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.
Anyway 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.