after trying a heist on a Medical Convoy…)
Winging up is probably going to result in the most ‘active fun-ness’ available from Signal Sources if done while handling the Inner Corridors.
Simple, really. Start at Point A and slowly supercruise to Point B, honking as possible, keeping an eye on your Left Panel for anything that crops up – either in the way Resource Extraction Sites do when within 1000LS or Signal Sources do or, perhaps, something new to be found.
Please also swing your vision to and from the Left Panel from time to time since, with so much still unknown about the technologies we’re dealing with in the Unknown Artefact mystery, there’s the possibility that things might be invisible to ships’ sensors but might show up visually for, oh, some reason. Stranger things have happened. (But if you want a more Science-y reason, you should know you’re asking the wrong man!)
Also: check your Left Panel Contacts regularly. (“Who knows? Best to try.”)
Complete List of Inner System Corridors
Merope – Merope 1
Merope – Merope 2
Merope – Merope 3
Merope – Merope 4
Merope – Merope 5
Merope – Merope 6
Merope 1 – Merope 2
Merope 1 – Merope 3
Merope 1 – Merope 4
Merope 1 – Merope 5
Merope 1 – Merope 6
Merope 2 – Merope 3
Merope 2 – Merope 4
Merope 2 – Merope 5
Merope 2 – Merope 6
Merope 3 – Merope 4
Merope 3 – Merope 5
Merope 3 – Merope 6
Merope 4 – Merope 5
Merope 4 – Merope 6
Merope 5 – Merope 6
There are 49 outer system corridors, each found by simply laying in a jump to one of the neighbouring systems. Commanders are, as ever, free to do as they will according to intuition and various theories but I urge those surveying along these corridors in supercruise to limit their work to a one-way deal rather than turn back around and supercruise back to the star. Simply jump out to the targeted system and back to Merope to refuel. It will save a lot of time that can be spent on another corridor or allow you to more quickly shift gear to, say, Signal Hop around the inner system for a bit or survey an asteroid cluster as a change of pace.
As to the distance to travel along these corridors, since the overlap becomes less and less the farther along one travels, barring intuition-fueled perseverance, a distance of 20-30kLS is submitted as sufficient. Take it slow and steady, honking around every 500-1000LS after you exit the inner system region and dropping into Signal Sources. As speed and acceleration rates increase the farther out one travels from the inner system, you may find that stop-starting becomes an option so as to keep the honks evenly paced. Why honk at all? Well, you’ve got the gear, why not use it, who knows?
As with the Inner Corridors, please try to regularly swing between your Left Panel indications of what your ship’s sensors are picking up and Mk1 Eyeball checks.
Sure, you are always free to head out for 150kLS if that’s your bag, and engaging one’s Intuition Drive is never going to be questioned, but I submit that 20-30kLS should suffice – otherwise we’d be employing less a needle-haystack approach so much as an atom-farm approach. (The UA Mystery may be fiendish but it’s not full-on evil.)
Complete List of Outer System Corridors
PLEIADES SECTOR DL-Y D65
PLEIADES SECTOR DL-Y D67
PLEIADES SECTOR DL-Y D68
PLEIADES SECTOR EB-X C1-14
PLEIADES SECTOR EB-X C1-15
PLEIADES SECTOR EB-X C1-16
PLEIADES SECTOR EB-X C1-17
PLEIADES SECTOR EB-X C1-18
PLEIADES SECTOR GW-W C1-12
PLEIADES SECTOR GW-W C1-13
PLEIADES SECTOR GW-W C1-14
PLEIADES SECTOR GW-W C1-15
PLEIADES SECTOR HR-W D1-36
PLEIADES SECTOR HR-W D1-41
PLEIADES SECTOR HR-W D1-42
PLEIADES SECTOR HR-W D1-65
PLEIADES SECTOR HR-W D1-74
PLEIADES SECTOR HR-W D1-75
PLEIADES SECTOR HR-W D1-76
PLEIADES SECTOR HR-W D1-77
PLEIADES SECTOR HR-W D1-78
PLEIADES SECTOR HR-W D1-79
PLEIADES SECTOR IH-V C2-14
PLEIADES SECTOR IH-V C2-15
PLEIADES SECTOR IH-V C2-16
PLEIADES SECTOR IH-V C2-17
PLEIADES SECTOR IH-V C2-18
PLEIADES SECTOR KC-V C2-10
PLEIADES SECTOR KC-V C2-11
PLEIADES SECTOR KC-V C2-14
PLEIADES SECTOR KC-V C2-15
PLEIADES SECTOR KC-V C2-16
PLEIADES SECTOR KC-V C2-17
PLEIADES SECTOR KC-V C2-9
PLEIADES SECTOR OD-S B4-2
PLEIADES SECTOR PD-S B4-0
PLEIADES SECTOR PD-S B4-1
PLEIADES SECTOR PD-S B4-2
There are 9 asteroid clusters and the 6 planetary rings. According to my bedside Big Book of Maths Stuff, that makes 15 locales. Plenty of asteroids to hide something in. Larger ships might well be able to haul plenty of Prospector Limpets but even they run out while searching for the ‘Magic Eight’ of asteroids’ local mineral/metal yields. A mining laser is strongly recommended as both an alternative and a back-up to avoid having to leave a field half-surveyed. (As happened to me during Phase One.)
You may wish to hit more than one asteroid patch in a planet’s rings. As ever, this is your call and fair play to your own intuition or theories.
Side-Note on Signal Sources
For the purpose of Scour, Salvageable Wrecks are being lumped in with Signal Sources for the purposes of reporting back. They appear in the same manner and essentially seem to feature in the same way, so lumping them together seems efficiently apt.
Canonneers are invited to make use of the group’s “RSV Gnosis” Teamspeak channel – accessible through the details Derthek punted up on the home site of The Canonn. Maybe you’ll want to stay on it at all times, it certainly does nothing to lessen one’s boredom. Maybe you’ll just want to drop in from time to time, perhaps with observations. It’s certainly a great means by which wing-work can be streamlined and our reactions and improvisations improved, though this should come as Old News to everybody.
This all said, it is appreciated that some commanders truly hate the use of vox comms and so, so long as Bagsies and Reports are still being made anyway – whether from Open, Mobius or Solo, PC, Mac or XBox – no harm done. However, please give it a try as Teamspeak is a widely used (and excellent live coordination) tool and will almost certainly factor more and more in successive Canonn operations to some degree or other.
As for non-Canonneers, well, there’s still your own vox comms alternatives (Teamspeak and otherwise) for gobbing about with others.
This is, I realise, perhaps a bit of an overtly ‘Limey/Pom’ term. Bagsy. Dibs. Staking. Basically the same thing: please avoid the frustration of duplicated work on your own part and that of others by stating here on this Thread which tasks you are about to commit to. (Of course, if you’re intent on duplication, never any harm done either way, but otherwise, do Bagsy any tasks for the sake of others’ efforts.)
The reports coming in during Phase One were great to see. It was just a ‘moment’ that I enjoyed seeing and being part of. That quite aside, there is a recommended report format below. During Phase One, there were looser formats used to forward information to the Thread. So long as your method and results can be clearly discerned from flinging a bunch of these ‘word’ things at the screen, and common sense hasn’t waved a sicknote under your nose, well, hey, it’s all good.
Please post reports back to this Thread. You may have seen them coming in during Phase One, you may have missed that. Doesn’t matter. It makes for easy public access for all participants and interested parties alike, Canonn and otherwise.
Recommended Report Format (Slight Changes from Phase One)
Commander Reporting: [In-game callsign]
Wingmates: [In-game callsigns] (If applicable)
Unknown Artefact Aboard: Yes/No
1 of the following –
Inner Route Surveyed: (ie, Merope 2 to Star)
Outer Route Surveyed: (ie, Merope to Maia) – 20kLS (if not further, per cmdr’s intuition)
Asteroid Location Surveyed: (Belt Cluster 2 or Merope 4 Ring)
Summary of other craft encountered: blah (please note whether in supercruise or normal space)
Honk Result: blah
Signal Source Contents: blah
Action/s Taken: blah
Observations/Notes/Findings: blah and blah
Anomalies Encountered: blah!
Participating with Unknown Artefacts
Phase One saw this. Dommaarraa’s recent notifications involved a snotbox, too. No doubt there have been others since I was last on the forum or while I was typing this up. Is it recommended? Well, I would put it this way: if you can’t bring one, bring yourself, but just as with the logic of honking and the use of such tools as are to hand, what better tool could there be than an Unknown Artefact? (Not that the wee sods are much cop so far, but who knows?) They are, after all, still proving plentiful enough to pick one up for Scour.
Please be sure when reporting back to note whether you have an Unknown Artefact aboard or not.
For myself, I shall be taking the Bifrost to acquire a Floater tonight/tomorrow and beginning tomorrow with Outer System Corridors and Asteroid sites. The less-fun work, in a way, because the Inner System is clearly a bit more fun and….well… Operation: Scour boils down by design to an exercise in ‘co-ordinated but socialised workload’ as much as anything else. Better for Wings fun, the Inner Corridor, I think, with the greater concentration of Signal Sources.
I shall, as ever, be around and on hand in-system should anybody run into troubles. While I shall be popping in and out during the day, I shall be on full-time during the Peak Time of 1800-2200hrs BST.
What about instancing problems?
Instancing is not a foreseeably major hurdle for Scour’s progress. Unless participants want to get bolshy in Signal Sources, each task can ultimately be handled alone and it rarely takes long to re-instance an operative Wing together.
Mobius remains the default Canonn venue for such cooperative exercises as this, where the job is already weighty enough that potential PvP interference while juggling various method-based tasks would be an irritating distraction, to be polite about it.
This said, when it’s not Peak Time, I’m going to be dipping in and out of Open. Might bump into people, which would be welcome.
Furthermore, participating in Scour’s incremental workload means flying in Solo is no barrier to that participation. Get your Bagsies and Reports in and it ultimately doesn’t matter.
But Mobius is the default for Canonneers, to perhaps better enable Wings where preferred.
GOOD LUCK OUT THERE!
Oh… One last thing… (This is The Me, after all.)
Yep. Still got those EGX Skins to win, kindly made available by Huros and Lord Zoltan from among those Zac and FDev were slinging at them in Birmingham.
One shall be raffled, names drawn from those making reports up until shortly before Sunday’s Operation: Stockpile kicks off. I shall PM the raffle winner and announce it on the Threadnought on Sunday.
The other has been… well, let’s just say I’m going to have to pretend to possess an ounce of discretion! Yes, basically a Player Of The Match affair, likely boiling down less to any possible ‘hits’ encountered and more to levels of participation and good humour relating to Scour overall.
PS… Moons? What about the moons? Oh, yeah. There are moons, too. They weren’t covered in the Inner System Corridor routes because the 1000LS/Left Panel sensors covers them by dint of being in such proximity to their parent planet. But, hey, that’s not very thorough, is it? Wanna go to the moons? Not like anybody’s stopping you…
– Nicholas Powell