Mistakes

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.

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Well This Is Embarrassing.

Today I logged in to move some stuff around and get myself more organised. Instead I had to write up two debriefing’s on ship losses.

Since my operation every time I moved at night I would pull on my stitches waking me up. Last night was the first time I’d managed a full nights sleep since going under the knife. This coupled with the pain medication and a throbbing headache meant that yesterday I had fellen victim to Fuzzy Logic. Now I’m not talking about the form of multi-valued logic associated with artificial intelligence. Oh no, I’m talking about the type of thinking you get at 4 am after a night out with far too much to drink that make you believe that a pasta and brown sauce sandwich would taste like ambrosia.

Anyway I was completely out of it and had decided that what I really wanted to do was take my Badger out and fly randomly around null-sec, on a saturday, during US peak time. Me so smart. I’d managed to run a few minor gangs and lose a claw that just would not stop following me but then my luck ran out. The first proper gate camp I ran across I knew was there but somehow managed to warp right into it while trying to head for a different gate. Of course I got locked popped and podded before I’d even realised that I’d flown to the wrong gate.

I then decided that I the best idea in the world was to do it all again. So I went and grabbed my Nereus and headed out to a different area of null-sec. I managed a good few jumps before I landed myself in a large camp yet again. Now this one I may have been able to escape, if slowly, if it hadn’t been for the fact that I somehow managed to decloak myself. The camp didn’t even have to try for it, I did it all for them. They popped my ship then locked my pod and held it there, until I threw them a “o7” in local. As soon as my salute went out they decided to put me out of my misery and send me home the fast way.

The lesson I learned from all of this is to never log on when you may be under the effects of fuzzy logic. Or if you do stick to something safe.

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

Well It Happened.

After many days and many gate camps run, I finally lost another ship. The great thing about joining a null-sec corp is that I’ve become much more relaxed flying outside of hi-sec. The bad part is that I’ve become much more relaxed flying outside of hi-sec.

These days I do almost exclusively low-sec courier contracts, as these are the ones that usually pay the most. I dodge pirates and run camps on a daily basis. After having to play hide and seek with the goon swarm when they’re … well swarming over Providence (They turned out to be pretty aptly named), the humble low-sec gate camp starts to lose its thrill. I’d run 4 gate camps already today and this was going to be my 5th.

(more…)

Sometimes I Haz a Dumb.

Dumb kittyIt came to my attention in a comment that I may be coming across as far more knowledgable and professional than I really am. So I reworked that post I’ve kept delaying into part of this one. I’ve also added in a couple other events making this a catalog of all those times where my brain has just plain cut out on me. Leaving me in a state of jaw dropping awe at how stupid I have just been.

 

… I think I may have to turn this into a series. Seriously how can one man have so much dumb.

 

Wait, you said cruiser?

I had just found my self a juicy little ore anomaly in an incursion zone which no other miner seemed to want to touch. I nipped back to base and grabbed a Catalyst, a Venture and some basic fittings and drones, threw the whole lot in the back of my Iteron and gleefully headed off to make some easy ISK.

I unloaded everything into a nearby starbase, fitted up the Venture and started mining away happy as Larry. After a couple of minutes along came my first rat. I switch on my afterburner and start orbiting. After clicking on the rat in overview I realise that I don’t recognise it at all. Fortunately for me it comes with a description, an unusually informative one, telling me it’s an ECM frigate. That’s pretty cool. Whats not cool is the next ~10 minutes during which I can’t lock anything and have to wait for my erratic Hobgoblin 1’s to take it out.

Frustrated but victorious I return to my mining. I have my ore hold about half full by the time the next 2 rats come along. I pause long enough to collect my drones and take a peak at the descriptions to make sure there’s not another one of those annoying ECM frigates there. Nope, good. I’ll nip back and get my Catalyst to take care of these guys. I’m in hi-sec so I don’t need to go all out on the Catalyst fit. I just throw on 7 of the biggest blasters I can use, an afterburner and a small shield booster. I rush back to the anomaly ready to riddle some rats. Arriving I lock onto the rats, engage my afterburner and move in for the kill. The next thing I know I’m taking fire and half my shield is gone in one hit.

Now while my brain has the unfortunate habit of taking unannounced holidays, it can work rather quickly when its actually online. In the time it takes me to click my shield booster I realise 3 things. The first thing I realise is that my small shield booster just isn’t going to cut the mustard. The next two things I realise in tandem. One, that’s a rather large red plus I’m attacking and two, it had told me in that lovely detailed description exactly what I was attacking.

Oh, wait you said cruiser.

As in one size larger than destroyer, right?

My bad … I go now, yes? … pls …….. pls?!?

My abbreviated internet pleading was all for naught, and I could do nothing but watch as my poor Catalyst disintegrated around me before I could warp off. Leaving me open-mouthed staring at the ruins of my ship, completely unable to come to terms with exactly how big an idiot I was.

 

Oh right, this isn’t Hi-sec is it?

For this little misadventure I have some excuse in that it happened in the first couple of days of me playing Eve. Then again I guess I don’t have any excuse as it came hot on the heels of losing my first ship to a lowsec jaunt. That’s right I’d decided to go to low sec … Again … After already losing one ship … Why?

Well you see I’d just discovered that they actually paid you for shooting those annoying red plus’ in asteroid belts. The only problem was they paid you a pittance for the hi-sec rats. So I thought to myself why not try the rats in that nearby 0.4 system and see how much they pay for those. It might be getter than mining all day … anything is better than mining all day.

So I jumped into a Catalyst (every time I get in a catalyst it seems like my brain just shuts down) I owned which had some guns and random modules I’d picked up from hi-sec rats, and headed of on my profiteering adventure.

After jumping through the gate I instantly warp off to a random asteroid belt. On my arrival I see another player. “Oh, he must be ratting like me.” I thought to myself and then promptly ignored him while trying to pick which asteroid belt I wanted to try next. If it had been real life I would have probably waved out the window at him or given him a friendly nod.

While I was bumbling over the overview I suddenly see a yellow box outline my fellow ratters ship. Then it hits me.

Oh yeah!

Not Hi-sec!

Pirates!

… fsk!

Needless to say I panic. I can’t decide if I want to engage him, run away or change my underwear. This decision was soon out of my hands as my catalyst was blown to itty-bitty pieces. I manage to warp my pod out while repeatedly banging my head on the desk punctuation each thump with. Why … You … Be … So … STUPID!

 

Well I hope you enjoyed the dumber side of life. Theres plenty more, but I’ve already written over 900 words so they will have to wait for the second installment.

 

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.

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.