A Definitely-not-Empty You

In previous posts, I told you about the early days of my corporation, Empty You [EMTU], as we embarked on a mission to remove as many POSes from highsec as possible, alongside our usual MTU removal service. In this post, I would like to summarise the growth of my corp thereafter, leading towards the eventual end of our POS-related activities.

Shortly after the events of the last post, we popped one more POS, and then that was it, we had well and truly burned ourselves out. We had started bashing POSes in mid-May 2017, and concluded operations mid-June of the same year. Less than a month after we had begun this activity, it was now time for a break. We had popped a respectable 28 Control Towers, and 127 starbase structures in total, not counting the vast amounts of unanchored POS modules we’d scooped and stashed in stations. Highsec was a little cleaner, but I now understand that there is a fine-line between providing content, and not burning-out.

It wouldn’t be until March 2018 when corp activites would finally begin ramping-up once again, and the POS-popping would resume. We began slowly, taking our time to ensure we wouldn’t burn-out again. With most POSes in highsec completely stripped of loot-bearing arrays at this time, we shifted our focus somewhat, opting to take down Control Towers we had never killed before, in a sort-of “pop one of every type of tower” minigame, rather than focusing solely on arrays and loot. This worked for us, and we would find other minigames to enhance our gameplay in other areas too. There is still an ongoing competition within the corp to pop MTUs using as many different types of ship as possible. I believe Oyl is currently far in the lead on that one!

Pix Severus, Carnivorous Swarm, Oylpann Kumamato, Niyalyn

Pix Severus, Carnivorous Swarm, Oylpann Kumamato, and Niyalyn.

At this point the corp still consisted of just myself, Niyalyn, and Oylpann Kumamato, but soon we would find ourselves inundated with fresh applications to the corp. The people applying would usually be friends of ours who we chatted with regularly in the MTU Hunting chat channel.

The first person to join us was Kogen in late 2017, he was a man who had taken to the MTU hunting profession quite well. Unfortunately he joined us during a period of downtime, and the corp wasn’t active and/or stimulating enough to keep him around. I wish he’d joined us later, or had stuck around for just a little bit longer, when things started to pick up.

The first person to join us after POS-related activities had resumed was Alexis Thunderkunt, also known as “The Drone Whisperer” due to his penchant for finding ridiculous quantities of expensive drones laying abandoned throughout highsec. You might remember Alexis from the blog posts Finders Keepers, and Empty You Empties 1000 MTUs. Just a few days later we were joined by a long-time friend of the corp, Rosov Aulmais. The first I had heard of Rosov was through a friend, he told me that there was this guy going around killing MTUs in an ECM-fit Scorpion, at that point I knew that this man meant business. You should recognise Rosov from the post The Holy Grail? Again? if you’ve been a recent reader.

Alexis Thunderkunt, Rosov Aulmais, PI Tool1, Mr Chili Palmer

Alexis Thunderkunt, Rosov Aulmais, PI Tool1, and Mr Chili Palmer.

The next person to join us was PI Tool1. If you’re a long-term reader of this blog, then that name will probably look familiar to you as he features in an old post named Vocal Local 2. I had met PI during my early days of MTU hunting, but it was years later that PI found my blog, and decided to join the corp. Shortly after PI joined us, we were joined by another long-time friend, Mr Chili Palmer. Chili was a man who had dabbled with MTU hunting in the past, and also did a lot of wormhole PvP. If you recognise his name, you might remember him from Return of an MTU Hunter and MTU Mailbag 4.

Some of the latter additions to our corp were Solacia Solette, a dedicated MTU hunter and drone collector, who was also the brainchild behind the corp’s slogan “You drop ’em, we pop ’em.” Mikey G Udan, another dedicated hunter, who preferred using a Tengu for his hunts, and Deep Choad, a PvPer who wanted to try something a little different for a while. All three of these fine fellows are featured in the post Back For More, which is about one of the few corp competitions we ran around this time. The last person to join us during this period was Emrald Rayne, an MTU hunter and PvPer who did highsec, and MTU hunters everywhere a great service, by removing vast quantities of Mobile Depots from space.

Solacia Solette, Mikey G Udan, Deep Choad, Emrald Rayne

Solacia Solette, Mikey G Udan, Deep Choad, and Emrald Rayne.

If I wanted to, I could write an entire blog post about each member, but a general overview will suffice for now. Some of them have also moved-on from the corp, but thankfully most of those who have left still remain a part of our little community through the MTU Hunting chat channel.

There are a few memorable POS-bashes we had together during this era, mostly because something new, or weird, had happened. I’d like to cover those events now.


The Disappearing Act

One notable event was what we sometimes refer to as “The Bash that Never Happened”. We had wardecced EVE BUSINESS CAREER GUIDE CORP [EBCGC] belonging to a pilot named Roge Alt One, because they owned a tower with a few desirable arrays. When researching this corp, I followed the link in the corp’s description, which was supposed to be some guide on how make ISK in EVE, but instead I found a very poorly written website that was filled with nonsensical cult-like ramblings. If you have ever read something written by a schizophrenic, then you’ll know just how incomprehensible this site was. The site is no longer up, and unfortunately I couldn’t find anything using the Wayback Machine to show you what I mean, but it was clear that English wasn’t his first language at least. After that, I looked up Roge’s alt/main Roseta mallard, and found that he’d had some trouble with CODE. in the past. Expecting something fun, or at least a little bit weird, I was excited to declare war on this.. entity.

Well, something a little weird did indeed happen, but it didn’t exactly provide us with any fun. Just before the war went live, Niya sent a scout into the system as usual, to check for war targets, or to see if the POS had been fuelled, only to find nothing. Yes, absolutely nothing. They had packed-up their POS completely and had shipped it off god knows where. This was the first time we’d ever seen someone do this, and hadn’t even considered it as a possibility to be quite honest. Our primary purpose with these POS bashes was to clean-up highsec from the large amount of signatures that POSes put-out though, so our purpose had been fulfilled, albeit in a way we weren’t expecting. Well played, Roge/Roseta!


The Legacy of DiaRosCris

While hunting for MTUs in the system of Eiluvodi one evening, I spotted a POS on scan that had a couple of arrays, so I decided to add it to our list of potential targets as usual. When I add a target to the list, I note down the name of the corp that owns the POS so I can easily wardec them when it’s time, I also look up the corp’s members and killboard for anything interesting. The corp that owned this POS was called Agram Interstellar [AGRAM] an inactive 1-man corp owned by DiaRosCris. I recognised the CEO’s name instantly because it is rather unique, and that person had been featured on an old Minerbumping post I’d read years ago.

Corp Chat with Alexis Thunderkunt and Oylpann Kumamato

We’d had a few drinks that night, and corp chat was indeed rather silly at times. Old stories of battle, and Alexis’ home-brewed banana wine were the topics of choice that night, along with my usual flavour of bad jokes. The POS bash went by uneventfully, but I always remember it because we were the final cleanup crew that removed the last remnants of DiaRosCris from New Eden. It was also Alexis’ first POS bash with the corp, a time to remember indeed.


The Dark Path

I remember this next one because we didn’t encounter online targets all that often. One night, after making our way to the Kador region, we were setting-up to hit multiple POSes when I noticed 4 war targets docked-up in Khafis. These guys belonged to DarkPath [DKPTH] and owned one of the POSes we were due to hit that night. While waiting for the rest of our corp to get online, we started bashing our first target in the system of Gonan, right next-door to Khafis. As soon as our first POS target went down, and with more of our corp members now online, we headed-out to Khafis and the surrounding systems to see what was going on with these war targets.

With Oyl in a cloaky ship, he popped-into Khafis first to take a look at what they were doing. They had all formed-up behind the bubble of their now-fuelled POS, which already had plenty of guns around it, that were now online. They had also completed their setup with a slew of ECM modules and shield hardeners that they had added in the meantime. They’d got us, we simply didn’t have the ships needed to take on a POS this well defended, and following Rosov’s advice, we just moved-on to continue bashing our next target. Well played DarkPath.

We did have the last laugh though, as a few days later, when Rosov was roaming through the area, he managed to catch one of them on a gate flying a PVE-fit cruiser.

Kill: Deltagram (Caracal)


Eventually, our bashing days came to an end, in much the same manner that most things do in EVE (at least for me). A few corp members take a break, a couple leave the corp for better things, and before long you find yourself taking a break too, leaving things to fizzle-out. To every member of Empty You, past and present, it was fun destroying Starbases with you. We did some solid work together, removing 50 Control Towers from highsec, and totalling 201 Starbase Structures destroyed. Job well done.

This may not be the end of our shenanigans with POSes, as I am exploring options in regards to continuing this activity in the future, now that I’m back in New Eden. With POSes supposedly being removed from EVE soon (I hear CCP are having some trouble in that regard) if you’ve ever wanted to try out POS bashing yourself, take my advice and do it now before it’s too late.

There were more events surrounding our POS bashes that I haven’t covered in this post, but I’ll save those for another time. The next post in this series will be the finale, and will cover our corp’s culture.

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.

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.