Sec Hit!

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.

Holy crap!

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.”


9 responses to “Sec Hit!

  1. Yeah, I popped a pod in low-sec the other day and went from 0.6 to -0.7 standing. It’s just not worth it. Plus, then I had to clear the kill right he made available, since I use that character for hauling through hi-sec.

    Sec status hits are fine in hi-sec I think, but ought to be negligible in low-sec.

    • How would the sec status hits work… say, once you get into lowsec, you take the security status of the system multiplied by what would be the hit status in hisec? So if you take a 10% hit for a pod kill, and you are in 0.1 space, you only take a 1% hit in that system?

      I like the idea behind that… certainly adds more meaning to system security status.

  2. Apologies Sync. As a trainer in the hole I should instruct everyone on the repercussions of lowsec warfare including taking out pods. For scramming the pod, I took a huge % sec hit myself… more than expected. I was rather surprised in fact. (-2.1 now) =/

    That being said, what interests me the most are the changes with Odyssey and the ability to purchase your sec status.

    While this does not help with CONCORD status it does affect sec status. I am looking forward to experimenting with the new changes and to see what we can get away with in lowsec.

    5 line summary from the dev blog (link below)
    We are adding some new pirate NPCs (non-player characters)
    These NPCs will only appear in asteroid belts in low-security space
    When killed, these new NPCs will drop a new type of pirate tag
    These new pirate tags can be taken to a CONCORD station (in low-sec space) and turned in at the new ‘Security Office’ station service
    Turning in one of these tags will raise the security status of your character

    P.S. When did we become a PvP corp?? Aye caramba!

  3. Honestly, I am in favor of penalizing pod kills. For newbs they are the principal reason for not engaging in PvP. But in turn, you could ask, why is that so?

    It has to do with the cruel and unusual punishment. A pod is already defenseless and hence destroying it has always the air of unfairness. Secondly, the loss of expensive implants and possibly skillpoints make it doubly risky.

    So, without changing the underlying mechanic of Pods, I am not sure I would condone lesser penalties for pod kills. A better way would be to make pods even harder to catch, give them at least +1 warp strength or give pilots an implant slot similar to the T3 “interdiction nullifier” function. In the time of insta-lock Tier 3 BCs, a Pod needs to have a better chance to escape…. If catching a pod would be hard, sure, drop the penalties. The balance between hunter and prey would be restored…

  4. If you gave pods the warp strength +2 or improved their chances of escape then I imagine we would start seeing pods used as bait. ;-D

    I can’t fathom why a true noob would be in low sec in the first place, unless they didn’t particularly care… and then they would learn that Eve is a harsh and cruel game (very quickly)

    But back to a pod in low sec… not sure why they would fly in low sec. When I first ran (sisters) missions, I remember being terrified of flying into Caldari space because I was Gallente and there was “history” between the two races.

    I have to say, I am still for pod killing (perhaps only in 0.0 or w-space) but if the situation arises and this new game mechanic works out well… damn the torpedoes full speed ahead and let’s see if I can point that pod after all. =D

  5. Well, live and learn, I guess! I’m not bitter about it; any time I learn something new that doesn’t kill or maim me in real life, that learning experience is usually worth it. 0.4 space is “just barely not hisec”, and I’ll certainly be keeping a closer eye on the security status of low-security systems if I’m interested in podding someone.

    That said, there are probably specific circumstances in which podding someone is worth the security status hit. Next time we’re in this situation — pirating a defenseless salvager — I would probably favor a ransom of the Noctis & cargo rather than just outright kablooie. Heck, given the site he was so carefully salvaging, we would have been better off monetarily simply demanding he eject all his cargo…

  6. I’ve long had the feeling that sec hit in lowsec should depend on someone ‘seeing it’. In other words you would have to be on grid with a station or gate to register a sec hit.

    Really though, there shouldn’t be any reason to lose a pod in lowsec. There are no dictors to bubble you so aligning and spamming warp once you know your ship is lost should be sufficient to save any pod.

  7. Pingback: How Time Flies By | The Stellar Product Manager

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