May 182011

I’m an idiot pilot.

Ok, maybe “idiot” is too strong a word. “Inattentive” and “complacent” would be more accurate.

I was running level 2 missions in Melmaniel, and swapping my Myrmidon‘s mission fitting for salvaging gear to round up the loot before turning in (yes, I know Myrmidons are overkill for level 2, but it’s all that was nearby). Missions had been in random complexes so I felt fairly safe: Mel was nearly empty to begin with, and I’d run about five prior without incident.

During a run to Costolle I was briefly chased by Misaniovent, of Invicta, while coming out of a station. I warped away before he got a lock on me, but I saw him popping in and out of the system for awhile. While looting the last mission, I noticed he’d been in the system for a long time, and it briefly crossed my mind he might be hunting for me. In true ADD fashion, that thought came and went too quickly to “stick” and act on, and I paid for it.

Suddenly, he appeared in the mission area and started targeting. I returned targeting, flipped on my armor reppers, and tried to warp to my safe spot.

Too late.

He got a lock, warp-scrambled me, and started shooting. My reppers held out briefly, but I’d replaced two of my energized plating modules for cargo expanders (unnecessarily, as it turned out), and I had no weapons; just three each of tractor beams and salvagers.

He got through shields, armor, and into structure before hailing me, paraphrased below.

Misaniovent: “Pay me 40 million and you can keep your Myrmidon.”

Me (quickly adding up the replacement cost): “Deal.”

Mis: “Pay now.”

(The corp wallet is quickly robbed, and far too much money changes hands)

Mis: “You have 15 seconds before I continue firing.”

I warped away, tail between my legs (and on fire).

Mis: “Fly safe.”

I kept the channel open.

Me: “You spent all that time hunting for me?”

Mis: “Not all of it. I had nothing else to do. I thought I was too late, because it looked like you were done there.”

Me: “Almost. I thought I’d put a warp stabilizer on this thing. If so, I might have escaped.”

Mis: “Stabs are bad! You’re better off staying aware of your surroundings, and watching your scanner for probes.”

I didn’t know why stabs were bad, because I had only ever used them on industrials while hauling cargo. Imagine my surprise at the -50% targeting range penalty, per stabilizer. :-O

Now, I have scan probes set to be displayed in my overview, but I never saw them listed before he jumped me. I’m not sure if the number of wrecks pushed them off the visible portion of the list, or if I needed to manually scan for them, or what. Guess I have some research to do.

Also, and I have no idea what this means, the symbol for the Gallente Major Stronghold complex, 8 AU away, also strobed red while Misaniovent was attacking me. Was the complex hostile toward me as well, or was it hostile to him because I have good standing with the Gallente? *headscratch*


So, what lessons did I learn from this?

1. Pay attention to your surroundings and any changes in local behavior.

Misaniovent had not been hanging out in Melmaniel until after he made his first attempt to nail me, then appeared in local and stayed there a long time before attacking. This should have been the first clue, but I ignored the alarm bell in the back of my mind.

2. Mission-generated dungeons are NOT safe spots.

Being inside one doesn’t hide you from scanner probes, and since you’re not moving around much within a “room”, it makes it easer to scan you down.

3. Add scan probes to your overview, if they’re not already.

And make sure you can see them in your list. Also, if there’s another method for knowing you’re being scanned for, I’d love someone to tell it to me.

4. Don’t use an expensive, unarmed combat vessel for salvaging.

Get a cheap cargo cruiser, like an Exequror, and fit it with the minimum Tech 1 gear needed for salvaging: two tractors, two salvagers, afterburner or MWD.

5. Keep a cheat sheet of the replacement cost of your ships and fittings.

This will help you decide quickly whether paying the ransom is worth it, although most professional pirates will know what a reasonable ransom is for a given ship.

Jul 212006

You know you've been staring at EVE Online too long when you dream about it. No one who doesn't play EVE will understand this, but it sure pissed me off. Yesterday I got my Thorax crusier shot out from under me while trying to fight NPC bandits; lost the ship, all its equipment, and five brand new Instigator combat drones. I had to replace and insure it, and spent a good portion of the evening and the corporate (guild) treasury outfitting it. On the plus side, I discovered I'd had my old one badly configured, and found some advice on the forums for making it much more effective (armor tanking & blasters instead of shield tanking & railguns).

ANYway, this morning I dreamed that I had my new cruiser loaded up and was headed for some nameless 0.6 (security rating; 1.0 is safest) system to beat up some bandits or rogue drones. Suddenly I found myself in 0.0 space (completely lawless and player controlled), with a couple of unseen players taunting me about being on "their turf". Suddenly my ship was hit by a warp scrambler and a stasis webifier, and they started firing at me. I had no warp core stabilizer installed to counter the scrambler, so I couldn't warp away. The webifier cut my normal drive to 25%, so I could barely fly around. I looked around frantically for some escape, to find that there was nothing on my system scanner: no stargate to leave the system, no station to run to, not even the player ships that were tearing me apart. I was completely alone in empty space, totally helpless and being destroyed by unseen enemies.

How very Jungian.

The last thing I remember before waking up was yelling, "I just bought this damn thing!"

And now, the Tarot card meme, the result of which seems appropriate considering what I just described.

You scored as XVI: The Tower. If badly aspected this can be the worst card of the Tarot deck. The Tower always indicates upheavel, possibly chaos, loss and destruction. Its effects are never pleasant and can be painful. The card illustrates lightning striking the Tower. The lightning cannot be avoided, the destruction it brings is inevitable. All we can do is attempt to survive and rebuild. The Tower brings sudden, severe change. When the Tower appears in a Tarot spread it represents sudden and possibly violent change, disruption or loss.

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