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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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.