And Then I Lost a Battlecruiser

Level III missions can be a dangerous things.

As is my usual luck, the first level III mission I ran was a big one called “Massive Attack.”

Unlike my first level I (“Worlds Collide,” run in an Ibis) and level II missions (“Recon, Part I“), I actually survived to fight another day.

I learned a few things running this mission, including the value of bookmarking a location within the mission so that you can jump out, then jump back in at a range where you can lay in with the heavy missiles without taking too much damage in return.

Still, in EVE, learning is an ongoing process. As I ran through one level III mission after another, I became quite confident that I was up to the task. My Drake seemed to be well equipped for missions. The passive tank on it tune based on suggestions made here and other places. I also put very expensive rigs (they all seem to need alloyed tritanium bars) in place to enhance my shields, and even bought a shield recharge improving implant with my expanding loyalty point balance.

So it was time for me to learn something new.

A good portion of the level III missions I get take place in low security systems. The agent is in high security, but the target is not.

Still, no big deal, right? I enter the system then jump right away to the mission and I only have some NPCs to worry about.

I had not considered the idea that other players would be out there in low security actually hunting mission runners. That whole corporations would be dedicated to scanning systems known to be popular for missions for players and hunting them down when they found them.

I seem to forget from time to time that EVE is, first and foremost, a PvP game.

And so it came to pass, I received a mission that sent me to Nalvula. It was one I had run before and I was prepared for it with both the correct ammunition and correct shield resistances.

I entered the system, jumped to the start of the mission, and began taking apart NPC ships.

I did not give much notice to when another player ship dropped into range, just for a moment, then jumped away. That sort of thing happens all the time when you are mining.

It wasn’t until a battleship and a battle cruiser dropped into the middle of my running battle with the NPCs that I figured out that something was amiss. Or as somebody foreshadowed in local just a while before:

trap.png

They locked on, warp scrambled, and chopped up one of my battle cruisers.

One of my battle cruisers?

Yes, I had decided that I needed to start working on standings with my miner. I thought that the easiest way would be to bring him along with Wilhelm on missions.

His skills were pretty meager when it came to combat. I bought him a Ferox, put some very simple equipment on it, armed it with 75mm Gatling Rails and a pair of ‘Malkuth’ Standard Missile Launchers, all of which I had laying around in storage. I figured that with him in tow, he could take care of swatting those annoying tech II NPC frigates with their annoyingly high resistances. I hate having to throw magazine after magazine of heavy missiles at them, scoring 15-20 points of damage, trying to wear them down.

As a bonus, my miner can control five drones, so I figured that would help out as well.

And so it was, when the pair jumped in. Wilhelm’s Drake and my miner’s Ferox were fighting away.

I was actually not quite as oblivious as I said above. Somebody dropping into my mission made me suspicious. So when the wrecking crew showed up, I immediately clicked on a station in the overview and sent the Drake off into warp. Just in time too, as the logs show they were trying to warp scramble Wilhelm right away.

Switching windows, I tried to send my miner off to a station as well, but it was too late, he was scrambled.

I put up what fight I could. I doubt either of them even noticed, but I put my drones and all my guns and missile bays on the Drake. As expected, the result was:

Destroyed: Ferox
System: Nalvula
Security: 0.4

Involved parties:

Name: Goyda (laid the final blow)
Security: -8.2
Alliance: SMASH Alliance
Corp: Veni Vidi Vici.
Ship: Raven
Weapon: Caldari Navy Mjolnir Torpedo

Name: tchamp2
Security: -7.8
Alliance: SMASH Alliance
Corp: Veni Vidi Vici.
Ship: Drake
Weapon: Hornet II

Destroyed items:

‘Malkuth’ Standard Missile Launcher I
‘Malkuth’ Standard Missile Launcher I
75mm Gatling Rail I
75mm Gatling Rail I
Large Shield Extender I
Shield Power Relay I
Power Diagnostic System I
Power Diagnostic System I
Antimatter Charge S, Qty: 186
Flameburst Light Missile, Qty: 37
Antimatter Charge S, Qty: 183
Antimatter Charge S, Qty: 185

That was the most expensive equipment, such that I had, destroyed with the ship. The missiles they expended probably cost them more than they could get for the pieces that remained.

Then, as my miner sat there in his pod, I learned that you can, in fact, warp scramble pods. I had not considered the idea up until that point and I had assumed, somewhere in the back of my mind, that pods ought to be at least somewhat immune to warp scrambled. Another illusion crushed.

Then came the offer to chat from one of them. I knew this was going to be the extortion round and they were not going to buy into how little ISK I keep on my miner, so I declined and they zapped me.

Destroyed: Capsule
System: Nalvula
Security: 0.4

Involved parties:

Name: tchamp2 (laid the final blow)
Security: -8.1
Alliance: SMASH Alliance
Corp: Veni Vidi Vici.
Ship: Drake
Weapon: Caldari Navy Scourge Heavy Missile

The pod, that was the expensive part. I had implants in my miner, and replacing them was going to cost me. Fortunately, Wilhelm had a stockpile of loyalty points. Still, even from the LP store, a +3 implant runs 12 million ISK.

Of course, it was only later that I read this in local:

nalvulawarning.png

Self destruct? I did not even know that was an option.

Well, at least I got off… well, not cheaply. But it could have been much worse. Had I lost the Drake and all of Wilhelm’s implants, or worse, both ships and both pods, I might have just called it a day for EVE, cancelled my account, and gone off to other games.  Not that I couldn’t afford to replace the items lost, but it is such a pain to go out an re-equip a ship with so many fitting

This demonstrates again that there really is not much of a PvE game in EVE. If anybody says you can just run missions, feel free to point out that any mission that strays into low security space, something that starts with level II missions, is essentially PvP enabled.

That is EVE Online.

21 thoughts on “And Then I Lost a Battlecruiser

  1. LadyPao

    Sorry for your loss. That sounded painful, and not even a “Hmm, that was interesting/wild/different” kind of experience. It just sounded disheartening to me.
    I don’t play Eve, and while the idea of a space game intrigues me, the PvP ganking and extortion does not. I don’t like those type of people in real life, and I wouldn’t want to play a game with them. I can understand the mentality of that kind of behavior *being* a game to them….but…yuck. Doesn’t sound like fun. I’d shake the sand out of my blanket, roll it up and go home.

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  2. Loredena

    You’re pretty well summed up why I don’t play EVE. The spreadsheet aspects of the game interested me, but not enough. I don’t do pvp. And in the end, EVE is all about the pvp.

    Sorry you got bit so badly though ;/

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  3. Eric

    Ah, I am sorry you seem to learn everything the hard way ;).

    You might want to move your mission running to an agent that does not send you into lowsec, or very rarely at least. Those pirate types are really a nuisance if you just want to run a mission.

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  4. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    I have noticed a pattern for level III agents, at least those in the Caldari Navy. They tend to be in systems that link to low security systems, no doubt to ensure that a certain number of missions will end up being risky. I have not found one that is not so located as yet, though my search has not been exhaustive.

    Still, this is better than level IV agents of course, which I understand are about 90% located in low security systems.

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  5. syncaine

    Sorry to hear about the tough lesson.

    In Ghesis, I can run all lvl 3 and 4 missions in high sec, so it must just depend on your agents location. I think only lvl 5 agents are ALL in low sec.

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  6. Gormn

    Low sec is not a fun place… I much prefer 0.0 to the nightmare that is low sec.

    Anyhow, I would suggest doing some agent research, you can definitely get L3 and L4 agents in high sec that don’t send you into low sec, or if they do (it’s very rarely).

    I can’t log into eve regularly atm, but when I do, I will tray and take note of the systems where my L3 and L4 agents are.

    When selecting an agent, it alway pays to check what systems are connected to their system (if there is low sec – avoid).

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  7. Debes

    As noted, there are plenty of ways for the aware missionrunner to avoid getting ganked while running missions in lowsec. I did for over a year and I only ever lost a ship to falling asleep…

    Keep an eye on local, ship scanner, stay aligned, have friends in bigger ships.. :)

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  8. Pingback: The Grouchy Gamer » PVP From One Player’s Perspective

  9. Btek

    Snap!

    I did actually lose a Drake in Nalvula, not to MGN but one of the other pirate corps based there. They wanted 20m ransom to let me go, but since I’d spent every last ISKy on the ship and fitting, I didn’t have it – so the choice was eject and not get podded, and also keep my fittings, or lose everything. I had a set of +3s, so I pussied out and ejected…

    I’d got into a false sense of security because I’d done lots of missions in Nalvula in a Caracal and never had an issue. But now I know that’s only because a Caracal is not worth stealing.

    And then I lost another Drake to a pirate gate camp in Otsasi…

    I now run L4s out of Umokka, 0.6, along with 60-150 others. It’s a dead-end system, with no low-sec connections within 4 jumps, so no more pirate problem.

    Fly safe!

    Btek

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  10. Qelen Seastrider - Director of Mining and Industrial Activities - Rubycom Matrix

    Too bad you quit the game (at least according to my People & Places search). I would have counseled you towards the one thing that can make a huge difference in the game: a good corp behind you at every step.

    While it’s certainly true that there are nasty pvp types all over EVE, it gives you a big edge if you have a gang of friends abd supporters to back you up. A good corp can do any number of things, including forming a fleet to go back and kick some major bootie or to go the whole way and declare war (directly or through a merc corp) on the bad guys.

    If you ever decide to get back in the game, look us up! We’re a whole corp of miner/builder/mission runner types :)

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  11. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    I have not quit. I was just on last night (Debes saw me!) and CCP just billed me for another quarter on my main just last week.

    The problem with “join a corp!” as a directive is the commitment requirements. I have had bad experiences wih that in the past.

    I have been harangued by a long line of guild/corp/clan/squadron/fleet officers because my play time can be limited. (Even when when my play time was pretty close to unilmited. Some people demand a lot!)

    I have gotten grief over missing events, not playing enough, not helping enough, playing with people outside the organization, playing other games, and not showing the proper level of respect demanded by some of said officers. (I refused to call some martinet hamster 20+ years my junior “Sir” on the clan channel, and the fact that he was clueless at running a squad was only part of the issue.)

    And some of these complaints have been legitimate, at least from some perspective. Certainly I cannot deflect grief about playing other games.

    Most have been, in my opinion, perception (I was the #5 status contributor and made skills for all the warriors in the guild, yet I did not do enough.) or changes in guild purpose (It wasn’t a raiding guild when I joined!), but all of that has left its mark.

    So I am very wary of joining up with any guild/corp/clan in a game, especially with a group of people I do not know, for fear that I am not going to be able to give the level of commitment that they require.

    You can read my whole set of posts on EVE as a look at the low commitment potential of the game. Can I play the game, enjoy it, and get a feeling of accomplishment while playing on a limited and irregular time budget?

    So I have commitment anxiety… I know, a male with that? Shocking!

    And, in EVE, I have already joined one corp that just got me in trouble with the locals and undid much of my standing work with the Caldari State. Yeah, that made me receptive to strangers!

    So, not to rebuff your kind offer, as I do not know any of the relevant data about your corp, but I will say I am very careful about the commitments I make in that regard.

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  12. g0thicicecream

    Yeah, I learned early on about scramming pods, now when I know I’m going to pop I sit there and hit the “warp to” button till my ship pops and my pod is leaving, 99.9999% of the time it works.

    I’ve been running lvl 3’s for Republic Security Services in Korama (Minmatar corp in Caldari space) lately, never had one take me to lowsec…I would probably just let the offer expire if it did. I know that it’s just asking for trouble. Every once in a while I get one of those storyline courier missions and they usually take me to lowsec and require a hauler. I have a Mammoth full of target jammers, tech 2 shield booster, and stabs, sometimes it gets me through gate camps, sometimes not. I just sit on those missions till right after downtime then boogy my butt through it.

    I have awful luck with corps myself. My first toon ended up in a corp that just ran and hid from war’decs. No fun at all. So since I messed up his training and he was an ugly mug anyways I deleted him. My current toon joined the corp of the guild I play with in EQ2, and well they’re too small to do anything really. Usually the ones online are afk or missioning and no where near where you need them when you’re in trouble. I’m wary of joining a big corp since I play so sporadically…EVE is my escape from EQ2, so I don’t spend too much time in EVE sometimes.

    My latest blog is a bit about dealing with high sec pirates can flipping, honestly, it really got to me. Being ransomed in a really expensive battleship and still getting popped can really irk you. I just walk away when I get that mad and come back later. I do like the game and will probably stick it out. If you really like it don’t quit, just set a long skill take a break…

    The adrenaline rush from EVE PvP isn’t something I really like, it messes me up for a good bit of time, but I still come back after I’ve had a bad experience. I dunno, the game still has an allure to me even if I suck at PvP. I usually manage to avoid most PvP. I’d rather PvP with my corp, at least then you stand a chance because 99% of the time your target gets friends. I like the people in my corp but they’re not very good about helping you out in a pinch.

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  13. bluelinebasher

    According to friends I used to RvR with in DAoC, Eve PvP is the best there is. My personal experiences are quite contrary to that, but I believe for Eve PvP there is a need for a radical mental adjustment that goes against the normal farming/carebearing model of every MMO out there — and it has been difficult for me. After all, these cool ships aren’t free.

    I think for the PvP mindset the motto is to hang on tightly, let go loosely. You will get podded, you will lose what you risk, it’s like a form of gambling I suppose. The more you make with the least you have out there as your wager, the better your experience. But this is a stark contrast to a carebearer who farms every last isk and mines every last mineral to build a more efficient way to farm, months of work only to lose it in a soul crushing manner to a tandem or team of lesser ships that are pretty much expendable to the fighter. If you are serious about PvP there may still be in-game universities that charge isk to give you the basics about PvP. There may be some info that you didn’t know and may be worth the time.

    My PvP experiences mirrored that of the ones mentioned here though. When I was in a big corp, I was highly taxed and never really saw the reward of it. When I was on there was usually a Call To Arms and a gate that needed defending. It’s incredibly boring to be on of many sitting still manning a post. The large team conference calls made it seem more like work, and not friends having fun. I will admit that Eve amazes me how unreal and superficial pew pew pew it can be, and yet have so many just downright disturbing things that reflect everyday life. You should be safe in high sec, but instead you are subject to scams, exploits, etc. Same like expecting to get mugged in dark alley lowsecs. But it’s all fake money right?

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  14. Mynxee

    Hmmm. People run missions free of harassment all the time in the area of low sec I call home…at least, they do if they’ve paid for a pass. You might think that paying for passes or ransoms just encourages pirates; it does not. We will cost you (and hopefully profit from doing so) one way or the other. Passes and ransoms are simply tools used as a means to an end. Those particular tools happen to benefit our victims as well as ourselves, as they help them avoid losses and in the case of passes, earn more profits through running low sec missions in relative safety (from us, at least). Regardless of what you may think of pirates, it’s all just business to us.

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  15. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    I certainly accept that pirates are part of the game and a legitimate form of game play, but you will have to excuse me if I see making your life easy and profitable by coughing up ISK on demand counter productive to my own cause. I do not believe for a minute that pirates succeeding in making money does not encourage them.

    Of course, my own encounters have been with pirates that seem to believe that asking 1.5x the value of your ship and fittings is a reasonable demand. That makes the decision to tell the pirate to screw off easy. As you can see in the encounter above, the pirate in question probably spent more on his ammo than he did got from the tech I fittings he could get off the wreck. I was going to lose anyway, better to stick it to the other guy as hard as I can.

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  16. Mynxee

    Sure, I can see your point of view. But sometimes paying a ransom or pass is NOT counterproductive to your own cause. With pirates known to keep their end of the bargain, it is sometimes in your best interest to actually do it. Depends on the circumstances. Of course, some folks just have a flat out policy of never paying and to hell with the consequences. As is their right. More power to ‘em. But if we have them tackled, they are going to lose one way or the other.

    Where a lot of pirates go wrong is in not scanning ships to see how they’re fit before determining what the ransom should be. Ransom amounts have to take ship fit, character age, odds that the victim has good implants, and potential impact of not being able to complete the current mission (for mission running victims) into account in order to determine a reasonable amount. Sometimes, having decided on an amount, we insist up on it or else. Sometimes we will accept a counteroffer for less. Every situation and every victim is different.

    VB Sarge wrote an interesting post about ransoms which discusses ransoms from a pirate’s business perspective.

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  17. Mike Molnar

    I can totally understand the mindset of the pirate. It’s a game, a lot of it is pretty boring… let’s make it fun! It can also be very profitable when done correctly. But for some people, the game represents more. Some people take pride in the accomplishments they’ve made by training up the skills, saving the ISK and putting it towards something that makes them smile and giggle like a schoolgirl when they take it out for the first time. There’s nothing wrong with that. Just like there’s nothing wrong with them getting incredibly pissed off at someone who wants to take it away from them when they perceive that it is for no other reason than boredom.

    Having said that, piracy is integral to the game. Without it, traders, miners and industrialists would have a hell of a time selling things, because everybody would get their ideal ship and stick with it. No risk = no fun, too!

    So where’s the answer? How about a middle ground? Pirates agree that while it’s not their thing, they have respect for the people that put the hard work and energy into getting things of value, and carebears agree that pirates serve a purpose. While it may suck to be the target, without that ganker you would never be able to sell that tritanium that got you that Hulk/Drake/Domi in the first place. Nobody would be buying because they’d all be free to fly around as they please, never having to replace a damn thing.

    So curse the pirates, but understand they have value. And pirates, respect those who paid with their time and skills to buy that ship you’re ransoming. Of course you can blow it up, but there’s no need to be an asshole about it. If it truly is business, then understand their emotional reaction and make sure they know it’s not at all personal, otherwise you’ll never get a dime from someone who feels you lack honor.

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  18. Pingback: The Great Gallente Migration « Intellimoo’s Corner

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