Highsec space is getting crowded.
Not that highsec wasn’t crowded before now. It’s always been crowded. I’m just noticing it more; it’s starting to grate on me a bit more, too.
Several areas of nullsec are the same way. The borders to null from Empire space are rife with predators. Large pockets of null are now so colonized and organized they may as well be labeled Empire space 2.0, for that matter.
So I’ve been watching the traffic logs on the system maps, mostly while running errands for the Sisters of Eve. Their missions, whilst labeled a “grave threat” to modern society, are hardly challenging or unique. Rogue drones are rather common in many sectors, despite what the Sisters may believe. But the pay is stellar and gives me something to occupy my time while making notes on traffic patterns – or a specific lack thereof.
Several systems have recurringly appeared devoid of activity on the traffic logs as well as my own scanners for the better part of a week’s study. Obviously I will continue to watch and notate my findings for a month or more before packing up the needed supplies for an extended stay in my hopeful region of choice.
Forgive me if I don’t tell you my intended waypoints — I don’t want people following me there.
I walked into the agent’s office and tossed the file down on his desk. “The Blockade” label on the folder still mocked me.
He and I both knew the mission was completed well before I walked in. Hell, he knew it before I even docked in the station would be my guess. I can only surmise the flood of comms from the miners and merchants at the gate station that were expressing their glee at finally being able to undock without becoming fodder for the army of Sanshas Nation. Now the civvies only had to wade through the 60+ wrecks I left behind in the wake of my one-man’s war.
We both also knew the measly reward, even added to Concord’s generous bounty payouts, wouldn’t begin to financially cover my losses. “Your intel was shit, this time around,” I started.
“Now Zakk, these sorts of things happen all the time when dealing with insurgents like…”
The agent’s sentence trailed off sharply when I kicked his thin, metal desk into his sagging gut, pushing him back against the wall and pinning him there under the weight of my boot.
“Your intel was shit.”
“I dealt with no less than four reinforcement waves of the bastards, all of which seemed to have just as many destroyers and cruisers as the last. For an unorganized, ‘insurgent’ remnant of a corporation, these Sansha certainly seemed to have their act together. Far more so than you, at present.”
I was livid. It wasn’t so much the financial loss of both my Navy issue Augoror and my standard Harbringer, and whatever hardware from them I wasn’t able to recover. Nor was it the astronomical repair costs to my Abbadon, with its now chasm-like holes ripped all the way through the hull. It was the growing suspicion the worm before me had set me up.
“I lost more than $100 million ISK worth of gear out there.”
“The standard rate of completion only applies here, regardless of loss to …” The agent suddenly found himself without airflow as I pushed the desk farther into his stomach. Concord be damned, I thought. If this agent pops like a dreamy bubble then it was the same risk I ran in taking his lies at face value before accepting this suicide run of a mission.
“Think of all the lives you saved out there,” he stammered, face turning red to blue.
“Damn them,” I replied. “The only important lives that are saved right now are mine …” I finally took my boot off the desk and the agent gasped at air for the first time in several minutes.
“… and yours.”
I picked up the credit receipt from his desk – a formality since I had already noted the funds were transferred to my account. Turning for the door, I heard a faint “wait – I have another mission for you.”
“Find another dog,” I gritted over my shoulder as I walked out, not bothering to look back.
To me, it is important to find your groove. One of the biggest (wonderful) problems, however, is distraction. Great universes like New Eden are designed to have lots to do and see, and it’s often far too easy to get sidetracked. Getting pulled off course is part of the joy of life here, but doesn’t necessarily make for a productive session in-world.
Not that all the ships and clones I’ve been chewing through are productive to a growing wallet, either. But I’m seeing loss as growing in this case. And, I’m finding my groove…
I’ve spent the past two nights in lowsec. Actually, I’ve forced myself to stay in several 0.3 systems with no stations just to see how long I can survive. The ratting and loot (and bounties) are great here, but I can’t carry loot home if I’m blasted back to a vat of goo. But, I’m learning. I’ve actually survived more traps (and avoided probably double again) the ones that have snared me.
And to be sure, I’ve been running rig- and augmentation-free the past few nights.
It’s even more warming to the heart to know the players that have wiped me got little more than the satisfaction of the kill, because what they’ve looted from my little Hooptie was worth squat.
My corp-mate joined me tonite in his first full venture into lowsec. I explained to him the importance of scouring the map statistics prior to jumping in, and of using the directional scan and monitoring the local comms once in-system. We ratted about a dozen Blood Raiders, avoided a few pirates, and I was able to run interference from a local Billy Badass long enough for my bud to jump out with his ship (and loot) still intact.
I know we’re asking for more trouble in lowsec than in null (to a point) because so many pirates like to comb the lowsec areas for the learners like us. But that’s really the whole point of us choosing lowsec by that same token – to get that needed skillset cranked. So, it’s a symbiotic relationship with the predators – for now.
If you want to make an omelet, you have to break a few eggs.
I lost a ship today.
Yes, losing ships is a part of EVE. That’s why we have escape pods, why we have insurance, and why we have clones.
But I didn’t just lose any ship. I lost a ship.
Granted it’s a ship I normally sell on the market for about 30,000 ISK. I say “sell,” because I manufacture them myself from materials that I mine myself on occasion. So my out of pocket expense is essentially nothing – just time. Even still, I had premium insurance on it. So, in effect I made about 30,000 ISK.
The problem lies in the rigs I had in it. Unsalvagable rigs, which totalled about 3 million ISK from my experimenting to make the ship the best it could be. And finally, I was only able to salvage two turrets from the wreck, losing the one middle slot and three low slot items.
You already see where I’m going with this.
Every time you undock, consider your ship lost. Because it’s always a possibility, even in highsec. In fact, even if you’re not running missions, or in the faction wars, or even war dec’ed you can still get popped somewhere by someone.
Yet there are less obvious lessons here. Consider carefully what you fly, and why. Frigates, battleships, command ships or industrials? What is your escape plan? What do you do if you’re caught in a web? What is your cargo? How close are your allies? Have you checked the statistics on the map of ships and pods lost in your area and/or path?
What are your strategies for survival and recovering from loss?