Thursday, April 23, 2015

Kill on Sight!

A thread invited pilots to go and enjoy the Providence life, although the timing of this was suspiciously close to the arrival of FozzieSov. Out of curiosity, I checked my status on the list which defined which pilots are permitted to enter this land flowing in bounties and loot drops.

Kill on Sight! But I had never even been to Providence! Why did they set me KOS? Discrimination! Meanness! This injustice could not go unanswered. I vowed that I would not rest until I had wreaked my revenge upon this discriminatory brood. Or until I got bored.

I hitched up my gank Stratios, reassigned Innocent Scout from her POS hunting duties, and headed for Providence. What could possibly go wrong? Anyway, I had become bored with POS hunting after breaking through the 50b barrier.

The region of Providence is surprisingly straightforward to get into. There are some nice highsec and lowsec gates, although the entry closest to Amarr was predictably camped when I arrived.

A few jumps in I came across a lonely Cyclone, ratting in a belt. Innocent Scout located him on the probes and warped Zappity in. Aha! My first victim! Of course, I used the wrong drones (Berserkers) which the Minmatar shield was naturally tanked against. But it didn't matter, probably because the ship was piloted by a new character who refused to give me a gf.


A couple of jumps further and I found a Raven sitting in an anomaly, greedily dispatching rats. This guy was actually awake and warped out before I had a chance to snare him. Hmm. I exited the system and sent Innocent Scout to market to collect a 200mm plate and scram.

When she returned, Zappity waited on the gate while Innocent jumped through and rapidly scanned down the Raven. She landed on top of him and immediately went into a tight orbit around the tackled battleship. Zappity jumped in and warped, landing her own scram just in time for Innocent to scarper, deep in armour.

Unfortunately, that is where the good news ended. The Stratios could not break the Raven's active shield tank. So off I went in a huff, forgetting my drones just to add insult to injury.

I pondered this unfair situation. What I needed, I decided, was some neuting power to switch off that active tank. I fit a few neuts, tailored my resists to Sanshas profile, and headed back. Of course, it was too much to expect that the Raven would still be waiting for me. But he was! Innocent again landed tackle but this time was popped before she could make her escape. Sigh. I forgot about that Sisters' probe launcher.

Zappity began applying the deeps. Things worked better this time and the Raven's shield was nibbled away until only half remained. I figured that the neuts were doing their job. And then he repped all the way back up.

Bugger. Either he was cap injected or the Stratios neuts just weren't up to the job. And now the Stratios was in low armour, getting the attention of both the Raven and the rats. And he was killing my poor drones. So I ran away, humiliated. Oh well. Some you win, some you lose. I gave him a gf and went on my way.

Time for the big guns. Zappity gave her cousin in marketing a call. Despite his typically deskbound profession, Zappity's cousin in marketing flies a mean neuting Legion. It wasn't long before Zappity's Stratios was again sporting maximum firepower, this time backed up by a nice rack of neuts.

Innocent jumped through the gate. Sabre! Well, that's alright. I know how to get away from them (most of the time). However, Zappity forgot to cancel her jump and, like a noob, hopped straight through into the bubble. By this time a Worm, a Svipul and an assortment of destroyers had joined the Sabre. These Provi types are damnably sneaky. I crashed the gate with heated afterburner. Just in time!

While licking my wounds with a mobile depot and armour reppers I valiantly decided to go the other way. Happily, this took me in the direction of a nice little dead end constellation which appeared to have a light dusting of NPC kills. Two systems in I was greeted by "Zappity red" flashing up in local.

Not wanting to be rude, I responded by saying hello while Innocent finished scanning down the Prophecy and initiated warp. The two cruisers landed 20km away from him. For some reason he was burning away from the anomaly but not warping off to safety.

The Legion jumped on him and landed a scram and web before applying the neuts. Unfortunately, Zappity was fit with an afterburner and couldn't get close enough to apply any blaster damage. But the drones did a good enough job from a distance:


I think he was AFK. I didn't see any armour reps.

While I was busy killing him one of the locals (one of the awake ones) politely enquired as to the reason for my presence. He informed me that my actions would result in my entire alliance being set red. Zappity's diplomatic career was evidently about to commence! I couldn't manage to get too worked up about this, figuring that the alliance not already being red was probably some sort of oversight that really ought to be corrected.

Still, not wishing to pass up the opportunity to learn about my new holiday home, I asked what Provi life was like. I asked about whether defence fleets were often run. I asked whether there was a lot of PvP action or whether it was mostly a PvE region. They declined to comment, telling me I was trolling.

To be honest, the principle behind Provi is quite appealing. Defending against the big bad blue donut seems a worthy goal. Unfortunately, I doubt that Zappity will be welcome for quite some time.

But they started it by setting me KOS!

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Screenshots of the loot

Just a quick one in response to a reader's request. Here are some screenshots of the haul.

General loot already in Jita:

T2 Ship BPCs:

T1 Ship BPOs: and

T1 BPOs:

Some more random ships I forgot about:

A typical invention POS haul:

T2 BPCs:

In addition, I have already liquidated 23b so you can probably get an idea of the total from these screenshots if you can be bothered (I haven't figured it out accurately). There are only a few billion worth of assets not yet consolidated at a hub. Red Frog and Push have been getting a lot of business from me lately.

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

2b or not 2b, that is the question!

I had a bad cold last week and spent many hours in front of the computer, scanning monotonously. I found 69 offline Starbases and declared war on 64 of their owners (that's right, there are none left for you - sorry about that) at a cost of just over 3.2b. The remaining corps belonged to big nullsec alliances and were too expensive to war dec.

On reflection, I should have kept accurate records but I can still give you the high level results. Around 15-20% of the POS owners woke up and either cleaned up or defended their assets. I warped into two of the Russian corps to find their newly reinstated forcefields filled to the brim with angry looking PvP ships. They were rather defensive. Five or six corps invited allies, three of which were mercenary corps. These were amongst the percentage who defended their POS.

But what about the haul? About a quarter of the starbases which remained offline were virtually empty and either resulted in a loss or barely broke even. As for the remainder, the most lucrative setups were, of course, the capital component blueprint research starbases. I only found two of these but they still netted me 7b between them.

I found an awful lot of other BPOs along with lots of T2 and T3 BCPs and countless T1 BPCs which I didn’t bother taking. I became very incensed with people who had not yet researched their BPOs to 10/20 because these are much easier to sell. It is just laziness, really, and should be remedied before I come to visit in future.

I have not yet taken the trouble of valuing the non-capital blueprints but you can get an idea from perusing the list ( in the Sell Orders thread. I netted 32b in readily liquidated, non-blueprint, assets. This mostly took the form of T2 production materials, datacores and ships.

Actually, the Ship Maintenance Arrays were disappointing on the whole, with only three dropping something interesting. And one of them dropped a Skiff which none of my pilots could fly! But I was more than recompensed by a nice POS in Domain which contained an Orca, two Hulks and this ridiculous two billion ISK Tengu:

[Tengu, Ridiculous Tengu]
'Cartel' Power Diagnostic System I
Caldari Navy Ballistic Control System
Caldari Navy Ballistic Control System
Caldari Navy Ballistic Control System

Pith B-Type Shield Boost Amplifier
Pith X-Type Shield Boost Amplifier
Pithum A-Type Medium Shield Booster
Caldari Navy Adaptive Invulnerability Field
Dread Guristas EM Ward Field
Pith X-Type Thermic Dissipation Field

Caldari Navy Heavy Missile Launcher
Caldari Navy Heavy Missile Launcher
Caldari Navy Heavy Missile Launcher
Caldari Navy Heavy Missile Launcher
Caldari Navy Heavy Missile Launcher
Caldari Navy Heavy Missile Launcher

Medium Capacitor Control Circuit II
Medium Capacitor Control Circuit I

Tengu Electronics - Dissolution Sequencer
Tengu Defensive - Amplification Node
Tengu Engineering - Augmented Capacitor Reservoir
Tengu Offensive - Accelerated Ejection Bay
Tengu Propulsion - Intercalated Nanofibers

The other interesting SMA dropped an Obelisk which was no doubt used to bring in the 550m worth of materials in the Corporate Hangar Array along with a 10/20 Covetor BPO. The CHA drops were highly variable, ranging from virtually nothing to enormous quantities of tritanium.

The biggest disappointment was the Hyasyoda Research Laboratory. These were initially very exciting for me and the first thing I tended to crack open but not a single one dropped anything. However, setups which contained a Hyasyoda lab often had tasty blueprints in the invention or copy labs. I guess they had finished researching but had not yet taken down the array. Fatal error!

I also found a POS dedicated to the production of Light Neutron Blaster IIs. I doubt that many industrialists will mourn the passing of that one! Did you lose a production facility by any chance, CODE?

The response from the absentee owners was rather muted. I guess that many of them have yet to learn of their fate. However, five owners did contact me by mail a few days after the heist. One took it in his stride and was quite reasonable about the whole thing. Another was quite miffed about the whole situation and sent me a demand for 2b (presumably the merc fee) along with prognostications of doom and disaster for my good self if I failed to cough up the dough. I replied to his friendly offer with the words, ‘2b or not 2b, that is the question!. And the answer is, of course, no!’

The remaining owners, however, represented a most astounding coincidence: all three let their POS run out of fuel only because they were in hospital. The subtext here was, “Please give my stuff back.” However, my attitude tended towards disbelief when all three represented themselves as alt corps of large and powerful nullsec entities who would make my life miserable if I did not return the loot.

I have very little sympathy for these corps. If you wish to reap the substantial benefits of an industry POS then you must accept the possibility of losing it should you be careless enough to let it run out of fuel. I hope this risk/reward balance remains with the new structures.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

POS bashing shenanigans

I became bored of scanning down offline POS and decided to have a crack at an online one. Two Oracles and an Omen ground the small, undefended tower's shield to 25% over a couple of hours before the reinforcement timer kicked in. When I came back the next day the POS was still undefended so I quickly finished it off before logging my Orca in. I had miscalculated and she was two jumps away. “Oh well, it won’t take long to bring it over”, I thought. And then a neutral Mastodon decloaked, right in front of me!

Theft! Deceit! Shade and corruption! How dare he steal MY modules! I worked hard for all that loot! The thief rapidly unanchored the arrays (this destroying whatever loot was contained within) before greedily scooping them up and heading off to the closest station. I had little doubt that he would soon return so I destroyed everything I could before he came back. Not a single container dropped!

I couldn’t believe it. Hours of effort, plus the cost of the wardec, were wasted. Not a single ISK did I get. Where else could an in-progress theft be usurped by the cunning of a highsec lowlife!

I hope this gameplay doesn’t disappear with the new structures. The ability to attack and loot undefended towers is great, especially when combined with the chicanery of enterprising Mastodon pilots.

But I was determined not to be deterred, even by the appearance of three cruisers belonging to a another corp whose belongings I had just finished disassembling with my lasers.

Well, I certainly wasn’t going to stand for that. It took a lot of effort to find their offline POS and declare war and turn up to steal all their stuff so I figured that I had almost as much right to their loot as they did. Unfortunately, my lone Omen was no match for Ishtars.

I quickly fit my Occator with a couple of warp core stabs to complement the native hull bonus and warped in on a stack of containers which had dropped from the late lamented CHA. The Occator landed on top of them and instantly started aligning back out while frantically filling the cargo hold with juicy datacores and T2 components. 350m warp! There were still seven containers left so I dropped everything in the station and immediately went back. 300m and in warp!

I repeated this a third time, netting another 300m but by this time they were a little annoyed by my antics and had evidently figured out why I was able to warp away from their points with impunity. I knew I was pushing my luck but warped in a fourth time anyway, figuring that I had already paid for the Occator several times over. I scooped another 350m before they bumped me out of alignment!

I was almost glad that they had figured out what to do. Although it did occur to me at that moment that my Occator should really be flown by an out of corp character. When they finished killing me I calculated the total: 850m profit after the ~100m Occator loss.

Fair enough I reckon.

On a completely unrelated note, I am selling some blueprints. You can find the thread here: