Back To My Roots.

I bought my self a shiny shiny Occator yesterday. I spotted one for around 100 mil over their price before the DST changes were announced and pounced on it. unfortunately I had forgotten to take into account the pitiful state of my wallet. This meant that I was left with a tiny 20 mil ISK.

This reminds me a lot of when I first changed my account from trial to active, I’d managed to scrounge together 15 mil ISK and a poorly fitted Iteron mk5. In under a month through mostly hauling alone I managed to turn that 15 million into 1.2 billion. I didn’t even have the small amount of help I have now from my PI, which to be fair with ~24 hours of training only nets me 6 mil per day, but still better than nothing.  I did it by running chump-change contracts like the one I’m doing right now and working my way up to the much more profitable ones. It had gotten to the point where I wouldn’t even consider a contract unless I was going to make over 8 mil on it.


A 200 Million ISK Phone Call

First off I just want to let you guys know that I’ve joined the nice people from Star Explorers and am now living the wormhole lifestyle, more about that next time though.

I’ve been busy getting myself sorted for my new home and have been spending ISK like it’s going out of fashion. Between plexing my account and buying the ships mods and miscellaneous paraphernalia that I needed my wallet has started to look decidedly unhealthy. It was time to make some ISK the only way I know how (well not the only way just the one I’m best at). I went hauling.

The contracts were not great but they were plentiful so I started knocking them out one after another. Then I arrived at this well-paying one jumper. This is not that unusual since it was moving goods from low to hi-sec and people tend to pay a premium for that if they want it done quickly. After accepting the contract I undocked to find a bunch of pirates sitting on the undock. This is usually more of an irritation than anything else since I can always leave the hauler and contract in the station and come back to complete it later. This time I decided to try and wait them out to see if they would get board and leave. Every 5-10 minutes I would undock to see if they were still there then redock before my invulnerability wore off.

Then disaster struck. I’d been waiting on a phone call all day and it arrived just as I clicked undock. Now normally I keep my phone in front of me for just this reason but this time I’d left it in my jacket. By the time I’d run to my jacket searched through all the pockets (why is it that you always manage to search every pocket other than the one you need when you’re in a hurry?) answered my phone and gotten back to my PC I was sitting in my pod. It took every ounce of self control I had not to swear out loud since I was on the phone to my landlord and I don’t think he would have appreciated it. So I have now failed my second ever contract all thanks to a phone call, 200 million ISK down the drain T_T .

I’ve learned my lesson. I’m always going to make sure that my phone is in front of me before playing, and I have realised that sitting outside a station waiting to shoot people is much more entertaining than sitting in one trying not to be shot. Next time I’m just going to leave the contract for later.

So until next time, this is the Incompetent Capsuleer signing off.

My First Customer.

Yesterday was a day of landmarks for me in Eve. I broke 1 million skill points. My wallet had a balance of 500 million ISK for the first time. I delivered my first null-sec courier contract. I delivered my 100th contract giving me a completion ratio of 99%. Last but not least I was awarded my first non-public contracts to deliver.

Before I get into the meat of the post I’m going to bitch for a minute. I have had to scrap three posts. Three! I spent hours on them, I wrote, rewrote and swore at them trying to get them to work and then had to throw them in the bin. Why? Because events and moments in the game that had a profound impact on me just would not translate into anything close to resembling good reading. They were either disjointed, unordered, overly introspective or in one case looked like I’d fed a monkey too much coffee and let it at the keyboard.

Rather than let the monkey back to the keyboard for round two, I’m going to give you a brief overview of several of the things I tried to write about.

I tried to take my first null-sec contract. I traveled 10 jumps through null having to dodge several warp disruptor bubbles and small gangs along the way, only to find on my arrival at the pick up station that I wasn’t allowed to dock because they didn’t like me. Felt a bloody fool. Fortunately I hadn’t accepted the contract before trying to dock at the station. Talked to Mr. Forelli about it in a chat channel where he lets me ask stupid questions. He kindly pointed out that the contracts actually let you know when you might be unable to dock at the station. Felt like an even bigger fool. Also discovered that you need a degree of spatial awareness when travelling null that I had not developed to an acceptable level yet.

Had an epic journey of over 50 low-sec jumps to deliver a contract. Was chased over 4 systems by a cruiser before managing to shake him off by bouncing off a customs office aligned closely to a gate I didn’t want to go through, then doubling back to the gate I did want to go through. Entered an almost zen like state as I traveled through the less populated areas of low-sec while listening to some chilled out music. Decided that low-sec wasn’t such a bad place after all.

After talking to Mr. Forelli I took him up on the idea he suggested and took a break from hauling to go exploring. I scanned down a wormhole into deep null and went looking for treasure. Spent three hours travelling null and managed to scan down over 20 combat sites (I stopped counting after 20) … I found nothing else. When informed of this Mr. Forelli replied with “It happens ..” . Thanks guy… thanks a lot. 😛

Risked everything on my first null-sec courier delivery which was a semi scam. It looked legit, and technically was. I had to deliver 1500 m3 of cargo to NPC null-sec. Collateral of 475 million ISK payout of 19 million ISK. Seems pretty legit at first glance huh? Then you find out your delivering 30 shuttles. Then you find out that this guy is posting several contracts of shuttles to null-sec, all in areas that have seen heavy fighting.  I managed to beat the autopilot over the head until it gave me a route that wasn’t patently suicidal. Managed to deliver the contract and sent an evemail to the guy saying “Those were some pretty expensive shuttles. Hope you enjoy them and thanks for the business.” . Realised that I’m actually not that bothered by travelling in low or null-sec, it’s only when I’m carrying cargo that I get really nervous. Knowing that if things go pear-shaped you’ll lose most of your last 20 days work really gets your heart pumping.


Now that I’ve got that out of the way I can move on to the main topic. My first non public contracts. I was going to say my first customer but that would have been rude to several of the very nice people I’ve hauled for. Like the guy who rewarded me for not breaking contract when he mispriced the collateral, or the guy who tipped me for speedy completion of a couple of contracts, or the guy who replaced my ship after I got suicide ganked, or the guy who was worried about me getting out safely after a particularly rough trip into low-sec, or the guy …. ok theres been a lot of really cool people I’ve come into contact with through hauling public contracts and it would have been rude to disregard them as customers.

I’d almost decided to stop playing for the day when I started looking into other industrial. I’d become a little disenchanted with the idea of the deep space transport as it really doesnt give you enough extra benefits for it’s increased price. You can buy around 15 Nereus fitted for low-sec hauling for the price of the DST hull. I still can’t wait to fly the blockade runner though.

fatsoAnyway back on track. I’d started looking at other t1 industrials and my eye had settled on the Badger. Once my brain got interested there was nothing for it but to buy one and see if it panned out as well in reality as it did in my head. I call it the “Fatso”.

It ended up being about as good as I though it would be. It carries more, can fit a bigger shield tank, has more cap, but is less agile, and comes with a worse power grid. This means I need to put in a few days of training to get the most out of it, but once I do I’ll be using the Badger instead of the Nereus for most of my low sec runs.

After fitting up the Fatso I took it out for a test drive to see how it handled. I also wanted to see what it was like at running gate camps so I went looking for trouble. I purposely took contracts that would take me (at least on the way in) through known pirate systems. I went through Old Man Star, Egghelende, and Rancer. I actually went through Rancer 3 times and nothing! Not so much as a single bullet was fired my way, not a single camp ready and waiting to divest me of my pixel products. Theres never a pirate about when you need them.

I gave up looking for trouble and went to deliver one last quite lucrative contract that would take me back to Jita, where I’m now mostly based due to the majority of contracts going there. Finishing it I spun my ship for a while, trying to decide if I wanted to do anything more today or just log off. All of a sudden I git a conversation invite from a name I recognised. It was the issuer of the last contract I’d delivered. He wanted to know if I was able to courier another package for him. I looked it over and as much as I would have liked to take it I couldn’t fit that much cargo into either the Target (my Nereus, named to remind me of what I am in low-sec) or the Fatso. No matter how excited you are about something, always read the contract. Especially in real life, you need to at least have read the small print stating that they now own your soul before signing. I told him I was sorry but could not carry that much on a low-sec run. To my surprise he offered to split the contact in two. I immediately accepted, and within a minute my very first private contract was clamouring for my attention.

After a quick battle with my terminally stupid autopilot I had a choice of two different routes. Option 1 had the pick up destination as the only low-sec jump making it the safer of the two but was 50% longer. Option 2 was shorter but took me through 6 extra low-sec jumps. I decided that I would at least take the shorter route on the way to pick up the contracts as that would let me gauge how dangerous it was with little risk. There were very few kills on the star map but you just never know when your going to be the first one to run into that gate camp. The way was clear, fairly active as far as local was concerned yet strangely safe despite that fact. In the end I too both contracts by the short route as my customer wanted speed and the systems stayed safe enough to keep the risk in acceptable levels. With a satisfied customer and personal satisfaction in a job well done I called an end to the day’s business and logged of.

So until next time, this is the Incompetent Capsuleer signing off.

This Isn’t The Eve I Read About.

*** The post I mentioned yesterday will be delayed yet again due to people being awesome. I hope you will forgive the further delay but people being awesome if beyond my control ***

You know, for a game that is supposed to be a cesspit of humanity there is a god damn lot of really nice people out there. Now I’m far from above a little petty larceny when the opportunity presents itself (in game at least), but when running contracts I follow The Code. The Code was something I decided upon after my first, and so far, only failed contract.

The Code.

  1. Deliver. (You accepted the contract, so get it done. End of.)
  2. Never take a contract you stand little chance of completing. (If you’re not up to the task don’t accept it. Leave it for someone who does stand a chance.)
  3. Take no unnecessary risks in the completion of a contract. (If you know there’s trouble to be had, go around it, or wait until it moves on. Take risks at your own expense, not others.)
  4. Never break contract unless there is 0% chance of completion. (Until you’re blown up and your package is taken from you, you have no excuse for failing that contract.)
  5. It doesn’t matter what you carry. (Like it says. What you carry doesn’t matter, only the delivery counts.)

Yesterday in all the excitement, what with the gatecamp running, rats firing on me, and being yellow boxed several times in hi-sec (I forgot to mention that one too). Not to mention later on while having a couple of beers I got to see a mining fleet in action for the first time, man those guys clean up. Anyway I forgot to tell you about how The Code had been severely tested.

It was during my series of quiet lowsec runs that I came across a contract with the collateral severely mis-priced. By breaking this contract I stood to make over 70 million ISK. To make matters worse, looking over the loot (for loot it was), you could tell it was the result of someone camping data and relic sites. The contract was stacked full of scanner probes, probe launchers, cloaking devices, data analysers, relic analysers, other affiliated modules as well as data and relic site loot. I’d be stealing from a pirate. Thats practically being a champion of justice right?

It was only 7 jumps to the destination point but warring with my conscience made it feel like one of those 40+ long haul trips. In the end The Code won out and I Evemailed wowthe contractor explaining the situation and asking them to be more careful in the future as my integrity had been sorely tested. You will have to excuse the spelling in the mail as I’m quite dyslexic and lean heavily on spell check (and google when the spell check still has no Idea what I’m trying to write.) when writing these posts.

Anyway I log in this morning to see my mail icon flashing. It’s the reply from my contractor.

I see, he (I think) was in a hurry and made a mistake with some third-party tool I’ve never heard of. Wait?!? Reward?!? What?!? I open up my wallet and I’m simply blow away by what I see.

what really100 million ISK. Wow … just wow.  What happened to all those money-grubbing, conniving, piratical Eve players I’ve read so much about. All I’ve found so far are decent human beings playing a computer game.

Well apart from the Jita trade scammers anyway, but if your taken in by those you could consider it a life lesson and move on. In my younger, more naive, years I’ve been hit by some real life scams which provided a much pricier life lesson.

In conclusion The Code has won out and been reinforced by awesome people. Your contracts are safer than ever with me … I’m still gonna loot those unattended cans when I think I can get away with it though.

So until next time, this is Incompetent Capsuleer signing off.

My Heart Needs To Get Out Of My Throat.

I was actually in the middle of writing a completely different post when this happened. As I’ve mentioned I’ve been doing a lot of lowsec hauling runs lately and I was picking up my first lowsec run of the day while writing a post (It’ll be out tomorrow). I’d done my usual homework on the route I’d be taking and all the jumps had been quiet for the last hour at least.

I went on over to the pick up station to grab the contract while blogging on my second monitor. I accepted the contract and took a peek at what I was delivering. I always do this just incase it’s something that sets my alarm bells ringing, but it just looked like someone was willing to pay over the odds to get their Gas Command Centers delivered into lowsec.

The delivery station was 5 jumps into lowsec and as I came up on the first of these jumps I put aside my blogging to give my full attention to the remainder of the trip. And it was a good thing that I did. This 4 man gate camp was waiting for me just on the other side. Apparently they had managed to set up and kill 3 ships in the short time it took me to grab the contract.

small gate camp When I started playing Eve I never thought that such a slow-paced game could provide me much of an adrenalin rush. Well running my first gatecamp in an industrial sure proved me wrong. Like I’ve written about in previous posts I’ve run gatecamp in a frigate fitted exactly for the purpose but this was a whole other ball game.

My heart leapt into my throat and started beating about as fast as it ever has. And let me tell you, I’ve been in some pretty hairy real life situations in my 31 years. Yet right now the threat of losing my pixel spaceship had my heart beating just as fast as in any of those.

It’s at this point in a movie where you hear the sound of your drill sergeant saying something like “This is what we trained for boys!”. But I’ve never had a drill sergeant. I wasn’t even a boy scout let alone in the army. It is now my firm belief that every new pilot in Eve should be provided with a drill sergeant just for times like these. Get on it CCP.

Heart beating at a million miles an hour, I prepared to execute the MWD/cloak trick. Now this technique is not a difficult one to pull off, but even simple things like remembering your own name can become herculean tasks when your system has just been flooded with vast amounts of adrenalin. Against all expectations I somehow managed not to F$%# it up, and I’m home free.

The rest of the trip is mostly uneventful. I meet the odd solo pilot as they travel to and from gates, but these I either stay cloaked while they move on, or have warped off before they decide I’m a nice juicy target. I make my delivery and Evemail my customer letting him know that the route is dangerous. He (I’m making assumptions here based on in game name) mailed me back complimenting me on the speed of completion and expressing concern for my safety getting back. I had already decided to take the long way back rather than tempting fate on the gatecamp and told him so. Still it was nice of him to be worried.

After making my way home by the long route I did a few more lowsec deliveries with little more incident than a gate rat having a pot shot at me. Those nice easy lowsec runs dried up pretty quickly and all I was really left with was a set of 5 with the same start and finish destinations. I’d been avoiding these because I knew there was trouble to be had. The pick up station was in shallow lowsec but could only be reached by going through this one hot lowsec pipe system. Unless you wanted to travel through around 10 nullsec systems that is.

It would be a bad idea to go for these contracts then wouldn’t it?

I didn’t think so. I was still riding on the high from my earlier encounter. I was freekin’ bullet proof, at least in my own mind anyway.

I made the 20 odd jumps over to the hot system and jumped straight on in. That Taking Firenothing was waiting for me on the other side only increased my confidence, so I warped straight over to the other gate. Next thing I know 2 Rokh’s have instalocked onto me and unleashed, Thank goodness I’d at least had enough self-preservation left to activate my adaptive invulnerability field before landing on the gate. As it stood they still did around 2000 damage to my shield before I managed to jump through the gate.

Well that sobered me up, not to mention getting my heart rate through the roof … again. That was it. I was not going to take these contracts and if I made if back through those 2 alive I was going to unwrap my shiny new Covetor I’d just learned to fly, crack open a couple of beers and do some nice peaceful mining.

I docked at the nearest station to get my heart rate back under control. Then jumped back through, somehow managing not to mess up the MWD/cloak, flew back to Jita and, as promised to myself, went mining with beer. So here I am a couple of hours later, slightly tipsy telling you about the whole ordeal. I hope the quality doesn’t suffer too much for the beer. I’m a bit of a light weight.

So until next time, this is the Incompetent Capsuleer signing off.

You Can’t Tank Through Stupid.

I played World of Warcraft for a bit over 6 years and raided with really nice PvE guild for most of that time. Our healers had a favourite saying they like to throw at me when I’d done something truly dumb to get myself killed … again.

“I can’t heal through stupid.” is what they used to tell me.

After a couple of painful lessons (such as taking on NPC’s way above my weight class, or looking for a fight in lowsec with no idea what I’m doing while flying a poorly abismally fit Catalyst) I’ve learned to apply our healers wisdom here in Eve as well.

It’s very easy to be stupid as a  new player in Eve. The dangers are far from clear the first time you log in and the only thing I took away from my early lowsec adventures was “Lowsec … Pirates … Scary”. So I headed back into hi-sec, planning to stay there for the forseeable future.

But hi-sec is safe (to a given value of safe) and therefore boring. So I set about learning how to make lowsec less dangerous for myself. I learned what the risks were and how to minimise them. I learned to use my star map properly (It’s probably just me but I found dotlan too confusing and clunky for my purposes) and access all the wonderful information it empowers you with. The various statistics it gives you make it becomes simplicity itself to see how hot, or just plain active a system is.

Now ~1/10 of my contracts involve at least one jump through lowsec and these jumps are often the least dangerous part of my route. I’ve been able to travel unmolested through known pirate systems, simply because I chose to travel through them when the pirates weren’t there.

I even once ran my hi-sec hauler with no cloak, no stabs and no agility bonuses through 4 lowsec systems (then back out through the same 4) to grab some incredibly low-priced cruisers I’d managed to purchase without seeing a soul on Dscan. I’d never have taken the risk with a contract, but with such a low collateral risk and only myself to disappoint, I felt justified in the chance I was taking.

All in all, lowsec is turning out to be much less scary than my initial impressions had led me to believe. I’ve also learnt that, while you can’t tank stupid, if you’re not stupid you often don’t have to tank at all.

I know that one of these days my thrill seeking ways are going to end in a glorious explosion and pirate glee, but until then I’ll be thumbing my nose at the pirates by … well, by not having my nose anywhere near them.

So until next time, this is the Incompetent Capsuleer signing off.

Well That Was … Disapointing.

With my days activities finished early I rushed home knowing that when I got there my Cloaking level 3 skill training would be finished and I could finally deliver that package through low-sec.

I logged on bought a new Iteron mk V and all the fittings to do my low-sec running. This ended up costing me most of the 20 mil I hade made yesterday buying hauling and reselling some stupidly low priced Ventures (I made an 80% profit on each one). I’m not entirely happy with the fit as it has absolutely no tank and a tiny cargo capacity due to my massive power grid shortage caused by have SFA skill points. I even had to run without warp core stabs just to fit the cargo in 😦 .

Meet the TFP mk3.

TFP mk3

The mk1 was the subject of the gank I spoke of the other day and the mk2 is my High capacity hi-sec hauler.

Anyway despite all of the risks posed by this venture (I was basically flying my entire bankroll into low-sec wrapped in a cardboard ship) I put on my big-boy-pants and my manliest expression and jumped through. … and nothing. There was nothing there, no gate camp and only two people in local, talk about a let down.

Nothing FoundI swallowed my disapointment and warped over to my next low-sec hop fully expecting there to be trouble on the other side. Again nothing, lots of people in local this time but not a one of them interested in killing and looting my cardboard ship. I move on to my destination feeling quite disapointed I’d been looking forward to running my first gate camp.

After delivering the contract I scan the regions market to see if theres any of the regular consumables open for me to ship in. The drone and ammo market looed pretty sown up so I scanned the contracts whithin my budget range to see where I could make my next ISK.

Low and behold there were 2 close by and quite well paying contracts. I check out the route a bit. Hang on, that systems a bit hot isn’t it? 5 ships killed in the last hour and 240 ships in the last 24, and I’d have to pass through that system 4 times to make the contracts worthwhile. Well I’d only have to pass through it 3 times if I can carry and afford the cargo. I check and the price is just within range and the cargo size is miniscule.

A plan forms. I have to run close to Dodixie where I’m based anyway, so why don’t I pick up my Imicus fit it out as a fast camp runner and grab the contracts. So I head back a fit the Imicus up with a cloak, microwarp drive, 2 sheild extender II’s, and 3 warp core stabs, my power grid only just manages (remember my SFA skill points).

Thus fitted I put my big-boy-pants back on and head out. When I get to the hot system I’m starting to feel pretty nervous and have to remind myself to put the manly expression back on my face. The other side of the gate is clear but theres a lot of people in local and the other gate is too far away for me to dscan. I consider bouncing to a celestial near enough the gate to give it a scan but as I’m in a cheap as chips ship with a low signature radius and I decide to rely on speed and suprise to get me through. If I can dscan them they could dscan me.

I blast into the gate and suddenly my manly expression is nowhere to be found and my big boy pants may need changing. Theres 8 or 9 Thrashers and some others sitting on that gate just waiting for someone to come through. I can’t tell if I was too fast of if they just didn’t care but I got through with nobody even trying to point me.I get into the station on the other side and accept the contract.

Now comes the real test, can I make it back through the camp. I jump through and align to the gate, (pretty much everyone in local has to be right where I am so I’m confident the other gates not camped aswell) mwd, cloak and I’m off. So long suckers!!

Into the next station, accept the contract, put it in my cargo hold and then it hits me. I’d left the other contract sitting back in the station past the gate camp. /facepalm, /headdesk.

Screw it, it worked once, it’ll work a second time. I hop back into the hot system and blast back through the camp, into the station, grab the contract and head out again. As I arrive at the gate to the hot system I see that the entire camp has moved to the other side of the gate, these guys probably thought I was just messing with them instead of screwing up. As a result of them all moving sides I’m able to jump through and just straight up warp off without anyone ever having pointed me.

I’m so glad I decided to fit the little runner, I’d never have been able to do that in the cardboard ship 🙂 .

So until next time this is the Incompetent Capsuleer signing off.

Between A Rock And A Hard Place.

Well it happened again, my greed and noobishness combo has made my Eve life difficult.

Allow me to preface a little bit if you will. I’ve been on a good roll with the hauling gig, good for a new player at least (8 days old incase you’re wondering how new) and my profits have been steadily increasing. surprisingly I’ve really been enjoying it, I didn’t think I would.

Anyway my bankroll and cargo capacity have been slowly but steadily increasing allowing for more and better contracts to become available. I’ve been sticking to hi-sec hauling only like any good newbie should. Low-sec hauling with my SP would be suicide. late yesterday I hit a collateral + cargo break point that opened up a bunch of new contracts for me and right at the top of the profit list was a set of 3 contracts all by the same person. 3 x 3 mil payout for a 16 jump trip in hi-sec oooh yeah! I’ll knock these out in no time at all and get to my next bankroll breaking point … is what I was thinking. So I immediately grabbed the first of the 3 contracts.

What I didn’t know was that when you search for hi-sec contract it only checks to see if both  the start and end locations are high security it doesn’t bother making sure that your end location is reachable through only hi-sec jumps. That’s right I was now stuck with a contract that took up most of my collateral and went through not one but two low-sec hops and no other route that didn’t involve even more low-sec hops. This is no longer about making money, it’s now about not losing it.

The first low-sec hop is a bit of a bottle neck into low security space so I was fairly sure it would be gate camped by at least a couple of people. << — Short break to go cAtrononfirm this –>> Yep just hopped through in an unfitted Atron I use for scouting risky spots and fast hauling small contracts and what do you know. A gate camp of 4 reds waiting on the other side. Fortunately the Atron is fast enough that I was able to jump to a reasonably aligned station before being locked and killed.

The contents of the contract is 5 Kestrel frigates with fittings and ammo for all, to the worth of around 30 mil. This means I’m left with two options.

Option 1 : Give up. Break the contract and resell the goods losing around 10 mil in the process.

Option 2 : MTFU and run that gate camp. My skill training for Cloaking level 3 is still 17 hours from completion but that’s still within the contract time limit. So what I can do is fit it with a MWD and Advanced Cloaking device, practice the MWD cloak trick a few times, grow a pair and run the camp.

Personally I’m inclined to try option 2. I do stand to lose considerably more and for the next 17 hours there is no point in me doing any hauling with such limited collateral. However it is a lot more fun and exciting that mining or running continuous hi-sec contracts. Also win or lose It’s gonna be a good story for the blog 🙂

So until next time, this is the Incompetent Capsuleer signing off.

Burn Jita 3 = Educational Weekend.

As you must know this weekend was host to the Burn Jita 3 event organised by the Goonswarm. Now I had no idea about this until friday evening and was wondering what all the fuss was about as I was hauling contracts into Jita. When I found out I instantly felt safe in the knowledge that, new as I am, I couldn’t possibly have enough cargo to be worthwhile suicide ganking when all those multi-billion isk freighters were rolling in. So I just continued on with my hauling pausing once in a while to enjoy the fireworks display being put on by the good people of Jita.

I think now is a good time to say that while I’m fairly sure that I would intensely dislike 90% of the people in the Goonswarm alliance. But this kind of player organised event is exactly the kind of thing I’m loving about Eve online. Also I love the fact that even in hi-sec your not completely safe.

Anyway all through friday evening and most of saturday I continued to pick up small time contracts that nobody else either seemed to want of felt brave enough to run into Jita. Small as those contracts were they still provided a higher ISK/h than I could manage with mining in my venture. Then disaster struck.

Well I say disaster but what I really mean is that my noobishness got me into trouble … again. Like I said I’d been running goods in and out of Jita most of the weekend with no trouble so I was feeling fairly confident and relaxed. I was on my way over to Dodixie to pick up some of my own goods to run into Jita and was checking to see if there was any contracts that I could run that wouldn’t take me too far out of my path and there was. It was perfect, or so I thought. Jita to Dodixie, decent price per jump and low collateral. In reality these three things should have started alarm bells ringing, instead they just rang my greed bells.

trapAnyone familiar with hauling should have realised by this point that it was a trap. I did too after I looked at the cargo. It was double wrapped and valued at arround 100,000 ISK. Realising I’d been suckered I planned a new route to Dodixie which skipped the original first 5 waypoints. It vastly increased my travel distance but I felt safer that way, and after the 8th waypoint in the original path I felt like I’d won.

Boy was I wrong. Three jumps from Dodixie they hit me. At this stage I was only half paying attention to my main screen while reading on my second monitor. Much like right now, where I’m mining on my main screen and blogging on another, eve online is about the only game I’ve played that lets me do this. Anyway I absent-mindedly smack the jump button, turn back to my reading and all hell breaks loose. I got locked, scrammed and blown the F$&# up by not 1 but 2 ships. I jumped my pod out of there and on to Dodixie fuming in rage all the way.

Rather than rage log I went and had a smoke and a coffee to calm down then got down to analysing all that I had done wrong to get myself caught. Let me break down for you what I’ve learnt from this little escapade.

My Mistakes: (Pre contract acceptance – Things I didn’t notice)

  1. The contract had too high a rate of pay for the collateral outlay. the contract paid 2.5 mil with a collateral of 12 mil. That’s almost a 21% risk/reward payout, normally I feel lucky if it’s a 5-10% ratio.
  2. The contract had only 1 day to complete it. These are usually scam contracts since they don’t want their contract accepted on a day when they can’t be online.
  3. It was a haul from the biggest trade hub to a smaller trade hub. It would be a very rare occurrence to make a profit doing this after paying for haulage.
  4. ISK/Jump was over the odds. Not by an unusually high margin but still high enough to make it attractive.

My Mistakes: (Post contract acceptance – Things I didn’t do)

  1. I found the contract suspicious and did not add the person who issued it to my watch list to monitor online status, or even check their profile.
  2. I did not go and do something else for a while. Your best defence against a contract like that is not to be doing it, so go do something else until it’s safe to try. If nothing else you can have your attacker(s) gate camping nothing for a few hours.
  3. After the first few jump I was not actively looking for ship types commonly used for suicide ganks sitting on gates. Not that it would help me much at the moment as a T1 hauler has little to no chance of getting away if a suicide ganker want your loot, but still I should have been doing it so that I could activate my shield tank bonus before the first salvo. An increase in survival chance however small is to be tank at every opportunity.

Would you like to know the funniest thing I learnt from this whole thing? No? Tough, I’m going to tell you anyway. My gankers actually lost more than I did. You see I was waiting and waiting for them to post their kill mail on the killboard so I could check the exact total loss but they never did. At first I thought it was because they pulled this scam a lot and didnt want to advertise the fact by posting the kills. Then I checked my combat log. I knew these guys had to be small time bandits since they ganked me for such a small cargo, my whole fit and cargo, including the contract goods and collateral weighed in at just over 16 mil ISK. Usually a T1 suicide gank fit will cast you ~2 mil making that gank a very small profit since they used 2 ships.What I hadnt realised was that these guys were complete idiots. For whatever reason these guys decided that they needed 2 Vexors to take down a T1 hauler.

Lets do some basic math. My losses were 16 mil, 2 Vexor hulls (we wont even count any of the fittings) cost 21 mil on todays maket. 16 – 21 = -5. These muppets lost a minimum of 5 million ISK ganking me. If they had fit properly they could have lost upwards of 30 mil. No wonder that they never posted the kill mail. Who would have wanted to admit to that.

So iparanoian conclusion the main lesson I got from all of this is that whatever you do in Eve online do it with a heathy dose of paranoia, you just never know when people will feel like losing a few million ISK ganking you :). I feel lucky that it was a very inexpensive lesson to learn. It could have ended up costing me my entire bankroll. I hope it cost my gankers theirs 😛


So until next time, this is the Incompetent Capsuleer signing off.