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Back Again (part 1)

…and then, 17 months later…

So I set Eve aside for a while, and a month ago picked it up again to see if there was anything interesting left in it. I’ve just dropped another month’s worth of PLEX on my main account, so I guess I found something.

My first probes into Eve were cautious. After an extended period of almost no gaming, my instincts wouldn’t be at their best. I decided to just roam about highsec and have a look at what’s new.

Citadels and the like are everywhere. I’ve learned that these add an extra layer of annoyance to hunters because locator agents don’t know the difference between “docked in a citadel” and “in space”. Which I suppose is the same as sitting inside a POS shield, only you can’t find their ship via scan probes and definitively put eyes on them.

Even more of highsec feels…depopulated now than I recall. With no content to reward living on the fringes, everything seems to have contracted toward Jita. Even Dodixie has a pitifully small population compared to what I remember. This isn’t intended to be a complaint about a slight dip in concurrent users, but rather the lack of content giving incentive to be somewhere more than five jumps from Jita.

Remembering what kept me occupied in my last foray into New Eden, I began investigating asteroid and ice belts. I found a remarkable number of Orcas solo mining with expensive drones. I also observed, to no great surprise, Orcas surrounded by balls of Skiffs. These were clearly the multiboxers who learned long ago to give up yield to avoid ganks.

Still, there was enough on the field to stay interested. I stumbled upon a well-populated ice belt and destroyed an MTU that wasn’t being watched.  A nearby retriever saw the opportunity to take on a dastardly suspect. That went as you would expect. But then my rusty instincts betrayed me. While I was killing that retriever, several Orcas targeted me and closed distance with microwarp drives. I suddenly found myself swarmed with 20 drones, with multiple webs and points on me. My poor Stratios died heroically trying to chew through an Orca’s tank.

Getting mauled by Orcas was new. Seeing miners shoot suspects was interesting. It was time to look at the game a bit longer. And time for a wardec.

Another Occupation, Another War

gnosis orca wreck

The Karnola constellation got boring. The miners that didn’t evacuate switched to skiffs and procurers, the bots wouldn’t stay in a corp, and the other resident corps either docked up or left. With little left to do, I decided to move to another part of Lonetrek and check out the local action there. I selected Haurala for its lower sec status and proximity to Jita.

Not finding much in the way of corporations to dec right away, I set about moving NEAPS operations and ganking the miners I found in the 0.5 systems. Two Mackinaws, two Hulks (one of each of those flown by the same character, 14 hours apart), a Covetor and three capsules are the tally so far. I also learned a couple of hard lessons, losing a squad of catalysts in a failed gank and another two to faction police while I figured out how to keep two squads bouncing while I got guns grouped, loaded, and overheated on six criminal alts.

Little side note/rant here: CCP should really give us the ability to group all weapons in the fitting screen, as well as a way to configure the HUD without undocking.

One gank that stood out to me was this Hulk kill. It was mining with corpmates in an Orca and Procurer in a belt, with an MTU feeding the Orca. I did the math on the fit and fleeted up three catalysts. Along with this, I brought along my salvage Orca and jumped in my favorite Legion.

On landing, the Catalysts immediately opened up on the Hulk. The pod died, too. Meanwhile my Legion was shooting the MTU, as I knew it would likely scoop the loot while I was handling other accounts. The multiboxer must have frozen up when I took down the Hulk, because I popped the MTU before the Orca could scoop it. The Orca tractored in wrecks and salvaged everything while I went suspect and loaded the fleet hangar from yellow wrecks and jetcans.

The next day, the Hulk pilot was back in a Skiff. Not wanting to put too much pressure on them, I decided to give them some breathing room. I looted a derelict POS while I waited. I was actually surprised to find just the one. On the morning of April 2, I put in a wardec on the corp. Just after downtime, with an hour left before the war started, the mining fleet undocked and evacuated the systems I’d been lurking in for days. I paced them with a pair of alts for a total of seven jumps, where they immediately set about mining in an ice belt.

After a 26 AU warp to the ice belt, I found all three targets still at 0 velocity. I landed three points, webbed the Skiff, and started chewing on the Procurer first.


Pechuga > все висят и смотрят)) вот спасибо за помощь)


Pechuga> all sit and stare)) Well, thank you for your help)

After crashing that party, the Orca pilot never logged in again during the war. Some other members of the corp spent some time online, but only long enough to move around in a shuttle or otherwise be elusive. It seems they opted to pay CCP to do nothing for a week.

In Which I Occupy A Constellation

The Watch List turned into the Buddy List overnight not too long ago. The merc alliances responded by taking issued hundreds of wardecs to ensure an abundance of targets. This approach has never suited me, so I opted to try something different. I decided to take over a constellation.

My choice of which systems to occupy was made for me when I stumbled across the bot nest in Umokka. I chose to remain in the Karnola constellation, watching the local traffic and being selective about my wardecs. The goal was to impose my will upon all the systems, forcing the locals to either leave the area or change how they play the game.

I started out slow. Some mild suspect baiting, bumping, and generally being an annoyance. Rather than indiscriminately issuing wardecs to everything I saw, I waited until I’d seen more than one member of the corp in the constellation within at least three days. The first few wardecs only yielded a Caracal kill.

Meanwhile I reactivated a corporation I’d set up years ago for ganking. Styling them as eco-terrorists out to protect the natural splendors of New Eden, they set about destroying as much as possible in New Eden. The corporation’s killboard should tell you all you need to know. Here’s a summary of the campaign:

1 Tayra
2 Badgers (that were mining together in a belt)
10 Retrievers
1 Covetor
7 Capsules
1 Venture
1 Mackinaw

While I was entertaining myself with ganking and generally disrupting everything BUT the mission bots in these systems, I noticed a criminal in local. Curious as to what he’d done, I checked zkill and found this loss to CONCORD. “Well that’s a special kind of stupid. I think I’ll shoot that guy.”

The wardec went live, and I found my new friend flying a Barghest. Locates revealed that his corpmates had retreated to a highsec island 30+ jumps away, through 8 jumps of lowsec. I guess they heard that we’re afraid of lowsec.

Okay, maybe we aren’t. I showed up in their little corner of the universe and killed the only thing I could find in space. I’d already found their POS with a scout. They decided to dismantle the POS, I assume because of the high volume of POS module kills in my history. I logged in to find them 15 minutes from unanchoring. Fortunately, there was an Iteron on the local market. A hearty bump to the neutral scooping Orca and the small Amarr tower was mine.

As I wasn’t terribly interested in trying to haul it to market across lowsec, I joked in local that I had one for sale. One of the two neutral characters responded, and we negotiated a price at about 85% Jita prices. To recap: I stole a tower from a wartarget and sold it to someone else while they watched from the safety of a station hangar. Oh, and while I was out there I wardecced and demolished two derelict POS. These wardecs don’t (always) pay for themselves.

Two days later, a newly joined member of the corporation was waiting for me back in Umokka when I logged in some scouts. After 30 minutes of idling in station, he undocked almost immediately when I logged in and jumped to the next system in a Hyperion. Sensing a trap, I went anyway. It didn’t go well for me: RIP Stratios. I made some mistakes in that fight and should have escaped at least once, but I can live with the loss balanced against that Barghest. Unfortunately, real life decided to assert itself rather heavily over the past week, and by the time I was able to click the Eve icon again the war had lapsed and I was unable to seek retribution. Still, it was a fun war.

Bot Hunting or Another Ridiculously Short War



In my previous post I gave an account of stumbling across a malfunctioning bot and how I convinced it to explode and give me loot. I took an interest in this particular character and began following the bot into missions, repeatedly attempting to bump it or otherwise cause it to die at the hands of mission rats. The owner had replaced the Raven Navy Issue with an identical fit, and there was significant potential profit in finding a way to cause the bot to fail again.

Long story short, I was never able to achieve my goal. But in the course of staying in one place for a few days I’d noticed something. A large quantity of Raven Navy Issues were running missions here. I started scanning them and it quickly became apparent they were all using the same fit. I started making notes of patterns and became increasingly convinced that they are all owned by one person.

I quietly dropped a wardec on one of the three-member bot corps that I’d seen operating and waited. As the can-shoot time approached, I jumped into system with an active bot, entered his mission space, and idled a gate behind him while my uncloaked scout sat on grid. It couldn’t have been more obvious that I was present. Meanwhile my target was firing missiles at rat after rat. Clearly buttons were being pushed. What I mean to say is, I was clearly pursuing a bot.

I jumped the acceleration gate as soon as the war went live. The bot died quickly, but the pod warped away before I could get a lock. While I was clearing loot and getting out from under quite a bit of NPC-based dps, I noticed on the alt that provided a warp-in that the bot’s pod had returned to the first acceleration gate. It warped away and returned to the home station before I could catch it.

One jump out, another bot in another Raven Navy Issue was running another mission. It all of nine minutes from one kill to the next. Knowing how the bot would react to its death, this time I was waiting for the pod to return to the mission.

Returning to the mission hub, I set about hunting down the last bot. The hub is fairly busy; lots of bots in Ravens and Barghests cluttering up the scanners. At one point I thought I’d found him, but upon warping to the deadspace a short d-scan showed the name of a different known bot. I spent nearly 30 minutes trying to scan down this particular bot. Finally it returned to the hub, and I discovered that it was flying the RNI that was named for another bot. I suddenly had it confirmed that at least these three bots were connected with another three in another corporation.

The third bot died 74 minutes after the first one, and I found the pod exactly where I expected it to be. I then went about declaring war on another four bot corporations. I knew it was a long shot, but I was already up nearly 1.5 billion isk in loot. An hour after the shooting stopped, the corporation disbanded and its members formed a new corporation.

What followed was predictable. Now aware of my pursuit, the bot owner disbanded and reformed corporations over and over to avoid my wardecs. I’ve been documenting the activities of these characters for some time now and have identified a large pile of bots for future reference.

The Things You Find Scouting POS


In my ongoing effort to beat every space pinata I can find, I occasionally stumble across interesting things. Sometimes it’s a corporation that will put up a fight. Sometimes it’s astonishing quantities of something you don’t expect to find in a POS. Sometimes…

Two days ago I was looking for a fresh round of wardecs. I’d gotten all the loot and fights I was going to get from my current lot, and I went back to scouting for buried treasure. One particular such find was just two jumps out from Jita. A couple of assembly arrays on the scan, nothing special–until I land and see that the shield is down and there’s an Obelisk sitting in space.

I logged in my freighter pilot that I’d trained specifically to fly the Fenrir I stole recently. A quick purchase of a skill injector and all the freighter and industrial skills I needed, and my pilot could take any freighter I stumbled across. The Obelisk was mine, and I declared three wars. Those wars netted me another 1.5 billion isk, mostly in minerals and 33 researched fuel block BPOs that I pulled out of a single assembly array. The Obelisk was immediately useful.

Tonight, I was back to roaming about and probing. I’ve seen my new wartargets log in and out again quickly, but not long enough to undock. I jumped my scout into a dead-end system and dropped probes. After a minute or two of scanning, I noticed that the Raven Navy Issue that was on the gate when I arrived was still there. Curious, I did a quick scan and got these results. Some Pyfa checking  told me that this thing had 45k EHP tops, as its modules weren’t cycling. Also, his shields were under 50%.

I broadcast for ganks in BU and minerbumping, but it’s hard to pull a group together this late. I was just about give up on the idea when he warped away. This year-old character flying a billion-isk RNI might be tempted with a suspect cruiser, so I scanned him down and made the attempt in a Stratios (because that’s what I had nearby). I was completely ignored. He’d launched a handful of T1 drones, and had ten other T1 drones abandoned in the deadspace. Hoping to provoke him, I set about scooping the drones. His shields were steadily dropping. This poor guy couldn’t tank his mission.

When his shields were almost gone, he warped back to the gate. I finished scoooping his abandoned drones and returned to the acceleration gate. I dropped them in a can, renamed it to “your drones” and sat 10 km away under cloak. If he wouldn’t shoot a suspect, perhaps he’d go suspect to retrieve his lost drones. He sat on gate until his shield recovered–odd, since he could have docked  in the local station and returned immediately–and then warped back to the deadspace. He ignored the can and jumped straight back into the action. I followed him in.

This time, he didn’t launch any drones. I paid more attention, and I realized he wasn’t running his hardeners or boosters, either. This RNI was going into its mission space, failing to start its tank, and attempting to launch drones. I realized I was watching a bot at work. When it warped away this time, I left to grab a different ship. I got back just in time for the Raven to warp to its mission yet again. I followed.

In the deadspace, I moved to 30km above him and watched. When his shield hit 25%, my Stabber Fleet Issue hit him at over 5km/s. Two more solid bumps and the Raven exploded.


I’ve reported my new friend as a bot. His donation to the Belligerent Undesirables boredom relief fund prior to the inevitable ban is most appreciated.

Surprisingly Interesting POS Bashes


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.

20160211 - loot

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…

20160211 - loot 2

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


At Least I Managed to Steal Something


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:

Hulk 1
Hulk 2

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.

  1. 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.
  2. He could have simply allowed me to destroy the ship. After his insurance payment, he would have taken a few hundred million in losses.
  3. 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.