As both of my readers know, I don’t play EVE to actively upset or annoy other players.  The practice of doing so, deliberately harvesting tears (aka salt) as it is known is abhorrent to me.  The discussion about this is as old as the game itself and I am not going into it.  I said it before, I love EVE for the fact that you can choose to be a total asshole while not being one is also a choice.  Other games simply don’t have the game mechanic to really negatively impact another player.  Please, CCP, never dial that back.

So, whats this all about?  The other day I logged into the game ready for some interaction with my corp mates and look for trouble.  The (really) nice thing about NOMEX is that there are nearly always people online even if not hunting all the time.  Which means if I do what I do best (scout / tackle), I can have the cavalry called in within a few minutes.  And so I go out scouting down a C1 connection, not even bothering bringing my other character as rear guard.  If I find something with my Proteus, I’ll tackle it and my fleet mates will bail me out.

Unless of course I don’t need bailing out, for example when I see an Imicus obviously hacking data or relic sites in a system I just opened.  The system has a ton of sigs, but the Imicus is one one of the planets with only two.  I warp out of dscan range, reload combat probes and warp back to my entrance hole cloaked.  I am out of practice and need 4 cycles of probing before I get a lock and when I land, no Imicus, the hacking site is empty.  Oh well. Good try, tho.

He is still on D-scan and I chase around the system for a couple of minutes before I find him back at the same site where I had scanned him down initially.  Ok, so he hacked, saw my combat probes, warped off and came back??  I convo my fleet mates 3 holes behind me.  This is bait. Flimsy bait but its bait.  It has to be, right?

I warp to the site, my target is there and appears “red”.  NOMEX has terrible standing with his corp for reasons I don’t (need to) understand.

I make a perch, bounce once and find myself 18km from him as he approaches the can.  The take down is classic, decloak, overheat the middle rack, MWD on ramming speed to throw him out of alignment and grab him with my scram.  Since I am in a cruiser and he is in a frigate, he has a huge chance to get away, my lock time is long and he is nimble.  But no, positive lock, web and I launch drones which watching D-scan.  He isn’t tackling me back (a good sign) but he could of course be a warp-in beacon for others and at the first sign of trouble, I will bail.  No trouble.  He goes down smoothly, his tasty pod hangs in front of me and I have long since overcome my reluctance to pod people.  Its a mercy killing sending them back to K-space where they can lick their wounds.

Still weary of hostiles, I quickly scoop the corpse, loot the wreck and bail.  As is customary, I send a mail to my opponent to check in if he is ok, knows what happened etc.  If they turn out to be really new, I pay for their boats (10x over, I get poor doing this) and quite often offer advice how to live in J-space and how to avoid getting killed.   In general, these conversations are pleasant enough, come on, its a game, right?

Hey man, I just killed your ship. I want to make sure that you are ok if you are new, let me know. Happy to explain what happened and how to avoid it next time.

Well, not this time.  My opponent can’t figure out how to open or respond to a convo which already made me suspicious.  So we chat by EVE mail and he gets increasingly irate.  The interval between emails gives me time to check Zkill for his PvP history and I see quite a bit of activity in actual PvP combat ships.  Its all red, he hasn’t won a single encounter.  So, he may be new to the game but someone, somewhere shows him how to fly in Low Sec.  Zkill has updated and my kill shows up and I gasp.  It was a 150mil Imicus.

Yes, 150mil, 3 warp core stabs.

Flying around with 150mil worth of loot in your T1 hacking frigate, ignoring combat probes and getting killed despite having 3 warp core stabilizers against my 2 point scram is criminally incompetent.  He literally could have warped off when I tackled him, my web would have even helped him.

There is a time when I should stop being nice and this would be it.  But I am just too damn soft for this game and keep trying to teach him.  I ask if he knew how he died and he replies

yes, you blew up my ship and stripped me of all that I farmed today

Yep, you dumbass, drop your loot off in High Sec and this would have cost you maybe 10 mil, not 150.  Moving on.  I mail him my standard warning:


Yes, Wormhole space is dangerous. Anyone can and will kill you for no good reason

You need to check D-scan more often. I had combat probes on you for a while.

You saw them and warped away (that was good). Then you came back.

Of course I was waiting for you. When you see anyone (!!) or probes, you warp off and cloak. Do not come back.

When you have a lot of money in the cargo hold, you need to dock up and sell it. Don’t carry it with you.

You have been in PvP ships for a while. You should know better. Ask your corp for help or join a good corp that helps you get started

I will pay you for a new ship and a little more. But I recommend you look for a corp that helps you.

Upon which I wire him 40mil.  For someone like me who doesn’t actually engage in PvE much, 40 mil is a fair chunk of change, sorry.

In gratitude, I get another testy mail from my new friend:

I just get mad, when I fly all day without touching anyone to earn a little, and then the player flies and for a second deprives you of everything, for you these 140,000,000 are not so much money, but for me the whole day was wasted

Well, again.  Its your own damn fault.  Hope you learned your lesson.  If he was really brand new, I’d understand.  But he flies combat ships in Low Sec (badly, but still).  His fits have tackle on them so he intends to kill someone.  He maybe a newb but he is no angel.  I close with this

Its a PvP game. People will kill you anytime they can. There is no fairness in this game. Its now [sic] WoW, its not PubG or some other game. In EVE, you will get killed for no reason and lose all your stuff. I killed your ship because I could. For no (!) other reason. You have been flying PvP ships, you should know what you are doing.

In general, the more valuable a place is, the more dangerous. Wormhole space is very dangerous.

So. How to avoid it;

a) join a good corp that teaches you. I can give you recommendations (not my corp) [edit: I don’t want him join us.  NOMEX is awesome and recruiting but we don’t need this guy]
b) never never never fly a ship you can not afford to lose.
c) if you scan / hack and make money, drop off your loot in highsec frequently
d) see a)

and yes, you are very welcome. I gave you 40mil ISK so you can start again. I did not have to do this by the way. I am the nice guy here.

Don’t bitch, learn. Find good people to fly with and who can show you how this game works.

See you in space

I still feel bad about it, I can’t lie.  There is a new kid flying out there, minding his own business and finds a C2 chock full of hacking sites.  Mucho ISK!  He hacks and hacks and hacks some more and “blam” its all gone.  Some asshole with nearly a decade of experience and a ship vastly superior to his kills him flat.  Its unfair, isn’t it?  But unlike many, I don’t relish in “salt”.  I don’t like it that he has a negative experience, I want him to be engaged, having fun, shoot people and NPC, make ISK and get good.  I failed to convert him, to see the light side of this “game”.  This annoys me more than it should.

One piece of good news.  Even after our encounter, he goes out and engages others.  Good on him to try.  At least he didn’t rage quit the game.  That would be the worst that could happen to me.


8 responses to “Salt

  1. Huh, so now they call it “salt” hm? seems I’ve been away long enough for even the slang to change… not a good sign.

    I understand and agree with you, except… I never, not once, have felt bad about a kill inna hole. and I have pod killed EVERY time I had the opportunity. Please keep in mind, with my PVP record this is not scary making stuff but meh.

    We who live and die in Anoikis have NO CONCORD and, as you said, pod killing the poor blighters simply eases the transition back to civilization and stations and such.

    I once imagines a verse where one could not podkill… and once could not self destruct. Imagine if you will just how many pods would be trapped in Anoikis.

    now THAT’S a thought aint it?

    But… I, like you, often convo and send a little ISK, especially if they are a (real) newbro… in HELPeR we called it “Gunboat Recruitment”… Kill, convo, recruit.

    Fly it like you stole it my friend… =/|)=

  2. Nice post.

    Oh well.

    It sounds like the guy just wants to be left alone to play his game and not bother anyone … but this is Eve not Viva Pinata! Shit happens, and not sometimes, (as you have clearly attempted to explain).

    You have ‘gone beyond’ in your attempts to provide helpful information. Some people just don’t get it.

    (‘both my readers’) made me laugh, now you have three!

  3. Boy needs to play a single player game (or an mmo that simulates it, of which there are plenty). But it is a lot of these guys who are keeping CCP in beer. CCP are suck businessmen, so they have to open the doors to a lot of people who don’t get it, and create spaces in space for “beerbros” as it were, ideally without degrading the vision of New Eden too badly.

    For some, Eve can be a complex initiation into systems theory and community and multilayered context. Maybe he’ll get there, or maybe he’ll keep trying to play Diablo in space. It’s not your karma, and you don’t have to feel bad.

    In New Eden, only the exceptional get to be capsuliers. On the modern Internet, anyone with a minimal interest in computer games can give it a go, free, with the word on the street it’s the best game ever. It’s bound to end up with any number of non-niche players in what ultimately is a niche game, however flexible the sandbox.

    • I think it has to do with expectations. Nobody joins a chess tournament and expects a PvE environment. EVE at its core is a PvP game and a harsh one at that. If starter missions and career agents focused a little bit more on that, I think more players would not expect a “single-player” experience. Just a hypothesis tho

  4. Btw, I returned to Eve recently myself. I am retired and can relax into it, instead of feeling like it’s competing with my real life, lol. Found your blog searching for updated best practices on PI, and now you have (ahem) four readers.

    • Ah, congratulations to your retirement 🙂 My PI guide is really designed for just a tiny fraction of beer money rather than min/maxing. I am glad you found it useful!

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