Drake Down

A story of foolishness… or forgetfulness… or both.

As I mentioned on Friday’s post, I started doing some NPC research in order to get datacores for the invention work I have been doing.

Unfortunately, the only research NPC I could find that would research the technology I needed, and thus provide the right datacores, was way out of my usual neighborhood, 19 jumps from Hageken, jumps that took me through a set of low security systems to my final destination.

I flew out there in the low rent Badger without a problem, started the research, and then headed home.

The next day I got an message from the R&D NPC saying there was a problem and she needed my help and blah blah blah.

I flew out there again, bought and handed her 900 units of tritanium, which solved her problem and got the research going again.

(I only found out later, from Eric and Kirith that the research goes on even when the research agent sends you awkwardly phrased messages like, “Our research has been fruitful, but I’ve encountered a snag and our research has been halted.”)

I flew back to my neighborhood.

And, two days later, I got the same message again. So I flew out there again, did the 900 tritanium shuffle, and got things going again. This time I decided to park out there.

And it was a good thing too, because the next day, I got the same “trouble in the lab” message. But I was there and ready, with 900 tritanium already in hand.

Then another message shows up.

It turned out that I had hit the magic 16 mission mark with Ishukone Corporation and it was time for a story line mission. Of course, the mission was available just one system away from the research NPC.

I looked at the mission. A kill mission. And there I was out in the middle of somewhere, 22 jumps from my only warship, flying the barge of low expectations, and now I needed to kill stuff.

Then I realized, hey, I have a jump clone back there! I’ll just use that, bring out big daddy battlecruiser, skate through the kill mission, fly it back home, and then just use the jump close transport system to cover the tritanium runs until I build up enough datacores to make it worth the trip back.

I almost appeared to be thinking!

So I did my first clone jump.

Easy. I figured out how to do it without having to search the net.

There was just one small hitch. After I jumped I got an in game mail from the insurance company about the loss of my ship.

Erm… was I suppose to leave my ship before I did the jump? When I finally got back out there, it seemed to be fine. I think the game was just foreshadowing.

But still, I was back in my home constellation. I picked up my Drake, the most symmetricalist ship in the Caldari fleet, and set course back to my start point.

For some reason, the navigation computer routed me through Jita this time. It had never done that before. Jita, the system of ill omen. I thought to myself that this was a sign that I should log off now.

I always make up things like that to amuse myself, and I am always annoyed when they seem to come to pass.

Sure enough, not too many jumps later, I landed in the Rancer system and saw this.


Well crap. I knew I was caught even as I saw them. A battlecruiser aligns for warp like old people drive.

They started shooting a little, so I shot back.

Then I got the convo request, which got lost in all the tabs I had on my chat window. (note to self: lose some chat channels)

Once I got the right tab forward, I had to wade through a lot of 18 point colored text about what badass pirates these guys were and how I had better heave to and do what they say or end up another notch on their blah blah blah.

(note to pirates: If you are demanding a quick reply, less garbage up front would help.)

Eventually I got to the “stop shooting and give us some money” part of the program. I was ready for that. I’d read Darren’s article on how he got hit up.

However, my pirates wanted a lot more money. More than I had, and I am not talking about off by a couple thousand ISK here.

Meanwhile they were chatting away, telling me to not be a fool and transfer the MONEY NOW 10, 9, 8, 7, 6…

So I said I didn’t have it. Heck, I didn’t have half of it.

That stopped the counting for a moment. Then they said to make an offer.

I didn’t think less than half was going to fly. I mean, if *I* were the pirate and somebody offered ME less than half, I’d blow them up.

My money was all tied up in buy orders, which, had I thought about it, I could have cancelled and come up with enough money to make a reasonable offer.

But I wasn’t thinking about that. Oh well.

I asked Debes, who was on another channel listening to me get held up, how to self destruct, thinking to at least be annoying and maybe not give them kill credit. He told me to right click on my ship, and sure enough, there it was.

However, it seems to take time to self destruct.

It also does not seem to be a secret to others when you select the self destruct option.

So the pirates opened up on me again and that was that, the ship was gone.

Now they wanted a ransom not to pod me. A 15% discount off of their first demand!

Well, at least I had a clear conscious this time around.

A jump clone with no implants! Pod me already, it will save me the trip home!

So I told them to “bite me.”

Only I wrote “bit me,” and had to correct myself. That always spoils the moment.

And “bite me” they did. I was podded.

Then their leader, still on a channel, started in on a lecture about how being stubborn doesn’t pay and have fun buying a new ship and I should just pay next time and blah blah blah….

“Hey,” I thought, “I didn’t have the money. Take your lecture and blow it out the airlock.”

But I just closed the channel instead. All they picked up from me, in the end, minus salvage, was:

  • ‘Malkuth’ Assault Missile Launcher I, Qty: 2
  • Widowmaker Heavy Missile, Qty: 52
  • Shield Recharger II, Qty: 2
  • Flameburst Light Missile, Qty: 55
  • Advanced ‘Limos’ Heavy Missile Bay I, Qty: 2
  • Large Shield Extender I, Qty: 2
  • Hornet I, Qty: 2 (Drone Bay)

So that about did in my ability (or desire) for any *pew* *pew* in EVE for a while.

Some days it does not pay to leave your station.

Did I mention that my insurance expired about a month back? Yeah, it was one of those nights.

Still, I don’t fret over the ISK I’ve lost. I know I can make that much ISK again with a mild effort.

No, it is the time and effort it takes to fit out a ship. Time is always the one thing of which I am short.

17 thoughts on “Drake Down

  1. syncaine

    Interesting story, although sorry it cost you a Drake to tell it :(

    However, I was under the impression you were rolling in ISK, considering all your mining with the Hulk. Was it simply that you had a TON of ISK in buy orders, or was the ransom demand beyond ridiculous? Since time finding fittings is your highest concern, I was thinking you would pay just to spare yourself the effort in getting another ship together to do the storyline.


  2. Wilhelm2451 Post author

    At the end of my mining run, which ceased at the beginning of December, I had the Drake, the Hulk, and about 300 million ISK on tap. I also stopped running missions at that point, having lost my first battlecruiser to a corp that preys on mission runners. So the days of big income ceased.

    Then I spent a good chunk over 200 million ISK on invention, in search of another profitable revenue stream. (current gross return, 7.75 million ISK. Ouch.)

    Buy orders and stock purchased but still unsold totals up to about 50 million ISK.

    All that left me just a bit south of 30 million ISK on hand at the moment of contact, and that wasn’t going to cover half the ransom.

    So that story line mission isn’t getting done. I just hope that letting it expire doesn’t hurt my faction to the point that the R&D agent drops me.

    If I want to rebuild, I may have to get my miner out of storage and start hauling ore again.


  3. syncaine

    Right but I thought you said you make around 10 million ISK an hour with the miner, right? If I’m off on that correct me, but if you do make that much, getting another drake should be rather quick. I would go that route, as letting a storyline mission expire is very bad for your standing.


  4. Gormn

    Bad luck…..

    Nothing worse than that jump into an unexpected bunch of hostiles just waiting for you. Have experienced that many times myself.

    But good on you for taking it on the chin, and continuing on.

    Just don’t let it put you of pew pew, after all it’s not all like that.


  5. michael, St Erroneous

    “If you go to Rancer, you will die.”

    Good tale. :)

    I only ever turn off the low-sec jump warnings during a fleet op.


  6. Debes

    I’ve only died twice in rancer, and one time was afk autopilot, but I mostly fly frigates, ymmv.

    Offer’s still open for at least my jag to come over and help you, but in a few days I could bring my muninn back out too.


  7. randomLurker

    Owch – rancer’s almost always camped to hell (fun fact: money can be made on ninja looting, anywhere isk is lost, there’s isk to be made as well.) but yea, a drakes an expensive way to learn to always check your routes for ship and pod kills before hitting the black and yellow chevrons. (rule, uhh… four or five of eve)


  8. Varakkys

    Just out of interest, how much do pirates make out of you if they pod you with no ransom? I only picked Eve up over Christmas so fortunately I haven’t been in this position yet, but I think I’d rather give them the bird and lose my ship than hand over my hard earned cash.


  9. Kinless

    I love that ship name I saw on that list: “itsnotthenewhiptheyfear.” (I assume that’s the name of a ship.) Very “Iain M. Banks” of them. My best homage to Banks was a Subspace ship named “Beyond Impasse”.

    Anyway, yeah, compelling game play. Sorry that it cost you a ship, but the realism of it all, if I can use that term, sounded interesting. (I liked Saylah’s Eve story from a little while ago too. http://notadiary.typepad.com/mysticworlds/2008/01/eve-online-the.html)


  10. Eric

    Just out of interest, how much do pirates make out of you if they pod you with no ransom?

    They can pick up whatever is left of the ship, so if you are using expensive modules, one or more may survive and they can sell them. Thats about all. Podding doesnt give them anything, except when there is a bounty on your head…


  11. Scott

    WilHelm, never let a mission expire, go ahead and drop it so you don’t take a hit for not doing it. You can drop a single mission every four hours without a penalty (except for key storyline missions I think?).

    I might have missed it in your story, but I’m not quite sure why you were in low sec in the first place? :)

    Rule of thumb in EvE is to never go into low sec unless you’re prepared and willing to lose your ship, gate camps are nearly guaranteed and you will lose your ship.


  12. Marius Deterium

    I’m a pirate, I’ll give you a few pointers. This situation could have been easily avoided.

    By far the best thing you could do would be to have a scout look in system before you jump into a low sec system. If you have a friend or alt in a shuttle you could have seen the camp and then not jumped in with your more expensive Drake.

    Assuming you are playing Eve as a single player game, and you are not part of a corp (which based on some of your other post I think is true) then use the map. The map has a feature that will show you the activity in systems. Under statistics look for things like pilots in system, ships destroyed in system. Even if you don’t have a scout, looking at the map can give you an idea of what to expect. It’s not 100% by any means, but it can help indicate problems.

    You didn’t post the kill mail, but I’m worried about your drake setup. Drakes have one of the best tanks in the game. Don’t go on the cheap. Fit 3 or 4 large shield extender IIs, 2 Invulnerability Field IIs and fill the lows with Shield Power Relays II. Then slam 3 Field Purgers in the rig slots. With a good passive tank like this the drake will take a pounding from a battleship long enough to get back to the gate and jump back.

    Finally, learn about aggression. If you shoot at somone, the gate is not going to let you though until you stop shooting for a good 30 seconds. You’d be suprised how long 30 seconds is in a fight. What you should have tried to do rather than warp away is make like a bat outta hell back to the gate and jump back through. If they didn’t manage to bump you, and your shield was set up right, there is a very good change you would have made it back alive.

    Train up you shield operation, shield management and shield compensation skills. All of this make your shields far tougher. Might have given you the extra seconds you needed to get back to the gate.

    Most importantly of all. Join a corp. Big, small, one that has some older players who are willing to help you out. Experience will help you keep your wits about you when a gang of pirates is bearing down on you.

    Read my blog, and other pirate blogs (www.eve-pirate.com). Learn how they operate, what they are looking for. Again this could give you the edge.

    Good luck!


  13. Arty

    You did good bud. Never negotiate with the terrorists. Why should the pirates get free money? Pirates are the scum of Eve. Nothing but equivalent of common criminals in real life. Would you pay ransom for your car in real life? Better spend more money on a new ship and make some builder richer.


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