In my previous post I mentioned that I’ve been doing a lot POS bashing. I also linked a pair of Hulk kills made on a war that was supposed to just be for POS loot and lamented the fact that I was unable to kill the accompanying Orca. This particularly determined afk miner replaced his Hulks with a pair of Skiffs and returned to mining a few days later. Knowing that my little Vexor wouldn’t be able to take the Orca down before the Skiff pilots could return with guns, I broke out my trusty Armageddon.
This was my third run at this guy. He’d already lost a half billion isk. He knew I was hunting him. I want you to understand all that when I say this: I made a 60 AU warp in a battleship, and the Orca had zero velocity when I pointed him. That battleship is a tanky beast and had no problem simply ignoring the Myrmidons that attempted to rescue the Orca. They fled shortly before the Orca died.
A few days later, I learned via Karma Bad of an out-of-fuel POS that was in need of smashing. I scouted it, saw 14 pinatas, and declared war. 24 hours later (and two days ago) I turned up and had a little party. Only one module contained anything. The corporate hangar array had a little fuel in it.
Okay, a lot of fuel. That’s about a billion isk. It’s a good thing I recently stole a freighter (read my previous post). I had to make three trips with an Orca just to get it into a station. This was a profitable war.
And then yesterday I see a member of the owning alliance log in. I take my watch lists seriously. Even when I’m reasonably certain an entire corporation is inactive, I add them just in case. A quick locate told me he was in the same system as the POS I’d recently shot.
Assuming he was fueling the POS, I sent a scout to have a look. Sure enough the POS was fueled. There he sat in an orca, unanchoring the hardeners. Once those were all packed away, he docked and returned with a Sigil. This he used to unanchor a gun, bring it inside the POS shield, and deploy it so the Orca could safely scoop inside the shield. After a while I guess this got to be too tedious, and he docked and returned with the Orca, which then flew out of the shield and began unanchoring guns.
You all know what came next. I position my alt for a warpin and land 20 km away. I immediately applied a solid bump (while shooting him) to ensure he couldn’t reach the POS shield. The results are predictable. Two Orcas in seven days, and all I expected to shoot was a few arrays.
Today, I found the Sigil back at the POS. It was down to a bare tower and he’d just pulled the fuel to put it offline. After watching him make several trips to unload the excessive amount of fuel he loaded (old habit, I suppose) he docked for half an hour before returning to start the POS unanchoring.
Once I saw the timer, I brought my Orca alt into system and cloaked it 175 km off the tower. At two minutes, my main entered from an adjacent system. I landed on the tower to find a neutral Impel idling. A quick bump from my Orthrus cleared the way for the Orca to decloak, warp in, and…
It’s been a good day.
Oh, and this morning I dropped three new POS bashing decs. Shortly before Operation Grand Theft Tower, I get a private chat from a member of one of the targets.
Simias Bastard > ima collect that bounty on your head tomorrow
So lately I’ve been involved in Buster’s POS Survey. As a result, I’ve been shooting a lot of derelict POS. The isk is decent, and occasionally I dec a semi-active corp that has targets in it. Some of them fly Hulks:
There was an Orca that I had pointed, but the return of the Hulk pilots in a pair of Myrmidons pushed me off the field and I had to take my victory and go. They haven’t undocked since.
One thing found in the survey was a stick-only active POS with a pilotless Orca inside it. The POS corp was a single character, and the Orca was owned by another. I decided to drop the dec and grind the POS on the off chance they wouldn’t notice for a couple of days. I’d had some really good loot pinata scores and am fairly swimming in isk (by my meager standards), so what was a little time and money spent on the attempt? They got wise to my plan the day the tower was supposed to come out of reinforce. I wasn’t going to steal the Orca after all. Still, I had a lot of isk and decided I’d by myself something shiny (see picture).
I wandered around Minmatar space menacing POS owners and docked alts for a few days. And then today, I see a member of a corp that hasn’t logged in in the entire six days I’ve been at war with them. I shrugged and ran a few locates. He was docked, but not too far away. I decided to close in and get a scout on him. After about fifteen minutes, he undocked his Fenrir.
I haven’t shot a freighter since I came back to Eve. I started moving my shiny new ship into position while my Astero pilot paced him and watched him dock twice more. Meanwhile I asking around to see if anyone had a big hauler to scoop some loot, just in case. No one did. Figuring he was working on a market run–he’d been steadily approaching Rens–I got a scan on his freighter to confirm no core stabs and fitted two webs with a long point. The scan also showed he was hauling an impressively small 7,000,000 isk worth of T1 frigates and drones, so I waved off the efforts at getting a hauler in range. With him undocking 1 jump out in Odatrik, I sat on the gate in Rens and waited while he went a completely different direction.
Thankfully freighters are painfully slow, and my alt was able to catch up quickly. I confirmed his new heading and decided to run him down. I jumped into Odatrik just as he jumped into Trytedald, and then held at the Trytedald gate until he entered warp for the Ivar gate. I jumped, warped, landed, and jumped into Ivar before he landed. If he noticed the red star flash through local, he must have assumed I was going elsewhere.
After holding cloak for the full 60 seconds, he found himself pointed and able to travel all over 20 meters per second. My newest toy chewed through his poor tanking skills with ease. Halfway through his armor, I decided it was time to chat.
FloppieTheBanjoClown > Why are you flying a freighter during a war?
Cynimar > what war?
FloppieTheBanjoClown > The one I declared on your corporation.
FloppieTheBanjoClown > You can save your ship. 500 million.
Cynimar > kk
FloppieTheBanjoClown > My wallet’s not blinking.
Cynimar > let me dock and you got it
FloppieTheBanjoClown > That’s not how this works.
FloppieTheBanjoClown > I’m the guy with the guns. I make the rules.
Cynimar > no guarantee that you would honor the agreement
FloppieTheBanjoClown > You’re running out of structure.
Cynimar > yep
Cynimar > you could stop shooting
FloppieTheBanjoClown > I could.
And I did stop shooting. At 2% structure. He was pinned down 30 km from the gate (I’d been bumping him as best I could while ensure my webs stayed put) and knew his Fenrir was doomed. Expecting him to stall or pay, he managed to surprise me: he ejected. The Fenrir dropped to 0% structure but failed to explode, and he warped away before I could achieve a lock. So there I sat, holding down a freighter I couldn’t fly. While there hadn’t been anyone nearby capable of scooping loot from its wreck, Belligerent member Thane Artrald had a pilot three jumps away in Rens that could board my new prize. He logged in the alt, bought a skill book, used some unapplied SP, and was instantly Fenrir-ready. He boarded, docked, and contracted me my next PLEX payment in short order.
Upon inspecting the ship in station, I found that I’d done 81 million isk in damage to it. It’s technically at 0 hp right now, the repair quote showing it to be 106.3% damaged.
I think I’ll bring some remote reps and patch it up myself later. My Orca pilot is a few weeks from being able to fly it, so I find this to be a timely acquisition.
After giving it a bit of thought, Cynimar made the worst possible choice he could have made here.
- He could have paid the ransom and gambled. We all know I would have destroyed it anyway, but after the insurance payment (assuming he bought insurance) he would have lost roughly half the value of the ship.
- He could have simply allowed me to destroy the ship. After his insurance payment, he would have taken a few hundred million in losses.
- He could (and obviously did) eject. This abandons his insurance payment, AND gives up the ship. He’s not out the entire value of the ship. But I suppose he didn’t take the killboard loss.
As a parting thought before he docked and went silent, our latest donor to the cause left me with this:
Cynimar > the prices of my goods just went way up
They did indeed. Far more than was necessary.
I’ve long characterized the role of Belligerents as being the drivers of player-made content in hisec. I wrote this in 2013:
What stories do highsec carebears have to tell? “Hey, you guys remember that time we ran that incursion and shot the Sanshas? No, the 107th time. Yeah, that was great!” How about “I’ll never forget the time my agent gave me Angels Extravaganza twice in an hour,” or “Yeah, I’ll never forget the first time I mined in a mackinaw. It was amazing!” No? But I bet they can tell you about the first time they got ganked. Or the first time they killed a ninja salvager. I’ll never forget my first war and the lessons I learned from it.
Belligerent Undesirables create the stories of highsec. We are the bad guys those white knights desperately need to take them beyond the “what now” endgame of shiny PVE ships and wallet balances.
In today’s meta, there’s probably no greater example of hisec content than CODE. People talk about them, rage about them, cheer them on, and most importantly they react to them. Playstyles change when CODE. is around. The Crime & Punishment forum has several threads started by people seeking to oppose CODE. I believe that demonstrates that ganking is one game activity that is well-balanced and working properly. The nerfs that my ganker friends bemoan seem to have brought us to a reasonable equilibrium where the white knights feel they have an opportunity to fight back and disrupt CODE. Conflict like that is what will keep people interested in playing Eve. The balance that exists in the current mechanics needs to stay right where it is.
I’m going to step away from my usual audience of criminals and thieves and griefers and speak to the white knights now. Guys, welcome to the party. I sincerely applaud all of you who have the tenacity to put up a fight. I’m not talking about the ones who just sit around shooting criminals after a gank target is lost; I’m speaking to those players who are actively looking for ways to foil ganks. Keep it up, even when you fail. Innovate. Work together, talk to each other, learn the mechanics of Eve so well you know every little trick CODE. can pull…and then figure out how to stop it. Don’t give in, because we all know that CODE. won’t.
High sec was never meant to be 100% safe. Get that idea out of your head. CONCORD is punishment, not protection. If you want New Eden to be safer, it’s up to you to make that happen. So keep doing what you do, white knights. Oppose CODE. and all the rest of the bad guys in Eve. Force us to get creative and adapt, and we’ll do the same for you. Only good things can come from it. At the end of the day, you’ll have done something new and different.
I was recently forwarded a mail that was sent to a corporation shortly after SKNK. declared war on it. Here’s part of it:
So as you guys have probably seen, we got war-dec’d again last night. I know this sucks, and that having to change corps is stupid, but it protects you guys from having to deal with getting your ships blapped by these guys. And unfortunately, the way the war mechanics work, we don’t really have any way to win these wars.
So we’re going to keep dodging these guys until they get bored and leave, then we’ll get back to the business of growing our corp and heading toward Null Sec as we planned. For now, just be patient and let’s keep ahead of these guys. These little corp jumping exercises are annoying, but it’s better than being trapped for another week unable to do what we want to do.
I could say quite about about the defeatist attitude here and how it’s poisoning the minds of new players who look to this leadership, but that’s for another rambling post. Today I want to talk about corp-hopping.
Should they be doing this?
They’re using existing game mechanics to their advantage. They want to keep operating their mining fleets and doing their level 4 missions, and they take the steps necessary to do that. I can’t fault my targets for being able to do this. They didn’t make the game.
I’m writing about this because the mechanic itself is broken. CCP has invested a lot of effort into overhauling the wardec system over the years; they clearly consider it a mechanic worth investing resources in. Yet they’ve left this gaping hole that a smart corp can use to effectively negate the entire system. Why would you ever need to fight a war if you can simply make a new corp and move before the war even starts?
So how do we fix it?
I’ve said for years that the long-term fix for this is to make corp membership meaningful in highsec. There need to be stronger drawbacks to NPC corp membership and benefits to long-term corp membership. Corp hopping to avoid wardecs should have consequences.
There are so many good ideas for this I couldn’t do justice to them all. This post isn’t about laying out one good solution, but to remind the larger Eve community that this still exists and that CCP doesn’t seem to be paying attention to it.
I just got back from seeing Star Wars Episode 7. Go see it. But I’m posting this to call out two people who posted spoilers in the BU channel.
May an army of unwashed manure aficionados armed with rusty bottle caps amputate your favorite appendage and use it as the basis of a perverse new sport.
One of the things I heard over and over upon my return to Eve three months ago is “safaris are dead”. CCP added the ability to toggle friendly fire for corporations, effectively killing our ability to join corps with the intent to shoot as many things as we can and utterly disrupt their day. At the height of the Belligerent community, safari was probably the most common topic of conversation. You can read some amusing tales in the archives of this site. Unfortunately, the stories from the most productive times of safaris were lost with the belligerentundesirables.com domain expiration.
For the uninitiated: safari was Psychotic Monk’s term for what is more widely known as awoxing. The distinction being that safari was generally done in high sec, and like everything Monk led the charge on we pushed it to its limits and CCP ended up patching it into oblivion.
Let me go on the record first by saying that I don’t entirely object to CCP’s decisions here. I always felt like forcing friendly fire upon corps was not a particularly logical mechanic. It generated massive amounts of content for BU members and served as an excellent “trust no one” lesson, but when I objectively consider how it works in the context of Eve I’m forced to admit that the current state of optional FF is what should have been in place from the start. I should also note here that I think CCP should have addressed the use of neutral logis before this change was made.
Now that I’ve done that bit of housekeeping and said my piece on a popular topic among old-timers, let’s get to the story I came here to tell. While high sec safaris are all but dead, we developed the concept of a reverse safari around the same time. Monk went so far as to establish Reverse Safari Venture Industries as a corporation to recruit potential targets. It saw some limited successes, and is still a viable method of visiting trust issues upon unwary capsuleers. I know of several groups still routinely using it.
Today’s tale was submitted two weeks ago by one Iaculus. I managed to procrastinate that long before posting it because hey, it’s what I do. Here’s how he described the setup:
I logged in to EVE the other day after work and saw that the corp adverts I had been spamming around had worked, and I had a message in my mailbox from Cairax Annages – a miner looking for a corporation to join. I asked him for full API keys for all of his accounts, and reviewed them carefully for evidence that he might be a war target alt, as well as making a quick appraisal of his wallet and assets. He didn’t have a ton of assets but had about 4 billion in his wallet.
Here’s an edited segment of their first conversations:
Cairax Annages > ill start making my way over since im 20 jumps away
Iaculus > we’re about to get a little mining op going – feel free to join us when you get here
Iaculus > if you need any assets shipped just create a courier contract for me and i’ll haul them over tommorrow
Cairax Annages > ive got a whole lot of ore (i guess) stored over here, ill try to figure out how to make a contract to have it shipped
Cairax Annages > ok, well that answers that question LOL
Iaculus > yeah no problem, i’ve got a freighter
Iaculus > just no collateral please the wallet’s a little light at the moment
Cairax Annages > sure
Cairax Annages > a courier contract right?
Iaculus > yeah
Cairax Annages > i’ll make it available for the corp
Iaculus > ok awesome
Cairax Annages > This is a lot of ore I think
Cairax Annages > 651,992 m3
Iaculus > yep, no problem though i can haul that
Cairax Annages > ok cool
Iaculus > my freighter hauls 750000 or so
Cairax Annages > i’ll pay you for it since its a lot of jumps but i dont know what a fair price is
Iaculus > ok, how about 10 mil? that’s a little better price than a freight service would give
Iaculus > or whatever you want to pay really, no big deal
Cairax Annages > ok ill set it for 10 million, that sounds about as good as anything hehe
Cairax Annages > i wont set any collateral
Iaculus > ok
Cairax Annages > ok all done
Cairax brought his alt Sairax into the corp with him. After patiently waiting for the opportunity, our hero spotted a retriever and badger on the move. Overcoming his disappointment at having so little to ransom, he moved to intercept. In Uaculus’s words:
Soon he jumped into system with me and held gate cloak as long as he could. I didn’t know if he had guessed my intentions and was trying to formulate a plan or if he was just afk. I overheated my warp disruptor and waited. Soon he decloaked 12km from me and I landed point and demanded ransom in corp chat.
The 25 million isk ransom demand was met with silence, and the retriever was destroyed. His cover blown, Iaculus immediately failed the courier contract to ensure his ownership of the mountain of ore, scooped a shiny Damage Control 2 from the retriever wreck, and moved on to hunt the badger.
That badger was carrying nearly all the assets in his API that weren’t in the courier contract.
Cairax went on to demonstrate the proper reaction to bad things happening in Eve:
Iaculus > yeah this whole corp is a scam
Cairax Annages > oh ;/
Iaculus > ;D
Cairax Annages > well joke’s on me i guess lol
Iaculus > at least you got your pod out
Sairax Annages > yeah, thank you for not podding me at least ;/
Iaculus > no problem
Sairax Annages > well don’t really know what to say…good setup though! lol
Iaculus > loot fairy bad :(
Cairax Annages > good show man
Iaculus > thanks for being a good sport!
Iaculus > this ganking brought to you by the Belligerent Undesirables
Cairax Annages > yeah dude, i’ve read a lot about people getting wrecked by stuff like this but kinda…shocking? i guess is the right word when it happens to you lol
Cairax Annages > lesson learned on my part
That bit about the loot fairy being bad? If you don’t understand what he’s talking about in a retriever and badger kill, you didn’t click the killmail links. Go do that now. I’ll wait. Done? Good. Now get that stupid grin off your face.
In proper BU fashion, our hero took the time to explain to Cairax why flying around with PLEX in the hold is a bad idea, invited him to the dark side, and was just generally an excellent human being to his in-game victim. I’ll let him close this out:
In conclusion – highsec reverse awoxing in a corporation with friendly fire turned on is still definitely a thing. Recruiting people to such a corporation, however, is more difficult now, with the best bet being newbies and guy like Cairax back from an extended absence and unaware of the new game mechanics. These players should still be killed though, even if they have apparently low value – because who knows what may be in their cargo holds? Iaculus’ Rule #1: Kill everyone who isn’t your collaborator. (Maybe kill them too for appearances).
Two days ago I decided to dec all of the Warouh system. Our war with STEV corp was producing some opportunities to kill things there, and I was seeing other corporate mining fleets in the system. For 24 hours, I watched the system and threw wardecs at every corporation with an orca-based mining fleet.
The last declaration I issued was to a corporation called STARATELY. The war was scheduled to go live at 05:13 game time. Here’s a play-by-play of how it unfolded.
04:33: I announce that I have eyes on an Orca and three Mackinaws mining shortly before the war is set to start.
04:40: The decision was made for all three of us to move toward Warouh on the chance this fleet would still be in space in half an hour. As three guys are attempting to take down four ships, I refit to have two scrams and a disruptor. The two scrams would be insurance against core stabs on the Orca. I state that I’ll be tackling the Orca and one other Mackinaw, leaving my corpmates one Mack each. We pick our targets and have a plan in place.
04:44: The entire fleet unexpectedly logs off. So much for plans, right? Mining drones and an MTU are left in space. We decided the best approach would be to jump into the system and log off in the belt in the hopes he’ll return.
04:54: All three of us have logged off. All three of our alts were cloaked in the belt waiting for something to log back in.
05:07: The Orca logs in first. Every minute or so after that, a Mackinaw logs in. We watched the slowest multiboxer ever start Orca boosts and tediously launch drones and start mining lasers.
05:13: We check the info pages for both corporations to confirm the war is live. We check the grid to ensure everything is where we expect it to be and nothing is aligning. There’s a “3…2…1…” over comms, and a few seconds later we’re all on grid and frantically pointing things.
05:14-05:20: This time period is best expressed like an old Batman episode:
05:29: The war ends, as STARATELY closes for good.