My early life in Eve was filled with faction warfare. I was recruited into a FW corp three days into playing the game, and I was well-trained, “Orange: SHOOT IT!”. This went for pods as well as ships; I could shoot the orange blinky guys anywhere, any time.
Of course, as a newbie, I lost much more than I won. And the abundance of neutrals in low-security space participating in fights who were shooting my friends but had not yet shot me pretty much permanently kept my security status capped below 1.0. In fact, yesterday it was sitting at 0.4.
Transitioning from that environment to wormhole life was pretty easy. The “not blue, shoot it” approach has simplicity going for it, and I’ve gotten in the habit of trying to blow up the pods of those who dared venture into “our” wormhole space. Doing so not only takes that player out of the fight until they can return to their player-owned station in the anoiki, but it often tends to take them out of the fight for several hours as they build a fit for their ship in-station, then begin perilous navigation back to their home wormhole.
Well yesterday in “Fred” — our home system — we experienced what I think I’ll call “Perfect Weather”. Our neighboring wormhole had over twenty anomalies and tens of signatures waiting to be farmed, plus a high-security exit near several trade hubs, and we had teams actively working it. Our home wormhole was explored out by someone in hisec, resulting in a “K162” — inbound wormhole — just three jumps from Jita (Eve’s main trade hub), but in a reasonably low-trafficked system which was off the major trade routes. Therefore, we had a good opportunity for lots of hauling out planetary interaction goo and sleeper loot. This also afforded us a rare chance to easily replenish low supplies — such as faction ammunition — which cannot be easily replenished in a wormhole.
Additionally, our low-security exit was very active with lots of neutrals looking for fights. Some in our corp had engaged earlier in the day with modest success, and the potential opponents were running around in small gangs of a similar tech level to ours. We could, therefore, reasonably engage with a hope of winning. And for the first time in weeks, we had more than ten corp-mates log in simultaneously.
Like I said. Perfect weather.
My real-life work schedule was also light, so I was able to join in over lunch and after dinner for the festivities. Personally, in just the one day I was able to make hauler runs, run sites, run anomalies, and roam lowsec.
That latter bit, though, is where it became interesting. Within a wormhole, by definition anyone else in the wormhole is COMPETITION. We actively encourage hunting our neighbors, and our esteemed leader Evenstar applauds those who show up on the killboard destroying ships. I’ve gotten in the habit of attempting to kill the capsule of enemies in order to send them back to wherever their clone is so they pose less of a risk. It’s a safety thing as much as anything; killing the clone means the guy takes a lot longer to re-ship and take his revenge, as I alluded to earlier.
Evenstar piped up over Teamspeak. “Guys, I’m in the lowsec. I’ve got a Noctis on D-Scan. I think he’s in an anomaly.”
You could almost hear the team salivating. See, in a wormhole, a “Noctis” means something very specific: a veritable pinata full of loot with terrible maneuverability and low hit points. We destroy them every chance we get, because they are expensive (due to being amazing at their very specific job of salvaging very fast) and often full of valuable Sleeper loot.
But this was lowsec. The rules differ in lowsec.
Evenstar continued, “OK, I got him, I’m here with him, I’m closing and am going to scram him. You guys, get into the lowsec now, let’s take this guy out.”
I shipped into a Coercer from my faithful Imperial Navy Slicer. The Coercer does about twice the damage of the Slicer, with similar tank and a much larger signature radius (read: much more easily blown up). With an expectation that the Noctis would have backup — I mean, who salvages in lowsec and doesn’t have backup nearby? — I thought the extra fast DPS would help us get in, get the gank, and get out. Plus, the Coercer is a fraction of the Slicer’s cost.
I warped on top of Evenstar, and there was the Noctis at 20KM, right insight tech1 point range. I pulsed my microwarpdrive and was on top of the neutral ship at ideal range for the Coercer — about 18km — in less than a second while the targeter finally acquired a lock. Pre-primed, my point immediately lit up as did my eight tech 2 small pulse lasers loaded with Scorch crystals.
Within a few short seconds, the salvager blew up, with hardly any damage from my teammates who were further out with rockets/missiles instead of lasers. “Get the pod, get the pod!” I heard Evenstar excitedly shout over teamspeak. Locked it up, blew it up. Both killmails showed my Coercer with top damage. That’s a role in which this little destroyer excels: getting the damage on the target early and in sufficient quantity. Has the tank of a piece of wet tissue paper, though.
He had salvaged a lot of stuff and was, apparently, just leaving when we jumped him. And his corporation has a very unfortunate name and abbreviation: “NO SKULLZ [NOSKL]” is just a letter away from “NO SKILLZ”. Really, bad choice of corp name, bro; as the CEO of a one-man corp, you have some input into that kind of thing…
Apparently, there was a small bounty on this player. Read through the kill log, and noticed that CONCORD had issued a security status hit for the ship-kill and pod-kill.
I went from 0.4 to -0.7 security status in ONE pod kill.
If I were to do that just a few times, my character would no longer be allowed to fly to trade hubs. I also like to keep my options when it comes to future corporation membership, and many won’t accept characters with a negative security status. This security status change represents a LOT of ratting to repair.
Lesson learned. I read up a bit on how security status actually works, and realized that occasional low-sec piracy works just fine and is pretty easy to balance out with ratting if one doesn’t blow up the pods. Blowing the pods on a neutral, non-enemy-militia boat, though, apparently results in a pretty huge security status hit, particularly if the target has a positive security status.
Next time Evenstar shouts, “Get the pod!” when I’m in lowsec, I may just reply, “Sorry, bro, I couldn’t target him in time.”