Strange Times in Lower Debyl

In a previous post I detailed my corporation’s largest payday from POS bashing, in this post I will tell you about an incident that occurred just a couple of weeks later, in what was supposed to be just a routine operation.

The first time I ever saw the name Lower Debyl, I’ll admit I chuckled to myself, it is a strange name as system naming conventions go, and the fact that it has a sister system called Upper Debyl makes it all the more unique. This system is located just-off the back route between the trading hubs of Amarr and Rens-Hek-Dodixie. As an aside, that route is the best way to avoid ganking hotspots such as the Niarja pipeline, and the Uedama crossroads, if you have no intention of hauling to Jita.

Lower Debyl

Lower Debyl, in the Devoid region.

At this time, our little 3-man (6, with alts) operation was running quite smoothly, we had become quite proficient at this kind of structure removal, and taking down more than one tower a night was now not uncommon for us. This night was to be yet another twin-tower bash, as I had found two targets in Lower Debyl a week or so earlier whilst hunting for MTUs. Oyl and myself had moved our ships to the system the night before and we’d docked-up in a random NPC station, shortly after I’d wardecced the POS-owning corps, so now all that was left was for Niya to make his way there just after the war went live.

With Oyl still offline, I logged-in and immediately noticed a war target in local, a pilot named Sraoshra Dallocort, who was the owner of one of the POSes we were due to bash that night. We had encountered an online target only once before, a corporation that had fuelled their POS very shortly after the war declaration, and then stayed docked-up and offline for the duration, but this time it was different.

Pix Severus > ok our wartarget is online in Lower Debyl
Niyalyn > ooo
Niyalyn > you have anything cloaky?
Pix Severus > nope
Pix Severus > he is outside our station in a capsule, apparently
Pix Severus > he is asking me to kill him
Niyalyn > lol

Local Chat with Sraoshra Dallocort

With Niya just a couple of jumps out in his trusty Retribution, I decided to just sit tight for the time being, lest our target had some kind of elaborate and tedious station games planned. I did wonder if he actually was in a Capsule though, so I took a brief peek outside, to find him in his pod 30k from the undock, but sat on top of the station within docking range. This had to be some kind of setup, surely?

Niyalyn > going to stop 100km short and see what he is in
Pix Severus > capsule last i checked
Niyalyn > we’ll find out
Niyalyn > then again… today is a good day to die
Pix Severus > yes it is, Worf

When Niya arrived in the system, our target was flying a Succubus, a fearsome and nimble pirate frigate. So, it would seem that my earlier caution was very much warranted? Well, not quite. You see, just before Niya had arrived in system with me, Sraoshra had opened-up a private convo with me..

Private Convo with Sraoshra Dallocort

Private Convo with Sraoshra Dallocort

Private Convo with Sraoshra Dallocort

Private Convo with Sraoshra Dallocort

It would seem, then, that our war target friend had a bounty on himself, and he wanted to use the opportunity our war had given him, to try to clear it? I tried to explain the bounty mechanics to him, but all I had succeeded in doing was getting him to bring out his frigate so we could pop it. With Niya now in-system, I undocked and burned towards Sraoshra, who was yet again atop the station, this time in his frigate. A Hecate with a MWD closes the gap very fast, and I had him tackled just as Niya landed at the station. We wasted no time in exploding his ship:

Kill: Sraoshra Dallocort (Succubus)

Seeing this completely empty ship was the first confirmation we had gotten that he wasn’t trying to bait us into some kind of trap, so we held his capsule in position whilst I continued talking with him.

Private Convo with Sraoshra Dallocort

Private Convo with Sraoshra Dallocort

With that said, we podded him too:

Kill: Sraoshra Dallocort (Capsule)

Private Convo with Sraoshra Dallocort

Private Convo with Sraoshra Dallocort

Private Convo with Sraoshra Dallocort

I always do my best to remain polite with other pilots in New Eden, and this exchange was no exception. I expressed my sympathies that he only managed to shave off 7m ISK from his bounty, bringing it down from 55m, to 48m, and even offered him his corpse back, which he declined, so it went to Niya in the end.

Something still didn’t feel right about all of this though, and it wouldn’t be until we went to take a look at the POS that we would realise why. It would seem that Sraoshra had fuelled his POS, but had done it a little late, and his shenanigans up to this point had been his attempt at buying time for the POS bubble to regenerate!

Niyalyn > it has a shield now
Pix Severus > really?
Niyalyn > yes
Pix Severus > he fuelled it lol
Pix Severus > the cheeky..
Pix Severus > any guns there?
Niyalyn > no
Niyalyn > shield at 52%

We still had a chance though, if he hadn’t put any Strontium Clathrates in the POS, he wouldn’t be protected by a timer when his bubble went down.

Sraoshra had returned to the system after we podded him, but had now gone offline inside an NPC station, so myself and Niya got into our bashing ships and started shooting the bubble with our fingers crossed. We were still hitting the bubble when Oyl came online, and we also had quite the story to tell him, as you can imagine.

Lower Debyl POS Bash

To bring down the bubble, you need to shoot the tower.

Pix Severus > we are currently shooting a bubble at pos 1
Oylpann Kumamato > shooting a bubble?
Pix Severus > story is in the mail
Pix Severus > its been a very strange evening
Niyalyn > it has

Thankfully, Sraoshra hadn’t put any Stront in the POS, meaning that we were able to take down the bubble, leaving the juicy innards for us to feast upon. Sraoshra had kept coming online during the bash, warping to it at 100km in his pod to check on it, and then warping off, so we were glad to finally be on the home stretch. We’d had enough of his shenanigans that night, and we were also pretty sure he had emptied the arrays, so we weren’t expecting any loot either.

Kill: Equilibrium 16 (Caldari Control Tower Small)
Kill: Equilibrium 16 (Reprocessing Array)
Kill: Equilibrium 16 (Compression Array)

Nothing dropped, as expected, but that was still quite the experience, so I consider it worthwile. For me, it was my first time actually shooting a bubble, and for Niya, he got a weird story to accompany his first ship kill in EVE.

That just about covers the main events surrounding my corp’s early days of POS bashing, although my memory might be a little fuzzy. I’m sure Oyl or Niya will remind me if I’ve missed anything important though! I think we did pretty well overall, considering we were just a motley crew consisting of a PvEer, a suspect baiter, and some guy who touches your stuff when you’re not looking. These nights I spent popping POSes and chatting with Niya and Oyl were some of the happiest memories I have of EVE to this day.

The next part of this series will be a collection of other smaller events that occurred during our latter POS bashing days, along with chronicling the growth of my corp, Empty You, as new members began flooding-in to take part in the action.

To be continued.

The Holy Grail? Again?

Today, I would like to revisit an old post I made when I was still relatively new to the world of MTU hunting. In that post I showed my largest (in terms of ISK destroyed) MTU kill at that point in time, which I had labelled as the Holy Grail of MTU kills. Here it is again for you:

Kill: Wulfgar WarHammer (Mobile Tractor Unit)

Quite a beauty, I’m sure you’ll agree, the loot fairy was even kind enough to grant me a decent payout. But how does that kill hold-up to more recent standards, and do I still consider it the Holy Grail? Since the above kill, I have indeed had a much larger kill (again, in terms of ISK destroyed), so sit back and let me tell you that story.

I remember the night well, I had spent most of it chatting with corpmates and other fellow hunters in the MTU Hunting chat channel. I’d only had a couple of unremarkable MTU kills that night, one of which was empty, the other filled with White Glaze, which I didn’t even attempt to haul. My hunting route led me to the system of Mastakomon, one of the quieter systems in the busy region of The Forge. I noticed an MTU on D-Scan named “northwest bouy”, and went through the usual procedure of probing it down.

When I landed on-grid with the MTU, I noticed immediately that something was quite amiss. CONCORD was also on-grid which meant that something had recently gone down there, and when I checked the MTU for it’s owner (right-click, show info), I found that he was in local with me. The race was on, then, to pop this MTU before the owner came back for it, and with a Noctis already on D-Scan, I wasted no time.

Kill: DAS BOOT Saraki (Mobile Tractor Unit)

The Noctis never appeared, and the kill went smoothly, as most do, giving me the largest MTU killmail I have ever received (at the time of posting this). But what exactly went down here? Why was this MTU filled with the remains of what was quite obviously a big ol’ missile boat? The MTU’s owner didn’t have any recent losses that would indicate he lost such a ship, perhaps he chose not to sign-up to zkillboard, meaning any losses to NPCs wouldn’t show? Even if that was the case though, why was CONCORD on grid?

I always share my interesting MTU kills with my fellow hunters in the MTU Hunting chat channel in-game, and in this instance, I’m very glad I did. Fellow MTU hunter, Rosov Aulmais, had actually heard of this corp before, it seems they actually had a reputation for losing expensive ships in failtastic ways to CONCORD.

MTU Hunting chat channel

This prompted me to dig a little further, and looking back through my screenshots, I noticed that one of DAS BOOT Saraki’s corpmates (most likely his main) named loren cushing was also in local. I checked loren’s killboard and there it was, the missle boat loss in all it’s splendour:

Kill: loren cushing (Raven Navy Issue)

Mystery solved? Well, it still doesn’t explain how or why he is getting himself CONCORDed, only that it is just something he does from time to time. I would’ve asked him, but I didn’t think he would’ve been too cooperative with someone who just gave him yet another red mark on his already-quite-colourful killboard.

So, do I consider this kill to be the Holy Grail of MTU kills? Well, in terms of ISK destroyed, it is certainly my largest, but the ISK received is still lower than my original kill, earning myself only 100m ISK this time thanks to the faction ballistic control that dropped. We also have to consider that other hunters get much larger MTU kills than this all the time.

To answer my own question, no, I don’t think the above kill is the Holy Grail, nor do I still consider my original kill all those years ago to be it either. Perhaps the amount of ISK an MTU is worth is just a facade in this respect, and the only thing that gives an MTU kill true worth is a good story to go along with it? I have a feeling that if I actually do find the Holy Grail of MTU kills, I’ll know it instinctively.

The search continues.


Bonus Edit!

I spoke with fellow hunter, Rosov Aulmais, again after uploading this post, and he had a new theory as to why the pilot CONCORDs himself on the regular. Some mission runners actually shoot the cheap wrecks in their mission site so that their MTU will tractor-in the good stuff faster. Shooting a wreck that belongs to an alt will get the space police on you pretty fast. This would certainly explain the sheer frequency in which the pilot lost his ships.

Rosov Aulmais Chat

Sage advice. Unless you’re a ganker, there is no need to set your button red.

X Marks the Spot

In the last post, I told you about the early POS bashing days of my corporation, Empty You [EMTU], and showed you what kinds of profits we had received from it. Today, I’d like to continue the story of our treasure hunt, and tell you about our largest haul to date.

May 2017 would go down as perhaps the most important month for our corporation, it’s the month where we started cleaning-up POSes for the first time, giving us a solid activity we could do together, rather than just doing our own thing on different sides of the galaxy. It was also the month where we received the vast majority of profits we would ever receive from this activity. Indeed, it was the 2nd-to-last day of this month that our largest payday would finally arrive.

The way we would find our targets was quite simple, we would fly through systems (in my case, along one of my MTU hunting routes) and we would run D-Scan to look for POS modules. Once we’d found some interesting modules, like Refining Arrays and Assembly Arrays, we’d probe them down, bookmark the tower and then note down the system name along with the corp that owned the POS (click “show info” on the POS tower to see who owns it). After we had done the above, we would add the POS to our list of targets, and we would work through this list, wardeccing the POS owners one day at a time. This meant we always had something to do that night, and if we didn’t have time that night, we still had a week to go and shoot it, so it was all good.

One such target I found was nestled snugly by Moon 14 – Planet 4, in the system of Vasala, and it was owned by a 9-man corporation called Galactic Brotherhood of Violence [GBOV]. This POS looked juicy, very juicy, with a whole host of exotic-looking arrays anchored around a medium tower.

Oylpann Kumamato > wow this is beautiful
Pix Severus > you shouldve seen my face when i found it

POS Bash

Look at that structure spam.

Whilst researching this corporation, I had found that they were already at war with another corp named Estrellados con Estilo [ESCES], a 6-man team that persued similar activities to us. I say “team” but it was just one of them who was doing the bashing at that time, he would leave the Control Towers intact, and just blow-up the modules instead. He had destroyed most of the modules around one of Galactic Brotherhood’s other POSes in Hampinen, something I didn’t even know was there due to the way we find our targets. Clearly, though, our Estrellados counterpart didn’t know that the Galactic Brotherhood had a second POS either, or he would have surely shown-up in Vasala to take down the loot-bearing arrays, and get the most out of his 50m ISK wardec fee.

This presented us with a potential problem though, if this POS-popping fellow were to check the war reports of the POS-owning corp, he would see that we have wardecced them too. A quick check of our killboards would show him that we do the same activity, and at that point he could realise that there must be another POS, and all it would take is to run a locate on us to see where we had parked, and investigate the area for that elusive second POS. A long shot, I know, but I didn’t want to leave it to chance, so I asked Niya and Oyl not to park their bashing ships and characters anywhere within 8 jumps of Vasala until the war went live.

Niyalyn > just an fyi… there is a storm system south of me.. (impressive lightning show atm) i may have to bail if it moves north
Pix Severus > no problem

It seemed like it took forever for the war to begin, and the fact that I was off work that day probably didn’t help matters much, but eventually the time did come. As usual, myself and Niya were online first, and Niya sent a scout into the system to look for war targets, and to check if the POS had been fuelled or not, thankfully it hadn’t. We moved our bashing ships into the system and began plinking the tower while waiting for Oyl to arrive (standard practice at this point!) As soon as Oyl came online and moved his ships into position, we started on the arrays:

Kill: Galactic Brotherhood of Violence (Ship Maintenance Array)
Kill: Galactic Brotherhood of Violence (Large Ship Assembly Array)

Empty, not even a single metal scrap, but then:

Kill: Galactic Brotherhood of Violence (Component Assembly Array)

Some containers appeared this time, what could possibly be inside?

Pix Severus > component assembly
Pix Severus > x
Niyalyn > x
Tristis Puella > x
Oylpann Kumamato > oh
Niyalyn > containers
Pix Severus > ok loot first
Oylpann Kumamato > lots
Tristis Puella > going for hauler
Niyalyn > thats alot of stuff :)
Aniyatriss > Capital Cargo Bay x2 – Capital Armor PlatesCapital Shield Emitter
Aniyatriss > Capital Armor Plates BlueprintCapital Cargo Bay BlueprintNitrogen Fuel Block Blueprint x9
Tristis Puella > wow
Tristis Puella > are they researched?
Pix Severus > we hit a capital ship builder?
Aniyatriss > fully researched
Aniyatriss > originals..
Pix Severus > oh my

Unfortunately, in the excitement, we didn’t get a screenshot of the loot sat in a hangar, so let me break it down for you. In this array we had just gotten 2 fully researched Capital Construction BPOs worth 1.2b and 900m ISK respectively, 9 fully researched fuel block BPOs worth around 180m, and another 150m ISK in fuel blocks and assorted capital components. The grand total sat at just over 2.4b ISK, we had finally found some of that long-forgotten treasure.

Loot in contracts

Oylpann found a buyer within hours.

Of course, we still had work to do, there were a number of arrays still unpopped, and a tower to chew through!

Pix Severus > we havent even hit the labs yet, i thought those were the ones that contained blueprints?
Tristis Puella > maybe they do also ^^

Kill: Galactic Brotherhood of Violence (Hyasyoda Rsearch Laboratory)
Kill: Galactic Brotherhood of Violence (Design Laboratory)
Kill: Galactic Brotherhood of Violence (Compression Array)

All empty, unfortunately. We then took out a bunch of the defensive arrays (which, FYI, never contain loot) before taking down the tower:

Kill: Galactic Brotherhood of Violence (Caldari Control Tower Medium)

Job done. We had just removed one big ol’ collection of signatures from this system, future MTU hunters looking for prey in this system would have a much easier time of it. I returned the next day to pop a few of the defensive batteries that were left over, before realising I could just scoop them and dump them in a station. I then went to Hampinen a couple of days later to look for Galactic Brotherhood’s second POS, to see if there was anything that needed mopping-up, and there was, a few defensive arrays which I took down myself.

I had created a medal some time ago, in case this situation ever presented itself, and I took great pleasure in awarding it to all of our corp members:

Empty You's Payday Medal

We wouldn’t find any treasure that matched this in the rest of our POS-popping days, but that’s fine, we were amazed that we actually got any kind of loot from doing this, as late to the party as we were. This POS kill came less than a week from the events in the last post, so at this point we each had a fair chunk of ISK, and for me personally, it was more than I knew what to do with.

Our POS bashing story doesn’t end here though, oh no, we have more adventures to come. In fact, once our structure removal business had gotten off the ground and became almost routine for us, things would start to get a little weird.

To be continued.

The Two Towers

In a previous post, I told you about my corporation’s first POS kill, and the 700m ISK in ice we managed to obtain from one of it’s modules. Today, I would like to continue the story and tell you all about how profitable this activity would become for us.

We now had a solid 3-man team, eager to clean-up highsec one structure at a time, and we wasted no time in getting to work. The next few POS kills after our first one pretty much set the standard though, the standard being that most POSes in highsec were either empty, or held just a tiny sliver of ore left over from whatever process was going-on inside the Compression and Reprocessing Arrays. In fact, you would often get more ore from a standard mining MTU kill. This was fine with us though, none of us were exactly poor, so even if this activity didn’t pay for itself, we still would’ve kept on going regardless. Still, though, loot does add a little more spice to this activity, especially if you’re into hauling and contracting.

It was during these early days of POS popping that Oyl, Niya and myself got to know each other better, chatting long into the night during our long bashing sessions. I obviously won’t go into any detail on our personal lives, but over time we would become accustomed to timing the wardecs and scheduling the bashes around our respective work times and family responsibilities. I remember that during these days we would often link each other to funny videos, interesting killmails, and share old war stories.

Oylpann Kumamato > I tried caldari faction warfare for a bit.
Oylpann Kumamato > Got my first kill out in a small plex
Oylpann Kumamato > i was shaking so bad and in hull when he popped. i warped to station and didnt give a “gf” in local until almost 3 mins after we fought lol
Oylpann Kumamato > eve is the first game ive ever gotten the shakes from

It was also during this time that we would work on streamlining our operation. The first thing we did to this effect was to recruit some of our alts to the corp, to eventually double the number of ships on the field. Secondly, we all began training to use Oracles (Amarrian Battlecruisers) on all of our characters, where needed. This was especially important for myself and Oyl, as the continual reloading required to bash a POS in a Talos became most tiresome after several hours. An Oracle doesn’t need to reload anywhere near as much, so it would eliminate those moments where we would forget to reload for a few minutes because we were too caught-up in conversation, etc. I would just like to point-out that we didn’t choose this ship for it’s AFK-ability, we would still dock-up when we needed to go AFK (remember, James is always watching!)

Oracle

Gold trim comes as standard on Amarrian vessels.

It wasnt until our 6th POS kill that our faith in the loot gods would be reaffirmed, and we would find ourselves a notable amount of booty (no, not that kind) in the system of Olo. We had wardecced a corp called Brilliant Innovations [BIIN] the night before, and chose to do so because they owned a POS with a small Control Tower, which we were focusing on in our early days because we didn’t yet have the firepower needed to take on the larger towers effectively. The small tower wasn’t the only reason though, they had an Equipment Assembly Array too, something which we hadn’t shot before. These arrays are used to create ship modules, so there was some anticipation that we might find something different inside than the ice and ore we’d usually get from refining arrays.

With none of the members of the POS-owning corp online, we started the bash with no resistance. Oyl got online a little earlier than usual that night, but myself and Niya had already taken the Control Tower’s shields down to 30% by the time he arrived. As soon as he did arrive, we popped the array:

Kill: Brilliant Innovations (Equipment Assembly Array)

After the array popped, a cargo container suddenly appeared in it’s place!

Loot from Equipment Assembly Array

Click on image for full size.

What we were looking at here was around 180m ISK in manufactured T2 rigs, a few of the components needed to make them, and a LOT of blueprints. Just FYI, the blueprints don’t count properly towards the estimated ISK at the bottom of the screenshot. We would need to sell these blueprints via contracts to get the most from them, this was a job that Oyl was more than happy to do, having higher trade skills than myself or Niya at the time. We ended-up getting around 300m ISK from those blueprints, meaning this POS kill eventually netted us almost 500m ISK in total.

After a short celebration, we popped the Control Tower, putting an end to Brilliant Innovation’s structure litter in Olo:

Kill: Brilliant Innovations (Caldari Control Tower Small)

We weren’t done yet though, as I mentioned earlier, Oyl had gotten online early this night, so we wanted to try to kill two towers in a single night, and it totally wasn’t because I wanted to make a blog post with a Lord of the Rings reference, no sir! After stashing our newly-obtained loot at a nearby station, we headed to our next target, another small tower in Tintoh. This time, the tower was accompanied by a whole slew of other potentially-lucrative modules, which included the usual refining arrays, a Corporate Hangar Array, and a Design Laboratory.

Pix Severus > depending on how much time we have tonight, shall we head to tintoh and pop the arrays there?
Tristis Puella > sounds good
Niyalyn > im good with that
Niyalyn > maybe even the tower.. depending on the time
Pix Severus > they have labs and hangars and all sorts of crazy s**t

The corporation that was responsible for this structure spam was Tactical Rabbit Coalition [RUDKL], a 9-man corp that was, once again, inactive. We wasted no time in laying waste to the arrays, starting with the Design Lab:

Kill: Tactical Rabbit Coalition (Design Laboratory)
Kill: Tactical Rabbit Coalition (Corporate Hangar Array)
Kill: Tactical Rabbit Coalition (Compression Array)
Kill: Tactical Rabbit Coalition (Reprocessing Array)

Out of these 4 arrays, two of them dropped loot, the Design Lab dropped around 100m ISK in blueprints, and the Hangar dropped around 12k Nitrogen Fuel Blocks worth around 200m ISK.

Loot from Design Laboratory and Corporate Hangar

Looks like meat’s back on the menu, boys.

We couldn’t believe our luck at this point, and the celebrations continued, but we still had work to do, and do it we did:

Kill: Tactical Rabbit Coalition (Caldari Control Tower Small)

All in all, this was a great night for us, not only did we kill two towers in a single night (a first for us) but we also got paid around 800m ISK for the privilege. This would surely keep our war machine turning for some time to come, but this was not the last payday we would receive. Our wealth would continue to accumulate, and in the next post of this series, I’ll show you the biggest payout we ever received from this line of work.

To be continued.

Vocal Local 8

One thing I have noticed during my travels throughout highsec space is just how quiet it is, there could be over 100 people in local, and not a single word is uttered between those players. This makes me sad, so I like to encourage discourse where possible.

Sometimes, however, your friendly, local MTU Hunter can be shocked by some of the filth he sees in local, as we can see in the following example:

Local Chat with Vannez, Cyliam Funaila, Adolf Archimbald

It looks like Adolf Archimbald was having a bad day, but there should be no excuse for such flagrant profanity in this family-friendly universe!


Local Chat with Rataj Szczeckson

I certainly was, my good man.

Local Chat with Reroll

I was indeed! Remember kids, CAPSLOCK IS CRUISE CONTROL FOR COOL.

The above 2 comments were related to the containers I leave lying around highsec, which I name “Pix Severus was here o/”. You can read more about that in this post.


Local Chat with Shallanna Yassavi

No, this comment isn’t about a potentially new hip card game based on Mobile Tractor Units, although I’m kinda wishing that was a thing now.


Local Chat with Tallulah Telluride

Here’s someone who got the memo!


Local Chat with Orion Serini

It is always nice to receive this kind of reception when I enter a system, thank you again, Orion!


Local Chat with Wraith Aldeland

Local Chat with Wraith Aldeland

Local Chat with Wraith Aldeland

Nice little chats like these are what I’m out there for, thanks Wraith! For some reason my game client was having trouble loading profile pictures at the time these screencaps were taken. I also changed the width of my local chat around this point in time too, but I’ve decided to keep the width at 220px to keep the page looking somewhat neat (yes, I care about silly little things like that!)


That’s all for this edition of Vocal Local, but there is plenty more to come. If you see me in local, don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with me, even a simple wave can go a long way. Who knows, you might find yourself featured in a future edition of this series.

Vocal Local 7

MinerBumping

As many of you are surely aware by now, James 315 finally finished his blog, MinerBumping, after 8 glorious years of non-stop victory. His blog will no longer be updated, which has created a void in ganking-related content that will be hard to fill. It is still a treasure-trove of great content, though, and I am personally reading through the entire blog again from the beginning!

This doesn’t mean the end of CODE. and The New Order of Highsec, though, far from it, I am assured that The Code will continue to be upheld ad infinitum until the servers finally go dark. Also, CODE. now have a new blog at James 315 Space, so if you find yourself craving your regular dose of carebear tears, check it out!

I would personally like to thank James for keeping so many of us entertained for so many years. You have given us so many laughs, so many tears, and so much quality content, it will all be dearly missed.

Remember folks:

James 315

James is always watching!

Always!


Additional
As you already know, I have returned to EVE once again to hopefully pick-up where I left off. This blog will now receive regular updates of maybe once or twice a week from now on, for as long as I’m able. I’d love to post more, but I simply do not have the time these days. I’ve had a number of posts in the drafting stage for a long time now, including the latest series on POS bashing (which starts here) and I want to finally get those stories out to you.

There is now a new Links page on the sidebar to the left, this page contains links to useful EVE-related resources, and some of my favourite blogs. If you have a site that you would like to see added to the page, drop a comment on this blog or contact me (Pix Severus) in-game.

What’s in a Name?

In a previous post I talked about the early days of my corporation, Empty You [EMTU], and some of the people who helped to shape it into something other than a lonely one-man operation. In this post I would like to continue the story from where I left off, and tell you about how the pieces began to move, resulting in fun times for all involved.

My relatively new corpmate, Oylpann Kumamato, had suggested to me that we could try POS bashing alongside hunting MTUs; it would be an activity we could do together as a corporation from time to time, providing a break from what we usually do.

POS Bash

A POS Bash, the Marmite of activities in EVE, some love it, some hate it.

It sounded a little like MTU Hunting itself to me, both activities involving removing abandoned (or not) structures left behind by players, that could contain any amount of loot inside. Any MTU hunter from this period could tell you that POSes were also a major annoyance when it came to scanning, this was because MTUs used to be classed as a “Structure” in EVE’s scanners, the same category as POSes, so when scanning down MTUs you always had to work harder to find the MTU amongst the large amount of extra scan signatures that came from a nearby POS. For this reason alone, I was very interested in the opportunity to take some of them out.

With my interest piqued, I asked Oyl for more information; How would we go about this? Did we have the firepower to take one of these bases down in a reasonable amount of time? What are the highsec mechanics regarding this? These questions rang around my head as I remembered a story I read a while back about a player who travelled around New Eden destroying POSes, claiming 10s of billions of ISK in loot from some of these long-abandoned structures. This was treasure hunting on a galactic scale.

Oyl sent me a link to the EVE University Wiki about POS Warfare, and I got to studying. POS stands for Player-Owned Starbase, and it is exactly as the name suggests, a base owned by players. A typical POS setup consists of a Control Tower (the “core” of the base) and will be surrounded by modules such as Refining Arrays, Assembly Arrays, Labs, Hangars and any number of defenses including sentry turrets, and the like. After some time, I would find that most POSes in highsec would consist of just the Control Tower, and a Reprocessing Array and/or Compression Array, for the purpose of refining/compressing ore. The info I wanted the most though was about the big blue shield that surrounds these bases, and I found that if the POS isn’t “fuelled” there would be no shield, leaving the structures within open to attack without any of those pesky timers that CCP seems to love so much. I would later find that the vast majority of POSes in highsec are unfuelled, therefore abandoned and ripe for the picking.

We had a plan, but how to get started? Well, Oyl had that covered, he told me in corp chat about a potential target in Hentogaira:

Oylpann Kumamato > Hentogaira I – Moon 10 take note. if you want to pew this stuff.
Oylpann Kumamato > might be something in there, might be nothing, but there’s lots of modules and a tower to crack.

After a quick discussion, we wardecced the corporation that owned the POS in Hentogaira (you need to be at war with a corp before you can shoot their base in highsec) and discussed the types of ships we were going to bring to the bash the following evening (you also have to wait 24 hours after declaring war before the war becomes active). The corp we declared war on was called Whats in the name [WITNC], a 2-man corp that seemed inactive. Their POS consisted of a small Caldari Control Tower, but more importantly, it had both a Reprocessing Array and a Compression Array, which had the potential for loot. Just FYI, Control Towers drop nothing, but modules such as refining/assembly arrays, labs, and hangars have the potential to contain items.

Oyl wouldn’t be on until a little later that night due to work, so he said I should probably start shooting the Control Tower as soon as I got on, to get a head-start on what could be a long grind. After a night’s rest and a long day at work, with the upcoming activities on my mind throughout, the time eventually came for me to logon and start this thing.

I got myself into a Talos, a Gallente Battlecruiser, which was pretty much the only ship with large guns that I could fly at the time, filled my cargohold to the brim with ammo, and then made my way to Hentogaira. Once I arrived at the POS (I had created bookmarks in the system the night before) I targetted the Control Tower and began blapping. It turns out that I’d perhaps not brought the best gun/ammo combo for taking on a Caldari tower due to it’s resists, seeing as it took around 30 minutes just to take the shields down 10%, with the 1117.3 DPS my Talos could pump-out! These things I would learn as time went on though, and for the moment, I stuck to my guns as it were, and kept on blapping.

Talos

My Talos was named “Please be Offline”.

Whilst shooting the POS, I noticed Niyalyn had come online, and was in the MTU Hunting chat channel. After a quick greeting he asked me what I was up to, and I told him that I was shooting a POS and that it was taking a very long time to grind the shields down. This immediately interested him, and he offered to come along and help shoot it, something I was not expecting due to him being purely a PvE player up to this point in time. I had also mistakenly thought that someone couldn’t just join a corp that is at war and immediately take part in it, I don’t know where I got this misinfo from, but I’m very glad I was wrong. I accepted Niya’s aid, he joined the corporation, and then wasted no time in flying some 20 or so jumps to join me.

Note: When I told Niya about the shields, I was referring to the Control Tower’s own shield, not the big blue one that usually surrounds a fuelled POS. All POS structures still have their own shields, just like ships do.

Niya arrived in a Retribution, a small but powerful Amarrian Assault Frigate, probably so he could get here faster to see what was going on, but perhaps he also didn’t completely trust me at this point (I wouldn’t blame him, what with my ganker past and all), and didn’t want to turn up in something big and blingy only to lose it in some kind of elaborate double-cross. After shooting the tower for a while though, he decided he would bring a bigger ship after all, and went to fetch his Nightmare, an even more powerful laser-based Pirate Battleship. While Niya was off fetching his new ship, Oyl came online and joined the bash.

Oyl had previous experience with bashing a POS, something he had done with The Devil’s Warrior Alliance a while back, so I was somewhat relieved to see him there. He suggested we take down one of the arrays before Niya got back, assuring us that Niya would get on the killmail for it regardless of him not being in the system with us at the time, and so we did, and he was right:

Kill: Whats in the name (Compression Array)

The array was empty, but this was a first POS structure kill for me, and for Niya it was the first ever slice of green on his killboard. We decided to wait for Niya to get back before shooting the Reprocessing Array, and continued shooting the tower until he returned. When he returned, we blapped the next array:

Kill: Whats in the name (Reprocessing Array)

After this array went down, we noticed lots of cargo containers had spewed-forth from it, which, as it turns out, contained ice, lots of ice. How much ice you might ask? Over 700m ISK of it! Oh, and just FYI, loot dropped from POS structures don’t show on killboards. Oyl logged-on his hauling alt and began ferrying the ice from the POS to a nearby station while we continued shooting the Control Tower, and it wasn’t long before it, too, fell:

Kill: Whats in the name (Caldari Control Tower Small)

POS Explosion

Boom!

During the evening, we spent a lot of time chatting with each other about all sorts of things, from our favourite drinks, to current events. Oyl linked us this killmail at one point, an Itty V worth over 100b ISK destroyed. Apparently the pilot wanted to quit the game for good, so he extracted all of his skill points, loaded them into his paper-thin hauler, and then asked to be killed on the Jita 4-4 undock.

After the tower died, we took out a couple of defensive arrays and a battery before calling it a night, as it had gotten quite late. I went to bed that night with a smile on my face. The next day I returned to the scene to mop-up a few of the left-over batteries, as I had nothing better to do. Oyl got the ice hauled to a market hub via a courier contract, and sold the ice shortly after, splitting the ISK evenly between us. I had suggested to him that he should take a larger cut because he paid for the wardec, but he refused, telling me that this was how he’d done it in the past, and we should do it way too. I agreed, and from that point we would split the wardec fees and share all loot evenly between us.

So there we have it, our first POS kill as a corporation, and not only did the wardec pay for itself, we actually made a nice profit from it! More importantly, though, we were now back up to being a 3-man corporation again, thanks to Niya joining us. We also had a purpose, we had found an activity that was relatively fun, easy, and profitable, it was also a nice way to pass a few hours while having a good old chat with friends.

In terms of profit, we had earned enough ISK to pay for the next 14 or so wardecs, the question is, though, would it stay profitable?

To be continued.

Vocal Local 7

One thing I have noticed during my travels throughout highsec space is just how quiet it is, there could be over 100 people in local, and not a single word is uttered between those players. This makes me sad, so I like to encourage discourse where possible.

This time we have a variety of random encounters and miscellaneous short messages to look through, as I travel around, and get to know, the denizens of high security space.

Local Chat

D-Scan

Occasionally you’ll find that players give their MTUs all kinds of humorous names, this one had me laughing for a lot longer than it perhaps should have.


Local Chat

I like receiving messages like these in local, they always bring a smile to my face. Usually when I receive these kinds of comments, they are often hit-and-run in nature, with the pilot having left the system before I get a chance to respond. I usually send them a mail afterwards in such cases


Local Chat

Sweetdevil was surprised to see one of the Federation’s greatest enemies warp into her asteroid belt; bloody Cardies. After this exchange in local she opened a private convo with me asking for advice on how to become a pirate. After some basic advice, I directed her towards one of my more pirate-natured friends.


Local Chat

Here’s that killmail for you; AngelEyezTheDemon had lost her Myrmidon to NPCs the day before I found her MTU, which contained the contents of the wreck of her vessel. Finding an MTU that had sucked-up the wreck of it’s owner is actually quite common these days, more so than it used to be, I suspect foul play may be at work but I’ll go into more detail on that another day.


Local Chat

MTU Hunters beware, there are hunters out there who are aren’t hunting MTUs, instead they are hunting the hunters. Although, those “in the know” will understand that in this specific example, not everything was as it seemed. I won’t go into more detail here, but needless to say, Bladewise runs quite the remarkable operation out of many of EVE’s busiest mission hubs.


Local Chat

Maja Chou spotted me on D-scan as I was probing-down an MTU in the system of Shaha. I am unsure what “tz tz” means, however, given the context, it may be a form of “tsk tsk” therefore implying that I’m doing something naughty. MTU Hunting isn’t naughty though, it’s a valued profession, so if anyone can shed any light on this, please leave a comment below.


Local Chat

Whoops!


That’s all for this edition of Vocal Local, but there is plenty more to come. If you see me in local, don’t be afraid to strike up a conversation with me, even a simple wave can go a long way. Who knows, you might find yourself featured in a future edition of this series.

Vocal Local 6

Finders Keepers

In a previous post I discussed the side-activity of scanning-down and scooping abandoned drones, today I would like to expand on that activity a little more, and also tell you about some of the other things I typically find lying abandoned in highsec.


Abandoned Drones

There are so many of these things out there, that, from my experience, I estimate that there are multiple billions of ISK worth of them abandoned in highsec alone, at any given time. The amount of money you can make from scanning these things down and scooping them completely eclipses the amount of money you can make through mission running and mining as a new player, the only trade-off is that you have to spend skill points on scanning skills rather than pumping them all into the usual combat/mining skills.

Fellow MTU Hunter Alexis Thunderkunt, who until recently was new to the world of MTU Hunting, and highsec scavenging in general, informed me of just how profitable it was compared to the more established professions in EVE.

Corp Chat

Shortly after this conversation, Alexis got very lucky indeed, finding an abandoned Gecko which netted him just over 100m ISK.

Speaking of big finds, one of the most expensive drone finds I’ve had over the last couple of years would be when I found 5x ‘Augmented’ Ogre in Kor-Azor Prime. At the time, those Ogres were worth 30m each, netting me a whopping 150m ISK jackpot; today those drones sell for around 80m ISK each at market hubs, so if you see those on D-Scan it’s worth checking them out, as that could be 400m just sat there waiting to be scooped by you.

Protip: Sometimes, when you warp-in on a mission runner, you can spook them and cause them to warp off quickly without recalling their drones. Therefore it’s always a good idea to warp to that Gecko, even when a Rattlesnake is sat on top of it.

Another notable find is the time I found 2x Gecko just sat 100km off the undock of an Astrahaus in Sacalan, and to this day I have no idea why someone would leave them there.

Gecko on Dscan

Recently, I had a very good night, netting myself 240m ISK after finding a single Gecko in Olo (which is right next to a level 4 SoE hub, so you tend to find nice things around there, just FYI) and an ‘Augmented’ Ice Harvesting Drone shortly afterwards in the more remote system of Aderkan.

I find that the best time to go hunting for abandoned drones is when CCP is running an event that features sites, such as the recent Guristas event. Myself, and many other fellow hunters noticed a disturbing amount of Vespas abandoned at these sites during the last event, both T2 and faction variants. They were always abandoned in twos, and almost certainly left behind by players flying Gilas. Due to the sheer volume of them, we suspect that mass-botting using a flawed macro which forgets to scoop the drones after using them could be to blame for this.


Abandoned POS Modules

These are actually something I don’t find very often, and soon enough will never find again, as the old POS system is being phased-out to be replaced by the new Upwell Structures.

Whilst travelling through the system of Zehru recently, I was keeping an eye out for POS structures to bash (an activity I do with my corp) when I spotted a Ship Maintenance Array and a Corporate Hangar Array on D-Scan. Unusally, there was no Control Tower to accompany them, so I probed them down and took a look.

POS Mods on Dscan

Click on image for full size.

Finding these structures unanchored, and knowing that unanchored POS structures don’t contain any loot (all loot inside is destroyed upon unanchoring) I decided that I would remove them from space another way. These things have a lot of mass, too much to carry in my little Hecate, so I bought a Tayra a couple of systems away, and returned to scoop them. Understandably, these things aren’t worth a lot of ISK these days, so they now sit in my hangar as trophies. I do wonder if CCP will offer some kind of recompense when they finally remove these structures from the game. If I get anything for holding onto these POS mods, I’ll be sure to let you know.


Abandoned Ships

Yes, people leave ships lying around in space for anyone to just take, although it is quite rare to find abandoned ships that are actually worth anything.

One night, whilst hunting MTUs in a region of space that was being invaded by Sansha’s Nation, I spotted 2 Thrashers on D-Scan. Nothing unusual there, you might think, except that I was the only pilot in local, and these ships were nowhere near any POS structures, therefore not parked behind a big blue shield. I had spotted a rather large Incursion fleet a couple of systems back, so I assumed that these ships might have belonged to them. After looking-up the corp ticker displayed by the ships on my overview, [Y0-H0], it appears that these ships were owned by a corporation called Sub–Zero.

After probing them down (they were right next to each other on grid) I bookmarked their location and docked-up in the neighbouring system, Aghesi, as there were no stations in Fabin, the system where the Thrashers were located. After docking-up, I left my Hecate and headed back to Fabin in my pod to board one of the Thrashers and take it back to station, then repeated the process for the second one. Expecting the ships to be empty, I was pleasantly surprised to find that these ships were fully T2 fitted, worth around 15m ISK each.

Found Thrasher

Click on image for full size.

I decided to hold onto those ships, and still have them to this day, the ganker in me appreciates having a couple of extra destroyers lying around, just in case. Aside from an empty, abandoned Occator that I found in my early MTU Hunting days, I haven’t had too much luck with finding abandoned ships. I did find a cheap Vigil recently, and I find shuttles quite often too, I’m always happy to remove them from space to clear-up D-Scan, no matter what they’re worth.


If you’re wondering, no, you don’t go suspect or criminal for scooping-up other pilot’s drones, ships, or POS modules, so doing these things is as risk-free as activities get in EVE Online. If you’ve ever needed an excuse to learn how to scan in EVE, think of all that free money just lying around highsec, and all of it can be yours.

Yellow’s Infinite Shenanigans

In previous posts I have told the story of how I met, and hunted MTUs with, Yellow Parasol, a newcomer to EVE Online who wanted to try out all those cool things he had heard about the game over the years. This post will be my last post to feature Yellow, and will tell you about some of the other things he got up to during his time playing, besides hunting MTUs with me.

Yellow Parasol

Yellow Parasol.

Firstly, however, there is one more story pertaining to an MTU hunt we embarked on together, which I forgot to add to an earlier post, in which Yellow helped me take out an MTU that was surrounded by mission rats.

One evening, whlst hunting MTUs with Yellow, I spotted a lone MTU on D-Scan in Tash-Murkon Prime just as we were leaving the system. If you don’t drop probes in every system, then it pays to spam the Scan button in the D-Scan window whilst moving around the system, as you can spot MTUs between gates/celestials that you wouldn’t have otherwise. Upon landing at the MTU, we were immediately greeted by the sight of a mission-runner in a Rattlesnake fighting a collection of NPC frigates, cruisers and battlecruisers belonging to Sansha’s Nation. The mission-runner quickly recalled his Gecko and warped off, leaving the NPCs to agress us.

Yellow kites NPCs

Never not overheat your guns when engaging an MTU.

By warping in and out, we managed to force a situation where Yellow could kite the NPCs around the mission room, leaving me to freely assault the MTU. Yellow found the ordeal quite exciting, knowing that his little Slasher would be torn apart by the Sansha if he stopped his ship for just a few moments. It wasn’t long, however, until the MTU died, leaving Yellow to pull some extra range on the NPCs before warping to safety.

Kill: SwatDoc (Mobile Tractor Unit)

It will take more than a few Sansha to stop this hunting duo from getting their prey.


Now it’s time to tell you about some of the other things Yellow got up to during his time in EVE, and let me tell you, this guy knew how to get himself into all kinds of trouble.

One evening, Yellow was travelling around some of the starter systems, anchoring mobile depots and small secure containers at gates for the purpose of advertising EVE Radio. Placing containers at gates is how I first met Yellow, so I was pleased that he had taken up the activity himself. Whilst placing one such container, he saw a newbie warp to a nearby asteroid belt in a Reaper, the unusual thing about this particular newbie was that he was under suspect status and could be attacked freely by any pilot. Intrigued, Yellow followed him.

Upon landing in the belt, Yellow immediately caught him with scram and web, and opened a private convo. The newbie that Yellow had caught seemed to find the whole situation rather amusing, and so Yellow decided to offer him a job. He told him that if he was to post his experiences in EVE Online thus far on the official forums, he would be paid 5m ISK and be free to go. The newbie complied.

Official EVE Forums Thread

From the newbie’s story, it became apparent that he was a budding MTU Hunter, and later he even joined Yellow on a little hunt.

kill: SnipexX Tivianne (Mobile Tractor Unit)

If any newbies are reading this, take note, don’t be afraid to take risks, and always share your story with others, this will lead to more fun for you, I guarantee it.


During his time in EVE, Yellow experimented with many different aspects of gameplay. Fancying himself as a CEO, he created his own corporation, Paraganda – Information – Services – Solutions [BI66R] with dreams of creating a corp for newbies, to steer them on a path away from mindless grinding. He also became enthralled with the game’s mechanic for ship bumping, and spent a fair chunk of his time fitting different ships for the purpose of bumping into other player’s ships and sending them hurtling across space.

It was the combination of the above two experiments that resulted in him getting wardecced by the mercenary alliance, Archetype. after he spent a few hours doing nothing but bumping their gate camp in Dodixie. Yellow subsequently managed to get himself wardecced by a whole slew of other corporations using similar methods, something both he and I found quite amusing.

It was bumping alone that got Yellow into some more trouble, this time in the ice fields of Nakugard. After completing his latest creation, a bumping Tornado, Yellow decided to test it out on some miners in the system, causing a lot of drama in the process.

Nakugard Local Chat

Nakugard Local Chat

He managed to get the local miners so riled-up, that one of them even renamed their MTU.

Parasol's Weenus

After spending some time (read: 4 hours) bumping miners, one of them decided he couldn’t take it anymore, and ganked Yellow’s ship.

Kill: yellow parasol (Tornado)

Nakugard Local Chat

One thing was for sure, Yellow made highsec much more entertaining, no matter which system he was in.


During my days with Yellow, I was in the process of writing my MTU Hunting guide, something which took more than a few days to complete. After I had completed the guide, Yellow kindly created a thread on Reddit (a site I seldom used) to publicise it.

Reddit Thread

The thread generated some fun discussions about MTU Hunting, and also resulted in a huge increase of hits to my blog. The thread even had a response to it some time after, in which someone had used the guide to successfully hunt an MTU.

Reddit Thread Response

I’m very thankful to Yellow for creating that thread back then, my blog hits have stayed at a higher average ever since, and it’s nice to know that people are reading it.


There are many other little stories about things that Yellow got up to during his time in EVE, such as his duels live on stream with EVE Radio’s DJ Accy, and the time he was tormenting miners in an asteroid belt and got his Venture ganked by someone in a Caracal. Not to mention the countless times he dragged me into conversations with random strangers, resulting in some hilariously confusing chats. I am also sure he got up to more mischief that he never even shared with me.

One thing I would like to mention is that shortly after meeting Yellow, I became suspicious as to his real identity, due to the fact that he had a very similar writing style, and shared many similar views to an old friend of mine. I questioned him directly regarding this, asking if he was, in fact, the person I had in mind, but he denied it. I decided at that point to just take his word for it, and go with the flow, and you know what? I’m glad I did. True identity or not, the experiences we shared are priceless nonetheless.

That just about wraps-up this little saga, and it is one that I hope might provide some inspiration to highsec players. Who would have thought that the simple action of anchoring a container and giving it a silly name would have led to this much fun? From Yellow’s perspective, the simple act of sending a mail to someone who anchored a container led him to take part in an activity that the majority of highsec pilots have never experienced. In EVE, small actions can make a huge difference, and I encourage you to do those small things, always and often.

The Yellow Parasol Saga:
1. Pix Severus was here o/
2. Yellow Parasol is a pretty cool guy
3. Adventures with Yellow Parasol
4. The Magpie
5. Yellow’s Infinite Shenanigans