After pounding the proverbial systems looking for a suitable Class 3, I found myself mostly "chaining" (in some cases 3 or 4 w-space systems) deep into W-space, hoping for a good C3.
I actually found a packed C1 system with two Class 3 exits, a Class 2 exit and a LowSec exit. I figured (wrongly as it turns out) that at least one of the C3's or the C2 would be static, and with the extremely close proximity to my staging base (get this: one K-space jump + 3 W-space jumps!), I figured this was as good as any to move my "Large POS package" out to W-space.
With the 2 new Iteron V's packed and ready to go, I made quick work out of deploying a Small POS and Hanger to the C1, where my plan was to stage everything there until I found a good C3 exit spawn. Essentially, the small POS and Hangar are the "beachhead" to store the large POS package of tower and all associated modules. The 2 "currently adjoining" C3's were heavily populated, so I was willing to park myself and the entire C3 Large POS package until a good C3 spawned.
Well, turns out that this Class 1 only has a SINGLE static exit, that to LowSec. This is the first time I recall ever seeing W-space with only a single static exit, so I was pretty miffed. This could be common with C1's? But, since the system was packed with over 34 sites and I was a bit rusty after being offline the last month, I decided to go take down some sleeper sites. Because this is a C1, I could not bring in my BS's, so this was all about the trusty Drake. I knew from the earliest of early Apocrypha days that my Drake would not even break a sweat in a C1 even if I fully spawned the whole site. I cleared 10 sites in just under 2 hours.
It has been so long since I was in a Class 1 that several things occurred to me after my first day there:
- The first observation mentioned above - that the C1 had only a single recurring exit. This one was to LowSec. Literally every w-space system where I have take up residence had two recurring/static exits. The fact that the only recurring exit is to LowSec means that I will have less likelihood of a quality adjoining system spawn and may mean I need to move my deployment package back to K-Space once I clean out this system. If a quality exit spawns before I empty this C1, then fine - C1's are low yield ISK.
- C1 Sleeper sites are dominated by Emergent (Frigate) spawns, which have a skewed effect on drone consumption. My only prior experiences with C1 systems were "day-trips" while I was still getting up to speed on sleeper sites and ship fittings. At that time, I had not used drone DPS to any great extend and missed this observation. As compared to C2 or C3 sites, which are dominated by Cruiser and BattleCruiser sleepers, C1 sites are spawns of mostly frigates, which love to go after the drones. The BC's have poor tracking and it is really rare to lose a light drone to a Sleeper BC or BS. For example, in the last four Class 2/3 systems in total, I have lost no more than 9 drones. We are talking 100+ sleeper sites and tons of sleepers. But, in the first 5 sleeper sites alone for this system, I lost 6. As such, I need to slightly correct my prior statements regarding drone usage from "Ideal for C3 and below" to be "Ideal for C2 and C3" sites. Sentry drones would actually be ideal for C1, as they can be immediately recalled and the Emergent sleepers always come to you, whereas you need to strategically warp-in for C2/3 sites for efficient sleeper BS pwnage.
- Proportionally smaller ISK yield. I would have expected C1 systems to yield less valuable loot, but linearly, not exponentially. Whereas there is a reasonable lift in yield when going from a C2 to a C3 system, the drop in yield from a C2 to C1 is substantial. Class 1 systems are a good starting point for testing your skills, but I am now going to regularly advise Class 2 and the minimum class for your first POS deployments.